top of page
< Back

Maria Fernandez de Carvajal

L. Wolf

<plain_text><page sequence="1">xviii MISCELLANIES. 5 Maria Fernandez de Carvajal. In my earliest essay on " The Resettlement of the Jews in England " (Lond., 1888, p. 5) I suggested, on circumstantial evidence which then seemed to me convincing, that Maria, the wife of Antonio Fernandez de Carvajal, the founder of the Anglo-Jewish community, was a daughter of Antonio de Souza, then Portuguese Resident or Ambassador in England. The error was pointed out to me very soon after by a friend in Lisbon, who sent me an abstract of a case recorded in the archives of the local Inquisition by which the family of Senora de Carvajal was identified. The facts were briefly recited in my paper on " Crypto-Jews in the Canaries" (J. H. S. Trans., vol. vii. p. Ill), and were alluded to in my earlier paper on "The Disraeli Family" H. S. Trans., vol. v. pp. 215-216), but they have not hitherto been given in an independent form. The following is a translation of the above-mentioned abstract, from the Lisbon Inquisition records, which shows Senora de Carvajal to have been a Rodriguez Nunez of Guarda :? CASE OF ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ LINDO. Antonio Rodriguez Lindo, x.n. (Ghristiano Nuevo), born at Badajoz, merchant at Lisbon, arrested for Judaism Oct. 9, 1660, condemned to public abjuration at the Auto da Fe of Lisbon, Sept. 17, 1662. Aged 23 years in 1660 (Nov. 8), son of the late Joao Rodriguez Lindo, merchant of Campomaior, and of Constanca Nunez of Guarda. Paternal nephew of: Francisco Rodriguez Lindo, who was married at Badajoz to Luiza da Sylveira ; no children. Maternal nephew of: 1. Antonio Fernandez Nunez, fugitive in France ; 2. Manuel Rodriguez Nunez, fugitive in France; 3. Leonor Nunez, wife of Joao de Affonseca Mesas, with whom she Judaises in Holland ; 4. Anna Nunez, widow of Simao Fernandez Carvalho, residing in France. She has four children: 1. Antao Roiz Carvalho at Lisbon; 2. Leonor Nunez, wife of Antao Rodriguez Nunez ; 3. Anna Nunez, wife of Fernandez Marquez at Venice; 4. Maria Nunez in France ;</page><page sequence="2">MARIA. FERNANDEZ DE CARVAJAL. xix 5. Maria Rodriguez, in England, widow of Antonio Fernandez de Carvajal, by whom she has sons ; 6. Brittes Rodriguez, in England, wife of Simao de Souza, no children. The accused Antao Roiz Lindo is brother of: 1. Lourenco Rod? riguez, in the Canaries, married ; 2. Manoel Rodriguez at Rome ; 3. Joseph, an infant, at Lisbon. The accused was in Spain umtil the age of 12, then for six years in France, whence he came to Lisbon. His uncle, Antonio Fernandez Nunez, has been arrested by the Inquisition in the Spanish Indies (Mexico or Lima). Many of his mother's relations have been arrested in Lisbon. This interesting document does more than establish the family relationships of Maria de Carvajal and the early history of the Lindo family. It tells us something of the martyr atmosphere in which the Anglo-Jewish community was founded, and of the strong Jewish spirit which animated the Carvajal household. Many of the names mentioned in it are already familiar to us. Manuel Rodriguez Nunez and Simao de Souza were resident in England, and are mentioned in Antonio Car vajal's will as his brothers-in-law (/. H. S. Trans., vol. i. pp. 86-88). Simao de Souza, moreover, appeared as a witness in the Robles case (ibid., pp. 64, 79). Leonor Nunez was the mother of the two nephews of Carvajal, Manuel and Alonzo da Fonseca Meza, who assisted him in his business (ibid., pp. 56, 69, 70, 87); Lourenco Lindo we have met in the Canaries and in London (J. H. S. Trans., vol. vii. p. Ill), and his brother Manuel is also mentioned in the unpublished Canariote docu? ments as a visitor to London. Of Maria de Carvajal herself we know little, but that she was an .ardent Judaiser even in London, is shown by the fact that when the security of the little Jewish community founded by her husband was threatened in 1660, she called a meeting of her co-religionists at her house in Leaden hall Street, and headed the signature of a petition to Charles II praying for "His Majesty's protection to continue and reside in his dominions" {ibid., vol. v. pp. 14-15, 28-29). She survived her husband forty three years, and was buried in 1702 as Ester Fernandez Carvajal in the old Sephardi Cemetery in Mile End. It would be interesting to know more of the struggle of the Nunez family of Guarda with the Inquisition, for it was probably from that</page><page sequence="3">xx MISCELLANIES. struggle far more than from the Jewish Renascence in Amsterdam that the chief spiritual impulses came which vibrated so powerfully in the London Marrano community during the eventful years 1655-1656. Lucien Wolf. April 1915.</page></plain_text>

bottom of page