Moderate Interest - 20 pr. Cent: 1772
© Museum of London
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'Moderate Interest - 20 pr cent'. This satire shows a customer apparently negotiating a loan from a Jewish moneylender, through a third man who may be the moneylender's agent. From the earliest times Jews were not allowed to join the guilds to which other tradesmen belonged. The Christian church forbade the lending of money to make a profit, but rich men and merchants needed access to cash on credit. Thus many Jews assumed the role of financiers and moneylenders. As this was a profitable business, some of them grew rich. This created resentment and led to stereotypes of the rich or mean Jew.
1772 AD - 1772 AD