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Jews appeared in the Duchy of Burgundy at the end of the tenth century as the lord's or duke's property. They paid a high annual quit-rent, e.g. one golden marc imposed on the Jew Dieudonné of Bar, son of Hugues from Burgundy in 1250. The Jewish Burgundian communities of Dijon, Châtillon, Chalon, Auxonne, Buxy, Semur, Saulieu, Avallon, and Montbard flourished. Rabbis and famous writers, according to Hebraic literature, came from Dijon, Saulieu, Nuit, Avallon, and Pierre. Dijon had 22 houses, a synagogue with annexes, a cemetery, and an assembly hall for Shabbat with small population of a hundred families. They had commercial exchanges as pawnbrokers and sold humble women's corsets to a lord's castle. When Duke Robert dictated his will, he specified in 1302: "I say that, without other judgment, the Jews stay in my territory mainly for humanity, and they trade without usury, and live of their labour, and that from now on they do not have to pay to those who hate usury." However, in 1305, the Royal Treasury needed money so badly that Philippe Le Bel decides to sacrifice the future income and banished all Jews, violently seizing their belongings, furniture, and houses. In 1306, all the Jews of the duchy were arrested. In Dijon, Pierre de Saulon (canon of Duvale chapel), Guillaume de Bressey, and Hugues L'Orfevre confiscated 22 houses belonging to the Jews. All their belongings were sold at auction: 25 houses in Dijon, "the school, the Shabbat hall, and the small house in front of it, the house in front of the cemetery, and the house of Rabbi Drouin."  A complete inventory of the furniture, money, debts, livestock, and vineyards and land belonging to the Jews netted 3411 francs. The duchess retained 912 francs.  Additionally was furniture, wine, wheat, cattle, vineyards, jewellery etc. Credentials were found in the houses of two famous Jewish bankers in Burgundy. Those confiscations went as far as Salives and Baigneux (the only village that has retained in its actual name the souvenir of the Jews: Baigneux-les-Juifs). Part of the Jews expelled from the duchy of Burgundy in 1306 went to surroundings areas of Burgundy where some apparently obtained the duke's tolerance and enjoyed passing privileges. From 1311 to 1317, here and there in Dijon and Beneme, old people expelled in 1306 were found as well as new names.  In 1321, a new expulsion, this time by Philippe Le Long, took place in Burgundy, via a decree signed by Philippe V, as harsh if not more, than the previous one.  By 1360, Dijon became again a center of trade for the Jews of France as the one King Jean decreed into law in 1361. Duke Philippe le Hardi gave the privilege by law to 12 Jewish families to live and to trade in the duchy for 12 years with guaranties and privileges. Later, another 8 families were admitted in Dijon under the eye of two delegates of "La Nation Juive."  The Jewish community flourished. In 1382, Guy de Corp, a notary, registered some marriages. Then in 1394, the definite expulsion order was signed by Charles VI, but three hundred years later, following the decree of 1791, banished Jews reappear in Burgundy. [January 2008]

 
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