Jews’ graveyard, Sherwood Street

Jews’ graveyard, Sherwood Street

THE curious vagaries of religious intolerance are illustrated by this sad looking and deserted graveyard near the top of Sherwood-street, Nottingham. In mediaeval times prejudice against the Jews rose to such a height that a separate gallows, situated near where is now the main entrance to the University College in Shakespeare-street, was erected for their accommodation so that they should not be hanged upon the Christian gallows which stood near where St. Andrew’s Church is now erected.

This prejudice of course produced a corresponding feeling amongst the Hebrew population who segregated themselves more and more and their attitude in this matter is nowadays accepted and respected.

It was beginning to be understood a century ago and in 1823 the Corporation of Nottingham granted to the Jewish community of the town this little parcel of land as a burial ground.

It is evidence of the kindly feeling existing that Mr. Oldknow, the mayor, was asked to lay the foundation stone of the enclosure wall. The occasion was one of much ceremony and dignity, the authorities of the town being present in force to join the Rabbi, Moses Levi, in the proceedings.

All has now passed away and there is little in this friendless and forsaken graveyard to remind us that the happy and friendly co-operation of a hundred years ago marked the bridging of the gulf between Jew and Gentile in Nottingham, a circumstance from which we now derive so much benefit.