THIS survey of the pre-expulsion cemetery of the Jews in London was undertaken because an opportunity presented itself, owing to the wartime bombing of the area, A to uncover a part of the site. The members of this Society contributed the funds for the excavation, which was led by Professor W. F. Grimes, C.B.E., F.S.A., then Director of the London Museum. The author gratefully acknowledges the help she has received from him, and also from the late Rev. Arthur Barnett, Mr. Lewis Edwards, Dr. V. D. Lipman, Dr. Cecil Roth, the late Mr. Wilfred S. Samuel, and the Clerk and Librarian of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.
The primary records used for the survey fall into five groups. Firstly, there are the Goldsmiths' manuscript deeds relating to the site.1 These go back to 1257-58 although the Company did not acquire the property until 1422. Secondly, there are the earlier Jewish deeds at the Public Record Office and the British Museum. Some of these have been published (a) by this Society: notably the Calendar of the P.R.O. Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews,2 and the Starrs and Jewish Charters preserved in the British Museum?; and (b) jointly by this Society and the Seiden Society: J. M. Rigg, Select Pleas in the Exchequer of the Jews (1901). Thirdly, the P.R.O. Charter, Patent, Close, Fine and Pipe Rolls, and the Ancient Deeds, have other references to the cemetery and its environs. Fourthly, the most valuable City records are the Liber Albus, the Liber de Antiquis Legibus, Letter Book A and the Rusting Rolls. Lastly, there are some St. Paul's Cathedral manuscripts bearing on the cemetery: one or two are printed in the Early Charters of St. PauVs (ed. M. Gibbs, 1939), and others are listed in Report IX of the Historical MSS. Commission (1883). As to maps of the district, the most valuable are those of Ogilby and Morgan, 1677,4 and W. Horwood, 1799. The chief secondary sources are the writings of Dr. Joseph Jacobs (many inaccuracies but remarkable for his time), M. Adler, M. D. Davis, C. Roth and H. P. Stokes, mainly in this Society's Transactions and other publications. As in most topographical work, a word here and a sentence there?with perhaps a chance reference in descriptions of adjacent property? have been pieced together to find the boundaries of the cemetery and something of its history; and the excavations have corroborated the written evidence.
The cemetery had several mediaeval names. Sometimes it was called "the cemetery of the Jews,"5 "the common cemetery of the Jews,"6 or "the cemetery of the entire
1 Goldsmiths' Co. Cartulary, ff. 117-128; and their Book of Translations of Wills and Abstracts of Deeds contained in the Great Register (1940/B391). An Abstract of their Title to the Jews' Garden, compiled c. 1656, is deposited in the Guildhall Library (MS. no. 8740).
2 Three volumes, 1905 and 1910 ed. by J. M. Rigg; and 1929 ed. by H. Jenkinson.
3 Three volumes, 1930 ed. by I. Abrahams, H. P. Stokes and