Wednesday, 30 November 2016

(Jewish) OTD: 30 November

Never let it be said that I can’t make a Jewish connection to just about anything! Today is St. Andrews Day. Now obviously there were no Jewish communities in medieval Scotland, so how, you may ask, is that lunatic going to make a connection to this rather Scottish feast day? I would naturally answer: with an acknowledgement of debt, the same way I answer every other question. So, TNA E 210/35 is an acknowledgment by Henry “Wyte” son of William of the county of Buckingham (I never know whether that should be written as White in modern English – suggestions are welcome) of a debt 2 marks to Sampson son of Isaac. The record goes on to state that repayment was due on the feast of St. Andrew, includes the standard penalty clause and the date: 8 March 1263. There are two things I’d like to draw your attention to here. First, it was standard practice for the date of repayment to be specified as the liturgical date. This could be for various reasons: convenience, the fact that the date was significant in terms of the English administrative calendar (Michaelmas was far and away the most common, followed by Easter), or perhaps because of the significance of the Saint (e.g. dates relating to the Virgin Mary were common, which has an important English context). Second, based upon the handwriting I am fairly confident that this document was produced at the London archa by and archa scribe.

TNA E 210/35.

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