Floria Tapay


  • Convert to Christianity

Brief biography

Floria Tapay was the wife of Solomon Tapay, also called Solomon de Brubrok’ (a name that perhaps points to an origin in Braybrooke, Northamptonshire). Floria resided in Oxford, and she converted to Christianity in 1280 along with the sisters Belaset and Hittecote of Oxford, to whom she may have been related. Her husband was dead by the summer of 1280, when the Justices of the Exchequer of the Jews ordered a mixed jury of Christians and Jews convened to assess the value of the converts’ belongings. In spring 1281, nonetheless, her husband was named, along with other Oxford Jews, in a writ brought by Alan de Shescote, a monk at Bruern Abbey in West Oxfordshire, who claimed that Solomon and other Oxford Jewish men had broken the king’s peace by taking certain documents and goods from him while he was in the city. Solomon, of course, could not be found (nor could his associates), and it appears that the neither the sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire (at the time John de Tidmarsh) nor the Justices were yet aware of Solomon’s death. Belaset of Oxford, who converted with Floria, lost her husband in the coin-clipping crisis of the late 1270s, when many English Jews were imprisoned and executed for allegedly trimming metal from the outer edges of coins to illegally mint new ones or sell the metal, and Floria’s situation may have been the same. Unlike the women with whom she converted, however, she cannot be traced beyond the orders to assess her pre-conversion estate. Though Belaset and her sister Hittecote had moved to the London Domus Conversorum (House of Converts) by the spring of 1281, Floria’s whereabouts after 1280 are unknown; she likely took a Christian name shortly after her conversion. Still, a group of women converting together is notable. It suggests that women might embrace such a change together, particularly if widowhood and collective loss left few other options.
Further reading
  • Fogle, Lauren, The King’s Converts: Conversion in Medieval London. Lexington Books. 2019.
  • Hillaby, J. and C. Hillaby, The Palgrave Dictionary of Medieval Anglo-Jewish History. London: Palgrave. 2015, s.v. Coinage and Coin-Clipping Crises, 1238–47 and 1276–79, pp. 104–09.

Dates mentioned in records






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Putative social network for Floria Tapay (convert) (experimental feature)
Floria Tapay Solomon of Brubrok’
Putative family tree for Floria Tapay (convert) (experimental feature)