End of Europe's Middle Ages
Galbert of Bruges describes the ceremony of homage to the new count
William that took place in 1127. The description reflects the temporary
nature of grants and commendations that had to be renewed on the transfer
Through the whole remaining part of the day those who had been enfeoffed
by the most pious count Charles, did homage to the count, taking up now again
their fiefs and offices and whatever they had rightfully and legitimately
obtained. On Thursday the seventh of April, homages were again made to the
count being completed in the following order of faith and security.
First they did their homage thus, the count asked if he was willing to
become completely his man, and the other replied, "I am willing"; and with
clasped hands, surrounded by the hands of the count, they were bound together
by a kiss. Secondly, he who had done homage gave his fealty to the
representative of the count in these words, "I promise on my faith that I
will in the future be faithful to count William, and will observe my homage
to him completely against all persons in good faith and without deceit." And
thirdly, he took his oath to this upon the relics of the saints. Afterward,
with a little rod which the count held in his hand, he gave investitures to
all who by this agreement had given their security and accompanying oath.
From E.P.Chesney, trans., University of Pennsylvania
Translations and Reprints (1898) in Middle Ages Volume I: p128.
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