WI the Jews of England were not expelled?

Historically there is no evidence for the habitation of a Jewish community in England until William the Conqueror; however, that community only lasted slightly over two centuries until they were formally expelled in 1290 following a gradual intensification of anti-Semitism in England during the 13th century. The reasons for this vary but one of them was the staunchly pious attitudes of Henry III, who introduced multiple anti-Jewish laws across the century that Edward I arguably just built upon.

The question is, then, is it possible to avert this gradual turn to anti-Semitic thought across England and thereby butterfly away the expulsion? It was genuinely popular among the English populace when it happened because of their hatred for usury and false anti-Semitic rumors. However, I think if there had been a less fervent ruler than Henry in charge that that anti-semitism would not have become quite so pronounced among the general population. Thoughts? What would the effects of a lingering, grudgingly tolerated Jewish population in England have had on the nation in the late medieval and early modern period?
 
Now this is interesting.

There's no hiding that Medieval England was an exceptionally anti-Semitic kingdom even by the standards of the time (even into Henry VII's early reign, anti-Semitic plays like the Croxton Play of the Sacrament are still being written and performed, even though there hadn't been any Jews in England within living memory). But anti-Semitism wasn't just a 'royal' project; peasants and lords also got in on the action (Simon de Montfort, the man who opposed Longshank's father, is credited with expelling the Jews from Leicester).

And depressingly, Longshanks's expulsion of 1290 wasn't even particularly uncommon by the standards of other European rulers of his generation. In 1288, Charles II of Naples ordered the expulsions of the Jews from the Regno, and by 1293, those who hadn't left were forced to convert. Moreover, Philip IV of France expelled the Jews from France in 1306. Now, it could be argued that Philip was inspired by Longshanks here, but there were other independent factors that contributed to his decision (his lack of money and the fact he was personally heavily indebted to France's Jewish population).

It took an extremely headstrong ruler to beat back the tides of anti-Semitism in this period; Casimir III of Poland is credited with having done it (not that he ever particularly cared about causing a scandal; a few of his marriages were technically bigamous), and Louis X of France is notable for reversing his father's decision in 1315, re-inviting the Jews back to France.

So, if you want to pull something similar in England prior to Oliver Cromwell, you probably a ruler who doesn't particularly care about causing a scandal with the Pope (most of the Late Medieval English kings were over-eager to tow the line of orthodoxy, putting down heresies without hesitation). Or, perhaps something can be done about Emperor Frederick II, whose high-profile tolerance of Jews and Muslims prior to 1250, in combination with his ambitious nature and Sicilian domains, made him such an enemy of the Pope that emulation of his example made any Medieval king practically a heretic. Perhaps if Frederick remains tolerant but doesn't get in as much trouble with the Pope, then religious toleration doesn't earn itself a bad name among the Pope's friends by the 1290s?

I would love to get a working solution going, regardless; a less anti-Semitic Medieval England would make me very happy indeed!
 
If the Jewish people of Medieval England were not confined to banking and moneylending if they wanted to get rich, that would have lowered the antisemitism a bit.
 
If the Jewish people of Medieval England were not confined to banking and moneylending if they wanted to get rich, that would have lowered the antisemitism a bit.
Was there a single christian society that let us into guilds/own land? (I think Poland let us own land but not guilds.) Because pretty much all "Jewish" occupations are just ones that didn't require guilds.
 
Was there a single christian society that let us into guilds/own land? (I think Poland let us own land but not guilds.) Because pretty much all "Jewish" occupations are just ones that didn't require guilds.
Didnt we go over with the Normans in the first place?

As pointed out upthread, the Expulsion of 1290 wasnt really anything out of the ordinary - what WAS is that no monarch ever rescinded the act.

France did it on and off for centuries, most other countries in Christendom, too. One obviously PoD would be if France won the Hundred Years War and England ends up more firmly in the French realm.

But really any monarch could decide to allow them to return - maybe they accept Jews from Iberia during the exploration age as a way to weaken/spy on/benefit from Spain?

I seem to remember a book called Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, plus at least one excellent TL on this site about a Jewish colony in the New World @Walle Ras
 
Didnt we go over with the Normans in the first place?

As pointed out upthread, the Expulsion of 1290 wasnt really anything out of the ordinary - what WAS is that no monarch ever rescinded the act.

France did it on and off for centuries, most other countries in Christendom, too. One obviously PoD would be if France won the Hundred Years War and England ends up more firmly in the French realm.

But really any monarch could decide to allow them to return - maybe they accept Jews from Iberia during the exploration age as a way to weaken/spy on/benefit from Spain?

I seem to remember a book called Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, plus at least one excellent TL on this site about a Jewish colony in the New World @Walle Ras

Why thank you ;)

Jokes aside, I think one of the more interesting things about this is the development of a Judeo-British language. The Jews presumably spoke some kind of Judeo-French language, so that would probably merge with English overtime to create something very unique.
 
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I've seen some sources claim that Richard invited the Rambam to become the Presbyter Iudaeorum of England when he met him in Outremer. If that happens, I wonder if it's possible for England to become such a significant center of Jewish learning that public attitudes have to change. It seems like a long shot, but I could see it happening.

Alternatively, there's some evidence that the Scots were much more tolerant of Judaism than the English, so just have the English monarchs--by choice or compulsion--go along with the Scots in that for whatever reason.
 
I've seen some sources claim that Richard invited the Rambam to become the Presbyter Iudaeorum of England when he met him in Outremer. If that happens, I wonder if it's possible for England to become such a significant center of Jewish learning that public attitudes have to change. It seems like a long shot, but I could see it happening.

Alternatively, there's some evidence that the Scots were much more tolerant of Judaism than the English, so just have the English monarchs--by choice or compulsion--go along with the Scots in that for whatever reason.
Or what if when expelled in 1290, they just go to Scotland? Then they come back down with James I&VI
 
Casimir III of Poland is credited with having done it (not that he ever particularly cared about causing a scandal; a few of his marriages were technically bigamous)

Besides this he had also Jewish mistress with whom he had few kids. IDK if such situation in England would rather benefit Jews or hurt the king?
 
Why thank you ;)

Jokes aside, I think one of the more interesting things about this is the development of a Judeo-British language. The Jews presumably spoke some kind of Judeo-French language, so that would probably merge with English overtime to create something very unique.
Jews of English spoken Zarphatic language (basically French written in Hebrew script)


I find it interesting language as it was unique among other European Jewish languages as it was not using Hebrew script as alphabet-no separate letters for vowel sounds, niqqud pointing was used instead to mark vowel sounds. Expulsions of Jews from France and England eventually killed that language.
 
Alternatively, there's some evidence that the Scots were much more tolerant of Judaism than the English, so just have the English monarchs--by choice or compulsion--go along with the Scots in that for whatever reason.
Or what if when expelled in 1290, they just go to Scotland? Then they come back down with James I&VI
Sadly, I think the only reason Judaism was 'more tolerated' in Scotland was because no Jews actually lived there (if the Wikipedia article is to be believed, which it probably shouldn't). I'm not saying they wouldn't be tolerated if more of them actually did live there, but there's always a chance that tolerance doesn't withstand first contact. Plus, if I'm not mistaken, Longshanks took steps to ensure that as many Jews died during the expulsion as possible (didn't he pay a guy off for sinking one of the ships?); I'm not sure how many of them would even be able to make the trip to Scotland in the first place.

Moreover, 1290 just so happens to be during the Scottish interregnum where Longshanks was invited to arbitrate the dispute between John Balliol and Robert de Brus over who should be the next King of Scots. Given Longshanks controlling nature, there's a good chance fleeing to Scotland wouldn't actually allow English Jews to escape from his grip.
As pointed out upthread, the Expulsion of 1290 wasnt really anything out of the ordinary - what WAS is that no monarch ever rescinded the act.
I think this is probably the most realistic POD in the event we have to keep the 1290s as they were OTL. The trouble is choosing the right monarch. Edward II might be rebellious enough to overturn his father's decision, but I don't think it would go over very well, given his complicated relationship with his nobles as it is. Maybe Edward III? He lived at about the same time Casimir III did, and he doesn't appear particularly zealous as far as religious matters are concerned.

He reigned long enough to make it happen, and was successful enough otherwise to make it stick. Perhaps he is unable to get a loan for one of his French campaigns and decides to invite French or Flemish Jews to England to act as moneylenders for him?
 
Why thank you ;)

Jokes aside, I think one of the more interesting things about this is the development of a Judeo-British language. The Jews presumably spoke some kind of Judeo-French language, so that would probably merge with English overtime to create something very unique.
You deserve it achi. Love your timeline. I just wish I had more time for mine. What with the wife and college I have none.
 
Sadly, I think the only reason Judaism was 'more tolerated' in Scotland was because no Jews actually lived there (if the Wikipedia article is to be believed, which it probably shouldn't). I'm not saying they wouldn't be tolerated if more of them actually did live there, but there's always a chance that tolerance doesn't withstand first contact. Plus, if I'm not mistaken, Longshanks took steps to ensure that as many Jews died during the expulsion as possible (didn't he pay a guy off for sinking one of the ships?); I'm not sure how many of them would even be able to make the trip to Scotland in the first place.

Moreover, 1290 just so happens to be during the Scottish interregnum where Longshanks was invited to arbitrate the dispute between John Balliol and Robert de Brus over who should be the next King of Scots. Given Longshanks controlling nature, there's a good chance fleeing to Scotland wouldn't actually allow English Jews to escape from his grip.

I think this is probably the most realistic POD in the event we have to keep the 1290s as they were OTL. The trouble is choosing the right monarch. Edward II might be rebellious enough to overturn his father's decision, but I don't think it would go over very well, given his complicated relationship with his nobles as it is. Maybe Edward III? He lived at about the same time Casimir III did, and he doesn't appear particularly zealous as far as religious matters are concerned.

He reigned long enough to make it happen, and was successful enough otherwise to make it stick. Perhaps he is unable to get a loan for one of his French campaigns and decides to invite French or Flemish Jews to England to act as moneylenders for him?
Edward IV, influenced by Sir Edward Brampton?
 
Would England look like pre-WW2 Poland, with a large, well-integrated Jewish community at some point? Britain never had more than half a million Jews in any point in her history whereas Poland had some 3 million Jews which made up a very large minority within the country. Disreali is considered Britain's first Jewish Prime Minster.
 
Was there a single christian society that let us into guilds/own land? (I think Poland let us own land but not guilds.) Because pretty much all "Jewish" occupations are just ones that didn't require guilds.

No it was why Jews were allowed to settle in a lot of countries, because the central power used guild-less Jewish craftsmen to weaken the guilds, they were not the only group being used in that way, in many countries soldiers was outside wartime allowed to work as craftsmen outside the guilds.
 
Would England look like pre-WW2 Poland, with a large, well-integrated Jewish community at some point? Britain never had more than half a million Jews in any point in her history whereas Poland had some 3 million Jews which made up a very large minority within the country. Disreali is considered Britain's first Jewish Prime Minster.

No, the large Jewish community of Poland and a few other East European countries is pretty unique phenomenon caused by several factors from the frontier nature of the medieval Polish-Lithuanian state, and later religious conflict between the Lutheran (and German) burghers and the Polish Catholic establishment which meant Jews took over the burgher niche in Polish society. It fundamental served the nobility that instead of a strong burgher estate, they had a untouchable caste to fill the burgher niche which meant no competition for power. European history have been dominated with in a long struggle between the different estates and Jews as de facto estate-less burgher were often (but not always) a way to weaken the burgher estate.
 
No, the large Jewish community of Poland and a few other East European countries is pretty unique phenomenon caused by several factors from the frontier nature of the medieval Polish-Lithuanian state, and later religious conflict between the Lutheran (and German) burghers and the Polish Catholic establishment which meant Jews took over the burgher niche in Polish society. It fundamental served the nobility that instead of a strong burgher estate, they had a untouchable caste to fill the burgher niche which meant no competition for power. European history have been dominated with in a long struggle between the different estates and Jews as de facto estate-less burgher were often (but not always) a way to weaken the burgher estate.
Not exactly. Burgher class was already weak in Eastern Europe and that created economical niche for Jews. It was not that Jews came and screwed burghers. And 13-14th priviledge for Jews granted by Piast monarchs happened at time, when landowners had not that much to say yet.
 
Not exactly. Burgher class was already weak in Eastern Europe and that created economical niche for Jews. It was not that Jews came and screwed burghers. And 13-14th priviledge for Jews granted by Piast monarchs happened at time, when landowners had not that much to say yet.

That what I mean with the frontier nature of the medieval Polish state, medieval Scandinavian was similar with a weak domestic burgher class, but it develop differently likely thanks to a stronger peasant estate, a smaller nobility (through no less powerful) and conflicts with the German merchants, which enable a domestic burgher class to develop.
 
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