Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy (22 February, 2018, 7 Adar, 5778)
What would happen if the queen/king of England converted to Judaism?
Picture depicts Oliver Cromwell.
Both William Rufus (i.e. William-2, 1056-(reigned from 1087) 1100) son of William the Conqueror (whose mother may have been Jewish) and Henry-8 (1491-1547) reportedly raised the possibility of conversion to Judaism.
Elizabeth-1 (daughter of Henry-8) knew the Hebrew language.
There is no real evidence of Jews settling England before the 1070s - the Doomsday book recorded a Manasser settled in rural Oxfordshire - however it is believed that this was only an incidence of a gentile with an unusual (for a gentile) Old Testament name.
After the death of William the Conqueror in 1087, his second son, William Rufus became king of England. Wildly unpopular with his Norman as well as Anglo-Saxon subjects, William Rufus valued the Jews. He enjoyed infuriating the former by staging debates at court between churchmen and Jews, tauntingly saying he would convert to Judaism if they had the better arguments. William Rufus managed to prevent in England the massacres of Jews that occurred in Rouen, and across France and the Rhineland, in the bloody frenzy the preceded the departure of the First Crusade in 1096. Henry I took the throne in 1100 after his brother was killed in a supposed hunting accident. Henry retained Jews at court and continued the favourable Norman policy toward the Jews, issuing a formal charter reiterating their royal protection, and special privileges of liberty which fostered a 35 year period of Jewish prosperity and growth extending further out into the provinces.
Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector (after 1653), and virtual monarch listed the Jews among Puritan groups he was obligated to protect.