A Short Legal History of the Jews in England



Image: King Edward I signs the historic decree expelling all Jews from England on 18 July 1290



King Edward I grants Jews licences for trading and farming in the ‘Statutum de Judeismo’ (commonly known as the Anti-Usury Laws) in an attempt to discourage Jews from money-lending and coin-clipping. It was the first Act in which the new Commons took part, in conjunction with the King.




To great popular acclaim, King Edward I issued an Edict declaring that all Jews must leave England by 1 November. The wardens of the Cinque Ports were to supervise their departure and see that the poor were able to obtain cheap tickets. No man was allowed to “injure, harm, damage or grieve” them. They were to be allowed to take all their cash and personal property, but their bonds and real estate reverted to the Crown, while synagogues…

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