© Marcus Roberts with original research and contributions by Ian Holt. Trail and Project Kindly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Key Dates

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The Jewish Chronicle reports, 'but we regret to say that the affairs of our brethren are not now in a very flourishing condition, there being but six families residing here. Divine service has for many years been held in a room in Southgate Street. Israel Abrahams attributes the decline of the community to the arrival of the Quakers, 'When the Quakers come in at one end of the city, the Jews leave at the other'.
Gloucester Blood Libel - the second in England. The Jews of Gloucester are accused of murdering a young boy Harold who is found in the river at the time Jews have gathered in Gloucester for a circumcision celebration. There is no evidence that the Jewish community were involved and indeed the community appear to have suffered no ill consequence of the allegation, quite the reverse of other locations where the accusation was the occasion of wide-spread murder.
Josce, or Joshua of Gloucester is fined £5 by Henry II for advancing money to those going to Ireland with Strongbow.
Henry II's son, Prince John, was a client of the Gloucester Jewry and repays his debt of 13 marks, £8 13s 4d, by royal writ, to Moses of Gloucester.
A Gloucester Jew called Leo is accused of being in the company of outlaws and fined 20 marks.
The Gloucester Jewry lends money to St. Oswald's Priory after it was badly damaged by a fire that swept through the city.
1194 circa
The Gloucester Jewry was prosperous and 5th out of a list of 21 Jewries in the Northampton Donum. A total of 22 members of the community are listed from the Gloucester community in the Northampton Donum. The Abbot and Convent of the Church of St Peter appears to be a major customer of the Jewry and of Abraham, the son of Moses the Rich, who is the leading Jew of the community in financial terms.
The East Gate was originally called Jewry Street due the presence of the Jewish community.
The fortunes of the Gloucester Jewry decline partly because military campaigns against Wales are now based at Hereford.
Mirabel of Gloucester is a rich and influential Jewish woman of Gloucester.
Henry III orders the Sheriff of Gloucester to appoint twenty-four burgesses to keep a careful eye on the Jewish community and make sure that none of them were insulted by pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land.
Solomon Turbe is thrown from the tower of Gloucester Castle; it is alleged that he was murdered as a result of a conspiracy of another Gloucester Jew, Abraham Gabbay, with some of the king's men at the Castle, who were alleged to have been paid 10 marks each for the murder. Gabbay had claimed to have been previously attacked by Turbe. Gabbay was freed.
The Gloucester Jewry declines significantly and is fourteenth out of seventeen Jewries.
In this tallage, Gloucester ranked fourteenth, Hereford fifth, Worcester fifteenth of the sixteen Jewries.
1225 - 1250
Elias son of Isaac is the leading Gloucester Jew and starts a Jewish dynasty of three generations in Gloucester. When he dies his widow Mirabel takes over the business and then passes it on to her son Bonenfaunt and then later Bonenfaunt, passes it onto his son Jacob Couperon.
In this tallage, Gloucester comes last of all the contributors, just after Worcester.
1250 circa
a Gloucester Jew called 'Abraham le Skirmiseur', was a fencing master.
1263 - 1265
Gloucester suffered major sieges during the Baron's War, in 1263 and was taken twice in 1264 and in 1265. The war was a disaster for the Gloucester Jewry as its leaders were killed.
Jews are expelled from all of the Queen Mother's five dower cities including Gloucester. They were intended to go Bristol, but most went to Hereford. However, Belia, the widow of Jacob Couperon, (one of Bonenfaunt's sons) hung on living in a small suburb outside the city walls, with her brother, Ursell, who had led the Worcester community of 42 years.
All of the Jews in England are expelled by Edward I, though the Jewry is still known as the Jewry Street ('Jewrie strete' or 'Iuwene Strete') until as late as 1467, when it becomes Eastgate Street.
The East Gate is still called Jewry Street for at least 25 years after the departure of the Jews of Gloucester.
The Abrahams family are reputed to have lived in Gloucester since the 17th century, which would make them some of the earliest of all modern provincial Jews.
A small Jewish community is established in Gloucester by this date and some are watchmakers and pawnbrokers.
The Abrahams family are established in Gloucester in Southgate Street and buy their house (the Berkeley Hunt) and Mr. Israel Abrahams is a dealer, travelling jeweller, and money changer, benefitting from foreign trade at the port of Gloucester. He is also the rabbi and kosher slaughterer for the Jewish community as well as the matzah baker at Passover!
The Jewish Chronicle in a report of 1842 dates the origin of the congregation to this approximate year and states that Sampson Levy, Hyam Barnett and Henry Moses were the founders.
Hyam Barnett , a silversmith, is active in Gloucester from this date, as he is was reported to have been 'well known during near forty years for the extent of his dealings throughout this county, Hereford, Monmouth and South Wales'
1775 and 1776
The London Gazette mentions one Isaiah Abraham Zacheriah, a silversmith of Gloucester, and Sampson Levy, also of Gloucester who may have been the Levy admitted to the Great Synagogue in 1801.
The oldest tombstone in the cemetery dated to this year, to a young member of the Levi family.
The Gloucester Guide reports the existence of a synagogue on Barton Street, which: 'Joins the East Gate Street and continues in the same direction; on the south side the Jews have a synagogue, and nearly opposite is a Presbyterian meeting house'.
The Gloucester New Guide relates that, 'The Jews have also a small synagogue in the suburbs of the Southgate Street'. Jewish tradesmen also listed in the city include the following: Barnett, Hyam, Silversmith, Lower South Street.
A horse drawn railway connects Gloucester Docks with Cheltenham and creates additional trade and opportunities in Cheltenham, which probably in the long-term were important in the decline of the Jewish community in Gloucester and its relocation to Cheltenham.
Hyam Barnett dies in Gloucester.
The eminent political economist David Ricardo - a convert to Christianity - lived at Gatcombe Park and who was sheriff of Gloucester by 1818.
Moses Moses, is listed as having a business in Eastgate Street.
1820 -
Gloucester was regarded as the 'parent' community for Jews in the Worcester, Hereford and Ross and was at its peak in the 1820s, and it had important links to the Jewish communities of South Wales via the Port of Gloucester.
Isaiah Abrahams dies in 1821.
A synagogue is already established in an upper room over a Malt House, opposite the Infirmary in Southgate Street.
A shochet, (Kosher slaughterer) A. Levy, probably an already established member of the Gloucester community, was authorised to practise at Gloucester in 1830.
Judah Yuly is born in Gloucester and his father was Samuel Levy Yuly, who was born in Essaouira, Morocco, and was Moroccan Ambassador, based in Gloucester.
The synagogue closes due to lack of congregants.
Synagogue services are held in a room over a nearby inn, though the name of said inn is not specified.
A standard gauge railway line connects Gloucester to Cheltenham and probably seals the decline of the Gloucester Jewry.
Ephraim Joseph of Gloucester had been a member of the Cheltenham synagogue since and remained so until he moved to Birmingham in 1883.
Samuel Goldberg, the pawnbroker of Westgate Street subscribes to the Cheltenham synagogue.
1869 - 1880
Samuel Goldberg is a pawnbroker at 55 Westgate Street, as is Ephraim. Samuel. Joseph, pawnbroker and Silversmith, at 22 Northgate Street, Gloucester.
The Chief Rabbi visits the burial ground in Gloucester in 1871and finds congregation at an end, though several Jews still live in Gloucester and are members of Cheltenham Synagogue.
Samuel Goldberg opened a shop in Portland Street, Cheltenham. From 1886 to 1894 he was president of the Cheltenham synagogue.
Miss Amelia Abraham, the, 'well known Jewess of Southgate Street' dies on Thursday morning, 7th August, at the age of 95. She was the last member of the Gloucester Jewish community.
The burial-ground (the last trustee of which was H. Samuel, of Cheltenham) was converted in 1937 into a public park; it contained about thirty-five graves.
There is a small Jewish community of 82 people in Gloucester, served by Cheltenham synagogue.
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