By the time Henry II imposed a large donum on cities, knights, moneyers, and Jews in 1159, the English Jewry dwelt in at least eleven communities throughout the realm. Of these, the London community was certainly the oldest, having been established by the Conqueror. The origins of the other communities are much less certain. Records from the end of Henry I's reign suggest that the Jews of England were still based in or around London, though some indirect evidence suggests the presence of isolated Jews elsewhere in the kingdom. It seems clear, however, that the years falling between Henry I's death and the accession of Henry II—the reign of Stephen, commonly known as the Anarchy—witnessed an expansion of Jews throughout the country, marking this period as very important to the history of English Jews. The meager evidence surviving suggests three important points: first, that it was, in fact, in the reign of Stephen that communities of royal Jews spread from London into other English towns; second, that significant Jewish communities existed only in areas that remained under royal control during Stephen's reign; and third, that these new Jewish communities may have been fostered by Stephen to further his own political and fiscal interests. The paucity of the available evidence makes any case for the English Jewry in this period uncomfortably conjectural; nevertheless, the few scraps that exist suggest these points to be at the least plausible, if not indeed likely.