Statute of Jewry

The Statute of Jewry was a statute issued by Henry III of England in 1253.[1] In response to antisemitic feelings in medieval England, it attempted to segregate the Jews, including imposing the wearing of a Jewish badge.[2] It is uncertain to what extent this legislation was put into effect.[3]


The statute had thirteen articles.[1] They contained the following provisions:[4]

  • Article One provided that any Jew could only remain in England only if he or she would "serve Us in some way"
  • Article Two deemed that Synagogues could not be constructed, and only those that existed in the time of King John could stand
  • Article Three demanded that Jews lower their voices in Synagogues, so that Christians could not hear them
  • Article Four placed a duty on Jews to pay to their local Christian church
  • Article Five banned Christian (wet)nurses and servants working for Jews, and banned all Christians from eating with Jews or '"abiding" with them in their houses
  • Article Six banned Jews from buying and eating meat in Lent
  • Article Seven banned Jews from disparaging or publicly disputing the Christian faith
  • Article Eight banned "secret familiarity" between Jewish men and Christian women, and Christian men and Jewish women
  • Article Nine commanded that "every Jew wear his badge conspicuously on his breast"
  • Article Ten banned Jews from Churches, except for 'transit'
  • Article Eleven barred Jews from hindering another's conversion
  • Article Twelve required Jews to obtain a licence to live in any town other than those with established Jewish communities
  • Article Thirteen set out that the "justices of the Jews" were to enforce the articles, and that they were to be "rigorously observed on pain of forfeiture of the chattels of the said Jews"


  1. ^ a b Hillaby 2013, p. 104
  2. ^ Stacey 2003, pp. 51–52
  3. ^ Stacey 2003, p. 52
  4. ^ Hillaby 2013, p. 106


  • Stacey, Robert C. (2003). "The English Jews Under Henry III: Historical, Literary and Archaeological Perspectives". In Skinner, Patricia (ed.). Jews in Medieval Britain. Woodbridge, UK: The Boydell Press. pp. 41–54. ISBN 9781843837336.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Hillaby, Joe; Hillaby, Caroline (2013). The Palgrave Dictionary of Medieval Anglo-Jewish History. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-23027-816-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)