Portuguese Jews in Jacobean London


IN 1609 the Tuscan and Venetian Ambassadors in London reported to their Governments on the expulsion from England of a colony of Portuguese secret Jews. Other readers of Dr. Cecil Roth’s History of the Jews in England may have been puzzled, as I was, on reading his account of the incident, to discover that there were at that time any secret Jews in England to expel. My own first thought was of surprise that Portuguese Marranos should have been allowed into this country at all after the execution for treason in 1594 of Dr. Roderigo Lopes, Queen Elizabeth’s physician, or after the Gunpowder Plot of 1606. Further investigation shewed that there were other references, some already published, to a few Portuguese Jews in England after Queen Elizabeth’s death. It is my intention to attempt an assessment of the circumstances which brought the Marranos to England, and to submit

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