Medieval (Pre-1290) Jewish Communities in the English Midlands

Created: 9 August 2005
Latest revision: 14 December 2011



  • Derby 6

  • Thornbridge 3






  • Bridgnorth

  • Ludlow


  • Colton 4



Counties referred to above are not necessarily the counties in which the towns are now located, but are the historic shires (or counties) in which the relevant towns were situated prior to the reorganization of local government in 1974.  Although in many cases they are the counties in which the towns were situated during the medieval period, this is not necessarily the case.

Appearing in capital letters. Towns with archae (official registers of Jewish financial transactions, created after 1194).
3 These communities or places of settlement were listed by Cecil Roth in "A History of the Jews in England", but their location is by no means certain, although no reasonable alternative location could be identified.
4 There are several towns or villages in England or Wales with this name.  However, the location given is most probably the correct location of the Jewish community or place of settlement.
5 Towns from which Jews were expelled in 1290. 
6 Towns from which Jews had been excluded prior to 1290.




One of the twenty-six centres to have an archa.

Chronology of Events

1154-89 –Jewish community in Hereford believed to have started during reign of King Henry II.

c.1216 – Right of Jews to live in Hereford expressly confirmed during early part if reign of Henry III.

1290 - Jewish community expelled.

Articles on the Medieval Hereford Community

Jewish Encyclopaedia article on Hereford by Joseph Jacobs, c-1906.


Modern Hereford Community



Chronology of Events

1154 – A few isolated Jewish families known to be living in Leicester.

1231 – Jews expelled from Leicester, upon edict issued by Simon de Montfort the younger.

Articles on the Medieval Leicester Community

The Medieval Jews of Leicester - by Oliver D. Harris.

        Jewish Encyclopaedia article on Leicester by Joseph Jacobs, c-1906.


Modern Leicester Community  



Possibly one of the original centres to have an archa

Chronology of Events

1154 – Beginning of reign of King Henry II.  The existence of a Jewish community in Northampton is noted in official Treasury records.

1194 – A meeting is held in the town on March 30 (known as the Northampton Donum), of representatives of English Jewry in order to decide what amount each Jewish community would pay to raise the disproportionate levy of 5,000 marks imposed upon the Jews as part of the payment of the ransom to free King Richard I.  He who had been captures by the Duke of Austria (and handed over to Emperor Henry VI) while returning from the Crusades.  About twenty major communities participated in the meeting. At the time Northampton, together with London, Lincoln, Canterbury and Gloucester, were the five most important Jewish communities in England, sending between 20 and 40 contributors to the meeting.  The Jews were only able to raise one-half of the sum demanded, hardly unreasonable in light of the outbreaks of violence against the Jewish communities that had taken place four years earlier, which left a number of communities impoverished.  In fact, five hitherto important or active communities (Lynn, York, Stamford, Bury St. Edmunds and Dunstable) had effective been wiped out and were therefore not represented at the meeting.

c.1216 – Right of Jews to live in Northampton expressly confirmed during early part if reign of Henry III.

1237 – Jews expelled from the entire county of Northamptonshire, except for the county town of Northampton.

1290 - Jewish community expelled.

Cemetery Information

There was a Jewish Cemetery in Northampton in use from some time after 1177.

Articles on the Medieval Northampton Community


Modern Northampton Congregation & Community  



Possibly one of the original towns to have an archa.

1290 - Jewish community expelled.


Modern Nottingham Community  


Coventry, Warwickshire

1194 - First reference to a Jew living in Coventry - Elias, a tax gatherer

c.1200 - Reference to a female Jewish tax gatherer living in Coventry - Antera

Modern Coventry Community  


One of the twenty-six centres to have an archa.

1234 – Jews expelled from the entire county of Warwickshire.

On-line article which refers to the Jews of Medieval Warwick
[from Victoria County History of Warwickshire, volume 8 (1969), pp. 486-7]



One of the twenty-six centres to have an archa.

1154 – A few isolated Jewish families known to be living in Worcester

        c.1216 – Right of Jews to live in Worcester expressly confirmed during early part if reign of Henry III.

Modern Worcester Congregation & Community  

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Researched, compiled and formatted for JCR-UK by
David Shulman

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