MORE than 100 people attended a talk on Licoricia, the medieval Jewish businesswoman and friend of kings who was murdered in 1277.

The local Jewish community is launching a fundraising drive to pay for a statue to be erected outside Winchester Discovery Centre.

The centre is on Jewry Street close to where Licoricia lived and worked in the 13th century. She was a wealthy money lender who helped to fund the building of Westminster Abbey.

The talk on Saturday by Dr Hannah Meyer was part of the Heritage Open Day weekend.

A new charity, the Licoricia of Winchester Statue Appeal, is working to help raise £125,000 that will pay for both the statue and also educational work to promote tolerance.

Dr Meyer spoke of how Licoricia a “sharp businesswoman” made her fortune in the face of anti-semitism that led to her death and that of her Christian maid, Alice.

She told the gathering: “It is fitting that we commemorate Licoricia’s life here today – and through the statue of Licoricia and her son Asher which will be erected outside the Discovery Centre – to recognise her achievements as Winchester’s most influential medieval businesswoman whose personal wealth and connections brought her royal favour and benefited her community and to remember the importance of religious tolerance, as indicated by Winchester’s Jewish past.”

She added: “Let’s hope the statue does make people remember the great contribution that Licoricia made.”

She paid tribute to the work of Suzanne Bartlet whose 2009 book, Licoricia of Winchester: Marriage, Motherhood and Murder in the Medieval Anglo-Jewish Community raised local awareness of the Licoricia story.

The appeal website is and the charity is seeking to fundraise for the project. Donations can be made via the site.

The idea has planning permission from the city council.