Rabbi Elias Menahem: a late-13th-century English entrepreneur*

Over fifty years ago Cecil Roth examined the career and family of ‘Elijah of London’. Roth considered the man contemporaries referred to as Master Elias, by providing a detailed review of what was known of the many aspects of his life, works and family. Master Elias was shown to be a communal leader, rabbi, physi? cian and scholar. Roth outlined his career and gave some consideration to Elias’ economic activities.1 The purpose of this study is to reconsider the economic side of Elias’s life in the light of new research from documentary evidence not utilized by the late Cecil Roth. Elias was the youngest son of Rabbi (Master) Moses of London. Roth surmised, probably quite correctly, that Elias must have been born in the mid-1220s and was brought up in the shadow of his older brothers. Elias’s father, as one of the leading English rabbis of the time, would have

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