Contextualizing The Siege of Jerusalem.
The stridently anti-Semitic, gratuitously violent Siege was probably written in the 1370s or 1380s in extreme west Yorkshire, where anti-Semitism was flagrant, and perhaps in the monastery at Bolton, under the patronage of the Cliffords. The poem circulated widely among Yorkshire readers and was copied, presumably through a Lancastrian commission, for a southern audience by Richard Frampton. A Lancastrian reading of the Siege would be alive to such topics as the poet’s insistence on the election that creates heads of state, the notion of that elected leader’s free operation unimpeded by clerical supervision, and the physical destruction of the infidel.
YLS 6 (1992):109-21.
Hanna, Ralph, III.