the ancient library of the maternal ancestors, the Cinelli, those authentic
connoisseurs of ancient things that are the brothers Vittorio and Nicola
de Benedictis, found an important notarial copy from the eighteenth-century
of an appraisal of Morrone, performed in 1593 from the napolitan «tavolario»
Aniello of Gennaro, to whom from Alfonso of Avàios of Aquino, marchese of
Vasto, Prince of Pescara etc. etc. lieutenant of the Main Camerario of the
Sicily Kingdom etc. it was ordered that they would «personally confer in
the aforementioned Land et that, et soi entrance, et yield» appreciate minutely,
being that necessary to resolve the lawsuit between the Magg. Ferrante Carafa,
of Morrone at that time mister, and his creditors.
They learnt news so completely unaware before, if they confirm of either
deny or correct other, and all for the molisana history they are of big
There were at that time in Morrone two hundred and nineteen fires, (family
units) but «sixty five houses uninhabited et desert, among which twenty-seven
completely ruined, demolished, because the inhabitants left and went to
other countries» because excommunicated from the Bishop of Larino because
of the lawsuits on the tenth demands and from he himself and from the baron
besides that from the local clergy.
The wall surrounded the houses, arranged in length, and divided from «a
master road, that begins from the Door of S. Angelo, et ends to the Door
of the Cornicchio, and The Castle », in front of the Castle there is a wide
slow, that from bona vista (good sight), in the middle of the Land there
is another little road across, that leads to the third door said the Portabrezza.
Nowadays only the last one is with the name of Door Celsa and the road that
leads to it is Via Roma, while of the first one they speak only rarely,
of the second one they have lost every memory.
All the houses were short, with a « ground » or one floor, covered by scandole
except for that baronal, «done such as a castle, et so questioned by everyone».
Supplied with a steep slope, mergolatura, courtyard, cistern (the eternal
problem, of the water, up here!), and raising bridge and stable (still today
names stable of the court), and two grain warehouses. It is lacking instead
the prison, for that it was bought another building, that included also
a little room, two rooms and a kitchen, that the Captain used.
Of the three present churches, the «large capable of the People said S.
Maria» it was lacking of garments, and among the other relics possessed
an arm of S. Roberto from Salle, here lived and dead, of which there is
no more track; nine priest officiated there of the greater and minor orders,
wretched in the clothing: their grounds were left uncultivated for the aforementioned
cause of not paying a third of the harvest in decime; San Giacomo is today
falling down, and Saint Angelo doesn’t exist any more. The Badia of Saint
Maria Casalpiano, belonging to Fabrizio Carafa, delighted of papal privileges,
and also the Monastery of S. Roberto of the Order Celestino and plus that
of S. Nazario, of Zoccolantí were very flourishing and the last one was
also provided of rich library.
Then like today, the water «fresh et bona», drawn from the Pozzillo and
Schiavonesca fountains, after «laborious chimney, penninoso and stony».
To the Biferno, where there were boats and Mills of the Baron, they fished
eels and barbi. In the fields, in big part for seeding, they produced good
grains in big quantity, barley,, legumes and linen (today nonexistent cultivation),
«very good wines», but little oil, that was imported; the rest was forest,
part of which was extracted for order of the baron «from certain Schiavoni
that make them come and inhabit in aforementioned fief, et they are from
There was a notary, but there weren’t medical doctors and spice-sellers.
All the «Land» was from the Tavolario appreciated about thirty thousand ducati, but -he asserts- that the poverty and the misery that was seen everywhere,
were due to the baron outrage, all mentioned, and of the lawsuits still
in course between Baron and Bishop and the community from the other end.
What best comment and warning?
It is a copy from
the original Appraisal
Land of Morrone situated in the prov. (province) of Molise far away from
this Town of Naples sixty miles, from Campobasso twelve miles, from Benevento
thirty miles, from the town of Larino eight miles, from Coglionisi (Guglionesi)
twelve miles, from the navy about sixteen miles according the new and last
numbering N. 219 I say two hundred and nineteen, because after the numbering
for what it shows it has been lacking, awaited, there are from sixty five
empty houses, desert, among which there are twenty-seven completely ruined,
demolished, because the inhabitants left and went to other countries because
excommunicated from the Bishop of Larino because of the lawsuits on the
tenth demands and from he himself and from the baron besides that from the
It is built up to a high mountain, that has two miles of slope and divided
from a master road, that begins from the Door of S. Angelo, et ends to the
Door of the Cornicchio, and The Castle, in front of the Castle there is
a wide slow, that gives bona vista (good sight), in the middle of the Land
there is another little road across, that leads to the third door said the Portabrezza (Today Door Celsa).
All the houses were short, with one floor, covered by scandole.
There is also the baronial house, done such as a castle, and so called by
everyone because supplied with a steep slope, mergolatura, courtyard, cistern,
and raising bridge. Outside the house there is a stable, and two grains
warehouses, moreover it was bought another building, that included also
a little room, two rooms and a kitchen, that at present time it is used
as a prison, because in such house the Captain lives.
Inside the Land there are three churches, one large and capable of the People,
of S. Maria, lacking in garments, and there are some relics among which
an arm of S. Roberto devoted to such Land, there are some chapels served
by nine priest of the greater and minor orders.
Some of the grounds were left uncultivated for the aforementioned cause
of not paying a third of the harvest in decime;
At present it is said that ….. (not legible part)…. 160 of grain and less
in legumes and linen, and they live poorly, as it demonstrates their clothes.
The other Chapel of Saint Jacovo is small, and it treats the abbate Mario
Rinaldo from Stilo, gives back from fifteen to …………(not legible part) ……………of
the Bishop as above, and other chapel of Saint Angelo is Grancia of the
Abbatia of Holy Maria of Casalpiano, whose Batia is ousides the Land of
about one mile far away that is property of Mr. Fabrizio Carrafa, someone
say it was conferred by Its Sanctity, it gives back about hundred seventy Docati however before they say that gave back a lot more before that lawsuit,
because if they sowed all the territories of that Abbatia, that are in big
part outside the Land of a mile
There is a Monastery of S. Roberto of the order Celestino, there are two
monks, and a servant, the Monastery has formed with order, there are comfortable,
they say from about hundred fifty Ducati of input of the lands, that make
cultivate, and vineyards, and another Monastery of Zoccolanti for half mile
far away said Saint Nazzario, there are eight Monks four Priests four Laymen
live begging, awaited, the Baron gives them thirty of grain, and fifteen
vine barrels, the Monastery is quite formed with plaustri, garden, refectory,
other convenience, and for the rest of the living they get it from the city
and from the close Lands, and they hold an animal with that they go and
beg, it is far away half mile.
There is another chapel of S. Gio of Ruggii said San Giovanni of the Rossi,
rural benefit of the Reverend Don Paolo Cornelio, it holds an entrance of Terraglio of about twenty to twenty five Ducati.
Within the Land there isn’t water and to water the animals outside the Land
from about a quarter of miglio,there are two fountains, that are one in
one side and the other in the other side of the land, one named the Schiavonesca
the other Pozzillo, country fountains with two taps each one, fresh water
et good, however the walk is painful, because it is penninoso, (hilly) and
To the lower part from about two miles there is the river Biferno, big river,
that produces eels and fish whose name is Barbi, where there are the mills
of aforementioned mister Baron, and the Barchere there are other waters
for the territory that gush from little moment that are winter waters because
in summer there is not much water, down the Land towards Campobasso there
are the vineyards for about half a mile where there are also some foots
of olives, and of fruits, they make very good wines, and little oil, however
it comes often from outside and good price.
Far away from the Land from about two miles there is a forest said Cerri,
and other wild wood of the demanio of the Land, from about half mile of
circuit, from which the citizens use the firewood, et beside it there is
another forest the feud of Castiglione, from about one and a half mile of
circuit and it is of the mister Baron, and he made extract from certain Schiavoni that came to live in the feud and came with seven fires (seven
family units) there is another forest as defence of Colle Pezzato, of oaks
and since two years they sold to the Baron.
The remaining territory is for country and for seeding, it is a fertile
territory if quite stony and with limestone, they make plenty of good grains,
not only for themselves, but also to sell, and they carry it to Campobasso,
and if they cultivated all territory, how it was before the lawsuit of Monsignore
there were big quantity of grain, barley, they sell legumes, and linen for
themselves because they don’t sow too much.
The people of that Land are country people, there is a notary, two shoemakers,
three ironman and two cositori, (tailors) but there are no spice-sellers
not either medical doctors, they go to Campobasso and to Larino, and to
the close Lands when they need.
The Land has good air, it is windy to be so eminent, that every wind is
able to blow there. The Land itself is poor, does not hold properties for
appraisal, and Carlini is paid fourteen for Ounce, he holds as a debt from
about four thousand Ducati caused by the lawsuits, that he had and has,
either with the Baron, and the Bishop, as it was said above.
The citizens are mostly poor, that live at the day, that go with others
in Puglia to look at animals, and work on the field, and not many others
work on the field, there are not so many bulls, that they don’t reach twenty
five pairs, about sixty cows, about one thousand and sixteen hundred sheep
and fifty porks that the citizens have.
The Land Register, and those citizens declared, that because of aforementioned
lawsuits, and debts they left the country, and many citizens failed. The
aforementioned animals are maintained in the Land of territory that is about
seven miles of circuit.
It confines with the territory of Casacalenna, of Lupara, of Ripa, Provvidenti,
Castle of Lino and Locitto (Lucito).
The aforementioned territory is all made by clay, and rocky, as I said,
and almost all the territory is with steep slopes, and between valleys and
hills the vassal of the lawsuit have in fact to serve the Baron and tanned
the …..(not legible part) ………of the Mill, and the Baron gave them the bread,
and the wine and such service is still taken, but always with ese ………(not
legible part) ………they tanned the Lamatura, where stones and sands stop,
that the river carries, and to better say they were obliged to clean the
forms, carrigiavano the stones of the mole, and the wood for congiare the
barchere, and ascended the grain from the Mill to the warehouse of the Baron
to the Castle, whose outrage, and servitude claimed, and he claims the unity
not to be obliged, and about the hanging lawsuit he says have had a decree
in favor, that they would be obliged to……. (not legible part)……
To mind the Camerlengo that is sworn of the Court.
The original trial of the appraisal is in the file of the Regia Room, and
properly in the High-Last Room under the roofs.
See A and B.
The Appraisal was done in 1593.