A Chronology of the Jews in Britain

Date Event
Before 1066 No real evidence of presence of Jews in Britain
Late 11th Century William the Conqueror brought Jews from Rouen to London
1093c. Important disputation between Gilbert Crispin (Abbott of Westminster) and a Jew
12th Century First Charter of Protection to Jews in England
March, 1144 William of Norwich, the first Ritual Murder charge against Jews in the medieval period.
1158 Ibn Ezra visits London
March 1167 or 1168 Harold of Gloucester ritual murder charge.
1177 Jews of England had had to use the burial ground in London, but in 1177 were permitted to purchase burial grounds outside any city where they lived
1181 Jews forbidden to hold Arms
1183c. First Arch Presbyter of the Jews appointed
1186 Death of Aaron of Lincoln who was considered one of the wealthiest men in England
3 September, 1189 Coronation of Richard Lion-Heart led to a series of massacres of Jews
16/17 March, 1190 Massacre in York
Late 1194. First steps towards establishment of the Exchequer of the Jews
10 April, 1201 King John confirms Charter of the Jews. It cost them 4,000 marks
1 November, 1210 Unprecedented Tallage on Jews
15 June,1215 Magna Carta. Two clauses concern debts due to Jews
30 March, 1218 Jewish badge introduced, only strictly enforced after 1253
1231 Jews expelled from Leicester. This proved to be the start of a host of expulsions from various cities and towns
16 January, 1232 Domus Conversorum established in London
31 January, 1253 Restrictive measures against Jews
August, 1255 Hugh of Lincoln ritual murder charge
April, 1264 Attack on the Jewry in London and elsewhere
24 November, 1275 Statute of the Jewry
1279 Jews ordered to attend sermons delivered by Dominican Friars
18 July, 1290 Edict expelling Jews
1290 -1656 The period between the expulsion of the Jews in 1290 and their readmission in 1656 is generally called ‘The Middle Period’. Although there was no Jewish community during this period, Jews visited Britain from time to time for various reasons and some Marranos established themselves in Britain for periods of time
31 October, 1655 Humble address from Menasseh ben Israel to Oliver Cromwell. A fortnight later on 13 November he submitted a petition for the readmission of Jews to England
December, 1655 Whitehall Conference to discuss the petition. Dissolved by Cromwell before it reached a decision
1656 Although no formal agreement on readmission, Jewish residents of London began living openly as Jews
December, 1656 First Synagogue established after Readmission
February, 1657 First Cemetery acquired in Mile End
14 October, 1663 Samuel Pepys visits the Synagogue on Simchat Torah
1664 Bylaws (Ascamot) of new community agreed
22 August, 1664 Jews granted Royal protection
January, 1667 Jews allowed to swear in Court on the Old Testament
February, 1674 Jews indicted for holding a service, but the King stopped the proceedings against them
1671 Start of practice of presenting each Lord Mayor with a gift
1677 Court venue changed to avoid a Jew having to give evidence on a Saturday
1692c. Establishment of first Ashkenazi Synagogue
2 February, 1697 Site acquired for first Ashkenazi cemetery
1697 Jews admitted as brokers on the Royal Exchange
20 September, 1701 Bevis Marks Synagogue inaugurated
1702 Great Synagogue founded
24 June, 1702 Act to oblige Jews to maintain and provide for their Protestant children
20 March, 1705 Hambro Synagogue founded
Late 1714 Publication of John Toland’s Reasons for Naturalising the Jews in Great Britain and Ireland, on the same foot with All Other Nations
1732 Talmud Torah attached to the Great established, which became the Jews’ Free School (JFS) in 1817
18 October, 1747 Establishment of the Sephardi Jews’ Hospital (Beth Holim)
1753 Enactment and repeal of the ‘Jew Bill’
14 December, 1760 Foundation of Board of Deputies
May 1761 The New Synagogue founded
1761 Beginnings of Western Synagogue
17 December, 1776 Official fast to wish success against the rebels in America
17 April, 1782 Death of the Baal Shem of London
Late 1787 Conversion of Lord George Gordon
19 October, 1803 Official fast for success in the war against France
16 April, 1804 Establishment of The London Board for Shechita
14 April, 1809 Three Royal Dukes visit the Great Synagogue
1817 Establishment of Jews’ Free School (JFS)
1819 Jewish Blind Society founded
1826 University College London founded, the first university in England to admit students regardless of race, class or religion
1836 Marriage Registration Act recognising Board of Deputies as a competent authority
1840 Successful mission by Moses Montefiore to secure release of Jews in Damascus accused of a blood libel
15 April, 1840 Religious split in London Community
Late 1841 Voice of Jacob and Jewish Chronicle founded
17 January, 1842 West London Synagogue of British Jews opened
31 July, 1845 Act for the relief of Persons of the Jewish Religion elected to Municipal Offices
18 August, 1846 Religious Disabilities Act. The Jewish religion was no longer connived at, but was placed under the protection of the law
July, 1847 Lionel Rothschild elected an MP, but unable to take seat because oath included the words ‘on the true faith of a Christian’
1855 Jews College founded
23 July, 1858 Oaths and Jewish Relief Acts
26 July, 1858 First Jew (Lionel Rothschild) takes seat in House of Commons
1859 Unsuccessful mission by Moses Montefiore to Rome to secure release of Edgardo Mortara
1859 Foundation of the Board of Guardians (subsequently Jewish Care)
28 June, 1868 Disraeli appointed Prime Minister
14 July, 1870 Establishment of United Synagogue
1871 Formation of Anglo-Jewish Association
1881 Start of mass immigration
1885 Establishment of the ‘Jewish Ladies’ Society for Preventative and Rescue Work’
28 July, 1885 Death of Sir Moses Montefiore
April, 1887 The Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition
6 November, 1887 Formation of Federation of Synagogues
September, 1889 Jewish Tailors Strike
10 December, 1890 Public meeting protesting against condition of Russian Jews
1891 Shechitah dispute and formation of the Machzike Hadath
November, 1891 Foundation of ‘The Maccabeans’
1892 Schism at Hampstead Synagogue
1893 Foundation of Jewish Historical Society of England
1895 Foundation of the Jewish Lads’ Brigade
17 January, 1896 First version of Herzl’s The Jewish State published in Jewish Chronicle
1896 Foundation of Brady Street Boys’ Club
1899 English Zionist Federation founded
1902 Anti-Jewish disturbances in South Wales
18 October, 1902 Inaugural service of the Jewish Religious Union which led to the formation of the Liberal Jewish Movement
23 April, 1903 The Uganda Project
August, 1903 Report of the Royal Commission on Aliens leading to the 1905 Aliens Act
12 January, 1904 The Limerick ‘Pogrom’
19 August, 1911 Anti-Jewish riots in Tredegar
1912 The Marconi Scandal
1913 The Indian Silver Affair
1914 Foundation of Oxford and St George’s Girls’ Club
March, 1915 Formation of the Zion Mule Corps.
24 May, 1917 Anti-Zionist manifesto by the Conjoint published in the Times
July, 1917 Formation of a Jewish Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers
2 November, 1917 The Balfour Declaration
8 December, 1917 Allenby captures Jerusalem
1919 Jewish Memorial Council founded
13 July, 1919 London Jewish Hospital opens for out-patients
January, 1920 The Protocols of the Elders of Zion first published in Britain
25 April, 1920 Palestine Mandate assigned to Britain
October, 1930 The ‘Passfieldâ’ White Paper
April, 1933 Community Undertaking regarding Jewish Refugees from Germany
July, 1935 Formation of Defence Committee by Board of Deputies
4 October, 1936 Formation of Jewish People’s Council and ‘The Battle of Cable Street’
7 July, 1937 ‘Peel Report’ published
May, 1939 White Paper on Palestine
11 May, 1941 The Great Synagogue, Dukes Place, destroyed in an air raid
17 December, 1942 Confirmation of extermination of Jews by Nazis announced to House of Commons
March, 1945 Last German V2 rocket on London kills 130 persons, nearly all Jewish
March, 1946 Formation of the ’43 Group’
22 July, 1946 Bombing of King David Hotel, Jerusalem
8 May, 1948 Establishment of the State of Israel
1954 Establishment of Jewish Book Week
October, 1956 The Suez Affair
1961 The ‘Jacobs’ Affair
10 May, 1991 War Crimes Act
1992 Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain founded
1996 Bloom’s in Whitechapel Road closes
6 May, 2002 Solidarity Rally in Trafalgar Square in support of peace in Israel

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