Timeline Medieval

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1066-1087 – William I (the Conqueror) williamconqueror

Jews come to England with William the Conqueror from Rouen.

1075 – Jews settle in Oxford


1087-1100 – William II (William Rufus)  williamrufus

1100-1135 – Henry Ihenry_i

Henry I’s charter of protection grants rights, including freedom of movement throughout the country, without paying tolls or customs, the right of fair trial by their peers, protection from misusage, and permission to retain land taken in pledge of security. During his reign the Jews appear to have prospered.

1135- 1154 – Stephenkingstephen

1141 – Matilda then Stephen come to Oxford and demand money from the Jews – Stephen burns down Aaron of Oxford’s house to persuade him to pay.

1144 – first recorded blood libel – Norwich


1154-89 – Henry IIhenry2

Longest period of peace and prosperity for Jewish population of England.

1177 – Jews given the right to bury their dead in Oxford (previously had to go all the way to London) in an area of what is today the Botanic Garden.

1184 – death of Aaron of Lincoln

1189-1199 – Richard I (the Lionheart)richard1england1157

1189 – massacre of Jews at Richard the Lionheart’s coronation.

Richard sets up Exchequer of the Jews, introduces ‘archae’ chests.

An archa is situated at Oxford Castle.

1190 – Massacre of the Jews in York

1194 – The Northampton Donum – levy of 5,000 marks imposed on the Jews to pay for the ransom of King Richard I.

1199-1216 – John king john tomb

In 1210, John places a levy of 66,000 marks (the “Bristol Tallage”) on the Jewish community (imprisoning and torturing many of the community until collected).

Many Jews join the exodus of their French colleagues to the Holy Land in 1211.

1215 – Magna Carta restricts financial liability of heirs whose fathers died owing money to Jewish moneylenders.

1215 – The Fourth Lateran Council in Rome orders Jews to wear a distinguishing badge – usually tablets of the law.

1216 – 1272 Henry IIIhenry3

1222 – Council of Oxford orders Jews to wear yellow badge on all clothing

1222 – Christian Deacon, who converts to Judaism and marries a Jewess, is burned at the stake in Oxford – the First Oxford Martyr.

1244 – Jewish Loan Rate to students fixed by King Henry III at two pence in the pound per week

1255 – Norwich – another blood libel – Little Saint Hugh – immortalised in 1386 by Chaucer in The Prioress’s Tale

1268 – Ascension day riot – Jews of Oxford have to put up a cross near current site of Merton garden.

1268 – Jacob of Oxford sells two houses to Walter de Merton for his college.

1272-1307 Edward I  edward1st

1275 – Statutum de Judaismo Edward bans Jews from ‘usury’ (i.e. lending money at interest) and tells them to take up handicrafts and farming. Also imposes an annual poll-tax of 3 pence per head. 1279 – 81 it becomes a capital offence for Jews to “blaspheme the Christian religion”, Jews ordered to listen to conversion sermons, forbidden to have Christian servants, hold public meetings, have Christians eat at their table, build new synagogues etc.

1278 – 293 Jews hanged in London for coin clipping

1279 – the hundred rolls – in Oxford go from house to house not just recorded by landowner.

Queen Eleanor says that ‘during a weekend in Gascony’ the king has promised her the lands of the Jews of Oxford and takes Jacob the Jew’s legacy from his widow before he has even died.

1284 – all archae, including the one in Oxford, are closed as they are redundant.

1290 – Edward expels the Jews – allowed to take only what they can carry.

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Our aim is to raise the profile of the history of Jews in Oxford from earliest records through to the modern day.

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