Christmas charter madlib!

This last week has seen me substantially occupied with two things, other than the Internet: buying presents, and reading charters. But of course charters are themselves a form of gifting! So, this year, why stop at a boring little gift-tag? Let them know you mean this to be a binding and legal transfer of property with the following handy formula!*


In the name of ________1. I _________2 [along with my ________3 ____________4]** am|are donors to you, ____________________5. For it is certain and manifest that it pleased our spirits and pleases us to give to you, and so we give _________________________6, with all its _______________7, and all these things are in the county of ___________8, in the ________9 of __________10, at the place which they call __________11; and this ___________12 with all its ___________13 is bounded on the eastern side by ___________________14, on the southern side by ___________________15, on the western side by ___________________16, and on the part around indeed by ___________________17. Whatever lies within these four boundaries as described above thus we give to you in all integrity with its ways in and ways out, and it is manifest. For if we the abovesaid donors or any person at all should come against this same donation so as to disrupt it, let us or let him find perpetual _____________18 and a _________19 with ___________20, and let this donation remain as before firm and stable and for all time.
This donation done on the _________________21, in the _________22 year of ______________________23.
Signed ______________24, who have made this donation and asked for it to be confirmed. Signed __________________25. Signed ______________26. Signed _______________27.
_____________28 the ___________29 who wrote this same donation and subscribed the day and year as above.

Key:
1. Your preferred entity, e. g. God, Capitalism, Bob, Flying Spaghetti Monster
2. Your name and title if any
3. Person’s connection to you, e. g. wife, child, cellmate
4. Person’s name
5. Recipient’s name and title
6. Description of object. And hey, the people who wrote this formula only really had one thing in mind, so this year why don’t you give the gift that keeps on giving, AGRICULTURAL LAND! It’ll make the rest of this make much more sense if you do.
7. Subsidiary components, e. g., water-mills, batteries, remote control, winepresses
8. Name of relevant county or local division
9. Type of jurisidictional settlement
10. Name of jurisdictional settlement
11. Name of homestead, house, etc.
12. Object being given
13. See 7.
14. Whatever is nearest to the object’s eastern side, probably wrapping paper
15. E. g. more wrapping paper – you can just say “similarly” if so
16. E. g. cardboard backing mount, neighbouring vineyard
17. E. g. instruction leaflet, mountain
18. A form of affliction
19. A fate
20. Person famous for suffering 19; traditionally “Judas, betrayer of the Lord”, but I don’t know, that seems more of an Easter thing to me? My suggestion: a “costume” with “a Mickey Mouse impersonator”!
21. Date in Roman calendar
22. Year in office of 23
23. Your current local ruler
24. Your signature
25. Signature of first witness: choose carefully! Or don’t!
26. Signature of second witness
27. Signature of third witness
28. Name of scribe
29. Title or office of scribe, e. g. ‘smartarse’. Have a good break, all, and I’ll be back with photos of things medieval before the end of the year.


* I did try for a few minutes to set this up à la classic Madlibs with interlinear glosses (because Madlibs ARE MEDIEVAL), but soon realised I have no idea whether you’ll be reading at the same screen width as I’m writing, so I hope this is acceptable.

** Insert and repeat if and as necessary.

Oh, did I not mention, you’ll need three witnesses who can be summoned to law in the event of any future dispute at this point.

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18 responses to “Christmas charter madlib!

  1. Er, how exactly do you gift wrap agricultural land? Just wondering…

    • highlyeccentric

      You beat the bounds, dragging behind you a long trail of gift-ribbon?

      • I suspect that it would be acceptable to gift-wrap a small clod of it, to present symbolically during your gift-exchange ceremony. You should probably place it on the threshold of the recipient’s house with a local magistrate present. That oughtta show ‘em.

        • Best to give the local Duke/Count a heads-up first. Hereabouts you find them (or at least their officials) in the local county courthouse.

          If you want to make sure they don’t object it might not be a bad idea to drag a pig or two or a cow up there while you’re at it.

  2. highlyeccentric

    Goddamn it, why do you post this three days AFTER I put your gift in the mail?

    • Er, because it took that long for me to get to where I wasn’t editing something and had crunched through the other posts planned ahead of it. I’ve been meaning to do this since July, I just came up with a new-found relevance for it! Sorry! Still: by any next time I’ll probably have forgotten :-)

  3. Felices fiestas a todos y próspero 2012

  4. In the name of the Lord I Johannes am donors to you, Joanthan & Jonathan’s blog audience. For it is certain and manifest that it pleased our spirits and pleases us to give to you, and so we give our Merry Christmas, with all our Happy New Year congratulations, and all these things are in the county of Ourwill, in the land of Tomorrow, at the place which they call Saturnalia; and this prosperous field with all its silvis, pratis, terris, vineis, ortis, molendinis & caput aquis is bounded on the eastern side by the land of the Orient, on the southern side by the house of Piri Reis, on the western side by Atlantis, and on the part around indeed by mount Zafon. Whatever lies within these four boundaries as described above thus we give to you in all integrity with its ways in and ways out, and it is manifest. For if we the abovesaid donors or any person at all should come against this same donation so as to disrupt it, let us or let him find perpetual tickling and hugging with the Sidhes, and let this donation remain as before firm and stable and for all time.
    This donation done on the nine kalendas of the month of Janus, in the 5772 year of the World.
    Signed Johannes, who have made this donation and asked for it to be confirmed.† Signed Jethro. Signed Tull. Signed Crazy. Signed Horse. Signed Gong.
    Tabularius the transcriptor who wrote this same donation and subscribed the day and year as above.

    Thanks for this wonderful formulary! :)

    • I now have this eerie feeling that the ceremony must have been done by my music collection in my absence :-) Thankyou so much Joan, I shall consider it mine for using, holding, having and possessing and for whatever I should wish to do with it I may have full power, or so I reckon!

  5. Henry Gough-Cooper

    Brilliant – I’ll use it next year! All the best for 2012.

  6. Nicole Alexander

    Love it! Very clever! Now, how to get this to fit onto a gift tag. Maybe a roll of vellum or parchment would work best…

    • If what you’re giving is a relic—as I’m sure it is!—then it would be OK to write the gift on a strip of parchment that’s then wrapped around the object! Hope that helps!

  7. Pingback: Contagions Round-up 19: Loads of Links for Year’s End « Contagions

  8. Pingback: Cool Stuff on Other Blogs V and Miscellaneous Thoughts « Medieval History Geek

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