I am visiting Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo with a post about the dark and tragic history of Clifford’s Tower in York. Thank you, Sue, for hosting me.
The original motte and bailey castle which was built on the site where Clifford’s Tower now stands was built in 1068 by William the Conqueror. It was one of a series of castles he built in order to suppress rebellion against his rule in England.
During this period of history, the Jewish people were welcomed into England by William the Conqueror who invited them to live and work in his kingdom. Christians were forbidden from making a profit as moneylenders, but Jewish people were not. This profession made them wealthy, but they were heavily taxed by the crown in exchange for the king’s protection.
Clifford’s Tower massacre
The massacre that took place at Clifford’s Tower on 16 March 1190 was one of the worst cases of anti-Semitic violence in British history.
Following the death of Henry II in 1189, Richard the Lionheart inherited the crown and crusade fever swept through England bring with it a rise in anti-Semitism.
Benedict of York, a moneylender and a leading member of York’s Jewish community, attempted, along with several other Jews, to attend Richard’s coronation. They were refused entry and attacked with Benedict being so badly wounded that he died in Northampton while trying to return home.
Carry on reading here: https://scvincent.com/2019/11/02/guest-author-roberta-eaton-cheadle-cliffords-tower-york/