Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-65dc7cd545-pxrsg Total loading time: 0.232 Render date: 2021-07-23T20:42:53.838Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Jews, Poitevins, and the Bishop of Winchester, 1231-1234

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2016

Nicholas C. Vincent
Peterhouse, Cambridge


Amongst the many questions concerning the Jews of thirteenth-century England, by no means the least interesting turn upon the hardening of Christian-Jewish relations, the collapse of the wealth of the Jewish community, and the eventual expulsion of the Jews in 1290. Quite when and why did these processes originate and evolve? By which authority, Church or King, were they most keenly sponsored? Robert Stacey has provided answers to many of these questions, nominating the years 1240 to 1258 as ‘a watershed in Anglo-Jewish relations’ and showing the diversity of religious and financial pressures underlying Henry Ill’s attack on the Jews. Whilst in no way challenging Stacey’s basic approach, the purpose of the present essay is to extend his concept of a watershed back by a decade or so to the regime which governed England between 1232 and 1234. At the same time I shall suggest that the misfortunes of the English Jewry need to be viewed in the wider context of Jewish-Christian relations throughout northern Europe, in particular with an eye to the anti-Jewish legislation of Capetian France.

Research Article
Copyright © Ecclesiastical History Society 1995

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.


1 Stacey, Robert C., ‘1240-60: a watershedin Anglo-Jewish relations?’, HR, 61 (1988), pp. 13550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

2 See Keene, D., Survey of Medieval Wincheste-Winchester Studies, 2, 2 vols (Oxford, 1985), pp. 3847.Google Scholar

3 In general, see Watt, J. A., ‘The English Episcopate, the State and the Jews: the evidence of the thirteenth-century conciliar decrees’ Google Scholar, in Coss, P.R. and Lloyd, S. D., eds, Thirteenth Century England, II (Woodbridge, 1988), pp. 13747.Google Scholar

4 Powicke, S. D. and Cheney, C. R., eds, Councils and Synods with other Documents Relating to the English Church: II AD. 1205-1313, 2 vols (Oxford, 1964), I, pp. 1001, 1056, 1201.Google Scholar

5 Ibid., p. 55; Lambeth Palace Library, MS 1212, fol. 129V, a papal mandate directed to Langton, dated 27 Nov. 1219.

6 Patent Rolls, 1216-2 (London, 1901) [hereafter Pat. R, 1216-23], pp. 179-80, discussed by Holt, C., Magna Carta (Cambridge, 1965), pp. 2767.Google Scholar

7 Pat.R, 1216-2, pp. 179-81. For the question of free travel see Richardson, H. G., The English Jews under Angevin Kings (London, 1960), pp.1789.Google Scholar For Isaac’s fine for release from prison following the tallage of 1210–11 see ibid., p. 170; Lipman, V. D., The Jews of Medieval Norwich (London, 1967), p. 104.Google Scholar For the expenditure at Dover see T. D. Hardy, ed., Rotali litlerarum clausarum [hereafter Rot.l.c], 2 vols (London, 1833-4), I, P. 459; B-E. Harris, ed., Pipe Roll 4 Henry III - Pipe Roll Society, ns 47 (1981–3), p. 59, which includes the period of the fine originally paid to des Roches.

8 Richardson, English Jews, p. 182; Powell, J. M., Anatomy of a Crusade 1213-21 (Philadelphia, 1986), pp. 21, 45.Google Scholar

9 Lipman, Jews of Norwich, pp. 111-12; Dodwell, B.. ed., The Charters of Norwich Cathedral Priory—Pipe Roll Society, ns 40 (1974), p. 241. no. 381 Google Scholar, and see Rot.l.c, i, p. 323b, where in Sept. 1217 the prior was set to guard Isaac’s Starrs and chirographs.

10 Shirley, W. W., ed., Royal and other Historical Letters Illustrative of the Reign of Henry III, 2 vols, RS (1862-6), 1, no. 28.Google Scholar Richardson, English Jews, pp. 183-4, suggests that Pandulph was lenient in his dealings with the Jews, but the evidence cited is entirely negative and Richardson him self (p. 186) recognizes that the anti-Jewish measures proposed by Hugh of Wells and Langton were vigorously adopted only in the dioceses of Lincoln and Norwich.

11 London, PRO, MSS E368/4, memb. 3d;C60/17, memb. 7;E368/6, memb. 5,060/23, memb. 4. In 1234 the fine was further reduced to 60 marks p.a.; C60/33, membs. 8, 9.

12 Winchester, Hampshire Record Office [hereafter HRO|, MS Eccles. II 159278 (Pipe Roll of the Bishopric of Winchesrer, 1224-4), memb. 12, for an Earlier Connection see Rot.l.c., i. p.181B;Norwich Canthedral Charters, i, p. 25, no. 39.

13 HRO, MS Eccles.ll 159275 (Winchester Pipe Roll, 1218-19), memb. 12d, where Benedict delivered 5 loads of herrings; Rot.l.c, 1, p. 387. For Benedict and Isaac as mutual attorneys see Cole, H., ed., Documents Illustrative of English History in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries (London, 1844), pp. 311, 312, 314, 325, 326 Google Scholar; Curia Regis Rolls of the Reigns of Richar I;John and Henry III [hereafter CRR], 16 vols (London, 1922-79), 9, pp. 153-4.

14 HRO, MSS Eccles.II 159271 (Winchester Pipe Roll, 1211-12), memb. id; 159272 (Winchester Pipe Roll, 1213-14), memb. 3; 159275 (Winchester Pipe Roll, 1218-19), memb. 3d; 159277 (Winchester Pipe Roll, 1220-1), membs 6d, 7d; 159278 (Winchester Pipe Roll, 1223-4), memb. 12; 159279 (Winchester Pipe Roll, 1224-5), memb. 3.

15 Powicke and Cheney, Councils and Synods II, pt 1, p. 131, no. 32.

16 In general, see Powicke, F. M., King Henry III and the Lord Edward, 2 vols (Oxford, 1947), pp. 17884 Google Scholar; Painter, S., The Scourge of the Clergy: Peter of Dreux, Duke of Brittany (Baltimore, 1937), pp. 6978.Google Scholar

17 In general, see Carpenter, D. A., ‘The Fall of Hubert de Burgh’, JBS, 19 (1980), pp. 117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

18 H. R. Luird, ed.. Annales Monastici, 5 vols, RS (1864-9), 3 (Dunstable), p. 127.

19 PRO, MS C60/31, memb. 7. The fine was rescheduled after 1,000 marks had been paid, being reduced to 300 marks p.a. by May 1233; PRO, MSS C60/31, memb. 3;C60/32, memb. 5.

20 PRO, MSS C60/30, memb. 2; C60/32, memb. 6. Alexander died about March 1233; PRO, MSS E40/1915; E40/207 3; CIR, 1231-4, pp. 197, 201-2.

21 ClR, 1231-4, p. 128; Paient Rolls, 1225-32 (London, 1903) [hereafter Pat.R, 1225-32], pp. 465-6; Rogeri de Wendover Chronica she Flores Historiarum, ed. H. O. Coxe, 5 vols (London, 1841-4), 4, pp. 233-4.

22 Pat.R, 1225-32, pp. 466, 490, 514-15.

23 PRO, MSC60/31, memb.6.

24 CRR, 15, nos 1066, 1181; PRO, MS E159/12, memb. io, which notes that 670 marks were still owing from thejews in February 1233, to be paid within a month of Easter on pain of the release of an unidentified charter, presumably a bond detailing financial penalties, to the representative of the Italians.

25 Calendar of the Charter Rolls 1226-1257 (London, 1903) [hereafter Cal. Ch.R], pp. 163, 167.

26 CRR, 15, nos 1110-24, discussed by Michael Adler, ‘The testimony of the Londonjewry against the ministers of Henry 111’, TJHSE, 14 (1935-9), pp. 159-85. Adler describes Grimbaud as a Poitevin, but in fact his family were tenants of the honour of Huntingdon; Farrer, W., ed., Honours and Knights’ Fees, 3 vols (London, 19235), 2, pp. 3017 Google Scholar; Calendar of Liberate Roils 1226-1240 (London, 1917) [hereafter Cal. Lib.R], pp. 309, 312, 315, 317; ClR, 1234-7, p. 262; Liber Feodorum. The Book of Fees commony called Testa de Nevill, 3 vols (London, 1920-31), p. 1354.

27 CPR, 1232-47, pp. 12-13, which suggests that the tallage itself had been imposed some time earlier. However, I cannot agree with Robert C. Stacey, Politics, Policy and Finance under Henry III 1216-124) (Oxford, 1987), p. 144, who attempts to redate the tallage to 1232. The 10,000-mark tallage is unmentioned in the receipt roll of the Jewry for Hilary/Easter terms 1233, which none the less refers to earlier levies of 2,000, 4,000, and 6,000 marks; PRO, MS E401/1565.

28 PRO, MS E401/10B, memb. 1; Cal.Lib.R, pp. 210-12, 239.

29 Dugdale, William, Monastkon Anglkanum, ed. Caley, J. et al., 6 vols (London, 1946), 6, p. 683 Google Scholar; Adler, Michael, Jews of Medieval England (London, 1939), pp. 279306.Google Scholar Adler (p. 283) states incorrectly that des Roches left money to the house of converts in his will, based on a mis reading of ClR, 1242-7, p. 22. For the house’s consecration by Bishop John (of Ardfert), see PRO, MS E372/76, memb. 8d.

30 The statutes are printed by H. G. Richardson, ‘Glanville continued’, Law Quarterly Review, 215 (1938), p. 393.

31 For John’s statute see Hardy, T. D., ed., Rottili Cliartarum (London, 1837), p. 93.Google Scholar

32 ClR, 1231-4, p.551

33 CRR, 15, nos 1110-24, esp. no. 1118. For the dispatch of money from the treasury to Northampton see PRO, MS E372/78, memb. 7; CPR, 1232-47, p. 40.

34 CRR, 15, p. 257n., and see ClR, 1231-4, pp. 585-6 for inquests into the Jewries of Oxford, York, Nottingham, Northampton, and Lincoln.

35 PRO, MSC60/33, memb.4.

36 ClR, 1231-4, pp. 515-16, 592; ClR, 1234-7, p. 20. For Newcastle see PRO, MS C60/33, membs 4, 6; Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear Archives, MS 574/95.

37 ClR, 1234-7, pp. 13-14.

38 Annales Monastici, 2 (Winchester), p. 86 dates the murder to 17 Oct., which cannot be correct. For details of the case see CIR, 1231-4, p. 80; PRO, MS JUST1/775, memb. 20. In 1225 Abraham had been amongst several of the Winchester Jews implicated in the death of William fitz Richard fitz Gervase. The accusation was laid by William’s father, but Abraham was subsequently acquitted; Rot.l.c, 2, pp. 50b, 5 ib.

39 PRO, MS JUST1/775, memb. 20d; Cal.Ch.R, p. 218; CIR, 1234-7, p. 239.

40 ClR, 1227-31, p. 539; CIR, 1231-4, p. 103; W. D. Macray, ed., Charters and Documents relating to Selborne and its Priory, 2 vols, Hampshire Record Society (1891–4), 1, pp. 4, 6, ii, pp. 46, 51; Cole, ed., Documents, p. 302; Dugdale, Monasticon, 6, pp. 933-4.

41 CRR, 15, no. 1320; Lipman, Jews of Norwich, pp. 59-62.

42 CIR, 1231-4, p. 571.

43 Rotuli Chartarum, p. 93; H.-François Delaborde, ed., Recueil des actes de Philippe-Auguste, Roi de France, 3 vols (Paris, 1916-66), 2, no. 955. In general, for French legislation see Robert Chazan, Medieval Jewry in Northern France (Baltimore and London, 1973), pp. 63–153; G. Langmuir, ‘“Judei Nostri” and the beginning of Capetian legislation’, Traditio, 16 (1960), pp. 183-244.

44 Chazan, Jewry, pp. 79-80, 95; Lipman, Jews of Norwich, p. 104.

45 Chazan, Jewry, pp. 84-5.

46 Ibid., p. 78; E. Martène and U. Durand, ed., Veterum scriptorum et monumentorum historicorum, 9 vols (Paris, 1724-33), 1, cols rzz2-3.

47 Baldwin, John W., Masters, Princes and Merchants, 2 vols (Princeton, 1970), pp. 1201.Google Scholar

48 Langmuir, ‘“Judei Nostri”’, pp. 215–27; Chazan, Jewry, pp. 100-111. Chazan, Jewry, p. 86.

50 Avril, Joseph, ed., Les Conciles de la Provincede Tours (Paris, 1987), pp. 1301.Google Scholar

51 Baldwin, Masters, Princes and Merchants, chs 14 and 15, esp. pp. 296–311.

52 H. R. Luard, ed., Roberti Grossteste episcopi quondam Lincolniensis Epistolae, RS (1861), no. 5.

53 Nichols, J., The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester, 4 Vols (London, 1795–1815)Google Scholar, 1 pt1, appendix, p. 38, no. 13, a reference I owe to John Maddicott. See also Vincent, N. C., ‘The first quarrel between Simon de Montfort and King Henry III’, in Coss, P. and Lloyd, S. D., eds, Thirteenth Century England IV (Woodbridge, 1992, forthcoming).Google Scholar

54 Grosseteste Epistolae, no. 5, as paraphrased by Southern, R. W., Robert Grosseteste: the Growth of an English Mind in Medieval Europe (Oxford, 1986), pp. 2449.Google Scholar

55 Lipman, Jews of Norwich, p. 62.

Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Jews, Poitevins, and the Bishop of Winchester, 1231-1234
Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Jews, Poitevins, and the Bishop of Winchester, 1231-1234
Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Jews, Poitevins, and the Bishop of Winchester, 1231-1234
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *