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other himself. All which increased the suspicion men had of his infidelity."

When a see or living, in the gift of this wary king, fell vacant, he was in the habit of retaining it in his own hands until he became pretty well acquainted with its revenues, when he sold it to the best bidder. The royal simonist was in the habit of appointing Jews to take care of the vacant benefices, and to manage these negociations for his benefit: from this mark of confidence, and from the increasing wealth of the Jews, we may conclude, that the reign of Rufus was very favorable to the interests of this class of his subjects. In Oxford it appears, more particularly, that the Jews had obtained possession of considerable property; many of the students were their tenants, and three of the hostels, or places of reception for scholars, were called after their Jewish proprietors, viz. Lombard Hall, Moses Hall, and Jacob Hall.* At this time so jealous were the English of being polluted by a Jew, that only a single buryingplace was allowed them in the whole kingdom. In whatever place the Jew died, he was gathered to his fathers in a place which was then in the neighbourhood of London, now in the heart of the metropolis, and called, after its former proprietors, Jewen-street.

During the long reign of Henry I. and until the 10th year of King Stephen,

we hear nothing of the Jews. Dr. Tovey expresses his surprise, that "such a turbulent sort of people” should not have attracted the notice of chroniclers, who are sufficiently minute in other respects. Though it is true we have no direct accounts of this persecuted race, during this space of forty-five years, yet it is by no means difficult to guess

the reason of the deficiency, nor impossible to supply it." The Jews are never mentioned in our early history, except to record some flagrant persecution or horrible massacre; to reckon up the amount of sums extorted from them by kings in distress, or to detail some story about the crucifixion of infants, got up by their enemies for the sake of making the objects of their injustice odious as well as unfortunate. And when these subjects did not occur to the notice of the monkish historians of the time, that is to say, when the Jews were unmolested, peaceably employing themselves in traffic, and gradually acquiring wealth, which was not demanded from them too largely or too rudely in retum for their safety and opportunities of commerce, it would be conceived they were unworthy of mention on any other account. Historians always find the most prosperous, the most barren

* Wood's. Hist. and Antiq. ad ann.

periods of history; as the richest and most fertile country affords but an uninteresting landscape, when compared with the wild rocks, rugged precipices, and unproductive solitudes of mountain scenery: so we may fairly conclude, that during the interval from the death of Rufus, in whose sight the Jews found favour, to the next mention of them under Stephen, they were enjoying, without molestation, the benefits of their traffic, and increasing in wealth and accumulating their merchandize, till they became too tempting a prey to escape any longer the alternate avarice of king, lords, and commons.

In the tenth of King Stephen (1135, A. D.) the Jews are again mentioned, for the purpose of being accused of the crucifixion of a boy at Norwich. The fact rests on the authority of Brompton, the Latin chronicler. Our author very justly ob

serves :

“ The reader will do well to suspend his judgment, till he comes, hereafter, to read how often this same crime is objected, and observes, that the Jews are never said to have practised it, but at such times as the king was manifestly in great want of money."

This crucifixion of infants is the very charge that is made against the early Christians of Rome, by the unconverted Pagans, with this difference only, that the Christians were accused of doing it in honor of Christ, and the Jews in mockery of him. Both calumnies doubtless had the same foundation—the malice of enemies and the imprudence of friends.

The reign of Henry II. seems, upon the whole, not to have been very unfavorable to the prosperity of the Jews. They experienced the usual allowance of imprisonment, fine, and banishment, which does not seem to have much depressed their general state. From the nature of some of the fines, which


be seen in the records, we may infer the wealth and power of individuals among them. One Josce, it seems, was fined by the king for supplying the rebels, in Ireland, with large sums of money: another Jew, called Sancto, was fined for taking in pawn the abbey-plate of St. Edmondsbury. When the king intended to proceed to the Holy Land, the Jews were appointed to supply nearly half the subsidy requisite for the undertaking : the Christians being taxed seventy thousand pounds, and the Jews at sixty thousand; and, though this money was never levied, yet these are facts which clearly prove the flourishing state of the Jewish finances in England, during this reign. This was not the only great impost laid upon them. The monk of Canterbury tells us, that the king, being in want of money, banished the wealthiest of the Jews from England, and fined those whom he suffered to remain five thousand marks. If we may judge from the free humour of the following jest, which is at

tributed to a Jew of this reign by Giraldus Cambrensis, the Jews began to feel buoyed up by the indulgence of the government, and the power and influence which their wealth procured them. It is, perhaps, too much to judge of the state and condition of a body of people by a casual jest, which fell from an individual of that body, and yet we would not wish for better information, concerning the actual condition of a small society of men, dwelling in and at the mercy of an alien country, than the manners, and character of a single person out of the whole community: A spirit of free and careless humour, regardless whom the jest stings, is as inconsistent with a state of oppression, subserviency, and contempt, as servility, caution, and fearful and watchful suspicion, are their constant concomitants.

A certain Jew(says Giraldus) having the honour, about this time, to travel towards Shrewsbury, in company with Richard Peché, (Sin) Arch-deacon of Malpas, (Bad-Steps) in Cheshire, and a reverend dean, whose name was Deville : amongst other discourse, which they condescended to entertain him with, the arch-deacon told him, that his jurisdiction was so large, as to reach from a place called Ill-street, all along till they came to Malpas, and took in a very wide circumference of the country. To which the infidel, being more witty than wise, immediately replied, Say you so, sir? God grant me then a good deliverance ! for it seems, I am riding in a country where Sin is the archdeacon, and the Devil himself the dean; where the entrance into the arch-deaconry is Ill-Street, and the going forth from it Bad-Steps: alluding to the French words, Peché and Mal-pas."

We will apologise for the introduction of this antiquated piece of wit in the simple words of our good antiquary, Dr. Tovey.

“ I should not have ventured upon this idle story (says he) but to prove, likewise, that they must necessarily have been a very offensive people to the common sort of inhabitants, since two such reverend personages could not escape their railery. And I don't know but, happily, there may be something more gathered from it, than what I have hinted at: since it is given us by that grave and learned prelate, Giraldus Cambrensis, who was certainly no trifler."*

The reign of Richard was ushered in by a dreadful massacre of the Jews. Many Jews had flocked to London on occasion of the king's coronation, with presents for the new monarch, attended with much pomp and display of riches. Either the king or some of his courtiers, afraid of the witchcraft with which the Israelites were commonly charged, gave orders, that no Jew

*1 Ger. Camb. Itin. 1. 2. c. 13.

should be admitted into Westminster Abbey, lest they should cast an evil eye on the ceremony of his coronation.

“ But several of them, who had come a great way off, on purpose to behold the bravery of it, not careing to lose the labour and expence of their journey, and perswading themselves, that being strangers in London, they should pass undiscovered, ventured, notwithstanding the proclamation, to appear at Westminster; but being, somehow or other, found out by the officers of the abbey, they were set upon with great violence, and dragged half dead out of the church.

“ The rumour of which quickly spreading itself into the city, the populace, believing they should do the king a pleasure, immediately broke

open the Jews' houses, and murdered every one they could meet with, not confining their rage to their persons, but destroying likewise their habitations with fire.

Happy were they who could find a true friend to shelter them! all kinds of cruelty were exercised against them : insomuch that the soberest part of the citizens, who had in vain endeavoured to quiet matters by themselves, sent messengers to Westminster desiring some assistance from the king; for fear the tumult should grow so outrageous as to endanger the whole city.”

No interference of the chief-justice and his officers, whom the king had despatched to quell the tumult, availed, until the multitude were gorged with spoil, and tired with the labour of slaughter. Three of the ringleaders of this dreadful riot were hanged ; and it is curious to observe, what were the charges which the prejudices of the times allowed to be brought against them.—They were executed, not for the murder of Jews, or for the destruction of their houses and goods, but “ two for plundering a Christian, under pretence that he was a Jew; and one for burning a Jew's house, which fired a Christian's that was next it."

“ While the uproar lasted, one Benedict, a Jew of York, being seized on, and threatned with immediate death, unless he would receive baptism, and profess himself a Christian, to save his life, consented. But as soon as matters were quieted, being brought before the king, and asked whether or no he retained his late profession, and was still

Christian, he confessed that, for fear of death, he had, indeed, submitted to the ceremony, but that, in his heart, he ever remained a Jew. Upon which the

king, turning to the Archbishop of Canterbury, it was Baldwin, said, This

is a new case, my lord ! pray, what must we do in it? to which the archbishop, being an illiterate and worthless man, replied, Do, sir? why, if he is not willing to become a servant of God, he must even continue a servant of the Devil. With which answer the king being something surprised, suffered the man to slip away, and there was no further notice taken of him. This archbishop, delighting more in carnal than spiritual warfare, had his brains knocked out, within a few months after, at the siege of Acres."

This reign was fruitful in sufferings to the poor Jews, in despite of the favorable disposition which the king seems to have entertained for them. But the careless Richard was intent abroad upon his romantic plans of glory and conquest, while his kingdom at home was disgraced by successive massacres of the Jews in almost every principal town of the realm. Norwich, St. Edmondsbury, Stamford, Lincoln, and York, were, one after the other, the scenes of the most barbarous outrages on a spiritless and defenceless people. In the latter city, the circumstances attending the tragedy assume a singularly wild and horrible form.-We have, in this case, the advantage of a cotemporary historian, Walter Hemingford, who was a Yorkshireman, and resided not far distant from the spot.

“ Benedict the Jew, who was forced to receive baptism while the massacre was carrying on at London (and who escaped afterwards from the king's presence, as I have before mentioned) died there of his wounds the next day; but that one Jocenus, who was his friend, and had set out with him from York, had the good fortune (if it may be so called) to return thither safely; where, giving an account how matters had passed at London, (instead of exciting pity and compassion in his hearers) he stirred up many of them to follow the example; who, accordingly, setting fire to several parts of the town, (that the citizens taken up with extinguishing it might give them no interruption) began their assault upon the house of the aforesaid Benedict, wherein were his wife and children, with several other relations, and the greatest part of their merchandise. For the house being large, and of some strength, they used to lodge there for greater security. This they quickly got possession of, and, having murdered every one they found within it, burnt intirely to the ground; which barbarous action giving an alarm to the rest of the Jews, who dispersedly inhabited several parts of the city, (and particularly to Jocenus, a man of mighty wealth) they most of them, under his conduct, addressed themselves to the governor

of the castle, and prevailed with him to give them shelter, both for their persons and effects; which he had no sooner done, than the rioters, flying to the house of Jocenus, wreaked their vengeance upon it in the same manner they had done upon that of his friend Benedict; and seizing upon those unhappy wretches who were not so provident as to get into the castle, with their fellows, put them all to the sword, without distinction either of age or sex, except such as complied immediately with their offers, and were baptized.

" While they continued thus in their strong hold, expecting certain proofs of what they only wished for, the governor chancing one day to go forth, some crafty person amongst their enemies, pretending great friendship, insinuated to them that his business was to conclude a treaty with the rioters, about delivering them up, on condition that he was to have the largest share of the booty.”

Upon his return, they refused him entrance.
“The sheriff of the county happened to be in the city at that time,

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