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Edward I Signs the Edict of Expulsion, 1290

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: July 18th, 1290

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Edward I signed the Edict of Expulsion, giving all English Jews less than three and half months to pack their property and leave the country #onthisday. This made England the first European country to formally expel their Jewish population.

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Jews were officially invited to England in 1066 when William the Conqueror encouraged many Jewish merchants from Northern France to move to England. Although many Jews were able to become successful moneylenders and merchants in England, they also faced persecution usually in rooted blood libels and an inability to pay their debts.

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Beginning in 1144 and most famously in 1255, we see rumors that Jews were responsible for the deaths of Christian kids because "the Jews wanted the blood of a Christian child to use for rituals" (specifically, to use in the baking of the Passover matzah).

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By the mid-13th century, many knights owed significant debt to Jewish moneylenders, so they started to blame Jews for all ill will. In 1275, Edward I caved to the pressure from nobility and said that Jews could no longer be moneylenders and they had to wear a badge that looked like two tablets in order to identify themselves.

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By 1290, Edward I himself had racked up large debts for England due to war and needed to raise taxes which required permission from Parliament. Parliament agreed to give him the tax in exchange for the Edict of Expulsion which forced all Jews in England to leave. Jews were not allowed to return to England until 1656 when they were invited back by Oliver Cromwell.

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In the second image, you'll see the years and places of the other formal & informal expulsions of Jews in medieval Europe.

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#judaism#jewish#history#onthisday#jewishhistory#expulsion#england#1290#bloodlibel#firsttoexpel#edwardthefirst


Image Source:

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/expulsion-and-readmission/

Text Source:

https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-1290-jews-expelled-from-england-1.5195797

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