Queen Victoria Pardons a Jewish Man from Great Yarmouth

On June 20, 1837, Queen Victoria acceded to the throne of Great Britain upon the death of her uncle, King William IV, and reigned for 64 years. Her person so dominated the age that it took on her very name – Victorian.

For centuries, Jews were barred from England. In the 1650s,...

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Queen Victoria Pardons a Jewish Man from Great Yarmouth

On June 20, 1837, Queen Victoria acceded to the throne of Great Britain upon the death of her uncle, King William IV, and reigned for 64 years. Her person so dominated the age that it took on her very name – Victorian.

For centuries, Jews were barred from England. In the 1650s, Menasseh Ben Israel, a rabbi and leader of the Dutch Jewish community, approached Oliver Cromwell with the proposition that Jews should at long-last be readmitted to England. Cromwell agreed, and although he could not compel a council to consent formally to readmission, he made it clear that the ban on Jews would no longer be enforced. From 1655 through the 1800s, Jews slowly trickled back into England. By 1882 there were 46,000 Jews in the country.

A partly pre-printed and partly manuscript Document Signed as Queen, “Victoria R”, St. James Court, London, April 3, 1882. “To the Governor of our Prison at Norwich.” A pardon for Hyman Isaacs, a Jewish man, who was “convicted of assault” at Great Yarmouth.

This appears to be a minor offense, and records suggest it is possible this was the same Hyman Isaacs who soon after appeared as a solicitor in the practice of law.

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