A Hospitaller and the Jews: Brother Joseph de Chauncy and English Jewry in the 1270s*

Among the many entries touching on matters of Jewish interest in the memoranda rolls of the English exchequer in the late-13th century1 is a pair of entries dating from December 1273. They record orders issued by the treasurer, Brother Joseph de Chauncy,2 and sent to various sheriffs. The sheriffs were to have it proclaimed that all Jews resident in their shires were to come to, and remain in, the principal (or possibly, the archa) town of each shire from December 1273 until the following Easter (1 April 1274). The reasons for their forced migration and residence, as for the penalties with which any Jews who did not obey were threatened, are not given in the memoranda roll.3 It is likely, however, that the treasurer wished to facilitate the collection of the ‘great tallage’ of one-third of the Jews’ movable goods, which Roth indicates had been imposed by ‘the Council of

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