The Edict of Expulsion was a royal decree issued by King Edward I of England on 18 July 1290, expelling all Jews from the Kingdom of England. The expulsion edict remained in force for the rest of the Middle Ages. The edict was not an isolated incident, but the culmination of over 200 years of increased persecution. The edict was overturned during the Protectorate more than 350 years later, when Oliver Cromwell permitted Jews to return to England in 1657. King Edward I advised Sheriffs of all Counties he wanted all Jews expelled by no later than All Saints' Day (1st November) of the year the decree was issued.
The first Jewish communities of significant size came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066. After the conquest of England, William instituted a feudal system in the country, whereby all estates formally belonged to the Crown; the king then appointed lords over these vast estates, but they were subject to duties and obligations (financial and military) to the king. Under the lords were other subjects such as serfs, who were bound and obliged to their lords, and to their lords' obligations. Merchants had a special status in the system, as did Jews. Jews were declared to be direct subjects of the king, unlike the rest of the population. This was an ambivalent legal position for the Jewish population, in that they were not tied to any particular lord but were subject to the whims of the king, it could be either advantageous or disadvantageous. Every successive king formally reviewed a royal charter, granting Jews the right to remain in England. Jews did not enjoy any of the guarantees of the Magna Carta of 1215.
Economically, Jews played a key role in the country. The Church then strictly forbade the lending of money for profit, creating a vacuum in the economy of Europe that Jews filled because of extreme discrimination in every other economic area. Canon law was not considered applicable to Jews, and Judaism does not forbid loans with interest between Jews and non-Jews. Taking advantage of their unique status as his direct subjects, the King could appropriate Jewish assets in the form of taxation. He levied heavy taxes on Jews at will, without having to summon Parliament.
The reputation of Jews as extortionate money-lenders arose, which made them extremely unpopular with both the Church and the general public. While an anti-Jewish attitude was widespread in Europe, medieval England was particularly anti-Jewish. An image of the Jew as a diabolical figure who hated Christ started to become widespread, and myths such as the tale of the Wandering Jew and allegations of ritual murders originated and spread throughout England as well as in Scotland and Wales.
In frequent cases of blood libel, Jews were said to hunt for children to murder before Passover so that they could use their blood to make the unleavened matzah. Anti-Jewish attitudes sparked numerous riots in which many Jews were murdered, most notably in 1190, when over 100 Jews were massacred in York.
The situation only got worse for Jews as the 13th century progressed. In 1218, Henry III of England proclaimed the Edict of the Badge requiring Jews to wear a marking badge. Taxation grew increasingly intense. Between 1219–1272, 49 levies were imposed on Jews for a total of 200,000 marks, a vast sum of money. Henry III imposed greater segregation and reinforced the wearing of badges in the 1253 Statute of Jewry. He endorsed the myth of Jewish child murders. Meanwhile, his court and major Barons bought Jewish debts with the intention of securing lands of lesser nobles through defaults. The Second Barons' War in the 1260s brought a series of pogroms aimed at destroying the evidence of these debts and Jewish communities in major towns, including London, where 500 Jews died, Worcester, Canterbury and many other towns.
In the duchy of Gascony in 1287, King Edward ordered the local Jews expelled. All their property was seized by the crown and all outstanding debts payable to Jews were transferred to the King's name. By the time he returned to England in 1289, King Edward was deeply in debt. The next summer he summoned his knights to impose a steep tax. To make the tax more palatable, Edward, in exchange, essentially offered to expel all Jews. The heavy tax was passed, and three days later, on 18 July, the Edict of Expulsion was issued.
One official reason for the expulsion was that Jews had declined to follow the Statute of Jewry and continued to practice usury. This is quite likely, as it would have been extremely hard for many Jews to take up the "respectable" occupations demanded by the Statute. The edict of expulsion was widely popular and met with little resistance, and the expulsion was quickly carried out.
The Jewish population in England at the time was relatively small, perhaps 2,000 people, although estimates vary. The expulsion process appears to have been relatively non-violent, although there were some accounts to the contrary. One perhaps apocryphal story told of a captain taking a ship full of Jews to the Thames, en route to France, while the tide was low, and convincing them to go out for a walk with him. He then lost them and made it back to his ship quickly before the tide came back in, leaving them all to drown.
Between the expulsion of Jews in 1290 and their formal return in 1655, there are records of Jews in the Domus Conversorum up to 1551 and even later. An attempt was made to obtain a revocation of the edict of expulsion as early as 1310, but in vain. Notwithstanding, a certain number of Jews appeared to have returned; for complaints were made to the king in 1376 that some of those trading as Lombards were actually Jews.
Occasionally permits were given to individuals to visit England, as in the case of Dr Elias Sabot (an eminent physician from Bologna summoned to attend Henry IV) in 1410, but it was not until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1497 that any considerable number of Sephardic Jews found refuge in England. In 1542 many were arrested on the suspicion of being Jews, and throughout the sixteenth century a number of persons named Lopez, possibly all of the same family, took refuge in England, the best known of them being Rodrigo López, physician to Queen Elizabeth I, and who is said by some commentators to have been the inspiration for Shylock.
England also saw converts like Immanuel Tremellius and Philip Ferdinand. Jewish visitors included Joachim Gaunse, who introduced new methods of mining into England and there are records of visits from Jews called Alonzo de Herrera and Simon Palache in 1614. The writings of John Weemes in the 1630s provided a positive view of the resettlement of Jews in England, effected in 1657.
Events from the year 1290 in Ireland.Alhambra Decree
The Alhambra Decree (also known as the Edict of Expulsion; Spanish: Decreto de la Alhambra, Edicto de Granada) was an edict issued on 31 March 1492, by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain (Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon) ordering the expulsion of practicing Jews from the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon and its territories and possessions by 31 July of that year. The primary purpose was to eliminate their influence on Spain's large converso population and ensure they did not revert to Judaism. Over half of Spain's Jews had converted as a result of the religious persecution and pogroms which occurred in 1391. Due to continuing attacks around 50,000 more had converted by 1415. A further number of those remaining chose to convert to avoid expulsion. As a result of the Alhambra decree and persecution in prior years, over 200,000 Jews converted to Catholicism and between 40,000 and 100,000 were expelled, an indeterminate number returning to Spain in the years following the expulsion.:17The edict was formally and symbolically revoked on 16 December 1968, following the Second Vatican Council. This was a full century after Jews had been openly practicing their religion in Spain and synagogues were once more legal places of worship under Spain's Laws of Religious Freedom.
In 1924, the regime of Primo de Rivera granted Spanish citizenship to the entire Sephardic Jewish diaspora. In 2014, the government of Spain passed a law allowing dual citizenship to Jewish descendants who apply, to "compensate for shameful events in the country's past." Thus, Sephardi Jews who can prove they are the descendants of those Jews expelled from Spain because of the Alhambra Decree can "become Spaniards without leaving home or giving up their present nationality."Converso
A converso (Spanish: [komˈbeɾso]; Portuguese: [kõˈvɛɾsu]; feminine form conversa), "a convert", (from Latin conversvs, meaning 'converted, turned around') was a Jew who converted to Roman Catholicism in Spain or Portugal, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries, or one of their descendants.
The majority of Spain's Jews converted to Christianity as a result of the pogroms in 1391. Those who remained openly practising Jews were expelled by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella in the Alhambra decree in 1492, following the Christian Reconquista (reconquest) of Spain. However, even a significant proportion of these remaining practising Jews chose to join the already large converso community rather than face exile. In order to safe-guard the Old Christian population and make sure that converso "New Christians" were true to their new faith, the Holy Office of the Inquisition was established in Spain in 1481.Conversos who did not fully or genuinely embrace Catholicism, but continued to practise Judaism in secrecy were referred to as judaizantes ("Judaizers") and pejoratively as marranos ("swine").
New Christian converts of Muslim origin were known as moriscos. Unlike marranos, moriscos were subject to an edict of expulsion even after their conversion to Catholicism, which was implemented severely in the eastern region of Valencia and less so in other parts of Spain.
Conversos played an important role in the 1520-1521 Revolt of the Comuneros, a popular uprising and civil war centered in the region of Castile against the imperial pretensions of the Spanish monarchy.Count Leopold Anton von Firmian
Leopold Anton Eleutherius Freiherr von Firmian (11 March 1679 – 22 October 1744) was Bishop of Lavant 1718–24, Bishop of Seckau 1724–27 and Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg from 1727 until his death.Edict
An edict is a decree or announcement of a law, often associated with monarchism, but it can be under any official authority. Synonyms include dictum and pronouncement.
Edict derives from the Latin edictum. In the late 15th century the spelling was edycte and known as meaning a "proclamation having the force of law".Expulsion of Chileans from Bolivia and Peru in 1879
The Expulsion of Chileans from Bolivia and Peru in 1879 was ordered by of the governments of Bolivia (on 1 March 1879) and Peru (on 15 April 1879). The expulsion took place at the beginning of the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) between Chile and an alliance between Peru and Bolivia. Chilean citizens (about 30,000 to 40,000 in number) in both nations were ordered to leave within eight days or face internment and confiscation of their property. They were expunged on poorly-built rafts and pontoons at Peruvian ports, or forced to wander through the desert to reach the northernmost positions occupied by the Chilean Army in Antofagasta. The edict of expulsion was widely popular in Peru and met with little resistance, allowing the expulsion to occur quickly.Hagin ben Moses
Hagin ben Moses or Hagin filus Mossy (transliteration from Hebrew, Hayyim ben Moshe) was Presbyter Judaeorum or chief rabbi of the Jews of England and agent of Richard of Cornwall. He appears to have been the chirographer of the Jews of London, and obtained great wealth, but he lost it under Edward I. In 1255 he was appointed presbyter on the expulsion of Elias from that office. It seems probable that he was a brother of Elias (Tovey, "Anglia Judaica," p. 58). During the riots preceding the battle of Lewes in 1264 he fled to the Continent. His wife, Antera, and his son, Aaron, seem to have held possession of the only remaining synagogue in London at the time of the Edict of Expulsion in 1290.History of the Jews in England
The history of the Jews in England goes back to the reign of William the Conqueror. The first written record of Jewish settlement in England dates from 1070. The Jewish settlement continued until King Edward I's Edict of Expulsion in 1290.
After the expulsion, there was no Jewish community, apart from individuals who practised Judaism secretly, until the rule of Oliver Cromwell. While Cromwell never officially readmitted Jews to the Commonwealth of England, a small colony of Sephardic Jews living in London was identified in 1656 and allowed to remain.
The Jewish Naturalisation Act of 1753, an attempt to legalise the Jewish presence in England ["Scotland was under the jurisdiction of the Jew Bill, enacted in 1753, but repealed the next year"], remained in force for only a few months. Historians commonly date Jewish Emancipation to either 1829 or 1858, though Benjamin Disraeli, born Jewish but converted to Anglicanism, had been elected twice as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1868 and in 1874. At the insistence of Irish leader Daniel O'Connell, in 1846 the British law "De Judaismo", which prescribed a special dress for Jews, was repealed. Due to the lack of anti-Jewish violence in Britain in the 19th century, it acquired a reputation for religious tolerance and attracted significant immigration from Eastern Europe. In the 1930s and 1940s, some European Jews fled to England to escape the Nazis.
Jews faced anti-Semitism and stereotypes in Britain, and anti-Semitism "in most cases went along with Germanophobia" to the extent that Jews were equated with Germans in the early 20th century, despite the English themselves being a Germanic ethnic group. This led many Ashkenazi Jewish families to Anglicise their often German-sounding names.Jews in Britain now number around 275,000, with almost all (over 260,000) of these in England, which contains the second largest Jewish population in Europe (behind France) and the fifth largest Jewish community worldwide. The majority of the Jews in England live in and around London, with almost 160,000 Jews in London alone, and a further 20,800 just in Hertfordshire, mostly in Southwestern Hertfordshire. The next most significant population is in Greater Manchester, a community of slightly more than 25,000, primarily in Bury (10,360), Salford (7,920), Manchester proper (2,725) and Trafford (2,490). There are also significant communities in Leeds (6,760), Gateshead (3,000), Brighton (2,730), Liverpool (2,330), Birmingham (2,150) and Southend (2,080) . Towns and villages in Hertfordshire with large absolute populations include Bushey (4,500), Borehamwood (3,900), and Radlett (2,300). It is generally believed that Jews are undercounted in censuses due to a disinclination on the parts of some community members to reveal their ethnoreligious background and practise, so these numbers may be low estimates.History of the Marranos in England
The History of Marranos in England consists of the Marranos' contribution and achievement in England.Influences on the standing of the Jews in England
Around the start of the 19th century, various factors led to a more positive image of the Jews in England. As the century went on, Jews of German origin acquired greater social status. Despite powerful opposition, there was a gradual move towards religious toleration and full civil rights for the Jews.Jacob ben Judah of London
Jacob ben Judah Hazzan was a 13th-century Jewish legal codifier based in London, England. His grandfather was one Jacob he-Aruk (possibly Jacob le Long). In 1287 Jacob wrote Etz Chaim a ritual code in two parts, containing 646 sections respectively, dealing with the whole sphere of Halakah, and following in large measure Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah, though Jacob utilized also the Halakot Gedolot, the Siddur of Amram Gaon, and the works of Moses of Coucy, Alfasi and the tosafists. He quotes, furthermore, Isaac ben Abraham, Moses of London and Berechiah de Nicole (Lincoln). Some verses by him are also extant.
The Etz Chaim still exists in a manuscript which formerly belonged to Johann Christoph Wagenseil and is now in the Rathsbibliothek in Leipzig. The work is of interest as the chief literary production of an English Jew before the Edict of Expulsion of 1290, and gives an account of the ritual followed by the Jews of England at that date.Jewish Naturalisation Act 1753
The Jewish Naturalisation Act 1753 was an Act of Parliament (26 Geo. 2, c. 26) of the Parliament of Great Britain, which received royal assent on 7 July 1753 but was repealed in 1754 (27 Geo 2, c. 1) due to widespread opposition to its provisions.During the Jacobite rising of 1745, the Jews had shown particular loyalty to the government. Their chief financier, Sampson Gideon, had strengthened the stock market, and several of the younger members had volunteered in the corps raised to defend London. Possibly as a reward, Henry Pelham in 1753 brought in the Jew Bill of 1753, which allowed Jews to become naturalised by application to Parliament. It passed the Lords without much opposition, but on being brought down to the House of Commons, the Tories made protest against what they deemed an "abandonment of Christianity." The Whigs, however, persisted in carrying out at least one part of their general policy of religious toleration, and the bill was passed and received royal assent (26 Geo. II., cap. 26). The public reacted with an enormous outburst of antisemitism, and the Bill was repealed in the next sitting of Parliament, in 1754.Jews in Wales
The history of the Jews in Wales begins in the Middle Ages. In the 13th century, shortly after the English conquest of Wales, Edward I issued the 1290 Edict of Expulsion expelling the Jews from England. Except for one exceptional record, between 1290 and the formal return of the Jews to England in 1655, there is no official trace of Jews on Welsh soil.
Major Jewish settlement in Wales dates from the 19th century, although there are also records of Jewish communities in the 18th century.List of British Jewish nobility and gentry
The British title system consists of two, sometimes overlapping entities, the peerage and the gentry. The peerage is a legal system of largely hereditary titles which is constituted by the ranks of British nobility. Under this system, only the senior family member bears a substantive title (duke, marquess, earl, viscount, baron). The gentry are untitled members of the upper classes, however, exceptions include baronets, knights, Scottish barons and Lairds.
The history of the Jews in Britain goes back to the reign of William I. The first written record of Jewish settlement in England dates from 1070, although Jews may have lived there since Roman times. The Jewish presence continued until King Edward I's Edict of Expulsion in 1290. After the expulsion, there was no Jewish community, apart from individuals who practised Judaism secretly, until the rule of Oliver Cromwell. While Cromwell never officially readmitted Jews to Britain, a small colony of Sephardic Jews living in London, was identified in 1656 and allowed to remain. The Jewish Naturalisation Act of 1753, an attempt to legalise the Jewish presence in Britain, remained in force for only a few months. Historians commonly date Jewish Emancipation to either 1829 or 1858 when Jews were finally allowed to sit in Parliament. The first Jewish knight was Sir Solomon de Medina, knighted in 1700, with no further Jews being knighted until 1837, when Queen Victoria knighted Moses Haim Montefiore; four years later, Isaac Lyon Goldsmid was made a baronet, the first Jew to receive a hereditary title. In 1885 Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild, became the first Jew to receive an hereditary peerage.Old Synagogue (Canterbury)
The Old Synagogue in Canterbury is considered to be the best example of an Egyptian Revival synagogue. The earliest record of a Jewish community in Canterbury dates from 1160. The community is known to have been prosperous and to have traded in corn (grain) and wool as well as banking. Despite pogroms in 1261 and 1264, the community flourished until the Edict of Expulsion, given by Edward I of England in 1290. Its presence is commemorated in the street name, Jewry Lane.
A modern Jewish Community is known to have existed in Canterbury by 1720. The present building was designed by Canterbury architect, a Christian gentleman named Hezekiah Marshall, and constructed in 1846–48 to replace a 1763 building torn down to make place for the new railroad built by the South Eastern Railway Company. The cornerstone was laid by Sir Moses Montefiore in September 1847. A pair of columns with lotus capitals flank the doorway of the simple building, 40' by 27' by 30' high. The building is made of Portland cement, which gives the appearance of granite. There is a central bimah, the columns of which boast lotus-leaf capitals, and a women's balcony supported by Egyptian-style obelisks. The mikveh was described as "a miniature brick-faced temple set in the garden behind the synagogue". It is the only Egyptian Revival mikveh known to exist. The site is known to have been a hospice of the Knights Templar in medieval times.The Old Synagogue now serves only occasionally for Jewish services of worship, led by the Jewish Society at the University of Kent and Chabad Lubavitch of Sussex and South East Coast Universities. Since 1947 The Old Synagogue was no longer used for prayer. The first Shabbat service with a minyan and the reading of the Torah took place in 2011. The service was held by Iury London and Yitzhak Marrache of the Kent Jewish Society and Rabbi Zalman Lewis of Chabad. It is maintained and used as a recital hall by The King's School, Canterbury.Although several synagogues and churches were built in the Egyptian revival style in the early nineteenth century, only a few are known to survive, they include the Hobart Synagogue in Tasmania the Downtown Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee and the First Presbyterian Church (Sag Harbor), New York.Presbyter Judaeorum
The Presbyter Judaeorum was the chief official of the Jews of England prior to the Edict of Expulsion. The office appears to have been for life, though in two or three instances the incumbent either resigned or was dismissed. Prynne, in his "Demurrer" (ii. 62), argues that the Presbyter Judaeorum was merely a secular officer in the Exchequer of the Jews to keep the rolls of control, whereas Tovey ("Anglia-Judaica," pp. 53-63) argues that the use of "sacerdos" and "pontifex" as synonymous of the office shows its ecclesiastical character. There were only six of them between 1199 and 1290, the first known being Jacob of London, appointed in 1199; the next were Josce of London (1217–1237), Aaron of York (1237), Elias le Evesque (1237), Hagin fil Mosse (1257), and Hagin fil Deulacres (1281; appointed by the favour of Eleanor of Provence; "Rymer Toedera," i. 591).
In the grant of Elias le Evesque the justices of the Jews were ordered not to issue any summons without the confirmation of the said Elias, from which it appears that the presbyter acted somewhat as a baron of the Jewish Exchequer; and it was distinctly stated that Hagin fil Mosse had been sworn into the Jewish Exchequer to look after the administration of justice on behalf of the king and to explain the king's laws. It is thus probable that the presbyter was a successor of the Jewish justices, of whom two are mentioned toward the end of the twelfth century.Salzburger emigrants
The Salzburger Emigrants were a group of German-speaking Protestant refugees from the Catholic Archbishopric of Salzburg (now in present-day Austria) that immigrated to the Georgia Colony in 1734 to escape religious persecution. This group was expelled from their homeland by Count Leopold Anton von Firmian (1679-1744), Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. On October 31, 1731, he issued an Edict of Expulsion demanding from the Salzburg Protestants to recant their faith. Pastor Samuel Urlsperger, the leader of the Society for Promotion of Christian Knowledge, called upon King George II of England for help. The Lutheran King offered them refuge in his Georgia colony, which later became the town of Ebenezer.Statute of the Jewry
The Statute of the Jewry (Statutum de Judaismo, 1275) was a statute issued by Edward I of England in 1275. It placed a number of restrictions on Jews of England, most notably outlawing the practice of usury.Whitehall Conference
The Whitehall Conference was a gathering of prominent English merchants, clergymen, and lawyers convened by Oliver Cromwell for the purpose of debating whether Jews should be readmitted to England. The conference lasted from 4 to 18 December 1655.
While Cromwell himself was in favour of Jewish resettlement, the participants ultimately broke down into three groups.
The London merchants opposed resettlement due to fears of economic competition, while the clergymen were not in favour on religious grounds.
The second group, consisting mainly of Cromwell's officials and military figures, backed readmission with certain precautions built in. They were in favour of giving Jews a probationary period during which they could be expelled if they misbehaved. They were expected not to blaspheme Christ or attempt to convert Christians.
The third group consisted of the Millenarians and Sabbatarians, both of whom broke down into radical and more conservative wings. The conservative wing of this faction supported readmission with clauses built in that would make it possible for Jews to be thrown out if things did not go as planned. The radical wing argued that it was England's divine duty to readmit Jews, or else face God's wrath. Most members of this third faction hoped to convert Jews to Christianity upon their arrival in England, thereby hastening the second coming and the advent of the messianic age.
While the conference failed to reach a definitive conclusion as to whether Jewish readmission should be carried out, it was significant for clarifying that resettlement was legally permissible. Most prominent legal scholars agreed that "there is no law against their (the Jews) coming". This was correct, as Jews had been expelled from England by the Edict of Expulsion in 1290 on the basis of a royal decree, not on the basis of parliamentary legislation. This finding would prove crucial to the eventual readmission of Jews in the 1660s.