< Back

Diplomatic Aspects of the Sephardi Influx from Portugal in the Early Eighteenth Century

Richard D. Barnett

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Diplomatie Aspects of the Sephardic Influx from Portugal in the Early Eighteenth Century RICHARD D. BARNETT, C.B.E., M.A., D.Litt., F.B.A., F.S.A. This year (1976) marks the 275th anniver? sary of the opening in Bevis Marks of the noble synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews. In the last twenty-five years, since the late A. M. Hyamson's Sephardim of England was pub? lished to celebrate the synagogue's 250th anniversary, the material for a history of the early years of the London Sephardi community has been very considerably enlarged or revised, almost entirely by members or guest-lecturers of this Society.1 It would take too long to go through all these new contributions now, but the period covered ranges from Professor Beinart's Lucien Wolf Lecture of last year, published in this volume of Transactions, on the personal histories, reconstructed from In? quisition records, of three of the early settlers who clustered round and supported the syna? gogue shortly after its first foundation in Cree Church Lane, to the biography by the late Oskar Rabinowicz of Sir Solomon Medina, principal army contractor to Marlborough's armies.2 The number of Portuguese immigrants, most frequently fleeing from the Inquisition, steadily grew and included prominent and wealthy Jews, not only in the service of Charles II but also in that of William III, coming from Holland. The financial position of its leading members was one thing, that of the Congregation and its finances (called the Sedaca) another. Again and again in their correspondence from 1692 onwards, the Parnasim stress the financial burdens imposed by the increasing number of poverty-stricken immigrants 'more than in any other Kehila'J In 1705, sending a donation via Livorno of 125 pesos from the synagogue fund of Terra Santa, in a letter to the Hahamim and Parnasim of Jerusalem, they regret that the sum is not greater, but explain that its smallness 'is the result of wars and the many people which this Kahal Kados has welcomed from Spain and Portugal whom one must succour as they come fleeing the tyrannies of the Inquisition'.4 This theme of the great influx of impoverished refugees was to be a constant preoccupation of the rulers of the synagogue for the next three decades. It could indeed be borne out by an inspection of the various Treasurers' annual account books, still preserved. It is a common mistake to think of the Spanish and Portuguese as the rich man's synagogue. It was anything but this, though it included a number of ex? tremely wealthy individuals, who were able to shoulder its burdens and build its new syna? gogue. It is possible to obtain a figure of sorts of these immigrants by studying the synagogue's marriage registers, which begin in 1692 and record many couples as 'vindos de Portugal' or occasionally 'vindos de Espanha??'come from Portugal' or from Spain. These are refugees who, having been married with church rites in Portugal, or by a private ceremony without Jewish validity, had to be remarried with full Jewish rites in London before they could enter fully into the Jewish community. Such was the firm decision of the London Mohamad * Paper delivered to the Jewish Historical Society of England on 10 March 1976. 1 M. Woolf, 'The Foreign Trade of London Jews in the Seventeenth Century', Trans. JHSE, XXIV, and idem, 'Eighteenth-Century Shipowners,' Misc. IX; A. S. Diamond, 'The Cemetery of the Re? settlement', Trans.JHSE, XIX, 'The Community of the Resettlement', Trans.JHSE, XXIV, and R. D. Barnett, 'The Burial Register of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews, London 1657-1735', Misc. VI; J. A. Giuseppi, 'Sephardi Jews and the Bank of England', Trans. JHSE, XIX, and idem, 'Early Jewish Holders of Bank of England Stock', Misc. VI. See also notes 3, 5, and 6 for further references. 2 Oskar K. Rabinowicz, Sir Solomon de Medina (JHSE, 1974). 3 Letter to Deputies, Constantinople, 1st Iyar 5465, in R. D. Barnett, 'The Correspondence of the Mahamad . . .', Trans.JHSE, XX, p. 4. 4 Ibid. 210</page><page sequence="2">Diplomatie Aspects of the Sephardic Influx 211 on 1 Tebet 5487 (1727). Dr. Diamond has discussed these problems5 elsewhere and so have I.6 To the number of the vindos de Portugal there has to be added a further considerable num? ber, not so labelled, consisting of marital couples recognisable only from the identical form of their family names7 as refugees from the Peninsula, remarried in Bevis Marks with Jewish rites. These reach a total, over 100 years, from 1691 to 1790, of 298 couples, i.e., 596 souls. To these have to be added bachelors, spinsters, and widows, while from 1715 to 1775, a large number of boys, adolescents, adults, or elderly males are recorded in the synagogue's first circumcision register as having undergone this initiation rite. These, amounting to 210, are also clearly Iberian refugees. The combined totals represent at the very least an influx of 1,500 from 1701 to 1775?a mere drop in the ocean compared to the vast influx of Huguenots from France, one might incidentally remark. How did they come ? Obviously, most often by the sea voyage direct from the Peninsula on board English ships, which were a common sight in Lisbon harbour and other Portuguese ports, especially since John and Paul Methuen had negotiated the so called Methuen treaty of commerce with Portugal in 1703. So much, then, by way of introduction. All this was previously known, though scattered over a variety of papers between 1951 and today. Previous scholars, however, who have studied this phase, had not known or appreci? ated that this sea-exodus of persons fleeing from the Inquisition's brutal oppression had in fact also attracted some hostile notice in Portu? gal and, indeed, became eventually more than once the subject of diplomatic incidents and some tension between the two countries, Portugal and Britain. These matters are revealed and can be recovered from a simple study of the Foreign Ministers' files in the Public Record Office, now listed and accessible for study, though not yet calendared and catalogued.8 We find the Foreign Ministers of Portugal in London make (to us) useful references from time to time to Jews (usually by way of protest); so do the British representa? tives in Lisbon (usually by way of soothing explanations). Accordingly I have been able to make some useful gleanings from this material. It begins over the Inquisition and we find, on 22 June 1720, the British envoy, Mr. Worsley, writing to the Secretary a descrip? tion of the auto-da-fe held in Lisbon on the 16th 'in which 29 men and 14 women came out of the Inquisition for several crimes, but chiefly Judaism and for this too, a man and a woman, were first strangled and then burnt; the man said he was the Messiah and both dyed impenitent'.9 The subject of the Jews in the Iberian Peninsula was not, in fact, wholly new to the Foreign Office at Whitehall. From 1713 to 1720 a series of Spanish diplomatic demarches had taken place on the subject of the Jews who had immigrated into Gibraltar in defiance of the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713.io The spotlight now was to be shifted from Spain to Portugal. On 14 October 1720 the British Consul General in Lisbon, Mr. Burnet, sent a long 5 A. S. Diamond, 'Problems of the London Sephardi Community 1720-23 . . .', Trans. JHSE, XXI, pp. 39-40. 6 R. D. Barnett, 'Dr. Samuel Nunes Ribeiro and the Settlement of Georgia,' in Migration and Settlement (ed. A. Newman), pp. 79-81 and Ap? pendix J. 7 E.g., an entry such as David Vas da Costa married to Michal Vas da Costa, 25 Adar 5501 (Bevis Marks Records II, No. 644), and many others in similar form. 8 The relevant files are in particular SP 44/221, 222 (Naval, Townshend and Carteret); Ambassa? dors, letters from Portugal, SP For. 89/28 (1720); 29 (1721-1723); 30 (1722-1723); 31 (1724-1725); 32 (1725-1727); 33 (1726); 34 (1727); 35 (1728 1729); Ambassadors (drafts to) 36 (1728-1737); 37 (1730-1734); 38 (1735-1736). Also Foreign Mini? sters in England SP 100/38 (1711-1720); 39 (1721-1730); 40 (1731-1749); SP 104/222 (France, Portugal, etc.; King's and Secretary's Letter Book 1723); SP 104/252?Portugal, Foreign Minister in England (Secretary's letter book 1713-45): SP 36/31?SP Dom. Geo. II (1727-1729), SP 89/28, Worsley to Craggs 22 June 1720. 9 From the official printed lista of this auto one can identify this unhappy pair as Domingo Lopes, new Christian, aged 41, a silk weaver of Braganca, born at Mirandella; and Theresa Pays de Jecus, Part new Christian, aged 65, married to Francisco Mendes Simoes, a schoolmaster, born and living at Rio de Janeiro. 10 See Sir Joshua Hassan, 'The Treaty of Utrecht 1713 and the Jews of Gibraltar', JHSE, 1970.</page><page sequence="3">212 Richard D. Barnett report11 to his master, Mr. Graggs, the Secre? tary of State (as the British Foreign Secretary was then called, a quaint custom still preserved in the U.S.A.). He tells him that the Portu? guese Court, much interested by the vast profits that have been realised in the South Sea and Mississippi Companies, is thinking of forming a similar company with a view to paying off its debts. The plan was to raise a fund of ?13 to ?14 millions from a company which, in return for a loan of ?500,000 and a yearly sum, would farm the King's duties, taking them out of the present contractors' hands, victual the Brazils, supply Portugal's African settlements with necessaries in return for slaves, and take over the whole India trade and a small part of the goldmines. But the scheme foundered over a clause which pro? posed immunity from seizure by the Inquisition for the property of Jews and heretics, 'as the only rich merchants here are suspected or lyable to suspicion of Judaism; without such a security they would never have entered into the Company but [would] have continued to keep their effects (as they now do) either in other countreys or so secretly lodged here that the Inquisition cannot reach them.' One of the 'other countreys' was almost certainly England and the manner whereby some of their effects were deposited was by safely investing them in the stock of the newly established Bank of England.12 It was not till 1720 that Portuguese anger was aroused not merely by Jews leaving the country but doing so on board ships of His Britannic Majesty. On 11 November 1720, Mr. Worsley, the British Minister, reports from Lisbon to Craggs13 that Diego de Mendonca, the Portuguese Secretary of State, had made an official complaint, first in general terms, that H.M. warships were protecting delinquents and broken merchants; then, more specifically, he had complained that Capt. Protheroe (H.M.S. The Looe) had received on board a Jew (un? fortunately not named) who owed the Portu? guese King money. Mendonca had in fact come several times to protest and demand this man's surrender, but (adds Worsley) 'this was only a pretence, this man's father being just taken up by the Inquisition; I told the Secretary of State that as he had taken protection on board one of H.M. ships he was supposed to be in Gt. Britain and there? fore his person is not to be delivered up, but that if he had any effects of His Portuguese Majesty, I would write to the Capn. to put them on shore.' He adds that as Borges?the Portuguese Minister in London?will shortly protest about this affair, he himself can also complain of Catholic convents in Portugal where British sailors who desert are received and protected. On 14 January 1721, Worsley reports that he has made his answer to the Portuguese Court about Captain Protheroe. Antonio de Campos Borges, Portuguese envoy in London, duly protested on 17 November14 that British war? ships were receiving merchandise on board without paying duty and were transporting criminal subjects of His Portuguese Majesty, among them some being debtors to the King. It will be noticed that more than one fugitive is now referred to, but any reference to Judaism is carefully omitted, since one may suppose that if it had been involved, the right of religious asylum might have been invoked. The envoy also sternly expressed the hope that the King of England would forbid any Portuguese subject being taken on board a British ship without a passport signed by the Portuguese Secretary of State. The matter then appeared to have been dropped, but this was only a deceptive calm. Evidently receiving little or no satisfaction to their complaints, the Portuguese lost patience. The Portuguese counterstroke came on 17 September 1721 when, on the King's order, the Principal Justice of Court in Criminal Cases entered the house of the firm of Ferdinand Wingfield &amp; Co., arrested four British factors (i.e., members of the British 'factory' at Lisbon) ?namely, Messrs. Wingfield, Bristow, Roberts, and Curry, detained two servants, and seized all cash, books, and accounts. These persons n SP 89/28. 12 Giuseppi, 'Sephardi Jews and the Bank of England', Trans.JHSE, XIX; and idem, 'Early Jewish Holders of Bank of England Stock,' Misc. VI. 13 SP 89/28. 14 SP 100/38, 17 Nov. 1720.</page><page sequence="4">Diplomatie Aspects of the Sephardic Influx 213 were examined on the 22nd and accused of smuggling bullion and coins out of the country, which of course they denied, saying that these were obtained only in payment for goods.15 It may be noted, however, that, as Professor Boxer has shown,16 the massive illegal export of Brazilian gold bullion and diamonds from Portugal to England reached peak proportions during the period 1721-1725. It was chiefly smuggled out in H.M. ships and the Lisbon Falmouth packet-boats, which were legally exempted from being searched. In London a serious view was taken of this sudden Portu? guese assertion of independence, on the grounds that it infringed the terms of the Treaty of Commerce (the Methuen treaty) which guaranteed the merchants immunity from the operation of Portuguese laws. Accordingly, their Lordships of the Admiralty ordered to be mobilised a squadron of the Navy, consisting often ships of the line of 3rd and 4th rate, with two frigates, two fireships and two bomb vessels as auxiliary vessels.17 In deference to this sabre-rattling, the Portuguese released the merchants and their goods, whereupon the squadron, on 16 January 1722, was stood down and disbanded and the smuggling of diamonds and bullion continued as before, but on an ever-increasing scale. For the next four years nothing more was said either about the illegal export of bullion or of the King of Portugal's subjects. It came to a head again in July 1726. This was over the case of Jose da Costa Villareal, who had escaped with his family and a very consider? able sum of money on board the packet-boat to London,18 a dramatic escape which was fully reported in the British and Dutch press.19 This was duly noted and reported back by Galv?o, the new Portuguese Minister in London, and resulted in the Portuguese Secretary of State, Mendonca, protesting vigorously to the British envoy, Brigadier Dormer, that this person was also a debtor to the King. Dormer, however, defends himself by explaining the true facts to the Duke of Newcastle, now Secretary of State.20 'The Poor man' [perhaps 'poor' was not precisely the right word] 'had been twice in the Inquisition and had now certain in? formation of the Inquisitor's orders being out against him. It would have been in? humane to have prevented his going which would inevitably have exposed him to a cruel death . . .' He adds that the fugitive had left his accounts with the King adjusted and a sufficient sum to cover all demands. On 15 August 1726, the Portuguese envoy, Galv?o, once more lodged a written protest21 about refugees with the new Secretary of State, Lord Townshend. He said once more 15 SP 89/29, Burnet to Carteret 29 Sept. SP 44/221, Carteret to the Lords of the Admiralty. 12 Oct. 1721. 16 C. R. Boxer, 'The Portuguese Sea-Borne Empire, 1415-1825' (London, 1969), Appendix III. 17 SP 44/221, Carteret to Lords of the Admiralty, 12 Oct. 1721, also 1 Dec. and 16 Jan. 1722. is SP 104/252, Galv?o to Townshend 15 Aug. 1726. See A. S. Diamond, loc. cit.; and R. D. Barnett, 'Zipra Nunes' Story' in B. W. Korn (ed.), A Bi? centennial Festschrift for Jacob Rader Marcus (New York, 1976). i9 (1) The Daily Journal, 26 Aug. 1726; (2) and in Lettres Historiques, Contenant ce qui se passe de plus important en Europe et les Reflexions convenables, Vol. LXX (Amsterdam), 1726. Lettre V, p. 308, Mois de Septembre (addressed to 'Monsieur' from his correspondent in London, Great Britain): 'Quinze Juifs qui ttoient renfermez avec leurs Families dans les prisons de XTnquisition de Portugal ayant trouve moyen de se sauver avec lTnquisiteur qui les gardoit, sont arrivez ici depuis peu, et ont aporte avec eux 600 mille livres st. en Lingots, Moydores, etc. Un de ces Juifs, nommej^aw Da Costa avoit 6t6 Provediteur General des Armees du Roi de Portugal, &amp; a aporte seul plus de 300 mille liv. st. II a donne* 2000 liv. st. pour etre distributes aux pauvres Juifs de cette ville.' 20 SP (For) 89/33, 28 July 1726, Dormer to Newcastle. See J. F. Chance, The Alliance of Hanover (Murray, London, 1923), p. 498, who alone, apart from Boxer, was acquainted with this material. (I owe this reference to the late W. S. Samuel.) 'One subject of correspondence and cause of irritation was the conveyance of a Jew, da Costa, to England on a British man-of-war, to escape the clutches of the Inquisition, a proceeding against which [this is not quite exact?R.D.B.] Galv?o protested strongly, asserting him to be a fugitive debtor. While justifying the action, in view of Galv?o's threat of prohibition of the visit of English packet boats to Lisbon, Newcastle forbade its repetition.' 21 SP 104 252.32 (Foreign Entry Books).</page><page sequence="5">214 Richard D. Barnett that it was well known in Lisbon that both H.M. ships and the packet-boats were in the habit of taking on board passengers who owed the King of Portugal large sums, to bring them to England, and that in this way they evaded just pursuit. His predecessor, Borges, he points out, had complained of exactly the same thing, to which the late Secretary of State, Mr. Craggs, had replied favourably, promising to instruct both H.M. ships and packets appropri? ately. Galv?o then complained of a recent case in which a debtor who was in prison in Lisbon for his debts had been conveyed to London by packet-boat. This was denied by letter by Lord Townshend the same day; again, no name being given, this fugitive unfortunately cannot be identified in our communal records. Nevertheless, Lord Townshend assured the envoy that the orders to the ships' captains were as of now renewed through the Admiralty. But this was not enough. On 13 February 1727, Galv?o reappeared, to submit yet another protest in writing to the Duke of Newcastle, then Minister and First Secretary of State; he now gives chapter and verse for his fresh accusation, namely, that he has learnt from letters dated 4 February that22 'certain subjects of the King [of Portugal] were received on board H.M.S. Argyle2* (Capt. Bayler [sic])24 at Lisbon for London'. A protest to Brigadier Dormer, the British envoy at Lisbon, had been answered by New? castle's assurances of British innocence, yet he himself (Galv?o) could state that the principal fugitives had been transferred from the Argyle to H.M.S. The Lyme25 (Capt. Lord Vere)26 to sail to Gibraltar; they included in particular one Gaspar Lopes, a contractor for the tobacco revenue, a debtor sub judice at Lisbon. The families, however, of the fugitives had remained on board the Argyle. Captain Bowler was then asked for a report, to which he replied27 that while at Lisbon he was 'power? fully importuned' to take on board his ship three or four poor fellows, who, he was assured, were being pursued as being Jews?a point which we have seen was never raised by the Portuguese. He had given orders forthwith for these persons to leave the ship, together with their friends who had come on board to bring them what they needed. In another letter dated 26 February 172 7 28 the gallant Captain admits that one or two women with four or five children remained on his ship, whom he took to London out of charity. On 22 February, the Duke of Newcastle followed up the matter with a letter to their Lordships of the Admiralty saying that29 T do not find by the account I have received of this matter that it agrees in all the cir stances as it is represented by the Portuguese envoy. However, there is too much reason to believe the Captains of the Men-of-War have been to blame in this case, as they have been in several others of this kind which we are at a loss how to justify when complaints have been made upon them by the Court of Portugal; wherefore, I am commanded to signify His Majesty's pleasure to your Lordps, that you cause an exact Enquiry to be made into the truth and circumstances of the present case and that in order to the more effectual preventing any of these complaints for the future, you should enforce the orders which you have upon the like occasions been directed to give to all the Commanders of His Majesty's ships employed abroad, not to receive on board any malefactors or persons 22 SP 100/39, Galv?o to Newcastle. 23 H.M.S. Ar gyle was a 4th rater, carrying 50 guns, built at Chatham as 'Bonaventure' in 1711 by Rosewell. After taking part in action at Cape Pesaro, 11 Aug. 1718, was rebuilt at Woolwich in 1722, and sank at Harwich in 1748 after striking a breakwater. (Information by kindness of Mr. Naishe, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.) 24 Captain Robert Bowler, as his name should have been given, was appointed to that rank 28 Jan. 1707, d. 22 July 1734. 25 Probably H.M.S. Lyon, a 4th rater carrying 64 guns, built at Chatham by Rosewell; took part in indecisive action with French 1711; in Jamaica 1729; rebuilt Deptford 1738; in service 1762. (Information by kindness of Mr. Naishe, National Maritime Museum.) 26 Lord Vere Beauclerk, afterwards Lord Han worth ; Captain 1721; Rear-admiral of the Red 1745; Vice-admiral of the Blue 1746; Vice-admiral of the Red 1747; Admiral of the Blue 1748. 27 SP 44, 7 February 1727. 28 SP 100/39. 29 SP 44/221 (Admiralty Letters); Newcastle to the Lds. of the Admiralty, 22 Feb. 1727.</page><page sequence="6">Diplomatie Aspects of the Sephardic Influx 215 otherwise obnoxious30 to the Laws of Countrys with whom His Majesty is in Friendship and good Correspondence.' The affair dragged on, Newcastle making various excuses to Galv?o on behalf of Captain Bowler, while making inquiries through the Admiralty. On 11 April (1727) Mr. Cottrell, the charge- d'affaires at Lisbon, writes to apologise to Newcastle for his superior Dormer having seemed to cover up the facts and gives a remarkable account of the panic hue and cry created by the escape of Gaspar Lopes.31 Whoever he was (for I have been so far com? pletely unable to identify any of the members of the London congregation with any such named person), he seems to have been an important figure. Cottrell writes soothingly: Tf Mr. Dormer was too hasty in taking the Captain's assurances. I must humbly beg Yr. Grace to consider that the nature of the case was such that Mr. Dormer could not and even dared not too strictly enquire into the truth of the fact. [What does he mean by this?] His Portuguese Majesty was full of passion and resentment, supposing his sub? jects protected on board an English ship. The Court had traced the fugitives so far as to be certain that they were on board some ship in the river [Tagus]; it was expected that a general embargo wd. have been laid on all the shipping; the Inquisition hourly solicited that the persons might be given up to punishments under persecution. The Banks of the river were covered for two nights successively with officers of justice expecting the Persons wd. have been sent on shore where officers were ordered, as I have been well informed to carry them in triumph to the Inquisition.' At any event, this account shows clearly the new technique of religious oppression now operating when marranos?technically Chris? tians?who committed, or were thought to have committed, a civil crime were pursued and to be prosecuted through the medium of the Inquisition on religious grounds?though this was, of course, not admitted for a moment by Portuguese diplomatic representatives. In fact, the State's connection with the Inquisition was very close and the King's efforts were bent on making his control closer. In 1727, hard on a major row with the Pope, the King gave orders (according to Lord Tyrawly)32 that no one is to be executed by the Inquisition without his orders or knowledge; which implies that they often were. Of course, strictly speaking, they never were, as the Inquisition avoided shedding blood by handing over to the officers of the State victims to be executed by burning. Throughout the summer of 1727 Galv?o con? tinued to press inexorably his royal master's grievance and insisted on orders forbidding such practices in future being reaffirmed to H.M. ships and merchant ships, and in September this was done33, orders being ex? tended to the Post Office for the packets and to the Envoy Extraordinary for the merchant ships. The episode of Captain Bowler, how? ever, almost spelt the end of Dormer's appoint? ment at Lisbon; it came to an abrupt end soon after in March 1728, when he was involved in a disgraceful street brawl with his colleague the Consul General, Thomas Burnet, and he was replaced by another soldier, James O'Hara, Lord Tyrawly, a lively character whose dispatches, full of shrewd comments, are a delight to read. His stay in Lisbon forms the sub? ject of an entertaining essay by Professor Boxer.34 30 Obnoxious (Latin obnoxius, 'dependent on')? 'exposed to harm, liable to punishment or censure; answerable, amenable, dependent, subject'? O.E.D. 31 SP 104/f. 170. J. F. Chance, op. cit., p. 648, describes Anglo-Portuguese relations as amicable but the escape of certain Jews 'under prosecution on account of the tobacco-contract on board a British man-of-war [Argyle, Capt. Bowler] was a sore point'; and footnote 2: 'Dormer, on inquiry consequent upon instances made to him, was assured by Captain Bowler of the vessel in question, the Ar gyle, that the men were not on board, but when Galv?o protested in London, the truth was discovered.' 32 SP 89/35, Tyrawly to Newcastle, 10 July 1728: 'The Pope's subjects have been expelled with their goods. The king has restrained the power of the Inquisition by not permitting them in any of their tribunals to pass sentence of death without his know? ledge and approbation; this ... makes a great noise'. 33 SP 104/25, Newcastle to Galv?o, 19 Sept. 1727. 34 C. R. Boxer, 'Lord Tyrawly in Lisbon: an Anglo-Irish Protestant at the Portuguese Court, 1728-41', History To-day, Sept. 1970.</page><page sequence="7">216 Richard D. Barnett (It might be remarked in passing that His Portuguese Majesty was not the only person to have trouble with refugee civilian debtors. The Lansdowne Papers in the British Museum35 relate that Moses alias Ffollis de Mollo Cardozo, a merchant of Lisbon, who had secretly left Lisbon with his family in 1725 on account of business losses, without paying his creditors, began again as a merchant in London, selling linen, silks, 'silk Stockens of and to divers English merchants and other persons ... as other merchants usually do\ David Gorgia, another London merchant and his creditor in Lisbon, finding him in London, sought to have him arrested, and Moses went into hiding in lodgings in Gunn Yard, Houndsditch.) Meanwhile, the flood of refugees from Lisbon to London?entire families, old men and children?continued unabated. The Mahamad of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue opened its doors wide to receive them and even paid the fares of those who were without means. But it was laid down that before they could receive the benefits of the synagogue's support, the males must become full Jews by entering into the covenant of Abraham, and since their previous marriages were not acceptable in Jewish law, if accompanied by their wives, they must be remarried in the synagogue after the circumcision rite was over. As we have mentioned, the first Mohel's book (that of Isaac Abraham Garri?o de Paiba, 1715-1775) to survive in the synagogue records36 thus shows many instances of the rite carried out on boys, middle-aged and old men, even septuagenarians?in these years. As the refugees escaped from Portugal, so did the bullion. Lord Tyrawly in May 172837 notes His Majesty's command that the British merchants be more discreet in sending out bullion; but the Portuguese connive at it. About four months ago, he says, one of His Majesty's ships carried out 100,000 moidores,38 two months ago another sailed with 20,000 on board; and the packets do the same. The Portu guese in fact made some attempts to stop the money being removed by some of these fugitives and this had the effect of flushing out into the limelight of diplomacy certain other members of our London congregation. The first of these was Benjamin Mendes da Costa, later to become one of its wealthiest and most respected figures.39 In May 172840 he submits a petition to King George complaining that the Fisco de los Ausentes (Absentees' Bank) has stopped 50 moidores belonging to him under the pretence that they were the effects of a person who had departed from the Kingdom of Portu? gal without the King's leave and he fears other of his moneys may be stopped, though he is not nor ever was a Portuguese subject but a denizen of Great Britain. This is confirmed in a charming episode. In a statement made before the Lord Mayor of London, which gives us valuable particulars about his life, that, I think, were previously unknown, his faithful dry-nurse, Maria de Baillot,41 swearing on the Five Books of Moses (had she perhaps entered the Jewish faith, or did she belong to some sect inclined to Judaism?), deposed that in 1695 or 1696 she had come to live with his parents, Abraham Mendez da Costa and Judith Mendez Salazar,42 at their home in St. Esprit de Bayonne as their housemaid, had followed them when they moved to Amster? dam in about 1700, and stayed with them till their death, in 1724. She remained since then with Benjamin when they left Holland for 35 B.M., Lansdowne MS. 629, f. 22ff. 3&lt;&gt; Publication in preparation. 37 SP 89/35, f. 40, Tyrawly to Newcastle. 38 A moidore ( = moeda de ord) was a Luso Brazilian gold coin of 4,000 reis valued at 27s. 6d. in 1720. 39 Benjamin Mendes da Costa was by this time one of the biggest Jewish holders of Bank of England stock in London (Giuseppi, Misc. VI, p. 169). In 1725 he was endenizened. In 1738 he was one of numerous Sephardim trading to Jamaica who petitioned the King about taxation. In 1735 he initiated the formation of a school, the Teshiba Mahane Rephael. He was one of the deputies of the community who paid a courtesy call of congratula? tion and loyalty on the King, Queen, and Dowager Princess of Wales on George Ill's accession in 1760. 40 SP 89/35, Newcastle to Tyrawly, 7 May 1128. 41 SP 100/39, f. 184. 42 Abraham alias Luis Mendez da Costa alias Abraham Henriques da Costa (1652-1724) mar? ried Judith alias Theresa Mendes Salazar in 1670. For Sepher and bells and embroidered cloak which they donated see R. D. Barnett (ed.), Treasures of a London Temple (1951), pp. 23, 26, 63.</page><page sequence="8">Diplomatie Aspects of the Sephardic Influx 217 London, living at Jeffrey Square, St. Mary Axe. Happily, Benjamin Da Costa's money was in due course released by the Portuguese Secretary of State. The unlucky Portuguese authorities, how? ever, who continued to keep a watchful eye, next sought to trap another member of the London Sephardi refugees, again without suc? cess. This time it was one Abraham Dias Fernandes, alias Fernando Dias Fernandes (1657-1743), who, under his alias or business name of Miguel Vianna, likewise submits a petition to the Duke of Newcastle43 giving for the first time to us the welcome details of his life. From this and from further details sup? plied by Tyrawly to the Duke, it emerges that he had figured, under the name of Fernando Dias Fernandes, with his 19-year-old son, Antonio Lopes Dias (later known as Isaac Fernandes Dias, and another son, Diogo, age 21, in an auto-da-fe a.t Lisbon on 12 September 1706, although he was not a Portuguese by birth but a Spaniard from Pastrana in the archbishopric of Toledo. Both the boys had already been charged in the auto of 19 October 1704 at Lisbon, but abjured de vehementi. In this auto the father and his sons were spared but condemned to wear penitential dress; his wife, however, was burnt alive. He fled and escaped penniless to Spain and thence to England, whereupon he was sentenced in absence to be burnt, with confiscation of his goods. Here he made a sufficient fortune to trade in wool to different parts of Europe, especially even to Portugal for onward shipping to Brazil; in London he paid taxes and served all parish offices. Nowhere does he refer in his plea to his being a Jew, any more than does Benjamin Mendes da Costa; yet he was a member of the Mohamad of Bevis Marks at the very time of his petitioning.44 In May 1731 the War Office at Lisbon had caused his goods to be seized there, demanding a large sum in the form of bills on diamonds not yet delivered, presumably from Brazil. In fact, a scandal had just come to light concerning the Brazil fleet, which had shown up the smuggling of gold dust and diamonds and allegedly involved the British firm of Messrs. Buller and Bear. It was finally arranged that the Portuguese Secretary of State, Mendonca, be petitioned by Messrs. Buller on the grounds that Miguel Vianna was not a Portuguese but a Spaniard and thus not liable. Again, no mention was to be made of the fact that he was a Jew. The farce was complete when it further transpired that it was a case of mistaken identity and confusion with another person actually very closely related to him. This new figure (the last of those to emerge from the shadows in this story)45 was also a Sephardi of London, known to the out? side world as Gabriel Lopes Pinheiro, but in the synagogue called Moses Lopes Dias (a family name still current in the community to-day), likewise a fugitive from the Inquisition, who was sentenced in the same auto-da-fe of 12 September 1706 in Lisbon, when the remainder of the secret community of Lisbon grouped round the figure of Dr. Nunes Ribeiro, whom I have discussed elsewhere,46 were punished and the community crushed. He was there de? scribed in full by the Inquisition processo as Francisco Gabriel Lopes Pinheiro, aged 36, merchant, bachelor, son of Antonio Lopes Dias. He was born, like Miguel Vianna, in a small place called Freyxo de Nem?o but lived in Lisbon. Sentenced to penitential dress and im 43 SP 100/40, ff. 11, 12, 11 April 1732, and Tyrawly to Newcastle, 23 May 1732. 44 Abraham Dias Fernandes was four times a member of the Mahamad, in the years 5482 (1721 1722), 5486 (1725-1726) as Gabay, 5490 (1729 1730), and 5494 (1733-1734). In 1725, he acted as recipient of the interest on Joseph da Costa Villa real's investment of ?15,000 in Bank of England Stock, which, it is clear, the latter had succeeded in purchasing, by sending out much of his money in advance of his escape. (Giuseppi, Misc. VI, p. 169). The fact that Jacob Mazahod (d. 1718), in his (unpublished) will made in London, left Abraham Dias Fernandes his Spanish and Portuguese books suggests that he was a person of some culture (Arnold, 'Wills and Letters of Administration,' Anglo-Jewish Notabilities, p. 187). 45 I do not wish, of course, to suggest that these persons I have here mentioned were the only identifiable refugees from Portugal of this period? far from it; we know of many others, including distinguished and cultured men, who gathered around the figure of the great Haham Nieto in London?men such as Dr. de C. Sarmento, Dr. I. S. Samuda, Daniel Lopes Laguna. But these I have mentioned here are simply those revealed in the diplomatic files. 46 See above, note 6.</page><page sequence="9">218 Richard D. Barnett prisonment, he managed to re-establish him? self in business and eventually was accepted as a commissary at the War Office,47 but in 1721 he suddenly broke away and fled to England; according to Tyrawly, Tor fear of arrest for Judaism but owing the King several thousand crowns, though he denies it\ Gabriel Lopes Pinheiro, on fleeing the country, took the name of Joseph or Daniel Vianna. Tyrawly continues, 'the King then decreed to confiscate anything owned by him under that name, when he changed it again to Pedro Forte.' We pick up his trail again easily in London, where he was married on 11 Elul 1721 to Ribca, daughter of Abraham Dias Fernandes, in other words, of Miguel Vianna, to whom he was almost certainly closely related, and was welcomed onto the Mohamad within a year of his arrival, in 1722-1723.48 We then find him involved in 1726 in a rather shady deal in slaves from an island off the west coast of Africa with a seedy and impoverished Portuguese aristocrat of little reputation, the Marquis of Gouveia,49 whose activities, spon? sored by Gabriel Lopes Pinheiro, Dr. Diamond has reported on in Transactions XXI. For Gabriel Lopes Pinheiro's present troubles we return to Tyrawly's dispatch: Tn the last Brazil Fleet [Messrs.] Buller sent diamonds to him [as he was their cor? respondent]. So nothing can be done . . . This is very unfortunate for our trade here' [continues Tyrawly] 'if it is true, as I believe. It is without contradiction [he adds] that the greatest dealers to Portugal in our woollen goods are the Jews in London. We may be often liable to things of this nature whenever such Jews as those that have fled from Portu gal themselves are in partnership or corres? pond with such as lye under the lash of the Laws of this Country . . . To mention even the name of Jew condemned by the In? quisition is to these people something so odious that they won't hear of it: if the money to be recovered has to be sought by mentioning a Jew, it's hopeless, but if he can otherwise demand it it's easy'. In his next dispatch50 Tyrawly voices his dis? gust with the whole business: 'The present affair is a (pardon the expres? sion) very dirty one and is a confused jumble of people under fictitious names. It involves about ?400 which means little to a house such as Buller's (one of the greatest in Lisbon). 'The Cry at present runs grievously against the Jews and an auto-da-fe that we are ex? pecting every day will be the fifth in four years and a half that has been at Lisbon in which they have burnt ten or twelve Jews each auto.' Thus, matters relating to the Jews are very delicate and he advises looking very carefully if they involve Jews. Clearly the Portuguese felt themselves outwitted by their crypto-Jewish victims, their wits sharpened by over two centuries of re? lentless persecution under the Inquisition. It might be inferred with some plausibility that Tyrawly was not as sympathetic to the Jews or crypto-Jews of Portugal as his pre? decessor had been. But then, being rather a cynic, he felt hardly greater affection for the Portuguese. Speaking of Galv?o, he says that he is always inclined to mischief and such an inflamer of matters in dispute. In fact, the Portuguese, he says, 'are in one word a nation of Galvaos'.5i In 1727 the British Government gave strict orders that debtors to the King of Portugal, either as farmers of revenue or merchants or otherwise liable to the law, must not be taken on board British ships.52 In 1732 and 1733 these 47 SP 100/40, f. 12 (Miguel Vianna's deposition), also SP 100/40, Tyrawly to Newcastle, 18 May 1731 and 23 May 1732. Compton to Newcastle, 19 May 1731. 48 He served again in 5493 (1732-1733) and 5495 (1734-1735) with Benjamin Mendes da Costa and again in 5503 (1742-1743). He must have already possessed some Jewish education to occupy this post in the congregation. 49 SP 100/40 (Letters from Tyrawly 1939-40), Tyrawly to Newcastle, 13 Jan. 1732, 'The Marquis is not in Portugal; his family's affairs are in utmost desolation and poverty. What is left is under sequestration for payment of debts.' 50 SP 100/40. Tyrawly to Newcastle, 7 April 1730. 51 SP 89/35, f. 183. Tyrawly to Newcastle. 52 SP 89/36, Newcastle to Tyrawly, 5 March and 27 April 1731.</page><page sequence="10">Diplomatie Aspects of the Sephardic Influx 219 orders were still being repeated to the Ad? miralty.53 But, as Tyrawly says, the British captains would do anything for a purse of gold.54 In 1731 it was discovered that Portuguese subjects had actually been sailing under British colours with forged Admiralty passes.55 Eventu? ally the forgers were traced to Irish Papists in Cork and Lisbon and the factory was closed and one of the offenders caught. In the summer of 1732 Portugal was much more worried about the threat of a Spanish invasion and needed British friendship and so the protests ceased. The flood of refugees had now passed its peak and dwindled to a trickle. Perhaps the regula? tions had begun to bite and the door was beginning to close. After 1736 it was no longer considered needful or perhaps advisable in the synagogue's certificates of the marriages of immigrants to enter the words 'vindos de Portugal' 'Come from Portugal'. There still remain some minor episodes of different sorts concerning Jews which pop up in the diplomatic files, mostly about shipping.56 But the big issue of the fugitive immigrants that had worried Whitehall intermittently since 1720 was now closed and another page in the history of Anglo-Jewish integration had been peacefully turned over. [See Plate XXII] "Ibid., 7 March 1728. "Ibid., 22 Aug. 1732; SP 36/31, fol. 70. New? castle to Admiralty February 1733. 55 SP 100/40, Tyrawly to Newcastle, 19 July 1732. 56 (i) There is one case, similar to the Portu? guese examples, relating to Spain. On 24 Sept. 1733, Newcastle wrote to the Sub-Governor of the South Sea Company that the Spanish Ambassador had complained that several Spanish subjects had been brought to London from the West Indies on a South Sea Company's ship (SP 36/30, f. 144 with memorial). Sir R. Hopkins (London) writes to Newcastle on 9 November in reply that Captain Goldsborough, of the ship Assiento, who had been the captain of the ship referred to, had left the Company's service in 1731 (SP 36/30, f. 304). (ii) Capt. Byng (H.M.S. Falmouth) reports that he has withdrawn the British Vice Consul at Lagos (Algarve) and his family to Gibraltar, as he fears his being accused of Judaism, having been a good deal trusted during the recent Siege of Gibraltar (SP 89/35, f. 57. Tyrawly to Newcastle, 4 July 1728). Captain Byng, then Senior Officer at Port Mahon, afterwards rose to the rank of Admiral, to be executed in 1759. See D.N.B. APPENDIX [SP 100/40, f. 11 (French and English versions)] The Petitions of Miguel Vianna (Abraham Dias Fernandes) My Lord, May it please your Lordship A very extraordinary accident that has lately happened to me at Lisbon makes me take the liberty to trouble yr. Lordship with a Detail of the case, and to beg your Lordship's protection therein. I have had the happiness of living in London for about these thirty years and have served all Parish Offices &amp;c. Contributed to all taxes as one of his Majesty's faithfull subjects and have all along carried on a trade to most parts of Europe but chiefly to Portugal, where I sent sundry woollen goods, &amp; others the manufactures [sic. French version has 'plusieures manufactures'] of Great Britain, consigned to divers Houses at Lisbon as well English as Portuguese, Dutch &amp; Hamburghers who fairly enter'd said goods at the Custom House at Lisbon the Duties whereof ammount to a large sum, vouchers whereof I am ready to produce if required. As all said goods could not be dispos'd of at Lisbon I order'd my correspondents there to ship them on my account for the Rio de Janeiro, from whence I from time to time had accounts and Returns of said goods and allways in the fair way coming by the Kings ships to whom the usual freight was paid, therefore I humbly conceive there can be no pretence to seize my goods at Lisbon as it has been done lately on the Returns coming to me from the Rio by this last fleet and this with great violence by authority of the war office without giving any Reason for such proceeding, but only sending for Messrs. Buller &amp; Beare, Roberts &amp; Bristow English Houses, Koes &amp; Comp0 Ham burgher, and Demmanding from them the following sums being my Returns by said fleet, viz: from</page><page sequence="11">220 Richard Z&gt;. Barnett Buller &amp; Beare HOOe-OOOrs from Roberts &amp; Bristow 700*000rs &amp; from Koes &amp; Comp0 700?000rs, making in all 2800 ?'OOOrs and notwithstanding said Returns were by Bills upon Diamonds that are not yet delivered said gent" to avoid being carried to prison were every one of them obliged to deposit said sums, and all of them protested against such proceedings, the ocasion for such seizure not being known. I can atribute the same to no other cause, but that some body of my name must be indebted to said office, but as I never had any dealings with said office, or any other belonging to the Crown of Portugall, I crave your Lordship's protection in the matter, by giving the necessary direction to the Envoy from this court at Lisbon in order to the Restitution of said sums since I think myself very Happy of being a subject to his Britannick Majesty Your Lordship Most humble &amp; Most Obedient Servant J Miguel Vianna [SP 100/40 20497.] May it please your Grace? By his Excellency, My Lord Tyrawleys answer to your Graces recommendation to him of my affair at Lisbon, which your Grace was pleas'd to order me a coppy of, I find his Excellency had his information about this affair, either from a person disaffected to me, &amp; illminded, or else from one who gave it contrary to truth, since First? I am not a Portugueze by birth, but a Spaniard born at Pastrana in the Arch bishoprick of Toledo, as I sett forth at my examination before the Inquisition at Lisbon when I was putt in there, &amp; this must appear by the List of the prisoners in the Auto, in which I came out, which was on the 12th September 1706, whereof his Excellency may soon satisfy him self by procuring said List, which may Easily be gott at Lisbon. Secondly?As I am not a native of Portugall as aforesaid, I am not bound to their Laws, but Supposing I was bound thereto, it Could not Reach to this Embargo, Since the Law even to those born there, extends no farther in Case of absence but to the Confiscation of those effects then found in ye kingdom, and not to any which may be afterwards acquir'd in foreign Dominions, &amp; be by way of merchandize be sent, &amp; dis? cover'd in Portugall. Thirdly? As I Carried nothing but Poverty out of Portugall, Since I was Stript of all I had by the Inquisition, I cant See no reason, or Justice to arrest my effects gott in other Countries, Since at my Coming out of ye Inquisition being destitute of means to provide for my familly, I went to My Native Country Spain to try by the help of some friends I could Re? trieve my fortune, but finding it im posible I Resolv'd to move to the Cold climate and mild Government of Great Britain, where by My Industry and the helpe of God I acquir'd a fortune Sufficient to trade to Severall parts, and among the Rest to Portugall, as well for to Sale there as to be Consign'd on my account to the Brazills. Fourthly?Because the Laws of Portugall in Case of absence even to those born there, does not Reach to any thing they may acquire Elsewhere on the good faith whereof I Relied when I traded to that Kingdom not suspecting any violation thereof in a Christian Country. Fifthly? As to further proceedings being had against me after my absence Wherein I was condemn'd to be burnt, it is utterly false, Since there was no such thing, for proof whereof his Excellency may Require to have a sight of the Auto wherein such sentence pass'd against me, as they'll not be able to produce the Same, it will be a plain proof of the falsehood of the information, Since at all autos there is a List of all the prisoners that are Condemn'd. Sixthly? Supposing said proceedings &amp; Sentence should have been truth, Still it Could not Reach to my effects Since they are acquir'd under another Government. Therefore as I Conceive what is above said will be sufficient To give his Excellency a clearer Light in to the affair and of ye falseness of the information, I Humbly Beg Your Grace to be pleas'd to Recom? mend to his said Excellency the protection of this affair, Since if it be Neglected it will end in the Ruin of Thousands, Since there will be no Safety for any person to trade to those parts, &amp; other Despotic Princes may ffollow his Portuguese Majestys example. Besides the Embargo being Laid by the War office it Can't be pretended to be done by Reason of the pretended sentence against me and as to Gabriel Lopes Pinheiro I have nothing to do with</page><page sequence="12">Diplomatie Aspects of the Sephardic Influx 221 him, who as he Says ows nothing to the King of Portugall as his Excellency was told and he took out his discharges from the War office where he was Comissare as also from the Custom house, all which he has in his hands, I humbly hope this facts will make it appear very necessary to Your Grace to Recommend in very strong terms to his Excel? lency to Countenance this affair by demanding Restitution of the effects arrested. And Lastly if this Can't be obtain'd that it may be laied before a Judge appointed by his Portuguese Majesty who may Decree as to him Shall Seem just after having heard the parties, this being a reason? able Request &amp; what no Christian Prince can refuse, I humbly Hope by Your Grace's Counten? ance if I Can't obtain the first at Least to obtain this and begging Your Grace's pardon for this trouble, I am with great Veneration &amp; Respect. YOUR GRACE MOST HUMBLE, &amp; MOST OBEDIENT SERVANT J. Miguel Vianna</page><page sequence="13">PLATE XXII [See 'Diplomatic Aspects of the Sephardi Influx'] Lord Tyrawly, British envoy to Portugal 1728-1741 Detail from a portrait group probably by John Vereist, 1712 (reproduced by courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery)</page></plain_text>