< Back

Preface Vol 5

<plain_text><page sequence="1">PEEFACE. The present volume of the "Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society"?the fifth of the series?records the work of the Society during the last five years, and contains nearly all the Papers read before the Society during the Sessions 1901-1905. Three Presidential Addresses are in? cluded, viz. those delivered by Mr. F. D. Mocatta (1901), Sir Isidore Spielmann (1903), and Mr. I. Abrahams (1904). The Addresses by the Rev. Prof. H. Gollancz (Jan. 1906) and the Rev. the Haham Dr. M. Gaster (Nov. 1906), and a selection from the other Papers read before the Society in 1906 and 1907, will appear in Vol. VI. Parts of Vol. VI. (beginning with the Presidential Address by the Rev. S. Levy, M.A., at the com? mencement of the current session, Dec. 9, 1907) have already been issued to Members. In future, Papers read before the Society will be printed as soon as the authors prepare them for press. Since the publication of Vol. IV. of the " Transactions" in 1903, several works have been issued to members. In 1905 appeared the first volume of Mr. J. M. Rigg's " Calendar of the Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, preserved in the Public Record Office." This volume covered the period 1218-1272, and a second volume, continuing the " Calendar " is in a forward state. It is gratifying to know that many eminent lawyers and lay members of the Seiden Society are vii</page><page sequence="2">Vlii PREFACE. subscribers to this " Calendar," which, though of a highly technical character, will in the end throw much light on the economic and social condition of Anglo-Jewry in the thirteenth century. The Society had previously published (in conjunction with the Seiden Society) a volume of " Select Pleas" from the same Exchequer Records. In Mr. Rigg's Introduction to that volume there occurred a passage which gave rise to some misunderstanding at the time. When Mr. Rigg's attention was called to the matter, he addressed a letter to the Society which entirely removed all false impressions. But the mistake as to Mr. Riggs meaning has been recently repeated, and it may be well to place on permanent record Mr. Riggs letter, which was published in the Society's Annual Report for 1903-4:? " I have learned with much regret that a passage in my recent work, ' Select Pleas, &amp;c, from the Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews,' published under the auspices of the Seiden Society and this Society, has been interpreted in some quarters in a sense quite foreign to my intent, i.e. as designed to countenance the " ritual murder" charge which from time to time has been, and in some parts of Europe still is, falsely brought against people of the Jewish race. I entirely repu? diate any such interpretation of my meaning. I have never seen the remotest reason to credit the charge, and the misapprehension of my meaning is to me the more surprising by reason of the express, explicit, and emphatic manner in which I affirmed the intrinsic improbability of the charge, an intrinsic improbability, which indeed I intimated, could hardly be exaggerated. But it now gives me pleasure to reiterate in the clearest terms my full conviction that the charge is false. " Those who have jumped to a wrong conclusion as to my meaning must have failed to bear in mind that the passage in question was written by a lawyer primarily for lawyers, and was in the nature of a summing-up, in which it is only permissible to present such matters as seem pertinent to the issue, and so leave the case to the jury, without, if possible, the faintest indication of the judge's private opinion. It</page><page sequence="3">PREFACE. IX never occurred to me that any anti-Semite could make capital out of so cautious and balanced a statement. But I shall be glad if my present statement makes it utterly beyond the realm of possibility for my previous statement to be misused in a sense abhorrent to my true opinion. (Signed) J. M. RIGG. '9 New Square, Lincoln's Inn, 2Qth January 1904." Besides the second volume of Mr. Riggs " Calendar," there is in the press an important treatise by Mr. H. S. Q. Henriques on "The Jews and English Law," which will be issued in connection with the Jubilee of Parliamentary Eman? cipation in England. To return, however, from the promise of the future to the fulfilment of the past, the Society published in 1904, aThe Letter of Aristeas," by Mr. H. St. J. Thackeray, and in 1905 there appeared Dr. S. A. Hirseh's " Book of Essays"; a second impression of Mrs. R. N. Sala man's " Songs of Exile "; and Mr. E. N. Adler s " Jews in Many Lands." In 1906 was issued Maurice Liber's " Rashi." The last three volumes were published in co-operation with the Jewish Publication Society of America. In 1906 was issued a Souvenir of the Whitehall Conference Celebration, written by the Rev. S. Levy, and during the current year members received Mr. A. M. Hyamson's " History of the Jews in Eng? land." The last-named book was published for the Society by Messrs. Chatto &amp; Windus. The literary record of the Society is encouraging, not alone because of the quality of the work done, but also because of another circumstance. Some of the old workers have continued their services, and especial satisfaction will be felt that so many new workers have come forward. Since the publication of the last volume of " Transactions," Papers</page><page sequence="4">X PEEFACE. have been read before the Society by the following fresh recruits: Mr. J. M. Rigg, the Rev. Isidore Harris, Mr. Leon H?hner, Mr. Maurice Myers, Mr. A. M. Hyamson, the Rev. Dr. H. P. Stokes, Dr. H. Hirschfeld, the Rev. I. S. Meisels, Major Martin Hume, Prof. F. Liebermann, and Heer J. M, Hillesum. The Society now possesses a strong band of workers, for to these new-comers must be added the names of old-standers who have continued their interest in Jewish historical research, and have read Papers: the Chief Rabbi, the Haham, the Rev. Prof. H. Gollancz, Sir I. Spielmann, the Rev. S. Levy, Mr. Lucien Wolf, Mr. E. N. Adler, Mr. H. S. Q. Henriques, and Mr. I. Abrahams. One serious gap has been made in the list. Death has removed the Rev. Simeon Singer, but the present volume contains his fine Paper on " Jews and English Coronations," which, with its striking Appendices, forms a true memorial to his fame. In proof of the esteem in which the Society is held, attention may be drawn to the lists of Honorary and Corresponding Mem? bers. These lists contain the names of many of the foremost historians in England and foreign countries, and several of them have also contributed Notes and Papers. In 1905, Mr. Frank Haes, owing to failing sight, felt compelled to resign the office of Treasurer, a position which he held for several years with great advantage to the Society. He has been succeeded by Mr. Gustave Tuck. The Rev. S. Levy, M.A., then undertook the whole work of the Honorary Secretaryship, and during the present session he has continued in that office, though he has also had to bear the burden of the Presidency. Two new offices have been created. Messrs. Adler &amp; Perowne have generously consented to accept the office of Honorary Solicitors, and their advice has already proved of much advantage. Mr. I. Abrahams has acted as</page><page sequence="5">PREFACE. xi Honorary Editor of Publications, and in this arduous work the Rev. S. Levy has rendered considerable services. In February 1908 an unprecedented incident occurred, for a Special General Meeting was summoned at the requisi? tion of a number of members, to consider some points in the Society's policy. The meeting resolved itself into an amicable conference, and the action of the Council was approved. At this point it may be desirable to give a complete diary of the meetings of the Society which have been held since the meetings recorded in Vol. IV. of the " Trans? actions." 1901, Dec. 22. 1902, March 1. ? April 13. ? July 16. 1903, Feb. 9. ? April 19. ? May 18. June 22. L Nov. 29. 1904, March 26. May 1. ? June 6. July 4. ? Nov. 23. Dec. 20. F. D. Mocatta, " Presidential Address." L. Wolf, "The Jewry of the Restoration." Rev. S. Levy, " The Jewry Wall at Leicester." J. M. Rigg, "Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews." General Meeting. Election of Mr. I. Spielmann as President. I. Spielmann, " Presidential Address." Rev. S. Singer, " English Coronations." A. M. Hyamson, " The Lost Ten Tribes and the Influence of the Search for them on the Return of the Jews to England." Wolf, " The First Stages of Jewish Emancipa? tion in England." The Chief Rabbi, " The Baal Shem of London." E. N. Adler, " A Letter of Menasseh ben Israel." I. Abrahams, " The Bodleian Bowl." Rev. I. Harris, "History of the Anglo-Jewish Press." Tercentenary of the birth of Menasseh ben Israel. Reception by Mr. and Mrs. I. Spielmann. General Meeting. Election of Mr. I. Abrahams as President. I. Abrahams, " Presidential Address." L. Wolf, " The Disraeli Family."</page><page sequence="6">xii PREFACE. 1905, March 28. Leon H?hner, " The Jews of Ireland." Maurice Myers, " Calendars of the Coaching Days." ,, July 5. General Meeting. Election of the Rev. Prof. H. Gollancz as President. ? Oct. 17. Special General Meeting. Election of Mr. Gustave Tuck as Treasurer. 1906, Jan. 28. Rev. Prof. H. Gollancz, "Presidential Address." ? Feb. 5. Whitehall Conference Celebration. April 1. A. M. Hyamson, "The Jew Bill of 1753." ? June 25. Exhibition of Lantern Slides : (a) " The Return of the Jews to England," by Sir Isidore Spielmann; (b) " The Crawford Hagadah," by F. Haes and I. Abrahams; (c) "Some Members of the Whitehall Conference," by Israel Solomons; and (d) "Simon de Mont fort's Leicester Charter " and " Menasseh ben Israel's Marriage Certificate," by the Rev. S. Levy. ? July 24. General Meeting. Election of the Rev. the Haham Dr. M. Gaster as President. ? Nov. 19. Rev. Dr. M. Gaster, " Presidential Address." Dec. 17. H. S. Q. Henriques, "The Political Rights of the English Jews." Presentation of Addresses to Sir I. Spielmann and Mr. G. Tuck. 1907, Jan. 21. Rev. Dr. H. P. Stokes, " The Jews of Cambridge." ? Feb. 18. Rev. Prof. H. Gollancz, "A Contribution to the History of the Readmission of the Jews." ? March 18. Dr. H. Hirschfeld, "An English Voice on the Emancipation of the Jews." Rev. I. S. Meisels, " The Jewish Congregation of Portsmouth, 1766-1842." ? April 8. Major Martin Hume, " Some Debts the World owes to the Spanish Jews." ? July 8. General Meeting. Election of the Rev. S. Levy as President. ? Dec. 9. Rev. S. Levy, " Presidential Address."</page><page sequence="7">PREFACE. xiii 1908, Feb. 3. Prof. F. Liebermann, "Alfred the Great and the Mosaic Law." ? Feb. 17. Special General Meeting by Requisition. March 23. Maurice Myers, " MS. Sidelights on Anglo-Jewish Emancipation." Rev. S. Levy, "A Supposed Jewish Conspiracy in 1753." ? April 27. Major Martin Hume, " The so-called Conspiracy of Dr. Ruy Lopez." ? May 25. J. M. Hillesum, " Letters of Menasseh ben Israel." So far as to the literary record. The Society has also to its credit the successful completion of several important enter? prises. In his Presidential Address in February 1903, Sir I. Spielmann pointed out that it was a duty the Jews of this country owed to future generations to set up a memorial to those gallant members of the Jewish community, both of Great and Greater Britain, who lost their lives in defence of the Empire during the South African Campaign, 1899-1902. The Jewish Historical Society approached the Maccabseans on the subject, and a Committee representing both bodies and the community generally was formed to carry the idea into execution. Colonel Goldsmid was the first Chairman of the Committee, and on his death Sir I. Spielmann was appointed in his place. The necessary funds were collected, and a Memorial Tablet was erected in front of the Central Synagogue, and the balance of the fund was handed to the Union Jack Club, where one of the chief rooms has been dedicated to the Jewish soldiers. A full account of the unveiling of the War Memorial by Lord Roberts will be found below, pp. 57 seq. A second enterprise, due to Sir I. Spielmann, was the estab? lishment of the Mocatta Library and Museum. This, following on a suggestion by Dr. H. Gollancz, has been installed at University College, Gower Street, where the offices of the Society are now</page><page sequence="8">xiv PREFACE. located. A full account of the inaugural ceremony, and details as to regulations for the use of the Library, will be found below, pp. 65 seq. To that report it may be interesting to add the remarks made by Lord Rosebery (as Chancellor of the Uni? versity of London) when inaugurating the new libraries at University College on March 26 of the present year. In the course of his speech Lord Rosebery said: " Then there was the Mocatta Library, which, he thought, was one of the most remarkable interest, and which was to be the centre and home, he hoped, of the Jewish Historical Society, and would throw light on what was, after all, one of the most interesting problems of medieval history?the history of the sacred race that was lodged here and dismissed from these shores. He thought the Mocatta Library, when supplemented adequately by the Anglo-Jewish museum, would be one of the most striking features even in University College" (Times, March 27, 1908). At the meeting of the Society held on December 17, 1906, Addresses were presented to Sir Isidore Spielmann and Mr. Gustave Tuck, on the completion of their labours as Treasurers of the Mocatta Memorial Fund. The full text of the Addresses was printed in the last Annual Report of the Society, circulated at the beginning of the current Session. A full account is given on pp. 276 seq. of the Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Whitehall Conference, and on pp. 299 seq. of the American Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the first organised settlement of the Jews in the New World. A great popular success was achieved by the Exhibition of Jewish Art and Antiquities, which was opened at the Whitechapel Art Gallery on November 6, 1906. The Jewish Historical Society was very strongly represented on the Advisory Committee, which organised the Exhibition.</page><page sequence="9">preface. XV As in previous years, the Society has maintained its subscription to the Union of Jewish Literary Societies. Thanks are due, and are hereby cordially tendered, to the proprietors of the Jewish Chronicle for permission to reprint reports (pp. 1, 57, 65, and 276, below) and for the use of blocks (Central Synagogue Tablets and Calendar of Coaching Days); to the proprietors of the Jewish World for the use of blocks (Union Jack Club Library and Tablet); to the editors of the Jewish Quarterly Review for the use of facsimiles (Menasseh ben Israel Letter and Title-page); to the British Museum for permission to reproduce the Edward VI. medal; to the pro? prietors of the Times for permission to reprint Mr. Lucien Wolfs paper on the Disraeli Family; to Messrs. Seeley for permission to use Mr. Railton's drawing of the Coronation Chair and Stone; to Mr. L. Wolf for permission to reproduce the portrait of Falk; to the United Synagogue for permission to reproduce a page of Falks Diary; and to University College, London, for use of the block of the Mocatta Library. Thanks are also due to the Society's printers, Messrs. Ballantyne, Hanson &amp; Co., for the care and taste with which the various publications have been produced. The present volume contains much new matter over and above the Papers read at meetings. Mr. Levy's account of the " Norwich Day Book " is quite new, and all the Documents and Appendices are also now published for the first time. Including Honorary and Corresponding Members, the Society now has on its list 275 names. It may be hoped that this number will be largely increased. The association of the Society with the University of London, and the record of its past work, justify the expectation that many new subscribers will rally to its support. The many publications referred to in the preceding account have involved an expenditure con vol. v. b</page><page sequence="10">xvi PREFACE. siderably in excess of income. And there are in process of maturation a number of important undertakings, the accom? plishment of which will involve great cost. Members may help in two ways. First, by making special donations to the funds. But secondly, and chiefly, by bringing the work done and contemplated to the notice of those who would un? doubtedly join the Society if they knew of its aims and achievements. S. LEVY, President. I. ABRAHAMS, Honorary Editor of Publications. University of London (University College), Go wer Street, W.O., June 24, 1908.</page></plain_text>