Catalogue description Exchequer of the Jews: Plea Rolls

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Details of E 9
Reference: E 9
Title: Exchequer of the Jews: Plea Rolls

This series contains the surviving plea rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews from 1219 until 1286, four years before the Jews were expelled from England. All but five of these rolls date from the years between 1266 and 1286. Each is divided into several sections. Besides pleas, some rolls include essoins, appointments of attorneys, adjournments of litigation at the request of both parties, starrs (loan bonds), administrative memoranda, memoranda relating to Jewish tallages, and recognizances.

Publication details are indicated against each relevant piece.

Digital images of some of the records in this series are available through the Anglo-American Legal Tradition website. Please note that The National Archives is not responsible for this website or its content.

Date: 1219-1286
Related material:

Although no rolls later than 1286 are known to have survived, there are transcripts of individual entries from rolls of Easter term 1287 and Michaelmas term 1289 in manuscripts in the British Library, Additional MS 46352 fos 90v-91v, and Cotton Julius D II fo 182v.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: Latin
Physical description: 70 roll(s)
Custodial history: Some records of the court are known to have been destroyed in a fire at Westminster on 29 March 1298, which affected the chapel of St Katherine in the infirmary of the abbey, where they were then stored. The survivors were removed to the Tower of London in the early 1320s, and some of them remained when the rest returned to Westminster, since they were still there in the mid-seventeenth century.
Publication note:

The rolls down to 1279 have largely been published by the Jewish Historical Society, which plans to publish further volumes. Biographical details of the justices of the Jews under Henry III are given in C A F Meekings, 'Justices of the Jews, 1218-1268: a provisional list', Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, xxviii (1955), pp 173-188.

Administrative / biographical background:

The Justices of the Jews exercised jurisdiction, civil and criminal, in all affairs between Jews or the Jewish Community on the one hand and the Crown or Christians on the other. The pleas recorded in these rolls frequently relate to the contents of the archae or chests kept in certain specified towns in which were deposited the chirographs or counterparts of deeds recording loans made by Jews and Christians. The rolls also contain memoranda of proceedings with regard to the custody of these archae and to regulations respecting the Jews.

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