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Title: English royal policy towards the Jews' debtors, 1227-1290.
Author: Lieberman, Sharon Temple.
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 1982
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This thesis attempts to analyse the English Crown's relations with the Jews' debtors between 1227 and 1290. The thesis is divided into three parts. The first section covers Crown/debtor relations between 1227 (the year in which Henry III officially undertook governance of the realm) and 1258, when a constitutional crisis temporarily ousted him from power. An attempt is made to delineate the components of royal policy during these years both the criteria which determined royal responses to debtors appealing to the Crown for relief, and the nature of those responses. It will be argued that royal attitudes toward debtors were informed primarily by the Crown's perception of Jewish wealth as a valued resource. Having delineated the pre-1258 pattern of response to debtors, we shall examine the fate of the indebted between 1258 and 1265, the period of reform and rebellion which culminated in the destruction of rebel forces under Simon de Montfort and the return to power of Henry III. In particular this section seeks to ascertain whether or not the civil war experience marked a watershed in Crown/debtor relations. Did treatment of debtors by the baronial and Montfortian regimes diverge from that of its royal predecessors? Did debtors perceive adherence to the opposition as a means of expunging debts? In this section we try to ascertain on a statistical basis the level of indebtedness among the opposition, in order to determine whether debtors constituted a sizeable force in the opposition to Henry, a force with which Henry would have to come to terms. The third section traces developments after the civil war until the expulsion of the Jews in 1290. Particular attention is given to the immediate post civil war period in order to demonstrate the continuity of royal policy. We shall argue that far from trying to conciliate debtors in the opposition, Henry attempted selectively to undermine their status in deference to his own supporters.Nor did Henry III or Edward I alter their relations with debtors after the civil war despite the introduction of legislation in 1269 and 1271 purportedly designed to assist debtors. We shall argue that the improved fortunes of debtors coincided not with efforts to pacify the countryside after the civil war but with the failure of the Crown's attempts to profit from Jewish taxation after 1275.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History