In 1887 most British thought that their country was getting along pretty well. Not so, said Mr. Lewis Atkinson, writing to The Times. Because
of the stupid intolerance of their ancestors under Edward I, six
centuries before, the British had sacrificed a thriving trade, that of
diamond cutting, and British gem owners were having to ship uncut
stones over to Holland and Belgium, "at great risk and expense," to be
cut and set; and it was all due to the long-ago expulsion of the Jews.
As director of the newly established Diamond Cutting Company, Mr.
Atkinson wanted the, state of affairs remedied as soon as possible. He
was telling the truth when he said that there were very few men in the
kingdom capable of cutting jewels, and his words attracted attention,
but if he had brought up the matter only a few years earlier he would
have found it very hard to work up any English interest, however
accurate his report. It was the recent discovery of diamond mines in
South Africa that had started Mr. Atkinson and his friends thinking
about what they had lost, and growing belatedly indignant about