The Origins of the Jewish Orphanage

In 1656, Jews were granted legal rights to enter into England and live there. It has been estimated that in 1669 there were between 60 and 80 Jewish families, constituting a total of about 400 people, of whom one-quarter were well-to-do, one-quarter who possessed only moderate means, while the remainder were employees or paupers.1 By 1750, the numbers had increased to 8,000, the majority of whom came from Central Europe via Holland.1 In 1795, Patrick Colquhoun estimated that there were about 20,000.2

The majority of the immigrants lived in London and were unable to enter into pro? ductive employment, because restrictions in the countries of their origin had denied them the opportunity of learning a useful trade, while conditions in England prevented their absorp? tion in the normal economic life of the nation. Under several charters, the City was able to keep Jews perpetually out of the freedom, and, without

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