ILLESCAS, town in Castile, central Spain. Like those in nearby *Toledo, Jews in Illescas were landowners and worked vineyards and olive groves. In 1342 the archbishop of Toledo ordered that the produce and wine of the Jewish-owned land in Illescas as well as the lands themselves should be confiscated as they had been acquired illegally. The community was attacked in the anti-Jewish riots of 1391, and this is mentioned in Shevet Yehuda of Solomon ibn Verga. Subsequently, however, the community recovered. The annual tax paid by the community was raised to 800 maravedis in 1474 and the tax levied for the war against Granada amounted to 80 gold castellanos. A communication sent in October 1492 by Ferdinand and Isabella shows the difficulties which the Jews encountered when they left Illescas following the edict of expulsion from Spain (1492). Intending to go to the port of Cartagena in order to sail to Fez and Tlemcen (Morocco) they had been robbed on the way of assets estimated at 12,000 castellanos by the men they had hired for protection. The document directs that the money should be confiscated for the crown. Many Conversos from Illescas were subsequently tried by the Inquisition in Toledo.
Baer, Urkunden, index; Fita, in: Boletin de la Academia de la Historia, Madrid, 7 (1885), 130–40; Suárez Fernandez, Documentos, index; Pagis, in: Tarbiz, 37 (1968), 355–73.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.