Mr Pepys’ contacts with the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of London*

The first synagogue of the resettlement in Britain, that of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation, Sha’ar Hashamayim, was opened on 19 December 1656 in Cree Church Lane in the City of London.((This was first and finally established in a classic study by W. S. Samuel, ‘The First London Synagogue of the Resettlement’ Trans JHSEX (1924).)) Its services were attended at various times by several Christian contemporaries who left written accounts. The first recorded visit was that of Thomas Violet, Jew-baiter and pamphleteer, in the spring of 1659.((Anon, ‘The Great Trapanner of England Discovered’. See W. S. Samuel, ‘Carvajal and Pepys’ Misc. JHSE 11/3(1935) 24-9. )) The next visit was that of Samuel Pepys, who attended the service on the Sabbath, 3 December 1659, when prayers were said in memory of Antonio Fernandez Carvajal, the founder and leading figure of the congregation, for whom Pepys certainly felt some fellow-feeling, for Carvajal

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