Milkana of London

Referred to in records as: “Melkana”, “Melkanam”, “Melkane”, “Milcana”, “Milcana, Jewess of London”, “Milkana”.


  • suspected of converting to Christianity

Brief biography

Milkana (also called Milcana, Milca, or Milka) resided in London. Her husband Sakerel was a moneylender, imprisoned in Tower of London in late 1274 for larcenies and other enormous trespasses against the peace. Milkana, meanwhile, seemed to have converted to Christianity. Beginning in late 1275, Plea Rolls of the Exchequer of the Jews record extended inquiries into the sale of Milkana’s London property, which, according to the king, should have returned to the Crown because of her conversion. In 1277, a mixed jury of Christian and Jews returned judgement: Milkana never was a Christian nor a convert but since her birth has been and still is a Jew. In 1281 and 1282, nonetheless, Archbishop of Canterbury John Peckham and King Edward I continued to believe that Milkana was a convert and included her on lists of apostate Christians. Her connections to the famous London family of Master Moses, and the refusal of London officials to pursue the apparent apostates, seems to have saved her from further harassment. She was likely dead by 1290, when a home of Sakerel was held by a woman named Jorvin, possibly his second wife.
Further reading
  • Fogle, Lauren, The King’s Converts: Conversion in Medieval London. Lexington Books. 2019.
  • Logan, F. Donald. Thirteen London Jews and Conversion to Christianity: Problems of Apostasy in the 1280s. Historical Research 45(112): 214–229. 2007.
  • MacLellan, Rory, Jewish History of the Medieval Tower of London,, [see Dataset no. 83].
  • Williams Boyarin, Adrienne, The Christian Jew and the Unmarked Jewess: The Polemics of Sameness in Medieval English Anti-Judaism. The Middle Ages Series. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2021, pp 132–37.

Dates mentioned in records






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Putative social network for Milkana of London (convert) (experimental feature)
Milkana Sakerel
Putative family tree for Milkana of London (convert) (experimental feature)