Zwei Bücher, zehn Pfleger und 67.000 Mark Schulden

Kreditverwaltung am Beispiel der Tiroler Landpflegerkommission (1312–1315)

  • Lienhard Thaler (Autor/in)


In 1312, Henry of Carinthia-Tyrol, former king of Bohemia, appointed a committee of ten men who were assigned the task of reducing the royal debts. These so-called Landpfleger (keepers of the land) produced various documents. Two manuscripts contain a particularly wide range of information on debts and repayments, name­ly Handschrift 105 in the Tyrolean Landesarchiv and Handschrift Blau 123 in the Viennese Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv. In this paper, these two codices are described and analysed, supplemented by information from charters, chancellery registers and account books, in order to show how medieval financial experts managed royal debts.

In a first step, four lists of creditors from codex 123 are examined. The total debt, its distribution amongst the creditors, and the creditors’ social and regional back­grounds are assessed. In total, the debts mentioned in the surveys amounted to about 67.000 marc Berner (268.000 fl.) while the regular royal income was estimated to range from 4.200 to 9.600 marc.

Given these circumstances, how could the ten keep­ers mobilise enough resources for the repayment of the debts? In the second part of the paper, some answers to this question are presented. As extraordinary taxation did not suffice, the keepers had to work mainly with the ordinary revenues of their master. But they did not only gather and distribute money and wine, but also made extensive use of the pledging of royal income sources.

Keywords Credit; Debt; Pledging; Tyrol; Middle Ages