Machaut, Denis de
MACHAUT, DENIS DE
MACHAUT, DENIS DE (late 14th century), Parisian Jew who converted to Christianity. The provost of Paris decreed that his youngest child was to remain under the father's guardianship and receive a Christian upbringing, while the other three children were entrusted to Christian families. De Machaut was to be allowed to visit them but not his wife, who had remained Jewish. After a period of time determined by the provost, the children were to be interrogated on their intention to become Christians or not. A short while later, when Denis de Machaut disappeared, the Jews were accused of having seized him in order to attempt to bring him back to Judaism. Seven of the community's leaders were condemned to be burned at the stake. On April 6, 1394, parliament commuted the sentence to imprisonment until De Machaut was returned. The sentence was accompanied by repeated, severe corporal punishment, and the Paris community was also fined 10,000 livres. It has been claimed that this affair was a decisive factor in the expulsion decree against the Jews or France issued in 1394.
L. Berman, Histoire des Juifs de France (1937), 206f.; R. Anchel, Juifs (1946), 117–9.