A History of Jews In England, 1941, by Cecil Roth

Chapter 11     Emancipation    1815-58

Blogger’s note:

This book might be interesting to people who worship Jews.  Throughout history, Jews were known as slave traders. When slavery was prohibited they fell into poverty and became rag peddlers at worst, hat makers at best. Remember President Truman, the Hat Maker who sent Americans to war for Jewish bankers?

Until the time covered in this book, Jews had been officially prohibited from participating in government in England, as were Catholics.  Of course, the entire family of Queen Victoria were all secret  Jews and this was commonly known, though censored because it still had to be hidden.

The difference between the Jews and Catholics is as night and day, but the English put us both into the same category, and thus you see the roots of migrant infested Britain today.  In order to get into Parliament, the Jews decided to hide behind Catholic re-acceptance into government.  Knowing that Jews would not be accepted because of their widely known participation in criminal activity, by including themselves in Catholic re-acceptance they hoped to sneakily gain support.

What they actually did though, at the very last minute that legislation was being finalized, was to sneakily remove Catholics from the wording of the bill so only Jews were allowed membership in Parliament, and Catholics remained prohibited in the very nation that they had built.

The population had been supporting the bill for Catholic inclusion, but all the support ended up benefiting only the Jews.  This is very, very important information for understanding history, and points to the very reason why there was no support for Jewish entry into parliament in the first place.  They cheat  as a way of life, and there is no changing that aspect of their racial identity.  Jews and Arabs are completely incompatible with Christianity precisely because they target Christians for destruction and furthermore lie about it and pretend to be our friends.  This is what happened to England in the early 1800’s, and explains what is actually behind the ‘British’ Empire.


Up until 1815, when Christian libraries were overflowing with literature and Christian artwork, and Catholic Churches had been a wonder to behold for the previous 1000 years, Jewish literature was nothing more than the Talmud and commentaries on it.  For those not familiar yet with the Talmud, it is a book of pirate instructions on how to be genocidal of other cultures, how to infiltrate and inflict harm, how to make deceitful friendships with Christians, and more murderous, pedophilic allowances.  It also includes instructions on which women are suitable for marriage to a Rabbi. A discussion is necessary for them to decide the extent to which the future wife has had sex with animals, and in which cases this is acceptable.  It has detailed instruction as to which children can be molested and at what ages. Their synagogues, from photos that have been published, had few attendants in a very plain room and so one can understand the envy that happens in a feeble minded person over superficial things that decorate a church.  This envy is then reinforced by the general acceptance of incest among Jews which results in that famous IQ level that is ripe for criminal behavior, a criminal behavior that is directed against Catholics especially.

Much like the present day Muslim dogma, the Talmudic commentaries had built up into a justification for torture, murder, theft and rape of Christians which is all for the glory of their God.   Rather than build up their own churches and improve their own dogma, they generally sought to strip the Catholic churches and either sell or else hoard the valuables inside. The Protestants thought it was wonderful that their churches had been stripped bare by the Jews, who had convinced them that bare walls and no altar was a way of getting closer to God.  Meanwhile, snickering  Jews loaded up ships with Christian artwork and hauled it to their relatives in remote regions of Bavaria and Russia, as reported by eye witnesses at the time.

Perhaps this Catholic artwork helped to provide funding for the Bolshevik uprising.  Jews love the idea that Catholics pay for their own destruction. Ask billionaire Israeli and Hollywood movie producer Arnon Milchan about how much fun it is to run a spy operation in the middle of Los Angeles that sends out tweets and makes movies designed to destroy the American people.  We can thank him and his trainees for the horror of that popular slut that they call “Madonna”.  There could be no greater insult to Catholics than giving the name of our Lord’s Mother to a media prostitute, but since there is no media outlet for Catholics, our protests were silent.  The flip side of the Slut Madonna coin, which few people realize, is that good girls, the old fashioned ones, were mocked and ostracized for being ‘not like Madonna’. The large number of men turning gay left an equally large number of girls without mates.

This is the part that needs to be understood. While the Jews were gaining ground, as recounted in this book, the lives of Catholics were made unbearable. After the great success of the Jewish infiltration of homosexual pedophiles into the Catholic schools and seminaries, true Catholics have had to bear the burden of mockery, ridicule, ostracism and poverty.  I add poverty to the list because all modern jobs are controlled by Jews and therefore closed to Catholics.  The number of paid liars in the public relations industry worldwide is said to be in the multiples of millions.

The Mossad has complete control and is now cracking down on Twitter so that only the Jewish Arab message gets through and this includes non-stop memes about how stupid Americans are, to the exclusion of everything else.  Digital media is one thing that is very easy to destroy.  Catholic paintings, manuscripts, and sculpture are another thing, because these have great monetary value, and so the Jews tend to want to hoard it.

The Hermitage in Russia is where much of the stolen Catholic artwork is now, or such is my understanding and I hope to get there one day soon.

There is also much important Catholic artwork, including portraits of the family of King Francois I and Antoinette de Pons in the Metropolitan Museum Art in New York City.  This is a Jewish stronghold, like the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.  These are warehouses of stolen property, and I have heard witnesses that there are secret rooms, available only to Jews, that contain everything that we need to understand our history, including genealogies.

The Jews take great pride in their ability to keep this hidden from us, and they have even convinced many Christians that the Jews have every right to do anything they want because of the Holocaust, of course.  They can hide our history, lie to our children in schools, promote homosexuality and child molestation, slavery, prostitution and even genocide through war and poisoning and all this is known as being Semitic.  If you don’t like this, you’re anti-Semitic, a sin far worse than any of the above listed crimes.  Future generations will wonder at this new religion that has replaced Catholicism.  Our grandchildren could end up as Arab sex slaves, and they will be puzzled as to why so many people found Catholics so objectionable, that Europe would prefer Jewish  and Arab child sex slavery instead.

When the hidden and stolen Catholic property is occasionally exhibited, it’s still stuck in predominantly Jewish cities like New York City and Washington D.C. where there might be one or two Catholics to see it. $300 a night hotel rooms are another effective censorship method to prevent our Catholic heritage in America from being known by the majority of people.

This book begins in 1815, which is when Britain begins to be openly Jewish and British armies are used to expand the Jewish-Arab Empire, all the while telling the English people that this is a wonderful thing.  At this point in time, Catholics are still basically outlawed in England, prohibited from holding public office, and the same laws were unofficially in place by the pirate governors of America.

This book ends with the very interesting case in which British Jews used the outlawed Catholics as cover for getting themselves into British Parliament.

One paragraph refers to the Millenarian Theory of the Jewish religion.  Related to Dominionism, Millenarianism  is the code- word used for extermination of all Christians, which must occur before the Jewish Messiah can arrive, according to Jewish eschatology [end-time prophecy]. This is why Jews love to kill Christians.  Like the Muslims, they believe that every dead Christian brings them closer to God.  But it must be understood that Christianity for them is a racial concept.  If won’t help to say, I’m not Chrstian, I’m Atheist.  They’ll only disrespect you more for being a traitor to your race. When they speak of Millenarian Theory in terms of the French Revolution, it is the statement that the deaths of Christians in France and all of Europe in the Napoleonic Wars was a great  joy to the Jews because it gave them hope that the complete extermination of Christians was almost complete and therefore their Messiah was near at hand.





The book begins:


THE restoration of peace in Europe in 1815 found in England Jewish community of some 20,000 to 30,000 souls of whom not less than two-thirds lived in London. 1 outside the Capital there were communities—in no case exceeding one thousand souls and in several not exceeding one hundred—in about twenty-five provincial centres of which Portsmouth, Plymouth, Birmingham and Liverpool were the most important. The long sequence of disturbances abroad had thrown the community to an increasing extent on its own resources. In all sections there was by now a considerable native-born element, fully anglicized; among those of Spanish and Portuguese extraction, indeed, they were predominant. With Francis Cohen (Palgrave), Isaac d’Israeli, John Adolphus and Lewis Goldsmith—all more considered in that day than in ours they had begun to play a respectable part in English letters, while David Ricardo (baptized in early manhood) had founded a new school of political economy and Benjamin Gompertz was among the outstanding contemporary mathematicians. 2 The requirements of the community were by now served by an increasing supply of literature in the vernacular. English sermons, though not yet the rule, were no longer unknown to the synagogue. 3 Though Hebrew scholarship was at a low ebb (the only noteworthy figure of English birth was Jacob Hart who, under the name Eliakim ben Abraham, published a series of scientific brochures of high interest), the community had produced at last in men like David Levi, the erudite hatmaker of Whitechapel, scholars who were qualified to answer Christian polemists on their own level and in their own language. Whereas a century before the Jews had been an alien element, there was among them now at least a nucleus who were unmistakably Englishmen, though of distinctive origin and religious persuasion.


Economically, too, English Jewry had changed during the course of the quarter-century of war. The old-clothes men and pedlars had in many cases managed to establish themselves in more respectable walks of life as exporters, manufacturers, tailors, jewellers, or shopkeepers; and though the former callings were still largely followed by Jews, the age when the ascriptions were synonymous had passed. Moreover, the long period of intense activity which resulted from the naval operations had brought prosperity to the communities of the sea-ports: while the Industrial Revolution and the development of the Midlands and the north had established flourishing settlements in such new seats of activity as Birmingham and Manchester, where precedent carried less weight than in the ancient centres of British tradition. Whereas at the outset of the reign of George III the Jewish community had been restricted to a very few wealthy merchants and brokers in London, with dependants in lowly occupations distributed over a wider area, after Waterloo a large proportion were indistinguishable economically from any other section of the new middle class thrown up by recent developments. 4


At the summit of the social pyramid was a small group who had entered into English society in a sense in which few City magnates were privileged to do. Almost from the moment of the Resettlement there had been wealthy Jews who had mixed in Court and government circles like the Hofjuden of contemporary Germany—Sir Augustine Coronel, Sir Solomon de Medina, or Samson Gideon. But it had been during the Napoleonic wars that this series reached its culminating point in the brothers Goldsmid, who were on terms of some intimacy with the sons of the reigning monarch, whom they not only entertained on many occasions in their houses, but even took with them to synagogue one Friday evening in 1809. Such intercourse inevitably opened many doors which would otherwise have remained closed; and Nelson’s sister was happy that his home passed on his death into the hands of a Goldsmid rather than those of a stranger. More prominent still, though less urbane, was Nathan Meyer Rothschild, whose activities during the closing stages of the war brought him into extremely close relations with the government, and whose family’s legendary wealth caused him to be courted like an independent potentate. Apart from (though largely because of) their intimacy with the Goldsmid brothers, the royal dukes—who, with all their shortcomings, were, after all, the leaders of English society—showed the best side of their characters in the manner in which they rid themselves of anti-Jewish prejudices. There were Jewish musicians in their households and Jewish bon-vivants in their entourages: they gave their patronage to Jewish charities, and presided at Jewish public dinners. Above all, the Duke of Sussex was not only on friendly terms with many Jews, but also studied the Holy Tongue and built up a superb Hebrew library. However much the cynics might deride, all this could not fail to have a profound influence in completing the social emancipation which was the necessary prelude to the removal of political disabilities.


Jews were now increasingly prominent in many callings besides that of financier which brought them into the public eye. Since the days of Hannah Norsa and Giacomo Basevi Cervetto, they had figured more and more frequently on the stage. The sisters Abrams, long the delight of the concert-rooms; Myer Leom, because of whose religious scruples the performances of Sheridan’s Duennawere suspended on Friday evenings; John Braham, his protégé, the prodigious tenor, composer of The Death of Nelson, and formerly a choir-boy in the Great Synagogue; Jacob de Castro, author of one of the earliest theatrical autobiographies and the best known of the group of performers who went by the name of ‘Astley’s Jews’ ; Philip Breslaw, theoretician as well as practitioner of legerdemain; and very many others entered into English life on the stage and could hardly be excluded from it as individuals. Another profession with which Jews were by now closely associated was that of pugilism. From the penultimate decade of the eighteenth century Daniel Mandoza, Samuel Elias Isaac Bitton, and Abraham Belasco familiarized countless persons throughout the country with the actuality of the Jew, and convinced them that he could excel in other capacities than as a peddler and old-clothes man. 5


With the close of the eighteenth century, moreover, a new spirit with regard to the Jews had come to manifest itself in English literature. Whereas the stage had previously offered its public for the most part resuscitations of Shakespeare’s Shylock or figures of fun such as ‘Beau Mordecai’ in Macklin’s Love a la Mode (1759), the publication of the first translation of Lessing’s Nathan the Wise in 1781 (followed by a new version ten years later, similarly with apologetic intentions) marked the beginning of a change in attitude. Richard Cumberland’s The Jew, first performed in 1794 and repeatedly published, anaemic production though it was, marked an epoch in English literature in taking a Jew as its hero. He was followed by the playwright Thomas Dibdin (The Jew and the Doctor, 1789; The School for Prejudice, 1801) and the novelists George Walker (Theodore Cyphon, 1796, 1823) and Maria Edgeworth (Harrington, 1816—the first work to present the Jew not only in a favourable light, but as a gentleman). The new tendency was by no means universal; but it was significant, and not without a lasting effect. 6


Another powerful influence was that of the Evangelical movement. This had resulted in the establishment in 1795 of the London Society for the Promotion of Christianity among the Jews, which at the beginning of the following century was given fresh vitality by the enthusiasm of the philanthropist Lewis Way. In its immediate objects the society could not boast of much success. It was estimated that every convert cost the public between £500 and £600; and Jewish writers, no longer intimidated, replied to its polemics with a vigour which would have been impossible a generation earlier. 7 But there was now a new approach to the problem on the Christian side. Scholastic and benevolent institutions were established, which ultimately proved an example as well as incentive to the Jewish community. No longer were the unbelievers considered an object for insult and reviling; they were approached in a spirit not only of friendship but almost of veneration, as the ancient people of God. Reasonable arguments were put forward in moderate language; it was freely admitted that Christendom owed a profound debt of shame in respect of the past centuries of persecution and maltreatment; some persons even maintained that the voice of reason could not make itself heard until the last relics of discrimination had been removed. Hence in Evangelical circles the movement resulted in the development of a spirit of friendliness, which insisted on the recognition of the Jews as members of English society.

Meanwhile the cataclysm of the French Revolution had given a great impetus to millenarian theorists, who believed that the second coming of the Lord, accompanied by the restoration of the Jews to their own land, was at hand. A number of writers foretold the approaching renewal of a Jewish state, and even urged the British government to take steps to further it; some (inspired by a naval pseudo-Messiah Richard Brothers, who styled himself ‘Nephew of the Almighty’) went so far as to identify the English with the Lost Ten Tribes, and to associate them with the Palestinian revival. 8


Hence there slowly developed an unmistakable current of opinion in favour of the removal of religious disabilities. In 1790 a pamphleteer who signed himself ‘A Christian Politician’ associated Jews, Catholics, and Dissenters together in a Collection of Testimonies in Favour of Religious Liberty. The Abbe Gregoire’s epoch-making Essay on the Physical, Moral, and Political Reformation of the Jews, which had such influence on the Continent, was published in an English translation about 1791. In 1812 there appeared An Appeal to the Humanity of the English People on behalf of the Jews. By 1827 a secular pro-Jewish society, without any ostensible conversionist object, existed in London; and in the same year the Quarterly Review departed from its normal conservatism in an article which ascribed the degradation of the Jews to their age-long persecution, and appealed for a removal of restrictions so as to bring them up to the level of other human beings. 9


By this time the question was no longer on a purely theoretical plane. Contemporary developments abroad presented it as a practical question. In the newly created United States of America (where many Jews had fought steadfastly on the patriotic side in the Revolutionary War, though some had supported the mother country with equal zeal) the constitution adopted in 1790 stipulated that no religious test should be required as qualification for any public office or post of trust. In the following year Latin logic forced upon the National Assembly of France, somewhat reluctantly, the conclusion that even Jews must enjoy benefit of the Rights of Man; and during the next decade the armies of the Revolution carried the same doctrine into Germany, Italy, and above all Holland, where Jews had not only proved useful citizens, but had distinguished themselves in offices of trust during these years. The grandiose Napoleonic ‘Sanhedrin’ which met in Paris in 1807, while of little practical importance, had been followed with the keenest interest by English observers 10 and seemed to demonstrate the rehabilitation of the Jews in the eyes of the world. The European settlement at Vienna left the Jews in full possession of their new-won rights in the Low Countries (they were internationally guaranteed in Belgium after she secured her independence in 1830) and, with a trivial reservation, in France. In Germany and Italy reaction was triumphant for the moment; yet even English diplomats exerted themselves (though, as events proved, in vain) to perpetuate in Frankfort and the Hanseatic Towns the rights secured during the past few years, and nominally guaranteed by the Vienna Treaties. 11 Fifteen years before it became a question of practical politics in England, and half a century before it reached its culmination, Emancipation had passed elsewhere beyond the experimental stage.


The position of the Jews in England had in fact been ameliorated insensibly during the previous generation, notwithstanding the absence of any legislative action. In 1770, for the first time, one had been admitted as solicitor (there had been Notaries Public even before that date). 12 A little while after, in 1780, the annual gift to the Lord Mayor was summarily discontinued, a special grant being voted by the aldermen to compensate the Chief Magistrate for his loss. Though the maximum recorded price for the succession to a Jew Broker’s medal was reached in 1826, two years later the limitation on their number was abandoned. In the same year the Court of Aldermen reluctantly admitted certain baptized Jews to the Freedom of London, from which persons in this category had been excluded since 1785. In 1805 Aaron Cardozo (a Gibraltar Jew whose probity was deeply appreciated by Nelson) was sent on an official mission to the Bey of Oran, with whom he concluded a treaty—a natural corollary of the procession of Jewish envoys in the reverse direction. During the recent West Indian campaigns, a certain Joshua Montefiore, a professing Jew, had received the king’s commission; 13 and in 1826 Parliament passed a statute (6 George IV, cap. 67) abolishing in all cases the necessity for receiving the Sacrament according to the rites of the Church of England before naturalization, thereby achieving incidentally—without so much as mentioning the Jews, and without attracting the slightest public attention—the object of the ill-fated ‘Jew Bill’ of seventy-three years before.


Apart from this gradual and spontaneous amelioration in practice, English law as interpreted in the courts of justice had begun to reflect the changed position of the Jew in society. In 1772, when the City authorities endeavoured to compel the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue to support an incorrigible member (an annoyance which had not been uncommon a century before, even when persons who had abandoned Judaism were concerned), forensic opinion decided that no legal obligation existed. Five years after, an attempt to enforce the payment of Church rates by the same place of worship was successfully resisted. In 1788 the courts recognized the competence of a Rabbinical tribunal to regulate ritual (kosher) food, and in 1793 to decide the validity of Jewish marriages (put on a legal basis by Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753, which had treated Jews and Quakers more generously than other non-Anglicans). In 1818 a synagogue was recognized as a legal establishment, able to sue for withheld dues. Taken individually these isolated advances did not mean much; together they signified a good deal, implying that Jews enjoyed liberty in all things except where the law expressly prescribed the contrary. 14


Hence the positive disabilities from which English Jews suffered were not considerable, as compared with those of their co-religionists in most parts of the continent of Europe. They could settle where they pleased throughout the kingdom, and in any part of the place of their choice. There was no legal bar to their employing non-Jewish labour, whether in their homes or businesses, to dealing in any commodity, to engaging in any business occupation or in any branch of manufacture. Though there was some doubt as to their legal ability to own freeholds, there was admittedly no obstacle to their acquiring land on lease on peppercorn rent for an indefinitely long period, which amounted to the same thing. In practice they were even allowed to vote in parliamentary elections (though the returning officer had the power, seldom exercised, to demand from voters the Oath of Abjuration, which was phrased in a form repugnant to the Jewish conscience). In London, indeed, they still suffered from a serious economic disability owing to their exclusion from the Freedom; but the force of this had been mitigated by the expansion of the Metropolis in every direction, with the result that the bar was operative in only a relatively small area of the entirety, where, moreover, the difficulty was sometimes evaded by selling retail from warehouses ostensibly wholesale. 15


Theoretically, however, the position was very different. The entire body of medieval legislation which reduced the Jew to the position of a yellow-badged pariah, without rights and without security other than by the goodwill of the sovereign, remained on the statute book, though remembered only by antiquarians. As late as 1818 it was possible to maintain in the courts Lord Coke’s doctrine that the Jews were in law perpetual enemies, ‘for between them, as with the devils, whose subjects they are, and the Christian there can be no peace’: Public life was, in law, entirely barrel. Jews were excluded from any office under the Crown, any part in civic government, or any employment however modest in connexion with the administration of justice or even education, by the Test and Corporation Acts passed at a period when the participation of Jews in such activities was inconceivable. These made it obligatory on all persons seeking such appointment to take the Sacrament in accordance with the rites of the Church of England, in addition to the statutory oaths of Supremacy (of the Crown over the Church of England), of Allegiance (to the sovereign, coupled with abhorrence of Papal pretensions), and of Abjuration (of the claims of the former Royal House of Stuart)—the last, ‘on the true faith of a Christian’. Naturally these disqualifications included the right to membership of Parliament, for which the statutory oaths in the statutory form were a necessary preliminary. For the same reason the universities were closed, and, as a consequence of this, various pro­fessions. 16 But these political disabilities were shared with a large proportion of native-born British subjects of older lineage—Roman Catholics and to a considerable extent (nominally at least) even Dissenters. Till the complaints of the latter had been satisfied it was out of the question to expect any appreciable alleviation of those of the Jews. Indeed, Jewish emancipation in its fullest sense had first been ventilated in various eighteenth century pamphlets, re-adapted in some cases at the beginning of the nineteenth, as areductio ad absurdumof the idea of emancipating Christian Nonconformists. 17


Almost as soon as the removal of the disabilities of Dissenters was mooted in Parliament, representative Jews are said to have offered their services and support on the understanding that they would be included in the scope of the proposed measure. The offer was refused by the Nonconformist leaders on the grounds that those on whose behalf relief was requested were on a very different footing, not being subject to Grace. A little later on, the revival of Jew-baiting in Germany aroused some sympathy in England; and on July 14th, 1820, the young Whig champion John Cam Hobhouse (later Lord Broughton de Gyffard) gave notice in the House of Commons of his intention to move a resolution that the condition of the Jews and the disabilities under which they laboured (‘which would be hardly believed to exist in such an age as this’) should be taken into immediate consideration. 18 For the moment this was little more than an academic demonstration. But, within ten years, intolerance had narrowed down so far that the reform came within the sphere of practical politics. The Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts in 1828, as originally contemplated, would automatically have removed the political disabilities of the Jews; but, on the motion of the Bishop of Llandaff, the House of Lords insisted upon the insertion of the words ‘on the true faith of a Christian’ in the Declaration henceforth required on taking up a public office. (An amendment of Lord Holland’s, that Jews should be permitted to omit the newly introduced phrase, was negatived.) In the Lower House, after the amended Bill had been read for the third time, Brougham made a spirited protest against the change, explaining that he had not expressed his disapprobation earlier for fear of endangering the measure. Thus the incidental disqualification of former years was replaced by one directed in fact against the Jews alone. 19 For the moment Roman Catholics continued to be discriminated against, for reasons as much political as religious. Their emancipation in April 1829 left the Jews the only section of the English population which was excluded from political rights ostensibly because of their faith. It was no longer a mere disability: it was felt by some of their leaders, confident of their talents and proud of their English birthright, to be a slight. 20


Particularly was this the case with Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, nephew of the famous financiers and well known in financial and philanthropic circles. In March 1829, while the Catholic Emancipation Bill was under discussion, the Board of Deputies of British Jews (by now a force in the community) was informed of the steps he had taken in the matter, and expressed itself in favour of action to secure the relief of the Jews from their political disabilities. The interest of Nathan Meyer Rothschild was enlisted (though being foreign-born he preferred to be represented on formal occasions by his son Lionel). After consultation as to procedure with the Duke of Wellington, then Prime Minister, the first practical steps were taken—the presentation of a Petition to Parliament praying for the removal of Jewish disabilities, and the preparation of a Bill for achieving that object. The government, though not unfriendly, considered that the turmoil created by the Catholic Emancipation Bill was so great that it was unwise to introduce another of a similar nature in the same session, and the formal opening of the campaign was accordingly deferred to the following year. 21


On April 5th, 1830, the Whig stalwart, Sir Robert Grant, introduced into the Commons a Bill ‘to repeal the civil disabilities affecting British-born subjects professing the Jewish religion ‘whereby all’ civil rights, franchises and privileges – offices, places, employments, trusts and confidences’ that had been made available to Catholics in the previous year should now be thrown open to them also. Leave to bring in the Bill was granted by a majority of 18. The opposition proved stronger than had been anticipated, and appreciably hardened while the Bill was before Parliament—according to report, through the influence on the king of his cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, and his sister, the duchess. The second reading was therefore defeated by 228 votes to 165. In the same session Lord Bexley (who had worked with Rothschild when Chancellor of the Exchequer, as Nicholas Vansittart, at the time of Waterloo) made a similarly unsuccessful attempt in the Lords. The fall of Wellington’s administration shortly after, and the concentration of the national energies on the Reform Bill controversy, prevented anything more from being done at the moment, though numerously-signed petitions from London and the provinces showed that the general public was by no means indifferent.


The Reformed Parliament met early in 1833 imbued with a passionate desire to sweep away old abuses. On April 17th Grant moved that the House should resolve itself into a committee to consider the disabilities affecting Jewish subjects. Despite a protest from Sir Robert Inglis, the reactionary member for the University of Oxford, who was to maintain his uncompromising opposition for an entire generation, the motion was adopted without a division. In committee Grant moved ‘that it is expedient to remove all civil disabilities at present existing affecting His Majesty’s subjects of the Jewish religion, with the like exceptions as are provided with reference to His Majesty’s subjects professing the Roman Catholic religion’. The debate that followed reached a high level, Hume, O’Connell, and Macaulay speaking strongly in favour of the motion (the speech of the last-named was to be a classic of English apologetics). 22 The minority did not challenge a division, and the resolution was adopted. The second and third readings of the Bill were carried by ample margins against an intractable minority of 52. On being sent to the Lords, however, it was thrown out on the second reading by 104 votes to 54, the Archbishop of Canterbury leading the opposition. The Duke of Sussex was characteristically vehement in his support, but his in­fluence was counterbalanced by that of his brother, William IV, who got it into his head that it was his duty to oppose this innovation. ‘My Lord’, he said anxiously to a newly appointed bishop when he did homage, ‘I do not mean to interfere in any way with your vote in Parliament except on one subject, The Jews, and I trust I may depend on your always voting against them.’


In the following year (April 24th, 1834) Grant reintroduced his Bill, which was easily carried, but rejected by the Lords by an increased majority. After Melbourne’s Whig administration was reinstated the measure was taken under government auspices. But both support and opposition were by now lukewarm. The Commons mustered only 56 votes all told to pass the second reading (August 3rd, 1836); and in the Lords, owing to the lateness of the session and the general apathy, the second reading was never moved. For the next eleven years, the question was permitted to lapse. 23


The parliamentary debates of 1830 to 1836 made it patent that the now dominant middle class was antagonistic to the continuance of religious disabilities—a remarkable contrast to conditions at the time of the ‘Jew Bill’ of 1753, when this same element had been foremost in agitating against the derisory concessions then contemplated. Hence, during the ensuing period of delay, before political emancipation was achieved, it was relatively easy to secure the removal, little by little, of minor Jewish disabilities affecting civic life. The new tactics were in fact more in accordance with the English genius of building up a doctrine from practical details, as opposed to the continental fashion of imposing a general principle without working out its implications, which the advocates of emancipation had at first favoured.  Moreover the opposition, with its indignant repudiation of medieval prejudice and its concentration on the doctrine that, in a Christian country, non-Christians should have no share in the government, implicitly admitted that Jewish disabilities short of exclusion from Parliament were an anachronism. Thus in these years the various disabilities were swept away one by one, until in the end parliamentary emancipation only remained to be effected. 24


The main campaign took place in the City of London. At the close of 1830, in accordance with the recommendations of a committee set up in the previous year, the Common Council enacted that henceforth any person who took up the freedom could make the necessary Oath in a form agreeable to his religious convictions. This implied not only that Jews could now become freemen, but also that they could carry on trade in the City and be members of Livery Companies. David Salomons, a well-known City figure and one of the founders of the Westminster Bank, whose family had for three generations played their part in the affairs of the Anglo-Jewish community, had ambitions in public life. As soon as it became possible, he applied for membership of the Coopers’ Company, and proceeded rapidly from one civic dignity to another. In 1835, in the teeth of some opposition on religious grounds, he was elected sheriff. The statutory declaration ‘on the true faith of a Christian’ (incumbent since the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts) made it impossible for him to enter upon his functions. To solve the difficulty Parliament promptly passed the Sheriff’s Declaration Act (5 & 6 William IV, cap. 28) making special provision for persons elected to this office. The measure applied, however, to no other dignity, and when in the following December Salomons was returned as alderman, he was refused admission by the Court of Aldermen and a new election was ordered. 25 In 1837 the Municipal Corporations Declarations Act gave relief to Quakers and Moravians, but Grote’s amendment to extend it to all classes of Her Majesty’s subjects was negatived, the government feeling that this would jeopardize the measure as a whole. But that same year Moses Montefiore, who had already made himself known as a philanthropist, became sheriff of London, and was knighted by Queen Victoria on the occasion of her state visit to the City after the coronation, being the first Jew since Sir Solomon de Medina to receive that distinction.


For some time to come the movement for the removal of civic as of parliamentary disabilities remained in a state of imperfectly suspended animation. But in other spheres there was gradual amelioration. In 1833 Francis Goldsmid, the son of Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, was called to the Bar, the first Jewish barrister. In 1835 an Act which incidentally relieved voters from the necessity of taking any oaths threw the franchise open de jure as well as de facto to professing Jews. On November 17th of the same year the earliest recorded Jewish juryman was sworn on the Pentateuch as a member of the Grand Jury at the Kirkdale Quarter Sessions. In 1836 the Board of Deputies (which had by now begun to extend representation to synagogues outside London) received statutory recognition in the Marriage Registration Act as a competent authority to certify Jewish places of worship. In 1837 the non-sectarian university of London, in the foundation of which Isaac Lyon Goldsmid had been one of the most active and most generous workers, was incorporated, enabling Jews to proceed to the degrees from which they were excluded by the older universities. 26 In 1841 Goldsmid was rewarded for his outstanding philanthropic services by being created baronet, being the first Jew to receive an hereditary English title.


The same year (1841), largely owing to Salomons’s unflagging efforts, the government carried through the House of Commons a measure ‘for the relief of persons of the Jewish religion elected to municipal office’, but it was defeated on the second reading in the Lords. The struggle was then transferred from the Senate to the City. In 1844 Salomons was once more elected to the Court of Aldermen, and once more refused admission. His pertinacity had brought the problem to public attention, and it was considered preposterous for the wishes of the Liverymen to be persistently overridden in this fashion. In 1845 accordingly a Jewish Disabilities Removal Act, introduced by Lord Lynd­hurst, enabled any member of the Jewish faith on admission to municipal office to substitute for the declaration laid down by law one in a form acceptable to his conscience (8 & 9 Victoria, cap. 52). Thus municipal offices of every description—including that of Recorder, with its judicial functions—were thrown open to Jews. Two years after, Salomons was at last admitted as alderman, and no further obstacle was put in his way when, in the normal course of succession, he was elected Lord Mayor of London in 1855, thereby setting the seal on the municipal emancipation of English Jews. 27


Meanwhile, in the course of the general reforming movement which was sweeping away old abuses, an Act of 1846 ‘to relieve Her Majesty’s subjects from certain penalties and disabilities in regard to religious opinions’ (9 & 10 Victoria, cap. 59) formally repealed, among other legislation, the intolerantstatutum de judeismoof 1271 (still on the statute book) – and the act of 1702 compelling Jews to maintain their Protestant children, and placed English Jews in the same position as Protestant dissenters with respect to their schools, places of worship, and charitable foundations.


One disability only was now left—that they could not take part in political life. A remote ideal twenty years before, it became a commonplace in Europe with the emancipation of the Jews in ever-widening areas of the Continent in the middle decades of the century. That full emancipation should have been so long delayed in England, where the Jews were so mildly treated, is perhaps not so remarkable as would appear. In those countries where important vestiges of the Ghetto system remained until the nineteenth century, the granting of full legal equality to the Jew had become a cardinal principle of constitutionalist doctrine. In England, for the very reason that the disabilities from which he suffered were comparatively slight, it was possible to withhold the final step so long.


In the interval of waiting, before they could achieve complete integration in the English body politic, the Jews were setting their own house in order. There was a section in the community which imagined that the withholding of full emancipation was due to the fact that the traditional forms of Judaism were, if not foreign, at least non-English, and that an approximation in externals between the Hebrew and Christian forms of worship would convince the outside world at last that their Jewish neighbours were differentiated from them only in adherence to a creed which was, at root, not so remote from that which they themselves professed. This reasoning had been the basis of the Reform Movement in Germany, which had come to a head with the opening of a reformed ‘Temple’ in Hamburg in 1818. In England rumblings of discontent with the established ecclesiastical order had made themselves heard from the beginning of the nineteenth century. The few minor reforms which were introduced did little to meet the criticisms, which in London were aggravated by the attempt of the existing synagogues to retain their dominance by allowing no Jewish place of worship to be opened outside the City area. The agitation grew; and in 1836 a number of members of the Spanish and Portuguese community presented a petition requesting the introduction into the service of ‘such alterations and modifications as were in the line of the changes introduced in the reform synagogue of Hamburg and other places’. Counter-petitions and prolonged debates encouraged the governing body not to compromise; and in the spring of 1840 eighteen prominent and wealthy members of the community, in association with six members of other synagogues, resolved to establish a place of worship in West London which would be neither ‘Ashkenazi’ nor ‘Sephardi’, but ‘British’. Thus, notwithstanding strenuous efforts on the part of the older bodies, culminating in an ecclesiastical ban, the first English Reformed Synagogue, the West London Synagogue of British Jews, was opened in 1842. 28


To the credit of both factions the dissidents did not become a sect—not even in the following century, when the movement took a radical turn—the difference being one rather of presentation than of dogma. Nor, indeed, did the new movement, alien to the formal conservatism of the Englishman, achieve by any means so sweeping a success, or so far-reaching results, as was anticipated. Outside London it established a foothold in the course of the next generation only in Manchester and Bradford. But its influence on the conservative majority, though unacknowledged, was nevertheless considerable. Synagogue decorum improved, organized choirs were introduced, the vernacular sermon became the rule, education was reorganized, and ministers of religion began to replace the old type of synagogal factotum: while, in London, geographical decentralization was no longer discouraged. In 1845, after an election in which for the first time some twenty communities throughout the country participated, the Chief Rabbinate was filled by a pastor, in the person of the Hanoverian Nathan Marcus Adler, who combined with his Talmudical training and orthodox principles a sound western education. Under his auspices a Jewish theological seminary on modern lines was established in London (1855), and the first steps were taken towards the unification of the London community, to culminate in the establishment of the United Synagogue in 1870. At the same time the organization of Jewish Boards of Guardians and similar institutions helped to cope with the problem of the indigent who, at the beginning of the century, had presented so serious a difficulty. 29


In the historical evolution of the Anglo-Jewish community the year 1840 was of crucial importance. A charge of ritual murder which was brought up against the Jews of Damascus, accompanied by a particularly brutal persecution, stirred the English conscience to its depth. A protest meeting was held at the Mansion House; and when Sir Moses Montefiore proceeded to the East to champion the cause onus co-religionists, he enjoyed not only the sympathy of the English people, but the diplomatic support of the English government as well. (In this, his position was very different from that of his French colleague, Adolphe Cremieux, who had to contend with the prejudices and opposition of his compatriots.) When Montefiore came back in triumph from his mission, after securing the release and unconditional acquittal of the prisoners, he was received in audience by the queen and accorded supporters to his coat of arms—a recognition of the fact that this intervention on behalf of persecuted Jews was at the same time a service to the humanity of his fellow countrymen. 30


This episode marked the meridian of the benevolent work of Montefiore, who, almost to the end of his long life, was engaged in journeys of intercession—to Russia, to Morocco, to Italy—on behalf of his persecuted co-religionists. This protracted activity, on the part of a personality of exceptional distinction and moral force, gave English Jewry a position of pre-eminence in political activities on behalf of the communities of backward states; while its representative institutions, hitherto concerned only with domestic matters, had their purview widened and began to think in international terms. The British government, too, maintained the benevolent attitude which it had taken up at the period of the Damascus Affair. From that time onwards, except when urgent political considerations made action inadvisable, it could generally be relied upon for diplomatic support if conditions for Jews abroad became intolerable. 31 The tendency culminated shortly after the Damascus Affair when Palmerston (anxious to obtain a locus standi in the Holy Land, equivalent to that enjoyed by Russia on behalf of the Orthodox Church, and by France on behalf of the Roman Catholics), attempted to take Palestinian Jewry in its entirety under British protection in a formal sense. This did not indeed materialize, but for some while England exercised the right on behalf of expatriated Russian Jews. 32 Such philosemitism abroad could hardly fail to influence events at home.


When at the outset of the movement for Jewish emancipation Isaac Lyon Goldsmid had been in touch with Daniel O’Connell, the latter warmly advised him to force the claims of the Jews on Parliament, as he himself had the claims of the Catholics. Such methods accorded admirably with David Salomons’s pugnacious temperament. Accordingly in 1837, 1841, and again 1847 he offered himself as a parliamentary candidate, but in each case unsuccessfully. In the last year however, Baron Lionel de Rothschild, head of the famous banking-house, was nominated for the City of London, in conjunction with Lord John Russell, the Prime Minister. Success for one who fought here in the Liberal interest was almost a foregone conclusion, and he was elected by an adequate majority.


There was no statute that forbade a Jew to sit in Parliament; but (as has been indicated above) it was rendered impossible by reason of the form of the statutory oaths. It was not only that they were normally administered on the New Testament—this was a matter of usage only. The real obstacle was that, in addition to the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, the conservatism of English institutions preserved also a third abjuring the right to the throne of the descendants of the Old Pretender, which concluded with the words ‘on the true faith of a Christian’. The oath now had little significance in practice; but, its form having been laid down by Parliament, another Act of Parliament was necessary to modify it. 32


When Parliament assembled in December 1847 Rothschild presented himself at the Table of the House and intimated his inability to take the oaths by reason of his religious beliefs. He was directed to withdraw, and as soon as possible the Prime Minister moved that the House should resolve itself into a Committee on the removal of the civil and religious disabilities affecting Her Majesty’s Jewish subjects. 33 The resolution was agreed to by 257 votes to 186. The consequent Jewish Disabilities Bill, introduced early in the following year, which placed the Jews on the same footing as the Roman Catholics, was unlike those of the series introduced between 1830 and 1836 in that it involved in fact little more than admission to Parliament. For this very reason it provoked a greater measure of opposition. The debates were remarkable in the annals of parliamentary eloquence. Russell based his argument on the theory that every Englishman is entitled to all the honours and advantages of the British Constitution. The opposition was led by Sir Robert Inglis, who insisted on the vital necessity of preserving the Christian character of every person holding any share in the government, and Lord Ashley, the later Lord Shaftesbury, who elaborated Dr. Arnold’s view (which carried considerable weight in Liberal circles) that the Jews were voluntary strangers who could have no claim to citizenship unless they conformed to the law of the Gospel. Peel and Gladstone, former opponents of Jewish emancipation, demonstrated their political progress by speaking and voting in favour of the measure—the latter in opposition to what he knew to be the views of his new constituents at the university of Oxford. Benjamin Disraeli (who, for all his ostentatiously Jewish name, appearance, and sympathies, had become a leading figure in the House since Jewish emancipation was last debated) showed courage as well as eloquence in his support of the measure, and carried with him his associate, Lord George Bentinck, the head of the Protectionist fraction. Their followers, however, voted against them to a man: Bentinck withdrew from his leadership: and the episode had the ultimate result of making a man who was a Jew by birth parliamentary leader of the party of the landed gentry, without admitting to his seat one who was a Jew by faith. For, though the Commons carried the second reading by 277 votes to 204, the peers were so aroused by the clerical agitation, to the effect that the measure would dechristianize the legislature and imperil the country’s religion, that they rejected the Bill in an exceptionally full House by 163 votes to 125. 34


In the following session (1849) a modified measure, the Parliamentary Oaths Bill, was steered successfully through the Commons, but again rejected almost mechanically though with a narrower margin by the Lords. Rothschild thereupon applied for the Chiltern Hundreds and vacated his seat, but offered himself for re-election and was once again returned. But the City electors were not disposed to submit to virtual disenfranchisement without protest, and instructed their nominee to demand the rights which the action of the Lords withheld. On July 26th, 185o, accordingly, he again presented himself at Westminster and requested to be sworn on the Old Testament. After an adjournment and three divisions the House decided to allow the applicant to take the oaths in a form binding upon his conscience, but when he came to the Oath of Abjuration he refused to pronounce the final words ‘on the true faith of a Christian’ as stipulated. A motion that his seat should be declared vacant was then proposed and rejected; others were, however, carried declaring first that he was not entitled to vote or sit in the House until he took the oath in the form appointed by law, and secondly, that the form of the Oath of Abjuration should be taken into consideration in the next session, with a view to the relief of persons professing Judaism. In accordance with this, in 1851 the government introduced its Oath of Abjuration Bill, which passed the second reading by 202 to 177—a margin narrow enough to encourage the Lords to persist in their usual line of conduct and reject it (July 17th, 1851).


While the Bill was under consideration, David Salomons had been elected, at his fourth attempt, at a by-election for Greenwich. The action of the Lords convinced him that the constitutional method hitherto followed could lead to no useful result, and that a different policy was required to force the problem on public attention. Accordingly, the day after the rejection of the Bill, he attended at the Table of the House of Commons and asked to be sworn. Instead of giving up the battle when he arrived at the Oath of Abjuration, as Rothschild had done, he recited it without the words to which he objected, and then took his seat on one of the ministerial benches, ignoring an order to withdraw. The Speaker appealed to the House for support. In the ensuing proceedings, Salomons not only recorded his vote three times, but even took part in the debate to explain his position.


The motion was, of course, carried, and the trespasser was removed from his place by the sergeant-at-arms. By recording his vote without taking the prescribed oath he had rendered himself liable to a statutory fine of £500 for each occasion, besides various civil penalties. Since the government had announced that it would not initiate proceedings, a common informer applied for a writ. The case was tried before the Court of the Exchequer, where judgement was given for the plaintiff by three voices out of four, the chief baron expressing his regret that as an expounder of the law he was forced to come to this conclusion. Salomons thereupon appealed to the Exchequer Chamber, which unanimously confirmed the decision as well as the sentiments of the lower court. An appeal to the House of Lords was in preparation when a general election took place, and (though the City of London was faithful to its previous choice) Salomons lost his seat, making further legal proceedings pointless. 35


After this spirited interlude there was a return to the slower, and now almost mechanical, method that had previously been followed. In 1853 Lord John Russell, now Foreign Secretary in Lord Aberdeen’s Coalition government, carried a new Jewish Disabilities Bill through the Commons; but notwithstanding the fact that in the Lords it was in charge of the Prime Minister himself, a former opponent, it was automatically rejected. The following year Russell changed his tactics, attempting to secure his object in his Parliamentary Oaths Bill, which substituted a new single oath for the three formerly requisite. The measure did not mention the Jews, but as the words ‘on the true faith of a Christian’ did not figure in the proposed formula, the barrier which kept them out of Parliament would incidentally have been removed. But the Bill also abolished the special Roman Catholic oath which had been laid down by the Catholic Emancipation Act, and the opposition which this drew from the Conservative benches resulted in the rejection of the Bill in the Commons by a narrow margin.


The attempt, in one form or the other, was by now all but annual, the monotony being relieved only by slight variations in the procedure. In 1856 a private member, Milner Gibson, the free trade champion, tried to achieve the object by a Bill to abolish the Oath of Abjuration itself. It received the support of Palmerston’s government and passed the Commons, but was rejected as a matter of course in the Lords. After the general election of the following year, when Baron de Rothschild was returned for the fourth time by the City of London, Palmerston introduced a new Oaths Bill similar to that of 1855, except that it did not affect the oath to be taken by Catholics. In the Report stage clauses were inserted excluding Jews from those dignities closed to Roman Catholics 36 and from the exercise of ecclesiastical patronage attached to any government offices to which they might be appointed. Thus amended the Bill passed by a rather more ample majority than usual. In the Lords the second reading was automatically refused. Lord John Russell (now out of office) immediately introduced a fresh Bill empowering members of Parliament to take an oath in the form binding on their own conscience; but the government was unable to grant facilities to forward the measure and it was abandoned. Meanwhile, Rothschild had once more applied for the Chiltern Hundreds, but was re-elected by his London constituents, who deliberately perpetuated a partial disenfranchisement which had lasted for ten years.


Thus encouraged, Russell renewed his efforts, and secured the appointment of a select committee to consider whether a statutory declaration could legally be substituted for the Parliamentary oath, under the terms of an act of 1835 which permitted it for corporate bodies. When the question was decided in the negative he brought in a new Oaths Bill which met some of the objections to previous drafts by adding ‘on the true faith of a Christian’ to the stipulated form (thereby preserving its basic religious nature), but providing that a Jew might omit the final words. By the time it reached the House of Lords Palmerston’s government had fallen, and the opposition was led by the new Conservative Lord Chancellor, Lord Chelmsford, who as Sir Frederic Thesiger had for many years taken a prominent part in the debates in the Commons. On his motion the clause affecting the Jews, which was the essence of the Bill, was omitted. In the Commons Russell moved that the House should disagree with the Lords’ amendments, and a committee was appointed to draw up the reasons. In this, by a supreme stroke of political strategy, Baron de Rothschild was included; for no law prevented any person duly elected by a constituency from exercising the rights of a Member of Parliament other than voting or sitting in the House during a debate. A conference of both Houses which followed was unable to come to an agreement.


Both sides were by now weary of the contest. Even the Conservative Prime Minister, Lord Derby, an old opponent of Jewish emancipation, realized the harm this intransigence was doing to his party, and was ready to accept any solution which might bring the struggle to an end without giving the appearance of complete surrender. When therefore the report of the conference came up before the Lords for consideration, Lord Lucan, who had consistently voted against the successive measures, suggested as a compromise that each House of Parliament should be allowed to determine by resolution the form of oath administered to a Jew. The proposal was received with obvious relief, and a Bill to give it effect was introduced in the following week. 37 Despite the understanding that had been reached, it was stubbornly contested, the second reading being carried by only 143 votes against 97. In the committee stage two additional clauses debarred Jews from holding those high offices of state from which Roman Catholics had been excluded by the Catholic Emancipation Act, 38 and conferred on the Archbishop of Canterbury the right of presentation to ecclesiastical benefices which normally belonged to any office of state during its occupancy by a Jew.


Thus amended, the Bill (21 & 22 Victoria, cap. 29)—the fourteenth of that wearisome series that had occupied the attention of Parliament for more than a quarter of a century—passed through both Houses: the Lords on the third reading by 33 votes to 12 (eight peers, stubborn to the last, recording their solemn protest) and the Commons by 129 votes to 55. 39 On Monday, July 26th, 1858, Baron de Rothschild at last took his seat in the House. Two hundred years after Cromwell’s death, the work that he had begun reached its culmination, and an English Jew was for the first time recognized as an equal citizen of his native land.



Chapter 11


Colquhoun’s estimate in 1795 was 15,000-20,000 in London (of whom 3,000 belonged. To the Spanish and Portuguese element) and 5,000-6,000 in the seaports. Goldsmid in his Remarks on the Civil Disabilities of British Jews, 1830, pp. 69 sqq. made an estimate of 18,000 Jews in London and 9,000 in the rest of the country, J. E. Blunt (Establishment and Residence of the Jews in England p.75), substituting 20,000 and 17,000 respectively. Apsley Pellatt (Brief Memoir of the Jews, 1829) suggests 25,000 all told.

Jewish contributions to general English literature before 1837 are listed in Bibl. B.20. It is to be noted that the most important works of Moses Mendelssohn, which prepared the ground for Jewish Emancipation on the Continent, were translated at an early date into English (Bibl. B.2o. 54, &c.).

See Bibl. B. 10. 33 for what is said to be the first sermon preached and published in English (Liverpool, 1819). In the same year English was first used for the official records of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue (Picciotto, Sketches, p. 320): it had already been adopted by the ‘German’ congregations.

  1. Halèvy (History of the English People in the Nineteenth Century, London, 1924, i. 401) instances the growing prosperity by the construction, in the early years of the century, of new synagogues which he describes as ‘sumptuous’, in Liverpool, Birmingham, and Manchester. In fact the buildings were modest to a degree.

Cf. all these names and the publications by or associated with them in index, and the biographical accounts in the Jewish Encyclopaedia, the Dictionary of National Biography, and A. Rubens, Anglo-Jewish Portraits (London, 1935).

See Note XI (a), p. 287.

Bibl. A.7. 6g, 76: cf. also the contemporary publications, B.6. 77 sqq., B.B. 43 sqq.

See Note XI (b), pp. 287-8.

The support of the London Society for the Promotion of Christianity among the Jews for the cause of Jewish emancipation was strenuously advocated by Thomas Thrush in his Letters to Mr. Levy (London, 1828). For the publications advocating or opposing Jewish emancipation see Bibl. B.1, passim; for Richard Bothers, the comprehensive bibliography, ibid B.I 7. 14-71; and for the Palestinophile movement, ibid B.16.

Bibl. B.5. 24-5, B.I8. 38-9.

  1. Wolf, The Diplomatic History of the Jewish Question (London, 1919), pp. 12-16; Pub. Am. J.H.S. xxvi. 33-125.

Henriques, Jews and English Law, pp. 205-6; Pub. Am. J.H.S. xix. 17 0. (From this it would seem that the candidate took the oath in the Christological form; but in fact he remained a professing Jew.)

Picciotto, Sketches, pp. 335-6, 386; A. B. M. Serfaty, The Jews of Gibraltar, PP. 14-15; Wolf, Essays, p. 221. There is no evidence to show how Joshua Montefibre (who with Moses [later Sir Maurice] Ximenes had led a band of adventurers to establish a colony in West Africa in 1791: Bibl. B.20. 6o) evaded the statutory Christological oaths.

See Note XI (c), p. 288.

  1. Pellatt, Brief Memoir (1829), p. 26.

The disabilities from which the Jews suffered are stated in detail in J. E. Blunt, A History of the Establishment and Residence of the Jews in England, with an inquiry into their civil disabilities (London, 1830) pp. 110 sqq. and various contemporary works: see Bibl. B.1.

Cf. Bibl. B.1. 50, 54, 555.

Parliamentary Debates, 182o, ii. 475.

In one respect the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts made the position of the Jews worse than it had been before, as an annual Indemnity Act had previously mitigated religious disabilities.

See Note XI (d), p. 288.

Emanuel, A Century and a Half, pp. 16-17; Trs. J.H.S.E. iv. 116 sqq., vi. 240 sqq.

Cf. Bibl. A.7. 5r. Of even greater importance than his speech was Macaulay’s powerful Essay on the subject in the Edinburgh Review for January 1831, which was frequently republished in England and abroad. For the debates of 1833, see Bibl. B. 181.

The most careful summary of the progress of Jewish emancipation in England is in Henriques, The Jews and English Law. See also the list of contemporary publications and polemic literature in Bibl. BA.

See Note XI (e), pp. 288-9.

See A. M. Hyamson, David Salomons (London, 1939). The Alexander Raphael who preceded him in the Shrievalty in 1834 was a professing Catholic.

See Note XI (f), p. 289.

Meanwhile, in 1846, (Sir) B. S. Phillips had been elected to the Common Council.

  1. Philipson, The Reform Movement in Judaism (New York, 1931), chapter v, and the controversial publications in Bibl. B.5. 30-7.
  2. M. Adler (whose predecessor in office, from 1802 to 1842, Solomon Hirschell, had hardly been able to keep pace with the anglicization of the community during his pastorate) was succeeded by his son, Hermann Adler (1891-1911), and the latter by Joseph Hermann Hertz (1913— ). For the institutions mentioned in the text see Bibl. A.8. ii and iii. The United Synagogue, a union of the older London Ashkenazi congregations, was supplemented in 1887 by a Federation of Synagogues embracing the less highly organized foreign element.

The selection of this slightly bizarre distinction was probably due to the fact that Montefiore was already a knight, and that there was as yet no precedent for a Jew becoming baronet.

  1. Wolf, The Diplomatic History of the Jewish Question (London, 1919). Cf., for a little-known instance of intervention in Syria, S. W. Baron, ‘Great Britain and Damascus Jewry in 1860-1’ in Jewish Social Studies, ii. (1940) 179-208.
  2. M. Hyamson, The British Consulate in Jerusalem (London, 1939, &c.). The establishment in 1841 of the Anglican Bishopric of Jerusalem, with a converted Jew, Michael Solomon Alexander as the first incumbent, was an outcome of this policy. The tendency was reflected in the interest shown by the British government in Zionism from its early days, culminating in the Balfour Declaration of 1917

32B) No provision was made to meet the difficulty of the Oath of Abjuration in the successive Emancipation Bills, and had any of them been carried an abbreviated tussle over the Oath would presumably have taken place. Contemporary critics did not fail to point out that, though the statutory obligation excluded a conscientious Jew, it meant nothing to an insincere Christian.

The precedent of the Quaker Joseph Place, who was allowed to affirm, on being returned for the first Reformed Parliament in 1833, had no bearing on this case, as an Act of Parliament specifically allowed Quakers to make an affirmation in all cases where an Oath was normally necessary.

The Parliamentary Debates of 1847-8 on Jewish Emancipation are conveniently reprinted in Margoliouth, The Jews in Great Britain, ii. 257-95, iii. 1-75, and in C. Egan, Status of the Jews in England (London, 1848), pp. 50-149. See also W. F. Monypenny and G. E. Buckle, Life of Disraeli (London, 1929), i. 882 sqq.

  1. M. Hyamson, David Salmons, pp. 74-84; Wolf, Essays, pp. 331-4.; Henriques, Jews and English Law, pp. 270-7. An Act passed by the short-lived Conservative government relieved Salomons of the civil disabilities to which his action had exposed him.

See p. 263, note 2.

Another Bill on the lines of that of 1853, substituting a single oath for the three hitherto obligatory and making provision for Jewish religious scruples, was simultaneously introduced by Lord Lyndhurst (an old champion of Jewish emancipation notwithstanding his stern Tory principles—perhaps because his wife was a daughter of Lewis Goldsmith): but Lord Lucan’s was preferred as being more in accordance with parliamentary procedure.

Regent of the Kingdom, Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland or his Deputy, and High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, as well as ‘the office of Guardians and Justices of the United Kingdom’.

The amended Oaths Bill which had occasioned the altercation between the two Houses, and on which the Jewish Relief Bill was based, was passed at the same time.


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A History Of The Jews In England,by Cecil Roth, 1941.



It is usual to regard this scene in the House of Commons as the culminating-point in the emancipation of English Jewry.


In fact, this was not quite the case. The piece-meal removal of their grievances, after the failure of the first experiments, made symmetry impossible, and some disabilities still remained which affected Jews by reason of their faith. Indeed, the very nature of the compromise of 1858 was personal rather than general. The member for the City of London was admitted to take the oath in a form acceptable to him by a special resolution of the House of Commons, passed in the teeth of determined opposition on the part of the die-hard minority, which provided no precedent for any future occasion. When, however, in February 1859 Baron Lionel’s brother, Mayer de Rothschild, was returned for Hythe at a by-election, not only was he empowered to take the oath in the fashion acceptable to him, but in addition it was resolved that henceforth any Jew duly elected might swear in the form then prescribed. A Resolution of the House remained in force only until the Prorogation, and would therefore have to be reintroduced at every succeeding session. The Resolution was, however, converted into a Standing Order by an Act of 1860 (23 & 24 Victoria, cap. 49). It was this which in fact set the seal on parliamentary emancipation in England, making the admission of Jews to the House of Commons a matter of right instead of privilege. The matter was finally consolidated by the Parliamentary Oaths Act of 1866 (29 & 3o Victoria, cap. 19) which prescribed a new and simplified oath for both Houses, omitting the phrase which had held up Jewish emancipation for so many years.


Up to this time the admission of a Jew to the House of Lords would have been dependent similarly on a special resolution, though refusal would have been difficult without personal affront to the sovereign. This was now no longer the case. In 1885, on the recommendation of Gladstone, who sixteen years before had been unable to overcome her objection to conferring the same honour on Baron Lionel de Rothschild, Queen Victoria raised his son Nathaniel to the peerage, and he took his seat in the Upper House in the normal fashion without difficulty. 1


Meanwhile the Promissory Oaths Act of 1871 (34 & 35 Victoria, cap. 48) repealed the section in the Relief Act of 1858 which excluded Jews from various offices of state, and did away with all the old forms of oaths and declarations laid down by former statutes. With the passage of this Bill into law Jews were placed at last on precisely the same footing as regards political rights as their Christian fellow subjects with one or two insignificant qualifications. 2 In the same year (1821) a Jewish member of Parliament, Sir George Jessel (more effective in politics than Baron Lionel de Rothschild, who after all the effort of entering the House of Commons is never recorded to have made a speech), was appointed Solicitor General, being the first Jew to become a Minister of the Crown. 3


By the time Lionel de Rothschild took his seat in Parliament the 20,000 to 30,000 Jews who had been in England at the beginning of the nineteenth century were increased in number to some 50,000. The economic basis of their existence had widened. It was no longer possible to specify any callings which were in the fullest sense characteristic of them, nor was there any basic economic differentiation between them and other sections of the urban middle classes. The improvement in communications and the change in the balance of population was indeed hastening the decline of some of the old provincial communities, founded in market towns in the reign of George III. Their place was taken by new ones in the growing industrial centres, such as Nottingham (1822), Leeds (1823), Glasgow (1826), and so on. A majority of the Anglo-Jewish community was by now native born—a fact that had not been without its bearing on the successful issue of the struggle for emancipation. There had of course been some immigration during the past generation, but owing to the progress of assimilation on the Continent it was of a very different type from that of the previous century, being largely composed of members of middle-class families (frequently commercial agents or technical experts) who needed only linguistic adjustment in order to acclimatize themselves in England. They had settled not only in the capital but also in the new manufacturing centres in the provinces, to the cultural as well as the economic life of which they brought in some cases a new impetus; and though some of them collaborated in the activities of the synagogue, a goodly proportion drifted insensibly in this tolerant climate into the religion or irreligion of the environment.


In addition, there were a number of immigrants of humbler social status from the reservoir of traditional Jewish life in eastern Europe, for whom the process of acclimatization was less simple. These remained relatively few in number until the penultimate decade of the century. In 1881, however, there began in Russia (under the inspiration of German anti-Semitism of a more academic type) a savage outbreak of persecution, which was to remain unabated so long as the rule of the Czars continued. This led to a terror-stricken wave of emigration, on a scale (owing to the improvement in communications) un­exampled hitherto in all Jewish history. Within a single generation something like 2,000,000 eastern European Jews sought new homes overseas. The overwhelming proportion settled in the United States. A perceptible eddy, however, reached Great Britain, as well as other portions of the Empire, superimposing on the native communities a completely different element, in masses so compact that they were able to maintain unimpaired their characteristic way of life, their institutions, even their dialect. Circumstances led them in the first instance to a great extent into the tailoring and allied industries, which for some time became almost as characteristic of them as peddling and dealing in old clothes had been of their co-religionists a century before. The tendency was not without its importance for the country as a whole: for the development of the industry and the consequent lowering of prices brought facilities within the reach of the working-man which initiated something in the nature of a revolution in social life.


A majority of the new arrivals settled in London, whose Jewish population increased between 1883 and 1902 from 47,000 to 150,000; but Leeds, Manchester, and Glasgow also acquired communities which exceeded in number the entire Anglo-Jewry of a century before. Elsewhere in the country old synagogues were revitalized and new ones established, the area of settlement being increased beyond anything known in the past. The number of Jews in England, estimated in 1880 at 60,000, more than tripled by 1905. The Aliens Immigration Act of that year—a product of the agitation which had come to a head at the beginning of the century—stemmed the influx, which thereafter was on a much smaller scale. But, during the quarter-century over which it had continued, the face of Anglo-Jewry had been changed. 4


The alembic of English tolerance has operated by now on the newer arrivals as well. Their sons have taken part in English life, contributed to English achievement, striven for the England’s betterment, shed their blood in England’s wars. In this happy land they have attained a measure of freedom (and thereby collaboration) which has been the case in scarcely any other. That this has been possible is due in no slight measure to the process of Anglo-Jewish history—a gradual acceptance based on common sense rather than on doctrine, consolidating itself slowly but surely, and never outstripping public opinion. Hence it has been possible for the English Jews to exemplify how men can enter a society by methods other than by descent, and to absorb traditions which are not those of their physical ancestors. If their reaction to privilege had been to deserve it, it is because they have the good fortune to possess as their inheritance two noble histories.





Lord Shaftesbury (though once an opponent of Jewish emancipation) had previously urged Disraeli to recommend the elevation of Sir Moses Montefiore to the peerage, but the other, being of Jewish extraction, had not been able to comply.

The one statutory restriction that still obtains is that, in virtue of the terms of the Act of 1858, Jews cannot exercise ecclesiastical patronage attached to any public office they may happen to hold. It is not altogether certain that a Jew may be ‘keeper of the King’s conscience’—i.e. Lord Chancellor; see Halsbury, The Laws of England, vii. 56, disputed, however, by H. S. Q. Henriques, in Trs. J.H.S.E. viii. 55-62.

Since 1871 professing Jews have served as Judge (first appointed 1873), Privy Councillor (1873), Colonial Governor (1900)7 Cabinet Minister (1909), Lord Chief Justice (1913), Secretary of State (1916), Ambassador (1918), and Viceroy of India (1920).

The recent history of the Anglo-Jewish community is described, for the close of the reign of Queen Victoria, by Wolf, Essays, pp. 355-62; and for the reign of George V by the present writer in The Jewish Year Book (London, 1937), pp. 356— 75. Cf. also his Short History of the Jewish People, chapters xxix—xxx; Dubnow, Neueste Geschichte des jüdischen Volkes (Berlin, 1920); and for the Aliens Immigration Act of 1905, E. Halèvy, History of the English People, Book III, chapter ii. A. M. Hyamson’s History of the Jews in England (2nd ed., London, 1928) gives a detailed account of internal developments in this period, and A. L. Sachar, Sufferance is the Badge (New York, 1939), PP. 346-78, an outline of contemporary events.


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A History Of The Jews In England,by Cecil Roth, 1941.

Additional Notes


(The figures in parenthesis are to the pages of the text)




(a) The passages of the Penitential of Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury (d. 690) which seem to indicate the existence of Jews in England in the seventh century (cf. Jacobs, J.A.E., pp. 1-2) are absent from the authentic text of that code as edited by P. W. Finsterwalder, Die Canones Theodori Cantuarensis (Weimar, 1929). The two allusions in the ‘Excerptiones’ ascribed to Archbishop Egbert of York (d. 766) are completely academic, and would signify nothing even if (as is improbable) that compilation were of English origin. A spurious charter of Witglaff of Mercia to the monks of Croyland (833), one of the fictitious ‘Laws of Edward the Confessor’, probably belonging to the reign of Stephen, and an unsubstantiated allusion by a sixteenth-century Hebrew chronicler, Joseph haCohen to the immigration into England in 810 of Jewish refugees from Germany, need not be given serious consideration. There remains only a clause in the Lain-paraphase of a law of Aethelred of c.1010 which condemns the selling of Christians into slavery outside England, lest they fall into pagan or Jewish hands; but even this insignificant allusion is absent in the Anglo-Saxon original (see F. Liebermann, Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen, i. 251, ii. 527-8). Jacobs (J.A.E., p. 5 &c.) calls attention to various biblical names in the Domesday Book, but there is not the slightest reason to imagine that those who bore them were Jews. It may be mentioned that St. Florinus, who worked in Switzerland and the Tyrol some time between the seventh and ninth centuries, is said to have been the son of a Jewess married to an Englishman (‘Vita S. Florini’ in Analecta Bollandiana xvii. 199 ff.). (2)


(b) William of Malmesbu Gesta Regum Anglorum iv. 317, states incidentally that the Jews of London had been brought thither by William the Conqueror. Since this author died c. 1146, this represents a very old tradition. So, too, in a recently discovered petition of 1275, the Commonalty of the Jews of England speak of their establishment in England ‘pus le conquest de la terre’ (Select Cases in Court of King’s Bench, Edward I (Selden Society, 1939), iii. cxiv). An often-repeated statement of Anthony Wood (Annals, i. 129) fixes the settlement of the Jews at Oxford about 1075, but this is based on nothing more solid than a misinterpretation of the spurious charter now printed in the Oseney Charters, iv. 5. Fuller (Church History of Brittain 1655) states that they arrived in Cambridge two years earlier, but this too can hardly be more than approximate, and in his History of Cambridge University he gives the date as 1106. (4)


(c) See H. W. C. Davis, ‘London Lands of St. Paul’s, 1066-1135’ in Essays Presented to T. F. Tout. The date 1115, to which this record was previously ascribed, is now abandoned, and the preliminary reference to the Ward of Haco is recognized to have nothing to do with the vicus judaeo­rum, which was clearly in the neighbourhood of the later ‘Old Jewry’. It appears that the Jewry was mainly, but not exclusively, inhabited by Jew’s at this period: the parcel of land described in the Terrier was in Christian hands. For grants of land in London in 1152 by the Canons of St. Paul’s to Benedict the Jew and Abraham fil’ Simon see M. Adler, Jews of Medieval England (J.M.E.), pp. 255 sqq. (The medieval term fil’ will be used in these chapters in preference to the longer ‘the son of or the exotic Hebrew ‘ben’. Abraham was probably spoken of in his day as ‘Abraham fitz Simon’.) (7)



(a) Ephraim of Bonn’s Hebrew account of the York Massacre, published in Neubauer and Stern’s Hebräische Berichte uber die Judenverfolgungen während der Kreuzzüge (Berlin, 1898), and incorporated in Joseph haCohen’s sixteenth-century chronicle Emek haBakha (‘Valley of Tears’), has not yet been published in an accurate translation in English. One is therefore subjoined:


Afterwards, in the year 4551 (1. 4550 = 1190) the Wanderers came upon the people of the Lord in the city of Evreques in England, on the Great Sabbath [before Passover]: and the season of the miracle was changed to disaster and punishment. All fled to the house of prayer. Here Rabbi Yom-Tob stood and slaughtered sixty souls, and others also slaughtered. Some there were who commanded that they should slaughter their only sons, whose foot could not tread upon the ground from their delicacy and tender breeding. Some, moreover, were burned for the Unity of their Creator. The number of those slain and burned was one hundred and fifty souls, men and women, all holy bodies. Their houses moreover they destroyed, and they despoiled their gold and silver and the splendid books which they had written in great number, precious as gold and as much fine gold, there being none like them for their beauty and splendour. These they brought to Cologne and to other places, where they sold them to the Jews.


Elijah of York is not mentioned in the sources as having been a victim of the massacre, but is referred to (Tosaphoth: Yoma, 27a) as Elijah the Martyr, of Evréques. Possibly he is to be identified with the French religious polemist, ‘the martyred R. Elijah’ (R.E.J. i. 245-6), whose uncle, R. Joseph of Chartres, composed an elegy on the victims of the English massacres of 1189-90 (L. Zunz, Literaturgeschichte der synagogalen Poesie, p. 470). Among the martyrs whom he mentions by name are Elijah (of York?), Jacob (of Orleans? see above, p. 59), Joseph (of York? see pp. 22-3), Yomtob (of Joigny? see p. 23) and Moses (of Norwich? see Davis, Shetaroth, p. 4 &c.). (24)



(a) The following table (mainly from Patent and Close Rolls, with amplifications from lists published by Elman in Economic History Review, 1933, pp. 153-4, and by Jenkinson in Trs. J.H.S.E. viii. 32 sqq.) summarizes the exactions of the reign so far as they can be ascertained; but it is not easy to trace in the Rolls some of the levies mentioned by the chroniclers, or to distinguish is some cases between arrears and new levies. The total between 1230 and 1255 seems to be at least one-quarter of the 950,000 marks which the king is said to have wasted in this period. After the middle of the century (by which time the worst spoliations were over) an annual tallage of 5,000 marks was regarded as moderate, that amount being paid by the Jews of the realm in 1253 on condition that they should be exempt from any fresh levy until the following Easter.


Note: List of individual sums not scanned


(b) Since the case at Winchester in 1192 there had been numerous indications that, in this city especially, the atmosphere was unchanged, but in each case hitherto a judicial inquiry averted serious consequences. In 1225, for example, a child whom the ‘King’s Jew’, Deulesault fil’ Soleus, was accused of murdering was discovered to be alive (C.R. 1225, p. 53b. That same year two other Winchester Jews were found guilty of the murder of a boy, but as three others implicated in the charge were acquitted, it is probable that no ritual object was alleged: ibid., pp. 5o, 51). Seven years later another charge ended similarly, the mother of the alleged victim being imprisoned in place of the persons accused (C.R. 1232, p. 80). In 1236 many leading members of the Oxford community, imprisoned on a charge of forcibly ‘rescuing’ a boy who had been converted to Christianity, were released when the lost infant was traced at Exeter (C.R. 1232, p. 383; Adler, J.M.E., p. 287). About this time two persons were sent from England to attend the assembly of converts convened at Fulda by the Emperor Frederick II, which resulted in the publication of an imperial rescript exonerating the Jews from the Blood Accusation (Graetz, Geschichte der juden, vii. 44o), but there is no record or echo of this in the English sources. (55)


(c) C.R. 1250, p. 263; P.R. 1250, p. 59. The subsequent career of Abraham of Berkhamsted (for whom see Caro, Social- and Wirtschaftsgeschichte der juden, ii. 17, 282; E.J.. i. 58, 60, 61, &c.; C.R. and P.R. for these years, passim) was chequered. Before many months were over he offended the king again in some way and was released from prison only on condition of forfeiting his entire property, and keeping out of the royal sight for a twelve­month (C.R. 1250, pp. 339, 375). In the following year he got into trouble, with Gamaliel of Oxford, on a charge of clipping the coinage (C.R. 1251, p. 418). In 1255, however, he was sufficiently re-established to be granted to Richard of Cornwall, and empowered to lend money under favourable conditions (P.R. 1255, p. 396), an archa being opened at Wallingford to register his transactions. After Richard’s death the grant was confirmed to his son, Edmund of Almain, for two and a half years (P.R. 1272, p. 654). (56)



(a) Cf. the lists of assets of English Jewry printed in Trs. J.H.S.E. ii. 87-105 and the documents in E.J. ii. 293, 299, 303, &c. Bonami fil’ Josce of York, who was granted a licence to trade in 1278, similarly dealt in wool (Bibl. A.10. 28) and Jacob fil’ Hagin of London, in cloth. It is, however, possible that at this period credits in terms of commodities often conceal clandestine moneylending operations, as the prices are so often in round figures, the quality is seldom specified and there is frequently an option for cash payment (Elman, Hist. Jud., 1939, p. 97). No Jews are in fact included among those to whom licences for exporting wool were granted by Edward I, and the documents concerning the Expulsion specify as the main charge against the Jews the fact that they lent money, notwithstanding the prohibition, ‘under colour of trading and good contracts and covenants’. (73)


(b) It was presumably in response to the Papal appeal that the clergy of the Diocese of York were instructed at this time (April 21st 1287) to preach against the Jews, who were henceforth forbidden to set foot within the walls of certain monasteries – e.g. Bridlington (Register of John le Romeyn, Surtees Society, i. 22, 201). It is possible that the brutal imprisonment and tallaging of the Jews in May 1287 was a further consequence of the Papal Intervention. At this period it would seem that popular feeling was exacerbated from above. The sequence of events is sometimes highly suggestive. In 1276 the Justices in Eyre at the Tower of London were instructed to inquire not only about those who had purchased Jewish property and debts in contravention of the recent legislation, but also regarding the martyrdom of Christian children by them (they reported that there had been two notorious recent cases: for one, see above, p. 78). When almost immediately afterwards the Mayor proclaimed peace in the City, the phrase ‘between Jews and Christians’ is significantly cancelled in the original record. Not long after, the London authorities, going beyond the recent governmental regulations, forbade houses to be let to Jews or hired from them, and ordered that they might live henceforth only in the Jewry (M. Weinbaum, London unter Eduard I and II (Stuttgart, 1933) ii. 134; R. R. Sharpe, Calendar of Letter- Books of the City of London, A, 215-9). (78)


(c) Cf. the Winchester inscription published by Selden, De lure Naturali, p.215, and by Schwab, Inscriptions hèbralques de la France, p. 162. The translation runs: ‘On Friday, eve of the Sabbath in which the pericope Error [Leviticus, caps: xxi-xxiv] is read, all the Jews of the Land of the Isle were imprisoned. I, Asher, inscribed this.’ Selden’s reading, notwithstanding a slight error in spacing, does not require emendation: the date corresponds with May 2nd, 1287, the day indicated by the English chroniclers, e.g., J. de Oxenedes, p. 268, or Wykes in Ann. Mon. iv. 308-9. The writer is presumably Asher, or Sweteman, of Winchester, son of Licoricia of Oxford. This was probably the occasion when the London Jews were imprisoned at the Guildhall: Price, Historical Account of the Guildhall, p. 21. (79)


(d) For the original Norman French text, see Rigg, P.E.J., pp. liv sqq. Contrary to the general view, it does not seem that this measure was ever put into effect: for in his communication of November 5th, 1290, to the Barons of the Exchequer (ibid., p. xli) Edward specifically stated that he had been compelled to banish the Jews from England because they persisted in levying clandestine usury, in contravention of his measure of fifteen years before. Moreover, fictitious loans in terms of commodities seem to have been continued until the Expulsion, and this would have been unnecessary had moneylending been reauthorized. The document represents therefore the draft of a law which was never enacted. Since it refers to the fact that the chirograph chests ‘have long been closed and sealed by command of our Lord the King’ it is between January 28th, 1284, on which date a royal mandate for the general closing of the archae was issued, and February 28th, 1286, when commissioners were appointed to reopen that of London (ibid., p. lxi)-i.e. at the close of the ten-year experimental period envisaged in the Statute of 1275.(81)


(e) The Jewish sources almost unanimously, place the expulsion of the Jews from England in the year 5020: so Ibn Verga, Shebet Jehudah, § xvii, Who brings it into relation with the false accusation of clipping the coinage: Don Isaac Abrabanel quoting from a lost work of Profiat Duran in his Yeshuoth Meshiho (p. 46); and others who derive from them. It is to be imagined that Samuel Usque in his Consolacam as Tribulacoens de Israel (Ferrara, 1553) iii, xii, concurs in this date, though through a misprint 5002 is given as the year instead of 5020. The reason for this equivocation is not easy to understand, unless exaggerated rumours of the persecutions at the time of the Barons’ Wars reached the ears of the continental communities. It has been plausibly suggested, however, that *(= [5o]2o, i.e. 1260) was read for *(= [50]50, i.e. 1290). In order to bring this date into accordance with the known historical facts it was necessary for Usque and, following him, Verga, to introduce a recall, and a final expulsion, in the reign of the successor of the original monarch.


The ancient Jewish chroniclers associate the Expulsion with the conversion to Judaism of a certain friar. It has been thought that this was due to a confusion with the famous case of the converted Deacon, who was burned at Oxford in 1222. However, the Jewish account is confirmed by the continuer of Florence of Worcester, who gives a circumstantial report of the conversion of the Dominican, Robert of Reading, in 1275. It is obviously to this episode that the Hebrew chroniclers refer: thus Usque (loc.cit.) states specifically that the central figure in the episode was a frade pregador: i.e. a Dominican friar. This did not immediately precede the Expulsion; but it may well have been responsible in part for the reaction of 1275.


On the whole, therefore, the account of the Jewish chroniclers is not so fantastic as it seems. Even Usque’s tale of the existence of crypto-Jews in England is paralleled by the complaints of contemporaries regarding the insincerity of the converts from Judaism. Certain of the old synagogues were in fact standing in his day, as he asserts. The story of the pavilion over the sea, into which those who adhered to the Law of Moses were enticed to be drowned, may be (as suggested above) a garbled account of the episode of the ship-master on the sand-bank near Queenborough. (87)



(a) 15,060 (Walter of Hemingburgh, ii. 22); 17,511 (J. de Oxenedes, p. 277) ; 16,511 (Flores Historiarum, iii. 70). The close identity of these figs figures is persuasive. Nevertheless though this would represent only 1% 0f the total population, it would be something nearer 10% of the urban population, which is manifestly excessive. The annual poll-tax was paid in 1280 on behalf of 1,179 persons above the age of twelve years, of 1,153 in 1281, of 1,133 in 1282, and of 1,151 in 1283: it is not certain, however, whether anything is to be deducted for the expenses of collection, or whether the pauper proletariat, now comparatively numerous, was actually included. On the other hand there are said to have been 680 Jewish householders in England in 1278. The figure given by the contemporary chroniclers may have been based on a rough computation on the basis of the grant of £202. 0s. 4d. to the Domus Conversorum by which the poll-tax of threepence per head was ultimately replaced, without taking into account the fact that it was not levied on children. Caro (Sozial – und Wirtschaftsgeschichte der Juden ii. 63-4) maintains that the total Jewish population during the last phase (i.e. after the wholesale banishments, conversions and executions (over 300 of Edward’s reign) cannot have exceeded 2,500 or 3,000.


The following is an approximately complete list of all Anglo-Jewish settlements of the medieval period, places where communities or archae are known to have existed being printed in capitals:

Abingdon            Beverley              Buckingham

Arundel                Bosham                Bungay

Basingstoke        Bottisham           BURY ST. EDMUNDS

BEDFORD             Bradesworth      Caerleon

Berdefield           Brentford            Caernarvon

Berham                Bridgnorth          CAMBRIDGE

BERKHAMSTED                 BRISTOL               Camden

CANTERBURY     Hastings               Pinkeneye

Chepstow           Hatcham              Pontefract

Chichester          Haverford           Reading

Chippenham      HEREFORD          Rising

Clare      Hertford              Rochester

COLCHESTER      Hitchin Romsey

Colton   Holm     Royston

Conisford            Hungerford        Rye

Conway                HUNTINGDON Sandwich

COVENTRY          Ilchester              Seaford

Criccieth               IPSWICH              Shoreham

Cricklade              Kendal Sittingbourne

Derby    Kingston              Southampton

DEVIZES               LEICESTER            Southwark


Dorchester         LINCOLN              SUDBURY

Dorking                LONDON              Tewkesbury

Dunstable           Ludlow                 Thetford

Eden      LYNN     Thornbridge

Evesham              Malling                 Tickhill

EXETER                 MARLBOROUGH              Tonbridge

Eye         Merton                WALLINGFORD

Faversham          Newbury             WARWICK

Finchingfield      Newcastle           WILTON

Flint       Newland              Wells

Frenningsham   Newmarket        Winchelsea

Fressinton           Newport              WINCHESTER

Gillingham           NORTHAMPTON              Windsor


Grimsby               NOTTINGHAM Wycombe

Guildford             Ospringe              Yarmouth

Hampton             OXFORD               YORK




(b) The variety of the pledges specified in contemporary records is bewildering. Cf. E.J. i. 42, where a Jew is sued for the return of a psalter, a book of medicine, and a saddle: or Oseney Cartulary, i. 335, where an Oxford financier records in Hebrew a loan in 1182 on the security of fifteen cows and twelve weys of suet. The London Jewry received in pledge even furs, cushions, and silks from the royal wardrobe (Lib. R. 125o, p. 271). Mendaunt of Bristol, hanged in 1278, seems to have specialized in jewellery and armour, according to the inventory of his property, which included four coats of mail and 86 silver brooches, in addition to two silk cushions and a Rheims carpet (Adler, J.M.E., pp. 224-5). According to the ‘Assize of Jewry’, however, jewels of high value could not be accepted as pledges or purchased without royal licence (P.R. 1267, p. 154). (105)


(c) The Chronicle of Meaux (i. 173-8) reports a typical transaction of the twelfth century. A son of one of the great benefactors of this Cistercian Abbey was ward of the Earl of Aumale, whose daughter he seduced. It thus became necessary for him to leave the country. Finding his affairs greatly embarrassed on his return, he borrowed some 1,800 marks on mortgage from various Jews. The Abbot of Meaux reluctantly consented to assume responsibility for these debts on good security, and applied to Aaron of Lincoln, ‘the first and greatest of the Jews’, for assistance. The latter assumed the entire obligation, cancelled 500 marks of the debt, and bought out the other creditors. When he died not long after, the Crown, a less obliging creditor, claimed immediate payment of the balance and even of the amount that had been remitted.


Only a small number of capitalists could engage in operations on this scale. It is estimated (Trs. J.H.S.E. ii. 82) that at the time of the Expulsion, in eleven out of seventeen Anglo-Jewish communities, two-thirds of Jewish wealth was concentrated in the hands of 82 persons belonging to 18 families. One family in Oxford owned more than half, and one in Norwich two-thirds, of the entire capital of the community. (106)


(d) See the excursus on Adam de Stratton by W. Page in Starrs, vol. ii. For instances of William of Valence’s activities, cf. C.R. 1259, p. 446; P.R. 1257, p. 543, and for those of Gilbert Clare, Rigg, P.E.J., p. 48; the latter’s father Richard had been so little trusted by the Jews that when he went on his crusade in 1249 he could only borrow money from them through the medium of the monks of Tewkesbury (Ann. Mon. i. 137; 139: 5o per cent. interest was charged—whether by the Jews or the Abbey is not clear). Not all non-Jews, however, worked through Jewish intermediaries. At Lichfield, in 1254, the justices in Eyre were instructed to investigate what property had been left by Christian usurers, while in 1275 an inquiry was made in Norfolk concerning Christians who were acting as Jews (judaizantes) in lending money to the indigent (P.R. 1275, p. 172). Aaron of York (Adler, .M.E., p. 153) was certainly not the only medieval English Jew who borrowed from Gentiles. (109)


(e) H. Jenkinson, in Trs. J.H.S.E. viii. 19 and elsewhere, showed that the revenue from Jewish sources was handled (contrary to what had hitherto been believed) through the ordinary machinery of the Exchequer, and drew the conclusion that the Exchequer of the Jews was primarily a judicial body. There are, however, many records of receipts at the Scaccarium Judae­orum; and under Henry III (supra, p. 50) the justices at its head were able to deflect to their own pockets a considerable proportion of a tallage levied on the communities of the realm. A. C. Cramer, ‘The Jewish Exchequer: an enquiry into its fiscal functions’, in American Historical Review, xlv (1940), pp. 327-32, has arrived independently at this conclusion, and shows that the Jewish Exchequer was regularly concerned with the various processes of receipt and audit involved in the handling of revenue from Jewish sources. (111)


(f) Supra, pp. 48, 101. Cf. P.R. 1272, p. 606, where there are listed eleven properties of Jacob of Oxford (some consisting of more than one dwelling-house) in that city, York, and two different London parishes. Of these only two were apparently acquired from Christians, and might have been forfeited pledges: the rest passed into his hands from Jewish property- owners. The extent of the real estate held by Jews in the thirteenth century is vividly illustrated by the Norwich deeds published by Davis in his Shetaroth (and commented in theEast Anglian, n.s., vols. iv and v) and by the long lists of escheated property inRot. Orig. in Scaccario,pp. 73-6. Five centuries later, at the time of the ‘Jew Bill’ of 1753 (see pp. 21 1-21), a considerable body of material bearing upon this was brought together by ‘A Gentleman of Lincoln’s Inn’ (P. C. Webb): ‘ The Question whether a Jew, born within the British Dominions, was, before the making the late Act of Parliament, a Person Capable, by Law, to purchase and hold Lands’ (London, 1753). (114)


(g) e.g., The ‘School’ of Peitevin the Great at Lincoln (Trs. J.H.S.E. ii. 99, 134: Jacobs is in error in interpreting the term literally); that of Mocke at Hereford (Cal. Inq. Misc. i. 62); of Abraham Pinch at Winchester (C.R. 1236, p. 271); of Elias at Warwick, (E. J. i. 104). The principal London synagogue at one time belonged to Abraham fil’ Rabbi (Jacobs, J.A.E., p. 343) and was afterwards constructed on a parcel of land granted by Aaron fil’ Vives (Charter Rolls, ii. 253); and when the community was reduced to a single place of worship it was in the house of the Arch-presbyter Cok Hagin (supra, p.30). The Cambridge synagogue was maintained by ‘Magister’ Benjamin. Hence, after it was made over to the Franciscans, the latter found themselves sharing a common entrance with the town jail, to which use Benjamin’s private house had been turned, until they were permitted to incorporate this too in their friary (A. G. Little, Studies in English Franciscan History, p. 12). (118)


(h) G. Cambrensis, Itin. Camb. ii, c. xiii. The passage is sufficiently illuminating to deserve quotation in full:


‘We set forth thence towards Wenloch through a narrow and steep way which they call Malam plateam. Here it happened in our days that a certain Jew was journey­ing towards Shrewsbury with the archdeacon of the same place, whose name was Peche, and the deacon whose name was Dayville. When he heard the archdeacon by chance saying that his deaconry began at this place, which is calledMalam plateamand lasted till Bad-pass in Chester, considering and reflecting upon the name of the archdeacon and the name of the dean, he made rather a witty and neat remark. “It will be a wonder” said he, “if chance brings me back safe from this country whose archdeacon is sin, whose deacon is the Devil, which you enter by a Bad-Place and leave in a Bad-Pass.” ‘ ( 119)


(i) Adler, J.M.E., pp. 34-6, 193-5, 209-10, 213, 223, cites some instances. Cf. also C.R. 1225, pp. 7b, sob. Particularly graphic details are given of a case at Gloucester. One day in 1220 a group of persons approaching the castle gate saw something fall from the top of the tower. The porter went to investigate and found Solomon Turbe, a prisoner, terribly maimed. He had enough strength left to affirm that he was tired of life and wished to kill himself like King Saul. However, he was overheard to say to his wife, Comtissa: ‘Flee hence, for it is by thy plot that I am slain’. It was rumoured afterwards that he had not fallen, but had been pushed, and Abraham Gabbay was accused by her of having conspired with Andrew, a beer-server, to bring about his death, in revenge for a former brawl in which he himself had been wounded. For an unruly episode in London in 1278, graphic details of which are given, see H. T. Riley, Memorials of London (London, 1868), pp. 15-16. (122)


(j) Cf. the account in Giraldus Cambrensis, Opera, viii. 65. ‘Master Robert, the Prior of St. Frideswide at Oxford – was a man of letters and skilled in the Scriptures, nor was he ignorant of the Hebrew tongue. Now he sent to diverse towns and cities of England in which Jews have dwelling, from whom he collected many Josephuses written in Hebrew, gaining them with difficulty, since they were acquainted with him because of his knowing the Hebrew tongue. And in two of them he found this testimony about Christ written fully and at length, but as if recently scratched out; but in all the rest removed earlier, and as if never there – ‘Robert Eisler, in his recent The Messiah Jesus, and Marmorstein, in Trs. J.H.S.E. xii. 106-7, attempt to identify the passage in question and draw conclusions which, if substantiated, would be of great importance. (125)


(k) The identity of the two (the names mean precisely the same) was championed with characteristic vigour by Jacobs (J.A.E., pp. 165-73, 196-9, 278-80), but strenuously contested by A. Neubauer. However, in the addendum to his Notes on the Jews in Oxford, the latter admitted that Berechiah visited England, and this would seem to vindicate Jacobs’s conjecture in this case at least. The fact that Berechiah is cited by the English scholar Moses ben Isaac (for whom see p. 127), that his Fox-Fables follow the lines of those of his contemporary Alfred Anglicus, and that he trans­lated a work by Abelard of Bath, all go to support the theory. Alternative explanations of ‘Pointur’ are (i) Point-maker—i.e. Tailor or Lace-maker; (ii) Painter; (iii) Tax-collector – perhaps the most reasonable. Adler, J.M.E., p. 199, cites an unidentified Vives le Pointur of Bristol. (126)


(1) Particularly Jacobs, in his Jews of Angevin England, and the articles listed in Bibl. A.4. 43-5o and A.’ 59-61; later, he was able to secure ostensible endorsement of his views in the Jewish Encyclopaedia, of which he was an editor. Neubauer’s case for the English origin of certain translations of Abraham ibn Ezra’s works (Bibl. A.i. 90 and Romania, 1876, pp. 129 sqq.) falls short of that rigidly scientific standard which he demanded from others: cf. on this point now R. Levy, The Astrological Works of Abraham ibn Ezra (Baltimore, 1927), p. 23.


There remain a few Anglo-Jewish scholars mentioned in the secular records of whom no literary relics survive—e.g. Magister Josce fil’ Magister Hel’ (E.J. i. 19), perhaps identical with Rabbi Joseph ben Elijah of Melun (Gross, Gallia Judaica, p. 353); and Magister Samuel of Bolum (1.Lohun), whose marriage was discussed before a rabbinical court in 1267 (E. J. i. 152). [For the subject generally see now Trs. J.H.S.E. xiv. 187-205.] (128)



(a) Annales Paulini (Chronicles of Edward I and Edward II, vol. i), p. 269; also (from former Hargrave MS.) in preface to Johan. de Oxenedes, ed Ellis p. xiii, with the additionunus eorum fuit medicus. The view this Master Elias is identical with the former Arch-presbyter Elias le Eveske is fantastic, in view of the fact that the latter was appointed in 1243, and had been converted to Christianity in 1257; nor can he be equated with the physician-scholar Elijah Menahem of London who was dead by the autumn of 1284. E. N. Adler, in his History of the Jews in London, p. 70, identifies him with the contemporary French financier Heliot of Vesoul, who had been forced to leave France with his co-religionists in 1306, though he was neither physician nor Rabbi. (132)


(b) For Master Dionysius see Sousa Viterbo Noticia sobre alguns medicos portugueses (Lisbon, 1893), pp. 15 sqq.: his identity with the physician of the same name who practised in England is clear from a comparison of the data. He left London for Antwerp before the break-up of the Marrano settlement and (according to Wolf: this does not tally with Sousa Viterbo’s information) died in Ferrara in 1541. [See now also H. Friedenwald in Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vii (1939), pp. 249-56]. His son, Manuel Brudo, is a more important figure in the history of medicine. His Liber de ractione victus in singulis febribus – Ad anglos (Venice, 1544), contains (pp. 8, 81, 92, 94, 97-100, 128, 148, 152) repeated references to his career and clientele in England, the latter including Sir Thomas Audley, Lord Chan­cellor, and Sir William Sidney, Lord Chamberlain; the importance of these allusions for the social history of the period is considerable. He subsequently settled in the Levant and wrote a Hebrew polemical tractate, now lost (Tarbiz vi. 162). (137)


(c) Wolf’s account of Nuñez’s career, in Trs. J.H.S.E., vol. xi, is to be supplemented from J. R. Dasent, Acts of Privy Council, viii (1571-5) and ix (1575-7), passim. The references are perhaps equalled in number in the case of no other London merchant of the period. His importance to the government was so great that the Privy Council intervened with his creditors when he found himself in difficulties (viii. 128), while in 1573 he was specially exempted from the reprisals against Spain (viii. 92). He had dealings with the Earl of Desmond in Ireland (viii. 20). In 1576 he was made a member of a special commission for the trial of insurance cases, in conjunction with Gresham, the Master of the Rolls, and a Spaniard named Spinola (ix. 168, 230). (In this year Henrique Rodriguez, also probably a Marrano, petitioned for a monopoly of brokerage insurances, promising to pay the Crown one-half of the penalties imposed on interlopers: Select Pleas of Admiralty, Selden Society, ii. xvi.)


‘Corsina the Jew’ referred to in a letter to Cecil of 1592 in H.M.C., Cecil, iv. 244 is clearly identical with Philip Corsini (Acts of Privy Council, 1591, p. 125, &c.), his judaism being a purely malicious attribute. (140)


(d) This legend is recorded in De Barrios, Casa de Jacob (Amsterdam, c.1683), pp. 5-6, and Uri Levi, Memoria Para los siglos futuros (ibid., 1711). S. Seeligman, in his Bibliographie en Historie (Amsterdam, 1927), discredits the story entirely, but it probably embodies a certain element of truth.


Another Marrano notable in England at this period was a reputed descendant of Gonsalvo de Cordova named Alonso Nuñes de Herrera, who was captured by the Earl of Essex in 1596 at Cadiz (where he was acting as Moroccan resident). After being ransomed he retired to Amsterdam: here he spent his last years under the name of Abraham Cohen de Herrera, in Cabbalistic study. (The account given by De Barrios may be reconciled with a little difficulty with the details in H.M.C., Hatfield, vi. 536.) (142)


(e) The full details of the expulsion of the Marranos from England in 1609 have never been published. On August 20th 1609, Marcantonio Correr, Venetian ambassador in London, wrote home to his government (R. Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Dispacci Ambasciatori, Inghilterra, busta viii: cf. the abstract in S.P.V. 1609, p. 320):


“Sono stati scoperti molti mercanti Portoghesi, che vivevano in questa città secretamente all’ Hebraica, et peró alcuni sono di già partiti, et gli altri hanno havuto qualche commodo per riserar li loro negotii, non ostante le leggi molto severe in questo proposito. Mi viene affermato esser questi cosi scellerati che per meglio coprirsi non solo intervenivano molte volte alla messa nella Casa d’Amb. ri, ma che habbino anco ricevuta la santissima Eucaristia.”


The parallel dispatch from the Tuscan envoy, Ottaviano Lotto of August 12th, 1609 (R. Archivo di Stato di Firenze; Mediceo, Piincipato) adds further details:


“Qui son molti portoghesi che negoziano, et essendo ultimamente venuti in discordia fra loro, una parte n’e stata accusata d’ebraismo, et e stata pero coman­data di sgombrare it Regno, et con molta agevolezza perche la legge di essa gli fa rei di morte.”


In the Nicholas Papers, iii. 51, reference is made to the fact that King, James granted a patent to the Earl of Suffolk (Lord Chamberlain 1603-14), for the discovery of the Jews ‘which made the ablest of them fly out of England’. The allusion is plainly to the same event. (144)


(f) Another means by which the Jew was familiarized to Englishmen at this period was through inquisitive, bible-loving travellers who did everything possible to become acquainted abroad with those whom they had such slight opportunity of observing at home. One Elizabethan traveller after another—Peter Wendy, Laurence Alderney, William Lithgow, William Davis, Richard Tockington (and, later on, George Sandys, Philip Skippon, John Evelyn, Richard Lassels, &c.) gave their compatriots intimate glimpses of the Italian Ghettos or the teeming Jewries of the Levant. John Gordon, later Dean of Salisbury, held a Public disputation with the Rabbi o Avignon in 1574; Immanuel Aboab, a famous Marrano scholar and controversialist, entered into a theological discussion with an argu­mentative Englishman at Pisa in 1597; Francis Smith painted fair Jewesses from the life at Istanbul; and Thomas Coryat above all lost no opportunity of making Jewish contacts. At Venice in 1608, the latter came across Rabbi Leone da Modena, upon whom he forced a discussion regarding the fundamental tenets of Christianity; and being hustled out of the Ghetto was rescued by the English ambassador, Sir Henry Wotton, who happened to be passing in his gondola. Subsequently Modena made the latter’s acquaintance and compiled at his request, for presentation to James I, his famous treatise on the Rites and Ceremonies of the Jews. Modena’s English correspondents ultimately included Sir William Boswell and John Selden (Bibl. A.11. 95).


Similarly, English sailors, merchants, and adventurers frequently came into contact with Jewish dragomen: thus the first English expedition to the East Indies in 1601 was accompanied by a Moroccan Jew, who knew Arabic and negotiated a satisfactory treaty with the Sultan of Achin (Bibl. A.5. 1-2). On the Dalmatian coast the local Jews were in close relations with English traders from the sixteenth century (Jorjo Tadic, Jevrei u Dubrovniku, Ragusa, 1938, pp. 149, 182-4, &c.), while those of Venice and Salonika dealt in English cloth. The merchants of London even exported Hebrew Bibles for the use of the Jews of Morocco, notwithstanding Portuguese pro­tests (c.1574: Cambridge History of British Empire, i. 42). In 1616, Jews were importing English cloth into Bohemia from Poland (? Danzig: Bondi, Juden in Biihmen, Prague 1906, § 1090). (148)



(a) In 1624 James Whitehall of Christ Church, Oxford, was prosecuted for teaching ‘Judaism’ (S.P.D. 1624, p. 435). Eleven years later (ibid, 1635, pp. 111, 122, 132) Mary Chester a prisoner at Bridewell, was ordered by the Court of High Commission to be set at liberty under bond upon acknowledgement of her errors in holding certain Judaical tenets, such as teaching the Sabbath and distinction of meats. Major Thomas Harrison the regicide, publicly advocated. government by a council of seventy members, in imitation of the Sanhedrin (E. Ludlow, Memoirs, London, 1751, p. 176). More than one Baptist minister (e.g. Sellers Jesse, Tillan) observed the seventh-day Sabbath, and John Smyth led his secession from the main body party through: his conviction that the Hebrew text of the Old Testament should be used in worship. (149)


(b) The Jewish associations of the Traskites have been dealt with in an unpublished paper by Mr. H. E. I. Harris who identifies the English proselytes to Judaism recorded D. Henriques de Castro, Keur van Grafsteenen – te Ouderkerk (Leyden, 1882) with the Traskites hamlet and Jackson (another of the body, Christopher Sands, became a demi-convert). Evelyn (Diary for 1641) mentions a proselyte Englishwoman whom he met at Amsterdam, and Sandys (Purchas. viii. 95) one at Zante: while a Guer from England was assisted by the Hamburg Synagogue in 1653 (Jahrbuch d. Jud-lit. Gesellschaft, Frankfort-on-Main, x.248). Most significant of all was the case of Alexander Cooper, the most distinguished English miniaturist of the seventeenth century, who settled in Stockholm, and whose profession of Judaism there is clear evidence from the documents published in G. C. Williamson’s, History of Portrait Miniatures (1904), vol.1, chapter 7. (Dr. Williamson, in a private communication, agrees with my interpretation, as it is out of the question that Cooper was born a Jew and there is no evidence that other members of the family shared his beliefs.) (149)


(c) Notwithstanding these negative results the readmission of the Jews to England was spoken of abroad at this time as an accomplished fact. Royalist publicists openly stated that the real aim of the Republicans was ‘to plunder and disarme the City of London – and so sell it in bulk to the Jews, whom they have lately admitted to set up their banks and magazines of Trade amongst us contrary to an Act of Parliament for their Banishment’. It was alleged that the Jews had made an offer for St. Paul’s Cathedral, which they desired to convert into a synagogue. A Marrano at Rouen, asked what he thought of the recent developments, diplomatically replied that he believed that ‘none of his Religion would ever adventure themselves among such bloody traitors as had murdered their own King’, but saw no reason to doubt the reports that were current.


The purchase by Parliament in 1647-8 of a collection of Hebrew books for the Library of the University of Cambridge (Trs. J.H.S.E. viii. 63-77) illustrates the trend of public opinion at the time. (154)


(d) It is probable that Menasseh was influenced by Nicholas’s Apology for the Noble Nation of the Jews, which also appeared in a Spanish edition (London, 1649), and the sentiments of which he sometimes echoes in his book. The reception of this in Puritan circles is illustrated from the Rev. Ralph Josselin’s Diary (ed. E. Hockliffe, Camden Society, 1908), p. 95 (December 10th, 1650): ‘Released from going to Halsted, saw Manasseh ben Israel, on the hope of Israel. Lord, my heart questions not the calling home the nation of the Jewes: thou wilt hasten it in its season, oh my God; oh, thou God of the ends of the whole earth, hasten it, Amen.’ From the entry (p. 113) of December 16th, 1654 (?5) it seems that the diarist’s interest was essentially conversionist: ‘Great rumors of the Jewes being admitted into England; hopes thereby to convert them; the Lord hasten their conversion and keep us from turning.’ (155)



(a) Sasportas Kizur Zizath Nobel Zevi (Odessa, 1867), p. 36 sqq.; S.P.D. 1655-6, pp. 50 (letter from H.O.—presumably Henry Oldenburg), 232; A. Wolf, Correspondence of Spinoza, p. 217; Pepys, Diary, February 19th, 1666. The invitation to New Christians to join the community is based on oral information from the late Lucien Wolf, who derived it from an unpublished Inquisitional denunciation. The curious aftermath, when devotees through­out the world persisted in belief in a False Messiah who had not only failed, but also apostatized, had its echoes in London, where various polemics on the subject were published (Bibl. B.5. 5a, 6, 7). Solomon Ayllon, Rabbi to the community from 1689 to 1700, was heavily tinged with the Sabbataean heresy, this causing serious dissension in the community and hastening his resignation. (M. Caster, History of the Ancient Synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, London, 1901, pp. 22 sqq.; B.M. Records, i. 27-8.) (176)


(b) The Case of the Jews Stated: Wolf, Essays, pp. 112-13. The account-books of Alderman Backwell, the outstanding London goldsmith, with whom the majority of the well-to-do members of the community banked, vividly illustrate the extent of their commercial operations, the turnovers of some amounting to tens of thousands of pounds each half-year. Fernando Mendes da Costa had in 1664 four separate accounts, which give details of many large-scale transactions and numerous items relating to bills of exchange and the import of bullion. Other important names are those of Alfonso Mendes, Joao da Costa, Henrique Alva, and Alfonso Rodrigues—probably the most affluent of all. The financial transactions of the London Jews at this period were, however, completely eclipsed by those of the English goldsmith-bankers. (R. D. Richards, Early History of Banking in England, pp. 27-8.) In the evolution of English banking as such, indeed, the Jews played no part. (193)


(c) Treasury Books, 1690,passim.It seems that this was in the nature of a forced loan: cf. C. Dodsworth’s Proceedings against the exportation of Silver by the Jews (Bibl. B.i. 35): ‘The Earl of Monmouth told the said Mr. Levy; that their Majesties wanted Mony, and that he believed the Jews to be a wealthy people, and could lend them a considerable sum – and that if ever they expected Favour from the present Government, then was the time to deserve it. In reply, Levy (who apparently acted as official agent or ‘solicitor’ for his co-religionists in public affairs: Bibl. B.6. 39) stated that there were only seventeen or eighteen Jews of considerable estate in the country. In the same year six Jews contributed upwards of £3,000 to the loan on the 2s. aid (Treasury Books, ibid.). (193)


(d) The Barbados community had been established by refugees from Brazil c. 1650, this being the first English possession in which Jews were formally authorised to settle (Council Minutes of Barbados [Typescript in P.R.O., London] i. 46; Bibl. A.9. 115-18, 129). Jews are reported to have collaborated in the conquest of Jamaica and had formed an open community there before 1671 (ibid., A.9. 120, &c.). there were small settlements in Nevis and Tobago also by the end of the seventeenth century. Surinam received Jewish settlers from Cayenne c. 1644. When it was attacked by the Dutch in 1668 the Jews rallied to the defence, and several lost their lives in the course of the operations (H.M.C., Portland, iii. 308) subsequently, when the colony was surrendered, the English authorities specifically reserved the right of removing with them to Jamaica those who desired (Pub. Am. J.H.S. vi. 9-23). In New Amsterdam [New York] the settlement formed in 1654 was undisturbed after the English occupation, by which time a community had also been established at Newport, Rhode Island; and there were traces in other parts of the American plantations. Jews came under British rule also at Tangiers in 1662, but were cruelly expelled by Colonel Kirke: cf. G.P., The Present State of Tangiers (London, 1676), 42–51; Pepys, Second diary, October 23rd, 1683; Trs.J.H.S.E.v. 198-201.(194)


(e) This profession received its greatest development during the War of Spanish Succession, at the beginning of which Harley was accused of ruining the English in order to enrich Jews and other foreigners (H.M.C., Portland, viii. 96). During Peterborough’s campaigns in the Peninsula the commissariat was in the hands of Joseph Cortissos, formerly of Amsterdam, claims by whom on the Treasury to the amount of £90,000 were argued interminably before the courts (MSS. in the Jewish Museum, London). John da Costa was one of the three London financiers who provided bills for £300,000 in a single transaction in 1710 to provide for the needs of the army in Flanders (Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 622). But the most important figure by far was Solomon de Medina, formerly of Leghorn, whom William III visited and who was principal contractor to the forces under Marlborough. Like Rothschild a century later, he established a system of expresses, so that his agents were often in the possession of important news before it reached the Ministers of the Crown. In recognition of his services he was knighted, being the first professing English Jew to receive that distinction. He was, however, implicated in the outcry against Marlborough, to whom he paid by way of commission £5,000 annually, ostensibly for Secret Service purposes. Summoned to England for examination before the special commission in 1711, he alleged that he had given the Captain General in the last four years nearly 350,000 guilders for his own use on the bread and various other army contracts, besides providing him with twelve or fourteen wagons. This evidence was partly responsible for Marlborough’s disgrace, and occasioned the epigram:


A Jew and a G-n-l both join’d a Trade,


The Jew was a Baker, the G-n-l sold Bread.


Cf. The Examiner, April 14th, 1712; Bibl. A.7. 85, B.3. 4; Luttrell, Brief Relation,vi. 718; W. S. Churchill, Marlborough, iv (1938), pp. 483, 525-6; S.P.D. 1696, p. 320. Later on, during the continental wars under George II, Abraham Prado, of Twickenham, took a considerable part in the commissariat organization (cf. Roth, Anglo-Jewish Letters, pp. 136-40) : the diary and letter-book of one of his subordinates, David Mendes da Costa, is in the British Museum, MS. Eg. 2227. (194)



(a) This system was extended owing to the common use in Germany, &c., of an animal ‘agnomen’, based upon the similes used in the Blessings of Jacob and of Moses (Genesis xlix and Deuteronomy xxxiii). Naphtali thus became Hart, and Naphtali’s son would use that as his surname; Benjamin was Wolf; Judah was sometimes (through the German Loewe) Levi and so on. Of Hebraic surnames the tribal patronymics Cohen and Levi persisted. Often surnames which were already in use on the Continent were dropped when the bearers came to England: though a few (e.g. Waag or Wagg, Heilbuth, Gompertz, &c.) persisted. But very often more than one surname ran concurrently. Thus Ze’eb Wolf, son of Isaac Margulies of Jungbunilau, was known in the Hambro’ Synagogue as Wolf Prager, but figured to the outside world as ‘Mr. Benjamin Isaac, Jew merchant, of extensive charity’ (Gentlemen’s Magazine, xx.139) (200)


(b) There was a case in 1726 which attracted attention even in the non-Jewish world—that of Jose da Costa Villareal, formerly Comptroller General to the armies of the King of Portugal. In 1726 it came to his ears that his arrest on a charge of Judaizing was imminent. Profiting by the confusion caused by an outbreak of fire at Lisbon, he embarked for England on one of his own ships, together with as much of his property as he could collect and seventeen members of his family. The total value of the fortune which they brought with them was said to exceed £300,000 (Daily Journal, 26. viii. 1726; Trs. J.H.S.E. xiii. 271 sqq.). Another noteworthy case was that of Diego Lopez Pereira (d. 1759), who had farmed the tobacco revenue in Portugal, established branches of his banking house in London and Amsterdam, and after the War of the Spanish Succession followed Charles VI to Vienna to administer the tobacco retie. Immediately on his arrival he declared his allegiance to Judaism, adopting the name of Moses and proving a constant champion for his brothers in faith at an time when persecution threatened. The emperor created him Baron D’Aguilar; Maria Theresa made him a privy councillor; and he was responsible for the rebuilding of the imperial palace at Schonbrunn. Ultimately the Spanish government requested the extradition of this wealthy renegade for trial by the Holy Office. He then settled in London with his fourteen children and his retinue of servants and slaves. His son, Ephraim Lopez Pereira (d.1802), succeeded to his title and his fortune, and became notorious as the miserly proprietor of ‘Starvation Farm’ at Islington. (R.E.J.xcvii. 115 sqq.; Wilson, Wonderful Characters, ii. 92-7.). (200)


(c) For the fullest accounts of the ‘Jew Bill’, see Bibl. A.7. 28, 31a, and 65; Henriques, Jews and English Law, pp. 240-5; and Picciotto, Sketches, chapters ix and x. Other details are added here from British Museum, Add. MSS. 33053, ff. 56, 69; L. Dickins and M. Stanton, An Eighteenth Century Correspondence(London, 1910), pp. 200, 227; H.M.C. viii. App. 2196, and vi. App. 207; H.M.C., Carlisle, p. 207; B.M. Records, i. 41 sqq.; contemporary periodicals; and the pamphlets listed in Bibl. B.1. That the nervousness of the government was not unjustified is shown by the fact that General Oglethorpe, who had supported the Bill, was unseated at the general election, after sitting for Haslemere for thirty-two years without a break (Misc. J.H.S.E. 1. ii–iii). In London, too, the anti-ministerial livery turned against Sir William Calvert for the same reason, in the most excited election in living memory (Maitland, London, ed. Entick, 1756, i. 703-7) (221)


(d) That the repeal of the Naturalization Act was responsible for a wave of conversions among the upper class of the Jewish community, as is generally stated, lacks foundation. These conversions had already been in progress for some time (an outstanding case was that of Moses Mendes, the poet and they continued after 1753 without any perceptible increase in momentum other than what may be ascribed to the growing anglicization. That Samson Gideon’s estrangement from ‘Judaism was because of the failure of the ‘Jew Bill’ is incorrect. Being English-born it did not affect him: he had married outside the Jewish community long before and his children were brought up as Christians; and his quarrel with the Synagogue—not accompanied by conversion—was due not to the failure of the Bill, but took place before its repeal, owing to his disapproval of the steps which had been taken to procure it: see his fetter of September 5th, 1753, in Anglo ­Jewish Letters, pp. 130-2.


The incidental question regarding the legality of landowning by Jews continued to be discussed, notably in a celebrated work of P. C. Webb, writing under the name of’ A Gentleman of Lincoln’s Inn’ (Bibl. B. i. 114) replied to by Joseph Grove (ibid., 120). The legal ability of Jews to hold land in fee remained open to question as late as 1846, though generally admitted and acted upon (Henriques, op. cit., pp. 192-3). (221)




(a) The Great Synagogue was reconstructed in 1766 (when Handel’s music was used at the dedication) and again, drastically, in 1790. The first Hambro’ Synagogue building was dedicated in 1725. In 1761 the so-called ‘New Synagogue’ was established, notwithstanding the opposition of the older congregations. These, with the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue in Bevis Marks, constituted the kernel of London synagogal organization until late in the nineteenth century: all, however, were independent, the most elementary rudiments of co-operative action appearing only at the close of the reign of George III. Apart from these bodies a small congregation was already in existence in Westminster at the beginning of the reign, and probably another in Rosemary Lane near the Tower of London, the nucleus of which went back to 1748. In the last decade of the century two minor congregations, following the Polish variation of the Ashkenazi rite, were founded in the East End. (225)


(b) The Jewish occupations are partially enumerated by M. D. George, London Life in the 18th century (London, 1925), pp. 125-32, and by J Rumney in J.C. Supplement, December 1935. The engraver, Abraham d’Olivera, was registered as silversmith in 1725, and from that date the record is continuous. Clockmakers occur from 1730 (C. E. Atkins, Register of Apprentices, London Clockmakers Company, London, 1931). As early as 1760, a London Jewish milkman is encountered (MS. records of Great Synagogue) and a Jewish wine merchant in fiction earlier still (A Frolic to Horn Fair, 1707). Jewish artists figure from 1720 (D’Olivera, followed in 1727 by David Estevens), and towards the end of the century they excelled in miniature-painting. The father of Hannah Norsa, the actress, kept the Punch-Bowl tavern in Drury Lane, c. 1732. Several printers emerge simultaneously (possibly in consequence of the abolition of some craft-restriction) in 1770. The lay head of the Bristol community in 1786 was the much-appreciated glass-worker, Lazarus Jacobs, who founded a dynasty. (225)


(c) It was naturally to the dealer in second-hand commodities that house­breakers and highwaymen turned to dispose of the proceeds of their crimes. Accordingly, as the century advanced, Jews began to figure as receivers. The abuse was no doubt exaggerated; and the community did its best to dissociate itself from the criminals, the Great Synagogue advertising a reward in 1766 for information which might result in the prosecution of the receivers of stolen goods.


Jews were also found in various borderline professions. They kept many of the sponging-houses, as the eighteenth-century novelists were abundantly aware; Abraham Mendes was the runner responsible for the arrest of Jack Sheppard in 1724; while a Mrs. Levy kept a Fleet Marriage Parlour. The Phrase’Cheap as Jew Bail’, and the figure of ‘Beau Mordecai’ in Hogarth’s Harlot’s Progress and contemporary stage-pieces, suggest other eighteenth-century reproaches. (226)


(d) Cf. the accounts of some of these centres listed in Bibl. A.8. The agreement concerning King’s Lynn is preserved among the archives of the United Synagogue: the early date in this relatively unimportant centre is significant. A group of Italian Jews had been settled in Exeter from c. 1735 (Bibl. B.4. 10-11, B5.9), and there is an account of Jews in Plymouth in A Picture of Plymouth, 1740. Magoliouth, The Jews in Great Britain, vol. iii (1851), dates the foundation of the community of Birmingham in 1720, Liverpool before1750, Canterbury and Ipswich 1730, Falmouth 1740, Dover 1770; but he gives no authority for his statements. Some data regarding the early history of various provincial communities (in most cases stated to be about one hundred years old) may be found in a series of articles in J.C., 1842. The dates given in the text within brackets are those by which there is certain proof of the existence of organized Jewish life. (228)


(e) Emanuel, A Century and a Half, p. 7. Wills of Jewish sailors in the Navy are to be found from 1759. Soldiers can be traced only half a century later; but Jews found in the Honourable Artillery Company – the oldest London volunteer organisation – as early as the reign of Charles II, and the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue sent three persons to serve in the City Train-bands in and after 1684. In the roll of the White Regiment of the City Militia, in 1773, there are twelve Jewish names among a total of 200. At Waterloo, as Wellington admitted in the House of Lords in 1833, fifteen Jewish officers served under him. These were presumably in the Dutch and allied forces, but there were in addition some (e.g. Albert Goldsmid, later Major-General) among the English, though professing Jews could not obtain commissions. (237)



(a) The most recent account is M. F. Modder, The Jew in the Literature of England (Philadelphia, 1939); see also the authorities in Bibl. A.12, and the various works listed ibid. B.I9. Before Cumberland (e.g. in Smollett’s Count Fathom of 1753, the year of the ‘Jew Bill’) the Jew is occasionally depicted in a favourable light, but only as an incidental character. The change of attitude at the close of the century was probably due in some measure to personal intercourse with such persons as the art-patron David Alves Rebello, or Isaac Mocatta, the friend of Landor, as well as with the Jewish authors mentioned above. William Cobbett, writing in 1810 to deplored the fact that on the contemporary stage the part of the moralist and virtuous sage was so often given to a Jew (Political Register, 1818 p. 522). (242)


(b) Bibl. A.10.31-2, B.17. In one of these proto-Zionistic works, An Attempt to remove prejudices concerning the Jewish Nation (London, 1804), the enthusiastic Thomas Witherby pleaded that the sufferings of the Jews were the best evidence of their moral integrity, and that they should be honoured as the benefactors of mankind rather than persecuted on account of their opinions. Equally significant was the plea of the popular novelist who wrote under the name ‘Deborah’: ‘the ardent wish of being in any degree useful to that sacred nation is constantly near to my heart’; while Anselm Bayly, sub-Dean of the Chapel Royal, had declared in words which a generation before would have-been considered preposterous: ‘Jews and Christians should look one another as brethren’ (idem, Vindication of Jews, London 1819). (243)


(c) This was explicitly laid down in a ruling of Lord Brougham in 1833: ‘His Majesty’s subjects professing the Jewish religion are born to all the rights, immunities and privileges of His Majesty’s other subjects, excepting so far as positive enactments of law deprive them of those rights, immunities, and privileges.’


As against the advances mentioned in the text (for which see Henriques, op. cit., pp. 32-3; idem, Jewish Marriages and English Law, pp. 45-9; Picciotto, Sketches, pp. 108, 181-2, 214) is to be reckoned the decision in 1819, in connexion with Harper’s Charity at Bedford, that Jews, though rate-payers, could not claim admission to parish schools. Yet seven years later Lord Chancellor Eldon admitted the abstract right of Jews to vote in the election of a vicar, while refusing it to Roman Catholics. (Henriques, Jews and English Law, pp. 34-48, 247.)


In 1818, a London vestry had admitted proxies in order to enable Jews to record their votes on their holydays (E. N. Tomlinson, History of the Minories, London, 1907, p. 310). (246)


(d) This feeling was accentuated by the fact that the presence in Parliament of persons of Jewish birth was now no longer exceptional. When a baptized member of the Villareal family had tried to become government candidate Nottingham in 1758 his request had been ignominiously rejected (Trs. J.H.S.E. xiii. 285). But in 1802 Sir Manasseh Lopes, (afterwards to be associated with a notorious scandal the unreformed-Parliament) was returned for Romney, remaining a member for one constituency or another for about a quarter of a century; while Ralph Bernal whose father had left the synagogue out of pique, was returned for Lincoln in 1818, and David Ricardo, already famous as a political economist, for Portarlington in the following year. About 1830 Bernal, some of whose family were still contributing members of the synagogue, became Chairman of Committees. At least one half-Jew had preceded these—Pitt’s Jew’, Samson Gideon, the younger (later Lord Eardley)., elected for Cambridge in 1770. The objection to the presence of Jews in the House at this time was thus frankly religious. (249)


(e) In the colonies emancipation proceeded more speedily than in the mother-country. Jamaica had been the most intolerant of British possessions. In the eighteenth century its numerous and prosperous Jewish community had been subjected to special taxation, excluded from public office and even from juries, forbidden to exercise the franchise, and heavily fined by their indignant fellow-residents of the Christian faith when they dared to request it. Civil restrictions went further still, preventing them under fantastically heavy penalties even from having Christians in their employment. But it was not easy to maintain this attitude after toleration had become firmly implanted on the mainland of North America, and in 1831 all Jewish legal disabilities were abolished, Jamaica leading the entire Empire in this respect. In Barbados the process followed rather different lines. Special taxation was abolished in 1761, and political disabilities were removed by an Act of the local government of 1802, confirmed by Parliament in 1820; but for some years to come the Jewish community enjoyed a special status, being entitled to elect five representatives to apportion their share of taxation. In Canada, where Jewish commissary officers had accompanied, and Jewish traders followed, the British conquest, a congregation had been established as early as 1768 at Montreal. In 1808 a Jew, Ezekiel Hartt, was elected to the legislature, but was refused permission to take his seat. In 1831-2, however, a Bill was passed extending the same rights to Jews as to Christians. In the Antipodes, the first community was established at Sydney in 1817, to be followed within a few years by others at Melbourne, Hobart, Auckland, and so on. In this new country the Jews were from the outset on terms of equality with their neighbours (Jacob Montefiore was one of the original commissioners for the colonization of South Australia), and religious discrimination could not very well find a place. The same was the case in South Africa, where scattered Jews had settled even before the British occupation, and a community was organized at Cape Town in 1841. The unquestioned success of the colonial precedent was frequently cited among the arguments for political emancipation at home.


It is curious that, while Jews were excluded from full rights in England, they were permitted to act on behalf of the government abroad: John Jacob Hart was Consul General in Saxony, c. 1836-42. (251)


(f) As if to point the moral, in the same year James Joseph Sylvester had been placed second wrangler in the mathematical tripos at Cambridge, but was unable to graduate owing to the statutory declaration which had to be taken by every person on proceeding to his degree (at Oxford the declaration had to be made on matriculation, Jews being thus excluded from the university from the outset). The University of Edinburgh had, however, graduated a Jewish physician as early as 1779, and in 1836 Trinity College, Dublin, admitted a Jew to a degree for the first time, being the first Anglican university to do so. It was only in 1871 that the University Tests Act threw the universities open to all persons, including Jews, on equal terms.


Addendum. The following medieval Anglo-Jewish settlements may be added to the list on pp. 27-45: Bath,. Bread Street (Glos.), Bridater, Burford, Chesterton, Dunwich, Graham, Hendon, Honiton, Rayleigh, and Sonning.


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