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Anglo-Jewry under Edward I: credit agents and their clients

Robin Mundill

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Anglo-Jewry under Edward I: credit agents and their clients* R. R. MUNDILL 'However careful be the harvest, there is the forgotten sheaf and the aftergrowth, the perquisites of the poor. May they be worthy of the barn to which they are brought!' Thus wrote Herbert Loewe in his introduction to a monumental work - a catalogue of the Jewish documents in the British Museum in March 1930. Loewe also observed that: 'There is always something left for the man who comes after the king.'11 fully acknowledge my debts to many of the kings of Anglo-Jewish history, scholars such as B. Lionel Abrahams, Cecil Roth, Michael Adler and of course Vivian Lipman.21 offer this paper as my personal tribute to Vivian Lipman. It has long been established that one of medieval Anglo-Jewry's principal occupations was that of moneylending. There is much evidence to prove that in the early-thirteenth century Jews had been involved in credit operations which included making loans, mortgaging, granting annuities and pawnbroking. It has frequently and incorrectly been assumed, however, as Dr Lipman noted before this Society in November 1989, that they fell into this role because moneylending and usury were forbidden to Christians.3 The assertion is totally wrong. They were in direct competition with Christian creditors. Many groups within thirteenth-century society were engaged in moneylending transactions of some form or other. These Christian lenders included the Queen Mother, the Queen Consort, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, humble clerks (bound by religious vows), the king's baker and of course merchants both alien and English.4 The way that Christian society lent money was by employing the recognizance.5 Many years ago Professor Postan revealed how thirteenth-century Christian society carried out their lending when he described the recognizance as: 'the formal acknowledgement of the obligation of the debtor before a judicial tribunal. By recognising the obligation before the court the debtor conceded to the creditor in advance the right to proceed with the execution (against the security of his lands, goods and person) as soon as he defaulted.'6 Postan also revealed that Christian society carried out mercantile transactions by use of the usury-free advance-sale credit - what we might call speculating * An earlier version of this paper was presented to the Society on 7 June 1990. 1</page><page sequence="2">R. R. Mundill on futures.7 However, such transactions were of course still debts involving the lending of money. These Christian recognizances are really no different from the Jewish transactions recorded in the archae, or chests in which such documents were kept, up and down the land in late-Edwardian England. The difference is that the Christian recognizance, a distant cousin of the Jewish bond, was not seen as usurious. It was permissible to advance cash for a return in a commodity without incurring allegations of usury. If the transaction involved risk then it was not deemed to be usurious.8 Most repayments in such advance-sale credits were to be made in cereal or wool - both crucial in medieval society. The risks involved, in the cases of such commodities, included drought, murrain, harvest failure and scab.9 After 1275 some Jews began to act as credit agents, making advance-sale credits and recognizances dealing in commodities rather than money. Historians have often tried to explain the Expulsion of 1290 in purely economic terms. Edward I took capital away from the King's Jews by frequent tallage, changed their permitted methods of lending money, and because they no longer made a profit by moneylending, finally expelled them.10 Apart from ignoring the many sociological and religious reasons, the motive for the Expulsion will not be found in purely economic factors, and the change from moneylender to credit agent, which Vivian Lipman dubbed the 'Edwardian experiment' must be given greater attention.11 Edward I, during the early years of his reign, did achieve a major change in Jewish credit operations and it is this transformation of Jewish financial operations which deserves new consideration. Forty years ago, Cecil Roth noted that Edward had tried to assimilate the 'usury-tainted' Jew into Christian society: 'Yet to do him justice the ruler responsible for this, Edward I, in his Statute of the Jewry of 1275, seems to have felt blunderingly and gropingly towards a less drastic attempt to solve the Jewish problem by economic redirection which unfortunately was not accompanied by social readjustment.'12 It has long been accepted that Edward had a Jewish policy which involved economic redirection. The fact that Lipman referred to this redirection as an experiment naturally implies change. It was Edward's Statutum de Judeismo of 1275 which changed the Jew from moneylender into credit agent. The Statute is quite clear about this: 'And the King granteth unto them that they may gain their living by lawful merchandise and their labour; and that they may have intercourse with Christians, in order to carry on lawful trade by selling and buying.'13 The experiment tried to bring Jews into open competition with lawful Christian merchants. To help this new scheme, Edward I issued some royal 2</page><page sequence="3">Anglo-Jewry under Edward I: credit agents and their clients licences for Jews to trade in towns such as Casterton, Caversham, Dorchester, Ipswich, Retford, Rochester, Royston, Southampton, 'S trapes ton' and York.14 However, the Edwardian experiment has been partially misinterpreted. It is claimed that the surviving financial bonds, which show that Christians owed Jews sums of cereal and wool, were in fact camouflaged monetary transactions and that Jews had acted in an underhand way.15 It has often been argued that Edward himself blamed the Jews for not complying with the Statute of 1275 and that this was the chief reason for the Expulsion.16 A closer look at the evidence shows that Edward did not accuse them of making false commodity bonds. In the 1280s he accused them of withholding their bonds from the archae.17 On 5 November 1290, in an official statement after the Expulsion, Edward also accused the Jews of having created a new form of usury.18 If Edward wished to stop Jews from lending money or making transactions of some form, why did he not close down the archae in 1275? After the Statute, Jews were still enrolling their debts with officials who knew what was legal and what was not. Edward did not remove the archa system but left it intact. He had to do so in order to make his experiment work and to try to turn his Jews from usurers into merchants and finally to bring them into line with accepted Christian business practices. Contemporary Jews realized the intention behind the change and even complained about such economic redirection. The Jewish community petitioned the king, to whom they pointed out that they would not be able to compete with Christian merchants because Jews had to buy at dearer prices and could not manage to sell dearer. They also claimed that despite continued royal protection, Christian merchants could take their goods far and wide, but that if Jews took their merchandise out of the archa towns they might be robbed.19 Yet, despite their complaints and fears, their bonds changed dramatically from transactions which demanded pure monetary repayment to those which demanded payment in commodities. This change is easily demonstrated. Before 1275, all Jewish bonds had to be made in front of a Jewish and a Christian archa official who received payment for drawing up the contract.20 There were archae in many of the major towns of Edwardian England, although, due to restrictions imposed by the Statute of 1275, Jewish residence was restricted to approximately twenty-one towns.21 The actual making of bonds after 1275 was still scrupulously regulated by officials. The surviving scrutinies and lists of bonds, deposited in the archae in 1290 and recorded after the Expulsion, enable the full effect of the Edwardian experiment to be seen.22 However, the Statute of 1275 was not the only part of this experiment. Edward issued or prepared further legislation in the 1280s with the Chapitle 3</page><page sequence="4">R. R. Mundill Tuchaunz Le Gewerie, or Articles Touching the Jewry.23 In these new laws he once again allowed moneylending and even set the rate of interest that Jewish creditors could charge. This Jewish legislation coincided with new legislation for Christian merchants, which concerned the making of Christian recognizances. The Statute of Merchants, of 1283, was an attempt to reorganize Christian commerce. In this legislation the king set up a system which was clearly modelled on the methods which had been used by Jews for over half a century - the arcfta-system. Christians were now required to enrol their transactions before scribes, to have them sealed by mayors of various towns and to deposit them in chests. It is an irony that from 1283, Christians were now to have an archa system of their own.24 The impact of Edward's Jewish experiment must be examined in greater detail. Before 1275 most repayments to Jewish creditors were to be made in cash. Exceptions were noted in some bonds, which stipulated cash payments accompanied by small amounts of commodities. Such commodity payments were probably for the personal consumption of the creditor. Often the payments are commodities such as small amounts of cereal, firewood, geese, a cart load of hay, a robe with a hood, and in one case a cask of cider.25 This situation changed dramatically after the Statute of 1275, but some of the clientele and the creditors seemed to have been happy with the new requirements concerning trading, and business continued, but using commodity repayments rather than cash. It is easy to detect the changes in the surviving transactions that the Jewish community left behind them seven-hundred years ago. B. Lionel Abrahams published lists of the surviving transactions but did not, at that time, concern himself with the debtors, the amount of transactions owing to each Jew, or the precise date the bonds were made.26 Information from approximately half the archa towns has survived and remains accessible.27 New legislation made a dramatic change in the nature of Jewish bonds. This change can easily be observed on a national level. In 1290, the 376 bonds which had been deposited in the old chests at Devizes, Exeter and Hereford, and which ranged in date from 1237 to 1276, all demanded monetary repayment, while the bonds deposited in the new chests, contracted in the main after the Statute of the Jewry in 1275, demanded more varied forms of repayment. These bonds ranged in date from 1268 to 1290, and numbered some 730. They were deposited in archae at Bristol, Cambridge, Canterbury, Devizes, Exeter, Hereford, Lincoln, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford and Winchester. Of 730 bonds in the New Chests 157 were for repayment in money, 58 were tallies demanding monetary 4</page><page sequence="5">Anglo-Jewry under Edward I: credit agents and their clients repayment, 9 demanded repayment in a mixture of money and commodities, 2 were for money and annual gifts of a flying-hawk and a beast of the chase to the creditor, but 173 demanded repayment in wool, and 331 demanded repayment in cereal.28 Thus a major change towards bonding for commodities is easily discernable on a national level. The changes that the experiment brought about are also easily illustrated by reference to the bonds in the surviving archae. If the surviving pre-1275 bonds in the local archae are examined, it is clear that they almost all stipulate repayments to be made in cash.29 After the Statute, the bonds in the archae show a clear swing towards payments in terms of commodities. The vast majority of these commodity bonds were made in the 1280s.30 From the evidence of these unpaid bonds it seems that some Jews had managed to change from pure moneylender to commodity broker and that business was on the increase. It appears that the Edwardian experiment had worked. Little more than the numerical amount of bonds which stipulated commodity repayments can be gleaned from an examination of the surviving transactions in the archae of England. But the evidence clearly shows that the Jewish creditors of different towns preferred different commodities. It seems more than just coincidence that Lincoln should have such a predominance of wool bonds and that these should also appear in the Oxford and Hereford archae. All three towns were situated in good wool country, whereas in Canterbury, a major centre of good agricultural and arable land, the cereal bond predominated.31 Such bonds represent lawful merchandise achieved by 'buying and selling' and using the advance-sale credit, which was widely accepted by Christian society and not considered to be usurious. Some Jews therefore successfully adapted to the Edwardian experiment and could not be said, in 1290, to have been expelled for lacking economic significance. Indeed it seems that some financial magnates were actually increasing their business and were proving successful on what would now be called the 'futures market.' This change from moneylender to credit agent has fuelled much discussion about the nature of Jewish transactions after 1275. It is necessary to examine the interpretation of the change on a national level. Lipman and Elman doubted the validity of these commodity transactions.32 They argued that Jews were unable to compete with legal merchants, that the prices stipulated in the bonds were always quoted in suspiciously round figures and that they rarely varied. They claimed that Jews had become clandestine moneylenders who cunningly camouflaged their real activity in the guise of sale credits - this they claimed was also a motive behind the Expulsion.33 Abrahams alone recognized the transactions as genuine,34 and it can now be established that they are genuine commodity bonds.35 5</page><page sequence="6">R. R. Mundill The fact that the prices did not vary is a common trait of advance-sale credits - these are expected prices or future prices, just the same as the round figures used in Christian advance-sale credits. The fact that in other surviving bonds it is clearly stipulated that deliveries are to be made to the houses of certain Jews is further evidence.36 The fact that pure moneylending was allowed again by the Chapitles (issued sometime in the 1280s) and that the bonds were always enrolled by Christian and Jewish officials made clandestine usury by camouflaged commodity bonds both impossible and unlikely.37 Despite the fact that a lot of evidence of the bonding practices of Jewish creditors and their clients has survived in the post-Statute period, there is a definite lack of post-1275 bonds. The historian is condemned to working from the brief scribal extracts that contain nothing more than the name of the debtor, the name of the creditor, the amount and the date that the bond was made.38 This clearly causes many problems. It was indeed one of the factors that made Lipman suspicious of the commodity bonds - because as he observed there was a lack of detail recorded on them.39 Only one additional fragment of information is contained in the 1106 extracts of surviving bonds enrolled after the Expulsion in 1291. Details of a Canterbury bond made in 1281 reveal for the first time the amount received by the debtor in advance. According to that bond, Bartholomew of Pymesdene owed Popelina, a Jewess, 14 quarters of wheat - 'for 6 marks already received in her hand'. Unusually, in this case, the price per quarter of the cereal that Bartholomew is to return to Popelina is not stipulated in the extract.40 Using D. L. Farmer's figures for cereal prices in the thirteenth century, the price per quarter of wheat would have been something like 6s 3??d, and therefore the wheat owed would probably have had a face value somewhere in the region of ?4 7s 9fed on the open market.41 Popelina had paid ?4 0s Od in advance for the wheat and may well have been looking for her profit in the 7s %d by which the cereal would appreciate in the coming months. Thus, in this contract it can be seen that the expected price level for the commodity might include an element suggesting that it represents a realistic appreciation by Popelina of what she had to achieve in order to be successful in the cereal markets. It also suggests that the profit margin on commodity bonds probably lay in the appreciation of the commodity between the date of contract and the repayment date, in this case the harvest. It is all the more important to consider the few post-Statute bonds which do survive and which give full details of the agreements made between creditor and debtor. Records of at least three such transactions have survived: a Hereford bond made in 1275, the year of Edward's 6</page><page sequence="7">Anglo-Jewry under Edward I: credit agents and their clients Statute of the Jewry; a scribal extract of a Hereford bond and the official recognizance pertaining to the same transaction made in 1283; and a Nottingham bond made in 1286. The two actual bonds are of great interest because they are the only surviving commodity bonds. In 1981 the Hereford Record Office acquired the papers of Thomas Phillipps of Middle Hill. Among these papers a post-Statute Jewish bond was discovered. It is fairly well preserved and has part of the seal still attached (see Plate 1). The bond records a transaction made in 1275 between John de la Hethe of the parish of Laysters and Josce the son of Manas ser. John de la Hethe promised to pay Josce fil Manasser, a Jew of Hereford, 60 quarters of 'good, dry and winnowed corn' or half a mark of silver (6s 8d) for each soam. The cereal was to be delivered to the Jew or his attorney at his house in Hereford at Michaelmas, 29 September 1275. The fuller details on this bond demonstrate that John, as with a legal usury-free Christian recognizance, pledged his goods and moveables as security, and also made provision for allowing himself to be distrained, or have his goods taken, in case he defaulted on the debt. The document was sealed and was witnessed officially by the sheriff of Herefordshire and the bailiffs of Hereford. It seems unlikely that these witnesses would allow any camouflaged clandestine illegal usury. This bond clearly demonstrates that all Jewish bonds may very well have had the sort of details which Lipman had found lacking in the normal scribal extracts from which most previous historians have worked.42 This type of detail is also illustrated by reference to another Hereford transaction. In the list of scribal extracts of bonds in the Hereford archa in 1290, it was recorded that Peter de Grenham, a Devonshire knight, owed Isaac Le Eveske of London 8 sacks of wool priced at 6s 8d a sack. The bond was dated 15 July 1283 and was made at Shrewsbury, despite the fact that it was deposited in the Hereford archa*3 Details of the same transaction are also recorded on the Plea Roll of the Exchequer of the Jews which was then sitting at Shrewsbury 44 It was common practice to enrol recognizances on any legal document that the two parties could persuade scribes or officials to list it on, as extra protection in case the debt was not paid.45 It made collection of the outstanding debt slightly easier; as Postan has observed, it was in effect a judgement in case of non-payment.46 This particular recognizance was recorded on the Jewish Plea Roll and is entered under the subheading 'Devonshire'. It records that Peter de Grenham came in front of the Justices of the Jews at Shrewsbury and made his recognizance. The entry is detailed, and in essence is very similar to a Christian recognizance. 7</page><page sequence="8">R. R. Mundill i v - . 'J. t?'fv&gt; Plate 1. Bond between Josce fll Manasser, Jew of Hereford, and John de la Hethe of the Parish of Laysters -1275. (Hereford and Worcester County Record Office MS AH81 /34.) Because of this entry which acts as a double check on the transaction, and because the recognizance was made in front of the officials of the Exchequer of the Jews, there can be no reason to doubt the bond's legality. The information on the Plea Roll even helps clarify a mistake in the scribal extract, because wool was never sold in medieval England for as little as half a mark or 6s 8d a sack.47 From the actual recognizance it becomes clear that Peter de Grenham owed 8 sacks of wool priced at ?613s 4d or 10 marks per sack. The wool was owed to Isaac Le Eveske of London. Half the amount was to be repaid on 13 January 1284 and the other half on 9 April of that year. As security, Peter's lands in Devonshire were to be at risk. The entry also records that a third part of the debt was owed to Josce fil Manasser, a Hereford Jew. Clearly this is the same Josce whose cereal bond has already been discussed in detail above and who, from other evidence, was also involved in other commodity contracts made in Hereford during the 1280s. The connection with Josce fil Manasser probably explains why this bond was deposited in the Hereford archa.** The debtor, Peter de Grenham, can be identified. He held land in the 8</page><page sequence="9">Anglo-Jewry under Edward I: credit agents and their clients parish of Halberton in Devon in 1282, and had had dealings with Jacob Copyn, an Exeter Jew, which had involved the manor of Oburnford some time before 1284. He had borrowed money from a Christian moneylender by making a recognizance in 1285, and in December of the same year he granted the manor of Oburnford to Sir Adam de Cretting.49 In the case of this transaction, both parties to the agreement can be identified. The example not only provides a link between a bond registered in an archa and an official recognizance recorded on the Jewish Plea Roll at Shrewsbury, but also demonstrates once again that the scribal extracts made in 1291 after the Expulsion, which have until now been the major evidence for conclusions about the Edwardian experiment, do not record all the details of each transaction. When, as is the case with Peter de Grenham's recognizance, the details of the actual transaction can be found elsewhere, these details clearly indicate that such transactions did genuinely involve commodities. The list of unpaid bonds remaining due to the Jews of Nottingham in 1291 recorded an extract of another bond. According to the scribe responsible for listing the extant Nottingham bonds, Hugh the Palmer of Costock in the County of Nottinghamshire owed Hagin fil Bateman 40 quarters of wheat priced at 5s Od a quarter, by an obligation made on the Sunday after the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in the fourteenth year of the reign of King Edward.50 The bond giving more details of this transaction has also survived (see Plate 2). The full details show that Hugh the Palmer of Costock, Nottinghamshire, admits that he is bound to Hagin the son of Bateman, a Jew of Nottingham, for 40 quarters of wheat 'well dried to the touch and according to good worldly fashion' and 'which I have sold to the aforesaid Jew for a fixed price'. Hugh is to repay the wheat 'well measured or for each quarter five shillings per quarter'. The debt was to be paid 'to the Jew or his proper attorney at the house of the Jew on 11 November 1286'. If Hugh failed to pay, he bound himself and his heirs and all his lands, goods and chattels wherever, and officially allowed himself to be distrained by the sheriff, the constable or the bailiffs of Nottingham. He renounced all other sworn oaths and placed his seal to the agreement on the Sunday after the Assumption of the Virgin Mary 1286. The document was witnessed by three named witnesses and others.51 There seems little reason to doubt that these three transactions are genuine advance-sale credits and, as such, very similar to the recognizances used by Christian merchants. It has now been established that after 1275 some Jews were acting as credit agents, advancing money on commodities, and therefore that some Jewish financiers at least can be seen 9</page><page sequence="10">R. R. Mundill Plate 2. Bond between Hagin fil Bateman, Jew of Nottingham, and Hugh the Palmer of Costock -1286. (Public Record Office C/146/1360.) to be following the Statute of 1275 and to have engaged in lawful merchandise by buying and selling, and by speculating on futures. The study of the Jews' clients also strengthens the case for the reality of the commodity bond. If the clients were essentially rural then they would have had access to such commodities as wool and cereal and might even have preferred to pay in such commodities rather than specie. Elman, Cohen and Lipman have all established that the clients of the Jews were mostly rural.52 Lassman, who wrote an unpublished history of the Nottingham Jewry, made the following observation when he considered the clients of the Nottingham Jews: 'From the way in which the debtors are found grouped together in districts it is very clear that the country districts had been regularly travelled over in search of clients.'53 He too noted the geographical spread of the debtors. There is little doubt that while the Jewish creditors were restricted to living in archa towns, their clients were essentially rural rather than urban. This geographical factor made it easy for some Jewish creditors to follow the letter of the Statute of 1275 and to become 'lawful merchants', for they were to continue working similar networks of clients. Because their existing clients lived in the rural hinterland they could offer them credit facilities by using the advance sale credits, and could conduct such business without the stigma of usury and in a form which Christian society allowed. 10</page><page sequence="11">Anglo-Jewry under Edward I: credit agents and their clients It is, however, not known how the Jews managed to cope with the quantities of commodities that they now received instead of their cash repayments.54 The disposal of the commodities must have been dealt with locally: even when they relate to minor Christian wool merchants and cornmongers, records of such dealings and of the methods used to dispose of the commodities involved are rare. Only bonds, or certificates of Statute Staple, and recognizances have survived.55 The method of handling such large commodity repayments will never be known because it never involved written transactions, but was merely an exchange of cash. In order to strengthen the thesis that Jews acted as credit agents, it is important to try to analyse the great catalogue of debtors that their individual businesses left behind. Such an analysis is a monumental and complicated task. The names of the debtors from the extant bonds recorded in 1291 give details of over a thousand Christian debtors.56 Positive identification of debtors is only possible through random survival of other records. It is certain only that the Jews' clients came from rural areas. It can also be established that they must have had land or some form of security, and that they were probably in a position where it was easier for them to use commodities such as cereal or wool to repay their debts. It is important to try to identify some of the clients and to ascertain if they were involved in the land or the rural economy.57 The transactions in the Devizes archae prove the success of the Edwardian experiment and the switch in Jewish interests from money to commodities. The Old Chest contained bonds stipulating monetary repayments, but the New Chest, which dates from 1282, has a predominance of commodity bonds. Of the Jewish debtors in the Devizes area, as with other debtors, relatively little can be gleaned. Twenty-three clients of the Devizes Jews can be identified as still owing bonds, ranging in date from 1257 to 1275, which were deposited in the Old Chest.58 Of these only one, a William Laddok of Heytesbury, who had two bonds made in the late 1250s, can be positively identified. From other local records it is clear that William Laddok had lands in Heytesbury and was fairly influential there. He witnessed several deeds connected with local lands and also transferred a fair amount of his own land, including some fields. He had also sold a burgage in Heytesbury.59 It is thus proved that Laddok had connections with the village of Heytesbury, some 13 miles southwest of Devizes. This William Laddok was the type of man who lived outside the archa town, who was connected with the fields and who might have been able to make repayments in either cash or commodity. Of the debtors identified as having bonds in the Devizes New Chest only two can be positively identified. A Robert Kaynel de Yetton owed 11</page><page sequence="12">R. R. Mundill Solomon fil Simon of Devizes 25 quarters of wheat by a bond made in 1286. The extract reveals no more.60 From local records it can be found that in 1327 a William Kaynel held lands in Yatton. It seems more than probable that he was related in some way to Robert Kaynel of Yatton, who was the client of Solomon fil Simon.61 In the church at Yatton Keynell in Wiltshire (some 13% miles northwest of Devizes) is a rather faded list of patrons, on which it is recorded that Robert Kaynel was the patron of the church from 1265 onwards. Clearly the Kaynel family were influential in the area. The second identifiable Jewish client is a William fil Randulph de Stokes de Bubbe Clyne qui manet iuxta domum William Quntyn in eadem villam, who owed Colette the daughter of Solomon of Devizes 30 quarters of wheat priced at half a mark per quarter, by a bond which had been made as late as October 1290.62 'William, the son of Randulph of Stokes of Bubbe Clyne,who lives next to the house of William Quntyn in the same village' can be identified by a chance reference to a Quntyn family who held lands in Bubbeclyve in 1285. Bubbeclyve or Bubbe Clyne is identified with the lost village of Bupton, Tk miles north of Devizes, between Clevancy and Hilmarton in Wiltshire. This identification can be strengthened by the fact that in 1306 a William de Stokes of Bupton was influential in the area and effectively transferred a messuage in Marlborough for ?13 6s 8d.63 William, the son of Randolph de Stoke of Bupton, who lived next door to the Quntyns in Bupton over seven centuries ago, was clearly a villager. The village in which he lived is now deserted, but today the land is still largely agricultural. In nearby Cricklade, in Wiltshire, a father and son, Lumbard and Bonefey of Cricklade, who were later based in Oxford, carried on a credit agency which spanned the last fifty years of Jewish presence in this country.64 One of Lumbard of Cricklade's debtors was a Thomas Bacun of Chisingbury. It can easily be confirmed that a Bacun family were still in Chisingbury in 1307 when Adam Bacun granted Henry de Folye of Chesingbury the right to feed 100 sheep in Chesingbury (he also granted three other individuals the rights to 24 acres, 1 rood of land and 3 acres of meadow for feeding 9 oxen and 45 sheep in Rusteshale). In 1312, Adam Bacun granted his son, John and his wife Ellen, the right to 1 messuage, 3 virgates, 2 acres of meadow, 20 acres of feeding and feeding for 15 oxen, 73 sheep and 9 pigs in Uphavene, Chisingbury and Rusteshale in return for one rose to be given on 24 June every year. Clearly the Bacun family were rural and could give a security on land.65 One of Bonefey of Cricklade's debtors, Nicholas Baddebir of Cricklade, can also be identified. Nicholas owed Bonefey 3 sacks of wool by a bond made in 1284. In 1303, Nicholas' daughter, Alice, transferred 1 messuage and 20 acres of land and 14 acres of 12</page><page sequence="13">Anglo-Jewry under Edward I: credit agents and their clients meadow in Cricklade and Great Cheleworth to Walter son of Richard Costard. Again the Baddebir family had the lands on which sheep could graze, and had rural connections.66 The Jews of Exeter also dealt with rural clients. Of 143 debtors who had bonds in the Exeter Old Chest, again only a handful can be identified.67 In October 1255 John Comyn transferred one ploughland in Exbridge to the Abbey of St Augustine Bristol. By 1274 he was borrowing from Amite, a Jewess of Exeter.68 In 1256 Randulph of Dodescombleigh, in a transaction made with his father, was granted one ploughland in Compton Pole in Marldon, and Li via ton Peverel in Ilsington, in return for ?6 Os Od. By 1275 Randulph was in debt for ?5 Od Od to Jacob Crispin of Exeter.69 Both these debtors had connections with agricultural lands. However the Exeter Jews also had debtors who were urban. One such debtor, John Hamelin, a goldsmith, can be identified. In 1262 Agnes Hamelin, who had married John Upexe, transferred a messuage in Exeter, which was 'aforetime John Hamelin her father's', to William Poynz for ?3 6s 8d. By 1275 her brother John Hamelin junior was in debt to Amite of Exeter for ?11 Os Od.70 A rural vicar also appears to have been indebted to Amite of Exeter. In August 1275 John Quynel, rector of the church at 'Sokebrook', owed her ?3 Os Od. Interestingly, the same John Quynel also had reason to go to Exeter because he had a tenement, which he had inherited from his father, in the High Street there.71 Thus, even a rural vicar from Shobrooke, some 7 miles northeast of Exeter, had cause to use Jewish credit. Of the 44 debtors who had bonds in the New Chest at Exeter, only one can be identified. In 1281 Jacob de Mohun entered into a transaction of land with a John le Newton, which gave him full control of a broken-down mill in South Milton some 34 miles southwest of Exeter. By October 1286 he owed Abraham of Exeter 20 quarters of wheat worth ?6 13s 4d.72 Perhaps the mill needed finance for upkeep, or James' milling business needed an injection of capital. Whatever the case, James dealt with cereal and obviously could give security on it. A greater in-depth study of the debtors to the Jewish credit agents in Canterbury, Hereford and Lincoln reveals very little of the social status or occupation of the clients. Between 1261 and 1290 over 675 debtors have been identified, and of these only approximately 14 per cent have any description of social status on the extract of their bonds. There are 22 knights, 12 clerks, 1 vicar, 2 rectors, 1 parson, 1 goldsmith, 3 tailors, 4 smiths, 2 beadles, 2 chaplains, 16 women, 3 lords of the manor, 18 members of knightly families, 1 mercer, 4 farriers, 1 forester, 1 bailiff, 1 crossbowman, and 1 quilter. What of the other 86 per cent of the clients? Nearly all can be identified as having come from the rural areas around 13</page><page sequence="14">R. R. Mundil! the archae towns, some from as far away as 24 miles from them. However, the majority came from within 12 miles. Debtors such as these, from the rural hinterland and the countryside, would surely have been in a good position after 1275 to transfer from monetary repayments to commodity repayments.73 Evidence from Lincolnshire illustrates the rural nature of the debtors of the Jews. Some early-Edwardian bonds, once deposited in the Lincoln archa, help to show the geographical spread of the debtors who were to repay money before the Statute of 1275. The spread is wide and the debtors are mainly rural. Their geographical locations clearly emphasize that they would have been in a position to make commodity payments after 1275.74 In contrast, a larger sample of bonds left in the Lincoln archa in 1290, made after the Statute, shows a greater geographical spread of debtors who owed commodities.75 In this sample of debtors the majority of those who owe cereal bonds come from the northern part of Kesteven and the southwestern part of Lindsey. In medieval times North Kesteven was studded with small villages built on the good sandy loam which was excellent for crops or pasture.76 Other cereal debtors came from the Lincoln 'Low Fields' and the foot of the Lincolnshire wolds - to this day good crop producing areas.77 The debtors who owed wool bonds came from different areas: to the south of Kesteven just west of the fens; to the east of Grantham in the slightly higher 'clay country' and again on the fen margin; from the hillier countryside on the Lincoln edge; and from around Louth on the Lincoln wolds itself.78 In the Middle Ages Lincolnshire wool was an important staple and these were all major areas of wool production.79 Lincolnshire debtors and their transactions prove the validity of the commodity bonds in other ways. An examination of just one knightly family reveals indebtedness to Jews. Richard Foliot of Yorkshire owed Benedict of London, a Jew who often transacted business in Lincoln, ?40 0s Od in 1271, and Richard's son, Jordan Foliot, also owed Benedict ?10 0s Od in the same year. Both transactions were made before the Statute of 1275, presumably in Lincoln, the northern base of Benedict of London, and naturally stipulated cash payments.80 The Foliot family had many other dealings with Jews. But Jordan Foliot in particular was a man who seems to have been more in debt than out of it. Other sources reveal that in 1275 Jordan owed money to a Christian, Roger de Evesham, and as security used his lands in Norfolk. He had further dealings with Benedict of London and with another Christian clerk. 14</page><page sequence="15">Anglo-Jewry under Edward I: credit agents and their clients River Ouse_ ^\ ^ V \ (?x^^^v\ Barton \ \v \ ( Scawby \^ ^^Northorpc j|! ^^^\ ^Morton rj \ U \3 ?Normanby \ Blyth ^ \ ? ^ Lissington \ E AST RETFORD \ ? ? . \ -Rampton. \ Hackth?m S*ni8?&lt; \ I LINCOLN *\ \ \^ Endcrby. E,?sby / ??j?e Ucopwick \ yJ ^oU^xarCT/ Leadenham ? / Wrangle ? /jjorpc / / y / I *Rauceby \ / _/ / Kelby \. / NOTTINGHAM / ? ' \^-J / Great Ponton '/ V / \ 4 8 12 16 20 / \ STAMFORD nyles nyles nyles nyles nyte ?I__j_ Fig. 1 The geographical spread of Jewish debtors in Lincolnshire, 1270-6. 15</page><page sequence="16">R. R. Mundill Fig. 2 The geographical spread of Jewish debtors in Lincolnshire, 1278-90. 16</page><page sequence="17">Anglo-Jewry under Edward I: credit agents and their clients In 1277 he made a recognizance (enrolled on the Plea Roll of the Exchequer of the Jews) with Manser fil Aaron and promised to deliver 4 sacks of wool bone, munde et pacabilis de pondere antique to the Jew's house in London. Jordan made other commodity bonds with Jewish credit agents. In 1277 he had a recognizance enrolled in partnership with his relatives Richard and William Foliot, by which he promised to pay the London Jew, Aaron fil Vives, 20 sacks of wool. In 1278 he owed Aaron Crespin, another London Jew, 5 sacks of wool. In the same year he promised to pay Benedict of London a further ?20 0s Od. He made a very unusual transaction in September 1279, which was deposited in the Lincoln archa. The scribal extract of the bond has survived and is more informative than most. Jordan joined with Adam of Newmarket, another knight and beneficiary of Jewish creditors, in a transaction made with Manser of Bradworth, by which they promised delivery of 240 quarters of assorted cereals. They were to repay 80 quarters of wheat priced at 6s 8d a quarter, 80 quarters of barley priced at 5s Od, and 80 quarters of oats priced at 2s Od a quarter.81 It is clear that it suited a man like Jordan Foliot to make repayments in either money or commodities. We have seen that clients of Jews were in a position to promise payment in commodities. After the Statute of 1275 they would be able to find outlets for their cereal and wool in return for cash advances. The traditional explanation for the Expulsion of 1290 (because of financial exhaustion and insignificance) must now be revised. The evidence from their unpaid bonds shows that some Jewish financiers were prosperous and that others were successful credit agents using usury-free advance-sale credits and recognizances. Perhaps their success took business away from other local cereal and wool brokers. Possibly the final Expulsion was a form of Christian protectionism. Edward was, after all, voted a massive subsidy after the Expulsion by his subjects.82 It seems that after a period of depression immediately following the Statute of the Jewry of 1275, Jews in certain communities found ways indicated to them by the Statute to maintain their economic and social standing. Such an achievement is all the more impressive when viewed against the background of the other sorts of pressures placed on Jews in Edward Ts reign. Under that king, the community suffered allegations of ritual murder, of host-desecration and coin-clipping; it was subject to the persecutions and hangings of 1278-9 which yielded in excess of ?10,000; it was prey to amercements and to tallages, culminating in that of 1287-8 the largest tallage for fifty years, which yielded in excess of fSOOO.83 Against such a background, it is a measure of their business acumen that certain Jews remained important credit agents right up to the year of the 17</page><page sequence="18">R. R. Mundill Expulsion. Some became lawful merchants acting in non-usurious fashion. The 'Edwardian experiment' was partially successful. After 1275, and throughout the 1280s, there is little difference between Jewish financial transactions and those of Christian merchants. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am grateful not only to the historians whose works have appeared in previous volumes of Transactions of this society, but also to many archivists and librarians up and down the country, at the Public Record Office, the Westminster Abbey Muniments, the Devonshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Wiltshire Record Offices, the Exeter Cathedral Muniments and the Library of the University of St Andrews. In particular, research for this paper was made possible by a generous grant from the Twenty-Seven Foundation of the University of London in 1988-9. I am also grateful for permission to publish the two illustrations of documents. The Hereford bond appears by courtesy of the Hereford and Worcester County Record Office. The Nottingham bond, from the Public Record Office, appears by kind permission of the Keeper of Public Records. NOTES 1 H. Loewe (ed.) Starrs and Jewish Charters in the British Museum II (London 1932) xii. 2 His works on medieval Jewry include: 'The Roth "Hake" manuscript' in J. M. Shaftesley (ed.) Remember the Days - Essays in Honour of Cecil Roth (London 1966) 49-71; The Jews of Medieval Norwich (London 1967); 'The anatomy of medieval Anglo-Jewry' Trans JHSE XXI (1968) 65-77; 'The jurisdiction of the Tower authorities outside the walls' in J. Charlton (ed.) The Tower of London: Its Buildings and Institutions (London 1978) 144-52; 'Jews and Castles in medieval England1 Trans JHSE XXVIII (1984) 1-19. 3 As noted by Dr Lipman at a meeting of the Society on 16 November 1989. See also J. Parkes, A History of the Jewish People (London 1962) 76; D. M. Stenton, English Society in the Middle Ages (4th edition, London 1972) 194; H. P. Palmer, The bad abbot of Evesham and other medieval studies (Oxford 1932) 47-62; Lady Magnus, Outlines of Jewish History (2nd impression, London 1963) 92-3. 4 R. R. Mundill, 'The Jews in England 1272-1290' (unpublished PhD thesis, University of St Andrews 1987) 134-45. 5 R. B. Pugh, 'Some medieval moneylenders' Speculum XLIII (1968) 274-89; L. H. Butler, 'Archbishop Melton, his neighbours and his kinsmen 1317-1340* Journal of Ecclesiastical History III (1952) 54-67. 6 M. M. Postan, 'Private financial instruments in medieval England* Vierteljahrschrift fuer Sozial und Wirtschaftsgeschichte XXIII (1930) 36. 7 M. M. Postan, 'Credit in medieval trade* Economic History Review (hereafter EcHR) I (1927) 238-44. 8 J. Parkes, The Jew in the Medieval Community (London 1938) 275-6, 293; Parkes cites G. Coulton, 'An Episode in Canon Law* History VI (1921) 67-76. 9 T. H. Lloyd, 'The movement of wool prices in medieval England* EcHR Supplement VI (1973) 13-15; D. L. Farmer, 'Some grain-price movements in thirteenth 18</page><page sequence="19">Anglo-Jewry under Edward I: credit agents and their clients century England' EcHR X (1957) 207-20. 10 P. Elman, 'Jewish finance in thirteenth-century England with special reference to royal taxation* (MA thesis, University of London 1936); P. Elman, 'The economic causes of the Expulsion of the Jews in 1290' EcHR VII (1938) 145-54; S. A. Singer, 'Expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290* JQR LV (1964) 117-36; B. D. Ovrut, 'Edward I and the Expulsion of the Jews* JQR LXVII (1977) 227. 11 V. D. Lipman, The Jews of Medieval Norwich (JHSE, London 1967) 162-85. 12 C. Roth, England in Jewish History (The Lucien Wolf Memorial Lecture, London 1949) 4. 13 Statutes of the Realm I (London 1810) 221. 14 Calendar of Close Rolls 1272-1279 (London 1900) 259,260,362,370,382,385,389, 577. Calendar of Patent Rolls 1272-1281 (London 1893) 212,215,253. 15 P. Elman, 'Jewish trade in thirteenth-century England' Historia Judaica I (1939) 104; P. Elman, 'The economic causes of the Expulsion of the Jews in 1290' EcHR VII (1938) 148; V. D. Lipman, 'The anatomy of Medieval Anglo-Jewry' Trans JHSE XXI (1968) 72-3. 16 Lipman (see n. 11) 163. 17 J. M. Rigg (ed.) Select Pleas Starrs and other Records from the Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews 1220-1284, Seiden Society XV (London 1902) lvii. 18 J. M. Rigg (ed.) (see n. 17) xli; H. P. Stokes, 'Extracts from the Close Rolls 1289 1368' Mise JHSE I (1925) xi. 19 Public Record Office (hereafter PRO) PRO SC/8/54/2655. The letter is also printed in G. O. Sayles (ed.) Select cases in the court of the King's bench under Edward J, Seiden Society LVIII (London 1939) cxiv. 20 K. Scott, 'The Jewish archae' Cambridge Law Journal X (1950) 446-55. 21 Mundill (see n.4) 12 and (Map). 22 PRO E/101 /250/2 - E/101 /250/12. 23 B. L. Abrahams, 'The debts and houses of the Jews of Hereford in 1290' Trans JHSE I (1894) 140. Lipman (see n.ll) 163; C Roth, History of the Jews in England (3rd ed. Oxford 1978) 275. 24 Statutes of the Realm I (London 1810) 53, 54,100 (for the 1285 re-enactment); L. F. Salzman, English Trade in the Middle Ages (Oxford 1931) 101-3; T. F. T. Plucknett, Legislation of Edward I (Oxford 1949) 139-48; J. Rabinowitz, Jewish Law (New York 1956) 257-63. 25 Westminster Abbey Muniments (hereafter WAM) Nos 9158, 9123,9124, 9127, 9170; PRO E/101/249/4, E/101/250/5, E/101/249/10, E/210/157; H. Jenkinson (ed.) Calendar of the Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews Preserved in the Public Record Office Edward 1 1275-1277 III (JHSE London 1929) 230-8; M. D. Davis, 'The Medieval Jews of Lincoln' Archaeological Journal XXXVIII (1881) 192. 26 B. L. Abrahams, 'Condition of the Jews of England at the time of their Expulsion in 1290' Trans JHSE II (1896) 76-105. 27 PROE/101/250/2-E/101/250/12. 28 PRO E/101/250/2 - E/101/250/12; Mundill (see n.4) 109-15,279. 29 PRO E/101/250/11, E/101/250/2, E/101/250/5. 30 The date-range of bonds in what appear to be Novae archae are as follows: Bristol Cambridge Canterbury Devizes Exeter Hereford Lincoln Norwich Nottingham Oxford Winchester 1284-1287 1268-1286 1280-1290 1282- 1290 1284-1290 1283- 1290 1278-1290 1280- 1290 1284- 1290 1274-1290 1281- 1290 PROE/101/250/4 PROE/101/250/3 PROE/101/250/6 PRO E/101/250/11 PRO E/101/250/2 PRO E/101/250/5 PRO E/101/250/12 PROE/101/250/7 PROE/101/250/8 PROE/101/250/9 PROE/101/250/10 Although the Jews were banished from Cambridge in 1275 a few commodity bonds were deposited in the archa which must have been there until 1290. The Oxford archa contains a pre-Statute bond. The contents of three Veteres archae were also recorded as follows: Devizes 1257-1275 PRO E/101/250/11 Exeter 1237-1275 PRO E/101/250/2 Hereford 1259-1276 PRO E/101 /250/5 The total number of bonds included in the 1290 scrutinies was 1106, of which only 28 do not bear the date of contract. There are two bonds which have been duplicated by the scribe on the Canterbury list. 31 PRO, E/101/250/5, E/101/250/6, 19</page><page sequence="20">R. R. Mundill E/101 /250/9 and E/101/250/12. 32 P. Elman, 'Jewish trade in thirteenth-century England* Historia Judaica I (1939) 104; P. Elman, 'The economic causes of the Expulsion of the Jews in 1290' EcHR VII (1938) 148; V. D. Lipman,* The Anatomy of Medieval Anglo-Jewry* Trans JHSE XXI (1968) 72-3; J. M. Rigg, 'Jews of England in the Thirteenth Century' JQR XV (1903) 17-19. 33 P. Elman (see n. 32) 97; Lipman (see n.ll) 164-8. 34 B. L. Abrahams,'The Expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290' JQR VII (1894) 250. 35 Mundill (see n. 4) 176-94. 36 J. M. Rigg (ed.) (see n. 17) 94; see also notes 42,51 and 81 below. 37 J. M. Rigg (ed.) (see n. 17) lvii. 38 PRO, E/101/250/2 to E/101/250/12. 39 Lipman (see n. 11) 167. 40 PRO E/101/250/6. 41 D. L. Farmer, 'Some grain-price movements in thirteenth-century England' EcHR X (1957) 212. 42 Hereford and Worcester County Record Office, MS. AH81 /34. 43 PRO E/101/250/5. 44 PRO E/9/43 membrane 64. 45 Mundill (see n.4) 133; W. R. Childs, Anglo-Castilian Trade in the later Middle Ages (Manchester 1978) 16; R. B. Pugh, 'Some medieval moneylenders' Speculum XLIII (1968) 274-5; L. H. Butler, 'Archbishop Melton, his neighbours and his kinsmen 1317 1340' Journal of Ecclesiastical History III (1952) 57-8. 46 M. M. Postan (see n.6) 36. 47 T. H. Lloyd (see n.9) 38. 48 PRO E/9/43 membrane 64; E/101/250/5. 49 C. Moor, Knights of Edward I, Harleian Society LXXXI (London 1929) 143; Calendar of Close Rolls 1279-1288 (London 1903) 181-2,351. 50 PRO E/101/250/8. 51 PROC/146/1360. 52 S. Cohen, 'The Oxford Jewry in the thirteenth century'Trans JHSE XIII (1932) 306-7; P. Elman, 'The economic causes of the Expulsion of the Jews in 1290' EcHR VII (1938) 145-54; H. P. Stokes, Studies in Anglo Jewish History (Edinburgh 1913) Appendices IV, V, VI; P. Elman, 'Jewish finance in thirteenth-century England with special reference to royal taxation* (MA thesis, University of London 1936) 112-13, 140-7; Lipman (see n. 11) 93-4. 53 Nottingham Record Office, M24/182 188: the Lassman papers. A. Lassman was the secretary of the Nottingham Hebrew Community between 1907 and 1944 when he died at the age of eighty. 54 P. Elman (see n.32) 148; T. H. Uoyd (see n.9) 5-8; N. S. B. Gras, The evolution of the English corn market from the twelfth to the eighteenth century (Cambridge Mass. 1926) 165-6,180-1. 55 Surviving Christian recognizances and certificates of Statute Staple for Edward's reign can be found in the PRO. They run from C/241/1 to C/241/54. 56 PRO E/101/250/2 - E/101 /250/12. 57 Mundill (see n.4) 314-16. 58 PRO E/101/250/11. 59 Wiltshire Record Office (hereafter WRO) 490/1491,490/1492,132/1. 60 PRO E/101/250/11. 61 E. A. Fry (ed.) Wiltshire Inquisitions Post Mortem, British Record Society XXXVII (London 1908) 448-9. 62 PRO E/101/250/11. 63 E. A. Fry (ed.) (see n. 61) 152-3, 181; R. B. Pugh (ed.) Abstracts of Feet of Fines relating to Wiltshire for the reigns of Edward I and Edward II (Devizes 1939) 24. 64 R. R. Mundill, 4Lumbard and Son - the businesses and debtors of two Jewish moneylenders in late-thirteenth-century England' (forthcoming). 65 PRO E/101/249/32; R. B. Pugh (ed.) (seen. 63) 60,81. 66 PRO E/101/250/9; E. A. Fry (ed.) (see n.61) 38-40; R. B. Pugh (ed.) (see n. 63) 48. 67 PRO E/101/250/2. 68 PRO E/101/250/2; O. J. Reichel (ed.) Devonshire Feet of Fines 1196-1272 I (Exeter 1912) 286-7. 69 PRO E/101/250/2; O. J. Reichel (ed.) (see n. 68) 389. 70 PRO E/101/250/2; O. J. Reichel (ed.) (see n. 68) 340. 71 PRO E/101/250/2; Exeter Cathedral Archives, Medieval Deeds MS.52. 72 PRO E/101/250/2; O. J. Reichel (ed.) (see n. 68) 23-4. 73 Mundill (see n.4) 308-53, 405-9 and Appendices. 74 WAM Numbers: 9014,9027, 9032, 9054,9087,9092,9093,9094,9095,9097,9098, 20</page><page sequence="21">Anglo-Jewry under Edward I: credit agents and their clients 9100,9117,9130,9131,9132,9135,9137,9140, 9142,9143,9144,9145,9146,9147,9148,9150 9160,9161,9162,9163,9164,9165,9167,9168, 9169,9170. Mundill (see n. 4) Appendix VII. 75 PRO E/101/250/12; Mundill (see n. 4) Appendices VIII-XI. 76 H. E. Hallam, Rural England 1066 1348 (Glasgow 1981) 40-2, 53; M. Lloyd, Portrait of Lincolnshire (London 1983) 39-43. 77 M. Lloyd (see n. 76) 63-5,191-3. 78 H. E. Hallam (see n.76) 40-2. 79 E. Power, The wool trade in English medieval history (Oxford 1941) 22-3; M. L. Ryder, 'British medieval sheep and their wool types' Council for British Archaeology Research Report XL (1981) 16-29. 80 PRO E/9/44; C. Roth,'Rabbi Berechiah of Nicole' Journal of Jewish Studies I (1948) 67-81. 81 Calendar of the Close Rolls (London 1900) 248; Calendar of Patent Rolls 1281-1292 (London 1893) 324; H. Jenkinson (ed.) (see n. 25) 65, 294; H. G. Richardson (ed.) Calendar of the Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews preserved in the Public Record Office and the British Museum IV (JHSE London, 1972) 120; S. Cohen (ed.) 'Plea Roll of the Exchequer of the Jews Michaelmas 1277 - Hilary 1279* (PhD thesis.University of London 1951) 63, 308, 397; PRO E/101/250/12 and E/9/44; Mundill (see n. 4) Appendices IX, X, XI; C. Moor (see n. 49) 77. 82 B. L. Abrahams, 'The Expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290* JQR VII (1894) 448-9; M. Prestwich Edward I (London 1988) 343-6,569. 83 Z. E. Rokeah, 'Some accounts of condemned Jews* property in the Pipe and Chancellor *s Rolls* Bulletin of the Institute of Jewish Studies I (1973) 21-5; PRO E/401 /1584 and E/401 /1585. 21</page></plain_text>