The Jews Of Bath*

Bath attracted many Jewish visitors from early in the eighteenth century, but the disappearance of all save a handful of communal records puts an exact analysis of the subsequent settlement there beyond the bounds of possibility.((C. Roth, The Rise of Provincial Jewry (London 1950) 27-9; Board of Deputies arch? ives C7/2/3/WV and D2/5/i-iv, calendered in the RCHM Report no. 76/28 (London 1976) 88 and 194.)) Apart from municipal archives and directories the major sources of information are two newspapers, the Bath Journal from 1744 onwards and the Bath Chronicle from 1755. Both, from their earliest issues, printed at the head of the local news, week by week, ‘persons of distinction that arrived’.

Certain customs accompanied the arrival at Bath. ‘If a broker or statesman, a gamester or peer,/A naturalized Jew or a bishop comes here’, wrote Anstey in his light-hearted verse Guide to the city, ‘With horns and with trumpets,

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