King's Lynn

views updated May 17 2018

King's Lynn, on the estuary of the Great Ouse (Norfolk), was for centuries one of England's major ports. It was developed by the first bishop of Norwich in the 1090s, and enlarged by the third bishop, each sector with its own church and market. It was Bishop's Lynn from the 11th cent. to 1536, when Henry VIII acquired it and renamed it. Its trade was international in the Middle Ages, but mainly domestic from the 16th cent. Since the 1950s it has expanded, fortunately without much damaging its historic core, which is still grouped around its medieval guildhall, churches, and market-places.

David M. Palliser

King's Lynn

views updated Jun 08 2018


KING'S LYNN (or Lynn ), port on the east coast of Norfolk, England. It had a Jewish community in the 12th century. As the result of the massacre in February 1189, the whole community was exterminated. Jews later resettled there and in 1238 were ordered to maintain one of the royal crossbow-men. A diminutive community was established in 1747 which survived approximately a century. At the outset of the 21st century, it had no organized Jewish community.


J. Jacobs, Jews of Angevin England (1893), 113–5, 348, 351; Roth, England, index; C. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 77–81.

[Cecil Roth]

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Kings Lynn

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