So even though Richard might have preferred that Jews be left alone, and made a formal statement of this, he was not always present in England to make sure his word was adhered to. It wasn't long after his coronation (3 September 1189) that he left England: not only was his heart never in England, having been raised largely in France, but also he had "taken up the Cross," and the Third Crusade was calling. (For Richard, England was mostly a place he could tax to support his military plans.)
Several incidents took place. At Bury St. Edmunds, 57 Jews were killed on 18 March 1190. There were attacks on Jews at Lincoln, Colchester, Thetford, and Ospringe.
A major incident took place in York on the 16th-17th of March, on the Shabbat before Passover. A contingent from York was preparing to join the Crusade, and with Crusading fever so high, sentiment against non-Christians rose to match it. Richard de Malbis owed a large sum of money to the Jew Aaron of Lincoln; he was slow in paying. He used an accidental house fire as an excuse to incite a crowd to attack the home of the recently deceased Benedict of York, an agent of Aaron of Lincoln. This prompted the leader of York's Jews, Josce of York, to ask the keeper of York Castle to provide safety.Jewish families were allowed refuge in Clifford's Tower, but a mob surrounded it. The constable went out to speak to the mob, but the Jews inside feared to open the doors again and would not let him back in. The constable called for help from the sheriff, who brought his forces to the castle keep.
With Richard gone, the Chancellor of England, left to maintain order, had to deal with the aftermath. What was that like? Next we will meet William Longchamp.