Imagens das páginas
PDF
[ocr errors]

for the maintenance of Jewish converts, and where they might live without labour or usury; which soon induced great numbers of them to come into it: and that house, we are told, subsisted a considerable time w. Jews at The Jews of Norwich were some time after accused of Norwich having stolen a Christian child, and of having kept him one fanijked, year, in order to circumcise and crucify him on the ensuing -A. C. Passover; but, the fact being timely detected, they under,235 » went a due punishment (Y). Some years after, those of ionAa„ °n" don were indicted for the same crime, but with some difference in the manner; the child having been sold to them by his parents, and crucified, and the fact discovered by some miraculous circumstances not worth relating; so that he was canonized for a martyr, and his relicks wrought strange wonders. However, the murderers could not be found out; Only some Jews having left London about that time, were shrewdly suspected x. Their whole nation was still more alarmed on the following year, when the shepherds made such havock of them in Spain, France, and Germany ; and they had reason to fear the storm would fall next upon them here r to prevent which, they purchased an edict from the king, forbidding any one to hurt them in any of his dominions r. But, as that prince's minister was still craving for more money,

w Math. Paris, Chronic, an. 1210, p. 159. x Id. sub an. 1244, p. 436. t Id. ibid. Vid. Basnag. ub. sup. c. 22. J. 9.

(Y) They are charged by the time it was that the child's ft

fame author (36), with having ther found him in the 7w

repeated the fame crime three house, after he had been lost »

times in that city, with very whole year. The accused in

little variation of circumstances, vain appealed to the king; tbt

On the first, they were brought bishop maintained, that the

(0 the king's court at Westmin- crime, being of a religious 01

fer, and there Confessed the ture, was Cognisable only by

fact ; for which they were only the spiritual court; upon which

.confined, and their lives left at four of them were dragged at

the king's disposal. The same the tail of so many horses to a

accusation was laid against them gibbet, where they were put to

On the following year; and four death. So that they mull have

of the wealthiest of them were been very incorrigible to dart

Ranged, and their effects conns- commit the some crime so many

eated. Lastly, they were ac* times within the space of in

cused of the same fact before years, and after having been

the bishop, an. 1239, at which ib severely punished so; it.

{36) As. Paris, an. 1235, p. 131, 280. Sf an. 1236, f. 359. ,

and they refused to pay it, they were accused of some murder committed in London, where, after various vexations and sufferings, they were obliged to pay one third of all their wealth * (Z).

The holy war, to Which Henry was preslingly invited by Kew the pope, proved another pretence for squeezing money out taxes, of his subjects, and especially from the Je-ws, whom he made A. C, no scruple to strip of all they had left. The next was the ,2SZ* pretended Spani/b war, to which the nobility and gentry refused to contribute till it was actually declared. The Jews were again called upon for new supplies, but being quite exhausted, begged leave they might leave the kingdom for 125$some more propitious country (A); but that was refused to them, and they were forced to pay the sum, only with some alleviation. On the next year he demanded 8000 marks of them; and upon their pleading insolvency, sold them to his brother Richard, who paid him that sum for them, and would in all 125J. likelihood have, made them refund it double, had he not been convinced of their real poverty and misery.

Those of Lincoln were about the same time accused of A child having crucified a young Christian, with several circum- trucifodat, stances of inhumanity, which the reader may fee in the mar- Lincoln, gin (B). One Copin, at whose house the fact was committed, A-C'

not IZ5S*

* Id. sub. A. C. 1343,& I2JO.

(Z) Our author tells us of in a pathetic speech, which was one single Jew, named Aaron, accompanied with a flood os who paid at different times, to tears, represented the impossibiextricate himself out of prison, lity of their paying such an exand other vexations, about 200 orbitant sum as was demanded marks of gold, and 30,000 of of them; and begged they might silver. The rest fared no bet- be rather banished the kingdom, ter, being prosecuted some- than be thus inhumanly optimes for coining false money, pressed; professing, that if they at' others, for counterfeiting the were to be flayed alive, they were king's seal, and such-like; from not able to raise the money. He which they found no other way swooned away, or pretended to to escape than by bleeding free- do so, at the conclusion; but the' ly to that monarch, or bribing, council, who probably gave no as they did in several instances, credit to him, obliged them to their judges to be favourable to produce the greatest part of the them (37). sum demanded (38).

(A) Elias, one of their bre- (B) These are, that they fed

thren, undertook to plead for him some time before with milk,

them before the council; and to make him more susceptible

(57) As. Pari'ijiiiJj A. C. 1250, & sij, (%%) U.'jub, an. 1254. p. 596.

'' of

Their synagogue seized, AC.

1267.

not only confessed it before the lord Lexington, upon promise of having his life spared, but owned it to be an usual custom among them to do so every year, if they could procure any such children. The king, upon his coming from the north of England, being informed of all, highly blamed that nobleman for promising to spare such a villain's life, and revoked his pardon ; upon which Copin was dragged at a horse's tail, to the place of execution, where he was hanged in chains, or, as our author words it, bis body and foul -were made a present to thedamoiu of the air % Their condition was still more desperate all the time of the league and civil wars which happened during that prince's reign; wherein, let which fide soever get the better, they were sure to be crushedby it; at least we find that the leaguers seized on their synagogue at Lincoln, and from thence passed into the Isle of Ely, and made dreadful havock among them. And it is likewise pretended that Henry III. did at length banish them by a perpetual edict (C).

It

a Trivet Chron. A. C. 1267. Specil. torn. viii. Basnag. ob. sup. §. 18.

of pain: that they convened an
assembly of the most considera-
blejews in England, toaffistathis
execution: that they appointed
one of them to act the part of
Pontius Pilate, and pronounce
sentence of death against him;
that they caused him to be
whipt till the blood gushed out,
to be crowned with thorns, buf-
fetted, spit upon- that every one
of them plunged his knife into
him; that they made him drink
vinegar, and crucified him by
the name of Jesus: that they
pierced his heart with a spear,
and aster he was dead, took out
his entrails, to use in their ma-
gic operations, and flung the
rest of his body into a well be-
longing to that house, where th«
sorrowful mother, after a long
search, found it (39).

(C) This banishment is variously related by historians, as well as the motives of it. The Jews affirmed it to have happened A. M. 5020 (of Christ 1260); which our learned Selden (40) justly looked upon as a palpable mistake, and that the former date ought to be 5050; which would be moreprobab!e,if that error had not been in more authors than onej but as it is the fame in most of them (41), it is more likely that they have either designedly or inadvertently antedated the disaster by 30 years.

Accordingly, an inscription was found ingraven, in Hebrew letters, on a stone in Winchester goal, where probably the Jews of that county had boen confined tothis purposes): " Thecom"monalty of the Jews were ar

[ocr errors]

It is however, agreed by most Christian authors, that this Tbtirsinat edict was published against them about the latter end of the expulsion

13 th b***z

"rested and imprisoned A. M. "5047." So that they could not have been banished either in the year of the world 5020, or 1260. Besides, the leaguers being defeated by king Henry, seized on the synagogue of Lincoln above-named, A. C. 1267. From which it is evident that they were still in the kingdom, and had their public meetings about the latter end of that monarch's reign. We may add, that none of our English annalists have made any mention of the perpetual edict, but, on the contrary, observe that his son Edward I. caused the Jews to be imprisoned A. C. 1287, and to be all banished three years after. The annals of the, Dominicans of Calmar affirm, that this happened an. 1291 (43); which is the more probable, becausethecouncilthat was held in London, and caused their banishment, bears date 1291.

The occasion of the banifliment is likewise varioufly related. One Jewish writer pretends, that they had been falsely accused to king Henry of counterfeiting his coin, and by those very rogues who had done it; and that the prosecution was carried on with such vehemence against them, that the king, who saw through it, ordered them to be banished, to save them from a more cruel punishment (44). Another tells us, that a priest being fallen in love with a beautiful Jewess,

and not being able to obtain her by any other means, submitted himselfto be circumcised, and abjured Christianity; which being soon after known, the zealots infilled that all they^tw in London mould be burnt alive; but that the king only caused those to be burnt who had a hand in that fact, and banished the rest (45}. But in neither case is it credible that he would, for the crime of a few private persons, banish a whole nation which had so often silled his coffers.

A third pretends that his son Ed-ward, seeing the country almost ruined by famine and pestilence, was easily persuaded that the incredulity and wickedness of the Jews had drawn down those two dreadful punistiments on the whole nation; upon which they were all called upon to turn Christians. But that not having removed the famine, they began to ascribe the continuation of it to the violence they had offered to their consciences. Upon which the king ordered two pavilions to be reared near the sea-side, the one with a red cross over it, into which the sincere proselytes, and the other with the law of Moses in it, into which the dissatisfied converts, were bid to repair. But many of the latter, suspecting some private design against them, forbore to go to the Mosaic booth; and well it was for them ; for those that did'

[ocr errors][merged small]

£dward, 13th century f» which is farther proved by public records, A. C. found in some chanceries. Trivet affirms, moreover, that 1291. king Edward, who banished them out of his kingdom, granted them money to transport them into France, and afterwards confiscated their effects bi Walsingham fays much the fame thingc; and Poly dor e Virgil tells us, that this edict was enacted by a council that fat at London, A. C. 129I, and being desirous to sever the goats from the lambs, ordered the Jews to leave England in a few days, but with a permission to take their effects with themd. He adds, that they obeyed, and that the nation, "which wds then very numerous in England, took their final leave of it, and still removed from place to place till they all perished; -whose loss, fays he, needs not be much regretted, provided they leave behind those sacred books, without ■which it would be difficult for us to preserve cur religion for the future (D). It is plain our author had no great belief in those prophecies which assure us that they will be actually recalled before the end of the World. However that be, it is plain they never more appeared in a body in this kingdom, from that time, till they were recalled to it, in the time of Oliver Cromwell, as will be seen in its proper place. It is therefore time to pass on to those of Germany, Hungary, and other northern, regions. Jews in Whether the sews were really more wicked in CermaGermany vy than in other countries, or the people more superstitiously &c. zealous against them, there is hardly a kingdom where they

A. C. have been accused of more enormous crimes, and of greater izzz. number and variety of them, during these two centuries. We » have already taken notice of their having encouraged the in-:

vafiotj of the. Persians and Tartars, under a false Messiah, and of the jpy with which they, especially those of Cohgn, were reSdy to raceive then?, had not their project proved abortive. . p Notwithstanding which disappointment, and the bad effects it I241." brought upoa them, they seem to have been no less flushed at

f Vid. Selben, ub. sup. lib. H. e. 6. * Chronic, sub. an. 1*90. « Hypodigmt. Neustr. perT. Walsikoh. * Hist. Angt. lib. xvii. p. 347.

were immediately massacred, same decree against them in al! and their bodies flung into the his freheh dominions, on acsea. Thus far our Spanifi count of their corrupting the Je<w (4$). faith and practice of the Chrif

(D) The reader may remem- tians there *. ber that $dix>ard had given the

(46) Cort/iso Lai Exallencias, ^.38;- * Sre h/ore, p. jrj.

jtfresli

« AnteriorContinuar »