Gloucester is a city in England’s West Country region, bordering Wales to its west. Its Jewish community is first mentioned in the financial records of 1158–59. It was again mentioned in connection with an alleged ritual murder in 1168. Jews lived in the present East Gate Street, the synagogue being on the north side.
Josce of Gloucester, a prominent financier under Henry II, apparently financed an illegal raid on Ireland. Under John, the community suffered greatly from royal exaction. Gloucester possessed an archa. It was one of the dower towns of Queen Dowager Eleanor from which the Jews were expelled in 1275. The members of the community, first transferred to Bristol, were afterward scattered. A small community was reestablished at the close of the 18th century but decayed in the middle of the 19th century. The last survivor died in 1886.
J. Jacobs, Jews of Angevin England (1893), 45–47, 376; Rigg-Jenkinson, Exchequer, passim; H.G. Richardson, English Jewry under Angevin Kings (1960), passim; C. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 67–70; Roth, England, index.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.