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The Domus Conversorum, Later the Public Record Office

<p>Henry III, King of England miniature painting from&nbsp;<span class="mw-mmv-author">Matthew Paris, Historia Anglorum,&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;(<a class="extiw" title="en:British Library" href="">British Library</a>, MS Royal 14 C VII f.9).</p>

Henry III, King of England miniature painting from Matthew Paris, Historia Anglorum,  (British Library, MS Royal 14 C VII f.9).

Henry III, by an unknown artist. (View Larger)

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In 1253 Henry III of England established the Domus Conversorum (House of the Converts), a building and institution in London for Jews who converted to Christianity. The building provided a communal home and low wages needed by Jews because all Jews who converted to Christianity forfeited all their possessions.

With the expulsion of the Jews by Edward I (Longshanks) in 1290, the Domus Conversorum became the only way for Jews to remain in England. At that stage there were about eighty residents, out of a former Jewish population in England estimated at 3000. By 1356, the last of these converts died. Between 1331 to 1608, only 48 converts were admitted. The warden of the facility was also Master of the Rolls.

The Domus Conversorum was in Chancery Lane. No records for converts/residents exist after 1609, but, in 1891, the post of chaplain for the facility was abolished by Act of Parliament and the location, which had been used to store legal archives, became the Public Record Office, now called The National Archives.

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