Today I visited York's famous Clifford's Tower, the castle motte and keep. Most medieval forts have grim histories, but this one is grimmer than most. It witnessed, in 1190, a pogrom or massacre of 150 Jewish men, women and children.
Antisemitism was stoked by preparations for Richard the Lion-heart's Third Crusade as well as by local gentry unable to repay their debts owed to wealthy Jewish money lenders. The Jews of York fled to the wooden keep for safety, to be surrounded by a baying mob demanding their deaths or forced conversions to 'Christianity'. They therefore resolved to kill themselves and burn the tower down around them.
How Satan has loved to stoke the fires of hatred against these descendants of Abraham. But why? Envy. As Paul writes in Romans 9, 'my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came,who is over all, the eternally blessed God.'
The memorial to the Jews of York