views updated May 23 2018


SOUTHAMPTON , major port in S. England. Its small medieval community was expelled in 1236 (Runceval, a house owned by the Jewish financier, Benedict of Winchester, was excavated in the 1960s). During the 16th century, Marrano agents boarded ships docking at Southampton to inform Marrano refugees from Portugal whether it was safe for them to proceed to their destination in Flanders. The modern community dates from 1833, though individual Jews lived in Southampton in the late 18th century and some were navy agents during the Napoleonic Wars. A split in the early congregation was settled soon after the appointment of Nathan Marcus *Adler as chief rabbi of Anglo-Jewry in 1844. Later Southampton was the port largely used by Jews traveling to and from South Africa. In 1969 the Jewish population numbered 150, out of a general population of 210,000. In the mid-1990s the Jewish population numbered approximately 105. According to the 2001 British census, there were 293 declared Jews in Southampton. It had an Orthodox synagogue. The University of Southampton has emerged as one of the major academic centers of Jewish history in Britain and contains the Parkes Library, which holds a number of important collections of Anglo-Jewish material.


C. Roth, The Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 100; jyb; Roth, England, index.

[Vivian David Lipman /

William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]


views updated May 09 2018

Southampton. A seaport which gave its name to Hampshire as early as 755, though it is no longer the county town. Saxon Hamwic was the chief port of the kingdom of Wessex; its successor, on a slightly different site, has been a major port since the 11th cent. Kings embarked there (including Henry V before Agincourt), and Venetian and Genoese ships traded there. It lost ground to London in Tudor and Stuart times, but recovered from the 1840s with new docks and the railway, and is now the leading British deep sea port on the Channel.

David M. Palliser


views updated Jun 27 2018

Southampton Port and county district in Hampshire, s England. At the head of Southampton Water, and a port since Roman times, it is Britain's principal passenger port and a major commercial port, now heavily containerized. Industries: shipbuilding, engineering, oil refining. Pop. (1994) 214,000.

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