Belecote of Winchester

Referred to in records as: “Belecote”, “Beletote”, “Bel’”.

Brief biography

Belecote (also called Cote) of Winchester lived in Southampton. She was the mother of Solomon (also called Salle) of Winchester. By 1280, she was also a grandmother: Solomon and his wife Sarra had multiple children (though their names are unknown). Belecote appears in national records for only a short period, however—first as a fugitive (in 1275) and then, along with her son, as one of the many Jews executed for coin-clipping in the late 1270s. Belecote and Solomon worked closely together: she is mentioned alongside him or in relation to him in almost all surviving mentions of her, and by 1275 they had both fled (their county, if not the realm) because of the coin-clipping charges against them. There must have been some reprieve from these charges, since Solomon appeared before the Exchequer of the Jews on trespass and debt cases, and as a juror, in 1277 and 1278. But by 1280, both mother and son were dead, executed for their alleged crimes.
Shortly after her death, Belecote’s daughter-in-law Sarra was at Westminster trying to retrieve whatever of her mother-in-law and husband’s chattels she could. Belecote owned a home in Southampton, and it is likely that she had a granddaughter nearing marriageable age: Sarra sued a man called Jacob Mawe for unjustly holding the dowry of her daughter, worth £10, which Solomon had given him for safe keeping before his arrest. In addition, Sarra claimed, Solomon had instructed her and her brother Elekin to retrieve a bag of valuables worth £40 from Belecote’s house, for the maintenance of their children as well as of Licoricia of Winchester’s grandson Abraham. (This suggests a close relationship with Licoricia’s family, though Abraham sued Sarra for his share the same year.) Sarra believed that Jacob Mawe had possession of all, including four red belts with silver stripes, 10 silver spoons, 10 mazer bowls, and a tapestry (or perhaps tablecloth) of the Winchester style. Jacob was imprisoned in the Tower of London while a jury was convened, but he had probably already sold off what he had. In 1281, the Crown began three separate inquiries into Solomon and Belecote’s belongings. These inquiries mention one of the red striped belts, as well £10 of goods (likely the daughter’s dowry): a strong-box, a tablecloth, and another tapestry. All accused Christians claimed that they had never had or seen anything.
Further reading
  • Rokéah, Zefira Entin, Money and the Hangman in Late-13th-Century England: Jews, Christians and Coinage Offenses Alleged and Real (Part I), Jewish Historical Studies 31 (1988-1990): 83–109.
  • Rokéah, Zefira Entin, Money and the Hangman in Late-13th-Century England: Jews, Christians and Coinage Offenses Alleged and Real (Part II), Jewish Historical Studies 32 (1990-1992): 159–218.

Dates mentioned in records



Southampton, London, Hampshire, Devon, Wiltshire



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¶ Belecote of Winchester is recorded as being deceased in this record.
※ Belecote of Winchester is mentioned solely as the relation of another person; she is not present or involved in any business.
Putative social network for Belecote of Winchester (experimental feature)
Belecote Unnamed Salle Sarra Elkin
Putative family tree for Belecote of Winchester (experimental feature)