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Sale/purchase of farm money

The existence of a repayment system was linked to a credit transaction in which unpaid financial stakes in farmsteads were traded. The sellers were individual subjects - holders of the shares (creditors). The range of entities on the buyer side was more diverse. Most often, farm money was bought up by the farmers on their farmsteads but, besides them, not only other subjects, including village headmen, could be involved in the transaction, but also municipalities themselves, guilds, orphans’ cash boxes and church endowments, the manorial lords’ administrators, or even owners of the estate (Valûsek 1998, pp. 89-90; Chocholâc 1999, p. 136). If the farmer bought the farm money on his farmstead, he thus lowered his indebtedness, or sometimes could even achieve its complete payment. In the case of the other entities, it was the placement of excess financial means into one of the forms of loan transactions that could provide large profits above even the period legitimate interest rate (6%). In all of the examined Moravian localities, including the smallest of them, the sale of farm money was recorded. That was also the case on the Melnik estate. The appearance of this transaction in the records of the land registers, which must be taken to be minimal (see below), was possible to determine for localities in the Tele region. At each farmstead there in 1580 through 1700, there were, on average, almost three sales (Chocholâc 1999, determined from the values on pp. 118, 119, 126). The same value was found for small towns on the Pardubice estate in the period 1576-1700 (Siglovâ 2017, pp. 230-1). On the contrary, this transaction is entirely absent on the North Bohemian Frÿdlant estate. The cause could be the legal situation on the domain, because, at some farms, these transactions were forbidden in the effort mainly to protect the financial shares of the orphans.

Before actually comparing, it is also necessary to realize what the data is. Mainly credit transactions, which led to the debt settlement of the homestead, that is mainly the purchase of money by a farmer on his own farm holding, were recorded in the land registers. In the case of purchases of money for the benefit of other entities, the amount of the indebtedness of the farmstead did not change, therefore the records of these transactions were only important in knowing to whom the respective instalments are to be paid which was less important information than the amount of the indebtedness. This is one of the main reasons (besides the effort itself of the farmstead holder to relieve it of debt) that the owners of farm money were dominated by other farmers on their farm holdings over other entities on the examined estates farms.

The research conducted so far also showed that a large part of the records of the sale of farm money did not contain all of the required values - the amount of the purchased amount was missing or the amount of means paid out (or instead of money, the purchased amount was paid by domestic animals, cereals, beer, temporary lease of fields, work tasks, etc.) or both were absent. More often, money was bought up for farm animals and grains in the middle of the Thirty Years’ War in the Boskovice region which could have been caused by the decline of local markets and the rise in prices of agricultural products (Vanek 1997, p. 115). Of the total number of the sales of farm money, all the data was contained on them in Bojkovice only with 17% of the transactions (Janik 2002, p. 81), it was approximately 35% in the Boskovice region (Vanek 1997, p. 99), perhaps 40% in the Tele and Zd'ar regions (Chocholac 1999, pp. 126-7).

Only these complete records made it possible to ascertain the percentage of the funds purchased in real terms. In the pre-White Mountain period, this value could be statistically ascertained for the villages in the Boskovice region and for the small towns of Deblin, Dolni Bobrova, and Mrakotin. In the West Moravian towns, the amount paid reached, on average, the amount of one-third of the bought-up means (Chocholac 1999, p. 128) - the share of about two-fifths was in small towns on the Pardubice estate (Siglova 2017, p. 231) - but in the villages, it did not reach even one-fourth of the bought-up share (Vanek 1997, data from the tables on pp. 101-4). The difference between the small towns and the villages could be caused by the fact that there was a larger number of solvent candidates in the first-mentioned settlement area. Increased competition between buyers may have enabled sellers to negotiate better terms of the transaction but this hypothesis needs further investigation. If it was possible to monitor the proportion of funds paid to the amount of bought-up money by farmers on their farmsteads and other entities, its amount was several percent higher for other entities. As in the case above, the seller of farm money, unless the farmer was not interested in the transaction, negotiated slightly more favourable terms of the transaction. Unfortunately, comparisons for the next period can no longer be made due to the lack of statistically relevant data.

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