Falco Van Der Schueren, “Sacent tout et cetera. Een vijftiende-eeuws formulierboek als unieke schriftelijke getuige van laatmiddeleeuwse vrijwillige rechtspraak in Henegouwen (U.B.G., hs. 2304)” (p. 5-64).

Abstract – About one hundred year ago a fifteenth-century formulary was transferred from the State Archives in Mons to the University Library in Ghent, where it is now part of the rich medieval manuscript collection. Because of this transfer the manuscript was saved from the disastrous fire that would strike the archival depot of the Hainaut capital during the Second World War. Up until now, this source has not revealed much of its secrets so far and an in-depth study of it has not yet been conducted. However, the formulary offers a unique view on the late medieval organization of voluntary jurisdiction within the county of Hainaut and provides some important indications about the specific share in this of comital vassals or hommes de fief. Because of the value of this manuscript a critical text edition is required to render its content more accessible. This contribution aims to meet this need in the first place, but also tends to (1) elaborate on the facts that are already known; (2) formulate alternatives to nuance former interpretations; (3) initiate additional research to fill in the existing gaps.

Falco Van der Schueren (born May 8, 1992) obtained a bachelor’s degree in secondary education at the Artevelde University College in 2016 and a master’s degree in history at Ghent University in 2019. For his thesis ‘Ars notariatus Hanoniensis: openbare notarissen en hommes de fief in de organisatie van vrijwillige rechtspraak binnen laatmiddeleeuws Henegouwen (1345-1467)’ he received the André Schaepdrijver Award. After his studies he worked as a freelance researcher. He is currently preparing his dissertation ‘Gedeeld belang of onderlinge wedijver? De organisatie van vrijwillige rechtspraak in de Zuidelijke Lage Landen tijdens de late middeleeuwen (1278-1433)’, for which the Ghent University Special Research Fund awarded him a doctoral scholarship.


Christian De Borchgrave en Bert Verwerft, “Een facet van de diplomatieke cultuur: geloofs-, volmacht-, instructie- en vrijgeleidebrieven in het begin van de vijftiende eeuw” (p. 65-93).

Abstract –The juridification and the increasing degree of writing in the Burgundian government, combined with a courtly knight culture, defined the Burgundian diplomacy. The ongoing professionalization of the diplomacy in the age of duke John the Fearless (1404-1419) encouraged the specialization and formalization of diplomatic documents. This contribution presents a range of the most commonly used types of diplomatic documents: letters of credence, procuration letters, letters of instruction and letters of safe-conduct.

Christian De Borchgrave (°1966), PhD in history, is first advisor at the Belgian House of Representatives and voluntary researcher at the Ruusbroec Institute (University of Antwerp). He is the author of books and articles on the diplomacy under the Burgundian duke John the Fearless and on the history of the Catholic Church in Flanders in the interwar period.

Bert Verwerft (°1985), MA in history, works as heritage expert at the municipality of Beveren. He is co-editor of the journal Het Land van Beveren and voluntary researcher at the Department of History at Ghent University. His scientific interests lie at the intersection of social and political history, with a particular focus on late medieval warfare and the sociogenesis of the Burgundian nobility.


Amable Sablon du Corail, “Quand l’État reprend ses droits. Guerre, économie rurale et enquêtes administratives en Flandre au temps de Maximilien d’Autriche (1484, 1495)” (p. 95-141).

Abstract – War deeply disrupted the economy in medieval and modern times, and led to the suspension of the normal functioning of State institutions if not to their temporary collapse. The latter, however, reacted quickly by implementing complex administrative procedures aimed at restoring their grip on society. Two investigations carried out by the Chamber of Accounts of Lille in 1486 and 1495 are presented here, the first at the request of the farmer of the county estate of Ninove, the second at the request of the receiver of the Extraordinary of Flanders. Ninove’s investigation provides valuable information on the effects of war on demography, manpower and agriculture. It shows that a few months of military operations reduced the product of an entire three year cycle by a third to a half. The information requested by the receiver of the Extraordinary of Flanders, for its part, reveals the obstacles that an officer of  the Prince had to overcome in the exercise of his duties. Both documents illustrate the importance of routine in the development of the State: the discourse of “administrative rationality” carried by the Chambers of Accounts was in fact made performative by the repetition of control procedures rather than by their efficiency.

Amable Sablon Du Corail – A former student of the Ecole nationale des Chartes, Amable Sablon Du Corail is Chief Curator at the French National Archives, where he heads the Department of the Middle Ages and the Ancien Régime. Most of his work focuses on political, financial and military history in the late Middle Ages and early modern period, in France and in the Burgundian Netherlands. He has recently published La guerre, le prince et ses sujets. Les finances des Pays-Bas bourguignons sous Marie de Bourgogne et Maximilien d’Autriche (1477-1493) (Brepols, 2019).

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