Notarial register of Mei, notary public of Montepulciano.

Italy (Montepulciano), September – November 1345.

16 fragments (each c. 150 x 210 mm) written in Latin on paper in a rapid notarial hand in dark brown ink, up to 19 lines, some entries lightly crossed through at an early date; recovered from use in a binding and consequently trimmed, worn and stained (often heavily), offsetting from a printed text on one leaf, a few worm-tracks and other defects, each fragment sewn onto a stub and all bound together in mid-nineteenth-century cloth-backed boards, partial transcriptions of four fragments in a nineteenth-century hand tipped in or loosely inserted, inscription on upper cover incorrectly stating that the fragments relate to the village of Montepulsano in Campania.


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Notarial register of Mei, notary public of Montepulciano.

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Fragments from a notarial register of Montepulciano compiled shortly before the Black Death.

Various dates appear here, all apparently in 1345 and towards the end of that year (20 September, 24 September, 25 September, 16 November, 20 November, 21 November). The name of the notary, who presumably bore the surname Mei, appears on several fragments (‘et ego Meus not[arius] p[ublic]us’). On 25 September, in a transaction witnessed in front of Mei’s house (‘ante domum Mei notarii’) and recorded on the final fragment here, Cecco formerly Pietro Benedetti sells to Mina formerly Bucci (‘d[omi]ne Mine oli[m] Buccii’) a parcel of cultivated and wooded land in the district of Montepulciano. A Mina, perhaps the same woman, appears in the fifth fragment, wherein, on 27 November, the marriage is recorded between Mina, daughter of Angelo, and Muzio Vanini. The sixth fragment records another marriage, between Bartolomeo, son of Gionta of Montefollonico (a nearby hilltop village), and Catarina, daughter of Agiluccio of Montepulciano. The eighth fragment contains the beginning of a document witnessed on 24 September before the hospital of Santa Maria della Cavina (the most important of Montepulciano’s medieval hospitals), the parties being ‘Ranaldus petri’, syndic of the hospital, and Giovanni Fei. The fifteenth fragment contains part of a document concerning the same Ranaldus.

Provenance: Cecil Brent FSA (c. 1828–c. 1902), archaeologist and collector, with his ownership stamp on front pastedown; the archaeologist Thomas Ashby (1874–1931), with his bookplate and with an invoice dated 2 March 1909 from the Birmingham bookseller William Downing loosely inserted; Professor Cecil H. Clough (1930–2017), historian of the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance.

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