DescriptionEdward I issues an edict expelling all Jews from England, remaining in force for the rest of the Middle Ages
LocationKingdom of England
RateVery important (8)
By 1280, the Jews had been exploited to a level at which they were no longer of much financial use to the crown, but they could still be used in political bargaining. Their usury business – a practice forbidden to Christians – had made many people indebted to them and caused general popular resentment. In 1275, Edward had issued the Statute of the Jewry, which outlawed usury and encouraged the Jews to take up other professions; in 1279, in the context of a crack-down on coin-clippers, he arrested all the heads of Jewish households in England and had around 300 of them executed. In 1280, he ordered all Jews to attend special sermons, preached by Dominican friars, with the hope of persuading them to convert, but these exhortations were not followed. The final attack on the Jews in England came in the Edict of Expulsion in 1290, whereby Edward formally expelled all Jews from England.