This is a detailed study of Jewish settlement and of seven different Jewish communities in England between 1262 and 1290, offering in addition a new consideration of the prelude to the expulsion of the Jews in 1290. The book estimates the extent of Jewish residence and settlement; evaluates the tallage payments made by those communities; and finally by a close discussion of prevailing attitudes towards usury and moneylending considers the Edwardian experiment of 1275. The impact of Edward I's legislation and Jewish policy on his Jewish subjects is then examined. It is possible to follow the business transactions of Jewish financiers in these different provincial communities over almost thirty years; and a thorough and detailed study is made of the type of people who borrowed from the Jews. Finally a survey is made of the possible motives and continental parallels which influenced the expulsion in 1290 and the subsequent dissolution.
• Analyses for the first time the lives and impact of Jews in England before the expulsion of 1290 • Offers the first full analysis of Christian debtors to the Jews in the years before the expulsion • Makes an important contribution to the wider study of Jewish history and the persecution of the Jews in medieval Europe
Preface; 1. The English exodus re-examined; 2. Jewish settlement, society and economic activity before the Statute of the Jewry of 1275; 3. 'The king's most exquisite villeins': the views of royalty, church and society; 4. The royal tribute; 5. The attempted prohibition of usury and the Edwardian experiment; 6. The economic fortunes of provincial Jewries under Edward I; 7. The Christian debtors; 8. Interpreting the final expulsion; Appendices.
A. S. Diamond Memorial Prize 1998 - Winner
' This is a necessary book … the last, well-considered word on Edward's final solution of a so-called Jewish problem.' Reviews in History
'Its importance for the Jews in medieval England is obvious; it is also very significant for economic and political historians of the later thirteenth century.' Journal of Jewish Studies
'This is an important book that will be widely consulted by scholars of British history and historians of medieval Jews … Dr Mundill is to be congratulated on producing a major study in an important field.' The Heythrop Journal
'Not only historians but also the average reader will enjoy this fresh look at one of the most critical periods in English medieval history.' Sophia Menache, Speculum
'England's Jewish Solution is more than a very good monograph. It is an example of the type of work which, through the study of Jewish communities, is transforming the history of those places and periods which saw Jewish settlement within Christian, and indeed Muslim, polities … This is a book which will help to brewak down the barriers which exclude Jews from the history of Europe and which still deny historians of Europe some of their most telling, challenging, sometimes painful, traces of the past.' Jewish Culture & History