Alan Simon Esmonde Cleary
post-RomanGloucester revived as a royal and ecclesiastical centre in the 7th cent., and as a fortified and planned town (burh) in the 9th. Situated at the lowest point bridgeable on the Severn (until 1966), it was long an important inland port. The medieval town was dominated by St Peter's abbey (created the cathedral in 1541) and the Norman castle: the Norman kings wore their crown at Gloucester annually and the town then ranked among the ten richest in England. It remained prosperous until the 15th cent., but in Tudor and Stuart times suffered an economic decline and developed a radical tradition. It held out for Parliament in a siege of 1643, perhaps the turning-point in the first civil war, and was punished for it after 1660. In 1780 Robert Raikes started the national Sunday school movement there. From the 1820s there was rapid industrial growth, lasting until the mid-20th cent.
David M. Palliser
GLOUCESTER , county town in N. England. Its Jewish community is first mentioned in the financial records of 1158–59. It was again mentioned in connection with an alleged ritual murder in 1168. The Jewry was situated in the present East Gate Street, the synagogue being on the north side. Josce of Gloucester, a prominent financier under Henry ii, apparently financed an illegal raid on Ireland. Under John, the community suffered greatly from royal exaction. Gloucester possessed an *archa. It was one of the dower-towns of Queen Dowager Eleanor from which the Jews were expelled in 1275. The members of the community, first transferred to *Bristol, were afterward scattered. A small community was reestablished at the close of the 18th century but decayed in the middle of the 19th century. The last survivor died in 1886.
J. Jacobs, Jews of Angevin England (1893), 45–47, 376; Rigg-Jenkinson, Exchequer, passim; H.G. Richardson, English Jewry under Angevin Kings (1960), passim; C. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 67–70; Roth, England, index.