Letter from King Edward I to the Sheriff of Gloucester, dated 18th July 1290 – Catalogue Ref: C 54/107, m. 5.
Rex vicecomiti Gloucestriae etc. cum Judaeis regni nostri universis certum tempus praefixerimus a regno illo transfretandi; Nolentes quod ipsi per ministros nostros, aut alios quoscunque, aliter fieri consuevit, indebite pertractentur, tibi praecipimus, quod per totam ballivam tuan publice proclamari, et firmiter inhiberi facias, ne quis eis intra terminum praedictum, injuriam, molestiam, aut dampnum inferat seu gravamen. Et cum contingat ipso cum catallis suis, quae, dirige regressus suos, salvum et securum conductum eis habere facias, sumptibus eorum. Proviso, quod Judaei, ante recessum suum, vadia Christianorum, quae penes se habent, illis quorum fuerint, si ea acquietare voluerint, restituant, ut tenentur. Teste Rege apud Westm. 18 die Julii. Confimiles Literae diriguntur vicecomitibus Essexiae, Eboraci, Northamptoniae, Lincolniae, Herefordiae, et Southamptoniae.
The King to the sheriff of Gloucester etc. Whereas the king has prefixed to all the Jews of his realm a certain time to pass out of the realm; he wills that they shall not be treated by his ministers or others otherwise than has been customary. He orders the sheriff to cause proclamation to be made throughout his bailiwick prohibiting any one from injuring or wronging the Jews within the said time. He is ordered to cause the Jew to have safe conduct at their cost when they, with their chattels, which the king has granted to them, direct their steps towards London in order to cross the sea, provided that before they leave they restore the pledges of Christians in their possession to those to whom they belong. Witness the king at Westminster, 18th July. The like to the sheriffs of Essex, York, Northampton, Lincoln, Hereford and Southampton.« Return to Jews in England 1290
Read Source 3 and consider the accompanying questions:
- Which sheriffs were sent a copy of this letter? Why do you think these sheriffs in particular were selected to receive this order?
- What does the king urge his sheriffs to make sure happens to Jews in each sheriff’s bailiwick (area)?
- What about these instructions might surprise you? Explain your answer.