March 18, 2021
Medieval Jewish London commences with the Norman conquest in 1066 by William the Conqueror. Jews were brought over from France to engage in moneylending. Officially the property of the kings, this gave them privileges and protection, while at the same time put them in a very precarious situation.
The first blood libel in history was at Norwich in 1144. The Ri of Orleans was killed in the London Massacre in 1189, in the events surrounding the coronation of Richard the Lionhearted. On shabbos hagadol, March 16, 1190 the York Massacre took place at Clifford's Tower. As the situation for English Jewry got worse, it finally came to a tragic end in 1290 when King Edward I promulgated the edict of expulsion. Leaving from the Tower of London, there ceased to be a Jewish public presence until their reacceptance under Oliver Cromwell in 1655.
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