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Grand Duke Alexander granted the Magdeburg Law to the city of Polotsk on the Western Dvina with this document on 7 October 1498.

SOURCE: “The Charter Giving Magdeburg Law to Polotsk.” In Vernadsky, George, ed. A Source Book for Russian History From Early Times to 1917,vol. 1, Early Times to the Late Seventeenth Century. New Haven and London: Yale U. Press, 1972. p. 108-109.
Included here under fair use regulations.

Page 108 Page 109

Charter to the city of Polotsk granting it the Magdeburg law and other liberties:
     ... We, Alexander, by the grace of God grand duke and hereditary lord of Lithuania, Russia, Samogitia, and other [lands], make known through this charter of ours to all whom it may concern, to both present and future [generations], that with the interntion of improving the general welfare and with the desire of raising to a higher level the condition of the town of Polotsk, so that our people living there would prosper as a result of good and just administration, we transfer for all time to come this town of ours from [the jurisdiction of] Lithuanian and Russian law, or whatever [law] may be observed there, to the German Magdeburg law; and in accordance with the general custom and all the statutes of that Magdeburg law, we abrogate forever all rights, statutes, and customs previously in force that contravene or conflict with that Magdeburg law. In accordance with that Magdeburg law we once again establish the office of mayor [voit] in the above-mentioned city, and through this charter grant [privileges] to the office of mayor, prescribing for the present mayor and for all who shall occupy this office after him a third part of the court fees an taxes and court fines and other revenues of every kind, just as our ancestors have established in Vil'no and in other towns that observe the same law.... All these... men [the people of Polotsk] shall be subject to that Magdeburg law in all matters, and we exempt all these men from the authority of the castle [i.e. of the voevoda] and the boyars, before whose courts they shall not be obliged to stand; and if anyone should be guilty of any [crime], justice shall be administered to him by the mayor and burgomasters. But in a time of unrest or in the event of some other need of the land, and particularly when we enjoin it, they shall obey the orders of the viceregent who

is in our castle at that time and shall be ready to defend [the town] as long as necessary.... We likewise allow that above-mentioned town to hold a fair three times a year for its benefit, as is the custom in other towns.... We likewise permit that town of ours to keep a weighing scale, [the revenues from] which shall be turned over to the benefit of the treasury. They shall likewise keep a contained for wax, and they shall stamp with their own seal all the wax that is melted there and keep all the profit therefrom for the public good. We likewise enjoin the mayor and burgomasters, whoever may be [in office] at the time, to bring in settlers and increase the population in all uninhabited areas in and around the town.... All the townspeople of Polotsk shall be exempt from customs duties throught the entire Grand Duchy of Lithuania, just as our ancestors granted to the people of Vil'no and Troki by special permission. They shall likewise choose a suitable spot to build and construct a public bath for the town's profit; they shall likewise erect a town hall, under which will be located dry goods stores and bakeries, that is, bakehouses, and drapers' shops; and in the town hall they shall likewise keep a measuring barrel [for dry measures] and a copper vessel [for liquid measures] with the city seal, from which the mayor and burgomasters shall use all the profits for public works within the town. The above-mentioned town shall have a permanent number of twenty council members, who will be chosen by the mayor; one half [of the council members] shall be of Roman faith and the other half of Greek. These council members, together with the mayor, shall choose two burgomasters from among themselves each year, one of Roman faith and the other of Greek, whoshall govern the population together with the mayor. The burgomasters and council members shall allow all appeals [from their decisions] to the mayor; but there shall be no appeals from [a decision of] the mayor except to us [the grand duke]. Likewise, the mayor shall have the authority to execute decisions without [consulting] the burgomasters or council members; but the burgomasters and council members shall not issue any decisions without the mayor or his deputy. We likewise decree for all time to come that the above-mentioned town should deliver 400 kopy of groshi to our treasury each year, on Saint Michael's Day, without any excuses. By this charter of ours we likewise remove and exempt eternally all the people of this town from the courts and authority of all the voevody, lords, starosty, judges, assistant judges, and other viceregents... so that they shall not be obliged to answer to them in any matters for which they may be summoned. But if the mayor of the burgomasters should appear unjust, they they shall be called before us and shall be answerable for this; and we shall judge them in accordance with the same [Magdeburg] law.