Articles Image

[This paper, read before the Society on March 1, 1902, was prepared with a view to examining the theory recently put forward by Dr. Gaster in his history of the Sephardi Synagogue, that there was no organised Jewish community in London previously to 1664, and that the Royal Order of that year constituted the fundamental charter of Jewish residence in England. It must be read as a sequel to the author's Menasseh ben Israel's Mission to Oliver Cromwell.]

The closing days of the Protectorate were calm and unclouded for the little Jewish community of London. Before the masterful will of Cromwell the anti-Semites subsided into cowed silence, and while he lived not a voice was raised in protest against the heretical congrega? tion to which he had given the light of his countenance. The battle had been fought and decided, and on both sides the combatants returned to their ordinary avocations. The Jews traded unhindered in the City. They were represented by one of their own body on 'Change.1 They held public worship in their synagogue,2 and before the spring of 1660 five tombstones had been reared in their modest House of Life (Beth Chajim) at Mile End, as mournful witnesses to their hard-won civil and religious rights.3 Relieved of all anxiety for the security of their privileges, they had made considerable pro? gress in the organisation of their congregation when the Protectorate collapsed and Charles II. came by his own.

Of the condition of the London Jewish community in the Restoration year we have fortunately a very complete contemporary

1 Solomon Dormido, admitted in 1657 (Guildhall Archives, Rem. lxxiii. p. 213).

2 Statements in petitions of City Corporation and Thomas Violet quoted later.

3 Bevis Marks Synagogue Burial Register.

picture. This is contained in two lists of Jews which were given by Dr. Charles Chauncey to Emanuel Mendes da Costa in 1765, with the assurance that they were of the years 1658 to 1660.4 The script of both is of the most characteristic mid-seventeenth century type. There is, however, no difficulty in determining their date within a few weeks. They are the work of two different hands operating at the same time, and that time was the year 1660. The first list runs as follows:-

Ducks Place.

Sr. Durte Henriques.

Sr. Antonio Robles.

Sr. Augustin Coronell [erased].

Chrechurch Lane.

thre famelyes.

Sra. Antony Ferdenandes widdow seauerall Spanish [erased] Jewes and Ferdinande's heirs in Leadenhall Street.

Sin. Leuey Sin. Perera Sin. Baroa Sin. Mordihay Sin. Jacob Bora- at Mr. Linger a plumers agfc Church.

Sin. Moses the Prest wer the Sinagoge is.

Sin. Dauid The Prest in St. tellens a sinigoge.

Beauis Markes.

Sin. Samuell Deuega and seaven Lodgers Jewes in his hous.

another fameley in Beues markes and lodgers-

in showmakers Row by Ducks Place, a great famely.

In Grauell Lane,

Domingus Rodregous,

Francisco Rodregous,

by the Jeames Tavern in Boshippgat strett, a great famely of Jewes.

Belerman the wine cooper in Sething Laine.

Whitt the broker.

Samell swinock.

Brow the Broker.

4 Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 29,868, ff. 15, 16. The second of these lists has already been published in the Gentleman's Magazine,

Become a member to read the full article
Become a member today


24 hour access to JHSE online resources

Instant access to over 700 articles View the original articles as a PDF
Learn More


Annual JHSE Membership

Members are entitled to a free copy of the latest Jewish Historical Studies, free access to our online resources and associate membership of the UCL Library in London.  In addition, they receive the JHSE Newsletter, special offers on books for sale and pay less to attend our series of lectures and other public events.
Learn More


Student Membership

The JHSE want to encourage students to engage with Jewish history.  Apply for a Student Membership with your university email account and once we have verified your status you will soon have all the benefits of being a full JHSE member.
Learn More


Associate your Institution with the JHSE

Give your members access to JHSE online resources and special offers on book sales.  Use your institutional email account when applying, and once your status is verified we will explain the scheme.  Preferred payment is by credit or debit card.
Learn More

Your Cart