Capital of the former kingdom of Murcia, where Jews were living as early as the period of Moorish rule. When King James of Aragon was besieging the city, he negotiated with its inhabitants through an embassy which included the Jew Astrue, the king's secretary and interpreter. Don Alfonso the Wise granted the Jews of Murcia the same privileges as were enjoyed by their coreligionists at Toledo and Seville. Their cases were brought, like those of the Christians, before the municipal courts, excepting cases between Jews, which were decided by their own judges. The Jews of Murcia were engaged in commerce and industry, and addressed to Solomon ibn Adret of Barcelona the question whether it was permissible, from a religious point of view, to deal in the skins of rabbits, hares, and bears (Responsa, No. 489).
In spite of the persecution of 1391, which claimed its victims at Murcia as in other places, the community was still a large one in 1474, and paid considerable taxes. Jews were not permitted to live in the city itself, but had their ghetto by the gate De Orihuela, where they remained until the general expulsion in 1492.
- Rios, Hist. i. 161, 486; ii. 401, 425; iii. 602.