When thinking about moneylending and Jews, one invariably thinks of the Jew as the creditor. Consequently, I was surprised to come across an entry in the Patent Rolls under 7 November which was a loan by a Christian and a Jew. Not just any Jew, but Aaron of York – formerly presbyter judaeorum (1236-1243) and the richest Jew in medieval England. Between 1240 and 1255 the chronicler Matthew Paris tells us that Aaron was forced to pay 30,000 marks (£20,000) in tallage payments. Ordinarily, one would be dubious of such a figure, however, the receipts combined with the fact that in 1268 Aaron died in penury makes it credible. The letter patent, takes the form of a grant to Halingrat of Balister. Other entries in the Patent Rolls reveal that Halingrat was in the service of the Crown and that he dealt in property, but beyond that I have absolutely no idea who he was. Nor do I have any idea why Aaron would have sought to borrow 400 marks (£266 13s 4d) from him. It is possible that this sum was borrowed in relation to the burdens imposed upon him by tallages - but this is pure speculation and I have absolutely no idea if truth be told. What the grant does tell us is that the sum was to be repaid in its entirety on the octave of Michaelmas (6 October 1247). Should this not be done, then Halingrat was permitted to charge the specified amount, plus that much again.
If anybody does have any idea about the contents of this item, or if you think that I've completely misread it, then please do let me know, I'd love to hear from you.
Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office: Henry III, 1232-1247, ed. J. G. Black (London, 1906), p. 492.