Film: A Jewish Divorce Case in Medieval England

Virtual Branch

By Dr Dean A. Irwin, published 27th May 2022

Virtual Branch Film

In 1242, the prominent thirteenth-century Jewish financier David of Oxford attempted to divorce his wife, Muriel. In the process, he met with a number of obstacles which seriously hampered his efforts and had far-reaching implications for the Jewish community as a whole. In the end, David had to appeal directly to the king (Henry III) to achieve the desired outcome. This Virtual Branch talk delivered by Dr Dean Irwin views the case specifically within the context of the thirteenth-century English state, drawing on two letters in the Close Rolls as a starting point.

Dr Dean Irwin completed his PhD at Canterbury Christ Church University in 2020, on a scholarship from the School of Humanities. His thesis analysed the records generated by Jewish moneylending activities in England between 1194 and 1275/6. He is an independent researcher, has worked extensively on the archival sources for medieval Anglo-Jewry and has published a number of peer-reviewed articles on the Jews of medieval England, their records and the archival history of documents. Dean is now starting work on a book examining the records of Jewish moneylending activities during the period 1100-1327. He is a member of the Jewish Historical Society of England’s advisory board and a board member of the MedievalJewishStudiesNow! blog.

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