LINCOLN

LINCOLN, town in eastern England. The medieval Jewish community (first mentioned in 1159) was probably the second in importance in England after London. During the crusader riots which swept the country in March 1190, the Jews were attacked and took refuge under the protection of the sheriff. The citizens were subsequently fined for their unruly conduct. St. Hugh, the great bishop of Lincoln, protected the Jews, who later joined their fellow townsmen in mourning his death in 1200. The most prominent Anglo-Jewish financier of the time was aaron of lincoln (c. 1123–86), whose operations extended over every part of the country but were especially important in Lincolnshire. R. Joseph of Lincoln is mentioned as a scholar (c. 1125–36). In the second half of the 13th century, the outstanding Lincoln Jews were Hagin (Hayyim), son of R. moses b. yom tov of London, who was archpresbyter of English Jewry (1258–80), and his brother benedict of lincoln (d. 1276?), identical with the tosafist R. Berachiah of Nicole, who has left some significant literary remains. The latter was absolved at the time of the ritual murder accusation in 1255 associated with the name of "Little" St. Hugh of Lincoln when 91 Lincoln Jews were sent to London for trial and 18 executed. Notwithstanding this, the community continued to be important. In 1266, during the Barons' Wars, the "Disinherited Knights" attacked the Lincoln Jewry, sacked the synagogue, and burned the records registering debts. On the expulsion of Jews from England in 1290, assets were registered of 66 householders (not all still alive), and the property which fell into the king's hands exceeded £2,500, in addition to 30 houses. Specimens of medieval Jewish architecture, including a building which was probably the synagogue, may still be seen in the former Jewry (now Steep Hill). A small Jewish community existed again in Lincoln at the beginning of the 19th century. There was a small community of evacuees during World War II. At the outset of the 21st century, while no synagogues existed, a Lincolnshire Jewish community organization was maintained by the Progressive movement. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J.W.F. Hill, Medieval Lincoln (1948), 217–38; Davis, in: Archeological Journal, 38 (1880), 178ff.; C. Roth, in: JHSET, 9 (1918–20), 28; idem, in: JJS, 1 (1948), 67–81; idem, Medieval Lincoln Jewry and its Synagogue (1934); Rosenau, in: Archeological Journal, 94 (1937), 51–56; JHSET, 1 (1893–94), 89–135; 3 (1896–98), 157–86; C.W. Foster (ed.), Registrum Antiquissimum of the Cathedral Church of Lincoln, especially vol. 7 (1931). (Cecil Roth)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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