05 - The Tax Otterspoor Hoefslag
The Otterspoor Hoefslag was a tax for the maintenance of the waterdefences.
The tax was based on ‘verhoefslaging’, the portioning of the duties of maintenance over owners, renters and inhabitants of the adjoining land, polders or manors?
The share in the hoefslag tax was based on the size of the (rented) property. (05.01)
Register that compares the Otterspoorhoeven with the Lekdykehoeven of the paying judicial bodies
The Otterspoorhoeven tax register probably stems from the 13th century, and was levied throughout practically the same area as the Lekdykehoeven tax. For several places the tax was much higher.
The judicial bodies that were taxed were located from the area Otterspoor onto the river Lek, sometimesfar from, on both sides of the Vecht
(05.3) Top left circle around Otterspoor (broek)
I have coloured in most of the judicial bodies that I could find on the map, to show the enormous extend of the area that had to contribute to the Otterspoorhoefslag tax.
Because of that, it is my opinion that the Otterspoorsluce had an important function for the region. It can therefore not be possible that it was merely a drainage sluce in a dyke alongside the river Vecht as claimed by Hans Lägers.
The available sources about the sluce, the dam and the area Otterspoor are so scarce, that reasoning back from the Otterspoorsluce is possibly better than the interpretations untill now. In any case, at least untill more sources become available. This is a proces in The Netherlands that seems to accelerate more and more, isn’t it?
Starting from the importance of the Otterspoorsluce, I believe there had to be a dam across the Vecht, interrupted by a sluce. I also believe that a sluce that could be passed by ships would have been very important.
As a sluce like that does not seem to have been available halveway the 12th century, I further believe that the Otterspoordam and Sluce were probably constructed in the 13th century.