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The Case of Thomas Fernandes Before the Lisbon Inquisition, 1556. From the Papers of the Late Lucien Wolf.

Cecil Roth

<plain_text><page sequence="1">5 The Case of Thomas Fernandes before the Lisbon Inquisition. One of the late Lueien Wolf's most important essays was his last, "Jews in Tudor England," which was republished in the posthumous volume of his Essays in Jewish History, issued by the Jewish Historical Society in 1934. Unfortunately, he was never able to prepare this for the press in final form. The documents on which it was based were discovered, however, among his papers, and it is hoped to publish them in due course under the Society's auspices. In the meanwhile, it seems worth while to publish here, as a sample of the material as a whole, a translation of one of the more important of the documents in question. It will be recalled how, in 1556, a Portuguese sailor named Jurd?o Yaz appeared before the Lisbon Inquisition and denounced Thomas Fernandes of Evora, as a Marrano whom he had known some years</page><page sequence="2">case of thomas fernandes before lisbon inquisition. 33 before as an observant Jew at Bristol, in England.1 The prosecution of the latter followed, and resulted in the discovery of two secret Jewish communities in England, one in Bristol and another in London. The period covered by the case ranges from 1545 to 1555. The evidence disclosed the existence of a secret synagogue in the first-named place, the Seder services in the house of Beatriz Fernandes (who herself baked the Matzoth), and how Jewish calendars and literature?including even Usque's recently-published Consolagam as Tribulagoens de Israel? circulated among the group in manuscript. These points give the case in question an especial interest, not confined to Anglo-Jewry in its more limited sense. In addition, the case provides an interesting glimpse of the mechanism of the Inquisitional process at this period. It seems worth while accordingly to publish it here independently, without awaiting the opportunity for issuing the whole of the voluminous dossier in which it is included. The footnotes added are the bare minimum essential for comprehending the text, which reads as entrancingly as any novel and does not require further embellishment. Cecil Roth. Processo 9449?Inquisition of Lisbon (Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo) TOMAZ FERNANDES. 1556. Autos relating to Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, native of Montemor, married in Evora, prisoner in the cells of the Holy Inquisition of this city of Lisbon. Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, merchant, with whom these autos are concerned, was delivered over to Brysio Camello, Alcaide of the prison of the Holy Inquisition of Lisbon, who signed here in 1 See L. Wolf, Essays in Jewish History, pp. 84-89.</page><page sequence="3">34: MISCELLANIES. witness of his being delivered to him, Lisbon, 4th day of the month of November 1557. Written by Manoel Cordeiro. New charges against him, taken from the processo of JURDAO VAZ. On the 18th day of the month of June, 1556, in Lisbon, in the Hall of Examination (Casa das Perguntas), of the Holy Inquisition, there being present the Reverend Father Master Friar Jeronimo da Azambuja, an audience was requested by Jurd?o Vaz, a youth, and his Worship the Inquisitor gave order for him to be brought into his presence, and thereupon administered to him oath upon the Holy Gospels, upon which he placed his hand promising to speak truth. And amongst other matters of his confession he saith: That he also remembers that last year, being in Bristol, in the kingdom of England, at the house of a doctor, who had left this kingdom, whose name he cannot remember, he ate unleavened bread, on one of the Jewish festivals; and the said doctor, his wife, two nephews and two nieces?one of whom was named Thomas Fernandes, and the other Diogo Thomas, and one of the nieces was named Beatriz Fernandes but the name of the other he does not know?and also Antonio Dias, resident of the said city of Bristol, all partook of the bread, during the whole of the ten(!) days that the festival lasted; and they also kept the Sabbaths commencing on Friday evening. And the said Thomas Fernandes and Diogo Thomas, nephews of the aforesaid doctor, sometimes came to this city and to Galicia and the Islands with linens of Bristol; and he has nothing to say as to ill-will, etc., and he signed with his Worship the Inquisitor?Written by Bento Leito. And he was admonished to preserve secrecy in virtue of his oath. These charges were copied by me Manoel Cordeiro from the original and collated with Antonio Roiz, notary, etc. Manoel Cordiero. On the 13th day of the month of December, 1556, in Lisbon, in the Casa do Despacho of the Holy Inquisition, being there present the Inquisitor Father Master Friar Jeronimo da Azambuja, there appeared</page><page sequence="4">CASE OF THOMAS FERNANDES BEFORE LISBON INQUISITION. 35 before bim the youth Jurd?o Vaz, new Christian, formerly resident in Viana, who, under oath upon the Holy Gospels saith: That being in Bristol in the kingdom of England which will be three years this coming Easter2 (pascoa), which was the time he spoke of in his denunciation of Thomas Fernandes, there was also there one Diogo Alvares, new Christian, resident of the Island of Sam Miguel, in the town of Ponta Delgada; who came frequently to the house of the doctor, uncle of the said Thomas Fernandes; and deponent saw that he observed the Passover of unleavened bread, and eat the doctor's unleavened bread, as did Thomas Fernandes and all the household, as he has said; and as to ill-will, etc., he refers him to what he has already said; and he signed with the Inquisitor, etc. Written by Antonio Roiz. ((Signatures.) On the 11th day of the month of November, 1557, in this city of Lisbon, in the Casa do Despacho of the Holy Inquisition, being there present his Worship Doctor Ambrosio Campello, constituted Inquisitor, he gave order to bring into his presence Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, prisoner in the cells of the Inquisition, to whom he adminis? tered oath on the Holy Gospels, on which he placed his right hand, and he admonished him to speak truth upon all questions put to him, and to reply well and truthfully, for in so doing lay the welfare of his soul and conscience, and mercy would be shewn him; and he promised to speak truth, by the oath taken, upon all that he knew, and upon the questions put to him. And the usual questions being put to him, he saith: That he is a baptized Christian, named Thomas Fernandes, son of one Gasper Fernandes, deceased, and of Fillipa Fernandes, also deceased, both new Christians, who resided in Evora, in the street D'alconches; and his father who was a merchant, died nearly eight years ago, and his mother about thirteen or fourteen years ago. And that according to what he has heard he was baptized in the Church of Santo Ant?o, of which his father was a parishioner, but he does not remember who were his godparents; and that he was confirmed in the Cathedral of Evora, but neither can he remember who was his 2Pascoa here could mean Christmas.</page><page sequence="5">36 MISCELLANIES. sponsor in confirmation, and that he is about twenty-five or six years of age, and is a merchant and trader, and that he has a brother in Evora, named Licentiate Heitor Thomas, lawyer and attorney in Evora, and he has no other brother nor sister. And he has an uncle, his father's brother, named Fernao Lobo, who is married to a daughter of a captain of the Island of Santa Maria, as he has heard, where he resides. And further saith that about a month ago he was married in Evora to a daughter of Vicente Duarte, by name Violante Roiz; and further saith that he has an uncle, married to a sister of deponent's mother, who is named Henrique Nunes; and he is a doctor, and his wife is named Beatriz Fernandes, and is a Portuguese; and they have both been in Bristol about ten years. And being questioned upon Christian prayers and doctrine, he blessed himself making the sign of the Cross, and said the Pater noster, Ave maria, and the Credo in Latin, without making a single error, and also recited the Salve Regina making an error in one word only; and he recited again the Pater noster, Ave maria and Credo in the vulgar tongue. And being asked whether he knows the com? mandments of God, says, yes, and they are ten, and he recited them making certain errors; questioned as to the seven mortal sins, says, he knows them, and recited them, and that he knows the articles of faith; and being asked to say them, says, he refers him to the Credo, wherein they are contained. Being asked whether he knows the number of the principal feasts of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Says, yes, and they are, the Nativity, Resurrection, and Pentecost. And upon being asked whether he knows of whom our Lord Jesus Christ was born; says, he was born of the glorious Virgin, our Lady. Asked who was his father. Says, our Lord God, and the Holy Spirit; that He rose again at Easter, and ascended into Heaven on the feast of the Ascension. Asked whether he confessed himself once a year, and received communion; says, yes, and that he likewise went to confession once a year in whatever place he found himself; and this last Lent he went to confession in Santarem. Asked in what manner he earned his livelihood; says, by trading either by sea or on land. Asked to what places he is accustomed to go by sea. Says, he goes to England, and Galicia and from thence to Portugal, and from Portugal to Andalucia; and says that in England he visits</page><page sequence="6">CASE OF THOMAS FERNANDES BEFORE LISBON INQUISITION. 37 Bristol and London; and he has been to Antwerp receiving certain merchandise. Asked with what person he is accustomed usually to make these journeys. Says, when he goes to England he goes alone. Asked whether his conscience is burdened with anything that he has said, done or seen against the faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ within the last eight or nine years, especially as regards ceremonies of the law of Moses. The prisoner says that he cannot remember having com? mitted any offence against the faith, he only remembers being nappy to repent and make known his sins. Thereupon he was admonished with great charity to discover and confess his sins, asking pardon and mercy, which will bring consolation both to soul and body, and the mercy of holy Mother Church will be shewn him; and, since he said nothing further, he was sent back to prison, and he signed here. And I Damiao Mendes, notary apostolic, and meirinho of the Holy Office signed also, etc. (Signatures.) On the 13th day of the month of November, 1557, in Lisbon, in the Casa do Despaeho of the Holy Inquisition, Inquisitor Doctor Ambrosio Campello being there present, he summoned Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, with whom these autos are concerned, to come before him, and administered to him oath on the Holy Gospels, on which he placed his hand and promised to speak truth; and he admonished him to confess all the offences he had committed against our holy faith, declaring the Jewish rites he has observed, and in which he has believed, since the last general pardon to this day; doing which and asking pardon with all his heart, and with goodwill, he will be treated with very great mercy; and he said that he had dwelt upon his offences, and found that his conscience was not burdened with any fault committed against the faith. He was asked whether since the aforesaid time till now he has ever thought that the law of the Jews was good and true, and that he would save his soul therein, and whether he had conversed upon this with others; says, that he has never thought so, nor spoken of it, but, on the contrary, has always thought it right that he would be saved by the law of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and he hoped to save his soul therein.</page><page sequence="7">38 MISCELLANIES. Asked whether any person has told him that the Messiah has not yet come, but was yet to come, and whether he believed this. Says, that no one has ever said this to him, nor has he believed it, but, on the contrary, that he believes and holds that He has come, and that He was Our Lord Jesus Christ, who came for our salvation; although he has heard say in some of the places where he has been that the Jews believe that the Messiah has not come, but he cannot remember any particular person saying this; and that he only heard this over there from preachers in the pulpit. Asked whether he has observed certain fasts, not eating until night, believing that in so doing he was saving his soul. Says, he never observed any such fasts, nor did anyone speak of them to him, but on the contrary, he observed the fasts ordered by holy Mother Church. Asked whether he has eaten unleavened cakes at the time of the Passover, believing this to be for the salvation of his soul. Says, he never ate any, nor does he know anything about this. Asked whether any persons in some place told him to partake of them for they were good, and that they themselves ate them. Says, that no one said anything of the kind to him, nor did he see anyone eat them. Asked whether he has heard that the Jews are accustomed to eat such cakes at the time of the Passover. Says, that he does not know this, nor has he asked questions about it. Asked whether he kept the Sabbath in honour of the law of Moses. Says, no, only the Sundays and feasts of holy Mother Church. Asked whether he knows of any persons keeping the Sabbath. Says, no. Asked whether he knows that the Jews keep it, says, that he knows in a general way that the Jews keep it in accordance with the old law, but that he never thought it good to keep it, nor does he know anyone who keeps it. Asked whether he has learnt any Hebrew prayer which Jews are aceustomed to recite. Says, he has never learnt nor does he know any such prayer, but only those which holy Mother Church ordains should be learnt for the salvation of his soul.</page><page sequence="8">CASE OF THOMAS FERN ANDES BEFORE LISBON INQUISITION. 39 Asked who, he thinks, would have said this about him, since he knows that this Office does not take chances, nor arrests a person without adequate cause. Says, he knows of no one who wishes him ill, except a man from Viana de Caminha, whom he met in Bristol, whose name he cannot remember, nor does he know whether he is an old or new Christian. Once the man was taken ill, and he helped him, and looked upon him as one who could be trusted. And while deponent was absent from the city, the said man bought certain merchandise in deponent's name, and would have got away with them had time permitted, leaving deponent debtor for them; who being warned returned immediately and had him arrested until the stuffs were removed from the ship; and he was kept in prison a day until all stuffs had been taken from the ship wherein he had embarked them and returned to their owners. For which reason he threatened to kill deponent and pledged himself to do him all the evil in his power; and the said man returned to Portugal; and deponent has never seen him since, nor does he know what has become of him; and deponent did not know him in Portugal, and should he see him, he would know him. And in Bristol he stayed at an inn, and deponent stayed at his uncle's house, Anrique Nunes, physician, of whom he has spoken; and the aforesaid man used to come to his uncle's house, as was natural, and spoke to him about his business, but he never ate or slept in the house, and had no kinship with him. Asked what his relations with his uncle and aunt are at present; says, very good, since when he was over there, they gave him his meals and were very kind to him, and he knows of no other person who wishes him ill; and he never saw the said man do anything in Bristol to show he was a bad Christian. Asked what persons know the said man, and can say that deponent caused him to be arrested. Says, that he knows no one who knows him, but that Joam Fil, an Englishman, watch of the river and port of Bristol, and also Richard Hantele, dealer in cloth, and another Richard know that he denounced him and caused him to be arrested, until he paid. Asked whether he thinks that the said man or any other person has accused him of doing anything against our holy Catholic Faith.</page><page sequence="9">40 MISCELLANIES. Says, no; and that this happened three or four years ago. Whereupon he was again admonished and sent back to his cell; and he signed with his Worship the Inquisitor. Written by Antonio Eoiz. (Signatures.) On the twenty-third day of the month of November, 1557, in Lisbon, in the Casa do Despaeho of the Holy Inquisition, Doctor Ambrosio Campello, Inquisitor, being there present, he summoned to appear before him Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, with whom these autos are concerned; and administered to him oath on the Holy Gospels, on which he placed his hand, and admonished him to confess his sins, those upon which he was examined, and all others which he had committed against the Catholic Faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ; and to ask pardon for them, as in so doing the mercy of holy Mother Church will be shewn him, and otherwise it will be necessary to use the rigour of justice in his case; and, seeing that this is the third admon? ition, he will be ill advised to expect more, for his offences are better known than he wots of. And he replied that he is a Christian and has never done anything against the faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And his Worship the Inquisitor gave order for all this to be written and for him to sign, which he did. Written by Antonio Roiz. (Signatures.) On the 13th day of the month of December, 1557, in Lisbon, in the Casa do Despaeho of the Holy Inquisition, their Worships the Inquisitors being present, summoned Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, with whom these autos are concerned, to appear before them. And they said to him that he had been many times admonished to confess his offences and ask pardon for them, so that mercy might be shewn to him, but that he, following bad counsels, has not done so, and up to the present has not desired so to do; whereof it is necessary that the Promotor Fiscal shall bring in his bill of accusation against him; and before this bill of accusation is presented, he is once again admonished to confess his offences, those upon which he has been examined, and any others he may have committed against the faith; and confession now before the accusation will benefit him more, than confession after. And Thomas Fernandes made reply that he has nothing further to say,</page><page sequence="10">CASE OF THOMAS FERNANDES BEFORE LISBON INQUISITION. 41 because be has always been a good Christian. Then Doctor Estev?o Leit?o, Promotor Fiscal, appeared and presented a bill of accusation against the prisoner; and begged his Worship the Inquisitor to receive it, and to give order for an answer to be made to it, which the Inquisitors having seen they gave order for it to be read, and written down. And then, after being again admonished by their Worships the Inquisitors, he, Thomas Fernandes, went down on his knees, and said that he wished to confess his offences and ask pardon for them; and he was told that he did right well and that by so doing he would be treated with great mercy and pity, and then oath on the Holy Gospels was administered, that he might speak truth in all things, and he placed his hand on them, and promised so to do. And says, that eleven years ago, or thereabouts, finding himself orphaned of both father and mother, he left this city and went to an uncle named Anrique Nunes, physician, who at the time was living in Bristol, in the kingdom of England, and about a year and a half ago he left Bristol, and has gone, as he is told, to Alvao (?) in France. And upon reaching his said uncle's house, he stayed with him about a year, and did what his said uncle told him to do, and after being a year in his house, his said uncle?and his wife, who is called Beatriz Fernandes ?began to speak to confessant upon certain matters of the old law, previous to which he remembers that both one and the other had said to him that the law of the Jews was good, and God commanded that it must be kept, and He also commanded that the Saturdays should be observed, saying to him that God made the world in six days, and on the seventh rested and that therefore He commanded the seventh day should be kept; and that he likewise commanded that the feast of unleavened bread should be kept in memory of their delivery from Egypt, from the captivity of king Pharaoh; And they likewise told him to keep the fast of Kippur, as on those days the Lord pardoned all sins. And this confessan^ from what his uncle and aunt told him believed and held that the law of the Jews was good; and he observed Saturdays, doing no work on that day, and he likewise observed the fast of Kippur every year while he was in that country, with his said uncle and aunt, D</page><page sequence="11">42 MISCELLANIES. the which fast his said uncle and aunt called the Great Fast, and he fasted with his said uncle and aunt all day, not eating anything till night, and with confessant's sister and brother, who are called Diogo Fernandes and Beatriz Fernandes; and so they kept the feast of un? leavened bread, eating it on six or seven days. And he remembers that when he, this confessant, was going a sea journey his said aunt put unleavened bread in his provision bag, and told him if there was a storm to throw it into the sea, and the storm would cease; but confessant did not throw it into the sea, only before he was leaving the ship he threw it into the sea so as it might not be seen on shore. And upon some of these festivals they did not work; and his said aunt made the said unleavened bread at home; and this confessant observed these rites with the intention of saving his soul thereby; and he observed no other rites of the Jewish law save those of which he has spoken; the which rites this confessant observed from the time he mentioned until about a year and a half ago, when he came from England to this kingdom, and he then determined to come to this kingdom and live as a Christian, although his said uncle begged him to be as himself was, and offered him some of his property for this purpose, but confessant would not accept it, but came to this kingdom with the intention of living as a Christian. And he further remembers that a licentiate named Heitor Nunes,3 physician, a young unmarried man living in London, sent word every year to his uncle of the days on which Jewish festivals would fall. And he also remembers two sons of a new Christian merchant called Pero Jorge, and they lived in London, one being named Francisco Jorge and the other Anrique Jorge; and they sometimes came to Bristol to his said uncle's house; and they would converse in that house upon Jewish matters, with his uncle and aunt, and confessant himself; and they said that the aforesaid Pero Jorge, their father, and their mother kept the Jewish festivals, and confessant presumes that the said youths also observed the festivals of the Passover and Kippur, upon which they conversed, as he heard them say that all their father's household observed these festivals. And it is about four or five years since he heard the said 3 Concerning Dr. Hector (Heitor) Nunez, see L. Wolf, in " Jews in Elizabethan England/* Transactions xi. 8.</page><page sequence="12">CASE OF THOMAS FERNANDES BEFORE LISBON INQUISITION. 43 youths speak of these matters, the which youths occasionally come to this kingdom with their merchandise. And he also remembers that there lives in the city of Bristol a new Christian named Antonio Dias, merchant, a man of about sixty years, native of the Island of Sam Miguel, who used to come to his said uncle's house every year, for the festival of the Passover, and he would eat unleavened bread given to him by confessant's aunt. And he further remembers a youth named Jafor Dias, a new Christian, who was two years in the city of Bristol, and who also used to come to his said uncle's house, to eat unleavened bread, and he is a Portuguese; and he went to Flanders from England, and confessant heard that he was going to the house of an uncle named Doctor Dias, at Porto Real, a place near Calais. And he also remembers that one Jurdao Vaz, a seaman, new Christian of Viana, came one Passover to the city of Bristol, and came to his said uncle's house, and there sometimes ate unleavened bread. Confessant corrected himself and said that he could not say for certain that the said Jurdao Vaz ate unleavened bread during that Passover at his said uncle's house, he only remembers seeing him there; and he also remembers that the said Jurdao Vaz going to buy cloth with confessant, recited Jewish prayers on the way; and confessant believes that he recited them so that confessant should know that he, Jurdao Vaz, knew them. And he further remembers that one Sim?o Roiz, surgeon, new Christian, residing in London, used to write to tell his said uncle the date of the Passover of unleavened bread, and the fast of Kippur, and this confessant saw the letters, in which he wrote this, the which Sim?o Roiz has sons-in-law who have trade in Biscay and Spain. And he further remembers that one Roberto Pinto, new Christian, a Portuguese merchant, tall of stature with a short chestnut beard, who, confessant believes, resides at Antwerp, came three years ago to Bristol, and there observed the fast of Kippur at his uncle's house, and confessant saw that he kept this fast, the which Roberto Pinto comes sometimes to this city with his merchandise, and confessant saw him here a year ago. And that this is all that he remembers at present and has to state in</page><page sequence="13">44 MISCELLANIES. discharge of his conscience, and he asks pardon and mercy for all this, and if he remembers anything else he will declare it; and he has nothing to declare as to good or ill will, etc., and he signed with their Worships the Inquisitors. Written by Antonio Roiz. And he further says that he never confessed these faults to his confessors. Friar Jeronimo da Azambuja. Thomas Fernandes. Ambrosius, doctor. On the 22nd day of the month of December, 1557, in Lisbon, in the Hall of Examination of the Holy Inquisition, Inquisitor Father Master Friar Jeronimo da Azambuja, being there present, summoned to appear before him, Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, the prisoner with whom these autos are concerned. To whom, in virtue of the oath on the Holy Gospels, on which he placed his hand, he put the question whether he had remembered anything else which he had said, done or believed contrary to the faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ, especially as regards the Jewish law; and he replied: That he further remembered that during the time he was in error, and outside the faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ, he had worn clean shirts on Saturdays in honour of the Sabbath, and he also remembers that in the house of his uncle as afore? said they observed other festivals besides that of unleavened bread, but he cannot remember the names of them, and this confessant observed them in the same manner as he saw his uncle and the latter's wife do; and he also remembers that he never said that when his uncle and aunt taught him the things he has mentioned they also taught him that the Messiah had not come, but was yet to come, and that he was not Our Lord Jesus Christ, and this confessant believed the Messiah had not come as they had taught him, and the other things they had said; and his uncle and aunt never allowed him to go out on Saturdays, and that he never confessed this, or other things, he has declared, to his confessors. And he remembers nothing else, and asks pardon for all from Our Lord Jesus Christ, and from holy Mother Church, penance with mercy. Asked, whether when he went to Church to hear Mass, and received the Sacrament, he believed that God was therein contained, and the body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Says, no, he did not believe it, and</page><page sequence="14">CASE OF THOMAS FERNANDES BEFORE LISBON INQUISITION. 45 received it as one lost to the faith, also in this following the teaching of his said uncle and aunt. Asked whether he observed any other fasts such as that of Queen Esther, and the destruction of the Temple, and Charis,(?) which the Jews call fasts of devotion. Says, that besides the Great East, his uncle and aunt made him keep three or four other fasts during the year, of which confessant does not know the names, and he observed them in the same manner as his said uncle and aunt told him, eating nothing all day, not till evening, and being asked nothing further he signed here with the Inquisitor, and says nothing as to good or ill-will, etc., and he was sent back to his cell and admonished to consider whether he can remember anything else, and whether he has been in error for a longer time than he has declared, as it would seem that if he had repented in England as he has said, he would have come at once to present himself here, or at least when arrested he would have confessed his errors. Says, that he has spoken the truth, and he did not at once confess his errors, through shame; for which he asks pardon of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and penance with mercy and he signed. Written by Manoel Cordeiro. (Signatures.) And the said Thomas Fernandes further declared that he has another sister named Branca Fernandes, who is at his uncle's house, and went with him from London, who observed whatever fasts and festivals were observed in his said uncle's house. (Written by Manoel Cordeiro.) And he also remembers that a youth named Pero Vaz, a surgeon, who is of this city, a new Christian, about twenty-four or five, who lived in Bristol, who has a fine beard, fair complexion, robust figure, also came sometimes to his said uncle's house, about six years ago, to keep the Passover of unleavened bread, and observe the fast of Kippur, and other Jewish fasts. Says nothing as to good or ill-will, etc. Written by Manoel Cordeiro. (Signatures.) On the 31st day of the month of December, 1557, in Lisbon, in the Hall of Examination of the Holy Inquisition, Inquisitor Father</page><page sequence="15">46 MISCELLANIES. Master Friar Jeronimo da Azambuja, being there present, he summoned to appeaT before him Thomas Fernandes, with whom these autos are concerned, to whom he administered oath on the Holy Gospels, etc. Asked whether he has remembered anything else besides what he has confessed. Says, that he remembers that while he was in Bristol at his uncle's house, as declared in previous confessions, three or four years ago, during the time Jurd?o Vaz of Viana was there, as he has before stated, there came to Bristol a new Christian, named Jorge Dias, who lives in the Island of Sam Miguel, a merchant, round and fat, of about forty-five years more or less, and while the said Jorge Dias was attending to his business in the said city, he came to his said uncle's house one Passover of unleavened bread, where he partook of unleavened bread with this deponent and his said uncle and aunt and other members of the household; and deponent does not remember hearing him say anything to show he was lost to the faith, but deponent concluded so, on seeing that he was observing the festival with his said uncle and aunt, and deponent knows that the said Jorge Dias knew that it was the Jewish Passover, and that the bread he ate was unleavened, and he ate it without compunction; but deponent does not remember whether the said Jorge Dias also observed the fast of Kippur in his said uncle's house. Asked whether at the time the said Jorge Dias was observing the Passover at the house of deponent's uncle, Jurd?o Vaz was present, and whether they came singly or both together, and whether they ate un? leavened bread together, or observed any other Jewish festival. Says, he does not remember, but it is quite possible that the said Jurd?o Vaz came sometimes while the said Jorge Dias was dining there, but deponent cannot remember this; but should he remember he will come before this tribunal and declare it to their Worships for the discharge of his conscience, as he has done to-day; and he has nothing to declare as to good or ill-will, etc., and he was admonished to keep secrecy in virtue of his oath, and he promised so to do, and signed, etc. (Signatures.) And on the same day the prisoner Thomas Fernandes, previous to the above session, came before the Tribunal and was examined, but he said nothing beyond what is contained in the session, and he asked</page><page sequence="16">CASE OF THOMAS FERNANDES BEFORE LISBON INQUISITION. 47 pardon and mercy, with signs of understanding, and it appeared that he could be received, with ordinary penances and good instruction, and in the dispensation account should be taken of his confession, his standing and the evil communication of the persons who caused his loss, seeing the age he was at the time. On the ninth day of the month of February, 1558, in Lisbon, in the Hall of Examination of the Holy Inquisition, there being present his Worship Inquisitor Father Master Friar Jeronimo da Azambuja, he summoned to appear before him Thomas Fernandes, with whom these autos are concerned, who had asked for an audience, who promised to speak truth, on oath on the Holy Gospels on which he placed his hand. Says, he remembers, that about three or four years ago this con? fessant, being in the city of Bristol, in the kingdom of England, one Sim?o Roiz, surgeon, new Christian, resident of London, of whom con? fessant has spoken in former confessions, sent a printed book of prophecies to Anrique Nunes and his wife, confessant's uncle and aunt, the which book spoke of the troubles which the sons of Isaac suffered scattered over the kingdoms and cities where they wandered, but that they must not lose confidence nor be discouraged for Our Lord would deliver them, and send the Messiah to them, and they must live in that hope; and confessant believes that the book was sent from Italy to those ports of England, and it was entitled, "To Beatriz de Luna, wife of Diogo Mendez."4 The which book was read by confessant once, and he accepted it all and was confirmed in his errors by the teaching of the said book, and by what his uncle and aunt told him. And they also read the book, and confessant on going to London returned the said book to Sim?o Roiz who had sent it, and confessant supposes that he has it still; and it was written in Portuguese, and it was a quarto; and as this was a burden on his conscience he comes to discharge it, and earnestly asks pardon of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and penance and mercy of holy Mother Church, and her ministers, and he sincerely repents his errors, and will perform the penance which was imposed on him, and he signed with the Inquisitors, etc.?Written by Manoel Cordeiro.?And 4 i.e. Gracia Mendesia. See Essays, p. 89.</page><page sequence="17">48 MISCELLANIES. the said Thomas Fernandes further says, that for the discharge of his conscience he informs his Reverence that many books come to this port from the kingdom of England, containing their damnable heresies, and they come in the ships with Englishmen who make use of them for their prayers, principally in the ships from Bristol, the which books are written in English. Written by Manoel Cordeiro. (Signatures.) On the 1st day of the month of March, 1558, in Lisbon, in the Hall of Examination of the Holy Inquisition, his Worship Father Master Friar Jeronimo da Azambuja, being there present, summoned to appear before him Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, with whom these autos are concerned, who had asked for an audience, who, on oath on the Holy Gospels on which he placed his hand, says, that he has further remembered that three or four years ago this deponent being in the city of London in the kingdom of England, he met there three youths, new Christians, one of whom was named Manuel Serrao, an unbearded youth twenty years of age, of medium height, who said that he had come there to do business for his father, and that he lived in Viana in the Foz do Lima; and another was named Sim?o Anriques; who came there from Italy to trade in merchandise, he does not know for whom; he resides in the city of London, and is about twenty-eight or nine years, tall, black-beard, dark complexion; and the third is named Rodrigo da Veiga, and is a merchant, son of one Veiga, merchant, resident in this city, and confessant believes that the said Rodrigo da Veiga is at present in this city, returned from England, where at that time he was learning English, and he is a young man of twenty years of age, unbearded, and dark; and deponent believes that his father lives close to the Coneeieao in this city. And the said three young men were living in London, and deponent saw the three keeping a fast of the Jews, does not think it was Kippur, he does not know whether they observed the latter fast as well, and they told him they were fasting, and ate nothing till night, and he fasted also; he asks earnestly for pardon and mercy for this. And he further remembers hearing Licentiate Heitor Nunes, of whom he has spoken, say to the said Rodrigo da Veiga and Manoel Serrao that the said Sim?o Anriques was circumcised; and he also remembers that he,</page><page sequence="18">CASE OF THOMAS FERNANDES BEFORE LISBON INQUISITION. 4:9 deponent, had with him a book of prophecies of which he has spoken in one of his past confessions, to give to Sim?o Roiz, to whom it belonged, and while he had it in the house of the said Licentiate Heitor Nunes, where deponent was staying, one of the three young men, he does not remember which of them, took away the book from the house saying that he would read and copy it; and he remembers nothing further, and should he do so he will come to declare it, etc. And further says that the said Heitor Nunes sent his uncle and aunt a table with the days upon which Jewish fasts and festivals were written and they accepted it with much pleasure and it remained in their possession; and further saith not. Written by Manoel Cordeiro. (Signatures.) On the 9th day of the month of March, 1558, in Lisbon, in the Hall of Examination of the Holy Inquisition, Inquisitor Father Master Friar Jeronimo da Azambuja summoned to appear before him Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, the prisoner in the cells with whom these autos are concerned, who had asked for an audience, who promised to speak truth, by the oath of the Holy Gospels, etc. Says, that while going over memories he has remembered that while in Bristol in the kingdom of England, about three or four years ago, his aunt, Beatriz Fernandes, of whom he has spoken, was reciting certain Jewish prayers, which she knew by heart, and one Jorge Dias, of whom he has spoken in one of his previous confessions, was writing down the said prayers on paper, and deponent believes that the said Jorge Dias was writing them down in order to say them, and deponent cannot say which prayers they were, because he was never able to learn Jewish prayers, for which reason his said aunt complained of him. And when his uncle, Anrique Nunes, and his said aunt were treating with the said Jorge Dias respecting a marriage between a daughter of Jorge Dias and deponent, the said Jorge Dias said to deponent that if he married his said daughter, he, Jorge Dias, would leave this kingdom of Portugal with his whole household, and come to live in England, where deponent lived; but he, deponent, would not consent to the said marriage. And as to the father of Rodrigo da Veiga, whose name deponent could not remember, he has since</page><page sequence="19">50 MISCELLANIES. remembered that his name is Manoel Roiz Veiga, and he is a shopkeeper, residing in this city. And deponent thinks, but he is not certain of this, that the said Rodrigo da Veiga said to him in London, about three years ago, that he was hoping that tables of the festivals and fasts of the Jews would come from Italy for one Sim?o Antiques, with whom the said Rodrigo da Veiga dwelt, of whom deponent has also spoken, and that when they arrived he, Rodrigo da Veiga, would send one to deponent at Bristol, but it never came, and he does not know whether they arrived or not, and as this was a burden on his conscience, he comes to discharge it, and he cannot remember whether or not he told the said Rodrigo da Veiga not to send the table, and if he asked him to send it he asks pardon and mercy. And further saith not, and he signed, etc. (Signatures.) On the 23rd day of the month of March, 1558, in Lisbon in the Casa do Despaeho of the Holy Inquisition, his Worship Doctor Ambrosio Campello, Inquisitor, being present, summoned Thomas Fernandes, prisoner, with whom these autos are concerned, to appear before him, who upon oath on the Holy Gospels says: That when he was in Bristol, about three years ago, there came there one, Anrique Gonsalves, new Christian, unmarried at the time, who said he was from the Island of Sam Miguel, and who told this deponent several times that he came from London to Bristol with an aunt of deponent's named Beatriz Fernandes, and deponent's sisters, of whom he has spoken in his confessions, and that he had trouble to find clean things for them to eat in the inns, things which had not been cooked in pans used by Christians, and he gave deponent to understand that they would not eat anything but what Jews are accustomed to eat according to their rites; and he said that he was greatly pleased to do them this service; but that he never declared himself to be a Jew, nor said that he him? self had done the same as the aforesaid persons, nor observed any Jewish rites with any other person; and he is a short man with a red beard, and deponent has now been told in the college that he is married, either in France or England, and that he is the son of Jacome Gonsalves, of the Island, who is reconciled in the college, and deponent thinks that</page><page sequence="20">CASE OF THOMAS FERNANDES BEFORE LISBON INQUISITION. 51 he will come as usual to this kingdom for his trade, and further saith not, etc. (Signatures.) The Inquisitors in ordinary and deputies of the Holy Inquisition, are agreed that: Seeing these autos and the confession of the prisoner, Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, resident in the city of Evora, which demon? strate that being a baptized Christian he, being taught by persons lost to the faith, became a Jew since the last general pardon, believing that the Law of Moses was good, observing Saturdays, doing no work at all that day; observing the fast of Kippur once a year, eating nothing till night; observing in the same manner other Jewish fasts, which fall at certain times in the year, which he observed with the aforesaid persons, eating nothing till night; and likewise the prisoner observed the Passover of unleavened bread, eating thereof during seven days; keeping also other Jewish festivals during the year; and on Saturdays he would put on a clean shirt in honour of the day as a Jew, believing that in observing these rites he would be saved. And he believed that the Messiah had not yet come, and was yet to come, and that he was not Our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore he did not believe in the most Blessed Sacrament but received it as one in error as he was; remaining in these errors for many years, never declaring them to his confessors; all of which being considered as well as all that is further set forth in the autos: They declare that the prisoner was a heretic, apostate from our holy faith, and that he had incurred major excommunication, with all the penalties by law established in similar cases, in conformity with the Brief of Our Holy Father; nevertheless, seeing that moved by sane and true counsels, he confessed his offences, asking pardon and mercy, with signs of repentance and understanding, and from other considerations which result from the autos: They receive the offender, Thomas Fernandes, to reconciliation and union with holy Mother Church, and they command him to abjure publicly his heretical errors in the usual form; and for penalty and penance for them they assign perpetual prison, with penitential habit,</page><page sequence="21">52 MISCELLANIES. in which prison he will be instructed in matters of faith, conducive to his salvation; and they command that he be absolved in forma ecclesice from the said excommunication, which he has incurred. Friar Jeronimo da Azambuja. Ambrosius, doctor. Jorge Gonsalves Eibeiro. Martim Lopes Lobo. This sentence was declared to the prisoner in the auto da fe cele? brated in this city in the Ribeira,5 there being present the King and many people, on the 15th day of May, 1558. Written by Antonio Roiz. ABJURATION OF THOMAS FERNANDES : I, Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, merchant, residing in the city of Evora, in presence of Your Reverences the Worshipful Inquisitors against heresy, depravity and apostasy, do swear upon these Holy Gospels, on which I have laid my hands, that of my own free will I do anathematize and reject from me all species of heresy and apostasy which has been or may be raised against the holy Catholic faith and Apostolic See, especially those into which I fell, which I confessed before your Worships, and which have been here read to me in my sentence; which I hold to be here repeated and declared; and I swear ever to hold the holy Catholic faith which the holy Mother Church of Rome holds and teaches, and that I will ever be obedient to our most holy Father, Pope Paul IV, at present Head of the Church of God, and to his successors; and I confess that all those who rise up against this holy Catholic faith are worthy of condemnation; and I do promise never to join with them, but to pursue them and make known their heresies, of which I may hear, to the Inquisitors and prelates of holy Mother Church; and I promise to fulfil as far as in me lies the penance that is or was imposed on me; and if at any time I should again fall into these errors, or into any other kind of heresy, or do not perform the penance imposed on me, I desire and am willing to be considered as relapsed and punished according to law. And if at any time it be shown that I have acted in contrary to what I have confessed and declared, by my oath, I desire that this absolution avail me nothing, 5 By the riverside?</page><page sequence="22">CASE OP THOMAS FERNANDES BEFORE LISBON INQUISITION. 53 and I submit to the severity of the sacred canons, and I request the notary of the Holy Office to make an instrument of this, and those who are present to be witness thereof and sign here with me; The which abjuration I made in Lisbon in the first auto celebrated in the Ribeira on the 15th day of May, 1558; present as witnesses, Dami?o Mendes, notary of the Holy Office, Pero Fernandes, solicitor, and many other persons, and peoples. And I, Antonio Roiz, wrote this, and in faith that it passed as here written, and that he, Thomas Fernandes, did make the said abjuration, I sign here, in witness of the truth, etc. (Signatures.) I, Francisco de S?o Miguel, at present in charge of the College of Doctrine of the Faith, declare, that it is true that I examined Thomas Fernandes with whom the petition is concerned, in matters of Christian doctrine, and found that he is well instructed therein and in matters of our holy faith, and knows it all well, in the manner it is taught in the college, wherefore I have issued this certificate in the said College, 6th day of the month of August, 1558. Francisco de S?o Miguel. Thomas Fernandes, resident of Evors, says that he was imprisoned by the Holy Inquisition about a year ago, and appeared in the auto da fe celebrated in this city, and was sentenced to wear a habit and to perpetual prison, where he is performing his penance with much patience, humility and repentance of his errors, and since he has been well instructed in matters of holy faith, in which he protests to live and die, by the grace thereof; and he, being a young man, recently married, desires to live with his wife, wherefore he begs your Highness in honour of the passion and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to have mercy on him, and to commute his sentence of prison and habit, to confinement to the suburb, and thus he will perform his penance as he was ordered to do, and he will ever pray God for the life and aggrandizement of your Highness and the Holy Office. His Highness, being informed that Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, reconciled for the crime of heresy, and apostasy, and sen</page><page sequence="23">54 MISCELLANIES. tenced to perpetual imprisonment, is performing well his penance imposed by the Inquisitors, and is well instructed in the Christian doctrine, and for other just motives which move him to this, is pleased to permit the said Thomas Fernandes to leave the College of the Doctrine of Faith, where he has been confined up to the present fulfill? ing his penance, for the suburb, where he will live among good neigh? bours and converse with virtuous persons, and every Sunday and feast day of obligation, he will hear Mass and sermon in the monastery of Nossa Senhora da Graca; and in the afternoon of those days he will go to the said College of the Faith to learn Christian doctrine; and he shall go to confession on the three chief feasts of the year and shall bring a certificate of this to the tribunal of the Holy Office; and he shall always wear a penitential habit over all his clothes, and he shall not leave the suburb, which is assigned to him as prison, without licence of the Inquisitors. And he promised to comply with all, and signed here; in Lisbon, 8th day of August, 1558. Friar Jeronimo da Azambuja. Thomas Fernandes. Ambrosius, doctor. The Cardinal Infante, Inquisitor-General in the kingdom and dominions of Portugal. We make known to all to whom our order shall come, that we have seen the above petition of Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, resident of the city of Evora, and we think fit to dispense him from wearing a penitential habit, and to annul the sentence of perpetual imprisonment to which he was condemned, in view of the period of his imprisonment and penance, and of the instruction he has received in matters of faith and Christian doctrine, and of other information received; and of what he has stated in his petition, and from what further appears by the autos, and supplicant shall confess himself on the three festivals of the year, and receive the blessed Sacrament, upon the advice of his parish priest, and hear Mass and sermon on Sundays and feast days, and perform all other acts of a Catholic Christian, and observe all that he has promised in his abjuration, under the penalties therein stated, and he shall not leave the kingdom without licence of the Inquisitors.</page><page sequence="24">CASE OF THOMAS FERNANDES BEFORE LISBON INQUISITION. 55 Given in Lisbon under our sign and seal of the Holy Office, on the 2nd day of March, 1559. Cardinal Infante. Written by Manoel Cordeiro. Your Highness has seen fit to dispense Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, from wearing a penitential habit, and from the further penance of perpetual imprisonment.?For your Highness's inspection. Thomas Fernandes, resident of the city of Evora, states that he was arrested by the Holy Inquisition sixteen months ago, and appeared in the auto da? celebrated in this city last year, and sentenced to wear a habit and to perpetual imprisonment. That seven months ago your Highness having mercy on him, permitted him to remain in the suburb, where he wears his habit over his clothes performing his penance with much patience and humility, and repentance of his errors and sins; and he likewise goes to Mass and sermon every Sunday to Nossa Senhora da Graea, as he was told to do, and since he is a young man and married at the time of his arrest, and since he confessed forth? with his sins, and now desires to live with his wife as holy Mother Church ordains, and to earn a livelihood for himself and her, and some small amount is owing to him and he runs risk of being ruined while a prisoner, and in view of all he has spent on his imprisonment ?He begs your Highness in honour of the death and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, in consideration of what is stated above, to give order for his habit to be removed that he may go to live with his wife, as he begs, and he will ever pray God for the royal estate of your Highness, and for the aggrandizement of the Holy Office. Seeing the petition of the petitioner Thomas Fernandes, new Christian, and taking into consideration the time he has spent in prison, and the manner in which he has performed his penance with humility, and all that is stated in his petition, and further appears in the autos, as also the good instruction he has received, in matters of faith and Christian doctrine: His Highness thinks fit to dispense the petitioner from wearing a penitential habit, and to annul the further penance of perpetual imprisonment to which he was condemned,</page><page sequence="25">56 MISCELLANIES. as he begs in his petition, and his Highness gives order that a deed be prepared in the usual form, and containing the customary clauses. In Lisbon, 1st day of March, 1559. Friar Jeronimo da Azambuja. Ambrosio Campello, doctor. On the 3rd day of September, 1559, in Lisbon, their Worships the Inquisitors gave licence to Thomas Fernandes, with whom these autos are concerned, to go to Medina to trade, and to return to the city of Bvora, where he resides, and to move about this kingdom, and upon giving the said licence they gave order for the present to be written. Written by Manoel Cordeiro.</page></plain_text>