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Further Note* on the Jews of Angevin England. 51 



{Continued from Jewish Quarterly Review, IV.) 

Jewish Business and Deeds. — It is possible from the 
materials given by the records to obtain a tolerably clear 
idea of the way in which the Jews conducted their 
business of usury. In several instances we have an ex- 
tremely full account of the whole history of a transaction 
or set of transactions, e.g. those of Richard Anesty, in 
Palgrave's Commonwealth of England, ii., pp. xxiv.-xxvii., of 
the Abbey of St. Edmond's, in Joce de Brakelond's Cronica, 
Cam. Soc, pp. 2-4, or of Benedict Pernaz, in Madox, For- 
mulare Anglieanum, p. 77. We can in these cases trace the 
whole course of a debt from its beginning to the final pay- 
ment to the Jews or to the King. 

It may be safely said that the only persons in the King- 
dom in want of coined money were of the upper classes, 
«.«., the nobles, gentry, and clergy. The vast mass of the 
people lived by barter, and had no need of coin. But the 
smaller nobles and gentry, if they wished to conduct a 
law-suit, or equip their retainers, or go on a crusade or 
build a castle — and no less than 1,115 of these were con- 
structed in Stephen's reign — or erect a church, would have 
to get money from the Jews, who were the only large 
holders of it in the Kingdom. There were a few Christians 
who lent money without interest, e.g., William Fitz Isabel 
was the largest creditor of the Abbey of St. Edmond's 
(Brakelond, I.e.), but for the most part resort had to be 
made to the Jew. 

Note.— As before, numbers are to the items from the Pip© Rolls 
in Archaol. Res., Feb. 1889, pagination to my forthcoming Jews of 
ATigevin England. 


52 The Jewish Quarterli/ Review. 

As a general rule the security was good, i.e. landed pro- 
perty, but this was of little use to the Jew, who could not 
hold it under an overlord. The aim of the Jew, therefore, 
was to get a ready money return of some sort, chiefly of 
course the rent of the laud usually paid by the vassals of 
the debtor. In one case, and that the earliest on record, 
the money was to be returned in the form of so many 
soams of hay, which was a very marketable commodity : 
in this case no mention is made of usury, though probably 
the value of the hay was higher than that of the money 
lent. Similarly we have frequent mention of loans to be 
repaid in a series of years without any payment of usury 
if the instalments are paid up to date. In such cases wo 
may suspect that the sum mentioned in the deed and to 
be repaid was really much more than the sum lent 
{cf. remarks in Round, Ancient Deeds, Pipe Roll Soc, 
n. 82). Generally, however, usury is to be paid straight- 
way, as in the case of Richard Anesty. The amount of 
usury varies from twopence in the pound per week {i.e. 
about 43 per cent, per annum) to fourpence {i.e. 86 per 
cent.), while a penny and threepence also occur. 

But this high rate seems only to have been current when 
the Jew did not have his pledge and mortgage. It naturally 
soon led to a state of affairs where the payment of interest 
became intolerable, and the debtor found it necessary to 
make a fine with the Jew, i.e., capitalise the interest, add 
the principal, and start afresh. He might do this either 
allowing interest again to accrue (as was done at St. 
Edmond's), or for a time the Jew could collect the rents till 
the whole was paid off (187), or the estate was saddled 
with a yearly rent to the Jew till the debt could be paid off. 
In this case the interest on the capitalised sum was to'e •- 
ably moderate ; 12^ per cent., 13i per cent. (Round, I.e.), 10 
per cent. (p. 1 88), 7^ per cent. (Hall, Court Life, Hen. II., 
p. 231), though in case of non-payment of the interest 
stringent conditions are imposed. 

But things did not always go so smoothly in the arrange- 

Further Notes on the Jews of Angevin England. 53 

ment of a long-standing debt. Merely to have his right to 
a debt recognised, the Jew had often to recur to the King's 
courts (see Contnbutiom, §§ 15 — 27), as also for a writ to 
remind his debtor. When the debtor failed to pay and 
incurred forfeiture of his land, the Jew had often to get the 
King's court to give him seisin or possession (27, 69), or 
applied for an assize of novel disseisin (65). Legal aid was 
also at times required to ensure a Jew being recognised as 
the owner of a piece of land (90), or to have right against 
the estate of a deceased debtor (153). And when the courts 
declared for the Jew their assistance had to be invoked to 
liave the goods of a debtor distrained (181). 

It is clear from the above that there was nothing against 
the Jews holding land, at least in the twelfth century. The 
records for that period are not at all full ; my extracts are 
probably not complete ; we only get information as a roile 
when there is some legal dispute about the property. Yet 
with all this I have been able to draw up a list of manors^ 
on which Jews held liens, running to over eighty, in almost 
all parts of the country. 

The striking thing about this list is the predominance of 
Aaron of Lincoln : exactly half of the entries refer to him. 
This is due to some extent to the fact that his estates fell 
into the King's hands, and therefore were enrolled on the 
King's recoi'ds. But it was precisely because of their 
magnitude that the King kept them in his own possession, 
instead of passing them on for a consideration to Aaron's 
son Vives. It is clear on all hands that Aaron was the 
leading financier of his time. His treasure, which was 
lost in the Channel, must have been very large, and he left 
besides nearly £20,000 worth of indebtedness (including 
the Cistercian debt) which passed to the King. And 
there are certain indications which show in what way his 

' When expressly mentioned as mortgaged. It is probable that many 
of the manors which gave names to the Jews' debtors were also pledged. 
But of this we cannot be certain. 

54 Tlie Jewish Quarterly/ Bevietc. 

huge wealth was acquired. He organised the Jewry in the 
sense of making all the Jews throughout the country his 
loan-agents. Thus Solomon of Paris signs a receipt for his 
master Aaron ; Peytevin and Leo are only his attorneys. 
As early as 1166 we find him doing business (obviously 
through agents) in Lincoln, Norfolk, Yorkshire, Hants, 
Essex, Rutland, Cambridge, Oxford, and Bucks. His ex- 
ample was followed by Isaac fil Rabbi, whom we find in 
partnership with him (24), for we find Benedict Bressus 
receiving money on behalf of Isaac. The whole body of 
Jews were banded together in one banking corporation* 
trading in a few names, like Aaron of Lincoln, Isaac fil 
Rabbi, Jurnet of Norwich, and Brun of London. 

They were not, however, allowed by tbe King to have 
partnerships. Jurnet and Isaac tried to do so, but were 
not allowed (23). The reason is tolerably obvious. When 
one of the partners died, debts due to the firm would not 
fall into the King's bands, as would be the case with an 
ordinary debt due to a single Jew who happened to die. 
And it was to the interest of the debtor that the debt 
should fall into the King's hands, for he might then com- 
pound for the debt at a much smaller sum than was owed 
to the Jew. It was doubtless for this reason that debtors 
were willing to pay such high interest : if the Jew died 
before payment was enforced, the debtor might escape for 
a much smaller sum paid to the King. It was, as I have 
said, a kind of bet taken against the life of the Jew, and 
the York massacres were in this sense a huge case of 
" nobbling." On the other hand, it was better business for 
the King, in the long run, to pass on the indebtedness to 
another Jew (125, 130), for while in the King's hands it 
bore no interest. 

For this last reason, no obstacles seem to have been 
placed in the way of Jews passing on debts from one to 
another (cf. 113, 164, 215, 218). In this way a certain 
amount of transactions in credit must have gone on, corre- 
sponding in a measure with the stock and share markets 

Further Notes on the Jews of Angevin England. 65 

of later times. The deeds of indebtedness passed from one 
Jew to another as a medium of exchange, and thus in- 
creased the circulation. We have instances of debts to 
Jews in England being collected from debtors in Normandy 
(49) ; if such debts also passed from hand to hand among 
the Jews, we should have here the germ of bills of exchange.^ 
It is by no means clear how the somewhat complicated 
estimates involved in the calculation of usury were 
formed ; probably by means of an abacus (Ball, Mathematics 
at Cambridge, p. 2), Cases occur of debts being again de- 
manded when already paid (48, cf. 110). To avoid such 
an accident debtors often had their Shetars or acquittances 
enrolled on the Pipe Roll (163a), or would have a general 
acknowledgment similarly inscribed (164a). The accusa- 
tion of falsity of charters was frequent against the Jews in 
the thirteenth century, but there was scarcely any need for 
such means of getting the debtors in the toils. The auto- 
matic increase of interest would be sufficient by itself,, and 
would naturally give rise to suspicion of foul play in minds 
unaccustomed to calculate compound interest. 

The Deeds in which these various transactions were 
recorded were mainly of two kinds — an acknowledgment 
on the part of the debtor, or a release on the side of the 
Jew. The former were at first called simply charters 
(carta) or deeds, but later became known as cyrographs, 
which were in duplicate written on one piece of parchment, 
with the two copies of the bond separated by the word 
CTROGRAPHVS Written large. This was then cut through 
with a zigzag contour, so that the two parts, on being put 
together, exactly tallied. This was to prevent the substitu- 
tion of a different deed. The Jewish keeper of these deeds 
was called a cyrographer. 

The receipts of the Jews were called " Stars " (Starrum), 

' Dr. Simonsen, of Copenhagen, has suggested to me that the word 
"cambire," about the meaning of which I expressed doubts {supra, ir. 
p. 646), may mean exchange in this sense. It is, however, difBcolt to 
see in what sense it could be made a crime. See in/ra, p. 77. 

5G The Jewish Qiiarterhj Jlevicir. 

after the Hebrew Shetar, or " contract." As is well known, 
the Court of Star Chamber of later times is supposed to 
have derived its name from being held in the chamber 
where the old Jewish Starrs used to be deposited. This is 
to some extent confirmed by the fact that the folk- 
etymology of the name refers it to an imaginary sky-blue 
ceiling adorned with stars, of which there is no evidence. 
It was Blackstone who first suggested the other etymology. 
Besides these deeds specially devoted to Jewish debts, 
we find Jews concerned in others of a more general 
character. Thus we find Jurnet of Norwich occurring in 
one of the earliest " Feets of Fine." This is a record of a 
fictitious action between landlord and tenant, so as to put 
on record the transaction by which the land or house 
changed hands. Bat such deeds and others like them, as 
mortgages or covenants, have nothing specifically Jewish. 
They are merely " common form " of the period, such as 
are to be found in the usual law books of the time, by 
Glanville or Fleta. 

Jewish Contributions to the Treasury. — The sources 
of the King's income in Angevin England were of an ex- 
tremely miscellaneous character. Almost every event in 
the life of an Englishman might be the occasion of claiming 
money for him. The classical treatise of Thomas Madox, 
The Jlistori/ of the Exchequer, 1707, thus goes over a large 
section of the whole of English life. It was the same with 
Englishmen of Jewish faith ; their payments to the Ex- 
chequer were multifarious in the extreme. It has been 
usual to refer to this as evidence that the King's power was 
absolute over them, that they were his chattels. But for 
nearly every one of the payments made by an English Jew 
I can produce evidence of similar fines, etc., made by other 
Englishmen. The chief exceptions are payments for 
Escuage, Ferms, Aids, and Customs, though the Dona and 
Tallages of the Jews may be said to correspond to Aids. I 
have drawn up the following list of the various occasions 

Furt/ier Notfis on the Jews of Angev'm England. 57 

on which we find Jews paying the Royal Treasury during 
the period under review, following as far as possible the 
order of Madox's treatment, and placing in brackets the 
chapter and section of his treatise where the same or 
similar exactions from ordinary Englishmen are recorded. 

Relief, Wardship, Marriage [X. iv.]. 

[Relief was a feudal profit paid by a tenant on taking 
possession of his estate on the death of the previous owner. 
Wardship was the right of custody of a relative's children.] 

(1) For a relief, 203. [x. 4.] 

(2) To have debts, etc., of deceased father, 26 (£60), 55 
(5 m. husband), 66 (20 m. mother), 73 (£6), 76 (15s.), 81 
(2 m. father-in-law), 85 (11 m. sou), 86 (20 m. husband), 
101 (£500), 116 (100 m.), 119 ('£5, books), 121 (700 m.) 
123 (200 m.), 140 (300 m.), 162 (20 m. not relative), [x. 4] 

(3) To have custody (wardship) of children, 23, 52, 134 ; 
for King to have same, 40. [x. 4.] 

(4) For marrying without licence, 15, 58 [xiii. 2] ; not to 
wed, 10 ; for a bill of divorce, 38. 

(5) To have half of dowry settled on wife, 118 ; to have 
dowry returned by son when husband is dead, p. 234. 
[xiii. 11.] 

Fines [XI.-XIII.]. 

[In later legal phraseology Fines refer chiefly to final 
agreements for the transfer of real estate ; in earlier usage 
the term was used for almost any kind of offering made to 
the King.] 

(6) For waste and purpresture (encroachment on forest) 
80. [xi. 1,] 

(7) To have dispute about forest rights heai'd in King's 
court, 204. 

[These are the only two items referring to forest rights 
and wrongs, showing that Jews were little concerned with 

58 The Jewish Quarterly Bevieic. 

For Law Proceedings. [XII.] 

(8) To have justice, 46 [xii. 1] ; to have writs for justice, 

(9) To have pleas, 2, 21 [xii. 2] ; in common, 75 ; to hear 
plea against Jews, 43. 

(10) To have inquiry whether Jew may take usury 
from Jew, 128 ; whether father died Christian, 161. [Cf. 
xii. 2.] 

(11) To have agreement heard, 195 ; dispute heard, 204. 

(12) To have summons before Chief Justice instead of 
Justices in Eyre, 91. 

(13) To have case between Jews heard in King's court, 

(14) To have respite of plea, 38, 146, p. 211 [xii. 4] ; 
between Jews, 34, 50, 

For Debte. [XII. v.] 

[Here, as natural, we have the larger number of cases 
which cannot be paralleled from Madox.] 

(15) To have right to recover debts, 32 (25 per cent, 
paid King), 49 (in Normandy), 55 bis (12 per cent.), 60 
(50), 61 (30). 78, 99b (18), 113 bis (33, 54), 126 (33), 132 ter 
(22, 30, 20), 153 (13-3), 156 bis (10, 9), 158 (11), 191, 192, 
194, 195 (16 per cent.), 197. [xii. 5.] 

(16) To have right to recover debt against Jew, 64 
(400 per cent, paid to King), 94 (14 per cent.), 147 (50 per 
cent.), 152 (250 per cent). 

(17) To have debts, 14, 48a, 51, 54, 79 (and chattels), 94 
(and pledges) 171, 191, 192. [xiii. 6.] 

(18) To have help to recover debt, 4, 5 [xiii. 6] ; to have 
debtor distrained, 181. 

(19) To have writ to recover debt, 113, p. 202 [xiii. 9] ; 
to remind debtor, p. 200. 

(20) To have right against estate of deceased debtor, 

Further Notes on the Jews of Angevin England. 59 

(21) To have county record of debt against Jew, 160. 
[xii. 2.] 

(22) To have mortgage, 51 bis [xii. 5] ; to have pledge, 
190 ; to be recognised as owner of land, 90. 

(23) To have disputed mortgage kept in King's hand, 

(24) To get deeds from sheriff, 68 ; for a deed, 72. 

(25) To have starrs and acquittances of deceased Jews 
inspected by Justices of Jews, p. 211. 

(26) To have agreement with a Christian about a debt, 

(27) To have debts of Aaron of Lincoln, 106, 111, 125, 
125a, 130, 135, 136, 143, 150, 163, 165, 174, 175, p. 211, 
180, p. 238, 1905, 210 ; for fine to have one of his debts, 
125 (500 m. for £500), 130 ; to have one of his houses, 
125a, 131. 

For Licences, etc. [XIII. iv.-viii.] 

(28) To have an agreement among themselves, 20, 88, 
199. [xiii. 4.] 

(29) To have partnership, 22, 39, 83, 84 (concurrent, 
xiii. 13), 182. [xiii. 4.] 

(30) To have residence with good- will of King, 87. [xiii. 5.] 

(31) To have house bought but deprived of, 57. 

(32) To have seisin of land mortgaged, 27, 69. [xiii. 8.] 

For Legal Offences, etc. [XIII. ix.-xii.] 
[See also Amerciaments, Nos. 37 seq."] 

(33) To be replevied (bailed out), 126; (for burglary), 
151. [xiii. 9.] 

(34) To be surety, 127, 150 (for mother) [xiii. 10] ; for 
offering money to redeem another Jew, 198. 

(35) To be quits of pledges, 33 [xiii. 10] ; not to be 
prosecuted, 88, 141 ter. 

(36) To be quits of appeal between Jews, 35, 172, p. 200 
[xiii. 11] ; to be quits of a charge [ibid.l ; to be put on oath, 
154, 183 ; for not keeping fine, 79. 

60 The Jeteish Quarterly Review. 

Amerciaments. [XIV.] 

[When a person -was found guilty of a charge he was at 
the King's mere}'- (" in misericordia "), and could only obtain 
this by paying an amerciament : it is often difficult to dis- 
tinguish these from fines.] 

(37) For an amerciament, 13 (£2,000), 28, 55 (£6,000) 
[xiv. 5] ; fine for amerciament, 97. 

(38) For killing sick man, 3 (£2,000 !) [xiv. 6] ; for strik- 
ing knight, 45, 46 ; for taking off priest's cap, 72. [xiv. 15.] 

(39) For personation, 57 ; for being party to illegal con- 
tract, 44. [xiv. 7.] 

(40) For denying what he had said before, 48, 113, 133 
ter. [xiv. 7.] 

(41) For being accused of being of the society of out- 
laws, 145. [xiv. 7.] 

(42) For lending money to men under King's displeasure, 
16. [xiv. 7] : on sacred garments, 17, 53. 

(43) For a novel disseissin, 65. [xiv. 8.] 

(44) For a default (or forfeiture), 3G. [xiv. 11.] 

(45) For withdrawing from court without licence. 197, 
211. [xiv. 11.] 

(46) For false charge, 141. [xiv. 13.] 

(47) For suborning evidence, 189fl. [xiv. 13.] 

(48) For calling warrant illegally, 993. [xiv. 12.] 

(49) For a stupid saying, 148 [xiv. 15] ; for not having 
proper information in deed, 92. 

(50) For buying treasure trove without permission, 93 ; 
for detaining rent of land, 91. 

(51) For keeping back acquitted charters, 62; for de- 
manding debt already paid, 48, 110. 

(52) For failing to convict charter of falsity, 77 ; for 
not giving up debt to another Jew, 113. 

(53) Not to be impleaded for concealing charters, 123, 
146 ; for carrying off goods on which another Jew has 
sui-eties, 194. 

Further Notes on the Jews of Angevin England. 61 

(54) For lands unjustly pledged, 201 ; to have another 
Jew kept in custody for clipping, p. 233. 

Tallage. [XVIL] 

(55) Dona, 7, 9, 105 (2,000 m.), p. 162. [xvii. 2.] 

(56) Tallage, Guildford, p. 88, 89, 107, 166, 167, 213, 214, 
215. [xvii. 6.] 

(57) Quarter of chattels, 71. [xvii. 2.] 

(58) To be quit of Tallage, 89. [xvii. 7.] 

It would be of interest to ascertain what was the average 
amount of income that the King derived from his Jewish 
subjects from these reliefs, fines, amerciaments, and tallages. 
It is, however, very difficult to ascertain this, since for a 
large part of the period we have no Fine Rolls, which often 
give information of sums paid to the King otherwise than 
through the Sheriffs to which the entries in the Pipe 
Rolls are confined. The Tallages and Dona were mainly 
accounted for on separate rolls and do not appear except 
by accident on tlie Pipe Rolls (there is no reference, e.g., to 
the Northampton Donum in the Pipe Rolls). I have not 
given details of all my extracts from the Pipe Rolls (many 
more occur in the Name List) and I cannot claim to have 
extracted all the Jewish items. There must obviously have 
been more " reliefs " than the fifteen enumerated above. 
Altogether any estimate founded on my extracts can only 
profess to represent the minimum. 

There is further the difficulty that we do not always 
know if some of the larger sums mentioned in the records 
were fully paid. It is certainly desirable to separate these 
special entries from the more ordinary items. 

Amerciament (3) £2,000 

Abraham fil Rabbi 2,000 

Transfretation (29, 42) 4,066 

Jurnet's fine (67) 4,000 
Jurnet's licence to reside (87) 1,200 

Guildford Tallage 60,000 

Cistercian fine 1,000 


Hen. I. 

Hen. II. 










Ric. I. 

62 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

3 Ric. I. Debts of Aaron (106) £15,000 

3 „ Second Thousand Marks (105) 1,366 

3 „ Tallage 6,666 

5 „ Northampton Donum 3,666 

Donum referred to 2,000 

2 Jo. Charters 2,666 

Taking these separately, as well as the sums paid in the 
earlier period to Jews by the sheriffs, probably for value 
received by the King, we may sum up the receipts recorded 
in the Pipe Rolls as follows in pounds sterling. 






Hen. I. 





Hen. II. 2-36 





Ric. I. 1-10 





Jo. 1-7 





It is clear that the averages for Henry II. and John are 
too small, the former my extracts were less com- 
plete, the latter because the items relating to Jews had 
been removed to special rolls. For John's reign this 
is to some degree compensated for by the items from 
the Fine Rolls, which reach £449 for the seven years, 
besides £531 for the Royal Ten per Cent, for the two 
years, 5-7 Jo. This would seem to show that the 
average business of the whole English Jewry only reached 
£2,500 per annum, which is clearly much below the mark. 
The Royal Ten per Cent, only applied to debts recovered 
through the courts. If we could assume that about £300 
per annum was the average of ordinary P. R. items, as in 
Ric. I., and £250 those of the Fine Rolls not extant for 
Henry II. and Ric. I., we should obtain something like 
the following revenue from Jews for the 51 years between 
2 Hen. II. and Jo. 7 (1156-1206 ; the solitary year of 
Hen. I. need not be considered) : — 

Pipe Roll ordinary items... £15,300 

Fines and Royal Ten per Cent 13,250 

Sheriffs' payments ... ... ... 2,742 

Special Amerciaments, Tallages, etc. ... 102,632 

Total, £1394 

Further Notes on the Jews of Angevin England. 63 

From this has to be subtracted £9,452 not paid and 
removed to Jews' Rolls by Benedict de Talemund in 10 
Eic. I., and £4,500 of Aaron's debt still owing in 3 Jo., 
leaving a balance of almost exactly £120,000 for the 51 
years. To this has to be added the unknown quantity of 
Aaron's cash treasure, lost in transit from England to 
Normandy. This would probably raise the average con- 
tribution of the Jews to the English Treasury to about 
£2,500 annually, and allowing for tallages, etc., not recorded 
during the years for which the Fine Rolls are not extant 
{e.g., the price of the charters was probably the same in 
2 Hen. II. and 2 Ric. I. as in 2 Jo., i.e., 4,000 marks), we 
may assume, I think, that the average contribution was as 
near as possible £3,000 per annum. Taking an "index- 
number " of 30 for the present century this would corre- 
spond to £90,000 at present, which does not seem a very 
important item of the revenue. But it is probable that 
such an "index number" is more and more inadequate 
when applied to larger sums. The whole treasure left by 
Henry II. was only 100,000 marks, the same sum as the 
ransom set on King Richard (Macpherson Annals, 1189, 
1193). Towards this sum the City of London gave or 
promised only 1,500 marks, the English Jewry no less than 
5,000. The total trade of England was only £100,000 ^;er 
annum (Macpherson, Ic, 1208), it is nowadays 10,000 times 
as much. The £3,000 contributed by the Jews to the 
Treasury must have loomed in the eyes of the king's 
treasurer much more largely than perhaps a thousand 
times that sum in the present day. 

What was the complete revenue of Angevin England ? 
The estimate generally accepted is that of £65,000, given 
by Bishop Stubbs ; but that is for Edward I., a century- 
later than the period we are considering. The Pipe Roll 
of 2 Hen. II. gives a revenue of only £22,000 ; that of 1 
Ric. I. of £50,000. The last is too large, as it contains the 
new and extra aids given to the King on his accession. It 
would be safe, I fancy, to take £35,000 as the average 

64 T/ie Jeuish Quarterly Review. 

revenue, so that the Jewish contribution was about one- 
twelfth of the whole. 

Jewish Population. — It would be, of course, of interest 
to ascertain the number of Jews in England during the 
twelfth century, but the materials at our disposal are 
scarcely adequate for the purpose. I have compiled a list 
of all the names mentioned in the records, and this runs 
to some 750. But these are of various generations, and 
were not all living simultaneously, nor do they give more 
than the heads of families. If we divide them into four 
generations— (1) 1100-1153 A.D., (2) 1154-1173, (3) 1174- 
1193, (4) 1194-1206, a rough calculation gives 15, 45, 300, 
390, as the approximative number of names known in each 
generation, and indicates rather our relative knowledge of 
the various periods than the actual population. For the 
fourth period we are lucky in possessing a name-list of the 
Jews subscribing to the ransom of Richard I. at Northamp- 
ton in 1194. This gives nearly 270 names of heads of 
families throughout the country. As, however, the sum voted 
was 5,000 marks (£3,666), and the sums mentioned in the 
roll reach only about £1,800, it is probable that it contains 
only the better half of the whole collection. As a matter 
of fact, for many of the towns I could supplement the list 
considerably. Altogether, I reckon that some 500 Jewish 
families were at that date, 1194, in England, probably 
amounting to some 2,000 souls. In the preceding genera- 
tion their numbers were probably equally great, but the 
natural increase was cut short by the massacres of 1190, 
which probably removed nearly 500 victims. The Jewish 
accounts give 150 as the number killed in York ; Ralph 
Disset mentions 57 slain at Bury St. Edmund's, and the 
emeutes at London, Lynn, Norfolk, and Stamford must 
have largely increased the total. 

I do not think the total number can have much exceeded 
2,000, at this time, as the total population of England 
seems not to have been greater than a million and a-half. 

Further Notes on the Jews of Angevin England. 65 

and it does not seem likely that this small population 
could have maintained much more than one per cent, of 
bankers or " usurers," especially as most of the business 
of the country was performed by barter. As it was, 
the resources of the country must have been severely 
taxed to support such a large number of unproductive 
persons, though incidentally the banking facilities they 
offered may have encouraged trade ia the building of 
castles, convents, &c. 

We may from the list enumerate, at any rate, the 
English towns where Jews are known to have existed 
in the twelfth century, with the number of Jews occurring: 
in my Xame-list in each case : — 

110, London. 
82, Lincoln. 
42, Norwich. 
40, Gloucester. 
39, Northampton. 
36, Winchester. 
32, Cambridge. 
22, Oxford. 
18, Bristol. 
16, Colchester. 
14, Chichester. 
13, Bedford, York. 
12, Canterbury, Worces- 
11, Hertford. 

9, Bungay, Exeter. 

7, Nottingham. 

6, Edmondsbury. 

5, Stamford. 

4, Hertford. 

3, Dunstable, Ipswich, 
Leicester, Rising, 

2, Beverley, Birdfield, 
Bonham, Doncas- 
ter, Eye, Lynn, 
Newport, Roches- 

1, Arundel, Devizes, 
Faversham, Finch- 
lefield, Grimsby, 
Hamton, New- 
land, Newcastle, 
Reading, Thetford, 
Wells, Westminster, 
Wilton, Windsor. 

The comparative density of the Jewish population fol- 
lows the density of the general population, being thickest 
in the South and East, sparsest in North and West. 

VOL. V. E 

66 Tlie Jewish Quarterhj Meview. 

The Jews' Houses. — It is rare, even in conservative 
England, for a private dwelling-house to exist, in however 
battered a condition, after so long a period as seven centuries. 
This is specially the case with private houses, as the large 
majority of them were constructed of wood, as London 
knew to its cost in the great fire of 1136. But the twelfth 
century was the beginning of better days in domestic 
architecture, and stone houses for private dwellings prac- 
tically date from this period. Among the earliest to use 
the new luxury — for luxury it was — were the Jews. It is 
by no means accidental that three out of the .scanty remains 
of the domestic architecture of the twelfth century are 
known as " Jews' houses." There are two at Lincoln and 
one at Bury St. Edmund's. 

Of the two at Lincoln, that in the High Street is the better 
known, and has frequently been described, among others, 
by Turner, in the first volume of his Domestic Architectnre, 
pp. 7, 41, from whom I derive the following details : — The 
principal dwelling-room was on the first floor, probably for 
protection. The fireplace is on the side towards the street, 
the chimney being corbelled out over the door, the lower 
part of it, with the corbels, forming a sort of canopy over 
the doorway. This is richly decorated, the ornamentation 
being similar to that of Bishop Alexander's work in Lincoln 
Cathedral. Some of the windows are good Norman ones, 
of two lights, with a shaft between. The staircase seems 
to have been internal, and the house is small, of two rooms 
only. All authorities on architecture date it as of the 
twelfth century, though historically it is connected with 
the name of a Lincoln Jewess, named Belaset of Walling- 
ford, w^ho was hanged for clipping the coinage a few years 
before the Expulsion. It is, however, similar in style and 
appearance to what the other Jew's house of Lincoln must 
have been. 

This is of far more historic interest, and has the advan- 
tage that it can be definitely dated. It is situated on the 
Steep Hill, at Lincoln, on the i-ight-hand side going up, and 

Further Notes on the Jews of Angevin England. 67 

tradition has always associated the house with the name 
of Aaron of Lincoln, the great Jewish financier of the 
twelfth century, who died in 1187. Unfortunately the 
building suffered much at the hands of successive tenants ; 
the roof, some of the windows, the doors, and most of the 
walls have been restored ; all the rest is the original house- 
This consists chiefly of a window, similar in every way to 
those of Belaset's house, and an external chimney project- 
ing over the doorway in much the same way. Turner re- 
marks that a Norman ornamented string, on a level with 
the floor, may be traced along two sides of the house. I 
have had it photographed and engraved for my forth- 
coming book. It is undoubtedly the earliest historic build- 
ing of Jewish interest in England. 

Moyse Hall, at Bury St. Edmund's, is also called the 
Jews' Synagogue in local tradition. It is of late Norman, 
partly of Transition character, the lower story being vaulted, 
while the arch-ribs are pointed. This also appears to have 
had no windows on the ground floor. On the upper floor 
there are two good Transition Norman windows, each of 
two lights, square-headed and plain, under a round arch, 
with mouldings and shafts in the jambs, having capitals of 
almost Early English character. Internally the masonry 
is not carried up all the way to the sill of the window, so 
that a bench of stone is formed on each side of it. It is 
an early instance of the square-headed window, divided by 
a muUion under a semicircular arch. Some antiquaries 
believe that the building once possessed a tower. It was 
used last century as a bridewell, and is still in use as 
a police station. It is possible, I think, that it was used 
as a school, having just the arrangement, in two storeis, 
contemplated by the code of the period. If so, it is 
the earliest school building in existence in the country, 
as the Jews were expelled from Bury St. Edmund's in 

The historians of the period refer to the luxurious 
character of the Jews' bouses of the time, those of Jooe 

E 2 

68 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

and Benedict, the chief Jews of York, being likened to 
residences of princes. Their solid character may have 
been intended for safety as much as for luxury, and they 
resisted the attacks of the rioters in the imeutes of 1189-90, 
till fire was set to their thatched roofs. 

The York Riots. — The outbreak of fanatic fury against 
the Jews of England during the winter and spring of 
1189-90, was the most striking incident in the mediaeval 
history of the English Jews. And of the whole series of 
incidents the most striking episode was the sublime self- 
sacrifice of the York Jews, which was the final act of the 
tragedy. There was a dignified sense of personal honour 
shown in the attitude of the besieged that recalls the 
heroes of antiquity. Observers at the time recognised the 
analogy with the last daj's of Jerusalem, and the com- 
parison does not strike one as incongruous, looking back 
upon the scene across the centuries. Men who could dare 
so greatly for an ideal cause, men who could die rather 
than forswear their faith, must have been something other 
than mere greedy usurers. 

We have very full accounts of the tragedy, the fullest 
being written by William of Newbury, who was himself a 
Yorkshireman, who lived and died at Bridlington within 
eight years of the tragedy. He is, strictly speaking, a 
contemporary witness, and was fully conscious of the im- 
portance and significance of the story he was telling. Yet 
notwithstanding the detail with which he writes, there are 
not a few points which remain doubtful, while the whole 
inner history of the tragedy has to be sought for in the 
significance of the names of the murderers given in the 

The actual scene of the final act of self-sacrifice can 
scarcely be doubted, though it is by no means distinctly 
described by the historian, who speaks as if it were the 
whole of York Castle that was held by the Jews, Yet it 
is unlikely that the sheriff" should have handed over to the 

Further Notes on the Jcics of AiKjecin England. 69 

Jews the custody of the whole castle, which would involve 
Av-^ithdrawing the garrison. It is much more probable that 
he set aside the isolated outwork known as Clifford's 
Tower for their reception. This was a building ei-ected 
on a high mound, and strongly fortified ; tradition has it 
that it was built by the Conqueror (Drake, Ebor., p. 289). 
It was originally of two stories, but the interior was blown 
up in 1687, and is now in ruins. This, by its isolation and 
impregnable position, was the most suitable place of safety 
for the Jews. But if so, their numbers could scarcely have 
been so great as 500, which William of Newbury fixes upon, 
since so large a number could not have been easily received 
within Clifford's Tower. I am confirmed in this correction 
of William of Newbury's figures by the more moderate 
estimate of Ephraim of Bonn, who in the Hebrew martyro- 
logy which he wrote fixes the number at 150. It is pro- 
bable enough that he had before him an actual list of the 
martyrs, and it is not impossible that the York Memorbuch^ 
as such lists are called in Germany, may be found. At 
present we know only four names : Joce the head of the 
York Jews, Anna his wife, R. Yomtob of Joigny, who, as 
Ephraim of Bonn informs us, was martyred at York 
(Aborak he calls it), and R. Elias, who is mentioned in the 
Tosaphoth (Joma 27", Sebach 14'') as the martyr of Aborak, 
i.e., Everwic or Eboi'acum, the original name of York. 
There can be little doubt that R. Yomtob of Joigny was 
"the elder from beyond the sea," who had so much authority 
with the York Jews, and counselled them to slay them- 
selves rather than disown their faith. The speech given by 
William of Newbury is probably fictitious, after the manner 
of Livy ; he owns indebtedness to Josephus for the idea. 
But some such stirring address would be consonant with 
Yomtob's skill as a Hebrew writer. This is proved by 
the fact that even to this day, the most striking hymn 
of the Day of Atonement service — that beginning with 
p DaaS and ending each verse with the refrain Tinbo, " I 
have forgiven " — was written by Yomtob of York. He is 

70 Tlie Jeicish Quarterly Review. 

frequently mentioned in the Tosaphoth (see Zunz Zur 
Gesck, 62), and was clearly one of the most distinguished 
Jews of North Europe in the twelfth century — a fitting 
person to form the central figure in the most striking 
episode of Jewish history in that century. 

Of the rioters and their leaders we know far more, 
thanks to the fulness of the public records of the period. 
I have discovered in the Pipe Eolls (No. 102, 2 Kic. I., 
Everwich) the names of fifty-one prominent citizens of 
York who were fined altogether 342 marks (£228) for 
complicity in the riots. But another item (124) gives us 
more important information as to the leaders of the whole 
movement, whose lands were seized by William Long- 
champ when he visited York in the Easter of 1190 with a 
large force (costing £60, Pipe Koll, 1 Ric. I., Everwich) to 
punish the rioters, and bring back to London the few Jews 
who remained alive after the catastrophe (their transport 
cost only 8s., P. R, item 96). Their names were Richard 
Malebisse, Kt., and his squires, Walter de Carton and 
Richard de Cuckney, Sir William de Percy and Picot de 
Percy, Roger de Ripun and Alan Malekake. To these 
names the Meaux Chronicle (ed. Bond, i., 155) adds 
those of Philip de Fauconbridge and Marmaduke Darell. 
To readers of the nineteenth century these names would 
be names and nothing more. But to Bishop Stubbs, who 
has lived as much in the twelfth as in the nineteenth 
century, the names implied much more, and have suggested 
the clue to the whole riot. For he found several of the 
names associated together in Dugdale and other Cartu- 
laries, and observed that some of them were connected 
with the Percy and Pudsey families, who were then the 
ruling spirits of the North Countrie (see his note on Roger 
Howden, Vol. IIL, p. xlv.). Following up the hint thus 
given, I have further extended the evidence of the close 
connection of these various names in Dugdale's Monasticon 
(D.) and Whitby (W.), and Finchdale Cartularies (F.) 
published by the Surtees Society. Thus Alan Malekake 

Further Notes on the Jews of Angevin England. 71 

occurs as <a co-signatory with Malebysse (W. No. cxii., 
p. 95), and with Picot de Percy (F. x., p. 10), who else- 
where signs with Malebysse (F. xvi.). Richard de 
Kakenai (mis-spelt Kadenai) signs with both Picot and 
Alan (F. xxii.), while we know he was squire to Richard 
Malebysse, with whom, and with Picot de Percy, he signs 
F. No. Ixii. Then the Fauconbridges had inter-married 
with the De Cuckneys (D. vi., 873), while Agnes Percy 
gives a manor " nepoti meo Ric. Malebysse " (D. v., 513). 
And almost all these deeds are connected with the wide- 
reaching transactions of the Pudsey family, who followed 
the lead of Hugh Pudsey, the masterful old Prince-Bishop 
of Durham (Norgate, England under the Angevin Kings, 
ii., 283, seq.). 

There was another bond between these men w^hich had 
a more direct bearing on the York tragedy. The Percy 
family were in debt to the Jews ; Richard Percy yielded 
two bovates of land to Whitby Abbey for assistance 
afforded him in releasing him and his lands "de Judaismo" 
(W. No. cccxxxiv., p. 387), and he was directly connected 
with Malebysse (D. iv., 75, W. 293 n.). The Darells again 
were equally embarrassed, as we learn from the Meaux 
Chronicle (i., 315). About the leader of the whole attack, 
Richard Malebysse, the man specially mentioned by 
William of Newbury as the leader, we have much more 
explicit information as to his indebtedness to the Jews. 
As early as 1182 we find a receipt of Solomon of Paris, 
acting on behalf of Aaron of Lincoln, of £4 " out of the 
great debt which he owes to my master Aai'on " (Brit. Mus. 
Add. Chart., 1251), though he had only come into his 
property six years before (Pipe Roll, 22 Hen. II., Honour 
of Eye). By a kind of premonition, Solomon of Paris, in 
the Hebrew receipt with which he endorses the Latin 
document (Davis, Shetaroth, 288) punningly translates his 
name^n3>"i TVU, Evil Beast, anticipating William of New- 
bury, who refers to him as "Ricardus vero cognomine 
Mala Bestia." 

72 The Jeimh Quarterly Mevieip. 

William of Newbury distinctly states that the riots 
were instigated by a number of the nobles who were 
heavily indebted to the Jews, or were pressed by the Royal 
Treasury, which had taken up the debts to deceased Jews. 
The final act of the tragedy was the rush to the Minster, 
where the deeds of the Jews had been sent, probably for 
safety ; these were sacrilegiously burned within the pre- 
cincts of the Minster itself. We may conjecture that the 
real object of the siege of Clifford's Tower was to get 
possession of these deeds. Only after the tragedy did the 
besiegers learn, probably from one of the few surviving 
Jews, that their trouble had been useless, and that the 
deeds were at the Minster. Thither thej'^ rushed and 
effected the main object of the riot by destroying the 
evidence of their indebtedness to the hated Jews. Even 
this was in vain, for duplicates existed elsewhere, and we 
find several instances of indebtedness to Joce and others 
of the slain Jews of York long after the massacre (P. R., 
items, Nos. 109, 121). The debts fell into the King's hands 
as universal legatee of the martyrs. 

Though it was undoubtedly a deliberate plan of the 
leaders to get rid of their indebtedness to the Jews, the York 
riot would not have been possible but for the religious 
prejudices of the mob, upon which they played. These had 
been raised to fever heat by the enthusiasm for the Third 
Crusade, on which Richard CcBur-de-Lion was just starting. 
It was possible that even the leaders of the riot were com- 
bining business and religion in their attack on the Jews. 
They were all connected with various abbeys, and their 
names occur in the Abbey Cartularies, as we have seen. 
The Fauconbridges were the great patrons of the Abbey of 
Welbeck, and Malebysse himself was afterwards the founder 
of Newbo, CO. Lincoln. This religious side of the attack 
was led by a white-robed monk of the Premonstrateusian 
order, who was the most conspicuous figure in the attack 
throughout the two or three days it lasted. Now Welbeck 
was one of the few Premonstrateusian abbeys in England, 

Ftirther Notes on the Jens o/Auffetin England. 


and it is not stretching the point too far to suggest that this 
monk was a relation of the Fauconbcidges, or perhaps of 
the De Cuckneys, Cuckney being a village near Welbeck. 
It was the death of this monk that exasperated the leaders 
so much and gave an incentive to the final cruel and 
treacherous scenes. 

The punishment inflicted upon the rioters was by no means 
adequate to their offence. Richard was doubly incensed, at 
the loss to the Royal Treasury, and the oflfence to the royal 
dignity. And his Chancellor, William Longchamp, under- 
took the task of punishment with the more zeal, as the 
leaders were, as we have seen, all of the party of Hugh 
Pudsey, Bishop of Durham, and Longchamp's chief rival 
(Norgate, l.c. ii., 28G). But Longchamp's rule was short, and 
Prince John reinstated Pudsey, and we find immediately 
afterwards Richard Malebysse restored to his forest rights, 
and even by paying a fine was granted possession of his 
land taken from him by the king (P.R., item 124). 

Of Richard Malebysse's after fate we have abundant 
evidence; it was uniformly successful to the end, one 
regrets to observe. In 1200 he gets wai-ren for his land at 
Acastre, Cemannsthorp, Scalton, and Alby (Rot. Lit. CI., 
51i). A year later, we find him making arrangements 
about other lands in Marton and Tolesby, Newenham, 
Baggely, Scalton, Halmby, Dale. He obtains "rectum 
frussiandi" in Usan and Coldric {Oblates, p. 55, cf. 379). 
These and other places mentioned in Pipe Rolls 3 and 10, 
Ric. I. (Gatesbris, Kepwick, Torinton, Steniton) are all in 
Yorkshire, and one of them to this day preserves, written 
as it were on English soil, a record of the arch villain of the 
York tragedy in the village of Acaster Malbis, five miles 
south of York. 

He was clearly a large landed proprietor, and it is not 
surprising to find him sent as ambassador to the King of 
Scots in 1200 (Close Roll, p. 99), and appointed Chief 
Justice of the York Assize, 4 Jo. (Foster, Yorkshire Pedigrees > 
" Beckwith of Clint "), and he showed his zeal for religion 

74 The Jeickh Quarterly Review. 

by founding the monastery of Newbo, co. Lincoln, in 1198. 
He had sons who succeeded him, but the family ultimately 
were incorporated, by a female descendant, into that of the 
Beckwiths of Clint. 

Yet he did not go altogether unpunished for his dastardly 
attack on a set of defenceless and harmless strangers. It 
was for money that he planned the deed, and in his hopes of 
freeing himself from debt to the Jews he was disappointed. 
As late as 1205 we find him being freed from all usuries to 
the Jews w^hile he was in the King's service (Close Roll, 
586), probably in Scotland, whither ho was sent as ambas- 
sador as we have seen. 

The York riot is the central fact in the pre-expulsion 
history of the Jews of England. Their position worsened 
from that date till their expulsion one hundred years later. 
Yet it was a scene in which the Jews came out in far 
brighter colours than their enemies, animated as they were 
by the highest motives, while the besiegers of Clifford's 
Tower were mainly, as we have seen, animated by a desire 
to evade their just debts. 

Isaac of York.— In 1864 a great " find " of 6,000 of 
what are called "short-cross" pennies (silver) was made 
at Eccles. These are so called to distinguish them from 
the later long-cross pennies where the cross on the reverse 
of the coin reaches the rim, so as to enable clipping to be 
easily detected. This expedient was adopted in 1247, so 
that the short-cross pennies are prior to that date. Their 
peculiarity is, however, that they all bear the head and 
superscription of Henry II., none being known with those 
of Richard or John. It is clear that Henry's name and 
counterfeit presentment was used on the coins of his two 
sons. The distinguishing mark of the coinage consists in 
the name of the moneyer, which is invariably placed on 
the reverse; there are no less than 240 different names 
included in the Eccles find from about twenty local mints. 
(See the list in the late W. S. W. Vaux's Paper on the 

Further Notes on the Jews of Angevin England. 75 

Eccles find, Numismatic Chronicle, New Series, V., pp. 

From the large number and variety of the coins in the 
Eccles find, Dr. (now Sir) John Evans was enabled to make 
a number of inductions, which gave an almost complete 
answer to what has been known among English numis- 
matists as " The Short Cross Question " (Niimism. Chron., 
/.c, pp. 219-254). From certain minute variations in the 
effigy of Henry II. on the coins, arrangement of hair, etc., 
he was enabled to distinguish five different types, ranging 
from 1180 to 1247, while from the few names of moneyers 
known from the Eecords, Pipe Rolls, etc., he was enabled 
to distinguish the chronological sequence of the types. 
Besides this, he determined the date of an earlier find of 
6,000 pennies of Henry II. at Tealby described in Archaohgxa 
xviii., 1-S as being from the earliest dies of Henry's reign, 
and dating therefore from 1158-70. His investigations 
have since 1865, the date of liis Paper, been regarded 
as decisive and epochmaking. 

Among the coins in the Eccles find were several with 
the moneyer's name ISSQ ON ^VaRWIQ, Isaac of (on) 
Everwic or York. Mr. Hubert Hall, in his Court Life under 
the Plantagenets, has regarded this moneyer as a Jew, and the 
question is of the greater interest owing to the coincidence 
of the name with that chosen by Sir Walter Scott for the 
principal Jew in his Ivanhoe. The point in favour of the 
identification, besides the probability of a connection be- 
tween Jews and money, is the Biblical name, but these 
were by no means uncommon among Englishmen. At any 
rate, if this is to be considered at all decisive, it seems 
worth while considering it with the other Biblical or 
Jewish-looking names among the moneyers whose names 
are found on the short-cross pennies among Mr. Vaux's and 
Sir J. Evans's lists : they are as follows, placing them in 
alphabetical order, with the inscription and place of coin- 
age, together with the types of coinage with which each 
name is associated. I. refers to coins minted 1180-90 ; 


The Jewish Qaarierlij Bevteic. 

IL, 1190-1205; III, IV., 1205-1216; V., 1216-47. It is 
obviously only the first two of these types which concern 
«s here. 

















NiaHOLe „ 



IV. V. 

NiaOL^ „ 




xiaoLq „ 















III. V. 


ax NT 



!Now if these were all Jews it would be strange if we 
could not identify some of them at least with the names 
mentioned in the Records. There is a Benedict of London 
mentioned in Richard of Anesty's account, c. 1160. There 
is a Josce fil David of London mentioned in the first list 
of London Jews, 1186. There is an Isaac fil Mosse of York 
mentioned in the Pipe Rolls, 3 Ric. I., and an Isaac Blund 
of York mentioned in the Fine Rolls of 1205. There is a 
Samuel fil Jacob of Canterbury mentioned in the North- 
ampton Donum of 1194, as well as a Simon, nephew of 
Jacob of Canterbury. But none of these are mentioned 
as " monetarii," and it was a law of Henry I. "Quod nuUus 
ausus sit cambire denarios nisi monetarius regis " (Ruding, 
Annals of Coinage, ii. 138) . Not a single one of the names can, 
therefore, be identified with any probability with the name 
of a known Jew of the twelfth century, and the possibility of 
any single one of them being a Jew is almost annihilated 
by this fact.^ I think we may take it for granted that a 
Jew could not be a moneyer. The reason was, I imagine, 

' None of the 92 moneyers whose names are mentioned as occurring on 
the coins found at 1e:a\hy (^Avchaiologia, I.e.) are at all Jewish. This, 
however, mi^ht be merely due to the less importance of the Jews in the 
earlier part of Henry II's reign (1158-70) and is so far a point in favour 
of the later names being those of Jews. 

Further Notes on the Jens of Angevin England. 77 

that moneyers had to take the oath of fealty (Sir John 
Evans, I.e., p. 290), and this included a Christian formula 
which a Jew could not take. The whole inquiry throws 
light on a mysterious passage of the Pipe Roll for 27 
Hen. II., in which Isaac of Rochester and Isaac of Russia 
(Isaac of Tchernigoff mentioned by the author of the 
8epher Mashoham), and Isaac of Beverley are fined because 
they are said to have exchanged or minted {camhkme). 
The former could not well be an offence, but the latter 
was, according to the law of Henry II. quoted above from 
Ruding, and we may be tolerably certain that none of the 
three Isaacs or any other Jew would be allowed to mint, 
possibly for fear of false coinage. The whole investigation 
proves, I think, that we may nail the so-called Jewish coins 
of Isaac of York to the counter of numismatic inquiry. 

I may add that Scott was unfortunate in naming his 
chief Jewish character Isaac of York, as at the time at 
which he places the action of his novel, viz.: in 1194, the 

date of Richard's return, there were no Jews at York 


owing to the scare caused by the massacre of 1190. They 
are conspicuous by their absence from the list of names 
of the contributories to the Northamj)ton Donum. Rebecca 
also was a name unknown among English Jewesses of the 
twelfth century, the nearest approach being Biket, a 
servant in London, 118G. Kirjath Jearim, the name of 
one of the minor Jews, is the name of a town not of a 
person, and, as Mr. Abrahams has shown, was taken from 
Marlowe's " Jew of Malta." 

Joseph Jacobs.