The first recorded evidence of a Jewish presence in England were the Jews of Normandy, who came with William the Conquerer, in 1066 AD. The Jews in England flourished and dispersed themselves into the towns of medieval England. The English communities which had a large Jewish population, large enough to sustain a synagogue were: Bristol, Cambridge, Canterbury, Colchister, Exeter, Gloucester, Hereford, Lincoln, London, Northhampton,Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Stamford, Winchester, Worcester and York.
Unfortunately peace for the English Jews was short-lived; beginning in 1189, massacres and anti-Jewish riots began. In 1290, the Jews were expelled from England. Elizabeth Hirschman in When Scotland was Jewish proposes many of the Jews emigrated to Scotland where they joined Scottish Jews who had already established a presence a few centuries earlier. Thus the Jews in Scotland and few remaining Jews in England learned a valuable lesson which was to assimilate as a protective measure against losing their fortunes and their very lives.