Edict of Expulsion

Edict Of Expulsion

Edict of Expulsion

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This article describes the 'Edict of Expulsion, given by Edward I of England in 1290, that expelled all Jews from England. For information on the 1492 Edict of Expulsion from Spain, see the Alhambra decree. For other historic instances of Jews being expelled from their homes, see Jewish refugees.


In 1290, King Edward I issued an edict expelling all Jews from England. Lasting for the rest of the Middle Ages, it would be over 350 years until it was formally overturned in 1656. The edict was not an isolated incident, but the culmination of over 200 years of conflict on the matters of usury.

Buildup to expulsion

The first Jewish communities of significant size came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066.Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews, p.208 On the conquest of England, William instituted a feudal system in the country, whereby all estates formally belonged to the Crown; the king then appointed lords over these vast estates, but they were subject to duties and obligations (financial and military) to the king. Under the lords were further subjects such as serfs, who were bound and obliged to their lords, and their lord's obligations. Merchants had a special status in the system as did Jews. Jews were declared to be direct subjects of the King, unlike the rest of the population. This had advantages for Jews, in that they were not tied to any particular lord, but were subject to the...
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