Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, today attended a ceremony in honor of Licoricia of Winchester, a Jewish merchant who was the protagonist of thirteenth-century England, eventually lynched in a local anti-Semitic movement in 1277.
The Prince of Wales discovered a statue dedicated to her in the English town of Winchester, whose inauguration had been arranged in February, but with the forfeit of the 73-year-old dolphin of Queen Elizabeth due to a contagion from Covid which had meanwhile been overcome.
Described by historian Robert Stacey as “the most important figure” of the medieval Jewish community across the Channel, Licoricia made her way as an enterprising and wealthy woman – a sort of ante litteram banker, able to gain considerable influence ahead of her time thanks to own wealth and a series of marriages of rank – to the point of establishing a direct relationship with King Henry III and his court. But even that didn’t save her life when she was targeted as a scapegoat in an explosion of popular discontent. The monument that restores justice to her aims to recognize the merits that she was able to earn in her life in front of the city community of Winchester, even with gestures of philanthropy. In addition to exalting it as a symbol and a pioneering example of success in terms of the first historical recognition of forms of ethnic-confessional diversity within the island society, according to what Carlo himself underlined, while denouncing any residue of anti-Semitism or racism.
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