- The cuve of Brussels denotes the territory contiguous to the city over which municipal authorities exercised certain administrative fiscal powers from the Middle Ages until 1797. Known also as the franchise or ammanie of Brussels, the cuve originated at the end of the 13th century and, by successive stages, the city became the core of a franchise—a privileged territory—all of whose citizens enjoyed the same liberties.In return for services rendered, including moneylending, provision of goods, and military service, the dukes of Brabant granted rights to well-to-do city residents. In 1295, for example, Duke John II conceded to the aldermen the right to regulate the production and sale of, and levy a duty to the profit of the city on, beer in a prescribed territory around the city. Other fiscal powers ensued.On 14 February 1296, the duke conferred by statute the same liberties on citizens of Saint-Gilles as had been granted to citizens of Brussels. Privileges were extended subsequently to Schaerbeek (1301), Laeken (1331), Anderlecht (1394), and Forest (1394). Ixelles, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, and Saint-Josse-ten-Noode followed. The city levied and collected taxes on the production and sale of beer, wine, and other products at the same rates throughout the cuve. Fiscal dues owed to the sovereign were paid by Brussels on behalf of the collectivity. The cuve was abolished by a decree of 14 Fructidor (September) 1497, which elicited protests from municipal authorities.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.