Seals and their functions

During the Middle Ages people attached seals to a wide range of different types of documents for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most important role of the seal was to serve as validation. In the event of a dispute, the presence of a seal supported the document’s claims to authenticity. The placement of a seal on a document, at least in principle, could also express the seal owner’s consent to an agreement. There was a strong connection between individuals and their seals in the thirteenth century, so people who had business to agree in formal writings needed their own seals, but in the fourteenth century it became more permissible for people to lend and borrow seals.