Posted by Captain Everett on March 17, 1998 at 19:57:20:
In response to Social status of Jews during the Regency?, written by Leanne S on March 16, 1998 at 14:27:58
] Was there any ostracism of Jews in the Regency? Were they unwelcome in Austen's social circle (the landed gentry) or higher echelons? Did money or royal favour pave the way for any? Did any "make little" or hide their Jewishness?
Elie Halvey, A History of the English People in 1815 (1912), gives a brief mention of Jews. He gives an estimated population of 20,000. They were chiefly concentrated in London and large provincial towns. That number was steadily being increased by immigaration from Europe, especially Portugal and Germany. He argues that they no longer concelled their wealth, and built large synagogues (rather than holding services hidden away in the slums). They had not yet obtained the right of naturalization as had Christians. But their popularity was on the decline, and some plays used a Jew as a voice of morals and vitue.
Unfortunately, this does not really answer the original question. I suspect that any prejudices were covert in their nature. The Jews found that much perferable to the situation they found on the Continent. On the other hand, one might wonder how much their exculsion was based on religion, and how much upon their simply not being "English." How much of this was a matter of not inviting them, as opposed to deliberately barring them. Some references have been made to Disraeili and the Rothschilds, but only a few reached such social status. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there was some suspicion of Jews as purveyors of stolen propery. Dickens "Fagin" was allegedly based upon Isaac Solomons, who was arrested for receiveing in 1827.
I remain, etc.
- Jewish in England Erin 21:35:49 3/17/98 (0)
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.