Copenhagen, Dec. 26
The Jews of this City have desired Leave to rebuild their Synagogue; but ‘tis said the King answer’d them, that he would have all the Christian Churches first rebuilt.
Source: The Historical Register, 1729
Copenhagen, Dec. 26
The Jews of this City have desired Leave to rebuild their Synagogue; but ‘tis said the King answer’d them, that he would have all the Christian Churches first rebuilt.
There liv'd here also in Times past, a great number of Jews, till they were expell'd by Ferdinand; and as I have read in an old Spanish Legend, the cause was this: The King had a young Prince to his Son, who was us'd to play with a Jewish Doctor that was about the Court, who had a ball of gold in a string hanging down his breast: The little Prince one day snatch'd away the said golden ball, and carried it to the next room; the ball being hollow, open'd, and within there was painted our Saviour kissing a Jew's tail. Hereupon they were all suddenly disterr'd and exterminated; yet I believe in Portugal there lurks yet good store of them.
According to letters from Mertz(?) several (?) Jew families from Minorca and Gibraltar have obtained leave to settle into (?) at (?) electorate, to establish trade and manufacture, and to build a synagogue; and are declared exempt from taxes tor 30 years.
JEWS. The Jews are not numerous in the United States. They have, however, synagogues at Savannah, Charleston, (South Carolina) Philadelphia, New York, and Newport, Besides those who reside at these places, there are others scattered in different towns in the United States.
The Jews in Charleston, among other peculiarities in burying their dead, have these: After the funeral dirge is sung, and just before the corpse is deposited in the grave, the coffin is opened, and a small bag of earth, taken from the grave, is carefully put under the head of the deceased; then some powder, said to be earth brought from Jerusalem, and carefully kept for this purpose, is taken and put upon the: eyes of the corpse, in token of their remembrance of the holy land, and of their expectations of returning thither in God's appointed time.
The articles of their faith are well known, and therefore need no description. They generally expect a glorious return to the Holy Land, when they shall be exalted above all the nations of the earth. And they flatter themselves that the period of their return will speedily arrive, though they do not venture to fix the precise time.
The whole number of persons who profess the Jewish religion, in all parts of the world, is supposed to be about three millions, who, as their phrase is, are witnesses of the unity of God in all the nations in the world.
Assessment in February 2007 of a brick wall in the grounds of Queen Mary, University of London, at 331-333 Mile End Road, London E1, has determined that this was originally built to enclose parts of a cemetery, known as the ‘Betahaim Novo’ or ‘New Cemetery’, of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews’ Congregation. This cemetery was established on the site in 1726 33, was extended in 1849 53, and was last used early in the 20th century. The stretch of wall examined, originally around the south-east corner of the cemetery, was accessible only on its inner face, towards the cemetery. This stretch of the wall contains fabric apparently belonging to both the 18th and 19th-century periods of use of the cemetery, and can be seen to be directly related to a portion of the cemetery, with about 2,000 burials, that is still in place forming an open space within the campus of the college. The wall clearly merits its statutory listing as a building of architectural or historic interest, which would require the wall to be archaeologically investigated and recorded before any of it was demolished or substantially altered, at a suitable time when both faces of the wall were accessible.
4 Outline description and history of the wall
4.1 Jews of Spanish and Portuguese origin, Sephardim, settled and practised their religion in London after being readmitted to England during the Commonwealth. They established a burial ground for their community in 1657, on the north side of the Mile End Road, about 2.5km from their synagogue in Bevis Marks on the eastern edge of the City. By the early 18th century more land was required for the community’s cemetery, and in 1726 a separate plot of land about 2.5 acres (1ha) in extent, called ‘Cherry Tree’, was bought a short distance further to the east along the north side of Mile End Road. At first this was kept as an orchard until the first burials took place there in 1733. This was thereupon called the Betahaim Novo or ‘New Cemetery’ while the earlier was called the Betahaim Velho or ‘Old Cemetery’; some interments continued to be made in the latter, in family graves.
4.2 When the New Cemetery was opened in 1733 a brick wall is documented as having been erected around the site. The wall in lengths (1), (2) and (3) is on the line of the earliest wall around the cemetery shown on a map of 1799-1819 (Fig 3). The southern boundary of the cemetery is not shown so clearly on an earlier map of 1746, by Rocque, and possibly either the boundary was changed slightly during the 18th century, perhaps as more ground was occupied by graves and less by fruit trees, or alternatively the 1746 map was not surveyed very precisely. Of the surviving walls, (1) and the base of (2) and (3) are possibly of 18th-century origin, containing, for the most part, dark red hand-made bricks, laid rather irregularly but generally to English bond and set in crumbly cream yellow lime mortar (Figs 5 and 6). Much of this wall face has been repointed and there are many signs of patching and alteration.
4.3 In 1733, according to Barnett (1955), a ‘fine mortuary hall’ was also built, which remained until it was demolished in 1922. The plot of land for the New Cemetery had cost £450 to buy and a much greater sum, £2,000, was spent on its buildings, walls and so on (Rodrigues-Pereira et al 1997, ix xi). The only building shown on the 1799 1819 map is in the centre of the southern half of the cemetery, and this could have been the ‘mortuary hall’.
4.4 In the late 18th and early 19th centuries grave-robbing was much feared. A newspaper advertisement of 1786 offered a reward of £50 for assistance in apprehending and convicting robbers of recent graves in ‘the Portuguese cemetery’, by which must be meant the New Cemetery. A watchman’s hut on wheels was set up over newly-filled graves, and the contemporary rules for the watchmen included the injunction to see ‘that no tree grows near the walls surrounding the burial ground, or near enough for its branches to help anyone trying to climb [the walls]’ (translated and quoted by Barnett, 1955). This indicates that the cemetery had walls around it, and they were high enough to have to be climbed with the help of overhanging tree-branches, if there were any.
4.5 By the 1840s the new cemetery was going to have to be enlarged, and more land adjoining it to the east, covering some 4.5 acres (1.8ha), was bought in 1849 and used for burials from 1853. The burials were always in very orderly rows, being successively laid out and filled from the rear of the cemetery going towards the Mile End Road. ‘The numbers of the rows were to be “conspicuously painted in White letters on a Black Ground on the Wall with a line marking the width of each Carreira [or row]”’ (Barnett 1955, x).
4.6 By the time of the first edition of the Ordnance Survey large-scale map, in 1870, the cemetery had clearly been extended to the east, and the line of the wall at (4) (8) is shown on this map as well as (1) (3); these wall-lines continue to be shown on subsequent maps, such as the revision of 1893 4 (Fig 4). The junction of the two parts of the cemetery can be seen in the existing walls (Fig 7), and it is marked by a change in the level of the ground, the extension to the east being at a slightly higher level than the initial area of the cemetery to the west.
4.7 A small rectangular building, one corner of which adjoins the junction of (1) and (2), was possibly a watch-house, referred to in documentary sources. On the 1870 and later maps, such as that of 1893 4, this is shown as having a small garden attached, which suggests that it was where a watchman could have lived. By 1961, the possible watch-house at the junction of (1) and (2) appears to have been the only building left connected with the cemetery, despite the watch-house being documented as having been demolished in 1892 or 1922. A map of 1962 shows the rectangular plot as existing but empty, as if the corner building had gone by then, and thereafter not even the plot appears.
4.8 By the end of the 19th century the community’s cemetery moved to north London. In 1895 unused land on the east of the New Cemetery at Mile End amounting to 2 acres (0.8ha) was sold to the Great Eastern Railway, and another cemetery, at Hoop Lane, Hampstead, was in use from 1896. The New Cemetery at Mile End was closed in 1936, and the superintendent’s lodge and mortuary hall were demolished. According to Rodrigues et al (1997, x) ‘paths were levelled and the boundary walls and gates rebuilt’. The walls to the east, (7) and (8), retain their original top courses intact, as the coping still rises and falls to accommodate former changes of level in the adjacent ground (Fig 8). This area of the cemetery seems to have been fairly level, so the changes of ground level must have been immediately outside the cemetery. The latter ground, according to a map of 1938, was occupied as in 1893 4 (Fig 4) partly by houses and partly by open areas, such as gardens, yards and Govey’s Place, adjoining the cemetery wall. Almost all the latter ground had been built up by about 1947, according to a map of that date.
4.9 In 1972, when a compulsory purchase order was likely to be made in order to rebuild and enlarge the adjacent Queen Mary College, the major part of the cemetery, to the west, was cleared and the land sold to the college. About 7,000 bodies were exhumed and reburied near Brentwood, Essex. ‘A small section containing graves from 1865 to 1916’ [about 2,000] was left intact in the eastern part of the cemetery (Fig 9), the part which had been added in 1849. In 1975 listed building consent was obtained to reduce the boundary wall on the street frontage to 6ft (1.83m).
4.10 The New Cemetery fronted directly on to the Mile End Road, except for two rectangular plots of land on the south-east, one of which was owned in the 18th century by Richard Govey, hence the name of the short side-road into it from Mile End Road, and the other, even smaller, to the west, which contained until the mid 20th century a public house called the ‘Three Mackerels’. It is the acquisition of these two plots and the proposed demolition of the buildings on them, which abut the cemetery wall to their rear, which has given rise to the present assessment.
2.1 In 1733 the Novo Cemetery (Jews New Burying Ground) was constructed on land purchased by the Spanish & Portuguese Jewish Community of the Bevis Marks Synagogue located in the City of London. At the time, the congregation’s original burial site, the Jews Old Burying Ground (1657), which is the oldest Jewish Cemetery in the UK, had reached capacity, and land was required to increase the area available for burials. (see fig 3: Rocque’s Survey of London 1746.
2.2 By the early part of the twentieth Century the land surrounding the two burial grounds had been absorbed by development into the city’s fabric. Both of the burial sites had reached capacity and the cemeteries were no longer in active use by the community. Although the Bevis Marks Community continues to exist, the main centre for Spanish and Portuguese Jewry had moved to northwest London with Burial (sic) new burial sites to serve the community’s ongoing needs (see fig 4: 1914 Survey of London)
2.3 In 1970 The Queen Mary University of London purchased the Novo Cemetery site form (sic) the SPJC for the expansion of the University’s facilities in the Mile End Campus. The SPJC retained freehold possession of the remaining section of the cemetery which is surrounded on all sides by the University Campus (see fig 5: Aerial photography of Novo Cemetery site pre 1970 and post 1970)
2.4 As part of the sale of the land, it was decided that the graves that were not retained would be exhumed and reinterred at a site in Brentwood, Essex that was given to the SPJC as part of the conditions of sale.
4.1.4 In addition the overriding design criteria for the above is to minimise wherever possible [my italics] any excavation or significant alterations to the ground, as it has been shown that any excavation within the bounds of the original cemetery footprint (which applies to the entire site) is liable to disturb remains left over when the graves were originally exhumed in 1970. It is for this reason that all of the proposals have been developed in collaboration with the SPJC to seek there (sic) approval of both construction methodology and the final result.
I took my leave of this good natur'd and generous Sultan, who wants only our Education and Religion, to make a great figure in the world. I got to my lodgings about two hours after fun-set, much pleas'd with the magnificent variety of one day's diversions; and was hardly set down on my sofa to repose myself, after so agreeable a fatigue, when my old Druggerman or Interpreter, Abraham, a learned Jew, whose conversations often entertain my solitary hours, came to me with a good deal of surprize and amazement in his face. I immediately saw something extraordinary had happen'd, and enquir'd of him what was the matter? My Lord, says he, I bring you an account, which if it proves true, will make the enemies of my nation, and the despis'd Jewish people, glad to lick the dust of their shoes. Here is Rabbi Solomon just come from Tunis, who is sent to warn our brethren, that the ten Tribes are discovered in the middle part of Africa, where they retir'd in the days of their Captivity and affliction. He says they have a vast Empire there, and are very powerful, having near 50 millions of souls under their Kings, who are most observant of the Law, and have preserv'd their language pure and unmix'd, as well as their rites and ceremonies. The said Rabbi Solomon avers, that the great Messiah is risen among them, and hath chosen out an army of 500000 pick'd men, all as valiant as the Maccabees; that they have left all the strong holds of their Empire of Gangara and Seneganda well garison'd, and are in motion from the frontiers of those kingdoms, to cross the desarts of Borno and Guoga, and pass the Nile, seize on Egypt, and then the land of Canaan their Inheritance, and build up the fallen glories of mount Sion and Jerusalem. As I had a map of Africa in my room, I immediately search'd it for the kingdoms and desarts, my good Druggerman had settled his friends in, and found so far all was right; but desiring to know what authorities he or Rabbi Solomon had for this report, he gave me two letters from the Synagogue of Tunis, directed to the faithful Jews of Stamboul and its Provinces, willing them to be on their guard, and behave like men, for the Kingdom was about to be restor'd to Israel. Along with these he communicated to me, under the solemnest promises of secrecy, the Messiah's Manifesto; in which he exhorts his subjects and brethren to prepare to rifle, for the restoring both the sword and sceptre, into the hands of the faithful and chosen of heaven; and commands them to be ready, to depart for Jerusalem, to- the solemn sacrifice, so soon as they had certain intelligence from him, of his being possess'd of Egypt and Grand Cairo. I read them all over (that is, the Turkish translation of the Hebrew) with much admiration; and asking Abraham, if he believ'd these to be genuine letters? he answer'd me very hastily and angrily, as genuine as the Talmud; and that it was universally known to all the Turks, and the merchants in Stamboul, that these things were true; and it is certain, I had heard for several days, of some commotions in the inland parts of Africk, of a strange people.
I then ask’d him, what the Jews determined to do? Even, says he very eagerly, to obey the commands of their Messiah; and so soon as, he hath conquer'd Egypt to depart from the four winds under heaven, and be gather’d unto the brethren of the dispersion at Jerusalem at the solemn sacrifice. He said this with tears in his eyes, and such emotion of hearts that I could not chuse but pity him and his deluded people, who are as credulous as malice or love; and will probably, throughout this vast Empire, be, standing with their ears prickt up, and, like birds, ready to take wing with all they can carry with, them, if the news of this Revolution?
Upon this the Chiaus related Abraham's story, very much in the fame manner I have told it your Lord/hip; but with this addition, that the new Messiah was the strongest and most beautiful man upon earth.
But the Jews, my Lord, ate above all other nations foolishly credulous; this Abraham my Truchman, is really more knowing and judicious than'most of his Tribe, and yet he reads the Talmud, the Misnah, and all the fabulous mysteries of the Cabbala, with as much veneration as the Pentateuch. He is as much persuaded that our tears were not salt, till Lot's wife was chang'd into a pillar of salt; that she has still her Menses; and that me was thus chang'd,becau fe that out of malice she would not put down the faltseller on the table to the angels; as that Sodom was burnt.
I know not whether so abstemious and regular a person as my constitution and course of life have obliged me to be, may venture to mention another Custom which universally prevails here, since the use of Wine has been so general; and that is, that the Jews are entirely possest of the monopoly of Wine in this Country, who are found by experience to fell it pure and unmixed. This practice they give into out of principle, the Law of Moses strictly forbidding all mixtures; and as they scrupulously adhere to it, and dare not violate it, they are observed to keep it unadulterated, as it comes from the Vineyard. How far this might deserve to be encouraged in Great Britain where we consume so much Wine, and so abominably brewed and compounded, by the tricks and imposture of our Merchants; or how far at least, these Brokers of the World, who lie sucking the life-blood of our Trade, mjght be made useful in this branch of our Commerce, I leave to your Lordship's consideration, who knows so well how much the health and lives of the Subjects are concerned in it, as well as the Excise on the consumption.
The Jews, who are very considerable for the Trade of this City, have Two Synagogues, one of which is the largest in Christendom, and as some say, in the World. Within their CourtYard where there Synagogue stands, they have seveial Rooms or Schools, where their Children are taught Hebrew, and carefully instructed in the Jewish Principles.
When you have visited the Arsenals, if you have not a mind to keep along by the Port, you must cross the Jews Quarter, which would be one of the most Beautiful in the City, were those Disciples of Moses as neat as the Hollanders. There are two Synagogues, one for the Greeks and German Jews, another for the Portugueses. This is much the fairer, being built in a great Square, cover'd with a Duomo, and resembles rather a Citadel then a Jewish Temple; So that when the Jews built it so high, and so thick, the Magistracy began to grow jealous, afraid, lest under the pretence of a Temple they were building a Fortress, that might one day trouble the repose of the City; and out of this fear it was, that the Jews were commanded to go no further ; so that they were forc'd to cover it, before the Structure was brought to its intended Perfection; and this is the only reason of the Defects which the Architects observe in the Building.
AS to what remains, I make no scruple to affirm that there are Jews in Amsterdam far richer than some of our European Princes. There was one who built a House where nothing but Gold and Silver, Azure and Marble glitter'd on every side; there was one great Room pav'd with Silver Ducatoons: and he would have put Silver Bars in the Window of a lower Apartment that look'd into the Street, whereas Iron ones content all the rest of the City ; but the Magistracy no less Wise then Politick, considering that the Jews in general are not belov'd by the Christians, and fearing lest the multitude might take an occasion from this piece of Vanity to plunder his House, and the Houses of his Country-men, forbid him to do it: so that instead of Silver Grates, he put up Iron Gilt.
The Jews of the Portuguese Synagogue of Amsterdam have at least fifty Rolls of their Sepher tora, or Book of the Law, which, for the most part, are very well written, but they are all new. If any ask for ancient ones, they take no notice, because they are prepossessed with a Belief, that there can be no difference betwixt the ancient and the modern.
Les Juifs avoient été bannis autrefois d'Angleterre, mais Cromwell leur permit de revenir. Dans ce tems-là ils étoient peu considerables, mais aujourd'hui leur nombre est si fort augmenté, qu'ils ont bâti à Londres près de Duke's Place, une fort belle Synagogue.
"Touching the Jews, which by the late Usurper were admitted at London, and since continued by the bare permission of our Princes, and suffered to hire a private House, wherein to hold their Meetings; they were not considerable either for Number, making not above 80 or 100 Families; or for their Wealth or Abilities, being for the most part poor and ignorant, to what they are in other Countries; yet of late they are increas'd and have built themselves a sumptuous Synagogue near Duke's Place, within the City of London."
Observe that this and other Churches are for Distinction, denominated Jewry, from some few Jews who dwelt thereabout in former Times ; but now having more considerable Admission into England and London by the late Usurper ; to whom large Proposals were made at White-Hall in 1656, by Manasses Ben Israel) a Jewish Merchant in Name of the rest, for Leave to trade and dwell in this Nation, than in former Days, when they were banished, taxed, and punished by King Edward I, and others, and a bare Permission since his Days; they are exceedingly increased both in Number and Wealth, and have built a sumptuous Synagogue near Duke's Place by Aldgate, whither they do now all resort, and have their Habitations thereabout only, which Place may be properly called the Jewry of London at this Time ;
The Jews synagogues are in Dukes-place, where, and in that neighbourhood, many of that religion inhabit: The synagogue stands east and west, as christian churches usually do: The great door is on the west, within which is a long desk upon an ascent, raised above the floor, from whence the law is read. The east part of the synagogue also is railed in, and the places where the women sit inclosed with lattices; the men sit on benches with backs to them, running east and west; and there are abundance of fine branches for candles besides lamps, especially in that belonging to the Portuguese.
It may be remarked that both Du Loir and D'Arvieux agree in ascribing the honorable office of bawds to the Jewesses. At Constantinople, the shops of the Jews are said to be the ordinary places of rendezvous; which they certainly are not at Aleppo, being all situated in the public Bazar, and in size very incommodious.
From thence I went on board a Vessel which came from Guiney [Guiana?], and was bound for Jamaica; and as soon as I arrived, I took Lodgings at one Mr. William Torkman's at Port-Royal, where I had not been a Month, before I shipp'd myself on board with Capt. Trevisa, bound for Carthagena; but, before I went from Jamaica, I laid out the Money I brought with me in Goods, which I bought of a Jew Merchant, intending to sell them at Carthagena. The Jew seeing me able to buy Goods, asked me what Voyage I was going to make? I told him I was going to Carthagena, with Capt. Trevisa. He hearing that, offered me an hundred Pounds worth of'his own, and 'tis usual for the Merchants in those Places, to entrust Goods with Traders for half Profit. I accepted of his Goods, and we sailed from Jamaica to Carthagena; when we arrived there, I made a good Market of my Goods, but I took Care to return no more to Jamaica to give the Jew any Account of his Merchandize.
Les Juifs ont la réputation d’être très-habiles dans le commerce, mais aussi ils font soupçonnés de ne le pas faire avec toute la probité & la fidélité possible.
Quoiqu'il en soit de ce reproche, il est certain que les Nations même qui font le plus prévenues contre les Juifs, non-seulement les souffrent parmi elles, mais semblent même se piquer d'en apprendre les secrets du négoce, & d'en partager avec eux les profits.
II est vrai que plusieurs des Souverains de l'Europe Chrétienne ne les ont reçus dans leurs Etats, qu'à condition de porter une marque extérieure, pour les distinguer de leurs autres Sujets ; mais il y a aussi quelques Souverains qui ne les regardent point autrement que le reste des Bourgeois de leurs Villes , & qui n'y mettent de différence que par le plus ou le moins d'utilité qu'ils en retirent par rapport au commerce.
Les deux principaux établissemens que les Juifs ont dans les Etats des Princes Chrétiens, font celui d'Amsterdam & celui de Livourne.
A Amsterdam ils font comme partagés en deux tribus différentes; l'une des Juifs Portugais, au nombre de près de cinq mille; & l'autte des Juifs Allemands, qui ne font gueres moins de douze cens. Les uns & les autres sont riches, & se mêlent de toute forte de commerce , particulièrement de celui de la Banque; mais les Portugais font les plus accrédités , soit pour le change , soit pour les entreprises du négoce de marchandises au dedans & au dehors.
Entr'autres commerces, ce sont les Juifs Portugais d'Amsterdam qui font presque tout celui de Barbarie -, & il n'y a guetes qu'eux qui ayent part aux trois ou quatre vaisseaux Hollandois qui y vont tous les ans; tout ce commerce se faisant entr’eux & les Juifs des Echelles de cette Côte, particulièrement de Salé, de Saphia & de SainteCroix, dont la principale attention est d'acheter les prises que font les Corsaires fur les Chrétiens, pour les revendre ensuite aux Juifs d'Amsterdam.
Ce sont ordinairement ces prises rachetées qui font les principaux retours de ces derniers : & ils font si habiles, qu'après en avoir déguisé les marchandises, soit en les mêlant avec d'autres, soit en les remballant d'une autre manière, soit en leur mettant d'autres marques, qu'ils ne craignent point d'aller les revendre dans quelques Ports de Portugal, & souvent même aux Marchands fur lesquels les prises avoient été faites.
Les Juifs de Livourne semblent être encore plus favorisés du Grand Duc, que ceux d'Amsterdam ne le font des Bourguemaîtres d'Amsterdam.
Non-seulement ils y ont une superbe Synagogue , où ils font les exercices de leur Religion en toute liberté, mais encore le Duc Ferdinand qui les y a établis, leur a accordé une Jurisdiction civile & criminelle qui leur est propre, dont eux-mêmes ont le pouvoir de créer les Magistrats , & de laquelle il n'y a appel que pardevant le Grand Duc , en cas de mal jugé.
On estime que les Juifs de Livourne y font présentement au nombre de plus de dix mille ; & ils ont une si grande part dans le Commerce qui se fait dans cette Ville célèbre, qu'on y respecte en quelque sorte leur jour de Sabbat ; personne ne se trouvant sur la place le samedi, & ne s'y faisant aucune affaire.
On estime que s'il se fait pour cent mille écu9 de commerce au Levant par les Marchands de Livourne, il y en a pourquarre-vingt-dix-huit mille pour les Juifs, & seulement deux mille écus qui le partagent entre les François, les Italiens, les Hollandois, les Anglois & Arméniens établis dans cette Ville.
Ce sont aussi les Juifs qui pour la plupart font les fonctions de Censaux ou de Courtiers. Vojez CENSAL.
On parle en plusieurs endroits de ce Dictionnaire du Commerce que les Juifs font dans le reste de l'Europe , en Asie & en Afrique. Voyez. l'Etat général du Commerce , Terne I.
"The Jews have a handsome Synagogue in this City [Leghorn/Livorno]. The King of Denmark being there in the Year 1709, would not go to any of the Roman Catholick Churches, but went to the Synagogue, as they say; of which they keep a Memorial in an Inscription on the Stair-case which goes up to it."
THE Jews of Rotterdam have offered to farm the Revenues of Dublin at twenty thousand pounds per Annum. Several eminent Quakers are also willing to take them at that rent; but the undertaker has rejected their Proposals, being resolved to deal with none but Christians.
"Of the Jews there are but two or three families in Dublin, who have a Cemetery at Ballyboughbridge, but no synagogue or place of public worship."
22. Preached in the Jews Synagogue. By Isaac Netto [Isaac Nieto], Archisynagogus [possibly Haham, although he resigned the following year after a fight with members of the Bet Din over job titles] of the Portuguese Jews Synagogue.
This sermon was written originally in Spanish and is now translated by the Author into English. The translation is well executed, but there is a dignity in the Spanish, which makes us prefer the original to the copy: it is printed in both languages. There is, in this discourse, a strain of piety, goodness, and loyalty, that is greatly commendable. The practice of morality and benevolence is recommended as the great end of religion ; and the prayer for the King is such as any Christian may with pious pleasure pronounce, it being perfectly agreeable to the sentiments of every good citizen, whether Christian or Jew, who is a well-wisher to his country.
THE SCATTERED PEOPLE.—In 1639, David Nasci, a Portuguese Jew, obtained from the Portuguese India Company authority to form a Jewish colony at Cayenne [today capital of French Guiana, South America]. On the conquest of Cayenne by the French, in 1644, the Jews retired to Surinam, where their numbers prodigiously increased.
It is a somewhat extraordinary circumstance, that the Spanish and Portuguese Israelites consider their German and Dutch brethren as vile remains of the tribe of Benjamin. With regard to themselves, they affirm that they are descended from the tribes which Nebuchadnezzar had transplanted to the banks of the Euphrates. The Arabian Caliphs, becoming masters of Asia, extended their conquest, by degrees, to Spain, where several Jewish families came to establish houses of commerce; and where they multiplied to such a degree, that, if we may believe them, all the families, both in Spain and Portugal, most distinguished for noble birth or opulence, are of Jewish extraction. The Spanish and Portuguese Christians warmly defend themselves from this imputation. They prefer, contrary to all probability, representing themselves as descended from Visigoth or Arian soldiers. Strange enough, for the Jewish race, being the most ancient, is consequently the noblest, in the world.
These Jewish families, after the establishment of the Inquisition, found means to compromise matters with that body. For money, and external conformity to the Christian religion, the inquisitors winked at them: they gave vent to their rage only against such fanatics as were obstinately determined to get themselves burnt. Tired of such a state of constraint, disgusted with the contempt which accompanied it, and allured by the tolerating spirit of the English, the Spanish and Portuguese Jews crossed the seas in great numbers, with immense wealth. From 1720 to 1740, the number exceeded twenty thousand.
In Portugal the very name of Jew is a term of such high reproach, that the government enacted a law which forbade any person to call another by that appellation: if a man who was styled a Jew to his face, stabbed the offender, the law did not condemn him. When we consider the horrid persecutions with which these unhappy people were assailed in that country to drive them from their faith, and the tortures with which the inquisition was ready to receive those 'new Christians,' whom anguish and fear had cast violently into the pale of the Romish church, we cannot wonder that we find the Portuguese Israelites although preserving still a remembrance of the sunny country of their fathers' exile, so much more like their own land than our northern regions, should yet be found dwelling upon more hospitable shores, exiled even from that, which was in itself banishment.
The Spanish and Portuguese Jews (or the Sephardim as they are called) claim their descent from the tribe of Judah ; and found these pretensions on a supposition which prevails among them, that many of their ancestors removed, or were sent into Spain, at the time of the Babylonian captivity. In consequence of this supposed superiority, they would not until of late years, by marriage or otherwise, connect themselves with their brethren of other nations. They had separate synagogues,; and if a Portuguese Jew, even in England or Holland, married a German Jewess, he was immediately expelled from the synagogue, deprived of every civil and ecclesiastical rite, and ejected from the body of the nation.
It is a matter of little moment to know whether the Jews that departed from Spain and Portugal retired amongst the Moors or elsewhere, since it is without doubt, that there are at this day Jews of the Spanish Rite in the Levant, who beside that of the Places where they reside, have still preserved their ancient Spanish Tongue. This is the ground of the present Dispute: and by this it is made appear, that it is not impossible that the Jews should retain their ancient Language where there is another that is vulgarly spoken. We see moreover, that the Portugal Jews of the Spanish Rite, who are settled at Amsterdam, do keep the Portugal, with the Language of the Country; and that their Rabbins do also preach in Portugaise in their Synagogue.
Furthermore, it is not true that all the Jews that were driven out of Spain and Portugal took refuge among the Moors: there were many that withdrew themselves into Italy, from whence some passed afterwards into the Levant. However it were, it is certain that there is at this day, in the Turkish Territories, a considerable number of Jews, who follow the Spanish Rite; and besides that of the Places where they remain, do speak their ancient Spanish Language. I believe also, that a Party of these Jews was in those Countries before those of their Nation were expelled out of Spain and Portugal.
On Friday in the Afternoon a Fire broke out in White Horse Yard, Dukes Place, near the Portuguese Jews Synagogue, occasion’d by a black Woman, that was dressing some Fish after the manner of the jews, in which they use Oil, which by Carelesness boil'd over into the Fire; and, for the want of Water, consum'd by the nearest Computation upwards of 20 Houses, and part of Dr. Watts's Meeting House, and damaged several other Gentlemen's Houses thereabout. We bear that two Children and a young Women of 20 Years of Age, perished in the Flames and several others were much bruised. The Right Hon. the Lord Mayor was present, to give Orders to blow up what Houses should be thought necessary to prevent its spreading any farther; but having just before, and then, a Plenty of Water, the Fire was got under by Seven o' Clock. The Inhabitants sent to the Tower for a Party of Soldiers to keep the Mob off.
We hear that Mr. Isaac Delvalle's Collection of Books, deem'd worth about 700L was consumed in the said dreadful Fire.
On Monday the Portuguese Jews met in their Council Chamber by their Synagogue, for the Relief of tbe Poor who were burnt out of their Houses by the Fire the Friday before, when a Collection was made, which amounted to 1200£, and upwards.
Having in the last Register, Page 260, inserted an Account concerning the Jews at Ferrara, which appeal's altogether groundless, and Letters from that City assuring us, that no Jews of that Place have been committed to the Prison of the Inquisition, nor accus'd of the Murder of any Child, or of any other Misdemeanor, nor of any Thing contrary to the Respect due to the Christian Religion, or the Fidelity and Submission they owe to their Sovereign- the Pope : That Felix Coen, mention'd in the said Account, and all the other Jews in Ferrara, enjoy a full and entire Liberty and Tranquillity ; and, in a Word, that it was a most malicious and false Contrivance, which might have occasion'd the Death of a World of innocent People, as appears by the following Decree of the Inquisition of Sinigaglia, where the common People had begun to insult the Jews, and would, in all Probability, have proceeded farther, had not that Tribunal interpos'd their Authority, by publishing the said Decree, which is as follows:
THE Rumour spread in this City, that the Jews of Ferrara have murder'd a Christian in that Part of the Town they inhabit, with several Circumstances altogether contrary to our Holy Faith, having given Occasion to some Christians to reproach, insult, and abuse the Jews of this City, and to threaten them with farther Resentment ; and there being certain Advice, by a Letter from the most Reverend Father Inquisitor of Ferrara, dated the 2nd Instant, and directed to the most Reverend Father Inquisitor of Ancona, that the said Report is notoriously false and groundless: For these Causes we have thought fit to give Notice thereof to the Publics by these Presents, forbidding every Body to rail at, abuse, or insult the Jews in any Manner whatsoever, upon Pain of Imprisonment, and other arbitrary Punishment, as the Superiors shall think fit, even upon the Deposition of one single Witness. Therefore we exhort every Body to pay ready Obedience to this Order, that they may not incur the Penalties aforesaid. .-.
Given at Sinigaglia, July 14, 1721.
Settimio Cinueh, Vicar-General
Fr. J. B. Badalini, Vicar of the Holy Office of the Inquisition
Bernando Mostrada, Notary
The Jews wear drawers and slippers of a sky-blue colour, their turban is totally different from the Christians, and they have two bunches of hair hanging down by the sides of their ears. These people are very fond of appearing what they are, lest they should be mistaken for Christians. But there are some privileged persons, both Greeks and Jews, who are allowed to wear yellow slippers, and scarlet drawers, the fame as the Mussulmen; but these are the dragomen to ambassadors, and the Metzellemins, who pay no annual tribute.
The Jews come next under our consideration. Their number in and about Constantinople is astonishing; they reckon 40,000 families, which, upon a moderate computation, makes 200,000 persons. They are subject to a kind of aristocratical government among themselves. They have a class of men whom they call Cajams [Haham?], they are doctors of their law, and to them they submit the decision of all common causes which occasion any differences between them ; and it seldom or ever happens that they appeal from the sentences of those judges to the Turkish tribunals. They possess great riches, and live as much, if not more at their ease, than their brethren at London ; for the Turks esteem them far beyond Christians. They carry on every branch of art and commerce, from which they acquire their opulence.
There is not a Turkish house at Constantinople of any note, but what has Jews familiar in the family. One may judge from this of the number and quality of their protectors; a circumstance which makes them haughty and insolent to the Greeks and other Christians. All the under-officers of the custom-house are Jews, who make very considerable gains. The factor to the Agha of the Janissaries is a Jew, and perhaps the most considerable in the city. Though they are held in slavery, not being suffered to purchase lands, they have a strong tincture of ambition, and love to lord it over their inferiors, by the strength of their riches. A prodigious number, as in other capital cities, follow the profitable business of exchange-brokers, money-scriveners, and dealers in jewels. Their intercourse with the Turks of rank gives them a knowledge of their private circumstances, and of their secrets; a science which they turn to very good account as pimps and spies. A foreign ambassador may know more of the state of the Turkish cabinet by gratifying the avarice of a Jew, that being his ruling passion, than from any other quarter whatever.
The JEWS now desired to be admitted into a share of the trade, and the demand of the generality of the people was for an open commerce, or a limitation of the charter granted to the TURKEY company: the JEWS were strongly objected to, particularly by those members of the company who had most experience in the trade. The consideration of difference in religion among people subject to one common government, does not seem essential in commercial affairs, nor is it regarded much in our EUROPEAN trade; but the great influence they are supposed to have in ASIA, created an insuperable difficulty to their admittance. It seemed natural to believe, that by admitting no other JEWS than those of LONDON, and placing these under the fame common restrictions as other subjects, .that they would employ their power in favour of this nation, under whose government they are happy. It appeared however on this occasion, as if they were doomed to be excluded on account of their religion, at least it seemed a hard supposition, that EUROPEAN JEWS mould be at the bottom of all schemes against EUROPEAN trade with ASIA, as was then alledged. It was further objected, that the JEWS in CONSTANTINOPLE would promote a monopoly of the TURKEY commodities with the JEWS in ENGLAND, to the prejudice of the other subjects of this nation, and that the JEWISH factors abroad would underwork the CHRISTIANS: it was also urged, that the influence of the JEWS, arising from their great riches, would have too great a weight in the commercial scale. But was not this an acknowledgment that they were bold traders, possessed of large capitals, and would be contented with small profits? if it was, and that the trade was really in danger of being loft to this nation, were not these the very people who bid fairest to rival the FRENCH? There was yet a further objection, that they might go to market to MARSEILLES for their cloths, and only bring their silk here: even this might be preferable to the loss of the trade, for all commodities which we manufacture at home, are certainly great national benefits: but it was reasonable to imagine, that the JEWS under the protection of the BRITISH crown, might be restrained to a subjection to BRITISH laws, as well in commerce as in civil society in general.
It was however allowed, that the JEWS who reside in TURKEY are, for the most part, an immoral people, and have by a kind of confederacy established an exorbitant brokerage of i or more per cent. as it were by inheritance; and this reason, joined to others of the like nature, induced the FRENCH to stipulate with the TURKS, that they might not be obliged to employ JEWS. The debate, which at this time ran high, was at length reduced to this issue, viz. whether the liberty of trading to TURKEY should be granted to all his majesty's subjects, or to all his christian subjects only; and whether it should be made an open trade, or continue exclusive under the restrictions the legislature might judge necessary. Upon this occasion the following bill for enlarging and regulating the trade to the LEVANT seas was proposed to the parliament.
"It is a common Maxim amongst Merchants,that no Town can enjoy a flourishing Trade, except its Inhabitants permit the Jews to settle amongst them. This Maxim, as it should seem, has prevailed in Hamburg; since there arc above thirty-five Thousand Jews in that City. Many of these inhabit Part of the New Town, towards Altena. The Streets occupied by the Jews are pretty large, but consist of very poor Houses. They have here, as in other Places, several Marks of Distinction, by which they are easily known."The estimated Jewish population, which would have been Ashkenazi as well as Sephardi, may be exaggerated in this report.
“And yet it cannot be denied but that there are several Jews who make use of a scandalous complyance in this particular. Of which sort are many of those who coming within the cognizance and power of the Papal Inquisition, can joyn themselves to a Crucifix and Rosary, as well as to the Zizith and Tephillim.
And I am assured that some Jews have gone herein so far as to enter into Holy Orders, and the Profession of a Religious Life, who yet coming to places where the Jews have publick Toleration, have joyned themselves to the Synagogue.
And of this, we have a very late instance of two Jews, who in Spain having for several years professed the Religion of Saint Dominique coming to Legorn in their Fryar-Habits, they instantly changed their Cowl for a Ganephe, and of idle Fryers became progging Jews.
Another Jew (of my acquaintance, who for about five years had studied Physick at Saragoza in Spain) being asked how he could comply with the Religion, he merrily made this reply, That his complyance was only the work of his Nerves and Muscles, and that his Anatomy told him nothing of the heart was therein concerned.
Another Jew who in Malaga counterfeited Christianity so well as to be intrusted with the Sale of Indulgences, having made a good Market thereof in Spain, came with what he had left to a Christian City in Barbary, where his Indulgences being all bought up by the Irish and others of the Papal persuasion, he declared his Religion. The Papists who had bought his Indulgences impeach him to the Governor for a Cheat, and clamour to have him punished according to demerit. The Jew pleaded the Laws of the free Port, that he had neither imported nor sold any thing but his professed Merchandise, and therefore desired (and obtained) the Liberty and Priviledges of such as traffick'd to that Port. I report nothing but matter of personal knowledg.”
On the Trade of NaplesSource : Wyndham Beawes, Jacques Savary, Jacques Savary des Brûlons. Lex mercatoria rediviva, or, The merchant's directory. Page 610-611
THIS Capital of the Kingdom of the same Name, is a Place of great Trade, and the Goodness of its Port attracts vast Numbers of foreign Vessels to it, but in order still to increase its Commerce, and raise it to the highest Pitch possible, Don Carlos, the present King, has invited the Jews to settle there, by granting them several very great and singular Privileges, as will appear by the following Edict published on the Third of Februarys 1740, by Order of his Sicilian Majesty, viz.
I. It is granted to all Merchants or others of the Hebrew Nation, a full and absolute Safe-guard, Faculty and Permission, to come, remain, traffick, pass on,, or stay, with or without their Families, in our Kingdoms and States, as also to depart, and return, without any Obstacle, both in regard of their Effects, and Persons; and this for the Term of fifty Years next following, to commence the first Day of this; declaring that the fiftieth Year being expired, there shall yet be granted five others, during which, if it be the good Pleasure of his Majesty, or his Successors, to abrogate the present Licence at the End of the fifth Year, they may freely, and without Hindrance, regulate all their Affairs, &c. we willing, that no extraordinary Duty be exacted from them on the Departure of their Ships, Vessels, Horses, Carriages, &c.
II. If any Hebrews coming from other Kingdoms or Countries to ours, shall be accused in those States from whence they came, of having committed some enormous Action, or Crime there, for which they have been prosecuted ; as also in cafe that they were disguised as Christians, and had feigned to be of this Religion, we annul and make void the Causes of such Accusation, and will not permit that they be called to account for it, in our Dominions, on any Pretext whatsoever; in fine, we grant to the said Hebrews, the free Exercise of their Ceremonies, Solemnities, Use and Customs, according to the Jewish Laws, prohibiting their wearing publickly Cloaks, or other distinguishing Dress, under any Denomination whatsoever.
III. That the Hebrews shall not be subject to any Registry or consular Jurisdiction, nor to any Company of Tradesmen; but if any Difference arises between a Christian and a Jew, on some Affair concerning Arts and Trades, the Judge Delegate, who shall be named for this Purpose, shall be deemed a competent one, and decide it.
IV. We grant to the Hebrews and their Families, who shall establish their Residence in our States, to enjoy, in respect of their Commerce, either at home or abroad, the same Privileges, Franchises, and Immunities, which the other Citizens or Inhabitants of the said Cities or Places, do, or may enjoy.
V. That all their Moveables or Ornaments making a Part of their Apparel, acquired either within or without our Dominions, shall be exempt from paying any Customs, or Duty of Passage, at their Importation or Exportation.
VI. There shall be a Judge Delegate at Naples, Palermo, and Messina; and a Magistrate appointed at Messina as at Naples, who shall judge of the Differences that shall arise between a Christian and a Jew, or between two yews, in case that the Crimes merit a severer Chastisement than confining or banishing; and in other Cases, that they be carried exclusively before their People of the Law, and if they are wronged or aggrieved, they may recur to the Royal Protection of his Majesty.
VII. This Article regards the Punishment to be inflicted on the Jews, who shall frequent or keep Company with either Christians, Turk, or Moor.
VIII. This is to prevent the false Accusations, which may be intended against the Jews.
IX. If there happens any disastrous Accident to a Hebrew, that should oblige him to fail, and that he falls into Penury, so as to disable him from paying his Debts; in this Cafe the Merchandize, Bills of Exchange, and other Effects, or Money appertaining to any Correspondent, shall not be stopt to satisfy his said Debts.
X. Is relative to the Dowry of married Women.
XI. On the Subject of Sequestrations obtained against the Jews.
XII. Concerning the Validity of the Securities which the Jews shall give, when they shall be obliged to leave the Kingdom.
XIII. Permits the Hebrews to have all Sorts of Books, after being (however) inspected by their Delegate.
XIV. and XV. Favour the Jewish Physicians.
XVI. Grants them a publick Synagogue.
XVII. Leaves them at Liberty in regard of their Wills.
XVIII. In regard to Contracts of Purchase and Sale, or in Trade, in relation to the Jews in our Dominions, the Sales shall not be held as perfected, till after a Writing has passed between the Buyer and Seller, under their Hands, and confirmed by a Notary, or two Witnesses ; provided that if between Merchants in the Retail Way, at Fairs, Markets, &c. they be made without these Formalities, they shall have all Force, according to the usual Custom and Law, in regard to the other Inhabitants.
XXV. We grant to the Jews all the Favours, Privileges, and Faculties, enjoyed by the other Merchants of this Kingdom; they may exercise all Sorts of Trades, and Traffick; but it shall not be permitted them, after the Manner of our Subjects, to cry about the Streets, old Cloaths to fell: Though the Jews have Leave to sell and buy every one in particular, in his own House or Shop; none of them or their Family shall be obliged to wear any Mark that they may be known by.
XXXI. The Merchandize of the Jews, and of their Correspondents, and their Persons, coming to any Place whatsoever in our Ports, shall be free, as well in their Merchandizes and Persons, as the Ship which brings them, on Payment of the ordinary Customs, Gabelles, and Taxes, even when they have no Passport, provided that it appears by the Vessel's Documents, that it was destined with its Goods for one of our Ports, and no Magistrate or Officer shall molest either the Ships or any of the Effects; but on the contrary, shall observe our present Privilege, and in case of Disobedience, shall be punished, and all the Merchandizes restored to the Jews, with Charges and Expences, without any Hindrance real or personal.
XXXV. We grant to the Jews six Warehouses for their Use in the Customhouse of Naples Rent-free, since we consider them as our own Subjects; they may have also the like, in the other Customhouses of bur Kingdoms for their Conveniency, equally with the other Burgesses and Inhabitants, in Proportion to their Number and Trade, according to the Informations that their Declaration shall give in; and in case that the Magazines of the Customhouse are not sufficiently large to contain their Goods, it shall be permitted the Jews to hire others to their Liking, under the Guard and Inspection of the Customhouse Officers, enjoying the Privilege of Portos Francos, as if their Effects were inclosed in the Offices of the Customhouse.
There are also a great many Jews, who for the most part are Merchants and Shop-keepers, living but poorly.Bernard Randolph. The present state of the Morea: called anciently Peloponnesus. 1689. Pages 16-17.
Janina, 6th of Alonari, (July) 1816.
Vrachori [Agrinio], the residence of Elmas the governor, and the modern capital of Ætolia or Carleli, is said to have been founded and reared by Jews driven from Lepanto and other places in that quarter; but this is probably an error, for the Jews always take up their abode in towns already established, and are never known to form new colonies. The town, nevertheless, contains 120 persons, of the Hebrew nation, authorised to have a synagogue. Three churches, and as many mosques appropriated to the use of 600 families, Christian and Mahametan. The Turks live on the revenue of their military lands and pensions; the Greeks are wholly engaged in agriculture, so that the trade in silk, the only proper business of Vrachori, is altogether in the hands of the Jews. The bazars presented but a few poorly furnished shops; and on the river Thermissus, which passes a mile east from the town, are established tanneries for the manufacture of red and yellow morocco-leather.
The extinction of the Jews of Patras is chiefly ascribed to the brutal treatment they received from the Turks during the dreadful pestilence of 1756, when they were forced into a walled inclosure, and there they perished by contagion and famine; war in such a condition would have been welcomed as a mercy.
The town [Arta, Greece] contains also the residence of the archbishop, with twenty-six Greek churches, seven synagogues, and five mosques; circumstances announcing a place of no small extent and population. Still, the inhabitants did not exceed 7000 Greeks, 1000 Jews, originally from the south of Italy, and 800 Mahometans, up to the breaking out of the pestilence of 1816.
"Patras is governed by a bey, subject to the pasha of the Morea; the town contains a great number of Jews, who are the principal commercial agents; almost all business in this way passes through their hands. France names a commercial agent who receives no salary, but all ships of the country which stop here make him some present; they also pay an anchorage, though it cannot be exacted. The drogmans are all Jews, who eagerly seek after an office which they know very well how to turn to a good account. To judge by one of these good people, by name Solomon, they do no great honour to the languages they pretend to speak: the French, as he called it, which he spoke was a terrible mix of the Provençal and Barbary languages, pronounced with so strange and discordant an accent, that it was no very easy matter to comprehend what he meant to say."Pouqueville comments that French trade has done very well in Albania over the preceding ten years. The merchants of Ancona and Sinigaglia pass their shoddy products off as French. While the locals still prefer Venetian-supplied muskets from Brescia to the French product, the Jews can’t compete with the French. I suspect the situation changed within the year once formerly embargoed British products entered the market.
Observations on the Portuguese
It is remarked, that one-third of the Portuguese nation, though they profess themselves to be catholics, are in reality Jews; that are an infinite number of them so, the following little narrative, as related by Abbé Nudham, who died some time since at Brussels, will strongly confirm:
The Abbé, some time since, was passing from Lisbon to Amsterdam, on a Dutch bottom; among many other passengers, were a large and opulent Portuguese, who frequently called on the Abbé for his spiritual assistance, at which time, they counted their beads, and appeared righteous over-much; nor had the good Abbé the least doubt, but they were as sincerely devout, as he himself was – But they had no sooner arrived so near the city of Amsterdam as to perceive that neither wind or weather could prevent their being safely landed, than they took out their beads, their breviaries, crucifixes, &c. &c. and, in the face of the Abbé, threw them all into the sea, observing to him, that “now it was high time to have done with such trifles.”
"It has been held by many respectable authorities, that coffee was first brought to England in 1652 by Mr. Edwards, a member of the Turkey Company, and that his servant was the first who opened a house for publicly vending it as a drink; but it appears from the following extracts from the Life of Wood, the antiquarian, that a coffee-house had been opened at Oxford a year or two sooner. “In 1651 one Jacob, a Jew, opened a coffee-house at the Angel, in the parish of St. Peter, in the East Oxon, and there it was, by some who delighted in noveltie, drunk. When he left Oxon, he sold it in Old Southampton Buildings, in Holborne, neare London, and was living there in 1671.”
"The year 1816 was chiefly spent by the Bishop in visiting his widespread diocess. He proceeded first to Madras, next to Bombay; but as no journal appears to have been kept of his progress, the particulars which the author gives of it are few and not very satisfactory. On his return to Calcutta he touched at Goa, and also at Cochin, near which is Mattencherry [Mattancherry], the residence of a sect of Jews, whose history is curious. The town is altogether unlike any other in India; the streets are regular, the houses, which are in general two stories high, have doors and windows after the European fashion and are repeatedly whitewashed; the countenances of their inhabitants are perfectly fair, compared with the Indian face in general, and yet they have all the Jewish physiognomy. Their synagogue is like those of the Jews in Europe, and their history is as follows:-
‘Their history, according to their own account, is this: that they belong to the tribe of Benjamin, Judah and half Mannasseh, and that their forefathers left Sappanat (probably the same with Sepharad mentioned in Obadiah 20) after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus; that they originally dwelt at Cragnore, from which they were driven by the Inquisition of Goa about 300 years since; and that soon after they were settled at Cochin, they assisted the Dutch against the Portugeuse. With regard to the dispersion of their nation, one story current among them is, that the ten tribes are to this day beyond the river Sambattin [Sambation], which is continually throwing up stones and earth to prevent their return; except on the Sabbath, on which day, as their law forbids them to stir, the miracle is suspended! They all believe that they shall be restored to the Holy Land in peace, in the year 1839, and that the temple is then to be rebuilt by the freemasons, with Solomon at their head. They are perfectly enraged at the mention of Jesus as the Messiah. They have a high veneration for the book of Job; and believe the house of Esau to be the Christians! Shiloh they interpret as the name of a city, and the prophesy which says, his name shall be called Emmanuel, they apply to Hezekiah. They read the whole psalter frequently in their houses; the ninety-first psalm every night. They follow the customs of the Portuguese Jews, and have their books from Amsterdam.’ – vol. i. pp. 261, 262."
At the time of the possesso [I think, Papal coronation] the Jews in Rome are subject to a very mortifying ceremony, but strictly kept up. Near Titus’s triumphal arch, the rabbis and elders of the Ghetto stand in a place fitted up at their expence. As the pope is on his solumn procession to St. John de Lateran, they step forth, and on their knees offer him the Pentateuch in a basin full of gold and silver coins. The pope, making a stop, touches the basin with a wand, and performs the like ceremony on the head and shoulders of the chief rabbi, in token that he accepts of the Jews homage, and allows them to remain in Rome during his pontificate.
We, Fra Vicenzo Salina, of the Order of Predicatori, Master in Theology, General Inquisitor in Ancona, Sinigaglia, Jesi, Osinio, Cingoli, Macerata, Tolentino, Loreto, Recanati, and other towns and districts, &c.
It being deemed necessary to revive the full observance of the disciplinary laws relative to the Israelites residing within our jurisdiction, and having hitherto without effect employed prayers and exhortations to obtain obedience to those laws in the Ghetti (Jewries) of Ancona and Sinigaglia, authorized by the despatch of the Sacred and Supreme Inquisition of Rome, dated June 10, 1843, expressly enjoining and commanding the observance of the decrees and pontifical constitutions, especially in respect to Christian nurses and domestic servants, or to the sale of property either in towns or country districts, purchased and possessed previously to 1827, as well as subsequently to that period, we decree as follows:—
1. From the interval of two months after the date of this day, all gipsy and Christian domestics, male and female, whether employed by day or by night, must be dismissed from service, in the said two Ghetti; and all Jews residing within our jurisdiction are expressly prohibited from employing any Christian nurse, or availing themselves of the service of any Christian in any domestic occupation whatever, under pain of being immediately punished according to the Pontifical decrees and constitutions.
2. That all Jews who may possess property, either in town or country, permanent or moveable, or rents or interest, or any right involving shares in funded property, or leased landed property, must within the term of three months from this day dispose of it by a positive and real, and not by any pretended and factitious, contract. Should this not be done within the time specified, the Holy Office is to sell the same by public auction, on proof of the annual harvest being got in.
3. That no Hebrew nurses, and still less any Hebrew family, shall inhabit the city, or reside in, or remove their property into, any town or district where there is no Ghetto (place of residence for Jews); and that such as may actually be there in contumacy to the laws must return to their respective Ghetto within the peremptory period of six months, otherwise they will be proceeded against according to the tenour of the law.
4. That, especially in any city where there is a Ghetto, no Hebrew must presume to associate at table with Christians, either in public houses or ordinaries, out of the Ghetto.
5. That, in a city which has a Ghetto, no Hebrew shall sleep out of the Israelite quarter, nor make free to enter into familiar conversation in a Christian house.
6. That no Hebrew shall take the liberty, under any pretext whatever, to induce male Christians, and still less female Christians, to sleep within the boundaries of the Ghetto.
7. That no Hebrew shall hire Christians, even only by the day, to work in their houses in the Ghetto.
8. That no Hebrew, either male or female, shall frequent the houses of Christians, or maintain friendly relations with Christian men or women.
9. That the laws shall remain in force respecting the decorum to be observed by the Hebrews who may absent themselves from their Ghetto, to travel in other parts of the state.
10. That all Hebrews are expressly prohibited from trafficking in sacred ornaments, or books of any kind, and from purchasing, reading, or keeping possession of prohibited hooks of any sort, under the penalty of 100 scudi and seven years' imprisonment; and they who may have such articles in their possession must surrender them to the tribunal of the Holy Inquisition; and in case of failing to do so, they will be subject to the above-mentioned penalty.
11. That the Hebrews, in conveying their dead to the place of burial, shall not observe any pomp or ceremony, and must especially abstain from singing psalms, or carrying torches or lighted tapers through the streets without the boundaries of the Ghetto, under pain of forfeiting the torches and tapers, and suffering other punishments, to which the nearest relative of the deceased will be condemned.
They who violate the above articles will incur some or all of the penalties prescribed in the edicts of the Holy Inquisition. And in order that no one may be ignorant of the dispositions above decreed, they shall be formally communicated to the deputies and representatives of the Israelite community of this Ghetto of Ancona, with the injunction that the same shall be published in the synagogue, the present edict being affixed thereto; and these dispositions are to be enforced in the same manner as if they were made known to all and every one, and notice must he given forthwith to the Hebrews residing out of Ancona, but belonging to this Ghetto.
Given at Ancona, in the Chancellery of the Holy Inquisition, on the 24th of June, 1843.
FRA VICENZO SALINA, General Inquisitor.
Don VITALIANO BURATTINI (for the Chancellor).
"The Jews of Constantinople, and indeed most of the cities in Turkey, are Spanish Jews; and to the present day speak a language which with great propriety may be denominated the Jewish Spanish. I formerly entertained an idea, that perhaps they had adopted the Turkish as the language of their families, and of their written intercourse with each other: this however is not the case, for in every quarter of Asiatic and European Turkey, where the Spanish Jews are to be found, the Jewish Spanish is the language of their family circles and of their written correspondence. This language of their’s is said to be spoken and written with the greatest purity in Salonica, (the ancient Thessalonica,) where their numbers amount to about 10,000 souls. Their numbers in and about Constantinople are very considerable, but cannot be exactly ascertained, from causes over which a traveller has no controul (sic). However, I have heard some of the most intelligent Jews here estimate them at between 60 and 70,000 souls. They reckon about 8000 more in Smyrna [Izmir], 4000 in Adrianople [Edirne], 3000 in Gallipoli, 3000 in Brusa [Bursa], 7000 in Jenichere [?], 100 families at the Dardanelles, and so further in other towns of minor note throughout Turkey."
"The Jews at Constantinople [Istanbul] are variously estimated at from 40,000 to 80,000. The number is uncertain, but it is believed that more Jews are collected there than at any other place of their dispersion. … Having come originally from Spain on the expulsion of the Jews from that country, their language is corrupted Spanish which is written in the Spanish Rabbinical letter; differing from the German Rabbinic and still more from the Hebrew letter. Their language contains a mixture of Spanish and Hebrew words. …
The Jewish boys attend school for several years, but not the girls. Instances where males cannot read are rare, as rare is to find a female reader."