WORCESTER, town in central England. It was founded around 1159 and had a small Jewish population until the late thirteenth century. After the persecutions under John, the regents for Henry Ill confirmed the right of Jews to live there unmolested. In 1219, however, Bishop William de Blois promulgated restrictive measures against them. The so-called "Parliament of Jews" was held at Worcester in 1241, when 109 representatives of the 21 recognized Jewish communities were summoned to apportion a tax levy among themselves. The Jews suffered greatly in the Barons' Revolt (1264–65). Their expulsion from the city to Hereford was secured by Eleanor, the queen mother, in 1275. There were few Jews in Worcester in the 19th century. A small community was founded during World War II. The Jewish population in 1968 was 56, but no organized community exists today.
Roth, England3, index; M. Adler, Jews of Medieval England (1939), index; H.G. Richardson, English Jewry under Angevin Kings (1960), index. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Hillaby in Worcs. Archaeol. Soc. Trans. 3S 12 (1990), 73–122.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.