The Jews in the English Universities

Regarding the admission of the Jews to the English Universities, there is a legend which has established itself as history. They were, it is said, entirely excluded from the opportunities of higher education in this country until the nineteenth century was well advanced: the first breach in the old system was made by Nathan Lazarus Benmohel who, graduating at Dublin in 1836, was the first conforming Jew to obtain a degree in any university in the British Isles: and they were empowered to become full members of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge only by the Universities Tests Act of 1871. But this account, accepted implicitly or explicitly by all the standard works,1 is utterly misleading.

The connexion of the Jews with the two great English University towns goes back to the Middle Ages, and certain theorists have maintained that they played some part in their development as seats of

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