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Aaron of Lincoln

AARON OF LINCOLN

AARON OF LINCOLN (c. 1123–1186), English financier. Aaron probably went to England from France as an adult. His recorded transactions extended over a great part of England and his clients included bishops, earls, barons, and the king of Scotland. Aaron advanced money to the crown on the security of future county revenues ("ferm of the shires"), as well as to various ecclesiastical foundations, such as the Monastery of St. Alban's, for their ambitious building programs. Nine Cistercian abbeys owed him 6,400 marks for their acquisition of properties upon which he held mortgages. At one time Aaron worked in partnership with a rival Jewish financier, Le Brun of London. After Aaron's death, his vast estate, which might have totaled as much as £100,000, was seized by the king. A special branch of the exchequer, the Scaccarium Aaronis, was established and administered the estate until 1191. Some of his debts were later resold to his son Elias. Aaron had no connection with the ancient house in Lincoln which now bears his name.

bibliography:

J.W.F. Hill, Medieval Lincoln (1948), 217–22; H.G. Richardson, English Jewry under Angevin Kings (1960), 247–53, passim; Roth, England, 15–17. add. bibliography: odnb online.

[Cecil Roth]

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