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Robert of Reading

ROBERT OF READING

ROBERT OF READING (second half of 13th century), London Dominican friar, an excellent preacher, deeply skilled in Hebrew, who converted to Judaism, was circumcised, and, taking the name Haggai, married a Jewish woman. Summoned before the king and arguing boldly, he was handed to the archbishop of Canterbury for discipline. This entry for 1275 appears in the Worcester chronicle, derived with few additions from a lost Winchcombe chronicle. In his conversion Robert was not unique. Roth (see Bibliography) draws attention to Samuel Usque's reference in his Consolaçam… (Ferrara, 1553) to this episode.

bibliography:

Florence of Worcester: Chronicon ex chronicis (ed. B. Thorpe), 2 (1849), 214; A. Gransden Historical Writing in England c. 550c. 1307 (1974), 421; C. Roth History of the Jews in England (19492) 273.

[Joe Hillaby (2nd ed.)]

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