The Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales

A Genetic and Genealogical History


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About the Book

This book proposes that Jews were present in England in substantial numbers from the Roman Conquest forward. Indeed, there has never been a time during which a large Jewish-descended, and later Muslim-descended, population has been absent from England. Contrary to popular history, the Jewish population was not expelled from England in 1290, but rather adopted the public face of Christianity, while continuing to practice Judaism in secret. Crypto-Jews and Crypto-Muslims held the highest offices in the land, including service as archbishops, dukes, earls, kings and queens. Among those proposed to be of Jewish ancestry are the Tudor kings and queens, Queen Elizabeth I, William the Conqueror, and Thomas Cromwell. Documentaton in support of this revisionist history includes DNA studies, genealogies, church records, place names and the Domesday Book.

About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman is a professor of marketing at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey and a professor at the University of Virginia–Wise. She has written widely on genealogy and ethnic identity.

Donald N. Yates is an American genealogist, cultural historian and DNA investigator. He lives in Longmont, Colorado. For more information visit his official site at

Bibliographic Details

Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman and Donald N. Yates

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: 34 photos, 8 maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7684-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1343-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction (with Inscription from William Blake’s “Jerusalem”) 1
1. The First Jews in Britain 5
2. Black Swan: Sepharad in Post–Roman Britain 24
3. Saxons, Vikings and Muslims 43
4. Contextualizing the Normans 61
5. Who Was Jewish in the Conqueror’s England 75
6. More Domesday Jews and Arabs 89
7. The Jews in England 1066–1290 102
8. A Necessary Excursion to Wales 117
9. The Irony of It All: English Jews and Muslims 1300–1450 133
10. Enter the Tudors 1450–1550 154
11. Philo-Semitism 1550–1700 163
12. Daniel Defoe and Robinson Crusoe 174
Epilogue 187
Appendix A. Jewish DNA Hot Spots 191
Appendix B. Post–Conquest and Angevin Jews 198
Appendix C. London Merchants 1300–1500 206
Chapter Notes 207
References 221
Index 227