Brothers Benjamin Joel Cantor and Samuel Joel Cantor make a formal request for citizenship in Antwerp. Over the previous two centuries Jews had reestablished their community in the city, but their presence was accepted in an unofficial manner and indeed was technically illegal, as the edicts banishing them had not been repealed.
A handful of Jews applied for and received citizenship in the late 18th century, although these were granted on an individual basis and the decree of 1758, which excluded Jews from citizenship, was upheld.
A decade after the Cantor brothers request, Antwerp came under the rule of revolutionary France, and from 1794 the Jews were free to settle there. They quickly became an important part of the city’s fabric