This book explores two areas of interest: the Papal Inquisition in Modena and the status of Jews in an early modern Italian duchy. Its purpose is to deepen existing insights into the role of the former and thus lead to a better understanding of how an Inquisitorial court assumed jurisdiction over a practising Jewish community in the seventeenth century. The book highlights one specific aspect of the history of the Jews in Italy: the trials of professing Jews before the Papal Inquisition at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Inquisitorial processi against professing Jews provide the earliest known evidence of a branch of the Papal Inquisition taking judicial actions against Jews on an unprecedented scale and attempting systematically to discipline a Jewish community, pursuing this aim for several centuries. The book focuses on Inquisitorial activity during the first 40 years of the history of the tribunal in Modena, from 1598 to 1638, the year of the Jews' enclosure in the ghetto, the period which historians have argued was the most active in the Inquisition's history. It argues that trials of the two groups are different because the ecclesiastical tribunals viewed conversos as heretics but Jews as infidels. The book emphasizes the fundamental disparity in Inquisitorial procedure regarding Jews, as well as the evidence examined, especially in Modena. This was where the Duke uses the detailed testimony to be found in Inquisitorial trial transcripts to analyse Jewish interaction with Christian society in an early modern community.
Leeds Jewish tailors and Leeds Jewish tailoring trade unions, 1876–1915
Anne J. Kershen
the large-scale immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe. 6 It was the introduction of this system of manufacture into the Leeds wholesale clothing industry which set in motion the recruitment of young men from Russia and Russia-Poland to work in the Jewish tailoring workshops of Leeds.
In 1866, a Jewishmaster tailor from Kovno, Moyshe (Morris) Goodman, settled in Leeds. Doubtless Goodman had learnt of the economic opportunities the city offered via the ‘grapevine’ that operated between Jews in Eastern Europe and those that had migrated
The Jewish household:
Jewishmasters and Christian servants
There are more Inquisitorial processi against Jews for hiring Christian servants
than for any other breach of ecclesiastical regulations. It was an offence that
alarmed Inquisitors, implying intimate contact between a Jewishmaster and
a subordinate Christian behind closed doors, in the private space of a Jewish
household, and as such representing an unknown level of promiscuity. When
Christian servants entered Jewish households they became exposed to the
Jewish family’s daily routine and the real
trade union weakness. If we examine the development of Jewish trade unionism in Leeds, the picture that emerges is far less depressing.
The story of Jewish trade unionism in the Leeds ghetto exemplifies the points which have just been made. The Jewish Working Tailors’ Trade Society had been formed as long ago as 1876, but was unable to take effective action to force the Jewishmasters to comply with the Factory Acts until the immigrant influx. Both Orthodox and socialist Jewish workers supported its campaign. In 1885, it conducted a
containing 5,634 Jewish members between them out of a total working population of 65,000, or 8.6%. 35
The success of trade unionism suggests fractures in the apparent unity of the Leeds Jewish community, with Jewish tailors organising against their Jewishmasters. That said, the masters’ position was a tenuous one, caught between his workshop hands and the factories or middlemen who fed them often irregular work orders. The Jewish tailor rapidly moved between employee work and bossing others depending on financial circumstances, and strikers
offences for which Jews were tried more often than others in the
duchy, that of hiring Christian servants and blasphemy. Chapter 3 examines the
interaction between Jews and Christians in a Jewish household, particularly the
employment of Christian wetnurses and servants in contravention of ecclesiastical regulations, revealing Christians entering the homes of Jews without hesitation, the encounter and communication between Jewishmasters and Christian
servants, and the support that the latter gave to the former when they (the Jews)
were put on trial. Chapter 4 examines
, of history.
Ghosh’s reconstruction of the lives of the Indian slave and his
Jewishmaster, of the polyglot, cosmopolitan, hybrid world in
which they lived and worked, offers a reflective contrast to the
rigidities of the modern period.
In In an Antique Land Ghosh begins explicitly to critique
colonialism and its consequences. If in The Circle of Reason and
The Shadow Lines, the effects of colonialism are registered in
the lingering relationships between Indians and Britons, or in
the haunting presence of Partition, or in the tortuous convolutions of a mind – such