Bibliothèque Municipale Tours, MS. 1376
Liber de Servis Majoris Monasterii, ed. A. Salmon, (Paris, 1845)
Liber de Servis Majoris Monasterii, ed. Ch. L. Grandmaison, Publications de la société archéologique de Touraine 16 (Tours, 1846)
The monastery of Marmoutier complied the Liber de Servis Majoris Monasterii, also known as the “Book of Serfs”, in c. 1070. The bulk of the documents are from 1032-1064. An additional fifteen documents were added after 1070 with the latest dated to 1097. Overall, the Liber has 127 records of the “dealings” between Marmoutier and its serfs. This unique collection provides some of the most detailed accounts we have from this period concerning disputes over ownership and social status. These records include gifts of serfs, auto-dedition (when an individual would give themselves over to Marmoutier as a serf), and disputes of servile status.
Importance for the study of Angevin history:
The Liber provides insight into the early eleventh century record-keeping within Anjou. Marmoutier chose to compile this unique combination of documents after obtaining a large amount of property over a short period. This document is unlike any other records kept by any other monastery because of its subject matter and the detail it provides. The description of disputes also provides insight about how society disputed social status and determined someone's social status.
Barthélemy, Dominique. “Le livre des serfs de Marmoutier et les problèmes du servage dans la France du IXe siècle.” Bulletin de la Société Nationale des Antiquaires de France, 1993, 1995. pp. 61-63
Fouracre, Paul. "Marmoutier and its Serfs in the Eleventh Century," Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol. 15 (2005), pp. 29-49.
Fouracre, Paul. "The 'Book of Serfs' of Marmoutier (Eleventh Century): Reflection on the Development of Servitude," in Familia and Household in the Medieval Atlantic Province, ed. Benjamin T. Hudson. (Tempe: ACMRS, 2011), 123-140.