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An eighteenth-century Sephardi lady - her relations and her property

Miriam Rodrigues-Pereira

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Jewish Historical Studies, volume 41, 2007 An eighteenth-century Sephardi lady: her relations and her property MIRIAM RODRIGUES-PEREIRA A will and an inventory preserved in the archives of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation, London, have, together with the Bevis Marks Records,1 enabled me to build up a family tree of an eighteenth century Sephardi lady and reveal something of her home and way of life. The lady was Hannah, daughter of Abraham Salom Morenu (called Luis de Paz - Salom/Shalom = Paz = peace), who was born probably in about 1680. She married David, the son of a teacher in the Congregation, Isaac Israel de Avila, on 31 January 1704. With her came a dowry of ?1000, to which her husband added ?500. He died in March 1716, and there were evidently no children. On 14 December 1741, just before she died, Hannah made her will. She was buried in the Novo (New) Cemetery in Mile End on 16 December. The next day, 17 December, Samuel de Saa Silveira brought Hannah's will to the Mahamad (Wardens) of the Congregation. They agreed to be executors of the will, as she wished, and nominated Abraham Mendes Campos, a recently retired Warden, and Moseh Gomes Serra, a current Warden, to take on this responsibility. The will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 22 December, and on 23 December an inventory and valuation was taken of all her possessions in her lodgings in Duke's Place, St James, London.2 She was an affluent lady, for her will declared that she had ?500 India Stock and ?340 South Sea Stock; she bequeathed the India Stock, ?25 of the South Sea Stock and ?165 cash to members of her family (see the family tree below) and those close to her. Her nephew Aron de Paz was the main bene? ficiary. Her brother Solomon de Paz received ?150 India Stock, but Aron received ?350 India Stock as well as silver - a cup, two salts, a 'poranger', a spit and box, twelve large spoons; linen - 3 pairs of sheets, 12 napkins; and jewellery - a pair of earrings 'diamont', a diamond ring and a gold watch, and gold 'tabby' (watered silk fabric) for 'wescoats'. Her niece Eliseba, the 1 Bevis Marks Records, Part II [Marriages] (Oxford 1949), Part VI [Burials, Novo Cemetery, Mile End] (1997). R. D. Barnett, 'Bethaim Velho Burial Register', Misc.jfHSENl (1962) 1-72. 2 Bevis Marks Records, Box 25/1 ib, MS 344717b. 3i</page><page sequence="2">5- ? er &gt; - 173 ?-i , HH pQ &lt;U , -2 x&gt; o C&lt;4 2 3 .J3 &lt;! o p 75 fa O N G G Si N c? (L&gt; \ G G U O o CO ? S3 o PQ ^ 's - rt ^ Q ~ g d ? ? 's ? ^ ? -s -8 ? a 3 3 ?si Ik PQ ? B ^ Oh o S in</page><page sequence="3">An eighteenth-century Sephardi lady ? her relations and her property wife of Jacob Buzaglo, received ?25 of South Sea Stock and 'whatsoever remains of my wareing apparel, linen and all household goods in general'. Their son Salom was bequeathed ?25, as were her niece Sarah, the wife of Isaac Hamis (Vaz), their daughter Rachel and her great-nephew Solomon, son of her late niece Lea, the wife of Joseph Buzaglo. Hannah's godson Samuel de Saa received ?40 and Rachel, the daughter of'the said Isaac' (? = Samuel) was bequeathed ?10, six aprons, six shifts and a gown 'of the best'. Isaac de Saa received ?10 and Jacob Cardozo ?5. In the concluding part of the will, Hannah left ?20 to the Portuguese Synagogue (that is, Bevis Marks), ?10 to the Orphan Society, ?40 for her burial and alms to the poor of the Synagogue. What remained of the Stocks she bequeathed to the 'gentlemen of the Vestry' of the Synagogue, directing that they 'should distribute the interest to the poor widows of the Portuguese nation every New Year'. This endowment still exists as part of the funds of the Congregation's Welfare Board. The inventory of Hannah's possessions made by one Matthew Heaviside is transcribed below, with its original spelling. It provides a vivid picture of her home and its contents, her dress and her jewellery. Reading it is like visiting Hannah's house, and being extraordinarily observant. Hannah de Avila's inventory An Inventory of the Household Goods, Waring Apparell, Linnen, Jewels &amp; Plate etc of the late Mrs Hannah Davila Deceas'd at her Lodgings in St James Dukes Place London Apprais'd Deer 23 1741. The Bed Chamber: A Bedstead and Green Furniture, lin'd with Stuff, one Feather Bed in a Check Case, one Mattress, 1 old Counterpa[n]e, a Walnutree [made of Walnut] of Drawers, 6 Mat[te]d Bot[to]m Chairs, 3 Stuff Bot[to]m ditto, one Dress[in]g Chair, 1 Corner Cub[oar]d, 1 pier Glass, 1 Dress[in]g Glass, 2 Family Pict[u]res, 3 Prints, 1 Tea Table, 1 Dutch Table, 3 India Punch Bowls, 1 Dress[in]g Box Jap[anne]d, a Stove Comp[le]t[e], 2 old Glass [?urns], 1 peice [coin] Portugal, 2 peices English ditto, 3 old Boxes. ?5-10-0 The Kitchen: One Ovill Table, 1 Joint Stoll [stool] and Cov[e]r, 4 old Chairs, 1 pr Steps, 2 Cubords, 1 Brass Wass[hin]g Kettle, 1 Dish Kettle, ditto, 2 Boyling Potts and Cov[e]rs, 1 Preserv[in]g Pan, 1 Stewpan, 1 Dutch oven, 2 Small K[ett]les, a Stand[in]g large Brass Lamp, a Pestill &amp; Mortar, four large 33</page><page sequence="4">Miriam Rodrigues-Rereira SaucePans, i cov'd, a Tea Kettle &amp; Lamp, a Coffee Pott, a Dried Gr[ound] Pepper Box, a pr Snuff rs &amp; Stands, 2 Chocolate Potts, 1 Cop[per] Drink[in]g Pott, a Warm[in]g Pan, a small lamp, four flat Candles[ti]cks, 5 Stand[in]g, 1 Slice, 1 Cupp, 6 Pewtr Dishes, 1 Pie Plate, 24 Com[mon] Plates, 2 Sau[c]ers, 1 Collender, a Pewter Cistern &amp; Bas'n, 1 Dish Ring, 1 Bed Pan, 2 Cups, a Grate Comp[le]te &amp; Jack d[itt]o, 1 Whell [Wheel] Spit, 2 Bird Spits, an Irone Stand[in]g Candlestick, 2 Brass Nosls [nozzles], iTrevt [trivet], 1 Frying Pan, 1 Chipping Knife, 6 White handled Knives and Forkes, a pr Bellows, some Tinn, Earthen &amp; Wood wares, and a parcell of Coals. The Closet on the stairs: 1 large leather Trunk, 1 sealskin ditto, 1 small Leather Trunk, 1 Tinn ditto, 2 Boxes, 1 Hamper, a parc[e]ll of Earthen Ware, 6 fine Sheets, 8 course ditto. 2 Table Cloths, 12 Damask Napkins, 12 Diaper dittos, 18 Kitchen Table Cloths, 22 Towels &amp; Napkins, a Remn(an)t of Rushia Diaper, 3 Bolster Cases, 6 pillabers [pillowcases] &amp; some odd Lin[e]n, 2 feather Cushions, 2 Horse Cloaths, 1 Silk Damask Cover, a Sett of Jap[anne]d Dressing Boxes &amp; Brushes, a Tortoise Shell box, a Remnant of Callicot Ropr [wrapper], 1 Rug, 1 Blanket. ?9-17-6. Waring Apparel: 1 Brocade Gown &amp; Petticoat lin'd with silk, 1 Cream Colour damask , 1 Needlework d[itt]o, 1 White Satin Quilted Coat, 1 Short Scarlett [fine or red cloth] cloak, 1 velvet Mantellet, 1 Black &amp; silk ditto, 1 yellow Damask Gown, 1 Cloath Colour, 1 Silk &amp; Cotton, 1 Black Silk ditto, 1 yellow stich'd Gown &amp; Coat., a gold Tabby [watered silk] Lining, 1 strip'd silk Petticoat, 1 Callimancoe [glossy Flanders woollen and satin checked cloth] quilt'd coat, 1 worst'd, 1 Plain d[itt]o, a Remn[an]t of Callocoe Rapr [wrapper], 2 pr of Stays, 1 Dimmity [stout white cotton] Counterp[a]ne, 1 Bed Quilt, 4 Holl[an]d Shifts, 2 pr of Sleaves, 14 Shirts &amp; Shifts Ord[inar]y, 4 Holl[an]d Aprons, 4 Camb[ri]k, 5 Muslin, 1 Lace d[itt]o, 2 fring'd suit of Head Cloths, 1 Lace d[itt]o, 3 Cambrick Hank[erchie]fs, 2 Muslin &amp; one Gauze d[itt]o. 2 Silk Short Aprons, 3 Silk Handkercheifs, some pieces Black Velvet, 1 Short Hood, 3 Pockets, 1 pr Silk Stock[in]gs, 3 prs thr[ea]d, 1 pr worst'd d[itt]o, 1 pr of Gloves, 2 prs of Mittns, 10 Mobs [caps], 3 pr of Ruffles, 1 lac'd Hood, 1 under Coat, 2 Fans, a velvet Book Case [cover], 1 White Linen Gown. ?20-4-6. 34</page><page sequence="5">An eighteenth-century Sephardi lady - her relations and her property China Ware: i large Burnt-in Punch Bowl, 4 Small d[it]o, 1 Large Dish, 2 Basins, 2 Plates, 2 Cannisters, 16 Large Saucers, 7 Small d[itt]o, 6 Chocolate Cups, 7 Tea Cups, 1 Tea Pott, 12 Peices of Glass. ?3-2-6. Plate, Jewells &amp; Cash: A Gold Watch &amp; a Woman's Chain, 1 Large Brill[ian]t Ring 1 stone, 1 d[itt]o with Seven Rosses [rose diamonds], 1 Ring with a Green Stone set with Diamonds, a Hoop Ring with False Stones, a pr of Diamond Ear Rings, Waring [fitting] of the same in a Box, 1 Plain Gold Ring, a String of Diamonds, 1 Large in the Midst and ten small, a Diamond Necklace. 1 Tortoiseshell Box Sett with Diamonds, 1 Pearl Necklace, 1 False d[itt]o, 1 Tortoise[she]ll Snuff Box with a Picture, 1 Motherapearl d[itt]o, 1 Silver Patch Box. ?65-0-0. 1 Toothpick Case, 1 Pint Mug, 1 Porring'r, 1 Small Sal'dr [Psalader], 2 Salts, 1 Caster, 12 Large Spoons, 6 Teasp[oo]ns, 1 pr of Tongs, 3 Forkes, 1 Pipe Stop[pe]r, a Sett of Gilt Handel'd Dessert Knives &amp; Forkes in a Shagreen Case, a small Case with 1 Knife, 1 Fork, 1 Spoon, 5 Oun[ces] of Broad Open Gold Lace. ?19-8-9. 18 Guineas, 1 Five Guinea Peice, 6 Broad Peices [20 shilling coin] and a Half, 2 Double Spanish Pistoles [gold coin], 2 Shillings &amp; a Silver Twopence. ?34-i7-5 All ye goods mentioned in this Inventory is valued to ye sum of one hundred and sixty three pounds ten shillings &amp; 8 pence. ?163-10-8. [signed Matthew Heaviside] 35</page></plain_text>