London (Dec. 3)
That the Jews may have been residents of England before the Britons is the opinion expressed by Chancellor Austen, the Cannon of York Cathedral. This is now being recalled in response to the severe anti-Jewish agitation carried on as a part of the propaganda against the aliens resident in Great Britain.
“The Jews came to England probably with the Phoenicians during the time of King Solomon; an official record of Roman times states that Caesar Augustus issued an edict in favor of the Jews in England. Undoubtedly there were Jewish soldiers in the Roman legions in England”, Chancellor Austen declared in a sermon which he delivered in the York Cathedral.
Definite mention of a Jewish settlement in what is now known as Great Britain is made by the Venerable Bede in his History of the Church of England, first published in 1693.
William the Conqueror invited the Jews to settle in England, this source relates. Rufus, the son of William the Conqueror, called a convention of Rabbis and bishops in London for the purpose of holding a dispute between Judaism and Christianity. Rufus is reported to have sworn that if the Rabbis win the dispute he would embrace Judaism. The dispute, however, was declared a tie.
Rufus was always a close friend of the Jews. With the crusades, persecution of the Jews started until they were finally expelled from England in 1290 by King Edward. They were again invited to settle in England by Cromwell.