2 April 1279 300 Jews Murdered in London #otdimjh

2 April 1279 Blood Libel against the Jews of Northampton leads to murder of 300 Jews in London #otdimjh

aa King Edward I C Ken Welsh Bridgeman Art Library

“The most respectable Jews of London crucified a child on April 2nd” reports Florent de Worcester (Chron. 222), but it is difficult to find the basis either for the event or the report. The historian Graetz notes:

graetz620 (1)

“The enemies of the Jews did not tire of forging new charges against them. It was reported that the Jews of Northampton had crucified a Christian child. For this alleged crime many Jews in London were torn asunder by horses and their corpses hung on the gallows (April 2, 1279).

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On November 17, 1278, all Jews of England, believed to have numbered around 3,000, were arrested on suspicion of coin clipping and counterfeiting, and all Jewish homes in England were searched. At the time, coin clipping was a widespread practice, which both Jews and Christians were involved in, and a financial crisis resulted, and according to one contemporary source, the practice reduced the currency’s value to half of its face value.

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In 1275, coin clipping was made a capital offence, and in 1278, raids on suspected coin clippers were carried out. According to the Bury Chronicle, “All Jews in England of whatever condition, age or sex were unexpectedly seized … and sent for imprisonment to various castles throughout England. While they were thus imprisoned, the innermost recesses of their houses were ransacked.” Some 680 were detained in the Tower of London. More than 300 are believed to have been executed in 1279.


The most significant antecedent preceding the roundups and hangings of 1278-1279 was the Statute of the Jewry, imposed by King Edward I in 1275. That statute forbid Jews to deal in usury. Ostensibly, the measure allowed Jews to make a living by commerce in “lawful merchandise … and their labor,” and to lease land for farming (for up to 15 years). But the practical effect of the statute was largely to deprive Jews of a legal livelihood. Jews were also limited in where they could reside, and were now required to wear a yellow badge identifying them as such.


Those who were arrested were then tried and, according to the estimate by historian Zefira Entin, 269 Jews – and 29 Christians – were put to death, in London alone, and more than another 50 in other towns and cities.

Those who could afford it, and who had a patron at the royal court, could buy their way out of their punishment, and there are records of Jews who purchased pardons for themselves. On the other hand, there is little evidence of Jews taking up a royal offer to convert to Christianity – who were soon obligated to attend regular sermons by Dominican priests – as a means of saving their lives.

By May 6, 1279, King Edward announced that anyone suspected of currency violations who had not by then been convicted and executed could settle accounts with the crown by paying a fine. This measure brought an estimated 16,500 pounds, in the form of fines and of confiscated property, into the king’s coffers. That sum is said to have been equivalent to 10 percent of the crown’s annual income at the time

The final expulsion of the Jews took place in 1290. By that time, there were some 2,000 Jews left in the realm to send into exile.

Prayer: Have mercy, O Lord, on us, for the sins committed by the English crown, people and church. Have mercy upon us, pardon us, forgive us, cleanse us and renew us. In Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen.

Medieval English Jews and Royal Officials: Entries of Jewish Interest in the English Memoranda Rolls, 1266?1293…Dec 1999 by Zefira Entin Rokeah


From the Bury Chronicle


1278 The King and Queen arrived at Bury on 23rd November on route to Norwich to dedicate a church there.All the Jews in England were unexpectedly seized and imprisoned. Their houses were ransacked looking for evidence of clipping the king’s coinage. Soon afterwards in November all the goldsmiths and officials of the country’s Mints were also put into custody and their premises searched.

At Bury, despite the privilege of the Liberty, five goldsmiths and three others were marched off to London by the town bailiff. The king then allowed them to be sent back to Bury for trial, as a special favour to St Edmund.

1279 All the Jews and some Christians convicted of clipping or falsifying the coinage, were condemned to hanging. Some 267 Jews were condemned to death in London.John de Cobham and Walter de Heliun, were the justices appointed to determine pleas over money, and they were sent by the king, Edward I, to Bury to hold a court at the Guildhall. The monks regarded this as flouting in an unheard of way, the liberties of St Edmund’s church. Even worse, any fines levied went to the royal Treasury, and not to the abbey convent. Because the Sacrist was in charge of the Mint at Bury, he was also fined 100 Marks for the transgressions of the moneyers.

Graetz’s version- Regarding the expulsion of the Jews from England: What follows is a synopsis of Heinrich Graetz’s version of the expulsion and its causes or lack of cause offered in Volume 3 of “History of the Jews” pages 641-645:

“At the accession of Edward I they had prospects of a secure existence… They might have lived on in this lowly state, bowed down beneath the burden of the imposts and wearying themselves to satisfy through usury the insatiable demands of the royal treasury, had not a slight occurrence made them the object of the bitter hatred of the monks… In London there lived a Dominican named Robert de Redingge… he had studied the Hebrew language… to enable the monks to convert the Jews by means of their own writings. But instead of converting… he himself became converted. The Dominicans were enraged… and sought to wreak their vengeance upon the Jews. The queen mother Eleanor expelled the Jews from the town of Cambridge which belonged to her and fostered hostile feeling against them throughout the country.

“Incited by the queen mother the House of Commons passed a statute which prohibited the Jews from usury. They were allowed to reside only in royal cities and boroughs. The House of Commons strictly enforced the wearing of the Jew-badge, determined its size and color (substituting yellow for white) and forbade all intercourse with Christians.

“Counterfeit coins were in circulation in England; the coin of the country was often clipped. The charge was directed against the Jews, that they were the sole originators and circulators of the counterfeit coins. It was afterwards proved that many Christians had been guilty of counterfeiting the coin of the realm and that throughout the kingdom only 293 Jews had been convicted of the crime. Nevertheless over 10,000 Jews were made to suffer for this act. The Christians who were implicated, with the exception of three, were liberated on payment of a fine, the 293 Jews were hanged.

“The enemies of the Jews did not tire of forging new charges against them. It was reported that the Jews of Northampton had crucified a Christian child. For this alleged crime many Jews in London were torn asunder by horses and their corpses hung on the gallows (April 2, 1279).

“Whilst the queen mother, Eleanor, was exerting herself to inflame the king and the people against the Jews, the queen, also named Eleanor, bestowed the favor on them. She prayed the king confer the vacant chief rabbinate on Hagin Denlacres. The king granted her prayer and installed Hagin as chief rabbi (May 15, 1281).

“When the king settled the chief rabbinate on Hagin, he had no thought of expelling the Jews. Gradually, however the fanatical party and his mother gained more influence over him and disturbed his clear perceptions. This party, probably the Dominicans, appeared before the newly elected pope, Honorius IV, lodging accusations against the Jews, that they encouraged the return of baptized Jews to Judaism, invited Christians on Sabbaths and festivals to the synagogue, made them bend the knee before the Torah and enticed them to adopt Jewish customs. The pope sent a missive to the archbishop and his legate, bidding them employ every means to put a stop to this improper conduct. On April 16, 1287, a church assembly was held in Exeter which renewed all the hateful canonical resolutions against the Jews. A fortnight later (May 2) the king ordered the arrest of all English Jews with their wives and children, an act for which no cause can be assigned. Nor did he release them until he received a large ransom. Three years later in 1290 Edward I, without the consent of Parliament, issued an edict of his own authority, that all the Jews of England were to be banished from the country. 16, 511 Jews of England left the country by the 9th of October.

– See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2009/11/the-situation-in-a-nutshell#sthash.P24yHqs1.dpuf

In 1244 London witnessed an accusation of ritual murder, a dead child having being found with gashes upon it which a baptized Jew declared to be in the shape of Hebrew letters. The body was buried with much pomp in St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Jews were fined the enormous sum of 60,000 marks (about £40,000). Later on, in 1279, certain Jews of Northampton, on the accusation of having murdered a boy in that city, were brought to London, dragged at horses’ tails, and hanged.

1279 A.D. –The most respectable Jews of London crucified a child on April 2nd. (Florent de Worcester, Chron. 222) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_of_Worcester

FLORENCE OF WORCESTER (d. 1118), English chronicler, was a monk of Worcester, who died, as we learn from his continuator, on the 7th of July 1118. Beyond this fact nothing is known of his life. He compiled a chronicle called Chroniconex chronicis which begins with the creation and ends in 1117. The basis of his work was a chronicle compiled by Marianus Scotus, an Irish recluse, who lived first at Fulda, afterwards at Mainz. Marianus, who began his work after 1069, carried it up to 1082. Florence supplements Marianus from a lost version of the English Chronicle, and from Asser. He is always worth comparing with the extant English Chronicles; and from 1106 he is an independent annalist, dry but accurate. Either Florence or a later editor of his work made considerable borrowings from the first four books of Eadmer’s Historia novorum. Florence’s work is continued, up to 1141, by a certain John of Worcester, who wrote about 1150. John is valuable for the latter years of Henry I. and the early years of Stephen. He is friendly to Stephen, but not an indiscriminate partisan.

The first edition of these two writers is that of 1592 (by William Howard). The most accessible is that of B. Thorpe (Eng. Hist. Soc., 2 vols., 1848-1849); but Thorpe’s text of John’s continuation needs revision. Thorpe gives, without explanations, the insertions of an ill-informed Gloucester monk who has obscured the accurate chronology of the original. Thorpe also prints a continuation by John Taxter (died c. 1295), a 13th-century writer and a monk of Bury St Edmunds. Florence and John of Worcester are translated by J. Stevenson in his Church Historians of England, vol. ii. pt. i. (London, 1853); T. Forester’s translation in Bohn’s Antiquarian Library (London, 1854) gives the work of Taxter also.

Blood Libel Northampton


In the 13th century the Jewish community in Northampton must have been shrinking steadily. A number of houses once possessed by Jews in Northampton are mentioned as being granted by the king to other persons, such as to the Master of the Temple in 1215, (fn. 43) the earl of Winchester in 1218, (fn. 44) Philip Marc in 1219, (fn. 45) Stephen de Segrave in 1229, (fn. 46) and Robert de Mara in 1248. (fn. 47) In 1277 the Northampton Jews were charged with a ritual murder, (fn. 48) and in 1278 a general attack on them for clipping and forging coin led to the execution and forfeiture of many Northampton Jews. (fn. 49)

48 V.C.H. Northants. ii, 13.
49 Annal. Mon. (Rolls Ser.), iii, 279; Cal. Pat. 1272–81, p. 362.


1279, Northampton. A child crucified. Haydn’s Dictionary of Dates, 1847, says of this case: “They [the Jews] crucify a child at Northampton for which fifty are drawn at horses’ tails and hanged.” (Further authorities: Reiley, Memorials of London, p. 15; H. Desportes, Le Mystére du Sang.)

  1. Desportes, Le Mystére du Sang.

http://www.thule-italia.net/religione/Desportes.pdf p67

footnote 2 florent de Worcester chronicle p222

Florence of Worcester (died 1118), known in Latin as Florentius, was a monk of Worcester, who played some part in the production of the Chronicon ex chronicis, a Latin world chronicle which begins with the creation and ends in 1140.[1]

A.D. 1270.] EDWARD I. CEDES NORMAXDr. 3G1   in a parliament held at Amiens, at which the kings of Franco and England, and many of the nobles of both kingdoms, met, the king of England quitted claim for the duchy of Xormandy to the king of France for ever ; reserving only a perpetual yearly rent charge of three thousand livres of Paris, payable from tlie treasury of Rouen. He also received for his quit- claim Angoumois, the Limosin, Perigord, and Saintogne ; and this beinc: settled returned to England.   John, archbishop of Canterbury, having summoned all the bishops under his jurisdiction, held his synod at Reading on the feast of St. James tlie apostle [2oth July]. Walter, arch- bishop of York, died, and was succeeded by master William de Wikewane, chancellor of that church.

At Northampton, a boy was crucified by the Jews on tho day of the Adoration of the Holy Cross [14th September], but was not quite killed ; notwithstanding, under this pre- text, numbers of the Jews in London were torn to pieces by horses and hung, immediately after Easter [2nd April].


Full text of “Antient funeral monuments, of Great-Britain, Ireland, and the islands adjacent



In the feventh of E d w a r d I. the jews at Northampton crucified a, chriftian hoy upon Good-friday, but did not thoroughly kill him. For the which faft many jews at London after eafter, were drawn at horfes’ tails and hanged.

Edward 1 – 17 June 1239 – 7 July 1307

7th year = 1246? Jews expelled from UK 1290.

Full text of “A History of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Northampton

Rev. J. CHARLES COX, LL.D., F.S.A.     AND     Rev. R. M. SERJEANTSON, M.A.


But this is another historical absurdity, for the Rode or Rood in the Wall of this town was an image of much repute, which had a fraternity, possessions, and a seal of its own ; with a chapel on the west side of Bridge Street.   A wild and wicked surmise, as absolutely baseless as the story itself, has connected this crucifix with the alleged crucifixion of a christian boy by the Jews of Northampton, in this churchyard, on Good Friday, 1277. The idea that this figure of our Lord on the Cross could be a memorial of such an event, unfortunately still obtains credence in the town — but surely the least reflection, will show the preposterous nature of such a memorial of an a^wful crime. To make the idea a little more credible, some even assert that the figure is not that of the Saviour, but of the crucified boy.   We have already alluded to the baseless suppositions, which connected the Round of this church of the Holy Sepulchre with a local Jewish Synagogue, and we confidently believe that the 1277 crucifixion is equally fictitious.   It is apparently true, that the Jews of Northampton were charged with this awful offence, early in the reign of Edward I., and that many suffered death in conse- quence. The myth concerning the practice of ritual murder of young children by Jews, in derision of the Crucifixion, first arose in connection with the death or murder of the boy, William of Norwich, in 1144. It can be proved that this myth originated in the vile imagination of an apostate Jew of Cambridge. His lies were published, and obtained credence throughout Europe just at the time of the Second Crusade, when men’s religious passions were roused to fanatical fury. Ever since his time, whenever a little boy has been missing at the Passover-tide, near a Jewish quarter in Europe, the awful suspicion of ritual murder has gener- ally been raised by the ignorant or interested.   At Gloucester, in 11 68, the disappearance of a boy Harold, was attributed to this cause. At Bury St. Edmunds, in 1181, a boy Robert was turned into a martyr through the same prejudice. In 1234, seven Jews were hung at Westminster for an alleged crime of this nature. At Lincoln, the well known case of ” Little     122 THE MONUMENTS IN THE CHURCHYARD.   St. Hugh” occurred in 1255, when eighteen Jews were hung and over one hundred imprisoned. Northampton followed suit in 1277 or 1279. It will be recollected that only a few years ago certain Jews in Hungary were sub- jected to protracted trials and examinations under a like charge. For a complete and most logical disproval of the alleged crime in the case of ” Little St. Hugh of Lincoln,” an essay on this subject should be read in Jewish IdealSy a volume written by Mr. Joseph Jacobs, and published by David Nutt in 1896.   When the time comes for a patient investigation of the Northampton case, we are convinced that the base- lessness of the charge will be as completely established as in the case of Lincoln.   Meanwhile it may be noted, as everything that tends to stamp out hideous class lies of this description is desirable, that the usual assertions with regard to the Northampton crucifixion, are even more contradictory than usual. The general account, constantly reproduced in Northampton handbooks, is to the effect that the Jews of the town were charged with this offence in 1277, and that fifty of them were drawn at horses’ tails outside the walls of Northampton, and there hung. But a version given in the Northampton Mercury^ of September loth, 1 79 1, states that “in 1279, the jews at Northampton crucified a christian boy upon Good Friday, but did not thoroughly kill him ; for which fact many Jews at London, were, after Easter, drawn at the horses’ tails and hanged.” This last statement seems to have originated with an entry in Weever’s Funeral Monuments^ published in 1 63 1.

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Messianic Jewish teacher in UK
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