Evidence_that_the_Majority_of_Medieval_E

Evidence_that_the_Majority_of_Medieval_E - ABSTRACT...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–5. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
ABSTRACT MARGOLIS, ETHAN LEVI. Evidence that the Majority of Medieval English Jews were not Moneylenders, with an Emphasis on Document E. 101/249/4. (Under the direction of Dr. Julie Mell.) The collective Western mind still today erroneously sees the Jews of medieval England as moneylenders. It is generally accepted that the Jews functioned to create a more liquid economy and to provide the crown with much needed financial support. However, while it is true that a select handful of Jews did operate as professional moneylenders, I will argue that the vast majority of Jews could not, and did not, operate as professional financers. The method I have employed to prove this thesis is to conduct a close economic analysis of the document E. 101/249/4. This document is the result of an archa scrutiny (an archa was a chest, held in each major town, within which were deposited any and all loans contracted within the town) that King Henry III ordered in preparation for the collection of his 1241-42 tallage of 20,000 marks. It is composed of two sections. The first section is found on membrane one recto. It is a summary of the returns of the aforesaid tallage and is especially valuable because it provides the names of every adult Jew in Lincoln in 1241-42. The second section provides the actual results from Henry III’s archa scrutiny. It contains eight hundred and eighty-six loans and takes up the vast majority of the document. The results of this economic study convincingly refute the idea that all Jews lent money and that all moneylenders were Jews. Of the one hundred and fifteen Jews listed in the first section (membrane one recto) only thirty-eight had loans in the Lincoln archa ; the remaining seventy-seven Jewish residents of Lincoln simply did not lend money. Further, by carefully analyzing the loans found in the archa , one finds that a full seventy-four percent of all loans found in the archa
Image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
were held by only ten men, and thirty-two percent were held by Aaron of York alone! The remaining seventy-five Jews with loans in the archa collectively held only twenty-six percent of the value of all the loans contained in Lincoln’s archa . These results are significant, for they overturn the nearly ubiquitous assumption that “the Jews” functioned only as moneylenders in medieval England. It is an assumption that is well entrenched in even academia today, and one that I hope to begin to dissolve with this thesis.
Image of page 2
Evidence that the Majority of Medieval English Jews were not Moneylenders, with an Emphasis on Document E. 101/249/4 by Ethan Levi Margolis A thesis submitted to the Graduate Faculty of North Carolina State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts History Raleigh, North Carolina 2015 APPROVED BY: ________________________ ________________________ Dr. Karen Kletter Dr. S. Thomas Parker _______________________________ Dr. Julie Mell Chair of Advisory Committee
Image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
ii BIOGRAPHY Ethan L. Margolis holds bachelor degrees in both business (from Penn State University) and history (from North Carolina State University). His interest in history lies particularly in the medieval period.
Image of page 4
Image of page 5
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern