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The Oxford Jewry in the Thirteenth Century

Miss Sarah Cohen

<plain_text><page sequence="1">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 293 The Oxford Jewry in the Thirteenth Century By Miss Sarah Cohen, M.A. Paper read before the Jewish Historical Society of England. March Uth, 1932. By the thirteenth century, the Jewry in Oxford had grown into a definite settlement to the south-east of Carfax. On three sides, its boundaries were roughly conterminous with the back of the south side of High Street, Fish Street (St. Aldate's) and either Little Jewry Lane (Blue Boar Lane) or more probably Great Jewry Lane (Civil School Lane).1 These last were lanes off the east side of Fish Street and opposite to Pennyfarthing Street (Pembroke Street), which, too, contained houses of the Jews. On the east, the Jewry probably ended between what is now Alfred and King Edward Streets, enclosing to the south, part of the present-day Peckwater Quad. The parishes of St. Edward's and St. Aldate's met in the centre of the Jewry with St. Martin's to the north, and St. Frideswyde's to the south and it was in these parishes that the Jews mainly held land and tenements. Parochial names are important because in most cases, they are the only indication of a site. The Jews are said to have settled in Oxford soon after the Norman Conquest. That event no doubt was responsible for the first Jewish settlements in England and particularly those along the Thames Valley?Kingston, Windsor, Reading, Wallingford and Oxford. Wood fixes the date at 1075 and the inclusion of a possible Jewish name, FOR ABBREVIATIONS IN THE NOTES, SEE P. 322. 1 Wood, i. 152-3, 156-7, 159-60, 617 (notes) and passim, chiefly vol. i. The boundaries of the Little and Great Jewries would be indeterminate in the thirteenth century, particularly on the eastern side, but for practical description the location has to be fairly definite.</page><page sequence="2">294 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. Manasses, in the Doomsday survey for Oxfordshire13, points to that year or thereabouts. How the community possessed their first synagogue we do not know, but in 1227 they acquired one at the east end of Pennyfarthing Street (St. Aldate's parish),2 " on land which the Canons of St. Frides wyde gave to Copin of Worcester, in exchange for other tenements and a yearly payment of 4tL" Later in the century they probably had another synagogue in the same parish. In the inventory of Jewish property made after the Expulsion in 1290, a house was identified " which was held by the commonalty and was worth 20 shillings a year and the Jews paid 15 pence for all service making a clear value of 18 shillings and 9 pence."3 It is very likely that this house was a synagogue, for Jewries as large as the Oxford one was, would undoubtedly have more than one place of worship. The beginning of Henry III.'s reign found the Jews as firmly established in Oxford as in other important towns. The chief dis? turbance of the twelfth century from which they suffered was the civil war following on Henry I.'s death (1135). Part of it was carried on in and around Oxford but we are told that the Jews placated both the Empress Matilda and Stephen with monetary gifts. Unlike the Jews of other towns, notably of London and of York, those of Oxford escaped massacre at Richard I.'s coronation. They shared, however, in the general benefit when the Charter of Richard I., which defined and ameliorated the status of the Jewries, was re-issued in 1218. During the minority of Henry III. (1216-1232) the protective policy maintained by William the Marshall, rector regis et regni, led to immigration,4 and the number of Jews in Oxford increased. The names, Samuel and Isaac le Franceis perhaps indicate a later arrival in Oxford. In 1252, Isaac was still unsettled for he moved to Win? chester but returned to Oxford the following year.5 There were many la Jacobs, Jews of Angevin England, p. 5. 2 Ibid., i. 157. Wigram, Cartulary of St. Fridesivyde (O.H.S.), vol. i. 208-10. 3 Wood, i. 564; Salter, Cartulary of St. John (O.H.S.), vol. ii. 153 ; Trans., ii. 101. 4 Rymer, Foedera, i. 51, 151, 152; Neubauer, p. 293, gives the royal per? mission to buy necessities. 5 Close Bolls, 1251-53, p. 60; S.P., 28.</page><page sequence="3"></page><page sequence="4">296 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. temporary migrations for business purposes. The more permanent ones, however, incurred a fine, for which the Sheriff of the county was ordered to protect the new arrivals. For example, Josce and Meyr of Oxford removed to Bridgnorth (Bruges), Shropshire, having paid for the privilege, though later Meyr was imprisoned in Oxford for clipping.6 It seems that connexions, either for family or business reasons, were usually maintained with the original Jewry in which a man was domiciled. During the minority, too, we first hear of the site, outside the East gate, of the local cemetery which was granted towards the end of the twelfth century. In 1231, Henry gave to the Masters and Brothers of the Hospital of St. John, a garden " extra portam orientalem " in which to erect a Hospital, " saving the place suitable for a Jewish cemetery."7 It was also in the early part of Henry's reign that members of the newly founded Order of Preaching Friars first visited England. In 1221, the Dominicans came to Oxford and settled in the very heart of the Jewry, perhaps in a tenement forfeited by a Jew.8 There, in honour of the Virgin, they built a school, to which they gave the parochial name of St. Edward, and there it was they held their first Provincial Chapter in 1230. No doubt the Dominicans aimed at converting the Jews and the site of their school was probably chosen with this intention. Owing to their zeal, the story grew up after the Expulsion?it may have been originated by Wood?that Henry founded a House for Converts in St. Aldate's parish, Oxford, similar to the one which he had founded in 1232 in London. Wood himself later identified the supposed House for Converts in Oxford with the Lower Gild Hall in St. Martin's parish, a house which was in the hands of David of Oxford until 1244. On his death in the spring of 6 Rigg, i. 150 ; ii. 101 ; Exchequer Roll 249, No. 16. In 1223, Meyr of Oxford figured on a Norwich Receipt Roll, E.401.6. On the receipt roll for Oxford in the tallage of 1274, the names of both Meyr of Bridgnorth (Bruges) and Meyr of Oxford occur. Later, Meyr of Bridgnorth, Jew of Oxford, was accused of murder of a Christian in the Little Jewry (quoted by Neubauer, p. 307). 7 Close Rolls, 1227-31, pp. 500, 530. 8 Wood, ii. 326; Victoria County History, Oxford, ii. 107 ; Salter, Oxford Deeds of Balliol College (O.H.S.64), 97-8, states that at end of the century, a forfeited tenement held by one R. de Dufiield, near the site of the Synagogue, had once belonged to the Black Friars.</page><page sequence="5">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 297 that year, Henry granted his houses and all they contained utensilia et victualia to the House of Converts in London. In the following year the chaplain of the Domus Conversorum leased it to Nicholas de Stocwell and this rent, which an Oxford tenant paid to a London owner, may have given rise to the confusion which later originated the belief.9 Even after 1290, a rent from Oxford was still paid to the London House, which fell to the Master of the Rolls (1377). More? over, converts from Oxford were sent to London as from any other Jewry and nowhere do we find an Oxford House specifically distin? guished.10 But to return to the Dominicans. Before many years had passed, the site acquired in the Jewry became too small for the Dominicans and in 1245 they moved to a larger House in the parish of St. Ebbe's, selling their original school some three years later. In June, 1258, the barons at the Parliament of Oxford renewed their oath of allegiance at this new House of the Dominicans so that an incident not unim? portant in the events of the baronial revolt took place close to the Jewry.11 When the Franciscans arrived in Oxford in 1224, they were entertained by the Dominicans but they did not settle in the Jewry. Their House was in St. Ebbe's parish under the city walls, though at Cambridge, they were given a synagogue.12 Robert Grossetete, bishop of Lincoln, and, because of his See, diocesan of the University, became lecturer to the Franciscans. Though more in sympathy with this Order, he was also a close friend of the Dominicans. He was one 9 Wood, i. 152-3; ii. 494^5; Close Bolls, 1242-47, pp. 174, 177, 184, 191. As Henry profited by David's death he could afford to be generous to the Domus, cf. ibid., 1243, p. 22, when Henry devoted 100 marks left as a legacy by the Bishop of Winchester to the maintenance of the House. In 1291 the converts were tallaged 10 marks in their lands in Oxford, this afterwards being remitted. See Miscellanies, ii. (J.H.S.), Paper by Rev. H. E. Salter, p. 29, proving that there was no Domus Conversorum in Oxford. 10 S.P., 144. Henry also granted to the London Domus rent that was his due in St. Aldate's parish (Wood, ii. 494-5). Sara, widow of Benedict l'Eveske, and Jacob of Oxford also paid rent to the converts in London. (See pages 318 and 314.) 11 Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, v. 697. 12 Patent Bolls, 1247-58, p. 8; Wood, ii. 347, 354.</page><page sequence="6">298 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. of the few Hebrew scholars in the England of his day, and his knowl? edge of Hebrew, probably acquired in the Oxford Jewry, was certainly increased there. The Franciscans were no doubt friendly towards the Jews, for Adam Marsh, one of the foremost of that Order and a friend of Grossetete, intervened on their behalf in 1250, asking the king to remit the death penalty in certain cases. In 1256, one of the Preaching Orders befriended those Jews in London who had been condemned to death for their share in a ritual murder at Lincoln.13 Both these Orders benefited from Henry's largess. He was a devoted son and patron of the Church and gifts in kind, particularly wood from the royal forests round Oxford, were very welcome to the friars who in these early days, lived in complete poverty. From the Jewish point of view, the work of conversion was equally important, but there would be fewer opportunities. The outstanding episode in this respect was undoubtedly the martyrdom of the priest who embraced Judaism and was condemned to death in 1222. He was judged at the Council held at Osney (April 17th) by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury. The Church degraded him and handed him over to the lay power, in this instance the Sheriff of Oxford, for the execution of his sentence.?In June, 1931, to perpetuate his memory, a plaque was unveiled at the ruins of Osney Abbey, which testified to the martyrdom of " Robert of Reading, otherwise Haggai of Oxford " who " suffered for his faith on Sunday 17. April 1222 a.d."14?The Oxford Jewry as a whole did not escape from the general suspicion that Jews were intent on converting a Christian boy of the town, but happily, the suspects were released from prison 13 Little, Greyfriars in Oxford (O.H.S.), p. 137 ; M. Paris, op. cit. v. 546 (Franciscans); Annals of Burton, p. 346 (Dominicans). 14 Maitland's paper and Prefatory Note by I. Abrahams in Trans., vi. Annales Monastici, passim; and B. Thorpe's edition (E.H.S. No. 23) of Florence of Worcester.?The unknown Chronicler who continued the narrative of Florence of Worcester (d. 1118) writes of a Dominican friar, Robert of Reading, who in 1275 embraced Judaism, taking the name of Haggai. The chroniclers contemporary with the event of 1222 call the martyr a deacon.?It would be more complete had I been able to identify the deacon of 1222 with the Dominican friar of 1275 ; but as there is no doubt whatever that a martyrdom did occur at Oxford in the thirteenth century, the identification, though desirable, is not absolutely essential.</page><page sequence="7">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 299 (1236), when the boy was found at Exeter.15 In other towns, notably in Lincoln (1255), the Jews were not so fortunate and suspicions of this nature usually resulted in ignominy and loss of property, if not death. The personal rule of Henry III. began in 1232. To the tallages, general fines and individual extortions which Henry was to levy from now on until his death in 1272, the Oxford Jewry fully contributed. During the minority the community had already paid (1221) ?12 195. id. to the Jewish aid for the dowry of the king's sister, and contributed ?27 115. and ?30 145. 2d. respectively to the tallages of 1223 and 1226.16 Henry sometimes ordered the town to share in the levy, and though London suffered most in this respect, the townsfolk of Oxford paid money quite frequently, particularly in 1234 and 1246, when they were peremptorily ordered to give 100 of 200 marks of tallage.17 Representative members among the Jews served on inquests for inventories or acted with the Sheriff or Constable of the Castle in assessing for tallage. In the commission which endeavoured to investigate the charges of coin-clipping in 1238, David of Oxford represented his Jewry. He did so again, when with five colleagues he was chosen to represent Oxford at the " Parliament" of Jews (1241) which Henry convened at Worcester. Together with Bonamy, son of Copin, Copin son of Bonefey, Moses son of Diaie, Vives son of Copin, and Samuel le Franceis, he was commanded by the sheriff's writ to assist in the assessment for a special tallage. Every Jewry 15 M. Paris, op. cit. iii. 71; Annals of Waverley, p. 296 ; Annals of Dunstable, p. 76 ; Chronicle of Wykes, p. 63 ; Trans., vi; Close Rolls, 1234-37, pp. 323, 383. The Sheriff of the county had superior care over all Jews within his juris? diction. In July, 1276, the Jews and the Sheriff quarrelled, and Edward placed them under the care of the town, i.e. the Mayor. At the end of the year, the Jews at their own request, returned to the Sheriff (Patent Rolls, 1272-81, pp. 157, 186 ; Close Rolls, 1272-79, p. 288, etc.). 16 Trans., xi. 100, 106; Exchequer Receipts, 401.6, 401.8. 17 London was anti-royalist in the Barons' war. Chronicle of Osney, p. 77 ; Close Polls, 1242-47, p. 390 ; Ibid., 1247-51, p. 269. Cat. Mis. Inq., i. 79-93, gives complaints of the poorer men of Oxford. They were oppressed by the magnates and one of the grievances was an unfair proportion in the payment of tallage.</page><page sequence="8">300 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. in England sent " six of the richest and most powerful members " to meet the king " to consult with him for his benefit and their own."18 The most prominent men in the Jewry were not immune from these charges of clipping coins or, in some other way, of falsifying money. The mint at Oxford was still important during Henry III.'s reign and the moneyers were men of high position such as Geoffrey de Stockwell and Adam Eeteplace, Mayors of the town more than once in our period. In 1244 a commission of Elias de Sunninges and William le Bretun tried Jews " lately charged with coin clipping," and Jacob, son of Bonefey, paid 20 shillings because he was allowed a " jury" of Oxford men. They testified that Jacob " had been brought up among them" and they guaranteed his good character.19 Josce of Oxford with two Jewish accomplices were taken at Chichester, confined in the Tower, and their goods inventoried.20 Josce may have been the Josce Bundy who, when certain monies found on him were delivered to the Constable of Oxford Castle, falsely charged Vives, another Jew of Oxford, as receiver and clipper. This Josce Bundy apparently was not of irreproachable character. An accomplice of his was hanged for clipping ; he was found in receipt of a stolen missal; he was outlawed for arrears of tallage at Cambridge where he had been assessed as Josce son of Benedict; he dwelt in Rayleigh in Essex without royal licence and he lent money by blank tallies ; and last, but not least, Josce did not live as a Jew. Indeed the outward manifestations of his religion were so dubious that he was asked " what Law he wanted to cleave to," and he craved for leave to defer his answer from Friday to Monday ! It was henceforth agreed among the Jews themselves that if any one of them did not claim his religion spontaneously, " then he was to be held no more a Jew " and his chattels were to be forfeited to the king.21 Sometimes a number of Jews were implicated in an accusation. In 1267, precious jewels were smuggled into the Jewry to be secretly pawned or sold, and, 18 Patent Bolls, 1232-47, p. 228; Close Bolls, 1237-42, p. 355. See Stokes, Studies in Anglo- Jewish History, p. 83. 19 Rigg, i. 88. 20 Jenkinson, iii. 119, 124, 209. 21 S.P., 82, 95-6.</page><page sequence="9">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 301 as they were of great value, the king enquired by a jury of Christians and Jews who had bought them. Some years later, plates of silver were found on a criminal in London and it was suspected that the plates had been made from coin clippings sold by " divers Jews of Oxford."22 The Jewry was treated as in other towns?with an aloof and grudging toleration by the Crown. In Oxford, however, there was another collective body proud of its rights as distinct from the towns? men. These were the clerks ; " clerici " as opposed to " burgenses " often came into conflict with each other and we may be sure that in these nascent quarrels of " town and gown," the Jews would fare badly. There was a violent quarrel between the two in 1235. The royal authority established peace the year after and Henry ordered that it should be guaranteed by the leading citizens.23 In 1237 the clerks were the culprits and earned Henry's wrath by an assault on the retinue of the Papal Legate, Cardinal Otho, during his visit to the Abbey of Osney. Ten years later the town itself was taken into " the king's hands" because of its behaviour towards Aymer de Lusignan, Henry's half-brother. On the whole both town-folk and clerks were turbulent and lawless, and peace was frequently patched up between them.24 In 1244, the clerks broke into the Jewry.25 They were debtors to many Jews, who were the principal money-lenders of the town, until the establishment of a Chest at St. Frideswyde's to enable poor clerks to borrow money. Whatever the provocation on the clerks' side, Henry ordered the imprisonment of the culprits but Grossetete took their part and secured their release. In the same year, Henry began to define that special jurisdiction which allowed the University as a corporate body to grow up alongside the town. He decreed that disputes concerning clerks who had hired lodgings 22 Patent Bolls, 1266-72, pp. 154-5 ; Jenkinson, iii. 309. 23 Close Bolls, 1234-37, p. 513. 24 Ibid., 1234-37, pp. 168, 298, 465, etc.; Ibid., 1242-47, pp. 181, 241 ; Ibid., 1251-53, p. 244. 25 Annals of Dunstable, p. 109; Annals of Tewkesbury, p. 147 ; Annals of Winchester, p. 100 ; Chronicle of Wykes, p. 91. The date of the establishment of the University Chest is given as 1262 by Lyte in his History of the University ; as 1240 by Stevenson, Life of Grossetete. x</page><page sequence="10">302 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. or who had borrowed a horse, clothes or victuals should be tried by the Chancellor, but this did not include cases in which a Jew was defendant or plaintiff. In 1248, Henry laid down certain rules for the conduct of the University and town and fixed the maximum rate of interest which the Jews could exact at 2d. per pound per week.26 The Chancellor had a moral authority over the clerks and an undefined right of jurisdiction, e.g., he could free clerks from prison except in murder cases, though even in his own dominion the king could over-ride him. The mayor and bailiffs of the town, as part of their initial oath, swore " to preserve the liberties and customs of the University." It was, however, a debatable point whether a Jew came under the jurisdiction of the Chancellor in the case of clerk versus Jew, or Jew versus clerk, or whether a clerk came under the Crown's jurisdiction in a case where a Jew was concerned. The nature of the pledges offered by the clerks (and by the ecclesiastical houses) no doubt gave disputes an academic bias. Books were among the commonest of pledges and, when these were sold in the ordinary business manner, the original owner had grave difficulty in recovering them.27 From that point of view the Chancellor was justified in claiming that litigation of such a nature should proceed before him. The local representative of the Crown in jurisdiction over the Jews was the Constable of the Castle, and not the mayor. In 1260, the Constable, probably hampered in carrying out his duties, asked for an enquiry into the exact nature of the Chancellor's jurisdiction over the Jews. The latter had been granted cognizance of all contracts between scholars and Jews and had power to decide them except in pleas of the Crown and pleas of land. The line of demarcation was not clear enough and a commission under Gilbert de Preston was appointed to enquire into the respective claims of the Constable and Chancellor. The latter was acknowledged to have superior right and the decision was confirmed in the next reign by Edward I. He granted 26 Close Rolls, 1247-51, pp. 114, 216. 27 8.P., 103 and 114; Rigg, i. 123. Members of the Church were " clients " as well as clerks. (Athenceum, Nov. 3rd, 1888, p. 594.) In 1279 when Edward issued general rules concerning Jews, the problem of books pledged at Oxford was still unsettled and he promised it further attention. {Close Bolls, 1272-79, p. 566.)</page><page sequence="11">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 303 the Chancellor the aid of the Sheriff or Constable to imprison a Jew convicted of an offence against a clerk.28 For a reason unknown some members of the Jewry attacked the house of John Mansel283, in 1248. The guilty ones were taken to London and sentenced to the royal prison of the Fleet. The whole Jewry shared in the suspicion under which the town fell when some cloth belonging to the merchants of Douai was stolen at Oxford. In 1252, Henry gave the keeping of the Jewry to the new Constable of the Castle, Imbert Pugeys,29 who later became a steward of the royal household, appointed by the baronial Council of Fifteen. While they were under his control, they passed into the hands of Richard of Cornwall, Henry's brother, to whom the Jewries had been " pawned " for a ready sum of five thousand marks. To Richard, they paid tallage ; once, they were assessed for 25 marks, the surety for the sum being Benedict, son-in-law of Mildegoda and Bonefey, son of Lumbard, and again for 75 marks. Richard had previous dealings with the Jews of Oxford, when he chose two of them to look after the Chirograph Chest, which Henry had permitted him to set up at Wallingford. The keeper of the Jewry and Castle was changed in November, 1259, when Henry appointed Philip Basset, and a year later they were assessed for tallage, payable to the king.30 The proximity of Oxford to London and the importance of the town made it a convenient royal residence. Henry very frequently visited it, sometimes to spend a festival there, at others to promote the welfare of the ecclesiastical houses in which he was sincerely interested. In the summer of 1254, when Henry was in Gascony, his brother, Richard, stayed at Oxford in the middle of June and at the beginning and end of July.31 It was on these occasions that the Jews were probably forced to contribute to the needs of the royal 28 Patent Bolls, 1258-66, p. 105; Ibid., 1281-92, p. 236 ; Cat. Mis. Inq. No. 263; Tovey, Anglia Judaica, p. ]54. 28a John Mansel was Henry's favourite clerk. He held many offices and was seneschal of Gascony, provost of Beverley and Chancellor of St. Paul's besides his other duties. 29 Close Bolls, 1247-51, pp. 108, 552 ; Patent Bolls, 1247-58, p. 213. 30 Patent Bolls, 1247-48, pp. 393, 439, 442 (1255); Ibid., 1258-66, p. 60. 3* Close Bolls, 1253-54, pp. 140, 142, 145.</page><page sequence="12">304 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. overlord and of the attendants in his train. Oppressive purveyance by royal bailiffs and constables was a long-standing source of aggres? sion to citizens. A clause in Magna Cart a prohibited it but this did not remedy the evil. If the townsmen suffered during a visit, it was very likely that the Jews suffered equally, indeed, if not more. Henry, of course, made use of Jewish property in other ways. For example, he gave (1249) 300 marks of the goods of Muriel of Oxford, divorced wife of David, to Master Vincent, doctor of Aymer de Lusignan, then staying in Oxford, to go to Rome as nuncio of the king.32 During the baronial revolt against Henry's misrule, supporters of royalists and barons used Oxford as a meeting place. The so-called Provisions of Oxford, which outlined the plan of reform, were issued by the barons at a parliament held there in June, 1258. In spring, 1263, Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who had now definitely emerged as the baronial leader against Henry, summoned the chief nobles to Oxford. War broke out in the same year. When Henry returned from France on February 15th, 1264, he found the barons had made headway and he was not strong enough to enter London. He therefore retired to Oxford, where he stayed nearly two month?. His residence there may have been a protection to the Jewry, for it was not sacked during the war as in other towns.33 Here he was joined by the Lord Edward who possessed none of his father's indecision. Many of the clerks were strong partisans of the Earl of Leicester, so Edward chased them from the city, following them as far as Northampton where he won a victory on April 6th. The clerks who fought against Henry as a separate band were dispersed but they did not take up their residence in Oxford, until they were ordered to do so by Simon de Montfort in 1264. Two years after Henry's stay in the town, Simon de Montfort the younger rested three days in Oxford (July, 1265) where there is every probability he indulged in some excesses at the expense of townsfolk and Jews. 32 Ibid.. 1247-51, p. 143. 33 The London Jewry was twice sacked?in April, 1263 and April, 1264. The Jews were plundered at Canterbury (by Gloucester), at Lincoln (by the Disinherited), at Bedford, Bristol, Kingston, Cambridge and Winchester by all and sundry?soldiers, townsmen, ribaldi?who took the opportunity. The losses in life and property must have been considerable.</page><page sequence="13">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 305 His delay, however, cost him dear and was one of the reasons of his father's defeat and death at Evesham. (August, 1265.) We cannot tell how many members of the Jewry lost property in the war, but, of those who did, some had prominent business con? nexions with London. A grant of " non-pardon of debts " for three years was given to Bonevia, son of Yives of Oxford, in June, 1266, no doubt on account of the losses he had sustained. Gamaliel of Oxford and Jacob son of Master Moses paid a fine to the Wardrobe as early as spring, 1262, when war already threatened, so that for five years, no debts should be postponed. This was a measure of protection. Benedict, son of Licoricia, widow of David of Oxford, did likewise, the grant being subsequently renewed for a further five years.34 Gamaliel pleaded (1268) that a starr of acquittance made with a Master Nicholas de Wadingham had been stolen from his safe keeping, tempore turbacionis, while the Earl of Gloucester was in London. Pledges held by Isaac of Oxford and Slema his wife, which had been handed over to another for safety, were stolen during the same period.35 In April, 1266, Auntera, daughter of Jacob of Oxford, in compensation for damages, was granted the pledges named in the chirographs made between her and her debtors, unless the latter could produce a starr of acquittance. It did not matter who had possession of the chirographs, provided the counterparts were in the chirograph chest " according to the Law and Custom of the Jewry." Jacob of Oxford, Licoricia of Winchester, and her son Benedict, received a similar grant. In May, 1269, there was a rigid scrutiny of all chests including that of Oxford, to find out exactly the nature of the losses which Jewish business had suffered in the Barons' War.36 34 Cat. Mis. Inq. No. 294; Patent Rolls, 1258-66, pp. 201, 205-6, 603 ; Ibid., 1266-72, p. 401. 35 Rigg. i. 145, 162-3. " Tempore turbacionis " refers to a definite period in post-war events?April 8th to June 15th, 1267. After the death of de Montfort at Evesham (Aug. 1265), negotiations between Gloucester and Henry dragged on for some time. Gloucester was not a true royalist, though his desertion of Simon was one cause of the baronial defeat. In the course of making peace with Henry, he was strong enough to hold London against him for these two months. Though he allowed no plundering in the city there must have been spasmodic raids. 36 Patent Rolls, 1258-66, p. 585 ; Ibid., 1266-72, p. 382.</page><page sequence="14">306 THE OXFOBD JEWEY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. The final restoration of peace opened the last period before the Expulsion. In it, Jacob Bassyn of Exeter was slain at Oxford, and the Jews there were to hold an inquisition to assess his goods.37 The outstanding incident in the life of the Jewry about this time was the behaviour of a fanatical member, who seized and broke the Cross carried in the processional, either going to, or from the Priory of St. Frideswyde. The Jews were protected from the indignation of the people. As a punishment, two Crosses were to be furnished ;? one, of silver, was to be for processional use, and the other, a marble one, was placed in front of the synagogue, though later removed near Merton College. The sheriff had to keep the latter in repair with Jewish money, forcibly contributed. Thomas de Sancto Vigore, Sheriff of Oxford (Oct., 1268-Easter, 1270) was called upon in 1276 to account for money received from the Jews of Oxford '' for repairing the stone cross." Presumably he had misappropriated it, and it was not until 1285 that he was pardoned. At this time, too, the discovery was made that the Jews had counterfeited the seal of the Abbey of Osney, and a new one was made, while Roger de Coventre was abbot, (1285-97).38 The important trials held at Oxford in 1278 brought to light a number of Jewish coin-clippers, among them Isaac de Pullet. Isaac had previously been distrained for tallage and also fined, together with his wife, for receiving a stolen cup. In 1279, he forfeited a house in Oxford, and later was imprisoned in the Tower for murder of a Christian.39 On the whole, however, the Jewry had passed through its most eventful history when Henry III. died in November, 1272. What were the business connexions between the Jewry and the town, and what was the status of the men with whom the Jews dealt ? An answer to both these questions is furnished by a history of the activities of several prominent Jews in Oxford?a history which unfortunately is only too incomplete. Their clients fall broadly into two groups. One group is formed by those who belonged to ecclesiastical houses and important Oxford families?the Stockwells, 37 Rigg, i. 201. 38 Tovev, pp. 168-74; Jenkinson, iii. 204; Fine Rolls, i. 219 ; Wood, ii. 214. 30 Rigg, ii. 122; Fine Rolls, i. 72; Charter Rolls, ii. 1257-1300, p. 221.</page><page sequence="15">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 307 Feteplaces and Kepeharms ; the other is made up of great land? owners, tenants-in-chief (or sub-tenants) of the king in Oxfordshire and of knights holding direct from the manors or honors, which lay within the county boundary. The latter group had territorial con? nexions elsewhere and in some instances, e.g., that of the Earl of Gloucester, political influence of primary importance. This does not imply that men of obscure reputation and of no local or national standing are never plaintiffs or defendants against a Jew. Men of this type do figure on the rolls but often because of their overlord; they themselves were too poor to offer the necessary security for a loan, nor could they secure the king's influence to cancel their debts. For example, Arthur, a butcher of Oxford, in 1267, summoned Adam, Abbot of Osney,40 to acquit him of forty shillings, demanded by Josce, son of Copin, in respect of the lands late of Hugh Hudde. Arthur had been granted by the Abbot the fee farm of a shop in the shambles of Oxford in the parish of All Saints. The Abbot had probably been the overlord of Hudde, who was in Josce's debt. The creditor was demanding the money from Arthur assuming that he had leased his shop from Hudde. Arthur naturally called upon the Abbot to prove that the shop was held from him, Hudde's overlord, and Josce was in error. Details concerning the prominent members of the Oxford Jewry present many features of interest. Undoubtedly until his death in 1244, David of Oxford (or of Lincoln) was one of the foremost among his co-religionists. A contemporary of his was Copin of Worcester. After the middle of the century, Gamaliel, Lumbard of Cricklade and Jacob son of Master Moses of London, were intimately connected with Oxford both by residence and the property they held there. To take the lives of these men in chronological order. Judging by entries on the rolls, David of Oxford was already a prominent man when the king began his personal rule in 1232. He originally lived in Lincoln, but later was domiciled in Oxford, though even after his removal, he was frequently referred to as a 40 Adam de Berners, Abbot, 1249-67. Bigg, i. 118. All Saints' Parish included High Street, where part of the Market was held and where butchers kept their stalls along the south side (i.e. near to Fish Street, the modern St. Aldate's).</page><page sequence="16">308 THE OXFORD JEWRY IK THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. member of the Lincoln Jewry. His business transactions, often carried out in partnership with Copin of Worcester and members of other Jewries, were extensive and he had dealings with some of the fore? most people in England. Debts owing to him on more than one occasion during his life, and certainly at his death, were pardoned to ecclesiastical houses near Oxford, to Eleanor, the king's sister, to Simon de Montfort, to Roger de Clifford and to many personal friends of Henry.41 He was called upon from time to time, to provide, owing to special circumstances, for the king and for the royal servants, e.g. in 1241 he had to present, together with Aaron of York and others, a gift to the king ; or he had to take care of the king's ballister,4ia or he had (1235) to give ?100 to the Dean of St. Martin's, a church " whose headship seemed to belong almost by hereditary right to the clerks of the king's Wardrobe." We may suspect that this last gift was for some royal purpose. In 1236, David as one of the fore? most of Jews, was strong enough to complain that he was too heavily tallaged ; two years later he was appointed to a commission which deliberated on coin-clipping and in 1240 (May) he was elected with five colleagues to represent the Oxford Jewry at Worcester where, together with the king's help, a new tallage was to be assessed.42 His connexion with Oxford began in 1227 when he leased a house with " stone vaults " in the parish of St. Martin, from one, Ralph, and, in May, 1228, Henry ratified the lease. David also owned a house in St. Aldate's parish at the corner of St. Edward's Lane and Great Jewry Street (Civil School Lane). To the Oxford contri? bution to the dowry of the king's sister (1221) David paid ?7 2s. 6d. and to the tallages of 1223 and 1226 he gave ?49 7s. 6d. and ?15 2s. 6d. respectively.43 41 Unfortunately there is a gap in the Plea Rolls between 1220 and 1240. Close Rolls, 1231-34, pp. 314, 587, etc.; 1234-37, pp. 20, 152, 226, etc.; Patent Rolls, 1232-47, pp. 195, 425, 433, passim. 41a Semon, the cross-bowman. 42 Close Rolls, 1234-37, pp. 20, 302, 494; Ibid., 1237-42, pp. 4, 355, etc.; Patent Rolls, pp. 99, 228, 229, 246, 478, etc. See page 299 and Note 18. 43 See pages 296-7 and Note 9. For the history of this house see Note 67, p. 321. David paid fully for the lease, Neubauer, p. 295; Trans., xi. 100 and 106; Exchequer Receipts 404.6 and 404.8.</page><page sequence="17">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 309 An incident in his private life affords us a rare glimpse of Henry's dealings with the Jewish Ecclesiastical Court (Beth Din). Sometime before 1242, David chose to divorce his wife Muriel, and in that year we find Henry forbidding the Court to act in any way against him by holding pleas concerning his private affairs, because he had applied for (and presumably was given) a special royal protection. The Court had granted him the divorce, the judges being Moses of London, Aaron of Canterbury and Jacob of Oxford. It appears that Muriel and her friends were by no means satisfied, for at the same time as Henry interfered on David's behalf, the lady and certain other Jews, among whom was Peitevin the Great of Lincoln, were ordered to appear before the Archbishop of York to answer why they had taken a case concerning the Jews in England to France, in order to be tried there. I wish we had the findings of the Archbishop's Court! Perhaps Peitevin was Muriel's attorney at the original hearing in the Beth Din. In 1255, at the royal enquiry into a ritual murder at Lincoln, Peitevin is mentioned as the head of a schola (synagogue) for that city. It seems reasonable to conclude, therefore, that Peitevin, having defended Muriel, was not satisfied with the verdict and so took the case to the Beth Din of France.44 Muriel, however, continued to live in Oxford and for this reason, perhaps, Licoricia, David's second wife, chose to reside in Winchester after her husband's death in March, 1244. As was usual in feudal custom, and in Jewish " privilege," Licoricia had to pay a large sum (5,000 marks) to be allowed to inherit her husband's property. During the next two years, when Henry was restoring Westminster Abbey, the foundation of his patron saint, her wealth, like that of other Jews, was again taxed and this time she paid ?2,591. She subsequently carried on her husband's busi? ness in her own name, and sometimes in partnership with her children. Some of her grandchildren had connexions with Oxford and one of them, Avegaye, daughter of her son Benedict, held property there at the time of the Expulsion. Licoricia survived her husband by more than 30 years and at last met her death at Winchester before 44 Close Rolls, 1237-42, p. 464; Trans., i. 99. For Peitevin's activities see Jewish Quarterly Review, vol. v. (1893), pp. 163-4.</page><page sequence="18">310 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. Easter, 1277, when she and her Christian servant were murdered. Her chief heir was Benedict who had frequently exercised power of attorney for his mother in her later years.45 A contemporary of David of Oxford was Copin of Worcester, who had done service to the Jewry by renting a house for a synagogue in 1227. He had worked occasionally with David, by serving on inquests with him and sharing in compulsory gifts. One of his debtors was William Cantelupe, son of Baron Cantelupe, an evil counsellor to king John. William was the elder brother of the Bishop of Wor? cester, in which county the Cantelupes were tenants-in-chief. In Oxfordshire, he once held Karsington Manor and other land through his wife, who was an heiress of the Earl of Pembroke.46 Another debtor was Roger Clifford who held land in many counties including Oxford. Early in the war, he represented the Marcher barons against the king but after Leicester's triumph, he changed sides and was of great service in freeing the Lord Edward from Hereford Castle, and de Montfort's control, in May, 1265.47 Copin died in the summer of 1252. Henry sent William de Axemuth to make a valuation of his chattels of which he claimed one-third, the rest to be taken by his widow and heirs. It was Gilbert de Preston, however, and not William, who furnished the inventory of his goods in Oxford. In bonds, Copin had left ?142 14s. id; in gold, ?66 14s. id. ; and in land, rent and chattels (moveable and immoveable) ?25 13s. On her husband's death, Mildegoda his widow had received the bonds. The total was ?235 Os. 8^., and as he owed the king ?7 14s. in old debts, Mildegoda had to pay ?85 Os. 10W., including her fine.48 In the same year as part of the one-third he claimed, Henry granted to the Hospital of St. John 45 Close Rolls, 1242-47, p. 260 ; Ibid., 1254-56, p. 426 ; Patent Rolls, 1232-47, p. 478 ; Neubauer, p. 297. Seep. 318 for Avegaye. Jenkinson, iii. 248, 258, 292-3. See Trans., x. "A Jewish. Family in Oxford in Thirteenth Century," for more details of Licoricia. 46 E.401.6, 401.8; Close Rolls, 1242-47, p. 94; Col. Inq. Nos. 175, 318, 353, etc. ; Booh of Fees, ii. 821. 47 Close Bolls, 1227-31, pp. 415, 546 ; B.H., i. 174, etc., B.H., ii. 42 ; Charter Rolls, i. 1226-57, p. 334, etc.; Papal Letters, p. 411. 48 Ex. e Rot., ii. 148 ; . Close Rolls, 1251-53, pp. 274, 287 ; Cat. Mis. Inq., i. No. 502 ; Calendarium Genealogicmn, i. 184. One date is given as 1235. (See Neubauer, p. 296.)</page><page sequence="19">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 311 outside the East gate, Copin's house in St. Aldate's, which he had held from the Hospital. His widow being anxious to retain it, she perhaps lived in the house, leased it again. After 1290, the Hospital took possession and exchanged with William Burnell for tenements he had been granted by Edward I. at the corner of Fish Street and Pennyfarthing Street.49 Burnell now owned Copin's house and the synagogue which henceforth were called Burnell's Inn (N.W. quarter of Tom Quad). At this time, too, the Hospital of St. John claimed the land of the Jewish cemetery as part of the holding which Henry had granted in their original charter. Besides his widow, Copin probably left a son Josce, who continued to live in Oxford. Another prominent member of the Jewry, whose activities were mainly confined to Oxford, though he had dealings in the west country, was Lumbard of Cricklade. His wife was Belia, and their two sons, Bonefey and Solomon, did business in the Jewry. The former paid two marks towards the tallage of 1274 and for a trespass of the forest was imprisoned in 1290. At the Expulsion, he owned a house and shop valued at 26s. Sd. a year, and bonds in corn (395 qrs.) and wool (12 sacks) worth ?131 5s. and ?100 13s. id. Solomon married Joiette, grand-daughter of Solomon of Marlborough, who was probably a business colleague of the Oxford family. Joiette's father dealt with the clients of Oxford Jews, and the relationships between him and her husband were not always harmonious. Later she became a convert. As was customary for Jewish women, Joiette had made in her own name a chirograph of a loan of 32 marks to the rector of Eadbourn Church (Derby). In 1268, Jospin, her uncle, claimed that, when Lumbard, her father, or father-in-law, made a new chirograph, they defrauded Henry of 32 marks because Joiette was a convert. Jospin, however, did not prove his case.50 Lumbard was frequently in trouble. In 1249 he had to pay four marks for concealing bonds he had in the chirograph chest; in 1250, he was imprisoned for clipping, and paid three marks to the Queen's 49 Charter Rolls, i. 1226-57, p. 409; Wood, ii. 524; Neubauer, p. 300; Cartulary of St. John (O.H.S.), ii. 149-151, 154-6. The lease between Mildegoda and the Hospital is possessed by Magdalen. See page 319 . This possession is one of the items of the post mortem inquisition (1306) taken after Burnell's death. 50 Rigg, i. 131, 294; S.P., 42-3.</page><page sequence="20">312 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. Gold for release. A few years later lie was in debt for tallage, the arrears in 1260 amounting to 40 shillings. In 1272 he paid four marks to the general levy. His debtors were important enough to be par? doned by the king, or at the instance of queen Eleanor, the amounts of the debts counting towards his tallage. These were mainly Oxford men, but Ralph de Pinkenny, who owed money elsewhere, perhaps held land in Wiltshire. Lumbard and his wife held a house in Oxford which had probably been owned by a Jew of Northampton, and he also claimed possession of a house inhabited by Thomas le Parmenter, but he could not enforce his claim. Twice Lumbard had to pay for special writs. In April, 1273, he paid 20 shillings for a writ to secure his release from prison, where he had been placed owing to the sheriff's mistake, until he could be tried for a monetary offence. Two years later, he was forced to give one bezant, so that the Christian and Jewish chirographers of Oxford, and Thomas the clerk, could certify that the chest contained a chirograph made under the names of Alexander Pippard and Lumbard. He died early in 1277.51 Gamaliel of Oxford had extensive business in London. His interests deposited in the chest of that city were large enough to be taken over by the Lord Edward. His debtors were at least once released by the king and chirographs owned by Gamaliel taken in lieu of tallage. In London, his property was in Wood Street, in the heart of the Jewry. In 1250 he fell into bad grace for clipping, but he was pardoned and his goods restored to him.52 He served repeatedly on juries to enquire into all kinds of cases. At one time or another, these varied questions claimed his attention,?when the true assess? ment of a debt had to be taken; when it was a debatable point whether a debt had been cancelled; what was the amount of stolen goods, lost property or buried treasure ; or what was the character of one of the clerks of the London chirograph chest; and very fre? quently he acted as a surety to witness or plaintiff. These inquisitions 51 Ex. e Rot., ii. 66 ; Close Rolls, 1251-53, p. 389 ; Ibid., 1272-79, pp. 9-10 ; Cat. Mis. Inq., i. No. 388 ; Rigg, i. 266 ; Ibid., ii. 48 ; Jenkinson, iii. 23, 33, 186 ; Exchequer Receipts, 401.43 ; 401.1567 ; Close Rolls, pp. 272-78, 458. 52 Close Rolls, 1247-51, p. 418 ; Patent Rolls, 1266-72, pp. 180, 330; Rigg, i. 148, 152, 174 ; Rigg, ii. 20, 165, etc.; A-J. Ex. P., p. 21 ; Exchequer Receipts, 249, No. 16. He gave ?4 to the 1274 tallage.</page><page sequence="21">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 313 in some measure testify to Gamaliel's social responsibility. His debtors were numerous and they beld land in many counties. One of them, Sir Brian de St. Peter, plaintiff through his overlord, held the manor of Drayton in Sussex, besides being a sub-tenant in Oxford, Berkshire and Huntingdon. Another, Stephen de Eddeworth, indebted to other Jews, had connexions with Oxford, held land in Bedford, and was probably a Sheriff of Wiltshire. The death of one debtor, a tenant in-chief in Yorkshire, involved in litigation men of the standing of the Prior of Dax, the Abbot of Leicester and Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester.53 Similarly when William de Lascelles of Ottringham (Yorks) died, numerous sub-tenants had to defend their lands in court by reason of their overlord's debts to Gamaliel. Besides being a tenant-in-chief in that county, William held property in Tresk, Sowerby and Holderness and most of the tenants in Ottringham owed allegiance to him.54 By far the outstanding figure connected with Oxford after about 1250 was Jacob of London, son of Master Moses. Like David of Lincoln he did not primarily belong to the Oxford Jewry, but his associations with that place were extensive enough for him to be called Jacob of Oxford. He was a member of that famous family whose head was Master Moses, a man of property in the London Jewry. Moses had five sons, Elias, Benedict, Cresse, Hagin and Jacob.54a Two of them, Elias l'Eveske and his successor Hagin, were Arch-Presbyters.54b Possibly a grandson of Moses, another Hagin, son of Cresse, was the last Arch-Presbyter before the Expulsion (1281 1290). The administration of Elias (1243-1257) was marked by the stand he took against the exactions of the Crown (1254). While high in favour he was granted (1249) the houses of Samuel Rich in North? ampton but his good fortune did not last long, and he was disgraced 53 Close Rolls, 1242-47, p. 236, etc.; Abbreviatio Placitorum, p. 187 ; Charter Rolls, ii. 1257-1300, pp. 149, 309 ; Fine Rolls, i. 10, 12 ; R.H., ii. pp. 243, 280, etc.; Cat. Mis. Inq., i. No. 942 ; Rigg, i. 148, etc.; Ibid., ii. 243, etc.; Jenkinson, iii. 13, etc. 54 Rigg, ii. 282, etc.; Jenkinson, iii. 98, 106, 171, etc.; Close Rolls, 1247-51, pp. 261, 421, etc. ; Ibid., 1253-54, p. 133 ; Ibid., 1272-79, p. 287 ; Cat. Inq., ii. Nos. 682-3 ; Cat. Mis. Inq., i. No. 2176. 54a Stokes, I.e., p. 4. 54b Ibid., pp. 30-35.</page><page sequence="22">314 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. for an unknown crime in 1257. Later, lie was reputed to have turned Christian. Benedict, who was not as prominent as his brother, was associated with the Jews in Lincoln. Cresse, often called the son of Genta, was permitted to work at the Exchequer in 1252. He carried on extensive business, particularly in partnership with his brothers. With Hagin, who owned property in Lincoln, he paid a sum of 300 marks for a grant of London houses which were escheats to Henry, and they shared in a "non-postponement" of debts in the early days of the Barons' War. Cresse died in 1270, and his will bequeathed the houses he owned in Milk Street, London, to his son Cok. His brother Hagin also had a son, Cok, called Cok Hagin, whose goods escheated to queen Eleanor in 1275 because he was excommunicated and did not permit himself to be tried according to the Law and Custom of the Jewry.55 We now turn to the activities of Jacob, the youngest son, who was the only one of the family closely connected with Oxford. He carried on the " official" standing of his family. In 1246, he was rewarded for good service at the Exchequer, being granted in Oxford, at a rent of 10 shillings to the converts of London, the houses late of Josce of Colchester, Jew of Lincoln, which had escheated to the king.56 His interests in Oxford, therefore, were formed in the first place by royal recognition of his work. He paid tallage in the London and the Oxford Jewry and is called Jacob le Clerk, and Jacob of Oxford on the same roll (1272). Probably, on several occasions, Jacob served at the Exchequer and in 1273 he held one of the keys of the 55 Charter Rolls, i. 342 ; Ibid., ii. 28 ; Patent Rolls, 1258-66, p. 201, etc.; Close Rolls, 1251-53, p. 271 ; Ibid., 1272-79, p. 180 ; Col. Inq. post mortem, p. 70 ; Cal. Inq. i. No. 747 ; A-J. Ex. P. particularly pp. 47-51, pp. 265, 272, for other details and aspects of this interesting family. 56 Patent Rolls 1232-47, p. 488. The identical grant was made to Jacob, son (^brother?) of Benedict l'Eveske (Charter Rolls, i. 327 (1247)). A Jacob who was a clerk at the Exchequer in 1246 was called the son of Flora (Close Bolls, 1242-47, p. 415. Also Ibid., 1231-34, p. 86 ; Charter Rolls, i. 167). If Jacob of Oxford, sometimes called Jacob l'Eveske, or Jacob le Clerk, was the son of Flora, he was twice married, his first wife being Belia, who, with his mother, was imprisoned in the Tower in 1246, for coin clipping. (Ex. e Bot., i. 461.) Stokes, I.e., p. 12, shows another genealogical table, wherein Jacob l'Eveske has a daughter, Flora. It might be this Jacob who was the son (see first part of this note) of Benedict Episcopus (L'Eveske) and Flora.</page><page sequence="23">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 315 London chirograph chest. He entrusted the key to his son when he left for Gascony without permission, and, as a punishment, the Constable of the Tower of London and the Sheriff of Oxford were ordered to confiscate his property. He was now an old man and, judging by the entries concerning the last years of his life, this was the beginning of his troubles. In 1275 he was imprisoned in the Tower by a writ of the Great Seal, either because he could not pay the fine incurred by the Gascon trip or for some other reason. In the same year he could not contribute his share of tallage and his son was imprisoned as a hostage. Henry confiscated a number of bonds. He died insane, ex recta mente, at the beginning of 1277, and left a will in favour of his wife, Henna, and his children Moses, Benedict and Auntera.57 Henna was perhaps the daughter of Elias FEveske, and therefore Jacob's niece before marriage. As her dowry she held in Coleman Street, London, a house inherited from Josce Presbyter in 1252, and her marriage settlement was an important one. The first action of king Edward (February 1277) after Jacob's death was to provide for Henna by granting her that portion of her husband's goods " according to the moment of the charter made concerning her dowry." If his chattels did not suffice for this purpose, the deficit was to be made good from his London property and no harm was to be done afterwards to Henna for debts that Jacob owed the king. A year later EdwTard changed his mind. He decreed that all goods left by Jacob including the portion that reverted to Henna, should be given to his consort Eleanor. His London houses were worth ?9 yearly. They had probably been of greater value but in 1273 he sold land in London to his brother Hagin. From that year he resided more permanently in Oxford and the Constable of the Tower of London testified to this, giving evidence that Jacob did not possess sufficient goods in his bailiwick to be distrained for 30 marks.58 As 57 Rigg, ii. 221, 258, 315 ; Jenkinson, iii. 216, 305 ; Patent Bolls, 1266-72, pp. 523, 539 ; Close Bolls, 1272-79, p. 183 ; Cal. Mis. Inq. No. 1093 ; Calen darium Genealogicum, i. 259 ; Exchequer Boll E.401.1567. Rev. Michael Adler (Trans., xii. 129-30) identifies his son Moses with the R. Moses, compiler of a Calendar in 1279. 58 Cal. Inq., i. No. 249 ; Close Bolls, 1272-79, pp. 371, 389 ; Rigg, ii. 41, 54-55.</page><page sequence="24">316 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. one would expect, Jacob could count among bis assets a large number of bonds. Some of these were taken from the London chirograph chest in lieu of tallage, others were valuable enough to be confiscated by queen Eleanor. She took the chirographs made by Bartholomew de Redhan, a Norfolk knight, who was indebted not only to Jacob but also to his son Benedict.59 In 1274, Sir Norman de Arcy, owing large sums also to Elias and Hagin, gave the queen 200 marks to cancel a bond of the same value in the London chirograph chest. Sir Norman, a tenant-in-chief in Lincoln and an anti-royalist, only inherited his lands in 1264.60 Ralph Musard, another debtor, was a landlord in the county of Oxford and was compelled to lease part of a manor in Derby in return for an acquittal of debts to Jacob. Sir Henry Hose of Bristol was a loyalist in the war. Two others were tenants in-chief in the county?Geoffrey de Leukenore, an itinerant justice, and Sir Maurice de Audele, whose land was seized during the rebel? lion.61 Men of lesser standing were yeomen of the Bishop of Coventry, who was their overlord in Oxford, one of them being Michael de Hispania, a merchant of Cirencester. In 1272, the bishop obtained pardons for his dependents and the charters were withdrawn from the London chest. Jacob was involved in much litigation by his debtors, and when he could not be present in person he employed a bailiff, who had power of attorney.62 Henna was also associated with her husband in his business and after his death used her own initiative in managing his affairs. Jacob held much property in Oxford, most of it being leased to the townsmen or other Jews. His houses were in several parishes. He rented one tenement in the parish of All Saints to Robert de Swinebroke who held in chief from the Prior of St. Frideswyde. John 59 Rigg, ii. 20, 310 ; Close Molls, 1247-51, p. 484; Ibid., 1272-79, p. 205 ; H.H., i. 513, 525 ; Col. Inq., ii. 421. 60 Rigg, ii. 178 ; Jenkinson, iii. 74, 75 ; R.H., i. 339, etc.; Fine Rolls, i. 368; Patent Rolls, 1272-81, p. 113 ; Cat. Inq. i. No. 191, 517 ; Cat. Mis. Inq., No. 792, etc.; Calendarium Genealogicum, i. 110. 61 Rigg, i. 141, 174 ; Ibid., ii. 306 ; Jenkinson, iii. 271-72, etc.; R.H., i. 11 ; Ibid., ii. 740 ; Cat. Inq., i. No. 789 ; Ibid., ii. No. 652 ; Col. Mis. Inq., Nos. 855, 1024; Fine Rolls, i. 25 ; Charter Rolls, ii. 1257-1300, p. 216. 62 Rigg, i. 223 ; ii. 313; Close Rolls, 1237-42, p. 482; Ibid., 1272-79, p. 153 ; Patent Rolls, 1266-72, p. 615, etc.</page><page sequence="25">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 317 de Colishull who held land in Osney and Oxford was one of his tenants. Another was Walter Long in the parish of St. Michael's in the north. On Walter's death, Jacob razed his house to the ground " and carried timber into the town, building himself a house in St. Aldate's worth 40 shillings a year."63 He let to Richard de Stanes, king's clerk and the client of the London Jews, a house in the parish of St. Martin. He sold a meadow in Chiselhampton to Geoffrey de Leukenore, but a more important sale took place on February 28th, 1266, when Jacob and Henna sold to Walter de Merton, Chancellor, a house in the parish of St. John for 30 marks. At this time Merton intended to transfer to Oxford his Surrey foundation for clerks and Jacob's house was one of the four which formed the original buildings of Merton College. In 1271, a number of grants of property to Jacob were confirmed64?in Oxford, from Henry Bodyn, vintner ; from Michael de Hispania, a stall in St. Martin's ; and from certain Jews, a house in the same parish and one in the parish of St. Aldate's. He also rented one house in York and tenements from Thomas de West ham in London. Thomas, who was the king's surgeon, had profited by an escheat of houses in the London Jewry, and also had dealings with some members of it, including Jacob's brothers. Our knowledge of what other Jews held or possessed in Oxford is not very comprehensive. In volume ii. of the Society's Transactions, Sir Lionel Abrahams published a list of houses and bonds held by the Oxford Jews in 1290, taken from the Q. R. Rolls*** In many details the 1279 Hundred Rolls, which I have used and which furnish a fair evidence of Jewish holdings, are identical; but both sources are disappointing. Some of the names for which details of bonds are 63 E.H., ii. 791, 807 ; Rigg, ii. 32, 81 ; Charter Bolls, i. 1226-57, p. 328 ; Neubauer, p. 302. 64 Merton Muniments (Allen &amp; Garrod, O.H.S.), p. 20-1, gives both facsimile and transcription of Jacob's grant to Walter de Merton. The house stood in Pennyfarthing (Pembroke) Street. Among the witnesses were Adam Feteplace, Mayor, and John de Colihull. On the Jewish side were Manasser le Enveyse, Mosey Parnaz, Jacob of Exeter, Lumbard de Cricklade. See Stokes, Frontispiece. Memorials of Merton College (O.H.S.), iv. 302 ; Close Bolls, 1234-37, p. 391 ; Patent Bolls, 1266-72, pp. 370, 424, 606. Jacob may have acquired the meadow in Chiselhampton by the decease of his debtor, Laurence de Chiselhampton, who had been overlord to Geoffrey de Leukenore. 64a Public Record Office. Exchequer Miscellanies E.101.250. Y</page><page sequence="26">318 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. given rarely occur on the Rolls. After the Expulsion, the total value of bonds in corn, money and wool was assessed at ?30 Is. id., ?285 Is. Sd., and ?150 13s. id. respectively. Turning to actual holdings. In 1279, Jewish property in the S.W. ward of the city, that is between the south and west gates, was valued at ?11 6s. Sd. First, nearest to the south gate, stood the tenement of Benedict de la Cornere, who paid his rent, 3s. id., to the heirs of Walter Feteplace; proceeding north towards Carfax were the houses of Avegaya, daughter of Benedict of Winchester, and grand-daughter of Licoricia, widow of David of Oxford, and for these she paid 12d. to the Abbot of Abingdon ; then the messuages of Pya and Samuel of Berkhampstead, who acknowledged the king as overlord and paid their rent to the farm of the town ; and lastly came the property?a house and four shops?of Sara, the widow of Benedict l'Eveske, and daughter-in-law of Jacob of Oxford. She paid 10s. rent to the king, who gave it to the House of Converts in London.65 Other Jews held property in St. Aldate's parish. Flora, a widow, paid 30d. rent (1290) to the Hospital of St. Bartholomew, outside Oxford and to Thomas Hinxey. Moses, son of Jacob, paid rent for two messuages to John le Orfeuere and the Abbot of Abingdon, the latter house being confiscated by the queen-mother before 1279. He had bought it from Philip Stockwell and its value was 70s. or more. Until 1281, when he sold it, Moses held a house in Little Jewry Street, which perhaps was one of these. He also held a messuage with a shop adjoining near the Synagogue in St. Aldate's parish and together they were worth 18s. 9d. a year, and he paid rent to the Prior and Convent of St. Frideswyde. Margalicia, widow of Vives of Gloucester, also paid John 15^. for a house and shop, which were worth 25s. 5d. According to the Inquisition of 1279, for four houses the Abbot of Abingdon, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, Walter Feteplace and the farm of the town received rent from Vives, son of Benedict, Reine, Benedict, son of Meyr and Benedict de Cauz. Aaron rented two messuages from John Kepeharm and St. Martin's Church; and Slema and Elekin (Elkanah), who together had inherited two houses, paid rent to John Pady and the Abbot of Abingdon. 65 See Note 10, page 297. This may have been the original grant of 1246.</page><page sequence="27">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 319 For other parishes, details are scanty. In St. Martin's, Bonefey, son of Lumbard, owned a messuage and shop, the former yielding (1279) a rent to John Pady and the Church of St. Martin. In the parish of St. Michael in the north, where Jews did not live, a house having been pledged to them was subsequently lost to its owner ; and in the North Gate Hundred, Lumbard pillaged a house which he had accepted as security for a loan. It would not be unusual for property, as forfeited pledges, to change hands among the Jews, but Henry's grants no doubt helped to redress the balance, as for example, when he granted to St. Frideswyde's monastery, the lands of Chere and Milo. In this northern parish, Vives rented from John Kepeharm at a yearly sum of 4s., a house which had escheated to the king. In All Saint's parish, north of High Street, Assher, son of Licoricia, took rent valued at 21 s. for a holding which he possessed jointly with Walter Feteplace, and in the parish of St. Peter's le Bailey, to the east of the Castle, Peter Loukynge held a house which had once belonged to Jacob. Those who were wealthy enough probably owned property elsewhere, particularly in the London Jewry. Thus in 1267, Isaac of Oxford and Slema his wife were called upon to defend their claim to a house in Bread Street. Presumably they were successful, but in the following year, " a place in Bredestrete late in the hands of Isaac" escheated to the king and was granted to his serjeant.66 As we would expect, these tenements evacuated by Jews, fell into the hands of Edward after 1290. He rented most of them to desirable tenants, whether private citizens or neighbouring ecclesiastical houses. By far the most generous grant was the one he made to William Burnell, the Chancellor, in 1297. Burnell rented the disused Synagogue in St. Aldate's parish and houses to the value of ?10 8s. Id., which, in all probability, he later converted into shops, with the Synagogue behind as an Inn, known afterwards as Burnell's Inn.66a He was to be acquitted of all debts that could be exacted from him 66 H.H., ii. 791-92, 798; Neubauer, pp. 305-6, and Collectanea, iv. (O.H.S.), 10-11, 16-17, 32, 47, 54, 87 ; A-J. Ex. P., p. 23 ; Rigg, i. 147 ; Patent Rolls, 1266-72, p. 308. 66a Salter, Oxford Deeds of Balliol College (O.H.S. 64), p. 91 sq. Burnell was a benefactor of the College leaving to it his Oxford houses " if royal licence permitted." See also p. 311.</page><page sequence="28">320 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. for the houses, and he was to pay a rental of 6d. a year to the king by the hands of the bailiffs of the town. The property (most of which was in St. Aldate's parish) had belonged to Moses, son of Jacob of London ; Margalicia, widow of Vives of Gloucester ; Bonefey, son of Lumbard of Cricklade (in St. Martin's parish) ; Sara, widow of Benedict l'Eveske; Flora, the widow; Benedict de la Cornere; Pya, widow of Benedict de Cauz; Avegaya, daughter of Benedict of Winchester and Samuel of Berkhampstead. In some instances, how? ever, the king sold the houses outright. There were no doubt a number of tenements well suited for use by the clerks. Wood identified some of these with early University Halls. They were well built, being frequently of stone, and, as more than one family dwelt in them, they were usually commodious, bigger than the dwelling places of the citizens, even the richest. The house in the Little Jewry, called Little Jewry Hall, aula in parvo Judaismo, had perhaps once belonged to a Jew and on the north side of Pennyfarthing Street, Bull Hall, which in the early fourteenth century came to Merton College, was originally an escheat of Jewish property. Moses' Hall had passed through many hands before Oriel received it in 1362. In Fish Street, between Little Jewry Lane and Carfax, stood Clare Hall of which no details are furnished by Wood. Next to it stood an old house, Baptist Hall (destroyed by fire in 1644), which Jacob had once owned, and from it was sometimes called Jacob's Hall. Queen Eleanor con? fiscated it after 1290, and in the fourteenth century it had a varied history before it finally became the property of Merton College. Late in the twelfth century the house had been used for a Gild Hall, but Henry III. had granted the burgesses a tenement on the other side of the street. This, too, had belonged to a Jew. In 1229, the king gave them (in payment of a fine) a house late of Moses, son of Isaac, " wherein to hold their pleas and which stood between the houses of Adam Vineter and David of Oxford." Wood identified the house of Moses with the site of the Gild Hall (rebuilt about 1270) and David's house (granted him in May, 1228) with the site of the lower Gild Hall next to it.67 The latter at least, if not Moses' house, had " stone vaults " so that 67 Wood, i. 152-3, 162-3, 195-6, 202-3 ; Close Rolls, 1227-34, pp. 48, 155. Most of the property which fell to Burnell was in the neighbouring parishes of</page><page sequence="29">THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. 321 the security of the tenement suggested how well built were the Jewish dwellings, and how suitably they could be used for other purposes by clerks or burgesses, when the opportunity occurred. In 1290, many such opportunities, besides those which are recorded, must have occurred when the Jewry ceased to exist and its inhabitants were dispersed abroad, to find yet another home.68 The names and tenements which they left behind them were super? seded by the inevitable changes of time, until the Jews and their associations in medieval Oxford were almost forgotten. Nearly five hundred years were to pass before they returned to this pre-Expulsion settlement and the progress made in the intervening centuries can be measured by their altered status, for this time they were allowed to take their place among the heirs of the burgesses and the clerks of the thirteenth century.69 St. Martin's and St. Aldate's.?The history of David's house shows how property, in spite of vicissitudes, was sometimes retained in Jewish hands. Originally the house belonged to Robert Sunegod, who pledged it to Isaac, father of Josce, for ?40. Josce inherited it, but it escheated (pro tempore) to king John, to whom Josce owed 10 marks for tallage. When Josce became a convert (Albricus) the house finally passed to the king. He entrusted it to one, Ralph, who, with the royal consent leased it to David before setting out on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In May, 1228, we get the final grant. Neubauer, p. 295. 68 Even if a few Jews did take advantage of " the rights of asylum which the University possessed " and so remained in Oxford, it does not alter the fact that the Jewry, as it was known in Henry III.'s reign, came to an end and with it that corporate life which was typified by the Synagogue.?Tovey, p. 245, states that the Jewish community left a number of books in Oxford which were acquired by Roger Bacon, the Franciscan monk (1214 ?-1294) who on his death bequeathed the library to his Order. Most families possessed at least the Service Books and the Bible, and this gave rise to the popular belief that Jews were learned in an age when few secular individuals could read their Liturgy. That some Jews in Oxford had several books not of a religious nature may have been due to nothing more than unredeemed pledges. See S.P., 114. 69 Furthermore, three of the very sites mentioned in this paper are now memorials in modern Oxford. Since the original construction of this essay? part of an undergraduate's thesis in 1928,?the centenary of the birth of the late Dr. Adolf Neubauer, of the Bodleian Library, was fittingly honoured on June 21, 1931. Three tablets were unveiled, so that for all time the existence of Jews in medieval Oxford is commemorated. These were placed at the ruins of Osney Abbey, the scene of the martyrdom of Robert of Reading (see page 298); at the Post Office in St. Aldate's (Fish Street), the probable site of the Synagogue ; and opposite Magdalen College in the Botanic Gardens, to mark the site of the Cemetery " outside the East Gate." Trans, xii. Preface xii.</page><page sequence="30">322 THE OXFORD JEWRY IN THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY. ABBREVIATIONS IN THE NOTES. Rigg, i., ii. The Calendar of the Plea Bolls of the Exchequer of the Jews (published for the Society by J. M. Rigg). Jenkinson, iii., do. vol. iii., by Hilary Jenkinson. S.P. Select Pleas, Starrs and other Becords from the Bolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, edited by J. M. Rigg. Trans. Transactions of the Society, i.-xii. Neubauer. Collectanea, II. (Oxford Historical Society), Notes on the Jews of Oxford, by Dr. A. Neubauer, 1890. Cat. Inq. Calendar of Inquisitions. Cat. Mis. Inq. Calendar of Miscellaneous Inquisitions. E.H. Botuli Hundredorum. Ex. e Bot. Excerpta e Botulis Finium (ed. Roberts). A-J. Ex. P. Anglo-Jewish Exhibition Papers (1887). Wood, Survey of the Antiquities of the City of Oxford, by Anthony Wood (edited by Rev. A. Clark, Oxford Historical Society).</page></plain_text>