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Preface Vol 4

<plain_text><page sequence="1">PREFACE. The publication of Volume IV. of the " Transactions " coincides with the completion of the tenth year of the Society's existence. The volume contains a selection from the papers read before the Society during the years 1899, 1900 and 1901. Two pre? sidential addresses are included. The first is by Mr. Claude G. Montefiore, who was President of the Society for the session 1899-1900; the second is by Mr. Frederic D. Mocatta, who filled the Presidentship for two sessions, 1900-1901 and 1901-1902. At the present date the President is Mr. Isidore Spielmann, F.S.A. His proposal for the formation of a Jewish museum will receive full attention during the present and subsequent sessions. Owing in large measure to the energy of the Presidents, the Society has been able to consolidate its old work and to develop new activities. The membership has grown to about 250. There have been some changes in the Laws of the Society, especially with a view to encouraging the publica? tion of works on general Jewish history and literature. The date of the annual meeting has been transferred from the last to the first general meeting in each session. The office of Chairman of Committees has been allowed to fall into abey? ance. The post was filled, with great profit to the Society, by Mr. Lionel Abrahams, but of late the presidents have with laudable zeal invariably attended Committee meetings. It has therefore been unnecessary to appoint a successor to Mr. Abrahams, who was compelled to resign the chairmanship vii</page><page sequence="2">viii PREFACE. owing to his increased responsibilities at the India Office. Another personal change has been the accession of the Rev. S. Levy, M.A., to the joint honorary secretaryship. Mr. Levy had already borne a considerable part in the literary work of the Society, and his willingness to serve in an official capacity has much strengthened the hands of the Committee. The contents of this volume represent both more and less than the papers read during the period which it covers. Of papers read but not here printed must be mentioned Dr. Gaster's " Leaves from the History of the Sephardim in Eng? land," the substance of which has since been incorporated by the author in the memorial volume with which he signalised the bicentenary of the Bevis Marks Synagogue. Mr. H. S. Q. Henriques also read a paper on " The Jews and English Law," which will be printed by the author in a volume which he has in preparation. Several chapters have already appeared in the Jewish Quarterly Bevievi. Finally, this volume does not include a lecture delivered before the Society by Sir Benjamin Stone, M.P. In his " Stories of Westminster " he gave an account of a large number of Jewish tallies which he had discovered, and which he intends to describe in an independent volume. It is worth mentioning that from the evidence of these tallies, Mr. Israel Abrahams was able to show that the title Upiscopus, applied to several Jews in the pre-expulsion period, is some? times merely the equivalent of the Hebrew Cohen. While, however, the volume is to this extent an incomplete record, in several respects it places before the reader material which has not hitherto been submitted to the members of the Society. The numerous documents here printed were naturally not read before the Society. Further, the extracts from the Close Rolls, the account of Clifford's Tower, York, the Notes on Canterbury, and the quaint Latin proposal of marriage to Queen Elizabeth, are new. The Close Roll extracts have been</page><page sequence="3">PREFACE. ix taken from the " Calendar of Close Rolls, Ed. I. 1279-1288," and the thanks of the Society are tendered to the Controller of His Majesty's Stationery Office for permission to reprint these interesting materials. It was also very fortunate that Mr. Elkan N. Adler's remarkable discovery of a list of Jews of Amsterdam in 1655 was made just in time for the inclusion in this volume of a transcript and translation from the original State papers in his possession. Two important volumes have been issued to members since the publication of Vol. III. of the Society's " Transactions." The first of these was Mr. Lucien Wolfs " Menasseh ben Israel's Mission to Oliver Cromwell." In this book Mr. Wolf co? ordinated the fascinating researches which had occupied him for several years. The volume has been welcomed as a per? manent addition to both Jewish and English history. The other volume referred to is Mr. J. M. Rigg's " Select Pleas, Starrs, and other Records from the Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, A.D. 1220-1284." The preparation of this book had been one of the primary objects for which the Society was founded. . But many difficulties stood in the way. These obstacles were removed when an arrangement was entered into with the Seiden Society for the joint publication of the work. Lord Macnaghten, at the annual meeting of the Seiden Society in March 1902, expressed the obligation of his Society to the Jewish Historical Society in connection with this enterprise. In the annual report of the Seiden Society, adopted on that occa? sion, the following passage occurs with reference to Mr. Rigg's volume: " This volume has been produced with the assistance of the Jewish Historical Society of England, and the Council desire to record their sense of the friendly co-operation shown by that Society which has enabled the joint undertaking to be carried through without any difficulty." The Jewish Historical Society entirely reciprocates this expression of satisfaction at</page><page sequence="4">X PREFACE. the result of its co-operation with the Seiden Society, and gratefully expresses its conviction that the volume would have been beyond its unaided powers. Mr. Rigg has already begun for the Jewish Historical Society a supplementary volume, to contain a full " Calendar " of these Jewish Plea Rolls. This " Calendar," when complete, will place students of Anglo Jewish history in a far more favourable position for research than that previously occupied. In another direction also very promising research is in progress. The Society has commissioned M. Cardoso de Bethencourt, of Lisbon, to make investigations on its behalf into the Inquisition records in Portugal. The Society has agreed to pay a sum of ?100 for this research; Mr. F. D. Mocatta contributed ?40 of this amount. M. de Bethencourt has already placed in the hands of the Committee the pre? liminary results of his inquiries. It should be mentioned that this research has a direct bearing upon the history of the Jews in England, for many of the families named in the Portuguese archives subsequently settled in London and founded the Anglo-Jewish community. Mr. Lucien Wolf will edit the documents for the Society. It has been already mentioned that since 1900 the Society has been engaged in developing a branch of its original objects to which it had previously been unable to attend. An arrangement was made with Messrs. Macmillan for the issue of a series of books dealing with general Jewish History and Literature. The Society is much indebted to Mr. Frederick Macmillan for his cordial assent to this pro? posal. As before, the normal income of the Society is absolutely reserved for publications of specifically Anglo-Jewish import. All its other undertakings are organised independently of the Society's regular funds, though the Executive Com? mittee directs the new as well as the old work. The Com</page><page sequence="5">PREFACE. xi mittee has been strengthened by the inclusion of Miss Abadi, the Rev. S. Singer, Messrs. Bertram Jacobs and A. M. Hyamson, and of Dr. S. A. Hirsch and Mr. Gustave Tuck. Both the last named have rendered conspicuous service to the Executive. For the purposes of the newer work, the Society inaugurated a pub? lication fund, to which Messrs. Rothschild, Mr. C. G. Montefiore, and Mr. F. D. Mocatta contributed ?100 each, and Mr. Charles Samuel ?25. With the capital thus generously provided the Committee felt justified in starting operations. In the first instance it sought, and very readily obtained, the friendly co? operation of the American Jewish Publication Society, and issued, as agents for that Society, two parts of Professor Lazarus' " Ethics of Judaism," and " Songs of Exile," by Mrs. R. Salaman (Nina Davis). More recently the Society has published S. M. Dubnow's " Jewish History." A series of volumes, to be called " The Jewish Worthies Series," was also planned, and the first volume?"Maimonides"?by Messrs. D. Yellin and I. Abrahams, has just been issued by Messrs. Macmillan. The Committee takes this opportunity to thank Messrs. Ballantyne, Hanson and Co. for the excellent style in which they have printed these books, as wrell as Mr. Wolfs " Menasseh ben Israel" volume referred to above. So far the American Society has been associated in all the new publications, and this association has been of great value to the English body. The American Jewish Historical Society, it may be incidentally remarked, has recently held its first decennial meeting, and very cordial congratulations are herewith offered to it on this auspicious occasion. The Society has further in the press a volume of Essays by Dr. S. A. Hirsch, and has also arranged for the preparation of a volume on the history of the Jews of England. This work has been committed to the capable hands of the Rev. S. Levy and Messrs. B. Jacobs and A. M. Hyamson.</page><page sequence="6">xii PREFACE. The Society has suffered a great loss by the death of Mr. A. I. Myers. Up to the time of his death he was a member of the Executive Committee, and was ever ready to give the Society the benefit of his practical experience both in the original formation of the Society and in all the details of its subsequent work. It has been decided to found a memorial to Mr. Myers, and the fund for this purpose now amounts to about ?100. Further donations from members would be welcomed. The fund will be devoted to the promotion of some form of historical research. Another gap in the ranks of those formerly associated very closely with the fortunes of the Society has been caused by the departure for America of Mr. Joseph Jacobs. In the earlier career of the Society his active guidance and inspiring influence were of enormous value, and it must be admitted that the transference of his energies to another continent has seriously weakened the Society. It is hoped, however, that Mr. Jacobs will in future be able to resume his work on the Society's behalf, and in the meantime it is a satisfaction to observe that he is contributing to the " Jewish Encyclopaedia " many valuable articles on Anglo-Jewish history. The Ency? clopaedia deserves the enthusiastic support of the Jewish community, and the Society welcomes this opportunity of expressing its sense of the value of the Encyclopaedia as a worthy record of Jewish history and of Jewish life. During the current session an illuminated address was presented to Mr. Frank Haes on the completion of his seventieth year. The following is the text of the ad? dress :? " To Frank Haes, Esq., Hon. F.RP.S. " It is with a deep sense of the value of your services to the Jewish Historical Society of England, that the Committee</page><page sequence="7">PREFACE. xiii offer you their cordial congratulations on the occasion of your seventieth birthday. " Your connection with the study of Anglo-Jewish history goes back to a long time prior to the formation of the Society. In 1887, in particular, the Anglo-Jewish Exhibition owed very much to your activity in its behalf. Not only was your organising skill of considerable service, but your beautiful series of photographic reproductions of manuscripts and works of art marked a new epoch in this branch of photography. Your photographs have everywhere been welcomed as in themselves genuine works of art. " Since the Jewish Historical Society was founded?and in the foundation you bore a prominent part?j^our services as Honorary Secretary and Treasurer have been such, that without them, the Society could not have attained its present position of prosperity and of efficiency. You have contributed valuable papers, and have stimulated others to new lines of antiquarian research. You have displayed full, practical sym? pathy with every extension of the Society's activity, and have yourself originated some of these extensions. Besides this, you have so ordered the financial side of the Society's affairs, that from this point of view a success has been reached which has been unsurpassed in the annals of Anglo-Jewish Societies. "Your colleagues are desirous of offering this inadequate testimony to the worth of your performances. They hope that you will regard this address as a token also of their personal esteem and affection towards you as a friend to whom they wish a very long continuance of health and happiness." The Society also offers its congratulations to another septuagenarian member of the Executive who has rendered great service to the Society since its initiation?Dr. M. Fried</page><page sequence="8">xiv PREFACE. lander, the revered Principal of Jews' College. The present volume is inscribed to him. It will be seen that Mr. Haes is represented in the present volume by two contributions and by some fine photographs of Clifford's Tower, York. The other illustrations are the Rolls Chapel, taken from a print kindly placed at the Society's disposal by Mr. Myers, of 59 High Holborn, and a portrait of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid, the original of which is in Mr. C. G. Montefiore's private possession. The original oil-painting was the work of Benjamin Rawlinson Faulkner (1787-1849). To both these gentlemen the Society offers its thanks. It is also due to Mr. Montefiore's kindness that Mr. Lionel Abrahams has been empowered to make numerous extracts from the Goldsmid papers which are printed below, and which throw much light on the history of Jewish emancipation in this country. The illustrations have been produced in collotype by Messrs. Waterlow. The Society is also indebted to the editors of the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish World for permission to use their reports of Mr. Firth's paper; and to the editors of the Jewish Chronicle and of the Jewish Quarterly Beview for permission to reprint material originally printed in those periodicals. Thanks are also due to Miss Ada Corcos for the extracts from the Close Rolls, and to Miss S. R. Hirsch for the Index. Finally, the Society has much pleasure in recording that it has become a constituent of the newly-formed Union of Jewish Literary Societies. Feeling that the Union could make the best use of the lantern slides in the Society's possession, these, together with the " Popular Lecture " fund, have been handed over to the Union. The Union has already made excellent use of the slides. It will be seen from the foregoing record that the objects of the Society are being developed energetically. But the</page><page sequence="9">PREFACE. XV Committee appeals to the general body of members for help in two directions. In the first place, it is imperative that members should assist the Committee in promoting the sale of the Society's new publications. In the second place, the Com? mittee feels that new, active workers in various fields of historical research are urgently needed if the high standard hitherto reached is to be maintained. There is still an enor? mous amount of material awaiting investigation, and it is desirable that further recruits should add themselves to the small band of students who have borne the brunt of the Society's labours for several years past. VOL. IV.</page></plain_text>