First Printings of the Jewish Naturalization Act of 1753 and the Act that Repealed It [Jews]. [Great Britain]. An Act to Permit Persons Professing the Jewish Religion, To be Naturalized by Parliament; And for Other Purposes Therein Mentioned [Drop-Head Title]. At head of drop-head title: Anno Vicesimo Sexto Georgii II. Regis. London: Printed by Thomas Baskett, 1753. [ii], 407-410 pp. [Bound with] An Act to Repeal an Act of the Twenty Sixth Year of His Majesty's Reign, Intituled, An Act to Permit Persons Professing the Jewish Religion, To be Naturalized by Parliament; And for Other Purposes Therein Mentioned [Drop-Head Title]. At head of drop-head title: Anno Vicesimo Septimo Georgii II. Regis. London: Printed by Thomas Baskett, 1753 [i.e. 1754]. 4 pp. Folio (11-3/4" x 7-1/4"). Stitched pamphlets bound into recent stiff-paper folder. A few minor stains to folder, negligible light toning to pamphlets, which are remarkably well preserved. $2,500. * First editions. The Act of Expulsion of 1290 forced Jews to leave England. Under Cromwell, in 1656, Jews were allowed to return. Since then, they lived, worked and worshipped openly, but were excluded from political life. Despite this handicap, England's Jewish community was loyal to the government and provided it with valuable assistance during the Jacobite rising of 1745. Partly as a reward, and partly as a recognition of Jewish contributions to English society, Prime Minister Henry Pelham proposed legislation that resulted in the Jewish Naturalisation Act 1753 (26 Geo. II, c. 26), which allowed Jews to become naturalized by application to Parliament. This bill provoked a remarkably broad wave of Anti-Semitic backlash, which led to its repeal in 1754 (27 Geo 2, c. 1). The first issues offered here were published serially. They are distinguished by their use of gothic type. Acts such as these were compiled over the course of a session and bound afterwards. They were issued with general title pages, which were usually discarded. English Short-Title Catalogue N52871, N53600.
Book number 72514