Belia of Northampton

Brief biography

Little is known about Belia of Northampton, except that she was accused of theft and forced to leave England forever. Despite her toponym, she seems to have resided in London, or perhaps was only a prisoner there. In October of 1238, the Constable of the Tower of London (at the time Hugh Giffard) was notified that King Henry III’s Wardrobe at Windsor had received 40 marks (more than £26) and jewels of gold that had been found (by whom is unclear) in Belia’s home. By this time, Belia had abjured the realm for larceny at London. That Jews could be tried for larceny by the Crown was law that went back to King Henry II (d. 1189): English Jews were permitted to handle many legal cases amongst themselves in accordance with Jewish law, but the exceptions were homicide, mayhem, deliberate assault, housebreaking, rape, larceny, arson, and treasure trove.
Further reading
  • Hillaby, J. and C. Hillaby, The Palgrave Dictionary of Medieval Anglo-Jewish History. London: Palgrave. 2015, s.v. Bet Din, ‘House of Judgementʼ, p. 52.

Dates mentioned in records






Putative social network for Belia of Northampton (experimental feature)
Putative family tree for Belia of Northampton (experimental feature)