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The Cemetery of the Resettlement

Master A. S. Diamond

<plain_text><page sequence="1"></page><page sequence="2">The Cemetery of the Resettlement1 By Master A. S. Diamond, M.A., LL.D. THERE is some general misconception in the books as to the first burial place acquired by the Jews of the Resettlement?what ground was then acquired and what interest in it. One story is that Cromwell granted the Jews a lease of a burial ground at Mile End for 999 years.2 This story is purely apocryphal. More recently it is said by most writers that a lease was then obtained of the Old Burial Ground, Mile End. This also is incorrect. I have called the present account 'The Cemetery of the Resettlement5 by way of tribute to Mr. Wilfred Samuel's 'The First Synagogue of the Resettlement',3 to which it is to some extent complementary. The present account is mainly based on the original documents in the archives at Bevis Marks. They consist chiefly of title-deeds, wills and agreements in English, certified copies of Latin entries in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Stepney, and the Synagogue records in Spanish and Portuguese, especially the Libro de los Acuerdos and the Burial Register. There are also the inscriptions on the tombstones, so far as they survive and can be read, and Phillip Carteret Webb's notebooks, now in the British Museum, and some other sources. The Libro de los Acuerdos has been finely edited and translated by Dr. Lionel D. Barnett. The rest of the documents, it appears, have not been properly read, and some not read at all, since the 1730s. Mr. Israel Davis, the proprietor of the Jewish Chronicle and a barrister, read the English documents and pub? lished a notable first account of them in 1880,4 but he did not devote enough time to them or read the Latin, Spanish and Portuguese documents. There was also published in 1924, in Vol X of the Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society, a full report of a very readable paper by the late Rev. D. Bueno de Mesquita, entitled 'The Historical Associa? tions of the Ancient Burial Ground of the Sephardic Jews', but it consists chiefly of descriptions of the personages interred there and is not always accurate. The Circumstances of 1655 To see the story in its proper perspective it is necessary to go back to the circumstances of 1655 and before. A number of contributory causes had brought to London by September of that year a colony of over one hundred Marranos or Crypto-Jews, mostly born in Spain or Portugal, and a few German Jews. England was becoming a maritime trading nation (though behind Spain and Holland in this respect) and a substantial proportion of these Marranos were merchants and shipowners, engaged in trade with the Iberian Peninsula, Holland, Hamburg and the West Indies, and acting as agents for Iberian principals. Some had enjoyed administrative authority at home, and during the Commonwealth were able to assist Cromwell by their experience and international connections. But they came also to flee from the recrudescence of the activities of the Inquisition, which began about 1630, and although they were bound by English law to 1 Paper read in abbreviated form before the Jewish Historical Society of England on 15th January 1959. The Burial Register itself is being published separately in Miscellanies VI. 2 Jewish Chronicle, London, Vol. 8, p. 157. 3 Trans. J.H.S.E., X, pp. 1-147 (1924). 4 Jewish Chronicle, London, 26th Nov. and 3rd Dec. 1880. 163</page><page sequence="3">164 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT attend a place of worship, and generally attended the chapel at their embassy, they could be lax without undue danger. In England, from early in the century, had emerged an enthusiasm for the Bible and a religious trend, which in its most extreme manifestation leaned towards Judaism and evidenced a nascent toleration in religion. And as early as the 1640s a number of voices were raised in favour of the admission of the Jews to this country, their conversion to Christianity and in consequence the hastening of the millennium. Then in September 1655 Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel came on his strange mission to England. He proposed nothing less than that the Jewish people should be admitted into the British Commonwealth with the same protection as the natives and supervised by a person of quality; that an oath should be administered to the military authorities to defend them on all occasions; that Cromwell should allow them public synagogues, the free observance of their religion and a place or cemetery out of Town to bury their dead without being troubled by any; that they should be allowed their own tribunal to determine their disputes according to Mosaic law subject to appeal to the civil authorities ; and that in case there had been any laws against the Jewish people, they should, before all else, be revoked. In the conferences that followed, the Chief Justice and the Chief Baron of the Exchequer announced their opinion that there was no law forbidding the return of the Jews to England, but beyond that the Petition failed in the face of commercial, ecclesiasti? cal and popular prejudice, and Cromwell, if he had the power, declined the odium of giving personally a favourable decision. One result, however, of these deliberations was to publish to all the presence of these Jewish families in England. Meanwhile in the autumn of 1655 war had broken out between England and Spain, adding in the following months a substantial addition of Marrano immigrants, and a new anxiety lest they might not stay free and unmolested in England while they dared not return to Spain. Then on the 14 March 1656 the ships and property of a London Marrano, Antonio Rodrigues Robles, were seized as belonging to a Spanish subject, and consternation reigned among them. It was now vital in their interests to declare them? selves as not Spaniards but Jews; and it was high time to jettison the millennary aspirations of Menasseh Ben Israel, and to consult the most urgent of local necessities. A few days later, two petitions were launched; one by Robles, claiming the release of his property as being not a Spaniard but a Portuguese of the Hebrew nation, the other a petition signed by five elderly and influential leaders of the little community, and Menasseh Ben Israel himself and the Secretary Chillon. It is important to contrast its terms with the previous petition. It did not ask for the right of re-admission to this country of the Jewish people : it asked a favour for those already here. It did not ask for the repeal of laws or for equal rights with natives : it asked the Protector for a written licence on two matters?namely, worship and burial. It did not ask for public synagogues or a cemetery to bury their dead. Its terms, which were drafted in the light of midnight oil and, no doubt, with the best of legal advice, were as follows. It acknowledged the manifold favours and protection granted by Cromwell to enable them to meet privately in their own houses for their devotions, and it asked of him a written licence, in whatever form would best serve, to enable them to continue to do so without fear of molestation. It added : 'And being wee ar all mortall, wee allsoe Humbly pray your Highnesse to graunt us Lisence that those which may dey of our nation may be buryed in such place out of the cittye as wee shall thinck convenient with the Proprietors Leave in whose Land the place shall be'. They said, in other</page><page sequence="4">THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT 165 words, Tou know we have been meeting for prayers in our houses, and you have enabled us to do so by stopping prosecution and molestation, and we ask of you, for our better security, some written licence or permit of some kind to continue to do so. And we also ask a written licence to bury our dead in a convenient place outside the city where the owner of the ground will allow it'. They did not say 'You know we have been doing this', but we can be sure they had. The Legal Background In order to explain the significance of this language, I must say a few words about the state of the law at the time, insofar as it relates to those matters. I will assume in doing so that, as the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chief Baron opined, there was no law prohibiting the presence of Jews in this country; and further that it was not contrary to the law for Jews to meet for Jewish worship in their private houses, or to bury their dead according to their religious practices?two matters which were vital conditions of any Jewish life in this country, and both of which English lawyers of the time would have regarded as raising novel and difficult questions. I will also assume that the Marranos and Jews of 1656, though they were of Spanish or Portuguese origin except for a small sprinkling of German Jews, were not enemy aliens in the eyes of the law of that day, as many of the Marranos might have been under modern English law. Nevertheless, with the exception of children born in England and a handful of denizens, the Marranos and Jews of 1656 were all aliens, and being aliens could not own land for any purpose. But, like any other merchant stranger, they could take a lease for a term of years of a habitation as an incident to commerce, for without a habitation they could not trade. There had been an understanding to this effect ever since Saxon times, and in 1552 and 1587 the Judges had so laid down the law.1 But upon their quitting the premises, or upon their death, the lease would be forfeit to the King and not merge in the estate of the owner of the premises. This would serve as a powerful deterrent against letting premises for any substantial term of years to an alien. As I have said, no alien could hold a lease of land for purposes of burial or any purpose except habitation. But some few of the community had been endenizened. Endenization was a practice, now obsolete, which conferred lesser rights than naturalization, from which it differed in several ways. It was granted by patent of the Crown, by virtue of its prerogative, and not by Act of Parliament. Briefly, a denizen could purchase land, but his sons could only inherit land from him if they were born after he was endenizened or were endenizened with him.2 But could a denizen own land if he were a Jew? Seventy years later, in the 1720s, the best legal opinion was that he could,3 but in 1656 the question would have been regarded as new and strange, and he would be a bold man who would say he could. If he could not, the land he bought would be forfeit to the State. It would be far safer for a Jewish denizen to take a lease for years, but he had better have sons to inherit, born after he was endenizened, or endenizened with him. Could then such a denizen, instead of contenting himself with taking a lease of a dwellinghouse and holding prayers there with his fellows, take a lease of land to build a synagogue? He would be a brave man who would say he could. There was a serious risk, if not probability, that a court would hold that a lease of land for building a Jewish 1 Blackstone, Commentaries 17th ed. by E. Christian (1830) Vol. I, p. 372, Vol. II, p. 293 ; Croft's Case (1587) Co. Litt.2B, and Holdsworth, History of English Law, Vol. IX, p. 97. 2 Blackstone, Commentaries, Vol. I, p. 374; Vol. II3 p. 249. 3 See Phillip Carteret Webb, The Question whether a Jew... was capable to purchase lands... (1753).</page><page sequence="5">166 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT synagogue was contrary to public policy and illegal and void. Also it would be financially prohibitive unless it were a long lease, and if it were a long lease it would be void for the following reasons. The Mortmain Acts existed for the purpose (among others) of preventing the aliena? tion of land in perpetuity into the 'dead hand' of a religious foundation. Various devices were evolved for the purpose of evading these provisions. However, an Act of Henry VIII,1 still in force in 1656, provided that all future grants to any person or body for 'superstitious uses' without the licence of the Crown, were void if made for any longer term than 20 years.2 This would, I think, apply to a lease of land of over 20 years to any person for the purposes of building a synagogue, and would certainly apply to a lease for the purposes of burial with Jewish rites. These considerations explain the modest terms of the Petition of the 24 March 1656 asking for a licence to continue to meet for prayer in their private houses, and to bury their dead where they could find a proprietor of ground who would let them do so. Neither phrase asks permission to acquire a lease?either to build a synagogue or to bury their dead. Their petition was not granted : no written licence or permit was ever issued. But it is tolerably clear what must have happened. On Robles5 Petition, on the 16 May 1656 the Council of State discharged the warrants against him and restored to him his property. On the other Petition the Council on the 24 June refused to take action. But within the next three months or so the community must have been told on behalf of Cromwell something to the following effect. 'The Council has refused to take action, and the Lord Protector feels difficulty in granting you on his own authority what you ask. Indeed, it is difficult to see what you are asking him to do, or how it would help you. If what you propose is illegal, he cannot give you a licence to do it; nor if he did, would it make it legal. But is it wise to ask for a public licence to do what is perhaps perfectly lawful: it will give ground for saying it is contrary to law, and only excused while the Protector's personal licence endures. What reason is there for saying it is unlawful? You had better do bravely what you suggest, and if you act with discretion the public will grow accustomed to these things and the Protector will see you come to no harm.' The Search for a Synagogue House Encouraged by some such message, while Menasseh Ben Israel returned to Holland, broken by failure, the leaders of the little group looked round for suitable accommodation for their services. They decided to continue their previous course of conduct but on a larger scale and in a more daring and more organised form?namely, to take a large dwefiinghouse on lease, put in a tenant, adapt part of it for use for synagogue services, and take the lease in the name of a denizen who had sons endenizened with him or born subsequently, who could therefore inherit the lease if their father died before its expiry. Antonio Fernandez Carvajal, the leader of the community, was of this category, for he had been endenizened on the 17 August 1655 with his two sons, and was a man well known and respected in the neighbourhood. But they would obviously have the greatest difficulty in finding such premises. Very few persons would be willing to let a dwellinghouse to Jews from abroad with 1 23 Hen. VIII5 c. 10. 2 I am confident that in asking Cromwell for a licence the Petitioners of 1656 had not the Mortmain Acts in mind.</page><page sequence="6">THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT 167 knowledge that it would be used for such a purpose. They would probably only get what no-one else wanted and be made to pay heavily for it. It must have been about November 1656 when they succeeded in getting what they sought, for although the lease that was granted was dated 19 December and ran from Christmas Day,1 it usually took a month or so to draw up and it was certainly before the 4 December that the matter was arranged.2 Domingo Vaes de Brito?one of the signa? tories of the Petition to Cromwell?was tenant of the smaller of a pair of large, newly built brick dwellinghouses, forming an island site at the corner of Creechurch Lane and Bury Street. It was perhaps through him that the community learned how suitable the larger house next door would be for their purpose, and that there was a chance of getting it. The title to the two houses was in a most involved state. A man called James Whitby owned them but he was in financial straits. Apparently his wife and eldest son also had an interest in the properties, which had also been mortgaged to three trustees of the parish for ?550, and Whitby had also charged his interest for ?190 in favour of one Captain Stanyan, a builder, who was also liable on the mortgage to the parish. Stanyan wanted to get out, and for that purpose needed at least ?550 to pay off the mort? gage to the parish trustees and thereby free himself from liability to them, but I think he had difficulty in getting anybody to buy, with the title in that condition. Carvajal then offered to find the money, but being a Jew was not anxious to become owner, and said he would provide the money and buy the premises if Whitby and Stanyan would grant him a 21 years' lease of the larger house. This was agreed to. Carvajal could not become owner and lessee, as the lease would merge in the freehold, and this ingenious trans? action was embodied in three documents which were drawn up at the same time3 but dated the 18, 19 and 20 December 1656. In the first, the three parish trustees surrendered their mortgage to Stanyan on payment of their ?550 (which was provided by Carvajal). In the second, Whitby and Stanyan granted Carvajal the lease at the fair rent of ?40 per annum; and in the third, in consideration of this ?550 and another ?100 paid to the Whitby family, the latter conveyed the two houses to two non-Jewish friends and nominees of Carvajal. In this way Carvajal acquired the lease and his nominees the freehold, and immediately after this he put in as tenant his cousin, Moses Israel Athias (who was Ribay of the synagogue but not endenizened), and also put in hand the alterations to the upper part of the premises to adapt it for use as a synagogue. This work having been safely completed to the knowledge of the general public, but with no landlord in a position to complain, in July 1657 his nominees sold the freehold to other trustees of the parish.4 All this Mr. Wilfred Samuel has told us in his 'The First Synagogue of the Resettlement', though I have accentuated the features in the story which I consider significant, and added one or two matters of inference. Next they looked for a place to bury their dead. Now, it need not be said that there is an obvious difference between taking a short lease of a building to be used as a synagogue and a short lease of a burial place. When a lease comes to an end, if no renewal can be obtained, the community can transfer its synagogue to other premises at some financial loss; but when the lease of the burial place ends, what is to become of the remains of their dead? 1 Trans. J.H.S.E. X, p. 10031.8. 2 See extract from Vestry Minute Book of St. Katherine Creechurch dated 4 December 1656, Trans. J.H.S.E.,X, p. 109. 3 The document of the 20th December refers to that of the 18th as 'bearing even date' (Trans. J.H.S.E., X5 p. 93). 4 Abraham Stanyan was then a member of the Committee of the Vestry (Ibid. X, pp. 110-111).</page><page sequence="7">168 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT The First Burial Place About January 1657 they were able to arrange at an extortionate rent a modest interest in a small plot of land which is now a corner of the Old Burial Ground, Mile End. Mile End was a hamlet situated, as its name shows, a mile from London. The road from London to Bow??the great road5?was here a narrow dirt-track. In the 17th century Mile End was still surrounded by fields, but London was spreading and the builder was in evidence. Development however, restricted by Stuart legislation, was slow in those days, and the changes during that century were on a modest scale. The piece of land with which we are concerned was on the eastern edge of Mile End and was part of the extensive Manor of Stebun Heath, alias Stepney, and at this time Richard Blackwall was Lord of the Manor.1 The tenants of a manor were called copyholders. Copyhold tenure, which was familiar in England till 1924, had evolved out of an unfree tenure of feudal times. The copyholder held his land at the will of the lord but also according to the custom of the manor. For our present purpose it is sufficient to say that on every transfer of copyhold land, for example, on sale, the transferor surrendered his holding to the lord of the manor, who admitted the transferee on payment of a ?fine5, and by custom of this manor the fine was 1J times the annual value (i.e. the letting value) and the courts had held that it could not exceed twice that value.2 The same applied on death : the successor was admitted on payment of a fine of the same amount. The usual practice when anyone was admitted as copyholder was for him to surrender the land to the lord of the manor ?to the uses of his last will5. This device had the effect that on his death the person entitled to succeed at law would be admitted to the land on payment of the usual fine. What later became the Mile End Old Burial Ground?or, as the Sephardi commu? nity now call it, the Velho?is situated on the north side of the road from London, behind the Beth Holim, which, however, was not established there till 1792. The site of the Beth Holim and the present Burial Ground behind it together comprise a rectangle of about 1 \ acres, and in 1640 the whole consisted mainly of an orchard or garden. The northern half of it?the furthest part from the road?consisted of an orchard with about two hundred fruit trees upon it; the southern part was mainly garden. The north boundary was marked by an old brick wall some 172 feet long, the east and west sides probably by wooden fences about 380 feet long. You entered the orchard from the road by a cart-track which meandered up to a gate in the middle of the north wall, and the meandering track still survives in the same position, and the boundaries are still where they were. On the side fronting on the road there may have been one or two wooden shacks. (See Map on plate 53.) At a Court Baron of the Manor of Stepney held on the 24 March 1641 one Henry Clowes, gentleman, was admitted as copyholder of an estate of five acres of land of which 1 The two manors of Stepney and Hackney were from Saxon times held by the bishops of London. In 1550 three rich courtiers of Edward VI divided the lands of the See of London between them. On 3rd April 1550 Ridley was made Bishop of London. On the 12th he granted the two manors to the King, who, on the 16th granted them to the Lord Chamberlain, Lord Wentworth. During the Protectorate they were sequestered (hence the lordship of Richard Blackwall) and after the Restoration the Wentworth family regained the manor of Stepney but not that of Hackney (see H.G.C. Allgood, A History of Bethnal Green, 1894). For the customs of the manor of Stepney, see Customs and Privileges of the Manors of Stepney and Hackney . . . 1736 (confirmed by Statute 21, James I). By custom of these manors copy? holders were empowered to grant leases of up to 31 years and 4 months without fine but under penalty of forfeiture of the copyhold if a longer lease were granted. 55 Phillip Carteret Webb's Notebook (Lansdowne MSS, No. 629, p. 51 et seq., British Museum).</page><page sequence="8">THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT 169 this orchard and garden formed the eastern part.1 The estate consisted of this and other orchards and gardens, three cottages and a close of pasture. Clowes proceeded to divide up his holding for development, and on the 22 December 1653 he sub-let3 this orchard and garden to George Sigins, gardener. It was a building lease, for Sigins covenanted that he would within four years build upon this orchard 'a sufficient dwelling house containing four or six necessary roomes each roome being fowerteene foote in length twelve foote in breadth and eight foote in height or thereabouts with chimbeys in the said roomes and convenient lights' and would keep it in repair. The lease was to run for 31 years3 from the following Christmas, i.e. till 25 December 1684, when he was to deliver up the land together with two hundred good fruit trees growing thereupon, and the cottage. In 1653, and for almost a century after, the annual value of the whole orchard and garden was ?16, but as this was a building lease the rent was only ?11 per annum4. On the 23 June 1655 Clowes sold his copyhold tenancy of this land to a widow of the name of Elizabeth Cage, and duly surrendered the land to the lord of the manor, who admitted her in his place,5 and she paid the usual fine of If years' value, namely ?24. The entry on the Court roll shows that Sigins had already built his cottage 'on the Back? side' of this land, and it is, I think, plain from various indications that it was in the north? east corner of the orchard on the east side of what are now carreras (rows) 1, 2 and 3. It was a six-roomed cottage6 of the above dimensions, and Sigins had also apparently put up the sign of a soldier on some shack or building alongside the road, which may have been a place offering liquid refreshment, for the whole piece of land was now and for some years thereafter known 'by the name or sign of the Soldier'. Some time after he had built the cottage, and probably between 1654 and the beginning of 1657, Sigins seems to have assigned his lease to 'John Tuffenell Cittizen and Carpenter of London, and James Willson Cittizen and Weaver of London', and about January 1657 Antonio Fernandez Carvajal and Simon De Caceres arranged a tenancy from them of a corner of this land, intending to use it as a burial place, and at some date in February 1657 the lease was duly executed.7 It is no longer in existence, but we can say with some confidence what most of its terms were. The Lease of February 1657 First, it was a lease for a term of 14 years and a few months, probably terminating on June quarter day 1671. This appears from an entry in Spanish in the synagogue accounts of 1670,8 to the effect that the lease still had 15 months to run when the second lease (which ran from the 25 March 1670) was entered into. Next it is plain that the rent was ?10 per annum (equivalent in modern terms to about ?150 per annum), for this 1 This is recited in the admission of Elizabeth Cage on the 23 June 1655 (infra). 2 See original counterpart lease in the archives of the Synagogue, Bevis Marks. 3 See footnote \, p. 168, supra. 4 Clowes was expressed as sub-letting to Sigins with the licence of cthe Lord and Lords of the Manors of Hackney and Stepney'. The two manors at this time were held by the same family and were often referred to as though they were one. 5 Examined copy of entry in the Court roll, certified by the steward of the manor, in the archives, Bevis Marks. 6 Referred to in the lease of 1670 as a 'messuage or tenement or tenements consisting of six small rooms'. 7 It is recited in the lease of 1670 (infra). 8 See infra.</page><page sequence="9">170 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT appears as a regular annual payment in the synagogue accounts from the year 1663-4, when those accounts begin.1 Thirdly, the plot of land let was a rectangle in the north? western corner of the Soldier's Tenement, of a width from north to south of 26 feet from the brick wall, and stretching from the western fence to the central cart-track, a length of about 80 feet.2 It had about twenty fruit trees upon it and occupied about one-thirtieth of the area of the Soldier's Tenement, of which the total annual value was ?16. The rent of ?10 was therefore about twenty times a fair rent of the plot. This indicates that, as might be expected, the lessors knew the purpose for which the land was required, and Carvajal and De Caceres had to pay a fancy figure to get it. On the other hand, it was worth their while : it was only a mile from the eastern boundary of the city, near which most of them lived, and it was close to the 'great road', though sufficiently far to be hidden from it. The Jews must have reckoned that it was easily large enough to hold those who would die in the next 14 years, but in fact it was hardly sufficient. We may be sure there was no mention in this lease, any more than in the 1670 lease, of the purpose for which the land was required. Probably it contained a covenant to fence off the plot on its south side, and to deliver it up, at the expiration of the term, with twenty good fruit trees upon it. The lease was taken in the names of Carvajal and De Caceres because, perhaps, the lessors required the names of two responsible tenants ; but also, perhaps, because both were nearing the ends of their lives and had a personal interest in the acquisition of a burial ground. Assuming that it was not contrary to the law of England to take a lease of land for the sole purpose of burial therein with Jewish rites, it could not validly be longer than twenty years because of the Act of Henry VIII, and could not validly be made to an alien because it was not for habitation, and would be useless in the case of two elderly men unless they had sons who had been endenizened with them or born in the country, and could therefore inherit. This was true of Carvajal, who had been endenizened with his two sons in 1655. De Caceres, so far as is known, was an alien, and accordingly acquired no rights under the lease. In this way they acquired Bethahaim, as it was always called; and one cannot look at the synagogue records, as we have them for the years 1663/4 and after, without feeling the pride with which they regarded it; but it was only the size of an ordinary garden lawn (l/20th of an acre), and it was a poor sort of tenancy. Their landlord was the lessee of a copyholder of the manor, and if either of the superior tenants lost his lease, theirs would go with it. We can be sure that (like the lease of 1670) it was not granted with the licence of the lord of the manor, but this was not important. The Administration of Bethahaim For the administration of the affairs of the little Bethahaim from 1663 onwards we must look to the escamoth (or laws) and accounts of the synagogue. Bethahaim was primarily supported out of its own funds, and as to any deficit out of synagogue funds, but in those early days the bulk of the expenses of the synagogue came out of the pockets of three or four members. Most members were merchants and the main source of income was the impuesta (Spanish) or imposta (Portuguese), a tax calculated as a percentage on all goods bought or sold by them as principals or agents. It was reduced in the 1 See Dr. L. D. Barnett's Libro de los Acuerdos pp. 19,35,36,45. With the tithe, the total was ?11. 2 This is an inference from the terms of the 1670 lease and indorsement in Spanish (see below), the dates of burials in the burial register, and the gap of 2 yards between carreras 3 and 4,</page><page sequence="10">THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT 171 escamoth of Ellul 1663 to a rate of two shillings per ?100 for most types of goods. The next largest source of income was the offerings of various kinds, which produced about half as much as the imposta, and any deficit in the year's working was made up by the finta, which was a forced levy on the member according to his means, and was deducted by five yearly instalments from the amounts of his imposta of subsequent years. From these early years the synagogue had its Hebra de Bikur Hulim [sic] e Gemilut Hasadim (shortly, Hebra) or Society for tending the sick and burying the dead. The escamoth of Nisan 1665, issued by the Hebra and Mohamad (or Executive of the Synagogue) provided for the annual appointment of an Administrador with the duty (among others) to see that the dead was watched over and laid in his shroud by the Hebra and duly buried. He was to expend on this whatever was necessary according to the quality of each,1 and if the revenue of the Hebra was insufficient he was to draw on the Gabai (or Treasurer) of the synagogue for any deficiency. All members of the community were required to make annual offerings in synagogue for the Hebra, and in Bethahaim a box was to be kept in which alms might be deposited. The Administrator kept accounts and accounted at the end of his year of office to the Treasurer and read out his accounts in synagogue. The Administrator also kept the key of Bethahaim, and was required to direct where each grave should be, in order that burial might proceed regularly and by numbers ?he recording with much care at the time so that there may not be the abuse of opening a grave in which there shall have been a burial'.2 A board was also to be placed in Bethahaim with the names of the deceased brethren cso that every time that one goes there an Escaba (memorial prayer) may be offered for them'. Bethahaim was approached by the central cart-track which was later railed off to keep visitors out of the orchard.3 Bethahaim was also itself railed off, and there was a gate as you entered from the track, which was kept locked.4 The area consisted of the western half of the first three carreras of the present burial ground, up to a fine midway between the present third and fourth. The wide gap of 2 yards between the third and fourth Carreras shows where the boundary palings were.5 Entering the little gate you were in a central strip (now the west half of Carrera 2) which in the early days was kept clear for the approach of the funeral cortege, and burials commenced at the west end of what are now Carerras 1 and 3. The fruit trees were probably not then interfered with, and burials were at first well spaced out, and with a lordly disregard of economy of space. It will be seen from the diagram of burials on p. 174, taken from the burial register of 1725, that in 1667 the only graves in Carrera 1 were those of Mrs. De Brito (1657), Carvajal (November 1659), Moses Israel Athias (who died of the plague in 1665-6), Daniel Hisquiau Israel Nunes (1662), Sarah Lopez Pereira de Paiva (1666-7), then a group of five graves all of the plague years or thereabouts, 1665-6 (Mosen de Ishak Israel Nunes, Grasia de Ishak Israel Nunez, Rahel de Abraham de Morais, Samuel de Paiva and Ester de Abraham de Morais); and that there was room for a grave on either side of Mrs. de Brito (used early in 1684 when, as will be seen, the synagogue was in great need of burial space) and there were spaces for reserved graves for Mrs. Carvajal next to her husband, and Miss Jeudith de Paiva next to her mother. It will also be seen that in 1667 there were in Carrera 3 the graves of Sarah Athias (October 1657), the three De Vegas 1 So that apparently there was no burial charge, and probably no charge for the ground. 2 These words contain a hint that the procedure of burials till this date had been casual. 3 The sub-lease of 1670 states that it was railed off then. 4 See the escamoth of 1665, supra. 5 See plan of the Soldier, about 1667, p. 172.</page><page sequence="11">172 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT -172 Feet- ? BRICK WALL Care Bcthahaim/ Kile Bid The Soldier" ear^r in j66f</page><page sequence="12">THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT 173 (1661, 1661 and 1665), then a group of four very early graves of Ashkenazim, perhaps of the early 1660s (Joseph Asquenazi, Isaque Yafe, Jonah Varab1 and one nameless)?then isolated here so as not to contaminate the Sephardim?and two later graves of Ribca de Azevedo (166-) and Sarah Cardozo (1664); and there was a reserved grave for Israel Nunes. Then in 1667 burials started in Carrera 2, namely four graves of 1667 and 1668, and a reserved grave for the proselyte Deborah Israel, filled in 1669. The large gap in Carrera 2 will be later explained. It will also be seen that there were no graves in Carrera 3, on your left as you entered the gate, for over twenty years (till the end of 1677 and beginning of 1678). Here, I think, was the brick or wooden hut (destroyed late in 1677), where the burial service was read, the circuits took place round the dead, the board was kept with the names of the departed, and the box for alms. By early in 1669 it is clear that, apart from the apparent gap in Carrera 2 (which was in fact full) and reserved graves, the little burial ground had no more space for burials. And in any case the lease would run out in June 1671, and the need for new ground was urgent. By 1665 or earlier Tuffenell and Willson had apparently assigned their tenancy of the Soldier to Joseph How, Citizen and Merchant Tailor of London. On the 9 September of that year he sub-let2 the cottage, and possibly the plot of ground in the north-east corner (a continuation of Bethahaim on the east side of the cart-track) probably for a term ending December 1684, to William Evans, Citizen and Plasterer (that is, Builder) of London. Evans or his family apparently leased a good deal of land from this point eastwards along the road towards Bow, probably with a view to building premises for prospective customers. Gascoyne's map of 1703 shows one Evans as occupier of 1\ acres east of the Soldier as well as nearly 12 acres further north and nearly 10 acres on the south side of the road. The situation of the title to the Soldier's Tenement in 1669 was as follows. At the top was the Lord, now Lords of the Manor3. Below was the copyholder of the Soldier, namely, Widow Cage. Her tenant of the whole of the Soldier was How, and his sub? tenants were, in the north-west corner, the heirs of Carvajal (for Carvajal and De Caceres were both dead),4 and in the north-east corner William Evans. And the cottage was occupied by a sub-tenant of Evans, one William Paynter, Packthreadmaker. 1 "Jonah Varab" is a strange name. I cannot find the name "Jonah" elsewhere in the Burial Register. It was not used by the Sephardim of England. "Varab" must be an error for "varao" (Portuguese for "man", "male"). The Ashkenazim had commonly only one name, and this gravestone (in a group of Ashkenazi graves) must be that of an Ashkenazi?"Jonah? an adult male". 3 The lease is recited in the lease of 1670, post. 8 William Bolton, Merchant of London and William White, Citizen and Haberdasher of London. 4 The case of De Caceres illustrates the necessity of care in the use of the burial register. Mesquita (Trans. J.H.S.E. X p. 233-4) pointed out that Jacob de Caceres (the synagogue name of Simon de Caceres) is buried in this ground, Carrera 7, no. 35, having died in 1704. The question then arises how it comes about that no mention is made of him in the synagogue records (which begin in 1663), and the explanation is given that, having been so prominent a supporter of Cromwell, he found it expedient to retire on the Restoration. This story is generally accepted (see e.g. Dr. L. D. Barnett, Bevis Marks Records, Part I, p. 6). This is strange inactivity for that enterprising and independent Jew, Simon de Caceres. Assuming, moreover, as is likely, that he was in his fifties in 1656, he would die a centenarian in 1704. The other signatories to the 1656 Petition were middle-aged men who died not long after: Carvajal in November 1659 ; David Abrabanel in 1667; Menasseh ben Israel 1657; Abraham Coen Gonsales soon after 1672 (when he is last mentioned in the Libro) ; and De Brito in 1656. However, the Lease of 1670 recites that De Caceres was dead. He had interests in the West Indies, and he probably died abroad shortly after 1657. The Jacob de Caceres of 1704 may well be his grandson^ the son of one of the four De Caceres brothers who lived together as bachelors in 1684 (see Zagache's Census of that year).</page><page sequence="13">174 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT BURIALS IN THE FIRST BETHAHAIM &lt;-? ? ? ? 26 ft. - &lt; B O O &lt; Sarah Athias 1658 Samuel de Vega 1661 Moseh de Vega 1661 Is. Nunes 1669 Samuel Vega 1665 Joseph Asquenazi Isaque Yafe 1660 Jonah Varab 1662 A tall stone without a name Ribca de Azevedo 166 Sarah Cardozo 1664 J. H. De Miranda May 1677 Ribcah Ris 1678 Moseh B. Louzada 1678 Rahel Arias Mar. 1678 Abraham Ascanasi Aug. 1678 Abraham Nunes Oct. 1684 Deborah Israel Feb. 1669 Imanuel Musaphia Apr. 1667 Yeoshuah de Morais Jan. 1667 D. Abarbanel Dormido Mar. 1667 Sarah A. Dormido 1668 S. Israel Salman 1684 Ishak Israel Nunes 1684 A. de Morais 1683 J. S. Munao Jan. 1684 Mrs. de Brito 1657 R. Rodrigues Jan. 1684 Ester Carvajal Dec. 1702 A. F. Carvajal Nov. 1659 Moses Israel Athias 1665-6 D. H. I. Nunes Feb. 1662 Sarah Nunes Nov. 1674 Sarah de Paiva 1666-7 Jeudith de Paiva 1709 Moses Nunes 1665 Grasia Nunes Jan. 1666 Rahel de Morais 1665 Samuel de Paiva 1666 Ester de Morais 1665 Samuel Cardozo 1670 CART TRACK</page><page sequence="14">THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT 175 The Lease of April 1670 Probably the community asked How to let them a further part of the orchard, adjoining Bethahaim on the south; and this he was unwilling to do. They then cast envious eyes at the plot between Bethahaim and the cottage, let to Evans. It would suit their purpose very well, and they might be able to adapt the cottage for use as a mortuary chapel in place of the existing hut in Bethahaim. They asked How whether, if they bought out Evans, he would grant them a new lease for 14 years of their plot and the cottage and the ground between, at a reasonable rent. How was apparendy a fair-minded man, and anyhow he had received an extortionate rent from them for Bethahaim for several years, and he agreed. They bought Evans out for ?50. On the 13 April 1670 was drawn up the Receipt and Discharge1 in which William Evans acknowledges the receipt of ?50 from Abraham de Sequeira (the richest merchant in the synagogue) and Jacob Gomez Serra and Isaac Lopez Pereira (the Parnassim, or Wardens, of the year) in consideration of the surrender by him of his lease of the 9 September 1665, and discharged them from all claims in regard to it. On the same day the new lease by How to these three gentlemen was executed2. The consideration is stated to be the surrender of the old lease of February 1657 granted to Carvajal and De Caceres, and the old lease of September 1665 granted by How to Evans, and a payment by the lessees to How of a sum of money which is not specified but is shown by the synagogue accounts to be ?6, paid to him as compen? sation for the loss of his ?10 a year for the remainder of the old lease of 1657. The new lease is of the 'Messuage or Tenement or Tenements of six small rooms now in the occupation of William Paynter Packthreadmaker', and the further part of an 'orchard or garden neere adjoining to the said hereby leased Messuage or Tenement containing one hundred three score and tenn foote in length and twenty and six foote in breadth from the brick wall as the same is now concluded and agreed upon by and between the said parties to these presents'?or, in other words, the whole of the area now occupied by Carreras 1,2, 3 and one yard more in width, and the present blank space of some 20 feet to the east wall, where the cottage stood. The rent was ?1 per annum, which was exactly right. The lease provided that the plot should 'be forthwith all separated fenced and divided from the said Orchard or Garden with pales on the south side at the onely cost and charge of the lessees, a phrase probably copied from the 1657 lease; but after it was drawn up it was altered to read 'on the north and south side'?for no apparent reason except that the brick wall, which was the north boundary, was now in a bad state of repair and needed to be rebuilt. The lease also includes the cart-track, called 'one small parcell of ground as it is now enclosed and used for a way or passage to the said further part of the said orchard or garden'. The term was to run from the 25 March just past and continue for 14 years 6 months and 11 weeks, which would bring it to a fortnight before the 25 December 1684, when How's own lease (originally granted in 1653 to Sigins) would expire. The lessees covenanted that they would keep the premises in proper repair, and deliver them up at the end of the term together with forty fruit trees standing and growing upon them. The execution of the lease was witnessed by Aron Dormido, 1 Original in the archives, Bevis Marks. 2 See original counterpart lease in the archives, Bevis Marks. One of the three lessees had been endenizened, namely Isaac Lopez Pereira (under the name of Emanuell Pereira, alias Jacques Vandepeere) on 3 October 1662.</page><page sequence="15">176 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT William Evans and Lucas Eimans, the scrivener who had drawn up both documents.1 There are two memoranda in Spanish in reference to this transaction, both in colloquial terms. One is the endorsement on Evans' Receipt and Discharge, and reads : c13 May (an error for April) 1670. Receipt of William Evans for the lease which was paid for this day of the burial ground and cottage which was extended and put in our name'.2 The other is in the synagogue accounts for 1669/70 : 'By the cost of Bethahaim for 14j years and 15 months which had still to run of the lease before ?056:00-0'.3 By Order of the Mahamad of February 1676,4 each year the outgoing Gabai of the synagogue solemnly handed over to his successor the two precious documents of title, the Receipt and Dis? charge of Evans, and the new lease. On the surface this would seem to be a favourable deal from a financial point of view, for while the rent they were to pay was only ?1 a year, the tenant of the cottage would pay them his rent of ?4 a year. But in fact, apart from the ?56 which they had paid to Evans and How, the Synagogue incurred heavy expenditure on this little burial ground of one-tenth of an acre and it caused them some financial stress. Before the Jewish New Year, 1670, they had laid out ?36 17. 6. (in its modern equivalent ?550) in work done on Bethahaim by Ishac Bar Abraham (the Ashkenazi small builder they employed at this time) and in the following year, 5431, they spent ?6 13. 0. on the cottage. In January 1671, they had to introduce a finta or compulsory levy (finally fixed at ?5 per head) to meet this expenditure, and they imposed it on all members and resident foreigners ; and they also imposed on all brokers an imposta of 6d. on every pound sterling of the amounts of their brokerages.0 Burials now continued eastwards along Carrera No. 1 (four burials in 1670, 1671 and 1672), and then at Christmas 1672 they agreed to pay the tenant of the cottage ?1 10. 0. to go out, and he went.6 They then executed substantial further work on the ground and cottage. In 5433 (1672/3) they spent ?30 12. 2. 'on the works in Bett Hayim and the house'.7 In May 1673 they refer to 'the many outlays which this holy congregation had made on Berth Hayim, and those which are at present being made and those which it will be necessary to make in the future'.8 In 5436 (1675-6) the fintas for Bethahaim totalled ?27 10. 0.9 and in the following year ?2010?all to meet a total expenditure on this little ground and cottage since April 1670 of over ?75 (in its modern equivalent about ?1,200). The money went in railing off the ground and beautifying it?it was a simple, rough place previously?and it may have been at this time that they put up the stone plaques carved with skull and crossbones (strange things to find in a Jewish cemetery). But they also, I think, spent a good deal of the money in an attempt to adapt the house for use as a mortuary-chapel, and in this way to make it possible to 1 See the accounts for 1669/70, Libro de los Acuerdos, p. 45 in which the secretary Eimans is paid 17/6d. 'for helping in this contract and making new leases'. Eimans acted often for members of the community. In 1659 he had witnessed, and probably drawn up, Carvajal's last will. 2 '13 de May 1670. Recibo de Wm. Evans de la lessa que selepago este dia del entierno y cassa que se prolongo y puso ennuesto nombre.5 The first lease had been in the names of Carvajal and De Caceres, and now for some years had belonged to Carvajal's heirs. 3 Tor lo que costo Beth ahaim por 14J anos y 15 meses questavan a correr de la lesa, ans (?=antes).' 4 Libro de los Acuerdos, p. 116. 5 Libro, pp. 49, 65. 6 Apparently they did not actually pay him this sum till the year 5437 (1676-7), Libro, p. 112. 7 Libro, p. 68. 8 Libro, p. 65. 9 Libro, p. 101. 10 Libro,?. 111.</page><page sequence="16">^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^j .UN IS 1\ Al&gt;Ot?. . ^^^^ Photograph by R. B. Fleming Memorial Plaque Celebrating the Laying of the Foundation Stone of the New Wall, 27 June 1684 (see p. 180)</page><page sequence="17">THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT 177 get rid of the first small hut and render its site available for burials. The attempt was not wholly successful, but they were able to knock down the first hut in 1677. The Copyhold is Acquired Then, late in 1677, an important development took place in their title to the ground. It was a similar situation to that of the first synagogue-house in 1656?the owners in financial straits, a mortgagee in control, the title to the land in such a sad mess that no one else would be willing to buy, and hence a chance for the little community. But this time it was not the difficulties of their lessor, How, but his lessor, the copyholder. It will be remembered that on the 23 June 1655 Henry Clowes had sold his estate of five acres, which included the cottage and orchard, to Elizabeth Cage, widow, and she had been admitted tenant. On the same day she had surrendered her land to the Lord of the Manor to the uses of her will1, and she made her will on the 12 February 1666, leaving all this estate to her son, Cornelius Cage, and so died; and on the 27 March 1669, he, paying the usual fine of ?24, was admitted to the land by the Lords of the Manor and surrendered it to the uses of his will.2 Whether or not Cornelius Cage, Citizen and Vintner of London, like others of his trade, received in his business anything "one half so precious as the thing he sold", he was apparently one of those individuals doomed by optimism to insolvency. Two months later, on the 29 May 1669, he mortgaged the Soldier, cottage and orchard for the sum of ?200 (which was almost its full value) to Charles Crayker of the parish of St. Olave, in Southwark, Merchant,3 and when the time for repayment came?namely the 30 November 1669?he could not pay the ?206 due; and so on the 12 December 1670 Charles Crayker, paying the usual fine of ?24, was admitted as copyholder.4 Nevertheless, in the meantime, on the 30 October 1670, Cornelius Cage had made his will, charging the Soldier's tenement with the payment of a legacy of ?200 to his niece Elizabeth Cage the younger on her attaining the age of 22 years, and leaving all his estate (subject to the payment of this ?200) to his wife Margaret Cage, and so died. Apparently Margaret managed to pay off Crayker by borrowing the necessary sum (now ?212) on mortgage, but free of interest, from Edward Williams, Citizen and Vintner of London, and perhaps a business friend of her late husband. On the self-same 12 December 1670 Crayker surrendered back the land to the Lord of the Manor, who admitted Margaret on payment of the usual fine.5 On the 12 December 1671 the money was not repaid, the time for repayment was repeatedly extended till 1676, and finally on the 11 July 1676 Edward Williams was admitted copyholder on payment of the usual fine of ?24.6 This, then, was the situation in 1677. Edward Wilhams was the copy holder of the whole of the Soldier's tenement. But Margaret Cage still had the right to redeem the mortgage on payment of the ?212 (for the law was, 'once a mortgage, always a mortgage'). This, however, she was not likely to do, as her niece Elizabeth had a charge on the land for ?200 subject to her reaching the age of 22, and the whole land was not worth, at the most, more than ?250 (say, in modern money, ?3,750). Consequently, Edward 1 Examined copy of entry on the Court roll, 23 June 1655, Bevis Marks archives. 2 Examined copy entry on Court roll, 27 March 1669, Bevis Marks archives. 3 Examined copy entry on Court roll, 29 May 1669, Bevis Marks archives. 4 Examined copy entry on Court roll, 11 December 1670, Bevis Marks archives. 5 Ibid. The Lord or rather Lady of the Manor was now the notable Philadelphia, Lady Went worth, widow of the fifth Baron Wentworth of Nettlestead. 6 See examined copies of entries on Court roll, 14 December 1671,15 December 1672 and 11 July 1676 (Bevis Marks). M</page><page sequence="18">178 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT? Williams, friend of the family, was willing and anxious to take his money and go. No one, however, was likely to pay ?212 and interest and costs and the fine for a piece of land containing a cottage, a few shacks, including a refreshment booth, an orchard and a burial place of Jews, with the title in that condition?no one but the Jews. The Jews could not afford to let the chance go, and on the 29 November 1677 Williams transferred his mortgage to Alvaro de Fonseca, the Treasurer of the Synagogue of that year (of whom more hereafter), and at a special Court Baron held that day, Edward Wilhams, and the widow Margaret on his instructions, surrendered the land to the Lady of the Manor, and Margaret acquitted Alvaro de Fonseca of all claims and interest in the land, and Alvaro de Fonseca was admitted as copyholder of the whole Soldier's tenement in her place on paying the usual fine of ?24,3 (in its modern equivalent ?360). The money to pay out Wilhams and to pay the fine was provided by the congregation. In this way the struggle for a burial ground advanced appreciably, and the necessities of the community, their enterprise and the means of a few members enabled them (not for the first time) to over? come the prejudices of the population and bury their dead in consecrated ground. But even now they still had a long way to go to achieve any sort of security. The position was as foUows. Under the Lady of the Manor was now Alvaro de Fonseca, copyholder (subject to the rights of the niece). Below him was How or his widow (for he died about this time), holding a lease of the whole of the Soldier's tenement, not expiring till Christ? mas Day 1684. Below the Hows came the three members of the congregation, holding an underlease only of the first three Carreras, which would expire about the 11 December 1684, and for the fortnight till Christmas 1684, they would have no right of occupation at all.2 Moreover, the community was more than double the size it had been in 1657. The Old Lady and the Solicitor's Clerks Burials had continued along Carrera 1 till September 1678, then from that date to the close of 1679 along Carrera No. 3 (from both ends), and then from the close of 1679 to 1682 along Carrera 2. By the beginning of 1683 Bethahaim was nearly full3 except for a few reserved graves and apparent gaps in each half of Carrera 2 (in fact, not gaps at all, as we shall see), and it was obvious that the community would be in dire straits for room in 1683 and 1684. They made, I believe, attempts to induce How's widow to surrender her lease, but without success. Indeed, on the 12 February 1682 (partly, I think, to protect herself from them) she granted to one Peter Rogers a lease, at the almost nominal rent of ?2 per annum, of the whole of the Soldier apart from the three carreras (referred to in the lease as 'the piece of ground called the Jewes' Burying Place') to run from Christmas 1681 for the rest of her lease, and for any further period for which she might become entitled to let.4 This was within her rights, though unkind; and it is fair to point out that since Christmas 1673 (when the congregation got rid of the tenant of the cottage and ceased to receive his ?4 a year rent) it does not appear that they had ever paid the ?1 a year rent they owed How. No doubt she had not pressed for it. Then on the 25 June 1683 an interview took place when two solicitors' clerks visited her at her house and she showed them the underlease she had granted to Rogers. Finally, they 1 Examined copy entry on Court roll, 29 November 1677, Bevis Marks archives. 2 The further question arises whether a copyhold of land to be used for burial with Jewish rites required the licence of the Crown under 23 Hen. VIII, c. 10. 3 See diagram p. 179. 4 Original counterpart lease, Bevis Marks archives.</page><page sequence="19">THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT BURIALS IN THE FIRST ADDITION TO BETHAHAIM (North-East Corner of Mile End Old Burial Ground) 179 Q &lt; X U O R. G. Serra Nov. 1678 A. Rodrigues Dec. 1678 Is. Vaes Nunes Dec. 1678 M. de Morais Apr. 1679 I. Navaro May 1679 A. R. de Francia July 1679 Ester R. de Francia 1706 Ester Frances 1679-1680 I. F. Carvajal Dec. 1683 J. Baruh Jan. 1682 Rahel Pesoa Apr. 1680 R. Lopez Arias Feb. 1686 J. Lopez Arias June 1679 Sarah da Silva May 1679 H. H. J. da Silva May 1679 Abraham Israel de Sequeira Dec. 1678 Abraham Israel Senior Apr. 1683 Daniel Haim de Caseres 1682 Abm. Mendes da Costa 1683 J. Henriques 1681 H. H. I. I. de Avila 1681 Ester Mocatta 1683 Y. I. de Avila 1681 M. Bravo Nov. 1679 Is. Andrada Mar. 1680 Rahel Keiser 1682 Yeudith de Vitoria 1670 J. I. M. Bravo Mar. 1672 S. de Sequeira Apr. 1672 J. C. Henriques 1674 Rahel Leao Dec. 1675 Ester B. Rossa Apr. 1676 Ester Soares Mar. 1676 J. de Morais Mar. 1675 Sarah Marques Sep. 1678 A. H. Marques Dec. 1675 J. P. de Orta Apr. 1676 J. Y. Leao Dec. 1675 E. B. Rossa Apr. 1676 Ester Soares 167(6) J. Barahel July 1676 Rahel Barahel 167 A. Mendes 16? Samuel Mendes A. R. Arias</page><page sequence="20">180 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT talked her into surrendering her lease there and then to her landlord Alvaro de Fonseca, without receiving any consideration therefor, and one of these gentlemen scribbled on the back of Rogers' underlease a Memorandum under Seal, whereby she surrendered her lease of the Soldier's Tenement and agreed to forgo all rent due to her for the three carreras for the rest of her lease.1 A seal was affixed and then it turned out that she could not write her name. Nevertheless, the two clerks witnessed (truthfully) that it had been sealed and delivered in their presence. When they got back to the office they were told that it was no use; she should have made her mark; and anyhow the Jews owed her for ten years' rent at ?1 a year (total in modern money ?150) and she ought to have agreed to forego that too. They sent out hurriedly for a couple of Stationer's Forms of a General Release?and very interesting such things are to a lawyer nearly three hundred years after. Both survive2?one as it came from the stationer's, and the other with the gaps filled in, and with the addition of a summarised version of the document she had agreed earlier in the day, and also containing a release of past rent; and?heaven be praised !? she had not changed her mind, and she affixed her mark to each part of the document, and one Edward Norton and Peter Francia (who had taken it to her) witnessed it. The Extension of the Burial Place The community breathed again. They apparently disregarded Rogers, because in May 1684, when the first three carreras were full in every corner that would admit of a grave, they started burials in Carrera 4. But they never forgot these difficulties of space, and from now on graves were very close, indeed too close, together. At the same date, namely, in the Spring of 1684, they knocked down the old brick wall, and they knocked down the cottage.3 In place of the cottage they built a good large mortuary-chapel (entered now along the present path which skirts the South-east corner of the ground from the rear of the Beth Holim), and they built a new brick wall on the West, North and South sides of the land (of which the North wall still survives), and solemnly consecrated it on the 27 June 1684, as the memorial plaque still indicates. They removed the southern boundary?the palings separating the present Carreras 3 and 4?and moved them back to a line between Carreras 17 and 18, and by a deed of the 28 January 1685 Alvaro de Fonseca settled with Elizabeth Cage, the niece, and her husband (she was now Elizabeth Frankling) by paying her ?32 10. 0. (which was the difference between the money which had been paid by the community for the land, and its full value.4 On the 23 January 1685 she and her husband appeared before the Steward of the Manor5 and surrendered the land to the use of Alvaro de Fonseca, and remitted, released and dis? claimed all right, estate, title, interest and demand of any kind in the premises. The rest of the land, between the Jews' burying place and the road, now consisted of three tenements, with a parcel of land between, and another parcel of land between these tenements and the palings of the burial ground, and in 1689 all this was let to one Mathias Hallin of Stepney, Bricklayer, and one John Abbott, Citizen and Carpenter. They undertook to execute certain repairs to these tenements, and in return a lease was granted to them for twenty-one years at a rent of ?6 a year.6 1 She must also have handed over to them the counterpart lease of 1670 (see above) which is now at Bevis Marks. 2 At Bevis Marks. See Plate 52. 8 Phillip Carteret Webb's Notebook (Lansdowne MSS. No. 629, p. 51, British Museum). 4 Original deed, Bevis Marks; Lucas Eimans was one of the witnesses. 6 Examined copy entry on Court roll, 23 January 1685, Bevis Marks. 6 Abstract at Bevis Marks. The original has disappeared in recent times.</page><page sequence="21">THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT 181 How Many of the Community were Buried Here? It is now high time to review this story, at the point we have now reached, and ask ourselves the following important question. From 1657 onwards, were all the dead of this community being buried in this cemetery? And if not, why not, and where were they being buried? And where had they previously been buried? Here is a table (derived from the burial register) showing the approximate number of recorded burials in each year from 1657 i1 Year Total recorded burials 2 5417 (1657) 5418 (1658) 5419 (1659) 5420 (1660) 5421 (1661) 5422 (1662) 5423 (1663) 5424 (1664) 5425 (1665) 5426 (1666) 5427 (1667) 5428 (1668) 5429 (1669) 5430 (1670) 5431 (1671) 5432 (1672) 5433 (1673) 5434 (1674) 5435 (1675) 5436 (1676) 5437 (1677) 5438 (1678) 5439 (1679) 5440 (1680) 5441 (1681) 5442 (1682) 5443 (1683) 1 1 0 3 2 2 2 1 4 3 4 1 2 1 1 2 0 4 2 6 3 6 10 4 3 3 5 It will be noticed that in the first 1\ years from February 1657 up to and including 5424 (1664), there were 12 burials, an average of 1.6 per annum. Then came the three years of plague,3 5425-7 (1665-7), when the total recorded burials are 11 in three years; 1 I have made guesses to fill in a few missing or incomplete dates. The Register is being published separately in Miscellanies VI. 2 Half year from February to the Jewish New Year. 3 The plague, according to Pepys, continued from the middle of May 1665 to December 1666 $ and see W. G. Bell, The Great Plague in London in 1665 (1924).</page><page sequence="22">182 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT then the eight years (5428-5435) (1668-1675) inclusive, with a total of 13 burials, i.e. an average of 1.6 per annum; and therefore no increase in the rate of burial over this period of 18^ years when the community was rapidly increasing.1 We are already almost prepared to answer the question and say : ?No, they were not all being buried here but let us look at a few figures. We can make a fairly close estimate of the population of Marranos and Jews in London during this period, including, at each date, visitors from abroad, and excluding residents absent abroad. In 1657 (having been swelled during the past year or two owing to the war with Spain) 160; in 1662 (as inferred from Greenhalgh's account of his visit to the Synagogue) 210; and in 1684 (from Abraham Israel Zagache's census, which appears to be careful and accurate) 414, including 21 members of families not practising the rite of circumcision. Among the last-mentioned families are those of persons as distinguished as Alvaro da Costa and Dr. Fernando Mendes. To the figure of 414 we should add 9 per cent for Ashkenazi adherents to this congregation, making a round total of 4502. The total increase is therefore about 5 per cent per annum. No reliable figures are available of the death rate in London in the 17th century apart from the plague years, but 35 per thousand for this community is, I think, a reasonable estimate for the period 1657-1684. Accordingly, the approximate number of the community, estimated number of deaths and actual number of burials recorded in the burial register is as follows : Year Approximate Number of Community (in? cluding Ashkenazi Adherents) Estimated number of Deaths at 35 per 1,000 Recorded number of Burials 5417 5418 5419 5420 5421 5422 5423 5424 5425 5426 5427 5428 5429 5430 5431 5432 1657) 1658) 1659) 1660) 1661) 1662) 1663) 1664) 1665) 1666) 1667) 1668) 1669) 1670) 1671) 1672) 160 168 177 188 199 210 219 228 221 200 200 200 219 230 241 253 7 8 8 8 9 1 1 0 3 2 2 2 1 4 3 4 1 2 1 1 2 1 We can assume a small drop in the death rate in the years immediately following the Great Fire of 1666. 2 Excluding other London Ashkenazim (or German Jews), now numerous. Out of 75 burials in this ground up to and including 16833 7 were Ashkenazi. Of 42 burials up to and including 1677, 4 were Ashkenazi. In the years from 1660 to 1677 the proportion was somewhat higher.</page><page sequence="23">THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT 183 5433 (1673) 5434 (1674) 5435 (1675) 5436 (1676) 5437 (1677) 5438 (1678) 5439 (1679) 5440 (1680) 5441 (1681) 5442 (1682) 5443 (1683) 5444 (1684) 266 279 293 308 323 339 356 374 393 413 433 450 9 10 10 11 11 12 12 13 14 14 15 0 4 2 6 3 6 10 4 3 3 5 270 76 We can test the probability of these figures in the following way. Let us move onwards 25 years, to the date 1708. The fires of the Inquisition have temporarily died down. Assuming that the congregation has continued to grow at the modest average rate of increase of 3 per cent each year, and excluding the Ashkenazim (who formed their own synagogue and acquired their own burial ground) the community would now number approximately 828 souls, arrived at as follows : Year Approximate Number of Community {ex? cluding Ashkenazi Non-members) Estimated Number of Deaths at 35 per 1,000 Recorded number of Burials 5444 5445 5446 5447 5448 5449 5450 5451 5452 5453 5454 5455 5456 5457 5458 5459 5460 1684) 1685) 1686) 1687) 1688) 1689) 1690) 1691) 1692) 1693) 1694) 1695) 1696) 1697) 1698) 1699) 1700) 414 427 440 453 467 481 495 509 523 539 555 5721 589 607 625 644 663 14 15 15 16 16 17 17 18 18 19 19 20 20 21 22 23 23 8 9 5 2 3 9 4 4 7 10 9 11 12 10 9 9 7 1 Mr. Arthur P. Arnold has kindly supplied me with a list of Jewish names extracted by him from the 1695 census for the City of London. From these I reckon the number of Sephardim at 574. See further as to this census and the light it throws on vital statistics, 'London Population in the late 17th century', by P. E. Jones and A. V. Judges, Economic History Review, Vol. VI, 1935-6, pp. 45f.</page><page sequence="24">184 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT 5461 (1701) 683 24 5 5462 (1702) 703 25 9 5463 (1703) 724 25 10 5464 (1704) 746 26 16 5465 (1705) 768 27 14 5466 (1706) 781 27 13 5467 (1707) 804 28 17 5468 (1708) 808 495 212 From 1708 onwards the burial register also contains a list of 'Angelitos' (or young infants) who were buried each year. The mortality of young infants was so high in this age, and burial space so precious, that the community did not, and could not, give them burial in a six-foot grave with a gravestone. They were buried in rows of three-foot graves, closely packed, about 82 to a row, without a gravestone. For the whole period 1708 to 1734 the total of angelitos buried is 631. In the same years the total of named graves is 693, so that the angelitos form 48 per cent of the total average burials in each year.1 This appears to have been a constant proportion in these centuries for the deaths of children under ten years of age in a community of mixed social status in London.2 And a reasonable estimate for the death-rate of this community at that period is 35 per thousand.3 The figures of estimated deaths and actual burials for the first four years for which we have complete burial records (1708-1711) are as follows : 1 From 1684 onwards the carreras of the graves of adults were spaced alternately about 4 ft. 6 in. and 1 ft. 6 in. apart, and where the rows were 4 ft. 6 in. apart was placed a row of 3 ft. graves of angelitos (e.g. carreras 4 and 5, about 1 ft. 6 in. apart; carreras 5 and 6, about 4 ft. 6 in. apart; carreras 6 and 7, about 1 ft. 6 in. apart; carreras 7 and 8, about 4 ft. 6 in. apart, etc.). As the graves of angelitos were closely packed, and took up little more than half the space of adults' graves, but the rows were only half as many, there was room for almost as many graves of angelitos as of adults (48 per cent angelitos ; 52 per cent adults). There were no grave? stones of angelitos except for a short period immediately after 1684, where a row of 3 ft. grave? stones can still be seen between carreras 3 and 4. The burial register indicates that the angelitos were buried about 82 to a row?1708 to 1721 (probably 3 rows), 247|burials ; 1721 25, 82 in 1 row; 1725-27, 79 in 1 row; 1727-29, 85 in 1 row; 1729-30, 75 in 1 row; 1730-34, 58 in the last row (probably incomplete). 2 I take the following proportions from an analysis of the London Bills of Mortality in T. R. Edmonds 'On the Mortality of Infants in England', Lancet (1835-6), i, p. 692. Percentage of Infant Burials to Total Burials Period 0-2 years 2-5 years 5-10 .years Total Percentage 1730-49 . 36.5 8.6 3.5 48.6 1750-69 . 34.9 9.0 3.6 47.5 1770-89 . 34.2 9.5 3.7 47.4 1790-1809 . 30.8 11.2 4.1 46.1 1810-1829 . 28.2 10.0 4.1 42.3 If the drop shown in the years 1800-1829 is correct, nevertheless in 1839 the figure was back to 48 per cent, as shown by the careful analysis in 'Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain : A Supplementary Report on the results of a Special Inquiry into the Practice of Interment in Towns, made at the Request of the Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department and presented to Parliament', by Edwin Chadwick, Stationery Office, 1843, p. 42. See also tables p. 256f. 3 The London death-rate was at its height in the 1740s. Rickman's calculation (cited M. Dorothy George, London Life in the XV11Ith Century (1925) p. 25) was that the death-rate in 1700 was 1 in 25 ; in 1750, 1 in 21 or 20 ; from 1797 to 1801,1 in 35 ; from 1801 to 1811, 1 in 38, and in 1821,1 in 40.</page><page sequence="25">itowaffjiidM, Si ?*r ^ ^ JasiicM Q?m&amp;Mh ^tHH4U^adrc4lt aitS* alt m aiui&amp;jr?fc4${oh Siu) Qdnmu Qg/tf cmc^Ya^&amp;d oJ*s&gt;&gt; ikalC?naCr ov^Zf?inc\nb^Jo'L o% (hrircTafo 11 or,nt?-ai+?j jzf (to . _ 12? of OS, "(\;o-j/i''o?. 70 efccCt Z?ttl \ Surrender of Lease by Sarah How, 1683 (see pp. 179-80)</page><page sequence="26">Ii or Beth Wae \t'/tt~ U.i nri err J*rtmJ tttcSUnncrj. Jim* htnifit the Trinity JfqiJ?HaJ/ the Vuthn'rjslf'nt h*iifes Fulferj dimes ho up.' Thr&lt;? Cslt y'axJ Cap* Acndait sirs,?* Sfr.JAni,uis 'lifitrdiiniSihool ^/rMu/nftnb Chuehivarden t/ittc ColrCsurt /At Jew Bunjtng Place Whit* Horfe'yani ft4 Vtearidyt Garland Court Ocean Street \jCu1t7 Johns Court CaptOwctv hai/f ,4gentJ\iurfes luit/l' i 'ap*. Jiattf'ht ho/i/c llelhtcj Court \4r//ttirJt.u/tey Xfif \airSheertu.irJ J)r.\ieho(/onj the ll7atc/i hsii/e 'Four Swan Court J*ttreeiik.- fausc Cap1 Temfsens Astuc Ra t Bethahaim is shown at N to the North of the maii</page><page sequence="27">Lipi or Bethxal cj R r e 35 \ V?" s'^^K \ \ H AM L E T I vt w*ror\ ty*' V'^v V\ \ ^^\^~^x&gt; Bow ff^^ \ OF ^^^^^^ ^7^h^n\ ^4^RU^ 1 The Hamlet of J^^J HAjM LlME HOUSE TR~a t o l i fe V^S3P^8^^ik!\^^t ? Jlctmdr eftfic Jlatnfel ro the North of the main East-West Road</page><page sequence="28">\\CLS 6 &lt;?&gt; Declaration bv Alvaro da Fokshca (Auas Jahacob Jeser?n Alvares) (see p. 188)</page><page sequence="29">THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT 185 Approx. No. of Estimated Community (ex- deaths at Total Total Total Year eluding 35 per Graves Angelitos actual Ashkenazim) 1,000 Interments 5468 (1708) 828 29 9 15 24 5469 (1709) 853 30 24 17 41 5470 (1710) 879 31 16 12 28 5471 (1711) 895 31 15 14 29 121 122 It is plain, then, that the discrepancy between the figures of estimated deaths (270) and recorded burials (76) in the period 1657-1683 is partly explained by an estimated 48 per cent (130) deaths of children under 10, who would receive no named graves, and we are left with a discrepancy between the number of 140 estimated deaths of mature individuals, and 76 actual burials, leaving 64 to be accounted for. In short, about 54 per cent of those who died in the period 1657 to 1684 are buried in this ground, and up to 1675 the proportion was considerably smaller.1 Estimated Period No. of Deaths Recorded Percentage Years of Adults Burials 1657-1664 7J 27 12 44% 1665-1667 3 [Plague 11] 1668-1673 6 25 7 28% 1 1674-1679 6 34 31 91% ^60% 1680-1683 4 29 15 52% J 1684-1695 12 106 81 77% 1696-1701 6 69 52 75% \ 1702-1707 6 82 79 96% f?/o The second factor to be taken into account is the number not practising circum? cision. The 7th escamah of Nisan 1665 runs : 'The Administrator shall have no authority to permit the burial of any uncircumcised man nor anyone belonging to him, without holding a meeting of six elders of the Hebra, so that together with the Mahamad they may consider what seems to them good, and this he shall be obliged to follow'. How seriously they regarded this matter is shown by the case of Diego de ? Mesquita (1670) who arrived in England ill, and made known that if he recovered he would take the holy covenant, and gave instructions for a son of his to be fetched from Bayonne and 1 The proportion can further be tested by taking the individuals known to be supporters and subscribers of the synagogue in the period, and seeing whether, according to the burial register, they were buried in this ground. I have taken 93 names mentioned in the petition of 1656 and the Libro de los Acuerdos for the period up to 1674, and can only find 43 (46 per cent) in the burial register. Some undoubtedly died abroad, and some I have probably missed owing to the variations in the names and the brevity of the names as recorded in the Libro and the register, but these figures give general support to the above estimate that about 54 per cent of the community were buried in this ground between 1657 and 1684,</page><page sequence="30">186 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT circumcised. He died, however, before he could achieve his ambition; and (as the Libro records)1 'he had no greater regret in his life than for having failed of this obligation, which was plain to us all; wherefore it appeared by common consent to the Senores of the Mahamad that there was no contravention of the escama made in regard to this case, and therefore they ordered the President of the Hebra to give him burial in beth ahaim in a place separate from our brethren5. Even in these pathetic circumstances, he was buried unnamed in an unidentifiable corner. As a rule, no member of a family not practising circumcision would be buried in Bethahaim. As has been seen, in 1684 the total number of members of such families was 21 out of 414?that is approximately 5 per cent, an insignificant proportion. In 1657 it must have been larger; but as the proportion of named burials to total estimated deaths does not increase from 1657 to 1673,2 we must come to the conclusion that the number of the uncircumcised affords of itself no substantial measure of explanation of the discrepancy. Nor is there any evidence that families were discouraged from burying their dead in this ground by the fact that the community had so short a lease till 1677. For example, in 1668 and 1669 their lease was running out, and in 1670 was renewed for fourteen years, but the annual number of recorded burials is not affected. Yet for the six years from 1674 to 1679 the rate of burial leaps almost to the full estimated number of the adults who died. What are the reasons for this? We cannot say with confidence, but two important events occurred in 1674. A lease was taken of the house next door to the first Synagogue house in Creechurch Lane, and a new place of worship was constructed covering the top floor of both houses. Secondly, in 1674 the Inquisition had temporarily ceased to operate in Portugal, and did not resume till 1681. Looking at the whole period from 1657, we can perhaps explain the figures of the burials in the following way. The Marranos came to London for various reasons?some merely to exercise their trade as merchants and shippers; some because they were suspected by the Inquisition and were in peril; and some to avoid danger, and seeking a place where they might continue to live the same religious life as before. Their religious observances had been secret. For five generations in Spain and Portugal they had met secretly and occasionally in one another's houses for prayer, and they had been buried with other Catholics. Their observances had been the same as those of the other Marranos who never left the Iberian Peninsula, and in England most of them would have considered it no great hardship to continue the way of life they knew. But a few, like Carvajal, wished for a freer, Jewish religious life, and profoundly influenced the rest. The war with Spain created a new situation for all of them, for it was now in their interest to say : 'We are not Spaniards, but Jews'. But the war ended, and others came from the same Marrano communities, for the same reasons as before; and some went to and fro as others had done before 1656. Before 1656 the Marranos in England had no doubt been buried in the same places as other Catholics?in churchyards, or in other places where it could be arranged. In respect of burial as in respect of worship, we must regard what happened in 1656-7 as a continuation of what had gone before, but on a large scale and in a more daring and 1 Libro, p. 40. 2 1657-1664 (7 i years) estimated deaths 52, recorded burials 12 (including probably 4 Ashkenazim); 1668-73 (6 years) estimated deaths 49, recorded burials 7. See below. There was probably a slight temporary fall in the death-rate after the Fire of 1666, which destroyed some centres of infection.</page><page sequence="31">THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT 187 organised form. In December 1656 Carvajal had acquired a lease of a suitable dwelling house, so that those who wished might meet him in prayer as before, and in February 1657 he and De Caceres acquired a tenancy of a plot of ground for the burial of themselves and anyone else who might wish to be buried there. But there were several reasons why others should not use the ground. First, a few had probably made their own arrangements, sometimes of a similar nature. Then some, no doubt, wished to be buried near their spouses and family, and may have reserved their graves. But there was another reason. A man might attend prayers in Creechurch Lane, behind those triple doors, using an assumed name in the synagogue, while continuing to trade outside in his own name, and hope that no Inquisition spy would know of it, with consequent detriment to his relatives and property in Spain. And if by chance any such spy penetrated to Bethahaim and saw a gravestone inscribed with a man's synagogue name, he might not be any the wiser. But nothing would explain away, in the eyes of Portuguese Christians in London, the fact that he was not buried with due ceremonial and in a place where Catholics might expect to find him or wish to honour him. Later, when they had lived some time in England and had lost their associations with Spain and Spanish relatives, and non-conforming Marranos had drifted away, and a sense of congregational unity and pride had been established, the position would be very different. As for the proportion of circumcised persons, this would be incidental to such congregational unity and pride. So, in the first period of 2{ years up to New Year 5420 (September 1659), only two burials took place in Bethahaim?those of CarvajaFs kinswoman Sarah Athias, and Mrs. De Brito, the widow of another signatory of the Petition of 1657, herself also perhaps a relative. This was only 25 per cent of the estimated number of adult deaths in the period.1 The rest were being buried elsewhere. In the next five years (1660-1664) beginning with CarvajaFs death and burial in November 1659, there were ten burials; but of these no less than four were Ashkenazim, who had nothing to fear from the Inquisition, and the proportion of estimated adult Sephardi deaths was still only about 37. However, the little plot of ground, as we know from the Libro, was very much the syna? gogue burial place, and the congregation was building itself up, though the number of families buried there is still very small. There followed the three plague years (1665-7) when congregational fife was much disrupted,2 and some fled abroad, and then the six years from 1668 to 1673 when many more Marrano immigrants arrived. There were only seven burials in these years?only about 30 per cent of our estimated deaths of adults. But in 1674, as we said, a new synagogue was constructed and the Inquisition in Portugal ceased and immigration dropped, and a new pride in the synagogue emerged, and for the next six years (1674-1679) the figures of burials leapt up to the full amount of the estimated deaths of adults (excluding the few families not practising circumcision). But it was not till the early 1690s that all the dead of the community were buried each year in this ground. We can now see the significance of the apparent gaps in Carrera 2 ; about 70 infants under 10 years of age, and perhaps a good many more, must be mainly buried there.3 1 Total estimated deaths 15, deaths of children under 10, 48 per cent of this, i.e. 7; estimated deaths of adults 8. 2 See the collapse of the accounting system (Libro, pp. 30, 31). 3 Period 1657-1684, total recorded burials 76. On the basis that 48 per cent of deaths were of children under 10, the figure for such children would be 70. The maximum would be 48 per cent of 270 (the total estimated deaths in the period), i.e. 130. There may also have been buried in Carrera 2 a few victims of the Great Plague, and a few of the uncircumcised and their families.</page><page sequence="32">188 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT The Worthy Alvaro De Fonseca Let us now briefly complete the story of how the community acquired its present interest in Bethahaim. On the 29th November 1677 it had purchased the copyhold interest in the whole of the Soldier in the name of Alvaro de Fonseca, a worthy who deserves something better than to be ignored in the history books. The perfect trustee of a charitable institution would perhaps possess the following attributes. He would be young, solid and dependable and rich, and would live to a ripe old age and thereby save the expense of transfers and the appointment of new trustees, and he would do without question whatever the charity instructed him to do. All these were, in the highest degree, attributes of Alvaro de Fonseca. He came from Nevis, where there was a small colony of Marranos, and his family was probably in good favour with the Government. He probably arrived in England in the early 1670s, when he was in his early twenties, and was so successful a merchant that by the year 1675 his imposta was the fourth highest in the congregation. On the 22 July of that year he was endeni zened and in 1677 and 1678 he was Gabai. He acquired the Soldier in the name of Alvaro de Fonseca, but his name in the synagogue was Jahacob Jeserun Alvares.1 The leaders of the congregation demanded and received implicit obedience in those days, and they took no risks with him. On the 26 March 1678 he signed a declaration in Portuguese,2 in his Portuguese and Synagogue names, stating that he had bought Bethahaim as Gabai of the Sedaca and with the money of the Sedaca, wherefore it belonged to the congregation and neither he nor any dependant of his would ever have any right in the burial ground direct or indirect.3 A few years later, not content with the money he had amassed, he prepared to depart for Fort St. George, Madras, together with others. On the 19 September 1682, he surrendered4 the Soldier into the hands of the Lady of the Manor to the uses of his will, and on the 22 September 1682 he made a will5 in English at the behest of the Synagogue, devising the burial ground (which had now ceased to be called the Soldier) to Joshua Gomez Serra,6 Abraham Baruh Louzada,7 and Mordokay Baruh Louzada,8 chosen because of their youth, but he easily survived them all. Shortly after? wards he left for Madras, leaving his wife and son living at his house in St. Mary Axe near Bury Street.9 Having made a fortune he returned in 1701 for the marriage of his son10 and the opening of the new Bevis Marks Synagogue?now perhaps the richest member of the congregation, to whose funds in the years 1701-2 he made the largest 1 So he always signed his synagogue name. 2 Original at Bevis Marks. See Plate 54. 3 At the present time such a transaction would usually be entered into by persons calling themselves trustees of the charity, but no mention was made of the Synagogue in this transaction. For one thing there was the problem whether a Jew could be a copyholder. More important, there was the law of Mortmain under which the transaction was possibly void (see ante, p. 166). 4 Examined copy of Court Roll at Bevis Marks. 5 Original at Bevis Marks. It was drafted and witnessed by Lucas Eimans. 6 Died 22 Kislev 5478 (December 1717). 7 Died 27 Tamuz 5474 (1714). 8 Died 27 Tamuz 5481 (1721). 8 London Directory, 1677. In the 1695 census they appear as Sarah and Isaac Jezeroon (St. James Duke's Place, 3/29). 10 His son Isak in 1701 (11 Tebet 5462) married Miss Ester de Jacob Rodrigues de Silva. She had ?2,500 and he ?1,350 from their respective parents?very large figures in those days, and hardly ever exceeded. See L. D. Barnett, Bevis Marks Records Part II, p. 66, no. 89. He was buried in the cemetery, 9 Sivan 1711,</page><page sequence="33">the cemetery of the resettlement 180 contribution of all.1 He was a Warden when the new Synagogue was opened. For many years he was a pillar of the community, and his signature, in one name or the other, survives on many important documents. When Benjamin Levy (the distinguished Ashkenazi financier and merchant, who was a leading member of the Portuguese Syna? gogue and a founder of the Ashkenazi) died in 1704 he made De Fonseca one of his Executors. He was a member of the Mahamad almost every four or five years thereafter, and he died at the age of 90 or thereabouts, having been a Warden for the last time only three years before. His first and last terms of office covered a period of 63 years?a record never approached by anyone else in the history of the congregation. His son and grandson,3 (both of whom he survived) were not of the same mettle, but his great grandson, Isaac de Jacob Jessurun Alvares (who was a member of the Mahamad in 5515 (1754-5) and for the last time in 5552 (1792) or 5565 (1805),3 was a worthy descendant. If the old man had lived another twelve years, he would have seen his great-grandson on the Mahamad. But long before this, in 1722, when old Alvaro de Fonseca was only about 70 years old, another comedy had been played. It fittingly ends our story, as it began, with extortion?or shall we call it blackmail??practised on the community in regard to its burial ground. The Present Lease is Acquired The community had had for some time as its solicitors the firm of Harwood and Webb, to which was articled the celebrated Phillip Carteret Webb (probably not admitted as an attorney till 1724, but already at the age of 24 a diligent student of the law). In view of Alvaro's age, the community proposed?I quote from the firm's case to Counsel for his opinion??that he should surrender the premises to some other person, which he agreed to do and accordingly application was made to the Steward of the Manor for that purpose, expecting to meet with no difficulty in doing the same, but he insisted that the said premises are mightily improved in value since the admission of A,4 particularly by erecting a brick wall round the Ground and also the said marble and other tombstones that lye as ornaments over the graves of the dead which he pretends to be worth a great sum of money. And that the same is such an improvement to the said premises that the fine to be paid to the Lord5 must be greater in proportion to the value of the said brick wall and tombstones, and for that reason instead of ?24 which was the fine paid on A's admission the new tenant now should pay no less than ?2006 for a fine, imagining they may raise any sum the Lord shall impose, for that the relations will not leave the bodies of their parents to the disposal of any person but such as they should think fit. Note : The said premises when A was admitted were worth about ?16 per annum.'7 The congregation and their advisers were shocked and agitated at this grasping effrontery. The firm sent identical cases for opinion to three of the most eminent members of the Bar?Thomas 1 Figures in Gaster, History of the Ancient Synagogue (1901) pp. 74ff. 2 His grandson, Jacob Isaac Jessurun Alvares, was Warden in 5494 (1734). In 1721 (15 Heshvan 5482) he married Dona Ester de Manoel Lopes Pereira (alias Manoel de Aguilar)?see L. D. Barnett, op. cit., Part II, p. 73, no. 285. 3 If the 'Isaac Jessurun Alvares' of that year is the same person. 4 Alvaro's name is not stated. 5 The Lord of the Manor was now John Wicker, Esquire, who had bought the Manor for ?14,000 from the Trustees of the late Philadelphia, Lady Wentworth. 6 In modern equivalent about ?2,000. 7 P. C. Webb's Notebook (Lansdowne MSS. No. 629, p. 51 f, British Museum).</page><page sequence="34">190 THE CEMETERY OF THE RESETTLEMENT Lutwych, Serjt. Whitaker and J. Lingard (the Common Serjeant), and they all advised between August and November 1722 that (to put the matter briefly) the Lord of the Manor was not bound to accept the amount of the fine last paid but might insist on a reasonable fine according to the yearly value and circumstances of the estate as it was at the time of admission but 'it has been settled that the Lord cannot exceed two years' value.' They advised the congregation to test the matter by the verdict of a jury. Fearful lest Alvaro should die and his heirs claim the land, the congregation's solicitors at the end of 1722 drafted a new Declaration of Trust of portentous length between Alvaro de Fonseca and the Parnassim and Gabai, or Elders, of the day,1 in which the former again declared that he had purchased the copyhold in the burial ground with the money of the congregation and on its behalf, and acknowledged that he held it on trust for the synagogue and covenanted for himself and his successors that he and they would carry out all its directions, etc., etc. On the 29 March 1723 the Declaration of Trust was executed.2 The solicitors also drafted a codicil to his will, by which he devised and bequeathed the land upon the trusts contained in the above Declaration of Trust.3 The congregation stood fast and refused to pay the ?200. The Lord of the Manor refused to admit any transferee except on payment of that sum. Alvaro did his part, and continued to live and thereby deprive the Lord of the Manor of his fine on succession. The cemetery was nearly full. On the 8 December 1724, Joseph da Costa and Gabriel Lopes acquired for the synagogue the 'New' Burial Ground, on the eastern boundary of Mile End, and the congregation kept it in reserve. In this way the years went by. Then in 1736, when Alvaro was about 85 years of age, an agreement was arrived at with the Lord of the Manor in regard to Bethahaim. He would get his ?200, but in return he would enfranchise the copyhold by granting a lease of 999 years at a nominal rent of 2/6d. a year. There would therefore be no more fines. The transaction was carried through by a series of documents and a deed was enrolled in the Court of Chancery.4 So at last, when the cemetery was almost full, the congregation acquired its present lease; and one of the last burials that took place in Bethahaim was that of old Alvaro De Fonseca, who had reserved for himself the first grave in Carrera No. 13, next to his dear wife (buried there on the 6 Ab, 5483-1723) and who was laid to rest by her side on the 30 Kislev 5503 (16 December 1742). 1 The draft survives in Bevis Marks. 2 The original is at Bevis Marks. 3 The draft codicil survives at Bevis Marks. In the Declaration of Trust and in the draft codicil the solicitors raise the question whether the Mortmain Acts apply to the trust estate and whether the licence of the Crown is therefore necessary?a question which has troubled us before in this story. 4 Under the statute 9 Geo. II, c. 36. The transaction was carried through by the following deeds (see Abstracts of Title at Bevis Marks): (1) 24 August 1736 Agreement between the agent for the Lord of the Manor and Benjamin Mendes da Costa for enfranchisement of the land; (2) 29 September 1736 (pursuant to the above agreement) Indenture of Bargain and Sale whereby John Wicker (Lord of the Manor) conveys to Alvaro De Fonseca the Soldier's Tenement, to hold at the yearly rent of 2/6d.; and receipt for ?200 indorsed; (3) 18 November 1736 Enrolment and Registry of the above indenture indorsed; (4) 10 and 11 January 1737 Lease and Release whereby Alvaro De Fonseca in consideration of 5s. and the above yearly payment of 2/6d. conveys the premises to Joseph da Costa and Gabriel Lopes ; (5) 12 January 1737 Indenture whereby in consideration of 5s. to be paid them by Isaac Dias Fernandes and others, Elders of the Synagogue, Da Costa and Lopes declare that the grant of the premises to them was in trust for the members of the Synagogue.</page></plain_text>

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