The Expulsion of the Jews from Prague in 1745 and British Foreign Policy

On 1 December 1744 the leaders of the Prague Jewish community wrote in great distress to the leaders of Jewish communities all over Europe. Their ruler, Maria Theresa, Queen of Bohemia and Hungary, and ruler of many other Habsburg lands as well, had decreed the expulsion of all Jews from Bohemia and Moravia. They were to leave Prague by the end of January 1745 and the rest of Bohemia by the end of June. ‘What shall we poor souls do? . . . The children, women, infirm and aged which are not in a condition to walk, especially at this juncture, being cold and frosty weather, besides in the condition we are at present in, for they stripped many hundreds quite to their shirts . . . Brethren, we humbly beg, you would commiserate our condition, considering the eminent danger many thousand souls are in by this decree, and not

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