Tuesday, 22 November 2016

(Jewish) OTD: 22 November

One of the first entries that I did for this feature related to the supposed forced circumcision of Odard son of Benedict in Norwich. That entry was from 1235, today we have another entry from the Fine Rolls, coming from the previous year. On 22 November 1234, according to the dating of the Fine Rolls of Henry III Project, detailing that the accused Jews were to be brought before the king for trial “15 days from Hilary in the nineteenth year” [28 January], the Jews having paid 100 marks (£66 13s 4d) for respite of judgement. There is an important context here. The Jews of Norwich had already been subject to a hearing before the Justices of the Jews as the monks of Norwich priory earlier in 1234. During these proceedings, the Jews had been found guilty. Consequently, the king’s decision was required in the case. Thereafter, the Jews were imprisoned in August 1234 and, as Vivian Lipman noted in the Pipe Rolls, agreed to pay 100 marks for recite of the king’s justice. Therefore, this Fine is clearly making reference to that agreement. Interestingly, or at least it's interesting to me given that I'm working on the role of the Tower of London in the lives of medieval Jews, one of the Jews arrested was first imprisoned in the Tower before being transferred to Norwich. [1] 

"Fine Rolls of Henry III Project", http://www.finerollshenry3.org.uk/content/fimages/C60_34/m15.html accessed on 22 November 2016.

[1] Vivian D. Lipman, The Jews of Medieval Norwich (London, 1967), pp. 59-63.

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