Medieval History/Jewish histroy


Hi there
Can you tell me how a Jewish population came to be in England? I am researching the Jewish massacre in York and would like to know if the Jews travelled from somewhere to York in order to establish a community in England.

Many Thanks

Hi Jane,

There were Jews living in Rouen, the capital of Normandy, when William the Conquerer arrived in England from there in 1066. William invited some to resettle in England, and that is the origin of England's Jewish population (to the time they were expelled). As you may have already discovered, Jews were not religiously prohibited from usury (charging interest) as Christians were. As such, Jews were prevalent in moneylending. Consequently, Jews were useful to monarchs like William, who always needed money for military campaigns and building projects. So, William's desire to have Jews in England is an acknowledgement that he thought his new kingdom would benefit by their presence.

I hope this is helpful, Jane.

- Marc

Medieval History

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Marc Aperio


I'll be glad to answer any question related to Medieval Europe, the Byzantine Empire, and the rise of Islam and Christianity during the period 300-1500.


I've studies history for nearly 20 years. I'm currently also volunteering in the US and European history catergories.

My newest book WE NEED TO TALK: 27 DIALOGUES ON RACE IN AMERICA is available in the Amazon Kindle store. Also the author of AMERICAN REVOLUTION 2016: RATIONALE AND AIMS FOR RADICAL CHANGE

BA History (High Honors)

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