publisher colophon

32. Seal of Beniet (or Beniot)

Dimensions: 17 mm. Impression.

Location: Doubs, Archives, B 71.

Bibliography: Castan, 1869; Gauthier, 1904, 1914; Blumenkranz, 1965–66, No. 224 (5); Bedos, 1980b, No. 224 (5).

Léon Gauthier, in an enlarged version of his original 1904 article (1914, p. 1977), listed the seals of three Jews from the period 1276 to 1286. Two of these are catalogued as Nos. 30 and 31 here. The third, which Gauthier barely touches on, comes from a document dated April 27, 1286. Gauthier states that Beniet, a Jew of Dôle, had a small round seal which showed a lion to the right in the field (the figure of the lion, lacking a neck and with a wasp waist, can still be seen on the seal fragment) but whose legend was unreadable. The document with the attached seal is still in the departmental archives at Doubs and is reproduced here, with the remains of the seal attached. The seal itself, actual size, is shown as No. 32 above. The old French is more legible than usual, and reads as follows:

I Joffrois d’Acre, knight, make known to all that by the order of my Lord Odon de Fouvanz I have come and received from Huguenet de Gevrey, bailiff in Burgundy, the Sunday after St. George’s Day, one hundred sous tournois,* which sum of silver we agree to pay back entirely. In testimony of this truth, I have required and had stamped on this letter the seal of Beniet, Jew of Dôle. Done the year one thousand two hundred eighty six, the day above stated.

Auguste Castan also mentions a quittance dated May, 1285, involving fifty livres of tournois money furnished to the count of Burgundy, Orthon III, by a Jew of Dôle named Beniot. Probably he is the same party.* This quittance was sealed by the count’s representative, and no mention is made of a Jew’s seal. The two documents are only a year apart, and we do not know why the earlier one was not sealed by Beniet or Beniot unless he had acquired a seal only in the subsequent year. From the sound of the name, one may conjecture that the combination of Ben Ivd became Beniot.

The 1286 document is a rare proof of the legal authenticity of a Jew’s seal. In this case, the bailiff loans and the Jew seals. Notice the exact wording: “In testimony of this truth, I have required and had stamped on this letter the seal of Beniet, Jew of Dôle.” The knight, borrowing from the bailiff, thus required the Jew’s seal to certify that the transaction was binding.


*The two principal French mints were at Paris and Tours, and coins issued at the latter were called tournois.

*The French expulsion decree of 1306 was followed by a similar Burgundian decree in August of the same year. At Chalon the officers of the duke seized all the contracts of the Jews, and those of Beniot of Dôle are prominently mentioned among them (see Simmonet, 1865, p. 160). We do not know his ultimate fate.

*The two principal French mints were at Paris and Tours, and coins issued at the latter were called tournois.

*The French expulsion decree of 1306 was followed by a similar Burgundian decree in August of the same year. At Chalon the officers of the duke seized all the contracts of the Jews, and those of Beniot of Dôle are prominently mentioned among them (see Simmonet, 1865, p. 160). We do not know his ultimate fate.

I Joffrois d’Acre, knight, make known to all that by the order of my Lord Odon de Fouvanz I have come and received from Huguenet de Gevrey, bailiff in Burgundy, the Sunday after St. George’s Day, one hundred sous tournois,* which sum of silver we agree to pay back entirely. In testimony of this truth, I have required and had stamped on this letter the seal of Beniet, Jew of Dôle. Done the year one thousand two hundred eighty six, the day above stated.

Auguste Castan also mentions a quittance dated May, 1285, involving fifty livres of tournois money furnished to the count of Burgundy, Orthon III, by a Jew of Dôle named Beniot. Probably he is the same party.* This quittance was sealed by the count’s representative, and no mention is made of a Jew’s seal. The two documents are only a year apart, and we do not know why the earlier one was not sealed by Beniet or Beniot unless he had acquired a seal only in the subsequent year. From the sound of the name, one may conjecture that the combination of Ben Ivd became Beniot.

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31. Seal of Moiroudi the Jew

Additional Information

ISBN
9780814344859
MARC Record
OCLC
1055142843
Pages
90-90
Launched on MUSE
2018-10-02
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
Creative Commons
CC-BY-NC-SA
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