Dr Jacob de Castro Sarmento and Sephardim in Medical Practice in 18th-Century London

It is exciting to travel back in thought to the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation in Bevis Marks at its most splendid period, the early 18th century, when the synagogue, newly built and opened in the reign of William III in 1701, was presided over by the greatest of its chief rabbis, Haham David Nieto (haham from 1701 until 1728). Summoned from Italy, he surrounded himself with a galaxy of brilliant men drawn to the new haven of freedom as religious refugees from Spain and Portugal. Conspicuous among the crowd of immi? grants would be such men as Diogo (otherwise Moses) Lopes Pereira, afterwards Baron de Aguilar, who was here from 1722, then left for Vienna to become a financier of the Empress Maria Theresa,1 Daniel Lopes Laguna who published his Spanish verse translation of the Psalms in London in 17202 and Solomon da Costa Atias who presented a Hebrew Library

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