Els remences de l'Almoina del Pa de la Seu de Girona (segles XIV i XV)

  1. Rosa Lluch Bramon
Supervised by:
  1. Lluís To Figueras Director

Defence university: Universitat de Girona

Fecha de defensa: 17 September 2004

  1. Paul H. Freedman Chair
  2. Mercè Aventín Puig Secretary
  3. Gaspar Feliu Montfort Committee member
  4. Rosa Congost Colomer Committee member
  5. Pascual Martínez Sopena Committee member

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 99522 DIALNET lock_openTDX editor


The aim of ths thesis is to study the real functioning of the mediaeval Catalan servitude. To accomplish this purpose, the servile homages and the bad customs payments received and applied by the Almoina of the Cathedral of Girona from his remences (servile persons) are studied in depth. Theses homages had place along XIV and XV centuries and, more precisely, among 1331 and 1458, dates fixed by the documentation generated by that charitable institution, as the first account book preserved is from 1331. In these accounts books the Almoinas provosts consigned all its incomes and all its expenses. The final date has also been fixed by the documentation, because from that year on we dont have any more written evidences of bad customs payments and of homages. The importance of the bad customs that is to say, those payments that the remences had to pay just because they were serfs- in the mediaeval Catalonia is a question out of argument. Most historians such as Hinojosa, Vicens Vives, Freedman, etc.- attribute to the bad customs, to the servile homage and to its continued demand both remença uprisings against the feudal lordships from 1462 on. According to these hypotheses, the fight to suppress the bad customs and to achieve the individual freedom is the reason of the remença wars at the end of the 15th century. How it is well known, the Sentència Arbitral de Guadalupe, pronounced by the king Ferran II, suppressed definitively the servitude in Catalonia. In spite of the importance that historians have granted to the bad customs and, especially, to the lack of freedom of the remences, there are not studies about its real application. Thats why it was so important to study not theoretically but with real data- all the bad customs and all the servile homages applied and received by one only lordship: the Almoina of the Cathedral of Girona, whose remences participated actively in both wars and that is representative, with no doubt, of what happened in the diocese of Gerona. Besides, it is necessary to point out that the study includes a period of time that contains circumstances such important as the Black Death and the rest of 14th and 15th centuries catastrophes until the first remença war. How it is known, the Catalan remences were subjected to six bad customs: the redemption of persons (through which they achieved their personal freedom), the firma despoli forçada (payment in return for the lords guarantee of nuptial agreements over dowry and marriage portion), the intèstia (the lords right to a substantial part of the movables left by a peasant householder who died intestate), the eixòrquia (a levy in the event of death without direct legitimate heirs), the àrsia (a fine resulting from the deliberate or accidental burning of a peasants house or other property) and the cugúcia (the confiscation of a portion of a peasants property by reason of his wifes adultery). The remences confirmed their lordship dependence in a servile homage or dominium recognitionis that they had to do when were required. This thesis is organized in ten chapters, an introduction (or first chapter) and the conclusions. The second chapter is devoted to the description of the sources used, among those highlight the annual accounts books of the provosts besides the parchments. The third chapter studies the Almoina institution, which had properties in the current regions of Gironès, Selva, Alt and Baix Empordà and Pla de lEstany. In the fourth chapter, data problems are analyzed; problems that came when trying to know the exact amount of people, or the exact number of persons bounded to the Almoina and from which manses they came. The next four chapters constitute the main part of the thesis. In turn, its analysis brought the need of writing the three last ones. In the fifth chapter I study all the servile homages received by the Almoina between 1300 and 1457, those that appear in the account books as well as the ones preserved in parchment. In total, we have data of 1258 homages or dominium recognitionis received by the institution. The following chapter is devoted to the study of the firmes despoli forçades and to the 424 payments collected by the Almoina by this concept, between 1331 and 1452. In the seventh and eighth chapters , I analyze the bad customs required to the exits of the lordship, the volunteers as well as the involuntary ones. The obtained result is that among 1331 and 1458, the institution granted the freedom to 557 persons; surprisingly, most of them bounded again to another lordship. The amount of these exits contrasts with the payment to the same lordship during these same dates, for only 105 intèsties and eixòrquies. In other words, until 1445 the provost charged by 23 intèsties, until 1458 by 68 eixòrquies and until 1406 by 14 intèsties and/or eixòrquies Chapters 9 and 10 are about the meaning and the limitations that entailed the bad customs, as features of the belonging to the servitude, over the persons who were bounded to a lordship. Finally, the last chapter analyzes the fulfillment of the sentence dictated by the king Alfons el Magnànim in 1457, where suspended the servitude in Catalonia. There is no doubt that few years before the first remença war the servile homages and the bad customs were not required any more.