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The Middle Period of Anglo-Jewish History (1290-1655) Reconsidered

Cecil Roth

<plain_text><page sequence="1">The Middle Period of Anglo-Jewish History (1290-1655) Reconsidered1 By Cecil Roth, M.A., D.Phil. The Jewish Historical Society could have bestowed on me no greater honour than it has done by electing me to preside over its destinies and deliberations, for the eighth time, in this memorable year when we are to celebrate the Tercentenary of the Resettle? ment of the Jews in this country. The honour is enhanced by the fact that I now succeed in this chair one of the most eminent of British medievalists. It seems to me appropriate therefore that in this Presidential Address I should take Anglo-Jewry of the Middle Ages as my point of departure and lead up to the period of the Resettlement: that is to say, that I should attempt to reassess, in readiness for the Tercentennial lectures which will be delivered from this platform and others throughout the country, what Lucien Wolf its first investigator?happily termed the 'Middle Period' of Anglo-Jewish history, intervening between the Expulsion of the Jews by Edward I in 1290 and the authorisation of Jewish worship anew, however informally, under Oliver Cromwell in 1656. It was in the eighteen-eighties that Sir Sydney Lee, later to be Editor of the Dictionary of National Biography, began his investigations on the Jews of Elizabethan England, mainly in order to illustrate the possible historical background of Shakespeare's delineation of a Jew in The Merchant of Venice? Simultaneously, Lucien Wolf started his researches along broader lines, embracing the whole of the period in question, his conclusions being summed up in the comprehensive paper which he delivered at the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition in 1887.3 Some forty years later, genially exasperated by the emergence in his field of a couple of juvenile parvenus, myself and Mr. Wilfred Samuel, he produced his two remarkable supplementary studies, based on unpublished materials (principally from the Inquisitional archives) on the Marrano community in Tudor England.4 It is on a combination of this material with that which is comprised in his earlier paper that our knowledge of the Middle Period mainly rests, though a number of us have made trivial additions to one aspect or other of the subject. In the sixth chapter of my History of the Jews in England (Oxford, 1941) I tried to give a general picture of the period, taking into account for the first time the latest investigations, and I managed to introduce a few corrections into the second edition (1949). But in a work of this sort I could not high-light the new discoveries, and of course further information has accumulated since then in a number of sources. In the present survey, I will try to call attention to some new, or unfamiliar, or neglected, facets of the subject. The medieval Jewish chroniclers were impressed by the fact that the Jews were expelled from England in 1290 on the national fast-day of the Ninth of Ab, anniversary of the Destruction of the Temple : and indeed the melancholy celebration fell that year 1 Presidential address delivered before The Jewish Historical Society of England on 26th October 1955. 2 'Elizabethan England and the Jews', in Transactions of the New Shakespeare Society, I (1888), 143-166. 3 'The Middle Age of Anglo-Jewish History, 1290-1656', in Papers read at the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition, pp. 53-9. 4 'Jews in Elizabethan England', in Trs. J.H.S.E. xi, 1-91 : 'Jews in Tudor England', in his Essays in Jewish History (1934), pp. 71-90 : cf. also 'The Case of Thomas Eernandes before the Lisbon Inquisition, 1556', in Misc. J.H.S.E. ii, 32-56.</page><page sequence="2">2 the Middle period of anglo-jewish history on July 18th, when the writ was issued to the Sheriffs instructing them to take action.1 In 1309 there seems to have been an attempt led by a physician or Rabbi named Master Elias to secure readmission : he may or may not be the same person as the 'Magister Elias' who is found in Belgium about this time,2 but what is certain is that he was not (as was once imagined) identical either with the apostate Archpresbyter of English Jewry, Elias le Eveske, who was in office from 1243 to 1257, nor with the eminent Rabbi Elijah Menahem of London, who had died in 1284. That a few Jews eluded the general expulsion, or returned to England subsequently and became converted, was already known from various instances. To these may be added Walter of Nottingham (formerly Hagin) who was baptised in Nottingham in June 1325 : he subsequently became Chaplain of the Domus Conversorum in London.3 On the other hand, we know of a number of professing Jews who were in England at the close of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth century, concerning some of whom new information is now available. I may remind you, because he is generally overlooked, of that enterprising charlatan who professed to be able to detect thieves by magic, was consulted professionally by the Council of the Duke of York in 1390, and was subsequently pilloried and banished.4 Why the learned Solomon Levi (later to become Pablo de Santa Maria, Bishop of Burgos, and a commanding figure in Spanish politics) had to spend a lonely Purim in London one year, while he was still a Jew, has hitherto been a mystery; but it is now suggested that he was one of the hostages sent to England from Castile in 1389, this hypothesis explaining an obscure term ("WN^n = Arrenes, i.e. hostage) in his famous Hebrew letter of complaint.5 Of the Jewish physicians who visited England about this period we now know more than we did. Master Sampson de Mirabeau, who in 1409 attended on the wife of 'Dick' Whittington, Mayor of London, is obviously the same as the physician Sansone di Mirebello whom we encounter at Chieri in North Italy in 1417.6 Elias Sabot or Elijah ben Sabbetai, on the other hand, was a major figure in Italian medicine at this time, being in service on numerous Popes and local rulers, even as far afield as Ragusa, teaching at the University of Pavia, and being raised to the Knighthood by one of his eminent patients. It seems as though the famous and enigmatic 'Medal of Fourvieres', one of the most remarkable Jewish relics of the Renaissance period, which bears a cryptic reference to Benjamin, son of the physician Elijah Be'er, was struck in commemoration of one of his family.7 1 Cf. my article in Jewish Chronicle, July 1934. 2 e.g. G. Ullmann, Histoire des Juifs de Belgique, p. 28 ('maistre Elie'). 3 Testamenta Eboracensia, i. 418-9 : for his later career, see M. Adler, Jews of Mediaeval England, pp. 315-6. On the Domus Conversorum and its inmates &amp;c. there is some important new material in the admirable Catalogue of the Public Record Office Tercentennial Exhibition, The Jews in England, ed. D. L. Evans (1956). 4 H. T. Riley, Memorials of London (1868) pp. 518-9; R. R. Sharpe, Letter Books of London H., p. 351. 5 F. Cantera, fSelomo ha-Levi, rehen en Inglaterra en 1389', in Homenaje a Millas-Vallicrosa, i. (1954) 301-7. 6 G. B. G. Montu, Memorie storiche del gran contagio in Piemonte, 1630-1 (1830) p. 53. 7 The name of Elijah ben Shabbetai (to use the Hebrew form) recurs constantly in various historical sources throughout Italy at this period, and a monograph on his life and activity by L. M?nster figures in the volume of essays in commemoration of S. Mayer (Jerusalem-Milan 1956) pp. 224-258. This, however, overlooks his period of activity as physician and secret agent of John the Fearless, which brought him to Paris in 1410 and to Bruges in 1411. (Revue des Etudes Juives, xlix. 259 : for the medal, see Catalogue of Exhibition of Anglo-Jewish Art and History, 1956, n. 44.) A figure hitherto overlooked is Charles le Convers, physician and surgeon?probably a</page><page sequence="3">THE MIDDLE PERIOD OF ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY 3 The most remarkable of the persons of Jewish stock who found their way to England in the Middle Period was, I venture to suggest, Sir Edward Brampton, subject of my first paper before this Society in 1920 and subsequently of my first historical publication, who, born in Portugal as a Jew, was baptised, became a soldier of fortune, attained distinction in England during the Wars of the Roses, was knighted and created Governor of Guernsey, and in the end was somehow associated with Perkin Warbeck's preposterous bid for the throne of England. My original account of this intriguing personality, the substance of which was questioned at this time by my elders and betters, was confirmed in a remarkable fashion by later investigations, which I presented before the Society after an interval of some twenty-five years and were published in volume XVI of our Transactions. Hardly had this appeared when I received a communication from Lisbon from the Marquis de Sampaio, who is descended from Brampton in the female line, was most excited to hear of my discoveries, which confirmed his own, and gave me much further information which he has since published in an impressive monograph,1 this affording me the opportunity for a lecture in Guernsey itself2 combining the new material and the old. As a result, Brampton's coat-of-arms has now been emblazoned among those of the other former Governors of the bailiwick in Castle Cornet at St. Peter Port: meanwhile, the Holborn Borough Council, though quite ignorant of the details of his adventurous career, decided to call by the name of Brampton House a new block of flats in Red Lion Square, where according to the muniments he once owned some property. One may thus say that the name of this fantastic Anglo-Jewish adventurer has now been placed, in the most literal sense, on the map. All this is in the main perhaps a matter of antiquarian rather than historical interest. The Jewish connexion with England began again on a massive scale only after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal in 1492-7 and the emergence in the latter country in particular of the vast body of Marranos, outwardly Christians though devotedly Jewish in sentiment. The Marrano settlement in England seems to have begun far earlier than was hitherto imagined. Thomas Fernandes, of Viana, who was arrested in the Low Countries in 1540 as a Judaiser, informed the authorities there that he was the son of the late Master Fernandes, a physician, born in Ireland. This could not have been much, if at all, after 1492, when therefore there was already at least one family of crypto-Jews established in the British Isles. Moreover, they seem to have retained their connexion, for 'Master Fernandes' was presumably identical with the physician Pedro Fernandes 'who practised medicine with great success in London' and subse? quently lived first in Antwerp and then in Venice.3 Lucien Wolf called attention to the fact that the Portuguese chronicler Samuel Usque spoke of the beginning of the migration of the Portuguese Marranos to England in 1531, but did not pay much attention to the statement. A careful reading of Usque's great classic Consolacam as Tribulat oens de Israel ('Consolation in Israel's Tribulations') suggests that it should be treated with respect, for Usque seems to be speaking here in part of his own experiences. Indeed, in his work he refers to England in terms that Frenchman?who on June 11th 1391 was given special protection by Richard II, for five years, with his servants and property, having come to England 'ad dicta artificia sua inibi exercenda et sustentancionem suam pro exercicio hujusmodi artificiorum suorum ibidem lucrandam'. (Patent Rolls, 1391, p. 430 :1 owe my knowledge to this entry to Mr. A. B. Emden.) 1 cUm Aventureiro Portugues na guerra das duas rosas : Duarte Brand?o, senhor de Buarcos' in Anais da Academia Portuguesa de Historia, II. vi. (1955), 143-165. 2 Reports and Transactions of La Societe Guernesiaise, XV. ii. (1957), 160-170. 3 Revue des Etudes Juives, lxxxix. 191; Amarus Lusitanus, Dioscorides, i. 130, 137.</page><page sequence="4">4 THE MIDDLE PERIOD OF ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY make it virtually certain that he was himself here in the course of his eventful journey from Portugal to Ferrara, where he wrote the work by which his name is remembered. Not only does he shew that he knows something of local conditions, but he mentions (iii.14) the display of traitors' heads on London Bridge as though he had seen it with his own eyes. It is perhaps significant that the date he gives for the beginning of the immigration, 1531, was just a year after the merchants trading to Spain and Portugal were given their royal charter. From a number of scattered sources one is able to amplify somewhat Lucien Wolf's roll of Marranos living in England in the middle years of the sixteenth century. The physician Pedro Fernandes has already been referred to; by his side, one may place merchants and others such as Alfonso Ribeiro,1 or Montaigne's maternal uncles, Martin and Francisco Lopes, later of Antwerp. Some important information on the subject that interests us is forthcoming from the famous Case Histories of the eminent Marrano physician, Amatus Lusitanus, which are replete with historical detail of various sorts. Thus in Centuria Curationum II, lxi, he tells of the treatment he gave to one Altarasius (? = Altaras) who had contracted neuritis while living in England : an upright man, he says, some thirty years old (born therefore presumably about 1520), engaged in the Levantine trade, who subsequently resided in Ancona. He seems therefore to have belonged to the Marrano colony of this place, to be so tragically broken up by Pope Paul IVin 1555/6. (Amatus mentions his son elsewhere, Centuria III/xviii). In Centuria V, iv, vi, xvi, he speaks of his own nephew, Antonio Brandao, a young surgeon from Santarem residing in Bristol, whom we know of also from other sources.2 Of high distinction was the physician Diego Pires, or Pyrrho Lusitanus, subsequently of Ragusa, who made a name as one of the more gifted Latin poets of the 16th century. Though his biographers state that he spent some time in England on the course of his long Odyssey?as is indeed likely enough, for it was at this time a stage in the escape-route from Portugal?no trace of his residence here has unfortunately been found as yet. I venture to think that the most remarkable addition to our knowledge of the Marrano settlement in Tudor England, subsequent to Lucien Wolf's researches, is my discovery of the personality, activities and writings of Dr. Manuel Brudo, to whom I could refer but briefly in my History of the Jews in England, but who assuredly deserves detailed treatment in the publications of our Society. One can imagine how amazed Wolf would have been to have realised that in the course of his half-century of intensive labour in this field he overlooked what can be described, with little exaggeration, as the autobiography of one of the leading members of the group in which he was so interested ?which moreover has been available in print for the past four hundred years ! In his memorable paper on 'The Jews in Tudor England' (published only post? humously, in his Essays in Jewish History) Wolf recorded among the members of the crypto-Jewish community in London under Henry VIII 'Denis Rodrigues, formerly physician to the Queen of Portugal, who, with his three sons, fled to London, whence he settled in Antwerp in 1538. He was burned in effigy by the Lisbon Inquisition in 1542. Generally referred to as c'Dr. Dionisius". He died in Ferrara in 1541'. This worthy was of rather more importance than Wolf realised. He is obviously to be identified with Dr. Dionysius, physician to Kings Manuel and Joao III of Portugal, as well as to the latter's Queen, Caterina, and his brother, the Cardinal Infante Affonso, 1 I. Prins, De Vestiging der Marranen in Noord Nederland (1927) p. 75. 2 A. Bai?o, A Inquisicao em Portugal, p. 204.</page><page sequence="5">THE MIDDLE PERIOD OF ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY 5 who made him a generous bequest in his will: he is mentioned moreover by Amatus Lusitanus, who met him in Antwerp some time between 1533 and 1540. In medical history, he is remembered by a fierce controversy which he had with the French physician Pierre Brissot, in which apparently he was (so far as the layman can judge) overwhelm? ingly worsted.1 Wolf's statement that he died in Ferrara in 1541 is not borne out by the other authorities, but it is impossible to decide on this point until his sources have been traced and published. Among the three sons of Master Dionysius whom Wolf mentioned there was one who was of far greater importance in medical records, and especially in connexion with Anglo-Jewish history, of whom he knew nothing : it is to this interesting personality that I now direct attention. This was Manuel Brudo, sometimes known as Brudo Lusitanus or Brudo the Portuguese. The name was it seems his Jewish appellation, which he adopted on returning to the religion of his fathers : his Marrano name (by which presumably he was known in England) is thus far untraced. That he was Master Dionysius' son is however, certain, because he took up arms on his account against Pierre Brissot, his filial piety in this respect being recorded by several contemporaries, including Amatus Lusitanus. Manuel Brudo left London perhaps with his father after having been in practice there for some years. In 1544, he published at Venice an important book on fever-diet (De ractione victus : other eds. 1554, 1559). After the manner of the time, he gives in this many instances of his personal experiences and treatments, mainly in England, whence he had come shortly before : in fact, the second and third sections of the work are dedicated cad anglos'. Hence one may almost think of it, as I have said, as the autobiography of a leading and devoted Marrano, with a keen sense of his Jewish responsibilities, who lived in England in the reign of Henry VIII. It is of importance too for the many interesting sidelights that it throws on English social life as well as on medical conditions at the time. It is impossible for me to give you now in full the wealth of interesting information that can be derived from this volume, fascinating quite apart from its medical interest, but I must indicate one or two points. The preface consists of a dialogue between the author and his father, to whose practice and experiences in this 'most western of lands' it refers : he had at this time been at work for some 40 years, from which we may deduce that he was born between 1470 and 1480. Brudo tells of a Jew (by which he must mean a Marrano) whom he knew in Portugal, who fasted for six days without any evil results, shorter periods of abstention? e.g. for three days consecutively, a frequent practice among soul-stricken Marranos? being not uncommon among them (ed. 1559 p. 81a). There are many allusions to the Portuguese in England (e.g. p. 4) and specifically to the Marrano refugees there ('gentis Lusitanae profugi, qui in Anglia&gt; &amp; Flandria, sedem habuere'), and even of their favourite diet of fried fish. General conditions in England claim attention : the good looks, fine limbs and fair complexions of the English, Brudo informs us, are due to the salutary effects of drinking beer, the varieties of which he describes?small beer, with much the same alcoholic effect as wine; medium beer; and double beer, which is extremely strong and correspondingly healthy. He has a good word too for English ale (pp. 88, 94, 96); and knows as well of the salt fish 'which they call herinches' (p. 133a). It looks as though he came over to this country from France by the short sea-route from 1 Cf. the paper by H. Friedenwald , 'Immortality through Medical Writ of Error', in Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol. vii (February 1939), republished in his The Jews and Medicine : Essays, ii. 460-7; cf. also M. Lemos, Amatus Lusitanus, pp. 73-4 ?, and Amatus Lusitanus, Pioscorides, II. ci,</page><page sequence="6">6 THE MIDDLE PERIOD OF ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY Calais, for he mentions that it was not usual to prepare a meal for the journey (p. 21a). His personal experiences and cures in London, where obviously he had a fashionable court clientele, take up a good deal of space. He attended on a city matron named most appropriately Mistress Culpepper, and describes her treatment (128a-9b). He tells of how he prescribed for a young man who lost his nerve when he was supposed to make a formal oration at the court of Henry VIII (148b), how he dieted William Sidney (i.e. Lord Sandys of The Vyne, Lord Chamberlain of the Household, 1526-40) (p. 152-3), and he refers also to Thomas Audley, Lord Chancellor 1533-44, as well as to John Baker ('Johannes Ba Kerf) later to be Chancellor of the Exchequer (p, 98a). It is highly desirable that some person with greater qualifications than I have should go through this work and make exhaustive use of the wealth of information of English, Jewish and Anglo-Jewish interest that it contains. It seems from the data given above as though Manuel Brudo was in England between 1533 and 1540, so that Wolf's assumption that he left with his father in 1538 is probable enough. He then went on to Italy, where he published his book in 1544. By this time, he was apparently professing Judaism openly. There does not seem therefore any need to question his identity with the scholar Don Manuel Brudo, a remarkable work of whose, on the reasons for the Biblical precepts, is cited by the chronicler Ibn Verga in his Shevet Jehudah, completed in its present form about 1555 : though it was believed by the great Steinschneider that the unfamiliar surname Brudo (mm) was simply a misprint for rmn (= 'in his generation') ! The identification seems to be finally confirmed by another writer, Abraham ben Isaac haLevi ibn Megas, in his work Kevod Elohim (Constantinople 1585, f. 127b) where in speaking of disputations with Christians he refers to this writer in admiring terms as a physician as well as a controver? sialist : T was told this by that reliable scholar, full of years and honour, the expert physician R. Manuel Brudo (may he live long !)'. We see then that Brudo, on leaving England, played some part in Jewish intellectual life in the Levant. He is certainly an important figure ?perhaps the most important figure?to add to our gallery of Anglo Jewish worthies of the Middle Period. Lucien Wolf gave a circumstantial account of the breaking up of the Marrano community in London in 1542. In consequence of the revelations made during the course of proceedings against the Marranos in Milan and the Low Countries, which were communicated to England, on February 4th 1542 the Privy Council ordered the apprehension of a number of merchant strangers 'suspected to be Jews' and the attachment of their property. Some were released on the production of certificates from the Queen of Portugal that they were good Christians; but this was subsequently found to be unjustified, and the principal officers of state called on the Imperial Ambassador in London to protest. Inevitably, Wolf concluded, this led to the dispersion of the crypto Jewish community. So many exceptions to this had emerged?instanced for example in the will of Simon Alvarez, made in London in 1543, and that of Balthazar Alvarez two years later?that one began to suspect that this generalisation, which I had followed in the first edition of my History of the Jews in England, and elsewhere, was too sweeping. A subsequent re-examination of the records on which Wolf based his conclusions demonstrated that this was one of the rare instances of a misinterpretation of the sources by that gifted investigator. What really happened was quite different, and the story of an expulsion of the Marranos in 1542 must be wholly discarded. It was not in February 1542, but about or shortly after Christmas of 1541, that orders were issued in London for the arrest of'certain persons' (not 'merchant strangers',</page><page sequence="7">THE MIDDLE PERIOD OF ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY 7 though that phrase is used subsequently) suspected to be secret Jews. 'However well they may sing, they will not escape from their cages without leaving some feathers behind', cynically observed the Imperial Ambassador, Stephen Chapuys, in reporting the episode at the end of January. The charge was pressed very seriously. A Com? mission consisting of Dr. Peters, P. Hobbin, and Sir Edward Kerne (Carne), was appointed to investigate the charge. In consequence of its preliminary report, presented on February 4th (this was the source of Wolf's date !), a special emissary, Thomas Chamber? lain, was sent to Portugal to make enquiries there concerning the persons involved, all of whom presumably hailed from that country. Meanwhile, the prisoners enlisted the interest of the King of Portugal and the Queen Regent of the Netherlands (for they obviously stood in close connexion with the Antwerp trading-group) who repeatedly wrote letters to Chapuys blandly testifying that the accused persons were in fact good Christians, and requesting him to bring the fact to the notice of the English authorities in their name. Dr. Peters was urged to hurry his report, which he ultimately presented in the following February (i.e. 1542/3). It is not preserved, but apparently was most uninaiminating, merely stating that the whole charge depended on whether the accused were or were not leading Christian lives?a point which was left to Drs. Guest (later Bishop of Salisbury) and Oliver (Dean of Christ Church, Oxford) to determine. They reported favourably, on March 9th 1542/3. But it was a political rather than a theological decision, for already on February 2nd three high officers of state?Mr. Secretary Wriothesley, accompanied by the Bishops of Winchester and of Westminster?had waited on the Imperial Ambassador Chapuys and informed him that, purely as a token of friendship towards his master, and solely as a result of his intercession (? ma seulle contemplation), the King had ordered those accused to be released.1 The story of the break-up of the Marrano community and the expulsion of the Marranos towards the close of the reign of Henry VIII, in 1542, must thus be discarded. Yet in the long run the difference was not perhaps very significant, for the decline of the banking house of Mendes in Antwerp (beginning with the death of Diego Mendes in the winter of 1542-3 and culminating with the flight of Gracia Mendes in 1544) must have deprived many members of the London group of their economic basis. We can thus understand the dwindling, though not indeed total disappearance, of the community. With the accession of Queen Mary and the reinstatement of Roman Catholicism in England, this country became perhaps even more dangerous than Spain itself to Jewishly-conscious Marranos. The crypto-Jewish settlement inevitably dispersed, to emerge again, with perhaps greater confidence than before, after the accession of Queen Elizabeth I. Our knowledge of this period too was put on a completely new basis by Lucien Wolf in his truly remarkable monograph on the Jews in Elizabethan England. This is still unsuperseded, and little remains for the subsequent worker except to add the most trivial additions and corrections here and there.2 From the point of view of general Jewish historiography, the most important aspect of this swan-song of Wolf's research was his discovery for the first time of the extraordinary figure of Alvaro Mendes, alias Solomon Abenaes (Aben-Yaish), who was created Duke of Mytilene, succeeded 1 My account is based on a re-examination of the documents in Acts of the Privy Council, vii. 304, 325 ; viii. 76, 94; Letters and Papers, Henry VIII, xvii. 36, 76; Spanish State Papers, vi. 270. 2 Attention may be called to a few sidelights on Drs. Hector Nunez and Roderigo Lopes in Lawrence Stone, An Elizabethan : Sir Horatio Palavicino (Oxford, 1956). There are useful bibliographical references for this period, in connexion with the general problem of the background of Shylock, in St A. Tannenbaum, Shakspere's Merchant of Venice : a concise bibliography (New York, 1941),</page><page sequence="8">8 THE MIDDLE PERIOD OF ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY to the political influence of Joseph Nasi in Constantinople, and renewed his pioneering attempt to establish an autonomous Jewish settlement around Tiberias. Israel historians have paid particular attention to this discovery, as is natural, without however tracing anything further of any significance regarding Abenaes' career and achievement. I may however mention here two points. First, that Abenaes' relationship to the Mendes family of Antwerp, with which Joseph Nasi was connected, mentioned as a possibility by Wolf and as a fact by some subsequent writers, is more than dubious. Second, that he belonged to a Portuguese order of knighthood, not owing that dignity to Queen Elizabeth, as has been stated. His envoy in London in 1592, in whose house religious services were held in full traditional style, Solomon Cormano, has been plausibly con? jectured to belong to the well-known Turkish family of Carmona.1 The part played by Jews in Anglo-Turkish relations in the reign of Elizabeth was of real importance, quite apart from this episode : in my book on Joseph Nasi (Phila? delphia, 1948) I have collected a few more instances almost at random. The most remarkable is that of the ex-Marrano poet, Salomon Usque (translator of Petrarch's sonnets into Spanish) who in 1595 prepared for the English Ambassador in Constantinople a report on the Turkish court, which was later studied and annotated by Lord Burleigh.2 Wolf of course brought to our knowledge the importance in international negotiations at this period of Dr. Henrique Nunes, down to the time of his death in 1591. Conceiv? ably, we have an echo of his personahty in Marlowe's reference in The Jew of Malta, among the various associates of Barabbas, to 'Nones in Portugal'; this shews at least that the name was considered typically Jewish. Subsequent to Wolf's work on Elizabeth's reign was the discovery by Professor Sisson of the record of a law-suit brought in 1596 against one of the Marrano merchants who had been trading with the Peninsula in partnership with an Englishman, the latter claiming compensation on the grounds that their joint property had been sequestered in Lisbon on the suit of the Inquisition. In the course of the proceedings evidence was brought to show that Jewish ceremonies were generally known to be observed at the other's home in Duke's Place.3 It is remarkable that these facts were alluded to in court without any sense of incongruity, and without untoward results : it almost seems that the Judge who heard the case was in agreement with Glynne and Steele, who at the time of the Whitehall Conference gave it as their considered opinion that there was no law prohibiting the residence of Jews in England?the corner-stone of the entire Resetdement process. After the accession of James I, indeed, a flaccid attempt was made, on the plea of economic advantage, to introduce the Jews officially into Ireland, with the privilege of opening synagogues there; and less formally (in view of the King's reported objection to the idea of the maintenance of public synagogues in Great Britain) into England as well. This, maintained Sir Thomas Shirley, the oriental traveller and adventurer who 1 One or two fresh details, of no great importance, on Abenaes' extraordinary career, are collected in my The House of Nasi: the Duke of Naxos, pp. 205-214 and 247. I have reconstructed here also the record of another Jew prominent at the Turkish court, David Passi, who similarly was at one time in close relations with the English representatives. 2 Cf. my article, 'Salusque Lusitano', in Jewish Quarterly Review, n.s. xxxiv. (1943) 65-85. The report, wrongly ascribed, was sumptuously published in elaborate facsimile with other documents by H. G. Rosedale, Queen Elizabeth and the Levant Company, London, 1904. See also V. Lieberman, 'Elizabeth von England's j?dischen Agent in Konstantinople' in Monatschrift fur Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums, liii. (1919) p. 633, and M. Brann's note, p. 749. 8 'A Colony of Jews in Shakespeare's London', in Essays and Studies by members of the English Association, xxiii. (1938) pp. 38-51,</page><page sequence="9">THE MIDDLE PERIOD OF ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY 9 proposed the scheme, would result indubitably in attracting Portuguese Marranos to the country, attract a great part of the Brazil trade thither, and thus prove a fatal blow to Spanish prosperity.1 There is no evidence that these scatter-brained proposals attracted any attention in official circles. However that may be, the record of the pre-Resettlement settlement was drawing towards its close. In my History of the Jews in England, I published reports from London giving details of the expulsion of the crypto-Jews from England, after an internecine quarrel, in August 1609. There is elsewhere an oblique reference to the fact that King James once granted a patent to the Earl of Suffolk for the discovery of the Jews, 'which made the ablest of them fly out of England'.2 The allusion is presumably (one cannot say certainly : I will revert to this point later) to the same event, which seems to be adverted to as well in a triviality of English social and literary history. When the Earl's daughter was married in 1613, the Gentlemen of Gray's Inn celebrated the event by presenting a 'Masque of Flowers' in the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall. One of the couples in this consisted of a mountebank and a Jewess of Portugal.3 Unfortunately, no details can be traced in the English record-sources regarding this episode : the register of the Privy Council for this year, which would doubtless have given us all the information we need, is missing. We know indeed that Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, who was Lord Chamberlain from 1603 to 1614, was employed not infrequently at this time on various commissions of enquiry into prohibited religious activities. Thus, he was a member of a commission pro exultatione Jesuitarum et Seminariorum in 1610, of one super Jesuitis exulandis in 1618, of one on Ecclesiastical causes, including unlawful conventicles, in 1620, of another pro causis ecclesiasticis in 1625.4 There is no record that he was employed in any similar capacity in 1609, when the Portuguese Marranos were chased out of the country : and although in my History I associated with this episode the much later statement that he was responsible for the action against them then, it is not out of the question that there may have been two such onslaughts?one in 1609, referred to by the Venetian and Tuscan envoys, the other perhaps by Suffolk as part of his routine activities?e.g. the suppression of unlawful conventicles in 1620. There is, in fact, as we shall see, some evidence that a handful of Marranos settled again in London after 1609. If Suffolk's action is to be ascribed to the later date that I have suggested, then it is almost certainly to be brought into association with another highly dramatic episode ?that of the remarkable Judaising sect, followers of John Traske, who went on from Sabbatarianism to more or less integral Judaism.5 On June 19th 1618 Traske was sentenced to a age punishment by the Star Chamber, and subsequently demonstrated 1 G. B. Harrison, A Second Jacobean Journal, April 7th 1607, quoting the Salisbury Papers. Sir Thomas Shirley had been befriended by a benevolent Jewish merchant when imprisoned in Constantinople, but nevertheless had his adventures taken as the action for the anti-Semitic play The Travels of Three English Brothers, produced later in this same year. Conceivably he was disappointed in his hope of reward for this action in favour of the Jews. 2 Nicholas Papers, III. 151. 3 H. A. Evans, English Masques (1897) pp. 110-3. 4 Cf. Rymer, Foedera, xvi. 690, xvii. 92 ff., 200 ff., 648 ff. 5 E. Pagett, Heresiarchs, 6th ed., pp. 171, 180, 189, 190, 196-7 : H. E. I. Phillips, 'An Early Stuart Judaising Sect', in Trs. J.H.S.E. xv. 63-72. The attempt here made to link up specifically the 'Abraham Guer' whose wife died in Amsterdam in 1625 with the Traskite Hamlet Jackson seems to me superfluous, as there were many English converts to Judaism at this period. Cf. the somewhat later poem by Robert Wylde in The Eagle, liv. (1949) pp. 17-19 : 'Alas, poor scholar';</page><page sequence="10">10 THE MIDDLE PERIOD OF ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY his penitence somewhat abjectly by pubhshing A Treatise of Libertie from Judaism . . . by John Traske, of late stumbling, now happily running againe in the Race of Christianities (London 1620). But the influence of his former teaching persisted, and was alluded to in Parliamentary debates and discussions in 1621. In this year, moreover, there appeared Sir Henry Finch's memorable work The World's Great Restauration, or The Calling of the Jews?one of the pre-Zionist classics of Christian England. This aroused such resentment on the part of King James I that both the author and his learned editor, William Gouge?himself a Traskite?were arrested, and the work condemned.1 Gouge earned his release by presenting the Archbishop of Canterbury with Six Propositions on the Calling of the Jews (1621), which must have had a distinctly anti-Jewish tone. The interconnection between all these data is not easy to establish. The general outcome however is clear. The position of the Marranos in England, so long as they lay low and said nothing, was generally speaking secure enough, and they realised the fact. But they were suspected throughout Europe (on the whole incorrectly) of propagating their disbelief. Hence they were inevitably connected in the public mind, justifiably or no, with anything in the nature of a Judaising, or Old Testament, or Sabbatarian movement, the emergence of which might therefore imperil their position. Such a tendency reached its climax in the England at the period we have been considering, and created as it seems some general apprehension, as was manifested in the burning of two Arians, Bartholomew Legate and Edward Whitman, in 1612. (This may perhaps explain why the Jew Jacob Barnett was so nervously escorted out of England in the following year.)2 This upsurge of cruelty?the last of its type in England, where no person has since been put to death merely by reason of his faith?was succeeded by the emergence of the Traskites (who did not by any means disappear from view after their leader recanted) and by the publication of Henry Finch's somewhat wild volume in 1621. Whether or no further action was taken by the Earl of Suffolk, subsequent to 1609, it may well be understood that the general atmosphere was probably less favourable towards Jews and Marranos at the close of the reign of James I than at any other time in the Tudor or Stuart periods. However, not all those persons of Jewish stock who visited England at this time Into learned rags, I've rent my plush and satin And now am fit to beg, In Hebrew, Greek and Latin . . . Shall I in and go over, Turn Jew or Atheist, Turk or Papist, To Geneva or Amsterdam ? Among the English converts to Judaism at this period was apparently the distinguished miniaturist, Alexander Cooper (c. 1605-1660), brother of the still more eminent Samuel Cooper (1609-1672). Notwithstanding Mr. A. Rubens' expression of scepticism (Trs. J.H.S.E. xviii. 104), the facts do not seem to admit of doubt. Alexander Cooper withdrew somewhat mysteriously to Amsterdam, the traditional place of proselytisation at the time, and then emerges in Sweden under the aegis of the Judeophile Queen Christina, now called a Jew and with 'Abraham' added to (or substituted for) his 'Christian' name. No other rational explanation is possible. 1 Trs.J.H.S.E. xvi. Ill, 112, 116. 2 Cf. my article, 'Jews in Oxford after 1290' in Oxontensia, xv. (1950) 65-6. Jacob Barnet may conceivably be identical with the Jacob Wolf (described however as 'a Polish baptised Jew') who drew up a list of Rabbinical abbreviations for Dr. Nevile, Master of Trinity College, Cam? bridge, shortly after 1608 (Trinity College MS. R.8.4) and taught Hebrew about this time to John Williams, later Archbishop of York,</page><page sequence="11">THE MIDDLE PERIOD OF ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY 11 belonged to the Marrano faction: there were also, as we have seen, persons from Germany, from Italy and so on. Indeed, a Bodleian manuscript (Neubauer 2114) suggests even the presence of an Arabic-speaking Jew in England in 1572. We have long been familiar with the figure of Joachim Gaunse, the Bohemian mining engineer who was deported in 1598 after engaging too freely in religious controversy. The background of his activity is now clearer to us through the publication of M. B. Donald's important work Elizabethan Copper : The History of the Company of Mines Royal, 1568-1605 (London 1955), which shews how the industry was started at this period by 'mineral men' brought from Germany, working like Gaunse at Keswick in Cumberland and Neath in Wales. In 1581, Gaunse, then living in Blackfriars, went to Keswick with George Nedham to investigate the smelting methods practised there, which he found most unsatisfactory and unnecessarily expensive. His report to Sir Francis Walsingham suggesting improve? ments, as well as Nedham's report, mainly based on what cMr. Joachim' proposed, demonstrate his technical competence in the matter; he is said moreover to have intro? duced reverberatory furnaces into the industry.1 It seems to me certain that Gaunse is to be identified with Zalman (the reading of the original is not clear), son of Rabbi Seligman Gans, who is recorded on his tombstone in the ancient cemetery of Prague, where he was buried in 1619, to have 'risked his life to wreak vengeance among the Gentiles' (O^a nftpl rWB8? *pn ?an echo no doubt of the exaggerated fashion in which he recounted his English experiences on his return home.2 To the Italian element belonged Antonio Maria de Verona, who we are informed visited the two Universities with letters of recommendation from Queen Henrietta Maria. We now know the source of her interest in him : for formerly he had lived in Paris, being one of the group of adventurers who had come under the auspices of the Marshal d'Ancre to the French Court where (we are told) he practised divination through the medium of the Cabbalah. In Cambridge, apparently, he composed a long Hebrew poem in honour of Charles Chauncey, later to be President of Harvard.3 The expulsion of the Marranos in 1609 was as inconclusive as its precursors : for so elusive and undefinable an element could always find a loophole to return, and in some cases even to remain; and adversity had taught them how to evade disaster when they could not avert it. There were already known a number of instances, especially after the establishment of the community of Amsterdam, of Jews and crypto-Jews who visited or settled in England in the following decades : and recently, this information has been co-ordinated in masterly fashion, and in a fascinating story, in a paper by Mr. Edgar Samuel.4 One of the Amsterdam group who was most in the public eye was Samuel Palache, agent of the Sultan of Morocco, whom the Spanish Ambassador attempted to have condemned as a 'pirate' when he brought his prizes into Plymouth 1 op. cit. pp. 205, 215, 299, 344. 2 For Gaunse's career in England, see I. Abrahams, in Trs. J.H.S.E., iv. 83-101 : for the epitaph, S. Hock, Die Familien Prags (1892) p. 62, n. 997. 3 R. Anschel, Les Juifs de France (1946) p. 147 ; G. A. Kohut, Ezra Stiles and the Jews (1902) pp. 71-2. In the Hotel de Gadagne at Lyons there is an early seventeenth-century panel with the arms of the city and poems in French, Latin and Hebrew, executed by 'Marius Anthonius de Verone' see E. Dreyfus and L. Marx, Autour des Juifs de Lyon, 1958, pp. 120, 153. 4 E. R. Samuel, 'Portuguese Jews in Jacobean London', in Trs. J.H.S.E. xviii. pp. 171-230. That some crypto-Jewish settlement survived the expulsion of 1609 is suggested by the fact that, when the Santa companhia de dotar orphas e donzellas was established in Amsterdam in 1615, the first regulation specified that its bounties should extend to brides of the Spanish and Portuguese cnation' in England (H. Brugmans and A. Franks Geschiedenis der Joden in</page><page sequence="12">12 THE MIDDLE PERIOD OF ANGLO-JEWISH HISTORY in 1614. This episode, already known to us in its general lines, is further illustrated in a new series of documents which have come to light in London.1 The Middle Period may be said to end with a truly noble episode of English history ?the attempt to secure universal toleration, extending also to Jews, in 1648 : a memorable attempt, the story of which I have succeeded in piecing together for the first time from a number of scattered sources.2 The classical publication of this period, which specifically pleaded for the extension of toleration to the Jews as a compensation for their former sufferings in England, was The Apology for the Noble Nation of the Jews and all the sons of Israel, by an otherwise unknown Edward Nicholas, printed in London in 1648. A Spanish version appeared shortly after, which is often found bound up with Menasseh ben Israel's Esperanza de Israel, and was reprinted together with it in Smyrna in 1659, with a complimentary sonnet addressed to Menasseh at the close of the entire volume. To say on the basis of this that the Jewish Rabbi wrote the book ascribed to Nicholas would be too much : but it certainly seems as though contemporaries were confident that he had a hand in it.3 There seems to be some echo of the premature attempt of 1648 in the anonymously published sermon of John Warner, Bishop of Rochester, on the occasion of the execution of Charles I: The Devilish Conspiracy, hellish treason, heathenish condemnation, and damnable murder, committed and executed by the Jewes, against the Anointed of the Lord, Christ their King (London, 1648). It does not seem that the introduction of the Jews into this discourse was a mere homiletical flourish : whether intended for the purpose or no, it must inevitably have reinforced the narrower attitude when the Universal Toleration was being discussed. All this formed the prelude to the Resettlement of the Jews in England, the (for us) epochal event the tercentenary of which we are to celebrate during the present session. It is a subject on which I do not wish to touch specifically here. But it was so gradual a process?and in this so typically English?that it is difficult to say when it began, and when the Middle Period with which I am dealing here in reality ended. I have spoken already of the remarkable attempt of 1648 to secure universal religious toleration, and the philosemitic utterances to which it gave rise. It was not, however,, on such doctrinaire experiments and declarations that the Resettlement depended, even though they expressed the feelings of a goodly portion of the English people : nor indeed did Menasseh ben Israel's ardent and devoted negotiations have the triumphant con? clusion for which he had hoped. The Resettlement was based not on doctrine, but on fact; it resulted not from a dramatic action, but from experiment, thereby becoming as it seems to me all the more English in its nature. Thus the tentative and gradual experiences of the Middle Period, to which I have called attention here, had after all a considerable share in the final successful outcome. Nederland, i. 221). Such a crypto-Jewish colony seems to be obliquely referred to in a curious London pamphlet of 1612 :?The Faerie Try all of God's Saints.and the Detestable Ends of Popish Traytors. "These are of Sathan's Synagogue, calling themselves Iewes or Catholiques." 1 D. Carrington, 'A Jewish Buccaneer' in Jewish Chronicle, 1956 i Anglo-Jewish Art and History Exhibition Catalogue (1956) n. 54. 2 'The Attempt to Recall the Jews to England, 1648', in Jewish Monthly, 1948, pp. 11-17. 3 Cf. my Hebrew article on the Smyrna volume in Kirjath Sepher, xxviii. pp. 390-3 (with facsimiles).</page></plain_text>

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