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Hybridity in a medieval key: the paradox of Jewish participation in self-representative political processes

Julie Mell

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Jewish Historical Studies , volume 44, 2012 Hybridity in a medieval key: the paradox of Jewish participation in self-representative political processes JULIE MELL Jewish legal status, before the emancipation of the modern period, is typically assumed to have been that of non-citizens. It is paired with a second assump- tion - that Jews were treated collectively before emancipation and individu- ally afterwards. As Lois Dubin points out, the "demand by Count Stanislas de Clermont-Tonnerre [that] 'The Jews should be denied everything as a nation, but granted everything as individuals' is often understood to denote a contrasting past."1 This paper extends Dubin's argument beyond the early modern period, back to high medieval Europe, using England as a case study.2 Anglo-Norman Jews, and Western European Jews more generally, are typically imagined in the medieval historical literature as akin to foreign- ers and aliens or to serfs (drawing on the formulation "the king's serfs" which appears in royal documents in the thirteenth century). Dubin calls for a more variegated legal and political history of pre- emancipation Jews, "one that allows room for intermediate spaces and [unlikely] combinations."3 I respond to the call by challenging the first of these assumptions (non-citizenry) by arguing that Jews were akin to citizens in medieval England. By "citizen" I understand an English freeman with right to use the royal courts and obligation to pay royal taxes. I shall complicate rather than challenge the second assumption, that of collectivity. I propose that a Jewish collectivity (a "commune") emerged only in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as a legal and political institution, and only as part of the broad legal and political changes in which boroughs emerged as cells for the growth of representative government.4 Therefore the 1 Lois Dubin, "Subjects into citizens", Simon Dubnow Institute Yearbook 5 (2006): 51 . See also her "Between Toleration and Equality", Simon Dubnow Institute Yearbook 1 (2002): 219-34. 2 See the Polish parallel discussed by François Guesnet, "Agreements between neighbors: the 'ugody' as a source on Jewish-Christian relations in early modern Poland", Jewish History 24 (2010): 257-70. The difference between the two cases lies in the role of the royal authorities. 3 Dubin, "Subjects into citizens". 4 Kenneth Stow has argued against the notion of a Jewish corporation from late antiquity. I fully agree with him and emphasize that the borough had not yet acquired the legal notion of corpo- ration. I use commune here in the limited sense of communa. Kenneth Stow, "Ha-Kehillah ha- 127</page><page sequence="2">Julie Meli construction of "the Jews" as a commune was not discrimination in origin, but the mechanism for the integration of Jews in medieval political life. Only later did it perhaps contribute institutional mechanisms that aided the expul- sion of the Jews. My article will sketch Jewish legal and political status in medieval England from the late twelfth century to the late thirteenth, shortly before the Jews were expelled in 1290. This century was critical in the growth of royal power and administrative centralization. The common law and royal taxation were central sites for the development of processes of representative government on a local level, even as they were the backbone for the extension of central- ized royal power.5 Jews were collectively marked out and paradoxically inte- grated as Jews through the royal institutions of national taxation and common law. They participated communally and individually as royal officials admin- istering tax on the Jewish community and sought legal redress in royal courts. Jewish participation in government happened, just as for burgesses, through the self-representation of the collective commune. Indeed, I shall argue that English Jews through their participation in royal taxation and justice were constructed as a borough. In the thirteenth century, the borough was a legal construct which distin- guished a township from seigneurial or royal demesne. It was created neither through a grant of the king nor through a voluntary association with guild- like traits, as it came to be in the fourteenth century. It was an already recog- nized community, a communa , distinguished from the villa in practice if not yet in legal theory. Frederic Maitland imaginatively underscored this point: "Could we question a sheriff, we would get little more from him than that boroughs were towns with liberties which sent twelve representatives to the justice in eyre, rather than the four and reeve sent by the vili".6 Many of the historical details presented here have been discussed in one form or another in the past 125 years of Anglo-Jewish scholarship.7 Yet the Yehudit b-yme ha-benaimlo hayta korporatzia" [The medieval Jewish community was not a cor- poration], in Kehunah u-Melukhah: Yahase Dat u-Medinah be-Yisrael uva-'amim: kovets maa- marim , eds. Isaiah Gafni and Bagriel Motzkin (Jerusalem, 1987), 141-48. 5 Carl Stephenson, "Beginnings of Representative Government in England" and "Taxation and Representation" in his Medieval Institutions: Selected Essays (Ithaca, NY, 1957), 104-25 and 126-138. G. L. Harriss, King, Parliament , and Public Finance in Medieval England to ij6g (Oxford, 1975). 6 Sir Frederick Pollock and F. W. Maitland, The History of the English Law before the Time of Edward /, 2 vols., 2nd ed. (Cambridge, 1898) 1, 667-68. On thirteenth-century boroughs, see esp. G. H. Martin, "The English Borough in the Thirteenth Century", in The English Medieval Town: A Reader in English Urban History 1200-15 40, ed. Richard Holt and Gervase Rosser (London, 1990), 29-48 (ist pub. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 13 [1963]). 7 Esp. H. P. Stokes, Studies in Anglo-Jewish History (Edinburgh, 19 13), H. G. Richardson, English Jewry (London, i960), and Robert Stacey, "Royal Taxation and the Social Structure of 128</page><page sequence="3">Hybridity in a medieval key rich details about the roles of Jewish individuals in royal administration and the exchequer of the Jews have not been used to analyse the legal status of Anglo-Norman Jews, much less to explore the question of identity, particu- larly the formation of collective identity. The interpretation here cuts against the grain of traditional interpretations that saw the Jews as the king's serfs throughout the period of medieval settlement. The legal status of medieval Anglo-Jewry, like that of medieval German and French Jewry, has tradi- tionally been conceptualized by modern historians as "Jewish serfdom". For the seventeenth-century William Prynne, the Jews were "the king's most exquisite villeins."8 For the nineteenth-century Maitland, the Jews were "the king's dependents and (the word will hardly be too strong) the king's serfs."9 The peculiar phrase dates to the 1230s when French legislation of Louis IX referred to "tanquam proprium servum" (just like his own serf) and German to "servi camerae regis" (servants or serfs of the royal chamber). Salo Baron emphasized the element of protection involved in Jewish serfdom, precisely because he de-emphasized the lachrymose concept. Gavin Langmuir on the contrary emphasized persecution, because he focused on clarifying the grounds of growing antisemitism.10 The demarcation "serfs" is read in ref- erence to Jews as claiming their bodies and belongings for the king. In the English case, the Exchequer of the Jews has been seen as an institution that privileged and protected the Jews as the king's own, in order that their riches might be collected through tallage as the king's own. In contrast, the analysis here suggests that Jewish legal status differed from that of free urban burgesses only in one important way. ("Free" is used throughout in the medieval technical sense of "non-servile". As has been often discussed, medieval Europeans had no notion of general freedom, only of minor freedoms or privileges.) That difference was their institutional sep- aration as Jews. In this, I build on the work of Langmuir who argued that: Mediaeval Anglo-Jewry: the tallages of 1239-1242", Hebrew Union College Annual 56 (1985): I75-249- 8 William Prynne, Second Part of a Short Demurrer to the Ievves long discontinued remitter into England (Green Arbor, 1656), 128. 9 Pollock and Maitland, History of English Law , 468. 10 The two most important articles which focus respectively on the German and French context are Salo Baron, "Medieval Nationalism and Jewish Serfdom", Studies and Essays in Honor of Abraham A. Neuman , ed. Meir Ben-Horin, Bernard Weinryb and Solomon Zeitlin (Philadelphia, 1962), 17-48; Gavin Langmuir, '"Tanquam Servi': The Change in Jewish Status in French Law about 1200", Toward a Definition of Antisemitism (Berkeley, 1990), 167-94. For other references, see Baron and Langmuir. The latest contribution to this debate is Alexander Patschovsky, "Das Rechtsverhältnis der Juden zum deutschen König (9-14 Jahrhundert)", Zeitschrift der Savigny- Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte 123 (1993): 331-71 and a rev. English version, "The Relationship between the Jews of Germany and the King (1 ith-i4th Centuries): A European Comparison," in England and Germany in the High Middle Ages , ed. Alfred Haverkamp and Hanna Vollrath (New York, 1996), 193-218. 129</page><page sequence="4">Julie Meli "Jews did not become, or come to be thought of, as serfs in England between 1066 and 1290. What happened in that period was that their distinctive status as Jews was, at first gradually and then drastically, degraded until the final distinction and degradation of the expulsion of 1290."11 With Langmuir, I conclude that "the status of Jews in secular law was not 'Jewish serfdom' but Jewish status, and to speak of Jews as royal serfs or 'serfs' only obscures legal reality."12 However, I go significantly beyond Langmuir in arguing that the institutionalization of Jews as a collective group was a double-edged sword. It cut paradoxically in two directions. On the one hand, it made them full par- ticipants in constitutional processes that have been much celebrated.13 On the other, it institutionalized Jews as Jews, paving the way for their exclusion and expulsion. Langmuir's argument has not held the day. J. A. Watt resurrected Maitland's analogy of Jewish serfdom as a relative servility over against Langmuir.14 Watt used principally Edward I's "Statute of the Jewry" of 1275, issued shortly after Edward returned from crusading to take the throne.15 Written in Norman French, the statute's three explicit references to "ky serfs il sunt "in French carry none of the ambiguities, Watt argued, of the Latin verb servicium which could be used alike for noble service and servile status. Watt also built on Guido Kisch's work by emphasizing the associations between secular legislation and canonical legislation in regard to Jewish serfdom. Jewish status, he concluded, was defined both theologically and politically as service to both Church and State.16 The large range of keys that historiographie differences have been able to play is surely a reflection also of the fact that judgement is rendered over a few scraps of statutory references. This article defines Jewish legal status "functionally" by tracing the institutional history of Jewish participation in the twin axes of medieval royal government. However, I come at legal status from the side-door of collective identity. Shifting the analysis from legal status to institutional formation of collective identity allows the historian to evaluate legal status in action from multiple viewpoints. This skirts the methodologically problematic procedure of deriving legal status from pre- scribed laws, which have a complex relationship to social realities and never simply mirror "reality". More importantly, the category of identity encom- passes but is not bound by that of legal status. 11 Langmuir, '"Tanquam Servi'", 178. 12 Ibid., 193. 13 See Stephenson references in n. 5. 14 J. A. Watt, "The Jews, the Law, and the Church: The Concept of Jewish Serfdom in Thirteenth- century England", in The Church and Sovereignty , c. 5ço-içi8: Essays in Honour of Michael Wilks , ed. Diana Wood (Oxford, 1991), 153-72. 15 The statute can be found in Robin Mundill, England's Jewish Solution (Cambridge, 1998), App. II, 291-93, translated from the version in Statutes of the Realm (London, 1810), vol. 1, 220-21. 130</page><page sequence="5">Hybridity in a medieval key While the emphasis of the minute institutional analysis will be on same- ness (that is, sameness of Jews and burgesses), the over-arching argument is one about difference. The argument here resonates with postmodern accounts of cultural hybridity, in which hybridity articulates differences without an assumed or imposed hierarchy. Hybridity's "betweenness" works as a counterpoint (and corrective) to narratives of "homogenous national culture", of "consensual contiguous history" and "'organic' ethnic commu- nities".17 The medieval Jewish commune is a reminder that even at its con- stitutional origins the "English nation" was not homogenous. Tallage as sign of an urban commune Anglo-Norman England was one of the premiere examples of the centraliz- ing monarchies of medieval Europe seen as the origins of the modern state.18 Royal power was extended through two new avenues of institutional growth: royal justice and royal revenue. The most celebrated of these is the growth of common law, which extended royal justice to freemen (and only freemen) via an inquest by jury in certain predefined cases.19 Royal justice generated revenue through the legal courts by way of fines, amercements and oblations but far more important for royal revenue was the development of taxation. The Norman rulers introduced two new taxes: tallages, which were lump sums levied principally on boroughs, and lay subsidies, which were based on a percentage of movable wealth held by all free households. Tallage was the principal tax levied on boroughs and on the Jewish community. The growth of both common law and royal taxation happened through the newly developing institutions of inquest that combined the appointment of royal officials with the self-representation of a local body of 'middling men'. These institutional procedures relied on consensual participation of the local population and therefore promoted representative government at the local level.20 This was especially the case with tallage, because it was negotiated as a lump sum, and the equitable division of the tax was handled through self- representative processes. The royally appointed assessors might be men who were high in the administration and concerned with finance and justice but 16 Watt, "Jews, Law, and Church", 172. 17 Homi Bhabha, Location of Culture (London, 1994), 5. 18 Two classic accounts are Joseph Strayer, On the Medieval Origins of the Modern State (Princeton, 1970) and R. I. Moore, The Formation of a Persecuting Society , 2nd ed. (Maiden, MA, 2007). 19 Frederick Pollock and Frederic William Maitland, History of English Law before the time of Edward I (Union, NJ, 1996), 147-58. John Baker, Introduction to English Legal History (London, 2002), 12-22 discusses the broader context for the development of the common law. 20 Sydney Mitchell, Studies in Taxation under John and Henry III (New Haven, 19 14) 352 and Taxation in Medieval England (New Haven, 1951), 339f. 131</page><page sequence="6">Julie Meli they relied on local representatives for both assessments and collections. These might be local 'big men' - to use the anthropological term - such as county knights, appointed to work with the royal justices in collecting tallages and subsidies. "The sheriff cooperated as a subordinate [of the royal appointee]. He summoned the men of the locality to appear before the jus- tices for the assessment; he distrained men to pay the tax; he furnished the transportation for the money; he distrained the collectors to pay the money at the exchequer."21 To "combine administrative experience, knowledge of local conditions, and fidelity to the king's interests in order to assure an equi- table apportionment of the tax among the taxpayers, and a payment propor- tionate to the wealth of each area tallaged,"22 royal officials had to work closely with local representatives. This was the case whether the tax was levied on the Jewish population, on the borough or on the county. Let me give some examples of how the admin- istration of Jewish tallage during the reign of Henry III shared the same insti- tutional structures. Jewish tallages were administered through a combination of Jews appointed as royal commissioners working in concert with local Jewish representatives (sometimes designated king's bailiffs) and other local royal officials such as Christian sheriffs and Christian "chirographers". The Chancery rolls are full of examples in which two or three Jewish men of some importance (to judge by their frequent appearance in the Chancery and Exchequer rolls) were appointed for assessing tallage.23 In the 1220s, for example, Isaac of Norwich, Elie of Lincoln and Josce le Prestre were appointed by the king to assess tallage: the Patent Letter instructs the "Chirographers appointed over the Jews of England, whether Christians or Jews" to co-operate with these official appointees in assessing tallage quickly and efficiently.24 In 1237, five men of whom at least four were Jewish were commissioned "to assess generally on all Jews of the land having chattels . . . the tallage of 3000 marks which the said Jews owe to the king, to be paid within a month of this [coming] Easter."25 They were given specific direc- tives by the king similar to those given Christians administering tallages and lay subsidies: "Neither for hatred, love or fear of any are they to forego assess- ing every Jew according to what goods he has, sparing none nor grieving any except according to his capacity and power so that the tallage be in no part delayed on the day of payment through their default."26 They were then to deliver the assessment to Aaron of York who had been appointed to collect 21 Mitchell, Studies in Taxation , 352. 22 Ibid., 333. 23 Richardson, English Jewry, i20f. 24 Calendar of the Patent Roll (hereafter PR), Henry III , 1216-1225 , 496. 25 PR, Henry III, 1232-47, 178. 26 Ibid. 132</page><page sequence="7">Hybridity in a medieval key the tax and had the power to distrain property.27 (Aaron of York was the Arch-Presbyter of the Jews during these years,28 a royal office equivalent to that of a sheriff or perhaps even a justice of the exchequer of the Jews, in that the Arch-Presbyter had a seat at the Exchequer and a copy of the adminis- trative rolls.)29 In 1 24 1, the king ordered his sheriffs to summon six of the wealthier and more powerful Jews from each county along with one or two Jews from each town in which Jews dwelt to meet him in two weeks at Worcester.30 These summonses are like those calling up Christian knights and local men of stature for legal and fiscal purposes. Regarded in the classic accounts of con- stitutional history as important bases for representative government, they illustrate the integration of Jews in the representative processes of medieval government. In 1244, five Jews were placed in charge of the tallage of 4000 marks. All were important and wealthy Jews - Aaron of York again, Benedict Crespin, Aaron son of Abraham, Aaron le Blund and Moses son of Jacob. They seem to have been in charge not only of assessing but also collecting the tallage, as the letter patent instructs them to pay out 1000 marks of the tallage to four Italian merchants of Siena and Florence to whom the king is indebted. (It seems that these men were selected primarily because they were wealthy and communal leaders. Occasionally a rabbinic authority may appear in an official capacity but internal religious institutions do not seem to have formed the basis for Jewish political participation.)31 Such examples may be found throughout the thirteenth century. In addition to the appointment of "big men" from the Jewish population as royal officials, local representatives were elected by a body of Jewish repre- sentatives to assist with the assessment and collection of tallage, as was the case for an urban borough. These Jewish representatives acted as intermediaries between the elite, top-level representatives and the local communities. Clear documentation of the representative process comes from the largest docu- mented Jewish tallage of the thirteenth century, that of Worcester (1241-42; see plate 1). Records of Jewish tallages are extant from the mid-twelfth century through the expulsion but few details about the process of assessment and col- lection have been preserved. The Worcester tallage is exceptional in this regard.32 About 150 to 200 Jews must have gathered in Worcester. Jewish "jurors" were selected for each town,33 who were responsible for preparing a 27 Ibid. 28 See H. P. Stokes. Studies in Anglo-Jewish History (Edinburgh, ion), 29-30. 29 Ibid., 244-45. Similar contingencies were made for others too: ibid., 44. 30 Calendar of the Close Rolls , Henry III 1 ( 1237-42), 346-47 and see Stacey, "Royal T axation": 1 89. 31 PR, Henry III (1232-1247), 445. 32 See Stacey, "Royal Taxation", Apps., 175-249; the description here follows i88f. 33 Public Record Office E 101/249/ 12 published in ibid., Apps. III- IV. 133</page><page sequence="8">Julie Meli list of Jewish residents and an assessment of their movable property, exclud- ing loans. The Jews present elected thirteen Jews as talliatores , a second royal office, and another six Jews to oversee the entire tax together with the six wealthiest Jews and the Arch-Presbyter who had been appointed. (Similar to lay subsidies, measures were taken to make sure that the rich paid their share and that the poor were not unduly burdened. Jews with movables worth less than 1 5 shillings were to be exempt from taxation.)34 Six of the wealthier Jews worked in concert with six of the middling sort, and oaths were taken by all. Assessors were restricted from assessing any relatives or even servants of rel- atives. Jews were appointed sureties for around twenty communities and, some months later, two to six Jews in each county were appointed as the king's "bailiffs".35 These Jews had royal authority to distrain but also the (sometimes uncomfortable) responsibility for collection. The directive to the Jewish appointees concludes "we will require it from you if anything of our aforesaid tallage is missing at its terms, and will lay our hand so heavily upon you that your punishment will be a terror to all."36 At least one bailiff, Bonefey of Bristol, turned fugitive and fled when he could not raise the communal sum for tallage. Bonefey owed the king £30 towards the tallage; his debts were sent to Westminster for collection and his house, plus a yearly rent on house, gardens and bridge, were sold.37 The essential point is that the offices and institutions, as well as the complex interlacing of coercion and consent, were the same whether for the Jewish or Christian freemen of medieval England. Historical interpretation has fallen too easily into the habit of reading the Jewish evidence as coercive and the Christian as consensual.38 By levying tallage through a representative com- munal body, the crown was constructing a new institution, the Jewish commune, that is, something akin to a borough. Indeed, in the Worcester doc- ument that lists the Jewish jurors and talliatores , the scribe uses the terminol- ogy of "Communa Angli[ca]" to refer to the Jewish collectivity and even drops the qualifier "of the Jews", no doubt for the sake of brevity.39 When one recalls that at this period, political and legal entities were not yet aligned with terri- tory, one can better understand the institutionalization of Jews as a borough and the Arch-Presbyter as perhaps an official similar to a sheriff or a justice. Thus far I have been arguing that the same new institutions of elite and local royal appointees representing the borough were present in the Jewish 34 Stacey reads as "40 shillings"; "Royal Taxation", 191. 35 PR, Henry III 1 237-1 242 , 353-55. 36 Ibid.; trans, from Stacey, "Royal Taxation", App. V, 248-49. 37 Stacey, "Royal Taxation", 222. 38 Contrast e.g. Cecil Roth, A History of the Jews in England (Oxford, 1964), 38-67 with Mitchell, Taxation , 339f and Studies in Taxation , 352. 39 Stacey, "Royal Taxation", App. III, 242: "Judei Assessores electi per communam Angl' similiter cum vj divitibus Judeis ad tallagium assidendem, scilicet . . ." 134</page><page sequence="9">Hybridity in a medieval key community. Both developed through and because of taxation and the common law in the later twelfth and thirteenth centuries. This new collec- tivity had the effect of creating a political and legal identity, the Jewish commune. However, this new legal identity was neither that of serfdom nor akin to foreigners but akin to free burgesses. Both the appointment of Jews as royal officials and the self-representative processes attest to the free status of Jews generally. The appointment of Jews as officials also illustrates the new construction of Jews as a commune and, through the commune, the incor- poration of Jews in the mainstream political, legal and financial institutions of medieval England. Jews were incorporated into English political structures as Jews by the collective grouping and, paradoxically, marked out. This paradox emerges even more clearly in the Jewish inclusion in the common law system. To the legal system, I shall now turn. Common law as evidence of free status Legal institutions provided the skeletal administrative structure for the col- lection of taxes and legality underlay the appropriation of wealth through tax- ation. Tallage morphed at points into questions of ownership and property law. Out of the administration of royal revenue in the Exchequer, there grew the legal Court of the Exchequer which also heard pleas related to Jews. This has conventionally been called the 'Exchequer of the Jews.' But when pre- cisely and in what ways it became a separate institution rather than a separate set of rolls documenting legal pleas is not clear. The Exchequer of the Jews is typically interpreted as evidence for the oppression of English Jewry as the king's serfs. They have often been envisioned as a milch cow whose money- lending soaked up the excess wealth of the country and was squeezed out via the Exchequer of the Jews into the king's coffers.40 What I would emphasize, on the contrary, is that the Exchequer of the Jews was a royal court that oper- ated according to the common law, and therefore a priori assumed a legal status of free citizens for Jews. The machinery for the collection of arrears was the same across Jewish and Christian tallages and illustrates the processes of common law underlying Jewish tallage. The following example from the plea rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews shows well the legal process underlying distraint. Diaie the son of Soleil of Winchester was distrained by the sheriff for arrears of 32s 4d as well as another 25s which fell due for a new tallage.41 He clearly had no debts in the 40 See e.g. Roth, History of the Jews, 38-67 and Pollock and Maitland, History of English Law , 494-97- 41 Select Pleas , Starrs , and other Records from the Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, A.D. 1220-1284 (London, 1902), 17-18. 135</page><page sequence="10">Julie Meli loan chest, for the sheriff seized his movables - all personal, household items of limited value. Among the goods listed were four spoons, a robe, a cape, a "brazen" pot, a Hebrew book entitled "Gamaliel", glosses on the five books of Moses, the five books of Moses and a bowl of "mazer" wood. The most valuable item was the Hebrew book "Gamaliel", worth 20 shillings, and the least valuable were the spoons, worth a shilling a piece. One should be careful not to take examples like these and read them as brutal extortion of a weak, subject Jewry whose legal status was no better than that of serfs of the king. For, while Diaie no doubt suffered personally, the incident set in a proper legal context illustrates Jewish inclusion in the common law system and Jewish legal rights equivalent to burgesses. It was Diaie who summoned the Sheriff of Hampshire to court, claiming that the sheriff wrongly withheld his property. When the Sheriff produced a "starr" in which Diaie "of his own free will" delivered the "gages" to be sold in default of the 26s payment, Diaie claimed that he was forced to make it by the Sheriff and attempted to offer proof. Diaie's witnesses did not bear testimony for him, or at least not sufficient testimony to convince the justices at the Exchequer of the Jews. He was imprisoned for bearing false witness and released on payment of a fine. While the case illustrates the power of the royal apparatus of justice and finance, it equally illustrates the integration of the Jewish community into the processes of common law and the legality that underlay tallage. For Diaie brought a suit against a sheriff. He used the common law to defend himself against unjust and illegal exaction. He lost, but the distraint of his property marks his status as a freeman. For the common law was available only for freemen. More generally, the lawsuit marks the legality of distraint. The incorporation of the Jews in the common law is new from the mid- twelfth century on, for the processes of the common law were new. However, because Jews were incorporated as Jews, they were also marked out. Both the Exchequer of the Jews and the commune of the Jews attest functionally to a legal status, which one might describe as "separate but equal". Of course, the struggle for civil rights in the United States is a reminder that separate is never equal. Conclusion The notion of Jewish participation in the growth of representative govern- ment runs contrary to the brutal end of Anglo-Norman Jewry in the expul- sion of 1290 and contrary to the notion of a homogenous "English nation". Yet, the historical moment of the mid-thirteenth century itself sustains these paradoxes. The Jews were part of the emerging representative government 136</page><page sequence="11">Hybridity in a medieval key of England, but they were also marked out as Jews. The paradox is perhaps best understood through the fact that self-representation sprang in the high Middle Ages from communal roots. Jews were grouped as Jews, as Langmuir emphasized in his revisionist account of "Jewish serfdom".42 To his insight, I have added the paradox that this marking off as Jews was a fact of partici- pation in the representative processes of royal finance and the common law. I have argued that "Jewry" as a collectivity, or better "commune", was first formed in European history as part of the high medieval political and legal processes of self-representation that were the early roots of representative government. What emerged from it was a hybrid identity - Jew and English freeman. It was hybridity in a medieval key, because these identities were simultaneously constructed through the commune. This institutional story, which took place precisely in the two centuries when medieval antisemitism reared its ugly head with the myths of ritual murder, blood libel and host desecration, seems perhaps to add a missing piece to the historical puzzle over the expulsions - a missing piece of institu- tional history that explains how north-western Europe becam e, Jüdewein by the start of the early modern period and how individuals of Jewish religious identity were constituted, that is, constructed legally and politically as "Jewry", as Jews, through their incorporation as a collective body. In conclusion, I would like to add some conceptual clarity to the hypoth- esis I have floated about the role of institutions in forming identities. Interactional role theory coming out of sociology distinguishes four broad categories of identity:43 basic roles (related to gender, age, class identities, etc.) position or status roles (linked to positions in organizations) functional group roles (for example: leader, follower, counsellor, mediator) value roles (positive or negatively valued identities; for example: hero, saint, villain) I am proposing that there are multiple layers of Jewish identity that correlate to these (or other broad) categories and develop historically. First, corre- sponding to the "basic role", was a Jewish identity defined vis-à-vis religious identity. This was in place before the legal and political developments described here. To this, the other roles were added in this period. Corresponding to the second, the status type, I suggest that the basic iden- tity of Anglo-Norman Jews acquired a new status role through the represen- tative institutional processes of royal taxation and the common law. In regard to the third, functional group roles, I have shown some Jewish individuals 42 Langmuir, '"Tanquam Servi"'. 43 Ralph T urner, "Role Theory", in Handbook of Sociological Theory , ed. Jonathan H. T urner (New York, 2001), 234. 137</page><page sequence="12">Julie Meli taking on roles in the collective commune, such as arch-presbyter, bailiff, juror, surety and others. The higher the status of the functional role for an individual, the more integrated was the Jewish individual. In regard to the fourth type, the value role, I suggest that perhaps the construction of a new Jewish "status" as a commune fed into and expanded negatively a value role, that is, Jew as villain to Christian society. Antisemitism did not create the Jewish political and legal commune but it made use of it. Marked out more and more by the badge on their clothing, restriction of residence and ultimately expulsion, Jews were subject to the vicissitudes of religious hatred. Constructed as a legal and political collectiv- ity, the "Jewry", Jews were separated from the boroughs in which they lived through the institutionalization of the Exchequer of the Jews and the loan chest for the recording of loans. Yet, paradoxically, for a time they were incorporated via this difference as English freemen with legal rights equiva- lent to those of burgesses - this is hybridity in a medieval key. 138</page></plain_text>

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