CRYPTO-JEWS UNDER THE COMMONWEALTH

1 THE SECRET SYNAGOGUE.

Ik the year which brought Menasseh ben Israel to England, on his memorable mission to Oliver Cromwell, there stood in Cree Church Lane, Leadenhall Street, a large and mysterious-looking gabled house, which differed from its fellows chiefly in the respect that the local gossips could make neither head nor tail of it. Its tenant and owner, one Moses Athias, was understood to be a clerk employed by a rich Spanish merchant and ship-owner, Don Antonio Fernandez de Carvajal, whose mansion almost faced the top of the lane ; but his dignified bearing and the marked respect paid to him by many of the foreign merchants, including Carvajal himself, seemed hardly consistent with this theory. Over a glass of canary in the Jeames Tavern hard by, garrulous busy-bodies would ask one another what use old Athias could have for so large a house, with its basements so

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