The Marranos of Rouen

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In Cecil Roth's and Lucien Wolf's articles for the JHSE and in some of their books I noticed that they referred to the Canary Island connection and to a connection with Rouen in France.  After some detective work, to which I am grateful to the members of the Jewishgen Sefard Forum, this document was located in the Alliance Israelite Universelle in Paris.  I was lucky to receive a copy of this and after almost 12 months translating from the French have reproduced part of the story below and where Antonio Fernandez Carvajal fits into the History in Rouen.  My grateful thanks to Matilde Tagger who assisted with the Latin translation of the grave stone inscription and to Dr. Peter and John Ferdinando who kindly read through both the English and the French versions and provided comments and alternative translations to some of my "more literal" translations.  

Jewish Study Review - Les Marranes à Rouen 


The Marranos of Rouen

By Cecil Roth


An unknown chapter in the history of the Jews of France


Page Number

113 114 115 116 117
118 119 120 121 122
123 124 125 126 127
128 129 130 131 132
133 134 135 136 137

Page 113

The starting point of the modern era in the history of the Jews of France is found in the establishment of the Marranos that formed the most ancient communities of Sephardim of the Southwest.  There, to Burgundy and to Bayonne, these heroic people found asylum from the butchers of the Inquisition, with which began a new chapter in the history of their race.

Their vicissitudes and the manner in which they gradually obtained 1 religious liberty have made them the object of many treatise and studies.

But their position was not in the least unique, as one believes.  The point where they differ from the other Marrano establishments in France is that they finally got to perpetuate themselves as a community openly professing their Judaism.

But for prior period, while their Judaism resided secretly, they were not alone in their case.  In other cities in France, one could find, in the xvi and xvii centuries, important groups of merchants from the Iberian Peninsula, of Jewish race and Jewish sympathies that were suspected, with reason, of maintaining a secret community.  

There were important groupings particularly, in Lyon, Montpellier, La Rochelle and Toulouse, although alone the first of the former has, up till now, been made the object of a careful study!  .  But none was more important in the xvii 6 century, thanks to its proximity to England and the Netherlands, than that of Rouen.

1.  Cf.  Brunschwicg, Jews of Nantes and the country of Nantes, Review t. XIV-XIX.

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For this period, in each important Commercial Centre of Europe been necessary to number, among the foreign colony, a good proportion of merchants from Spain and Portugal, then at the summit of their prosperity.  Among them must surely be found a considerable proportion of this class of population of the technical name of New Christians, that formed the commercial backbone of the two countries:

Descendants of Jews, converted by force, in the xiv and xv centuries who felt all the more driven to emigrate since their secret fidelity to the religion of their fathers excited the vigilance of the Inquisition.  In truth, there were good reasons during this period to suspect that such an establishment of Iberian Merchants in colonies in Europe were Marranos. 

In France, an impetus was given to establish them by the famous edict of Henri III, in August 1550.  By the terms of this edict, the New Christian Portuguese were formally able to enter the kingdom for commercial or other goals and to become established where it pleased them, knowing that they were able to enjoy all the liberties and all the privileges of being French by birth.  

This was nothing less than an invitation to the Marranos, persecuted in the Peninsula, to come to be established in France; and it is this fact that one can point to as the origin of the Jewish community in France.

Commercial relationships between Rouen and the peninsula have always been important, since ancient times.  With the discovery of America, and particularly since the reign of Louis XII, they rapidly took the extension to the point that, towards the end of the xvi century, they were one of the most important elements of the prosperity of the city.  


A celebrity representative of this period was Pedro Pole (Chalon) Palenzuela of Spain, who died in 1580.  His family entered the local aristocracy.  It is his grandson Rodrigo Chalon who happens to have initiated [introduced?] Corneille to the Spanish drama.  To this family was allied that of Palma Carillo de Cordoue, who emigrated to the Netherlands; it was made between marriages.  On the other hand, it was John

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 Quintadoire, native of Burgos that gave the Church of the Carmélites to the City of Rouen 1.  At this time there was no suspicion of any act of Judaism or Jewish origin.  Spanish and Portuguese Merchants were installed mainly in the local parishes of Our Lady of St-Etienne of Tonneliers (Coopers).  The street of Spaniards does not seem to have received its name from them, but from the numerous prisoners of war that lived there after having been made captive at the battle of Rocroy or to the seat of Corbie 2.

Since the beginning of the xvii century, however, a new spirit began to be demonstrated.  Trade developed.  More, the growing persecution in the peninsula increasingly pushed merchants and New Christians to leave their home and to be established in some place where they could at least have their lives saved.

The majority of them came from Portugal.  Since the beginning of the xvii century, the merchant natives of Rouen began to fear the competition of these new residents with their vibrant spirits.  Complaints against them became increasingly strident.  They monopolized, tells - one, the trade with Peru, Brazil and New Spain.  They encroached on the privileges of the native merchants of Rouen.  The prosperity of the city moved little by little in to the hands of foreigners that did not have its interests (Rouen’s) at heart and did not aspire to anything more ardently than to find the opportunity to leave with the fortune that they were known to amass.  A first petition against them was presented 17 March 1618 3.  Under Louis XIII complaints became more frequent, and it was rare that States of Normandy united feelings toward Rouen without including some petition against Portuguese merchants 

1.  See Beaurepaire in Bulletin of the Commission of Antiquities of the Seine - Inferior, IX, 51-60;  XIII, 184-8 and 420 and ++XVI, 74.  For the prior history of Jews of  Rouen, v.  Note on it closed to Jews, IX, 200; Note on the cemetery of Jews at Rouen, XII, 89, and others reference, XVI II, 84.  It is interesting to note that even in the medieval period, Jews of Spain were not unknown there:  cf. the case of Simon of Spain, Jew (ibid., IX, 200).

For more information concerning the merchant Jews and Portuguese to Rouen, and their relationships with the city, in the former period, v.  Baltyn, Study on southern Merchant colonies at Anvers, Louvain, 1925.

2.  Beaurepaire, Spaniards to Rouen, in Bulletin, XIII, 442;  cf. ibid.,VII, 214.

3.  Bulletin, XIII, 438-9.

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in their report.  In 1626, a complaint was carried against the growing competition of the peninsula, and it was asked that naturalizations that facilitated their commercial activity should not be freely granted to the Portuguese that came to be established in the city 1.  

In 1631, came a repetition of these complaints. «Le Commerce est gasté», wrote the states, «and the profit does not come in more than to the purse of the foreigners» consequently it was requested that letters of naturalisation were granted exclusively to individuals married to French women, and having children and goods giving them a foot in the country» 2.  The year before, there had been a trial against a certain Diego de Acosta, accused of buying the sheet (cloth?) «hors foire», a privilege granted only to citizens.  In the course of the trial it was advanced that although having lived twenty-seven or twenty-eight years in France, he could hardly read or speak French 3

The prejudice against foreigners was not however all commercial or the same policy.  In large measures it was racial and, what is more, religious.  Because the Portuguese intruders were suspected, in the vast majority, of heresy.  They were able to act as Catholics and to attend mass.  Most however were, by their own admission, New Christians.  Their varnish of Christianity was notoriously slim.  A lot of them were suspected of dreaming of going to Hamburg or Amsterdam and there to proclaim their fidelity to Judaism at the first favourable opportunity.  There was a certain priest named Fra. Martin Lopes, himself a Marrano, accused of having provided several crypto - Jews of Portugal means to establish themselves in different places in France including Rouen 4.  The closure of Bordeaux to new arrivals in 1597 and the threat of expulsion of the New Christians of Bayonne in 1602 had the effect to increase the number of these that directed their attention to the North.

1.  C. of Beaurepaire, Notebooks of States of Normandy under Louis XIII and.  Louis XIV, II, 308, 327.

2.  Ibid., II, 207.

3.  Ibid., II, 421-4.

 4.  Louchay and Cuvelier, Correspondence of the Court of Spain on businesses of Netherlands to the XVII century, I, 256.

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In 1613, these heretical foreigners had become so numerous that the agitation against them grew to its full height.  The Portuguese of Rouen became defendants formally to be charged with being unfaithful to Christianity, to hiding a Jewish heart, and to observe the dogmas of the religion of their ancestors.  

The usual defence machine was put in to action.  Certain Priests of Rouen, through conviction [(or) through motives less disinterested] certified in writing that all the Portuguese living in their respective parishes were punctual in the achievement of all acts and (homework’s) of a faithful catholic, and that there was no reason of any sort to put doubts on their orthodoxy.  

These documents were forwarded to the King in Paris, accompanied by a call for his protection.  Elie de Montalto, the famous Marrano physician, was, at that time - there, at the peak of his influence in the court, and one can imagine that he placed this influence in the balance.   Consequently, 10 October 1613, letters patent were sent suspending all ulterior action pending more ample information 1.  

As a result of this virtual acquittal, one conceives that Rouen offered more of an appeal to the eyes of the Marranos as a city of refuge, and their number increased rapidly.  In their report of September 1631, The States frankly proclaimed their suspicions. «The example [in] is only too real in these Portuguese who have gone from this City to Amsterdam and Hamburg where they openly profess their Judaism and where they have transported what they have amassed in this Province».  In the course of the trial against Diego da Acosta, that he himself had a lot Jewish relations, it was advanced that of all Portuguese of the city therein, there was only a few that could produce a baptism certificate, and that two or three families that had lived six years previously at Rouen as Christians then judaised in Amsterdam 2.

The main role in the community was played without doubt then by a family of considerable importance in both Jewish life and Jewish literature.  Its head was a certain Gonçalo Pinto Delgado, identical perhaps with the secretary (author) of orphans of Tavira, who published a poem on the English expedition to Faro in 1596.

1.  Beaurepaire, op. cit.  II, 421-4.

2.  V.  Justificatory Pieces E, infra,

3.  V.  Kayserling, Biblioteca Espanola - Porlugueza-Judaica p. 41.  

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Shortly before this date, it seems, he had been established in Flanders, where his orthodoxy was already suspected.  In 1585, a celebrity of this name having a position in customs of Anvers was denounced to the Inquisition of Lisbon, by a fanatical resident in this city, as the son of Joâo Pinto, of the House of Nova, in the Algarve, in the South of Portugal, and as being a «grande trovador»!  .  Thereafter, it seems he returned to his native country; but, since approximately1618, had lived in Rouen.  He had three sons:  one, named Diego, had emigrated to Hamburg, where he formally entered the community, and even passed to become rabbi.  Others, named respectively Gonçalo and Joâo, were resident in Rouen.  The last was a brilliant figure and, as well as his father, an accomplished poet.  Before being ready to leave for Portugal (unless there has not been some name confusion), he collaborated on a Preface to a work of proselytism for the apostate Joâo Baptista da Este 2.  Nevertheless, returning to Rouen, his literary preoccupations became more Jewish; and his poetical books paraphrased that of Esther and Lamentations, dedicated to Cardinal Richelieu, account amongst them the most remarkable specimens of Judeo - Spanish poetry.

As at Rouen the family were fundamentally Jewish.  It seems Jaoa Delgado Pinto was known to have entered 3 the alliance of Abraham. Joao Pinto Delgado was known

1.  Baltyn on the Inquisition in Portugal & Brazil:  .  p. 213, the reference to poetical tastes does not doubt that the celebrity in question here is identical with the writer of Tavira.  It seems therefore that he returned then to Portugal.  In 1633 this had to be a man of more than seventy years.

2.  For the problem of Joao Pinto Delgado, the poet,  see Mr. Lemos, Zacuto Lusitano, p. 246-250;  Sousa Viterbo in Instituto t.  XLIII, n. 12; Kayserling in Jew.  Encyclopaedia., IV, 504 / 5 and sources quoted in this article.  The origin of the confusion lies in the fact, misunderstood until now, that there have been two persons quoted under the name of Joâo Pinto Delgado:  the father and the son of Gonçalo Pinto Delgado, respectively.  The first, according to Barbosa Machado, 1540-1590.  His son, Gonçalo; the guide of the community of Rouen, appears to have prospered 1560 and 1635.  Joâo Pinto Delgado II, the eminent man of letters, can well be that celebrity that made function Almoxarife to Tavira (1602-1607), writer of the sonnet of eulogies for Joâo Baptista of Esté to Lisbon in 1616, and returned to Rouen two later years.  This ancient literary mystery can thus be considered as solved.

3.  Poem of Reyna Ester, Lamentaciones del Propheta Jeremias, Historia of Rut and various poetries (Rouen, Small David, 1627).  By a remarkable coincidence, this work was published in the ancient road of the Jews.  

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 in appropriate circles under the designation of Moses 1.  He discussed the foundations of their faith with Gentiles, practiced rites of the Jewish religion as much as possible and worked to convince new arrivals from Portugal to renounce the practice of Christianity.  He even possessed knowledge of old birth practices and the Hebrew language, in which a learned foreign couple had instructed him.  He was in correspondence with the communities of Venice and others places.  Sometimes his propaganda was so active that the new comers continued their trip to Holland or to Hamburg, to be admitted effectively in to Judaism.  Among this number were Elizabeth Pereira and her three sons that confessed that they had travelled to Hamburg so as to serve God with purity.  To public notoriety, he was circumcised, and directed religious services according[ly] to the Jewish rite, for weddings and funerals for other New - Christians like himself.  When Mantoue was taken in 1630, and the Jews of the city were hunted, with all sorts of persecutions, large sums of money were sent by itinerant merchants of Livourno, Venice and Holland to the victims.

Nevertheless in fact the family preserved the mask of Christianity.  The Priests of the parishes of Saint – Vincent & St. Egidius(?), were not prone to complain of their conduct,1 in questions of observance.  Moreover they figured to a certain extent in the municipal life of Rouen and occupied important positions in the justiciary and the civic administration 2.

Around the family Delgado grouped a lot of others, who, thereafter, played considerable roles in Jewish life.  The daughter of Gonçalo had married a certain Joâo Peres who lived with them in Rouen at a certain time.  They however left the city, after the death of the former, before 1633 3.  Gaspar Lopez Pereira, alias Gaspar da Vitoria, who was circumcised by Gonçalo, was born in Rouen, making the third generation 

1. Cf. the testimony of Barrios {Review, XVIII, 282).  Delgado also collaborated in a panegyric sonnet to the works of Zacuto Lusitano with whom he was in relationship of intimacy (1636-8).

2.  V.  Piece Justification.  B, infra.

3.  V.  Piece F.

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of this family to live there 1.  Another member of the circle who entered the alliance of Abraham was Diego Olivera, sindicario of Guimaraês or Lisbon, who had been naturalized in August 1632 and who died 31 May 1645.  He had some fifteen children or more, and therefore, at least numerically, was a person of considerable importance in the community.  Much more illustrious again in Jewish life in general, was Antonio Fernandez Carvajal, who thereafter, became an important figure in the commercial life of London, and went on to be the founder of the modern Anglo-Jewish community there.  He had arrived recently from the Canary Islands.  Another celebrity that went on to play an important role in the history of the community of London was Manual (Martin) Rodriguez Nunes, brother-in-law of Carvajal.  He was a notable merchant who made considerable expeditions of goods to the Azores 3. 

Even at this period, he also, one is commonly assured, was circumcised.  Another important head of the family was Francisco Mendes Sotto, Bragance.  He had married his niece, and had four or five children:  two of them, Guilherme and Marcos, were already arrived to the “age of man” (age of consent?) in 1632; his brother-in-law, Antonio Mendes Sotto, was also in Rouen 4.  Antonio, or André, Caceres (death in 1654), was also a notable member of 

1.  Wolf, Jews in the Canary Islands, p. 183, seqq.  It mentions (p. 184) that his maternal grandmother Gracia Denis was buried either at Burgundy or at Rouen.  His brother.  Manual Lopez Pereira, born at Rouen in 1633, became the founder of the Jewish community of Dublin.  See Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, XI, 163-4.

2.  See the deposition of Simao Lopes Manoel, infra Piece G.  He died in Rouen on 31 May 1645 (Tarin, History of Rouen, éd. 1738, VI, 190. 

3.  See Wolf, The first English Jew in Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, II, 14-46 for Carvajal, and, for Manuel Rodrigues Nunes, also Crypto Jews under the Commonwealth, sqq. 69, 72, 74, 87.  This last was one of the agents in Rouen of the financial magnate Duarte da Silva;  v.  Baiâo, Episodios Dramaticos da Inquisicào Portugueza, II, 346-7.  For his commercial activity, including expeditions of hardware, cutlery and jewellery to the Azores, v.  Bulletin, XIII, 438.  It is perhaps identical with Salvador Rodrigues (circumcised himself) who was denounced to the Inquisition of Toledo, at the same period (Jewish Quarterly Review, XV, 227).

4.  Francisco Mendes Sotto has to be perhaps identified with the Guilen de Soto, Rouen, denounced to the Inquisition of Toledo in 1632-3 by Manual Rodrigues da Biarritz.  Antonio del Soto, also of Rouen, was denounced at the same period (Jew.  Quarter.  Rev., XV, 226, 231).

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the community.  He had been established at Rouen, where he had come from Vizieu, at least since 1622, with his wife Luisa da Fonseca, and their family.  They played an important role in the commercial life of the city. Antonio Rodrigues Lamego was a native of Lamego, and lived in Rouen with his wife, Isabella Henriques.  Diego Henriques Cardoso, Oporto (m. 1641), was a high-ranking merchant whose businesses were considerable in the commerce of Rouen of this period.  He had married, and later on his brother-in-law Francisco Lopes de Torre, Moncorvo lived with him 2.  Joao Barbosa, another great figure, was a man of violent passions who had relatives in the Jewish communities of Amsterdam and Hamburg.

These are only some most eminent members of the Portuguese community of Rouen that were suspected of being judaizers.  Beside the former, there were one or two Jewish families of Amsterdam established in the city, notably those of David da Ajes and Juan da Acosta.  Moreover, there were relatively frequent visitors who came from Amsterdam, Venice and elsewhere that passed by the city.  It is probably to a couple of these passengers that Joào Pinto Delgado owed his knowledge of Hebrew.  The community did not even lack physicians.  At this period lived in Rouen a certain Gaspar da Costa, friend and correspondent of Zacuto Lusitano, who quotes admiringly in his De praxi Medica (Amsterdam, 1634).  1 He is perhaps identical with Jacob Gomes da Costa, who collaborated on some poetries to the Medicorum Principum Historia (Amsterdam, 1629), and who happens to have been the son of Da Costa, a physician of Rouen 4.  Thus it seems to have been a single dynasty of Marrano therapists in the city.  During the period of the plague of 1619, the doctor David 

1.  For the commercial activity of Antonio de Caceres, who was established in Rouen at least since 1623, v.  Bulletin, VII, 410. 11 He married Ludovica de Fonseda, of Lisbon, who died before him in 14 April 1648.  Two of their children, Ferdinand and George were deceased before him.  He Himself died on the 18 November 1654.

2.  V.  Bulletin, VII, 410, etc. and Piece Justification.  G, infra.  For his epitaphs and those of its family, cf.  Farin, VI, 191.

3.  General archives of the Kingdom of Belgium, Fiscal Office of Brabant, bundle 924 grayish-brown, Pieces 7 and 8.

4.  Lemos, Zacuto Lusitano, p. 206-9, 227.

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Jouyse was attacked (criticised?) for being associated with a Jewish physician, who we can perhaps identify with one of these two individuals 1.  All the family, husbands, wives and children, were members of the third - order of Saint -François, to whose spiritual practices they were joined 2.  But there was there that sort of formality in usage among the New Christians of the xvii century, even when it was no longer absolutely necessary, and this is not certainly the proof of an irreproachable orthodoxy.

As for the real degree of Judaism in the community of Marranos of Rouen, it is difficult to decide with any certainty.  In any case, the community included at least three declared Jews:  David da Ajes, Emanuel Valensin and Juan de Acosta- the last accompanied by his family - while three others, Diego Oliveira, Manual Rodrigues Nunes and Cristoforo da Ullôa, appear to have been circumcised.  This last, it is said, was a rabbi, which indicates at least that he had some knowledge of Judaism.  One can say definitely that Joâo Pinto Delgado, had also received some instruction in Hebrew, as far as one has seen it.  It is mentioned also that he had in his possession handwritten Hebrew 3.  Apart from other[s] Jewish ceremonies in which the family had, it is said, taken part, a document points out that Gonçalo completed the ceremony of circumcision at Rouen once at least 4.  That a Hidden (stowaway) synagogue has existed [, it] is strongly probable, but one cannot prove it in a definitive manner.  

Concerning the Cemetery, we have more precise information.  A Jewish burial was of course out of the question.  But it was natural for the New - Christians to try to organize a manner to be able to sleep their last sleep in the circle of their people.  In Burgundy, for example, until the institution of an official «House of Life», in the xviii century, Marranos were interred exclusively in the cemetery of the Church of Cordeliers of Saint Eulalie, to which they were nominally attached during their life.  The case seems to have been entirely identical 

1.  Beaurepaire, The Plague to Rouen, 1619-1623.

2.  Infra, Piece just.  E.

3.  Infra, Piece just.  E.

 4.  Wolf.  Jews in the Canary Islands, p. 194.

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in Rouen.  And, curiously enough, they also, used the good offices of the Franciscans.  In their church, St-Etienne de Tonneliers (Coopers), that had been founded by John of Quintadoire, native of Burgos, there was a known special chapel under the Spanish Chapel that was reserved for Spanish and Portuguese family interments.  The building has been destroyed for a long time.  Nevertheless, copies of a great number of epitaphs that one could find there earlier are preserved in the work of an antique dealer of the xviii century 1.  Of some twenty inscriptions, most dated from the first half of the xvii century, a bit more than half are known to have been persons suspected of being judaizers, or their immediate relatives.  It is a remarkable fact that in all the collection, there does not appear a symbol or a single Christian allusion, although, naturally, there is nothing specifically Jewish.  The family Palma Carillo, on the other hand – former emigrants of unsuspected orthodoxy were interred in the Church of St-Ouen 2, a fact that underlines Jewish relationships with St-Etienne.  

In these conditions, it seems that one has every reason to suppose that the Spanish Chapel was not in fact, otherwise than in name, anything other than the Jewish «House of Life» and that all persons buried there were, according to all probability, the Crypto - Jews.  The priest of the church was up to a certain point, apparently, in connivance with them; and even as regards this the suspicion of Judaism bordered on the certainty obtaining from it, even without living in its parish, of certificates of irreproachable orthodoxy 3.

Beside the Jewish group clearly represented by the family Delgado, there were other Spanish and Portuguese merchants of marrano origin who were in appearance indifferent to Judaism.  Some of them mocked openly for following the traditions of their fathers - it is against one of them that Isaac Lupercio, of Smyrne, wrote his controversial work on the seventy

1.  Bulletin, VI, 444;  ++XVI, 74;  ++Farin, VI, 186-191.

2.  Bulletin, ++XIII, 184-7.

3.  V. infra.  Piece F.

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weeks of Daniel which was published at Bàle (?  ) in 1658 1.  Others members of the Portuguese and Spanish colony were Old - Christians of an orthodoxy that was not suspicious, whilst amongst their compatriots who could not praise their religion, some, of conviction, it is interesting to note, behaved as zealous Christians.  They had a priest of their country to provide to their spiritual needs, as well as a physician, a certain doctor Leva, to nurse their body. Between these two elements, there was no question of friendship. 

The uneasiness had been brewing for many years, to judge from some of the violence of the quarrel that burst in to the open in 1632 in the Portuguese colony of Rouen.  Diego Oliveira, commonly known as the «sindicario» and father of a numerous family, desired to obtain from the King letters of naturalization — this jealously kept privilege that would have obtained for them all of the commercial citizen rights of Rouen.  For this purpose, it was necessary for him to obtain good conduct certificates, especially concerning religion.  It seems that he addressed himself, quite naturally, to a poor Spanish priest of the diocese of Léon, who was found then in the city, living on subsidies of his rich compatriots, named  Diego Cisneros:  «a truly pious and knowledgeable man, directed by the zeal of God against Jews more than one can express» as [well as] speaks one of his admirers.  It seems that he has refused to render this service, advancing that Oliveira was an apostate of the Holy Catholic faith.  Oliveira defended himself with some indignation and summoned Cisneros to make public reparation.  The priest refused and reiterated his accusation against Oliveira, denouncing him at the Ecclesiastical Court as a heretical judaizer, advancing in an unequivocal manner that he was circumcised.  

Neither threats, nor presents would induce him to retract the accusation.  Two of his compatriots, to the general astonishment, had to become guarantors for all costs.  As a result, it was reported that he acted hand in the hand with the Inquisition of Spain, who hoped that events of Rouen would give it 

1.  In Spanish, not Latin, as asserts Kayserling, Biblioteca, p. 64-5 and J.  E., VIII, 209.  The author speaks of the recent Auto de Lima and mentions that its adversary has lived in Spain, in Portugal and the Indies.  The name of the place of impression Basilia is perhaps fictitious.

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the right to proceed to the general confiscation of the properties left on the other side of Pyrenees.

In his turn, Oliveira attacked.  He used reprisals by accusing Cisneros of treason.  He insinuated that he undertook espionage on behalf of the King of Spain, in concert with a certain Juan Baptista Villadiego a familiar of the Inquisition, who had arrived recently from Spain at his invitation to help him in his evil enterprises.  The affair, from then on, took on serious proportions.  Pierre de Acarie, judge to the Ecclesiastical Court, put all three in prison, under guard, and remit minutes of the trial to the Parliament of Rouen.  This body, naturally jealous of the commercial privileges of the citizens of the city, and that had just, the year before, [to] petitioned against the Portuguese immigrant naturalization, found in this a propitious opportunity.  It hurried to forbid the Ecclesiastical Court to make any step in the affair.  

Leaving Oliveira under guard there where he was, and transferred the others to the prisons of State.  The affair, in the interval, was deferred to the Royal Court.  Cisneros’s allegations appeared well based. He was therefore bailed, with obligation to hold ready to appear again before the court, and received the order to produce evidence in support of his accusations (January 1633).  He did it without difficulty, maintaining that it was by the authority of the Ecclesiastical Court, that had prescribed to all persons who knew something about the practice of those judaizers in the city to come to testify before it, under pain of excommunication.

In the Portuguese and Spanish colony, a dozen individuals came to the side of Cisneros:  Antonio [Alvaro?] da Costa de Paz, of Bragance, who had resided in Rouen since 1595 and prepared his sepulchre in the Church of Cordeliers in 1641; Simâo Manual Lopes, certainly a New - Christian, who denounced some years later the community of Rouen before the Inquisition at Coimbra, of which denunciation we have a lot of current information;  Juan da Fonseca, perhaps the father of Isabella da Fonseca. Wife of the last named;  Paolo Saravia, Paolo Elena [of Lima?], Antonio Rodriguez Franco, Diego de Fonseca de Olivedo, Luis Alvarez de Crasto, and Pedro 

1.  Farin, VI. 189.

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Rodrigues, with some others.  Of these we know that one was a New Christian by birth, although greatly distanced from Judaism by his convictions.  Others were probably in the same category.  They did not limit themselves simply to the accusations brought by Cisneros against Oliveira.  In the imputation of Judaism, to the date of 19 January 1633, they included a lot of others of their compatriots, to the total of thirty-six persons, beside others not specified: 

Most, heads of the family, that we know, in some cases, to have been numerous. 

In all, a community of more than a hundred persons seems to be signalled.  From this list,  to the extent that we know those that figure there, can be considered as the roll of the Jewish community of Rouen in 1633 1.

Diego Oliveira.

Diego Gomez, alias Jean de Nivelle.

Antonio de Caceres 2.

Rodrigo Gomez Carvalho 3.

Antonio Rodrigues Lamego 4.

Cristoforo be Ullõa.

Paul Rodrigues de Aguiar.

Diego Henriques Cardoso 5.

Joào Pinto Delgado.

Geronimo de Caceres.

Gasparo Gomez de Almeyda.

Pedro de Caceres.

Gonzalo de Almeyda.

Fernando Horta da Silva 6.

Gonçalo Delgado.

Domingo Alvarez de Crasto.

Alfonso Suarez 7.

Domingo Pereira.

Gasparo de Lucena.

Antonio Mendes.

Francisco Mendes Sotto 8.


1.  See the list infra, justificatory Piece A. The details given below are taken from these lists, from the denunciation of Simâo Lopes Manoel (infra, Piece G) and from epitaphs in Farin, ubi supra.

2.  Vizeu in Portugal, established in Rouen since approximately 1623, married to Luisa Fonseca of Lisbon.

3.  A Rodrigues Gomez was a considerable exporter for Spain in 1606, with Geromino Fonseca and Antonio Gomez (Bulletin, ++XIII, 421).

4.  Lamego:  His wife Isabella Enriques, daughter of Luisa da Fonseca, wife of Caceres.  He/ died 25 December 1653.

5.  Porto, m. 15 March 1641.  His brother-in-law, Francisco Lopes, de Torre of Moncorvo, fact also left of the list of Simâo Lopes Manoel.

6.  Born in Lisbon in 1672, died in Rouen on 6 October 1738, at the age of 66 years.  Denounced to the Inquisition of Toledo as a judaiser in 1618. He had a brother, Francesco, residing in Burgundy or in Saint Jean de Luz (Jewish Quarterly Review, XV, 186).

7.  Born in Fronteîra in 1605, m. in Rouen 13 September 1653, aged 48 years.

8.  Bragance.  He married his niece, They had four or five son, that. all lived with him, including Guilherme del Sotto and Marcos del Sotto, 

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Manuel Rodrigues Nuñes.

Manuel Dias Sanches 1.

Diogo Fernandes Pienso 2,

Gasparo Gomez de Acosta.

Juan Barbosa.

Isabella Mendes.

Francisco de la Penha.

Béatrice Lopes (widow).

Francisco Brandão.

Antonio Brandão, brother of the above

Diego Lopes de Beja (and his wife).

Antonio Fernandes de Carvajal.

Rodrigo Gomez Perez.

Antonio Henriques Cardoso.

[Duarte Henriques] 3.

This detailed deposition threw the Marrano community in to consternation.  Several of the accused persons escaped:  Diego Gomez, alias Jean de Nivelle, to Lille;  Cardoso and Barbosa to Anvers, where they were followed by Delgado;  Carvajal probably to London;  Carvalho and Ullôa to some place that is not specified.  Other members of the community made the decision to stay and to obtain clean “bills of health?” from their parishes or certificates certifying that they were good observant Catholics, against 

the youngest, of eighteen years old or more.  His brother-in-law, Antonio Mendes Sotto, a widower, resided in Rouen as well

1.  Moura in Portugal (according to Lopes Manoel, Serpa).  His wife Brites (or Agnes) Lopes, of Lisbon, that he married in 1605, died before him 23 June 1631 and was buried in the chapel of Cordeliers of St-Etienne de Tonelliers (Coopers).  The exact content of her epitaph has been preserved (Bulletin, VI, 444), the tombstone having been found recently:


Charitatis ac Beneficentiae exemplar

Pudicitiae ac modestiae typus

conjugalisque benevolentiae and concordiae


[My thanks to Mathilde Tagger for the following translation from the Latin]:

Model of Love and Kindness

Person of Virtue and Modesty

Symbol of Conjugal Devotion and Harmony


The absence of all Christian allusion is deserving of remark.  They had two sons living in Rouen with their father:  Joào Dias Sanches and Francisco Dias.  Manuel Dias Sanches, a bourgeois merchant « of Rouen», died 13 August 1643.  V. also see Malvezin, « History of Jews of Bordeaux», 123-4.

2.  Called Passarinho.  With him lived not only his wife, but also his sister, daughter of Mestre Diogo Fernandes de Elvas, Lisbon (Caldeiraria).

3.  Duarte Henriques does not appear in the original list (just. A), but is mentioned thereafter.  He was born in Bragance in 1566, came to Rouen in 1602 and there died 6 April 1642 in his seventy-sixth year.   His brother, Enrique of Cuiros, died before him 14 January 1630.

An ally of these persons, who has perhaps to be identified with Antonio Henriques Cardozo, was cc «sieur Henriques, portugais», mentioned as cousin of Mr. «Chiros», who was treasurer of S.  Stone of the Châtel, the most considerable of these that contributed to its restoration in 1666-7, a benefactor of the Priory of the Good News (Bulletin, IX, 243-8;  XI, 526-541).  25 October 1654, He borrowed a mortuary sheet for the burial of his father (ibid., ++XI, 547).

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the orthodoxy one could raise no suspicion.  Several hid in safety their money and gold jewels and their more precious domestic goods.  Gonçalo Pinto Delgado, junior (cadet), returned in secret in the following year to Rouen and destroyed several books and papers, that one would have been able to use as evidence against them.  Even then, it seems that they found matter to incriminate them.  On hearing the depositions, Parliament took immediate measures.  Orders were given in order that the family of Oliveira be sent to rejoin him in prison, while Cardoso, Lamego and Caceres had to be arrested to be questioned.  The first of these, however, had already escaped to Anvers:  and Paolo of Aguiar was arrested in his place.

In the meantime, in spite of oppositions and local protests, the defendants had made all possible efforts to transfer the affair far from the atmosphere of Rouen and the reigning Privy Council.  The rapid visit of Joâo Pinto Delgado to Paris, where he had proceeded with his wife before to seek refuge before having sought refuge in Anvers, had reported, without doubt, the incident; it is particularly probable when one considers his familiarity with Richelieu, to whom he dedicated his magnum opus.  The royal counsel, although reserving judgement, appointed two masters to proceed to Rouen to inquire of the affair (12 February 1633) 2.  

The Designated persons were Claude de Paris and Jacques Diel, sieur of Miromenil.  It was easy to see where their sympathies leaned.  Their first act, almost on their arrival at Rouen, was to grant safe-conduct to Cisneros and to his partisans, who were placed under the royal protection.  This document, where it was spoken of the defendants almost as if their culpability was already proven, was printed and distributed around 3.  Meanwhile, their goods were sequestrated, and other cautionary constraints were put on them, whilst researches were made in each church of Rouen touching the orthodoxy of their former life.  The inquiry was prolonged three months, during March, April and May 1633, with all the endless formalities of 

1.  Piece just.  E, infra.

2.  Piece just.  B.

3.  To see the complete text, infra Piece just.  A.

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the xvii century.  During the course of these searches, [costly?] documents were discovered, including even a Hebrew manuscript - perhaps a roll of the Law - was discovered in the house of Delgado.  These last were invited by heralds, to the sound of their trumpet, to appear to justify themselves.  As they did not reply to the convocation, they were supposed to be guilty and their goods were confiscated. 

Barbosa, who could not or did not want to give evidence, escaped to Anvers, where some others had preceded him.  The scales seemed to lean against the community of Marranos.  The affair was transferred to Paris for the final decision.  There, after two months, Cisneros and Villadiego were exonerated of the accusation carried against them.  The last act was a safe-conduct to return to Spain, while Pierre d’Acarie carried the priest in triumph to Rouen in his coach.  As for the Marranos, things went more slowly, one of the royal commissioners having returned to Rouen to bring together new evidence.  Their case seemed hopeless.  On their arrival in the capital, the prisoners had insured, at a price of money, it is said, the privilege to be put under the relatively gentle supervision of soldiers.  But the day when their enemies were acquitted, they were thrown in to the common jail.

However, at the Court of Paris, the petty economic considerations that had prevailed in Rouen played no role.  And authorities were guided by greater considerations – both political and perhaps financial.  In these conditions, at the beginning of June - acting, without doubt, under higher influences – the defendants brought off a truly daring coup.  They prepared in defence – a petition, very energetic, but almost comic in its consequences.  The accusation carried against them, they said, was entirely based on personal resentments, and intimate quarrels. 

They themselves were good Catholics, as one could easily verify.  It was their accusers that were the real judaisers!  The latter had been convinced of Judaism by the Inquisition of Spain, a country of which they were partisans, if not spies:  and the object of their action had been simply to obtain the confiscation by the Holy - Office of all the goods that the latter or other Portuguese merchants residing in France possessed in Spain, where, since the opening

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of the procedure directed against them, their relatives and their correspondents had been persecuted without mercy.  It was for this reason, and for none other, that Villadiego had been brought to Rouen.  Their enemies were not only spies, but also traitors.  They had dispatched the money to Flanders for the Spanish force maintained there.  They had systematically hindered the French trade with Guinea and Senegal.  As for themselves, they were believers and loyal Catholics, baptizing their children in churches and sustaining all the pious works (which was perfectly exact).  For further proof of their orthodoxy, they were ready for put at the disposition of the Crown[s in] the sum of 250.000 pounds for the establishment of a Seminary, for the education of poor people’s children, or for any other religious object.

This counter-offensive is also amusing and (less) sincere [bit] that one can imagine it.  We [in] know enough of some of the accused - Delgado, Carvajal and others - to be almost certain that some of the accusations carried against them were generally well based and that they observed all where it was possible of their Judaism on the whole where they found themselves.  The fact[s] is that the offer was no more or less an attempt of corruption.  Be that as it may, it was accepted.  On the 14 June, the affair was reserved to the Royal Courts, the prisoners being released under caution.  Two later weeks, at a council held at Forges (31 June 1633), the sentence was pronounced.  The defendants were completely absolved of all accusations directed against them.  Oliveira, Caceres, Lamego and Rodrigues were unconditionally released.  Effects seized were restored.  It was henceforth forbidden to cause the least annoyance to the defendants about the affair, in words or in act.  The gift was accepted gracefully and assigned, it seems, to the construction of a hospital, in accordance with the notice of Cardinal Richelieu 1.  On the 12 July, a Royal Decree was rendered in Paris, recapitulating the history of the infamous imputations that had been directed against the colony of Rouen and ordering the restitution of their goods 2.

Little by little the refugees returned, save for one or two exceptions.  The affair, nevertheless, could not in any way be considered 

1.  Pieces, B and E.

2.  See the complete text for more, Piece D.

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as entirely closed.  Supporters of Cisneros, defendants themselves now on charges of deceit and heresy, published a petition in defence -, that was submitted to the King and to the Council 1.  The citizens of Rouen were extremely discontented with the sentence.  At the ordinary meeting of merchants held at the church of Cordeliers, 14 August, for the judges and consul elections, twelve judaising, members of the Portuguese colony, who usually figured there, were excluded:  partisans of Cisneros alone had the right to assist there and to vote 2.  

Despite the discharge, feelings remained so strained that a couple of members of the community, intimidated by the recent turmoil, folded to circumstances.  Étienne, alias David de Ajes, Coimbra, who, some time previously, had formally converted to Judaism at Amsterdam and thus could not plead [the] innocence like the others, [and] reconciled himself with the Holy Church and was absolved of all penalty that it would accrue for his apostasy.  His wife, a Jew by birth, as well as his servant, Emanuel Valensin, asked to be instructed in the dogmas of Christianity; while his son Isaac was baptized and committed as a Christian to be raised in an orthodox manner 3.  Similarly, Juan de Acosta was baptized in the Cathedral - surely in great pomp – on the 28 August 1633, after having been instructed in the religion by Cisneros 4.

Some of those that had left the city preferred not to return there at all.  Antonio Fernandes Carvajal appeared to be living in London, where he was rejoined by his brother-in-law Manuel Nunes Rodrigues, who at a later date was associated with him in the foundation of the community of this city. 

Thus events of Rouen in 1632-3 can be considered as the opportunity that assisted the birth of the modern Jewish community in England.

1.  Piece B.

2.  Piece D.

3.  General archives of Belgium, Fiscal Office of Brabant, bundle 924 grayish-brown, Piece 7.

4.  Ibid,, Piece 8.  Emanuel Valensin with [Manoel Dias?

Sanchez was premier correspondent to Rome of the house of Pinto;   see Zwarts, Hoofdstuken uit of geschiedenis der Joden in Nederland, p. 92.

5.  Carvajal remained, nevertheless, in close contact with Rouen, where details of his existence in London were known:  v.  Wolf, op. cit., p. 177.  

Among his correspondents in Rouen was found  Antonio Diaz:   see Transactions of Jewish Historical Society of England II, 11, 28, 33-5.

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Juan Barbosa, returning to Rouen after the conclusion of the affair, and was attacked violently by an appointed physician named Leva whom he accused of having denounced him. He was arrested and thrown in prison;  but he succeeded to escape again and went to Anvers 1.  There he renewed his relationship with Joâo Pinto Delgado.  His father Gonçalo, an very enthusiastic Jew who, accompanied by his younger son Gonçalo, and brother-in-law of the last, a certain Pinto, returned to Rouen after the appeasement of the turmoil.  Nevertheless the young generation preferred to reside where it was, in its new residence, which had been established by their Father’s uncle Joâo, who had also lived some time in Rouen before 1633.  For the form, they had written to the priest of their precedent parish, St. Etienne de Tonneliers (Coopers), asking for a certificate certifying their moral respectability and religious orthodoxy, which apparently was to some degree put in doubt at Anvers.  

This priest delivered them the necessary attestation that their orthodoxy and their adherence to dogmas and practices of the catholic faith were not in question.  However the vicar general of the Archbishop of Anvers, not feeling it completely appeased doubts, wrote to Pierre d’Acarie for more ample details.  This last replied immediately, indicating that Delgado had not even lived in the parish where their certificate had been obtained and brought to light all of what had happened.  His letter was accompanied by copies of the most important documents of the affair.  It is to our good fortune that the complete event and its accounts have been preserved for posterity in the archives of Brussels 2.  Gonçalo Pinto Delgado’s father did not reside long in Rouen.  In a list some years later, his name no longer figures.  It is said that he retired after that to Amsterdam, where he died 3.

In spite of these conversions and these migrations and despite turmoils undergone by the colony of Marranos of Rouen, 

1.  Piece F.

2.  Lucien Wolf is the first to draw attention to this remarkable collection of documents in Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, XI, 163.  By expressing my thanks to this source, it is my duty to express my deeper gratitude to Mr.  Wilfred Samuel for several valuable suggestions on this subject.

3.  Wolf, Jews in the Canary Islands, p. 194.

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events of 1633 had no[t] great influence [n]either on its composition [n]or on its lifestyle.  Only three years afterwards, when Simao Lopes Manoel returned to Portugal, he considered it his whole duty, as a New Christian, to denounce to the Inquisition of Coimbra those of his compatriots that judaized in Rouen.  This list, that one can demonstrate to be incomplete, contains less than thirteen adult males that figured at the period of the great uprising of that year.  It is evident that in the intermediate period the composition and the characteristics of the community of Rouen had not considerably changed 1.  

Of the Persons that were denounced in 1633, for the major part, continued to live there peacefully and were interred with their relatives in the Spanish chapel of Saint Etienne of Cordeliers 2.  Of the latter four or five were those that had been considered as leaders and whose arrest had been ordered consequently.  The only important exception, outside of the family Delgado, was Antonio Fernandez Carvajal who rests in the ancient Beth Haim Sephardi Cemetery in London.

Very far, in reality, as the community of Marranos of Rouen had been uprooted as a result of the dramatic affairs of 1632-3, new elements continued to come, joining those that lived there already.  Francesco Lopes, Torre de Moncorvo, brother-in-law of Diego Enriques Cardoso, a celebrity important enough to figure in the summary list of Simão Lopes Manoel, 1635, is not mentioned earlier.  In 1648, indeed, it is said that twenty families of Marranos left 


1.  See the complete text of its deposition in Archives of the Torre do Tombo of Lisbon, printed in infra.  Piece G. From its text it appears that the zeal of the informant was not used entirely in the interest of religion, but was inspired also by the desire to prevent the dispatch of a consignment to its commercial rivals of Oporto.  Among their correspondents in this city, it mentions Manoel Fernandes Moraes, André Lopes Izidro, Rodrigues Antonio Bravo, Joâo Rebello Pega and Adao Roiz de Moraes.

2.  Manoel Dias Sanches, 1643;  Diego Oliveira, 1645;  Diego Henriques Cardoso, 1641;  Alfonso Suarez, 1652;  Duarte Henriques, 1642;  Antonio Rodriguez Lamego, 1653;  Fernando Dorta da Silva, 1638;  and Antonio de Caceres, with his family, 1648-1654.

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Portugal to flee together to Rouen 1.  At this period, the colony maintained the literary character that it had had through its [award-winning] association with Joâo Pinto Delgado.  Manoel Fernandes Villareal, Portuguese consul general to Paris, one of the most distinguished victims of the Inquisition of the xvii century who was Garrotted in Lisbon in 1652, had been a familiar figure in Rouen:  and it is there that some of his works were published.  Among accusations that were the cause of his death, there is one directed against him by Fra. Francisco de Santo Agostinho, that he was accustomed to rejoin his wife in Rouen each year to celebrate “Pâque” together 2.

Among its more illustrious contemporaries was found Antonio Enriquez Gomez, soldier and dramatic author, who was burnt in effigy by the Inquisition in Séville, while he sought [to the] outside the liberty to practice with impunity the religion of his fathers.  It is in Rouen that he published several of his works, in which appears a growing interest for Judaism, between 1644 and 1649 3.  His Siglo Pitagorico (Rouen, 1647) is an elegant sonnet to the honour of Augustin Coronel Chacon, who, thereafter, established himself in London as a royalist agent, [and] became one of the founders of the community, was the first to suggest a marriage between Charles II and Catherine of Bragance and was the first Anglo-Jewish Knight 4.

It is in Rouen that Diego Enriquez Basurto, son of Antonio Enriques Gomez, who accompanied him, published in 1646 his El Triumpho de la Virtud, y Paciencia de Job [here].  Three years later, it was also there that was published O Phenix Lusitania by Manual Thomas de Madeira, nephew of Manasséh ben Israel 6.  And they were not the alone. Geronimo Gomez Pessôa and Estevan Luis de Acosta 

1. Azevedo, Historia back Chrisiàos Novos Portugueses, p. 266.

2.  Ramos Coelho, Manual Fernandes Villareal e o seu processo na Inquisition of Lisboa.

3.  The Culpa del Primer Peregrino (1644);  El Sigîo Pitagorico (1647);  La Politica Angelica (1647);  La Torre de Babilonia (1649);  El Samson Nazareno (1656).

4 V.  Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, V, 17 seq. Chacon was the agent to Rouen of Duarte da Silva, the Marrano merchant-prince;  see Baiâo, Episodios Dramaticas do Inquisicào Portuguesa, II, 346-7.  

5 Kayserling, Bibîioteca, p. 26.

6.  Ibid., p. 165.

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left Lisbon with their families in 1650 and went for a time to Rouen before formally entering the Jewish community of Amsterdam1. 

Without counting other emigrating Spanish and Portuguese immigrants established at Rouen, whose Jewish background is probable, although not absolutely proven, as, for example, Emmanuel Nunes Mendes de Martia, of Spain, who arrived in 1654 and died after two years stay, 21 June 1656 2.  

The community of Marranos there was again considerable and in 1646 Antonio Vieira strove to win it over to the cause of Joào IV of Portugal 3.  After the battle of Rocroy, in 1643, it was remarked that «the uncircumcised and bourgeois of Jerusalem» a clear allusion to the colony of Marranos were alone in the population to show some humanity to the miserable Spanish captives.  And this was Manoel Fernandes Villareal himself, accompanied by a certain Domingo da Silva, - who came to the town hall to make steps for the liberation of those that were of Portuguese nationality 4. It is necessary also to take into account the natural increases in the population.  Thus it is in Rouen that was born, in 1633, Manual Lopes Pereira, the founder of the Jewish community of Dublin 5.

With the foundation of the Jewish community of London, the Marranos refugees who arrived in the North of France continued to feel a powerful counter-attraction.  The trade of Rouen, moreover, was in decay, and the city no longer attracted the numerous foreign merchant colonies of that previously.  Also, since the middle of the xvii century, the Marrano establishment of

1.  Wolf, op. cit., p. 186.

2.  Farin, VI, 190.  Beside Emmanuel Nunes Mendes, persons whose names follow, interred in the Spanish chapel, have been very probably Marranos - lies:

Antonio Juano, Tancos (1643);

Gaspar Alvarez, Anvers (1651);

Joào Rodriguez Moraes, Lamego (1639);

Aquilas Ives Dias, Villareal;  ,

Eleanora la Megue [Lamego?], wife of Emanuel Suarez Descouvar,

1655;  Antonio Henriques Daguerre, 1640.

For Francesco de Alberar Salazar (m. in 1586) a Spanish, and Leonora Rodriguez, wife of Rodrîgo Eayres Brandon « dux militiae Lusitanae» (1655), it is less likely than they have belonged the same category.

3. Azevedo, op. cit., p. 382.

4.  Bulletin, VII, 224.

5.  Transactions of the Jew. Hist. Soc. of England, XI, 1 (163).  

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Rouen began - to decline.  Nevertheless it went on for a long time before it disappeared [in its] entirely.  Again in 1682, the population of those speaking the Spanish language was considerable enough to justify the printing of a second edition of El Sigio Pitagorico in Rouen 1:  and the young community of London continued to maintain its correspondents 2.  Some names of notable members of the community can again be found.  In 1680, a certain Antonio Rodrigues de Morais, a rich merchant of Madrid, [is] established himself there and judaised semi - openly.  In the continuation, he left for London, where the family remained fixed during first half of the XVIII century:  3.  In 1692, was established at Rouen a merchant Portuguese of the name of Philippe Mendes, who, to the disgust of everyone, after having amassed a fortune of a half a million pounds, moved to Amsterdam, where he adhered openly to the Jewish community 4.  His departure was compensated by the arrival of Alvaro da Costa from Lisbon, in the same year (1692). 

After having lived there for ten years, he emigrated to London, where his family became one of the most important of the community.  One of his grandsons was Emmanuel Mendes da Costa, librarian of the Royal «Society», and one of the most eminent Europeans scholars of his generation 5.

With the eighteenth century, the trade of Rouen with the Peninsula declined rapidly.  It no longer presented the same appeal of that previously for merchants coming from Spain and Portugal, after which, in the main, the element of Marranos is in decline.  Thus it is that Jewish relationships of Rouen disappear rapidly.  And although, under Napoleon, a couple of Sephardim emigrants from Bayonne had been established there 6, it certainly seems that nothing subsisted more at this period - and doubtless for a long time afterwards – of the preceding establishment, where the Delgado family and their contemporaries had played a such a brilliant role. 

1.        Kayserling, Bibîioteca, p. 50.

2.        Transactions of the Jew.  Hist.  Soc. of England, V, 30-1 [Caton Philip, correspondent of the family Da Costa, and probably one of their relatives].

3.        Arquivo Nacional do Torre do Tombo,.  

4.        Lisbon, Inq. of Lisboa, proc 5003

5.        Boislisie, Correspondence of Controllers - Général of Finances, 1, 1103.

6.        Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History, p. 95;  British Museum, Add.  Ms. 29867.

7.        Robert Anchel, Napoléon and Jews, p. 306.  The Jewish Alsatians were however already installed to Rouen before the Revolution, Bulletin, XII, 89.

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At the end, the memory itself is abolished and the romantic history of the community of Marranos of Rouen remains buried until today, in the darkness of the archives.  The past of the Jews of France has once again a brilliant page to offer to the attentive seeker.

Cecil Roth.


Notes on Translation:  This has been a particularly difficult translation using software translation and French-English dictionaries.  It provides the feel of the piece but not, unfortunately the original flow in the Article by Cecil Roth.  

My grateful thanks to Dr. Peter and John Ferdinando for proof reading and to Mathilde Tagger for Latin translation of the gravestone inscription.


David Ferdinando

January 2002

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