Rolls of Oléron
The Rolls of Oleron (French: Rôles d'Oléron, also known as the "Rules of Oleron", the "Law of Oleron", the "Charter of Oleron of the Judgments of the Sea" and the "Judgments of Oleron") were the first formal statement of "maritime" or "admiralty" laws in northwestern Europe.
They were promulgated by Eleanor of Aquitaine in about 1160, after her return from the second crusade having accompanied her first husband Louis VII. The Rolls were based upon the medieval European customary sea law (lex maritima). Originally purely oral, the customary sea law was gradually committed to writing in the medieval sea codes. The customary sea law itself was based upon the ancient Lex Rhodia, which had governed Mediterranean commerce since before the 1st century. She likely became acquainted with them while at the court of King Baldwin III of Jerusalem, who had adopted them, as the Maritime Assizes of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. They are named for the island of Oléron since the island was the site of the maritime court associated with the most powerful seamen's guild of the Atlantic. She promulgated them in England at the very end of the twelfth century having been granted viceregal powers of England while King Richard I was on the third crusade.
They were published subsequently in French and English. The English King Henry VIII published them as "The judgment of the sea, of Masters, of Mariners, and Merchants, and all their doings." The Rolls greatly influenced the Baltic Laws of Wisbuy and are included in the English "Black Book of the Admiralty". They may also have influenced later maritime codes such the various "Articles" enforced by some Golden Age pirates, for example, the "Obligations" of George Cusack, who referred to them as the "Lawes of Pleron".
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- Rules of Oleron, admiraltylawguide.com
- THE LAW OF OLERON , stexboat.com
- MARITIME LIENS IN THE CONFLICT OF LAWS , by William Tetley, p.4
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- Fox, E. T. (2013). ‘Piratical Schemes and Contracts’: Pirate Articles and their Society, 1660-1730 (PDF). Exeter: University of Exeter. Retrieved 15 June 2017.