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Problems of the London Sephardi Community 1720-1733 - Philip Carteret Webb's Notebooks

A. S. Diamond

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 ? Philip Carteret Webb's Notebooks A. S. DIAMOND, LL.D. The years from 1720 to 1733 are a period of some special interest and importance in the history of the Jewish community of England. In 1720 the Resettlement had proceeded for over 60 years and had made substantial pro? gress towards establishment and security. The Sephardi community of London had for 40 years been growing steadily at an average rate of about 3% per annum and in 1720 had reached the figure of about 1,050 souls.1 Its fine synagogue at Bevis Marks was 18 years old. It had still the same small cemetery at Mile End of which old Alvaro de Fonseca had had for 42 years the title of a copyholder. The con? gregation still had as its distinguished Haham David Nieto and the doctrinal unrest of the early years of his ministry had ended. Some of the community were now Englishmen of the third generation and had lost all ties with Portugal. The average economic level was probably a little higher than that of the rest of London. Many were very poor and many of substantial means; a few had attained con? spicuous financial success and a few conspicu? ous financial failure. There was a background of unknown poor?domestic servants and other employees and families struggling to support themselves in various ways. But the men of substance described themselves as merchants* Most of the professions, the manufactures, retail trade, and agriculture were not for them. For the most part they had come, directly or indirectly, from the world's greatest maritime trading nation, the Portuguese, and they exer-? cised the callings they knew?as correspondents and agents of Iberian houses and Sephardi houses in other ports, as shippers and ship? owners, as exporters, importers, and wholesale traders in a variety of ship-bound merchandise and especially precious metals, precious stones and coral, as financiers and discounters of bills of exchange, and merchants of exchange.2 In 1720 the restoration of peace in England brought a great wave of speculative adventures in trade, including the South Sea Bubble. At Exchange Alley, hard by the new St. Paul's, the scramble for stock was spectacular. A con? temporary ballad describes it: In London stands a famous pile And near that pile an alley Where merry crowds for riches toil And wisdom stoops to folly. Here stars and garters do appear Among our lords the rabble, To buy and sell, to see and hear The Jews and Gentiles squabble.3 By November 1720 the bubble had burst and the price of South Sea Stock dropped to where it had started a few months before, but the effect on the Jews of London was little. The period we have chosen was one of comparative prosperity, though at the end of it the failure in 1731 of Woodward and Company, Bankers and Goldsmiths, of Exchange Alley, who financed trade with Spain, caused heavy loss to some leaders of the Sephardi community of London and the bankruptcy of at least one.4 These were matters of lesser importance; two tragic events profoundly influenced the life of the community throughout this period. RECRUDESCENCE OF THE INQUISITION The first was the recrudescence in 1720 of the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal. It had lagged for a good many years5 but was now revived with a virulence rivalling the earlier period, and, worse, it was revived in both countries and it was not, as it had often been, possible to escape from one country to the other. The years we have chosen, and of these particularly the years 1726 to 1727, saw the tragedy at its height. In Spain alone, from 1721 to 1727, there were 64 autos, with 868 cases all d 39</page><page sequence="2">40 A. S. Diamond told, of which 820 were for Judaism. By the end of our period the Inquisition in Spain had done its work. In Portugal, where the Marrano population was much higher, it continued active till later years.6 But the influx of Marrano refugees direct to London reached in this period of 1720 to 1733 the highest figures known in the history of the Anglo-Jewish community. They came mainly from Portugal. For example, in this period, and practically in this period alone, there are Kethuboth at Bevis Marks, each recording the marriage of persons of brief names, with the same surname, and the addition 'vindos de Portugal' ('coming from Portugal')?e.g., 'Mose Rodrigues &amp; Abigail Rodrigues, vindos de Portugal'. These were remarriages of Marranos, who had, of course, been married in church in Portugal. The best Marrano practice had been to marry in a private house in the Jewish fashion before two Marrano witnesses, before marrying in church; but many had not done so, and in any event the validity in Jewish law of the marriage in Portugal was not beyond doubt.7 Indeed, so extensive had been the entry of Old Christians into the Marrano community that by now some 30% of the immigrants must have been of mixed descent.8 There were 101 such re? marriages in Bevis Marks in this period,9 and if we add their children, the couples who did not remarry, the widows and widowers, and the unmarried, we must estimate a total in the 13 years of about 1,500 persons arriving direct from Portugal10?in proportion an enormous addition to the local population. The congregation of Bevis Marks, manfully struggling to meet the emergency, increased its expenditure on relief as follows. In 1719 it had spent 'com povres da terra' {i.e., on the Sephardi poor of London) ?475 Is. 6d., and 'de aluquer de cazas de povres' ('on renting houses of the poor') ?312 6s. Od., and it had spent on 'povres forasteiros' ('foreign poor') ?58 15s. Od. In 5486 (1726), when the climax was reached, its expenditure on the poor of London was ?1,639 6s. Od.?nearly four times as large; and the expenditure on foreign poor (now expressed in the ominous heading 'gastos com despachar povres'?i.e., 'cost of transport of the poor', and mainly, in all probability, from England onwards) was ?744 4s. 4d., 13 times as large as the expenditure on foreign poor seven years earlier.11 There was an understanding that masters of British merchant ships embarking refugees from Portugal would be paid fare and freight on arrival in England, and in 5488 alone ?254 4s. Od. was laid out on this account. In spite of this influx the Sephardi popula? tion of London rose only from about 1,050 to 1,700 in this period.12 THE DEATH RATE The other tragic event affecting the life of the London community was the appalling rise in the death rate, which continued through? out these years.13 The death rate had always been enormous by modern standards. Rickman estimated the death rate in London in 1700 at 40 per thousand, and in 1750 at 48 to 50 per thousand (compared with the present rate for Greater London of about 11-5), and there is nothing to show that the death rate in the Sephardi community differed from the rest of London. Between 1710 and 1733 the Sephardi population of London probably increased from about 880 to 1,700, an increase of 93%. The number of burials increased in the same period from an average 3114 to 66-2515 per annum, an increase of 114%. After 1733 the death rate continued to rise, and reached its climax in the year 5500 (g.e. 1740), in which year the total burials were 103?about 61 per thousand of the population, which still stood at about a figure of 1,700, and an average of about 48 per thousand for the four years 5498-5501 (c.e. 1738-1741).16 The death rate dropped but slowly in the following decades. The population was pale and sickly and the birth rate was falling. The general population of the country was falling, and in the Sephardim of London the fall was more pronounced. For one thing, as the general population of London fell it was recruited by an influx from the countryside. For the Sephardim there was no source of replenishment in the countryside and by 1745 the immigration of Marranos had almost ceased, for the spirit of Marranism was broken. Moreover, this was the</page><page sequence="3">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 41 eighteenth century, with its general disregard of religion till Wesley's day, and a period of listlessness, lack of faith, and decay ensued in the Sephardi community of London and a drift away from Judaism. In the 20 years from 1740 to 1760 the annual number of burials in the Novo and Velho fell by 30 %17 and the annual number of burials of children under 10 by 47-4%.18 These figures signify, among other things, a drop in the Sephardi population.19 In the 60 years from 1740 to 1800 the annual number of marriages at Bevis Marks fell by 42-7%.20 In brief, the period from 1720 to 1733 marks the close of the fine age of the Resettlement. These introductory remarks refer to the Sephardi community alone. It had shrugged off its Ashkenazi members from 1678 onwards, and together with other Ashkenazim they had established their own synagogue near by in the 1680s and bought their own cemetery in 1697 and increased rapidly in numbers. In 1695, apart from homeless mendicants, they had totalled only about one-third the number of the Sephardim21 (a little over 250 souls), but by 1720 they outnumbered them?mostly very poor and many of them beggars. The shameful intestinal strife that tore the Ashkenazi con? gregation almost from its inception was a by? word in Jewish Europe and the years of our period were no exception. PHILIP CARTERET WEBB From the year 1720 and for many years thereafter the solicitor of the Parnassim (or Wardens) and leading members of the con? gregation of Bevis Marks was Philip Carteret Webb. In the year after his death?namely, 1771?his widow sold his manuscript books to the Earl of Shelburne, later Marquis of Lans downe. They form part of the Lansdowne Manuscripts, which were purchased in 1807 by a vote of Parliament from the Marquis's personal representatives and are now in the British Museum. Included in them are two notebooks in which are recorded cases of interest that were handled by Webb and his firm from the beginning of 1720 to 1733, in? cluding about 30 Jewish cases. They are unique in the history of the community and make a welcome addition to the hard facts known of the life of the Jews of the period.22 From the documents at Bevis Marks and these notebooks we can add to the few known facts of the early life of Webb.23 He is said to have been born in Devizes in 1700, a man of ambition and high ability, beginning probably in modest circumstances, and from at least 1722 (and probably from 1721, when he came of age) was the junior partner of one John Harwood in the firm of Harwood &amp; Webb, Solicitors, in whose office he had been since at least 1719. The address of the firm was at first Old Jewry, and later Budge Row, and then Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields. As late as 1732 John Harwood was still Webb's partner. The meaning at that time of the term 'solici? tor' should be explained. By then the distinc? tion was well established between, on the one hand, the serjeant-at-law and the utter bar? rister, who both advised on the law and pleaded for the litigant in court at the trial, and, on the other hand, the attorney, who repre? sented the litigant in one of the Superior Common-Law Courts, vis-?-vis the court, and ranked as an officer of the court and was entitled to conduct the proceedings for him up to trial. In addition there was another category, that of the 'solicitor', who had originally been an assistant and agent of the litigant in his legal and other business and also assistant and agent of the attorney. The rise of newer courts, in which the attorney was not permitted to act ?in particular, the Court of Chancery, the Star Chamber, and the Court of Requests? had by the 1720s lifted the status of the solicitor to a level closely approaching that of the attorney. Attorneys came to practise as solicitors, and a man who had practised as a solicitor for five years could be admitted as an attorney. There were no examinations and no system of legal education for solicitors or attorneys in the early eighteenth century (or, for that matter, for barristers), and the solicitor (unlike the attorney) did not usually even serve a period of apprenticeship, though ideally he should have been five years in an Inn or Court or Chancery and attended the</page><page sequence="4">42 A. S. Diamond courts and been admitted and entered in a roll for that purpose kept in the Petty Bag Office in Chancery.2 * From the early days of the Resettlement until the 1680s a scrivener of the name of Lucas Eimans acted for the members of the congrega? tion (they called him Secretary25) to the extent that he drew up their wills and deeds; but the Ashkenazi Mayer (otherwise Michael) Levy, a member of the congregation, was its solicitor from the earliest days until the 1680s in the sense that he represented them and laid out money for them in matters of business that required to be handled with skill and tact,26 and he was called the 'Solicitor for the Jews' by Bishop Gilbert Burnet in 1680.2 7 From 1683 one Joseph Norton was solicitor of the con? gregation and was so called ('solicitador') in the Synagogue Accounts in 1686.2 8 Between 1697 and 1699 a notary public called Anthony Wright was acting for the members in the sense that he drew up marriage settlements for them; in 1700 a notary public of the name of William Butler, and in 1717 a notary public called Mark Holman.29 And then, from the end of 1719, Philip Carteret Webb, then in Harwood's office, was acting for the Parnassim and the leading members in their legal affairs and was their solicitor when he became a partner about 1721, already a competent lawyer. As with many another able lawyer, the Jews were his first clients30 and among the first to recognise his ability. Partly through them he acted also for non-Jewish clients in Amsterdam, Portugal, and the East and West Indies, and his non Jewish business rapidly increased, especially English family and commercial business. On 20 June 1724, having presumably practised as a solicitor for five years, he was admitted an attorney, being sworn in according to the custom of the time, before Mr. Justice Price in court. Attorneys were still admitted as members of the Inns of Court, and on 18 December 1727 he was admitted at the Middle Temple, and on 8 April 1741 also at Lincoln's Inn.31 The Lord Chancellor, Lord Hardwicke, whom he had often instructed when he was Sir Philip Yorke, Attorney-General, and with whom he was on terms of friendship, made him Secretary of Bankrupts in the Court of Chan eery, and he remained such till 1766. He was an able antiquary and also acquired a high reputation for his learning in constitutional matters. He was elected an F.S.A. on 26 Novem? ber 1747, and an F.R.S. on 9 November 1749. Throughout his life he was a great collector of books and medals and other objects of historical interest, and a prolific writer of pamphlets, a good many anonymous, on legal and other learned, antiquarian, and public topics.32 The most interesting and important from the Jewish point of view was the pamphlet by 'a Gentle? man of Lincoln's Inn' entitled 'The Question whether a Jew born within the British Dominions was, before the making of the late Act of Parliament, a Person capable by Law to purchase and hold lands to him and his Heirs, fairly stated and considered' (1753).33 This was written after the passing of the un? happy Jewish Naturalization Act' of that year, and before its repeal. From 1742 to that date, according to a bill of costs delivered by Webb to the Mahamad,34, he was acting on their behalf 'in relation to the applications to Parlia? ment concerning Naturalization', and the pay? ment by them to Webb of ?542 12s. lOd. on this account alone included (among other items) disbursements by him to an amount of over ?250 to the House of Commons clerks and others. In 1754 Webb purchased an estate at Bus bridge, near Haslemere, which gave him the power to secure the election of one of the two Members of Parliament for that rotten borough,35 and so he obtained his own return in 1756 and again in 1761 and sat in Parlia? ment till 1768. In December 1756, soon after his election, Lord Hardwicke appointed him a Joint Treasury Solicitor, in which office he remained till June 1765. It was then common for leading civil servants to sit in Parliament.36 But among his more unattractive qualities Webb had in him a certain streak of meanness and pedantry combined with an excessive re? spect for the powers-that-be and an ambition somewhat unsoftened by personal attach? ments.37 His closing years were poisoned and his reputation was destroyed by the Wilkes affair, in which he was unfortunate enough to be involved as Treasury Solicitor, and he was</page><page sequence="5">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 43 perhaps more hated by the pro-Wilkes faction than any other man in England. The history of the affair, and the part he played in it, need not be repeated here. In February 1764 he was prosecuted for perjury for his part in it, and although acquitted of this captious and frivol? ous charge, as late as 1769, the year before his death, failing in body and mind and almost blind, he was defending himself with counsel in the House of Commons against a petition of Wilkes's charging him with bribery of a witness and subornation of perjury.38 Yet to the Sephardim of London, at least, Webb's name and distinction remained unsullied. Many years afterwards Benjamin Disraeli wrote of his father's warm desire when Benjamin was 17 years of age (that is, in 1821) that he should embrace the profession of a solicitor. 'My father's refrain', says he, 'always was Philip Carteret Webb, who was the most eminent solicitor of his boyhood, and who was an M.P.'39 Although in this, as in some other personal reminiscences, Benjamin was not quite accurate (for when Webb died Isaac was only four years old), this is high testimony to the service of Webb to the Jews and the lustre of his image in their eyes. THE NOTEBOOKS The two notebooks to which I have referred are numbers 629 and 630 of the Lansdowne Collection. They are of large octavo size (No. 629 of 112 pages and No. 630 of 140 odd). Number 629 contains cases between 1719 and 1728, and No. 630 continues the series from 1729 to 1733. The entries are not in order of date, but were written up at various times, No. 629 probably in 1729 or 1730, and No. 630 at times between 1730 and 1733. They contain a series of cases for counsel's opinion?short statements of the facts, followed by the opinions, both sometimes in full, but commonly in shortened form. Sometimes the names of the parties are given, sometimes they are repre? sented by an initial letter, but with the dates of marriages and deaths it is often easy to identify them.40 The counsel are leading members of the Bar. Several are law officers of the Crown (including Sir Robert Raymond, Attorney General, and Sir Philip Yorke, Attorney General), and Lingard, Common Serjeant, fre? quently advises. Webb had a discriminating and expensive taste in counsel, and in important matters it was the custom to send the same case independently to any number of counsel, up to half a dozen. The entries (with one excep? tion) are well done. They seem all to have been cases handled by Webb for the firm, and large parts in number 630 are in his handwriting and smaller parts in many places,41 but the bulk was apparently written by his clerks at his instance and under his supervision. Case-books of this kind served two main purposes?to keep a handy record of useful cases and opinions and to give useful instruction to pupils in making these records and precis; and we may also suspect that Webb, an inveterate collector and antiquary, had it in mind that he might one day publish them.42 In the pages, then, of the two notebooks we are in a solicitor's or attorney's house or office between the end of 1719 and 1733 listening to the problems set by the Sephardi clients and counsel's opinions thereon. A sub? stantial number relate to recent immigrants from Portugal, and certainly of all arrivals in England of Marrano refugees from the In? quisition the most spectacular was that of Joseph (alias Isaac) Da Costa Villareal in the summer of 1726. JOSEPH DA COSTA VILLAREAL A newspaper?the Daily Journal, of 26 August 1726?reported: 'We are informed that Mr. John Da Costa Villareal, one of the rich Jews who, being threatened by the Inquisition, made his escape lately from Lisbon with his family, consisting of about 17 persons, and his effects, during a great conflagration in the city, hath, since his arrival here, given the sum of ?2,000 to be distributed among the poor Jews in the city and suburbs of London. He was Proveditor* to the King of Portugal's armies, and acquitted him? self in that and all other stations with good Reputation; and has brought over with him to the value of ?300,000 and upwards.'43 * An error for 'provedor' (purveyor, contractor).</page><page sequence="6">44 A. S. Diamond Alas, journalists were no more accurate in those days than now, and here is a good example of the value of the notebooks in supplying hard facts. John was certainly the head of the family, but he was about 60 years of age and had very little means.44 His son Jacob (aged 35) also had little money.45 It was the old man's other son, Joseph (otherwise Isaac), who had the wealth. He was a success? ful and self-made man, a bachelor of 38, but he had not brought '?300,000 and upwards': he had remitted to England in advance and brought with him a total of about ?90,000.46 He died on 27 December 1730, in the follow? ing circumstances, which spread consternation and despair in the synagogue47 and probably in other Sephardi synagogues of Western Europe. A few months after he arrived in this country ?namely, on 14 December 1726?he made a holograph will in Portuguese, of which a full English translation is in Webb's notebook. It is well worth reading. After a moving expression of simple faith and of gratitude to God for 'the goods which the same God has been pleased to give me, which were got by my care and industry. In pursuit of which I was continually employed maintaining myself and my house with the utmost honour and credit possible, so that to gain or augment the same I had not any other help either of father, parents or any others of the said kinds more than the divine omnipotence which in everything was pleased to protect me', he goes on to express his desire and duty 'to make Him sacrifice of my will, which is to leave Him the major part of all my estate'. He then gives in pecuniary legacies a total of ?89,926, which was almost the whole of his personal estate, of which ?62,833 was given to synagogues48 and other charities, including ?32,500 to Bevis Marks and other large sums to the synagogues of Holland, Leg? horn, Genoa, Bordeaux, Bayonne, Rome, and Jerusalem. The will is, in effect, a sketch in brief of the diaspora of the Marranos and in particular of his own family, and a sketch of his own career.49 But five months later, on 24 May 1727, he married the celebrated Kitty Da Costa and had two children by her,50 and on 16 April 1730 he made a codicil saying T alter this Testament because since the making thereof I have changed my condition and God hath given me a wife and children, and I will they only shall be my heirs according to the conditions and clauses as I shall appoint in or by my last will, and in case I should not declare the same I will that my said wife and children be my only necessary heirs'. When he died on 27 December 1730 there was found a third document, also in Portuguese?what seemed to be a rough sketch of a will, only partly intelligible, un? dated, blotted, and unsigned, giving small gifts to various charities and persons. Webb took the opinions of no fewer than five learned gentlemen practising in Doctor's Commons. Was the first will, which left ?32,500 to Bevis Marks, valid? No, they all advised. It was revoked by his subsequent marriage and the birth of the children, and indeed was expressly revoked by the second will, the will of April 1730, leaving all to his wife and children. And what of the third document ? Opinions differed on that. Most thought, on the evidence, it had been drafted last, as the conditions on which his wife and children inherited. Others thought it might have been drafted before the second will. The general view was that it had no effect, and the will of April 1730 alone was admitted to probate and all went to the wife and children? except that during his life he had founded the Villareal Girls' School. THE SEPHARDI KETHUBAH AND ITS EFFECT IN ENGLISH LAW In the Villareal case and several others Webb calls our attention to a situation of considerable legal and social interest, which is important to understand and which we would hardly understand without his help. As is well known to lawyers and laymen alike, under the present law of England the pro? prietary capacity of husband and wife is quite separate and independent: a married woman is absolute owner of whatever she acquired before or during the marriage. This situation, how? ever, only dates from the Married Women's Property Acts of 1870 and 1882, and before that time the law was that on marriage the</page><page sequence="7">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 45 husband became owner of the whole of his wife's personal property acquired by her before the marriage or during the marriage, and even in the case of debts due to the wife, as soon as they were paid the money was his. As a cynic put it, in the eyes of English law the husband and wife were one person, and that person was the husband. On his death the whole of the husband's personal property passed by his will to whomever he bequeathed it, but if he died intestate one-third went to the widow and the residue to his children or next-of-kin.5i This was the situation the Marranos found when they reached England. But they came from a country where the law was very different and far superior. In Portugal?much as in France or Belgium today under the system of com munaute des biens?the couple became on marri? age joint owners of the undivided whole of each other's personal estate already acquired or to be acquired during the marriage?subject to this, that the husband had the sole administra? tion and management of it during their joint lives. If the wife survived him, the ownership, administration, and management of the whole went to her, but she had to distribute half among the children or next-of-kin of her de? ceased husband. The husband had no power to will her share away from her, though he could by will increase her half-share to the extent of one-third of the other half.52 Upon marriage, therefore, in Portugal the money a bride brought would be an important part?usually perhaps the main part?of the joint capital of the married pair, especially in a family of some means, and especially where the husband was a trader. We must now consider yet a third system of law, the Jewish. In England today the Kethu bah53 is for most persons and purposes part of a religious ceremonial, but was formerly, in the eyes of the Jewish law, the marriage contract, and it sets out some of its important terms. In its traditional form, as evolved by the Rabbis many centuries ago, after referring to the mohar (or bride-wealth) now payable by the groom to the bride and shrunken to a nominal number of zuzim of no known value, it goes on to specify the amount of the neduniah (dowry or marriage portion)?the money or money's worth provided by the bride's family. The Rabbis introduced a further provision by which the groom on his side agrees to add to the marriage portion a further sum. The main object of the Kethubah was to secure the future of the wife and children and also to deter the husband from exercising the right which the Jewish law gives him of divorcing his wife at will and for no reason. To that end the Kethu? bah provides that if he divorces her or pre? deceases her the whole fund (marriage portion and addition) shall be paid to her, though the Jewish law enabled a Beth Din to deprive her of it or part of it for certain matrimonial offences,54 or to increase it for his misbehaviour. From very early times the dowry and addition5 5 were deposited for safety with the wife's father,56 and later converted into some house? hold article of value which the husband and wife could jointly use, but finally it was en? trusted to the husband and the developed Jewish law gave the wife a lien or mortgage over all the husband's possessions57 real and personal owned at the time of the marriage or later acquired, to secure the payment of the fund to her, and even provided that if, at his death or when he divorced her, he had no means, it could be recovered out of property which he had sold or given away since the marriage. The dowry, with the addition, was inherited by the wife's male children, and the daughters had the right to be supported out of it till marriage or majority. For several centuries it has been a widespread Jewish custom to fix the addition which the husband was to provide at 100% of the amount of the dowry, but in recent years, among the Ash kenazim of England as well as in the Reform movement of this country,58 the figure speci? fied for the dowry and the addition of 100% have been purely formal and borne no relation to the facts, and in the present Kethubah of the Sephardim of England the amount of the dowry (if any) is not even stated and the husband's addition is fixed at a formal ?50 sterling. But in the early eighteenth century the posi? tion was very different. The Kethubah, as drawn up by the Sephardim of London, was intended as a real and enforceable marriage contract. It set out the amount of the marriage portion</page><page sequence="8">46 A. S. Diamond actually provided and the amount of the husband's agreed addition, which was almost invariably fixed at 50% of the marriage por? tion. The figure of dowry and addition is, I think, only omitted from the Kethuboth of Bevis Marks at this date where a separate deed has been entered into, and in such a case the fact that a deed has been executed is mentioned in the Kethubah as well as its date, the names of the parties to the deed, and the name of the draftsman.59 The last-named was, as I have said, usually a notary public,60 and in Webb's time it was his firm, and the deed was usually executed on the day of the marriage and made between the groom and the bride's father, or, if he was dead, her mother and an uncle. The father settled or covenanted to settle a certain sum, and the groom covenanted that upon his death, leaving her surviving, his executors would pay to his widow that sum and a sum equal to half of it. Now, it can easily be seen that in a country where there was a system of community of goods between the spouses?as in several countries of Europe?the Jewish marriage contract, in its usual form, was in appropriate terms. Dowries on the wife's side and contributions on the husband's side were appropriate: the husband provided a sum of capital and his labour, the wife's side double the capital and less labour outside the home. The total fund became the joint property of both, managed by the husband during their joint lives, and inherited in the way I have mentioned, though it is difficult to see that a mere promise by the husband in the Kethubah would be of any value if he did not provide the money, and it is difficult to see that the lien on the husband's assets would be of any value against a third person outside the ghetto. But under English law the situation would be very different. The husband acquired on the marriage absolute ownership of all his wife's personal property and the marriage portion, and his agreement in the Kethubah to add a sum to the marriage portion?that is, to add a sum to his own property?was completely meaningless and he could leave all his personal property by will as he wished. The accompany? ing deed was therefore of the utmost import ance. Webb says that this deed 'is the constant method among the Jews*,61 but though the 50 % proportion was constant among the Jews he knew (that is, the Sephardim of London),62 we see from the Kethuboth of Bevis Marks that it was only in a minority of cases, where the families were of considerable means, that the deed was entered into (as it was in the case of Isaac Da Costa Villareal on the day of his marriage).63 The deed had, however, under the law of England at that time, a totally unexpected effect?at least, an effect which we of today would not expect. Contracts in English law are of two kinds, those by deed (known as 'special? ties') and those not by deed. In 1720 if a person owed money under a deed, that was a preferential debt, and if he became insolvent that debt would be payable out of his estate before payment of other debts. THE CASE OF JACOB LAMEGO For example,64 when Rachel, daughter of Moses de Medina (a Warden of Bevis Marks at the time), married on 2 December 1717 Jacob Lamego (son of Aaron Lamego, who had been a Warden two years before), a deed was entered into which recited that the marriage was contemplated, and by it Moses de Medina covenanted that he would pay to the bride? groom ?4,000 on the marriage (and a further ?1,000 later) and Jacob covenanted for him? self and his executors, etc., that if Rachel sur? vived him his personal representatives would within a month after his death pay to Rachel out of the best, most valuable, and readiest of his effects65 the sum of ?6,000. Jacob died insolvent nine years later (life was short in that age) leaving not enough to pay his debts owed on simple contract and note of hand, and owing no specialty debts except the ?6,000 due to Rachel. Learned counsel advised Webb that the debt to Rachel had priority of payment, and that Rachel, being the widow, was the most proper person to take out letters of administra? tion to her husband's estate; that her father (with whom her late husband had entered into the deed) should bring an action against her, as administratrix, for the ?6,000 due under</page><page sequence="9">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 47 the deed, and she should confess judgment? i.e., consent to judgment?having no defence. She would then pay her father the ?6,000 out of Jacob's estate, and her father would pay it to her. This, though it was the law, sounds a little startling, but it is even more startling to see the extent to which this rule applied. For example, Jacob had borrowed from one Abraham ?300 on promissory notes, and therefore the adminis? tratrix owed Abraham ?300 out of the estate. On the other hand, Abraham owed Jacob on another promissory note ?200 and proposed to give the administratrix credit for that sum and claimed that the estate owed him the balance of ?100. Not a bit of it: the adminis? tratrix insisted, and counsel advised that she was bound to insist, that, there being not enough assets to pay the specialty debt to Rachel of ?6,000 without his ?200, Abraham was bound to pay her that sum and content himself with proving for his ?300 and receiving a dividend.66 This method, therefore, of providing by deed for repayment of the marriage portion and addition gave the wife a large measure of security for her support after her husband's death, under a system of law which allowed no divorce (for the courts of England, like those of Portugal, had no power to grant a divorce); but if the husband contracted any other debts under seal, they all ranked equally with the wife's claim for payment; and moreover the wife's security was limited to assets left by the deceased and realisable debts due to him. The safer method was the ordinary (then modern) English method?namely, for the bride's father and the groom to transfer the money to trustees who would hold the capital and pay out the interest to the spouses. This had, how? ever (as it still has), great disadvantages in a community of merchants: the money could earn a higher rate of interest by being employed by the husband in his business than if it was invested by the trustees in the funds or some other suitable security, and to ex? pect the bridegroom to agree to the money being paid to trustees was to expect much in a community where this was not even the custom. MR. GOMES SERRA'S CASE Here is an illuminating example of this situation. It is entitled, in the notebook, 'Mr Gomes Serra's Case'.67 There are enough facts to identify the gentleman with Jacob Gomes Serra?not the Jacob Gomes Serra who was one of the early fathers of the community and had died in 1706, but his grandson of the same name, son of Phineas Gomes Serra (a later leader of the community who had died in 1718). I had better read you the case in full. It will show the style of the notebooks. iMr Gomes Sena's Case 'By the Will of her father no guardians are appointed over Mrs68 Rachel Pereira69 by her father. Neither is there any directions that she should not marry without her Mother's or the Executors' consent. Mr Joseph Henriques is Rachel's Grandfather and Mr Francis Pereira the other Executor is her Uncle and her mother is still living and she as well as the Executors are averse to the Match [i.e., with Gomes Serra]. 'Rachel is about 17 years of age and is desirous and insists her whole fortune should be received by Mr Gomes Serra without his settling any part of it on her, but only as it is the constant method among the Jews he is executing a deed that in case Mr Gomes Serra die first, she shall in the first place be repaid out of his Estate her portion with an addition of 50% the draft of this deed is annexed which please to peruse and alter. 'Rachel's mother and the Executors insist that Mr Gomes Serra should settle ?4,000, part of the said [sic] ?7,500, in trustees for the separate use of Rachel for life with proper remainders over. 'Q. In case the Executors should refuse to pay Mr Gomes Serra the portion of ?7,500 and he bring his bill in equity to compel the pay? ment, will a Court of Equity under the cir? cumstances of this case oblige the Executors to pay the whole ?7,500 over to Mr Gomes Serra without his settling any part thereof on his wife, which is her desire, or will they decree the whole ?7,500 or any and what part to be settled and laid out in the name of trustees as a Jointure or Settlement on Rachel and the issue of her marriage ?</page><page sequence="10">48 A. S. Diamond 'N.B. We expect the Executors will be as adversary in this matter as they possibly can be [from which we see that Webb is advising Gomes Serra, as apparently he often was]. Vide copy of Rachel's Father's will. ''Opinion. If the Executors refuse to pay the portion, and Mr Gomes Serra should bring his bill in equity to compel the payment of it, I apprehend the Court will not decree the por? tion to be paid to Mr G. S. without sending it first for a Master to receive proposals, what settlement he is willing to make, the rather because the young lady is an infant and the marriage is bad without the mother's consent. 'If Mr G. S. shall not propose before the Master to make such a settlement as shall be approved by the Court, I apprehend the Court will then direct the portion or the greater part of it to be put into trustees' hands, and make a provision for the lady if she survives her husband and then for the issue of the marriage if any, and if none then to be paid to Mr G. S.'s Executors etc. 'W. Melmoth, Jan 26, 1726/7.' But what, you will ask, could have been the reason why the family of the heiress?dis? tinguished as it was, the family of Pereira and Henriques?objected to a match with the pos? sessor of the distinguished name of Jacob Gomes Serra? Let us read on. Here is a case for counsel's opinion70 on the will of Rebecca Gomes Serra, widow of Jacob Gomes Serra, the elder, and grandmother of our Jacob. The will is dated 21 December 1722, and it appears from it that the young man was still under 21. She died on 24 June 1726, a few months before the opinion we have just read. Here is the beginning of the will: Tn the name of God, Amen [the usual commencement of a will at that time]. Whereas I, Rebecca Gomes Serra, Widow and Relict of Jacob Gomes Serra, late of London, Merchant, having lately lost ?5,000 sterling or there? abouts by the failure of my grandson Jacob Gomes Serra, son of Phineas Gomes Serra, so that my worldly estate is thereby reduced to the sum of ?5,000 sterling or thereabouts. . . .' We need read no more. So that was it. The doting grandmother had lost half her fortune (?60,000 in modern terms), which she had foolishly entrusted to her pet grandson, whose father, her first-born, Phineas, was dead, and who was probably not yet 21. By her will she left him only a contingent interest and a share of residue. No wonder the Pereiras and Henriqueses objected to the match and declined to entrust the child's whole fortune to him. Well, what followed? You will want to ask one or two questions, and perhaps I can answer them. The fact is, law is one thing and love is another. Did he marry her? He certainly did?on 14 Shebat 5487 (24 January 1726/7,) two days before Mr. Melmoth wrote his interesting opinion. Did Jacob have his way with the young lady's fortune? He did. On the day of the wedding, two days before Mr. Melmoth had written his opinion, saying that a Court of Equity would order most of Rachel's fortune to be transferred to trustees, a deed was entered into in the usual form. The Kethubah at Bevis Marks mentions it. It does not mention the sum, but refers to 'the deed entered into before Philip Carteret Webb, Abogado Jurado ['sworn advocate', i.e., attorney] on this 24 Jan. 1726/7, and made between the Hatan [Bridegroom] of the one part and the Givereth [lady] Esther Henriques Pereira, the widow of Selomoh the son of Moshe Pereira [the bride's mother], and the Bride, of the other part'; and the Kethubah recites that the bridegroom agrees to add as specified in the deed. Did the bride's mother even attend the wedding? I am afraid she did not, because in this strange Kethubah there is written in (or rather squeezed in) in very small Hebrew script after the signatures of the two witnesses, the Haham and Isaac de Chaves, the following postscript: 'We witness to all the above except the fact of the signature of the Bride's mother [to the deed] because we have not heard from her own mouth that she has signed, and we have not seen her sign. Apart from this all is correct.' And the witnesses sign again, and the bride too. 'Well, well,' you say, 'and did Jacob prosper, and did Rachel live happily ever after with her Jacob?' I am afraid the answer is not very satisfactory.</page><page sequence="11">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 49 He had made a good marriage, and now had a good position, and three years later they made him Gab ay at Bevis Marks. But death came early in those years, and 18 years after the marriage, on 6 Tebeth 5505 (1745), Rachel died at the age of 35. I know of no surviving children. He had not been made a Warden again then, but two years after Rachel's death, on 22 Shebat 5507 (1746/7), he made a second good marriage. He married Ribca Israel Bravo. They made him Warden again that year and again four years later. He died in 1757 at the advanced age of about 54. His will shows no evidence of means. In his will he desires his body 'may be interred in a plain coffin next the remains of my late wife . . . and I desire that my present well beloved wife Rebecca may be interred in the grave on the other side of my said late wife for which pur? pose I give her the same'. And there in the Novo lie the mortal remains of young Rachel and on one side of her Jacob and on the other side of her his second wife Rebecca.71 PROBLEMS OF INHERITANCE The legal problems of the Marrano immi? grant from Portugal were complicated by the fact that the same family was often resident in Amsterdam and London, and there were diffi? culties in applying English, Dutch, and Portu? guese law and Marrano custom, especially in the field of inheritance. There are two cases72 in Webb's notebooks relating to the will of Gasper Bernal, of Amsterdam (an elaborate will of a form strange in England, made in Amsterdam in Spanish), which provided among other things that the income from his London stocks in the East India Company and the Africa Company be used to assist certain of his named relatives (many of whom lived in London) and their families, if they needed assistance, and to provide marriage portions for any female orphans among them. He died leaving a considerable estate in London and Amsterdam, and there were complex cross claims between his estate and Abraham Bernal, of London, one of his executors.73 In regard to another case of the will of a Jew of Amsterdam who left stocks in London, there is a copy of a letter to counsel: 'Sir. With this I send you the Cases with copies of your former opinions, the originals having been picked out of my pocket. . . . Your very humble servant, P. C. Webb.' There is another case74 relating to a Mar? rano who died intestate in Portugal in 1726, leaving a widow and several children. 'Being a Jew,' says the case, 'he had for some time meditated the leaving Portugal and coming to England with his wife and children and for that purpose had remitted great part of his effects to the value of more than ?5,000 to a Merchant in London, his correspondent, who vested it in English stocks for his use.' After his death she realised his personal estate in Portugal, and remitted part of the proceeds to London to be invested there, and migrated to London with her children, bringing the rest of the money with her. In England she took out letters of administration to her deceased husband's estate, and thereby obtained her husband's stocks in London. Under English law a widow was entitled on intestacy to a third of her husband's personal estate (the rest going to her children) and under Portuguese law to a half. The Attorney-General and Solicitor-General both advised (in 1731) that she received only one-third of the stocks her husband had invested in London, but a half of his effects in Portugal. I pass from these problems of inheritance to the business activities of the Sephardim of London. THE MARRANO IMMIGRANT SHIPOWNER One of these cases75 illustrates the problems besetting the Portuguese immigrant in trading as a shipowner. The Navigation Acts of 1673 and 16967 6 sought to give English ships a monopoly of the trade between England and the English possessions. They provided that no goods should be imported into or exported out of any lands, islands, plantations, or terri? tories belonging to His Majesty or in his pos? session in any ship except such as do truly and without fraud 'only belong to the people of England', Ireland, or Wales or any of the said</page><page sequence="12">50 A. S. Diamond plantations and where the Master and at least three-fourths of the Mariners are English, on penalty of forfeiture of the goods and vessel. To quote from the ease-book: 'A, who was born in Portugal, a few years since came to England and lived and traded here as a Mer? chant. A had a bookkeeper, one B, who was born in England. On the 20 July 1726 B bought an English built ship of one C and paid C for it with A's money, and a Bill of Sale was made by C to B.77 ... And pursuant to the 17th section of the (later) Act B made an oath that he was the only owner of the ship and that no foreigner directly or indirectly had any share, part or interest therein. ... In Dec. 1726 A loaded a cargo of goods of ?1,000 value on board the said ship and the ship went on a voyage first to Guinea78 and then to her dis? charging port in the Leeward Islands. And the ship is now gone to other ports and will not return to Great Britain or any of the British plantations.' Before the ship arrived in the Leeward Islands?namely, on 28 June 1727, A was made a denizen,79 but the ship had, of course, already been used in exporting the goods from England. In August 1727, while the ship was still at sea, B assigned it to his employer A. The case goes on: 4A and B having quarrelled, B now gives out that he was not the real owner of the ship but only a trustee for A and that he will inform against A on the pretence that the transaction is contrary to the Acts of Naviga? tion.' Webb took the opinion of Dr. Henchman at Doctor's Commons, who advised that the words 'people of England' meant 'subjects of the Crown'. He was then asked whether, assuming that the bookkeeper bought only as trustee for his employer A, and the proceeds of sale of the cargo came to A's hands, but A proceeded to sell the ship or kept it away so that it never returned to England or any of the English plantations, would he be personally liable to any penalty or for the value of the ship and cargo? Counsel advised: No. The Court of Admiralty had no jurisdiction except when a ship was seized, and he assumed that the same rule would hold in this case in the common law courts. The only remedy against A was for feiture of the ship and cargo if they could be seized within the jurisdiction of the court. Webb adds in his own handwriting: 'N.B. Upon discoursing about this affair with Mr Robbinson, an officer of the Customs in the Port of London, he informed me that within these 6 years80 he had no less than 4 informa? tions given him of ships being owned contrary to this Act and that in one of these cases the owners kept the ship abroad so that he could never seize her, and he said he had taken the Attorney-General's and other good advice and they were all of opinion, the way to proceed on this law was by an actual seizure of the ship and goods and no personal remedy lay against the real owner for the value.' SLAVERY AND THE SLAVE TRADE One of the important sea-borne trades of the day was the slave trade. The Portuguese, as a maritime nation trading with Africa and the New World, were much engaged in it. The Marranos of this period brought their slaves with them to England. For example, when Abraham (alias John) Da Costa Villareal (the father of Isaac), who arrived in England from Lisbon in 1726, makes his will81 in London in the Portuguese language in June 1737, leaving to his family his few worldly possessions, he says he has in his company 'a Mulatto girl named Elizabeth whom I brought from Lisbon . . . and who is my slave, she being the daughter of another slave of mine, Maria', and he leaves her to his grandson Abraham, 'the son of my son Jacob Da Costa Villareal, with all the right and dominion I have on her'. But the legal right of masters over slaves in England in these years was a matter of doubt. Slaves were of course imported into the English plantations in large numbers and bought and sold there, and were slaves there in the eyes of the local law, but slavery was a strange institu? tion in England. There had been plenty of villeins or serfs in England in Saxon and Norman times, and a few slaves up to the twelfth cen? tury, but the slaves of the eighteenth century were not serfs and not a part of the English economy and the law did not know what to</page><page sequence="13">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 51 make of them.82 In the case of Butts v. Penny (1677)8 3 the court had held that Negroes being usually bought and sold among merchants as merchandise, and also being infidels, there might be a property in them sufficient to main? tain trover (i.e., to enable an action to be brought to recover them or their value), and this case was followed in Gully v. Cleve (1694).84 But Lord Chief Justice Holt refused to recog? nise these decisions. In three cases decided between 1698 and 170785 he held that 'By the common law no man can have a property in another', and that 'as soon as a negro comes to England he is free; one may be a villein in England but not a slave', and he decided that a master could not bring an action of trespass or trover for a Negro, nor could an action be brought on a contract to sell a Negro. But doubts remained. In the period with which we are dealing, Philip Yorke and C. Talbot, as Attorney-General and Solicitor-General, wrote opinions assuring the British planters that they could safely bring their slaves to this country, baptised or not; and the former, as Lord Hardwicke, sitting as Lord Chancellor on 19 October 1749, referred to and confirmed this opinion, and held that trover would lie, saying that a notion had prevailed that, if a Negro came over or became a Christian, he was emancipated, but there was no ground for this opinion, and no such claim for freedom was valid.86 Finally, in Somerset's Case, in 1771,87 Chief Justice Mansfield and the Court of King's Bench had to decide upon a return to a habeas corpus in the following circumstances. James Somerset, an African Negro, had been bought by a Mr. Stewart, of Jamaica, who came here on business with the intention of returning to Jamaica, and brought Somerset with him to attend him. Somerset left his service here with? out his consent, and Stewart committed him on board a ship and kept him in custody pending its return to Jamaica. Lord Mansfield pointed out that he had known five or six cases of this kind to be settled by agreement, and urged the parties to do the same here, but they refused. Finally, the decision was that 'the state of slavery is of such a nature that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but only positive law. . . . It's so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from a decision [and there were said to be 14,000 to 15,000 Negro slaves in England], I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England; and therefore the black must be discharged'.88 But that was in 1771, and our period is 50 years earlier. Here is the same case in the notebooks in 1726.89 The client may or may not be a Jewess, or Webb may well be taking advice on behalf of several clients, Jew and Gentile. 'A living in Jamaica bought there a Negro Boy and Girl. A brought the Boy over with him to England to be his servant, and sometime after sent the Girl over to live with him here also as his servant. A died here. By his will he made B (his Widow) his Executrix to whom the said Negroes now belong and with whom they both now live here as her servants or slaves. 'The Girl has lately got herself Christened and now tells her Mistress that as she is Christened she is become free and will serve her no longer. But the Boy as yet has not got himself Christened and he also tells his Mistress he will serve her no longer because he was free as soon as he arrived in England. 'Both the said Negroes have lately run away from their said Mistress and are become very wicked so that it is impossible for her to keep them now. B is desirous to send both the Boy and Girl back to Jamaica.' Webb takes the opinion o? Thomas Pengelly in 1726. First he is asked 'Whether B has any and what property in the said Negroes'. He advises that she has a property in them while they are in her possession and a right to their service against all other persons, so that she can bring an action for trespass against any stranger who shall take them from her. But that, of course, was the position in regard to any servant. Then he is asked 'Whether B can lawfully by force carry or put them on board a ship and keep them on board and send them away without their consent to Jamaica or any other place, and when they come there sell them or otherwise dispose of them as B shall think fit'.</page><page sequence="14">52 A. S. Diamond Counsel's answer is 'This is not safe or advis? able'. Then he is asked 'If B by perswasion or send? ing them of an errand get them on board a ship with an intent to send them away, which intent was unknown to them, whether B can then lawfully send them beyond the seas and sell or dispose of them there'. The answer is: 'It is not advisable to practice this Method.' Then he is asked 'If the said Negroes or either of them shall be willing to go back, Question: Whether B can lawfully send them back and sell them when they arrive beyond the seas?' Counsel replies: 'This is not advisable unless B went abroad herself and took the Negroes with her in her service.' Counsel, therefore, appears to think that she has only the rights and reme? dies of a mistress over servants while they are in England, but if she takes them abroad with her without using force, she has the rights of a mistress over slaves once she gets them abroad. Then counsel is asked whether, if they run away and become servants to another person, she can retake them by force from such Master or sue him for detaining or keeping them with? out her consent, and she is advised she ought not to use any force to retake them. But if the person detains them after notice and demand by B she may sue him, as in regard to any servant of hers. Finally he asked in desperation whether B can sue the Negroes for the money they cost bringing over and other moneys laid out upon them since they arrived in England; and the answer is No, 'because she kept them as her slaves or servants'. Nevertheless, out of England the trade in slaves throve. Here is another case in the note? books which is not without a certain gruesome interest. The Marquis Govia90 (a Portuguese Mar? quis), by articles dated 22 September 1726, let the island of St. Antonio, one of the Cap de Verde islands (off the west coast of Africa) to certain Englishmen for 27 years at a rent of ?400 per annum, payable quarterly. They paid ?120 on signing the agreement, and so there was a balance of ?80 rent owing at the end of the first half-year. There was a clause in the articles giving liberty to the lessees'to carry off such number of negroes now on the said island as the lessor shall from time to time by licence under his hand permit, payment in London within 6 months after taking the negroes off the island, at the rate of ?10 per negro'. Sub? sequently, on 26 September, there was an agreement in writing 'for sale of 100 slaves then being on the island. Lessor covenanted that his agent should within 15 days after arrival of ship sent by lessees deliver the 100 slaves to the Master of the ship and lessees covenanted to send a ship and take the slaves and pay in London within 30 days after pro? duction of the Master's receipt that the slaves have been delivered on board the said ship at the said island, the sum of ?10 of good and lawful money of Great Britain per head for each of the said 100 slaves', and that if the lessor, governor, or agent of the island should make failure of the delivery of the said slaves within the time aforesaid the lessor should pay to the lessees all such loss and expense as they should have sustained from the outset of the ship, including wages and dead freight by reason of the non-delivery of the said Negroes. The lessees fitted out and sent a vessel, but the lessor's agent could supply no more than 51 Negroes, which were delivered and the Master gave a receipt. 'The lessor leaving London deposited the counterparts of both articles with Mr Gabriel Lopes Pinheiro . . . and has given Pinheiro a special power of attorney to act for him. . . . Mr Pinheiro on the 26th day of May 1727 produced the said Master's certificate or receipt and his power of attorney to the Lessees who told him that when the 30 days were expired they would pay him for the said 51 Negroes he offering to make 'em an allowance for their loss of freight and expenses occasioned by the whole 100 Negroes not being delivered and upon the faith and credit of this Pinheiro re? mitted ?140 part thereof to the lessor. But when the 30 days were expired the Lessees refused to pay anything saying their contract was only to pay on producing a receipt that the whole 100 have been delivered and there? fore they will pay nothing. 'N.B. They also pretend that the King of Portugal is incensed at the Lessor for letting said island to English Men and that they have</page><page sequence="15">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 53 reason to fear the King of Portugal may send an armed force to compel the Lessees' Agents to quit said Island and that therefore they will retain what rent is due in their hands to indemnify them against what harm or loss they may suffer thereby. 'N.B. The Lessor is not returned to Portugal. Neither have we the least reason to apprehend the King of Portugal will do anything of this sort. But is an invention and pretence of the Lessees to avoid paying what is due.' The question Webb put to counsel was whether Mr. Pinheiro could sue the lessees and what form the proceeding should take, and this does not interest us. What does interest us, apart from the cold-blooded nature of this agreement, is that Gabriel Lopes Pinheiro, the Marquis's agent in London, was a member of the Mahamad at the time, a prominent, in? fluential, and respected business man. His name in the synagogue was Moses Lopes Dias,91 and we see very clearly one of the reasons why a Marrano having emigrated to England found it convenient or necessary to do business in one name with persons and businesses in Portugal while using another name in the synagogue. It would be impossible otherwise for a person resident in Portugal to do business with him.92 JEWISH BROKERS Another curious case in the notebooks relates to Jewish brokers.93 It is particularly interest? ing because a contemporary manuscript at Bevis Marks repeats the contents of Webb's note in much fuller detail and continues the story. Between them they add to our know? ledge of the status of the 'Jew broker' and its history. At the Resettlement Jews, not being citizens of London but aliens, could not engage in retail trade. The bulk, therefore, of Jewish trade was that of merchants (that is to say, wholesale traders doing business as principals). As distinct from the merchant, the broker (i.e., agent or middleman conducting wholesale trade for a merchant on commission) was in practice a trader who had suffered misfortune in business and was being helped by friends to earn a livelihood, and it was desired to limit the trade or office to persons of that class. As the bulk of wholesale trade generally, as well as business in stocks and shares, was carried on through the Royal Exchange, the position of a Jewish broker on 'Change would be important. A broker was normally required to be a freeman of the City and a Jew could not be a freeman.94 But from the beginning a few Jews had been licensed as brokers by the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, and from time to time Jews were proceeded against for doing brokers' business without licence?presumably under some Act of Common Council. Then an Act of Common Council of February 1673 fixed the maximum number of brokers at 100 persons born within the realm and 12 aliens born, being members of the French and Dutch Congregation, and 6 others being aliens born as the Court of Alderman should think fit. A few Jews were licensed in the following years by the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen. Then in 1697 the Royal Exchange was re? organised by the Corporation under Parlia? mentary powers. The Act95 provided that no person after 1 May 1697 should act as broker without being first admitted, licensed, and approved by the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen under penalty of ?500, and the number of such brokers should not at any time exceed 100, and every broker should on admit? tance pay the usual fee, not to exceed 40s. Under this Act 100 persons were admitted as brokers, including a total of 12 Jews.96 In or about 1701 this Act expired. A century earlier, an Act of the first year of James I97 had been passed 'for the well garbling of spices'?that is to say, for the proper sifting and cleansing of spices, and an office had been set up for this purpose, the profits of which were part of the revenues of the City of London. In 1707 the office was on lease from the City to one William Stewart, who paid a rent for it of ?300 per annum, and in that year the Act of James I was repealed and the office was abolished. In order to compensate Mr. Stewart for his consequent loss the Act of 1707 9 8 provided that 'all persons that shall act as Brokers within the City of London and Liber? ties thereof shall from time to time be admitted</page><page sequence="16">54 A. S. Diamond to do so by the Court of Mayor and Aldermen of said City for the time being, under such restrictions and limitations for their honest behaviour as that Court shall think fit and reasonable, and shall upon their admission pay to the Chamberlain of the said City . . . 40s. and shall also yearly pay the sum of 40s. on the 29th of September in every year all which moneys shall in the first place be applied to? wards paying . . . the said Wm Stewart ?967. 10. Od. for a compensation for his interest in the said office and . . . after the same shall be paid all the moneys arising by such admissions and yearly payments shall be en? joyed by the said Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London'. The Act also provided that 'if any person . . . shall take upon him to act as a Broker or employ any under him to act as such, within the said City and Liberties, not being admitted as aforesaid every such person so offending shall forfeit and pay to the use of the said Mayor and Common? alty and Citizens of the said City for every such offence the sum of ?25 to be recovered by Action of Debt in the name of the Chamberlain of the said City in any of Her Majesty's Courts of Record'. In the middle of 1720, the year of the South Sea Bubble, the price of stocks rocketed, and 'several poor Jews" and others' (as Webb tells us) at that time and since, 'notwithstanding this Act of Parliament have made it their business to act as Brokers in buying and selling of stocks etc. by commission notwithstanding that they were not admitted to do so by the Court of Lord Mayor and Aldermen and thereupon a great number of suits have been commenced against such persons ... for recovery of said penalty of ?25'. They went to Webb and Webb consults Serjeant Cheshire and Serjeant Whitaker as to the validity of cer? tain highly technical and unmeritorious objec? tions to the validity of the proceedings?the main point being that the Coroner, having been appointed by the Mayor and Commonalty (who were in effect the plaintiffs), was not a proper person to empanel the jury. Counsel advised against all the points, and Serjeant Whitaker ended by saying: 'There is no way for the future but by being admitted according to the Statute by the Court of Aldermen on the terms by Statute required.' The story is taken up from this point by the Bevis Marks manuscript. The Act of 1707 had fixed no maximum number for brokers, and by this time (autumn 1722) there were about 240 sworn brokers in all, but the Court of Aldermen refused to admit any more Jews than 12. The action for penalties came on in Michaelmas term of that year before Lord Chief Justice Pratt in the King's Bench.100 After the de? fendants' counsel had challenged the jury on the ground mentioned above, the Chief Justice said to Serjeant Whitaker (for the defence) that his clients were very troublesome to the City, and asked him why they acted as brokers with? out being admitted and paying the fees, saying that it would be better for them to submit and pay the fees and be admitted. The Serjeant said they had always been ready and willing so to do and had frequently applied to be ad? mitted and pay, but the Court refused to admit them on account of their being Jews. His Lord? ship replied that he could not conceive that the Court of Aldermen would be against admitting anyone to be Broker who should apply, because it was for the good of the City and of Trade in General to have a great number of them, and he doubted whether the Serjeant's clients had been misinformed. The Serjeant then, to show his clients' good faith, offered to leave all matters in difference to the Court of Aldermen and abide by their Order, and the Chief Justice approved and it was ordered accord? ingly. Soon afterwards, the defendants petitioned the Court of Aldermen, praying to be admitted and annexing a certificate from 59 of the 'Chiefest Merchants on the Exchange' that it would in their opinion be an advantage to Trade and an ease to the Merchants to have the number of Jewish brokers enlarged. The Court of Aldermen rejected their petition101 and ordered each defendant to pay a penalty of ?25 for so acting, and full costs of suit, and subsequently 'ordered them and about 15 other persons of their nation to be arrested again' and this was done. The manuscript ends: 'Most of these people who are so sued are poor aged people who have no other method of</page><page sequence="17">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 55 getting their bread and maintaining their families than by acting for their friends on commission but are persons of the highest integrity and honesty.' The number of Jewish brokers remained at 12. BANKRUPTCY Several of the cases in these notebooks con? cern bankruptcy proceedings, Webb being con? sulted by his Sephardi clients in attempts to obtain payment of debts by making their debtors bankrupt. Under the legislation then in force only a trader could be made bankrupt, and he must have committed an 'act of bankruptcy'. Such acts included departing from the realm, or keeping house or otherwise absenting one? self, with the intention of hindering or delaying creditors, or being indebted in a sum of ?100 or more and not paying it for a period of six months after the suing out of the original writ or six months after arrest for debt. In one case102 Webb is acting for Messrs. A. &amp; I. Franco, of London, who are agents for Sephardi merchants of Constantinople called Haim Camshi and are seeking to make bankrupt an Englishman who traded as a merchant in Constantinople and absconded to London owing upwards of ?40,000. The Lord Chan? cellor has appointed Commissioners in bank? ruptcy in the usual way, and evidence is being given before them at Robins Coffee House, Guildhall, of the debts due and that the debtor had also traded in England and was lying low and moving from coffee house to tavern and tavern to lodging house, and had gone to Calais to avoid arrest by his creditors. In an? other case103 money had been owing between two Marranos in Portugal and both had since come to England, and Webb's client sought to make bankrupt his debtor, by name Fellis de Mello Cardozo, alias Moses Cardoso, who was hiding from his creditors and had not been out of his house for some months to avoid being arrested. But the Commissioners had refused to declare him a bankrupt on the ground that he had not traded in England but only in Portugal. Serjeant Pengelly advises Webb that the deci? sion of the Commissioners is in accordance with a reported case and is right. In another case104 E Jacob Gomes Serra, the younger, is consulting Webb, and Webb is consulting counsel, as to whether bankruptcy proceedings would lie against a man who had traded for some years abroad in India and elsewhere and had now returned to England and got himself engaged by the French Ambassador as one of his domestic retinue, but did not live in his house. In another case105 A went bail for B, who was being proceeded against by the Crown for forfeiture of some goods, probably on the ground that they had been smuggled into the country, and judgment had been given against B for ?500 and he then absconded and so A was liable on his recognisances. Then A himself was prosecuted for smuggling and judgment was given against him for several hundred pounds, and the Crown is about to prosecute him for smuggling other goods. A has already been made bankrupt and has applied for his dis? charge under a recent Act which had intro? duced discharge from bankruptcy, and if he gets his discharge wants to know from counsel whether his bankruptcy and discharge will free him from any demands of the Crown. The answer was a firm No. There is also a case where a Jew lets a non-Jew have jewellery on sale or return and he absconds to Holland and is made bankrupt and various questions arise in the bankruptcy.106 There is a case between two Jews who lived in Amsterdam. A sold B certain Dutch West India Stock, but B refused to take them up and pay for them and absconded and came to live in England without paying his creditors but with a considerable estate. A sued B in the King's Bench, but all his witnesses were in Holland and could not be compelled to come over and attend the trial. Counsel advised that their evidence should be taken on commission in Holland.107 There is another case in which Rowland Gideon108 made a will leaving ?1,000 to his young son Sampson and ?100 to his widow for life and the residue of his estate to his children and made his son Isaac his executor. After payment of the testator's debts the estate was only ?1,920, which Isaac kept in his hands to meet the legacy of ?1,000 to his brother and the annuity to his mother, who lived with him.</page><page sequence="18">56 A. S. Diamond Isaac has met with losses and has creditors and expects a verdict for nearly ?2,000 against him next week. He cannot be made bankrupt. Webb takes counsel's opinion on the widow's position and is advised that a bill of sale over his furniture genuinely and honestly given by Isaac to his mother in consideration of the legacy and to secure the annuity would be valid against creditors. It is interesting to re? member that the young Sampson, who had not been paid his ?1,000, subsequently became the leading financier of England and trusted adviser of successive Governments. BANKRUPTCY OF WOODWARD &amp; CO. In March 1731 Messrs. Woodward &amp; Com? pany, Bankers and Goldsmiths, of Exchange Alley, who financed a good deal of trade with Spain and other countries, stopped payment and became bankrupt. This was a catastrophe for, among others, their customer Gabriel Lopes Pinheiro (the London agent of the Marquis Govia), who had an overdraft of over ?11,000 and owed other creditors over ?8,000, a total indebtedness of over ?20,000, which he was as yet unable to pay, his effects being abroad. Webb on his behalf proposed to transfer to Messrs. Woodward's assignees in bankruptcy assets of a greater value, on trust to pay all his creditors in full and return the surplus to him, and this is done, the document being drafted by counsel.109 This was a time of several failures among non-Jews in trade with Spain,110 and one may suspect that it was the result of this activity of the Inquisition which had driven so many Marranos from Spain and destroyed so many others. A GAMBLE WITH AN EXPECTANT HEIR Here is a case where someone (probably a Jew) is proposing to gamble by lending money to an expectant heir, a young gentleman with about ?15,000 in South Sea and Indian Stocks, which he has since his marriage transferred to trustees as a settlement for the benefit of his wife and children and only draws the interest. He has a grandfather over 70 years of age, worth over ?30,000, and when he dies the grandson will, it is supposed, receive half of this under his will. The young man overspends and has many debts, and creditors are threatening to arrest him for debt and if they do the grandfather will probably disinherit him. So someone is pro? posing to lend him ?1,000 on the terms that if he survives his grandfather he will pay the lender ?2,000 one month after the old man's death, but if he dies before his grandfather the lender will get nothing, not even his ?1,000. Counsel advises that this is a good contract at law, but that the Court of Chancery, if it came to the conclusion that the bargain was unfair in view of the age and infirmities of the old gentleman, might relieve the young man of the payment of anything in excess of the ?1,000 and interest on it.111 Apart from such problems of individuals, there are some important cases affecting the London Sephardi community as a whole, and I mention them very briefly. WHETHER A JEW COULD OWN LAND Here are the opinions112 that Webb's firm took from a number of distinguished counsel as to whether a Jew, born in England or a free denizen, could purchase land in fee simple. The first opinion was in February 1719 from Sir Robert Raymond, then Attorney-General and later Chief Justice, and the remainder were taken in February 1724 from the then Solicitor General and seven other well-known members of the Bar. It is not possible to say what was the occasion in 1719 which caused Sir Robert Raymond's opinion to be taken, but the occa? sion in 1724 which was considered to call for the opinions of eight distinguished counsel must have been one affecting the whole com? munity in an important respect, and it seems probable that it was the problem of acquiring a burial-ground. There was the problem of acquiring a better title to the Velho, the old burial-ground, which was almost full, and the problem of acquiring a new burial-ground which they bought on 8 December of the same year. Some 30 years later, namely, in 1753,</page><page sequence="19">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 57 Webb published these opinions in his pamphlet 'The Question whether a Jew born within the British Dominions was, before the making of the late Act of Parliament, a Person capable by Law to purchase and hold lands to him and his Heirs, fairly stated and considered5. The Act of Parliament referred to was the Jews' Naturali? sation Act, which had been passed in that year but was subsequently repealed. Webb must, I think, have taken these opinions from this same notebook, for they seem to be precis. All eight counsel (with some qualifications by one of them) advised that a Jewish subject of His Majesty had the same right to purchase land as any other of his subjects. The problem of the title to the Old Burial Ground is separately recorded in the same note? book.113 THE HAMBRO SYNAGOGUE There is one other important communal dis? pute recorded in the notebooks,114 and it should be referred to here because, although it has been the subject of at least one paper read to this Society,115 the notebook adds to our knowledge of the matter. The congregation of the Ashkenazim, which had been established since the 1680s in a house in Shoemaker's Row, i.e., Duke's Place, hard by Bevis Marks, had as its despotic head at the beginning of the eighteenth century a recent arrival, one Abraham of Hamburg, commonly known as Aberle, a prosperous mer? chant of precious stones and a trained Talmud? ist. At that time the Rabbi of the synagogue was one Judah Leib, also of Hamburg, a man who suffered much. They became the leaders of two warring parties in the synagogue, until Aberle, by a subterfuge, rid himself of Judah Leib. It was found that the fringes of the Rabbi's tallith were deficient, and the public disgrace which followed compelled his resignation and retirement, though it appears likely that while he slept in his chair, after his daily routine inspection of his tallith, the beadle at the instigation of Reb Aberle had cut off a fringe. Behind Aberle stood the figures of two some? what remarkable young men who had recently migrated from Breslau, the brothers Hart, rela tives of the distinguished financier Benjamin Levy and well connected with other leading figures in the community. The elder, Aaron Hart, was a Rabbi of some distinction and it was part of the scheme for getting rid of Judah Leib that Aaron Hart should succeed him after a respectable interval as Rabbi of the syna? gogue. The younger brother, Moses Hart, still in his twenties, was already a prosperous busi? ness man and by 1704 was one of the Jew brokers, and it was largely by his influence that the appointment of the studious Aaron was secured. The opposition to Aberle, however, con? tinued, and about the beginning of 1704 a number of members of the opposition group decided to form their own Beth Hamidrash, a quiet place of study with a synagogue attached in a house in St. Mary Axe. The group in? cluded one Marcus Moses, another successful merchant of precious stones and recent immi? grant to London, a business associate of his, one Abraham Nathan (in whose house the Beth Hamidrash was to be erected), and Sampson Mears, a partner of Aberle. Moses Hart and Aberle sprang into action to prevent this enormity. It must be said in their favour that they feared that the difficulty of the synagogue in maintaining itself would be increased by the defection of substantial members and that the position of Rabbi Aaron Hart would be weakened. The Spanish and Portuguese con? gregation rallied to their support, for did not their Ascama No. 1 prohibit the setting up of a second Sephardi congregation in the City or its environs without the permission of the Maha mad, on pain of eher em, or excommunication ?? and they feared the results of such a precedent. Moses Hart and Abraham Mendez, of Bevis Marks, the well-known detective, lodged a complaint with the Court of Aldermen of the City that these gentlemen were erecting a new synagogue in St. Mary Axe without the per? mission of the Court (there was some very ancient authority for the proposition that a Jew could repair an old synagogue but could not build a new one). The Court summoned Abraham Nathan, Sampson Mears, and Marcus Moses to appear, and on 22 March 1704, after hearing the parties and finding that</page><page sequence="20">58 A. S. Diamond the building was fitted up and designed for a place of Jewish worship and a college or school for the education and instruction of youth and others according to the Jewish religion, they forbade the conversion and use, and this put a stop to the scheme. But the strife in the synagogue continued. Strengthened by his victory, Reb Aberle in? duced the Beth Din to forbid, under penalty of excommunication, all secession from the com? munity, and the union of 10 individuals to form a separate house of prayer was forbidden. Abraham Nathan and Marcus Moses were made to undertake in writing, on oath, that they would not at any time thereafter erect any other synagogue or assemble in any other place or synagogue upon forfeiture of ?500, half to Her Majesty and half to the poor. Then in 1706 Rabbi Aaron Hart arranged a secret, conditional divorce for a certain gentleman who was leaving for foreign parts to evade his creditors. Marcus Moses publicly criticised its validity, and, refusing to desist, was excom? municated. In September the distinguished authority Rabbi Zevi Ashkenazi, being appealed to, held the ban unlawful and released Marcus Moses from it, but Aberle refused to recognise the decision. Marcus commenced to hold prayers in his private house and took Rabbi Yochanan Holleschau, a distinguished Tal mudist, to live with him and acquired a piece of ground at Hoxton for burials. Holleschau and Aaron Hart fulminated against one an? other in pamphlets. The dispute was discussed by Jew and Gentile in England and on the Continent of Europe, and the name of the Ashkenazi community of London became a by? word for intrigue. But Marcus Moses was ruined in his business by this ostracism and in 1711 departed to the Indies to recoup his fortunes. All this happened before Webb's time. Ten years later, in 1721, Marcus Moses returned, a wealthy nabob, and in 1725 he with his associates began to build a synagogue in his new home in Magpie Alley, off Fen church Street. The quarrel burst into renewed uproar. The Sephardim, as before, and for the same reasons, were solid with Duke's Place, and so Webb was employed by both. On his advice two petitions were launched before the Lord Mayor and the Court of Aldermen, one by Mr. Moses Hart on behalf of Duke's Place and the other by the parishioners of that parish, whom he induced to lodge it. The parishioners alleged that the building of a new synagogue was illegal, that it adjoined the parish church at a very few yards' distance, and the numbers of Jews brought thereby into Magpie Alley would in great measure block it up, it being a thorough? fare not exceeding three foot in width. Mr. Moses Hart's petition recited the history of the matter. He said the congregation of Ger? man Jews in London had always congregated themselves together in their synagogue in Shoemaker's Row, built on lands belonging to the City, which was the only synagogue for their worship in London: that, after the deci? sion of the Lord Mayor's Court in 1704, Marcus Moses and his friends had signed the sworn undertaking referred to above, and as the synagogue was very old the petitioners had in 1716 for a sum of ?300 obtained a new building lease from the City of some adjoining land to rebuild and enlarge the synagogue, and relying on the Lord Mayor's Order of 1704 had spent ?2,000 on the rebuilding; and now Marcus Moses, Abraham Nathan, and another, 'with intent to divide and weaken the synagogue, have withdrawn themselves in contempt of this Honourable Court and are now actually erecting and building a synagogue in Magpie Alley which would tend to the impoverishment of the congregation, which for some time past hath found it very difficult to maintain and render it unable to support them for the future, and thereby bring a great and inevitable charge on the parishes where they live'. They ended by saying 'that your Peti? tioners and the Members of the said Synagogue are very sensible of the happiness and many blessings they enjoy under the protection of the Laws and your Lordships' and Worships' mild Administration of Justice and therefore in re? gard that the said building is built so near the Parish Church that the same gives great cause of offence and will greatly incommode the inhabitants of the said parish in the Exercise of their Religion, they therefore think it their</page><page sequence="21">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 59 duty to acquaint this Honourable Court with their abhorrence and dislike of an Attempt of this nature and their desire that the same may be discontinued'. The Court read the petition and also heard Marcus Moses and gave the decision that 'they will not permit or suffer the said building com? plained of to be converted or turned into a synagogue for the exercise of the said Jewish religion, as they will answer for the same at their peril'. Webb consulted a number of distinguished counsel, reciting all these facts and adding that 'Marcus Moses is fitting up and in a few days will begin to exercise their religion publicly in this New Synagogue and Mr. Moses puts the Court of Aldermen and Parish at defyance'. Webb asks 'whether there is any method for the Parishioners to put a stop to the exercise of the Jewish worship in this new Synagogue'. Serjeant Pengelly said: 'I do not perceive that any person joins in this Complaint who has an estate or interest in the Ground whereupon this building is erecting', so that the remedy could only be for breach of some law affecting the public government or for a public nuisance, and it could not be seen till the place was actually used whether such offence was com? mitted. Then he is asked whether Marcus Moses and his associates could not be indicted for defying the orders of the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen and whether it was advis? able to prosecute them. Counsel merely ad? vised them to wait till they could show it was a public nuisance particularly because of its proximity to the church. Webb sent the same case to Sir Clement Wearg, Solicitor-General, who said he did not know that a person could be indicted for not obeying an Order of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen. But he said that he conceived that the meeting of the Jews of this synagogue was an offence against the Conventicle Act of 1670116 (which, in brief, made it an offence for five persons or more to assemble for any exercise of religion except according to the liturgy and practice of the Church of England). They also sent the same case to Sir Philip Yorke, Attorney-General, who also advised that no one could be prosecuted for dis obedience to the orders of the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, and until some disturbance or interruption had been occasioned to the parishioners in their attendance upon divine worship in their parish church, to which they were bound by law to come, there was no foundation for any prosecution. Undeterred by these unfavourable opinions, Webb later sent the same case to Lingard, Common Serjeant, informing him that 'In defiance of my Lord Mayor's Order, Marcus Moses hath finished this Synagogue and for a month past hath publicly exercised the Jewish Religion in it, and to prevent the Parishioners from presenting [i.e., prosecuting] them for it he hath made them an offer in writing to pay them ?100 down and ?20 for 20 years if they will not oppose his using the said New Syna? gogue, which offer, it is believed, they will accept'. Lingard was asked to advise whether there was any method of suppressing this synagogue or punishing Marcus Moses and his associates, and, if he were indicted for public nuisance and the parishioners refused to prosecute, would the evidence of other persons suffice or must the parties aggrieved complain? Lingard advised that he could be prosecuted under the Conventicle Act, and that any per? son might prosecute, though the parishioners should not think fit to do so, but he ended as follows: 'But it ought to be well considered by the Jews of other Synagogues how far it will be prudent in them to stir up a matter of this nature, and whether or no they themselves are not liable to the same inconveniences and whether such a prosecution may not provoke Marcus Moses to set up a prosecution against other Synagogues, which as far as I can see are but in the same circumstances with this.' That was the end of this unsavoury episode, and so the Hambro Synagogue came into being. *?,* These are the Presidential Addresses to the Jewish Historical Society, delivered on 7 November 1962 and 6 November 1963. The author expresses his indebtedness to Dr. R. D. Barnett for his great assistance in regard to the available documents at Bevis Marks and also for suggesting this study to him.</page><page sequence="22">60 A. S. Diamond NOTES 1 See some estimates of an earlier period, Trans. J.H.S.E., XIX, pp. 181f. I have arrived at the estimate of 1,050: (1) By assuming a death rate about 1720 of 40 per 1,000. The average number of burials in the Velho in the three years 5479-5481 (1719-1721) was 41. This makes a population figure of 1,025. An allowance of, say, 5% must, however, be made for some additional burials elsewhere {e.g., in common graves, Amsterdam, Portugal, or at sea), bringing the figure up to 1,076. (2) By assuming a continuance since 1695 of an average increase in the population of 3% in each year (a rate true of the period from 1684 to 1695?see Trans. J.H.S.E., XIX, loc. cit.). This produces a figure of 1,197. This is too high?the Inquisition had been inactive since 1700 and the death rate had been smaller. (3) By comparing the number of Kethuboth (or marriage contracts) in 1693 (average of the years 5452?the first complete year for which data sur? vive?to 5455)?namely, 7*25 per annum, with that in 1720 (average of the years 5479 to 5482, omitting cases of 'vindos de Portugal'), 12*67 per annum. Assuming a population figure in 1693 of 539, we obtain an estimate for 1720 of 942. This is too low; intermarriage was beginning. Tovey in Anglia Judaica (1738) says he has been 'well in? formed' that 'the whole number of Jews of both sorts [Sephardim and Ashkenazim] amounts to near 6,000' in all parts of the country. This figure probably suffers from the usual exaggeration of the number of Jews in England, but gives general support to the estimate above of 1,050 Sephardim in London in 1720. See other exaggerations of the numbers of Jews in England in the eighteenth century, Trans. J.H.S.E., XIII, p. 332. 2 See the occupations in Webb's notebooks. 3 The full ballad is cited in Tout, History of England, Part III (1910), p. 766. 4 Gabriel Lopes Pinheiro (alias Moses Lopes Dias), see p. 56. 5 In Portugal the Inquisition suspended opera? tions from 1674 to 1682, and from 1682 to 1700 a total of 59 victims were relaxed in person and 61 in effigy, and 1,351 were penanced?i.e., there was a considerable diminution in the number of victims. In Spain, where throughout the century the immigrants from Portugal had supplied the victims, it seemed that at its close the victory over Judaism was complete, but the comparative immunity of the Marranos brought some recklessness (Lea, History of the Inquisition of Spain (1906-1907), Vol. 3, pp. 289-308). 6 Lea, op. cit., Vol. 3, pp. 308-311. 7 See S. B. Freehof, The Responsa Literature (Philadelphia, 1959), pp. 36, 115-118, 215f. 8 Inferred from the figures collected in Lucien Wolf, Jews in the Canary Islands (1926), p. xxvii, (n) 4. 9 The figures are: year 5481 (corresponding to c.e. 1721), 4; 5482, 2; 5483, 4; 5484, 3; 5485, 8; 5486, 15; 5487, 15; 5488, 17; 5489, 11; 5490, 5; 5491, 7; 5492, 5; 5493, 5; 5494, 3; 5495 (the last year), 2; total, 106 remarriages. The peak period was 1725 to 1729 and the peak year 1727, with 21 such remarriages. In the same period (5481 5495) the total number of marriages at Bevis Marks was 303. 10 According to a French visitor to England (M. Lacombe, in Observations sur Londres et ses environs [London, 1777], pp. 44-45), no fewer than 2,000 Jewish families from Spain settled in England between 1720 and 1745. This is an exaggeration. 11 A total expenditure on the poor for this year of ?2,786?the equivalent in modern terms of about ?40,000, laid out in one year by this community of little more than 1,000 souls. The average annual expenditure in the eight years 5485 to 5492 was over ?2,000 (in modern terms about ?30,000). The following figures are taken from the Treasurers' Accounts, 5436-5510 (Bevis Marks, Manuscript Book, MS. 12A): Year ''Com Povres 'Com Povres (Por hum anno 'Frettes' da Terra' Forasteiros'* de aluquer de paid for cazas de povres' arrivals from Portugal and Spain ? s. d. ? s. d. ? s. d. ? s. d. 5476 472 9 0 73 6 8 325 18 0 5477 550 9 2 140 9 0 299 18 0 5478 512 1 6 80 0 0 322 18 0 5479 475 1 6 58 15 0 312 6 0 5480 589 11 6 53 19 6 299 1 0 5481 625 5 6 201 19 6 265 9 6 5482 643 7 3 167 13 4 255 10 0 5483 777 16 1 115 17 6 293 8 0 5484 927 11 0 233 19 0 323 15 6 5485 1,223 9 6 452 18 6 360 18 0 5486 1,639 6 0 744 4 4 402 10 6 5487 1,448 6 6 295 13 6 391 5 6 5488 1,053 4 4 267 6 7 359 3 0 254 4 Of</page><page sequence="23">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 61 Year 'Com Povres 'Com Povres 'Por hum anno 'Frettes' da Terra' Forasteiros'* de aluquer de paid for cazas de povres' arrivals from Portugal and Spain ? s. d. ? s. d. ? s. d. ? s. d. 5489 1,257 15 11 211 4 6 341 18 0 94 6 0 5490 1,177 7 0 230 9 6 322 10 0 98 0 0 5491 1,349 15 6 165 10 0 313 17 0 97 10 0 5492 1,162 3 6 93 18 6 320 12 0 36 13 0 5493 491 10 0 172 0 0 243 10 10 5494 559 7 6 59 11 0 72 0 0 26 0 0 5495 664 7 0 39 14 6 242 10 0 10 10 0 5496 671 3 6 76 7 0 26 16 0 * Note: For the years 5485 and onwards this item is called 'Gastos com despachar Povres' (or 'com despachos de Povres') and in 5487, 5488, and 5496 'Gastos com despachar Povres por Foras' (i.e., cost of sending the poor abroad). I The items in this column had obviously been included in the items 'com Povres Forasteiros' and 'com despachar Povres por Foras' in earlier years. The circumcision register of Isaac Carriao de Paiba, to which Dr. R. D. Barnett has kindly drawn my attention, is in accordance with the figures above, for it shows the following circumcisions in these years of men (up to the age of 80) and boys above the usual age, the bulk being adults: ce. 1717, 2; 1722, 2; 1723, 2; 1724, 4; 1725, 31; 1726, 40; 1727, 22; 1728, 3; 1729, 3; 1730, 6; 1731, 2; 1732, 7; 1733, 6; 1735, 2; 1736, 8. There were, of course, circumcisions performed by others in these years. 12 Movements of some of these Marrano refugees from London to the New World should be remem? bered (see an article about to be published by Dr. R. D. Barnett on the arrival of some of these in Savannah, Georgia, in 1733). 13 On the death rate of London generally see M. Dorothy George, London Life in the XVIIIth Century (2nd ed., 1930); and Trans. J.H.S.E., XIX, p. 184. 14 Arrived at by taking an average of the follow? ing burials (recorded in the Burial Register of the Velho Cemetery) of adults and 'angelitos' (young children?say, under 10 years of age): Tear Burials of Burials of Total Adults Angelitos 5468 (1708) 9 14 23 5469 (1709) 24 13 37 5470 (1710) 17 15 32 5471 (1711) 16 16 32 124 Average 31 per annum. 15 Arrived at by taking an average of the annual burials of adults and also 'angelitos' in the Velho and 'criaturas' in the Novo in the registers of the Velho and Novo for the following years: Tear Burials of Burials of Total Adults Angelitos and Criaturas 5491 (1731) 24 27 51 5492 (1732) 25 20 45 5493 (1733) 61 31 92 5494 (1734) 39 38 77 265 Average 66-25 per annum. 16 From the burial registers of the Velho and Novo: Tear Burials of Burials of Total Adults Angelitos and Criaturas 5498 (1738) 5499 (1739) 5500 (1740) 5501 (1741) 48 24 41 34 62 41 47 30 72 75 103 77 327 Average 81*75 per annum. 17 Average total burials: c.e. 1734-1743, 78 per annum; 1744-1753, 56-6; 1754-1763, 54*3. 18 Average total burials of 'criaturas* (infants): c.e. 1734-1743, 32*9 per annum; 1744-1753, 20*5; 1754-1763, 17*3. 19 Over the whole period from 1700 to 1764 the number of Tehidim of Bevis Marks increased only from about 200 to 238. The figure of 200 is esti? mated from the Lists of Subscriptions to the New Synagogue, M. Gaster, History of the Ancient Synagogue (1901), pp. 73f.; and the figure of 238 is the number of Tehidim in the year 5524?ibid., p. 146. 20 Average number of Kethuboth, c.e. 1740 (5496-5505), 14*3 p.a.; 1800 (5556-5565), 8*2 p.a. 21 See the names collected by Mr. Arthur P. Arnold from the 'census' of 1695 for the City of London. For this census see 'London Population in the Late 17th Century', by P. E. Jones and A. V. Judges, Economic History Review, Vol. VI (1935? 1936), pp. 45f. 22 Dr. Cecil Roth was the first member of the Anglo-Jewish community to learn of their existence. See also Dr. R. D. Barnett's article 'Anglo-Jewry</page><page sequence="24">62 A. S. Diamond in the Eighteenth Century* in Three Centuries of Anglo-Jewish History (published by the J.H.S.E., 1961), pp. 48-51. 23 See also his life in the Dictionary of National Biography. 24 See, for the history of the solicitor, Sir Wm. Holdsworth, A History of English Law (1903-), Vol. VI, pp. 431f.; The Compleat Solicitor (1668), Preface and pp. 13, 18; 4th ed. 1672; The Compleat Solicitor, Entring-Clerk and Attorney (1683); E. B. V. Christian, A Short History of Solicitors; R. Robson, The Attorney in 18th Century England (1959), Chap. 1. 25 See Libro de los Acuerdos (1931), p. 45; and Trans. J.H.S.E., XIX, pp. 175-176. 26 See Libro de los Acuerdos, pp. 30, 45, 53, 61, 92; Bevis Marks Records (1940), Part I, pp. 19, 29. 27 In The Conversion and Persecutions of Eve Cohan. 28 He is recorded there as having acted for the synagogue in the settlement of the claim of William and Elisabeth Franklin in regard to the Velho (Trans. J.H.S.E., XIX, p. 180). He also acted in the settlement with Howes's widow (ibid.). See also B.M. 12A, Treasurers' Accounts 5436-5510, year 5446. 29 See Marriage Contract of Selomo da Costa Athias, 7 Tamuz 5477. 30 In the two notebooks referred to later, up to and including 1726, there are 16 Jewish cases (and 2 undated) and 4 non-Jewish cases (and 2 or 3 undated). After 1726 there are apparently 9 Jewish and 24 non-Jewish. 31 Lincoln's Inn Records?Admissions, Vol. 1, p. 422. 32 See a list set out in John Nichols's Literary Anecdotes of the 18th Century (1812-1815), Vol. 2, pp.279-282. 33 Perhaps the most interesting passages in it are the opinions which Webb obtained from eminent counsel on this question, and which are set out in his notebook, Lansdowne MSS., No. 629, pp. 36f. 34 In Bevis Marks. 35 See Namier, Structure of Politics at the Accession of George III (1929), Vol. 1, pp. 48^9. 36 For example, Secretaries to the Treasury almost invariably sat in Parliament, ibid., p. 180. 37 See, for an example, op. cit., p. 49. 38 Differing views of Webb's conduct may be found in Horace Walpole, Memoirs of the Reign of George III, ed. Barker (1894), Vol. 1, pp. 267, 286, and Le Marchant's notes; Charles Churchill's Poetical Works (1804 ed.), Vol. 2, p. 288. 39 Monypenny, Life of Disraeli (1910), Vol. 1, p. 32. 40 Sometimes the case refers to the party by an initial letter, and counsel's opinion names the party, so that this cannot be the original case for opinion. 41 Such as references to authorities, suggestions to pupils, indices, etc. At the end of No. 629 is an index of counsel and an index of subject-matter; No. 630 has only an index of counsel. 42 There are, in fact, two further case-books (Lansdowne MSS. Nos. 628 and 631) which were not Webb's cases nor prepared by him or at his instance. No. 631 is a collection of Admiralty cases sent by the Crown to Edward Northey (Attorney General, 1711) between 1701 and 1718, and his opinions upon them, with two additions of 1733. No. 628 contains cases and opinions of various counsel between 1660 and 1729, with a note of 1731, and an argument of a case. They were acquired by Webb from some source. Each is in one hand. No. 631 has, by way of index, a second copy of the index of No. 630?apparently in Webb's writing and inserted in error. It has also on the first sheet the words 'M.S.S. Cases no. 3', apparently in Webb's hand. 43 Cited by M. J. Landa, Trans. J.H.S.E., XIII, p. 272. 44 See his will (Wake 132) made 7 June 1737, by which he left three guineas to be divided among the poor, and left one mulatto slave-girl (daughter of his slave Maria) to Jacob's son Abraham. John died on 12 June 1737, his two sons having pre? deceased him. 45 See his will (Price 172), made 29 May 1733. He left ?10 to the synagogue. His wife was Rachel, and his sister was Mariana de Moraes Pereira. 46 Yet over one million sterling in its modern equivalent. 47 No. 630, pp. 51-95. 48 The capital of the moneys given to the synagogues is to be preserved by the Gentlemen Parnassim and the interest is to be spent for the better support of each congregation and 'for the honour and increase of the name of the Blessed Lord of Israel and good of the poor'. 49 He was born, he says, in Braganca and came as a child to Lisbon, where he spent his subsequent years. 50 Sarah, born 10 June 1728, and Abraham, born 15 May 1729. 51 Under the Statute 22 &amp; 23 Car. II, cap. 10, s. 5. 52 No. 630, p. 28. 53 For a summary of the Jewish law on this topic see the title kethubah, Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 7, pp. 472f. 54 Ket. 63a, 72a. 55 The whole fund was also known as the Kethubah. 56 Ket. 82b. 57 Ket. 51a. 58 In the English Reform Synagogue, however, the reference to the amount of dowry and the addition were removed from the standard form of Kethubah in 1952. 59 See early examples, Trans. Misc. II, pp. 76 et seq., Nos. 23, 24, 27, 49, 60, 63, 86. 60 Probably for the purpose of proving the deed abroad, in view of the Jews' international family connections (see the Amsterdam case in No. 629, p. 26). 61 No. 629, p. 50; and see p. 26, 'after the manner of the Jews'. 62 See No. 629, p. 26, for an Amsterdam case.</page><page sequence="25">Problems of the London Sephardi Community, 1720-1733 63 63 No. 630, p. 60. Sometimes, as in his case, the husband's covenant was in satisfaction of the wife's claim to 'dower and thirds'?'dower' being her rights in respect of real property, and 'thirds' being her right to succeed on an intestacy to one-third of his estate. 64 No. 629, p. 38. 65 In part a quotation from the language of the Kethubah. 66 There is another example of the application of the law in regard to this estate. Jacob, in order to raise money, signed promissory notes in favour of one D. to an amount of ?1,250, and D. indorsed them to various persons who discounted them. Out of the proceeds D. paid ?650 to Jacob and kept the remaining sum and signed a promissory note for ?600 in favour of Jacob. Jacob died having paid no part of the ?1,250 to the indorsees, to whom D. was liable. Counsel advised that D. must pay the ?600 to the administratrix, without deduction, towards satisfaction of her speciality debt if there were no other assets to discharge that debt. 67 No. 629, p. 50. 68 Mistress. 69 Daughter of Salamon (or Selomoh) Israel Pereira and Esther de Joseph Henriques. 70 No. 629, p. 60. 71 9th Carrera, No. 40, Jacob Gomes Serra; No. 41, Rachel Mulher de Jacob Gomes Serra; No. 42, Ribca de Jacob Gomes Serra. 72 No. 629, pp. 14, 26. 73 There is a case relating to Abraham Bernal's will, No. 629, p. 18. 74 No. 630, p. 28. 75 No. 629, p. 89. 76 For the Navigation Acts generally see Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (Cannan ed., 1904, 2 vols), Vol. 2, pp. 96-115, 427-429. They were repealed in 1849. 77 i.e., it was bought in B's name. 78 Presumably to exchange goods for slaves. 79 A number of Jews were endenizened on that day, but I am confident A was Moses Lopes Dias (alias Gabriel Lopes Pinheiro), one of them, as to whom see later. 80 The date is April 1728. 81 See p. 44. 82 See Holdsworth, A History of English Law (1903-), Vol. VI, p. 265. 83 2 Lev. 201. 84 1 Ld Raym. 147. 85 Chamberlain v. Harvey (1698), 1 Ld Raym. 146; Smith v. Browne (1701), Holt K.B. 495; Smith v. Gould (1707), 2 Ld Raym. 1274. In an unreported case of Stanley v. Harvey, arising out of a bequest of a slave, Lord Northington decided for the slave and gave him costs (cited in argument in Somerset v. Stewart, Lofft I, infra). 86 See Somerset's Case. 87 Reported as Somerset v. Stewart, Lofft, p. 1; and as Sommersett's Case, 20 State Trials, p. 1. 88 Nevertheless in argument (Lofft, at p. 17) Lord Mansfield expressed the view that an action would lie for the price of a slave on the agreement for sale. 89 No. 629, p. 106. 90 Better spelt 'Gouveia.' 91 He was a member of the Mahamad in 1723, 1727, 1733, 1735, and 1743. Endenizened 1727. Administration granted to his widow 27 July 1748. 92 In No. 629, p. 63, Lewis and Alvaro Mendes have instructed Webb on behalf of a non-Jewish firm in Cadiz in relation to a policy of marine insurance in respect of a voyage from Vera Cruz in New Spain to London. See also p. 67 in regard to the same Spanish firm. 93 No. 629, p. 3. The date is 1722 (not stated). See as to the Jew brokers H. S. Q. Henriques, The Jews and English Law (1908), pp. 200f.; Lucien Wolf, Essays in Jewish History (1934), pp. 132f. and passim-, Dudley Abrahams, 'Jew Brokers of the City of London' (1937), Misc., Part III, pp. 80f. 94 The first freeman was Rowland Gideon (1697);see p. 55. 95 'A bill to restrain the Number and Ill-Practice of Brokers and Stockjobbers' (Journals of the House of Commons [1697], p. 769). 96 Made up by the admission of five in 1697. 97 1 Jac. I, cap. 19. 98 Anne, cap. 16, s. 1. 99 They were mainly Sephardim, as were the sworn Jewish brokers. 100 j&gt;ne defendants were Jacob Fonseca, Isaac Lyon, Jacob de Robles, Isaac Rodriguez, Jacob Lopes, and David de Paiba. 101 In fact there was a counter-petition by Gentiles (Misc., Ill, at p. 92). 102 No. 629, p. 9. 'Mr Palmentier's Case'. 103 No. 629, p. 22. 104 No. 630, p. 18. 105 No. 629, p. 28. 106 No. 630, pp. 1 and 8-15. 107 No. 629, p. 24. 108 Rohiel Abudiente, a freeman of the City of London, 1697; a member of the Mahamad in 1702, 1706, and 1710; died 1722. See L. D. Barnett, Bevis Marks Records, I, 36, 37, 40. 109 See No. 630, pp. 105, 110, 130. 110 See No. 630, p. 113. See other cases of bankruptcy in No. 630, pp. 113, 115-119. 111 No. 629, p. 20. 112 No. 629, p. 36. 113 See Trans. J.H.S.E., XIX, pp. 163 et seq. 114 No. 629, p. 29. 115 See D. Kauffman, Trans. J.H.S.E., III, pp. 104-119; Roth, History of the Great Synagogue (1950), Chap. IV. 116 22 Car. II, cap. 1, s. 1.</page></plain_text>

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