June 15: The Magna Carta and the Jews

The Magna Carta (“Great Charter”), a  breakthrough document in the evolution of democracy, was signed under duress by King John of England on this date in 1215, five days after the barons of the land had seized the city of London. The document, which placed some limits on the king’s power, contained two provisions about Jews and money-lending. Medieval Christians were forbidden by Church law from lending money at interest, so much of the money-lending industry was concentrated in Jewish hands. This profited the king, who needed financial credit and also plundered Jewish wealth through levies and confiscations. (If a Jew died with monies owed, the King had the right to collect the debt.) The Magna Carta did not alter this arrangement or prohibit imprisonment for debt, but imposed two reforms: it assured that debts would not accumulate interest or become burdensome for underage heirs or widows.

“Jews are the sponges of kings, they are bloodsuckers of Christian purses, by whose robbery kings despoil and deprive poor men of their goods.” —William de Montibus

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Comments (21)

  1. King John, who was so evil and disliked that he is the only king in 1000+ years of English history with that name; was responsible for expelling the few dozen Jews in England during his reign. They were not re-admitted until many centuries later. Hard to figure out how the provisions about money lending/debts in Magna Carta ever benefitted him or the nobles if there were no Jews around to lend to them.

    • Yeah what a virtual paradise time that was with the marauding Crusades that sacked and pillaged in the name of Jesus, and the English and Spanish Inquisitions, the Witch Burnings, the 100 yr religious wars, colonization of sovereign countries, overthrowing nations in order to loot their resources, slavery, genocide. What a paradise that was living in England – or Europe – with no Jews. However bad you think Jews are, they don’t come anywhere near to the devastation and plundering and blood sucking of European Christiandom and I imagine Jesus is turning over in his grave to see what his followers have wrought in his name against his own people.

  2. I think Jews should have their own country, and we call it Israel. There appear to be Syrian-Egyptian-Jordanian refugees there who want to take over, and we call those Palestinians.

    The fact is that each ethnic group is happiest with self-rule in its own land. This applies to Jews, English, Germans, Maori — everyone you can think of.

  3. Among other crimes King John expelled the jews for: (1) ritual jewish murder (the Hugh of Lincoln incident, sort of like Cayley Anthony, but a long time ago) (2) Coin clipping. This is a form of stealing / lowering the value of a silver or gold coin by chiping a little of the precious metal off the edge of the coin with a hammer and chisel. Modern coins have knurled edges as a safeguard against this type of thievery. That’s why Bernie Madoff worked exclusively with paper securities.

    • One million Jews were kicked out or fled for their lives from the ferocious frenzy that took over the Arab world at the inception of the state of Israel in 1948. They were made homeless stateless refugees overnight from their Arab homeland, however nobody wants to talk about that fact, they are only interested in the 500,000 to 550,000 Arab refugees from the Post British Mandate of Palestine now Israel. Jews were living all over the Arab world more than 1,2000 years before the dawning of Islam. Today there is only around 6,000 Jews left in the entire Arab world, that in anyone’s book is ethnic cleansing. The Arabs that decided to stay in the Newly established State of Israel are fully fledged citizens of the State, they make up 20% of the population today.

  4. If you don’t like Jews then you should read what you “should not” do to help yourself if you are sick.

    “Any Jew Hater who has Syphilis must not be cured by Salvarsan discovered by a Jew, Dr. Ehrlich.

    You should not even try to find out whether you have Syphilis, because the Wasserman Test is the discovery of a Jew. If a Person suspects that he/she has Gonorrhea, he must not seek diagnosis, because he will be using the method of a Jew named Neissner.

    “A Jew Hater person who has heart disease must not use Digitalis, a discovery by a Jew, Ludwig Traube.

    Should you suffer with a toothache, you must not use Novocaine, a discovery of the Jews, Widal and Weil.

    If a Jew Hater person has Diabetes, he must not use Insulin, the result of research by Minkowsky, a Jew. If one has a headache, he must shun Pyramidon and Antypyrin, due to the Jews, Spiro and Ellege.

    Jew Hater Persons with convulsions must put up with them because it was a Jew, Oscar Leibreich, who proposed the use of Chloral Hydrate.

    Jew Hater Persons must do likewise with their psychic ailments because Freud, father of psychoanalysis, was a Jew.

    Should a Jew Hater person’s child get Diphtheria, he must refrain from the “Schick” reaction which was invented by the Jew, Bella Schick.

    “Jew Hater People should be ready to die in great numbers and must not permit treatment of ear and brain damage, work of jewish Nobel Prize winner, Robert Baram.

    They should continue to die or remain crippled by Infantile Paralysis because the discoverer of the anti-polio vaccine is a Jew, Jonas Salk.

    “You must refuse to use Streptomycin and continue to die of Tuberculosis because a Jew, Zalman Waxman, invented the wonder drug against this killing disease.

    Doctors must discard all discoveries and improvements by dermatologist Judas Sehn Benedict, or the lung specialist, Frawnkel, and of many other world renowned Jewish scientists and medical experts.

    “In short, Jew haters properly and fittingly should remain afflicted with Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Heart Disease, Headaches, Typhus, Diabetes, Mental Disorders, Polio Convulsions and Tuberculosis and be proud to obey a Jewish boycott.”

    Oh, and by the way, don’t call for a doctor on your cell phone because the cell phone was invented in Israel by a Jewish engineer.

    Meanwhile I ask, what medical contributions to the world have your Jew Hater ancestors made?

    I am not Jewish… I find the hateful ignorant comments in this blog to be astounding and
    as ignorant as the view of the Kings and their subjects, and their descendents down to the present day. Hasn’t society evolved? I guess the commentators who hate Jews are still in dark, in the middle ages. Have a healthy life!

  5. The Hugh of Lincoln Story according to Wikipedia:

    Hugh of Lincoln (1246 – 27 August 1255) was an English boy, whose death prompted a blood libel with ramifications that reach until today. Hugh is known as Little Saint Hugh to distinguish him from Saint Hugh, otherwise Hugh of Lincoln. The style is often corrupted to Little Sir Hugh. The boy disappeared on 31 July, and his body was discovered in a well on 29 August.

    Shortly after his disappearance, a local Jew named Copin (or Jopin), under torture,[1] admitted to killing the child. Copin was executed, and the story would have ended there were it not for a series of events that coincided with the disappearance.

    Some six months earlier, King Henry III had sold his rights to tax the Jews to his brother, Richard, Earl of Cornwall. Having lost this source of income, he decided that he was eligible for the Jews’ money if they were convicted of crimes. As a result, some ninety Jews were arrested and held in the Tower of London, while they were charged with involvement in the ritual murder. Eighteen of them were hanged for refusing to participate in the proceedings and refusing to throw themselves on the verdict of a Christian jury.[2] It was the first time ever that the civil government handed out a death sentence for ritual murder, and King Henry was able to take over their property. The remainder were pardoned and set free, most likely because Richard, who saw a potential threat to his own source of income, intervened on their behalf with his brother.

    Meanwhile, the Cathedral in Lincoln was beginning to benefit from the episode, since Hugh was seen as a Christian martyr, and sites associated with his life became objects of pilgrimage. The legend surrounding Hugh that emerged became part of popular culture, and his story became the subject of poetry and folksongs.

    Geoffrey Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales makes reference to Hugh of Lincoln in “The Prioress’s Tale”. Pilgrims devoted to Hugh of Lincoln flocked to the city as late as the early 20th century, when a well was constructed in the former Jewish neighborhood of Jews’ Court and advertised as the well in which Hugh’s body was found.[citation needed]

    In 1955, the Anglican Church placed at the site of Little Hugh’s former shrine at Lincoln Cathedral a plaque bearing these words:

    By the remains of the shrine of “Little St. Hugh”.
    Trumped up stories of “ritual murders” of Christian boys by Jewish communities were common throughout Europe during the Middle Ages and even much later. These fictions cost many innocent Jews their lives. Lincoln had its own legend and the alleged victim was buried in the Cathedral in the year 1255.
    Such stories do not redound to the credit of Christendom, and so we pray:
    Lord, forgive what we have been,
    amend what we are,
    and direct what we shall be.

    There is a private preparatory school in Woodhall Spa, near Lincoln, named after St Hugh, which uses a stylised ball and wall as its school emblem.[3]
    [edit] From the Ballad of Little Sir Hugh

    The following text from 1783, describes the murder of Hugh of Lincoln, as it was depicted in a popular ballad.

    She’s led him in through ae dark door,
    And sae has she thro’ nine;
    She’s laid him on a dressing-table,
    And stickit him like a swine.

    And first came out the thick, thick blood,
    And syne came out the thin;
    And syne came out the bonny heart’s blood;
    There was nae mair within.

    She’s row’d him in a cake o’lead,
    Bade him lie still and sleep;
    She’s thrown him in Our Lady’s draw-well
    Was fifty fathom deep.

    According to the notes by Cecil Sharp on a variant of the Ballad of Little Sir Hugh, the story is as follows:

    The events narrated in this ballad were supposed to have taken place in the 13th century. The story is told by a contemporary writer in the Annals of Waverley, under the year 1255. Little Sir Hugh was crucified by the Jews in contempt of Christ with various preliminary tortures. To conceal the act from the Christians, the body was thrown into a running stream, but the water immediately ejected it upon dry land. It was then buried, but was found above ground the next day. As a last resource the body was thrown into a drinking-well; whereupon, the whole place was filled with so brilliant a light and so sweet an odour that it was clear to everybody that there must be something holy in the well. The body was seen floating on the water and, upon its recovery, it was found that the hands and feet were pierced with wounds, the forehead lacerated, etc. The unfortunate Jews were suspected. The King ordered an inquiry. Eighteen Jews confessed, were convicted, and eventually hanged.

    Sharp then goes on to make the following observations:

    Bishop Percy concludes “the whole charge to be groundless and malicious.” Murders of this sort have been imputed to the Jews for seven hundred and fifty years or more; and similar accusations have been made in Russia and other countries of Eastern Europe even in the 19th century and as late as 1883. Child sums up the whole matter by saying, “These pretended child-murders, with their horrible consequences, are only a part of a persecution which, with all its moderation, may be rubricated as the most disgraceful chapter in the history of the human race.”

    In 1975 the English folk-rock group Steeleye Span recorded a version of “Little Sir Hugh” on their album Commoner’s Crown. In the song, the murderer is “a lady gay” “dressed in green”.

    Shortly after news was spread of his death, miracles were attributed to Hugh and he was rushed into sainthood. Hugh became one of the youngest individual candidates for sainthood, with 27 July unofficially made his feast day. Over time, however, the question of the rush to sainthood was raised, and Hugh’s name was not included in Butler’s Lives of the Saints (1756–1759). Today, Hugh’s sainthood is abolished. The Vatican has not officially revoked the status of sainthood for the child since he was never officially canonized and was never included in Catholic martyrology. His traditional English feast day is not celebrated.[4][

  6. Methods of coin debasement – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    (Redirected from Coin clipping)
    This article is about grassroots methods of coin debasement. For coin debasement generally, see debasement.

    Coin debasement is the act of decreasing the amount of precious metal in a coin, while continuing to circulate it at face value. This was frequently done by governments in order to inflate the amount of currency in circulation; typically, some of the precious metal was replaced by a cheaper metal when the coin was minted. But when done by an individual, precious metal was physically removed from the coin; which could then be passed on at the original face value, leaving the debaser with a profit. Coin debasement was effected by several methods, including clipping (shaving metal from the coin’s circumference) and sweating (shaking the coins in a bag and collecting the dust worn off).

    Until the mid 20th century, coins were often made of silver or gold, which were quite soft and prone to wear. This meant coins naturally got lighter (and thus less valuable) as they aged, so coins that had lost a small amount of bullion would go unnoticed. Modern coins are made of hard, cheap metals such as steel, copper or a copper-nickel alloy, reducing wear and making it difficult and unprofitable to debase them.

    Clipping is the act of shaving off a small portion of a precious metal coin for profit. Over time the precious metal clippings could be saved up and melted into bullion or used to make new coins.[1][2]

    Coin clipping was usually considered by the law to be of a similar magnitude to counterfeiting, and was occasionally punished by death[1][3][4], a fate which befell Thomas Rogers and Anne Rogers.

    Coin clipping is why many coins have the rim of the coin marked with stripes (milling or reeding), text (engraving) or some other pattern that would be destroyed if the coin were clipped. Although the metal used in most modern coins is not intrinsically valuable, modern milling can be a deterrent to counterfeiting, an aid to the blind to distinguish different denominations, or purely decorative.

  7. Thomas Rogers and Anne Rogers were tryed for Clipping 40 pieces of Silver . The Evidence swore, That there were Shears, and Rubbers to rub Mony, and a File and some Clippings, &c. found in the Prisoners House in Eling Parish , near Acton; all which were produced in Court, in Testimony against them, as also a Parcel of clipt Mony, which was found in the bottom of a Chest. The Prisoner urged, That he found the clipt Mony, and they both denyed it stiffly, and that they never used the Tools, neither did they hide them from any Body, using several extenuating Arguments to stiffle their horrid Crime; which came to no good Effect, for they were both found Guilty of High Treason.

    Thomas Rogers was singly indicted, a second Time, for a Misdemeanour, in Harbouring of Thieves in his House, keeping them from Justice, as High waymen, &c. The Evidence said, That several Highway-men used to meet at the Prisoner’s House, at Eling, near Acton , where they were put into a dark Room, to prevent Discovery, and from thence they were wont to distribute themselves abroad to rob, &c. And that the Prisoner did once set a Grazier that was going by his Door, and two High-way-men went out and robbed him immediately. He had little to say, but denyed all that was sworn against him; he was look’d upon as notorious base Fellow, for there were several Wagons robbed within this twelve Months, going that Road, through his Instigation. The Prisoner stood out to the last that he knew nothing of it, yet he was found Guilty of the Misdemeanour.

  8. Old Bailey Proceedings punishment summary, 15th October 1690.

    Reference Number: s16901015-1
    The Tryals being over, the Court proceeded to give Sentence as followeth,
    Burnt in the Hand 9.
    John Stephens , John Clarke , David Floyd , George Brock , Richard James , James Hammond , L – R – , Thomas Dant and James Batrone .

    To be Transported, 2
    Henry Chawke and Anne Brassbey .

    To be Whipt 3.
    Margaret Kelly , Elizabeth Vaughan and Anne Griscal .

    Received Sentence of Death 12.
    M – H – , Constance Wainwright , John Lowbridge , Jane Eaton , Katharine Jones, Anne Henderson , Thomas Castle alias Cassey, Peter Vallard , Bryant Cane , Thomas Rowland , Thomas Rogers , and Anne Rogers his Wife.

    Thomas Castle , Peter Vallard and Thomas Rogers , were ordered to be Drawn upon a Sledge to the place of Execution, to be hanged by the Neck, cut down alive, their Bowels burnt, their Bodies quartered, and to be disposed of at their Majesties pleasure. And Anne Rogers was ordered to be burnt alive.

    Luke Brassbey fined 10 Groats, and to remain in Prison till he find good Sureties for his peaceable Behaviour. Daniel Juxon was fined 4 Nobles, and to find good Sureties. Joseph Jones was ordered to remain till he find Sureties for his quiet behaviour for the future. Elizabeth Cox and Edward Stephens were both finded 5 Pound a piece.

    William Hodges having given in Bail for his appearance, to answer what should be alledged against him, did now move for to be discharged; but the Court being pleased to tender him the Oaths, he refused to comply; whereupon he was ordered to continue upon Bail till further Order.

    Turner a Bookseller, for publishing a Seditious Libel against the Government, entituled, A Bargain dear bought, gave Bail to appear next Sessions.

    Cap. Rider was discharged from all Recognizances.

    Lyon Fountaire, Andrew Burnet and Elizabeth Firmin , notwithstanding their being acquitted, were ordered to remain till they find sufficient Sureties for their better Conversation; Firmin being known to the Court to have been a notorious Offender.

    Mary Ellis of Westminster was indicted for Felony and called to answer, but did not uppear, she being lately fled from Justice.

  9. With all due respect, I have nothing against the Jewish religion or those that practice it people are free to have faith in what they want, the supposedly anti-Jewish clauses in the magna carter are there because of circumstance. Christianity was the dominant religion in England at the time, thus there was rarely a money lender that was not Catholic. Furthermore, don’t label the whole magna carter as an “anti-Semitic” document based in two clauses.

    • Nobody labeled the whole Magna Carter as an anti-semitic document, John Smith. And being the dominant religion is one thing, what this is about is that this dominant religion seemed to make the people of Europe a very dangerous, violent, racist and fanatical group who lashed out against the Jewish people with a zealotry unmatched anywhere else. Now granted, the people of Europe could’ve been just as violent had Christianity not been brought to their lands, but the ruling body of each country sure did exploit and utilize Christian teachings and beliefs to justify their barbaric and sub-human treatment of Jews.

  10. Actually john, very few money lenders were christian in medieval europe as this was against the canon law of the church, christian money lenders only started to come out at around the time of Henry the third.

  11. “Have no fear, the Jew is here”. Today’s lesson. Let me defend my heritage. I have often asked myself why do they hate me so. These are some of my thoughts.
    [1] Morals, maybe we have too many. We invented them.
    [2] Smarter, being excluded gave me time to think.
    [3] Chosen, In The military they chose the Jewboy to go forward. He’s expendable they said so send him forward, let him walk point alone. So the group became a better target.
    [4] Economics, They claimed that the Jewboy had an advantage, so they would not drink, play cards or gamble with me. So of course I had more cash than the rest of the losers.
    [5] Scapegoat, why not blame me for there incompetence. Who will defend me?
    [6] Outsiders, aliens, different; of course we were the scapegoats again because we were the minority. We were also enslaved or thrown off our land, and had no homeland.
    [7] Racially inferior, I bleed like the rest of you’ll. Who is perfect? Shoot, If I didn’t tell them that I was a Jew, would anyone know? One time a woman didn’t believe I was a Jew, so I offered to open my fly to prove it. Early circumcism only stimulted later growth.
    [8] We have horns, no I am just always Horny.
    [9] Did I kill Jesus?, The son of G-D,” He ‘s us” Why murder our own?
    [10] Jews don’t eat pork, I never knew that until they told me, I thought that we didn’t eat mice or vermim.
    [11] Jews are funny, So I laugh at life to get by. Call me a comedian.
    [12] Jews dress differently, They made my people wear funny clothes, hats or Yamakas to identify us, and “Peyes” [passes]or curly sideburns to identify the kids.
    [13] Numbers, we were only allowed to be merchants or business people so we learned to count.

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