JCR-UK


Jewish Communities prior to 1290 in South West England

Created: 22 April 2005
Latest revision: 14 December 2011

 

CORNWALL

There were no known Jewish communities in Cornwall during this period.

DEVON

DORSET

  • Dorchester

 



GLOUCESTERSHIRE

SOMERSET

  • Bath

  • Bridgwater

  • Ilchester

  • Wells


WILTSHIRE

Counties referred to above are not necessarily the counties in which the towns are now located, but are the historic shires (or counties) in which the relevant towns were situated prior to the reorganization of local government in 1974.  Although in many cases they are the counties in which the towns were situated during the medieval period, this is not necessarily the case.

Notes
1
Appearing in capital letters. Towns with archae (official registers of Jewish financial transactions, created after 1194).
5 Towns from which Jews were expelled in 1290. 
6 Towns from which Jews had been excluded prior to 1290.

 


Cornwall

Articles on the Medieval Cornwall

Jewish Encyclopedia article on Cornwall by Joseph Jacobs, c-1906.


Devon

Exeter

One of the twenty-six centres to have an archa.

Chronology of Events

1181 – First evidence of Jews living in Exeter.

1281 – Synod in Exeter forbids Jews from holding public office.

1290 - Jewish community expelled.

Articles on the Medieval Exeter Community

Jewish Encyclopedia article on Exeter by Joseph Jacobs, c-1906.

Bibliography

Modern Exeter Community  


Gloucestershire

Bristol

One of the six principal towns of medieval England and possibly one of the original centres to have an archa.

Chronology of Events

1154 – A Jewish community is known to have already existed in Bristol at this time.

1183 – Accusation of “Ritual Killing”, the fourth such incident in England of this false allegation, is made against a number of Jews of Bristol.

1210 – Abraham of Bristol, initially refuses to pay a levy of 10,000 marks demanded by King John, but eventually relents, after seven of his teeth are extracted – one every day.

c.1216 – Right of Jews to live in Bristol expressly confirmed during early part if reign of Henry III.

1290 - Jewish community expelled.

Synagogues Information

The ancient synagogue was in Small street, on the site upon which St. Giles's Church was built.

Cemetery Information

There was a Jewish Cemetery in Bristol in use from some time after 1177.

Articles on the Medieval Bristol Community

Jewish Encyclopedia article on Bristol by Joseph Jacobs and Francis L. Cohen, c-1906.


Jewish Residents of Bristol prior to 1290

Jewish Property and Heritage & Places of Local Interest

Bibliography

Modern Bristol Community  


Gloucester

Possibly one of the original centres to have an archa.  Roth’s "A History of the Jews in England" also specifically refers to a settlement in Bread Street, Gloucester.

Chronology of Events

1154 – Beginning of reign of King Henry II.  The existence of a Jewish community in Gloucester is noted in official Treasury records.

1168 – Accusation of “Ritual Killing”, the second such incident in England of this false allegation (the first was in Norwich in 1144), is made against a number of Jews of Gloucester, who had assembled to celebrate the brit milah (circumcision) of a child in the family of a prominent member of the community, and who were accused of torturing and murdering a Christian child named Harold.

1194 – One of the five most important Jewish communities in England, sending between 20 and 40 contributors to the Northampton Donum, summoned to decide how to raise the levy imposed upon the Jews to pay the ransom for the release of King Richard I.

c.1216 – Right of Jews to live in Gloucester expressly confirmed during early part if reign of Henry III.

1275 - Most of the Jews of the town were deported to Bristol

Synagogues Information

The ancient synagogue was on the north side East Gate street.

Articles on the Medieval Gloucester Community

Jewish Encyclopedia article on Gloucester by Joseph Jacobs and Mayer Davis, c-1906.

Bibliography

Gloucester Modern Jewish Community


Wiltshire

Devizes

One of the twenty-six centres to have an archa.

1154-89 –Jewish community in Devizes believed to have started during reign of King Henry II.

1290 - Jewish community expelled.


Wilton

One of the twenty-six centres to have an archa.

1250 – Jewish community of Wlton imprisoned en masse to secure payment of latest levy on the Jews.

1290 - Jewish community expelled.


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List of Medieval
(Pre-1290)
 Communities
(arranged according to
community
)

List of Medieval
(Pre-1290)
 Communities  
(arranged according to
county
)

List of Regions
(Medieval Period)
Historical Background Glossary

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Researched, compiled and formatted for JCR-UK by David Shulman

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