Materials for a biography of Antonio Fernandez Carvajal, otherwise Antonio Ferdinando, ” the great Jew” of the Commonwealth as Violet calls him,1 are exceedingly scanty. The few references to him in the State papers and other contemporary documents relate almost exclusively to one decade of his life. For the rest we are left alto? gether to conjecture. We learn, however, from his patent of deniza tion2 that he came to England between 1630 and 1635. At that time he must have been at least fifty years of age, for when he died in 1659 he was described on his tomb-stone as “in a ripe old age.”3

Early in life he had lived in Fundao,4 a town of Lower Beira, in Portugal, and the seat of a large and flourishing community of Marranos. Fundao was one of the industrial centres of Portugal enumerated in the political testament of the famous Luis

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