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  • Christian History 1100 to 1199


    Third Crusade English Jewish communities sacked 1189/90. [DO40] (6 p. 40)


    March 16, YORK (England) - On the Sabbath eve before Passover (Shabbat Hagadol), a group made up of clergymen, barons indebted to the Jews, and Crusaders waiting to follow Richard set Jewish houses on fire and stole all their valuables. The Jews under Josce, a prominent Jew of York, and their rabbi, Yom Tov of Joigny (a contemporary of Rabbenu Tam and author of the Yom Kippur Hymn Omnam Ken), fled to the castle. Richard Malebys (a noble who owed large sums to Jewish moneylenders) and other indebted nobles commanded the attackers. For 6 days the Jews held out. A stone thrown from the tower killed a monk, who came each morning to celebrate mass, and inflamed the crowd. Facing the choice of baptism or death, most chose death, committing suicide after destroying their belongings. According to tradition, Josce killed his wife and two children, and was in turn killed by the rabbi who was the last to die. The few who remained alive opened the gate and requested baptism, only to be massacred anyway. Over 150 Jews died, the sheriff of York dismissed, and the bonds of debts to Jews which were kept for safekeeping in York Minster were burned on the floor of the church. [50] (13)

    March 22, ENGLAND - King Richard (the Lionhearted), angered by the riots and the loss of crown property (since the Jews were seen as serfs to the crown), renewed a general charter in favor of the Jews that was first issued by Henry II. His chancellor, Longchamp, instituted heavy fines against the Pudsey and Percy families, who had been involved in the 1190 pogrom at York. This enriched the treasury and hurt his political opponents at the same time. Three people who were also accused of destroying Christian property were executed. [50] (13)


    THE THIRD CRUSADE (France) - King Phillip decided to retake Jerusalem from Saladin in the Third Crusade. Debts to the Jews were cancelled for all those taking up the cross. Many Jews - who were now of dubious financial worth - were driven out of France and their property was confiscated.[50] (13) March 18, MASSACRE AT BRAY (France) - Eighty Jews were burned for trying to execute a vassal who had killed a Jew. (They had marched him in a procession and tried to hang him - three weeks before Easter). [50] (13


    February 13, SPEYER RITUAL MURDER LIBEL (Germany) - Although there was no proof of any wrongdoing, the rabbi's daughter was dismembered and her body was hung in the market place for a few days. The rabbi and many others were killed and their houses burned. [50] (13)


    BISHOP ODO OF SULLY (Paris, France) - In an effort to further isolate the Jews economically and socially, it was forbidden to buy meat from a Jew or hold a discussion with a Jew under pain of excommunication. [50] (13)


    10. H.Wollschläger. Die bewaffneten Wallfahrten gen Jerusalem. Zürich : s.n., 1973.

    11. P.W.Edbury. Crusade and Settlement. s.l. : Cardiff Univ. Press, 1985.

    12. F.Turner. Beyond Geography. New York : s.n., 1980.

    13. Birnbaum, Eli. 1190-1199. The History of the Jewish People. [Online] [Cited: May 7, 2011.]