HEREFORD


HEREFORD, county town in S.W. England. Jews lived there from the middle of the 12th century, and later it possessed an *archa. Ten members of the community contributed to the *Northampton Donum in 1194 for ransoming Richard I. Hamo of Hereford (d. 1232) was one of the most affluent financiers of his day; the duties payable on his estate amounted to 6,000 marks, a good part of which went to the building of Westminster Abbey. Under Henry III, a dispute between the king's officials and the local bishop for jurisdiction over the Jews necessitated royal intervention. In 1272 the entire community was imprisoned to compel payment of a tallage. In 1275, the community was increased by Jews expelled from *Worcester with their archa. Among the latter was Isaac of Worcester, who became one of the most prominent local financiers. Twenty-four burghers were appointed "Guardians of the Peace" on behalf of the Jews in 1282. Relations with Christians were good and as late as 1286 several prominent citizens were invited to attend a Jewish wedding but were prevented by the bishop. The community comprised about 40 prominent householders at the time of the expulsion from England. The debts due them, amounting to over £2,000, fell into royal hands. There has been no organized Jewish community in Hereford in modern times, although the Liberal movement hosts a local group for Jews in the area.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

JHSET, 1 (1893–94), 136–59; 2 (1894–95), 92; Roth, England3, passim; Rigg-Jenkinson, Exchequer, passim.

[Cecil Roth]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.