Jewish People in Dorset

There were Jews in medieval England, but they were expelled from the country in 1290. They did not return until the middle of the 17th century, and it is difficult to discover them in the historical record.

There is a traditional story that a Jewish pedlar was murdered near Axminster, and that the inn where it happened was avoided because of the murder, and eventually demolished.

The Waring family were prominent in Lyme from the early 19th century, and were of Jewish descent. It seems unlikely that they practised as Jews, but their descendents proudly recorded their Jewish roots and attributed all the family’s artistic talents to that fact.