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William of Newburgh on the attack on the Jews of York in 1190

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Contents

  1. Historical context of the source
  2. Source
  3. Discussion of the source
  4. Questions for discussion
  5. Selected bibliography
  6. Further reading
  7. Useful web resources

1. Historical context of the source

When analysing any episode of anti-Jewish violence historians have to ask themselves why a particular attack occurred at any particular moment.  What caused the perpetrators to perceive Jews as a menacing group rather than as the individuals who lived in their midst?  Who instigated the attacks and why?  Were the attacks an expression of popular anti-Jewish animosity or did they occur as the consequence of anti-Jewish animus orchestrated from above?  Answers to questions such as these can only be found through a careful examination of the available factual information within its full historical setting, which includes the cultural and religious idioms of the period.

The medieval English Jewish community was characterized by a number of remarkable features.  First, it had clear starting and finishing points: 1066 when the Jews arrived at the behest of William the Conqueror and 1290 when they were expelled by Edward I.  Second, royal control over Jews was stronger in England than anywhere else in Latin Christendom. Third, this control produced particularly rich and informative records of Jewish financial activities in medieval England.  A special royal department, the Exchequer of the Jews, was instituted to look after Jewish financial affairs.  The drawback of this wealth of material is that the financial side of the medieval Jewish experience in England is often highlighted at the expense of anything else.  However plentiful the documentary evidence  that we have at our disposal is, it remains vitally important to avail ourselves of any other existing Latin and Hebrew material which can help us form a more rounded view of Jewish experiences in medieval England.

As Stacey and others have outlined, Jews were predominantly dependent on royal favour from the start of their presence in England.  Benefiting from royal encouragement, they were soon able to establish themselves as successful traders in plate and as moneychangers in London and in an increasing number of Norman castle towns with, or in the vicinity of, profitable fairs.  By 1159, Jews had settled in Bungay, Cambridge, Gloucester, Lincoln, Norwich, Northampton, Oxford, Thetford, Winchester, and Worcester.  It was through various regulations under Henry II that it became lucrative for them to specialize in moneylending.  Although some members of the Jewish community, like Aaron of Lincoln, became remarkably successful, it is important to remember that Aaron’s wealth was an exception not the norm in the medieval Jewish communities of England.  Indeed, for a proper understanding of the position of the Jews in medieval England, it is much more important to dwell on Henry II’s seizure of Aaron’s estate in 1186 than to be mesmerized by the phenomenal wealth Aaron had amassed in his life.  Not only did the origins of the Exchequer of the Jews lie in the procedures which were put into place to collect the debts of Aaron of Lincoln after his estate had been seized by the king.  Even more crucially, the seizure itself and the relentless pursuit of Aaron’s debtors by first Henry and then Richard indicated just how dangerously ambiguous the role was which the Jews had been assigned in medieval England.  For however successful they might be, they depended on the king who could turn the tables on them if and when he wished to.  Over and above that, their success, which they needed to keep the king’s favour, made them vulnerable to the wrath of Christians who were indebted to them.  And the more Jews were pressed to give their royal masters increasing sums in tallages and fines as the thirteenth century progressed, the more assiduously they in turn had to press their Christian clients for payment.

In 1189, the uncertainties of a new reign coincided with the crusading fervour of knights who had taken the cross and threatened the security Jews had enjoyed in Henry II’s reign.  Trouble manifested itself in the anti-Jewish riots which accompanied the coronation of Richard I in London in September, and spread during February and March 1190 to Norwich, King’s Lynn, Stamford, Lincoln, York, Bury, Colchester, Thetford, and Ospringe in Kent.  Richard did not approve of the attacks but seems to have been unwilling or unable to put an effective stop to the violence.  At this point in time the Jews of England do not seem to have been his priority.  The crusade was, and he left England for Normandy as soon as he was crowned to finalize the arrangements for his journey to the Holy Land.  As far as Yorkshire was concerned, it was there that so many of Aaron of Lincoln’s former clients were put under severe royal pressure.  Apart from that, as Dobson and others have shown, relations between the North and the royal court were at a low point at this juncture.  In York and its surroundings there was a vacuum in authority.

William of Newburgh was born in 1135/6 and died in 1198 or shortly thereafter.  He was an Austin canon at Newburgh in Yorkshire and is the author of History of English Affairs in five books, which covers the period from 1066 to 1198.  The attacks on the Jews are found in book four of this work.  William wrote more about these attacks than others who mentioned them in their works; as a canon in Yorkshire, William would, of course, have had an especial interest in what happened in York in March 1190.  Many have remarked on the objectivity with which William reflected on controversial events such as these in his History.  William also wrote a remarkable commentary on the Song of Songs which he viewed as an allegory on the Virgin Mary to whom he was devoted.  Apart from that, he composed three sermons.  One of the sermons concerns the words used in the liturgy in praise of the Trinity; the second expounds Luke 11:27 in which a woman praises the womb that bore Jesus Christ and the breasts which gave him suck.  This sermon shows many similarities with William’s Marian commentary on the Song of Solomon.  The subject of the third sermon is St. Alban, who was martyred in Roman Britain c. 304.  His topic prompted William to make a number of interesting observations about the nature of English identity after 1066.  As Kennedy and, more recently, Kraebel have shown, it is important to study William in the context of his whole oeuvre, and not to isolate his historical work from his exegetical writings.   As we shall see when we discuss the source, a number of issues cross over from one work to another.

2. Source

2a. Latin text

William of Newburgh (1884), Historia Rerum Anglicarum, Book IV, chapter 9 and 10, inChronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I, ed. Richard Howlett, Rolls Series 82.1, London: Longman, 316-7, 320-2:

Chapter 9:

Sane urbis nobilitas et cives graviores, motus regii periculum formidantes, tantam vecordiam caute declinaverunt.  Porro omne genus opificum, atque universa juventus urbana cum plurima provincialium turba, et militaribus viris non paucis, cum tanta alacritate aderat, instabatque cruento negotio, tanquam singuli proprium maximumque compendium quaererent.  Clerici quoque plures non deerant, inter quos etiam quidam heremita ceteris ferventior videbatur.

Par omnes zelus accenderat, arbitrantes grande se obsequium praestare Deo, si gentem Christo rebellem abraderent; dum ad illud Davidicum, immo Dominicum, quod utique in persona Salvatoris dicitur, caecato animo caligarent: “Deus ostendit mihi super inimicos meos; ne occidas eos, nequando obliviscantur populi mei.”  Quippe eadem Christianae utilitatis ratione perfidus Judaeus, Domini Christi crucifixor, inter Christianos vivere sinitur, qua et forma crucis Dominicae in Christi ecclesia pingitur, ad continuandam, scilicet cunctis fidelibus saluberrimam Dominicae passionis memoriam, cum tamen in Judaeo impiam execremur actionem, in sacra vero forma illa divinam devotione debita veneremur dignationem: atque Judaei inter Christianos debent quidem pro utilitate nostra vivere, sed pro sua iniquitate servire.  Porro Judaei in Anglia sub rege Henrico secundo consistentes, ordine praepostero super Christianos felices et incliti fuerant, et ex multa felicitate impudentius tumendo contra Christum plurima Christianis gravamina irrogarant: propterea diebus novi principis vitae, quam de Christi habebant clementia, justo ejus judicio periculum pertulerunt, cujus tamen judicii ordine pulcherrimo nequaquam excusantur qui motu incondito cladem illis intulerunt.

Chapter 10:

famosissimus ille Joceus Annae uxori carissimae cultro praeacuto guttur incidit, et propriis quoque filiis non pepercit.  Cumque hoc et ab aliis viris factum esset, infelicissimus ille senior Joceum, eo quod esset honorabilior ceteris, jugulavit.  Absumptis mox omnibus una cum magistro erroris, immisso, ut dictum est, a morituris igne, interiora turris ardere coeperunt.  Qui vero vitam elegerant, incendio a suis, ut et ipsi vel inviti commorerentur, concinnato, prout poterant resistebant, quaedam scilicet sibi turris defendentes extrema in quibus minime urerentur.  Stupendus plane irrationalis ille rationalium in semetipsos furor.  Verum qui Josephi de Judaico bello legit historiam satis intelligit ab antiqua Judaeorum superstitione, cum forte tristior casus incumberet, illam nostri temporis manasse vesaniam.  Mane autem facto, cum populus frequens ad expugnandam arcem concurreret, miserae illae Judaeorum reliquiae stantes ad propugnacula nocturnam suorum cladem voce lacrimabili declararunt, et ad oculatam tanti piaculi fidem exstincta cadavera muro devolventes, talia proclamarunt: “En corpora infelicium, qui mortem sibi furore nefario consciverunt; et ut nos idem facere detrectantes, Christianamque potius clementiam experiri volentes, vivos incenderent, ignem interioribus turris hujus morientes immiserunt.  Sed servavit nos Deus et a fratrum nostrorum vesania, et ab ignis periculo, ut a vobis ulterius in religione minime discrepemus.  Vexatione enim dante intellectum, Christianam cognoscimus veritatem, et requirimus caritatem; parati, quod a nobis soletis exigere, sacro baptismate ablui, et pristinis ritibus abdicatis, ecclesiae Christi uniri.  Suscipite fratres ex hostibus, ut una vobiscum in Christi fide et pace vivamus.”  Talia illis lacrimose loquentibus, nostrorum plurimi et exstinctorum vesaniam cum ingenti stupore horrebant, et cladi reliquos miserabantur: at conjuratorum principes, e quibus erat quidam Ricardus, vero agnomine Mala-Bestia, homo audacissimus, nulla super miseris illis misericordia movebantur.  Mitia tamen cum eis in dolo loquentes, et speratam gratiam sub fidei testificatione pollicentes, ut egredi minime vererentur, mox ut egressi sunt, hostiliter comprehensos, et baptismum Christi constanter postulantes, lanistae crudelissimi peremerunt.  Et de his quidem, quos ita plusquam belluina illa confecit immanitas, incunctanter dixerim, quia si in petitione sacri baptismatis fictio defuit, ejus nequaquam effectu fraudatos sanguis proprius baptizavit.  Sive autem ficte sive non ficte sacrum petierunt lavacrum, inexcusabilis est execranda illa crudelitas lanistarum.  … Horrenda plane et foeda tunc rerum erat facies in urbe, et circa arcem passim jacentibus tot miserorum cadaveribus inhumatis.  Caede vero completa, conjurati continuo cathedralem ecclesiam adeuntes, monumenta debitorum, quibus Christiani premebantur, a Judaeis foeneratoribus regiis ibidem reposita, ab exterritis custodibus violenta instantia resignari fecerunt, et tam pro sua quam et aliorum multorum liberatione eadem profanae avaritiae instrumenta in medio ecclesiae flammis sollemnibus absumpserunt.  Quibus actis, illi ex conjuratis, qui signum Domini acceperant, ante omnem quaestionem iter propositum arripuerunt: ceteri vero in provincia sub quaestionis formidine remansuerunt.  Sane tempore Dominicae passionis, pridie scilicet ante Dominicam Palmarum, talia Eboracae contigerunt.

2b. English translation of the source

Translation by author

Chapter 9:

[The attack on Clifford’s Tower, where the Jews of York had taken refuge, commences]. … Certainly, the nobility of the city and the weightier citizens were fearful of risking the king’s anger and cautiously turned aside from such great frenzy.  But every kind of labourer and all the city’s young men with very many country folk and not a few knights came with such speed and pursued the bloodthirsty business, as if every single person was pursuing his own business and was seeking the greatest gain.  There were also many clerics, among whom a certain hermit who seemed to be even more zealous than the others.

The same zeal had set everyone on fire, thinking that they were performing a great service to God if they would wipe out a people rebellious against Christ; while with blinded minds they were impervious to those words of David, indeed of the Lord, which are assuredly spoken in the person of the Saviour: “God lets me see over my enemies; slay them not, lest at any time my people forget.” [Psalm 58(9): 12] Surely, on account of the same reason of Christian utility the perfidious Jew, the crucifier of the Lord Christ, is allowed to live among Christians by which also the shape of the Lord’s cross is depicted in the church of Christ, namely to perpetuate the most salutary memory of the Lord’s Passion for all the faithful, yet whereas we detest the impious action in the Jew, we truly worship the divine honour with fitting devotion in that sacred shape: consequently, Jews must certainly live among Christians for our utility, but they must serve on account of their iniquity.  But the Jews living in England in the reign of Henry II, had been successful and celebrated in an inverted state of affairs over and above Christians, and on account of their great good fortune they had impudently puffed themselves up against Christ and inflicted very many burdens on Christians.  For this reason in the days of the new king, their lives, which they had through the mercy of Christ, were put in peril by his just decree; nevertheless those who inflicted slaughter on them in a riot are by no means excused by the exquisite order of his judgement.

Chapter 10:

[When the Jews in the castle realize they cannot prevail against the onslaught, some of them decide to offer their lives to God rather than convert to Christianity or fall into the hands of their attackers to be killed.]

… that most notorious man Josce cut the throat of his dearly beloved wife Anna with a sharpened knife; nor did he spare his own sons.  And when this was also done by the other men that most wretched old man [Yom Tov of Joigny, a visiting rabbi from northern France whom William had previously described as having encouraged the Jews to martyr themselves] slit Josce’s throat because he was more honourable than the others. Soon after they had all been killed together with the instigator of the error, the interior of the castle began to burn by the fire which, as has been said, had been started by those who were going to die.  To be sure, those who had chosen to live did what they could to withstand the fire started by their own people so that they themselves would also be destroyed even if they were unwilling, by taking refuge in the external parts of the citadel where they would be less exposed to the flames.  That irrational frenzy of rational beings against themselves is simply astonishing.  But anyone who reads the History of the Jewish War by Josephus has some understanding that that madness has come down to our time from an old custom of the Jews in the face of pending calamity.  At daybreak when numerous people assembled to assault the castle, those wretched remaining Jews, perched on the ramparts, mournfully revealed the nocturnal slaughter of the others and throwing the corpses of the dead from the wall as visible proof of so great a crime they proclaimed as follows: “Behold the bodies of the wretched who inflicted death on themselves in a wicked frenzy and set fire to the inner chambers of the castle as they died in order to burn us alive because we recoiled from doing the same and preferred to throw ourselves on Christian mercy.  But God has preserved us from the madness of our brothers as well as from the destruction of the fire so that we should not any longer differ from you in religion in any way.  Indeed, the distress has given us understanding and we recognize the Christian truth and seek charity; we are ready to be purified by holy baptism as you are wont to demand of us and, having given up our former rituals, be united to the Church of Christ.  Receive brothers out of enemies and let us live with you in the faith and peace of Christ.”  As they mournfully said these things, most of us both shuddered with great astonishment at the madness of the dead and pitied the survivors of the slaughter.  But the leaders of the conspirators, of whom one was a certain Richard with the apt surname of Malebisse, a very violent man, were not moved by any mercy for those wretched people.  They treacherously plied them with sweet words and faithfully promised them the favour they hoped for so that they would not be afraid of coming out, but as soon as they had emerged the cruellest butchers hostilely seized them and killed them, all the while they were demanding the baptism of Christ.  And indeed of those who were killed by that more than brutal brutality I would have said without hesitation that, if they were sincere in their petition for baptism, they would have been by no means cheated of its effect, baptized as they were in their own blood.  But whether they requested baptism falsely or not, that detestable cruelty of the murderers is unpardonable.  … The sight of those things in the city was plainly horrific and disgusting with unburied corpses of so many of the wretched lying everywhere around the castle. Once the killing had been done, the conspirators immediately made for the cathedral church and by violent insistence forced the terrified wardens to hand over the deeds of the debts, which had been stored there by the Jews, the king’s usurers, by which Christians were oppressed, and they destroyed the same bonds of unholy greed in solemn flames in the middle of the church as much for their own release as for the release of many others.  After this was done, those of the conspirators who had accepted the cross, went on their proposed journey ahead of any investigation; others, however, remained in the county in dread of an inquiry.  Truly, such matters occurred in York at the time of our Lord’s Passion, on the day before Palm Sunday [i.e. Friday night to Saturday, 16-17 March.  This was Shabbat ha-Gadol in the Jewish calendar, the Sabbath preceding Passover].

3. Discussion of the source

The general impression we gain from William’s narrative of the anti-Jewish riots in the early months of 1190 is that the impetus for the attacks came primarily from knights who deeply resented the Jewish debts they had incurred.  Those who had taken the cross felt aggrieved at Jewish prosperity, in light of the funding they themselves needed to go on crusade.  As Stacey has argued, it would seem that crusaders were disappointed that the new king had not started his reign by alleviating their burden of Jewish debt.  Instead he had continued his father’s policy of chasing the debts of Aaron of Lincoln to benefit the royal coffers. In the case of York, William says explicitly that the instigators were persons of higher (nobiliores) rank who owed a great deal of money to the Jews (Book IV, chapter 9, 313); Richard Malebisse, the one conspirator whom William named, already owed substantial sums to Aaron of Lincoln in 1182 (Jacobs [1893], 77).  Dobson has emphasized how the absence of the king and local political complexities meant that there was no one with the necessary authority to keep anti-Jewish animus from developing into murderous violence.  Men such as Richard Malebisse seem to have been joined by clerics and groups of young men and by the rank and file of both the city and the county, but emphatically not by the highest ranking sections of the town when it came to attacking the royal castle.  Economic interests tinged with religious concerns seem, then, to have been the driving force behind the hostilities.  This interpretation is not only corroborated by the actions of the leaders of the riot after the massacre, who made their way to York Minster to destroy the physical evidence of the debts they owed to the Jews before they did anything else.  It is also supported by William’s further reflections on the reasons why Jews were being attacked.

Throughout his account of the riots of 1189-90, William drew a direct link between Jewish engagement in moneylending at the behest of the king and Christian anti-Judaism.  As far as William was concerned, moneylending had placed Jews in a position of domination over their Christian clients.  To the Austin canon this was unacceptable, and his criticism of Henry II’s role in advancing the Jews was unequivocal.   In his view Jews should occupy the legitimate place Augustine (d. 430) had carved out for them in Christendom, that of service to Christians. The purpose of the maxim ‘slay them not’ (Psalm 58[9]:12) was to enshrine the concept of Jewish service in Christendom.  Living their lives as Jews, Jews were supposed to serve Christians by reminding them of the Passion of Christ whom, in William’s eyes, they had crucified.  Their socio-economic position should make it absolutely plain that they existed at the behest of Christians and not the other way round.  Anything else constituted an inversion of the proper order of things.  In his commentary on the Song of Songs William spelt out that Jesus Christ stemmed from the Jewish people through his mother Mary.  And Mary is portrayed as forever praying for the conversion of the Jews to her son.  In the meantime Jews served Christians in expiation of the guilt they had incurred through the crucifixion (Gorman [1960], pp. 151-2, 342). All of this meant that whatever William thought of the moneylending activities of contemporary Jews in England, and however much he thought of Jews as a perfidious and blasphemous people (Book IV, chapter 1, pp. 294, 299) and insolent Christ killers, William could not advocate murderous riots against them.  Nonetheless, these riots had occurred and many Jewish lives had been lost, and as a historian and as a canon William felt obliged to explain how this could have happened.  Much as William thought that God had implemented his own good will through the bad will of the persecutors of St Alban (Kraebel [2010], lines 226-7), and that the Jews had unwittingly served Christ, who wanted to die for the sake of mankind, by wickedly contributing to his death, (Commentary on the Song of Songs, Gorman [1960], 91, 228) the greedy, misguided and criminal rioters of London, York, and elsewhere unknowingly performed God’s will by attacking the Jews.  For, according to William, it was only right that the Jews should have been punished for their insolent behaviour. This did not, however, exonerate the perpetrators at all; William was very clear on that point.  But, as far as William was concerned, it did explain the course of history in which bad things happened.  For our purposes it gives us greater insight into the deep-rooted ambiguities governing Christian perceptions concerning Jews in medieval England in this period.

William’s account of the Jewish responses to the attacks is very much fuller than any of the available Hebrew sources, none of which stem from England itself.  Ephraim of Bonn (1133-after 1196) gives some opaque information on the violence against the Jews in York, as well as some details about what happened in London at Richard’s coronation in his Book of Remembrance (Sefer Zekhrirah) (Habermann [1945], 127, trans. Roth [1964], 272, Chazan [1980], 161). The poems by Menachem ben Jacob of Worms (d. 1203) and Joseph of Chartres (12th-13th centuries), sing the praises of the martyrs’ erudition and their willingness to sacrifice their lives for the glory of God; Joseph included the names of some of the more prominent martyrs in his composition (Habermann [1945], 147-54; trans. of the verses in Menachem’s poem concerning York, Schechter [1893-4], 12-13, trans. Joseph’s poem in Roth [1945-51], 217-9).  It is from Ephraim and Joseph that we gather the name of R. Yom Tov.

The self-martyrdom of the Jews echoed similar scenes which had taken place in the Rhineland in 1096 (see within), but the details of William’s account naturally reflects his own interpretation of what had happened.   His report does take account of the desperation of the beleaguered Jews.  But in his eyes, the killings were deranged acts of rational human beings.  As a historian he sought to make sense of the acts of self-martyrdom by referring to Josephus’ description of the deaths of the Jews, who were beleaguered by the Romans at Masada in 74 C.E., in his History of the Jewish War.  From William’s account we also learn that not all of the Jews in the castle chose to martyr themselves.  This is important because it reminds us to appreciate the different ways medieval Jews might react to persecution.  As had been the case in 1096, not all of the Jews in the York castle were prepared to take their own lives and those of their children.  William’s shock and horror at the knights’ response to those who sought baptism is palpable.  Killing Jews was bad enough; killing those who sought baptism was clearly beyond the pale.  William’s insight that many of those who presented themselves for conversion would not have been sincere converts is as striking as his conviction that those who had been sincere would have been baptized through their own blood and saved.

As for the perpetrators of the riots, William goes on to tell us that an enraged Richard commissioned William of Longchamps, who was bishop of Ely and chancellor of England, to bring them to justice.  In the event, heavy fines were exacted from York, but no one was put on trial for the blood that had been shed.  As for any lasting effects of the massacre on a Jewish presence in York, Dobson has demonstrated that within only a few years of 1190, Jews were already re-establishing themselves in the city.  York became an important centre of Jewish economic activity in the thirteenth century.

4. Questions for discussion

  1. Who attacked the Jews in York in 1190?
  2. Were the attacks primarily economically or religiously motivated?
  3. Why did Crusades against Muslims in the East pose a threat against Jews in the West?
  4. What does this source tell us about the position of the Jews in medieval England?
  5. What can we learn from the source about Jewish responses to the attacks?

5. Selected bibliography

  • Abulafia, Anna Sapir. (2011) Christian-Jewish relations, 1000-1300.  Jews in the service of medieval Christendom. Harlow: Longman.
  • Dobson, R.B. (1974) The Jews of Medieval York and the massacre of March 1190. Borthwick Papers, 45, York: St. Anthony’s Press, reprinted in Dobson, The Jewish Communities, see below under Further reading.
  • Chazan, Robert. (1980) Church, State and Jew in the Middle Ages.  New York: Behrman House.
  • Habermann, A.M. (1945) Gezerot Ashkenaz veTsarefat.  Jerusalem: Tarshish.
  • Jacobs, Joseph (ed.) (1893) The Jews of Angevin England New York: Putnam; repr. New York: Gordon press 1977.
  • Kennedy, Michael J. (2003) ‘”Faith in one God flowed over you from the Jews, the sons of the patriarchs and the prophets”: William of Newburgh’s writings on anti-Jewish violence’, Anglo-Norman Studies 25, pp. 139-52.
  • Roth, Cecil. (1945-1951) ‘A Hebrew Elegy on the York Martyrs of 1190’, Transactions of the Jewish Historical society of England, vol. 16, pp. 213-20.
  • Roth, Cecil. (1964) A History of the Jews in England. Third edition, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Schechter, Solomon. (1893-1894) ‘A Hebrew elegy’, Transactions of The Jewish Historical Society, 1, pp. 8-15.
  • Stacey, Robert C. (1995) ‘Jewish lending and the medieval economy’ in: A Commercialising economy. England 1086 to c. 1300. ed. R.H. Britnell and B.M.S. Campbell.  Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 78-101.
  • Stacey, Robert C. (1999) ‘Crusades, martyrdoms and the Jews of Norman England, 1096-1190’ in: Juden und Christen zur Zeit der Kreuzzüge. ed. Alfred Haverkamp.  Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbeke Verlag, pp. 233-251.
  • Stacey, Robert C. (2001) ‘Jews and Christians in Twelfth-century England: some dynamics of a changing relationship’ in: Jews and Christians in Twelfth-century Europe. ed. Michael A. Signer and John Van Engen. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, pp. 340-354.
  • Taylor, John. (2004) ‘Newburgh, William of (b. 1135/6, d. in or after 1198)’, on-line version of Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, accessed 25 November 2010.
  • Watt, John A. (1991) ‘The Jews, the law, and the Church: the concept of Jewish serfdom in 13thC England’ in: The Church and sovereignty, Studies in Church History, ed. Diana Wood.  Subsidia Series, 9, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 153-172.
  • William of Newburgh. (1884-5) Historia Rerum Anglicarum, in Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I. ed. Richard Howlett, Rolls Series 82, vols 1-2, London: Longman, 1-500.
  • William of Newburgh. (1960) Explanatio sacri epithalamia in matrem sponsi: a commentary on the Canticle of Canticles (12th-C.), ed. John C. Gorman.  Fribourg: University Press.
  • William of Newburgh. (2010) The Sermons of Wiilam of Newburgh. ed. A.B. Kraebel.  Toronto: Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies.

6. Further Reading

  • Dobson, R.B. (2010) The Jewish communities of medieval England, the collected essays of R.B. Dobson. ed. Helen Birkett. York: Borthwick Publications.
  • Einbinder, Susan L. (2002) Beautiful Death: Jewish Poetry and Martyrdom in medieval France.  Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Marcus, Jacob R. (ed.) (1938) The Jew in the Medieval world. A Source Book: 315-1791, revised edn by M. Saperstein.  Cincinnati, OH: Hebrew Union College Press, 1999.
  • Mundill, Robin R. (1998) England’s Jewish solution.  Experiment and expulsion, 1262-1290.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Mundill, Robin R. (2010) The King’s Jews.  Money, massacre and exodus in medieval England. London: Continuum.
  • Partner, Nancy. (1977) Serious Entertainments: the writing of history in twelfth-century England.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Rees Jones, Sarah, Sethina Watson, and Hugh Doherty. (eds.) (forthcoming) Jews and others in the wake of the massacre: York 1190. York: York medieval Press.
  • Richardson, H.G. (1960) The English Jewry under Angevin kings.  London: Methuen.
  • Skinner, Patricia. (ed.) (2003) Jews in Medieval Britain. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press.
  • William of Newburgh. (1988) The History of English Affairs: Book I. ed. and trans. P.G. Walsh and M.J. Kennedy. Warminster: Aris and Phillips.
  • William of Newburgh. (2007), The History of English Affairs: Book II. ed. and trans. P.G. Walsh and M.J. Kennedy. Oxford: Aris and Phillips.

7. Useful web resources

The electronic translation of William of Newburgh, which includes the sections on the attacks of 1189-90, by Joseph Stevenson (The Church Historians of England, vol. 4.2, London, 1856), edited by Scott McLetchie (1999) can be found on http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/williamofnewburgh-intro.html.

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