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Crypto-Jews under the Commonwealth

Lucien Wolf

<plain_text><page sequence="1">CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. ? By LUCIEN WOLF. I.?THE SECRET SYNAGOGUE. Ik the year which brought Menasseh ben Israel to England, on his memorable mission to Oliver Cromwell, there stood in Cree Church Lane, Leadenhall Street, a large and mysterious-looking gabled house, which differed from its fellows chiefly in the respect that the local gossips could make neither head nor tail of it. Its tenant and owner, one Moses Athias, was understood to be a clerk employed by a rich Spanish merchant and ship-owner, Don Antonio Fernandez de Carvajal, whose mansion almost faced the top of the lane ; but his dignified bearing and the marked respect paid to him by many of the foreign merchants, including Carvajal himself, seemed hardly consistent with this theory. Over a glass of canary in the Jeames Tavern hard by, garrulous busy-bodies would ask one another what use old Athias could have for so large a house, with its basements so strongly barred and its upper windows so impenetrably curtained ; and strange tales would sometimes be told of papistical mysteries enacted within its walls by the swarthy strangers and their mincing and bejewelled spouses who nocked thither at frequent but regular intervals. Muffled melodies and nasal recitatives were heard in the still morning air proceeding from the upper stories, and occasionally a newly arrived Dutchman or Italian?for the parish of St. Catherine was a foreign colony?would stop and listen to them, wondering where those uncanny sounds had saluted his ears before. Sometimes a gleam of angry intelligence would light up the listener's eyes, and hurriedly making a sign of the cross or growling out a malediction on the " accursed spawn of Jews," he would hasten on his way. As a rule, however, the residents tempered their curiosity with a large infusion of tolerance. In any other district of London, Moses</page><page sequence="2">56 CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. Athias's house would probably haye been indicted under the Bloody Statute or some other of the pious enactments for putting down seditious sectaries with which the Constitution had been thought? fully armed ; but the parish of St. Catherine had been from time immemorial a sanctuary for aliens and heretics, and a place of privilege for unfrocked priests, apostates from Christianity and even converts to Judaism.1 Consequently, however much the residents may have been scandalised by the mysterious heresy which Moses Athias was supposed to countenance, it was not in their interest to give audible expression to their indignation. Moreover, there was an impression in the locality that it was not quite safe to molest the strangers who frequented the Cree Church Lane conventicle. Don Antonio Carvajal was known to be hand in glove with the Secretary of State, and once when Will Sherman thought to turn an honest penny by denouncing him and his friends as recusants he?the pious Will?was summoned before the House of Lords and roundly upbraided for his pains.2 Some, too, kept their opinions to themselves from motives of personal prudence. Carvajal, for all his grizzled beard, had a fiery temper, and was no 'prentice hand with the rapier.3 His servant, Manuel da Fonseca, could double his fist with any Englishman,4 while Simon de Caceres?Carvajal's great friend?made no more ado of avowing that he was not a Christian than of recounting how he had fought the Inquisition dogs by sea and land.5 And so nobody interfered with the mysterious house, although its character was so nearly guessed that in 1653 James Howell wrote to his friend Lewis, in Amsterdam, that " touching Judaism, some corners of our city smell as rank of it as doth yours there."6 The house, indeed, was a secret synagogue, and it is probable that 1 Strype's Stow, Book II., p. 8. 2 Hist. MSS. Com. Reports vi. 42 b. 3 Domestic State Papers (1658), vol. clxxxii. (Whiting Case) ; Cal. S. P. Dom. 1650f p. 248. 4 S.P. Dom. (1658) vol. clxxxii. (Whiting Case). 5 See Deposition of Caceres in Robles Denunciation Case. S. P. Dom. Inter., vol. cxxvii., No. 21, Robles Case (see Documents appended to this Paper) ; Thurloe S. P., vol. iv., pp. 62, 63. 6 James Howel, "Epistolse Ho-Elianse" (Edit. Jacobs), Book IV., Letter 35.</page><page sequence="3">CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. 57 i was not the only one of its kind in London at this period. A baptised Jew, one Paul Isaiah, who published a con versionist brochure early in 1655, states as a fact within his knowledge, that the Jews at that time resident in England " have their Synagogues and there exer? cise Judaism."1 A MS. in the collection of the late Emanuel Mendez da Costa mentions, side by side with the Cree Church Lane Syna? gogue, another Jewish house of worship in St. Helen's, of which one David Mier was " priest."2 Although this record cannot be earlier than 1658, it is not unlikely that the St. Helen's Synagogue was established before that year, and was one of the Jewish houses of prayer indicated by Isaiah. With regard to the date of the establish? ment of the Cree Church Lane Synagogue, we have no precise information. We know, however, that a Jewish marriage was solemnised in London in 16543; that many of the members of the Marrano community had been settled in the parish of St. Catherine Cree for periods varying from three to twenty years, and that the Crypto-Jews in Spain and Portugal had learnt to regard London as a place of refuge where they could observe the rites and ceremonies of Judaism without being molested, provided they did not invite public attention to their heresy.4 From the year 1492, when the great expulsion from Spain took place, there seems to have always been a small number of Marranos in this country. Amador de los Rios states in his history of the Jews of Spain that they formed settlements in London, Dover and York.5 The trade with Hamburg, where Jews were established in 1583, and the foundation in London of the Society of Merchants of England trading with Spain and Portugal in 1605, must have brought a good many Marranos into relations with this country, seeing that the commerce of the Peninsula was largely in their hands. We have indeed something more than merely conjectural evidence that their relations did extend to this country, for in 1493 Jewish fugitives sued a Spanish merchant 1 Paul Isaiah, " The Messiah of the Christians and the Jews " (Lond. 1655), p. xiii. * B. M. Add. MSS. 29, 868, fol. 16. 3 Evidence in Robles Case, supra p. 56, note 5. 4 Ibid. * " Historia de los Judios de Espana," vol. iii. p. 377.</page><page sequence="4">58 CRTPTO-JBWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. in London for a sum of 428,000 maravedis owing on bills of ex? change.1 In 1605 the Anglo-Spanish Trading Company in London petitioned the king to obtain protection for their agents in Spain against the Inquisition.2 Although this ostensibly refers to Protestants, the necessity for such protection for Jews is significantly illustrated by the curious fact that the MS. copy of the Company's Charter and list of Freemen, which is to be found in the Harleian collection, has its pages numbered with Hebrew letters.3 All the lists of aliens and merchant strangers in London drawn up after the beginning of the sixteenth century contain Spanish and Portuguese names, not a few of which?such as Alvarez, Casseres, Da Costa, Lopez and Marchena4? are repeated, in more or less varying orthography, in the earliest lists of the Sephardi congregations of Amsterdam and London. These facts would seem to indicate that a Marrano colony existed in London early in the sixteenth century; and if this be the case we may take it for granted that they had some sort of provision for holding divine worship according to the Jewish ritual. The fugitive Marranos in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, and the South of France established secret synagogues for themselves long before they obtained a toleration as Jews. To men who had been accustomed to organise such services under the very nose of the Inquisition, an enterprise of this kind in London was simplicity itself, for, although Jews were still proscribed in England, no active measures were taken to keep them out of the country, or to identify and prosecute them while they were in it. So long as they did nothing to bring upon themselves the attention of the authorities by offending the common law, or parading their religious views, they were safe. Although a goodly number of unbaptised Jews have been identified as living in England during the Middle Period, there is not one case on record of a Jew being prosecuted by the authorities qua Jew. Moreover, a benevolent in? terest in the Jews had been gradually growing up in the country since the Reformation had made the Bible a piece of popular literature. 1 Cal. S.P. Spanish, vol. i., p. 51. 2 Harl. MSS., cod. 137, No. 3; cod. 295, No. 96; cod. 299, No. 4. 3 Ibid. cod. 1855, Nos. 1-5. 4 W. D. Cooper, "Lists of Foreign Protestants," 1862; "Acts of the Privy Council," vol. iii. (see Index).</page><page sequence="5">CRTPT0-JEVT8 UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. 59 Under these circumstances, we may rely upon it that a secret synagogue was no novelty in England when Menasseh ben Israel arrived here, and it is probable that the mysterious house in Cree Church Lane, which then fulfilled this purpose, had a long history behind it. We have no contemporary account of this synagogue prior to the Resettlement; and under the circumstances, it is scarcely reasonable to expect one. My identification of it as a Marrano meeting-house is largely circumstantial, and rests on the following grounds :? 1. The strong probability that the Marrano colony, which was certainly in existence before 1640, would have equipped itself with a synagogue. 2. The positive statement of Paul Isaiah that Jewish Synagogues were in existence before 1655. 3. The fact, attested by the synagogue archives, that the first Sephardi Synagogue was in Cree Church Lane.1 4. The fact that Moses Athias, who is known to have been Rabbi of the Sephardim in 1658, was a cousin of Carvajal,2 the leading member of the Marrano community, and lived in Cree Church Lane.3 5. The description of this synagogue, given in 1662 by a Christian visitor, one John G-reenhalgh, whose letter on the subject is preserved in the Lansdowne Collection of manuscripts.4 Of these points only the last calls for special observation. G-reen halgh's letter shows conclusively that the synagogue which he visited had originally been arranged to suit the requirements of a secret congregation. It was held on the first floor of a private house, and its entranoe was protected by three double-locked doors. Although, in 1662, it was still desirable to hold Jewish services with some degree of privacy, it was no longer necessary to observe defensive precautions. These double-locked doors must consequently have been a relic of the secret worship in and prior to 1655, and may be regarded as evidence of the pre-Resettlement age of the synagogue. 1 Agreement dated 1674, to enlarge, alter, and improve the Synagogue in Cree Church Lane, &amp;c. (Goodwin, " History of the Commonwealth," vol. ix., p. 251, 2 Carvajal's Will, Prob. Offi. Pell, fol. 531. 3 B. M. Add. MSS. 29, 868, fols. 15, 16. 4 Ellis, " Original Letters, etc.," vol. iv., pp. 3-21.</page><page sequence="6">60 CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. In these romantic circumstances every fact relating to this myste? rious meeting-house acquires a special interest. Happily Greenhalgh has left us a fairly complete picture of it. The internal arrangements were necessarily rather primitive. Two rooms were reserved for prayer, the smaller being appropriated to the women, and separated from the larger by a partition fitted with a long and narrow latticed window. In the larger room four long forms?two on each side?were provided for the male worshippers. The banco, or Warden's box, consisted of a seat and desk raised high above the other seats, and occupying the west end of the room. Six feet in front of the banco, and on a slightly lower level, was the reading desk, with two steps on each side, and brass candle? sticks at each corner. The Ark was little more than a plain cupboard flanked hy huge brass candlesticks. Two perpetual lamps of " christal glass " hung before it. The walls were fitted with drawers, or " draw boxes," as Mr. Greenhalgh calls them, in which the worshippers kept their books and Talithim. Such was the Cree Church Lane Synagogue in 1662, and such doubtless it was seven years earlier, when as yet it was only a sanctuary of Crypto-Judaism. IL?THE DENUNCIATION. The circumstances under which the existence of Crypto-Jews in London was made public have fortunately been preserved to us. At the beginning of the year 1656 the little congregation of Marranos found itself beset with serious anxieties. On the one hand, the war with Spain had rendered it dangerous for them to continue to assert their Spanish nationality ; on the other hand, the inconclusive result of the Whitehall Conferences on the Jewish Question had offered no satisfactory inducement to them to make public acknowledgment of their Judaism. It had been laid down by the Judges that Jews were free to settle in the country, but under what conditions had not been stated. A verbal permission to continue to celebrate Divine worship in private had been given them by the Protector,1 but nothing had been said with regard to their civil rights. Only one thing was clear to them?their security as ordinary Merchant Strangers was gone. 1 S. P. Dom. Commonwealth, vol. cxxv., No. 58.</page><page sequence="7">CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. 61 Thenceforward they had to choose between being persecuted as Spaniards, or subjected to exceptional legislation as Jews. It is not surprising that they hesitated as to which of these courses to pursue, for, although the lesser of the two evils before them was palpable enough, no measures had yet been taken to molest Spanish merchants, and there was just a chance that the war might collapse before it had been well begun. Early in March an event occurred which forced them to a decision. In Doctors' Commons there dwelt at this period a scrivener and notary, named Francis Knevett, who, through his knowledge of Spanish, had obtained a considerable practice among the members of the Marrano community. Mr. Knevett was a man of discretion and resource. He had won the confidence of his perilously-situated clients, not only by the shrewdness of his counsel, but also by his being able to obtain for them?through certain connections of his in the Govern? ment Offices?early information of Privy Council Orders affecting foreign traders. When it was determined to issue a proclamation de? claring all Spanish moneys, merchandise and shipping to be lawful prize, Mr. Knevett was the first to hear of it. His action, on receiving the information, was, however, unwontedly mysterious. Sending for a creature of his, one Philip del Hoyo, he posted him behind a screen in his private office, and then sallied forth to see whether he could run across one of his Spanish clients. In this he was not successful. He managed, however, to meet with Mr. John Baptista Dunnington, factor to the rich Spanish merchant, Don Antonio Rodrigues de Robles, and he at once invited him to accompany him to Doctors' Commons, in order that he might impart to him some information of the utmost gravity. Mr. Dunnington required no persuasion where the interests of his employers were concerned, and within a few minutes found him? self in the scrivener's office, reading the warning note relating to the projected proclamation. In the conversation which ensued, Mr. Dunnington took no pains to conceal the dismay with which the information had inspired him, and his agitation unloosed his tongue to a perilous extent. It was true, he said, that the cargoes in the two ships belonging to Robles? the (i Two Brothers " and the " Tobias,"?then in the Thames, were entered in his (Dunniugton's) name ; but who could guarantee that</page><page sequence="8">62 ORYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. this would not be found out, especially if Robles' papers were seized ? And then there were other ships which he had undertaken to clear for certain Spanish merchants whom Mr. Knevett knew very well, and on these he would lose his commission. Robles' house was crammed with merchandise, and there could not be less than 40,000 ducats in gold in his strong boxes. The loss of all this meant ruin, irretrievable ruin. Moreover, if the Spanish merchants were ruined, he, Dunning ton, would also be ruined, seeing that all his business lay with them. And so the panic-stricken factor rambled on, at each step making some fresh disclosure, while Mr. Knevett wrung his hands in sympathetic silence, and Philip del Hoyo behind the screen took copious notes in his pocket-book. Two days later, the house of Don Antonio de Robles in Duke's Place was invaded by bailiffs armed with a Privy Council warrant, empowering them to " seize, secure and keep under safe cus? tody all the goods and papers therein found," and, at the same time, the Commissioners of Customs, acting under a similar warrant, took possession of the two ships, the " Two Brothers " and the " Tobias." The warrants were based on a " paper of discovery," filed by an in? former, giving the name of Philip del Hoyo, with an address in Newton Street.1 Robles' first idea was to protest against the proposed confiscation of his goods on the ground that he was not a Spaniard but a Portu? guese. The petition he forthwith addressed to the Protector only incidentally mentioned that he was of the " Hebrew nation," being chiefly devoted to claiming the privileges of a Merchant Stranger by reason of his having been born in Portugal, and having resided in London many years and " payed many thousand pounds for Customes." In connection with this contention an amusing anecdote is related in the State Papers. While collecting his evidence Robles experienced some difficulty with a youth in his employ, who had accompanied him from Spain to England. According to Mr. del Hoyo, who professed to have overheard Dunnington relate the story, Robles sent for the boy and peremptorily ordered him to say, if he were asked, that his 1 The documents in this case will be found in the Domestic State Papers (Commonwealth), vol. cxxv., No. 38 ; vol. cxxvi., No. 105, with eleven annexes; vol. cxxvii., No. 21; I. lxxvii., Nos. 18 and 19, and vol cxxvii., No. 40. They are reprinted as an appendix to this Paper.</page><page sequence="9">CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. 63 master was a Portuguese. " I cannot lie," answered the youth with an unexpected access of scrupulousness, "for I know you to be a Spaniard." Pobles was thunderstruck. " Sirrah !" he exclaimed with angry irrelevancy, " I am married to a woman of Portugal." " But that makes you no Portugal," retorted the smart boy. Although it seems clear that Pobles' account of his nationality was correct, he must have soon found that to rest his case on this alle? gation alone would not be prudent. It was known that he had lived in Spain, that he had passed as a Spanish Catholic, and that he had even spent some years of his life in the service of the Spanish G-overnment. Seeing that, according to his own account, he had flown from Portugal to Spain, it is probable that he was one of the New Christians who so strangely conspired in 1641 to re-establish the Spanish domination in Portugal,1 and hence his claim to Portuguese nationality would scarcely bear a close scrutiny. Indeed, his uncle, Duarte Henriques Alvares, when asked how it was that his nephew could venture on Spanish territory, answered significantly that " the Portugalls who took part with the King of Spain were free to live in his territories. One at least of the London Marranos seems to have figured in the conspiracy of 1641.2 In this dilemma Pobles took counsel with his co-religionists. Their almost unanimous opinion was that, in view of the Protector's friendly attitude on the Jewish Question, the plea that should be chiefly accentuated was that Pobles was a Jew, and in this they con? sented?no doubt for their own protection?to support him. It says much for the strong Jewish spirit of the chief of the Marrano com? munity, Antonio Fernandez Carvajal, that he agreed to throw in his lot with his brethren in this matter, although he was already amply protected by a patent of denization3 granted to him seven months be? fore, and by special orders of the Privy Council exempting the con 1 Kayserling, " G-eschichte des Juden in Portugal," p. 307. 2 S. P. Dom. cxxvii. 21 (see Appendix to present Paper). Kayserling men? tions (p. 107) a Simon de Souza who took a leading part in the pro-Spanish conspiracy of 1641. I venture to identify him with Simon de Souza, brother in-law of Carvajal, who was residing in London at the time of the Roblea inquiry. 3 Patent Roll, 1655. Part IV.</page><page sequence="10">64 CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. signments of his Spanish correspondents from seizure.1 In accordance with this advice Pobles, now describing himself as " of the Jewish nation," and omitting all reference to his alleged Portuguese nationality, addressed another petition to the Protector, in which he recited how he and his family had been persecuted by the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal because they were Jews, and how he had come to England, " intending therein to shelter himselfe from those tiranicall proseedings and injoy those beneffitts and kindnesses which this Commonwealth ever aforded to aflicted strangers." Nor did he omit a special appeal to Cromwell's Judeophil sympathies. He had hoped, he said, to con? tinue to enjoy a secure domicile in England, "more specially at such tyme when it hath pleased the Lord to place on ye Grovernement of this nation a Prince soe Benigne and soe much a Protector of afflicted ones as it appeereth your Highnesse hath bin pleased to shew yourselfe on behalfe of our nation the Jews." Cromwell sent both petitions to the Council, who immediately instructed two of their body, General Disbrowe and Colonel Philip Jones, to make due inquiry into the case, empowering them to take evidence on oath. At the same time, in order to protect themselves against all possible consequences of the discovery of their Jewish identity, six of the chief Marranos, with Manasseh ben Israel at their head, petitioned the Protector for a con? firmation in writing of his verbal permission to celebrate divine worship according to Jewish rites in their Secret Synagogue.2 On the very day, the 25th March, that this petition was referred to the Council3 Disbrowe and Jones opened the Pobles inquiry. It lasted until the 14th May. A number of witnesses were examined and cross-examined, including no fewer than ten members of the Marrano community, three of whom frankly avowed themselves to be Jews. Antonio Fernandez Carvajal and Simon de Souza deposed that Pobles was born at Fundao in Portugal, and that they had been acquainted with his father and mother and other of his kindred. Duarte Henriques Alvarez, uncle to Pobles, gave similar evidence, and 1 Cal. S. P. Dom. 1650, p. 558 ; 1655-56, p. 60 ; Rawl. MSS., A. 12, fol. 75. 3 S. P. Dom. Commonwealth, vol. cxxv., No. 58. 3 For some unexplained reason it does not seem to have been delivered to the Council until the 26th June (vide endorsement).</page><page sequence="11">CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. 65 added that his nephew was a Jew by birth and conviction. Five of the witnesses, Domingo Roiz Francia, Diego Roiz Aries, Simon de Caceres, Domingo Vaez de Brito, and Manuel Martinez Dormido, swore positively that Pobles was a Jew, that he was married to a Jewess, and that he had suffered at the hands of the Inquisition. De Caceres, who described himself as " of the Jewish nation and of the tribe of Judah," mentioned in his evidence that when Pobles first came to England, some years before, he had confided to him (the depo? nent) that he was a Jew. Another wi ness, Domingo de la Cerda, book-keeper to the accused, testified to the Portuguese birth and Jewish religion of his master, and Antonio de Porto also expressed his strong belief that Pobles was a Jew. It is curious to notice that De Porto was the only Jewish witness who still adhered to his Marrano disguise, declaring that he was a Spaniard and Roman Catholic. Pobles himself was examined and cross-examined at considerable length, and told a curious story of the shifts to which he had been driven in his efforts to disguise his Judaism. His avowal that he had been in the habit of attending Mass even in London, and that he was still uncircumcised, produced an unfavourable impression on the minds of the Commissioners, who, of course, had no knowledge of the devious ways of the Crypto-Jews. A similar confession could, however, have been elicited from almost all the other Crypto-Jews had they been examined on these points.1 Several non-Jewish witnesses likewise gave evideuce, among them being the factor Dunnington and the notary Knevett. In a supplementary deposition made by Dunningion on April 24th, he created something of a sensation by unmasking the secret designs of Knevett in setting the inquiry in motion. It seems that the intriguing notary had been quite unprepared for the line of defence adopted by his intended victim, and Avhen he found that the Jewish plea was likely to carry the day, he attempted to bribe Dunnington to perjure himself. He confided to the factor that it was his intention to petition for a clerkship in the Committee of Dis? coveries, where his knowledge of the private affairs of the Marranos would, of course, stand him in good stead, and he promised to reward 1 Violet, " Petition against the Jews," p. 4. VOL. I. P</page><page sequence="12">66 CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. Dunnington if he wonld give evidence in the sense he required. Furthermore he endeavoured to smooth away Dimnington's scruples of conscience by assuring him that it was no sin to swear anything against "a, Jew dog." Dunnington was neither a Christian nor a Jew?in fact he boasted that he professed no religion1?but he seems to have possessed his full share of natural honesty, for he not only rejected Knevett's proposals, but he marched straight down to White? hall and informed the Commissioners of them. When Knevett's turn to be examined arrived, the wily notary, seeing that the game was up, attempted to regain the favour of his betrayed client by countenancing the contention that he was a Jew and not a Spaniard. Nevertheless, the-report of the Commissioners was not wholly satisfactory. They declared themselves unable to arrive at a positive opinion with regard to " either the nation or religion " of Robles. The evidence seemed to them conflicting, but they pointed out that the balance of testimony was in favour of the theory that the petitioner was "a Jew borne at Fundao in Portugall." The Council showed less hesitation in arriving at a conclusion. They ordered the immediate discharge of the warrants issued against Pobles, and the restoration to him of his ships and merchandise. This case was the turning-point in the history of the London Congregation of Marranos. It brought them for the first time into the light of day as a Jewish community. Thenceforth they were compelled to rely for whatever privileges they might claim in this country not upon their foreign birth, but upon their quality as Jews. III.?THE CONGREGATION. The members of the secret congregation revealed by the Robles case have a more important claim to be remembered by the Anglo Jewish historian than that which arises from the romantic circum? stances of their disguise and discovery. It is, of course, of consider? able interest to find that the ramifications of Spanish and Portuguese Marranism?traced as they have been to so many countries?also extended to England ; but to us the importance of these Crypto-Jews 1 S. P. Dom.? vol. cxxvii., No. 21 (Dunnington's Deposition).</page><page sequence="13">chypto-jews undek the commonwealth. 67 consists less in their connection with the extraordinary subterranean movement by which the mediasval Sephardim of all countries contrived to baffle the Inquisition, than in the fact that they were the founder s of our Anglo-Jewish community in the form in which it exists to-day. There may be, and perhaps always will be, differences of opinion as to the precise value of the services rendered to the Resettlement cause by the several Jews who took part in the negotiations with Cromwell; but that the men who formed the congregation which preceded and survived those negotiations have a right to be honoured as the founders of our Community, none can doubt. For this reason I have been at considerable pains to draw up a list of this congregation, and I have succeeded in identifying no fewer than twenty-six of its male members, all of whom can be proved to have been Jews, and to have resided in London before the Resettlement negotiations were set on foot. My principal authorities for this list are three documents, copies of which I have much pleasure in offering to this Society. Two of them have not hitherto been printed. The first is the Jewish petition of March, 1656, to which I have already referred ;x the second is the dossier in the Robles case, and the third is the will of Antonio Carvajal. These supply me with nineteen names ; the remaining seven have been obtained from miscellaneous sources. The petition of March, 1656, is the most important of these documents?the most important, perhaps, of all the documents connected with the Resettlement, since it is the only definite proof we possess that the negotiations with the Protector resulted in a specific concession to the Marranos. It is further of value as indicating who among the Crypto-Jewish Congregation took an active part in these negotiations, thus signalising to us the men to whom the gratitude of the Anglo-Jewish community is in this respect pre-eminently due, The following is a list of its signatories :? Menasseh ben Israel, David Abarbanel, Abraham Israel Carvajal, Abraham Coen G-onsales, 1 Supra p. 64, note 2. F 2</page><page sequence="14">68 crypto-jews under the commonwealth. Jahacob de Caceres, Abraham Israel de Brito, Isak Lopes Chillon. Deducting Menasseh ben Israel, who was only a bird of passage, this gives us the names of six of the leading Jewish residents in London at this period. That they were residents, and not companions of Menasseh in his embassy, I have already shown in an examination of the document to which their signatures are attached, contributed to the Jewish Chronicle four years ago.1 The result of my investiga? tions, resting largely on a comparison of signatures, was to prove beyond doubt that David Abarbanel was identical with Manuel Martinez Dormido, Abraham Israel Carvajai with Antonio Fernandez Carvajal, Jahacob de Caceres with Simon de Caceres, and Abraham Israel de Brito with Domingo Vaez de Brito, all Jewish merchants settled and trafficking in London long prior to the arrival of Menasseh. The other two signatories do not appear to have used secular aliases, but one of them, Gonsales, has been shown to have been a permanent resident,2 while Chillon is scarcely likely to have figured in this company unless his interests in the question at issue were equal to those of his companions. The documents in the Robles case3 contain the names of eleven Marranos. Four of them?Dormido, Carvajal, de Caceres and de Brito?already figure on the Petition of March, 1656 ; consequently we have a net contribution from this source of seven names to our list. These are :? Antonio Rodrigues Robles, Simon de Souza, duarte henriques alvares, Domingo Rodrigues Francia, Diego Rodrigues Aries, Domingo de la Cerda, Antonio de Porto. Robles, Alvares and Cerda described themselves as Jews in the 1 Jewish Chronicle, September 6, 1889. 2 His name appears in the " finta " of Bevis Marks as late as 1667. 3 Supra p. 62.</page><page sequence="15">crypto-jews under the commonwealth. 69 evidence they gave before the Commissioners, and also stated that they had been resident for a considerable period in London. That Simon de Souza was a Jew is rendered all but certain by the fact that he is mentioned in Carvajal's will as the latter's brother-in-law. Domingo Francia was founder of a Jewish family which for several generations figured prominently in the politics of Bevis Marks. The probate of his will1 shows that he died early in 1688, and thus enables us to identify him with Israel Roiz Francia, whose death is entered on the Beth Holim Burial Register, under the date of Adar 1st, 5448. The name of Diego Rodrigues Aries appears on one of the lists of " Jews resident in London about 1658 or 1660," which were given by Dr. Chauncey to Emanuel Mendez da Costa, and are preserved among the MSS. of the latter.2 Antonio de Porto was the last of the Marranos to throw off his disguise. In the Pobles case, he protested that he was a Spaniard and Roman Catholic, but in 1690 his remains received Jewish burial under the name of Abraham de Porto.3 The third document, the will of Antonio Fernandez Carvajal,4 supplies us with the following six further names :? Alonzo Jorge Caryajal, Joseph Ferdinando Carvajal, Manuel Rodrigues Nunez, Manuel da Fonseca Meza, Moses Israel Athias, Abraham de Touar. Alonzo and Joseph Carvajal were sons of Antonio. As they were not yet of age in 1659, and as their father had then been settled in London for nearly thirty years,5 it is probable that they were born in England. That they were resident here before the Resettle? ment negotiations is shown by the patent of denization granted to their father in 1665, in which they are mentioned.6 Manuel Rodrigues Nunez is described as a brother-in-law of the testator, and the remaining three legatees as his cousins. Nunez and Athias are 1 Probate Office, Exton, fol. 92. 2 Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 29, 868, fol. 15. 3 Beth Holim Burial Register. 4 Prob. Off., Pell, fol. 531. 5 Patent Eoll, 1655. Part IV. 6 Patent Roll, 1655. Part IV.</page><page sequence="16">70 crypto-jews under the commonwealth. mentioned as Jews in the Mendez da Costa lists, Athias being described in one of them as " Sin. Moses Atias, Chrechnrch Laine, a Jewish Itibay,"1 and in the other as " Sin. Moses, ye prist at ye Sinagoge."2 It is chiefly on the evidence afforded by these entries, and also by Athias's connection with Carvajal, that I have proposed to identify 16 Sin. Moses" as the Chacham of the Secret Synagogue of the Marranos. Manuel da Fonseca Meza is also specifically referred to as "a Jew " in some litigation in which he and Carvajal became involved in 1658.3 In his patent of denization4 he is described as Jacob da Fonseca Meza. The remaining seven names in my list are the following :? Solomon Abarbanel Dormido, Aron Abarbanel Dormido, Alonzo da Fonseca Meza, Augustine Coronel Chacon, David da Costa, Bento de la Costa, Henrique Jorge Mendes. Solomon and Aron Dormido were sons of David Abarbanel alias Manuel Martinez Dormido. Their names appear in a letter from Oliver Cromwell to the King of Portugal, dated 1654,5 and in their father's petition for denization in 1661,6 in which it is stated that they had been resident in London seven years. Alonzo da Fonseca Meza was brother to Manuel,7 who is mentioned in Carvajal's will. That he was resident in London while the Jews were still a secret congregation, is shown by a pass issued to him in March, 1655, to proceed to Antwerp.8 In this document he is described as " servant to Antonio Fernandez Carvajal." By his denization, granted in 1661,9 it is shown that he returned to England and resided here permanently. Augustine Coronel Chacon first appears in the State Papers in 1652.10 1 Snjpra p. 69, note 2. 2 B. M. Add. MSS. 29, 868, fol. 16. 8 S. P. Dom. Interreg. 1658, vol. clxxxii. 4 S. P. Dom. Chas. II., vol. xlviii., fol. 3. 5 Bawl. MSS. A. eclx., fol. 57. 6 Cal. S. P. Dom. 1661-62, p. 211= 7 Supra note 4. 8 Cal. S.P. Dom. 1655, p. 580. 9 Supra note 4. 10 Cal. S. P. Dom. 1654, p. 448,</page><page sequence="17">CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. 71 He is mentioned as "the littell Jue " in the accounts of an insurance broker for the same year, preserved in the Bodleian.1 His name is also found?half erased?on one of the Mendez da Costa lists,2 the erasure being due to the fact that on the Restoration he allowed him? self to be baptised. David da Costa was a well-known member of the Da Costa family, which played an important part in the English Jewry during the early days after the Resettlement. An undated petition from him appears in the State Papers, and is assigned by the editors as " clearly belonging to the reign of Charles I." 3 Bento de la Costa is mentioned in the State Papers as arriving in England with his family in 1655.4 I fancy the name is a mistake or an alias for Alvaro da Costa, one of the leading Jewish merchants of the Restoration. That he was a Jew is demonstrated by a very curious piece of circumstantial evidence. In the Thurloe Papers,5 under date of November, 1656, appears a reference to " a Jew named Da Costa, a great merchant in London, who hath and is presently to receive the sum of ?4,000 for the use of Charles Stuart." In the bankruptcy of Augustine Coronel Chacon in 1665, the banker Backwell proved for ?4,000, which he stated he had advanced to Coronel " on behalf of the King."6 Now, Coronel and Bento de la Costa were friends, for when the latter, on his arrival from Dunkirk in 1655, was stopped at Margate under a restraint of alien immigration, Coronel became his surety that he would appear before the Council if he were allowed to proceed to London.7 A connection between the two men being thus established, it seems highly probable that the ?4,000 lent by Back well to Coronel "on behalf of the King" was the same ?4,000 that, according to the Thurloe Papers, the "Jew named Da Costa" received " for the use of Charles Stuart," and that consequently this "Jew named Da Costa" was identical with Coronel's friend, Bento de la Costa. My last name, Henrique Jorge Mendes, is that of a mer? chant whose large transactions are frequently referred to in the State Papers as far back as 1651. In none of these documents, however, 1 Martin, " History of Lloyds," p. 54. 2 Supra p. 70, note 2. 3 Cal. S. P. Dom. Chas. I., 1648-49. 4 Cal. S. P. Dom. 1655, p. 47. 5 Vol. v., p. 572. 6 Cal. S. P. Dom. 1656-66, p. 137. 7 Supra note 4.</page><page sequence="18">72 CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. is he spoken of as a Jew, and as he left London in May, 1655,1 the papers relating to the Resettlement negotiations do not mention him. There is, however, abundant evidence that he belonged to the Carvajal and Caceres set, and, as he afterwards settled in Antwerp, I have hypothetieally identified him with one Henrique Mendes da Costa, who is referred to in the family papers of Emanuel Men lez da Costa as an early member of his family resident in that city and who had visited England.2 Henrique Mendes da Costa, who was a brother of David da Costa, was also partner in business of another brother named Jorge. Hence it is reasonable to suppose that " Henrique Jorge Mendes " was a trade alias intended to represent this partnership. Such aliases were of common occurrence among the Marranos. This exhausts my list of adult male members of the Jewish Congregation which Menasseh ben Israel found in London when he arrived on his memorable mission, and to which probably he was referring when, five years earlier, he had publicly thanked the British Parliament?no doubt much to the astonishment of that body?for the practical favour shown to his co-religionists by the Government of the Commonwealth.3 This list, however, does not exhaust my census of the Marrano community. It will be remembered that in Green halgh's description of the synagogue which I have ventured to claim as the house of prayer of the Crypto-Jews, a chamber is mentioned as having been partitioned off by means of a latticed window from the main room, and reserved for female worshippers.4 We have evidence that this room was not un-tenanted, since a goodly number of the male congregants were married. The names of their wives are known, as, for example, Mary (Esther) Carvajal,5 the wife of Antonio ; Sarah Athias, the wife of the Rabbi ; Deborah, wife of Manuel Rodrigues Nunes ; Sarah, wife of Manuel Dormido ; Leonora, wife of Antonio Pobles; Rebecca, wife of Domingo Francia ;6 and Sarah, wife of Abraham de Porto.7 The wills of many of the Marranos disclose the fact that their marriages were not unfruitful, 1 Cal. S. P. Dom. 1655, p. 586. 2 B. M. Add. MSS. 29, 867, fol. 20. 3 Dedication of " The Hope of Israel," 1650. 4 Supra p. 59, note 4. 5 Supra p. 69, note 4, and Beth Holim Register. 6 All these names are recorded in the Beth Holim Burial Register. 7 Prob. Off. Admon. De Porto, July, 1690.</page><page sequence="19">CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. 73 and that, indeed, many native-born sons and daughters were reared to gladden their perilous existences. Of the internal condition of our secret community not a few interesting glimpses are afforded by the documents I have succeeded in unearthing. The congregation itself does not seem to have possessed a very complex organisation, for, until long after it had ceased to be held in secret, it had no written constitution.1 Its spiritual direction was in the hands of Moses Athias, who was probably a connection of the distinguished Marrano family of that name, which, in the seven? teenth century, produced at least one martyr in Spain, and supplied Hamburg, Amsterdam, and Leghorn with several learned Chachamim. Antonio Carvajal and Simon de Caceres seem to have been the Par nassim, since it was they who signed the lease of the first cemetery at Mile End, acquired by the congregation in 1657.2 De Caceres was an enthusiastic Jew, very proud of his Hebrew descent, and he made it his business to go among the Spanish and Portuguese merchants and obtain from them confidential avowals of their Judaism.3 The social condition of the community appears to have been excellent. All its members were respected merchants, and some of them were exceed? ingly wealthy. They owned a considerable amount of shipping, and their transactions extended to the Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands, Italy, Syria, Brazil, and the East and West Indies. Carvajal possessed large estates in the Canaries ; Dormido had con? siderable property in Pernambuco, and branches of Caceres' business were established at Hamburg, Barbacloes, and Martinique. They dealt in bullion, cloth, wool, wine, hides, sugar, corn, logwood, precious stones, gunpowder, cordage, timber, cochineal, silks, plate, horses, carriages, harness, &amp;c. Coronel Chacon was financial agent to the Portuguese Government.4 It is interesting to notice that throughout the recorded transactions of these early Jews there is not a trace of 1 The first Ascamot were adopted in Ellul, 5423. Minute Book, Bevis Marks, 1663, fol. 1. 2 Israel Davis, " The Resettlement of the Jews by Oliver Cromwell." Jewish Chronicle, Nov. 26, 1880. 3 Depositions of Robles and Caceres in Robles Case. 4 See entries under several names in the Calendars of Domestic State Papers, 1650-60.</page><page sequence="20">74 CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. money-lending. Many of them deposited their spare cash with Gentile goldsmiths, but more for security than for interest. Six of them? Augustine Coronel Chacon, David da Costa, Domingo de la Cerda, Abraham de Porto, Domingo Francia and Antonio Robles?banked with the famous Alderman Backweli, and their accounts are still to be seen in the old ledgers preserved at Childs' Bank. Almost all dwelt in substantial houses within easy walking distance of the Synagogue. Manuel Nunes lived in Cree Church Lane itself; Coronel and Francia in Leadenhall Street ; Diego Aries in Fenchurch Street ; Dormido in Great St. Helens, and De Porto in St. Mary Axe. Three others? Coronel Chacon, Duarte Alvares, and Antonio Robles?formed the nucleus of the New Jewry in Duke's Place.1 The personal bearing of the Marranos stamped them as men of spirit, culture, and experience. Carvajal rode a horse and carried sidearms.2 His temper was some? what choleric, and he once settled a dispute with the Excise authorities by organising a raid on the Customs warehouses and imprisoning the officials in one of his own ships.3 De Caceres had pronounced military tastes, besides being a Chauvinist Jew. He drew up a plan for the conquest of Chili, and offered Cromwell to organise the expedition and command it himself.4 He was a relative of Spinoza,5 and had known and was personally esteemed by Queen Christina of Sweden.6 Duarte Alvarez had filled the post of Royal Treasurer in the Canary Islands,7 and Dormido had held a similar appointment for the province of Andalusia.8 They had all travelled in many countries, some only in the Old World but others in the New, and the experience and mercan? tile connections they had thus acquired were of no little use to Cromwell in his colonial policy and the conduct of his foreign wars.9 Augustin Coronel Chacon beguiled his leisure with poetry. He was 1 These addresses are given in the Da Costa Lists {supra p. 69, note 2, and p. 70, note 2), and in the little London Directory entitled " A Collection of the Names of Merchants living in and about the City of London." (1677.) 2 Cal. S. P. Dom. 1650, p. 248. 3 Supra p. 70, note 3. * Thurloe Papers, IV., pp. 62-63. 5 Misc. Heb. Lit., II., p. 74, note 32. 6 Bawl. MSS., A. xxvi., fol. 388. 7 Deposition in Robles Case. 8 Brit. Mus. MSS. Eg., 1049, fol. 6. 9 Wolf, li Cromwell's Jewish Intelligencers" (1891), reprinted from the Jewish Chronicle.</page><page sequence="21">CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. 75 an intimate friend of Antonio Enriquez Gomez, the distinguished Marrano soldier of fortune and lyrical poet, and he contributed a sonnet to one of Gomez's works.1 In politics the community took a lively interest, and Cromwell's philo-Jewish attitude did not prevent some of its members from espousing the cause of the Cavaliers. Indeed, Coronal's services to the Stuarts earned him the honour of knight? hood after the Restoration.2 Such was the community of Crypto-Jews which in the middle of the seventeenth century constructed the foundations on which the imposing edifice of English Jewdom has since been reared. 1 Kayserling, "Biblioteca Espanola-Portugueza-Judaiea," p. 49. 2 Le Neve "Pedigrees of Knights." Harl. Soc. Pub. (1869).</page><page sequence="22">76 crypto-jews under the commonwealth. DOCUMENTS. I.?PETITION OF LONDON JEWS. [S. P. Dom. Commonwealth cxxv., 58.] To His Highnesse OLiver Lord Protector of The Comonwelth of England, Scotland and Ireland &amp; the Dominions thereof. The Humble Petition of The Hebrews at Present Reziding in this citty of London whose names ar vnderwritten Humbly sheweth That Acknolledging The manyfold fauours and Protection yor Highnesse hath bin pleased to graunt vs in ordei that wee may with security meete priua+ley in owr particular houses to our Deuosions, And being desirous to be f auoured more by yor Highnesse wee pray with all Humblenesse y* by the best meanes which may be such Protection may be graunted vs in Writting as that wee may therenth meete at owr said priuate deuosions in owr Particular houses without feere of Molestation either to owr persons famillys or estates, owr desires Being to Liue Peacebly vnder yor Highnes. G-ouernement, And being wee ar all mortall wee allsoe Humbly pray yor Highnesse to graunt vs License that those which may dey of owr nation may be buryed in such place out of the cittye as wee shall thincke conuenient with the Proprietors Leaue in whose Land this place shall be, and soe wee shall as well in owr Lifetyme, as at owr death be highly fauoured by yor Highnesse for whose Long Lyfe and Prosperitty wee shall continually pray To the allmighty God &amp;c. Menasseh ben Iseael Dauid ABrabanel Abeaham Iseael Caeuajal abeahan coen gonzales j ah ac ob de caceees Abeaham Iseael de Beito Isak Lopes chillon. Oliuer P. Wee doe referr this Peticon to the Consideracon of ye Councill. March ye 24th 165J! [Endorsement.] Hebrews ye 25 March 1656 dd. by the Lord Presidts G-entleman ye 26 June 1656.</page><page sequence="23">crypto-jews under the commonwealth. 77 II.?THE ROBLES CASE. [S. P. Dom. Inter, cxxv. 38.] That Don Antonio Roblesse a Spanyard liveinge in dukes place, hath 120 peices [? pipes] of sacke sent to hym from his correspondent in the Canaryes, called Don diego arrived wth in 8 dayes in the ship called the 2 BrothrS an English ship, the Master Farmer. The same man hath in a ship called the Tobias Mr. Lewes Atwell Master, laden wth all kinde of linnen &amp; woollen &amp; stockins &amp;c. bound for the Canaryes. To seise upon his lettrS and papers in his house &amp; pocquetts, wch will make this evident. That Farmer can prove &amp; also Atwell that the goods belonge to ye sayd Don Antonio. John Baptista Dunnington liveinge in Marke Lane at the signe of the Cradle can testifie this. 13 Mar. 1655. That Don Antonio hath 40000 Ducketts in his house. That all chests, papers &amp; persons be seised upon ymediatelye. Phillip del Hoyo in Newton street next doore to ye lamb by Kingsgate MrS Strenger [Endorsement.] Spanish paper of discovery, 13 Mar 1655 ordr 14 March 1655. 1st informac. [J. 77 Dom. S. P. Inter : Minutes 4 april 1656 Entry n? 18.] Col. Jones Reports sevrall examinacons taken in the case of Don Anthonio Roderigo de Robelles, wch were this day read. [S. P. Dom. Inter, cxxvi., N? 105.] To His Highness the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland &amp; ye Dominions thereof. The humble petition of Antonio Rodrigues Robles. Sheweth : That by the sinister relation of William Coxetar (as the Petitioner is in? formed) he hath beene rendered by the said Coxetar to bee a Spaniard, and thereupon an order given on Saturday last by the right honorable Lords of the Councell of State for the seizure of the Petitioners Bookes and writings, and of his wines lately imported and other goods without calling or hearing the Peti? tioner to satisf ye their HonrS in case that any offence or misdemeanor bee imputed unto him, for the Petitioner being a Portuguez borne and of the Hebrew nation, hee hopes that hee may live and continue heere under yor Highnes protection; and partake of the lawes and priviledges graunted to all Merchants Strangers, the rather for that hee hath resided heere many yeares and payd many thousand pounds for Customes, and in all things hath submitted to the Lawes of this nation, and hath payd all manner of taxes and contributions assessed upon him</page><page sequence="24">78 CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. during his aboad heere, and hath allwayes accompted himselfe safe under your Highnes protection, and therefore hopes that no untrue suggestion or extra judiciall proceedings shall prevayle to deprive him of his goods or liberty, but that in all ocasions hee may have and enjoy the benefitt of the Lawes of this nation. And if any accusation bee brought against him that hee may bee pmitted to answear it legally, beeing ready to give Bayle to any Action or demaund accord? ing to law, and for that the Petition1"8 creditt will be much impayred heere and with his Correspondents abroad, if there bee notice taken of this suddaine seizure of his goods. The Peticonr doth humbly implore yor Highnes favour to bee well informed of the quality of his person, by such as well know the cause of his aboad heere under your Highness protection, and humbly prayeth your Highnes that his goods and Writings may be restored him giving sufficient Bayle to be answearable for whatsoever can bee objected against him. And he shall ever pray ettB Ant0 Rodeigues Robles. Oliver P Wee doe referr this Peticon wth the pass annexed unto the consideracon of O Councill. March ye 24th 16f?. [105. i.] The Humble Remonstrance of Antonio Bodrigues Robles, of the Jewish nation, To his Highnesse the Lord Protector of the Comonwelth of England Scotland and Ireland and the Dominions thereof? Humbly sheweth; That hee the said Robles was borne in the Kingdome of Portungall in the towne called Fundon, his fathers being Jews, and by Reason thereof, were all forsed to fly from thence in to Spaine, where not haveing Rezided long, they were by the inquisition Persecuted and therein imprisoned, the cruell dealings whereof occasioned his fathers death, and to his mother Little Lesse, those bloody officers having by Turtorse, {sic) spoyled her Limbs, and the Rest of his Kindred by this occasion, were some Burned, others sent to galleis, others whipped, and amongst these grivances, the sd Robles, by gods greate mercy, flew to ye Canary Islands, where chandging his surname y* he might not be knowne, there Lived some yeares, &amp; by the help of a Kinsman of hi sen, allsoe a Jew, who there rezided with greate affaires, gott some estate, which he not Long could enjoy, for, having had advise from a freind owt of Spaine, y* oiders were to be sent from the inquisition, to aprehend him as a Jew, Leaving all his goods there, came away for England, and heere tarryed some yeares, soe nessessitated by want of his estate, y1 heering his busines was there somewhat forgotten, ad? ventured himselfe to fetch owt from sd Canarys, part thereof, and therewth Returned again for England, intending therein to shelter himselfe from those</page><page sequence="25">crypto-jews under the commonwealth. 79 tiranicall Proseedings, and injoy those Beneffitts and Kindnesse which this Comonwth ever af orded to aflicted strangers, And hopes that as hee hath hetherto Lived secure, soe to continue; and more specially at such tyme, when it hath pleased the Lord, to Place, on ye G-overnement of this nation, a Prince soe Benigne, and soe much a Protector of afflicted ones, as it appeereth, y1* Highness hath binn pleased to shew yor selfe, on the behalfe of owr nation the Jews, wch incouradged me to Live heere, accounting my selfe secure, y* noe further inquisi? tion (being vnder yor Highnesse Protection) would Persecute mee, and therefore with this assurance all my Goods, bookes and writings were found att the time they were by sinister information seized on, which (had I binn any wayes guilty) might have secured, before, All which the sd Robles Humbly offers to yor Highnesse to make good, and Justiffy, every particular of the Premisses, by severall persons of qualitty who knoweth them to be true. [105. ii.] Wee here vnder written doe hereby certifie and testifie that we doe very well knowe Anthony Rodrigues Robles merchante dwelling in this City of London who is of the Hebrew nation and Religion whoe is maried here yn this Citty of London to a woman of the said nation and Religion Which Anthony Rodrigues Robles came from Spaine and the Dominions there of by Reason of the Inquisision, and the said Anthony Rodrigues Robles ath binn allwais by vs heald and Reputed for a Portugues and Hebrew and by all others which know him wch wee doe certifie at the Request of the said Robles Wittnes owr hands yn London this two and twentith of April 1656. Domingo Rz Diego Roiz Aeies Simon de Caceres francia Domingo Vaez de Brito Manuel Martinez Dormido. Moreover wee whose names are vnder written doe certifie that we know the above said Robles to bee a Portugues born in the kingdome of Portingale in a Towne called Fundaon and wee allsoe knowe his father mother and most of his kindred. Simon de sosa Duarte enriq. alvarez Ant0 fernandes carvajal. [105. in.] D. Anto : de Porto a nrall Spaniard and a Roman Catholiq y* I beleive will depose ye Truth at Mr Clarks in Lime Street. Duarte Henriq1 Alvares a Jew at Mr8 Tokleys his vnkle. Henry Chillingworth his servant in the Canaries and John Bapta Dunnington all to bee sworne &amp; Examined. Also to carefully peruse his coppy booke of Lres Symon de Hereras Lerboa (?). [105. iv.] Honnored Sr As to the first busines I discover yu will find it real and well proved And to the purpose be pleast to observe the ffollowinge reasons Yu will find that John Baptista dunnington ffactor to and for Dunnington</page><page sequence="26">80 crypto-jews under the commonwealth. (sic") de Robeles whoe is a Spaniard but wold goe under the nacon of a Portugall he dwells in marke Lane at the Cradle. John Bobtista meetinge wth one ffrances Knevett a Clark and notarie for those concealed m'chants Knevett takes him to his shopp &amp; in the psence of mee shews him a breefe note intimatinge that the L. Protector did make all spaneshe monjes merchandize and shippinge fownd here prise &amp; to be seized on &amp; this was forthwth to be pclamed. this note they read &amp; expounded in Spanish wch made me to take cognizance of ?Sc wth all they enioynd gecresi of it lest Knevett might be questioned for his corespondence of discovering that note and its subiect. her uppon John Baptista goes presently to his Mr a m'chant &amp; acquaints him of it whoe ymediatli removes all his monyes belonginge to the Spaniard that night. &amp; in psence of John Baptista Mr de Robeles cals his servant to him a youth and commands hime, if he came to be examined that he should say de Robeles was a Portugall but the boy replied he could not lye for he was a Spaniard his Mr replienge sirra I am maried to a woman of Portugall yet sais the younge man that maks no Portugall. if or the shipp seized on It wilbe pved the goods belongs onely to de Robeles &amp; Spanish m'chants &amp; Baptista havinge some venture in her shee passes in his name &amp; most ownd for hime &amp; he cleares the Customs &amp; is Consigned to a m'chant in the Canaries one don Simon etc. a m'chant ffactor there y? will fynd that John Baptista &amp; the other younge man whose name John can tell beinge sent for suddanly surprist will discover the whole truth (for he and Knevett are my informers) y? will find alsoe that this John Baptista is to have a good some for clearinge of an other shipp belonging to one Don Allonso de Mullena a Spaniard of good value. so sr if y? pleas to use diligence in this busines y? see the scope of it. John Babtista m'chant dwells at the Cradle in m'ke Lane. dunningeton (sic) de Robeles the Spaniard dwells in ducks place. Knevett dwells near Doctors Comons my mother &amp; wyfe can direct the several places if I be sent for by warrant &amp; put to my oath as they are to be, I can wth the more boldnes speake and informe my wittness against them if y? thinke it soe fitt. Expedition must be used. As for the lasc discoverie my mother tells you of Tis bullion &amp; the like &amp; Laid upp in such a place as not to be meddled wth till the other pties &amp; I bee psent at recountinge of it one of the cheife wth me in the Trust is out of Towne &amp; will leave ffriday or Satturday next. &amp; it must be psently laid howld of these things beinge cheerfully and carefully handled I shall mak good lesser thinges &amp; I humbly pray I may have yr assurance wch in word shalbe &amp; faire dealinge yr humble srvant Philipp de la Loyhoy. 26 Mar. 56 addressed : For the right honnerable Me Secretary Thueloe. psent.</page><page sequence="27">crypto-jews under the commonwealth. 81 [105 v.] John Baptista de Dunnington a stranger borne aged 22 y. examed this 31 of March 1656 saith as foil. That he knowes Don Anthonio de Robless whom he served 8 yeares, having left his ffamily 6 m? agoe, and whoe is reputed by some a Portugall by some a Spanyard ; his wife came out of Portugall and speakes a little Spanish, but whether he A. Robless be a spanyard or portugall he the dpr knowes not, nor knowes he any of his kindred That he hearde he ia lately turned a Jew haveing form'ly professed himselfe a Catholique He was gen'ally reputed a Portugall haveing kindred that are Portugalls in ye Canaryes and Holland. That he knowes Francis Knevett who served a gent that pretends to be Robless Cosin he remembers not that he was pn* wth Knevett &amp; others when a note was read importing his Highness ordr for seizure of Spanish goods, not when any discourse betwixt Robless and his srvant about the country whereof Robless was, he knowing no servant he hath nor had except one in his house of about 23 yeares of age who went from him and came againe about 7 or 8 mo since his name being Domingo de la Serda He hath some goods of 2001 val in the ship seized viz 20 pieces of serge 8 of bays 80 of calico &amp; 400 p of stockins belonging to him and his brother. That he had leave to ship his goodes by one Mr Colonell whose the rest of the Ladeing is he knowes not, Nor whither she is bound but was told by the Mr it is to the Western Islandes He knowes Don Alonso de Mullena. The time he lived wth Robless was 2 y. &amp; J in ye Canaryes. 8 or 9 mo. in Holland, a mo. in Antwerp, the rest in Engld. He knowes not where Robless was borne nor hath heard any discourse of it. He hath seen Robless sevall times since his goods were seized but had no discourse wth him or any other about his goodes seized to his Remembrance. When he came first to dwell with Robless he tooke him to be a Spanyard. He knowes not of any mony caried out of his house since the pclamacon, noe one did remove any in his presence; nor belieues he had any money lately in his house. He saith the said Robles changed his name when he went to ye Canaryes (from Fererino to Robless) where ye dp* lived wth him about a yeare. That the Threr there was Cosin to Robles, called Duarto an Rigij who rented the office undr the K of Spaine and is now in England being wth his family turned Jews. He saith that Robles hath a portugall boy called fErancis brought with his wife from portugall, whom he did not remember till this instant, being imployd in meane offices and can neither write nor read. He knowes not what Countryman Domingo de la Serda Robles servant is but thinkes he is a Jew, and hath heard severall persons say he is a kinsman to Robless. This examacon taken 31 March 1656 before ye r* hob,e Col. Philip Jones. W. J. [105. vi.] Thursday Last going about my Busines I was sent for by Francis Knevett and after some Conference he told me that he would wish me to Declare against my Mr whose name is Anthony Rodriguez Robles teling me it would Be very vol. i. g</page><page sequence="28">82 crypto-jews under the commonwealth. Beneficiall to me I answered that I had already Declared the truth of my knowledge vnto ye Right honered Coronel Jones and then he answered that the said Mr. Anthony Robles was a Jew Doge and it was no matter if I did say anny thing against him, also he declared to me that his entencion was to obtaine a Clarkes place in the Commity of Descoveries for the which he had made a peticion as he told me but did not present it not then for fear that your honor shold thinke and know his entencion in it this I doe certifie to be true and will Justifie it upon oath when your honor shall please to call me this 2?of April 1656. John Bap* duningdon [105. VII.] to the first question which you proponded to me whether Mr Robles were a Spanyard I answer that I cannot positively say whether he be or not for I have heard several Reports of him some saing he was a Spanyard and others saying he was a portugal but which to belive I cannot tell But I did always take him to be a Spanyard. to ye second question whether he conveyed mony out of his house upon Notice given him of the Seasur that would be upon Spanyards I answer that I never did ether see him nor hear say that he ever did convey any mony out of his house Besides I know sertainly that he never kept any more money in his house thin what he spent in the house for he not having a Cashkeeper did always keepe his moneys att a goldsmithes whose name is Mr. Backwell who reseived it and payd it out according to his order. to the third question whether I ever herd any disput about what country man he was I never did to my remembrance hear any John Bap* Duningdon [105. viii.] Domingo de la Sella [? Cerda] ex 31 March 1656 saith He is an Hebrew, but borne in Spaine ; wher to avoid y? Inquis. he called himselfe a Christian but is a Jew?he came into England almost 2 y. since liveing sometymes wth Anthonio Rodrigo de Robles who was sometymes called Anthonio Roderigo fererino sometimes wth Duarto an Rigs. That he hath knowne Robles so long as while he ye exr was in Engl. That he yc exr lived wth him 4 m? at one tyme &amp; 6 mo. another. That he heard of his name in Spaine but he heard he was at portugall in a towne called fundall &amp; y* he ran from portugall to Spaine wth his father to avoid the Inquisition but how long he lived in Spaine he cannot tell. That Robles hath been thrice in Engld as he heard &amp; the last tyme hath been here 4 or 5 yeares. Comeing from ye Canary Islandes to Holl', and as he heard was knowne in ye Islandes, for a portugall? He saith he knowes Baptista Dunington who was sometymes Robles serv*. That he ye ex*, is Robles book keep &amp; is ye onely servant of his mr That he never heard his said mr reputed a Spanyard and that his wife is a Jew &amp;</page><page sequence="29">crypto-jews under the commonwealth. 83 came from Lisbone about 18 m? since?Denyes that his sd mr ever spoke to him to deny him his s* mr to be a Spanyard. He knowes not why he changeth his name, but thinkes when he comes from ye Canaryes to Engd he calls himselfe Robles, when he goes back to ye Canaryes, he calls himselfe Fererino. That Robles hath a boy about 14 yeares of age who hath been for a yeare in France and a portugall boy at home of about that age called Francis, but his addition he know^es not He saith he went from Spaine to lisbone wher he was circumcised &amp; thence came to Engd and had no other reason but that he was a Jew. This exam taken before the r* h?nble Col. Philip Jones W. J. [105. ix.] Francis Knevett examined 1 Aprill 1656 saith That he knows Jn? Baptista Dunnington wtb whom he was in company about a ffortnight agoe in his the exts office &amp; that he ex1 haveing somethinges to write about a m* agoe [? month ago] concrninge seizure of Spanish goodes he read the same to the sd Dunnington, as a thing not known publiquely then ; but who or whether any were then psenfc he calls not to mind at psent. He saith that he hath heard Don Anthonio Rodriges Robeless had many buttes of wine come ovr, &amp; that they were seized, beinge so told by the sd Dunington. He beleives the sd Robelles to be a Jew not a Spanyard though liveing in the Canaryes he lived as a subject of the K of Spaine. That he is kinsman to one Duarto en Rigis who was Threr in the Canaryes but is now in Engd &amp; lately tould the exr that the K. of Spaine had seized his estate in his Dominions on the account of his beinge a Jew. This exanc taken before the r* hoble Col. Philip Jones W. J. [105. x.] Don Anthonio Rodrigo de Robelles, ex* this 1 of Aprill 1655 saith that he is a Jew by nacon, but was borne at ffundo in portugall That his mother hath lived in Spaine 19 or 20 y. That he fled out of portugall into Spaine to avoid the Inquisicon, and his ffather being dead &amp; his mother lame in ye Inquisicon he went thence to the Canaryes to a cozen of his who was Threr undr the K. of Spaine. And that havenge got an estate there he the ex* came into Engd, but hath some goodes still in the Canaryes. He remembth not any discourse betwixt him and Jn0 Baptista de Dunington on occasion of his highness pet (proclamation) for seizing Spanish goodes nor did after such discourse remove any goodes out of his house, nor did he suspect any prejudice to him as a Spanyard, he afterwardes entring some goodes in his own name in the Custome house. He confesseth he is not yet Circumcised. This examinacon taken before the r* hoble Col. Philip Jones. W. J. G 2</page><page sequence="30">84 crypto-jews under the commonwealth. [105. xi.] N? 1. Informac contayned some notes taken by Mr Secry on wch the warte9 were grounded. N? 2. Informac being given in. N? 3. Send all exaicons were taken. N? 4. Don Antho Robles peticons N? 5. Accompanied wth a Certificate K? 6. A further informac of names supposed to be from Knevett who is one of the p^8 exaind. N? 7. Dunningtons informac (being also one of the p^3 examined) Conc'ning Knevett's dealing wth him) [S. P. Dom. Inter, cxxvii., 21.] 11 May 1656 : Antonio de Porto being exaced before ye Comr for ye Ad** saith he hath knowne Don Antonio Robless 10 yeres agoe at ye Canaries. Being asked how Robless being a Portugese cold lyve in ye Canaries he saith he lyved at a kinsman of his ex* the King of Spaine gave them libty to lyve there. But saith he will not sweare y* he is a Portugese. Being asked whether Don Antonio Roblish be a Jew he saith in ye Canarios he was reported to be a Christian, but he is reputed to be here a Jew. Duart Henric. Alvares. Saith he hath lyved in London above 3 yeres. Saith he is a Portugall &amp; lived in Madrid &amp; from thence to ye Canaries Saith he hath knowne Don. Ant. Robless 28 yeres &amp; knew him first at ffundam in portugall &amp; knew him at Madrid to be a Jew. &amp; y* he went to ye Canaries to avoid danger for y* his father was taken &amp; put into ye Inquisicon That he was in ye Canaries &amp; lyved in this exarts house about one yere. but went undr another name. Saith that the Portugalls who tooke p* wth ye King of Spaine were free to lyve in his Territories. Saith that Mr. Chilling worth saith he lyved 4 yeres wth Duart Alvares at ye Canaries &amp; knowes D A Robless who was gratly reported to be a portugall, but he knowes not what they are by birth. That they went to Church, for feare of ye Inquisison But he hath understood them to be Jewes but lately about 3 mo since saith y* Robliss was imployed by Duart Alvarez as dep*r Treasr in some one of ye ports of Canaries Saith that he went under the name of Don. Anto. Roderigo Robliss Perrerene. That this exacat came over from ye Canaries about 4 yeres \ a goe. That both don Ant. Robless &amp; Alvarez were reputed Spaniardes. John Baptista Dunington, of Dutch parents but knowes not where be was</page><page sequence="31">jCRYPTO-JEWS under the commonwealth. 85 borne was Educated at Newcastle by Mr Medf ord where he was 4 or 5 yeres, &amp; then went to Don Ant Robliss wth whom he lyved 8 yeres. being asked what religion he is of saith, he is of no Religion but hath been a papist : Saith he lyved with Don Anton 8 yeres &amp; y* he was here reputed a Spaniard y* he went over to ye Canaries &amp; there changed his name from Don Ant. fferrermo to Don Antonio Roblisse. Saith that he this exacat was named Samuell Dunington when he went over but was there Bishopped &amp; called John Baptista Dunington wch name he still retaines. That he hath seen Don Antonio at Masse severall times &amp; saith y* Alvarez frequently went to Masse Saith that Don Antonio Robliss hath been at Masse here in London &amp; saw him at ye Spanish Ambassador at Masse about 6 months agoe. This examiniato saith that he is married to a woman of ye Romish religion. He saith y* after he was examd at Whitehall ffra: Knevett mett wth this exacat &amp; desired him to sweare ag* Don Anto : Robliss being a Jew Dog &amp; he might expect some recompence. Don Antn0 Roblisse saith he hath lived in England 4 yeres confesseth he hath been at Masse at ye Spanish AmbassadorS house in London. That his father &amp; mother were Jewes &amp; died of tormentes by ye Inquisito11 but confesseth he is not circumcised. Saith his name is Ant0 Roderigo, but when he went out of Spain he called himself Ant. Roderigo Perremene &amp; coming for Engl &amp; going back to ye Canaries he called himself Ant. Roderigo Robliss. Signr de Car ceres of the Jewish nac?n of the tribe of Juda being exaced cone. Don Anto. de Roblis saith y* he heares he was borne in Portugall y* at his comeing over he made knowne to this exacat y* he was a Je we. [S. P. Dom. Inter, exxvii., 40.] 14tb May 1656. By the Comrs for the Admiralty and Navy. In pursuance of an order of his Highnes Councell of the 25th of Aprill last whereby the peticon of Antonio Rodrigues Robles (and papers thereunto annexed) is referred to the said ComrS to consider and informe themselves of the state of fact, and to report the same and their opinion to the Counsell. The said Comr8 have sumoned severall persons before them who were presented as able to give testimony in the premisses but upon examinacon doe not finde any convicting evidence to cleare up either the Nation or Religion of the peticoner Some aflirming him to be a Jew borne at ffundam in Portugall, which they tender to testifie upon oath; Others, who have knowne him long, that they alwaies esteemed him a Spaniard, though their testimony seeme not so positive as the other, but all agree that both in the Canaryes where he was employed under</page><page sequence="32">86 crypto-jews under the commonwealth. one of the ffarmers of the king's Revenew, and in England he hath profest himself a Romanist, having frequented the Masse till about six months since which with the consideracon that he is yet uncircumcised induceth us to conceave he is either noe Jew or one that walkes under loose principles, very and different from others of that profession; However upon the whole the said ComrS are unable by what appeares to returne any satisfying opinion touching this busines, but humbly submitt the same to the Counsells determinacon. And General Disbrowe or Colonell Jones are desired to report the same. Ex Ro Blackborne Secrie. [Endorsement.] Report upon ye peticon of Don Ant0 Rodrigues Roblisse. [S. P. Dom. Inter. I. lxxvii., No. 19.] Whereas by an order of the 14th of March 1655, it was for the reasons therein menconed, ordered that the shipp the Two Brothers ? Farmr Mr and the ship the Tobias Lewis Atwell Master (wherein were Laden some goods of Don Anthonio Rodrigues Robles) should together wth their respective Ladeings be forth wth seized secured and kept under Safe Custody till further order, As also, y* the house of the said Don Anthonio Rodrigues Robles in Dukes place London wth all the goods and papers therein found should be in like manner Seized and Secured till further order and in the meane tyme to be preserved and kept from imbezzling, In pursuance whereof Sev'all Warrtes were issued to the then Comr9 of the Customes and others respectively, Now on reading a Report from the Com1-9 of the Adm^ and Navy made on a reference from the Counsell touching this matter, Ordered That the said Seizures and every of them be forthwth discharged, and That the said Don Anthonio Rodrigues Robles be at Libty to dispose of all and ev'rie his goods and other the premisses ye sd Seizures or Warrantes for ye same notwthstanding, and this orde shalbe to ye Com18 of the Customes and all others whome this may conc'ne [concerne] a sufficient Warrant and authority in y* behalfe. III.?WILL OF ANTHONY FERNANDEZ CARVAIAL. [Probate Office. Pell, fol. 531.] In the Name of God Amen. I Anthony Fernandez Carvaiall of London Merchant, beinge infirme and weake of Bodie but of good sound and perfect memorie judgement and under? standing thanks be given to Almightie God for the same and all other mercies</page><page sequence="33">CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. 87 to mee doe make this my last will and Testament in writing Imprimis I doe committ my Soule into the hands of my Creatour and my Bodie to be decentlie buried aeeordinge to the discretion of my most deare and lovinge wife Marie Fernandez Carvaiall whome I doe hereby make nominate and appoynte full and sole executrix of this my said Will and Testament and of the same Will doe expressely will ordaine and appoynte my Brothers in Lawe Manuell Rodrigues Nunez and Symon de Sosa and my loving Cozen Manuell de Fonseca Meza supervizors and overseers earnestly desiring them that they will be aiding and assisting unto my said Wife and Executrix by and with their best advice and Councell in what they may in and for the due execution and performance of this my said Will according to my intent and meaning hereafter declared And as touching the Temporal Estate which it hath pleased G-od to lend me. I doe dispose thereof in manner and forme following : First I doe give and bequeath unto the poore of my Nation in London Thirtie pounds to be distributed unto and amongst them according to the discretion of my said Executrix and to the poor of the parish of Saint Katherine Creechurche Tenn pounds. Item I give and bequeath unto Charles Rayworth my Servant Twentie pounds in case he shall continue and live with my said Wife and Executrix untill the full expiration of his time Item I doe give and bequeath unto Deborah Nunez my servant six pounds and unto Anne Somers and Marie Marison my two other servants three pounds apeece. Item I doe give and bequeath unto my loving Cozins Moses Atias and Abraham de Touar Twentie pounds apeece and unto my said Cozin Manuell de Fonseca Meza I doe give One hundred pounds sterling. And all the rest and residue of my monies, Goods Chattells and Estate whatsoever hereby unbequeathed my debts Legacies and Funerall Charges being first paid and deducted I doe will give devise and dispose of the same in this manner. That is to say one just Third part thereof I doe leave and give unto my said Wife and Executrix Mary Fernandez Cavaiall. Item one other just Third part thereof unto my Sonne George And the other Third part thereof unto my Sonne Joseph. To be paid unto them at their severall and respective ages of One and Twentie yeares : And if either of them my said Sonnes shall die before he shall attaine the age of Twentie and One yeares, then the part and portion of the deceased shall come and belong unto the Survivr of them : And I doe will and desire that my said Cozin Manuell de Fonseca Meza with the assistance and consent of my said Wife and approbation of my said Brothers in Lawe Manuell Rodrigue3S Nunez and Simon de Soza shall be imployed and have the Government and Management of my Trade affaires and busines And that if anie busines for Straingers or other mens accompts shall be continued in my house one h?lfe of all the provision or profitts thereof shall come and belong to my Estate : And the other h?lfe he the said Manuell de Fonseca shall have and enjoye to his owne use for and in consideration of his care and pain es to be therein taken who shall be besides gratifyed according to the good will and pleasure of my said Executrix for that he shall doe in the business which shall concerne and be for the accompt</page><page sequence="34">88 CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH. propper of my Estate, revoking and making voyd and of none effect all former or other Wills Testaments Codicills and bequests by me heretofore made or given desiring this to stand for and as my last Will and Testament to be accompted and noe other. In Witness whereof I the said Anthonio Fernandez Carvaiall have hereunto put my hand and seale the One and Twentieth day of October in the yeare of our Lord Grod One thousand six hundred fiftie and nyne : Anthonio Fernd Carvaiall : Signed Sealed published and declared the day and yeare above said in the presence of Samuell Poyner, Lucas Emans Jo: Marius Noty Publiqe 1659. This Will was proved att London the third day of the month of December in the yeare of our Lord Grod One thousand six hundred fiftie and nyne before Judges for Probate of Wills and granting Administration lawfully authorised by the oath of Mary Fernandez Carvaiall the Relict and sole and only Executrix named in the above written Will to whome Administration of all and singular the goods, chattells and debts of the said deceased was granted and committed she being first legally sworne truly and faythfullie to administer the same.</page></plain_text>