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Debt in Elizabethan England: the adventures of Dr Hector Nunez, physician and merchant

Charles Meyers

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Debt in Elizabethan England: the adventures of Dr Hector Nunez, physician and merchant CHARLES MEYERS* 'His means are in supposition. He hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies. I understand moreover on the Rialto, he hath a third for Mexico, a fourth for England and other ventures he hath squandered aboard. But ships are but boards, sailors but men. There be land-rats and water-rats, water thieves and land thieves, I mean pirates, and then there is the peril of the waters, winds and rocks. The man is, notwithstanding, sufficient' (The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene 3.) Heitor or Hector Nunez was born in Evora in Portugal in about 1520. His parents were 'New Christians', that is Jews who had been baptized by force in 1497 on the orders of King Manoel I. He received his BA degree from the University of Coimbra in 1540, and his MB in 1543.1 In 1545 a Heitor Nunes, who may or may not have been the same man, paid 1200 reis for the office of Clerk of the Orphans in the town of Gr?ndola.2 However, before long he had to leave Portugal for fear of the newly established Portuguese Inquisition. The first contemporary evidence we have of his arrival in England is the inclu? sion of his name in the Lay Subsidy list for London of April 1549,3 although in an Admiralty Court case of 1576 he claimed to have been an English resident for over thirty years.4 Hector Nunez lived in London and used to send his uncle, Henrique Nunes, a physician and merchant in Bristol, the correct dates of the Jewish festivals.5 This shows that he was committed to Judaism. In 1554 he was elected a Fellow of the College of Physicians and thus licenced to practise medi? cine in England in accordance with the College's Charter.6 In 1563 he was elected Censor of the College. The Censors' task was to examine candidates and to decide whether they should be granted the College of Physicians' licence to practise. The post was therefore normally reserved for doctors of medicine. On his election as a Censor, Nunez is described as 'Doctor' in the College Annals. In later life, and in his will, Hector Nunez described himself as 'Doctor of Physic'. Like his uncle in Bristol, he traded as a merchant as well as practising medicine. Hector Nunez' trade was much as would be expected of a Portuguese merchant in London. He exported English cloth7 and imported dyestuffs, wine,8 figs,9 * Based on a paper presented to the Society on 14 November 1996. It has been redrafted by Edgar Samuel, who also supplied the texts included in the Appendices. 125</page><page sequence="2">Charles Meyers almonds,10 oil/1 sugar and Spanish wool. He dealt in jewels and spices. He was also invoked in insurance, both as an insurant and as an underwriter.12 Another activity, which must have been both profitable and time-consuniing, was prosecut? ing claims in the English courts on behalf of his correspondents in Antwerp and Portugal. This mainly involved attempts to recover ships or cargoes captured by English privateers. It is worth tracing his activities over the years, as they are revealed in\the copious commercial litigation in which he engaged. In 1563 hd sued one George Vincent of Southampton for restitution of a cargo on board the John of Guernsey.13 In 1563-5 he Sued Charles Wilson, Thomas Hewson.and Edward Cosin for restitution of a cargo of 186 loaves of refined sugar and 91 barrels of molasses from the St John of Portugal, which had been seized at Qillingham on the way from Madeira to Antwerp and then taken to Holy Island, south of Berwick-upon Tweed, where the ship and cargo were sold off.14 Nunez seems to have acted as agent for his correspondents in Antwerp on behalf of Alvara Mendes, Fernando Alvares, Antonio Alvares, John de Braganza, Ruis Dias and Gaspar Fernandes. It is difficult to see how an English privateer could claim that the capture of a Portuguese ship and cargo was lawful, when England and Portugal were at peace. In 1564, when the Prodigal Child was spoiled by French pirates, Nunez claimed to have lost ?806.15 On 10 May 1565 he shipped a consignment of cochineal to Antwerp on The Angel of Antwerp.16 On 29 September 1566 he married Leonor (otherwise Elinore) Freire of Antwerp,17 who also came from a Portuguese crypto-Jewish family. They lived in Mark Lane in the City of London. Her brothers were merchants and they collab? orated with him in many ventures.18 The most dramatic of Hector Nunez' lawsuits to recover a stolen cargo was the case of a ship named The White Dog, which had been seized in'Plymouth harbour in 1567 on the way from Barbary to Antwerp. Her cargo, which was claimed to be worth ?1000, consisted of 8 hogheads of paneles (that is brown sugar) and 45 pipes, 34 puncheons, 20 barrels and 15 quarts of molasses. Such a cargo certainly did not originate in Morocco, but presumably came from the Portuguese sugar-producing colonies of Sao Thome or Brazil-and had bypassed Lisbon which officially had a monopoly of Portuguese colonial produce. The White Dog was seized in Plymouth harbour by Captain Philip Butteshead of The New Bark, armed with Letters of Reprisal issued by the Prince of Conde against the ships of the Holy League.19 The goods were then transhipped in The New Bark, and also in The t)uek belonging to William Hawkins, mayor of Plymouth, to Conde's stronghold in France, La Rochelle, where they were sold off to Nicholas Culverwell of Plymouth, who loaded them into William Meredith's two Plymouth ships, the Antelope and he Pasqua (or Pascoe) and brought them to the Pool of 126</page><page sequence="3">Debt in Elizabethan England London, where the goods were unloaded into lighters and landed at Young's Key.20 There the ships and cargoes were arrested by the Lord High Admiral at Nunez' suit. Culverwell claimed that he had bought the goods in 'market overt', but Nunez' argued that he had not, and that the resale had been rigged. Evidence was given that public sales at La Rochelle were announced by blast of trumpet, but that no trumpet had been sounded at this sale21 and the goods had been sold below the La Rochelle price.22 Nunez entered into a series of manoeuvres in the Admiralty Court to try to recover these cargoes23 from this act of piracy by William Hawkins and his confederates. We do not know the final outcome. On 22 January 1566 (or 1567 according to the Gregorian calendar), Nunez was arrested for a debt of ?100, claimed by one Diego de Genniez, and imprisoned in the Marshalsea.24 In Early English Common Law a creditor could recover a debt adjudged to him by a civil court in one of three ways: he could apply for a writ of fieri facias, which commanded the sheriff to sell enough of the defendant's goods and chattels to satisfy the judgment and costs of the suit;25 he could procure a writ of levari facias, which ordered the sheriff to seize the defendant's property and to apply the rents and profits of his lands until the debt was satisfied;26 or he could apply for a writ of capias ad satisfaciendum, under the Statute of Merchants of 1285.27 This would cause the debtor to be imprisoned until he paid the debt. It was worth imprisoning a debtor only if he possessed assets but refused to pay up, but the debtor could be imprisoned even if he had no means. However, if the debtor was imprisoned, the creditor could not also levy execution on his goods.28 It was therefore against his interest to release him with the debt unpaid. William Fox was a London draper who insured one of Hector Nunez' cargoes in 1567 for ?100, for which he received a premium of ?7. The ship and cargo were lost. Fox failed to pay the agreed sum. Moreover he owed Nunez ?13 4s 8d in respect of an earlier purchase of a jewel. He therefore gave him his bond t0 pay ?J33 l3$ 4-d by a later agreed date. He paid Nunez ?37 4s 8d but failed to pay the balance. As a result, he was sent to the Fleet Prison and was still there ten years later. In 1588 Fox petitioned the Lord Chancellor to be released. Nunez claimed that he still possessed sufficient property to pay his debt and refused to release him.29 In 1568 Nunez also sued George Diaz, a Portuguese merchant, and Patrick Gough, a Dublin merchant, for ?2000 in respect of a bond given by them, which he claimed was forfeit.30 In 1569 he was sued by two London drapers, John Marshal and John Nichol? son, in the Court of Queen's Bench for a debt of ?ioo,31 presumably for cloth supplied by them. In the same year he petitioned the Admiralty Court on behalf of Alvaro Mendes, Emanuel Fernandez, Rodrigo Mendez, Peter Lopez and Stefano Nunez, presum 127</page><page sequence="4">Charles Meyers ably of Antwerp, for the restitution of goods taken from the Seven Hills (Septem Montes) off the Devonshire coast by Henry Kirkham, Thomas Courtney and others.32 In September 1570 Nunez sought warrants from the High Court of Admiralty to arrest The Flying Hart, its master, Nicholas Peters, and Gaspar Stoddard and Constantine Walton, who owed him ?30. Two London merchants, John and Mark Dingley, gave their bonds for the amount sought, to release the ship and the three debtors.33 Hector Nunez' resources were severely damaged by an interloping venture he undertook with a Portuguese pilot named Bartholome Bayon (Bai?o). Bayon had been arrested by the Spaniards in Puerto Rico and sent back to Seville as a prisoner, but had escaped to Portugal. On 20 March 1570 the Spanish Ambas? sador to England, Don Guerau de Espes, reported to Philip II that Bayon had just arrived in London on a Portuguese ship laden with salt and sugar. Nunez decided to invest heavily in a voyage by Bayon, nominally to Barbary (Morocco). Bayon bought two ships in London on credit for ?600, on the security of a joint bond given by Hector Nunez and William Curtys, a London pewterer.34 The circumstances suggest that Bayon planned to break into the Spanish monopoly of trade with their American colonies.35 From Morocco he could go on to Sao Thome or Guinea, load up with slaves and sell them at great profit in Brazil or in New Spain. The venture was doomed to disaster because the Spanish Ambas? sador wrote to Philip II to inform him of the planned voyage and because Bayon's ships put into Spanish ports on the way to Morocco. The king ordered the arrest of Bayon's ships at Ayamonte.36 Nunez lost his investment in the cargo, forfeited his bond and had to compensate Curtys for his loss too. The adventure also had the disadvantage of bringing Hector Nunez and his interloping activities to the attention of the Spanish government, which made it more difficult for him to trade with Spain in the future. His losses on that voyage were said by Zachary Marshall, a servant of Bayon, to have amounted to between ?1500 and ?3700.37 It is surprising that such an experienced merchant should have hazarded so much on a single voyage. At this point Hector Nunez was probably insolvent. However he had friends at Court. On 9 January 1573 the queen issued a letter patent granting him full protection from arrest, imprisonment and distraint for debt for one year,38 which did not solve his problems but gave him some respite. It was reinforced by letters from the Secretary of State, Sir Francis Walsingham, to the Lord Mayor of London, the Master of the Rolls, Sir Thomas Gresham (who was the Queen's financial agent) and to Dr Thomas Wilson (the Master of Requests) asking that any two of them 'send for the creditors of Dr Hector and entreat them to forbear him and his surety for two years upon such bonds as they have, offering to pay them for the principal and 10 per cent profit'.39 This powerful protection suggests that he had started to render services to the English government which were both 128</page><page sequence="5">Debt in Elizabethan England needed and appreciated, but in the absence of evidence we can only attempt to guess what these services were. Walsingham had just been negotiating a commer? cial treaty with Portugal, facilitated by the fact that the Portuguese Ambassador was an Italian and Walsingham, who had lived and studied in Italy, was a fluent Italian speaker. However the Ambassador's correspondence with Lisbon was in Portuguese and it is highly likely that this correspondence was intercepted and that Walsingham needed a trustworthy person to translate these intercepts quickly and in confidence. It is possible that this service was rendered by Hector Nunez. Equally, he may have been rewarded for some other service. On 8 June 1573 the queen granted Dr Hector Nunez a fifteen-year monopoly of the importation of all kinds of Spanish wool for the purpose of making felt for high-quality hats, paying double customs duty, commencing on 24 August 1573.40 Spanish wool from the half starved merino sheep of La Mancha was the finest and most expensive wool on the market. In 1574 he was granted the lands of St Mary's Abbey in Ireland, which had formerly belonged to the Earl of Desmond. This transaction was followed by a series of unsuccessful attempts to win a lawsuit against the earl, with the backing of the Privy Council.41 On 25 June 1575 the queen signed a fresh patent renewing and extending Hector Nunez' monopoly for twenty years until 1595.42 These grants rescued him from the disastrous consequences of the Bayon's voyage. They gave him a more secure source of income than his erratic earnings as a physician and merchant. The distribution of such monopolies was in the hands of Lord Burleigh, the Lord High Treasurer of England, who proved to be his life-long friend and patron.43 In July 1577 Nunez obtained judgment against a syndicate of English under? writers for compensation for the loss of the ship Anna Galante, which had been captured by Zealand privateers on a voyage from Dunkirk to Barbary. It is not clear whether he was appearing as a principal or as the agent of his correspondents abroad, who chose to place their marine insurance in London.44 In 1579 Dr Hector Nunez took English nationality by endenization.45 In 1580 Philip II of Spain occupied Portugal and was crowned king. Dom Antonio, Prior of Crato and pretender to the Portuguese throne, settled in London where Elizabeth recognized him as rightful king of Portugal. He proceeded to issue Letters of Marque to enable English privateers to attack Spanish and Portu? guese shipping.46 Philip II started to prohibit trade between Portugal and England. The war played havoc with the work of any London merchant trading to Spain and Portugal. At this time, in 1582, Hector Nunez must have been fairly prosperous because his household included three clerks and two negresses.47 His Court practice as a physician must also have brought him some income. We have only a few clues to indicate its fashionable quality. In June 1581 Lord Burleigh was ill with a cough and sought the advice of Nunez, who prescribed for him. He also prescribed a barley cream for Lady Burleigh.48 In 1583 Lord Henry Howard, then a prisoner 129</page><page sequence="6">Charles Meyers in the Fleet, wrote to Walsingham to ask permission to consult his old physician 'Dr Hector'.49 In 1584 Hector Nunez sent ?291 worth of goods aboard the St John the Baptist of Dover consigned to his brother-in-law, Pero Freire in Lisbon. Another ?300 worth of goods consigned to Nunez arrived in Lisbon from Calicut in India. Because of the embargo on English trade, Freire could not return the proceeds or the goods to him in London. According to the testimony of Pero's brother, Bernardo Luis Freire (Bernard Lewis), to the High Court of Admiralty, ?1452 worth of goods and money belonging to Hector Nunez were blocked in Lisbon.50 A cargo of woad shipped to Hector Nunez on thejohane at this time was seized in England, which led on to his suing one Roger Norwood of Great Torrington on his bond for ?2000.51 By 1589, when this claim came before John Aubrey, Master in Chancery for assessment, it had escalated with interest and costs to ?3452,52 which shows how dangerous litigation in the Elizabethan courts could be. These reverses, due to the war with Spain, left Nunez very short of ready money and in debt to Sir Horatio Palavicino, the great Genoese merchant and banker, whom he could not repay. On 5 March 1585 Palavicino appealed to Sir Francis Walsingham to pressure Dr Nunez writing that 'his brothers would be willing to wait longer to be repaid if they have good security, for he might die and his property be scattered. If he will provide this, the rest shall be at his pleasure'.53 Dr Nunez did not reach agreement with Palavicino who wrote again to Walsingham on 5 August 1585, pointing out that 'ist August had passed without any payment from Nunez or giving the desired security'. He went on to ask Walsingham to induce him to do so.54 In 1585 the St Francis of Portugal was captured by Captain Edward Fenner and his ship, the Galleon Fenner of Barnstaple.55 Twenty chests of sugar in her cargo had been loaded by Nunez' correspondent Alonso de Basurto. Nunez petitioned the High Court of Admiralty to have these restored to him as a partial compensation for the ?2000 he had lost when his goods were 'arrested' by the king of Spain.56 The Privy Council ordered that he should receive them.57 In 1585 Walsingham, as Secretary of State, employed Hector Nunez to open up peace negotiations with Spain by corresponding with Dr Antonio Castilho, the keeper of the Portuguese royal archives at Torre do Tombo,58 whom he knew well from when he had been the Portuguese ambassador in London in 1580, just before Philip II seized Portugal. Each government set out terms for opening negotiations, but in the end they failed to reach agreement.59 There is good reason to think that Walsingham's heart was not in it, and merely carried out the instructions of the queen and her Privy Council. However, the exchange of correspondence did enable Nunez to send a cargo to Lisbon under safe conduct. 130</page><page sequence="7">Debt in Elizabethan England In 1586 Hector Nunez and his brothers-in-law, Bernardo Luis and Pero (Peter) Freire, persuaded Richard May and George Cullimore to send The Red Lion of London to Lisbon with a cargo of cloth, on the basis of a licence granted by the Marques de Santa Cruz. Once The Red Lion arrived in Lisbon the ship was seized and its cargo impounded in the Customs House.60 Bernardo Luis travelled to Madrid, spent money at Court and eventually succeeded in procuring the vessel's release, but bribes had to be laid out so the voyage was unprofitable. Bernardo Luis was imprisoned in Madrid, where he died. This embroiled Hector Nunez, and after his death in 1591 his widow, in a long, expensive lawsuit. In 1588 Mrs Mary May, widow and executrix of Richard May who had died on 29 January 1587, commenced an action in the Court of Queen's Bench against Hector Nunez claiming damages of ?4645 2s 4d.61 This was followed by a counteraction by Elinore Nunez in the Chancery Court which was not resolved until 1599, eight years after Hector Nunez' death. Richard Venables, a merchant, testified for Mrs Nunez that The Red Lion had returned to London with a cargo of figs, raisins and wine. If Richard May had received a small share of the proceeds, it was because he had invested only a small share in the venture.62 In 1586 Hector Nunez, Bernardo Luis, George Culliver and William Holliday brought a suit against Robert Vaughan to recover 90 tons of figs belonging to them, which had been seized by Captain Cawfield from the St Peter of Hamburg in Pwlhelli harbour.63 On 9 May 1587 Nunez exported 10 Kentish long cloths and 20 narrow Devon? shire dozens to Middelburg, Flushing, on the Aid of London, with the licence of the Lord Treasurer.64 In the same year he wrote to Lord Burleigh on behalf of his correspondent Luis Fernandes of Antwerp to request the restitution of goods consigned to him from Calicut on board the Portuguese East Indiaman the St Philip, which had been taken prize by Sir Francis Drake.65 In 1590 a Portuguese ship named as Our Lady of Good Voyage, carrying a cargo of 9000 hides from the Indies (South America), was captured by an English privateer named The Sea Dragon.66 Hector Nunez claimed that 1099 of them were consigned to him, and he sued the owners of The Sea Dragon, Alexander Cox, George Bassett, Ralph Bowes and William Holliday, in the Admiralty Court for compensation,67 one would have thought with little chance of success, since in this time of war they were licensed to capture Portuguese ships. At the same time Hector Nunez, Peter (Pero) Freire and Nicholas Pill also sued Alexander Cox for damages relating to The Angel of Ostend, which had been taken prize and renamed The Green Dragon69, In 1590 Dr Hector Nunez bought a flyboat, The Hound of London, from Andrew Broome and Christopher Jobson69 on credit for ?240? and mortgaged his Spanish wool patent to them for a loan of ?i6o.71 The wool licence was Hector Nunez' most valuable commercial asset, but its value must have been 131</page><page sequence="8">Charles Meyers much reduced while England and Spain were at war, and the trade was disrupted by Spanish embargoes on direct trade and by the capture of Spanish cargoes by privateers, not to mention unlicensed imports of Spanish wool by Norwich and West Country clothiers. He loaded The Hound with cargo and sent it to Lisbon where his factor loaded it with Portuguese goods for Calais, but the ship leaked and the cargo suffered water damage, so the vessel was caulked in Calais and sent to S?o Miguel in the Azores to load green woad for England.72 Broome and Jobson sued Nunez, and his brother-in-law Fernando Alvares, in the Mayor's Court for ?240 owing to them for The Hound. The action was continued after his death in the Court of Requests against his widow and executrix, Mistress Elinore Nunez.73 Her nephew, Lewis Alvares, a scholar at Westminster aged nineteen, testified on her behalf that Nunez was 'often griped and overwrought' because of his business dealings with Andrew Broome. He testified that Broome had spoken with Dr Nunez ten days before he died. Nunez begged that he should 'truly tell him whether he owed him any additional monies than what was cited in Nunez' account and copy'. Broome told him that he did not owe additional monies except 'onlie the money which he had lent Nunez upon his wool licence, ?167 10s od'. Lewis Alvares testified that while ill in bed Nunez had sold Edward Nicholas, grocer of London Bridge, three bags of pepper and two baskets of camphor for ?166 12s od. Dr Nunez received some cash as part-payment and the rest would be paid in six months. However, Broome's partner, Christopher Jobson, appropri? ated the goods for an alleged debt owed by Nunez.74 The inference from this evidence was that Nunez' debt to Broome and Jobson had been fully cleared in his lifetime and his widow owed them nothing. Dr Hector Nunez traded as a London merchant for some forty years. We do not have his books so do not know how much capital he had or how profitable his business was at different stages in his career. Apart from the sale to Edward Nicholas, we do not have any record of his trading in East Indian spices. We have only one reference to his dealing in jewels, the sale of a jewel to William Fox. We know nothing of successful adventures which passed off without incident and yielded him a profit. The impression given by his litigation is of a man perpetually struggling to free himself from debt. A good part of his estate must have been expended by his widow in defending the lawsuits brought against her after his death, but we do not know how much he left her. Professor David Katz describes Hector Nunez as a man who became 'wealthy and successful'.75 That is an over-simplification. The evidence suggests that in the 1560s he had very limited resources. He traded probably as a commission agent for correspondents in Antwerp and Portugal and on a very small scale on his own account. In 1573, as we have seen, he was in severe difficulty. For some ten years between 1574 and 1583 he was involved in very little litigation. These seem to have been years of prosperity during which he traded on his own account, 132</page><page sequence="9">Debt in Elizabethan England drew an income from his monopoly of Spanish wool and built up his capital, because the values of his cargoes in the last decade of his life are much larger. After 1583, when England was at war with Spain and Portugal, his fortune appears to have been severely damaged; but we cannot say how badly, because although we know about his liabililties, we have no accurate information on his assets. The fact that he mortgaged his licence to import Spanish wool in 1590 suggests that he was then in difficulties, but given the difficulties of enforcing his monopoly, the value of the licence may by then have been very limited. It is clear that his widow had sufficient assets to be worth suing and to be able to defend expensive law suits. Dr Hector Nunez made his will while on his death bed, on 1 September 1591. It reveals a great deal about him. First of all there is his declaration of faith, in which, in superb Protestant language but without any reference to Jesus, he expresses the Jewish hope to be bound up in the bundle of Eternal Life. His personal bequests total ?150, in addition to which he left ?2 a quarter (?28) to John Gathorne, Citizen and Haberdasher, for managing the remaining three and a half years of his Spanish wool monopoly. This sum does not suggest that the wool licence was then yielding very much, but the bequest implies that it was no longer mortgaged. The legacies are prudently and carefully calculated. He left ?g to public charities - to the poor of St Olave Hart Street and to the Orphanage at Christ's Hospital: ?12 10s od to his friend Alonso Basurto; ?20 os od to his domestic servants; and ?102 10s od towards the dowries of his wife's nieces and the school fees of her two nephews. He also left mourning rings to Serjeant Thomas Owen MP and to two barristers of Lincoln's Inn whom he appointed Overseers of his will and urged to aid his wife. The implication is that they were the team of lawyers fighting his two lawsuits with Mrs May and Andrew Broome. He also invokes the help of Lord Burleigh, whom he describes as his Verie good lorde' or patron, and of Sir Thomas Heneage, the Queen's Vice-Chamberlaine. The amounts bequeathed are small and prudently calculated.76 They imply a solvent household of modest resources. We do not know the value of his residuary estate. Elizabethan merchants did not have an easy time, still less if they were Mer? chant Strangers. Debts were inordinately difficult to collect. Liquidity was con? stantly vulnerable to a chain reaction of commercial failures or to the disastrous outcome of one or two voyages. Banking in Elizabethan London was limited to loans made between merchants, including Italian merchant-bankers such as the Palavicinos. The protection of some great man about the Court was needed in order to survive. Moreover, the privatization of warfare greatly increased the hazards of maritime trade. The case of William Hawkins, the mayor of Plymouth, and his confederates making prizes of foreign ships sheltering from storms in Plymouth harbour and selling them off to Plymouth merchants at La Rochelle, 133</page><page sequence="10">Charles Meyers shows how weak was the power of central government to enforce the law. But then again, had the queen hanged William and John Hawkins or Francis Drake as pirates, as they probably deserved, Parma or Spain might indeed have dared invade the borders of her realm. Dr Hector Nunez combined his medical practice with the wide-ranging inter? national trade of a Portugal merchant. His commercial career was fraught with difficulties. His business survived, just, thanks to the protection of Lord Burleigh and of Burleigh's man, Sir Francis Walsingham, but his prosperity fluctuated greatly. NOTES 1 Archives of the University of Coimbra. Livro de Autos e Provas de Curso, Vol. 3, f caderne 101 v and 20 caderno 223. 2 Arquivo Nacional de Torre do Tombo, Lisbon. Chancelaria de D. Jfo?o III. L.25. 3 Publications of the Huguenot Society X, Part I, 167. 4 Public Record Office (hereafter PRO). HCA 14/16, N.i 48, HCA Exemplifications 1576. 5 This was stated by Thomas Fernandes to the Lisbon Inquisition. Cecil Roth, 'The Case of Thomas Fernandes before the Lisbon Inquisition' JfHSE Misc. II (1935) 40, citing Lisbon Inquisition processo 9449. 6 Royal College of Physicians, Annales - Admissis est ci colleg?. . . e quintijfulii Hector Nones Hispane Bacchalaurens. 7 PRO London Port Books Exports, Aliens, E 190/1/4, F11V, 9 June 1565 - Hector Nones of Portugal exported 6 remnants of cloth and 48 yards of broadcloth to Antwerp on the Le Cocke of Antwerp paying ?1 os 6zd in customs duty. Bristol Port Books Exports 1575-6, 109/1129/12 F.i 20 and Ei 90/1129/21 F.11D. On 2nd August and 31st August 1576 Hector Nonnez, London merchant alien shipped to Lisbon on board the Minion two packs containing 17 bayes 20 tufted mockadoes, valued at ?60 6s 8d. London Port Books Exports, G90/1/4 P18D. George of Antwerp. Hector Nonas of Portugal sent to Antwerp the following goods: 18 Devonshire dozens narrow, two bundles of 18 Devonshire dozens narrow and 20 goods cotton Cheshire. 8 PRO Port Books, London, Michaelmas 1568, E190/4/2. (Published by Brian Dietz, The Port and Trade of Elizabethan London, Documents [London Record Society 1972] 89) Hector Nonns imported 19 butts of sack (nett 17 butts) from Cadiz on The Pelican of London. ?i 5 s 6d duty on 4 June 1568. 9 HCA 3/19, Books, Easter 1583- ; December 1586; 3 December 1586; 13 December 1586. HCA 13/20, HCA Account Books; 13 June 1587. HCA 13/26, 20 June 1587. 10 Port Books, London, Imports, Aliens, 1589 E 190/8/2 F.61D, 17 September 1589. Dr Hector Nunes imported 30 gallons of sweet oil and one bag containing iz cut almonds. Value ?6. 11 Port Books, London, Imports, Aliens, 1589 E190/8/2 F. 36D. Hector Nonis denizen imported 14 hogsheads of Seville oil, value ?28. 12 Charles Meyers, 'Dr Hector Nunez: Elizabethan Merchant' Trans JHSE XXVIII (1984) 129-31. 13 HCA 38/6, Admiralty Warrants 1561-3, 23 February 1563. 14 HCA Exemplifications 1364-5, HCA 14/7 50, and 53-60. 15 PRO SP 78/3, 3 July 1579. 16 London Port Books, Exports, Ei 90/1/4. 17 Lucien Wolf, 'Jews in Elizabethan England' Trans JfHSE XI (1928) 9 citing Bannerman, Registers of St Olave, Hart Street, p. 248. 18 See Lucien Wolf, ibid. 19 HCA 3/137 F319, 9 March 1569. See also Dictionary of National Biography, art. Hawkins, William. 20 HCA 13/17, p. 112D, 15 June 1569. 21 Ibid p. 93D. 22 Ibid p. 94, 4 June 1569. 23 HCA 24/39-40, HCA 38/71567, HCA Warrants 1565-7, 22 September 1565. Action for ?200 to arrest The Antelope and William Meredith, HCA 3/13, HCA Act Books, F309, F.322D, 9 March 1569, 18 June 1569; ?300 in the hands of John Hawkins and Philip Butteshead 134</page><page sequence="11">Debt in Elizabethan England arrested. HCA 13/17, F.50D, F.68, 19 May 1569, 14 June 1565. 24 PRO, KB 27/1217, 22 January 1566. 25 Statutes of the Realm, 13 Edward I, Chapter 18. See Theodore F. T. Plunkett, A Concise History of the Common Law (Boston 1956) 390. 26 See Plunkett, ibid. 27 13 Edward I. 28 William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 111:407. 29 PRO, C2/Elizabeth, F.132, 24 January 1588. 30 HCA 14/8, Exemplifications 1567-8, 31 August 1568. 31 KB27/1233 N. 86D, 5 February 1569. 32 HCA 14/9, Exemplifications 1568-9, F. 24, June 1569. HCA 24/42, HCA Libels 1570-1571, Nos 39-41. 33 HCA 38/7, Admiralty Warrants 1565-1571, 17 September 1570. HCA 3/14, HCA Act Books, P. 233D, 27 September 1570. 34 PRO, LC4/191 F. 239V, 27 November 1571. C 24/104, M. 4 1572. 35 See the letter of Antonio de Vega to Don Bernardino de Mendoza of 30 April 1587, printed in David S. Katz, The Jews in the History of England 1485-1850 (Oxford 1994) 61. 36 Julian Paz, History of Spain: Catalogue of the Collection of Unedited Documents II (Madrid i93i) 33 37 C24/104 M.3, 11 April 1572. 38 C 66/1096, M.30, 9 January 1573. 39 Acts of the Privy Council of England, New Series Ylll (1571?1575) 128. 40 C66/1096/136. Published in Calendar of the Patent Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office - Elizabeth I volume VI, 1572-1575 (HM Stationery Office, London 1982) 30. 41 Acts of the Privy Council of England, New Series IV. There are numerous references to Nunez' long dispute with the Earl of Desmond. 42 Patent Roll C66/1151/1421. Published in Calendar of the Patent Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office - Elizabeth I, Volume VII, 1575-1578 (HM Stationery Office, London 1982) 206-7. 43 See Nunez' will in Appendix 2 below. 44 Charles Meyers (see n. 12) 130. 45 C 66/1176 M. 23 Patent Roll 21 Elizabeth 1579 Part 2, 4 June 1579. 46 See Antonio de Egana, SJ, Monumenta Missionem Societatis Jesu - Monumenta Peruana (Rome 1961) 558. 47 R.E.G. Kirk and Ernest F. Kirk (eds) Returns of Aliens dwelling in the City and suburbs of London from the reign ofHenry VIII to that of James I (Huguenot Society, Aberdeen 1908) 1:295. 48 Conyers Read, Lord Burleigh and Queen Elizabeth (London 1959) 261. 49 Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Marquis of Salisbury (or Cecil Manuscripts) Part II (Historical Manuscripts Commission). 50 HCA 13/25 F.280D, 11 November 1584. 51 C 3/227/72 M2, October 1587? 52 C 3/227/72, 10 January 1589. 53 Calendar of State Papers - Foreign, of the Reign of Elizabeth, August 1584-August 1585, p. 712. 54 Ibid. 5 5 Dictionary of National Biography Supplement II, art. Fenner, Edward. 56 HCA 3/10, Act Books Easter 1583, December 1586, 15 November 1586. HCA 14/ 23 N. 58, Exemplifications 1583-6. 57 Acts of the Privy Council of England, New Series IV. 58 See Joaquim Verissimo Serr?o, Hist?ria de Portugal, III, 0 Seculo de ouro (1493-1380), (Lisbon 1980) 82. 59 Calendar of State Papers ? Foreign, of the Reign of Elizabeth (1383-1386), XX, 62. 60 Calendar of State Papers - Domestic, Addenda, of the Reign of Elizabeth (1366-79), VII, 531 61 KB 27/1331 N. 313, 20 March 1588. 62 C24/250 P.4, 22 January 1596. 63 HCA 3/19, Act Books, 3 December 1586, 13 December 1586. 64 London Port Books Exports, E 190/7/7, F24, 9 May 1587. 65 Calendar of State Papers - Domestic (1381 90), 431. 66 PRO HCA24/58 N. 125, HCA Libels. 67 HCA 3/21 P. 222, 20 February 1591. 68 KB 27/1315, No. 390 Anglia Michaelmas 32-33, Elizabeth I (1590). 69 PRO, REQ 2/64/22, F.i 1591; REQ. 2/ 158/55, F.48, Nos 24-5. 70 REQ. 2/245/57, M- *? 71 REQ. 2/158/155, F. 34, N. 6. 72 REQ 2/245/67, M. 11, October 1590. 73 REQ 2/245/67, M. 1 &amp; 2, 7 May 1597. 74 REQ2/158/155, M. 33 N. 7 and F. 34, N. 6. 75 David S. Katz, The Jews in the History of England 1483-1830 (Oxford 1994) 52. 76 See Appendix 2 below. 135</page><page sequence="12">Charles Meyers Appendix I The letters patent granting Dr Hector Nunez a monopoly of the importation of Spanish wool1 8 June 1573. Licence for 15 years for Hector Nounez, doctor of physic, born a Portuguese subject, to be the sole importer into England from the dominions of the King of Spain of all manner of Spanish wrought and unwrought wool suitable for the making of hats and felts, and there to store and sell the same in gross or by retail [m. 8] to any the Queen's subjects; from the feast of St. Bartholomew the Apostle next; he is to receive upon the sale of the same 33s 4d the 'rove' (that is to say 25 pounds weight) of 'Mancha' wool, which is the finer wool, and 30s for 'Byska' wool, which is coarser; provided that, as he has agreed, he will pay double the custom and subsidy for such wool that merchant strangers are bound to pay for the like goods; the treasurer and barons of the Exchequer are, upon request, to issue writs to the customers and collectors of ports giving instructions for the due performance of this licence. In consideration that Nones will continue in this trade, which has increased the number and quality of felts manuactured in Eng? land besides setting many of the Queen's subjects to work, be having invented and used it at great charge and travail, but having received small profit therefrom; and that he will pay double the custom and subsidy. 25 June 1577. Licence for 20 years for Hector Nunez, doctor of physic, born a subject of the King of Portugal, or his factors or deputies appointed in writing, to buy in Spain and Navarre or other dominions of the King of Spain and import Spanish wrought and unwrought wool fit for the making of hats or felts; from the present date; provided that he shall receive [m. 3] upon sale of the same for the rove (that is to say 25 lbs weight) of the growth of Mancha which is the finer sort, not above 33s 4d and for the coarser sort called Biskey wool not above 30s. the rove; provided also that he shall pay for the customs and subsidies of every hundred weight imported 4s 2d, which is double the duty which he and other merchants strangers commonly before the year 11 Eliz. paid; the treasurer and barons of the Exchequer shall at the licensee's request direct writs close or patent to customers, collectors and controllers in the city and port of London or other places in England commanding them not to receive any payment, make any entry in their books or make any agreement for duties for any the wools aforesaid except in the name and by the consent of the licensee; no other persons to attempt the importation of any of the said Spanish wools or do anything to the prejudice of the licensee, on pain of forfeiture of the wool, whereof one moiety shall go to the Crown and the other to Christ's hospital in London for the relief of the poor children and infants there; customers, [m. 4] 136</page><page sequence="13">Debt in Elizabethan England searchers and other officers in any port of England and Wales shall upon request made by the licensee search any ship and take note of all the wools before men? tioned as shall there be found, giving the licensee notice thereof without delay, and, if they refuse or neglect to do so, the licensee may lawfully make search. Nunez in the time of Queen Mary devised and has hitherto used the trade of bringing in the wools aforesaid which serve only for the making of felts, by reason whereof there has been greater plenty of felts and of finer sort and better fashion made in England than in any other country; which has been very commodious for the setting on work of many of the Queen's subjects and the profit of her subjects and country; he has been at great charges about the same and has as yet (it is reported) received small profit thereby, but is willing to continue the trade and pay the duty above mentioned. NOTE i (C66/1096/136. Published in Calendar of the Patent Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office - Elizabeth I, Volume VI, 1572-1575 (HM Stationery Office, London 1982) 30; and Patent Roll C66/1151/1421. Published in Calendar of the Patent Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office - Elizabeth I, Volume VII, 1575-1578 (HM Stationery Office, London 1982) 206-7.) Appendix II The will of Dr Hector Nunez, 15912 It is instructive to compare the opening statement of Christian religious faith in the will of John Allyn with Dr Hector Nunez' statement of faith. Nunez' will was clearly drawn by his notary, George Samwill. The language is Protestant but there is no mention of Jesus or of vicarious atonement. EXTRACT FROM THE WILL OF JOHN ALLYN, 15QI: First I bequeath my sowie to Almightie Qod my creator and to Jesus Christ his sonne my Redeemer, by whose death and passion, I trust and believe faithfully to be saved. THE WILL OF DR HECTOR NUNEZ, 1591: In the name of the Almightie God, which of nothing created all the world and created allso my self unworthie sinner as the least worme of the earthe. I humbly beseache him for his mercie sake to have no respect unto the aboundaunce of my sinnes but to take mercie and compassion of my poor soule, the which he created to his similitude, and to give the same together with my bodie, at the resurrecon thereof, place in the lande of the lyvinge and with his chosen, so that with them together, I may give him glorie and praise. The text continues: 137</page><page sequence="14">Charles Meyers I Hector Nunez Doctor in Phisicke borne in the Dominions of Portugale resident at this present in the Cittie of London and subject to the Sovereign Ladie Elizabeth, Queene of this realm of England lyinge in my bedd in my perfect memorie and understandinge but sicke in bodie do make and ordaine this my last will and Testament in manner and forme followinge. That is to saye: First: I will, and by this present Testament do ordaine, that my bodie shall be buried withoute anie pomp in the Churchyard of the parishe church of Stebenhith in the Countie of Middx, as neighe unto the place where my sister in lawe Gratia Frere lyeth buried, as conveniently may be. Item: I will and ordaine that my Executrix, hereunder named, shall cause to be set a grave stone of marrable uppon my grave and thereon shall cause to be graven certaine letters declaringe who lyeth hereunder buried. And after my bodie buried, I will that all such debtes and duties as I owe of right or in conscience to anie person or persons shal be within convenient tyme well and trewly paied or order taken for the paymente thereof. Item: I give and bequeth the somme of fowre poundes of currant money of Englande to be given and distributed to the poore of the parishe of Saint Olave in Hartstreete in London (of which parrish I am a parishioner) on the daie of my buriall at the discretions of the Executrix and Overseers hereunder named. Item: I give and bequeathe unto Helinor, Blanch and Elizabeth, the children of my brother, Ferdinando Alvares the somme of Thirtie and seven poundes and ten shillings. That is to saye to everie of them the somme of Twelve pounds and Tenne shillings of lawfull money of Englande to be paied unto them and everie of them at their severall dayes of marriage or full age of twentie and one yeares, which shall happen nexte after my decease. And if it shall happen anie of the said children to die or decease out of this present worlde before their said marriages or full age of Twenty and one yeares, then, in such case, my will and mynde is by this my last will I do devise that the part and portion of her and them so deceasinge shall wholy remayne and be paied to her and them overlyvinge. Item: I give and bequeath to Blanche, daughter of my sister, Agnes Frere the somme of twentie and five poundes of lawfull money of Englande to be paied unto herr at the daie of her mariage or full age of twentie and one yeares which first shall happen after my decease. Item: I give and bequeathe unto my good friend Alonso de Bazurto the somme of twelve poundes and tenne shillings of lawfull money of England to be paied unto him within three monethes after my decease. Item: I will and by this my prsent Testamente do devise that my Executrix hereunder named shall yearly, during the continuance of my licence graunted by her maiestie for woolle, well and trewlie paie or cause to be paied to John Cathorne citizen and haberdasher of London the somme of eight poundes of lawfull money of England at fowre usual quarter daies in everie yeare by even portions, which yearly somme of eight poundes I will give and bequeath unto the said John Gathorne, in consideration of his paines taken and to be taken in receyvinge the profitts of the same licence during the contynuance thereof. The first payment to begine at such of the fowre sVall quarter daies as first shall happen after my decease. Item: I give and bequeath &amp; by this my prsent testamente do devise that my said executrix shall yearly in everie year after my decease will Lewes the sonne of Agnes Frere aforesaid shall accomplish the full age of twentie years at the fowre usuall quarter daies aforesaid well and trewly paie or cause to be paied to the said Lewes the summe of tenne poundes of lawfull money of Englande which yearlie payments of tenne poundes I give and bequeathe unto the said Lewes towards his educacon in learninge the first paymente to be made at such of the said fowre quarter daies as shall next ensue after my decease. 138</page><page sequence="15">Debt in Elizabethan England Item: I will and by these prsents do devise that my said Executrix here under named shall yearely in everie yeare after my decease untill Roger sonne of the said Agnes Frere shall accomplishe the full age of Twentie, at the fowre quarter daies in everie yeare well and trewlie paie or cause to be paied unto the said Roger the somme of six poundes thirteene shillings and fowre pence of lawfull money of England, which yearely payments of six poundes thirteene shillings and fowre pence I give and bequeathe unto the said Roger towards his educacon in learninge. The first paymente to be made at such of the said fowre quarter daies as shall next ensue after my decease. Item: I give and bequeath unto my servaunt Charles Hawkins the somme of tenne poundes of current money of Englande to be paied unto him within three monethes next after my decease. And my will and mynde ys that the said Charles Hawkins shall have entertainmente and abide with my said Executrix duringe so longe tyme as he shall thinke best usinge himself honestly and well performinge all the duties of a servaunte towardes her. Item: I give and bequeath unto Agnes Fletcher the somme of Fortie shillings of lawfull money of Englande to be paied unto her within three monethes after my decease. Item: I give and bequeathe unto Marie and Joane my maide servaunts to each of them the somme of three poundes of like money which severall sommes of three pounds I will shall be paied unto them over and above their wages (in consideration of their paines when with mee in my sickness) within three monethes next after my decease. Item: I give and bequeath unto the poore children harbored in Christs hospitall in London the somme of fyve poundes of lawfull money of Englande to be paied unto them within three monethes next after my decease. Item: I give and bequeath unto Barbara somtyme my servaunte the somme of Fortie shillings of like money to be paied unto her within three monethes next after my decease. Item: I make and ordaine Helinor, my lovinge wief, Executrix of this my last will and testament. And yf so be that the said Helinor shall not be admitted to be Executrix and to have execution of this my presente testament, then I do by these presents give full power and authoritie unto the said Helinor that the said Helinor, by vertue hereof, may name, appoint and choose such indifferent honest person or persons to take upon him or them the execution hereof. And my will ys, in case aforesaid, such person or persons, so to be nominated, shalbe the Executor or Executors of this my present testamente and everie thinge before lymyted to be executed performed and done by my aforenamed Executrix shalbe performed and done by suche Executor or Executors so by my said wief to be named. And for the better execution of all and singular the premisses I entreate and constitute the right worshipfull mr Sergeaunt Owen and my good friendes mr James Daulton and mr Toby Wood of Lincolnes Inne to be my Overseers desiringe them and everie of them to be aidinge and assistinge unto my said Executrix in all such matter and things as she shall neede their helpe and counsell as my assured trust is in them. And for their paines I give to every of them the somme of Fortie shillings to make everie of them a ringe of golde. And most humble sute I do make to the right honourable and my verie good Lorde the Lord Treasurer of England, to whom I acknowledge my self while I lyved of all men in the Worlde to be most behouldinge unto, that yt woulde please him of his honourable goodnesse to aide protect and assist my poore wife in all her needfull and reasonable causes and I shall commend unto God and to his protection his honour and all his noble Familie. And the like request I make unto the right honourable and my good friende Sr Thomas Heneage knight vicechamberlaine of the Queenes maiesties most honourable howshold. And I will that this my prsent Testament, w* the legacies and all other thinges herein named, shall stand and be for my verie last will and Testament and none other or otherwise. 139</page><page sequence="16">Charles Meyers In witness whereof I the said Hector Nunez have hereunto sett my hande and Seale gioven the first daie of September one thoussand fyve hundred ninety and one. And in the three and thirtith yeare of the raigne of our soveraigne Ladie Elizabeth by the grace of God Queen of Englande, Fraunce and Irelande, Defendresse of the Faithe etc. Hector Nunez. James Daulton. Published and Declared the first of September within written in the presence of me George Samwell notarie publique and of me Henrie' Barne and of me John Savadge and of me Charles Hawkins. Probate was granted to Elinor Nunez relict of the Deceased. Since nothing is said about the residuary Estate, she thereby received it. NOTE 2 PROB 11//78 /85-6 The above text retains the original spelling but modern punctuation has been added. 140</page></plain_text>