PEEFACE.

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The present volume of the "Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society"?the fifth of the series?records the work of the Society during the last five years, and contains nearly all the Papers read before the Society during the Sessions 1901-1905. Three Presidential Addresses are in? cluded, viz. those delivered by Mr. F. D. Mocatta (1901), Sir Isidore Spielmann (1903), and Mr. I. Abrahams (1904). The Addresses by the Rev. Prof. H. Gollancz (Jan. 1906) and the Rev. the Haham Dr. M. Gaster (Nov. 1906), and a selection from the other Papers read before the Society in 1906 and 1907, will appear in Vol. VI. Parts of Vol. VI. (beginning with the Presidential Address by the Rev. S. Levy, M.A., at the com? mencement of the current session, Dec. 9, 1907) have already been issued to Members. In future, Papers read before the Society will be printed as soon as the authors prepare them for press.

Since the publication of Vol. IV. of the " Transactions" in 1903, several works have been issued to members. In 1905 appeared the first volume of Mr. J. M. Rigg's " Calendar of the Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews, preserved in the Public Record Office." This volume covered the period 1218-1272, and a second volume, continuing the " Calendar " is in a forward state. It is gratifying to know that many eminent lawyers and lay members of the Seiden Society are subscribers to this " Calendar," which, though of a highly technical character, will in the end throw much light on the economic and social condition of Anglo-Jewry in the thirteenth century. The Society had previously published (in conjunction with the Seiden Society) a volume of " Select Pleas" from the same Exchequer Records. In Mr. Rigg's Introduction to that volume there occurred a passage which gave rise to some misunderstanding at the time. When Mr. Rigg's attention was called to the matter, he addressed a letter to the Society which entirely removed all false impressions. But the mistake as to Mr. Riggs meaning has been recently repeated, and it may be well to place on permanent record Mr. Riggs letter, which was published in the Society's Annual Report for 1903-4

" I have learned with much regret that a passage in my recent work, ' Select Pleas, &c, from the Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews,' published under the auspices of the Seiden Society and this Society, has been interpreted in some quarters in a sense quite foreign to my intent, i.e. as designed to countenance the " ritual murder" charge which from time to time has been, and in some parts of Europe still is, falsely brought against people of the Jewish race. I entirely repu? diate any such interpretation of my meaning. I have never seen the remotest reason to credit the charge, and the misapprehension of my meaning is to me the more surprising by reason of the express, explicit, and emphatic manner in which I affirmed the intrinsic

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