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Testimony from the margin: the Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290

Joe Hillaby

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Testimony from the margin: the Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290* JOE HILLABY The foundation of Gloucester's Jewry was but a small part of a much wider process - the Jewish colonization of twelfth-century England.1 By 1189, the end of Henry IPs reign, a network of more than twenty communities, each with its own religious and social facilities, had been established throughout England, southeast of a line from York, through Nottingham and Hereford, to Exeter. It is by close individual studies of such communities that a clearer picture of the character of Jewish society in twelfth- and thirteenth-century England can be built up. As yet only a few have been submitted to this process. At Gloucester the history of the medieval Jewry can be placed in the wider context of the neighbouring communities at Hereford and Worcester, but not, so far, of Bristol to the south. Two major studies of English provincial Jewries have been published, Cecil Roth's Jews of Medieval Oxford (1951) and Vivian Lipman's Jots of Medieval Norwich (1967). Each relates to a large and wealthy community. Jurnet of Norwich, who died in 1197, and David of Oxford, who died in 1244, both had vast financial resources. Furthermore, there is impressive documentary evidence for the study of these communities. College archives provided Roth with material for a remarkable study of the topography and personalities of the Oxford Jewry. Lipman had the extensive Westminster Abbey collection of Norwich Jewry records ranging from 1225 to 1275, which afforded wide ranging evidence for the economic activity and families of that community. He went further, raising important questions about demography, social struc? ture and family size. The London Jewry in the twelfth and thirteenth centur? ies has been the subject of two recent but more restricted surveys.2 For Gloucester there is no such wealth of documentary evidence. In so far as W. H. Stevenson edited the Calendar of the Records of the Corporation of Paper presented to the Society on 21 June 2001. 1 In this context 'colonization' is defined as 'a number of people of a particular ethnic group residing in a foreign city or country, especially in one quarter or district'. J. Hillaby, 'The Jewish Colonisation of Twelfth-Century England', in The Jews in Medieval Britain (forthcoming). 2 J. Hillaby, 'The London Jewry: William I to John' JHS 33 (1995) 1-44; idem, 'London: the 13th-century Jewry revisited' JHS 32 (1993) 89-158. 4i</page><page sequence="2">Joe Hillaby Gloucester, which included not only royal charters and letters but more than 1200 local deeds spanning the period 1175-1690, and Robert Cole's Rental of all Houses in Gloucester AD 1455, which in not a few cases takes the record of tenure back to Henry Ill's reign, Gloucester can provide a somewhat richer vein than that available at neighbouring Hereford and Worcester. Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester were marginal in two respects. They were on the very bounds of the area colonized. There were no communities immediately to the north, at Shrewsbury or Chester, or in Wales.3 Gloucester and Worcester, and for a short time in the mid-thirteenth century Hereford, were marginal in a further sense. Apart from its great era of the late twelfth century, the Gloucester community, like that of Worcester, played but a minor role in the economic and social life of England's Jewry. Their only contribution towards thirteenth-century tallages to exceed 3 per cent was that of Worcester in 1255, of 5 per cent. Nevertheless, the history of the Glouces? ter community, and its relations with its two neighbours, can help us probe some significant questions relating to the life of the wider, national commun? ity. Further comparative study can bring out not only common elements, but also points of contrast. Why, for example, should one of these communities, Hereford, have thrived at the very time that another, Gloucester, was in steep decline? To answer such questions the history of the provincial Jewries has to be placed in a wider context, not merely that of English history, but also of events in Normandy, Wales and even Ireland. Only in terms of the two latter, for example, can the transformation in 1216 of the fortunes of the English Jewry, and with it the relative fortunes of Gloucester and its neigh? bouring Jewries, be adequately explained. Tax lists provide evidence for the ranking of provincial Jewries in the late twelfth and thirteenth century. In 1159 Gloucester was the smallest but one. This is surprising, given the town's political and strategic importance. Yet by 1194 it ranked fifth among twenty-one tax-paying communities, Hereford fourteenth and Worcester sixteenth. This relationship between Gloucester and Hereford was to be reversed after the disasters of John's reign. Personal and strategic factors were at play.4 By 1216 the base for military operations in south and central Wales had moved from Gloucester to Hereford. This, together with the partnership of the 3 See the map of the English Jewries in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries in J. Hillaby, 'A magnate among the Marchers: H?mo of Hereford, his family and clients 1218 1253' JHS 31 (1990)24. 4 See Table 1, 'The Donum of 1159', in Hillaby (1995) (see n. 2) 15. For Hereford and Worcester tallages see J. Hillaby, 'The Jewish Community at Hereford ... , 1179-1253' Trans Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club (hereafter TWNFC) 44m (1984) 369-81 and idem, 'The Worcester Jewry, 1158-1290: Portrait of a Lost Community' Trans Worcs Archaeol Soc 3S 12 (1990a) 81-3. 42</page><page sequence="3">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 outstandingly wealthy H?mo and Walter II de Lacy, most powerful of the barons of the turbulent southern march, explains the dramatic change in for? tunes of the two communities. H?mo and his family funded not only de Lacy, but such baronial colleagues as Gilbert earl of Pembroke, John the Marshal, Roger de Clifford and John of Monmouth, as well as members of the local knightly class. Further, at Gloucester the community was leaderless, the con? sequence of the death of Elias and two other prominent members, victims of the reign of terror unleashed by John in 1210 in a vain attempt to extract even more treasure from the English Jewry. Indeed, the 1221 tallage list shows the family of an outsider, Abraham of Warwick, as major contributors, followed by the three widows, Mirabelle, Judea and Douce. Mirabelle, Elias's widow, worked hard under adverse circumstances to re-establish some of her family's fortunes; but its great days had gone. In the 1223 tallage, Gloucester ranked fourteenth and Worcester fifteenth of the sixteen Jewries, but Hereford was fifth.5 Gloucester's decline continued, but Mirabelle's efforts were rewarded by a brief revival of the family's fortunes on the succession of Bonenfaunt, her eldest son, to the leadership. At the so-called Jewish 'Parliament' at Worcester in 1241, representatives of all the recognized Jewries met Henry III to deliber? ate on tallage matters. Although Bonenfaunt's financial resources were meagre, his personal skills gained national recognition. In 1241 a tallage was levied of 20,000 marks, ?1333 6s 8d. The penny was the only coin struck until 1257, but in 1086 Domesday accounting was in pounds, shillings and marks, that is i6od, two-thirds of ?1. The only gold coin in circulation was the bezant, worth about 24d, that is 2s.6 Gloucester's contribution of under ?10 was, at 0.1 per cent of the total, the lowest of all nineteen Jewries; Worc? ester, eighteenth, was little better. During the Barons' Wars of 1263-5 the two communities suffered deeply, as the Severn valley was of great strategic importance. Leading members of both were killed. 1275 saw the formal closure of both communities when all Jews were expelled from the Queen Mother's five dower towns. Those from Gloucester were to go to Bristol, but most moved to the congenial air of Hereford and the patronage of Bonenfaunt's son-in-law, Aaron le Blund. However Belia, the Worcester-born widow of Jacob Couperon, one of Bonen? faunt's younger sons and his successor as leader of the Gloucester Jewry, managed to stay on, living in a small suburb outside the town walls, accom? panied by her brother, Ursell, a younger son of Hak who for forty-two years (c. 1230-68) had led the Worcester community. 5 Hillaby (1990) (see n. 3) 47-52, table 8; idem, 'The Clients of the Jewish Community at Hereford, 1179-1253: Four Case Studies' TWNFC 45I (1985) 193-270. See also p. 67. 6 A bezant was a Byzantine coin varying in value between ?1 and less than 10s, normally about 2S. L. F. Salzman, English Trade in the Middle Ages (London 1931) 16. 43</page><page sequence="4">Joe Hillaby About 1255, Aaron II le Blund, a junior member of what had been one of London's wealthiest Jewish families, moved to Gloucester, the home of his wife, Bonenfaunt's eldest daughter, Mirabelle. After the death of Hamo's last son, Moses, in 1253, Hereford's Jewry was leaderless and in marked decline, but, having come through the troubles of 1258-65 relatively unscathed, the city offered wide-ranging opportunities. By 1265 Aaron had moved to Here? ford. This ushered in a period of great prosperity for the community, but his clientele was drawn from a different social class from that of Hamo's family. With Aaron at the helm, Hereford welcomed members of the expelled Worc? ester and Gloucester communities into its ranks and weathered the storms of Edward I's reign right up to the general expulsion in 1290, when it ranked third among the provincial communities. Aaron's personal skills, not strategic factors, explain Hereford's revival.7 The questions on demography raised by Lipman were widened consider? ably in 1992 by Barrie Dobson, for whom demographic uncertainty is 'the single most frustrating problem facing the historian of medieval Anglo Jewry'. Lack of documentation on the poor may be seriously distorting our view of its size and social structure. Turning to family size and the character of medieval Jewish households, he refers to the difficulty of finding incontro? vertible evidence, in the great majority of documented families, that a father and mother had more than two children. He concludes that such small nucle? ated urban households were 'no larger and conceivably smaller than those of Christian neighbours'. As to poorer households, the Gloucester returns for the Third of 1239 provide some information. About 40 per cent of those listed, though not the very poorest, belong to a social group previously unre? corded. This material may have significant implications for the study of the demography of England's medieval Jewry. However, from tallage and other public records estimates can be made of the family size of the leaders of the Gloucester, Hereford, Worcester and other Jewries.8 Politics and strategy: Gloucester in the twelfth century Gloucester, with its fertile hinterland along the Severn and its tributary region over that river to the west, had always been a site of great military importance. In origin a Roman legionary fort, it was refounded c. 855 as a defensive burh during the Viking invasions. It then became the principal 7 For the le Blund family in London see Hillaby (1993) (see n. 2) fig. 1, 107-20; in Hereford idem, 'Aaron le Blund and the last decades of the Hereford Jewry, 1253-90' TWNFC 46m (1990b) 432-87. R. C. Stacey, 'Royal Taxation and the Social Structure of Medieval Anglo-Jewry: The Tall ages of 1239-1242' Hebrew Union College Annual 56 (Cincinnati 1985) 199, tables 2 and 2a; B. Dobson, 'The Role of Jewish Women in Medieval England' in Christianity and Judaism ed. D. Wood, Studies in Church History 29 (1992) 150-4. See p. 96. 44</page><page sequence="5">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 stronghold of the revived Mercian state. By the end of the eleventh century, with a population of about 3000, it ranked seventh among English boroughs, a position it retained under Henry I; in terms of urban tallages, it was the sixth of the provincial towns during Henry IPs reign. In the eleventh century it had been one of three formal crown-wearing centres. Here the crown was worn by Edward the Confessor at Christmas 1052, 1059 and 1062, and by William the Conqueror on at least five occasions, a ceremony which usually took place at Easter at Westminster and Whitsun at Winchester. The late Mercian palace at Kingsholm continued to serve as the Royal Hall until the reign of Henry III. Thus, when Stephen arrived in the city in 1138 he was led by Miles the constable not to the castle, but ad aulam regiam, 4to the Royal HalF. In 1216 it was from 'the Kings Home' that the nine-year-old Prince Henry was conducted to his coronation at St Peter's abbey.9 The magnificent Romanesque abbey of St Peter's was another symbol of Glouces? ter's national status. Here, where his tomb can yet be seen, the Conqueror's eldest son, Robert, Duke of Normandy, was buried. In the late twelfth century Gloucester's importance was above all strategic. Commanding the lowest bridging point on the Severn, it controlled the land route through Striguil (Chepstow), with its magnificent castle on the cliffs above the Wye, and thence along the southern coast of Wales to Pembroke, the major stronghold of the Anglo-Norman presence in south Wales and the point of embarkation for the shortest crossing to Ireland. Gloucester was therefore the springboard for attacks on Wales and, after 1167, for control of Ireland with the increasingly large financial resources it was able to place at the disposal of the English monarchs. By 1216, the beginning of the reign of Henry III, all this had changed. The minute Jewish presence in Gloucester in 1159 is probably explained by the dominant position in the region of the vastly wealthy and well connected Bristol merchant and moneylender, Robert fitz Harding. He had reaped a rich harvest during the wars of Stephen's reign, providing Robert, earl of Gloucester, and the Angevin cause with financial support - at a price. He acquired valuable and extensive lands in central Bristol, where c. 1140 he founded a monastery. About 1170 the augmented community moved into its new church, St Augustine's, which in 1542 was to become Bristol's cathedral. 9 M. Hare, 'Kings, Crowns and Festivals: The Origins of Gloucester as a Royal Ceremonial Centre' Trans Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (hereafter TBGAS)n$ (1997) 41-78; H. Hurst, 'Excavations at Gloucester, 3rd Interim Report, Kingsholm 1966?1975' Antiquaries' Journal (hereafter AntiqJ) 55 (1975) 284-7; C. Heighway, 'Excavations at Glouc? ester, 4th Interim Report, St Oswald's Priory, Gloucester 1975-76' Antiq J 58 (1978) 118? 23; The Chronicle of John of Worcester III, ed. and trans. P. McGurk (Oxford 1998) 240-3; The History of the King's Works ed. H. M. Colvin (London 1963) I, 45; II, 651-4; H. Hurst, 'The Archaeology of Gloucester Castle: An Introduction' TBGAS 102 (1984) 73-128; 'Gloucester' in Historic Towns Atlas I, ed. M. D. Lobel (London 1969) 1-9. 45</page><page sequence="6">Joe Hillaby There Robert's tomb, with its monumental effigy, still rests. In 1146 fitz Harding lent ?80 to St Peter's, Gloucester, in return for the grant of its manor of Treguff, lands at Penhow and the church of Llancarfan for five years. Fitz Harding made funds available to Henry II in the period immedi? ately prior to his succession to the throne. When Henry came to the throne he was granted the great lordship of Berkeley with its castle, a market and private mint, thus founding one of England's major noble families. Fitz Hard ing's financial dealings with Henry II have been described as 'very complex, suggesting that his acquisition of the Berkeley estate was far from being a straightforward process'.10 Nevertheless, there is evidence that Jewish financial support for the cam? paigns of the Anglo-Norman baronage in Wales commenced early. The 1130 Pipe Roll shows that Rabbi Josce, leader of the London community, and two colleagues, Jacob and Manasser, offered Henry I ten gold marks, ?60, to facilitate their claim for debt repayment against Richard fitz Gilbert, lord of Cardigan and brother-in-law of Ranulf II, earl of Chester. Richard's counter offer of 2000 silver marks, ?133 6s 8d, is a measure of the size of his debt. What eventuated is not known, but Richard was killed in 1146 when, unarmed, with but a few followers and a fiddler playing and minstrel singing, he rode into a Welsh ambush in the woods of Coed Grwyne, on the route from Abergavenny to Brecon.11 In 1166 Dermot MacMurrough, the expelled king of Leinster, fled to Eng? land seeking Anglo-Norman support to regain his realm. In Bristol he was lodged at St Augustine's, evidently the guest of fitz Harding. Ultimately, Richard fitz Gilbert's nephew, 'Strongbow', lord of Striguil (Chepstow) and earl of Pembroke, offered his support. In 1170, with a force of 200 knights and 1000 men-at-arms, Strongbow successfully conquered Leinster - much to the chagrin of Henry II. Strongbow was probably funded, in part, by fitz Harding, but like his uncle he turned to the Jewry for financial assistance. He was certainly a client of Aaron of Lincoln. Furthermore, Josce, a Jew of Gloucester, was fined 100s in 1170 'for the moneys which he lent to those, who against the king's prohibition, went over to Ireland'.12 10 R. B. Patterson, 'Robert fitz Harding of Bristol' Haskins Society Journal i (1989) 109-22; idem, 'The Ducal and Royal Acta of Henry Fitz Empress in Berkeley Castle' TBGAS 109 (1991) 117-37; J- C. Dickinson, 'The Origins of St Augustine's, Bristol' in Essays in Glouces? tershire History ed. P. McGrath and J. Cannon (Bristol 1976) 109-26; Victoria County History; Gloucestershire 2 (Westminster 1907) 54, n. 32. 11 J. E. Lloyd, A History of Wales II (3rd edn, London 1939) 471, n. 34. 12 A. J. Otway-Ruthven, A History of Medieval Ireland (2nd edn, London 1980) 41-9; M. Doiley, Anglo-Norman Ireland c. 1100-1318 (Dublin 1972) 54-70; M. T. Flanagan, Irish Society, Anglo-Norman Settlers, Angevin Kingship: Interactions in Ireland in the Late Twelfth Century (Oxford 1989) 116-17. 46</page><page sequence="7">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 The rise of the Gloucester community, 1159-94 Although the Donum of 1159 shows only a small Jewish presence at Glouces? ter (see Table 1), in less than a decade it had become a major centre. In 1167 'Jews from all England came together at Gloucester to celebrate a circumcis? ion feast, as appointed by the Mosaic law'. This concourse gave rise to the accusation of the ritual murder of the boy Harold found dead on the banks of the Severn. But, as at Norwich, the accusation had no adverse effect on the community's growth.13 Henry IPs son, Prince John, was a client of the Gloucester Jewry. His father betrothed him to Isabella, heiress to the marcher lordship of Gloucester. After the marriage John added the title of earl of Gloucester to that of'Lord of Ireland' granted him by Henry II in 1177. The 1186 Pipe Roll records the repayment of his debt of 13 marks, ?8 13s 4d, by royal writ, to Moses of Gloucester. Fitz Harding's grandson, who had lent ?40 to John's predecessor as lord of Gloucester, was less fortunate. He lost the principal and had to hand a further ?12 to John.14 This golden era when, according to the monastic chronicler William of Newburgh, the Jews 'had been happy and respected', was brought to an end by the death of Henry II in July 1189. The loss of Jerusalem to Saladin and the reduction of the crusader states to Antioch, Tyre and Tripoli ignited violent anti-Semitism similar to that which, on the Continent, had resulted Table 1. The Donum of 1/59: Contributions of Jewish Communities Community London Norwich Lincoln Cambridge Winchester Thetford Northampton Bungay Oxford Gloucester Worcester Sheriff London Norfolk &amp; Suffolk Lines Cambs Hants Norfolk &amp; Suffolk Northants Norfolk &amp; Suffolk Oxon Gloucs Worcs Total Marks 200 66.5 60 50 50 45 22.5 22.5 20 5 2 Percent 37 12 11 9 9 4 4 3-7 1 0.4 543-5 (?362 6s 8d) Rank 1 2 3 4= 4= 6 7= 7= 9 10 11 Source: PpR 1159, 3, 12, 17, 24, 28, 35, 46, 53, 65. 13 History and Cartulary of the Monastery of St Peter, Gloucester ed. W. H. Hart, Rolls Series (hereafter RS) 33,1 (1863) 20-1 gives 1168, but on the date see J. Hillaby, 'The ritual child murder accusation: its dissemination and Harold of Gloucester' JfHS 34 (1997) 74-81. 14 Great Roll of the Pipe, 1186 (hereafter PpR ) 118; Earldom of Gloucester Charters ... to 121J ed. R. B. Patterson (Oxford 1973) no. 72. 47</page><page sequence="8">Joe Hillaby from the preaching of the first crusade. Richard Ps coronation in September was the occasion for a violent attack on the London Jewry. This was followed in 1190 by massacres at Lynn in February and York in March, together with attacks on the Norwich, Lincoln and some of the smaller Jewries of eastern England. There is no evidence of such outbreaks at Gloucester or its neigh? bouring communities. This conclusion is supported by the evidence of the 1194 Northampton Donum. For the release of Richard I from captivity the country had to raise a ransom of ?100,000. The levy on the Jewish community was 5000 marks, ?3333 X3S 4-d. The 1194 Exchequer Receipt Rolls show that just over half, ?1746 15s id, was raised at Easter. The second, Michaelmas, roll is missing, but it can be assumed that overall the amount paid by each community at Easter adequately reflects its proportion of the whole.15 The events of 1190 explain why no payments are recorded from York or a number of the smaller communities. In terms of prosperity, Gloucester compared very favourably with its clos? est neighbours. Of the twenty-one communities it was fifth, paying ?122 8s 3d, 6.5 per cent of the Easter total, while Hereford, at ?11 is 8d, was four? teenth, and Worcester, with ?4 8s 8d, sixteenth (Table 2). However, two potential rivals were now securely established which, like Hereford, had not appeared among the eleven Jewries listed in the 1159 Donum. At the south? western extremity of the county was the Bristol community, paying ?22 14s 2d and ranking thirteenth, while Warwick, the principal town of the adjacent county to the northwest, was the site of another Jewry, contributing ?62 7s 1 od and holding ninth place. Relations with all four of these communities were to be significant factors in the history of Gloucester's Jewry in the cen? tury following. The Gloucester returns itemize individual payments. One list of payments, on the first membrane of the roll, is headed 'Gloucester', but on the second membrane, in a different hand, is another list, by William de Buking'fham]. The first records that 'Elias of Gloucester' paid ?3 6s 8d, the second that 'Elias son of Isaac' paid ?10 13s 4d. From other evidence it is known that the two entries refer to the same person. Seven entries at the end of the roll have no heading. First is Slema with 'in London' beside her name, and then 'from Belin Jew of Gloucester 20s 6d in Gloucester'. The five other names are not so identified, but all are evidently from Gloucester, as they include Abraham son of Leo in the second list as well as Judah and Muriel, children of Belassez in the first. The two lists and postscript are brought together in Table 3. 15 PRO E101/249/2 transcribed by I. Abrahams, 'The Northampton Donum of 1194' JHSE Mise 1 (1925) lix, lxxiv. 48</page><page sequence="9">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 Table 2. Northampton Donum, Easter Term 1194: Contributions of Jewish Communities Community London Lincoln Canterbury Northampton Gloucester Cambridge Winchester Norwich Warwick Colchester Oxford Chichester Bristol Hereford Nottingham Worcester Hertford Bedford Exeter Wallingford Coventry 471 6 3 277 16 3 242 14 4 160 18 3 122 8 3 98 19 0 84 i5 7 7i 11 5 62 7 10 4i 13 4 35 13 6 26 0 0 22 14 2 11 1 8 5 6 4 4 8 4 4 4 3 1 14 0 1 2 3 1 0 0 11 9 ?1746 15 1 Percent 27 16 14 9 6-5 5-5 5 4 3 2 2 1-5 1 o-5 o-3 0.25 0.24 0.09 0.06 0.05 0.03 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Percentage figures over 1 rounded to nearest 0.5 percent Source: PRO E1017249/2. From these it is difficult to estimate the total population of Gloucester's Jewry. For English medieval households a multiplier of five is normally used to give population totals, but one cannot assume that this convention is applicable in the case of the Jewry, for as yet there is no estimate of the average numbers of either children or living-in servants. At Gloucester, of the twenty-two members listed, nine belong to the three families of Moses, Belassez and Abigail. If they were multigenerational the number of house? holds would be reduced by six, but we have no multiplier. In addition, both poorer members and children are excluded. From data presented later it appears that the former would have been equivalent to at least 50 per cent of those tallaged. Here are three major problems in trying to establish commun? ity size. Only in 1280, with the imposition of the chevage or poll tax on all Jews over eleven years of age, is a satisfactory answer possible, but by that time the population of the English Jewry had been contracting for almost half a century. A hierarchy of wealth within the community can be established, but, with 49</page><page sequence="10">Joe Hillaby Heirs of Moses of Gloucester Elias of Gloucester* Moses 'fillastre' (i?) Belassez (2) Moses Juvenus (1?) 5 Abraham son of Leo 4 Vivelot son of Isaac 2 Josce son of Abigail (3) 2 Josce son of Belassez (2) Justelin son of Moses (1) Josce 'Jwe' Muriel daughter of Belassez (2) Abigail (3) Belin Josce son of Josce Vives son-in-law of Moses (1) Janum Bonel Elias son-in-law of Abigail (3) Moses son of Jacob Abraham 'H?ge' Vives son of Benedict Total 1: * Elias son of Isaac in list 2 Family of: (1) Moses; (2) Belassez; (3) Abigail Source: PRO E101/249/2. s 6 0 13 11 0 7 3 0 15 10 6 4 1 0 0 16 14 14 12 11 11 6 5 4 3 2 0 6 0 8 0 0 5 11 11 11 Rank Table 3. Northampton Donum, Easter Term 1194: Contributions of the Gloucester Com? munity ? 58 14 13 9 Percent 48 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17= 17= 19 20 21 22 the tax threshold at half a mark, 6s 8d, it excludes the poorest members. The significant feature of the Gloucester returns is the commanding position of one man, Moses the Rich, whose heir, Abraham, was responsible for ?58 6s 8d, half the total and the third-largest individual contribution to the 1194 Donum. It was Moses who made the loan repaid in 1186, and probably a number of others, to Prince John. Given his stature it was no doubt he who invited 'Jews from all England' to Gloucester for the circumcision feast in 1167, probably of his eldest son, Elias. The span of wealth evidenced by these Gloucester returns is striking. The estate of Moses the Rich was assessed at 180 times that of Vives son of Benedict.16 Such magnates were a marked characteristic of English provincial Jewries 16 See Table 3 and p. 53. 50</page><page sequence="11">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 in the last years of the twelfth century. The Donum of 1194 identifies these provincial magnates and the degree to which each dominated his community. At Norwich, Jurnet paid 76 per cent of the quota; at Oxford Belassez and her sons, 75 per cent; at Winchester Abraham son of Bene, 53 per cent; while Jacob of Canterbury, at ?115 6s 8d, the most heavily taxed of all members of the English Jewry in 1194, paid only 47.5 per cent. At Cambridge and Northampton the proportion falls even lower. At the former, Benjamin's ?35 was 35.5 per cent, while at the latter, Jacob son of Samuel's ?53 17s 6d was 33.5 per cent (Table 4). In the large communities, of London and Lincoln, the position was quite different, with not one, but a number of magnates. Thirteen of the twenty one magnates paying more than ?21 to the Donum came from London or Lincoln. At London almost all the affluent members survived the disastrous attack on their Jewry during Richard Fs coronation in September 1189. Of these, eight contributed 75 per cent of the tallage for their city, while at Lincoln five paid 56 per cent. York would have presented a similar profile prior to the 1190 massacre. The loss of the York magnates, together with the Table 4. Northampton Donum, Easter Term 1194: Contributions of Magnates Magnate 1 Jacob 2 Deulesault Episcopus 3 Moses le Riehe (heirs of) 4 Isaac le Gros 5 Jurnet 6 Jacob son of Samuel 7 Josce son of Isaac 8 Benedict Parvus 9 Abraham son of Bene 10 Abigail 11 Ursell 12 Vives son of Aaron 13 Benjamin 14 Benedict Quatrebouches 15 Benedict Parnas 16 Abraham son of Abigail 17 Belassez &amp; her sons 18 Abraham son of Aaron 19 Peitevin 20 Abraham son of le Brun 21 Muriel Jewry Canterbury London Gloucester Canterbury Norwich Northampton London London Winchester London Lincoln Lincoln Cambridge London Lincoln London Oxford Lincoln Lincoln London London Total Contribution 115 97 58 55 54 53 53 51 44 40 37 36 35 35 34 33 26 24 23 21 21 6 10 6 13 13 17 0 0 19 7 0 6 0 0 13 13 15 0 9 11 3 953 8 Source: PRO E1017249/2. 5i</page><page sequence="12">Joe Hillaby death of Aaron of Lincoln in 1185, will have affected the overall picture. Nevertheless, it is remarkable that five of the six major contributors were leaders of provincial communities: Jacob of Canterbury, Moses the Rich of Gloucester, Isaac le Gros of Canterbury, Jurnet of Norwich and Jacob son of Samuel of Northampton. This raises interesting questions about their clientele. Jurnet's national role, like that of the Londoners, is easily identified, but could the considerable financial resources of the others have found adequate outlets at a merely local level?17 These provincial magnates and their clientele have yet to be examined in detail. Some no doubt acted, in part, as agents for the great London finan? ciers and for Aaron of Lincoln who died in 1185. At Gloucester, however, Moses the Rich must have had a major client or clients locally. In the late twelfth century much of the Jewry's lending was to major ecclesiastical insti? tutions. At Canterbury there were close links between the Jewry and the monks of the cathedral. We know from Jocelin of Brakelond's Chronicle that Jurnet and his brother, Benedict, lent money to the abbey of St Edmund at Bury, as did Isaac, the son of the great rabbi, Josce, and Isaac of Norwich made loans to monks of both Westminster and Norwich. At Gloucester an extant deed of Moses' son, Abraham, shows that his father's clients included not only Prince John, but also the abbot and convent of the church of St Peter.18 Three years after Moses' death Abraham acquitted the abbot and convent of all the debts they owed his father. This document, headed in capitals chyrographum: abrahe: filii: mossei, is now in the archives of the dean and chapter of Hereford cathedral. The size of the debt is not given, but the document is still of considerable interest. That section of the normal acquittal formula, beginning 'from the day the world was created' is used, but instead of'to the end of the world' or 'to the end of time' a precise date is given. Here reference was not, as usual, to the regnal year, but to the Hebrew calendar. St Peter's is released from all Moses' debts from the creation to 'the seventeenth day of the month the Jews call EluP in the year, according to the Hebrew lunar cycle, 955. Adding 4000 gives 4955 Anno Mundi and subtraction of 3761 the year AD 1194. However, as in this case, the discrepancy of a year can result from the differences between the Christian and Jewish New Year. According to the Julian calendar the latter could range between 26 August to 24 March. In the final section of his charter Abraham provides a colourful, and unusual, variation, on the clause designed to protect beneficiaries from 17 Hillaby (1995) (see n. 2) 17-21, table 4, p. 25; H. G. Richardson, The English Jewry under Angevin Kings (London i960) 60-2; V. D. Lipman, The Jews of Medieval Norwich (London ]s 1967)95-8. Jocelin ofBrakelond: Chronicle ed. and trans. H. E. Butler (Edinburgh 1949) 3-4; Richardson (see n. 17) 183-4; Hillaby (1997) (see n. 12) 87-90. 52</page><page sequence="13">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 subsequent claim or claims. He is prepared, Abraham states, to defend his chirograph or bond even if 'sons and daughters and other Jews come from the four parts of the world carrying the seal of the abbot and convent under my father's name'. The deed is endorsed in Latin, not Hebrew (Plate i).19 The Pipe Rolls, and occasional ecclesiastical sources, help to bring to life the bare records of the 1159 and 1194 tax lists, but with the end of the century almost total dependence on such limited sources comes to an end. From 1194 the Charter, from 1199 the Close and Fine and from 1201 the Patent rolls are available. By 1218, when the Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews commence, there is a wealth of material. Nevertheless, caution has to be exercised. The restricted number of Jewish first names - for example four Moses in Table 3 - can make identification difficult. By early 1192 Moses the Rich was dead and the Michaelmas Pipe Roll notes that Abraham was to pay a ?200 relief for his debts. Abraham not long surviving his father, Moses' financial affairs took a considerable time to settle. The relief was still unpaid in 1199 and controversy over the estate continued until the end of the century. Moses' heirs, now his son, Samuel, and son-in law, Vives, both of London, with Hamiot, son of Alexander, and John the Convert, brought a claim against Elias, his rival and successor as community leader. For release from this complaint, 'about money of the aforesaid Moses Plate 1 Chirograph of Abraham son of Moses the Rich of Gloucester, 1195, who is prepared to defend it 'even if a son or daughter or other Jews come from the four parts of the world carrying the seal of the abbot and convent of Gloucester under my father's name'. (Hereford Dean &amp; Chapter Archives no. 1323. Reproduced by courtesy of Hereford Dean and Chapter.) 19 Hereford Dean and Chapter Archives, no. 1323; Original Acta of St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester c. 1122-1263 ea*. B- Patterson, Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, Record Section (1998) 188-9; Starrs and Jewish Charters Preserved in the British Museum ed. H. Loewe, 3 vols {JHSE 1930-2) (hereafter Starrs) II, 6-7. 53</page><page sequence="14">Joe Hillaby and for a certain carbuncle of his', a garnet cut without facets, Elias paid the Crown a gold mark, the equivalent of nine silver marks.20 The reign of John and the collapse of the English Jewry, 1199-1216 Initially John's reign boded well for the English community. He reissued their 'Charter of Liberties' in 1201, in return for a tallage of 4000 marks (?2333 13s 4d), and two years later took firm action against threats to the Jewry. However, the loss of Normandy in 1204 disrupted links with the Norman community, now under the suzerainty of the French king, and cre? ated grave problems for his Anglo-Norman baronage. With increasing finan? cial difficulties, in 1207 John imposed a further tallage of 4000 marks plus a levy of one-tenth on all Jewish bonds. Disaster for the Jews, however, came on his return from his successful Irish expedition in 1210, when he ordered the incarceration of the principal members of the English Jewry in Bristol castle, until the so-called Bristol tallage, which the chroniclers put at some ?40,000, was paid in full. Even the poorest had to pay ?2 or quit the realm. In 1215 the baronial forces seized London and attacked the Jewry, dismant? ling its stone houses to rebuild the walls. Its residents, we are told, were 'prowling the city like dogs'. In 1219 details of debts outstanding from these years, prior to 'the general arrest of 1210', were demanded from those Jews remaining at Hereford and Worcester. Their inability to answer for 'those who died or had crossed over the seas', sums up pithily the catastrophe they and the other Jewries had suffered.21 The first Gloucester Jew to experience the true character of the new king, still lord of Gloucester, was Moses fillastre. He was third in rank in 1194. His distinctive title was a wide-ranging term covering stepson, son-in-law or even nephew. Whatever the case, he was excluded from the inheritance of Moses the Rich, most of which left Gloucester. By 1200 Moses fillastre, in serious financial difficulties, offered 'his lord the king' 20 marks, payable at reasonable terms, to have peace of the 200 marks demanded of him, unless he owed them for a debt, tallage, forfeiture or any other cause. He received a sharp reply - and no explanation. He was summoned before the Justices at Westminster who were to treat him 'just as the other Jews of our lord the king, who are nothing to him' and take security of him, 'because our lord the king prefers to have 200 rather than 20 marks'.22 20 PpR 1191 and 1192, 292; 1193, ll% I]t94&gt; 23^ H95&gt; 1196, 104; H97? x.23; 1198, 35 1199, 32. Rotuli de Oblatis et Finibus ed. C. Roberts, 2 vols (Record Commission, London 1835-6) (hereafter Oblate Rolls) I, 66. 21 Rotuli Chartarum, ugg-1216 ed. T. D. Hardy, Ii (Record Commission, 1837) (hereafter Rot Chart) 93; Richardson (see n. 17) 166-72, 291; Chronicon de Lanercost ed. J. Stevenson, Maitland Club (Edinburgh 1839) 7. 22 Oblate Rolls, I, 91-2. 54</page><page sequence="15">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 The man whose family was to dominate the Gloucester community for three generations, until its closure in 1275, was Elias. He was second in the 1194 Donum, and the death of Moses the Rich and the plight of Moses fillastre left the field clear for him, for his only possible rival was a woman, Belassez. In 1200 Elias had been involved in the controversy concerning Moses the Rich's estate. Sometime later a Gloucester abbey charter refers to Elias owning land close to the bridge. However, to obtain a prime site in the Jewry, that is on Eastgate Street, on which to build a suitably large house, he entered into a lease with Gloucester's other major ecclesiastical landowner, the Aug ustinian priory of St Mary, Llanthony by Gloucester. Its Great Register records a grant by prior Geoffrey of Henlow, c. 1189-1203, to Elias, described as 'son of Hakelot', Jew of Gloucester, of two curtilages in the Jewry, the 'great eastern street', for which he paid an annual rent of 2s 8d.23 Documents discussed below show that Elias's lay clients included members of the ruling group in the town, such as Henry the Burgess and Ralph of Tudenham, both of whom had served as bailiff about 1200, and local knights such as Nicholas de Santa Brigida.24 The most celebrated member of the latter group was Fulk fitz Warin. His father had been lord of Alveston in the south of the county and held Alberbury in Shropshire of the Corbets. After his death in 1198 Fulk laid claim to Whittington castle which, he maintained, had been adjudged to his father by the king's court. His father's offer of a 40-mark fine, ?26 13s 4d, for possession, had apparently held no attractions for Richard I. In 1200 Fulk renounced his oath of fealty to the Crown, on King John's rejection of his offer of ?100. With his brothers and thirty-seven followers he withdrew as an outlaw into the 'greenwood'. Fulk became one of the romantic heroes of thirteenth-century England. The popularity of The History of Fulk Fitz Warine probably reflects public antipathy to his antagonist, King John, as much as admiration for its hero. It describes Fulk's exploits and escapades, how he outwitted all attempts at arrest and inflicted humiliation after humiliation on those sent against him - on one occasion a body of 100 knights. The most fabulous was the rescue of his imprisoned brother, William, from under the king's nose in his palace of Westminster by Fulk's men, one disguised as a Greek merchant, the others as his sailors. Whatever the truth, Fulk and his followers were pardoned by the king in November 1203 and Whittington was returned to him. When he paid the Crown a bezant in 1206, for a writ against Fulk for ?5 with interest, Elias probably had John's heartfelt support. Another Gloucester Jew was less 23 Great Register of Llanthony Priory PRO Ci 15/75 no. 15, available as Gloucestershire Record Office microfilm 1101; Gloucester City Library, 'Deeds and Seals', iv, no. 8, f3; Patterson (see n. 19) 241. 24 Calendar of the Records of the Corporation of Gloucester ed. W. H. Stevenson (Gloucester 1893) (hereafter Calendar) no. 114; see pp. 57 and 64. 55</page><page sequence="16">Joe Hillaby fortunate. In 1192, during Richard I's reign, Leo, accused of association with 'outlaws', owed 20 marks, ?13 6s 8d, a penalty notably higher than the ?5 imposed on Josce for lending to those who went, against the royal prohibition, to Ireland.25 At this time, the clients of the Gloucester Jewry included at least two members of the baronage. Both were young men who had recently come into family estates, and with them the entry fines due to the Crown. The first was Henry de Bohun, constable of England, who in about 1197 inherited lands principally in Wiltshire, but also the honour of Haresfield, just south of Gloucester. Two years later he was created earl of Hereford, but nevertheless had to persuade relatives and friends to stand as guarantors for his payment of the entry fine of ?200. Roger V de Berkeley, a member of the senior branch which had held Berkeley itself until it fell into the hands of fitz Hard? ing, succeeded to Dursley, Stanley St Leonards and other Gloucester lands in 1190. The fine for these and a licence to marry cost him over ?100. To find this Roger raised loans from the Gloucester and Bristol Jewries. This debt was probably cleared only by the sale of most of his Stanley St Leonard lands.26 A glimpse of the trade of a lesser member of the community, Josce son of Josce (Table 3, no. 15), whose contribution to the 1194 Donum was a mere ?1, is provided by Llanthony's Great Register. In 1202 Josce lent Fulk of St George 10s, on the security of his tenement at Colesbourne, midway between Cheltenham and Cirencester. Fulk was required to pay interest of 2d per ?1 per week, any unpaid interest being compounded annually. Further, as 'goodwill', Fulk was to give Josce half a crannoc, a local measure of two or four bushels, of wheat.27 Elias died probably during or shortly after the 'general captivity' at Bristol castle in 1210, but the first evidence of his death comes in August 1216. After burning Reginald de Braose's castles at Hay and Radnor on 2 August, King John returned to Bristol by way of Gloucester. Here John evidently received a number of petitions relating to grants that he had made from the property of Elias, all of which had been taken into the royal hands on the latter's death. One was from Henry the Burgess, who was being subjected by Elias's widow, Mirabelle, still without either her dowry or any of her husband's bonds, to 25 R. W. Eyton, Antiquities of Shropshire (London 1854) VII, 67-0; XI, 33-9; S. Painter, King John (London 1966) 49-52. The life with translation was edited by T. Wright as The History of Fulk Fitz Warine: An Outlawed Baron in the Reign of King John, Warton Club (London 1855) and more recently as Fouke le fitz Waryn ed. E. J. Hathaway, P. T. Ricketts, C. A. Robson and A. D. Wilshere, Anglo-Norman Text Soc, 26-8 (1975). Oblate Rolls, I, 345; PpR 1193, 121; 1194, 237; 1195, 177; 1196, 104; 1197, 123. 26 PpR 1205, 98; 1207, 216; C. Swynnerton, 'Stanley St Leonards' TBGAS 44 (1922) 229-30. 27 PpR 1194, 236; PRO Ci 15/75; Gloucestershire Record Office microfilm 1101, no. 15. 56</page><page sequence="17">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 intense pressure to repay her husband's loans. However, Mirabelle had a formidable task. Henry, who was the son of Richard the Burgess, the foremost citizen and one of the two current bailiffs, was himself to serve in that capa? city. On 19 August John sent a writ to the sheriff, Ralph Musard, com? manding him on no account to distrain Henry, that is to seize his lands in lieu of payment, for debt owed to Mirabelle, as 'Elias's chirographs and tallies are in our hands'.28 A further writ was sent, the same day, to Richard the Burgess and John Draper as bailiffs, ordering them to return, without delay, to Nicholas, son of Nicholas de Santa Brigida, the bond his father had contracted with Elias t0 PaY Ll 5s plus Ll interest. Nicholas was a member of the entourage of John of Monmouth, one of the king's most prominent local supporters and shortly to be both an executor of his will and a member of the Council of Regency. Two days later Musard was informed that the king had granted (sold, one supposes) to Gilbert de Rue the house which Elias had bought from Walter Kidmore opposite the Booth Hall at the lower end of Westgate. Gilbert was also to have full possession, forthwith, of 'a vacant place in East Street [i.e. the Jewry] within the Eastgate' which had belonged to Moses (fillastre}). It was 180 yards long and 66 yards broad. An inquisition indicates its excellent development potential. By 1253, houses of timber and plaster, roofed with tiles, providing a small hall, a chamber and kitchen had been built on half the site. Each was worth 13s 4d a year, with 13d landgavel due to the Crown. A later entry in the Close Rolls shows that John had granted away another of Elias's houses, to Master Simon Coco, but there is no indica? tion as to its site. The future looked bleak for Mirabelle.29 The situation was transformed by John's death at Newark castle in October 1216. His mercenaries carried his body across country, to fulfil his last wishes to be buried next to St Wulfstan in the choir of Worcester cathedral. His nine-year-old son and heir was brought from the safety of Devizes by the leaders of the small band of nobles loyal to the end, to be crowned as Henry III with his mother's chaplet in St Peter's abbey, Gloucester on 28 October. Having in 1213 placed his kingdom in the pope's hands, at his end John entrusted his heir to the pope's protection. These formalities were thus super? vised by the papal legate, Guala Becchieri. The next day the Council placed the guardianship of king and kingdom in the hands of William the Marshal, earl of Pembroke and lord of Striguil, Caerleon and Leinster. 28 Victoria County History: Gloucestershire 4 (Oxford 1988) 371; Calendar no. 244; p. 480; Rotuli Litterarum Ciausarum ed. T. D. Hardy, vol. I, 1204-24, II, 1224-7 (Record Commission 1833-4) (hereafter Rot Litt Claus) I, 283. 29 Rotuli Litterarum Patentium, 1201-1216 ed. T. D. Hardy (Record Commission 1835) (hereafter Rot Litt Pat) 194; Rot Litt Claus 282-3; Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery) I (PRO 1916) 57-8. 57</page><page sequence="18">Joe Hillaby The Regency: conciliation and revival 'Informed', in the words of de Bloissiers Tovey, 'what great profit might arise from the Jews if they were kindly dealt with', Henry Ill's Council of Regency took immediate measures to secure that end. This was a remarkable decision, in direct conflict with the views of the papal legate, Guala, and the last four decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council which had met in Rome the previous year. Both Council and legate sought to restrict Jewish lending at interest, and social contacts between Christians and Jews. Indeed, Guala's successor, the legate Pandulf, was to write to the Marshal complaining that the Jews were unduly protected by the Crown.30 The explanation for the Council's conciliatory policy lies in the attitudes of three of its most powerful lay members. They were responsible for decisions which effectively revived England's Jewry for another three quarters of a century. This was because they had a sharp appreciation of the benefits such a dramatic shift would have, not only on the royal exchequer but for themselves. First was the Marshal, whose most recent biographer refers to 'his canniness' in regard to money, exhibited by the rapidity and ruthlessness with which he levied a relief from his new tenants on marrying the Striguil heiress.31 On the Continent it was not uncommon for vassals to have their own Jew. In 1200 the Marshal himself had been granted his personal Jew, Vives of Chambay, by John as duke of Normandy, who then commanded his ducal bailiffs to give Vives full assistance in collecting outstanding debts. As the Marshal managed to retain his Norman lands after 1204, this Jewish expertise continued to be at his disposal. The tradition of a personal Jew was continued by the de Clare earls of Gloucester, the Marshal's successors at his last conquest, Caerleon. As late as 1278 the sheriff of Gloucester was to be sent there in person to 'receive from the bailiffs of Gilbert de Clare', the ninth earl, 'the goods late of David de Kaerleon, a Jew deceased', which the bailiffs had been ordered to 'to keep safely and deliver to the sheriff when required'.32 30 de B. Tovey, Anglia Judaica (Oxford 1738) 77. Tovey was vicar of Embleton, Northumber? land, and later principal of New Inn Hall, Oxford. K. Stow, 'Papal and Royal Attitudes towards Jewish Lending in the Thirteenth Century' Ass for Jewish Studies R 6 (1981) 161 84; Royal and Other Letters.. . of the Reign of Henry III RS 27,1 (1862) 35. 31 D. Crouch, William Marshal: Court, Career and Chivalry in the Angevin Empire H4j-i2ig (London 1990) 168-70. 32 Rot Chart (1200) 75; Rot Litt Claus II, 123. If Norman Golb, The Jews in Medieval Normandy: A Social and Intellectual History (Cambridge 1999) 65-7 is correct in his assumption that Chambay is Chambois, this may well reflect an older relationship. At Chambois, now in the department of Orne, 12 kms northeast of Argenton on the road to Domfront, are the consid? erable remains of the magnificent keep built by William, earl of Essex, the third son and heir of Richard de Mandeville. William bore the crown at the coronation of Richard I, who appointed him joint justiciar of the realm. On the other hand, Richardson's suggestion, 298, 58</page><page sequence="19">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159?1290 Second was Ranulf de Blundeville, who became earl of Chester in 1187. He owed Aaron of Lincoln and thus, through the latter's death, the Crown, some ?230. To ensure his unswerving loyalty, repayment of this and many other dues was never enforced. In the last years of John's reign he controlled the four counties of Lancashire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and Salop. To these the de Montfort half of the honour of Leicester, including lordship of the borough, was added in 1215. The absence of the Warwick community from the 1221 and 1223 tallage rolls can be explained by its move to Leicester, where it enjoyed Ranulf's protection, as lord of Leicester. It was he, the 1226 Close Rolls make clear, who prevented the sheriff from imposing royal tall ages on 'his Jews'.33 The third was Walter de Lacy who, as lord of Meath, was the Marshal's immediate Irish neighbour. He also held the Welsh marcher lordship of Ewias, but his principal stronghold was the great castle overlooking the Teme at Ludlow. He, with his marcher associates, became staunch supporters of the Crown when the barons called on the Welsh under Llewelyn for assist? ance against John. During John's 1214 Poitevin campaign, de Lacy went to Narbonne to buy horses. There he found the largest and culturally the most important Jewry north of the Alps, an object lesson in the benefits that could accrue to both Christian and Hebrew from a harmonious relationship. Sixteen months later, when he was sheriff of Herefordshire and a leading member of the Council of Regency, the Hereford community was firmly re-established. H?mo, the recently arrived magnate, who made the highest of all tallage payments in 1223, ?70, was effectively de Lacy's private Jew.34 After the re-issue of Magna Carta at the coronation and the royal victory at Lincoln in May and at sea off Sandwich in August 1217, the baronial opposition crumbled and French forces were obliged to withdraw. With peace signed in September the Council of Regency turned to reconciliation and reconstruction. The revised text of Magna Carta, issued in November, was shorn of a number of its original articles, including 9, 10 and 11, safeguarding the rights of widows and minors in cases of debt. Article 9 had restricted the actions of royal bailiffs in relation to repayment of debt; Article 10 had forbid? den the taking of interest on the debts of heirs under age, with a clause promising that in such cases the Crown would 'take nothing except the prin? cipal sum specified in the bond'; Article 11 protected the widow's dower that it was Chambes, in Calvados, appears a more acceptable rendering. Calendar of Fine Rolls (PRO 1911) 1278, 93. 33 For Blundeville see J. W. Alexander, Ranulf of Chester (Athens, Georgia 1983); Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, I and II ed. J. M. Rigg (JHSE, London reprint 1971); III and IV ed. H. Jenkinson (1929 and 1972); V ed. S. Cohen (1992) (hereafter EJ) I,i, 31; Rott Litt Claus II, 123. 34 EJ\, 65-8; Hillaby (1990) (see n. 3) table 8, 41-2, 45-52; idem (1985) (see n. 5) 195-239. 59</page><page sequence="20">Joe Hillaby when her husband died in debt, whether to Jews or others, and insisted that under-age children be maintained in a manner consonant with that of their father. The inclusion of these clauses in Magna Carta was a response to John's ruthless pursuit of Christians whose Jewish bonds, as a result of death or forfeiture, had fallen into his hands. With their withdrawal, enquiries into debts due to the Crown from both Jews and their debtors began again. The rigour with which Edward I and his queen were to pursue the latter led ultimately to the general expulsion in 1290.35 The Council's conciliatory policy had an immediate impact on the English community and provided the stimulus which gave many provincial Jewries, including Gloucester, a new lease of life. In November 1217 all Jews still confined were to be released from prison. When John had commanded in 1203 that his Jews were to be 'well used', he warned 'otherwise the king will require their blood at the hands of the mayor'. A similar means of ensuring local responsibility was adopted by the Council. At Gloucester on 10 March 1218 the Marshal instructed the bailiffs and the castellan to oversee the elec? tion of twenty-four burgesses to guarantee the safety of both persons and property of all Jews living in the town. The same instructions were transmit? ted to the authorities at Bristol, Hereford, Oxford, Lincoln and probably elsewhere. On 19 June the right of Jews to live in Gloucester and eight other towns, as in the time of king John, was expressly confirmed. Ralph Musard was told that they were to have their own community, and was commanded to make known throughout his bailiwick that they had been granted the king's firm peace and to ensure they suffered no injury or molestation.36 These local communities had not only financial obligations, but rights of self-government in their internal affairs, as part of the Commune Iudeorum Anglie. These were defined in John's 1201 Charter. 'Breaches of right that shall occur among them ... be examined and amended among themselves according to their law, so that they administer their own justice among them? selves, except such as pertain to our crown and justice'. The Crown accepted that Jews offered no threat to the state as the Talmud recognized the law of the land as an aspect of Divine Law. Submission to external political authority was implicit in the principle Dina de-malkhuta dina, 'the law of the kingdom is the law'.37 The historic link with the Norman Jewry being irreparably broken by the events of 1204, the Council sought to encourage immigration from elsewhere, especially those parts of Poitou and Gascony that remained under English 35 J. C. Holt, Magna Carta (Cambridge 1965) 320-1; English Historical Documents III ed. H. Rothwell (1975) (hereafter EHD) 318, 328. 36 Rot Litt Claus I, 354, 359; CPR 1218, 157, 354 37 For a discussion of the relationship between community and king, K. R. Stow, Alienated Minority (Cambridge, Mass 1992) 159-64; Rot Chart 1201, 93. 6o</page><page sequence="21">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 authority. In November 1218, when the Wardens of the Cinque Ports made difficulties for Jewish immigrants, they were reprimanded and instructed to place no impediments in the way of any Jew wishing to enter the realm. Such immigrants had, however, to provide financial guarantees that they would register themselves before the royal Justices of the Jews.38 The 1221 tallage returns show this policy had some success. A Pictavin appears at Canterbury and another at Stamford, with his son and son-in-law, while at Norwich there was Diaie le Franceis. By 1223 such immigrants were found further afield. There were two among the twelve names in the Gloucester tallage returns for that year: Isaac son of Pictavin, and Isaac son of Moses of Paris. Three years later Solomon the Turk, who in 1223 had appeared in the Bristol roll, was at Gloucester; he was still there in 1233. If he was the Solomon le Tuarz at Hereford in 1244, then he also was a Poitevin, from the town of Thouars just south of Saumur on the river Thouet, a tributary of the Loire. Departure from the realm, on the other hand, was only by royal licence - or, as will be seen, clandestine.39 John's 1201 Charter had stated that 'Jews shall not enter into any plea save before us or those who guard our castles in whose bailiwicks Jews dwell', but by the end of his reign the royal administration had collapsed. In May 1218 the Council of Regency was able to re-establish the Exchequer of the Jews. To meet the baronial grievances about John's administration of his Jewry its Justices were now to be appointed, not by the Crown, but by 'common coun? sel'. They formed a court of law, exercising civil and criminal jurisdiction in all matters between Jews on the one hand and the Crown and Christians on the other. In addition, they were a financial department of state.40 The Church and the Jews The Church's attitude to relations between Christians and Jews found formal expression in canons 67-70 of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215. These sought to restrict Jewish usury and to minimize social contacts with Jews. On only one issue was the Council of Regency prepared to take formal action in deference to the authority of the papal legate: in conformity to canon 68 Jews were ordered to wear distinctive dress. In March 1218 the sheriff had to 'proclaim through your bailiwick that all Jews, whether on foot or on horse? back, within the town [of Gloucester] or without, shall wear the badge of the Two Tablets of Stone made of linen or parchment on the breast of their 38 Calendar of Patent Rolls, I2i6-g2 (PRO 1893-1913) (hereafter CPR) 1218, 180-1. 39 See Tables 6 and 7; EJ I, 62. 40 Rot Chart 1201, 93; CPR 1218, 154; A. C. Cramer, 'The Jewish Exchequer: an Inquiry into its Fiscal Function' American History Review 45 (1940) 327-37; C. A. Meekings, 'Justices of the Jews 1218-68: a Provisional List' Bull Inst Hist Research 28 (1955) 179. 6i</page><page sequence="22">Joe Hillaby outer garment, that in this way Jews may be distinguished from Christians'.41 This was a hollow victory. By agreeing to exemptions on payment of a fine, the Council turned the regulation to its own financial advantage. Many communities paid an all-inclusive sum for such a licence: Hereford 12s 5d, Canterbury 8s 4d, Stamford 18s iod, Oxford 5s 6d and 'the Jews of London' 13s. Elsewhere there were individual payments. At Gloucester in 1218 Abra? ham of Warwick paid nd for a licence, probably for the whole family, 'not to wear the tablets'. Whether other Gloucester Jews followed suit extant documents give no hint. A note on the 1221 Worcester tallage adds that Diaie paid 41 s for exemption, probably, having not obtained a licence three years earlier, a communal fine for failing to wear the badge.42 However the inclusion in Henry Ill's Statute of the Jewry of 1253 of the provision, that 'every Jew wear his badge conspicuously on his breast', indicates that the 1218 regulation had fallen into desuetude. Edward Fs Statute of 1275 had to insist, once more, on the wearing of the two tablets and was much more specific.43 Gloucester and its shire formed a major part of Worcester diocese until St Peter's was elevated to cathedral status in 1541. The attitudes and policies of the Worcester bishops therefore had an impact on three Jewries: Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester. Even before the Fourth Lateran Council, bishops of Worcester had shown marked hostility to the Jews. The book Contra Perfi dium Judaeorum, inspired by the work of the Third Lateran Council of 1179, was written for bishop John de Coutances (1196-8) by Peter of Blois, arch? deacon of London. Bishop Sylvester (1216-18), apparently the legate Guala's nominee, sought, with a number of fellow bishops, to counter the taking of interest and to restrict contact between Christian and Jew, in accordance with the canons of 1215. Such action by the bishops brought a rapid response from the Council. Ralph Musard was to 'proclaim throughout all the district in your charge that we have assured the Jews of our peace. No action to the contrary taken by the bishop is of any effect for our Jews are no concern of his . . . You shall not permit the Jews to be impleaded in any ecclesiastical court on account of any debt. All these things you shall do as they were done in the days of our father, John.'44 Sylvester's successor, William of Blois (1219-36), was not deterred. One of his first acts was to convene a diocesan synod at Worcester. Its statutes, some of the earliest to survive, included matters regarding relationships between Christians and Jews. These reflect not only the canons, but also 41 C-J. Hefele, Histoire des Conciles Vii (Paris 1913) 1385-8; Rot Litt Claus I, 1218, 378 specify? ing Jewries at Worcester, Gloucester, Warwick, Lincoln, Oxford, Northampton and London. 42 Payments for dispensation, PRO E401/4-8. For Abraham of Warwick E401/4/5. 43 Select Pleas, Starrs and other Records from the Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews 1220-1284. ed. J. M. Rigg, Seiden Soc. 15 (1902) xlix; EHD 411-12. 44 Peter of Blois, Opera Omnia III ed. J. A. Giles (London 1848) 62-129; CPR 1218, 157. 62</page><page sequence="23">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 popular attitudes to Jews. Ecclesiastical books, vestments and ornaments were not to be given as pledges for loans, a measure which may well have been directed at monastic houses within the diocese such as St Oswald's, Glouces? ter. Christians were not to serve as wet nurses to male Jewish children; female servants were not to lodge overnight in Jewish households; nor were Christi? ans to lend money to Jews at interest. A council called by Archbishop Stephen Langton at Osney abbey near Oxford in April 1222, following the lead of the Fourth Lateran Council, instituted canons for the whole province of Canter? bury. As with earlier diocesan legislation, much of this came to nought. Its ban on the building of new synagogues was ineffective. Despite the royal exemptions, it provided exact specifications for the badge of shame, 2 by 4 inches. This the 1275 statute was to increase to 3 by 6 inches, more than twice the size. Probably because of their lack of impact the diocesan articles of 1219 were re-enacted by Blois at a further synod in 1229, and by his successor, Walter Cantilupe (1237-66), in 1240.45 The primary concern of the bishops of Worcester was for the spiritual wellbeing of their flock, the cure of souls. They also had deep anxiety for the monastic houses within their diocese. St Peter's, Gloucester, was almost permanently in debt, due to its building works and land purchases, but above all mismanagement of funds. It owed ?2000 in 1251, ?1000 in 1263, claimed to be 'decayed' in 1275 and was ?667 in debt in 1284. Much monastic credit was now derived from Cahorsin, Flemish and Italian merchants, but the Jewry still played a part. At St Oswald's, Gloucester, in 1231, matters were so serious that prior William, with a number of senior canons, had to be exiled by archbishop Walter de Grey of York for 'heaping up much debt in the Jewry'. Even Canterbury cathedral and the great house of Reading, burial place of Henry I and other members of the royal family, were deeply in debt to the Jews and others. Nevertheless, the Benedictine monks of Worcester cathedral priory were buying up lands encumbered by debts to the Jewry, and a later bishop, Godfrey Giffard (1268-1302), had no qualms about his considerable trafficking in Jewish bonds.46 Antipathy remained firmly ingrained among the Worcester monks, to judge 45 Councils and Synods with other Documents relating to the English Church. Hi (1205-1265) ed. F. M. Powicke and C. R. Cheney (Oxford 1964) 55, 120-1, 177-8, 318; Richardson (see n. 17) 187-9; J. A. Watt, 'The English Episcopate, the State and the Jews' in Thirteenth-Century England! ed. P. R. Coss and S. D. Lloyd (Woodbridge 1985) 137-47 argues cogently against Richardson's contention that such ecclesiastical canons were 'mere pious gestures'. They were, Watt maintains, an essential part of the primary intention of such statutes, care for the souls of the faithful. 46 'Annals of Tewkesbury' in Annales Monastici ed. H. R. Luard, RS 36 (1864-9) I, 78, 146; Hart (see n. 13) I, 31, 39; R. A. L. Smith, 'The Central Financial System of Christ Church, Canterbury' English Historical Review 55 (1940) 356; Reading Abbey Cartularies ed. B. R. Kemp, Camden 4S 31 (London 1986) I, nos 62, 63, 70, 81-3; Hillaby (1990a) (see n. 4) 103. 63</page><page sequence="24">Joe Hillaby by the comments of their annalist. In 1263 the murder of Worcester Jews and the slaughter and plunder at the London Jewry by de Montfort's fol? lowers were recorded without emotion. The passage of the Statute of the Jewry in 1275 he noted with approval, and, after 'all the Jews of the kingdom' had been arrested on coin-clipping charges, he reported laconically in 1276, 'the greater part of them were hanged'. In 1290 he prefaced his brief reference to the general expulsion with a detailed account of a Parisian Jew who desec? rated the host to prove how ridiculous Christians were to 'believe in such a thing'.47 Family revival and community decline: the era of Mirabelle, 1216-f. 1235 The resolution and resource with which that remarkable Jewish entrepren euse, Mirabelle of Gloucester, sought to restore her family's fortunes after her husband's death is clearly illustrated in the Close, Pipe and Fine rolls. Even in the daunting last months of John's reign she was already pressing the well-connected Henry the Burgess for repayment of Elias's loan. She lacked the vast financial resources and colourful private life of Licoricia of Winchester, but certainly had the same strength of character and determina? tion. When the earl Marshal was in Gloucester on 27 July 1217, Mirabelle seized the opportunity to petition for redress of her grievances. In August the Mar? shal, evidently well briefed by Mirabelle, issued three writs in the boy king's name. The first ordered John Draper, as Christian chirographer, custodian of the chest containing the community's bonds, to return to Mirabelle all her husband's bonds committed to his custody. The second commanded the sher? iff to give Mirabelle full possession of all Elias's lands and tenements, except that granted by King John to Master Simon Coco. Finally, John Gooseditch and John Rufus, the city bailiffs, were to give her without delay the bond of Ralph of Tudenham 'committed to your custody'.48 This was but the beginning of a lengthy process. The next year the Justices of the Jews received the curt reminder, 'it is well known to us from our inspection of our rolls of the Jewry that King John, our father, granted Mira? belle, widow of Elias, that she was free of the debts her husband owed us'. This had to be followed up by a further writ. Thomas Nevill, the sole sur? vivor of John's Justices of the Jews, was told 'know we grant that Mirabelle, 47 'Annals of Worcester' in Annales Monastici (see n. 46) IV, 278-9, 448, 450, 467, 468, 474, 503. M. Adler, 'The Jewish Woman in England' in idem, Jews of Medieval England (1939) 17 45; Dobson (see n. 8) 154-68; S. Bartlet, 'Three Jewish businesswomen in thirteenth-century Winchester', Jewish Culture and History 3/2 (2000) 41-51; Rot Litt Claus i, 317. 64</page><page sequence="25">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 widow of Elias, is discharged of all the debts owed to us by her late husband. All chirographs and debts pertaining to them are to be released', but Mira? belle was equally tardy in responding. Eleven days later the sheriff was reminded that 'it is known to us from our inspection of the charter of King John, our predecessor, that he gave to Master Simon Coco a house in Glouc? ester with all its purtenances which belonged to Elias' and was commanded that 'the same Master Simon Coco be given full possession of that house, without delay, according to the charter of King John'. The second series of writs evidently had their effect, for the Pipe Rolls for 1218 record that Mira? belle had paid a fine of ?10 for her late husband's houses, except that which King John gave to Simon Coco. At last Mirabelle appears to have settled her late husband's affairs in relation to the Crown.49 In Gloucester, however, Mirabelle still faced difficulties. In 1219 she paid the Crown ?3 for a writ of distraint against Henry the Burgess, who still owed her ?9 on Elias's account. This fee she met by payments of 30s in 1220 and 1221. On the other hand, Mirabelle retained control of the house opposite the Booth Hall in Westgate which Elias had bought from Walter Kidmore, as did Douce the vacant place in Eastgate which had belonged to Moses. A terse note ordered the sheriff to give Gilbert Rue full possession of both without delay, molestation or gravamen 'according to the will of the late king as recorded in our rolls'.50 In 1220 much of the Gloucester Jewry's time and energy was centred on the strange case of Solomon Turbe. This is probably the most detailed record of any inquest into the death of an English medieval Jew. The court's careful deliberations stand in remarkable contrast to its perfunctory adjudgement of the most serious charges in later years. Late in May, Solomon, a Jew of Gloucester, maliciously wounded Abraham Gabbay, a senior member of the Bristol Jewry, for which he was committed to Gloucester castle. There he fell from the tower. In the presence of John of Monmouth and divers Jews, Ralph Musard, the sheriff, averred, in jest one must suppose, that he might have had ?10 to cause such a leap. When Mirabelle asked him straightly whether he might indeed have received such a sum on that account he replied, she was in error - 'but he could have had 10 marks'.51 At the initial hearing, Musard claimed that Solomon's fall was the result of a fright caused by Mirabelle's son-in-law, Isaac. Paved by Mirabelle's douceur of three bezants to the sheriff, a further interrogation was held at which Solomon in no way charged Isaac. Subsequently, five senior members 49 Excerpta e Rotulis Finium ed. C. Roberts, 2 vols (Record Commission 1835-6) (hereafter Ex rot fin) 1218, 4-5; Rot Litt Claus I, 223, 367; PpR 1218, 41. 50 PpR 1219, 12; 1220, 78; 1221, 236; Rot Litt Claus I, 401. 51 EJ I, 33, 39, 42, 43, 45, 50, 51, 55. For Gabbay as Treasurer, H. P. Stokes, Studies in Anglo-Jewish History (JHSE 1913) 60; Starrs II, 137-8. 65</page><page sequence="26">Joe Hillaby of the Jewry, called to Solomon's bedside to witness his will, heard him accuse Abraham Gabbay. At the next hearing this charge was taken up by Solomon's wife, Comitissa. She swore that Gabbay had bribed her husband's guards with io marks to throw him from the tower. Comitissa then hastened to London to recite what she claimed to have heard before the Justices of the Jews. Asked under cross-examination how she had learned of this plot, she replied that it was Gabbay, recovering from the wounds inflicted by Solomon, who persuaded the sheriff to imprison her as well. There, so starved that she despaired of her life, she heard him conspiring her husband's death, a charge Gabbay hotly denied, swearing he was in Hereford on that day. Fresh eyewitness accounts came from Simon, Geoffrey and Henry de Matresdon, that is Matson just outside Gloucester. With the sheriff and many others, they had been attending a halimot, meeting of the court, when Musard invited all three to accompany him to the castle. Their evidence was far from helpful. All they saw was 'a man, a garment or some such thing' fall from the summit of the tower. The truth came out when Turbe was at death's door. Musard summoned Jews and Christians to his side, and to them Turbe confessed that he had slain himself but, referring to i Samuel 31.4, he averred that 'as king Saul had slain himself and been saved so would he'. There was a final drama when, on his wife's arrival, he repeatedly cried 'flee hence, for tis by thy plot that I am slain', in all probability an allusion to her as the instigator of the original fracas between himself and Gabbay. The jury of four Jews found Abraham not guilty. Hubert de Burgh, who in 1216-17 had so ably defended Dover castle, 'key to England', succeeded the ailing Marshal as justiciar in the spring of 1219. Although civil war was at an end, the Council still faced acute financial prob? lems. Cash income for the years 1217-20, at some ?4500 per annum, was less than a quarter of what it had been prior to the final crisis of John's reign. Pressure was now put on the Jews for the recovery of debts outstanding from 1210. Demands for payment were dispatched, but any hope of garnering a rich harvest was ill-founded. As the Hereford and Worcester Jews replied to their writ, many of those from whom payment was expected had 'died or crossed over the seas'. Of those that remained many were impoverished. All that could be expected was staged payments. Details of some Gloucester returns to the writ are provided by the 1220 Receipt Rolls. Arrears of the Bristol tallage cost Jacob son of Samuel 10s and Elias's daughter, Belina, who later dropped the diminutive to become Belia, and Samuel 'the Archbishop', nd each. Judea the widow paid 25s relief for her husband Isaac's chattels and Douce 10s for Moses'. In 1221 they paid a second instalment, Judea 1 is 8d and Douce 6s 8d, while Milo and his brother, Isaac the Bishop, paid 10s for their mother's house in Gloucester where she had lived. Although their names appear in other Gloucester rolls, her sons 66</page><page sequence="27">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 were Bristol residents. Milo appears as Bishop in the 1221 Bristol tallage and again with Isaac in 1223 and 1226. For Mirabelle and her family - her son, Bonenfaunt, daughter, Belia, and son-in-law, Isaac - with no such arrears outstanding, business began to look up. In 1220, for writs to distrain other former clients of Elias for debts still outstanding, they paid ?3 10s, with a further ?2 17s in 1221: 5s for William de Londres' debt, 10s for William de Derneforde's, 4s for Geoffrey Geneloc's, 30s for a writ for a client unspecified and 8s for Simon of Matresdon, who the year before was one of the witnesses to Turbe's fall.52 Total exchequer receipts by Easter 1220 from Jewish debts such as those paid by the widows, Judea and Douce, were, according to Carpenter's calcula? tions, a mere ?186 19s oi/2d, and twelve months later only ?304, a small proportion indeed of the annual income of some ?4500. In consequence the Council of Regency determined to levy a tallage on the Jewry. In 1221 writs were issued to the sheriffs of Gloucestershire and ten other counties, calling for the collection of the first tallage of the new era. This was for 1000 marks and did not fall far short, raising 981 marks, ?654 3s 5^d. Further tallages were to follow, in 1223 and 1226.53 The 1221 returns are the first hard evidence of the downturn in the com? munity's fortunes. Gloucester's contribution, ?19 2s 4d, 3 per cent of the total, ranking twelfth of the seventeen communities tallaged, stands in marked contrast to the situation in 1194, when as sixth it furnished 6.5 per cent of the total. Also changed was its relationship to the Hereford community, now paying ?31 19s 5d, 5 per cent, and ranking eighth. Individual Gloucester contributions were documented, as in 1194, in two distinct lists. They are brought together in Table 5. The community was dominated by two families with almost two-thirds of its financial resources at their disposal. The family of Elias and Mirabelle made a combined payment of ?6 15s 8d, 35 per cent of the total. The eldest son, Bonenfaunt, daughter, Belia, and son-in-law, Isaac, were partners. Although Mirabelle maintained full control of the busi? ness, Bonenfaunt, Belia and Isaac all made individual tallage payments. A newcomer, Abraham of Warwick, with his family, paid almost as much in tallage as Mirabelle's family, but in this case control was apparently tighter, 52 PRO E401/3/4.V; E401/4/5. For further details and discussion of the meaning of the term 'bishop' see Richardson (see n. 17) 126-9. A. H. Smith, Place-Nantes of Gloucestershire 2, English Place-Name Society (Cambridge 1964) 167-8 for the dialect change from't' to'd'. 53 D. A. Carpenter, The Minority of Henry III (London 1990) 413-15; H. M. Chew, 'A Jewish Aid to Marry, AD 1221' TJHSE XI (1924-7) 92-111 quoting the Lord Treasurer's Memor? anda Rolls and Rot Litt Claus 462 refers to it as the tallage of 1000 marks, but R. C. Stacey, '1240-1260: A Watershed in Anglo-Jewish Relations?' Historical Research 61 (June 1988) 136-50, in his 'Table of Tallages 1186-1260' gives 1500 marks. For the 1221 writ Richardson (see n. 17) 291. 67</page><page sequence="28">Joe Hillaby for it was all paid in Abraham's name. Why he moved to Gloucester rather than Leicester with other Warwick Jews, or to the much nearer community at Worcester, must remain a matter for speculation. Did he calculate that, with only three widows as competitors, he would have an easier time making his way in the community?54 The status of Mirabelle and the other widows, Judea and Douce, as sym? bols of the old order, is noteworthy. Barry Dobson has observed that 'amongst the almost innumerable surviving lists of loans and tallages owed to and by individual members of the 13th-century English Jewry, it is very rare indeed to encounter an instance where the names of males do not surpass those of females by a ratio of at least four or five to one'. Gloucester's 1221 tallage list is a remarkable exception: eight men to four women, a ratio of no more than two to one, even with the three newly-arrived Warwick males. Mirabelle, Judea and Douce were among the four top taxpayers, between them paying 40 per cent of the tallage. The explanation lies in the disastrous final years of John's reign when all three lost their husbands. What is surprising is that this situation was replicated at only one other Jewry, Northampton, where not only was the male to female ratio similar, two to one, but of the seven women listed at least four were widows. Nevertheless, Northampton was not to suffer the same setback in its fortunes as Gloucester.55 Elias's daughter, Belia, was the fourth of Gloucester's women tallage payers. Like her mother, she was a shrewd business woman. She must have Table 5. The 1221 Tallage: Contributions of the Gloucester Community Abraham of Warwick and son and son-in-law Mirabelle of Gloucester Judea the Widow (of Isaac) Douce the Widow (of Moses) Bonenfaunt son of Mirabelle* Moses son of Aaron Isaac son-in-law of Mirabelle Isaac son of Moses (of Paris) Belia daughter of Mirabelle Isaac son of Deudonne I 5 3 2 s 5 4 2 17 14 11 6 2 Percent 27-5 16.9 11.2 9.8 8.9 8.1 74 5-9 2-3 2 Rank Total 19 * also described as son of Elias Source: PRO E/401/4/4. 54 See p. 43. 55 Dobson (see n. 8) 151-2. 68</page><page sequence="29">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 been a partner with her father by 1210, for she had to pay 4od arrears of the Bristol tallage in 1220. She was apparently older than her brother, for there are no records of such payments by Bonenfaunt. In 1220 Belia claimed ?8 with interest from Dionisia de Beresford, as the sister and heir of Henry Hubaud. This Dionisia parried with a counterclaim through her son, Henry de Nafford, that Belia's demands were 'unlawful' on the grounds that only one and a half virgates of Hubaud's lands had passed to her. A further com? plication was the claim of Diaie of Worcester, whose loan of 40 marks to Hubaud was secured on the same land. The outcome is not known. Belia was tallaged independently of her husband, Isaac, in 1221, but in 1223 and 1226 he is absent from the Receipt Rolls, apparently dead. Belia and her son-in law, Abraham, paid jointly in 1223, but acted independently in 1226. It is notable that Isaac, Abraham and Garsia, the husbands of Belia and her two daughters, all joined their wife's family and Garsia was still an active member in 1145.56 Evidence of the three generations of the family working together is plenti? ful. Belia, for example, sought an extent, a full valuation, of the lands of Roger and Joanna de Couch in pursuit of payment of a loan made by herself, the late Isaac and her daughter, Pucelle. In 1235, when the court granted Robert de Couel's right to repay his debt over two years, Mirabelle and Pucelle were the creditors. Belia last appears in the details of the Third paid by the Gloucester community in 1239, when her contribution is us id, equivalent to that of Elias, her brother Bonenfaunt's eldest son.57 In 1223 a further tallage of 3000 marks, ?2000, was imposed, of which Gloucester's contribution was ?51 13s nd, as in 1221 3 per cent of the total. Mirabelle's family was prospering. Its proportion of the total had risen to 45 per cent, while that of the Warwick family had fallen to 25 per cent (see Table 6). In 1226 a third tallage, for 6000 marks, was levied (see Table 7). Abraham of Warwick's ambitions had not been fulfilled. The three members of his family were no longer listed in Gloucester; nor at Bristol, Hereford or Worcester. They probably joined Leo of Warwick and others at Leicester where the earl of Chester, relying on the Council of Regency's need to retain his political support, excluded royal officials from dealings with either his burgesses or Jews.58 Mirabelle and her family had consolidated their hold over the Gloucester Jewry, but there had been a dramatic and sustained decline in the business transacted since the late twelfth century. Loans in the 1220s and 1230s were almost all for small sums. This is confirmed by the records of lands sold to meet Jewish debts, often the only 56 Ejfly 5, 27, 32, 37, 52, 53; Hillaby (1990a) (see n.4) 90-1. As to sons-in-law see p. 98. 57 Close Rolls, I22J-J2 (PRO 1902-38) (hereafter CR) 1235, 37, 103. 58 PRO E401/6/6; E401/8/4. See p. 59. 69</page><page sequence="30">Joe Hillaby Table 6. The 1223 Tallage: Contributions of the Gloucester Community ? s d Percent Rank Mirabelle 10 3 4 20.7 1 Abraham of Warwick 9 12 4 19.5 2 Bonenfaunt (son of Elias) 6 18 8 14.1 3 Judea the Widow 5 3 4 5-4 4 Moses son of Aaron 408 8.2 5 Benedict of Kent 3 13 4 7.5 6 Douce the Widow 300 6.1 7 Belia daughter of Elias and Abraham her 2 11 8 5.2 8 son-in-law Abraham son of Abraham of 2 10 0 5.1 9= Warwick Isaac son of Moses of Paris 2 9 11 5.1 9= Isaac son of Pictavin 1 0 8 2.1 11 Benedict son-in-law of Abraham (of 10 0 1.0 12 Warwick) _ Total 51 13 11 Source: PRO E401/6/6. Table 7. The 1226 Tallage: Contributions of the Gloucester Community ? s d Percent Rank Mirabelle of Gloucester 6 00 38.7 1 Bonenfaunt son of Elias 2 80 15.5 2 Moses son of Aaron 200 12.9 3 Douce the Widow 140 7.7 4 Abraham son-in-law of Belia 100 6.5 5= Belia daughter of Mirabelle 100 6.5 5= Solomon the Turk 16 0 5.2 7 Isaac son of Pictavin 80 2.6 8 Floria the Widow 60 1.9 9= Contessa _6 0 1.9 9= Total 15 8 0 Source: PRO 401/8/4. option in a society with little ready cash. Such encumbered lands had, for those with both cash and negotiating skills, the attraction of a price well below market level. Potential purchasers, including ecclesiastics, could, in the knowledge that interest rates were 2d per ?1 per week, press the vendor, 'in his great need', for a generous discount. Gloucester Corporation records, c. 1228-30, provide examples of citizens selling property at such discount. About 1210 Nicholas of Neweham and 70</page><page sequence="31">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 Ralph the Vintner bought lands in Gloucester from Richard of Kideremun stria, paying him 2 marks and, to the Jews of Gloucester, his debt of 20s 5d. Walter of Prinknash, 'to acquit his debts to the Jews', was obliged to lease his quarter virgate of land in Elbrug, Elmbridge, at 40s per annum for nine? teen years. Henry Craft, 'in his great need to meet his debts to the Jews of Gloucester', sold all his land in Castle Street to Adam of Hereford for 20s. Similarly, for ?2 16s 8d Richard son of Durant Cloyhc sold land in Smith Street, Gloucester, to Geoffrey Cuttestuche; and for 36s Simon son of Walter sold his two acres of meadow in Hasfield to Alexander, chaplain of the church of St Mary's in Southgate, Gloucester. Finally, an entry of about 1260 refers to William Foket's sale of land with an annual value of 2s 'in order to acquit his debts to Jews and Christians'.59 Llanthony priory was one of the two largest landowners in the town. Its Great Register furnishes further details of such property sales. To clear Jewish debts, Adam Keyl sold his seid or stall in Northgate Street for ?6 6s 8d, and Walter Hors had to part with land outside the north gate for ?2, Both proper? ties subsequently passed to the priory. The most informative of the Register entries, however, relates to the loan Richard Imedi negotiated with Isaac, son of Leo of Gloucester, in January 1247. Richard agreed to repay 18s on 28 January following. The sum borrowed was not specified, but for the deal to be profitable the 18s will have included a premium. The penalty in case of failure was the usual 2d per ?1 per week, with the deal secured on Richard's lands. The matter got out of hand and in only a short time it was Richard's son who had to sell land to raise the ?2 2s his father now owed Isaac.60 Three cases between Gloucester's monasteries and its Jews are of interest. The first refers to an enigmatic entry in the Jewish Plea Rolls for 1220 when the abbot of St Peter's was 'to satisfy the king concerning ?j us 8d'. The second related to three acres of meadow at Walney, by the Lugg at Hereford. These belonged to St Guthlac's priory, Hereford, a cell of St Peter's. Mira belle's witness, Walter de Mucegros, was on royal service in the Welsh cam? paign of 1231, so the case had to be postponed. There is no further record. The last, involving St Oswald's priory, raised an interesting point of law. If a landowner defaulted on debt were his tenants liable? Mirabelle's partner, David of Oxford, had by way of distress seized lands where St Oswald's was tenant. The prior resisted on the grounds that his tenancy predated the loan. This the court accepted, ordering that other tenanted lands (presumably post? dating the loan) if any, should be distrained.61 Three interrelated factors explain the sharp decline of Gloucester's Jewry. 59 Calendar nos 137, 217, 278, 299, 250, 523. 60 Llanthony: Great Register (see n. 23) nos 400, 371, 60. 61 103; CR 1231, 522. 7i</page><page sequence="32">Joe Hillaby The events of the last years of John's reign had had a dramatic impact on the community, but Gloucester was not unique in this respect. Northampton suffered equally, but, if tallage returns are an indicator, did not experience a similar decline. In 1194 it ranked fourth, in 1221 sixth, 1223 seventh and in 1255 eighth. The respective figures for Gloucester are fifth in 1194, twelfth in 1221 and fourteenth in 1226, while in 1255, of the old established Jewries, only Nottingham paid less. The significant factors were the change in the theatre of military operations, the arrival in Hereford of the plutocrat, H?mo, and the political authority of his patron, Walter II de Lacy, which enabled H?mo to exploit the demand for credit from the barons of the southern march. From the early twelfth century Gloucester had been the base from which operations had been mounted against south Wales. In consequence the land across the Severn as far as Cardigan Bay had been within Gloucester's tribu? tary territory.62 This situation was changed radically with the political decline of the kingdom of Powys in central Wales. Thus Llewelyn ap Iorwerth and his successors, rulers of Gwynedd to the north, were able to mount serious challenges in central Wales to both the Anglo-Norman lords of the Welsh march and the English Crown. Further, the collapse of Powys aroused restless ambitions to extend their lordships, at Powys's expense, in both Hubert de Burgh and the Marshal family. With central Wales now the area of conflict, the royal campaigns in 1223, 1228 and 1231 were all based on Hereford - not Gloucester.63 Additionally, Gloucester's Jewry no longer had a role in Irish affairs, for royal control over its Anglo-Norman lords was now firmly estab? lished. Also there is evidence of an Irish Jewry. The first Jews were no doubt brought in by those two powerful members of the Council of Regency, by William Marshal, as lord of Leinster, to Kilkenny and by Walter de Lacy, as lord of Meath, to Trim where he built the most extravagant of all Irish castles.64 For Gloucester's Jews it was quite impossible to match the resources which H?mo of Hereford had to service the financial demands of the marcher lords. This is proved by the size of the loans he and his family made, not only to the Lacy and Marshall families. Other clients included the de Clifford family, 62 This is reflected in the claims by St Peter's abbey that such important churches as Newport (Mon.), Ewenny and Llancarfan (Glam.), Ewias Harold (Herefs.), Glasbury (Brecon) and Llanbadarn Fawr (Ceredigion) were its dependants. Hart (see n. 13) I, 102, 75-6, 93, 80, 74. For commentary, C. N. L. Brooke, The Church in the Welsh Border in the Central Middle Ages (Woodbridge 1986) 50-65. 63 D. Walker, Medieval Wales (Cambridge 1990) 94-7; R. R. Da vies, The Age of Conquest: Wales 1063-1415 (Oxford 1991) 227-36, but Lloyd (1939) (see n. n) 655-80 provides the detailed account. 64 J. Hillaby, 'Colonisation, crisis management and debt; Walter de Lacy and the lordship of Meath, 1189-1241' Rtocht na Midhe 8iv (1992-3) 14-15, 31-3. 72</page><page sequence="33">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 of which Roger I became constable of St Briavels castle and Warden of the Dean Forest, and Walter II was granted the manor of Dymock in 1221; John of Monmouth, present at Gloucester castle when Gabbay fell from the battle? ments; Fulk fitz Warin's brother, William, operating an iron forge on his manors of Aylburton and Hewelsfield in the Forest; and John I de Balun of Much Marcle, whose son, John II, was to seize Gloucester by stratagem in 1264.65 Having taken the cream of the regional market, the family then extended its sphere of influence as far as Gloucester itself. One of the first clients of Hamo's eldest son, Ursell, was John of Elmbridge, whose manor house lay but a mile or so beyond Gloucester's walls and whose father, Simon of Matson, had been one of Bonenfaunt's earliest clients. The capital at Hamo's disposal is reflected in the relief demanded of his heirs at his death in 1231, ?4000, the second highest recorded relief of any medieval English Jew. Assessed at one-third, it valued his estate at ?i2,ooo.66 Conflict over tallage assessment and the 1241 Worcester 'Parliament' Evidence from the Third of 1239 and the 20,000-mark tallage of 1241 indic? ates that Gloucester's Jewry, and probably most other minor communities, had suffered disproportionately from the Crown's tallage demands since 1221. Between then and 1226 these had totalled some 10,000 marks, followed by a lull until 1229-31 when 8000 marks were levied, with a further 10,000 between 1232 and 1236. These tallages, as Stacey points out, averaged 2000 to 3000 marks a year.67 Whereas the ?2000 tallage of 1223 raised almost ?1700 within a year, the Receipt Rolls for the ?4000 tallage in 1226 record a mere ?450 collected. The comparable totals for Gloucester were ?51 13s 1 id in 1223, but only ?15 10s in 1226 (see Tables 6 and 7). One can only assume the 1226 tallage was phased over a number of years as there are no extant Receipt Rolls from 1226 to 1233. Increasingly, members of the Jewry were unable to meet the sums demanded. Tallage payment arrears became frequent and the Justices replied by seizing the amount owed directly from the defaulters' bonds. Sheriffs were instructed to take the defaulters' 'better or most certain debts', those with most promise of early and full payment, from the chests of Jewish bonds. They were then to distrain the Christian debtors - to encourage their prompt response. Thus in 1240 the sheriff of Gloucester had to send five of B?nen 65 Rot Litt Claus I, 334; Hillaby (1985) (see n. 5) 246-58; idem (1984) (see n. 4) 385. For Roger II and John II de Balun at Gloucester during the Barons Wars see p. 104. 66 ?71, 32, 33, 36; VCH Clones 4 (see n. 28) 433 and n. 64, 436, 441; Calendar no. 184, 226, 228; Ex rot fin 1232, 226; Calendar of Liberate Rolls 1 (PRO 1916) 214-5. 67 Stacey (1985) (see n. 8) 177, 179; Stacey (1988) (see n. 53) 137. 73</page><page sequence="34">Joe Hillaby faunt's bonds, totalling ?27, to the clerk of the royal wardrobe. These indicate the range of his clients: Richard the Burgess, ?1; abbot of St Peter's, ?10; William de Samford, another prominent burgess, ?10; abbot of Winchcombe, ?4; William Pagan, ?2. Such seizure of debts could lead to complications. In 1253, to cover tallage arrears, the sheriff withdrew Elias son of Isaac's 4-mark bond from the Gloucester chest. It was then discovered that the abbot of Cirencester had redeemed the debt, no doubt in return for land. The abbey had therefore to be given quittance against its own debts. Royal favour, expressed by the pardoning of Jewish debts, was a further hazard, but the Exchequer usually made an allowance against arrears, as in the case of Bonen faunt's share of Henry Kay's ?10 debt.68 For those with limited resources, the cumulative effect of the loss of such bonds could be disastrous. Many Receipt Rolls now become catalogues of debt. In 1233 Juetta (Douce) the widow owed n^d for tallage arrears, while 'for many debts' 10s was owed by both Mirabelle and Bonenfaunt, 5s by both Belia and Douce, 4s by Floria and 3s 4d by Solomon the Turk. The amounts may appear small, but the haemorrhage of the family's investment became permanent. Little is known of the tallage assessment process prior to April 1237, except that, as usual, bribery and corruption had their role, a game played with the Justices of the Jews by the wealthy, both communities and individuals. The curtain was lifted, in part, by the testimony of the London Jewry against Robert Passelewe, senior Justice of the Jews, Stephen de Segrave, Justiciar, and Peter des Rivaux, Treasurer, in 1234. From the London Jewry, Passelewe had received 100 marks, euphemistically described as for 'aid' in receiving the tallage, and subsequently a similar sum 'for equalizing the London tallage with that of York which formerly it had exceeded'.69 Aaron and his fellow York magnates could not have been ignorant of the game being played. Indeed they may well have initiated it. This was not all. Five of the wealthiest London Jews gave bribes for favours relating to their individual assessments for the 1234 tallage. No doubt these revelations merely confirmed the suspi? cions of the lesser Jewries that it was due to such practices by the magnates that they were bearing an excessive proportion of the tax burden. In England, lack of transparency in the tax system exacerbated hostility between the two largest communities, London and York, and stimulated fur? ther corruption of the Justices. We are better informed about the methods of tax assessment in Christian Spain, especially Aragon, where more acute 68 CR 1240, 202-3, 258; Calendar no. 496; 115. 69 M. Adler, 'The Testimony of the London Jewry against the Ministers of Henry IIP TJfHSE 15 (1941) 141-85. Meekings' view (see n. 40) 178-9, that 'most of the justices [of the Jews] withstood the temptationfs]' deserves re-examination. 74</page><page sequence="35">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 inequities led to deep social tensions within the Jewry as a whole. Here it took two forms. Predominantly it was by assessors, appointed by the wealthy community leaders, exercising arbitrary judgement. The alternative was self assessment under oath on pain of her em, excommunication. The transparent shortcomings of the former, which encouraged widespread evasion by the most wealthy, were rending communities which, being much larger, had a vigorous artisan class. Bahye ben Asher deals vividly with this in his 'Jar of Flour', Kad ha-Kenia It. 'How many are there of insecure livelihood and heavy obligations who shed their life-blood and pay taxes with their marrow and blood ... yet the villainous rich man who wants to fill his chambers "out of the oppression of the poor and the sighing of the needy" says there is no God ... He undermines the foundations of the Torah and the very roots of faith whereon all commandments of the Law depend ... He denies personal Providence and seeks to deceive the Lord as did Cain ... He who so sins testifies that he does not acknowledge his Creator.'70 Such sentiments must have been shared by those small English communities which bore the con? sequences of the tax evasion by the York and London magnates - and others. The revelations of 1234 led to the dismissal of all three accused, and the replacement, in 1236, of the Londoner, Josce, grandson of the great Rabbi Josce, as Archpresbyter, adviser to the Justices - by the outstandingly wealthy Aaron of York. Ironically, this was part of an attempt to create a more open system of tallage assessment. On 8 April 1237 Garsy of Lincoln, Sampson of Northampton, Deulesault Coc of Stamford, Dyaya of Canterbury, Ursell of Winchester and others were ordered to 'assess all Jews of the land ... for the tallage of 3000 marks . . . Neither for hatred, love or fear of any are they to forgo in assessing every Jew according to what goods he has, sparing none nor grieving any except according to his capacity and power [to pay] so that the tallage shall be in no part delayed on the day of payment through their default.' But their assessment was delivered to Aaron of York and his fellow Justices. Although the commissioners were all of the middling sort, and were not drawn from the London or York communities, the results of their delib? erations still failed to satisfy all but the most affluent.71 In 1239 a new type of levy was introduced, not a tallage of a fixed sum, but a tax of one-third on the chattels of all Jews. The consequence was a dramatic lowering of the tax threshold to include many more, if not all, mem? bers of at least one community, Gloucester. This is particularly significant because here some of 'the poorer Jewish families in a provincial Jewish centre' have indeed 'escaped documentation'.72 Hitherto our knowledge of the Glouc 70 Y. Baer, A History of the Jews in Christian Spain i (1961) 228-31. 71 CR 1234, 438; 1236, 243. CPR 1237, 178. 72 Dobson (see n. 8) 151. 75</page><page sequence="36">Joe Hillaby ester Jewry, as of the others, has been one-sided. In 1221 and 1226 ten, and in 1223 twelve, Gloucester Jews were named in the Receipt Rolls and the lowest sum paid, by Contessa in 1226, was 6s. In 1239 there is a remarkable conspectus: twenty-four are now listed, of whom sixteen paid less than 6s and ten less than is; of the latter, half gave less than 6d. Overall, 42 per cent of those listed contributed less than 3 per cent of the total (see Table 8). Table 8. Levy of One-Third of Chattels, 123g: Receipts from the Gloucester Community Receipt Roll Bonenfaunt son of Elias** Garsia son-in-law of Belia** Flora widow of Solomon Isaac son of Moses of Paris** Isaac Franceis Belia daughter of Elias Elias son of Bonenfaunt** Elias son of Isaac** Vives son of Bonenfaunt** Mirabelle daughter of Bonenfaunt Solomon the Turk Contessa daughter of Preciosa Isaac son of Bonenfaunt Isaac Hoppe Crane Preciosa the Widow Manasser of Gloucester Manasser? son of Josce Floria of Nantes Abraham 'le prestre' Isaac 'Carnifiee' Vives son of Josce Isaac of Wynton Josce Wymbelet Couperon son of Bonenfaunt Total 9 Tallies Manasser of Gloucester Abraham 'le prestre' Grand Total 0 6 18 16 16 11 11 7 5 2 2 1 0 5 2i 9i 6 1 1 3* 2 10 of 8 6 3l II 9? r 5i 5 5 4 3 0* Percent 32 14.1 9-7 9 8.8 5.9 5-9 3-9 2.8 i-5 1.1 0.9 0.8 0.7 0-5 0.4 0.4 o-3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 Ref. C38 C35 9 or ?g 8s 4d Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6= 6= 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18= 18= 20 21= 21= 23 24 16 18= * is probably includes 7d above ** delegate to Worcester parliament, 1241 Tallies coded C relate to the Third of 1239 Source: Stacey (1985) see n5+, 212-3 from PRO E401/48/6. 76</page><page sequence="37">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 Such details of those who do not appear in the Tallage, Receipt or Fine rolls are essential to our understanding of the medieval English Jewry for two reasons. First, a soundly based assessment of their numbers, as a percentage of the whole community, is a requisite for any realistic estimate of population, at local and national levels. Secondly, such details are important in their own rights. At present our view of the social structure of the medieval Jewry is seriously distorted by the overwhelming body of evidence relating to the affluent, that is those in whom the Crown had a lively financial interest in terms of payments such as tallage, relief (death duty of one third), fines for privileges and breaches of the law, and issues relating to dowry. How far are the poor of Gloucester represented by this hitherto untaxed group, identified in Table 8? Of the six paying between 6s and is, three - Vives, Mirabelle and Isaac - were Bonenfaunt's children. Of those in the lowest tax band, paying less than is, two were women and Couperon, whose piggy bank was evidently raided for 3d, was a younger son of Bonenfaunt. But the occupations are known of two in the middle of the under-is range, Abraham le prestre and Isaac carnifice. The first was the hazan, who frequently appears in records as prestre and then capellanus, and the second the shohet. Would the hazan, even as described by Richardson, 'like the Christian chap? lain lowly in status, poorly paid and ill regarded', with the shohet have been on the very lowest rung of the social ladder? Indeed Abraham may have paid a further sd, which would put him into the is band. There were certainly poorer members who were not included. Thus, at Stamford in July 1242 the community, out of a total of some ?135 17s 5d, itself paid ?1 7s 8d, a mere 1 per cent, on behalf of its 'paupers and fugitives'. At London there was a different approach. Six of the wealthier members, who are named, paid some ?45, that is 3 per cent of the total of some ?i500.73 The records afford only brief glimpses of how the poor eked out a liveli? hood. Some were artisans. A stray reference in the Close Rolls for 1250 reveals one member of Gloucester's Jewry with highly specialized skills: Abra? ham le Skermiseur, a master of swordplay. But he was not unique. In 1278 9 there was a Benedict, variously called le Eskirimsur, Eskymmissur and Eskermisur, at Hereford. Given the ban on Christians living in Jewish house? holds, co-religionists would certainly have so served in Gloucester's affluent Jewish families. Elsewhere Jewish magnates probably had households similar to those of the knightly class, just as the wealthiest, such as Aaron of York, had to the baronial class. Among the forty London Jews listed as in arrears to the Guildford tallage are five, each owing 10s, described as de domo, of the 73 For transcripts and detail discussion of the Third of 1239 and the 20,000-mark tallage of 1241-42 see Stacey (1985) (see n. 8) 175-249; idem, Politics, policy and finance under Henry III 1216-45 (1987) 149-59. 77</page><page sequence="38">Joe Hillaby household of, Abraham and Isaac, the sons of the Rabbi Josce, who jointly owed more than ?1500 and of Sampson, brother of le Brun, who had been assessed at 10,000 marks G?6333).74 These five represented the uppermost echelon serving in such a household, but even lesser community leaders, such as Mirabelle and Bonenfaunt, had their own credit agents who would no doubt have combined this work with small-scale pawnbroking. An inventory of the chattels of Elias of Gloucester, one of those charged with coin-clipping offences in 1285, gives some insight into this trade. Other? wise unrecorded, it must have flourished in the town. The sale of his stock raised ?10 19s 4dl five brooches sold for ?2 5s; thirty gold rings, by weight, 7s 6d; three further rings, ?1; two silver cups with feet, ?2 9s iod; two further silver cups, only one with a foot, ?2 18s 6d; three little mazers, 3s 6d; and nine silk girdles, one of leather barred with silver, ?1 10s.75 Other than for Gloucester, details of individual payments to the Third are available only for London and Canterbury. Fortunately these do provide a wide sample. In the tallage of 1241, London, after York, was the largest contributor; Canterbury was in the middle range, while Gloucester, nine? teenth, was the poorest. One would expect that the larger Jewries sustained higher proportions of the poor. However, analysis gives a surprising result. In Gloucester a much higher proportion of the poor, if not the poorest, bore a tax burden. On the basis of the raw data, those contributing less than is to the Third were 42 per cent at Gloucester, 24 per cent at Canterbury and only 19 per cent at London; and at Gloucester the amount they paid was nearly 3 per cent of the total, ten times greater than at Canterbury and some fifty times than at London, a mere 0.06 per cent (see Table 9). There is no reason to suppose that the percentage of members in the under-is tax band would be lower in larger communities; if anything, the reverse. Their 42-per-cent presence in the 1239 Third at Gloucester will be Table 9. The Third of 123g: The Lowest Tax Band in Communities of Different Size Total &lt;is Taxpayers % Tax Payments Total &lt;is % ? s d s d Gloucester Canterbury London 24 90 12 10 42 24 19 9 7 4 5 S\ 2.9 91 o 2\ 5 o\ 0.27 832 19 6 9 n\ 0.06 74 CR 1250, 329; EJ V ed. S. Cohen (JHSE 1992) nos 644, 658, 958; Hillaby (1995) (see n. 2) 23, table 3. 75 M. Adler, 'Inventory of the property of the Condemned Jews, 1285' Mise JHSE 2 (1935) 8-23. 78</page><page sequence="39">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 a more accurate reflection of the proportion nationally. Others, the really poor, undoubtedly remained untallaged. Thus a figure well in excess of 50 per cent is a more realistic estimate of those normally untallaged. If this is so, it has important implications for any demographic estimates based on tallage returns. In 1241, with only half of the Third of 1239 raised, Henry III, desperate for ?40,000, the estimated cost of his Gascon expedition, intervened personally. Another tallage, of 20,000 marks, was imposed. A royal writ ordered all chests to be closed and sealed. This was standard procedure, but what followed was not. Two royal clerks visited all the Jewries, opened all the chests, noted all their contents and drew up lists of all Jews and Jewesses. The census com? pleted, the sheriffs were commanded 'to cause six of the wealthier and more powerful of our Jews from your bailiwick to come before us at Worcester on the Sunday next before Ash Wednesday, there to treat with us for their benefit as of ours. Know that unless these Jews come at the aforesaid time we will so aggrieve you by body and chattels that you will forever feel our hand to grieve you immoderately.'76 Only two weeks had been allowed, but when the meeting of the king and his Jews opened at Worcester on 10 February 109 members from twenty-one communities were present. The archpresbyter, Aaron, himself led the York delegation. There is no record of where it met, but only the cathedral priory's great circular Romanesque chapter house or its monastic refectory to the south of the cloister would have been suitable. Tovey has termed this the Jewish 'Parliament', but it differed radically from the meetings at Westmins? ter. The sum to be levied was not a matter for debate. The sole purpose was to establish a more productive, and incidentally equitable, distribution of the 20,000-mark tallage burden.77 The Gloucester delegation had a full complement, but hardly merited the description of 'six of the wealthier and more powerful of our Jews'. Bonen faunt was hard pressed to find such a number. He impressed three members of his family: his two eldest sons, Elias and Vives, and Garsia, his sister Belia's son-in-law. Isaac, son of Moses of Paris, and Elias son of Isaac made up the half dozen. The representatives appointed six of their wealthiest mem? bers (maiores) - David of Oxford, Leo of York and the four Londoners, Aaron I le Blund, Aaron son of Abraham, and Benedict and Jacob Crespin - to serve as assessors with Aaron of York, but they had to collaborate with six representatives of the mediocres or minores: Bonamicus of Canterbury, Leo son of Solomon of Lincoln, Josce of Kent (of York), Bonenfaunt of Glouces 76 F. M. Powicke, King Henry and the Lord Edward i (Oxford 1947) 307 describes a not dissimilar treatment of the monasteries by Henry III; CR 1241, 346-7. 77 CR 124I5 354-5; Tovey (see n. 30) 110-12. 79</page><page sequence="40">Joe Hillaby ter, Abraham son of Muriel of London and Bonamicus (son of Copin) of Oxford. As the only representative of the poorer Jewries, it was Bonenfaunt who had to fight for their interests. He must have anticipated at the best a dauntingly uphill task. Of his five colleagues, four were from the wealthiest English communities: York, London, Oxford and Canterbury and the fifth from Lincoln, which ranked seventh in the 1241 tallage. Further, Abraham son of Muriel was a great-grandson of Rabbi Josce who had towered over the London Jewry during Henry Fs and IPs reigns, while Josce of Kent, who had ranked seventh among the major contributors to the 1221 tallage, was a nephew of Aaron of York, the archpresbyter. These were neither mediocres nor minores. Each community selected jurors to record the names of all in their Jewry with chattels worth 40s or more. With this information, and the records of the prior scrutiny of the chests, tallage apportionment could begin, but assess? ment of each of the six maiores was to be conducted exclusively by the group of six minores. The outcome was a radical change in tallage apportionment, as Stacey has shown. Three communities were now to pay almost 82 per cent: York some 50 per cent, London 19 per cent and Oxford 13 per cent. The decision of the minores had at last achieved an accurate assessment of the capacity of the maiores, especially their archpresbyter, Aaron of York, to pay. Their wealth was proved to be quite overwhelming. One estimate is that Aaron and Leo of York with David of Oxford would together meet 75 per cent, that is 15,000 of the 20,000 marks demanded. The consequence for the smaller Jewries was profound. Now Worcester, Bedford and Colchester each paid a mere 0.1 per cent, Gloucester, Warwick and Wilton only 0.2 per cent, and Bristol a little higher, 0.3 per cent (Table io).78 Henry III had reason to be well satisfied. By personal intervention he had broken the long-standing and cosy relationship between the maiores and his own Justices by which the former had enjoyed preferential treatment. Aaron, replaced as Archpresbyter by Elias PEveske of London in 1243, now became the target for constant demands by the Crown. To the chronicler, Matthew Table 10. 1221, 1223 and 1239-42 Tallages: Percentage Payments 1221 1223 1239-42 Worcester 0.5 1.5 0.1 Colchester 0.5 1.0 0.1 Gloucester 3.0 3.0 0.2 Bristol 3.5 5.0 0.3 1226 percentages not available as returns incomplete Bedford, Warwick and Wilton not tallaged in 1221-3. 78 Stacey (1985) (see n. 8) 198-204, tables 2a, 3, 3a and 4. 8o</page><page sequence="41">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 Paris, Aaron swore that he had paid the king some 32,000 silver marks. Henry III could now exploit the real treasure in his Jewry for his Gascon expedition. The 12,000 marks being raised from the Jewry would provide one third of the estimated cost. The large prey being caught, Henry could afford to be generous. Money already paid into the Exchequer towards the Third of 1239 would be subtracted from the 1241 demands. Gloucester now had to meet only ?9 17s 6d, half of the amount due, ?9 8s 4d having already been for? warded for the Third (see Table n). Bonenfaunt must have returned to a tumultuous welcome. However, success with the 1241 tallage was followed by a further demand in 1244 - for 60,000 marks (?40,000), which all but ruined the English Jewry. Arrears and bond seizure became all-pervasive and were exacerbated by other demands. The levies of 1239-42 had already ruined a number of wealthy families. In 1244, on the death of Leo of York, his son, Samuel, was faced with a relief of 7000 marks and Licoricia, widow of David of Oxford, with 5000 marks. Nevertheless, the victory at Worcester was not short-lived. In 1249, when Elias PEveske and three other maiores were appointed to assess a tallage of 500 marks, they were to take with them two middle-class and two poor Jews 'so that the rich be not spared nor the poor too much aggrieved'.79 Table 11. The 1241 Tallage of 20,000 Marks: Receipts from the Gloucester Community Receipt Roll: ? s d Jews of Gloucester 7 13 2 Isaac of Paris* 1 10 0 Abraham of Warwick* 13 4 Chera of Cricklade* 1 0 Total 9 17 6 * not included in 1239 list. Tallies: Ref. Abraham 'le prestre' 1 9 B75 Josce Wimbelet 9 B92 Josce Wimbelet 5 B97 Mirabelle daughter of - B114 Bonenfaunt** Grand Total*** 9 17 6 or ?10 os 5d ** tally broken, record of payment lost *** dependent on whether or not known tallies included in 'Jews of Gloucester' on Receipt Roll. Source: Stacey (1985) see n5+ 224 from PRO E401/16/2. 79 Ex rot fin 1244, 412; CR 1244, 260; CPR 1249, 46. 8i</page><page sequence="42">Joe Hillaby The Eastgate Jewry Gloucester's medieval street pattern reflected that of Glevum, its predecessor. The four major streets, now Northgate, Southgate, Eastgate and Westgate, intersected at the heart of the town, the High Cross. The only contemporary reference to the Jewry, in the Cirencester abbey cartulary, c. 1241-50, refers to certain land in Iudaismo in vico orientali, 'lying between the lands of Roger de le Envese and Peter Peitvin' for which Bonenfaunt the Jew and Elias son of Isaac were to pay 'one pound of cumin at the feast of St Oswald'. Contem? porary Eastgate Street was in the later Middle Ages usually called Ailesgate Street, after Aegel's Gate, the city's eastern gate, where it terminated. Never? theless, in the decades subsequent to the general expulsion of 1290 it con? tinued to be referred to in civic records by its old name, as 'the street where the Jews live'. Thus we have 'a tenement in Ju[w]eryestret[e]' in 1303-4, 'a messuage and shop in the Great East Street of Gloucester called Juewenestret' in 1309-10, while in 1314 it is 'Jueryestret'. By 1344, however, a messuage is in 'Ayllesgatstret, anciently called Juweryestrete'.80 In England the medieval Jewries were not ghettoes. They were sections of the town where most Jews lived, but Jews and Christians lived side by side. At Gloucester, as elsewhere, the majority of residents were Christian. Eastgate's street frontage extended some 600 feet overall. Even if all the eight tallage-paying Jewish households indicated by the returns of the 1220s occu? pied houses fronting the street, they would have been no more than a distinct minority. Even the Third of 1239 indicates little more than a dozen house? holds. Although it excludes the poorest members, those not living-in servants would have resided in the courts and side alleys so much a feature of English medieval towns. In 1455 Robert Cole, a canon of Llanthony priory, drew up for his house a remarkably detailed Rental of all lands, rents and tenements within the borough. Listing these street by street in an orderly progression, he enables us to establish relative locations. In many cases he was able to describe the descent of tenancies from the reign of Henry III. His late use of the term in Iudaismo, 'in the Jewry', is thus not surprising. Cole's Rental has been sub? jected to detailed analysis by Fullbrook-Leggatt in 1947 and 1952 and by Langton in 1977. Bridge Street, the modern Westgate, Fullbrook-Leggatt identified as the principal trading street, for it served the riverside quays and, with them, the town's considerable trade in iron manufactures. Southgate he rated as second; the Mercery and Butchery, now the upper part of Westgate, third; and Northgate fourth. For him, Eastgate was 'a poor fifth'. On this 80 Cartulary of Cirencester Abbey, Gloucestershire ed. C. D. Ross, II (1964) nos 446, 447; Calendar nos 774, 787, 803, 919. 82</page><page sequence="43">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 last, Langton, while accepting the criteria, puts a very different gloss, arguing that it had a character quite distinct from the other streets converging on the High Cross. No metal workers, with their dangerous fires and excessive noise, were to be found there; nor butchers, with animals slaughtered in the street, gutters running with blood and covered in offal, as in the Vico Macerrariorum on the south side of Westgate Street, by the High Cross. As the most 'salubri? ous5 area of the town, Eastgate was the 'high class' neighbourhood.81 (Plate 2) Bonenfaunt's house, as will be seen, was at the western end of Eastgate Street, near the High Cross. Those of other senior members of the commun? ity were not far away. Here, as elsewhere, the site of the Jewry was thus determined by access to the principal market places, not to the castle. It was close enough to, yet sufficiently removed from, the hurly-burly of the But? chery and Mercery in Upper Westgate Street and the Tolsey and Market Hall in Southgate Street. It thus combined healthier living conditions with ready access to clients, from both town and country, who assembled in the area about the High Cross on market and fair days. This combination of proximity to the markets with a relatively salubrious and tranquil environ? ment was characteristic of many English Jewries. At Oxford, where the topo? graphy was similar, the Great Jewry, now St Aldate's, stretched from Carfax to the South Gate. It was thus close to, but not part of, the commercial and industrial bustle of High Street, then la Boucherie, Northgate Street and Great Bailey, now Queen Street. In London, Colechurch Lane, Old Jewry, with the other major streets of the Jewry, Ironmonger Lane, Milk and Wood Street, were at right angles to the city's great market of King's Cheap or Cheapside to the south, with the Guildhall to the north. At Worcester the Jewry was again adjacent to the High Street, with its market place and Guildhall, but offered relief from its bustle, being at the upper, eastern end of Huxter Street.82 Cole's Rental not only describes all landgavels or chief rents, but provides details of individual holdings, with the names and occupations of lessees. He thus records that Bonenfaunt, Elias son of Isaac and Abraham son of Josce all lived in Eastgate Street, where, he tells us, the synagogue also was situated. Other Jews, of whom he had no record, will have lived close at hand. Cole also refers to two other properties held by Bonenfaunt: with Alice of Barrow, possibly a client, he held a tenement in Bridge Street, close to St Bartholo 81 Rental of all Houses in Gloucester, AD 1455 . .. compiled by Robert Cole, Canon of Llanthony ed. W. H. Stevenson (Gloucester 1890) (hereafter Rental); L. E. W. O. Fullbrook-Leggatt, 'Medieval Gloucester' TBGAS 66 (1945) 1-48; J. Langten, 'Late medieval Gloucester: some data from a rental of 1455' Trans Institute of British Geographers NS 2(iii) (1977) 259-77. 82 C. Roth, The Jews of Medieval Oxford, Oxford Hist Soc, NS 9 (1951) 85-107, map 194; Hillaby (1993) (see n. 2) 90-6 and maps 1-3; idem (1990a) (see n. 4) 91-4 and fig. 3. ?3</page><page sequence="44">^^^^ i^'"' |- ^ ^^"^ ^' '^k^^^^^^^ ? - flag"- ^Jt;" Ajftg?^^ "3?IE1hHss!5P^9^ 1 ^HV'awi /S'^PoStmS^^^^Sh^S^^^SjbS^m ?? -i-r-niri rf*^iia"'*^^^^^^^^M^^^^^8^^^^^^^8^^^^^^^^^^^^S Plate 2 J. Kip, 'Prospect of Gloucester', 1710, from the south, surrounded by the ditch and remnants of the city walls, showing the four principal streets converging on the High Cross. East gate Street lies to the right. On the left is Westgate Street with the mercery and butchery adjacent</page><page sequence="45">to the High Cross; the western end, where it served the quays on the Severn, became Bridge Street. Market Hall and conduit are in Southgate Street. North, South and East gates are still standing. (From Sir Robert Atkyns, Ancient and Present State of Glostershire [London 1712].)</page><page sequence="46">Joe Hillaby mew's hospital towards the bridge; in addition he held what in his own day was 'the ninth shop' in Westgate.83 As Cole worked systematically down each side of the street, we know, with a fair degree of precision, where Bonenfaunt's house stood on the south side of the Jewry. Leaving the High Cross, the first building was St Michael's church. Today only the perpendicular tower, built about the time Cole was compiling his Rental, remains; but, in his Prospect, Kip has provided a sketch of the church as it was some 140 years before its reconstruction in 1851. (Plate 3) In Cole's day, however, there were eight or more tenements built against its northern wall, and in the late eighteenth century the whole of the north side of St Michael's was still 'hidden from view by mean houses or shops'. As no landgavel was due, the first six tenements must have been very small. There was a small shop on either side of the church entrance, with others beyond. The sixth tenement was 'under the church wall'. The next Plate 3 J. Kip, 'Prospect of Gloucester', c. 1710, detail of Eastgate. The High Cross is on the left with St Michael's church to the east, right. The site of the curia judeorum, the synagogue and Bonenfaunt's 'great house' lay just beyond the eastern gable. On the extreme right is Aylesgate, the East Gate, standing on the line of the city wall and ditch. 83 Rental 98-9, 96-7, 106-7, 58-9&gt; 68-9. 86</page><page sequence="47">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 plot, described as 'near the church gable', was held in Henry Ill's reign by David Dunning, who paid landgavel of 2jd.84 'Under the eastern gable of St Michael's', Cole continues, by which one assumes he means immediately to the east, was a property assessed at i6d. Next he lists the Scola Iudaeorum, the synagogue, also at i6d; the house of David Dunning, 6d; and that of Bonenfaunt, also 6d. Unlike these two houses, the synagogue, we know, would not have fronted the street. Not to inflame public opinion, synagogues, like late-seventeenth-century Noncon? formist meeting houses, were sited away from the street and public gaze. All identified English medieval synagogues were situated to the rear of another building or buildings. Thus in 1265 the dowry of Bonenfaunt's daughter-in law, Belia, included 'a certain house in front of the synagogue' at Worcester.85 Bonenfaunt's home was therefore next door to Dunning's house and thus only one removed from that under the eastern gable of St Michael's. (See Plate 4.) What of Bonenfaunt's neighbours? Cole refers to David Dunning, while in the Cirencester cartulary Bonenfaunt and Elias, son of Isaac, held property in the Jewry next to Roger le Envese. Dunning and Envese could have lived on either side of Bonenfaunt, or Envese may have acquired Dunning's prop? erty in or about 1240. Both are listed on numerous occasions among the witnesses to charters in the corporation records. David Dunning signs on fifty-two occasions between 1210 and 1240, and Roger le Envese, or le Wyse, on thirty-six between 1240 and 1262. Both served as town bailiff on at least three occasions, Dunning between 1200 and 1240 and Envese between 1240 Plate 4 The south side of Eastgate in about 1840, showing St Michael's with the tower built shordy after Cole wrote his Rental. The shops against the south side had been removed. Next is the Greyhound Inn, with coach entrance. The Georgian house, with shop windows, is either on or near the site of Bonenfaunt's 'great house'. (Historical Pictorial and Topographical Illustra? tions of Gloucestershire [c. 1840].) 84 For Kips' 'Prospect' see Sir Robert Atkyns, Ancient and Present State of Glostershire (London 1712). J. Hillaby, 'Beth Miqdash Me'at: The Synagogues of Medieval England' Journal Ecclesiastical History 44? (April 1993) 194-5. 8?</page><page sequence="48">Joe Hillaby and 1268. David seems to have speculated in land while Roger was one of the four moneyers of the Gloucester mint, close to Holy Trinity church in Westgate Street. In 1248, as part of the Great Recoinage of that year, Roger attended a trial of the Pix, the chest in which coins were placed to be tested for weight, at Westminster. The Cirencester cartulary gives Gilbert the Gold? smith as another tenant of the street, c. 1241-50. Bonenfaunt, Elias and the others rubbed shoulders with the leading members of the small oligarchy that governed the town, and the East Gate which closed their street bore the seal of John Gooseditch, who was bailiff in 1217.86 As befitted the wealthiest members of their community, Mirabelle and Bonenfaunt's house would have been large. Elias's own house had been built on the two curtilages in Eastgate granted by prior Geoffrey of Llanthony, c. 1189-1203, and it is doubtful whether this was passed down to his family, as Cole refers to its landgavel being rendered, not by Llanthony, but by St Peter's. In this case Elias's Eastgate house may well have been that granted by King John to Master Simon Coco. The priory certainly held a considerable block of land just beyond Bonenfaunt's dwelling. If Mirabelle had failed in her endeavour to retain it in 1218, she would have sought a home nearby, where Bonenfaunt would have been brought up. On the death of the latter's son, Jacob Couperon, in 1265, the family home was described as 'the great house'. Whether, like those of a number of other Jewish magnates, it was built of stone is not known. Certainly at Gloucester, where a grant of 1205 X 44 of Richard fitz Ernisius and his wife refers to domum nostrum lapidam, as at Worcester and other towns where stone was readily available, some houses of the more affluent were already so constructed.87 The synagogue The provision of a synagogue had, from the later Second Temple period, been a duty incumbent on the wealthy members of the community. The earliest evidence is in a first-century CE monumental inscription, discovered in Jerusalem in 1914 and now in the Rockefeller Museum, which records that 'Theodotus built the synagogue for the reading of the Torah and the studying of the commandments ... '. At the well-known synagogue at Hammath Tiberias, the late-fourth- or early-fifth-century mosaic inscription informs us that it was completed by 'Severus the pupil of the illustrious patriarch'. This tradition was brought to Western Europe, where inscriptions describe the foundation of the splendid synagogues at Cordoba and Toledo. At the early eleventh-century synagogue of Worms the foundation inscription, saved by 86 Calendar pp. 491, 495; Ross (see n. 80) 446, 447; VCH Glows 4 (see n. 28) 64, 371-2; J. D. Robertson, The Mint of Gloucester' TBGAS 10 (1885-6) 21-2. 87 Hart I (see n. 13) nos 70, 71; II, nos 753, 754; Hillaby (1990a) (see n. 4) 97. 88</page><page sequence="49">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 the courage of the curator of the State Museum, Friedrich liiert, records that 'Jacob son of David and Rahel, his wife, employed their wealth to the glory of God by building a synagogue and embellishing it with fittings. Thus they earn themselves ua Place and a Name". They should remain in good memory. Whoever reads this should say an Amen.'88 The names of the founders of England's medieval synagogues are, however, found in documentary, not archaeological evidence. Thus it is known that the London magna scola in Colechurch Lane, now Old Jewry, was founded by Abraham son of Rabbi Josce. At Canterbury cathedral rentals show that the synagogue lay to the rear of the great stone house which the magnate Jacob (see Table 4, no. 1) built for himself over three plots, now the County Hotel, at the corner of High Street and Hethenmanne Lane (Stour Street).89 The first patron at Gloucester may well have been Moses the Rich, but Cole's Rental, which lists the scola as the property next but one to that of Bonenfaunt, shows that by Henry Ill's reign it had passed into the care of Elias's family. If it was the property mentioned in the Cirencester cartulary as lying next to the land of Roger le Envese, for which Bonenfaunt and Elias son of Isaac paid an annual rent of lib of cumin, the family had evidently divested themselves of ownership. Here Bonenfaunt would be acting with Elias as joint trustees on behalf of the community. Although funded by wealthy patrons, most English synagogues passed into communal ownership during the thirteenth century. Of the ten synagogues in the returns of Jewish property made at the general expulsion in 1290, all but one were communal. Such was the ever-present danger of escheat, that is private property passing to the Crown, that a communal trust was the obvious precaution.90 On a backland site and assessed at i6d for landgavel, almost three times the amount paid by Bonenfaunt and Dunning, his neighbour, one can anticip? ate that the synagogue was at the centre of a large plot. To provide privacy it would have backed onto the tenements on the south side of the street. Access, as has been found at a number of other synagogue sites, would have been down a side alley. At Norwich in 1249, for a fee of 4d per annum, the congregation gave Isaac of Warwick the right to build a room above the gate 88 L. H. Schiffman, 'The Ancient Synagogue and the History of Judaism' in Sacred Realm ed. S. Fine (New York 1996) 9; M. Dothan, Hammath Tiberias: Early Synagogues and the Hell? enistic Remains (Jerusalem 1983) 57-62; Reuter, Warmaisa; 1000 Jahre Juden in Worms (Worms 1984) 18-19, ns 8 and 9. 89 Richardson (see n. 17) 237-41; W. Urry, Canterbury under the Angevin Kings (London 1967) 119-20, 150-2. 90 Rental 100. The expulsion returns are in BL Lansdowne MS 826 ff43~59, transcribed in Rotulorum originalium ... abbreviatio ed. H. Playford and J. Caley, Record Commission (London 1805-10) I, 73-6, translated and arranged systematically by B. L. Abrahams, 'Con? dition of the Jews of England at the ... Expulsion in 1290' TJHSE 2 (1896) 76-105; Hillaby (1993) (see n. 85) 194. 89</page><page sequence="50">Joe Hillaby way to their scola, but free ingress and egress had to be guaranteed. This introitus Scole Judeorum is referred to in a Norwich city deed of 1293. The proximity of the scola to St Michael's may well have caused problems. Else? where, churchmen complained bitterly of the noise made by Jews at worship. This was described as ululation, from the Latin ulula, 'screech owl', in which they probably included the sounding of the shofar. Thus in 1253 it was ordered that Jews must 'in their synagogues worship, one and all, in subdued tones ... so that Christians hear it not'.91 In England, in addition to its principal functions as bet tefilah and bet midrash, the synagogue had an official role: for Henry Ill's Justices of the Jews it was a means of direct communication with provincial communities. Numerous mandates to the sheriffs commanded them to have proclamations, particularly claims concerning debt, read out in the scolae of their Jewries. These followed a standard formula. Thus, at Hereford in 1244 it was pro? claimed: 'Any Jew or Jewess with any claim of debt upon the heirs of Robert de la Berwe must be before the Justices on Monday next before the feast of St Andrew'. On the sheriff replying that 'no Jew claimed aught save Sampson son of Moses and Meyr le Petit', he was ordered to cause the two to come before the Justices.92 The Jewish court The synagogue would have been situated within the curia Iudeorum, 'the Jewish court'. This, the only exclusively Jewish area in provincial towns, frequently lay behind the community leader's house. As a communal com? plex, the range and quality of its facilities depended on the size and wealth of the Jewry. For the courts of the large Jewries of the Rhineland there is much evidence. Extensive excavations after 1945 provided a wealth of detail about Cologne's medieval community centre. In the heart of the Old Town and close to the Rhine, it lay within a rectangle of main roads, some 60 by 50 metres. Access was through alleys from three of the roads, with a larger entry from the Judengasse, almost opposite the Rathaus. Within, at the very centre, were the synagogue and women's annexe, the mikveh of c. 1160 and still accessible, bathhouse, oven, community hall and hospice. The one facility unlocated is the butchery. The only reference to a hospice in England is in London. At Worms the Jewish court was behind the Judengasse, which fol? lowed the line of the northern circuit of the city walls, including its five bastions. Called the Hintere Judengasse, the court was enclosed by buildings 91 M. D. Davis, Shetaroth: Hebrew Deeds of English Jews before 1290 (1888, reprint 1969) no. 16; Records of the City of Norwich II ed. W. Hudson and J. C. Tingey (Norwich 1910) 15 16; Lipman (see n. 17) 123-5 ana" %? J3i CR I253&gt; 312?13; 1272, 522. 92 ??I, 106. 90</page><page sequence="51">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 of the Stern and Zwerchgasse. It had the same facilities as at Cologne, but here the site of both butchery and shohefs house are well documented.93 English courts were on a far less ambitious scale. As yet there is evidence of multiple access only at London, where the magna scola lay between the northeast end of Old Jewry and the southwest end of Lothbury, and at Nor? wich, but probably they existed also at York and Lincoln. The landgavel of i6d at Gloucester suggests that the curia iudeorum was extensive. This is confirmed by early large-scale maps. The first edition of the 25-inch Ord? nance Survey shows the plots to the east of St Michael's church as signific? antly longer than elsewhere. They extended some 300 feet back onto Travei lone, later Travel Lane now Bell Lane, and even c. 1710, when Kip produced his Prospect, the plot frontages on the north of Travel Lane were only just beginning to be developed. When the wealthy, like Elias at Gloucester and Jacob at Canterbury, had their 'great houses' in the Jewry there was ample undeveloped land to the rear.94 Accommodation for the Gloucester synagogue and court was therefore gen? erous. Here was not only the scola, but such other essential communal features as the oven for baking the mazzot, the ritual slaughter house and possibly even a fountain. If not adjacent to the synagogue, the mikveh would have been nearby. Since the Gloucester Jewry was closed in 1275 there are no 1290 expulsion returns to provide, as elsewhere, details of the other buildings about the synagogue. At Hereford, for example, these returns refer to 'booths and houses' associated with the synagogue. These no doubt accommodated officers of the community, such as Abraham le Prestre, Gloucester's hazan, and the town's shohet, Isaac carnifice, both among the five lowest contributors to the Third of 1239. The tax records for 1239-42 reveal three other shohetim. A tally in the Public Record Office, coded A34 and thus relating to the 20,000-mark tallage, shows that an Abraham carnifice, community unknown, paid only 6d. At the fourth-wealthiest community, Canterbury, there were two shohetim. Their payments to the Third throw an interesting light on the status of Isaac at Gloucester. Pictavin carnifice paid 2s 4^d, his amanuensis, Jurnetto carnifice, 2^d, while Isaac paid 5|d.9? Although each Jewry was served by a shohet, so far very few have been identified. Josce, the Norwich shohet, was one of the witnesses to a starr of Abigail, wife of R. Abraham ben Solomon. Ritually unsuitable flesh was 93 L. Franzheim, Juden in K?ln von der R?merzeit bis ins 20. Jahrhundert (K?lnisches Stadtmu? seum 1984) 21-37; F. Reuter, Warmaisa: 1000 Jahre Juden in Worms (Stadtarchiv Worms 1984) 90-9, 132-3; T. and M. Metzger, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages (New York 1982) ch. II, 'The Jewish Quarter', 59-86. 94 Hillaby (1995) (see n. 2) 16?17; Lipman (see n. 17) 123 quoting F. Blomefield, continued C. Parkin, Essay towards a Topographical History of Norfolk 11 vols (Norwich 1805-10) IV, 225. 95 Stacey (1985) (see n. 8) 210-11, 239. 9i</page><page sequence="52">Joe Hillaby apparently sold on to Christians, for the statute of the pillory, 1267, required borough bailiffs to inquire 'if any do buy flesh of Jews and then sell it to Christians'. The prohibition was evidently ignored, for, despite its repetition in 1281, four years later Johanna Bibol of Hereford was fined i2d 'for the sale of Jewish meat'.96 Sir Hilary Jenkinson gave a wooden tally for the 20,000-mark tallage to the Jewish Museum (Plate 5). These pieces of wood, usually about 8 inches to a foot in length, recorded sums of money advanced by a system of marks or notches. Split down the middle, each party to the transaction retained a half. In use since classical times, this system was replaced c. 1220 by the chirograph as the normal record for Jewish debts, but the tally remained the preferred method at the royal exchequer. The Museum's tally bears a receipt for 'Isaac Carnifice' with the amount paid, is. As it is inscribed in ink de t.xx mill m, it must relate to the tallage levied in 1241, the only tallage for that amount. There are four Gloucester tallies for that tallage in the Public Record Office, details of which are given in Table 11 above. They include one for Abraham, the Gloucester hazan, but we cannot be confident that the museum's tally was that of his companion, the Gloucester shohet, for ritual butchers were found in all recognized Jewries and the name Isaac is common.97 The cemetery All Jewish burials had to take place at the London cemetery until 1177, when provincial Jewries were given the right to establish their own. The provision of a cemetery would have been one of the earliest and most pressing concerns of the Gloucester community, as religious services could be held, at least temporarily, in any private house. A Jewish cemetery was known as bet-olam, 'house of eternity' or 'everlasting abode', to the community, and to Christians as either sepultura or hortus iudeorum, 'Jews' garden', a term used at London, Oxford, Norwich and elsewhere. This should not be confused with the garden which, as at Norwich, surrounded the synagogue. North Italian and Ara Plate 5 Jewish Museum tally inscribed in ink: Isfaac] carni?ce de t. xx. mill. My a receipt for 5^d paid by Isaac for the tallage of 20,000 marks, 1242. (Jewish Museum accession no. 653.) 96 Davis (see n. 91) no. 50; 51 Henry II cap 6; Calendar of Close Rolls, 1226-1330 (PRO 1900 08) (hereafter CCR) 1281, 176; The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporation ... 13th rep, Historical MSS Comm (1892) 294. 97 Jewish Museum, Nos 653 and 653a, two wooden tallies; PRO tallies, B75, B92, B97, B114; Stacey (1985) (see n. 8) 212-13, 224 92</page><page sequence="53">Gloucester Jewry and its neighbours, c. 1159-1290 gonese medieval illuminated manuscripts show funeral processions in cemet? eries shaded by trees.98 Excavations have been carried out at the London Cripplegate site and at the Jewbury in York, but our knowledge of such cemeteries, as opposed to burials, is derived more from documentary than archaeological sources. The expulsion returns of 1290 are the major source, but exclude the Gloucester cemetery, for that community was deported to other Jewries in 1275.99 Never? theless, its basic characteristics can be established by evidence from other sites. According to the chronicler, Roger of Howden, the 1177 grant specified that they should be 'beyond the town walls', usually as close to the Jewry as circumstances permitted. At Winchester the cemetery was only a short dis? tance from Jewry Street, immediately outside the West Gate, just beyond the castle ditch. At London it was outside Cripplegate; at York, the Jewbury, beyond Layerthorpe Postern and Bridge; at Oxford beyond East Gate; at Hereford outside St Owens, the eastern gate; at Northampton beyond the North Gate; and at Bristol on Brandon Hill, across Frome Bridge with its gates, where in a deed of 1324-5 there is reference to 'one croft at Clinton against the Jews' cemetery'. At Canterbury, Cambridge, Norwich and Lincoln the sites are as yet unidentified, although there is documentary evidence of cemeteries.100 The cemeteries were surrounded by high stone walls. The 1290 returns refer to walls at Northampton, where the stone was valued at the considerable sum of ?1 ios 'for carting away'. At York, c. 1336, Jewbury is described as still surrounded by 'stone walls and ditches'. At Winchester the wall's north? ern boundary was established by excavation in 1974. Tombstones have been unearthed in England, although none was found during excavations at either London or York. They conformed, of course, to Ashkenazi rather than Sephardi practice, being upright, as at Speyer, Cologne and Worms, rather than flat, as in Provence and Spain. Six came to light in London in 1586, 1617 and 1753, of which five are illustrated by Honeybourne. Others were 98 I. Abrahams, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages (London 1896) 73 n. 2, 77 n. 1; Lipman (see n. 17) 124, quoting Hudson and Tingey (see n. 91) 15-16; M. B. Honeybourne, 'The Pre Expulsion Cemetery of the Jews in London' TJHSE 20 (1964) 145-6, n. 5; Metzger (see n. 93) 79, pis 109, 115, 116. 99 Honeybourne (see n. 98) 145-59; J. M. Lilley et al. The Jewish Burial Ground at Jewhury (1994); B. L. Abrahams (see n. 90). 100 Roger of Howden: Chronicle ed. W. Stubbs, RS 51 (1868-71) II, 137; Honeybourne (see n. 98) 155-7; D. Keene, Survey of Medieval Winchester Winchester Studies 2 (1985) fig. 46, 384; fig. 133, 1030; no. 921, 1034; Lilley et al. (see n. 99) 301-7, 311, 381-8; Roth (see n. 82) 18-19, 108-9; Hillaby (1990b) (see n. 6) 474-5; A. J. Collins, The Northampton Jewry and its Cemetery in the Thirteenth Century' TJHSE 15 (1946) 151-64; G. Pryce, A Popular History of Bristol (Bristol 1861) 22-3; J. F. Nicholls and J. Taylor, Bristol Past and Present 1 (Bristol 1881) 61; M. Holmes, 'St Bartholomew's Hospital, Bristol: some new material' TBGAS 74 (1955) 184. 93</page><page sequence="54">Joe Hillaby found at Cambridge in 1782, and at Bristol in 1843 when Queen Elizabeth Hospital school was constructed just above Jews Acre on the northwest slope of Brandon Hill, and more recently at Northampton. Hints of the rituals attending sepulture can be gleaned from two entries in the 1290 returns. At York a building owned by the community, adjacent to Jewbury, was evidently the bet-taharah where the bodies were laid out and washed. At Winchester a laving stone, valued at 4s, is recorded as on site. Some indication of communal administration is provided by documentary evidence from London. In 1250 the Master of the Laws was authorized to excommunicate all Jews who had failed to pay their promised subsidy for its maintenance, and eight years later Elias son of Master Moses, one of the most prominent members of the community, is named as Warden.101 Family and community Bonenfaunt had been his mother's partner since the first years of the minor? ity, when Mirabelle was struggling to restore the family's fortunes. Loans were made individually, in joint names, or with other family members, such as his sister, Belia, and her husband, Isaac, but tallage payments were always individual. They show Bonenfaunt as very much the junior partner in 1221 and 1223 (see Tables 5 and 6). Even with the departure of Abraham of War? wick and his family prior to the 1226 tallage, Bonenfaunt's position had in no way improved. His payment that year remained less than half that of his mother. He was kept firmly in leading strings right up to her death in the early 1230s. Here, then, a Jewish woman retained her role as head of the family long after her son had reached maturity and had a growing family, for his sons, Elias and Vives, must have been well into adulthood to have enjoyed the privilege of taking part in the Gloucester delegation to the Worcester meeting with Henry III in 1241. Eventually Bonenfaunt had six sons and at least one daughter (see Figure 1). Using evidence from the memorial lists of the 1096 massacres, Stow has sought to establish the details of family size in Rhineland Jewries. A sample of 122 families with 216 children in the Mainz list gives the average number of children per family as 1.77. This is confirmed by similar evidence for 96 families at Worms, which gives an average of 1.71. Not only is the average low, but the Mainz evidence shows that only two families, less than 2 per cent of the sample, had three or more children, of which only one had six. 101 Gesta regis Henricii secundi Benedicti abbatis ed. W. Stubbs, I, RS 49 (1867) l%2\ PRO EI59/ 557/9. B. L. Abrahams (see n. 89) 76-105; also Honeybourne (see n. 98) 145-59; Lilley et al. (see n. 99) 311; Metzger (see n. 93) 79, pi. 109; Stokes (see n. 51) 114, n. 4; CPR 1250, 72; M. Roberts, 'A Northampton Jewish Tombstone c. 1250-90' Medieval Archaeology 36 (1992) 173-7. 94</page><page sequence="55">cd PQ cd ?S PQ o *o O 43 U ^ bt&gt; 3 ?8 ? cd ? ^ ? ? =J oo -I ? a o o wo CM ^3 cd ff 5 ii ^ 5/5 O ?? 'S o ? o 43 cd ?i T3 &lt;? c/5 cd 4) O a&gt; T3</page><page sequence="56">Joe Hillaby There is no record of a family with seven or more children. Later martyr lists show only a slight upward movement, suggesting the massacres had little impact on the birth rate.102 Nevertheless, it could be argued that Bonenfaunt's large family was a response to the events of the last years of John's reign. Little work has been carried out on Jewish family size in thirteenth-century England, yet a recent survey of the medieval Anglo-Jewry refers to 'the well established fact that the Jewish family tended to be smaller' than its Christian counterpart. From this it is argued that, as 'the dangers of childbirth were encountered less often', this 'perhaps explains why Jewish women seemed to have lived longer'. Among the more affluent, there is evidence that large families were by no means a