You are a trader on a visit to Britain in 1290.  Write a letter home to your family, explaining how the Jews are treated in Medieval Britain.  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I have never witnessed such vitriol as the English harbor towards the Jew.  I am told that the hatred stems from the traditional practice of Jews lending money. While Christians have looked at this practice as immoral and sinful, no such prohibition exists in the Jewish faith.  For that reason, the English nobility enjoyed the funds lent to them by their Jewish countrymen.  Until they were asked to repay the money that it borrowed.  Then the Jew was suddenly a menace.  In recent years, the Jew has been stripped of his dignity, being forced to dress differently and wear a special badge.  They are made to look different, by which they are treated differently.  They have to pay special taxes and violence upon them is common.  If I did not know any better, I would think the English do not want them around.  There is talk that King Edward may force all of them to leave the kingdom.  The King probably wouldn't mind transferring the debt to himself.  Now that would be quite convenient for him!  

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial