Mudcat Café message #1781438 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8767   Message #1781438
Posted By: Muttley
11-Jul-06 - 08:53 PM
Thread Name: 'Orrible Murder!
Subject: RE: 'Orribble Murder!!
The murder of the Jews in York occurred in 1190.

In a quote from a guide book for Clifford's Tower"

"Life for Jewish groups in England was punctuated by outbreaks of religious attacks, usually prompted by false accusations of ritual murder."

This is a basis behind the "Little Sir Hugh" tale as the murder by the "Lady in Green" was an example of that very ritual murder.

"The death of their (the Jews of England) protector Henry II in 1189 and the coronation of the crusader king Richard I, led to a propaganda not only against the Moslem 'pagan' but against the internal Jewish 'infidel'. An anti-Jewish riot broke out on the coronation day and the London Jewish Quarter was set alight with the loss of at least 30 lives. Benedict of York (a Jewish usurer) was injured in the riot and died in Northampton on his journey home. The London riot was repeated in Kings Lynn and Norwich in Februaru 1190. York repeated the same pattern early in March."

The York riot began with the killing of Benedict's widow and children and the looting of their home. Jewish leaders then sought Royal Protection within York Castle - they barricaded themselves in the central keep - later rebuilt in stone and even later named Clifford's Tower. The rioting lasted several days and the Jews, terrified, even refused entry to the tower by the Constable of the Castle fearing he's turn them over to the Sheriff and his armed retainers. Finally on the eve of Passover, Rabbi Yomtob called on the beseiged Jews to follow the example of the Jews of Masada 1100 years earlier in AD74 and suicide. The mass suicide was accompanied by a fire which burned the keep to the ground cremating the Jews so their bodies could not be dismembered and desecrated. A few survivors surreb=ndered on the promise of "Christian Baptism" but were seized upon by the mob and and massacred anyway. In all 150 Jews died on that day: Friday, March 16, 1190.

The constant thread in all these massacres was the ritual murder - especially of a noted / fair / noble child - in the city by (generally) a Jewish woman. It was this thread which was most commonly used to light the fuse and incite riot.

It appears Richard even condoned the acts covertly as he was apparently VERY anti-Semitic. A feeling which may have run through the entire Plantagenet line as his descendant Edward I (Longshanks) actually signed the "Statute of Jewry" in 1275 and then went a step further by ordering ". . . all the Jews of our kingdom . . ." leave the country in ". . perpetual exile . ." in 1290 - exactly 100 years after the massacre in York.

So NO I am NOT confused about the massacres of Jews or mixed up. Lincoln WAS traditionally the prime originator of the story - but there are other claimants to the story as well: York among them. As I said - my reading has been backed up by a tour guide from York who directed us around the place while we were there last year.