Menasseh Ben Israel’s Marriage Banns.

Wednesday, August 15, 1923, was the three-hundredth anniversary of the issue of the civil banns for the celebration of two marriages in Amsterdam, of great interest to students of Anglo-Jewish history. On August 15, 1623, civil permission to marry was granted to Jonas Bravenel and Hester Sohiere, the sister ofM enasseh ben Israel; and on the same day similar banns were issued to Menasseh ben Israel for his marriage with Rachel Bravenel, the sister of Jonas Bravenel.

Persons not belonging to the Dutch Reformed Church, viz. Jews, Catholics, and Dissenters, desirous of contracting marriage, were bound to appear before the magistrate in his capacity as Commissary for Matrimonial Affairs. The names of the parties to the intended marriage were entered in the”Puy boeken,” “puy “meaning “front.” This procedure was necessary in order to ensure the civil legality of the marriage.

Before the erection of the Stadhuis on the Dam in

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