Isidore Singer.

The Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) online

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Ha}'yim Meisels, now (1904) rabbi at Lodz. The
fifth rabbi was Eliezer Siinhah Rabiuowitz (1879),
now at Kalvariya. The present rabbi is Malchiel
Zebi Tennenbaum, author of "Dibre ilalkiel."

In 1884 a destructive fire rendered eighty families
homeless. In 1885 a yeshibaii was established in
Lomza by R. Eliezer Shulawitz, the pupil of R.
Israel Salanter. The institution is attended by hun-
dreds of boys, who are provided there with food and
clothing. Among the prominent members of the
Lomza community may be mentioned Dr. Ephraim
Edelstein, son-in-law of Lazar Rosenthal of Yase-

Besides the general schools, Lomza has special
Jewish schools, including 30 hadarim (430 pupils),
and 1 Talmud Torah(180 pupils). Thej'eshibah has
about 350 students. The charitable institutions in-
clude a hospital, a poor-house, a free-loan associa-
tion, and a society for aiding the poor. Manufac-
turing and trading have been but little developed
in Lomza. In 1897 there were 1,337 Jewish artisans

Bibliography : Ha-Asif, 1., iv. 5; Ha-ZeUrah, 18T7, No. 11;
1879, No. 26; 1883, No. 31; 1884, p. 266; 1887, p. 10; 1889,
p. 1133.

H. K. J. G. L.— S. J.

LONDON: Capital city of England. According
to William of Malmesbury, William the Conqueror
brought certain Jews from Rouen to London about
1070; and there is no evidence of their earlier exist-
ence in England. Besides these settlers from Rouen,
London was visited by Jews from the Rhine valley,
one of whom, from Mayence, had a friendly dispute,
about 1107, with Gilbert Crispin, Abbot of West-
minster. Another Jew was even converted to Chns-
tianity by Anselm ("Opera," III., epist. cxvii.). The
earliest reference to a collective Jewish settlement is
in the "Terrier of St. Paul's," of about 1115, where
mention is made of some land in the "Jew street,"
which from its description corresponds to a part of
Old Jewry. In 1130 the Jews of London incurred a
fine of £3,000 — an enormous sum in those days — " for
the sick man whom they killed"; possibly some
charge of magic was involved. Among the persons
paying this fine was" Rubi Gotsce " (Rabbi Josce or
Joseph), whose sons Isaac and Abraham were the
chief members of the London community toward the
end of the century, and whose house in Rouen was in
possession of the family as late as 1303 ("Rot. Cart."
105b). In 1158 Abraham ibn p]zra visited London
and wrote there his letter on the Sabbath and his
" Yesod Mora." Up to 1177 London was so far the
principal seat of Jews in England that Jews dying
in any part of the country had to be buried in the
capital, probably in the cemetery known afterward




as "Jewiii Garden,"' and now as "Jewiu street."
The expulsion of the Jews from tlie Isle of France
in 1182 l)rought about a large acquisition to tlie
London connnunity, wliicli was probably then vis-
ited by Judah Sir Leon, whose name occurs as "Leo
le Blund " in a list of London Jews who contributed
to tlie Saladin tithe Dec, 1185. This list includes
Jews from Paris, Joigny, Pontoisc, Estampes, Spain,
and Morocco.

The massacre of the Jews at the coronation of
Richard 1. Sept. 3, 1189 (.see En(5L.\xd), was the first

proof that the Jews of England had
Massacre of any ))opular ill-will against them.
of 1189. Richard did practically nothing to

punish the rioters, though he granted
a special form of charter to Isaac fil Joce, the chief
London Jew of the time, "and his men," which is
the earliest extant charter of English Jews. In
1194 the Jews of London contributed £486 9s. 7d.
out of £1,803 7s. 7d. toward the ransom of the king:
in the list of contributors three Jewish "bishops"
are mentioned— Deulesalt, Vives, and Abraham. In
the Siime year was passed the "Ordinance of the
Jewry," which in a measure made London the center
of the English Jewry for treasury purposes, West-
minster becoming the seat of the Exchequer of
THE Jews, which was fully organized by the be-
ginning of the thirteenth century. Meanwhile anti-
Jewish feeling in London had spread to such an ex-
tent that King John found it necessary in 1204 to
rebuke the mayor for its existence. After the mas-
sacre of 1189, it would appear, the Jews began to
desert Old Jewry, and to spread westward into the
streets surrounding the Cheape, or market-place,
almost immediately in front of the Guildhall. To
a certain extent tlie Jews were crowded out from Old

Jewry by the Church, which during
Old Je'WTy. the twelfth century established there

the monastery of St. Thomas of Aeon,
St. Mary Colechurch, and at the back St. Martin
Pomary, looking upon Ironmonger lane, where, it
would seem, the Jews' College, or high school of all
the English Jews, was located.

Escheats and purchases tended also to drive the
Jews away from this quarter, the corner houses of
Ironmonger lane being taken from Jews by the Earl
of Lancaster and the P^arl of Essex respectively.
Tlu! Jewish dwellings spread along Grcsham street.
Milk street, and Wood .street. The fact that the
chief noblemen of the time were anxious to obtain
them shows these to have been strongly
built, as was indeed the complaint at the time of the

Besides their predominant position, due to the
existence of the Exchequer of the Jews, and wliicli
brought to London all the Jewish liusiness of the
country, the Jews of the ca{)ital had also spiritual
domination, inasmuch as their presbyter or chief
rabbi held a position analogous to that of the arch-
bishop (see PuESnYTEH).

The chief synagogue of the London Jewry at this
date appears to have been on the site of H.xkkwell
H.\i-i,. It probably continued to be u.sed down to
the Expulsion, though for certain reasons it was in
private hands from 1283 to 1290. Another syna-
gogue, iu the northeast corner of Old Jewry, was

handed over to the Fratres de Sacca, while still an-
other was given to St. Anthony's Hospital, on the
site of which is now the City Bank. Reference lo
more than one synagogue among the Jews of Lon-
don is distinctly seen in the proclamations which
were ordered to be made in the " .synagogues " to
determine whether or not a person was in debt to
the Jews (see "Select Pleas of the Jewish Ex-
chequer," ed. Rigg, p. 9).

The Jews of London suffered from their position
as buffer between the king and the barons. In 1215
the barons opposing John sacked the Jewish quar
ter and used the tombstones of the Jewish cemetery
to repair Ludgate (Stow, "Survey of London," eel.
Tlioms, p. 15). Similarly, in the trouble with Simon
de Montfort, in 1263, the barons looted the London
Jewry in pursuance of their opposition to the op-
pression of the king, into whose hands fell the debts
of the Jews in London and elsewhere. This out-
burst had been preceded in 1262 by a popular riot
against the Jews in which no less than

In the 700 had been killed. A curious suit
Barons' which followed the death of a Jew on
War. this occasion is given in "Select Pleas,"

pp. 73-76, from which it appears that
some of the .Tews of that time took refuge in the
Tower of London. It is a mistake, however, to sup-
pose that there was a separate Jewry in that neigh-
borhood. Most of the trials that took place with
regard to ritual or other accusations were held in
the Tower (see Norwich). Nevertheless the Tower
continued to be the main protection of the Jews
against the violence of the mob ; and they are re-
ported to have been among its chief defenders in
1269 against the Earl of Gloucester and the disin-

In 1244 London witnessed an accusation of ritual
murder, a dead child having being found with gashes
upon it which a baptized Jew declared to be in the
shape of Hebrew letters. The body was buried with
much pomp in St. Paul's Cathedral, and the .Tews
were lined the enormous sum of 60,000 marks (about
£40,000). Later on, in 1279, certain Jews of North-
ampton, on the accusation of having murdered a boy
in that city, were brought to Loudon, dragged at
horses' tails, and hanged.

Toward the later part of their stay in London the
Jews became more and more oppressed and de-
graded, and many of them, to avoid starvation, re-
sorted to doubt f ul expedients, such as clipping. This
led at times to false accusations; and on one occa-
sion a Jew named Manser fil Aaron sued for an in-
quiry concerning some tools for clipping which had
been found on the roof of his house near the .syna-
gogue (1277). In the following year no fewer than
680 Jews were imprisoned in the Tower, of whom
267 were hanged for clipping the coinage. On
another occasion the lord mayor gave orders that no
meat declare<l unfit by the Jewish butchers should
be exposed for sale to Christians (Riley, "Chron."
p. 177).

Disj)utes as to jurisdiction over the Jews often
occurred between the Jewish Exchequer and the
lord mayor. Thus in the year 1250 pleas of dis-
seizin of tenemenlsof the city of London were with-
drawn from the cognizance of the justice of the




Jews and assigned for trial in the mayor's court,
tliough they were reassigned to the Exchequer in
1271. In that year Jews were prevented from ac-
(juiringany more property in London, on the ground
that this might diminisli tlie Church tithes ("De
Antiquis Legibus Liber." pp. 234 et
Syna- seq.). Tlie Church was very careful
gogues to prevent any encroachment on its
Closed. rights; and it endeavored to curtail
those of the Synagogue as much as
possible. In 1388 Bishop Peckham caused all syna-
gogues in the diocese of London to be closed ; and
it is for this reason that there exists no record of
any synagogue falling into the hands of the king at
the Expulsion (1290), though it is probable that the
liouse held by Antera, widow of Vives fil Mosse of
Ironmonger lane, was identical with the synagogue
and was used for that purpose.

At the Expulsion the houses held by the Jews fell
into the hands of the king, and were with few ex-

Indeed, their presence ajipears to have become so
common that in an old play (''Every Woman in Her

Humour," 1609) a citizen's wife thus

The advises any one desirous of going to

Return, court : " You may hire a good suit at a

Jew's." From this it would appear
that Jewish traffic in old clothes had already begun.
Toward the middle of the reign of Charles I. a
number of Spanish Jews, lieaded by Antonio Fer-
nandez Carvajal, settled in London in order to
share in the benefits of the trade between Holland
and the Spanish colonies. Thej' passed as Span-
iards, and attended mass at the chapel of the Span-
ish embassy; l)ut when the Independents, with
Cromwell at their head, became predominant in
English affairs, several of these Jews assisted him in
obtaining information about Spanish designs (see
Intelligencers). Meanwhile Manasseh ben Is-
rael attempted to secure formal permission for the
return of the Jews to England. At the conference

i h h u r i e

TiiK London Jewry, 1290. Numbered Plots Belonged to Jews.

(From Jacobs' "Jewish Ideals.")

ceptions transferred to some of his favorites. In all,
the position of about twenty-five houses can still
be traced (see accompanying map), though it is
doubtful whether the 2,000 Jews of Loudon could
have been accommodated in that small number of
ilwellings. As will be seen, the houses were clus-
tered around the Cheape or market. Many of their
owners were members of the Hagin family, from
which it has been conjectured Huggin lane received
its name (but see Hagin Deulacres). Traces of
the presence of Jews are found also in surrounding
niaiiors which now form part of London, as West
Hani, Southwark, etc.

From the Expulsion to the seventeenth century
London was only occasionally visited by Jews,
mainly from Spain. In 1542 a certain number of
persons were arrested on the suspicion of being Jews.

at Whitehall on Dec. 18, 1655, the matter was left
undecided; but it was put to a practical test in the
following year by the Robles case, as a result of
which Cromwell granted the lease of a burial-
ground at Mile End for 999 years ("Jew. Chron."
Nov. 26, 1880). Even previous to this the Jews had
met for worship in a private house fitted up as a
synagogue in Creechurch lane, Leadenhall street;
and it is possible to assume the existence of a sec-
ond meeting-place at St. Helens in the same neigh-
borhood by 1662. These places of worship were
fairly well known to the general public, though they
were protected by treble doors and other means of
concealment. Thomas Greenhalgh visited the one
in Creechurch lane in 1664 ; and from the number of
births in that year it would appear that about 280
Jewish souls resided in London at the beginning of




the reign of Charles II. These must have increased
considerably by 1677, when more than fifty Jewish
names occur in the first London directory (Jacobs
and Wolf, "Bibl. Anglo-Jud." pp. 59-61). Implying
a population of at least 500 Jewish souls. There is
evidence of a number of aliens pretending to be Jews
in that very year (L. Wolf, in "Jew. Chron." Sept.
28, 1894, p. 10).

Much opposition was directed against the Jews by
the citizens of London, who regarded them as for-
midable rivals in foreign trade. Besides a petition
of Thomas Violett against them in 1660, attempts
were made in 1664, 1673, and 1685 to put a stop to
their activity and even to their stay in England.
On the last occasion the ingenious point was made
that the grants of denization given to the London
Jews by Charles II. had expired with his death, and
that their goods were, therefore, liable to alien duty

aside for the Jewish brokers. In 1697 a new set of
regulations was passed by a committee of the Ex-
change appointed by the aldermen, which limited
the number of English brokers to 100, of alien
brokers to 12, and of Jewish brokers to 12. Of the
12 Jews admitted all appear to have been Sephar-
dim except Benjamin Levy, who was probablj' an
Ashkenazi. A petition in 1715 against the admis-
sion of Jews to the Exchange was refused by the
board of aldermen.

The Sephardim soon established communal insti-
tutions, following, it may be conjectured, the ex-
ample of Amsterdam, from which city
Organiza- most of them had emigrated. The
tion. Gates of Hope School was founded as
early as 1664 ; and this was followed
by the Villa Real Schools in 1730. The Scphardic
Orphan Asylum had been established as early as

(From a photoj;raph.)

(Tovey. '■ AiigloJudaica." pp. 2S7-2ft5) ; and this
contention was ultimately sustained. The more im-
portant merciiants of London, however, recognized
the ailvantages to be derived from tlie large
trade witii tlic Spanish and Portuguese colonies and
with tlir Levant, to which, indeed, England was
largely indebted for its imports of bullion. Rodri-
qucs Marques at tlie time of his death (1668) had nc
less than 1,000,000 mil reis eonsii^ned to London from
Portugal. Aeenidingly individual Jews were ad-
mitted as brokers on the Royal Exchange, though
in reality not eligible by law. Solomon Dormido.
Manas.'^eli ben Israel's nephew, was thus admitted
as early as 1657, and others followed, till the south-
eastern corner of the Exchange was definitely set

1703, and a comjiosite society, whose title com-
menced with " Ilonen Dalim," was founded in 1704
to aid lying-in women, sujipint the poor, and to
give marriage jiortions to fatherless girls. In 1736
a Marriage Portion Society was founded, and eleven
years later the Beth llolim, or hospital, came into
existence, this in tinii being followed in 174!( by the
institution known as "Mahesim Tobim." Tiianks
to these and other minor institutions, the life of a
Sephurdic Jew in London was assisted at every
stjige from birth, through circumcision, to marriage,
and onward to death, while even the girls of the
community were assisted with dowries. This im-
fortunately had a pauperizing elTeet, which came
to be felt toward the beginning of the nineteenth

Interior of the Great Synagogue, Duke's Place, London.

(From an old engraving.)




century. All these institulious centered round the
great Sephardic synagogue built in Bevis Marks
Sept., 1701 (see Bevis Marks Svxagogue). This
was a center of light and learning, having the soci-
ety Etz Haini (founded as early as 1664) for the
study of the Law. Later this was merged with the
yeshibah into one institution called the "Medrash,"
which is still in existence. In the early days of the
Community almost all the names of importance were
connected with Bevis Marks, e.g., the Cortissos,
Laguuas, Mendes, Pimentels, Samudas, Salvadors,
Sannentos, Suassos, and Villa Heals; the Nietosand
the Azevedos likewise represented a high state of
culture and Hebrew learning. By the middle of
the eighteenth century these and other families, such

tion of bullion. The Jamaica trade was almost
monopolized by them (,ib. pp. 44-49). The most
important member of the community was Samson
Gideon, who by his coolness during the crisis of the
South Sea Bubble and the rising of 1745 rendered
great service to the government and acquired large
means for himself. The riots that followed the pas-
sage of the bill of 1753 for the naturalization of Jews

had in many ways a disastrous effect

Social upon the Sephardic section of the

Condition community. Despairing of emancipa-

in 1750. tion, a large number of the wealthiest

and most cultured either were bap-
tized themselves or had their children baptized,
Gideon leading the way in the latter expedient.

: ■vsftw-'.i^w'we ■' m. -f^i^jmrn" ' ■


'octet ^sm



(From a

as the Franks. Treves, Seixas, Nunes, Lamegos, Sal-
omons, Pereiras, ami Francos, haduccumiJated con-
siderable wealth, mainly in foreign commerce; and
in a pamphlet of the lime it was reckoned that there
were 100 families with an income ranging between
£1,000 iitiil t:-2,000, while the average expenditure of
the 1,000 families raised aliove pauperism was esti-
mated at .£;W0 per annum. The wiiole commvmity
was reekoned to be worth t5.000,000 (" Furtiicr
Considerations of the Act," pp. 34-35, London.
1753). The Jews were mainly concerned in the East-
Indian and West-Indian trades and in the importa-


His son became Lord Eardley in the Irish peerage.
One conse(iuence of the rejection of the naturaliza-
tion bill of 1753 was the formation of the Board of
Deputies, then known as the " Deputados of the
Portuguese Nation," really an extension of the
Committee of Diligence formed to watch the pas-
sage of the naturalization bill through the Irish Par-
liament in 1745. The Board of Deputies came into
existence as a sort of representative body whose first
business was to congratulate George III. on his
accession. As indicated by its earlier name, its
membership was confined to Sephardim, though by




arrangement representatives of the "Dutch Jews"
were allowed to join in their deliberations (see Lon-
don Board of Deputies).

Meanwhile the "Dutch Jews" orAshkenazim hud
from the beginning of the century been slowly in-
creasing in numbers and iinportance. They had es-
tablished a synagogue as early as 1693 in Broad
street, Mitre square ; and thirty years later the con-
gregation was enabled by the generosity of Moses
Hart (Moses of Breslau) to remove to a much more
spacious building in Duke's place, Aldgate, still
known as the "Great Shool." His brother, Aaron
Hart, was established as the chief rabbi; and his
daughter, Mrs. Judith Levy, contributed liberally
to the synagogue's maintenance. Three years later

of the Ashkenazic community consisted of petty
traders and hawkers, not to speak of the follow-
ers of more disreputable occupations. P. Colqu-
houn, in his "Treatise on the Police of the Metrop-
olis " (Loudon, 1800), attributes a good deal of crime
and vice to their influence; and his account is con-
firmed by less formal sketches in books like P.
Egan's "Life in London " and by the caricatures of
Rowlandson and his school. The lower orders of
the Sephardic section also were suffering somewhat
from demoralization. Prize-fighters like Aby Be-
lasco, Samuel Elias, and Daniel Mendoza, though
they contributed to remove some of the prejudice of
the lower orders, did not help to raise the general

Jews' Hospital and Orphan Asylum, West Norwood, London.

(From a photograjih.)

a schism occurred, and the Hambro' Synagogue
was founded. It was not till 1745 that the Jews of
the German ritual found it necessary to establish
any charity. The Ilakenosath Berith was then or-
ganized, to be followed as late as 1780 by the Meslii-
vath Nephesh. Rigid separation existed between
the two sections of the communitj-. Even in death
they wen' divided: the Ashkenazic cemetery was at
Alderney road, INIile End.

The social condition of the Ashkenaziin toward
the end of the eigliteenth century was by no means
satisfactory. Apart from a very few distinguislud
merchants like Abraham and Benjamin Goldsmid,
Levy Barent Cohen, and Levy Salomons, the bulk
VIII.— 11

The revelations of Colquhoun led earnest spirits
within the community to seek for remedies; and
Joshua "van Oven with Colquhoun's
Ashkena- assistance drafted a plan for assisting
zic Insti- the Jewish poor which was destined
tutions. to bear fruit fifty years later in the
Board of Guardians. Attention was
directed to the education of the poor in 1811, when
the Westminster Jews' Free School was establislied ;
and si.\ years later the Jews' TPree School was
founded m Ebenezcr square, and replaced a Tal-
mud Tonih founded in 1770. The first head master
was H. N. Solomon, avIio afterward founded a ]>ri-
vate school at Edmonton which, together with that




of L. Neumegen at Highgate, afterward at Kew,
educated most of the leaders of the Ashkenazim
during the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century.
Even earlier, care had been taken of orplians. By
the exertions of Abraham and Benjamin Goldsmid
the sum of £20,000 was collected between 1795 and
1797, with wliicli in 1806 the Jews' hospital, called
"Neveh Zede"k," was opened June 28, 1807, at
Mile End for the support of the aged poor and
for the education of orphan children. This was
removed to Norwood in 1863 to a building erected
on ground presented by Barnett Meyers. A
similar institution, the Jews' Orphan Asylum,
founded in 1831 ,
was amalga-
mated with the
Neveh Zedek in
1876; and these
were supple-
mented by the
National and
Infant schools
founded in 1836,
andby the Jews'
Infant School
founded in 1841
by Walter Jo-
sephs. Provision
for the aged poor
was made by the
Aged Needy
Society, founded
in 1829, and by
the almshouse
establislied by
Abraham Moses
and Henry Salo-
mon nine years
later. The blind
were cared for
from 1819 on-
ward by tlie In-
stitution for the
Relief of the In-
digent Blind.
The poor were
cared for by ii
conunitteeof the
tlircc London
synagogues —
the Great, the
Ilambro', and
the New

Jews' CoUeRe, Queen's Square, London.

(Fruin a photo(tr»ph.)

Meanwhile echoes of the Mendelssohnian move-
ment had reached London, besides which tlie gen-
eral wealth of the Sci>liardicconununity Iiad brought
its members in contact willi tlie main currents of
culture. One of the Seplmrdini, Emanuel Mendes
da Costa, had been secretary of the
Second Royal Society; and his brother Solo-
Sephardic mon had presented to the newly
Defection, founded British Museum 200 Hebrew
books, which formed the nucleus of
the magnificent Hebrew collection of that library.
Moses Mendez liad proved liimself a poetJister of
some ability; and Oliver Goldsmith in his "Haunch

of Venison " depicted a Jewish journalist of his time
as a characteristic figure. But the "mahamad" of
Bevis ]\Iarks went on in its old way without regard
to any changes, spiritual or otherwise, in the commu-
nity which it ruled ; inflicting fines, and repelling
many of the most promising members who were
o-ettiug in touch with more refined methods of wor-
ship. Many of them ceased their connection with
the Synagogue, either formally by becoming bap-
tized or by resigning and allowing their children to
be brought up in the dominant faith. Among the
families thus deserting the Synagogue at the begin-

Online LibraryIsidore SingerThe Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) → online text (page 41 of 169)