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The Community of the Resettlement, 1656-1684: A Social Survey

A. S. Diamond

<plain_text><page sequence="1">The Community of the Resettlement, 1656-1684: A Social Survey* A. S. DIAMOND, M.A., LL.D. The theme of this paper is an attempt at an historical social survey of the little community of the Resettlement as it developed from the readmission in 1655/6 till the year 1684,1 a period when the records are scanty and often inaccurate and unreliable. Let us begin with a general survey. In 1657 it numbered some 1602 men, women, and children, having increased substantially in 1654 and 1655, when relations between England and Spain were moving towards war.3 Of this number only some 10% were Ashkenazim. We may compare this figure with the 1,800 strong community (mainly Sephardi) of Amsterdam, the 450 souls (also mainly Sephar dim) in Hamburg, and the 4,500 mixed Jews of Venice.4 There was only one Sephardi congregation in London, that of Greechurch Lane, but it admitted some Ashkenazim and buried them, and there were from time to time one or even two small Ashkenazi stiebels in London. In 1660 there was one in St. Helen's, where the hazan and religious leader was one David Myer,5 and the Creechurch Lane Congregation embraced a half-dozen Ashkena zim, including officials of the synagogue. Commercial Occupations Most of the Sephardim had been born in Portugal or Spain, but some in Bordeaux and Bayonne and other centres of the Sephardi dispersion. About a third of the Sephardi community were by now of mixed descent,6 for to many in Spain and Portugal Marranism (that is to say, crypto-Judaism) was a religion of freedom and there had been since 1492 many conversions of Old Christians (that is to say, Christians of non-Jewish descent) and much intermarriage. All the London Sephardim of substance described themselves as merchants, being importers and exporters of a variety of ship-bound commodities, including minted and unminted bullion and jewellery, and some were shipowners. There were also a few of their clerks and employees and a handful of domestic servants. Their closest commercial relations were with Barbados, Jamaica, Spain, Portugal, and especially Amsterdam, which was now at the height of its prosperity and, largely owing to the activities of the Sephardim of the Nether? lands, had won the pre-eminence in internation? al trade from Spain, Portugal, and Venice. The Sephardim of London had two out? standing lay leaders in our period. One was Antonio Fernandes (or Abraham Israel) Carvajal,7 a prosperous and locally well known shipper and merchant, and a dashing and attractive figure, but now in 1656 about one report he is referred to as 'Sin [Senor] David the Prest in St. Helen's a sinigogue' and in the other as 'Sin David Mier Leaden Hall street'). * Paper delivered to the Jewish Historical Society of England on n April 1973. 1 This date is chosen as being the last year of the reign of Charles II, the year when the community acquired the copyhold of the Velho cemetery, the year of Zagache's list of the community (B.M. Records I, 16f.), and the date of the first list of offerings in the Treasurer's Accounts. The earliest list of seatholders of the synagogue is 1682 (Hyamson, The Sephardim of England, 1951, p. 423), the last date in the Libro de los Acuerdos is 1681, though otherwise its period ends in 1677. 2 See L. Wolf, Trans JHSE, Vol. V, p. 5 et seq.; A. S. Diamond, Trans.JHSE, Vol. XIX, 182. 3 L. Wolf, Jews in the Canary Islands, 1926, p. 199. 4 These figures are arrived at mainly by inference from Menasseh Ben Israel's How Profitable the Nations of the Jews Are, folios 7-8. 5 According to two informers' reports, which there is no reason to disbelieve, and much to accept (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 29,868, folios 15-16, repro? duced in L. Wolf, 'The Jewry of the Restoration 1660-1664,' Trans JHSE, Vol. V, pp. 6, 7. In the 6 See L. Wolf, Jews in the Canary Islands, p. xxvii, (n) 4, which relates mainly to the period 1720-1735 and shows a larger degree of admixture. 7 See for an account of his life L. Wolf, 'The First English Jew', Trans. JHSE., Vol. II, pp. 14f. 134</page><page sequence="2">The Community of the Resettlement 135 67 years of age. He had come from Portugal via the Canaries and Rouen and had resided in London 23 years. He was probably an Old Christian8 who had married a young woman belonging to a New Christian family well known to the records of the Inquisition. In 1655, on the approach of war with Spain, he had declared himself a Jew9 and in the same year he was endenizened with his two sons. Dormido and Cromwell Their other leader was David Abarbanel Dormido,10 whose part in the Resettlement has been greatly underestimated?a very different type of man, a big, dark, stern figure and a member of one of the best-known Marrano families. He was born in Andalucia, and after a public career in Spain of some distinction had with his wife and sister suffered imprisonment and torture for five years in the dungeons of the Inquisition. In prison he vowed that if he were freed he would quit Spain for ever, and on release in 1632 he had emigrated to Bordeaux and thence in 1640 to Amsterdam, where he lived for 14 years, becoming a leader of that community. He had been a man of wealth but had perforce relinquished much of it in Spain, and in 1654 lost much of the rest, consisting of two valuable cargoes, in the revolt of Pernambuco (the port of Brazil), to the Portuguese. When his kinsman, the internation? ally famous scholar Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel, had been granted a pass to come to England and failed to appear, Dormido, by arrangement with Cromwell, emigrated to London in 1654 and a few weeks later petitioned him as one of his subjects for the readmission of the Jews to England,11 and Cromwell addressed a letter on his behalf to his ally the King of Portugal, referring to him as a Jew and asking for the return of his goods. Unlike almost all the rest of the London community, Dormido lived openly as a Jew before the readmission. His name appears second after that of Menasseh among the signatures to the petition of 24 March 1655/6. Synagogue and Cemetery In December 1656 Carvajal, because of the financial difficulties of the owner, was able to obtain a 21 -year lease of a large dwelling-house in Creechurch Lane,12 to put in as occupier of the ground floor and as ribay (i.e., hazan, shochet, bodek, and teacher) a cousin of his, Moses Israel Athias, whom he brought over from Hamburg, and to convert the upper floor for use as a synagogue,12 and in February 1657 Carvajal and Simon de Caceres, another dynamic member of the community, who came from Hamburg, acquired an interest for 14 years in the corner of a field in the village of Mile End, for the purposes of Jewish burial.13 On the Restoration, Charles II continued the favourable attitude of Cromwell to the Jews. Dormido was endenizened with his two sons in 1661 and in all 48 Sephardim were endenizened during his reign.14 Apart from them and their children and other children born in England, the community were aliens throughout our period. Many of the Marrano settlers had little knowledge of Judaism, but they learned from one another and from other Sephardi centres of dispersion and from Sephardi scholars and Ashkenazim. Until 1663 there were no written laws of the synagogue15 and it was administered with more informality than later, but in general followed the practices of other Sephardi communities, with some local practices that were later embodied in the constitution. On 2 November 1659, to the general grief, Carvajal died. The congregation then seems to have elected annually a gabai (treasurer), and about 1660 one Antonio Rodriguez 8 L. Wolf, Jews in the Canary Islands, 1926, p. xxxix. p. 177. 10 Alias David Abrabanell, alias Manuel (or Emmanuell) Martinez Dormido. " See L. Wolf, Trans JHSE, Vol. Ill, pp. 76f. 12 See W. S. Samuel, 'The First London Syna? gogue of the Resettlement', Trans.JHSE, Vol. X, pp. if. 13 A. S. Diamond, 'The Cemetery of the Resettle? ment,' Trans.JHSE, Vol. XIX, pp. 163f. " Trans.JHSE,Vo\. XXII, pp. 11 If. 15 Inferred from the words of the preamble to the first Escamoth (Libro de los Acuerdos, ed. Dr. L. D. Barnett, p. 3).</page><page sequence="3">136 A. S. Diamond Robles was gabai16 and about 1662 one Aharon da Veiga.17 Throughout our period member? ship of the synagogue was somewhat informal: Sephardim came from abroad and attended the services and paid the imposta (or self imposed tax) on business they did here, and if they took up residence in London they were allotted a seat and a box on the wall in which to keep their talith (praying shawl) and prayer books. But there was never private ownership of seats. The Mahamad (Executive) could redistribute them at any time. By 1663 the numbers of the community, rising by an average of about 5% in each year (which roughly equalled the numbers of the immigrants) totalled about 219 men, women, and children.18 So ended what may be called the initial period of the Resettlement. Consolidation and Progress In 166319 to 1664, under the dominating influence of Dormido, the congregation was reorganised at three meetings of the Yehidim? that is, the heads of families or households. On 1 Ellul 1663, in view of the progress of the synagogue, a meeting decided to halve the rate of the imposta and hold annual elections of a Mahamad, consisting of two parnassim (presid? ents) and a gabai, and in November a second meeting elected as the parnassim Dormido and one Eliahu de Lima, and as gabai Moses Baruch Louzada, to form together a Mahamad and administer all the affairs of the synagogue and draft its escamoth (or laws of the constitu? tion). Under Dormido's leadership 1664 was a year of great consolidation and progress. A constitution was drafted20 largely on the model of Amsterdam, which itself followed that of Venice and has been the foundation of the constitution of Bevis Marks ever since, and in March 1664 it was adopted by a meeting of the heads of families, proclaimed in the syna? gogue and signed by the bulk of them. At the same time Athias was retired and the Mahamad appointed Rabbi Jacob Sasportas, of Amster? dam, as Haham and his son Samuel as rubi, shohet and bodek, and Selomoh Lopez, also of Amsterdam, as shamash (beadle). The Maha? mad also founded a tamid (or permanent fund for relief of the poor), fed mainly by a door-to door collection by the shamash on Thursdays. This activity and the reduced rate of tax having resulted in a deficit, a charge called a finta (assessment) was imposed on the regular worshippers in proportion to their means, as assessed by two sworn members according to existing practice, to be repaid to them by deduc? tions from their imposta of subsequent years. The Plague and Fire For the following year, 1665, a new Maha? mad was elected by the existing Mahamad and a set of laws passed governing burials.21 The rate of tax was doubled to its previous figure. The future seemed full of promise. Alas, 1665 was the year of the Great Plague?the greatest visitation since the Black Death and the last? and 1666 the year of the Great Fire, and be? tween them they temporarily shattered the life of the synagogue. Some 68,000 persons?one seventh of the population of London?died of the plague,22 which broke out late in May 1665 in St. Giles in the Fields and reached the area of Jewish residence in August.23 Only one 16 See the depositions taken before the Inquisition, L. Wolf, Jews in the Canary Islands, pp. 202, 206. 17 Libro, p. 19, where it appears he served for a year. 18 For estimates of the Jewish population of London 1657-84, see A. S. Diamond, Trans. JHSE, Vol. XIX, pp. 182f. 19 The congregation observed the Jewish calendar and counted the years as beginning 1 Tishri and ending on the last day of Ellul. For the reader's convenience, however, I have referred to the English calendar, but, e.g. '1660' here indicates the Jewish year 5420, though about one-third of it falls in 1659. In a few cases I have referred to specific English dates (e.g., 'March 1664'). 20 See Libro, p. 3f. ^Libro, p. 2If. 22 For an account of the Great Plague, see W. J. Bell, The Great Plague in London in 1665 (1924); Pepys's Diary, IV and V; G. Greighton, A History of Epidemics in Britain, 1965, 2nd ed.; A. B. Appleby, 'Disease or Famine?' in Economic History Review, 2nd Ser., XXVI, No. 3 (Aug, 1973), pp. 403f; J. F. D. Shrewsbury, A History of Bubonic Plague in the British Isles (1970), esp. chap. 9 and bibliography; also review by G. Morais, 'The Plague in Britain', Historical Journal, XIV, 1971, pp. 205f. 23 It reached its peak 2-19 September 1665, dropped as usual considerably in the winter, continued at about 150 per month through 1666, and almost disappeared after January 1667.</page><page sequence="4">The Community of the Resettlement 137 seventh of the deaths occurred in the city within the walls, and six-sevenths in the poorer crowded parts outside the walls,24 and almost all the Jews lived within the walls and over half of them in the two adjacent parishes of St. James, Duke's Place, and St. Katherine Creechurch.25 I estimate that only about 15 persons (four men and the rest women and children) died of plague among the Jews,26 the only well-known victim being Moses Israel Athias, who died early in 1666.27 The other references in the books to specific persons as having died of the plague seem to be erron? eous.28 A very small number of the community fled abroad. Haham Sasportas fled as soon as the plague reached the Jewish area of residence, 'from fear,' as he wrote, 'of the destroying hand of the Lord, which was against our com? munity in London'.29 It must comfort a man who leaves his flock to believe he is yielding to the hand of God. With him, it seems, went the shamash, Selomoh Lopes. Samuel Sasportas, the ribay and son of the Haham, asked to be sent to Barbados, and the congregation paid his fare. Several members fled into the country? side,30 together with many other Londoners,31 but the bulk of the community had nowhere to go, either here or abroad, and stayed in their homes. Many, however, absented them? selves from synagogue much of that summer and autumn. No election of officers took place for 1666 and no synagogue accounts were got out that year. Abraham de Morais, a devoted member of the congregation, of small means but large family, held the fort and collected a good part of the offerings and fintas that were paid.32 Slow Recovery Hardly had the plague finally died down when on 2 September 1666 the Great Fire was upon the city and most of it was burnt down. Again the community was fortunate, for the bulk of the Jewish area escaped, but trade had been severely limited in both years and syna gogal life was only beginning to stir. Never? theless, a new Mahamad was elected for 24 N. Hodges, Loimologia (1720), cited Shrewsbury, op. cit., pp. 456-459. But the proportions of the population who died of plague within and without the walls were apparently almost the same (see Gregory King's estimate of the population of London in 1690, cited Shrewsbury, op. cit., p. 487). On the basis of the London mortality of 1 /7th through plague, Jewish deaths would have been 30. 2s See Arthur P. Arnold and M. Woolf, Misc. JHSE, Vol. VI, p. 73. 26 Estimate arrived at by inference from a detailed examination of the names in the whole of the relevant Bevis Marks archives. The details are too lengthy for publication. 27 Not long before 13 February 1666. See Trans. JHSE. Vol. VIII, p. 99. 28 For example, Rahel and Esther Morais (daughters of Abraham de Morais) are commonly pointed to as plague victims. They died, according to the Burial Register, on 25 and 8 Nisan (i.e., March/April), 1665. There is no real evidence of any deaths from plague anywhere in London before the end of May. None of the rest of Morais's fam? ily died of plague. The other example is Samuel da Veiga, the well-known jeweller. According to W. S. Samuel, Misc. JHSE, Vol. Ill, p. 11, he died of the plague 'during Tebeth 5425 (December 1665).' This is a slip: Tebeth 5425 is January 1665. Hyamson, The Sephardim of England (1951 p. 32, repeats the error. If the Burial Register No. 58 is correct in saying Samuel da Veiga died on 10 Tebeth 5425, it cannot be the jeweller, who was still alive in 1669 (see Libro, p. 28). But the date in the Burial Register may well be a copyist's error, for Nos. 58 and 59 are both recorded as having died on the same date and the copyist's eye may have slipped. Another 'Samuel de Vega,' according to the register, died in 1661. L. Wolf (Jews in the Canary Islands, p. 193) concludes that 'there were three Samuel de Vegas (Da Veiga) in London at this period'. But the Libro obviously only knows of one, the jeweller. The accuracy of the entry in the Register is doubtful. It may well be that the jeweller was not buried in the Velho. 29 About August 1665?see letter July 1666, Misc. JHSE, Vol.III, p. 11, and Libro p. 30 (his salary was paid to him up to the end of 5425). 30 See complaint of Jane Munday against the synagogue 29 March 1666. Several members of the synagogue appeared before the Lord Mayor and alleged that 'severall of their Synygough in the late Visitation went into the Country and severall others died soe that the said Synygough is much diminished', Mise JHSE, Vol. Ill, p. 13. 31 Contemporaries were well aware of the differing incidence of the disease in the cities and the country, and those who could afford it fled to the country on the first sign of the outbreak. But the epidemic extended to many towns of England, being partly brought by refugees from London (see Shrewsbury, op. cit., p. 481, and Appleby, loc. cit.). Death-rate ranged between 90% of those stricken at the outset of an epidemic and about 30% towards the close; average mortality about 60% (Appleby, p. 414). 32 Inferred from Libro, p. 31.</page><page sequence="5">138 A. S. Diamond 1667 by the heads of families and sketchy accounts were got out for 1666 and 1667. In 1666 the imposta fetched only half the figure of 1665, though the rate had been doubled, and in 1667 it fetched only a quarter. In the latter year no money was spent on the poor and very little in the previous year. Slowly the synagogue recovered, but it was not till 1669 and 1670 that its income and numbers were again what they had been in 1665. Till then three stalwart Ashkenazim (to be referred to later) were the spiritual officers of the congregation. One of the differences between the congre? gation of that day and of this was that the blessings of democracy had not arrived. No synagogue meeting except of the Mahamad took place from the adoption of the constitution in 1665 to 1681.33 'The Mahamad,' said the 4th Escama,34 'shall have authority and sup? remacy over everything.' Anyone criticising any of its decisions was liable to iherem&gt; (ex? communication). The Mahamad elected its successors, appointed the Haham (till 1681) and the other officials, and added new escamoth. Indeed, as early as February 1662, John Greenhalgh, who visited the synagogue, re? marked that the Chief Ruler (presumably Dormido) was 'a very rich merchant^ a big, black, fierce and stern man to whom I perceive they stand in as reverential an awe as boys to a master'.36 A second difference was in the size of the attendance at services. Till 1674 there were seats for about 85 males and 25 females (the latter in a separate room with lattice partition). The only figure we have for an attendance is that Greenhalgh says of his visit on an ordinary Sabbath that he 'counted about or above a hundred right Jews'?i.e. about 50% of the total population and at least 70% of the total male population, including boys, so that the synagogue was nearly full. This figure of 50% may be compared with the 19 synagogues of Leeds in 1958, when an average 4% of the Jewish population attended Sabbath morning services,37 and Berkeley Street today, where an average of 2?% attend on Sabbath mornings. Further Development The third and last stage in the development of the synagogue in our period was from 1670 to 1684, a time of continuous progress. In 1670 Jehoshua da Silva was appointed Haham, and in the same year the congregation acquired a new subtenancy of an extended plot in Bethahaim (the Velho Cemetery) and it spent a good deal of money developing and decora? ting it. In 1674 they acquired the house next door to the synagogue house and constructed a new place of worship on the upper floor of both houses. In 1677 they engaged Haham Davila to teach the aleph beth. In 1681, on the death of Da Silva, they engaged Jacob Aben? dana as Haham, Hazan, and teacher of the more advanced pupils. In 1684 they obtained the copyhold interest in the whole of the Velho Cemetery. So far we have glanced cursorily over our period. For a detailed survey we would wish to have a list of at least the names and kinship relations of the Marranos and Jews of London. It might have been thought that two sources of information would have gone a long way to complete our knowledge, namely, the burial register and the inscriptions on the gravestones, a double record enabling us to check one by the other. Here this Society's record has been one of failure. As regards the gravestones, by the chance that the stones were at the far end of the cemetery and untrodden and protected by overhanging trees, the bulk must have been sufficiently legible when the Society was found? ed in the 1890s, though the effort would have been lengthy and laborious.38 During the last 80 years the inscriptions have been mostly worn away,39 but by the efforts mainly of 33 In 1674 influential members addressed a petition to the Mahamad to deign to remain in office for a further six months and received the gracious permission of the Mahamad to meet and so resolve (Libro, pp. 80f.). 34 Repeated and enlarged in 1676 (Libro, p. 95). 35 Dormido was not now rich, but to Green halgh's informant, the shamash, Samuel Levi, who had nothing, he might well seem so. 36 See his letter reprinted Trans. JHSE, Vol. X, p. 49. 37 See E. Krausz, Leeds Jewry (1964), p. 45. 381 believe that with effort more gravestones could still be read. 39 A good many have disappeared owing to the</page><page sequence="6">The Community of the Resettlement 139 Wilfred Samuel and Richard Barnett, out of a total of 103 burials up to the year 1687, 41 inscriptions could in recent years be sufficiently read to check the accuracy of the burial register,40 which shows the names and dates of death, and the inscriptions have been record? ed.4! The Burial Register As to the burial register, in the first draft of the prospectus of this Society, written by Israel Abrahams in 1893, the first object was stated to be 'an adequate presentment of the material for treatment of the Burial Book of the Bevis Marks Synagogue'. Lucien Wolf had a manuscript copy in or before 1912.42 But it was not till 1962 that a copy was made and published.43 The register dates from 1725, when the cemetery was nearly full, but a few later burials were added. It has been much misquoted or misunderstood. What were the materials available to the compiler of the register? Under the escamoth of 1 Nisan 1665 an Administrador of the cemetery, elected annually, was to keep the key, direct the place of all interments, and record them, and a board was to be set up in the cemetery with the names of the deceased brethren upon it. By 1725, 68 years had gone by and the place where the cir? cuits took place and the prayers were read had been changed at least twice,44 and the total interments were in the region of 1,500, half of them of young children and half adults. It is difficult to believe that a board could then exist with all these names upon it. On the other hand, all the gravestones (where there were gravestones)45 must have been legible burning of large trees upon them. I witnessed such a conflagration on 6 December 1971, when three or four trees, 100 to 150 years old, were burnt in one fire on this part of the cemetery. except such as had been covered by grass and earth.46 However, let us look at the gravestones that were still recently legible. Of the large sample of 40 % recently surviving, on comparing them with the book, we see that only 13, one entry in three in the register, are correct,47 9 have the wrong name,48 10 the wrong date,49 2 the wrong name and date, so 2 an incomplete name,51 3 an incomplete or no date,52 2 an incomplete name and date.53 This could not have happened if the author had compiled the register from the gravestones, but there is evidence that a few of the gravestones had been consulted by the author or some earlier author, when the name of the deceased had been lost.54 Inaccurate Records It seems, from various indications, that imperfect lists of the deceased had been kept on sheets of paper or in book form; that as the paper entries had deteriorated they had been copied from time to time with clerical errors 40 An adequate examination of the register was one of the chief objects of this paper. 41 I am grateful to Dr. R. D. Barnett, Archivist to Bevis Marks, for lending me copies in his pos? session. A few I have taken myself. ?See Trans.JHSE, Vol. VII, 146. 43 Mise JHSE, Vol. VI, pp. If. 44 A. S. Diamond, Trans JHSE, Vol. XIX, p. 73. 45 The register records that there were no stones for 9 graves in our period. 46Nos. 11 and 12 (graves of two children of the jeweller Isaac Israel Alvares Nunes) are interesting examples. The two gravestones must from very early years have been buried and protected against frost by earth and grass and only came to the sur? face or were dug up about twenty years ago. When I saw them about 1958 they were in new condition. But whereas No. 12 corresponds with the register, No. 11 is quite different from it in name and date and reads, 'SA DIAGOB ISRAEL NUNES FILHO' DISHAK ISRAEL NUNES FALESEO EM 2 DA SEBAT A? 5434' The stone has since been carelessly broken. 4? Nos, 4, 5, 14, 17,24,25, 26,31,74, 83,84, 95, 99. The numbers of the gravestones are not in the register, but inserted in the published copy. 48 Nos. 2, 21, 22, 23, 28, 61, 71, 78, 100. 49 Nos. 16, 32, 45, 49, 59, 77, 87, 88, 90, 102. so Nos. 6, 11. 51 Nos. 10, 33. By 'incomplete' is meant incom? plete at the time the register was compiled, not subsequently worn or damaged. 52 Nos. 12, 52, 76. 53 Nos. 61 A, 70. 54 E.g., No. 10 and the entry after No. 61, 'Una piedra alta sen Nombre' ('A tall stone without a name'). No. 10 was a recent burial (1709) and when the register was compiled in 1725 there was apparently no paper record of it.</page><page sequence="7">140 A. S. Diamond and some gaps (some later filled in from con? jecture or tradition) and of at least three graves two inconsistent and inaccurate records had been drawn on and both inserted.55 This is not to say that the register is of no value?it is one of our most valuable sources?but it is merely evidential and should be used with care together with the other surviving commun? al records, which are often similarly incomplete. We may assume that later entries in the register were more accurate. We must not be surprised at this extent of error. There were few schools in England except church schools, which the Jews did not attend. There were from the beginning religion classes in the synagogue extending finally even to the study of Gemarah (Talmud). At the end of our period Haham Abendana was supposed to give lessons from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m. between Pesach and Rosh Hashanah and from 11 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. from Rosh Hashanah to Pesach, and Haham Davila taught the aleph beth. But there was no secular teaching. The scribes of the records were not scholars and were unpaid and they knew little 55 Carera I, 21-23 and 28-30. These entries read as follows in the register: of the history of their own synagogue.56 Most of the members had learned to read and write their names and they presumably kept business records in Spanish and Portuguese or English. But this extent of error is not confined to Jewish records: contemporary records of parish clerks and others contain plenty of mistakes. Death-Rate and Burials Although in more modern times the mini? mum evidence of Judaism is that a man is buried in a Jewish cemetery, as indicated in an earlier paper57 the most significant fact that emerges from the Burial Register and other records is that of the members of the community who died in our period only a little more than half were buried in this, the only Jewish ceme? tery?to wit, approximately 54%. Further study since has only reinforced and confirmed this view. The figure has been arrived at, first, by making an estimate of the numbers of the community in each year, and then of the average death-rate among them, which, on the available literature, I put at 35 per thousand,58 [21] Sin piedra [22] Sin piedra [23] Sin piedra Rahel Va [i.e. viuva, widow] of the Haham Jb. Jehudah Leao Ester Baruh Rossa Ester Soares [28] [29] [30] Jb.Jehudah Leao Ester Baruh Rossa Ester Soares 16 Kislev 5436 16 Nisan 5436 6 Nisan 5436 16 Kislev 5436 2do dia de Pesah 5436 4 Yiar 543 [6] It will be seen that not only are these duplicates, but there are errors in both sets. If Rabbi Leao and his wife died on the same day she could hardly be described as his widow. In fact, on 2 November 1971, I was able to read the gravestone inscription No. 28 as follows: Sa D[A BEMA] VENTURA [DA] RACHEL DO H.H. [JAHACOB JEH]UDA LEAO TEMPLO DE (etc.) i.e., 'Grave of the blessed Rachel wife of the Haham Jacob Jehuda Leao Templo of. . . .' It is well known from other sources that Haham Leao Templo returned to Holland. Ester Baruh Rossa?16 Nisan is the 2nd day of Pesach. Ester Soares?The date 4 Iyar in the one version has crept in from No. 27 and is an earlier copyist's slip. 56 For example, it might have been thought that the compiler of the register would have known that the first Hazan of the congregation was Moses Israel Athias and that he died in the Great Plague, yet his entry merely reads: [6] Mos Israel_ 5420 In fact, he died in 5426. In the report of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments it is num? bered Row 2, No. 11, and is referred to as 'illegible but with modern plate to Moses Israel Athias'. Neither gravestone nor plate now survives. 57 Trans.JHSE, Vol. XIX, p. 185. 58 The period mid-seventeenth to mid-eighteenth century witnessed a deterioration of climate and is known to climatologists as 'The Little Ice Age'. The population was unhealthy and its fertility low. There is little or nothing of reliable demo? graphic records, but much has been penned on this</page><page sequence="8">The Community of the Resettlement 141 (as against the modern death-rate in London of about 11-5). There can be little doubt that both these figures are substantially correct. This result was then checked by taking in? dividually each of the persons whose names are known to us from all the records, excluding mere visitors, and ascertaining from the Burial Register which of them were buried in the cemetery, and it was found that the proportion mentioned in the register is approximately the same. But, it may be asked, if the Burial Register is so inaccurate, may not many persons be buried here other than those named in the register? It is not possible: the ground would not hold an appreciably larger number.59 This conclusion is confirmed by another fact that emerges: the proportion of the deceased buried in the cemetery is at the beginning of our period much smaller than this and increases throughout the years 1657-1684, omitting the year of the Great Plague. Again, this fact can be tested in two ways. If we estimate the num? ber of deaths on the basis of an estimated population and an average death-rate of 35 per thousand, we find that the interments from 1657 to 1673 are approximately 41% of those who died, and from 1673 to 1683 72%. If, on the other hand, we look at the individuals subject in recent years, chiefly in regard to the eighteenth century, in some degree conjectural and sometimes conflicting. The death-rate fluctuated much. See the following authorities among others: P. E. Jones and A. V. Judges, 'London Population in the Late Seventeenth Century', Econ. Hist. Review, Vol. 6 (1935/6), p. 45, which gives the average burial rate for 1696-9 of St. James Duke's Place at 38 per thousand, and of St. Katherine Creechurch at 43 per thousand; D. V. Glass, 'Two Papers on Gregory King', in D. V. Glass and D. E. C. Eversley (eds.), Population in History (1965); N. L. Tranter, Population since the Industrial Revolution, The Case of England and Wales (1973) ; J. D. Cham? bers, Population, Economy and Society in Pre-Industrial England (Oxford, 1972) and bibliography; P. Deane and W. A. Cole, British Economic Growth, 1688-1959 (Cambridge, 1962); P. Laslett, The World we have lost (1965). See also as to the upper classes, L. Stone, Social Mobility in England 1500-1700 (1966), Past &amp; Present 33, pp. 40-47. 59 But see Trans.JHSE, Vol. XIX, pp. 184f., as to the burial of infants. Very few children are in the Burial Register or are buried in the rows of graves in our period. See also Libro, pp. 23 and 40, as to the burial of the uncircumcised at the dis? cretion of the Mahamad. known to us from the records to have been resident there before 1659, only 29% were buried in the cemetery; of those we first hear of in 1659 and up to the end of 1660 as resident, 36% were buried there; of those first known as residents between 1661 and 1665 40%, and of those first known as resident from 1666 to 1677 over 58%. Marrano Religious Practices In a previous paper60 I set out some reasons for the state of affairs shown by these figures. The degree of religious affiliation and the religious practices of the Marranos varied much. Many had come to England as refugees from the Inquisition; many also to gain a livelihood from the advancing role of the country as a maritime trading nation and the profitable commerce between England and the Iberian peninsula and the Canaries, and they continued to engage in it as principals and agents for long after the readmission. The Marranos had their own religious practices in Spain and Portugal, dictated by the dangers surrounding them, but also becoming a traditional system. They could pray in their own houses and meet occasionally for prayer in one another's homes, but they were buried of necessity with the Catholics in Catholic cemeteries and when they came to England they lived up to the readmission in the same way as before. Until 1656 they were bound by law to attend a place of worship and normally attended service at the Spanish Embassy, and they were buried with other Catholics. Even after the readmission most were at first content to continue in the ways they knew. Indeed, some were inclined to live as crypto-Jews and the detailed observance of Judaism was some? times too much for them. Even leaders of the community were not completely free of this religious outlook. When, for example, on 4 August 1657, the first burial took place in Bethahaim, that of Mrs. de Brito, and on 9 September that of Sarah Athias (probably the mother of the Hazan), and on 28 October 1659 that of Carvajal, the bells of St. Katherine Creechurch were rung at an agreed or standard 60 Trans.JHSE, Vol. XIX, p. 186.</page><page sequence="9">142 A. S. Diamond charge, and for Mrs. de Brito's funeral the church lent their new pall at an agreed charge.61 Carvajal, indeed, in 1659 was the chief sub? scriber to a fund for augmenting the stipend of the Ministers of St. Katherine Creechurch. The fact that until 1684 the community had only a short subtenancy62 of a corner of the ground can hardly have done much to dis? courage burial in Bethahaim, for the figures show a steady rise in the proportion of inter? ments from the beginning. The fact that some of the men were uncircumcised (and might on that ground have been refused burial at the discretion of the wardens) is an incident of their degree of religious affiliation. The three religious leaders, Carvajal, Dormido, and Hazan Athias, and their wives and sons were buried in the cemetery, but with these and few other exceptions the more loyal supporters of the synagogue in the early years were as likely as the rest to be buried elsewhere.63 Attitude towards Bethahaim There is also evidence that in the earliest days it was not fashionable to be buried in Bethahaim?the poor were more likely to be buried in this cemetery than those who had the means to provide their own facilities for burial elsewhere, or had reserved graves elsewhere by the side of their deceased spouses and parents. It should be remembered that till 1671 there was no charge for burial in this cemetery, though there was a duty to give alms in Bethahaim and to give offerings for it.64 The Administrador was under the obligation to bury all and sundry, 'expending what is most necessary according to the quality of each one.'65 But under an escama of 1673 every resident arriving after 1670 was subject to finta (fixed that year at ?5) for the costs and expenses of Bethahaim.66 The congregation apparently felt that burial in Bethahaim was now im? portant enough in the eyes of the members to enable this charge to be insisted upon, and from 1674 there was a considerable increase in the number of burials in the cemetery.67 Among the poor who had been buried there were the Ashkenazim. From 1657 to the out? break of the Great Plague in the summer of 1665, four Ashkenazi adult males, as against five Sephardi adult males, were buried there? a figure out of all proportion to the relative numbers of the two groups, and the Ashkena? zim were buried in one row in adjoining graves with little in the way of tombstone inscriptions. But the Ashkenazim had never practised burying their dead in Christian ground. Growth of Assimilation We must also bear in mind the numbers of those who fell away from Judaism or ceased participation in the synagogue. Change in the names of its supporters was rapid. The in? crease in the Jewish community over the last three centuries has been mainly the product of the periodic influx of refugees from abroad and the natural increase of population, and the chief limiting factor has been the continuous assimilation to the general population. In this period there was substantially no natural increase,68 and to the effects of this assimilation is to be added the fact that many in England had never been completely integrated with the Jewish community. It is not always pos? sible to distinguish those who had hardly ceased to be Marranos from those who had begun to live openly as Jews but subsequently fell away from the synagogue or Judaism. To ascertain the precise numbers of the latter requires more evidence than we possess. It 61 W. S. Samuel, 'First London Synagogue of the Resettlement', Trans.JHSE, Vol. X, p. 25. 62 A tenancy of a plot from 1657 to 1671 and a tenancy of this plot as extended from 1670 to 1684. 63 But from 1668 to 1684 almost all the wardens of the synagogue who died in this country were buried in Bethahaim. "Libro, pp. 18, 22, 23. 65 Libro, p. 21 (escamoth of 1665). 66 Libro, pp. 49, 65, and see pp. 101, 111. The congregation was spending a good deal on the cemetery and needed to find the cost. 67 In 1674 also (Libro, p. 73) they felt strong enough to enact that those who should withdraw from the synagogue or cease to attend for a month after this date should, if they resumed attendance, pay up arrears and until they did so should not be allowed burial in the cemetery. 68 See e.g., Tranter, op cit., p. 163.</page><page sequence="10">The Community of the Resettlement 143 involves, first, answering the difficult and im? portant question how many died in the Great Plague, for persons not heard of again after 1664 might have fallen away or died?and this is one of the reasons why it has been necessary to devote so much space here to the plague and the Burial Register. But this ques? tion we have answered. Again, a person never heard of after a certain date may have emi? grated or died or been buried abroad, and of such persons we know a few names, at any rate at later dates (such as Moses Mocatta, who died on a visit to Holland in 1695, or Abraham de Porto, who died in Madras in 1690, or Israel Bravo, who directed by his will in 1698 that he should be buried in Altona among his brethren the Jews, next to his father). These cases have been taken into account. Names not in the Records On the other side are to be reckoned visi? tors from abroad who died here and were buried in Bethahaim (like the wife of Rabbi Jehudah Le?o Templo, who was buried here in 1676). The question whether a man fell away is sometimes a matter of conjecture. For example, the second parnas of 1664, Eliahu de Lima, and the second parnas of 1665, Isaac de Azevedo, do not appear in the congregational records after their year of office and I believe both fell away and I am confident De Lima did.69 But we know of several men who be? came Christians (like Augustin Coronel Chacon, who was baptised on the eve of receiving a knighthood, and Selomoh Franco and Aaron, David, and Jonas Gabay). And the following is a list of some of the earliest and best-known immigrants, mainly relatives of Carvajal, who, like him, came from the Canaries: Duarte Henriques Alvares, Manuel Rodrigues Nunes, Steven Rodriguez, the three brothers Manuel, Jacob, and Alonzo de Fonseca Meza (all endenizened in 1661), Abraham de Touar, Simon de Souza, and also Antonio Rodriguez Robles and his nephew Domingo de la Cerda, both endenizened in 1675. Not only are their names absent from the Burial Register but also from all the synagogue records that we possess, and yet most or all of them were considered by the local population as Jews70 and several had been staunch and loyal Jews in other countries, and Robles, as we said, was probably gabai in 1660. High Child Mortality Figures We turn to other statistics of the community. The mortality among young children was enormous. About 48% of all annual deaths were of children under the age of 10. A married woman who lived a full married life probably gave birth to an average of five children, of whom only a half reached maturity. These figures are characteristic of the whole popu? lation at this period and later, and have been taken into account. In the first years of the community, when the number of children born was somewhat less, they were sometimes buried in the rows of gravestones, but after 1665, when space began to be more precious, they were usually buried in three-foot unnamed graves, wherever there was space, between the rows or in Carera 2, and no record was kept of them till 1708. Nevertheless, some families were successful and large. So in Zagache's list of 1684, and in the 'census' of 1695, after our period, while the average Sephardi household, having as head a married pair, widower, or widow, included some 2? children, nearly half the number of households (namely, 35 out of 81 in Zagache's list, and 33 out of 89 in 1695) contained either no child or one child, and at the other extreme a few had 6 to 9 children surviving and unmarried; and Abra? ham de Francia, who died in 1677, tells us with pride and gratitude in his will that he has reared to maturity 5 sons and 5 daughters, and some are married. Although the expectation of life at birth was correspondingly short, one or two members of the community reached the age of 90 or thereabouts. The average 691 suspect that the widow Sybilla Delema, with four children, including a son, Elias, mentioned in the 'Census' of 1695, was the widow of Eliahu de Lima and, if so, the latter did not die in the plague but about 1680. 70 See, for example, the reports of the informers, Trans JHSE, Vol. V, pp. 6, 7.</page><page sequence="11">144 A. S. Diamond household in Zagaehe's list and in Sephardi families of 1695 consisted of 4| to 5 persons.71 We have no records of the causes of death in this community, but no doubt, like the general population, it suffered, in addition to plague, mainly from typhus, smallpox, influenza and malarial ague, enteric fevers, and other afflic? tions. Under its paternal constitution, the synagogue from the beginning appointed a doctor (as later Duke's Place did) whose duty it was to attend to the sick of the poor of the nation (i.e., of the Sephardim) when called in by the shamash, and to prescribe whatever medicine or maintenance the patient required, and the Administrador was bound to supply it daily. One Dr. Bueno was the synagogue doctor in 1660.72 In 1664 Dr. Joseph Israel Mendez Bravo was appointed. Under the escamoth of the Bethahaim the doctor's remuneration was either a Misheberach (prayer in Synagogue) or a salary. On Bravo's death in 1672, Dr. Abra? ham Perez Galv?o was appointed. He applied for a salary and the Mahamad, on inquiry into his circumstances, being satisfied that he needed the money, fixed a salary of ?10 per annum, which closely corresponds in amount to the modern National Health Act capitation fee. Defective Records of Marriage It would be good if we had information as to the marriage rate in our period.73 Unfortu nately there are no records: the ketuboth (mar? riage contracts) begin in 1692. They have some relevance to our period, for something like half the ketuboth of 1692 to, say, 1720 represent the marriages of the children born in our period, or, rather, the half of those children who sur? vived to maturity. The other half are marriages of immigrants who came after 1684 or persons born after 1684. In the period 1692 to 1720 the Portuguese Inquisition was less active and the rate of immigration lower than it had been and much lower than in the following 15 years, when the Inquisition burst into new virulence in Spain and Portugal and refugees came in a flood. The figures of ketuboth from 1692 to 1720 are surprising. We have them for 27 of these 29 years and the number of marriages remains unchanged though the population was increasing by an average 3% per annum. Over the whole of the 27 years the marriage rate is 11-5 per thousand, a high figure compared with the 7-5 in the whole of the United Kingdom in 1962; but whereas in the first nine years it was about 13-7 per thous? and, in the last nine it had dropped to about 7-8 per thousand. The explanation is perhaps partly that the marriages in the first nine years are largely of children born 25 years before?i.e., from 1667 to 1676, the years following the Plague and the Fire, when centres of infection had been destroyed, mortality and the rate of burial was low, and immigration and in? crease of population high. Later, towards the end of the century, the death-rate (which means especially the infant mortality rate) was rising,74 but marriage rates tend to be variable from year to year, especially in small communities. A rise or fall of two or three years in the average age at first marriage would have a great effect on the figures. Constitution of the Community The constitution of the community as regards the relative number of the sexes requires a careful evaluation of the evidence. It seems 71 Throughout English history, from the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries to 1900, the mean size of the household was 4^-5 persons, usually in two generations. Thus from 1574 to 1821, 70.4% of households in England and Wales consisted of parents and their children, and 94.1% comprised one or two generations (P. Laslett, ed., Household and Family in Past Time (Cambridge, 1972). The picture of large households with grandparents and other kin and hordes of retainers is mythical as far as the Jewish community and others are concerned, except perhaps a few very wealthy families. Many of the Jewish and Marrano families from the early years had domestic servants, male and female, Christian and Jewish, but usually only one, if any, occasionally two, and only a very few of the wealthiest in 1695 had four (see e.g., Trans.JHSE, Vol. V, p. 7, 'Most of them have wifes and sarvents'). 72 Trans.JHSE, Vol. V, p. 7. 73 In the general population women married at an average 24 years of age and men at 26 (J. D. Chambers, op. cit., 1972, p. 49). 74 Moreover, from 1674 to 1681, the Portuguese Inquisition suspended operations and the immi? gration was less.</page><page sequence="12">The Community of the Resettlement 145 probable that there was the usual slight excess of males over females at birth. But when we look at the Burial Register we find that through? out the period from 1657 to 1733 20% fewer adult females than males were buried in this cemetery75 and in our period of 1657 to 1684 the deficiency among females as against males buried was 43%.76 On the other hand, at the close of our period we have two lists of the members of the Sephardi community, neither complete or wholly accurate, and yet both showing the numbers of living males and fe? males, young and old, as being much closer than this. One is Zagache's, prepared in or just before 1684, which shows only a 3-3% deficiency of females against males,77 and 12 years later the 'census' list of 1695, which, when the sex is indicated, shows a 10% deficiency of males against females in a total of 587. Without going into too much detail we can see two factors bringing about these figures; one (the less important) is the higher mortality among males than females, especially in the first five years of life. This is quite normal: for example, in England and Wales in 1962, whereas in the figures of deaths there was a deficiency of females as against males of 4-6%, in the total population there was a deficiency of males against females of 5-4%. But more important in our London Sephardim was the higher proportion of males than females among the immigrants. Men are more mobile than women, especially the young bachelors who came to England in some numbers to make a livelihood. Many husbands must have fled the Inquisition in an emergency and gone abroad to seek a living and hoping and intending to send for their wives and families, and some, no doubt, especially the poorer, never did so. We are familiar with this situation in other migrations, Marrano, Jewish, and others.78 Excess of Male Immigrants We know, however, the names of some in the early days who sent to Spain and Portugal for women, especially relatives, and married them here. In those days the excess of male against female immigrants must have been higher than it later became and the proportion of immigrants higher and of bachelors higher. In Zagache's list of 1684, out of 81 Sephardi households, there were still 31 adult bachelors and the 'census' of 1695 shows almost the same number of bachelors over 25 for a somewhat larger number of Sephardi households. Spin? sters were much fewer. In that census the newer community of the Ashkenazim showed a deficiency of 21 % of females against males. The records of burials of infants, which were kept from 1708 to 1733, still survive in the Burial Register and appear to show a deficiency of 39% in the burials of females against males. This is an unlikely and unacceptable figure. The records do not show the names of the children, but only the date, the father's name, and the fact that the child was his hijo or hija. Now hija is the Spanish for 'daughter'; 'Ayo' can mean 'son', but it can also mean 'child'. There is evidence that the scribes varied in their use of hijo. To take an extreme case, in the years 1720-1722 the register records 45 burials of an hijo and only 6 of an hija. Large Number of Lodgers Recently arrived immigrants early in our period usually lodged with relatives or strangers and frequently with proselytes, of whom there was a larger number earlier than later, and there was always in our period a large proportion of lodgers?probably a little over half. So, at the end of 1660, Samuel da Veiga (the well known jeweller) had 7 Jews lodging in his house in Bevis Marks; a second family in Bevis Marks had a number of lodgers, and in Creechurch Lane, against the church, some 6 remarkable Jews lodged with the proselyte Linger the plumber?two Ashkenazim, Ben? jamin Levy (subsequently Hazan to the con? gregation) and Mordecai, for many years its clerk or man of affairs; Jacob Berahel, later the 75 499 males, as against 397 females. 76 49 males, as against 28 females. 77 209 males and 202 females. 78 For example, of all migrants leaving British ports for countries outside Europe before 1914, 6 out of every 10 were males, B. Thomas, Migration and Economic Growth. A Study of Great Britain and the Atlantic Economy, Cambridge, 1954?from an analy? sis of nineteenth- and twentieth-century passenger lists.</page><page sequence="13">146 A. S. Diamond most prosperous member of the congregation, born in Bordeaux and carrying on a large business in Bury Street as Francisco de Lis; Moses Anthony Baruch Louzada, subsequently gabai in the admirable Mahamad of 1664 and perhaps ancestor of his namesake the present Anthony Lousada, of Berkeley Street; Isaac Lopez Pereira, the first of the Pereiras and founder of the Dublin community, and his brother Francisco. Anthony do Porto, sub? sequently a prosperous jeweller and a warden, was lodging with a Mr. Clark in Lime Street; and Duarte Henriques Alvares (formerly head of the revenue in the Canaries and hon? oured by the Inquisition by being burnt in effigy after his departure) was staying in the house of a Mrs. Tokley. There were of course special reasons why immigrants should be lodgers. Foreigners or 'merchant strangers' could not own land, they could only take a tenancy for years of a dwelling-house as incidental to their trade, for without a habita? tion they could not trade. But people were not anxious to let to aliens, partly because if the foreigner gave up his tenancy the remainder of the term would become forfeited to the Crown instead of reverting to the landlord. However, a few Jews were endenizened, and at that time the general view seems to have been that an endenizened Jew could own land like any other of the King's subjects. So, David Raphael de Mercado, endenizened in 1661 and again in 1678, says in his will dated 1685 that he has four houses which he leaves to his wife and children and which are not to be sold. Prominent as Jewellers We are familiar with the statement that the Jews could not carry on retail trade, for retail trade was the monopoly of freemen of the City, and a Jew could not become a freeman because he could not take the required oath. This statement is not complete: the Jews could carry on foreign trade, and indeed it was be? cause they could introduce foreign trade that they were permitted to reside. This trade con? sisted in the import and export of a variety of commodities as principals or agents of princi pals, especially Sephardi principals, abroad, and they were also wholesale dealers as princi? pals or agents in these commodities. But the most valuable commodity was jewellery and at all times in our period the bulk of the wealthiest members of the community were jewellers and they were among the most prominent jewellers in London. They were importers of jewellery and they certainly sold retail to their customers, including the Court.79 So important was the trade that in the laws of the synagogue there was always a special scale of imposta for jewel? lery, at a lower rate than for other goods, presumably because it would otherwise be more than they could be expected to pay, the rate of profit being low. Nevertheless, the Jews of London at first did little retail trade except in jewellery, but gradually as the importance of the gilds faded the general community began to turn a blind eye to the trespasses of the Jews into the retail trade. In all these aspects this position was much the same as in Amsterdam.80 But foreign trade continued to be the backbone of the business of the London Sephardim and a century later, in the 1784 edition of the escamoth, the imposta is limited to trade on foreign account. Jews as Brokers One further word about another commercial figure, the broker, or wholesalers' agent. He had been known in London from the twelfth century and required to be admitted to his office by the City authorities. He was supposed to be a merchant or trader who had failed, or other deserving citizen in decayed circum? stances, and in practice none else was appointed. Till the 1660s the position remained the same, but in our period two important changes took place. First, the economic development of the country brought an expansion of trade and credit and the position of a broker on the Royal Exchange (where the bulk of wholesale 79 Starting with Samuel da Veiga and Isaac Israel Alvares Nunes at the beginning of our period and ending at its close with Samuel Heilbert, an Ashkenazi member of the same congregation. 80 See H. I. Bloom, The Economic Activities of the Jews of Amsterdam in the 17th and 18th Centuries (1969), pp. xxvi, 5, 23, 31.</page><page sequence="14">The Community of the Resettlement 147 business was done) grew in importance and value. The second, and later, development was the floating of public loans to finance wars and other public undertakings, while people sought outlets for the investment of their spare earn? ings, and dealings began at the Royal Exchange in stocks and shares. The Stock Exchange was being born81 and the outside broker made his appearance?the broker unauthorised by the Court of Aldermen. In 1668 three Jews (including our rascally friend Samuel Sasportas, now returned from Barbados)82 were committed to Newgate for acting as brokers without authority, and after a number of inquiries by the Corporation the total number of brokers was limited to 100, including a proportion of aliens and Jews, and from 1671 several Jews were admitted and sworn in by the City. Men of Modest Means Now there were in the Creechurch Lane Congregation a similar class of men to the brokers?that is to say, men of character and reliability but very modest means. This was the type of man who was annually elected by the congregation as Administrador of Betha? haim and parnas of the Hebra (the society for burial and care of the sick).83 The men elected to this office in each of the four years 1670 to 1673 were all admitted as brokers?all men of little means but stalwarts in the service of the synagogue. The smallness of their means is shown by the smallness of the impostas they paid. One of them, indeed, Abraham de Morais (already referred to), needed and was paid out of the permanent charitable fund a sum of 24s. a month (?432 is the modern equivalent per annum). If they wanted his services they had to support him. It is clear therefore that at this date the typical Jewish broker was still a man of little means and in need of the income provided by his brokerages. It is also clear that as the broker needed to produce testimonials and qualifications, appli? cants for election as brokers, who were at the same time Administradores, were supported by testimonials from the Mahamad or other well known synagogue-goers. It is also plain that their brokerages amounted to very little in the 1670s. And yet the broker is the predecessor of the stockbroker as well as the produce-broker. Financial Position We turn to the financial position of the generality of the London Jews. With a setback in the years of the Plague and the Fire, it rose rapidly. Let us take the nine years 1669-1677 inclusive, in the middle of our period, as a sample of the whole. About half the income of the synagogue consisted of the imposta, and the remaining half was chiefly offerings (nedavoth or promessas). In these nine years the rate of the imposta was unchanged. The increase in the number of members of the community averaged 5*3% per annum, the number of imposta payers increased by an average 9-4% per annum; the total amount of the impostas went up by an average 13% per annum, and the total income of the synagogue at a similar rate. But in that century, before income tax, surtax, and death duties, among Jew and Gentile a much greater disparity than today existed between rich and poor. Only just over half the heads of households (54%) paid any imposta at all. Of the rest, a half did not choose or were unable to support the synagogue, and the remainder were in receipt of relief from congregational funds. Of the total income of the synagogue, year by year through these nine years, approximately 33% went in relief of the poor. It took various forms which it is not always easy to distinguish because of some vagueness and inconsistent use of language in the accounts. The chief item was 'expenditure upon the poor of the nation of this city' or 'the poor of the country'?that is to say, poor Sephardim resident in London. A sum equally large went for a purpose variously called 'others who went away', 'foreigners to dispatch 81 See G. Duguid, A History of the Stock Exchange (1900), pp. 3f. 82 In 1671, however, he was appointed as one of the first Jewish brokers, but in 1681 was removed for 'trading and merchandising to his own use'. He died in 1692 and was buried in the cemetery. 83 The first exception known to me is Isaac Israel Alvares Nunes, the prosperous jeweller, who towards the end of his life, after filling other offices for several years, undertook that of Adminis? trador and Parnas of the Hebra for 1677.</page><page sequence="15">148 A. S. Diamond them abroad' or 'foreign poor, sending them away.' This item denotes expenditure on Sephardim who came from abroad but pre? ferred, or were compelled by circumstance or persuaded to try their fortunes elsewhere and the congregation paid their fares abroad. There was also relief for newly arrived Sephardim and some relief sent abroad (e.g., to refugees from Oran in Leghorn, or the poor in Hebron). Relief of the Poor Some Ashkenazim were included in the recipients above, especially those sent away, but Ashkenazim were comparatively few. Then there were the offerings at the Three Festivals and Purim and Rosh Hashanah, and mazzoth for the poor and the weekly collections on Thursdays for the poor, which are not included in the figures above. Moreover, when we turn to the receipts from the imposta we notice that the bulk of those who pay imposta are taxed in small amounts, their incomes being small, and some half-dozen men with large incomes pay the expenses of the synagogue. In 1969, out of 24 persons who paid imposta, five between them paid two-thirds of the total; in 1677, out of 42 imposta payers, five paid half the total between them. To get a realistic picture of what they paid we should multiply each person's tax by 30 to represent the fall in the value of the ?, and then the five top imposta payers in 1677 paid respectively ?1,500, ?1,000, ?900, ?500, and ?500? remarkable seat rentals. But it must be remem? bered that the synagogue was then the only communal institution, and a man paid to it what today he would pay to all the charitable and Zionist funds of the community. It would be valuable, were it possible, to calculate the income of the members of the community from their impostas, The tax was an attempt at a practical tax, namely, a tax not on capital or income but turnover. Nearly all the members lived by buying and selling, for, apart from one or two doctors and ministers of religion, there were practically no professional men among them. The imposta during those nine years was 4s. on every ?100-worth of goods bought or sold by a man on his own account or on commission or bought or sold by his agent. In regard to goods which came on transit through London and were not sold in the City, the rate was half, and in regard to all jewellery or bullion (i.e., gold and silver minted or for minting) the rate was a quarter. It was a rough-and-ready tax. If a man bought or sold as agent, his commission would be small but fixed and his expenses small. If he bought as principal he would make no profit till he sold, and the rate of gross profit would be much higher but would vary from trade to trade and the expenses would be high. The chief expense would be the cost of buying the goods, which does not come into account as a deduction in calculating the imposta, but as a charge. In the common case where the trader both bought and sold, he would apparently pay twice, and on the invoice value, not the profit. True, 4s. per ?100?i.e., 1 /5th of 1 %, was on the face of it a low rate of tax, and this presumably justified it, but for the agent, if his commission was 2?%, it would amount to S?/0 of it. A man who was not in business or had retired would pay nothing till 1676, when, the capital of the members having increased, they introduced a tax at one-quarter rate on money deposited or laid out on bottomry (i.e., mortgages of ships). In 1671, when Jewish brokers were first appointed, the congregation introduced an imposta of 1 /8th of the normal rate on his brokerages (i.e., 2?% of his commission, as against 8 % or so of other agents) and, as a sworn broker was not per? mitted to do business as a principal, it might have been thought that this would be a clear index to his income as a broker, but the broker was at this date of modest means and did little business, and his commission was under 1 %, and few of them paid anything much. Varied Rates of Imposta However, the tax seems generally to have met with acquiescence, except occasionally on the part of one or two of the wealthier mem? bers.84 Did the members, however, tax them? selves fairly and fully? Not fully, it appears, 84 For example, the remarkable De Francia brothers, who for a while declined to pay the im postas and finta assessed upon them for a number of</page><page sequence="16">The Community of the Resettlement 149 though perhaps fairly. In 1664 the rate was reduced by half and in 1665 doubled again, and in 1677 halved again. There is no evidence that the payments of imposta varied accordingly and some of the more prosperous paid remark? ably round figures and many rich and less rich are missing from the lists. The fact is that though the escamoth refer to the proceeds of the imposta as 'Kodesh money' and lay down that the sanction for non-payment is cherem and refusal of burial, the people of this country, until recent times, claimed the right to out? wit the tax-gatherer whenever they could. However, in this small community many must have known pretty well what others were earning and I would hazard a guess that one or two prosperous merchants earned the equivalent in modern money of ?50,000 a year in an age when there was no income tax or surtax. There were, however, a few partners and em? ployees who had to be paid out of this. Proportion of Wealthy Jews When we turn from the income to the capital of the members, the information is much better. It shows the same enormous contrast between rich and poor and also a general increase in means over our period. In the early years there is evidence of considerable means pos? sessed by individuals. In the late 1650s Car? vajal, Robles, and Dormido had large interests in valuable cargoes. In 1663 Alderman Back well, with whom some of the wealthier members banked, shows in his accounts that eight Mar? ranos and Jews had turnovers (mostly over a period of six months) of sums between ?400,000 and a million in the modern equivalent.85 Diego Rodrigues Marques, the jeweller, also known as Jose de la Fuente, who arrived here in 1673, came with ?13,000 (in modern terms ?400,000) belonging to four Sephardim.86 But there is better evidence than this. In 1690 the Earl of Monmouth told Michael Levy that Their Majesties wanted money and that he years ending 1664 and ceased to attend the syna? gogue, but changed their minds and from 1669 were among the most generous supporters of the svnacrnonie and held offices. believed the Jews to be a wealthy people who could lend them a considerable sum. He replied that there were only 17 or 18 Jews of consider? able estate (i.e., means) in the country.87 Five years later a return was made by parish asses? sors of certain new national taxes. It constitutes a species of census (referred to above) for the City and among other things gives the number of householders with personal estate (i.e., property other than freehold land) of the capi? tal value of ?600 (a modern ?18,000) and upwards, who are taxed at a higher rate.88 This return, which is entirely consistent with Michael Levy's estimate, enables us to cal? culate that out of the total of about 127 Sephardi households in London 36 heads of households?i.e., one in 3?, possessed this amount of personalty. The Ashkenazi house? holds were approximately l/3rd of this num? ber, but only three heads of these households had means on this scale, and they were all former members of the Sephardi synagogue, namely, Samuel Heilbert, the jeweller, Michael Levy, and his nephew, Benjamin Levy, the financier. But this is 1695 and during most of our period the means of the communities would be much less. The Contemporary Ashkenazim So far little has been said of the London Ashkenazim, a distinct and different commun? ity rising in our period from about 20 to 150 souls. While many of the Marranos belonged to families of distinction, well known in Western Europe, and several had held high office in Spain, the bulk of the Ashkenazim were through? out our period very poor and many of them mendicants. Their origin was the ghetto, they spoke among themselves J?disch-Deutsch, a language or jargon unintelligible to the Sephar dim, who mostly spoke to one another in Spanish or Portuguese. Their colour was different, their dress different, their names 85 R. D. Richards, Early History of Banking in England (1929), pp. 27f. 86 See his will of 10 November 1675, Reeve 113. 87 G. Dodsworth, Proceedings against the exportation of Silver by the Jews and others, 1690. Translated into modern terms this means that the head of one Sephardi household in seven had assets of the value of over, say, ?100,000. 88 See A. P. Arnold, 'A list of Jews and their Households in London,' Misc.JHSE, Vol. VI, pp. 73f.; P. E.Jones and A. V. Judges, op. cit.</page><page sequence="17">150 A. S. Diamond differently constructed. They had always lived openly as Jews, their orthodoxy was more intense, their knowledge of and devotion to Judaism and the minutiae of religious practice, largely developed in the exclusivity of the ghetto, far greater. Their religious practices differed in many ways and their pronunciation of Hebrew was different. They had not intermarried to any degree with the Christian population and there were few assimi? lated Jews among them. They had no connec? tions with the sea or sea-borne trade or whole? sale trade. Many were luftmenschen, with little knowledge of this world. If they had any regular occupation it would usually be that of a small artisan, builder, repairer, painter, handyman, porter, or dealer in second-hand goods. They survived by whatever means they could and they did not prosper. The Christians regarded them as distinct from the Sephardim and came later to accuse them of every crime in the cal? endar. No Ashkenazi Jewish brokers were appointed till 13 years after our period ends. The Sephardim regarded them with increasing dislike and found them an embarrassment. They did not intermarry with them. The Ashkenazim make few appearances in the records of Creechurch Lane: there is the small builder and decorator Ishac bar Abraham, employed in the enlargement of the synagogue house in 1674, and some visitors (chiefly from Hanburg), who pay small impostas on the business they have done here or who make small offerings in 1674 when the enlarged synagogue is dedicated. Ashkenazi Synagogue Officials But the chief contribution of the Ashkenazim was in providing synagogue officials, and the Creechurch Lane congregation owed a great debt to them, in particular to four men all of the name of Levy. First there was 'Mordecai', who arrived in or before 1660 and later called himself Myer Levi and finally Michael Levy. He was the secretary, agent or 'solicitor' of the synagogue for 30 years, a life-long bachelor who finally acquired some means and regularly paid a modest imposta, but never received any remuneration for his services. Then there was Benjamin Levy, the elder, who also arrived in or before 1620 and for six months up to Pesach 1664 assisted Moses Athias, now about to retire, as second reader, shochet and bodek at ?500 per annum (in its modern equivalent). In the summer of that year Jacob Sasportas, of Amsterdam, was appointed Haham and his son and Selomoh Lopes were given the other posts, and Benjamin was relieved of his duties. But, as we have seen, in the following year the Sephardi trio fled from the Plague. In 1667, when the flames of London had died down, Benjamin was recalled and served the con? gregation for some years as Hazan at half his previous salary and for the first three years in the absence of a Haham. He was also shochet and bodek and in 1670 was the first to contract with the synagogue for the supply of kasher meat, and as, in their view, he was given the contract at a cheap price (?20 a year, equi? valent to ?600, for three years), they paid him no salary at all for his services as Hazan and shochet. He was also in business and a devoted member of the congregation and paid his modest imposta and died in 1694 and was buried in Bethahaim. Thirdly, there was Samuel Levi, or 'Reb Shemuel', possibly a younger bro? ther of Benjamin. He came with his great black beard in 1659/60 from Cracow, where he was educated at the Yeshivah, and he had served as Hazan to a synagogue in Poland. He spoke Latin and was a competent sofer and had copied a scroll for the synagogue, probably without pay. In 1667, when Benjamin Levy was re-engaged as Hazan, Samuel was given regular employment as shamash at the princely salary (in its modern equivalent) of ?300 per annum, rising in 1675 to a dizzy ?400 per annum. He was a popular beadle during the rest of his life, till he died in 1701 and was buried in Bethahaim. Last comes Benjamin Levy the younger, a nephew of Michael, who arrived about 1670 and became a pillar of Creechurch Lane, the founder of the first Ashkenazi synagogue at Duke's Place, the first Ashkenazi Jewish broker, and finally one of the best-known financiers of England. He died young in 1704 and was buried in the cemetery which he had purchased in Alderney Road for the Ashkenazi community.</page></plain_text>