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Proposals for Special Taxation of the Jews after the Revolution. Presidential Address

H. S. Q. Henriques

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Proposals for Special Taxation of the Jews after the Revolution. [Presidential Address (1918) by H. S. Q. Henriques, MA., B.C.L., K.C.] (I.) the three periods of the history of the jews in england. I have in the first place to thank you for the honour you have done me in electing me your President?an honour which involves the duty of delivering an address for which I am ill qualified. I propose to-day to add a short supplement to a lecture I delivered before your Society nearly eighteen years ago at the request of my old friend and pre? decessor, Mr. Frederick Mocatta, and to conclude by placing before you a document of great historic interest relating to the early days of the Resettlement of the Jews in this country. The lecture I refer to was not published in your Transactions, but a summary of it may be found in the Jewish Chronicle of April 19, 1901. In that lecture I dealt at some?perhaps too great?length writh what had been written about the history of the Jews in this country?dividing it, as it has been usually divided, into three periods, first from the time of the Norman Conquest to the expulsion in the year 1290; secondly, the middle period, extending from that date to the beginning of the reign of Charles II., when an organised and legally recognised community was again established in this country; and thirdly, the history and development of that community until the present time. Since then considerable contributions to the History of the Jews in England have been made under the auspices of this Society and by its members. The most important of these have relation to the first period. I may refer more particularly to work done by your retiring President, Sir Lionel Abrahams, by Canon Stokes, Dr. Israel Abrahams, Mr. Rigg, Mr. Hilary Jenkinson, and Dr. Joseph Jacobs. The work accomplished by these scholars wrould be a credit to any learned Society, and we may be justly proud of it. The only matter for regret is that we are not able to point to similar achievements in the later and, if I may venture to say so, more interesting periods. For the story of these early</page><page sequence="2">40 PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. centuries sheds no lustre on our Jewish annals, and is anything but creditable to the policy of the English realm. Jews were no doubt permitted to live here, to establish synagogues, exercise their religion and form a community of their own; but they lived here not as freemen, but as serfs or villeins of the King, requiring his protection because they were not entitled to the protection of the ordinary law, and re? ceiving it because, and only in so far as, they might be of profit to their Royal master, who used them as a sponge to suck up the property of his liege subjects, to be afterwards squeezed and discharged into his own coffers. At length King Edward I. issued the decree of banish? ment at the request and to the great satisfaction of his subjects, who willingly voted him a fifteenth of their personal property in recompense for the boon. The Jewish community in England thus came to an end. Its patient endurance of the persecutions to which it was almost continuously exposed is a noteworthy illustration of the courage and fortitude with which our long-suffering race has ever faced the manifold calamities that have befallen it; but its exclusion from practically every pursuit but the lending of money, of which it had a monopoly, disabled it from conferring any lasting benefit on the country of its adoption or making any noteworthy contribution to the History of the Jews of the Diaspora. The second period covers nearly four centuries from the banish? ment in 1290 to the Restoration of Charles II. in 1660. During the whole of this time there was no organised Jewish community in the Kingdom, but individual Jews came here from time to time, and about the middle of the seventeenth century a few Jews permanently settled in this country. Their history, though full of interest and romance, is important only as it bears upon and prepares the way to the subse? quent establishment of a Jewish community. To elucidate it much has been done by our esteemed member Lucien Wolf, whose contribu? tions we all hope will soon appear in a revised and permanent form. But it is the third period which is of real importance both to the history of this country and to the history of Israel as a whole. In that period the Jewish community, originally established under the auspices and now obsolete dispensing power of the King, has been con? tinued by the goodwill and sense of justice of the people, until at length its members have become recognised as part and parcel of the great</page><page sequence="3">PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. 41 nation in whose land they dwell with full and equal rights in every sphere of life, social, political, and religious. Whatever the future may have in store, the happy relations which have now so long existed between the Jews of England and their Christian fellow-countrymen may be pointed to as an illustration and proof of the wise tolerance and justice of the one and the firm loyalty and gratitude of the other. Nor has the seed sown fallen on barren ground. Not only has the English Jewish community made valuable contributions to the welfare of the country, but it has also, in spite of its proportionally small numbers, been able to play a prominent part in the affairs of Jewry as a whole. As it has probably not yet reached its zenith, it is not surprising that no very serious attempts have been made to trace its history; but when the time comes the story will be well worth the writing, for as the first period witnessed the degradation, so the third marks the regeneration of the Jewish race. A DOCUMENT OF HISTORIC IMPORTANCE. Though a complete history would be premature, there seems to me to be a present need of collecting and publishing the public documents relating to the foundation and early history of the modern Jewish community in England, and I propose to-night to bring to your attention a document which should I think receive a prominent place in such a collection whenever it is made. The document in question is referred to at some length in the Return of the Jews to England and the Jews and the English Law, but I believe has not been reprinted. It is entitled " The Case of the Jews Stated," and is the substance of the Petition which was presented to Parliament in the autumn of 1689 against the proposal to levy a special tax upon the Jews. The document is printed on two sheets of folio and undated, and the only copy known to me is in the Inner Temple Library in a bound volume of Cases, Petitions to Parliament, &amp;c. It is not in the Commons Journals because the rule of the House then was that no petition against a Bill imposing a tax could be received. Consequently the Petition and the debate on it are not mentioned in the Commons Journals.1 It is of sufficient importance to be mentioned by Macaulay 1 This rule, founded on the assumption that as a tax extended over all parts of the kingdom, no individual should be allowed to treat it as a special grievance</page><page sequence="4">42 PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. in his History oj England (cap. 13), but, from his description of it, it is evident that he had not seen the Petition itself, but followed the account given by Narcissus Luttrell in his Diary and Gray's Parliamentary Debates.2 THE PROPOSED SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. Those were stirring times, the Sovereigns William and Mary were but recently seated on the throne ; James II. was still holding out in Ireland, and the great struggle with Louis XIV., which with a short interval was to last for nearly a quarter of a century, had just commenced. In these circumstances it was necessary to provide additional money for the conduct of the war. Earlier in the year the House of Commons had settled the Eevenue at ?1,200,000 per annum in time of peace, and appointed a committee to determine what part of that sum should be devoted to the maintenance of the naval and military forces of the Crown.3 This amount was quite inadequate to meet the expenses of the conquest of Ireland and the foreign war. Accordingly, on November 2, the House of Commons unanimously re? solved " That for the reducing of Ireland and joining this ensuing year with their Allies abroad, in a vigorous persecution of the war against France both by sea and land, a supply be given to their Majesties not exceeding the sum of two millions to be added to the public Kevenue." And subsequently resolved itself into committee to consider the way in which the money should be raised.4 On November 7, in accordance with the Report of the Committee, the House resolved that towards the raising of the supply the Poll Tax, which had been imposed earlier in the year, should be reviewed, so that a tax of 20s. should be laid upon every shopkeeper, tradesman, and artificer with ?300 clear personal estate, and also that a tax of ?100,000 should be laid upon the to himself, was not rescinded until 1842, when Standing Order 82 (after a very hard fight, according to Macaulay), discontinuing the former usage and enabling the House to entertain such petitions, was passed. 2 LuttrelVs Diary, vol. i. p. 603; Gray's Pari. Debates, vol. ix. pp. 437-8, reprinted in Cobbett's Pari. Hist., vol. v. p. 444. 3 Commons Journals, March 20, 168$, vol. x. p. 56. 4 Ibid., Nov. 2, 1689, vol. x. p. 279; Gray's Pari Debates, vol. ix. pp. 338-394.</page><page sequence="5">PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. 43 Jews, and ordered that Bills should be brought in for that purpose.5 The Poll Tax was duly amended6 and brought in ?288,000,7 to which the Jews as others had to contribute, indeed they are expressly mentioned in the resolution of the House for the introduction of the original Bill.8 But the individual contribution was limited to com? paratively small sums, in the case of the Jews being ?10,9 and as there were then very few Jews in the Kingdom, the Jewish contribution must have been very small. The additional burden proposed to be laid upon them was more than they could bear, amounting to no less than one-twelfth of the ordinary revenue of the country and one-twentieth of the very large sum now required for carrying on the war. This enormous contribution was to be provided by a community comprising not more than eighty families, an insignificant fraction of a total population which at that time amounted to something like five and a half millions, belonging to about 1,300,000 families.10 The Jews accord? ingly without delay caused the Petition I am about to read to you to be drawn up. It was apparently presented as early as November 11, 1689, though it was not discussed until November 19, when it was 5 Commons Journals, Nov. 7, 1689, vol, x. p. 2S1. 6 1 Will. &amp; Mar. Sess. 2, o. 7 ; Statutes of the Realm, vol. vi. p. 152. Solicitors were included in the new Poll Tax of 20 shillings. 7 Pari. Hist., vol. v., Appendix XIX., p. ccxli; Dowell's History of Taxation, vol. ii. p. 48. 8 "That all Merchant Strangers and Jews shall be taxed in the said Bill " {Commons Journals, April 4, 1689, vol. x. p. 79). 9 " And be it further enacted and ordained by the authority aforesaid That every Merchant Stranger and Jew residing within this Kingdome shall pay the Summe of Ten pounds, Provided that none of the French Protestants that hath received any Share of the Publicke Charity collected by virtue of Letters Patents for their Relief shall be charged with the said Summe of Ten pounds " (1 Will. &amp; Mar. c. 13, s. 10. Statutes of the Realm, vol. vi. p. 65). N.B. This is the first time that " Jews" are mentioned in an Act of Parliament. The Jews were thus placed somewhat high in the scale of taxation. The highest poll tax, that payable by a Duke, was ?50. There was a sliding scale, a Marquess having to pay ?40, an Earl ?30, a Baron ?20, a Knight Bachelor ?10, an Esquire ?5, and a gentleman having an estate of the value of ?300, 20 shillings ; while merchants trading with the Port of London not being free of the City, had to pay ?10, and other merchants and tradesmen having a house of ?30 annual value in London, had to pay 10 shillings. 10 Macaulay, History of England, cap. 3.</page><page sequence="6">44 proposals for special taxation of the jews. delivered by Mr. Paul Foley, a very prominent member of the House, who afterwards became Speaker. Meanwhile, the rumour was spread abroad that sooner than pay the proposed tax the Jews would leave the Kingdom and remove themselves and their effects into Holland.11 The Jewrs did not use this threat in their Petition, but it is noteworthy that even in these early days, when, as now, numbers of the ignorant masses would not have deprecated the expulsion of the Jews, such was their position in the commercial and financial world that their voluntary withdrawal was looked upon by serious politicians as a national calamity. The Petition was in the following terms : The Case of the Jews Stated. 1. That about the year 1654, there came Six Jews Families into this Kingdom, which have (since King Charles the Seconds Restauration) been increased to the Number of between Three and Fourscore Families ; part whereof were driven out of their Native Countries, by the severe Persecutions of the most Horrid and Barbarous Inquisition, and having settled themselves in this City, under the Publique Faith and Protection of that King, who Indenized several of them, by Letters Patents, under the great Seal of England, as most of the rest that are Merchants have been since Indenized also by the Late King; which Intitles them to the same Priviledges and Liberties that their Majesties Natural born Subjects do or ought to enjoy, without having paid for that Liberty or Toleration, any thing whatsoever, more than their bare Fees for their Patents of Denization. About a fourth part of these have Moderate Estates of their own. Another fourth part have very indifferent Estates : And the other half consists partly of an industrious sort of People, that assist the better sort in the management of their Commerce, and partly of indigent 11 "The 11th the Jews petitioned the house of commons to be eased in the new tax, setting forth they cannot pay the 4th part of the 100,000L imposed on them, and that if they have no redresse they must be forced to leave the Kingdom " (LuUreWs Diary, vol. i. p. 603). "Nov. 12 News Letter. The Jews will rather remove their effects into Holland than pay the imposition which Parliament has designed to lay upon them, which is IOOjOOOL sterling to carry on the war; that next year the rest of the 1,400,000L to be raised by a subsidy of 2-9. in the pound of all lands and double of those that refuse the new oath of allegiance and supremacy" (Col. 8. P. Dom., 1689, p. 318, quoting from one of the Greenwich Hospital News Letters).</page><page sequence="7">PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. 45 poor people, who are maintained by the rest, and no ways chargeable to the Parishes. 2. That they serve (or Fine for) all Offices of their Parishes, and do and have at all times chearfully paid all Parish Duties and Taxes, and all publick Taxes in greater proportion than their Neighbours of Equal Estates, as may appear by the Collectors Books. 3. That notwithstanding the smallness of the Number of Merchants, and their Estates being so moderate (they being employed as Factors, by their Friends and Relations abroad) do drive a considerable Trade, exporting great Quantities of the Woollen manufactures of this Nation, and importing vast Quantities of Gold, and Silver, and other Foreign Staple Merchandizes, which do greatly Enrich the Nation, and encrease the Revenue of the Customs, inso? much that one of the said Families alone hath since the Restauration paid about Two Hundred Thousand Pounds for Customs; besides the more Merchants there be to buy English Manufactures, and the more Exporters of the same, the better Prizes they will Sell for; And the more Importers of foreign Goods, the easier Rates they will be Sold for ; All which redounds to the benefit of the Publick. 4. That the Market for Diamonds in the East Indies was formerly at Goa (belonging to the Portugueze) and by the means and industry of the Jews the Market hath been brought to the English Factories, and by that means England has in a manner the sole management of that precious Com? modity, and all Foreigners bring their Monies into this Kingdom to purchase the said Diamonds. 5. That all the Jews together are not by much worth the Hundred Thou? sand Pounds designed to be raised upon them ; even if all they have abroad should come safe to their Hands, without suffering Equal Losses at Sea with those of this year, and consequently it cannot be supposed that the Honoub able House of Commons will go about utterly to destroy a People that have always lived Peaceably, Quietly, and Dutifully, under the Established Government; which will certainly be their Case if this Tax proceed. 6. That the Jews being a Nation that cannot lay claim to any Country, do never remove from any part where they are Tollerated, and Protected; and therefore may be lookt upon to be of greater Advantage to this Kingdom than any other Foreigners, who commonly, so soon as they have got good Estates, return with them into their own Countries ; and it may be further observed in their Favour ; that none of the Jews are Shop keepers in the City</page><page sequence="8">46 PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. of London and that there are none in the whole Kingdom, but those who dwell, and Inhabit in the Cities of London and Westminster. 7. And forasmuch as it is believed by some Persons, that the Jews did offer a very great Sum of Money to Oliver Cromwell for their Establishment in this Kingdom, They do solemnly declare, they are altogether Strangers to it, and utterly deny it; And that they never gave, or offered either of the two last Kings, any Sums of Money for their Liberties, or upon any such like account whatsoever. 8. And Whereas the Jews are informed, that there is a rumour goes about, That what these are not able to pay, the Jews in other Parts will make up, looking upon them all to make but one Body, though at never so great a distance from each other : They humbly take leave to represent, that in Truth every one particular Man among them subsists of himself, without dependance on any other; And that they cannot expect any Assistance, or Relief from any other place whatsoever : But instead thereof, those abroad will certainly withdraw their Effects, and Correspondencies, and never be concerned any more with them ; which will be the utter mine, and Destruction of them. 9. And the Jews being also taxed with holding Correspondence in Ar gier, and that by their means this Nation hath been, and is a great sufferer, and ill used in their Ransom, and several other Charges alledged against them to this effect. They do solemnly Declare, and Affirm, and are ready to make appear, They never have been Instrumental in any such thing, nor ever Practised such ill, and mischievous Wayes ; And amongst them all there is but one that hath had any Correspondence in those Places, and he is very willing, and desirous, to give a full account, and discharge of what he hath Acted in this Concern ; and likewise to show how serviceable he hath been to those that imployed him therein. PRESENTATION OF THE PETITION. On Tuesday, November 19, before the Bill had been read a first time, Mr. Foley delivered the Petition to the House,12 but objections to its being read were immediately made. One member questioned whether the Jews were subjects of the King with a right to petition Parliament. Another asserted that in any case they had no greater 12 Commons Journals, x. 319 ; Col. 8. P. Dom. 1689, p. 374; Greenwich Hospital News Letter, dated Dec. 31.</page><page sequence="9">PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. 47 right of petitioning than their fellow subjects, and therefore could not petition against an Aid. To these objections Mr. Foley replied : " I think that for the honour of the House you are to hear what they will say. When you lay a general tax on a whole kingdom, you can receive no petition against it, because all are represented here, but when there is a particular tax on men they may petition." Mr. Speaker Powle stated that he never knew a petition against a Bill before the House was seised of it, and it was decided not to receive the Petition. FATE OF THE PROPOSAL. Accordingly in due course, on Monday, December 30, a Bill for laying a tax upon the Jews of one hundred thousand pounds was intro? duced and read a first time, and it was resolved that it should be read a second time. But it went no further, either because, as Macaulay says, the government of the day recognised the injustice of the tax, or because it was apparent to them that it would be impossible to collect it. In any case the proposal was finally withdrawn, but the principle of placing the Jews in a special class for the purposes of taxation was not yet abandoned, for though the Poll Tax for the present year remained unaltered so far as the Jews were concerned, an important change was made, the Bill imposing it for the next year. In the Act of 1689 the Jews had been placed in the same category as merchant strangers, and required to pay ?10 per head. As many Jews had not the status of merchants but were in much inferior positions, it was thought right to revise the provisions relating to the taxation of the Jews, and it was provided that every " Merchant Stranger residing within this Kingdome shall pay the Summe of Ten pounds. Every Jew who is a Merchant shall pay the Summe of Twenty pounds. Every Jew who is a Broker shall pay the Summe of Five pounds, and every other Jew of the Age of Sixteen years and upwards the Sum of Ten shillings."13 This provision may have made a more equitable distribution of the burden among individual Jews, though I shrewdly suspect that it was really an increase of the tax, which those of lower rank than merchants had been able to evade, but the new scale placed a heavier liability upon the Jews, even though British subjects, than upon the rest of 13 2 Will. &amp; Mar. c. 2, s. 10; Statutes of the Realm, vol. vi. p. 158.</page><page sequence="10">48 PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. the population. The taxation was considerably heavier. The Jewish merchant had to pay ?20, the same sum at which Bishops and Barons were rated and just double the assessment of other merchants who were aliens or traded with London without having the freedom of the city, and forty times the assessment of merchants possessing the freedom of the city. While the Jewish broker had to pay ?5, all other persons carrying on any trade and holding a house of ?30 per annum in London had only to pay ten shillings. The rest of the Jews, how? ever poor, had each to pay ten shillings, while the remainder of the population paid only one shilling per head, and there were exemptions in favour of poor persons, the benefit of which was extended to French Protestants though aliens. This Act further provided that Papists and reputed Papists who refused to take the newly appointed oaths of supremacy and allegiance should pay a double assessment. This provision would include the Non-jurors and others who were not Papists, but would have no effect upon the Jews, who could take both these oaths with a clear conscience.14 A special clause was inserted exempting Quakers who were unable to take these or any oaths from this double payment provided that they made a declaration of fidelity to the throne, showing conclusively that the intention was to penalise those who were thought to be disaffected to the government. This double taxation with the exemption in favour of Quakers was retained in the later Acts imposing the Poll Tax, but in these it was confined to persons having property of the value of ?300. It might perhaps be justified by the argument that those upon whom it was imposed were hostile to the existing regime, but this could by no means be applied to the Jews, the special taxation of whom wTas without any justification. This manifest injustice was removed in the year 1691, when the quarterly Poll Tax was imposed and no special provision was made for the JewTs?a precedent which was wisely followed in the other Acts imposing the Poll Tax, the last of which was passed in 1698.15 Such is the history of the special taxation of the Jews in England. It is, I think, not a little unfortunate that we have no more precise records of the withdrawal of the Special Taxation Bill of 1689 and the 14 See The Jews and the Eng. Law, pp. 225 and 226. 15 See 3 &amp; 4 Will. &amp; Mar. c. 6; 4 &amp; 5 Will. &amp; Mar. e. 14 ; 8 Will. III. e. 6, and 9 &amp; 10 Will. III. c. 38.</page><page sequence="11">PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. 49 motives which led up to it. Macaulay makes this comment upon it. " Enlightened politicians could not but perceive that special taxation, laid on a small class which happens to be rich, unpopular and defence? less, is really confiscation, and must ultimately impoverish rather than enrich the State." This may have been the frame of mind of those responsible for drawing up the Bill of 1691 providing for the Quarterly Poll Tax of that year, but both in 1689 and 1690 special taxation was in fact imposed upon the Jews, so that we are driven to the conclusion that the true reason for dropping the Bill was not that the taxation was unjust in principle, but that it was excessive and that it would be impossible to enforce the payment of such a tax if imposed. It is an illustration of the false ideas so generally current in those times, as in others, not excluding our own, concerning the circumstances, par? ticularly the financial circumstances, of the Jews ; for I cannot help thinking that the proposers of the tax really thought that it could be paid by the Jews without any undue hardship and without crippling them in their trade and commercial enterprises, which were recognised to be beneficial to the nation as a whole; and when it was proved to them that this view was erroneous and that the statements in the Petition were true, they voluntarily abandoned a proposal which they saw was impracticable. I am confirmed in this opinion by a letter written about this very time by the Earl of Shrewsbury, then Secretary of State for the North, to the Lord Mayor of London. The letter is dated from Whitehall, February 10, 1690,16 and complains that the Jews when asked to advance money by way of loan to the Government had only offered ?12,000, and directed the Lord Mayor to send for their elders and principal merchants and urge them to increase the amount out of gratitude for the privileges and liberties they enjoyed, concluding: " And since the money demanded carries with it more than the ordinary interest allowed,17 it was supposed they would without 16 New style according to the Calendar of State Papers. I have not had time to examine the original. 17 Persons lending money on the security of the new taxes were to receive interest at the rate of 7 per cent, per annum ; see 1 W. &amp; M. c. 13, s. 25 (the Poll Tax), ibid., c. 20, s. 25 (the Aid); also 1 W. &amp; M. Sess. 2, c. 1, s. 25 and ibid., c. 5, s. 7 (further Aids), whereas under the older Act 1 W. &amp; M. c. 3, s. 30 (the earlier Aid), only 6 per cent, was paid, VOL. IX. E</page><page sequence="12">50 PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. difficulty, raise among them ?30,000, or if not that amount, that they could not propose less than ?20,000."18 I have no means of ascertaining whether this large sum was advanced by the Jews, but the fact that the responsible Government of the day could only expect to obtain by way of loan, for which they considered a high rate of interest was to be paid, ?20,000, or at the outside ?30,000 from the Jews, makes it manifest that they could not hope to raise a sum of ?100,000 by way of taxation on the same persons, and accounts for the readiness with which the Bill, though apparently it had the approval of the House of Commons, was dropped. Yet, as we have seen, the vicious principle of imposing special taxation on the Jews was retained for yet another year. In 1691, howrever, to the great credit of the Government of the day, it was finally abandoned, and no serious attempt has since been made to revive it. Having regard to the very small numbers of Jews then in the Kingdom, the additional tax upon them (in no case exceeding ?20 a head) must have produced very little revenue, and therefore it is not surprising that it was discontinued without any formal discussion or debate. Its discon? tinuance, though accomplished without fuss or clamour and hitherto unnoticed by historians, was an important step in the admission of the Jews to the full rights of citizenship w7hich it is our privilege to enjoy to-day. December 8, 1918. 18 Col. S. P. Dom. 1689-90, p. 453 (H.O. Letter Box (Secretary's) i. p. 476).</page><page sequence="13">PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. 51 APPENDIX I. 1. Gray's Pari. Debates, vol. ix. pp. 437-8. Tuesday, November 19, 1689. ' A Petition from the Jews was delivered by Mr. Paul Foley. Sir Thomas Clarges.?I remember a Protestant lady in France, who, being sick and pestered by English Priests, sent for one of our Ministers and he put them out. Our Ambassador had audience of the French King, and told him, " That they were Subjects of the King of England and ought not to be molested." The French King replied, " While they are here, they are my Subjects and under my Protection." Mr. Hampden, jun.?I hear some of these Jews are naturalized, but I would know how they came to be naturalized ? If a Jew kill a man, or a man a Jew, he will be hanged. There is a great deal of difference betwixt being subject to the Laws and enjoying the benefit of the Laws. Sir Thomas Lee.?Consider the consequence of receiving this Petition from the Jews. It is directly against an Aid. " They desire not to be taxed &amp;c." Pray let not such Petitions be received. You will not receive it from others, pray begin not with the Jews. Mr. Hampden, jun.?My knowledge reaches not to that doctrine no Petition against an Aid; it is not for the Honour of the House to receive such a Petition; it is a new way to me, that an Aid should be petitioned against in granting. I never saw such a Petition, nor such reason to the contrary. These Jews are Subjects in a large Sense, and since it is urged as the right of Subjects to petition, let them not have more right than the rest of Subjects. Mr. Foley.?I think that for the Honour of the House you are to hear what they will say. When you lay a general Tax on a whole kingdom, you can receive no Petition against it, because all are represented here, but when there is a particular Tax on men they may petition. The Speaker.?I never heard a Petition against a Bill before the House was seised of it. Sir Richard Temple.?You have heard Petitions against a Tax on Sugar and Tobacco, but they must not take notice of every vote to ground a Petition upon ; that is not Parliamentary. Mr. Hampden.?You have thought it necessary that the money should be raised. I have a Bill in my hand ; pray let it be read There is no mention of this Petition or Debate in the Journal of the house, from which it appears that the Bill Mr. Hampden alluded to was the Bill for granting an Aid to their Majesties of Two shillings in the Pound for one year, which was read a first time on that day (Com. Jour. vol. x. p. 290).</page><page sequence="14">52 PROPOSALS FOR SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. APPENDIX II. Letter of the Earl of Shrewsbury to the Lord Mayor of London. Feb. 10, Whitehall. *' Taking into consideration that the Jews residing in London carry on, under favour of the Government, so advantageous a trade, it was thought that they ought to be called upon to show their readiness to support that Government by advancing such sums of money under the late Acts of Parlia? ment as they are agreeable to lend. They have been asked what they are willing to furnish towards supplying one of their brethren, M?ns. Pereyra, in part of the contract made with him by providing bread for the army, and have made an offer only of ?12,000, which is below what his Majesty expected from them, and he directs you to send for their elders and principal merchants to let them understand the obligations they are under to his Majesty for the liberty and privileges they enjoy, and how much it is to their advantage to make suitable returns of affection and gratitude for the kindness they have received and may expect. And since the money demanded carries with it more than the ordinary interest allowed, it was supposed they would, withou t difficulty, raise among them ?30,000, or if not that amount, that they could not propose less than ?20,000; and his Majesty believes that, upon second thoughts, aided by such Representations as your Lordship may make to them, they will come to new resolutions and such as may be accepted by his Majesty" (H.O. Letter Box (Secretary's), i. p. 476; Cal S. P. Dom. 1689-90, p. 453).</page></plain_text>