Returns and third-party returns

The arrow symbols  and  that appear in some transactions are used to indicate the flow of possessions. In most transactions, e.g. a simple donation, all the possessions move from one main agent or group of agents (first party) to another (second party).

We also sometimes record transactions where there is no movement of possessions (e.g. when someone is recorded as holding some property or having their ownership confirmed).


In some transactions, however, the flows of possessions are more complex. The agent(s) receiving possessions may also return something to the first agent(s). Such returns could include a census, a sale price, actions such as perpetual prayer, or other possessions in exchange.

 These possessions are indicated with a return arrow .


Occasionally, charters specify that the recipient of the main possessions should make a return not to them, but to a third party (or a third party and them). For example, unfree people who are manumitted by their owner may be required to pay a census to a church or monastery, or a counter-gift may be given both to a donor and to a relative of theirs who has not otherwise been involved in the transaction.



 We refer to these as “third-party returns”: the possessions involved are indicated with a third-party return arrow   and the agents who receive it are referred to as “Material third party beneficiaries”.