Aaron of Lincoln

(c. 1123–86)
   English money-lender. Aaron became the wealthiest Jew in 12 century England by loans to the Crown, the nobles and the Church. Aaron’s money helped to build nine Cistercian abbeys and the cathedrals of Lincoln and Peterborough. He owned a house in London near the present-day Mansion House. No ghetto existed in England at this time and the Jews were free to live where their means allowed. On Aaron’s death in 1186, King Henry II, prompted by greed, declared his property escheated to the Crown, including outstanding debts to the sum of some Ј15,000, equivalent to three-quarters of the royal income in any one normal year. A special branch of the treasury, called the Exchequer of Aaron, was set up to collect the debts over a period of years. Some of them were re-sold to Aaron’s son Elias. The king had Aaron’s treasure and bullion loaded on a ship in 1187, so that it might be used in the war against Philip Augustus of France. The ship foundered in the Channel, and the treasure was lost.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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  • Aaron of Lincoln — was an English Jewish financier (born at Lincoln, England, about 1125, died 1186). He is first mentioned in the English pipe roll of 1166 as creditor of King Henry II for sums amounting to £616 12s 8d in nine of the English counties. He conducted …   Wikipedia

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