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David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester: glimpses into a Jewish family in thirteenth-century England

Reva Berman-Brown and Sean McCartney

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Jewish Historical Studies, volume 39, 2004 David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester: glimpses into a Jewish family in thirteenth-century England REVA BERMAN BROWN and SEAN McCARTNEY This paper concerns the activities of a thirteenth-century Jewish married couple, David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester, and traces their descendants through three generations, to Licoricia's nine grandchildren.1 The story is told chronologically, interweaving the themes of acceptance in and exclusion from the wider community, demography, mobility, marriage, divorce, education, employment, property and inheritance as the narrative progresses. The history of the Jewish community of medieval England is relatively brief. The chronicler William of Malmesbury2 states that the Jews of London were brought from Rouen by William I (the Conqueror) as part of a policy of stimulating commercial development. In the half-century following the accession of Henry II in 1154, there was a new wave of immi? gration from both Angevin and Capetian territories. Stacey's3 opinion is that the English Jewry was 'in many respects an archetypical medieval Ashkenazic community. Almost all the structural features that characterized 1 This paper is based on published work; manuscripts have not been consulted as our aim has been to produce a synthesis and interpretation of the work on medieval Jewry published during the twentieth century. We would like to thank Professor Zefira Rokeah for her advice and support generously provided in personal communications. 2 William of Malmesbury, Gesta Regum Anglorum, ed. and trans. R. A. B. Mynors and completed by R. M. Thomson and M. Winterbottom II (2 vols) Oxford Medieval Texts series (Oxford 1998) 371. See H. G. Richardson, The English Jewry under Angevin Kings (London i960). For the Jews of England, a brief overview and some useful references may be found in D. M. Stenton, English Society in the Early Middle Ages, 1066-130/ (London 1965, 4th ed.) 193-202. See also P. R. Hyams, 'The Jews in Medieval England, 1066-1290', in A. Haverkamp and H. Vollrath (eds) England and Germany in the High Middle Ages (Oxford 1992) 173-92; C. Roth, History of the Jews in England (Oxford 1964, 3rd ed.). 3 R. C. Stacey, 'Jews and Christians in Twelfth-Century England: Some Dynamics of a Changing Relationship', in M. A. Signer and J. Van Engen (eds) Jews and Christians in Twelfth Century Europe (Notre Dame, Ind. 2001) 340. I</page><page sequence="2">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney Jewish life elsewhere in twelfth- and thirteenth-century northern Europe can be found in England, but in high relief The Jews were expelled from England by Edward I in 1290. Throughout their period of residence, the Jews were in England, but never of it, and their presence was at once tolerated and resisted to the point of violence. Their status was unique in that they were protected by and 'belonged' to the Crown. The Statute of Jewry of Henry III (1253) makes it explicit that 'All Jews, wheresoever they may be in the realm, are of right under the tutelage and protection of the king; nor is it lawful for any of them to subject himself to any wealthy person without the king's licence. Jews and all their effects are the king's property, and if any one withhold their money from them, let the king recover it as his own.'4 Jews could not hold an estate of inheritance other than in urban land, but were liable to exceptional taxation and subject to expulsion at a moment's notice. This condition, like villeinage, was hereditary, notwithstanding permanent domicile; birth within England did not of itself confer capacity to do fealty to its king. While Jews were allowed to swear on the Pentateuch in cases brought before the courts, this privilege was not extended to the ceremony of investiture, so they could pay neither homage nor fealty, and it was not lawful for Christians to pay homage or fealty to them. It was not until 1275 (fifteen years before the expulsion of the community) that they were legally permitted to hold as much as a ten-year agricultural lease, and the licence then granted was subject to the express reservation that they received no homage or fealty from Christians. The only land they were en? titled to hold at common law was that tenable by rent in money or kind, and the mortua vadia (discharge of gage ? something of value deposited to ensure the performance of some action, and liable to forfeiture in case of non-performance) mentioned in the rolls5 were probably rent charges. The Jews were therefore outside the hierarchy in which land was given in return for military service, and constituted a distinct community, owing allegiance directly to the Crown but largely self-governing, with its own culture, laws and customs. Urban dwellers were a minority in the England at the time, and the Jews formed an extremely small minority within the urban community.6 The question of numbers is obviously important, but unfortunately anything more than an assessment remains little more than guesswork. The geography of settlement shows that there was steady expan? sion during the twelfth century and confirms other evidence that numbers 4 J. M. Rigg (ed.) Select Pleas, Starrs, and Other Records from the Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, AD 1220-1284 (London 1902) x. 5 Close Rolls, 1225, p. 24. See Addendum 1 below. 6 V. D. Lipman, 'The Anatomy of Mediaeval Anglo-Jewry', Trans JEISE XXI (1970) 64-77. For further information, see J. Cox Russell, The Population in Europe, 500-1500 (London 1969). 2</page><page sequence="3">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester were falling during the thirteenth. The total was probably four to five thou? sand in 1200. This would have been perhaps 0.25 per cent of the population of England as a whole, or 1.25 per cent of the total urban population. By the Expulsion in 1290, the numbers had dropped to between two and a half and three thousand. These figures are rough, but the impression they give of a very small group in terms of total numbers is probably justified. Nevertheless, it is clear from the records that the Jews were highly mobile at a time when, ostensibly, most people travelled only between villages and the nearest towns. The Jews moved to England from France, Spain, Germany and Italy, and from town to town within England. There 'was much move? ment of Jews over all lands where French was spoken'.7 This mobility was a characteristic shared by a large number of the French-speaking ruling elite, because for much of this period the Anglo-Norman knights might have estates on both sides of the Channel in the king's extensive French posses? sions. The family of David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester, for instance, lived and worked in Lincoln, Oxford, Winchester, Canterbury, Marlborough, Basingstoke and Devizes. The Jews settled first in London: the earliest extant record of Jews' finan? cial activities appears in an official document in 1130.8 From London, they moved out to many of the major towns of the kingdom. In the thirteenth century, there were important Jewish communities in Bristol, Canterbury, Colchester, Exeter, Gloucester, Lincoln, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Winchester and York, and smaller less permanent communities in Cambridge, Devizes, Hereford, Huntingdon, Marlborough and Worcester. Thus, communities sprang up in the more populous parts of the country, and (with the exception of Bristol) in county towns which were the headquar? ters of the sheriff (the king's representative) and/or which had a royal castle. It was the function of the sheriff or castellan of a royal castle to regulate and protect the lives of the Jews. Because of their special relationship, they were outside the feudal system, protected by and 'belonging to' the Crown. There were no ghettos; the Jews settled among their Christian neighbours in areas near the castle or the marketplace. They tended to live close to each other in an area known as 'the Jewry', which still survives as a street name in some towns. Christians passed freely to and fro and occupied houses in the same street. As well as business relationships, friendships developed, despite cleri? cal disapproval.9 This can be inferred from twelfth-century edicts preventing 7 H. G. Richardson (see n. 2) 3. 8 See J. Jacobs, The Jews of Angevin England (London 1893) 14-5 for several extracts from J. Hunter (ed.) The Pipe Roll of 31 Henry I, Michaelmas, 1130 (London 1833). 9 J. Katz, Exclusiveness and Tolerance: Studies in Jewish-Gentile Relations in Medieval and Modern Times (Oxford 1061). 3</page><page sequence="4">o o u C8 U ? ? * ? K aj ji ail o ? G ? 3 dog u CS Si ?^ &lt; o o 3 o 4</page><page sequence="5">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester Christians from living in Jewish homes as domestic servants or as nurses to the children, and from the introduction of the 'Jewish badge' by the Lateran Council of 1215, which itself emphasizes 'the difficulty, throughout all the lands of Latin Christendom, of distinguishing Jew from Christian by their physical traits ... it is unlikely that many Jews could be readily distinguished from Gentiles by their appearance'.10 While the requirement to wear a badge was strictly imposed on Jewish communities in Europe, English kings for a long time waived the rule in return for yet another payment from the Jews. Since most of the population lived in the countryside, it is likely that a large percentage of the population never saw a Jew, let alone had personal or busi? ness contact with one. All 'knew' about the Jews and their nature from Church teachings, however, and that the Jews were considered testes fidei, bearing witness in their inferior social status to the punishment of those who rejected the Christian creed. The story of the Jews in thirteenth-century England is told here by means of the activities of a single family.11 To provide a guide through the generations, we begin with the family tree of David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester. The family tree is our interpretation of the information available.12 It is possible that Asher Lumbard of Lincoln, previously of Winchester, was David's father. Licoricia's father is named in an entry in a Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's memoranda roll as Lumbard. Her first husband was Abraham of Kent or of Canterbury. The number of Licoricia's children is uncertain. One authority gives five sons - Benedict, Cokerel and Lumbard from her first marriage, and Asher and Sweteman from her marriage to David. Another suggests that she had three sons ? Cokerel and Benedict, and Asher. Our interpretation is four ? Benedict, Cokerel and Lumbard from the first marriage, and Asher (also 10 H. G. Richardson (see n. 2) 6. 11 For non-Jewish family life, see S. Shahar, The Fourth Estate: A History of Women in the Middle Ages (London 1983) and her Childhood in the Middle Ages (London 1990). 12 Sources for the family's names and possible relationships are C. Roth, Jews of Medieval Oxford (Oxford 1951) 46, citing H. E. Salter (ed), Cartulary of Oseney Abbey IV (6 vols) (Oxford 1929-36) 9 (Asher Lumbard as David's father); S. Bartlet, 'Three Jewish Businesswomen in Thirteenth Century Winchester', Jewish Culture and History III 2 (Winter 2000) 43, citing H. G. Richardson, Calendar of the Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, i2j$-jj IV (London 1972) 15 (Licoricia's father as Isaac); Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's memoranda roll, E368/36, m. 17 dorse - information provided by Professor Rokeah in a personal communica? tion (15 February 2003) (Licoricia's father as Lumbard); Z. E. Rokeah, Medieval English Jews and Royal Officials: Entries of Jewish Interest in the English Memoranda Rolls, 1266-1293 (Jerusalem 2000) 136-7, 512 (Abraham of Kent/Canterbury); H. P. Stokes, 'A Jewish Family in Oxford in the Thirteenth Century', Trans JHSE X (1924) 193-206 (Licoricia's five sons); C. Roth (see above) (Licoricia's three sons); Bartlet (see above) 50 (Belia as Licoricia's sister) and 43 (Benedict's seven children). 5</page><page sequence="6">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney called Sweteman) from the marriage to David. There may also have been a daughter called Belia, as the person who found Licoricia's body after her murder is given as her daughter Belia, presumably the sister of Benedict, Cokerel and Lumbard. But it is possible also that Belia was Licoricia's sister, because their family trees show a recurrence of the same names across the generations which strongly indicates family kinship, or that the records use the word 'daughter' but mean daughter-in-law, suggesting that she was the wife either of Cokerel or of Lumbard. When it comes to Benedict's chil? dren, one author suggests that there were seven, adding another daughter, Rose of York, to the six children shown in our family tree, and that they were the children of Benedict's first marriage to Belassez, and not his second wife, Flora le Blund. It might, then, be that after three boys, the first daughter was given her mother's name. David of Oxford More is known about David's early life than about Licoricia's. Since, in the main, Jewish occupations were limited to various aspects of financing the wider community, Jews moved from town to town, being referred to by vari? ous names as they did so. As a result, it is sometimes difficult to trace the same person over the years. David is also referred to in the records as David of Lincoln, where he may have been born, the 'of denoting both 'residing in' and 'coming from'. So, when David of (coming from) Lincoln moved to Oxford, he became David of (residing in) Oxford. Probably because her stay in Oxford was so short, Licoricia is referred to throughout the records as 'of Winchester'. While little is known of David's early life in Lincoln, he probably under? went the education normal for Jewish boys, which aimed to provide linguis? tic, ethical and religious knowledge. Literacy was required in order to participate in synagogue services and, as within the other European Jewish communities, the standard of education was high: 'even ordinary Jews as a rule learned to read and write Hebrew'.13 In the towns in which there was a Jewish community, there was also a school, usually attached to the syna? gogue, where education in biblical studies began at five and continued to thirteen, when the education of the 'ordinary boy' finished. The 'Separated' (Perushim) continued until they were sixteen, when they decided for them? selves whether to devote their life to the study of Torah or not. If so, they went to the 'great school' in the capital for another seven years. The small, provincial schools were composed of scholars, teachers and a rector to 13 A. Wendehorst, 'Who Could Read and Write in the Middle Ages?', in A. Haverkamp and H. Vollrath (eds) (see n. 2) 81. 6</page><page sequence="7">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester supervise. No teaching was done at home, and the rector was not to live at the school with his family but to go home every Sabbath. The rector was required to give two lectures, one in the morning and another in the after? noon. The teachers went over each lesson twice with their class. At the end of each week, there was repetition of the week's work, also at the end of the month, and at the end of the summer and the winter sessions. No teacher could take more than ten pupils or have any occupation other than teaching. The lads were encouraged to examine one another in the day's lessons every evening. Dull scholars were sent away, so as not to keep back the more advanced. Teaching was done 'by book', not by rote learning. In the winter, the evening lessons were to be short, on account of the early lack of light. Every member of the community contributed school fees and the rector was to get twenty marks14 annually and the teachers eight marks. In the great school, the Separated paid for their lodging and a share of the teachers' salaries.15 David clearly chose not to devote his life to the study of Torah but to become a financier. For this, he required some understanding of the Latin alphabet of the Christian majority. Jews needed to know Hebrew for religious reasons, but among them? selves spoke Norman French. A knowledge of the language would in any case be necessary for communicating with their clients, who tended to be Norman nobility, gentry and townspeople.16 English increasingly became the vernacular as the thirteenth century progressed, but not of the Jews, thus underlining their 'Frenchness'. Male Jews tended to use French trans? lations of their Hebrew names - Licoricia's son Benedict would have been known in Hebrew as Baruch, and Cokerel would have been Isaac (Yitschak, probably pronounced 'Yitscok', hence Cok and Cokerel as diminutives). Asher was the biblical son of Jacob and Leah. Licoricia herself demon? strates that Jewish women tended to be given non-biblical names - Belaset or Belassez (Rachel) and Biket (a diminutive of Rebecca) are exceptions among names such as Gentilia, Brunetta, Precieuse and Mirabilia. Literacy was also considered important for girls, who were taught at home until they were sufficiently literate to enter business. David moved to Oxford at the beginning of the reign of Henry III (1216-72), possibly because the expansion of the university created good conditions for finance. Employment for Jews was mainly in the area of 14 See Addendum 2 below. 15 Jacobs (see n. 8) 343-4. 16 For the Jew's clients, see R. Mundill, England's Jewish Solution: Experiment and Expulsion, 1262-1290 (Cambridge 1998) and his 'Lumbard and Son: The Businesses and Debtors of Two Jewish Moneylenders in Late Thirteenth-century England', The Jewish Quarterly Review LXXXII 1-2 (July-October 1991) 137-70; and S. Lieberman, 'English Royal Policy towards the Jews' Debtors, 1227-1290', PhD thesis, Birkbeck College, University of London, 1982. 7</page><page sequence="8">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney moneylending. There appear to have been three strata within a Jewish community. At the top was a small group of well-to-do financiers and investors, forming the chief families of each local congregation. Below them was a larger group of moneylenders of moderate means who carried on the same kind of business as the members of the richer families but on a smaller scale, and some of whom acted as agents for the wealthier group or restricted their activities to pawnbroking. The majority did not lend money but serviced the community as ritual butchers, synagogue officials or school teachers, or were servants to the richer members of the community. If one takes a nuclear family group of five,17 the Jewish community would have been made up of around six hundred households; the records mention probably the top one hundred or so heads of families. This may not be a reasonable multiplier because the health of the Jews could well have been better than that of their Christian neighbours, if only because of the reli? gious obligation to wash their hands after using the privy and before eating, and to bathe regularly. A greater number of their children could well have survived than those of the Christians around them. What is known is that by the time of the Expulsion, when the communities had been restricted to seventeen towns in which there were archae (the locked chests in which the official documents dealing with loans were kept), in the eleven communities for which there are records, two-thirds of the wealth was in the hands of eighty-two people in eighteen families. One family in Oxford owned more than half, and one in Norwich owned two-thirds of the community's entire capital.18 But nothing is known of how the bulk of poorer Jews, not involved in financial transactions at a sufficient level to warrant recording, main? tained themselves. Besides working for the community's wealthy financiers, they may have sold foodstuffs, second-hand clothing or even have been day labourers.19 David appears as David of Lincoln in the records where he is mentioned as being in arrears in 1220?i of his contribution to the Bristol Tallage of 1210.20 A tallage (tallagio) was an arbitrary tax levied by Norman and early Angevin kings on the towns and the demesne lands of the Crown. It was therefore a tax levied on feudal dependants by their superiors and, by exten? sion, a municipal rate, a toll or customs duty, or a grant, levy, imposition or 17 See J. McComish, 'The Medieval Jewish Cemetery at Jewbury, York', Jewish Culture and History III 2 (Winter 2000) 21-30. 18 C. Roth (see n. 2) 278. 19 V. D. Lipman (see n. 6) 68. 20 H. G. Richardson (see n. 2) 214, n. 5, and R. C. Stacey, 'Royal Taxation and the Social Structure of Medieval Anglo-Jewry: The Tillages of 1239-1242', Hebrew Union College Annual LVI (1985) 190 and n. 62, differ from C. Roth (see n. 12) and Stokes (see n. 12) and assign this to the 1241 levy. 8</page><page sequence="9">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester aid. The Bristol Tallage was particularly savage at sixty-six thousand marks. In 1219, David was one of the six representatives of the wealthy class selected from all English Jewry to apportion the tallage among the com? munity. He subsequently complained that he had been over-assessed, and obtained letters patent from the king ordering that, in future, he should be treated equitably with the other Jews.21 Then, in 1221, he contributed ?7 2s 6d, nearly half of the Oxford total of ?14 18s iod, to the Aid to marry the king's sister Joan to King Alexander of Scotland. On this tallage list, he is still called David of Lincoln, though he was by then resident in Oxford and included on the Oxford list. By this date, his transactions were on a vast scale. He had dealings in Warwick, Berkshire, Buckingham and Northampton, and lent sums as small as one mark and as high as three hundred. It is interesting that David had a business relationship with Simon de Montfort, who assumed the debt of ?110 us owed to David by two of the lesser baronage, but ultimately managed to evade his obligations.22 Like the other financiers of his day, David frequently transacted business in association with others, thus spreading his risks, though at the same time dividing his profits. Through the 1230s and 40s, David co-operated in this way with Aaron of York, H?mo of Hereford (one of the wealthiest Jews of the day), Benedict Crispin of London and his brother Jacob, and especially with his fellow townsman, Copin of Oxford. David seems to have been a hard creditor, but had good reason. One of the methods by which the king financed his wars was by remitting the debts owed to Jews by those who followed him on campaign. Between 1230 and 1244, in the Close Rolls and other records, there are fully thirty cancella? tions of this type relating to amounts due to David. It seems reasonable, therefore, that he adjusted his terms so as to compensate himself for such contingencies, and asserted his claims to the full in other cases. But this hard business sense added to the Christian dislike of, and resentment towards, David and other Jewish financiers. He played a prominent part in the life of the Jewish community. Besides being one of the tallagers who allocated a levy on the Jews of England in 1219, the records show that in that year he was made responsible for conveying a certain Jacob from Oxford to London for imprisonment (Jacob's offence is not clear). In 1237, with Aaron and Leo, both of York, David was ordered to distrain those who had not yet paid their portion to defray the costs of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land undertaken by the king's brother, Richard of Cornwall. He was also one of the commission of eight 21 J. M. Rigg (ed.) Calendar of Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, AD 1218-1272 I (London 1905) 266, and M. Adler, Jews of Medieval England (London 1939) 222. 22 Patent Rolls, 1244, p. 43. See Addendum 1 below. 9</page><page sequence="10">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney Jewish magnates which was appointed at the request of the communities in 1238 to collaborate with the Justices of the Jews, Elias de Sunninges and William le Bretun, in an enquiry 'touching Jews who are clippers of coin, thieves and receivers', in order to inquire into the abuse and to root it out if they found the accusations to be justified.23 David appears as one of the half-dozen Oxford representatives at the 'Parliament of the Jews' in 1240-1, assembled at Worcester to assess a levy on the Jewish communities, and with them, he was made responsible for the local collection. Of the considerable property David owned in Oxford, the history of one demonstrates his financial and community involvements. Isaac of Oxford, son of Moses of Bristol, owned a house (acquired as a forfeited pledge from one Robert Sunegod), a little way south of Carfax in what is now St Aldate's but was then called Fish Street or Great Jewry. Isaac acquired the next house south, with a stone chamber (cum camera lapidea). During King John's spoliations, these two houses were taken from Isaac and given to Nicholas de Breaute. Isaac of Oxford's son, Joscepin, converted to Christianity, taking the name of Alberic, but was permitted to regain possession of the family holdings, including the two houses. Alberic later fled the country, but his brother Moses was permitted to reacquire the first house, although it subsequently escheated to the king and was granted to Rudolph of Rouen. The second house with the stone chamber was granted by King John to Brito the crossbowman, and on Brito's death to Rudolph of Rouen. In 1228, when Rudolph of Rouen went on pilgrimage, he leased this house for five years to David of Oxford. David undertook to pay the Exchequer on behalf of Robert Sunegod the sixty marks Robert had originally owed to Isaac of Oxford (non-payment of which was the reason he had forfeited the house), which had now escheated to the Crown, and the ten marks out of his assessment of a hundred marks still outstanding from the Bristol Tallage of 1210, in the name of the scapegrace Joscepin or Alberic. Thus David became the owner of the property, which was secured to him by royal charter. It was specified that, in consideration of his tenancy, he should render at the Exchequer each Easter either sixpence or else a pair of gilt spurs. Roth24 states that a financial record of 1231 specifies that David of Oxford had brought to the Exchequer a pair of spurs for a certain house which he held in Oxford of the 'Lord King'. Thereafter, 23 Ibid. 1238, p. 228. 24 The history of these houses is taken from C. Roth (see n. 12) 86-8 and n. 21, who cites Close Rolls, 1224, p. 598; 1228, p. 48; 1229, p. 155; 1291, p. 212; Charter Rolls, I (1228), p. 76; I (1229), p. 93 (see Addendum 1 below); C. Roberts (ed.) Excerpta e Rotulis Finium in Turri Londinensi asservatis, Henrico tertio rege, 1216-72 I (2 vols) (London 1835) J74; King's Remembrancer Roll, 1231, p. 49; from H. E. Salter, 'Was there a Domus Conversorum in Oxford?', Miscellanies of theJHSE II (1935) 29-32; and from Z. E. Rokeah (see n. 12) 136-7. 10</page><page sequence="11">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester David allowed his payments to lag, but in 1241-2, he settled his arrears for that year and the previous five years. The northerly house was handed to the town for use as a guildhall 'wherein to hold the king's pleas'. In about 1270, the building was recon? structed and served the town for administrative purposes for many years. The southerly house, David's residence, escheated to the Crown when David died in 1244, and was presented by the king to the Home for Converted Jews (Domus Conversorum) which Henry had set up in 1232. This institution also received, for the use of the converts, all David's house? hold utensils, victuals and clothing. The house continued to pay an annual rental of eight marks to the London Domus, or to the Master of the Rolls as its Keeper, down to the sixteenth century, the house having been declared exempt from taxation in 1291 after the expulsion of the Jews. Thirty years after David's death, the Exchequer seized the house in settlement of a still outstanding fine of David's, but the impoverished converts appealed to Edward I and the house was restored to them. In consequence, Cary's Inn, on the north part of the site, became known as the House of Converts, giving rise to the legend that there was in Fish Street (St Aldate's) in Oxford a home for converted Jews similar to that in London. (A fine was a payment to the king in return for the bestowal by the Crown of some grant, conces? sion or privilege, including the avoiding of some anticipated, unpleasant penalty for a disapproved act. In later legal phraseology, fines refer chiefly to final agreements for the transfer of real estate.) The town acquired this house in the sixteenth century as an addition to the northerly one which it already owned, and it became known as the Lower Guildhall. In the eighteenth century a new Guildhall was built, combining the two properties, and in 1893, the present Oxford Town Hall was built, thus connecting David of Oxford to the twenty-first century. One of David's houses holds a clue to his family relationships. In 1253, a mandate was issued to the Justices of the Jews that 'according to the tenor of a certain Starr [contract, from the Hebrew word shetar] made between David sometime Jew and Muriel Jewess of Oxford, they adjudge the said Muriel to repair forthwith a certain house which she holds for life in the parish of St. Edward in the town of Oxford, of the bail of the said David'.25 This was the house that David provided for Muriel as part of his divorce settlement. The Close Rolls of 1253 record a 'grant to Licoricia, Jewess, late the wife of David, Jew of Oxford, and Asher (Aszero), son of David, and their heirs and assigns, of a house late of Roger le Vinter in the parish of St. Edward, Oxford, which the said David leased for her life to Muriel, Jewess, as is contained in the agreement made between them'.26 Either Muriel had 25 Close Rolls, 1253, p. 455. 26 Close Rolls, 12 March 1253, p. 455. II</page><page sequence="12">Rev a Berman Brown and Sean McCartney died or, if the upkeep of the house was a condition of the lease and she was not able or was unwilling to repair it, the house reverted to Licoricia and Asher. One of the reasons Muriel did not or could not repair the house may well have been that in 1249 Henry gave three hundred marks of 'the goods of Muriel of Oxford, divorced wife of David', to Master Vincent, the doctor of Aymer de Lusignan (Henry Ill's half-brother), then staying in Oxford, who was to go to Rome as the king's nuncio.27 Muriel was David's first wife. It is probable that he married her when he was still living in Lincoln, and she was associated with him in some of his business affairs. It seems that there was some discord between them, because the Close Rolls of 1242 contain the following two entries, issued in Winchester on 27 August: For David of Oxford. The king to Masters Moses of London, Aaron of Canterbury, and Jacob of Oxford, Jews, greeting. We forbid you from hence? forth holding any plea concerning David of Oxford and Muriel who was the wife of the same. You are not to distrain him under any circumstances either to take or retain her or any other woman as his wife. Know for a certainty that if you do otherwise, you will incur grave punishment. For David of Oxford. Whereas by the counsel of the venerable Archbishop in Christ, W. of York [Walter Gray, then Archbishop of York], and sundry of the king's Council, it was provided that henceforth no chapters might be held concerning the Jews in England: and whereas the justices assigned for the custody of the Jews were firmly enjoined on the part of the king to see with regard to the Jews of England that no chapters should henceforth be held throughout England; consequently, these are to appear before the said Archbishop and others of the king's Council on the octave of St Michael [a week after the feast of St Michael], wheresoever such Council may be in England, to show cause why they sent to France, and to the Jews of France to hold a Chapter concerning the Jews of England - namely, Peytevin of Lincoln, Muriel, who was the wife of David of Oxford, Benedict the son of Peytevin of Lincoln, Vaalyn, and Moses of Banbury, Jews. And the aforesaid Justices are ordered not to suffer David of Oxford to be coerced by the Jews to take or hold any woman to wife, except at his own free will.28 The story behind these documents concerns what was clearly an acrimoni? ous divorce.29 It seems that David, possibly because of Muriel's childless? ness, had issued her with a Bill of Divorce. The Beth Din (Jewish Court) 27 Close Rolls, 1247-51, p. 143. 28 Close Rolls, 27 August 1242, p. 464. 29 M. D. Davis, 'An Anglo-Jewish Divorce, AD 1242', Jewish Quarterly ReviewV 17 (1892) 158-65. 12</page><page sequence="13">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester which dealt with the matter was composed of the three rabbis to whom the king addressed his order. By the Ordinances issued by Rabbi Gershom of Mainz (c. iooo), which were generally accepted in northern Europe, it had been declared improper for a man to divorce his wife without her assent, or to remarry, if he did so. Muriel clearly objected and invoked help. Her Lincoln relatives rallied to her assistance, headed by Peytevin, who may have been her brother. (His name, which means 'from Poitou' may indicate where Muriel's family originated.) An appeal was made to their French co? religionists, whose intellectual supremacy was generally acknowledged by English Jewry. The French rabbis gave their decision in favour of Muriel, and Peytevin of Lincoln, Peytevin his son and Moses of Banbury consti? tuted themselves into an ad hoc Beth Din, quashed the divorce and instructed David to take Muriel back as his wife. David appealed to the king, which played into the hands of the clerical party at court. The Church disliked the autonomy enjoyed by the Jewish community (and illustrated by this story), so the Archbishop of York obtained a royal decree forbidding 'chapters', or courts, to be held by the Jews in England. The appellants were therefore ordered to appear before the Archbishop to justify their conduct, and the ruling of the two Peytevins and Moses of Banbury was quashed by royal order. The divorce was upheld, leaving David free to marry Licoricia. In accordance with Jewish law, provision had to be made for Muriel. David assigned her a house at the junction of Jury Lane and St Edward's Lane. Muriel lived there, round the corner from David's house, which was at the top of the Great Jewry, near Carfax, long after David's death. It could well be that the close presence of the aggrieved first wife was one of the reasons for Licoricia's return to Winchester after David's estate had been settled. Property-owning is an aspect of Jewish economic activity which has tended to be less thoroughly examined than moneylending. Not only did the Jews lend money to Christians on the security of their houses which, on default of repayment of debts, would fall into their hands, but it is clear that some Jews systematically purchased urban real estate and lived on the rents. Property, unlike cash, bonds or jewels, was safe from theft or easy destruc? tion. It may be that the progressive restrictions on Jewish landowning were determined by the potential loss involved to the Exchequer by transactions that did not have to be registered in the chirograph chests, and thus could not be exploited to royal advantage. In Oxford, of course, house-owning was a good form of investment owing to the influx of students who sent up rents, did not object to overcrowding and made property-owning lucrative. It has been suggested that the great students' riot of 1244 was partly due to the high rents which Jews were 13</page><page sequence="14">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney alleged to charge and the widespread complaints and grievances against them as landlords. That owning houses in Oxford was viewed as a good investment is evident from the fact that not only Jewish residents of Oxford, but Jews from other parts of the country, bought houses there. Among local land? lords were Jews from London, Lincoln and Winchester. This income generating activity was brought to an end in 1271 when Jews were forbidden to own any houses except those in which they themselves lived or else let to other Jews. As this policy was rigorously enforced, the large-scale property owners in Oxford disappeared, to the benefit of the founders of the University colleges, including Merton and Balliol. In 1228, David was one of three Jewish witnesses (the others being Bonefey, son of Moses of Oxford, and Isaac, son of Simeon) who, together with the Christian officials of St Frideswide's Priory and the Mayor of Oxford, John Pady, witnessed the legal arrangements for the exchange of houses when Moses of Oxford made over to the prior and canons of St Frideswide his two houses near South Gate, and received in exchange the property belonging to the Priory adjoining his own residence. This prop? erty became the Oxford Synagogue. When David died in 1244, he would have been buried according to Jewish rites in the Oxford cemetery and have had a gravestone erected in his memory. Until 1177, all Jews had to be buried in the London cemetery, but once royal permission had been given for communities to bury their dead locally, land was bought and maintained by the various communities for the committal of their dead. The site of Oxford's Jewish cemetery is now part of the Botanic Gardens. Licoricia of Winchester Licoricia must have commended herself to David on two counts - a widow and the mother of sons, she was obviously capable of bearing further chil? dren, and she was a financier in her own right. The records show her in busi? ness together with Peytevin of Winchester in January 1234,30 living in Winchester. She is described as the wife of Abraham of Kent and of Winchester, which may derive from her husband's toponym. Licoricia was in business with Belia (possibly her sister) and Helie in January 1236,31 and may have been one of the wealthiest financiers in Winchester in the late 1230s.32 By 1240, she seems to have had enough assets to lend money on her own - an 30 S. Bartlet (see n. 12) 41, citing R. H. Britnell, The Commercialisation of English Society 1000-1500 (Cambridge 1993) 104 and 98. 31 Close Rolls, Henry III, vol. 1,1234, p. 362, vol. II, 1236, p. 36, and vol. Ill, 1236, p. 230. 32 R. C. Stacey, Politics, Policy and Finance under Henry III 1216-1245 (Oxford 1987) 151. </page><page sequence="15">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester entry of January 1240 in the Liberate Rolls (which contained enrolments of writs under the Great Seal relating to royal expenditure) allocates payment to her to settle her loans to the monks of St Swithin's in Winchester.33 Nothing is known of her first husband beyond his name, Abraham of Kent or Abraham of Canterbury, but she had three sons from this marriage - Benedict, Cokerel and Lumbard. With David, she had a son named Asher, who was also called Sweteman or Douceman. The number of Licoricia's children is problematic. Asher means 'happy' or 'fortunate' in Hebrew, and might either celebrate David's happiness and sense of good fortune at having had a son at last, or commemorate David's father, Asher Lumbard. The boy could well have been given the nickname Sweteman or Douceman in reference to his sweet nature, rather than for the sweetness of his father's good fortune. It seems that David and Licoricia's marriage was too short for her to have produced two children in this time, and there is no record that she was pregnant when she was placed in the Tower as surety for the collec? tion of the king's portion of David's estate after his death. As to the ages of the bride and groom, one can only surmise. David had been a prominent financier for more than thirty years so must have been in his fifties. He had been sufficiently involved in financial matters to be required to contribute to the Bristol Tallage of 1210 (the arrears of which he eventually paid in 1228), so that by his marriage in 1242 he was certainly well into or even past middle age. It can be assumed both that Licoricia was an adult when she undertook her first recorded business transaction in 1234, and that, despite a practice of relatively early marriage, she was not in the first flush of youth, but was still of child-bearing age. Going by Stokes's chronology,34 her eldest son Benedict was born in 1227, so he would have been fifteen when his mother, possibly in her thirties, married David. Even though it is possible that the three sons she brought to her new marriage with David were very young children, Licoricia herself could not have been both just out of her teens and a well-known and successful businesswoman, sufficiently established in the field of finance to have caught David's eye as a suitable wife and business partner. This was not a marriage of young passion, but a union of two adults for personal and business reasons. Girls were in some cases betrothed as children too young to undertake the responsibilities of marriage, in which case, the wedding ceremony was deferred as long as four years after the preliminaries. After the wedding, the young couple would live in the house of the bride's father for a year or more, the latter undertaking to provide them with food and clothing, to discharge 33 W. H. Stevenson (ed.) Calendar of the Liberate Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office. Henry III. A.D. 1226-1272., Vol. I, 1226-1240 (London 1916) 440, 12 January 1240. 34 H. P. Stokes (see n. 12) 193, chronology. i5</page><page sequence="16">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney any tallage which might be imposed during that period, and even to engage a teacher with whom his son-in-law might continue to study. If a girl were left an orphan, her brothers would bind themselves by deed to find her a 'becoming and pleasant spouse' and to give her an adequate dowry, as well as to make proper provision for their widowed mother. The marriage settle? ment made by the bridegroom would normally amount to as much as a hundred pounds 'according to the custom of the Isle' - a striking commen? tary on the general prosperity of the community.35 David's divorce from Muriel took place in August 1242, so the earliest the next marriage could have taken place was September 1242. Calculating the new year to have started in March, and adding the fact that David died at the beginning of 1244, the marriage probably lasted fifteen to eighteen months, insufficient time for two full-term children to have been born in separate births. Licoricia was therefore probably left a widow with three children and a babe in arms, to deal with his vast estate. She would have been entitled to her dowry and the amount settled on her by David in their pre-marriage contract (ketubah). But the Treasury acted swiftly to gain possession of the one-third of the property of a deceased Jew that was generally seized as 'relief or death duty.36 The archae in Berkshire, Buckingham, Northampton, Warwick and Oxford were sealed and dispatched to Windsor, together with such Oxford Jews as might assist in ascertaining details of the estate. At the same time, Licoricia was sent to the Tower and committed, with all her late husband's chattels and bonds, to the charge of 'six of the richer and discreeter Jews of England, willing or nilling', as a safeguard against her flight or defalcation. The death duty was fixed at five thousand marks. When security was given by the six sureties (mainpernors) for the payment of this vast sum, Licoricia was released and restored (though not immediately) to the administration of her late husband's property. The relief of five thousand marks could not be settled immediately, particularly as some of David's clients attempted, with varying degrees of honesty and success, to be absolved of their debts. The greater portion of this sum (more than 4400 marks) was ordered to be paid to the new Exchequer recently established at Westminster in connection with the king's ambitious building projects there. It was used for the construction of Westminster Abbey.37 35 C. Roth (see n. 2) 122. 36 Legally all property of the king's Jews reverted to the Crown on death, but by custom only one third was claimed. 37 T. Madox, The History and Antiquities of the Exchequer of the Kings of England I (2 vols) fLondon T760. 2nd ed.) iah; Patent Rolls. T2J.6. n. /I-78. i6</page><page sequence="17">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester It appears that Licoricia and her children then returned to Winchester where she continued in business. She lived in what is now known as Jewry Street, but was then called Shorten Street or Scowrenstrete. The records of the Exchequer of the Jews are unfortunately lost for the years 1220?44,tne period when David of Oxford would have been developing his financial interests, as well as for 1245-52 and 1253-66, when Licoricia would have been in business as a widow in Winchester. A case of 1253 reveals that in 1250 Cokerel, referred to by his proper name of Isaac, had acted as her representative in the affairs of Thomas of Charlecote. In connection with this debt, Licoricia herself appeared before the court in 1253 against Thomas. There is a full account of this elaborate case, illustrating a Jewish transaction, in the Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews.38 The king took an interest in the Charlecote case and attempted to use his influence in favour of Licoricia, which would have meant her keeping possession of Thomas' estates, thus indirectly enhancing the king's revenues. But Thomas had his own supporter in the person of the king's brother, Richard, Earl of Cornwall and, in the end, the court decided that the loan was void and ordered Licoricia to surrender the estate to Thomas. The complications of financing can be seen in a case brought before the Justices of the Jews in 1268 by Richard de Hanndred. Three separate entries for Northampton appear for this case. In the first, Richard appeared against Henry Lovel and others who were the executors of the will of Philip Lovel to acquit Richard of a debt of four marks, which Richard had contracted from David of Oxford and which Licoricia as his widow was demanding of him. Richard de Hanndred said that he could prove that 'they are bound to acquit him'. As the Lovel executors did not appear, a mandate was issued to the Sheriff of Northampton to distrain their possessions and compel their appearance. The Sheriff notified the court that the Lovels had 'nought in his bailiwick whereby they may be distrained', and the case was postponed for a fortnight after Easter. Simultaneously, Richard offered himself against Licoricia, 'touching a plea of account'. Licoricia also did not appear and the Sheriff was mandated to compel her appearance. The Sheriff reported that Licoricia 'has nought whereby she may be distrained in the town, nor resides in the county of Northampton'. Since she 'resides at Winchester', a mandate was sent to the Constable at Winchester to cause her to appear, and the case was postponed until a fortnight after Easter. At the same time Richard de Hanndred appeared against Jacob of Oxford, requiring that Jacob acquit him of the debt of four marks to David of Oxford, now demanded by Licoricia, 'whereof he will prove that the said 38 J. M. Rigg (see n. 4) 19-27. 17</page><page sequence="18">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney Jacob is bound to acquit him'. Jacob also did not appear and the Constable of Oxford sent word that Deudone, son of Abraham, and Deulcres, son of Isaac, Jacob's sureties (mainpernors), 'have him not'. They were deemed to be 'in mercy', and the Sheriff was instructed to distrain by lands and ensure that Jacob appeared a fortnight after Easter.39 When a person was found to have failed to fulfil an obligation, he was 'in mercy' {in miser ic ordia), that is, at the king's mercy, which would be granted through an appropriate payment (an amerciament). In another case against Licoricia, brought in 1270 by the attorney of Henry de Montfort, tenant of the lands late of Ignacius de Clifton, 'touch? ing a plea of account', Licoricia did not appear, and a mandate was sent to the Sheriff to compel her appearance. 'The Sheriff sends word that she is too ill to stir; and it being witnessed that she is not ill', the case was put down to be heard a week after Holy Trinity, with the Sheriff present. Licoricia's feigned illness reads like an excuse to delay matters.40 Licoricia's business activities ranged over many of the counties of south? ern England. In one request for payment of money owed to her that came before the Exchequer of the Jews in 1276, it is stated that the sheriffs of Wiltshire, Norfolk, Warwick, Hampshire, Surrey, Oxford and Bedford are 'ordered to produce the debts of Licorice a fortnight after St John the Baptist'.41 While there are no further references to Licoricia in the published records of the Exchequer of the Jews, an indication of her prominence as a financier is the fact that not only do both Benedict and Cokerel, the sons of her first marriage to Abraham of Canterbury, refer to themselves as 'sons of Licoricia', but Asher, her son from her marriage to David of Oxford, also refers to himself in this manner, despite David's wealth and reputation. In 1277, Licoricia was murdered, possibly in the transaction of business or possibly in the course of a burglary. 'Licoricia the Jewess and Alice of Bickton, her servant (famula) were found killed in the house of the same Licoricia, each having a blow to the chest made by a knife, to the heart.' As Alice was a Christian, it would seem that Licoricia, like a number of other Jews and Christians, was ignoring the Statute of Jewry of 1275 which forbade Christians to live in Jewish households. Belia, described as Licoricia's daughter, who discovered the bodies, appeared in court, and was not a suspect. Twelve jurors testified that one Ralph of'Che(s)hulle', a saddler of Winchester, had killed Licoricia and Alice and had immediately fled. (Jurors were those who knew or might 39 H. G. Jenkinson (ed.) Calendar of the Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, AD 1275-1279 III (London 1929) 186-7. 40 Ibid. 227. 41 Ibid. 73. i8</page><page sequence="19">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester know something about a crime. They gave witness and were not concerned with pronouncing sentence as modern juries do.) Accounts of various aspects of the case, including the theft of goods from Licoricia's house after the murders, are found in several reports written during the following few years. It was alleged that she had goods and chattels belonging to her and to other Jews to the value of ten thousand pounds in her house.42 The arrest was ordered of four men accused of entering Licoricia's house, breaking the locks of coffers and strong-boxes, and carrying off part of the goods found there. These were William of Chichester, a clerk, Thomas de la Mare, a member of the household of the sheriff John of Havering, and Lumbard and Abraham, sons of Benedict (Licoricia's son). The sheriff had been indicted for this theft, but was cleared subsequently on the grounds that he was in London at the time of the break-in. He testified that William, Thomas and Abraham 'had fled; they were therefore to be exacted and outlawed. They had no chattels.'43 This incident raises the question of what kind of relationship Lumbard and Abraham had with their grandmother, to enable them to break into her house after her violent death, together with two Christians, to steal. Three men were indicted for Licoricia's murder (Roger Le Scurre and Adam Le Seeler for the crime, John Le Sclatiere as an accessory). A jury was summoned, declared that the men were not guilty, and pointed the finger at one Ralph Le Seller - presumably this was the original suspect, since his name means 'The Saddler'. Licoricia's sons did not accept this and a year later, two of them, Cokerel and Sweteman, are recorded as trying to bring a case against 'Rogerum le St er et altos de morte ejusdem Licoric\ but without success.44 Benedict (son of Licoricia of Winchester) Benedict was Licoricia's eldest son. After the death of his stepfather, David, he moved to Winchester with his mother. He married twice - firstly, Belassez or Belaset, and then Flora (or Floria) le Blund, the widow of Solomon le Eveske. The le Blunds were a prominent London family. There were six or seven children of the marriage, which was unusual since most Jewish families were small. It has been suggested that a family of more than three or four children was a rarity.45 42 Z. E. Rokeah, 'Crime and Jews in Late Thirteenth-Century England: Some Cases and Comments', Hebrew Union College Annual, LV (1984) 126-7. 43 Ibid. 127. 44 S. Cohen (ed.) Calendar of the Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, AD I2jj-i2yg\ (London 1992)98. 45 V. D. Lipman (see n. 6) 69. 19</page><page sequence="20">Rev a Berman Brown and Sean McCartney There are numerous references to Benedict's financial transactions and official acts. In 1253, a deal was made whereby Baldwin de Wayford agreed to pay to the king an amount of twenty marks, which he owed to 'Cockerell, Jew, and Licorice, his mother, Jewess, of Winchester'. This payment equalled the tallage which Cokerel and Licoricia owed in the same year. The fine for non-payment would be 'a mark of gold to the use of our Lord the king' (a gold mark was worth ten silver marks).46 In 1266, Master Andrew de Winton (Winchester) appeared before the Justices of the Exchequer of the Jews to allege that Benedict had 'caused him to be unlawfully harassed in the matter of a certain debt, to his damage, grievance and manifest loss'. Benedict did not appear and the Constable was mandated to compel his appearance. The Constable reported that 'Benedict keeps to his bed', and the case was re-arranged for three weeks' time on St John the Baptist's day.47 In 1270, Benedict was involved in a case against Rosamund de Ernham brought by his attorney, Hugh Scot. Extracted from the dry record is an interesting story. Benedict had seisin (possession as of freehold) of lands and tenements in Froyle and Ernham belonging to Rosamund de Ernham (also called Rosamund Froyle) as security for money which Rosamund had borrowed (originally from Benedict the Gildsman, who had sold the debt to this Benedict). Subsequently, Benedict sold the debt to a well-known Christian financier of the period, William de Sommerfield, who was a banker and robe-maker to Queen Eleanor, and who transacted business with Benedict and many other Jews elsewhere in the country.48 Rosamund must have quarrelled with Benedict about the transferred debt, for 'on Monday next after the feast of St John the Baptist at dusk' Rosamund is alleged to have entered Benedict's house by a window and to have stolen and carried away '20s sterling, two carpets, value 2s and two linen cloths, value 2s'. The hue and cry was raised by Scot, and Rosamund was pursued 'as a felon with the hue according to the custom of the realm'.49 Great wealth was often accompanied by official position in the Jewish community. Benedict was one of the chirographers of Winchester in 1272 and shortly afterwards represented the Jewish community of Winchester in the matter of tallage. The importance of wealth was also recognized in those chosen to carry out assessment of the community for taxation purposes. David of Oxford had been one of the six Jews - two of the others were magnates from York, three were from London - appointed to carry out the assessment for tallage in 1219. 46 J. M. Rigg (see n. 4) 28. 47 H. G. Jenkinson (see n. 39) 131. 48 Ibid. 152. 49 Ibid. 250. 20</page><page sequence="21">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester In 1272, Benedict and three other Jews stood surety for Cok, son of Cresse, of London who owed Eleanor 'our Lady the Queen of England' a hundred pounds that he was to pay 'in ready money'. Cok offered to pay by transferring debts to her, but her clerk, John de Whatley, held out for cash, which Cok agreed to pay in two instalments of fifty pounds. If Cok defaulted, 'the said mainpernors [would] be distrained for the said money by all their lands, debts owing to them, and chattels, and also by their bodies, until full payment be made of the said ?100'.50 Also in 1272, Adam de Northampton, a chirographer of the Winchester archa, brought 'chattels of Benedict de Winton', withdrawn from the archa at the king's order for his tallage. 'The 52 charters involved are in the muni? ment-chest having many seals; it is in the keeping of the treasurer at the exchequer of receipt.' The next year, the king dispatched, in a muniment chest under the Exchequer's seal, the charters and chirographs recently taken into his hand for the tallage of 'Benedict de Wynton'. The Christian and Jewish chirographers of Winchester were to accept these charters and chirographs, to place them in the Winchester archa and to give Benedict free administration of them. And in 1275, the chirographers of Winchester were to go to the archa as soon as they received the writ, and were to remove from it fifty pounds of Benedict's 'better and clearer debts'. The chirographers were instructed to give the documents under their seals to the barons (of the Exchequer) on the morrow of Michaelmas (30 September 1275), so that forty of the hundred pounds that Benedict owed the king of the five thousand mark tallage going back to the time of Henry III could be raised from them. Benedict had moved to London in 1273 and his eldest son, Lumbard, was appointed chirographer in his stead. In the same year, Benedict stood surety for Cressant (Dieulecresse) when he was appointed as chirographer of Bristol. A memorandum of 1273 states that Benedict acknowledged that he owed ten shillings to Robert de Clothal, yeoman of Sir Ellis de Hertford, and that he would pay this on the eve of St Peter ad Vincula (31 July). A note in the margin states that Benedict came before the treasurer and barons and paid Robert, which Robert acknowledged ? a rare example of a financier borrowing, instead of lending, money. In 1274 Benedict was the mainpernor for his brother 'Swetman, son of Licoriz', who was to be produced on the morrow of Michaelmas (30 September) before the Exchequer barons or John de Watel, the keeper of the queen mother's gold, 'to answer the said John about the gold he [Sweteman] owes that queen. If he [Benedict] does not produce Sweteman at that day, he grants that he will answer to the queen for a debt of ?15 that Sweteman owes of her gold'.51 50 J. M. Rigg(seen. 4)68. 51 Z. E. Rokeah (see n. 12) 106, no, 169-70,124,137-8. 21</page><page sequence="22">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney Benedict's wife Flora died in 1275. In the Patent Rolls, there is an entry dated 15 November 1275, providing an inspeximus (a witnessed copy of a record) dated at Windsor on 7 March granting 'Benedict, Jew of Winchester, all possessions of Floria la Blund, late his wife, as well as the goods which she had on the day that he married her, as the debts which belonged to Salomon L'Eveske (Episcopi), sometime her husband; Floria having granted these goods and debts to the queen [Edward's consort, Eleanor], whereby the latter had her action against Benedict, but Benedict having satisfied her for the same.'52 Benedict was nominated by the king in 1276 as an escheator. (Escheators took charge of the tenements and chattels of Jews falling into the king's hands by death or by transgressions). It was probably in this capacity that he was a juror in the trial of Moses of Kent who had been arrested on a charge of receiving chattels which belonged to the king, including a golden cup which had been the property of the king of Scotland. Moses had married Gyna (probably Regina, the Latin form of the Hebrew name Malka), the widow of Abraham Russel of Huntingdon, who had been outlawed and probably hanged. Some of Abraham's possessions which ought to have reverted to the Crown were, it was alleged, retained by Gyna and her new husband. Moses was found innocent.53 In June 1277, the king granted Benedict 'that he may trade in the realm, in accordance with the statute provided by the council, and that his debtors be distrained by the Justices for the custody of the Jews'.54 Then came a sudden change, for Benedict found himself caught up in the frenzy of accusations of'coin clipping' ('trespass of the coinage') of 1278-9. He was one of nearly three hundred Jews throughout England who were found guilty of the charge, condemned to death and hanged. The inventory of the property of condemned Jews shows Benedict as having assets worth more than four hundred pounds comprising property in Winchester, worth 13s 4d per year (including a house in Winch Street worth ten shillings),55 as well as gold and silver ('23 gold brooches, 99 gold rings, 6 silver cups with feet, 8 silver cups without feet, etc. etc.'). The Sheriff of Southampton, William de Brayboef, was appointed to confiscate the property of the condemned and, in his report, the amount of around ?250 was recovered from the sale of Benedict's assets. The inventory is incomplete,56 because, 52 R. Mundill, 'The Jewish Entries from the Patent Roll, 1272-1290', Jewish Historical Studies XXXII (1993) 51-2. 53 J. Samuel, The Jem of Bristol before i2go: The History of the Jewish Community in Bristol from the Middle Ages to the Present Day (Bristol 1997) 36. 54 R. Mundill (see n. 52) 59. 55 J. Samuel (see n. 53) 37. 56 Z. E. Rokeah, 'Some Accounts of Condemned Jews' Property in the Pipe and Chancellor's 22</page><page sequence="23">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester in 1279, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Henry of Winchester (other? wise Henry de Derngate) because 'he had bought goods of Jews hanged for trespasses of the coinage of the realm, to wit, clothes, furs, books of Christians and Jews, copper lamps and girdles of silk in order to sell them'.57 Henry was fined a thousand marks for acquiring goods of condemned Jews, in particular of Benedict, which should have reverted to the Crown. (Henry of Derngate was one of the jurors who had declared the three accused of Licoricia's murder to be not guilty.58) In 1288, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip de Wyleby, acknowl? edged that he had received from 'Henry de Durnegate' five hundred marks by means of five letters containing four hundred marks which Alexander de Merewelle brought to the Exchequer on 6 October 1288 (the sixteenth year of Edward I's reign). This was in part payment of the one thousand marks concerning which Henry 'was condemned before the justices last in eyre in Hampshire for concealing Benedict's goods'. Alexander and his fellow executors of Henry were to show an acquittance for the other hundred marks. The Fine Rolls and Henry Ill's and Edward I's Patent Rolls provide the progress of events. There was an order on 7 March 1281 for Henry de Derngate to be released from Winchester prison provided that he found twelve mainpernors for his paying the thousand marks, and for his appear? ance before the king at the next parliament at Winchester, one month after Easter (11 May 1281) to hear the king's will about his 'trespass' - concealing the goods of the hanged Jew, Benedict of Winchester. Henry was to pay five hundred marks by the Nativity of St John the Baptist (24 June 1281) and a further five hundred marks at Michaelmas (29 September 1281). He made several payments on account (instalments of ten marks and ?220), noted in various accounts of the Exchequer dating from 1283-4. He also paid Philip de Wyleby (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) 190 marks of the thousand marks owed on 11 June 1281. The 1286-7 Pipe Roll notes that Philip was to acquit Henry of five hundred marks of his thousand mark fine, and that Simon de Wynton was to acquit him of a hundred marks, so that he owed only four hundred marks at that time. This amount was still owed in 1289--90. Rolls', Bulletin of the Institute of Jewish Studies 2 (1974) 65-7 and 65 n. 1 states that Benedict's chattels delivered to the receivers, as opposed to those concealed, were worth ?269 14s 3d. 57 Patent Rolls, 1279, p. 320; A. E. Bland and M. C. B. Dawes (eds) Calendar of Fine Rolls I (22 vols) (London 1911) 144. 58 H. G. Jenkinson (see n. 39) 280. 23</page><page sequence="24">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney Cokerel (son of Licoricia of Winchester) Cokerel appeared as Licoricia's attorney in 1253 to acknowledge quittance of the debt to them of Thomas de la Bigge and his heirs William and Richard, so it appears that Cokerel was participating in the family busi? ness.59 Bartlet gives him two sons, Abraham and Jacob, from an unnamed mother.60 Also in 1253, Cokerel was involved in a lawsuit with another Jew, Bonamy, son of Samarian of Winchester, regarding a Hebrew book valued at twenty shillings. Roth says it is tempting to believe that this was one of the volumes from his stepfather David of Oxford's obviously valuable collec? tion, more of which was included in his brother Benedict's library.61 The records reveal that, on David's death, the king had retained three of his books for royal use.62 Bonamy did not appear and the case was adjourned. Since the Rolls are missing for some years after this date, nothing further is known of the case, including whether this was a commercial transaction or whether the books were Jewish literature. Cokerel also had a protracted suit against the prior of Reigate, who was eventually ordered to pay the demands 'to the said Jew or to his nuntius\63 Finally, in 1255, among the pledges for paying the tallage imposed 'to the use of Richard Earl of Cornwall', 'Cokerel son of Licoricia' and 'Benedict son of Licoricia' contributed towards the forty marks for which Winchester was assessed. Lumbard (son of Licoricia of Winchester) Few records remain concerning Lumbard, Licoricia's youngest and proba? bly least successful son from her first marriage. In 1273, when Benedict moved to London, Lumbard, alluded to as 'the son of Licorice', paid the sum of 4s 8d 'for leave to reside at Basingstoke'. (Bartlet says that he had a son called Solomon, who paid to move to Odiham in the same year.64) While this brief entry gives no insight into Lumbard himself, it is evidence that Jews lived in established communities in towns, and that residence outside an established community seems to have required the purchase of a special royal licence. The Statute of Jewry of 1275 provided that Jews should not 59 Ibid. 115. 60 S. Bartlet (see n. 12) 43. 61 C.Roth (seen. 12) 57. 62 T. Madox (see n. 37) 1247. 63 Ibid. II 231. 64 S. Bartlet (see n. 11) 49 and n. 88. 24</page><page sequence="25">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester reside outside those cities or royal boroughs where there was an archa or chest for the registration of bonds. It also indicates both the mobility of the Jews and how this mobility was paid for. Jewish contributions to the Treasury included relief - a feudal profit paid by a tenant on taking posses? sion of his estate on the death of the previous owner - and fines. Payments were made for law proceedings, debts, licences such as permission to move residence from one town to another or to marry, and legal offences. There were also amerciaments, which it is often difficult to distinguish from fines. The major Jewish contributions were, however, tallages - the taxes imposed for a variety of reasons, such as for Richard's ransom or towards the dowry of Joan, the king's sister, on her marriage, or for no reason beyond that the king needed money. The other reference to 'Lumbard son of Licorice' concerns the fact that he owed forty marks of his fme pro transgressione cambii ('trespass of the coinage'). This fine was never paid, for it appears in the roll of 'desperate' debts.65 'Trespass of the coinage' included a range of offences, from the making and distributing of counterfeit coinage, whether of English or Continental origin, and the clipping of English coin, to crimes such as exchanging specie or coin in any place other than an official exchange. Those exchanging elsewhere would, if convicted, face a monetary penalty as a rule. Such a penalty would be noted in the records as so many 'pennies because he exchanged' in full or, more likely, abbreviated form. Asher (son of Licoricia of Winchester and David of Oxford) Asher's secondary name, Sweteman, derives from Genesis 49:20 - in the Authorized Version, 'Rich in wheat shall Asher's lands be; he shall send out delicacies for the tables of kings'. He lived at Marlborough, but when, in early 1275, King Edward gave his mother (Eleanor of Provence) permission to remove the Jews living in her 'dower towns' (towns or lands which gave her an income), Asher moved (on 16 January 1275) with the rest of the Marlborough community to Devizes. In 1281, lands which had belonged to Jews in Marlborough were granted to new owners.66 His wife bore the same name as his father's first wife, Muriel. It appears that he was engaged in many commercial transactions and that, at the time of the Expulsion in 1290, he was by far the wealthiest Jew in Wiltshire. He owned property in Winchester and two properties in Oxford. The first allusion to one of the Oxford properties is dated 1253 when, despite being only ten years old, his 65 Z. E. Rokeah, 'Money and the hangman in late-thirteenth-century England: Jews, Christians and coinage offences alleged and real (Part I)', Jewish Historical Studies XXXI (1990) 94 and 107 n. 59, the source being the Public Record Office exannual roll E363/2. 66 R. Mundill (see n. 52) 71. 25</page><page sequence="26">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney name is coupled with his mother's concerning the house that David had leased to Muriel for her lifetime after the divorce. While still in his twenties and living in Winchester, Asher was granted an assurance by the king in 1266 that he would 'not make any extent, proroga? tion or terms, pardon or quittance of any of the debts [owing to him] for five years'.67 The memoranda roll of 1275 states that Tf necessary, the barons are to examine the record and process of a case held before the justices of the Jews between Stephen de Edeworth [a former sheriff of Wiltshire in 1270-1] and Swetman, son of Lycoryca, a Jew, about a debt asked of Stephen by the Jew. They are to correct any error found there according to their discretion and as the custom of the aforesaid exchequer may provide.'68 In 1275, Sweteman was still in arrears in respect of taxes levied by Henry III, who had died in 1272. The Close Rolls reveal how the debts owed to the Jews were taken by the king as payment for the debts (taxes) that an individ? ual financier owed him. 'To the justices appointed for the custody of the Jews. If they ascertain that the debts that are owing to Swetmannus son of Licoricia, the king's Jew of Winchester, are sufficient to satisfy the king for all debts in which he is indebted to the king in his Jewry, they are ordered to cause all the debts that they exact from him for the late king's time to be levied from the better and clearer debts that are owed to the Jew in the Jewry, and not to permit the Jew or any of his household to be distrained by the bodies or to be disquieted for payment of the debts aforesaid to the king.'69 The Exchequer of the Jews had recorded in 1272 that Asher (called 'Sweteman, son of Licorice') was represented by his attorney in a case against Henry de Chaumbernum, 'tenant of part of the lands late of Ralph de Seccheville, touching a plea that Henry pay 10s in respect of his debt' to Asher. Henry did not appear, and the decision was taken to issue a mandate to the sheriff to distrain Henry 'by lands' and have him appear a week after the feast of St Michael.70 Also from 1272, the records provide a 'note refer? ring to the Pleas of last Easter Quindene [a fortnight after Easter] for a cause between Thomas de Chelwarton and Sweteman, son of Licorice and Muriel, his wife', giving the day of appearance as 'Michaelmas three weeks'.71 The Patent Rolls of 1280 mention that Hugh, son of Otto, was granted 'a moiety of the garden and manor of Chilwarton and Dunesawage ... 67 Patent Rolls, 1266, p. 566. He is described as 'Swetmannus, son of Licor, Jew of Winchester'. 68 Z. E. Rokeah (see n. 12) 165-6. 69 Close Rolls, 1275, p. 260. 70 H. G. Jenkinson (see n. 39) 290. 71 Ibid. 294. 26</page><page sequence="27">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester formerly in the hands of Benedict, son of Licoricia, sometime Jew of Winchester, who was hanged for felony'.72 So it looks as though Asher and his half-brother Benedict did business together, though this is supposition. A writ of 128373 provides information echoed in the Fine Rolls,74 where he is described as 'Asser, son of Licoriz de Wintonia, a Jew of Oxford' and is stated to have sold, in 1282, a messuage in the parish of All Saints, Oxford, in 'la Boucherie' (High Street) to Walter of Witney. The writ instructs the sheriff of Oxfordshire to raise five marks from the goods and chattels of Walter de Wyteneye. This is a fine owed to the king in return for the king's giving 'Asser son of Licora de Wynton', Jew, licence to sell Walter a rent of 32s 6d with its appurtenances in the parish of All Saints, Oxford. The sheriff was to have the money 'on the morrow of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist' (25 June 1283). He was told to enter 'the liberty of the town of Oxford, since its bailiffs did not execute the previous writ and to have the money to pay on the morrow of Michaelmas' (30 September 1283). Later this was postponed until the morrow of St Martin (12 November 1283), as was noted in the memoranda of the next year. It seems that sometime after 1283, Asher moved to Winchester.75 On 2 May 1287 Jews were seized and thrown into jail, not being released until they had paid their quota of a fine of twenty thousand marks which had been imposed on them for no known reason. This occasion was commemo? rated by Asher in a Hebrew graffito discovered in a dungeon in Winchester Castle: 'On Friday, eve of the Sabbath in which the pericope Emor [Leviticus 21 and 24] is read, all the Jews of the land of the isle were im? prisoned. I, Asher, inscribed this.'76 Asher survived until the Expulsion and presumably left the country, but, to judge from the records of the property of the Jews which was seized (apart from liquid wealth), he was not nearly as wealthy as his half-brother Benedict. He is listed as having only a bond worth forty pounds relating to the sale of wool (which may have been a cover for lending money, forbidden by King Edward in 1275), a house worth 10s 2d per annum, and a tenement worth three shillings per annum.77 We have not been able to find a wife or children for Licoricia's son Lumbard but, as noted earl?er, Benedict, the eldest son of Licoricia's first marriage, had six or mayoc seven children, and their names indicate their 72 R. Mundil! (see n. 52) 66. 73 Z. E. Rokeah (see n. 12) 278-9, n. 6, concerning entry no. 944. 74 Fine Rolls, 3 May 1282. 75 Patent Rolls, 1282, pp. 18 and 26. 76 C. Roth (see n. 2) 273 n. (c). 77 B. L. Abrahams, 'The Condition of the Jews of England at the Time of Their Expulsion in 1290', Trans JHSEII (1896) 102. 27</page><page sequence="28">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney spread over the country ? Lumbard and Abraham of Winchester; Avegaye of Oxford; Cok, Aaron and Belaset of Canterbury; and (possibly) Rose of York. Lumbard of Winchester (son of Benedict) Lumbard, the eldest of Benedict's children, remained in Winchester with Abraham, his youngest brother. When, in 1273, Benedict moved to London, Lumbard was appointed chirographer in his place. After the murder of his grandmother Licoricia in 1277, he was accused, as noted earlier, of breaking into Licoricia's house along with Abraham and two Christians and taking some of her goods. Abraham was arrested, but for some reason Lumbard was not. Avegaye of Oxford (daughter of Benedict) At some time, Avegaye moved to Oxford where she lived in the property once owned by her father Benedict, who, as seen before, probably inherited it from his mother Licoricia, who had inherited it as part of David's estate. It was from this house that Avegaye left England, possibly for France, at the Expulsion in 1290. It is unlikely that the house still belonged to the family after Benedict had been hanged. The records indicate that before Avegay moved into it, the house was occupied by one Vives, whose identity we have been unable to pin down. Cok of Canterbury (son of Benedict) Cok appears to have worked with, or for, his brother Aaron. We speculate that Cok, Aaron and Belaset moved to Canterbury because they had rela? tions or contacts there - their father, Licoricia's first husband, had been Abraham of Kent or Abraham of Canterbury, as well as Abraham of Winchester. When, at the Expulsion, the Canterbury archa was brought to Westminster for examination, among the sixteen men and six women who were sufficiently wealthy for their bonds and property to be included in the listing were 'Aaron, son of Benedict of Winchester (the Chirographer), (Kok) Isaac his brother'. The two brothers, Cok and his more prominent younger brother Aaron, and their sister Belaset probably worked together as financiers in Canterbury, benefiting from the support and prominence of their father, Benedict of Winchester. 28</page><page sequence="29">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester Aaron of Canterbury (son of Benedict) Besides being from a wealthy family, Aaron was wealthy in his own right. In 1270, King Henry had wished to give his son Edward a sum of money and transferred to him a debt of five pounds owed to Aaron by clients in Peckham and Rochester. When Edward came to the throne he naturally wished to appoint a rich financier to be a servant of the Crown, and in 1273, made Aaron one of the chirographers of the Canterbury archa, with his father Benedict of Winchester and Jacob, son of Jose le Clerk (the surname denotes a scribe for the chirographers) of London as sureties. The following year, 1274, Aaron together with his Jewish co-chirogra pher and their Christian counterparts were charged with having removed two bonds from the archa, one for two marks and the other for ten shillings, without the king's leave. They pleaded guilty to the bond for ten shillings and were ordered to refund the money, but asserted that they had acted on authority in delivering the Starr for two marks to the proper persons. This explanation was not regarded as satisfactory, and the four chirographers were committed for trial. All further record of this affair is missing, but in 1275, the archa was ordered to be opened and all bonds relating to debts that had already been settled were removed. (The archa were officially inspected whenever the king wished to know how much wealth his Jews possessed, as an aid to setting the amount of tallage he intended to impose.) At the Expulsion, Aaron is described as holding bonds to the value of 194 quarters of wheat worth ?56 and 18 quarters of corn worth ?5 14s 8d, totalling ?61 14s 8d, making him the third wealthiest of the Canterbury Jews. Belaset of Canterbury (daughter of Benedict) Belaset must have participated in the financial activities of the family, but the only reference to this is that, at the Expulsion, she left bonds given for eight quarters of corn to be delivered in exchange for loans, worth ?2 8s. Such 'forward contracts' may have served as cover for a de facto loan, although Mundill considers these to be bona fide commodity transactions. While the houses of her brothers Aaron and Cok have been identified, Belaset's has not. If she married, we have been unable to trace the name of her husband, which might have given a clue as to where she lived. Possibly, although this is less likely, she did not marry and lived with one of her brothers. 29</page><page sequence="30">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney Abraham of Winchester (son of Benedict) Abraham, the youngest of Benedict's six children, remained in Winchester with his brother Lumbard. Just as his half-brother Asher may have been named after his grandfather, David's father Asher Lumbard, so Abraham may have been named after his grandfather, Benedict's father and Licoricia's first husband, Abraham of Kent. He seems to have lived on the edge of legality. In 1277, Abraham was brutally assaulted, allegedly by Edmund of Sutton, who was accused of wounding him with a sword in the head and right shin, and maltreating him 'to Abraham's ?100 damage, so that his life was despaired of, his goods being carried away'.78 A Crown commission of oyer and terminer (convened to try criminal cases and all offenders awaiting trial in the county jails) was set up to investigate the assault on Abraham. It was ordered that the case be tried at Winchester by a jury of Christians and Jews, 'according to the law and custom of Jewry'.79 Despite Abraham producing witnesses, Edmund denied the assault and the injuries, and said that he was not obliged to answer because he 'had settled the matter [with a promise of payment] with Benedict, who was Abraham's father and attorney'. Benedict had agreed to relax the charges in return for forty marks and a cask of wine worth four and a half marks. Of this, Edmund said, he had paid thirty marks and the four and half marks for the wine while Benedict was still alive (Benedict was hanged in 1279, as noted before). Edmund was willing to pay the outstanding ten marks to the king (because of Benedict's conviction, his debts and possessions were forfeit to the Crown). The judgement was that Edmund was quit of Abraham's claim because he had appointed Benedict as his attorney, having full powers, and Abraham was in mercy for having made a false claim. In the same year that Abraham suffered this near-fatal assault, his grand? mother Licoricia was murdered and, as already stated, he and his brother Lumbard and two Christians were accused of taking her goods and chattels from her 'chests and strongboxes'. Abraham and the two Christians (but not Lumbard - we have been unable to find a reason for this) were arrested. They fled and were exacted and outlawed. Yet Abraham, who like the others apparently had 'no chattels', was back in the Winchester community and not outlawed when in the Easter term of 1280 he was himself charged with trespass, assault and robbery. Matilda Pruet of Winchester asserted that on 31 May 1278 she went into 'the street called Fleshmongerstreet opposite the house of Isaac le Lung, Jew'.80 She had cloths and other goods for sale. 78 Z. E. Rokeah (see n. 42) 134-5. 79 H. R Stokes (see n. 12) 206. 80 Z. E. Rokeah (see n. 42) 114. 30</page><page sequence="31">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester Abraham assaulted her there, beat her abusively, seized her by the shoulders and pushed her to the ground. He took from her a wild ox's horn worth one mark, which Richard de Bosco had given her to sell. Abraham denied the charges. He declared that in any event he was not obliged to answer them because Matilda had not specified whether he had beaten her with sticks or with arms, and that her appeal was insufficient because she was accusing him of having stolen someone else's property, not her own. (An accusation by a private person was called an appeal, and Matilda Pruet lost her appeal against Abraham on the legal technicality that the prop? erty he was accused of stealing was not her own. Despite that, Abraham was still to be tried for robbery, even though Matilda's private accusation had resulted in nothing for her. If she had won her appeal, she - not the king - would have received the stolen property, should it have been recovered.) The sheriff was told to produce a jury including six Christians and six Jews of Winchester on the fortnight after the feast of St John the Baptist, to deal with the charge of robbery.81 We have not been able to ascertain the outcome of this case, but in 1281 Abraham was imprisoned at the Tower of London for the death of a man killed in Winchester. He had been accused before the Winchester coroners and the indictment had been presented to the itinerant justices there. Apparently he had not appeared before them and had been declared an outlaw in the county court. For this reason he had placed himself in prison, and the report in the Jewish plea roll stated that he was to appear for trial a fortnight after Michaelmas, so as 'to do what he should according to law'.82 There is no record of a verdict. We have been unable to find further references to this black sheep of the family. The last fifteen years In 1275 King Edward issued the Statutum de Judeismo, by which Jews were absolutely forbidden to lend money at interest. As this prohibition left the Jews without any means of livelihood, the restrictions were accompanied by concessions. For the first time in English history they were empowered to become merchants and artisans and, although this licence was to expire after fifteen years, Jews were authorized to lease lands for tillage and farm? ing for terms not exceeding one decade. However, Jews were to be allowed to live only in towns under direct royal authority and only where chirograph chests existed. The obligation to wear the Jewish badge was extended to all persons of either sex from the age of seven upwards, and those above twelve were to pay a poll tax of threepence annually at Easter. 81 Ibid. 114 n. 55. 82 Ibid. 106. 3i</page><page sequence="32">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney Edward's experiment ended in failure. A number of the wealthier finan? ciers were able to turn to wholesale trade in corn and wool, commodities on which they had previously been accustomed to make advance payments and in which they had traded when forced to foreclose. Only a very few persons rented lands for the stipulated period, and even so, probably it was for the sake of wood-cutting rather than agriculture. The less well-off faced destitution and starvation. Some were driven to convert to Christianity, and the number of inhabitants of the Domus Conversorum83 rose to nearly a hundred. Some continued their old profes? sion clandestinely or resorted to coin clipping. As stated earlier, Licoricia's son Benedict was caught up in the 1278 investigation of coin clipping and hanged. By the summer of 1289, when Edward returned to England from a prolonged visit to his Continental possessions, it was obvious that the 'Jewish problem' had worsened. He had three possibilities: one was to extend to Jews the social emancipation the absence of which made their economic emancipation an impossibility; the second was to confess the fail? ure of his policy and to allow a return to the previous state of affairs, legit? imizing moneylending again; the third solution was the one chosen - to sweep away the problem which it had been impossible to solve. The experimental period of fifteen years during which the Jews had been empowered to lease farms by the Statutum dejndeismo expired in 1290. On 18 July 1290, writs were issued to the sheriffs of the English counties informing them that a decree had been issued ordering all Jews to leave England before the forthcoming feast of All Saints (1 November), on pain of death. Among those who left were Licoricia's sons Asher and Lumbard, and her grandchildren (Benedict's children), the scapegrace Abraham of Winchester and Avegaye of Oxford.84 Four weeks before the general expul? sion, the sheriffs and bailiffs were ordered to value all Jewish property, houses and tenements as well as bonds.85 Public proclamation was made in every county that no person should 'injure, harm, damage or grieve' the Jews in the time which was to elapse until their departure.86 Those who chose to pay for it were escorted to London. The Wardens of the Cinque Ports were instructed to see that the exiles were provided with safe and speedy passage across the sea and that the poor were enabled to travel at 83 R. Berman Brown and S. McCartney, 'Living in Limbo: The Experience of Jewish Converts in Medieval England', in G. Armstrong and I. N. Wood (eds) Christianising Peoples and Converting Individuals (Turnhout, Belgium, 2000) 169-97. 84 S. Bartlet (see n. 12) 43. 85 B. L. Abrahams (see n. 77) 105. 86 C. Roth (see n. 2) 86. 32</page><page sequence="33">David of Oxford and Licoricia of Winchester cheap rates. The Jews were allowed to take with them all cash and personal property in their possession at the time of the edict, together with such pledges deposited by Christians as were not redeemed before a fixed date. Their bonds and real estate, however, including their cemeteries and syna? gogues, escheated to the Crown. A communication to the Treasurer and Barons of the Exchequer recorded in the Close Rolls states that in 1297 the king gave to William Burnell, provost of Wells, a number of houses in Oxford including that of 'Avegaya, daughter of Benedict of Wyntonia', a house with shop in the parish of St Aldate worth 26s 8d per year.87 The ultimate fate of the exiles is obscure. It is probable that many of the fugitives from England were able to remain in France, since they spoke French, undergoing the vicissitudes which the French Jews suffered. In the roll of Paris Jewry in 1296, several names appear with the addition of PEnglesche or l'Englois;88 the surname Ingles was found occasionally among the Jews of Spain, and Inglesi on the island of Gozo near Malta. Except for such random recollections, the English Jewry of the Middle Ages became entirely assimilated into the greater body of their coreligion? ists overseas. The value of the debts owed to the Jewish community was a little more than nine thousand pounds. These amounts, afterwards due to the Crown, were never fully collected. Payment was permitted to be deferred. Nearly forty years after the Expulsion, in response to a petition of the Commons in 1327, Edward III gave up all claim to the payment of outstanding amounts. Despite a gap of eight hundred years, and despite the fact that information about David and Licoricia, their children and grandchildren has had to be extracted from dry legal records, it is possible to understand and sympathize with the ups and downs of nearly a hundred years of their family's life in England, and to broaden understanding of the lives of thousands of Jews who experienced joys and despairs, successes and failures similar to their own. ADDENDA 1. The most frequently cited official medieval documents in the paper are: Close Rolls {Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum), which contain the closed or more private letters of the king addressed to his subjects, and of less public interest or importance than Charter Rolls. The Close Rolls have been published: D. M. Denton (ed.) 10 Richard I (1932); 5 John (1938), 6 John 87 Close Rolls, 1280-1386. 88 C. Roth (see n. 12) 167. 33</page><page sequence="34">Reva Berman Brown and Sean McCartney (1940) and by various editors over a period of time Henry III (15 vols, 1902-75) and Edward I (5 vols, 1900-8); Charter Rolls, which contain the more formal and public pronouncements of the king, granting privileges and so on to his subjects. For example, the great Charter of the Jews confirmed by John in 1201 was entered on the Charter Roll.89 The Charter Rolls from 1226 have been published in six volumes (1903-27), of which volumes 1 and 2 cover 1226-1300; Patent Rolls contain letters patent, ordering subjects to do something or granting some right or privilege. These have been published for the reigns of Henry III (6 vols, 1901-13) and Edward I (4 vols, 1893-1901). 2. Calculating the current values of medieval transactions in a meaningful way is clearly impossible. When a book could cost as much as a house, and 2d was a sufficient income for a day's labour, it is difficult to make meaning? ful comparisons, other than arithmetically. Clearly, the medieval figures have to be multiplied by a large factor to convey something of the scale of the transactions being given in the text. Michael Adler in The Jews of Medieval England (London 1939) attempted to calculate equivalents to thir? teenth-century prices and gave an index number/multiplication value of 30 (p. 316). The increase in the Retail Price Index from 1939 to 2004 gives an overall factor of approximately 800. (Judith Samuel90 also gives modern equivalents to some medieval figures and uses a factor of 744, derived from information supplied by the Economics Section, Market Intelligence Department, Nat West Group, London.) However, this cannot be treated as meaning very much. The typical stipend of a teacher in a Jewish school (say 8 marks) would be translated as ?4000, which does not seem an unreason? able figure. On the other hand, the ransom of Richard I was, at ?100,000, a fabulous sum that required a great effort for his administration to collect. Yet multiplying by 800 gives only ?8om - small change in terms of today's public expenditure. Simply to give some idea of the scale of the sums involved (and not making any claims for precision), we show some transla? tions below, using this factor: 1 mark marks marks marks marks Medieval sum 13s 4&lt;/(68p) Modern Equivalent over ?500 500 1000 5000 100 ?67 ?333 ?667 ?3333 over ?50,000 over ?250,000 over ?500,000 over ?2,500,000 89 T. D. Hardy (ed.) Rotuli chart arum in Turri londinensi asservati (London 1837) 93. 90 J. Samuel (see n. 53) 22 n. 16. 34</page></plain_text>

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