[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:-
Sr. Durte Henriques.
Sr. Antonio Robles.
Sr. Augustin Coronell [erased].
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.
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,
by the Jeames Tavern in Boshippgat strett, a great famely of Jewes.
Belerman the wine cooper in Sething Laine.
Whitt the broker.
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,