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Naturalisation of Jews in England

J. M. Ross

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Naturalisation of Jews in England J. M. ROSS, C.B.E., M.A. In Part VII of the Miscellanies of this Society (published with volume XXII of its Trans? actions in 1970) there was printed a list (com? piled by the late Wilfred S. Samuel) of all Jewish persons endenized and naturalised between 1609 and 1799. Those who refer to that list may find themselves asking a number of questions, not all of which can be answered from Mr. Diamond's introductory note. What was the real difference between naturalisation and denization? If naturalisation granted a superior status, why did so few Jews acquire it ? In the first part of this paper an attempt will be made to explain the legal and historical background against which such questions can be answered. In the second part some account will be given of the naturalisation of Jews during the period covered by Mr. Samuel's list. In the third part the story will be carried on beyond 1800; some account will be given of the grants of naturalisation to Jews by the Home Office from 1845 onwards; and the statistics of Jewish naturalisation will be considered in relation to the history of Jewish immigration. Finally, by way of illustration, the names will be given of some eminent Jews who have, in the broader sense of the word, been naturalised, whether by letters patent, Act of Parliament, or certificate of the Home Secretary. I Legal Background The origins of naturalisation and its history to the seventeenth century contain many obscurities and have often been misconceived by writers of legal history. The author of this paper has recently been at pains to elucidate this matter, and the following summary is a result of these researches. The words 'naturalise' and 'naturalisation' were not used in England until the end of the sixteenth century, but the idea was much older, that is to say, the granting to an individual of the status of a liege subject of the Crown. In earlier times a person possessing that status, whether by birth or by grant, was known as a 'denizen', and the conferment of the status was known as denization or endenization. There is no record of grants of denizen status before the second half of the thirteenth century, the reason no doubt being that under feudal conceptions one could become a vassal of a feudal superior simply by doing homage; thus, for instance, Simon de Montfort about the middle of the century received his English inheritance without any formal grant of denization, although he was foreign-born, and an alien at that time could not inherit real estate. Shortly afterwards, however, foreign merchants, who were not in any feudal rela? tionship, felt the need of some formal instru? ment freeing them from the considerable trading disabilities to which aliens were subject; hence there grew up the practice of granting denizen status, first by royal charter, soon afterwards by letters patent under the Great Seal, and by the fourteenth century this had become the standard procedure. Parliamentary Naturalisation Until the sixteenth century the only authority with power to grant denizen status to an individual was the King.1 Normally the grant 1 Thus, for instance, a judgment delivered by Hankford, J., in 1413 declared that 'Though an alien be sworn in the leet or elsewhere, that does not make him a liege subject of the king, for neither the steward of a lord nor any one else, save the king himself, is able to convert an alien into a subject' (Y. B. Hy. 4, Hil. pi. 23, quoted in Holdsworth, History of English Law, IX, 92). There is no evidence to support Holdsworth's statements (ibid. p. 76) that at that time the King could grant only 'some of the incidents of the status' of liege subject, or that 'certainly as early as, and probably before, the beginning of the fifteenth century... an * Paper delivered to the Society on 19 January 1972. 59</page><page sequence="2">60 J. M. Ross was by letters patent, but in a small number of cases between 1406 and 1439, for reasons which are obscure, the letters patent were confirmed in Parliament or the grant was made by confirmation of a petition submitted through Parliament. It was not until 1542 that there began a regular practice of granting denizen status by Act of Parliament; until 1603 this procedure was resorted to only in cases of children born abroad to English fathers,2 but from the accession of James I the Parliamentary avenue into the status of subject was increas? ingly used, first by Scotsmen and soon after? wards by foreigners of all kinds. About the same time lawyers began to be of opinion that letters patent made the grantee a denizen only for the future: they could not operate retro? spectively and therefore could not make the person's blood capable of inheritance or enable others to inherit from or through him. Only an Act of Parliament could make the person a subject from birth.3 This slight difference in the status conferred by letters patent and by Act of Parliament was marked by the adoption of the term 'naturalisation' for the latter, leaving 'denization' to be used only for the status conferred by Royal letters patent. The Two Methods Side by Side Throughout the seventeenth century these Act of Parliament was needed to give to an alien the full status of a subject.' The case in Y.B. 3 Hen. 6, Trin. pi. 30, which he quotes in support of this latter statement, says nothing about the powers of the King but merely cites that Alice Countess of Arundel was authorised by Parliament in the reign of Henry IV to purchase lands like any other legal person within the realm. 2 The reason for this may have been that these grants were regarded as extensions or interpreta? tions of a statute passed in 1351 which acknowledged the rights of inheritance of children born out of the ligeance of the King, whose fathers and mothers are at the time of their birth of the faith and ligeance of the King. Since an Act of Parliament was in issue, it was perhaps thought proper that the status of such children should be settled by an Act of Parliament, not by the Royal prerogative. 3 This doctrine first appears in Sir Robert Brooke's Graunde Abridgment (1568); it was asserted by Sir Francis Bacon in 1608 as Solicitor General in Calvin's Case (2 St. Tr. 582); it was not judicially affirmed until 1664 in the case of Collingwood v. Pace (1 Vent. 418-419). two methods of becoming an English subject were operated side by side. The Parliamentary method gave a slightly superior status but was less frequently used, doubtless because Parlia? ment sat irregularly and many naturalisation Bills were squeezed out by other business and lapsed at the end of a Session. By contrast the machinery for the grant of letters patent, cumbrous though it might be, was always in operation. There was little to choose between the two methods in point of expense; both methods were very costly, but in both cases the expense to each applicant might be reduced to ten or twenty pounds if a number of names were included in the same instrument. Naturalisation Bills In the year 1700 the difference between denization and naturalisation was still further reduced by an Act of Parliament (11 Will. 3 c. 6) which enabled any natural-born subject of the Grown to inherit through or from an ancestor born abroad; from then onwards an endenized foreigner could pass on his pro? perty to his heirs, and the only remaining disability was that he himself could not inherit. It might have been thought that the Act of 1700 would have increased the pro? portion of denizations to naturalisations; but in fact the reverse was the case. From 1704 onwards, until nearly the end of the century, the great majority of applicants went to Parliament, and often many years went by without a single grant of denization. The reason is not clear, but it may be supposed that as Parliament now sat regularly it was easier to get a Bill through, and since this method gave a legally superior status which was of moment to a few wealthy applicants, it was easier for others to save expense by getting their names included in a naturalisation Bill than to wait until enough names had accumulated in the Signet Office for inclusion in a patent of denization. Thus during most of the eighteenth century the only people to be endenized by letters patent were, for practical purposes, those who were technically disqualified for Parliamentary naturalisation; and this is important in the present context, for (as will shortly be shown)</page><page sequence="3">Naturalisation of Jews in England 61 the principal categories of people thus disquali? fied were Roman Catholics and Jews. Before, however, we come to the specific case of the Jews, it may be useful to complete the story of the legal background. The two procedures of naturalisation and denization continued until 1844 to be the only ways of becoming a British subject otherwise than by birth. The preponderance of Parliamentary cases continued until 1792, when (for reasons which are not obvious) denization came into demand again, with the result that from 1800 to 1844 more than twice as many foreigners were endenized than naturalised. (Perhaps the demand from 1792 came from Catholic refugees from France, and this gave a nucleus to which others could attach their names to save ex? pense.) Home Secretary's Powers In 1844 an Act was passed (7 &amp; 8 Vic. c. 66) empowering the Home Secretary to grant certificates of naturalisation. Until 1870 these certificates did not grant quite the full status of a British subject: the holder was not entitled to be a Privy Councillor or a member of either House of Parliament; from 1850 the certificate conferred none of the rights of a British subject outside the British dominions, except (from 1854) such rights as might flow from the grant of a British passport; and from 1858 the certificate ceased to have effect if the holder was absent abroad for more than six months without permission. All these restrictions were swept away by the Naturalization Act, 1870 (33 &amp; 34 Vic. c. 14), but while they were in force a few people continued to obtain naturalisation from Parliament or denization by letters patent; the latter had the additional advantage of exempting from the statutory requirement of residence in the United King? dom at the time of application with intent to settle therein. (This was taken advantage of in 1857 by Moses Santillana, consular inter? preter at Tunis.) A few Parliamentary natural? isation Bills were introduced after 1870 to circumvent the new requirement of five years' previous residence in the United Kingdom; the last such Bill to be enacted was in 1896 in favour of Isaac Aaron Abensur, Jewish banker in Tangier, who had rendered valuable services as interpreter to the British Legation. To complete the background picture it should be mentioned that in 1844 the cost of naturalisation was reduced to less than one pound, and this resulted in a tenfold increase in the yearly number of foreigners denizated or naturalised. The fee was increased to ?5 in 1880, and with some variations, which will be noted later, the fee has been increased at various times in accordance with the falling value of money, until today it stands at ?30. II First Jewish Naturalisations The stage is now set for some account of the naturalisation of Jews?taking naturalisation in the broadest sense of the conferment of the status of an English or British subject, whether by the King, Parliament, or the Home Secretary. To begin at the beginning, it is scarcely necessary to mention that there is no record of the naturalisation of any Jew before the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290. The Jews at that time were regarded as the King's property and naturalisation would have been a meaningless act. No doubt this conception changed after the expulsion, but it would be unsafe to found anything on the endenization by letters patent in 1412 of the King's physician, David de Nigarellis, from Italy; he has been thought to have been a Jew on account of his first name, but there is no other evidence.4 It is well known that Jews began settling in England in small numbers in the seventeenth century, and Samuel's list contains the names of seven Jews denizated by letters patent bet? ween 1609 and 1655. It was not, however, until 1661 that Jews were granted denization in any numbers. Charles II was well disposed towards the Jewish merchants now forming a settlement in London, and was ready to 4 A. Hyamson, A History of the Jews in England (1928 edition), pp. 101-102; C. Roth, A History of the Jews in England (third edition, 1964), p. 133, n. 4.</page><page sequence="4">62 J. M. Ross grant them the privileges of his native-born subjects. Denization was thus granted to 15 Jews in 1661, to 11 in 1662, to five in 1663. If it is true that by 1663 the Jewish community contained 92 heads of families,5 a very high proportion of these must have become English subjects, for the total granted this status from 1655 to the end of 1663 adds up to 33. By 1684 the community numbered 414 souls,6 and by then the total denizated since 1655 had reached 93. The 86 Jews denizated between 1661 and 1680 formed nearly one-tenth of the 882 aliens naturalised in that period by Parliament or by letters patent. Immigrants' Disabilities There must have been strong reasons why so many of the immigrant Jews of the seven? teenth century went to the expense of becoming English subjects. These reasons are not far to seek. At that time aliens were subject to con? siderable disabilities. An alien could not inherit real estate, nor be absolute owner of landed property which he had purchased, so that he could not legally bequeath it in his will. By various Acts of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries aliens were subject to severe restrictions on trade; for instance, they might not sell by retail, or take gold out of the realm, or exercise any handicraft, or set up any workshop or factory; many of these laws had fallen into disuse, but they were still on the statute-book and might at any time be enforced, especially against Jews. A disability that was still enforced was the requirement to pay higher Customs duties on exported goods, though these extra charges were mitigated in 1672 and abolished in 1691. Further, an alien could not exercise the franchise or hold any public office, and there always hung over his head the threat of expulsion from the country, though this prerogative power of the Crown was falling into disuse. This being the legal position, it can hardly be wondered at if many of the early Jewish immigrants, aware of the existence of much anti-foreign and in particular anti-Jewish feeling, especially in mercantile circles in London, should seek to divest themselves of the disabilities of their alien status. The Oaths Difficulty They then had to consider by what method they should proceed. Should they seek natural? isation by Parliament or denization by Royal letters patent? Quite apart from the fact that King Charles II was more likely than his Parliament to view their applications with a friendly eye, there was a fatal obstacle to their naturalisation by Parliament. In 1609, when Parliamentary naturalisation Bills had begun to contain the names not only of Scotsmen and the foreign-born children of Englishmen but of foreigners of all kinds, and the gunpowder plot was still a very recent memory, an Act of Parliament7 was passed forbidding anyone to be naturalised or restored in blood unless within a month before the introduction of his Bill he had received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and before the second reading of his Bill had taken the oaths of supremacy and allegiance in the Parliament House. This Act was directed against Catholics; Jews were not at that time in mind: but it effectively debarred all conscientious Jews from Parlia? mentary naturalisation, for though a Jew was not likely to boggle at an oath declaring that no foreign prelate had any ecclesiastical or spiritual jurisdiction within England, he could not take the Sacrament unless he was prepared to live in England as a Marrano as he had done in Spain. There was no such difficulty over letters patent of denization. It is not clear what oaths, if any, were required in the seventeenth century as a condition of deniza? tion, but whatever they were they were no barrier to the denization of Catholics such as Mary of Modena, the openly Catholic wife of the future James II, who received a patent of denization in 1679; we find, too, in the deniza? tion lists from 1660 onwards not only Italians and Spaniards but also Greeks, Turks, and Indians. If all these could pass the requirements for denization, so all the more could Jews. 5 Roth, p. 173, quoting Wolf in Trans JHSE, XIX. 6 Roth, p. 173, n. 1. 7 7 Ja. 1 c. 2.</page><page sequence="5">Naturalisation of Jews in England 63 Special Treatment of Jews It may be asked at this point whether deniza? tion was granted to these Jews on the same terms as to other aliens. The answer is that the terms of the letters patent usually differed from the standard formula in two points: in one respect they imposed an additional require? ment; in another respect they put Jews in a more favourable position than other aliens. The first point concerns the oath of allegiance. Whether or not there was at that time an administrative practice of requiring this oath, the letters patent did not normally include a specific obligation to take it; but as an exception it was usual in the reign of Charles II to insert in letters patent granted to Jews an additional proviso that the grantee 'shall not have nor enjoy any benefit or advantage from the said grant of our denization until he shall have taken the oath of allegiance'.8 No doubt the Jews had no difficulty in taking this oath, but the require? ment illustrates the cautious attitude taken at that time towards the Jews by English official? dom. The second point relates to the Customs duties on exports. From about 1630 it had become the almost invariable practice to include in patents of denization a condition which had often been included before,9 requiring that the grantee shall 'pay to us and to our heirs and successors custom and subsidy for his goods and merchandize at the rates which aliens pay or ought to pay*. Exceptionally, some (but by no means all) of the Jews denizated by Charles II and James II were not subjected to this standard condition; some were even specifically exempted from paying more than native-born denizens.10 Encouraging Jewish Merchants In this indulgence to Jews we can doubtless detect the desire of King Charles himself to encourage the settlement of Jewish merchants in London, as being in the economic interest of the nation. Those Jews, however, who had been granted this concession were not left unmolested: an attempt was made in 1685 to prove that their letters patent had expired with the death of the monarch who had granted them; and in 1690 under pressure from English merchants the concessions were withdrawn by order of the Privy Council so far as export duties were concerned. The story has been told at length elsewhere11 and need not be repeated here. Fortunately for the privileged Jews, the higher export duties were abolished in the following year. It might be inferred from what has been said that in the seventeenth century and until the 1609 Act was repealed no Jews were made subjects except by letters patent of denization, but this is not wholly true. Samuel's list contains the names of two Jews in the seventeenth century and a few more in the eighteenth who were naturalised by Act of Parliament; presumably these were converts to Christianity. One of them?Marcos dos Santos?is specifically described in his natural? isation Bill of 1708 as 'professing the Protestant religion'; and Sir William Herschel, the Court 10 An example of the former is the patent granted to Menasses Mendez and others in 1687; examples of the latter are the patents granted to Diego de Medina and others in 1672 and to Peter Henriquez and others in 1688. Many others, however, were subjected to the standard conditions, as is evident from Shaw's list, and this is confirmed by the present author's own inspection of sample patents. 11 By d'B. Tovey, Anglia Judaica (1738), pp. 287-295, and H. S. Q. Henriques in Trans. JHSE IX, pp. 58-66. See also Roth, pp. 182, 186. 8 This is stated by Philip Garteret Webb in his anonymous pamphlet of 1753 entitled The QUESTION whether a JEW. . . ., p. 38; it is confirmed by references in William Shaw's list published in Vol. XVIII of the Publications of the Huguenot Society of London, and by the present author's own inspection of sample patents of denization. If the Jew was living in the West Indies he was required to take the oath before the Governor or his delegate. Jacob de Torres, denizated in 1672, was required to take not only the oath of allegiance but also the oath of supremacy before the Governor of Jamaica; it is not clear why. 9 The practice of including this condition grew up in the fifteenth century; it really became unnecessary in 1485, when an Act of Parliament required all foreign-born denizens to pay Customs at aliens' rates, but this Act cannot have been strictly enforced because it was repeated in 1494, 1530, and 1540. The 1540 Act required all letters patent of denization to contain a proviso expressly requiring the grantee to obey these Acts unless specifically excused in any point by the letters patent; but such a proviso did not become anything like universal in letters patent until about 1630.</page><page sequence="6">64 J. M. Ross astronomer, who was naturalised in 1793, came of a family which had been Christian for two generations. In one case in 1677 Abram de Porto took the oath but his name is not in the Bill as passed, perhaps because it was found he had not taken the Sacrament. Cases Among Protestant Refugees Before we leave the seventeenth century reference must be made to a special procedure which was in operation from 1681 to 1688 to facilitate the denization of the thousands of Huguenot refugees who were then pouring into this country. This scheme was intended only for Protestant Christians, and under it anyone who produced to the Secretary of State a certificate that he had taken the Sacrament could have his name inserted in a patent of denization free of charge. Rather surprisingly, the lists of those endenized in this way in 1687 and 1688 include the names of 14 Jews, includ? ing Ferdinando Mendez, presumably the same as Fernando Mendes, who had been physician to Charles II. Whether these Jews took the Sacrament sincerely, or with tongue in cheek, or were smuggled in without taking it at all, will perhaps never be known. In the eighteenth century, and until the Home Secretary was given powers of natural? isation in 1844, far fewer foreigners were naturalised (using the word in the broader sense to include denization) than in the seven? teenth. The annual average of persons natural? ised from 1651 to 1700 was 131, from 1701 to 1750 it was 52, in the next half-century only 20, and from 1801 to 1844 still only 21. (See Table I appended to this paper.) This decline can be attributed to the fact that after the absorption of the big influx of Protestant refugees from about 1680 to 1710 immigration to this country was on a smaller scale until well into the nineteenth century; moreover, after the end of the seventeenth century there was less pressure for naturalisation because many of the restrictions on foreigners had been repealed or had fallen into disuse. The figures of Jewish naturalisation follow a similar pattern. Despite the steady increase of the Jewish population by immigration throughout this period, the annual average of Jewish naturalisa? tions, which had been 3-8 in the period 1651 1700, sank to 2-7 in the next half-century and to 24 for the period 1751-1800, and rose only to 5-0 for the years 1801-1844. Proportionately to the total Jewish population, fewer Jews got naturalised in the first half of the eighteenth century than at any other time. The reason may be that most of the Jewish immigrants in this period were poor Ashkenazim from central Europe12 who could not afford the ?10 or more which was needed to secure the inclusion of one's name in a patent of denization. Letters Patent Throughout this period denization by letters patent was practically the only means by which Jews could get naturalised. So unpopular had this method otherwise become that in the years 1704-1800, of the 507 persons denizated by letters patent as many as 203 were Jews included in Samuel's list. It is true that, as already mentioned, a few Jewish names appear among those naturalised by Parliament; similarly a few appear in the 'oath rolls' of those naturalised under an Act of 1709 (7 Anne c. 5), which, until it was repealed three years later, authorised the naturalisation without fee of all Protestants who would take the Sacrament, swear the oaths of allegi? ance and supremacy, and sign an anti-Jacobite and anti-Popish declaration. Presumably the eight Jews naturalised under this procedure were converts to Christianity. The question may be asked whether Jews in the eighteenth century suffered any real disability by being debarred from Parliament? ary naturalisation. As has been shown, the legal difference was small, but it was thought at that time to be wider than it actually was; for instance, it was not until 1834 that the High Court held13 that a 'denizen' could have absolute title to land acquired before deni? zation. Moreover a mere 'denizen' was de 12 Cf V. D. Lipman, Social History of the Jews in England, 1850-1950 (1954), p. 6. !3 In the case Fourdrin v. Gowdey (3 My. and K. 396, 407).</page><page sequence="7">Naturalisation of Jews in England 65 barred from membership of certain exclusive trading companies such as the Levant and the Russia.14 These factors could be important to a Jewish merchant. In addition, there was some doubt whether a Jew could hold land at all without the sanction of Parliament. Consequently pleas were made from time to time for the removal of this disability from the Jews. Without Taking the Sacrament This step was urged, for instance, in 1690 by Sir Josiah Child in his New Discourse of Trade, and in 1714 by the radical theologian John Toland in his Reasons for naturalizing the Jews in Great Britain and Ireland. . . . Already in 1663 an Act (15 Cha. 2 c. 15) had been passed for the easy naturalisation of foreigners working in the flax industry, without any requirement that they should take the Sacra? ment. (Whether this was by inadvertence or with the object of including Catholics and Jews does not appear.) In 1740 an Act (13 Geo. 2, c. 7) was passed conferring British nationality on all persons who had resided continuously for more than seven years in the American colonies if they would make a loyal and anti-Jacobite declaration and receive the Sacrament; in this Act Jews were specifically exempted from the necessity of receiving the Sacrament and were permitted to omit the words 'upon the true faith of a Christian' when making the declaration.15 It therefore seemed only a short further step when in 1753 a Bill was introduced to enable Jews with more than three years' continuous residence in Great Britain to be naturalised by Parliament without receiving the Sacrament. The story of the controversy aroused by this ill-fated Bill can be read in Cecil Roth's History of the Jews in England16 and need not be repeated here. Suffice it to say that although the Bill was passed into law on 7 June (as 26 Geo. 2 c. 26), no Jew benefited from it, for it was repealed six months later by a measure introduced by the Govern? ment, which thought it prudent to bow before the storm.17 Ill Early Nineteenth Century This abortive attempt to put Jews on an equality with other applicants for naturalisation had a curious sequel. In 1825 Lord Melville, a Scottish peer, introduced a Bill making it unnecessary for persons naturalized by Parlia? ment or restored in blood to receive the Sacrament as required by the Act of 1609, and permitting the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to be taken before a local magistrate in cases of sickness and bodily infirmity. Lord Melville was not thinking of Catholics or Jews, or even of naturalisation: his intention was simply to relieve Scotsmen, whose attainder had been reversed, from taking the Sacrament in the Church of England, and to enable them, if infirm, to take the oaths in Scotland instead of at the bar of the House. This no doubt explains why the Bill passed through both Houses almost without debate and was carried into law (as 6 Geo. 4 c. 67). On the face of it this Act appeared to open the door to the Parliamentary naturalisation of Jews, and we should expect to find a large number of Jewish names in the Naturalisation Acts of the next few years. Oddly enough, the Act had no such result. There had previously been a certain number of Jewish names in the Naturalisation Acts?at least three such from the beginning of the century, no doubt converts to Christianity. Another four or five obviously Jewish names appear in the years 1827-1833, and six more in 1835-1837, but only one more before naturalisation could be obtained from the Home Secretary in 1845. 14Josiah Tucker, A Letter to a Friend Concerning Naturalizations (1753). 15 Many Jews trading in the West Indies took advantage of this Act: see Roth, p. 241, and H. S. Q_. Henriques, The Jews and the English Law (1908), pp. 240-241; some 214 such cases are in Samuel's list. 16 Pp. 212-223; see also Albert Hyamson's paper 'The Jew Bill of 1753' in Trans JHSE VI, pp. 156 188. 17 The arguments pro and con, many of them quite fanciful, are neatly and astringently sum? marised in Vol. Ill, pp. 157-63, of The History, Debates, and Proceedings of both Houses of Parliament (1792).</page><page sequence="8">66 J. M. Ross 'Oath of Abjuration' For the most part Jews continued to obtain denization by letters patent. It is conceivable that the knowledge of the 1825 Act, which received no publicity at the time, did not get through to the Jewish community until some ten years later; but there is another possible explanation. It appears from the evidence to the Select Committee of 1843 on the Laws Affecting Aliens18 that it had by then become the practice to require as a condition of Parliamentary naturalisation not only the oaths of allegiance and supremacy stipulated by the Act of 1609 (which perhaps a Jew would not have scrupled at) but also the anti Jacobite 'oath of abjuration' which had been introduced in the early eighteenth century and was still required for many official purposes, including membership of either House of Parliament. It is impossible to say when this extra requirement was imposed, for neither House of Parliament ever passed a resolution on the point, but it effectively prevented the Parliamentary naturalisation of any conscientious Jew, for it had to be made 'upon the true faith of a Christian'. Roman Catholic applicants for naturalisation were administratively allowed by 1843 to take the three oaths together in the modified form provided (e.g., for membership of Parliament) by the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829 (10 Geo. 4 c. 7), but Jews were apparently still excluded by the words at the end of the oath of abjuration. It is not clear when Jews came to be excused from saying these words; possibly by administrative action in 1835, which would account for the little crop of Jewish names about that time; possibly in 1867 as a result of an Act passed that year (30 &amp; 31 Vic. c. 75), which would have made possible Mr. Bischoffsheim's naturalisation in that year; possibly not till 1870, when the 1609 Act was repealed. But the point is of small importance because from the beginning of 1845 Jews could easily get naturalisation from the Home Secretary under the Aliens Act of 1844 (7 &amp; 8 Vic. c. 66) without any difficulty over the form of oath. Increases in Naturalisations There are plenty of Jewish names in the lists19 of people naturalised from 1845 on? wards, but the increase in Jewish naturalisa? tions was no greater than in naturalisations generally?about tenfold in both cases. Thus the annual average of persons naturalised by one means or another from 1801 to 1844 was 21, of whom 5 (or 22%) were Jews. From 1845 to 1854 the general average was 198, of whom 44 were Jews, again 22%. From 1854 to 1868 the average was 268, of whom 64 were Jews, once again 22%. The figures went on increasing pari passu until 1880, when they were checked by an increase in the fee, but from 1894 onwards the total number of naturalisa? tions rose substantially; by the end of the century it was more than 600 a year, and in 1913 it reached a peak of 1,706. There is no doubt that the pressure for this increasing rate of naturalisations came mainly from the large numbers of Polish and Russian Jews who had settled in England from the 1870s onwards. Thus in the sample year 1891 Jewish names formed 35% of those in the list; by 1901 this had risen to 51% and by 1911 to 57%. In some years more than half the people natural? ised were Russians, and nearly all of these had German-Jewish names.20 Germans Barred After the First World War the total number of naturalisations remained at between one and two thousand a year; until 1931 there was a statutory barrier against the naturalisation of i8 Accounts and Papers, 1843, Vol. V, pp. 145 ff.: questions 269-289 addressed to Mr Walmisley, extra clerk in the House of Lords. 19 For particulars of these lists see the notes at the head of Table I below. The figures of Jews depend on the author's limited ability to recognise Jewish names. 20 Typical Russian names are Morris Bernstein, Hyman Reuben Gaplan, Samuel Wolf Cohen, Schloima Epstein; a Russian name like Sarah Rebecca Doroshoff is unusual. Typical Polish names are Lazarus Bloomberg, Mejer Samuel Elster, Israel Guiwisch.</page><page sequence="9">Naturalisation of Jews in England 67 Germans except in special cases,21 and an administrative retardation (which will be described shortly) of the naturalisation of Eastern Europeans. This no doubt explains why the proportion of Jews naturalised in the sample year 1921 had shrunk to 51% and in 1931 to 42%. By 1951, when the naturalisation list had been swollen by large numbers of Polish ex-combatants, the Jewish percentage had fallen to 24, and by 1961 only 5% of the 5,000 people naturalised had obviously Jewish names. Another way of showing the same trends is to consider the total number of Jews naturalised in sample years as a percentage of the total Jewish population at the time. The figures cannot of course be exact because neither the total number of Jews naturalised in any year nor the total number of Jews living in the country at any given time can be stated with precision; nevertheless the figures, for what they are worth, tell the same story. From 1801 to 1844 the annual average of Jewish naturalisa? tions was 0-33% of the mean Jewish population during the period?twice what it had been during the previous half-century. From 1845 to 1854 the percentage was 1-3?evidence of the greater ease with which naturalisation could now be obtained. The percentage re? mained about the same until 1901, the number of Jews naturalised growing with the growing Jewish population. By 1911 the percentage had risen to 4; in 1921 it was 2-1, in 1931 3-1, in 1951 24, but by 1961 it had shrunk to 0-6, because of course by then a far smaller pro? portion of the Jewish population consisted of immigrants. Ratio of Applications Another comparison that can be made is between the percentage of the whole alien population that was naturalised in any one year and the percentage of the Jewish popula? tion so naturalised. Figures of the total alien population are not available before 1851. At that time the Jewish percentage was three times as great as that for aliens as a whole, and of course the ratio would be much greater if we knew how many Jews in this country were aliens. The ratio rose above 4 in 1861, above 5 in 1901, and reached a peak of 10-5 in 1911; in 1921 and 1931 it was about three, and in 1961 it had fallen to 0-6. Although the figures are necessarily inexact, they seem to show that from 1850 to 1950 a Jewish alien was much more likely to seek naturalisation than other aliens, perhaps because he felt a greater need of security. Results of Changes in Fee The number of Jews naturalised would probably have increased more rapidly after 1880 had it not been that in that year the fee for a certificate of naturalisation was increased from ?1 to ?5, and in addition about that time stamp duty became payable on the various declarations, amounting in all to 15s. The main reasons for increasing the fee were to put it in line with other charges and to pay for the more extensive inquiries now being made into applications, but it was also hoped that the increase would discourage unworthy applica? tions. The following minute was written by Sir Adolphus Liddell, Permanent Under Secretary of State, to the Home Secretary: T think we are too easy with these certificates. A great portion of the applicants are Polish, Russian and German Jews who only take them up for protection against their own Governments. '22 It is doubtful whether a great number of Jews at that time wanted British protection abroad, and those that did could probably afford the extra ?4; what the increase did rather was to discourage applications from the thousands of poor Jews who intended to stay in this country. This was why in the spring of 1886, on the return of a Liberal administration to office, strong pressure was applied by Members of Parliament for reduction of the fee. Mr Samuel Montagu (later Lord Swaythling) 21 This barrier was imposed by the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1918 (8 &amp; 9 Geo. 5, c. 38), sec. 3 (2). 22 The file is in the Public Record Office under number H.O. 45/1749A/10.</page><page sequence="10">68 J. M. Ross said that, if naturalisation were placed within the means of alien workmen, between 500 and 1,000 Liberal votes would be gained in his constituency of Tower Hamlets alone, and the seat would thus be secured for the party. When it was also pointed out that a great many long-resident aliens were already illegally on the electoral register and gave rise to costly scrutinies, the Home Secretary gave way and with Treasury consent reduced the fee to ?\. Immediately Liberal agents in the East End of London took active steps, e.g., by public meetings, to stimulate applications for natural? isation; mutual Naturalisation Societies were started in Whitechapel, the members of which paid a shilling a week and held a weekly draw, the winners of which applied for naturalisation through the Society's solicitor. A few months later a Conservative Government was returned to power, and at the end of the year the fee was restored to ?5 in respect of fresh applica? tions made from 1 January 1887.23 It would seem, however, that some 700 applications above the normal were successful during the short period of the reduced fee. In 1907 the Board of Deputies of British Jews joined in a deputation to the Prime Minister asking for a reduction of the natural? isation fee. No action resulted from this, but in 1913 the Cabinet, aware of long-continued pressure on this point, decided that the fee should be reduced to ?3, and it remained at this figure until 1920.24 Twentieth-Century Complaints There are other signs that during the next fifty years there was a feeling that the Home Office was too exacting in its requirements for naturalisation. In 1904 it was made a normal requirement that applicants should be able to speak, read, and write English, and this of course excluded those Jews who knew only Yiddish, though that was not its object. A few years afterwards, when a new Nationality Bill was drafted in consultation with the Dominions, it was decided to include 'a sufficient knowledge of the English language* as a statutory condition. The Board of Deputies of British Jews pressed in 1914 for the omission of this requirement, fearing that it would fetter the discretion of the Secretary of State to relax the requirement in particular cases, but the Board were informed that the Bill would still give the Home Secretary discretion to decide what was an 'adequate knowledge' in any particular case. The point was raised again on the Report Stage of the Bill in the Commons later that year, but the wording of the Bill was allowed to stand.25 Order of Priority In 1920 the Home Office had to consider in what order of priority to deal with the enor? mous pile of some 7,500 applications which had accumulated as the result of the virtual suspension of ordinary naturalisation during and since the war. The Home Secretary directed that Russians and other Eastern Europeans should be put at the bottom of the list, on the ground that this was not only the largest but also the least easily assimilable category of applicant. In 1922 it was decided that 'Russians' could be considered if they had twenty years' residence, and this was reduced to fifteen in 1924. Others normally had to wait for ten years. In 1930 the Home Secretary agreed to the abolition of the discrimination against Eastern Europeans; any case could now be considered after seven years' residence. By 1932 the Home Office had at last got up to date with its work and all cases were dealt with on receipt if only the statutory minimum of five years' residence had been fulfilled. The Home Office files26 show no trace of anti semitism as such, but the effect of the policy followed throughout the 1920s with Ministerial approval was to delay or deny naturalisation to a very large number of Jews of Russian or Polish origin. In 1930 a deputation from the Board of 23 H.O. 45/1749A/23, 26, 28, 32, 40, 41, 42, 43, 46. 24 C. H. L. Emanuel: A Century and a Half of Jewish History, p. 174. H.O. 45/B. 13326/75, 77. 25H.O. 45/122,229/101B. Parliamentary De? bates, House of Commons, Vol. LXV, Cols. 1472 1479. 26 H.O. 45/14736.</page><page sequence="11">Naturalisation of Jews in England 69 Deputies to the Home Secretary complained, among other things, that the high cost of naturalisation prevented many worthy Jews from applying. The Home Secretary found himself unable to reduce the fee, which had stood at ?10 since 1920, but as a result of these representations a simplification of the applica? tion form was introduced which made it unnecessary for most applicants to employ an agent and reduced the six half-crown revenue stamps to one; since agents at that time charged between ?8 and ?15 per case, this change must have effectively halved the cost of naturalisation to many applicants, Jewish and other. Statistics of these are not available before 1801, and it would be unsafe?indeed, often impos? sible?to guess the national origin from the name. Some figures from 1801 are given in Table II appended to this paper. They show that until 1870 at least half the Jews naturalised were from Germany, but already in the 1860s a good number were from Poland. By 1879 as many Russians were getting naturalised as Germans, and from 1890 until as recently as 1951 the great bulk of the Jews naturalised were from Russia or to a lesser extent Poland. IV Countries of Origin A word may be said about the national origins of Jews who obtained naturalisation. In conclusion, to illustrate the history both of naturalisation and of Judaism in this country, it may be of interest to give the names of some eminent Jews who have been naturalised. Tear of grant Mode* Name 1672 L Diego (Sir Solomon) de Medina (army contractor) 1687 L Ferdinando Mendez (presumably Fernando Mendes, physician to Charles II) 1725 L Benjamin Mendez da Costa (philanthropist) 1762 L Abraham Prado (army contractor) 1804 L Nathan Meyer Rothschild (financier) 1854 S Solomon Marcus Schiiler-Szinessy (Jewish scholar) 1856 P Samuel Gobat (Anglican Bishop at Jerusalem) 1857 S Paul Julius (Baron) de Reuter (founder of newsagency) 1866 S Marcus Nathan Adler (Chief Rabbi) 1866 S Herman Nathan Adler (later Chief Rabbi) 1866 S John L?wen thai (chess master) 1866 S Baron Ferdinand James Anselm de Rothschild (art patron) 1867 P Henri Louis Bischoffsheim (financier) 1878 S Ernest Joseph Cassel (later Sir Ernest, financier, Privy Councillor, and patron of music) 1880 S Ludwig Mond (chemist, inventor, and art collector) 1892 S Edgar Speyer (later Sir Edgar, Baronet; financier, Privy Councillor, and philanthropist; naturalisation revoked in 1921) 1901 S Felix Semon (later Sir Felix; laryngologist and musician) 1909 S Ignatius Timothy Tribich-Lincoln (known as Trebitsch-Lincoln, afterwards Chao Kung; adventurer; naturalisation revoked in 1918) 1910 S Jacob Epstein (later Sir Jacob; sculptor) 1910 S Haim (known as Charles) Weizmann (Dr. Chaim Weizmann, first President of the State of Israel) 1913 S Louis Bernstein Naymier (later Sir Lewis Namier, historian) 1915 S Joseph Herman Hertz (Chief Rabbi) 1947 S Jakob Jacques Mieses (chess master). * L = by letters patent. P = by act of Parliament, S = by certificate of the Secre? tary of State.</page><page sequence="12">70 J. M. Ross The following foreign-born Jews were never naturalised: Baron Diego d'Aguilar (financier and philanthropist); Michael Solomon Alexander (first Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem); Karl Marx (social philosopher); Baron Hirsch de Gereuth (financier and philanthropist); Wilhelm Steinitz (father of modern chess); J. H. Zukertort (chess master); Bernhard Baron (tobacco king and philanthropist). The following eminent Jews were British-born: Samson Gideon (financier); Emmanuel Mendes da Costa (naturalist); Isaac dTsraeli (man of letters); Don Pacifico (trader); Sir Moses Montefiore (philanthropist). NOTES TO TABLE 1 ON OPPOSITE PAGE (71): Notes. The figures in column (c) of Jews who have been naturalised have been compiled as follows. From 1651 to 1800 they have been taken from Samuel's list in Vol. XXII of the Transactions. For subsequent years the author has picked out the obviously Jewish names from the following indexes: 1801-1844: alphabetical index in the Long Room at the Public Record Office. 1 January 1845 to 30 April 1854: list presented to Parliament by Home Office (Accounts and Papers 1854, Vol. LIII, p. 631). 3 May 1854 to 30 June 1868; list in Accounts and Papers 1868, LV, 361. October 1879 to October 1880: list in Accounts and Papers 1881, LXXVI, 373. 29 July 1890 to 1 August 1891: list in Accounts and Papers 1890-1891, LXIII, 91. Calendar years 1901, 1911, 1921, 1931, 1951, 1961: from the lists published in Accounts and Papers in each of the following years. The year 1941 was omitted because naturalisation was largely suspended during the war and there was no census figure for comparison. Owing to the rough-and-ready method which was necessarily adopted, the figures omit an unknown number of Jews not possessing obviously Jewish names; on the other hand they include an unknown number of persons who had ceased to regard themselves as Jewish. Whatever criterion of Jewishness is adopted, the true figures are unascertainable. The estimates of total Jewish population in column (f) have been taken from books such as Cecil Roth's History of the Jews in England (1964), V. D. Lipman's Social History of the Jews in England, 1850-1950 (1954); Lloyd P. Gartner's The Jewish Immigrant in England, 1870-1914 (1960), from an article by Prais and Schmool in Jewish Journal of Sociology, X, pp. 5-34 (1968), and from an unpublished paper kindly shown to the author by Dr. Lipman. The figures for the three half-centuries from 1651 to 1800 are of the estimated mean population during each period. The figures of total alien population in column (h) have been taken from the nearest census reports. The figures for 1851 to 1901 are not quite comparable with the later figures because they included all enumerated aliens, whereas the later figures gave only resident aliens; for greater accuracy about 2% should be deducted from each total before 1911, but this hardly affects the percentages in column (i).</page><page sequence="13">Naturalisation of Jews in England 71 CM^CMCDCOin^CT)CMCO ? 2: o ^ (?)(?) ^ O CO CO T^COCMCM&lt;^COCpOOO OOOOOOO-1*^*1' O O O CO M CO CD OlCT) OOOM-HN(N(NirnD o ton ?^ CO cd^ ^ oo co &lt;S ni'cnrSt^ cd" co" inOOCMOCDCnCOr^CT&gt;CD ?'CMCMCM*-'^CO'*t&lt; 3 a, tuo _. a&gt; TS ^ V vi CO CM CO ? CD O ??' CO CO CD ' S ^ ? 6 6 ? ~ cd ? -71 ~ ^ cd ?????? ^ cm co cm ? t3 &lt;d cd OOOOOOOOOOOOOO 00000000000000 cd loo^q^o^o^qqo^o^o^o^o^o^ co in o"io ?~?v?~?"?'v?~?"?"?" 1?icoco^cD'??r^cMinoinin ?&lt; ?1 CM CM CO t}" I* &gt; \? pq c/5 ii 2 cdco?iCMcomcocoincM^coLn^H CO*. 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B3yi ,ywyn m?p*tik"ot i?k fy^i ' : )k &gt;runD nyn p? wiv |?p ??n (n3i6 r?. ?i f"Y?p ^y??yryji ySy? nfi t&gt;k enytt? ?*n p? ,jy^y ^fe^;?*D o^nv^yalw "?y^yt tyn p* p? nysn b*3 -pi B3??yj &gt;^ ^yynm -pt ono w* -fy^py* w ?*m ny^yti " ?4Si?n wk oyii ,fKn?ny?3iK nyts^33y 8 Biyn :|yTt^*rooK3 ^#^^n*H ?p3?n ^kov^wy "viynnayj -nny m aayi ya^yi n i:*~"k i^yBoiKwa jw -or?ttny njn VBt?v? .fe? .i? -too g tm 4*inW iO na 5 pe Jkb pnjp i*k tuyn??? ^m^kiww : ?r--'':-&gt;'t?--~5:-vi-?' :.-.n pe oyo*fitt h psnjyaR . Cbe Spirairields Naturalisation Socktp Offices:-!!?, HANB?BY ST., LONDON, E. Jir. $.[?. LiPSffJTZ; Sterttary. ah Advertisement offering help, for a fee, to Torrene Yidden' in preparing naturalisation applica? tions, on the back cover of a pamphlet in London 1907. The pamphlet is Unser Arbeit in Palestina (*Our work in Palestine'), by Professor O. Warburg, published by the Palestine Club in London, *price a ha'penny' (Reproduced by courtesy of Mr. A. Schischa)</page></plain_text>