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Medieval Sources for Anglo-Jewish History: The Problem of Publication

Sir Hilary Jenkinson

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Medieval Sources for Anglo-Jewish History: the Problem of Publication IN my second Presidential Address, supplemented later by a Memorandum prepared for the Council of this Society, I emphasised certain points in regard to the still un? published medieval material for the History of Anglo-Jewry and the possibility of making it available in print. It has since been suggested that I should draw this matter together and enlarge it a little and the following brief article is the result. My principal object is to suggest, first, that the problem which here presents itself is not in our case (as it sometimes is in other fields1) practically insoluble; secondly, that the Society should at least have a settled policy in regard to it; and, finally, that the year which witnesses the celebration of the Tercentenary of the Resettlement is a particularly suitable one in which to formulate that policy and take the first steps towards carrying it out. Here then, in summary, is the situation as I see it. 1. Ever since the publication of Jacobs' 'Jews of Angevin England' (1893), and the slightly earlier article by Charles Gross in 'Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition Papers', it has been generally agreed among those best qualified to judge that the medieval Record Material relating to the Jews in England was of so important, and indeed unique, a character, and compared with the other medieval series surviving among English Records presented a publication problem of so simple a nature, that the Jewish Historical Society should regard it both as a duty and as a feasible proposition to make the whole of it available within a reasonable time for Students. Since that time research and the pro? gress of sortation have added something to the total of known survivals2 but not enough to affect this conclusion. 2. The material in question (unpublished Documents in Latin or, occasionally, Norman-French) falls into four divisions. There are (a) Casual References occurring in Documents, such as the great series of Chancery, Exchequer and Legal Enrolments, which have otherwise nothing to do with Jewry; (b) Stray Survivals (in the Public Record Office, among the Muniments of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, and occasionally elsewhere) of individual small Documents such as those I described many years ago to the Society and the Westminster Deeds at present under examination by Mr. Lipman; (c) the series of special Rolls devoted to Receipts from Jews among the Receipt Rolls3 of the Recepta or Exchequer of Receipt; and (d) the so-called Jewish Plea (or, as I prefer to call them, Memoranda) Rolls* 3. Of these:? (a) The Casual References can be dealt with only as information about them becomes available in more general publications. We must hope that they will disclose nothing 1 Taking the Public Records alone sixty years of work and the publication of over 150 large volumes have not covered, or even touched, more than a third of the great series of Enrolments which begin in the twelfth or the thirteenth century. 2 The number of Plea Rolls and Receipt Rolls now known to exist is considerably larger. 3 I reprint, with some modifications, in Appendix II to this Paper, the list of these Rolls which I published in 1918. 4 A list of these Rolls is printed in Appendix I. 285</page><page sequence="2">286 MEDIEVAL SOURCES FOR ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY more than interesting subsidiary material which can be incorporated, as it comes to light, in articles in the ordinary publications of the Society. (b) What I have called 'Stray Survivals' may also, I think, be left for treatment in occasional articles such as that of Mr. Lipman to which I have already referred. (c) The Special Rolls ought undoubtedly, in my opinion, to be dealt with as a whole in a special volume or series of volumes. But apart from names, dates and (occasionally) the circumstances or amount of the payments they do not (though very valuable for reference) contain a great deal that is of interest; and the problem of their publication should certainly be postponed (though only postponed) to that of the Plea or Memoranda Rolls, which teem with details of Jewish life in the thirteenth century. 4. Remains, then, as an immediate matter, the problem of these last?the Plea Rolls. There are now (counting the additions since the series was originally made up) sixty of these Rolls; thirty-four of which have not yet been dealt with in the volumes published by the Seiden Society and ourselves. Of these five (numbers 50, 56, 59 and 60 and number 54) duplicate others either in whole or in part1 and can be discounted though they would have to be checked. There are left, therefore, for consideration, just half the existing Rolls. It should be observed, by the way, that some of the later ones are much damaged. 5. Counting by membranes, which are of the usual size (20 to 24 inches in length), we have about 240 membranes to be dealt with; or, reckoning the front and dorse separately, 400. The last volume published covered 130 membranes, thus computed, in 323 pages of Text and 65 pages of Index; with a further 52 pages of Preliminaries (8 pages) and Introduction. Even supposing the Introduction omitted or much cut this gives us, I think, as sizeable a volume as we should contemplate : and it thus appears, upon a rough calculation, that we have in the Plea Rolls material for at least four more volumes : including anything which it might be thought desirable to issue in order to make good certain gaps in our first two. 6. Before considering the best way of dealing with this situation from the point of view of Editorial Method we should, I think, take stock of the principal difficulties in our way. There are three large problems to be solved?separate but interrelated? those of (a) Money, (b) Editorial Work and (c) Time. 7. We have first to take into account the enormous Increase in the Cost of Printing since the format of our volumes was determined : an increase not by any means paralleled by any growth in our Membership and Income. To print and distribute a volume in the style and of something approaching the size of Volume III of the 'Plea Rolls9 could not, I think, cost less than ?900 : probably it would exceed that sum, perhaps by a considerable amount. 8. Next we have the Difficulty of finding an Editor with the necessary qualifications and the necessary leisure at his disposal. Scholars of this kind are not numerous and 1 Those duplicated are numbers 30, 15, 19 and 49. Number 54 duplicates number 44 save for two membranes. I am indebted to Miss Daphne Gifford for a note on this subject and for the membrane figures given in my next paragraph. It will be seen from the list printed below that at least one Roll (No. 58) contains material which would have been published in Volume II of our 'Calendar' had it then been known,</page><page sequence="3">MEDIEVAL SOURCES FOR ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY 287 are by no means so ready or able now as formerly to undertake such work either voluntar? ily or in return for a modest honorarium. (This last, by the way, would add to the cost). 9. Finally we have to consider the real Importance of Completing our Task within some predictable and reasonable period of time. It is now fifty years since publication began (or fifty-three if we count the Seiden Society's volume of 'Select Pleas'); and twenty-six years since Volume III was issued. We cannot be content to continue at that pace. 10. These things being so we must, I submit, consider the advisability of continuing the Editorial Method at present approved (that of publishing a full literal translation) or of adopting some other method. There are, I think, five possible procedures. (a) It has been urged that so far from lowering our standard we should make an improvement by adopting the (certainly more scholarly) plan of a Latin Text. The cost1 of this would be increased by the fact that we should almost certainly find it necessary to add at least a summary in English of many entries. (b) We might continue our present style. (c) We might substitute for this a Calendar?a Precis. (d) We might use a mixed method : giving a full English or Latin Text of entries important on account of their form or content and calendaring the remainder (much of which may prove to be of a routine character so far as form is con? cerned) as briefly as possible. (e) We might?the suggestion has been made in other connexions and we are bound to consider it?we might in view of rising costs and of the changes which have taken place in recent years both in the qualifications of Students and in the facilities which they enjoy,2 frankly face the necessity of publishing only what would enable them to find quickly what they want by personal research. This could be done by publishing only an Index, or a Descriptive List, of the entries in the Rolls, which would refer the Reader either to the original Documents (to be studied in situ at the Public Record Office or in the photographic reproductions which that Department now supplies) or possibly, if funds would allow, to a Text or full Calendar prepared for the Society but kept in manuscript at the Mocatta Library. 11. The objection to the method last mentioned is of course that while it certainly caters for the Research Student it caters for no one else. It is germane to add that most medievalists are agreed in thinking that in nearly all cases Records of the thirteenth century are worth printing in full or in the form of a very full abstract: if only as a reference book for the history of a period not over-burdened with original authorities. This argument has particular force in the case of Jewish Records for the reasons suggested in para. 1 above. In the last stage of my Presidency, therefore, I venture to suggest that, as part of the Tercentenary celebrations the Society should, without delay, consider the possibilities outlined in paragraph 10 above and decide on a policy : and that it should then endeavour to raise a Guarantee Fund sufficient to cover the cost of carrying out a definite scheme 1 It is, I understand, unlikely, that this could be offset by the use of any existing transcripts. 2 Especially that of cheap micro-photographic reproduction.</page><page sequence="4">288 MEDIEVAL SOURCES FOR ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY within a defined period. To bring the matter to an issue I make the following concrete proposals : (i) that the Society undertake without delay the publication of the remaining Jewish Plea Rolls; the volumes to be issued as regularly as possible, at appro? priate intervals, within a period of not more than ten years1 : (ii) that the form of publication be based on that used in the previous volumes issued by the Society; with such modifications as may appear desirable to the Committee proposed in paragraph (iv) below : (iii) that to cover this whole project a Special Fund2 be raised, to which a contribu? tion be made from the Society's present resources and further contributions sought from private individuals and from Societies or other institutions interested in the publication of Jewish Records or Medieval Records in general: and (iv) that the Council appoint for the supervision of this enterprise an Editorial Committee; which shall be empowered to arrange with a Competent Editor to undertake the work; and to offer in respect of it a suitable honorarium. I believe these proposals to be practicable, even if one of the more expensive forms of publication be adopted; as I personally, and I think most of those who have studied the question closely, would prefer : and I would conclude by repeating with emphasis that Jewish Historians here in England possess in these Records evidences of Medieval Jewish History which have no parallel elsewhere. That is a privilege which carries with it a responsibility. September, 1955. HILARY JENKINSON. 1 The conditions are such that considerable elasticity must be allowed but ten years should prove a comfortable maximum. 2 A fund of not less than ?65000 is suggested in view of the expenses indicated in paragraphs 7 and 8 above. Any balance which might remain could suitably be devoted to the initiation of a like scheme for dealing with the Receipt Rolls,</page><page sequence="5">APPENDIX I. LIST of CPLEA' or MEMORANDA ROLLS' of the SCACCARIUM JUDEORUM This List is a re-arrangement in chronological order of the Official List, as corrected up to date in the Search Room copies of the printed 'List of Plea Rolls of Various Courts' ('Lists and Indexes, IV) at the Public Record Office. It will be observed that twelve Rolls (Nos. 49 to 60) have been added from classes previously unsorted, or newly identified, since the publication of that 'List' in 1910 and the appearance of Volume II of our 'Calendar of the Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews' in the same year. Some of these duplicate (as has been noted above) previously known Rolls; and in one or two other cases the identification of newly found Rolls or fragments has not been fully established. Fuller investigation of these, of the phenomenon of Jewish Pleas heard at Shrewsbury in 1282 and perhaps of other like problems, must be allowed to wait on that complete publication of Jewish Plea Rolls which it is the object of the present article to advocate. For the general nature of the Rolls, and in particular their 'Memoranda' character, the Reader is referred to the Introduction to Volume III of the published 'Calendar' : in particular, the summary statement on pages 1. and li. NOTES THE LIST Record Office Reference Date Regnal Year and Term Exchequer of Pleas, Plea Rolls (E.9) 13. 14. 15. 56. 58. 16. 17. 18. 19. 59. 20. 21. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 1219, 1220 1244 1244 1244 1253 1266 1267 1267 1268 1268 1270 1273 1273 1273 1273 1274 1274 1274 1275 1275 1275 1275 1275 1272 3 and 4 Henry III. 28 Henry III : Easter. Trinity. 28 and 29 Henry III : Michaelmas. 37 Henry III : Easter. 50 Henry III : Trinity. 51 Henry III : Trinity. 51 and 52 Henry III : Michaelmas. 52 Henry III : Hilary. Trinity. 54 Henry III : Easter and Trinity. 56 and 57 Henry III : Trinity and Michaelmas. 1 Edward I : Hilary. Trinity. 1 and 2 Edward I : Michaelmas. (Fragment duplicating part of No. 15). 2 Edward I : Hilary. Trinity. 2 and 3 Edward I : Michaelmas. 3 Edward I : Hilary. Easter. (Duplicating part of No. 19). 3 Edward I : Trinity. 3 and 4 Edward I : Michaelmas. 289</page><page sequence="6">290 MEDIEVAL SOURCES FOR ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY Record Office Reference Date Regnal Year and Term Exchequer of Pleas, Plea Rolls (E.9) 49. 60. 52. 22. 23. 24.1 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 50. 31. 32. 57. 33. 34. 35. 36. 53. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 51. 42. 43. 44. 54. 45. 51. 46. 47. 55. 48. 1276 1276 1276 1276 1277 1277 1277 1278 1278 1278 1278 1279 1279 1279 1279 (c. 1279) 1279 1280 1280 1280 1280 1281 1281 1282 1282 1283 1283 1283 1283 1284 1284 1284 1284 1286 1286 1286 1287 4 Edward I : Hilary. (Duplicating part of No. 49). 4 Edward I : 5 Edward I : 5 and 6 Edward I 6 Edward I : 6 and 7 Edward I : 7 Edward I : (Duplicating No. 30) 7 Edward I : (circa 7 Edward I : o not yet identified) 7 and 8 Edward I : 8 Edward I : Easter. Trinity. Easter. Trinity. Michaelmas. Hilary. Easter. Trinity. Michaelmas. Hilary. Easter. Trinity, ne membrane. 8 and 9 Edward I : 9 Edward I : 10 Edward I : 10 and 11 Edward I 11 Edward I : 11 Edward I : 12 Edward I : (Duplicating 12 and 13 Edward I : 12 and 13 Edward I : 14 Edward I : ('Fragment)5 15 Edward I : Michaelmas. Hilary. Easter. Trinity. Michaelmas. Easter. Trinity. Hilary. Michaelmas2. Hilary. Hilary3. Easter. Trinity. Trinity, partially No. 44). Michaelmas. Michaelmas4. Hilary. Trinity. Hilary. 1 The latest Roll at present published. 2 A Roll of Jewish Pleas heard at Shrewsbury in this Term is classed (No. 378) among Assize Rolls, etc. 3 So listed : the relation of this Roll to No. 41 has not yet been established : it is apparently filed with a Roll of Michaelmas 12 and 13 Edward I, which is included in its proper place below. 4 The exact relation of this to No. 45 has not yet been established. 5 The exact relation of this to Nos. 46 and 47 has not yet been established.</page><page sequence="7">APPENDIX II. LIST of ROLLS of RECEIPTS from JEWISH TALLAGES and OTHER JEWISH SOURCES NOTES The following List is a reproduction, with some modifications in form, of one published, as part of an article, in 1918 in Volume VIII1 of the Society's 'Transactions.' No additions have since been made to it officially; and though the possibility cannot be ruled out entirely (for the Records of the Recepta had an eventful history and have sometimes come to light in unexpected places) it is improbable that any considerable further finds will accrue : so that, from the point of view of ultimate publication, the present may, I hope, be regarded as a reasonably accurate preliminary statement of the problem they present; though I have not had occasion or time to revise it with the aid of any fresh research. I have followed my previous practice in not including here a few documents which, though, de facto, they contain particulars of moneys received from Jews or Jewish sources, are not Receipt Rolls but Vouchers to Accounts which apparently passed, abnormally, (see pages 37-39 of my article) through the ordinary Pipe Roll machinery. If they have not already been published it may be found convenient, when the time comes for printing the Receipt Rolls, to utilise these as material for an Appendix to any General Introduction with which the series may open. For the nature of the two broad divisions (Tallages and 'Judeism') into which the Rolls fall, for their relation to the ordinary machinery of the medieval Exchequer, and in particular for their connexion with the 'Recepta* or 'Exchequer of Receipt' (rather than with the iScaccariumJudeorum'&gt;) the Reader must be referred to the article already mentioned : but some of the evidence for that connexion may be inferred from the notes on individual Rolls ; and it will be seen that the latest show the triplicate recording which is characteristic of the Recepta. The numbering of the List is purely for present convenience : Documents should be cited, in every case, by their Record Office references, in which 'E.401' stands for the class of Exchequer of Receipt, Receipt Rolls and 'E.lOl' for that of Exchequer, Queen's Remembrancer, Accounts Various. THE LIST Number Date Description Record Office Reference 1. 2. 5 Richard I. Easter 14 to Mich. 15 John. 4 Henry III. 5 Henry III. 5. 5 Henry III. Apparently remains of a Tallage already dealt with elsewhere. Rotulus Judeorum. Entries practically all under names of Christians. A large roll of fines and arrears of Tallage. One rotulet practi? cally duplicated. Arranged under Counties. Rotulus Judeorum. As above. Aid for Marrying King's Sister. Arranged under Towns. One membrane, under Counties as usual. Filed with the Aid Roll of same date. E. 101/219/2 E. 401/1564 E. 401/32 E. 401/42 E. 401/42 1 It was first issued, as a separate fascicule, in 1915: the Paper was read at a Meeting in 1912. 2 Filed with ordinary Receipt Roll of same date. 291</page><page sequence="8">292 Number MEDIEVAL SOURCES FOR ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY Date Description Record Office Reference 6 Henry III. 7 Henry III. 8. 7 Henry III. 9. 9 Henry III. 10. 10 Henry III. 11. 10 Henry III. 12. 10 Henry III. 13. 17 Henry III. 14. 37 Henry III. 15. 38 Henry III. 16. 44 Henry III. 17. 44 Henry III. 18. East. 56 and Mich. 57 Henry III. 19. temp. Henry III. 20. Mich. 3 Edward I. 21. Mich. 3 Edward I. 22. East. 3 Edward I. 23. Mich. 4 Edward I. 24. Mich. 4 Edward I. 25. East. 4 Edward I. 26. Mich. 5 Edward I. 27. Mich. 5 Edward I. 28. Hil. 5 Edward I. 29. Mich. 6 Edward I. 30. East. 6 Edward I. 31. East. 6 Edward I. 32. Mich. 9 Edward I. 33. East. 9 Edward I. Judeism. Tallage of 3000 marks. Arranged under Towns i Jewries at seventeen mentioned. A fragment of a roll of Judeism filed with the Tallage Roll of same date. A very large roll of Judeism Tallage of 4000 marks. Arranged under Counties One and a half rotulets of Judeism including arrears of more than one Tallage. Part en? titled Rotulus Christianorum pro Judeis. A large number of cases of Sheriff being charged. Filed with Tallage Roll of same date. Duplicate of No. 10 above. A small roll of Judeism. Arrears of three Tallages and the Aid mentioned. This is the well-known Roll headed by a caricature drawing. Tallage of St. Martin. Very few entries, all Jews of one place paying together. Tallage of 1000 marks. Includes some pay? ments by Christians. Arrentacio Judeorum Anglie 500 marcarum. Arranged under Counties. Tallage of 500 marks : Fragment. Refers to same collection as preceding Roll. Tallage of 5000 marks. Arranged under Counties. On dorse are enrolled Writs of Liberate relating apparently to proceeds of this Tallage. Fragment in two columns. Tallage of third part of moveables. Single column Roll under days. Duplicate of preceding. Continuation of above. Apparently continuation of above. Duplicate of preceding. Apparently continuation of above. Tallage of ?1000. Tallage of 25,000 marks. Only three names (two Jews and one Christian). Very small total. Amerciamenta et perquisita Judeorum. Amercements, etc. Amercements, etc. Partial duplicate of preceding. Judeism. Jews' names occur. Judeism. E. 401/51 E. 401/61 E. 401/61 E. 401/71 E. 401/81 E. 401/81 E. 401/91 E. 401/15b.5. E. 401/201 E. 401/1566 E. 401/43 E. 101/250/14 E. 401/1567 E. 101/249/14 E. 401/1568 E. 101/249/18 E. 401/1569 E. 401/1570 E. 101/249/21 E. 401/1571 E. 401/1572 E. 401/1573 E. 401/1574 E. 401/1575 E. 401/1576 E. 401/1577 E. 401/1578 E. 401/1579 1 Filed with ordinary Receipt Roll of same date.</page><page sequence="9">MEDIEVAL SOURCES FOR ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY 293 Number Date Description Record Office Reference 34. Mich. 10 Edward I. Judeism. E. 401/1580 35. East. 13 Edward I. Amercements, etc. E. 401/1581 36. Mich. 14 Edward I. Amercements, etc. E. 401/1582 37. Mich. 15 Edward I. Amercements, etc. E. 401/1583 38. Mich. 16 Edward I. Amercements, etc. Includes a large amount E. 401/1584 of Receipts from a Tallage. 39. East. 16 Edward I. Rotulus de placitis, perquisitis et amerciamentis E. 401/1585 Judeorum. Continuation of preceding. 40. (Mich. 17 Edward I.) Judeism E. 401/1586 41. Mich. 18 Edward I. Placita et amerciamenta. E. 401/1587 42. East. 18 Edward I. Judeism. E. 401/1588 43. East. 18 Edward I. Duplicate of preceding. E. 401/1589 44. Mich. 19 Edward I. Amercements, etc. E. 401/1590 45. Mich. 19 Edward I. Duplicate of preceding. E. 101/249/28 46. East. 19 Edward I. Amercements, etc. E. 401/1591 47. East. 19 Edward I. Duplicate of preceding. Incomplete. E. 401/1592 48. Mich. 20 Edward I. Amercements, etc. From this point many E. 401/1593 Rolls have on them names of Chamberlains' Deputies who kept them. 49. Mich. 20 Edward I. Duplicate of preceding. E. 401/1594 50. East. 20 Edward I. Judeism. E. 401/1595 51. East. 20 Edward I. Duplicate of preceding. E. 401/1596 52. Mich. 21 Edward I. Judeism. E. 401/1597 53. Mich. 21 Edward I. Duplicate of preceding. Incomplete. E. 401/1598 54. East. 21 Edward I. Judeism. E. 401/1599 55. East. 21 Edward I. Duplicate of preceding. E. 401/1600 56. Mich. 22 Edward I Amercements, etc. E. 401/1601 57. Mich. 22 Edward I. Duplicate of preceding. E. 401/1602 58. East. 22 Edward I. Judeism. E. 401/1603 59. East. 22 Edward I. Duplicate of preceding. E. 401/1604 60. East. 22 Edward I. Another copy. Beginning of arrangement E. 401/1605 by which Treasurer also kept a roll. 61. Mich. 23 Edward I. Amercements, etc. E. 401/1606 62. Mich. 23 Edward I. Duplicate of preceding. E. 401/1607 63. East. 23 Edward I. Judeism. E. 401/1608 64. East. 23 Edward I. Duplicate of preceding. E. 401/1609 65. East. 23 Edward I. Another copy. E. 401/1610</page></plain_text>