The Northampton “Donum” of 1194

Articles Image

I3. The Northampton "Donum" of 1194.

On the return of Richard I from the Crusade and his subsequent captivity, the Jews of England contributed to a tallage which was arranged at Northampton in the year 1194. The importance of the record of the payments made cannot be doubted, for it provides details as to the Jews resident in various parts of England at the end of the twelfth century, and gives a valuable clue as to the relative importance of many individuals. Some portions of the record have been published. Thus the entries relating to Cambridge may be found in Dr. H. P. Stokes* Studies in Anglo- JeivishH istory (pp. 248-9); while those which refer to Canterbury and Kent are printed in theA ppendix to theR ev. M. Adler's paper on the Jews of Canterbury (pp. 74-5 of vol. vii. of Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society).

The firstw riter to take due note of this Northampton tallage of 5000 marks was Dr. Joseph Jacobs. In his epoch-making work, The Jews of Angevin England (1893), he gave an ample summary of the record (pp. 162-164), and in the "Name List of English Jews of the Twelfth Century" (op. cit., pp. 345-369), he entered all the names occurring in the Northampton record. His tabulation of the names, as well as their spelling, and his details as to the sums actually paid, how? ever, needed revision. Dr. Jacobs held, with regard to the names, that it was best to equalise their spellings with those usually found elsewhere, It is also helpful, however, to the student to have before him just the differences found in various records.

But more was needed. Dr. Jacobs himself designed more. Speak? ing of the Northampton Donum (op. cit., p. 162), he describes his work as " tentative." Later on in the same volume (p. 345) he says, " I am about to publish [it] in full in theR evue des St?des Juives." This under? taking remained unfulfilled. Something like a year ago Dr. Jacobs was reminded of his promise, and he undertook to edit the document if I
could provide him with an accurate copy. It is quite clear that Dr* Jacobs must have had before him a full transcript a quarter of a century ago. But apparently the copy was mislaid, and a fresh one was accord? ingly prepared. Miss D. L. Powell devoted considerable time and care to the transcription, Lieut. Hilary Jenkinson gave much help in decipher? ing doubtful and difficult passages, Dr. Stokes corrected the proofs, and I have myself collated the whole document. Thus no pains have been omitted to ensure an accurate reproduction. The proof was sent to Dr. Jacobs to New York; he acknowledged the receipt, and expressed his willingness to write a full introduction, and to consider several debateable points as to the questions raised by the record.

This was, however, not to be. Dr. Jacobs has passed away. It seems to me, however, that it would be wrong to withhold

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

£7

24 hour access to JHSE online resources

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

£40

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

£20

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

£80

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
0

Your Cart