Wednesday, 2 November 2016

(Jewish) OTD: 3 November, Part 1.


You had your first introduction to acknowledgements of debt yesterday, from an example in The National Archives. Today, in an example from the Westminster Abbey Muniments, is a record from 1262. On 3 November of that year, William son of Hervey Holdeland of Ellingham acknowledged a debt of 5 marks (£3 6s 8d) to Abraham son of Ursell of York. This record comes from the Norwich archa as was transcribed in Vivian Lipman’s volume on the Norwich Jewry. The debt was due to be repaid at Pentecost the following year, Regrettably, Westminster Abbey Muniments Room does not permit photography and I do not have access to an image of this document. Over the summer, however, I accessed all of the WAM acknowledgements and this document, printed in pristine Latin by Lipman, and is heavily abbreviated. What I love about this document is that, like many Norwich acknowledgements we know who wrote the document. This is because of the phrase per mannum Rogeri de Hemmesbi clerici. In other words, we know all of the actors involved in this transaction by name – the debtor, creditor and crucially (for me anyway), the scribe Roger de Hammersby, who was a scribe at the Norwich archa during the 1260s and 1270s at the very least.

V. D. Lipman, Jews of Medieval Norwich (London, 1967), p. 293 (doc. no. 56): WAM 6708.

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