AUCTION 55 | Thursday, June 21st, 2012 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts Autograph Letters, Graphic & Ceremonial Art
Est: $2,000 - $2,500
<<AN EXAMPLE OF THE BACKLASH TO THE SHORT-LIVED JEW BILL OF 1753. >> In the year 1609 the naturalization of any foreigner settled in England was made contingent on receiving the Sacrament. Although this act was deliberately directed against Catholics, it incidentally would later affect Jews following the Re-Admission of 1653. This disability was lifted by the Whig Government of Henry Pelham in the Act of 1753 to permit persons professing the Jewish religion to be naturalized by Parliament. The bill was, at best, a limited advantage to the Jews since only the wealthy would have been able to set in motion the machinery necessary to obtain naturalization. Although the measure was accepted unanimously by the House of Lords, it became a pawn in the upcoming general election campaign that resulted in its eventual repeal by the House of Commons. Taking full advantage of the prejudices and fears that the grant of naturalization to Jews had aroused, the Tory opposition fueled the unpopularity of the Act with a pamphlet and broadsheet campaign that warned of an England overrun with Jews. The Whig government was forced by public opinion to give way and the pro-Jewish legislation was duly repealed in the same year that it was enacted. The present pamphlet is a response to the pro-Jewish pamphlet Considerations on the Bill to permit persons professing the Jewish religion to be naturalized by Parliament (London, 1753) by the pseudonymous “Philo-Patriae” [Roth, p. 221, no. 95]. The present author makes the claim that the Jews employed an unnamed non-Jew to write that pamphlet. Summoning various passages from the New Testament, our pamphleteer argues that the naturalization of the Jews would be in violation of “these Divine Laws” (pp. 14-15). See J. Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History (1956) pp. 73-86; A. M. Hyamson,”The Jew Bill of 1753” in: TJHSE, Vol. VI (1908-1910) pp. 156-188.