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H. S. Q. HENRIQUES, M.A., B.C.L,
OF THE NORTHERN CIRCUIT, BARRISTER-AT-LAW
FORMERLY SCHOLAR OF WORCESTER COLLEGE
AND VINERIAN SCHOLAR IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Issued to Members of the Jewish Historical Society of England, in
Acts enabling Jews to sit in Parliament, July 23, 1858
JULY 23, 1908
This book consists of a series of ten articles contributed to the Jewish Quarterly Review. I have to express my profound thanks to my friends Mr. Israel Abrahams and Mr. Claude G. Montefiore, the editors of that periodical, for their assistance in their republication. Dealing, as they do, with legal problems of considerable difficulty, and intended to be read by the general reader as well as by the lawyer, they of necessity run the risk of being found too difficult by the former, and not sufficiently deep or learned by the latter, even as Critias of old was said to be
ιδιώτης μεν έν φιλοσόφους, φιλόσοφος δε έν ιδιώταις. Still, the subject is of such absorbing interest to so many that I hope that the distastefulness caused by the crabbed intricacies of style, which seem to be natural to the legal writer, may be overcome by the general reader, and the lawyer, if he desires to penetrate more deeply into the subjects dealt with, will find sufficient material for his researches in the authorities quoted in the footnotes,
The articles were written at different times and in the midst of other occupations, consequently it may be found that the order and arrangement of the topics discussed is neither as precise or logical as it should be. It would on this account have been better to rearrange and in part rewrite the articles, but, as it is desired that they should be republished before the fiftieth anniversary of the admission of Jews to seats in Parliament, I have been unable to find time for this purpose, and can only hope that the Table of Contents and Index, which have been added, will enable the reader to find the subjects in which he is interested.
One subject of great practical importance has been altogether omitted, namely the law as to Jewish marriages; this I have dealt with in two separate articles, which will shortly appear in the Jewish Quarterly Review, and may possibly be afterwards republished as a distinct treatise. The question of Sunday labour is also not dealt with, for the law in this respect is the same for Jews and Christians, with the single exception of the privileges conferred upon the Jews by the Factory Acts. The time may come when special provision as to Sunday work will be made for the Jews in other cases also; my views upon this subject will be found in the evidence I gave before the House of Lords Committee on the Sunday Closing (Shops)
Bill, 1905, and before the conjoint committee on Sunday Trading appointed by both Houses of Parliament, in 1906, which will be found in the reports of these bodies published as blue-books. As the law is now the same both for Jew and Gentile, I do not think the subject would rightly find a place in the present volume.
More than a generation has passed since complete equality before the law has been established between Jew and Christian, and every profession and public office has been thrown open to the Jews. The doleful prophecies, which were so freely indulged in by the opponents of Jewish emancipation, that it would result in the dechristianizing and demoralization of the country, have been proved by experience to be wholly unfounded. . A new charge is now made against the Jews that they do not sufficiently avail themselves of the right to take part in public affairs, which has been conceded to them. On examination this complaint also seems to be equally unfounded; when the comparatively small number of the Jews in the United Kingdom is taken into consideration—they do not amount to more than 05 of the population and it is remembered that of this small number a very large proportion are foreigners, or the children of foreigners, and that the remainder have not started life with advantageous professional or political