Earthquake Underneath the Canal De Craponne
Benoit Holvoote, Legal Counsel & Risk Manager, ingredia, France
France, the 16th century. On June 22, 1567, the Honorable Adam de Craponne committed to dig a canal in order to water the vineyards, orchards, pastures and other properties belonging to the inhabitants of the village of Pélissanne situated in Southern France near Aix-en-Provence (the “Craponne Contract”).
The Craponne Contract provided that in consideration for Craponne digging and routinely maintaining the canal, each beneficiary had to make an upfront payment of 20 florins for each 190 ares of land they owned, and then a payment of 3 sols each time they irrigate the same surface of land. Craponne also committed to build and maintain three bridges across the canal. As will be seen, the courts involved in this matter did not consider Craponne’s commitments to be perpetual (which would have been null and void under the new laws of the French Revolution). Nevertheless, it was considered that the duties and rights originally created by Craponne were to survive his death and were to be vested in his descendants
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