The name of a statute passed in the reign of Edw. I., which enacted severe and absurd penalties against the Jews.
The Jews were exceedingly oppressed during the middle ages throughout Christendom, and are so still in some countries. In France, a Jew was a serf, and his person and goods belonged to the baron on whose demesnes he lived. He could not change his domicil without permission of the baron, who could pursue him as a fugitive even on the domains of the king. Like an article of commerce, he might be lent or hired for a time, or mortgaged. If he became a Christian, his conversion was considered a larceny of the lord, and his property and goods were confiscated. They were allowed to utter their prayers only in a low voice and without chanting. They were not allowed to appear in public without some badge or mark of distinction. Christians were forbidden to employ Jews of either sex as domestics, physicians or surgeons. Admission to the bar was forbidden to Jews. They were obliged to appear in court in person, when they demanded justice for a wrong done them, and it was deemed disgraceful to an advocate to undertake the cause of a Jew. If a Jew appeared in court against a Christian, he was obliged to swear by the ten names of God, and invoke a thousand imprecations against himself, if he spoke not the truth. Sexual intercourse between a Christian man and a Jewess was deemed a crime against nature, and was punishable with death by burning.
In the fifth book of the Decretals, it is provided that if a Jew have a servant that desireth to be a Christian, the Jew shall be compelled to sell him to a Christian for twelve pence that it shall not be lawful for them to take any Christian to be their servant that they may repair their old synagogues, but not build new
that it shall not be lawful for them to open their doors, or windows on good Friday; that their wives neither have Christian nurses, nor themselves be nurses to Christian women - that they wear different apparel from the Christians, whereby they may be known.
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