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United Kingdom

(2,603 words)

Author(s): Lucien Gubbay
The first Jews to settle in the British Isles were Ashkenazim from northern France who came in the wake of the Norman conquest of 1066. They were joined by a smaller number from Germany, Spain, and Italy. By the twelfth century, Jews lived in most of the biggest English cities, with the largest community in London. The prosperity and security of English Jewry declined steadily with the accession of Richard the Lionhearted (r. 1189–1199) and the violence attending the Third Crusade. The anti-Jewish legislation of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215…