The Montefiore Fountain (ref 137) in the Montefiore Gardens in Bridgetown was built by John Montefiore in memory of his father John Castello Montefiore #869 1794-1854, a leading merchant whose great-great-great-grandson James Greener has contributed to this website. The old synagogue in the background (see image to right) reflects their Jewish ancestry .
|The Nidhe Israel Synagogue in Bridgetown, visible in the background in the image to the left. The name means 'scattered of Israel' reflecting the variety of paths taken by the (mainly) Sephardic Jews of Barbados. This building was commenced around 1654, the year of expulsion of Jews with the Dutch from Brazil. It was destroyed in the hurricane of 1831, rebuilt but deconsecrated in 1929, and it now a museum (which was visited by Peter Lousada in 2016). The Baruch Lousadas arrived around 1659 and their name was continually present until 1831. But Errol Barrow, the first PM of independent Barbados stated that he was descended from the local Baruch Lousadas, whom we know left wealthy mulatto descendants.||Most of the Jews who settled in Barbados had ties with the Dutch and, because of hostilities with the Dutch, Cromwell moved to control colonial trade with the Navigation Acts of the 1650s. For the Dutch Sephardim it then became important to establish an offshoot community in London so that Barbados ships docked in England with the cargo owned by Englishmen. Fortunately both Cromwell and (from 1660) Charles 2 favoured the inward flux of wealthy Sephardic merchants despite some contrary views, and the London offshoot community became an essential part of the Amsterdam/Barbados trade. The Baruch Lousadas fitted this pattern - thus David Baruch Louzada #44 1640-99 of Barbados and Amsterdam had a brother Aaron #376 in Barbados and a brother Moses #46 in London. David's house in Amsterdam was called 'Isle of Barbados'! The nearby colonies of Martinique and Guadeloupe were a source of Barbados Jews as a result of the French expulsion of Jews in 1683-5 and it seems likely that key Lousada ancestor Aaron Lamego came to Jamaica this way.|
How the Baruch Lousadas made their way from Livorno in 1641 to Barbados in 1659
There is much we do not know but the following historic strands guide our thinking:
The Portuguese took back Brazil from the Dutch in 1654, and the Jews left. Among them were the Mercados, who in London in 1655 used the access that David Abravenel and Simon de Caceres had with Cromwell to secure a pass to Barbados, and they came to Barbados from London later in the year (ref 5). Their remarkably prompt relocation to Barbados from Dutch Brazil shows that they knew of the potential for sugar in Barbados - and indeed the early history of Barbados (as set out in ref 129) shows that the Barbados sugar pioneer James Drax visited Recife around 1640 to take advice on sugar from the Jewish planters there (see also note 8 below).
No doubt after 1654 sugar from Portuguese Brazil still flowed to Livorno, but growth in an existing source of sugar eg Barbados would have presented opportunity to sell sugar to northern Europe under the shelter of the now-dominant naval power of the British and the Dutch. In this event, as indicated above, there was a need for representation in Barbados (as a source of sugar), Amsterdam (commercial centre of the Sephardic Jews at at the time) and also London (as Barbados was an English colony) and the Baruch Lousadas from Livorno thus were simultaneously present in Barbados, London and Amsterdam from around 1660.
Gracia Baruh Lousada was married to David Raphael de Mercado and they lived near Bridgetown in the Parish of St Michaels. Unfortunately we do not know the date and place of the marriage. Gracia's brother Moses Baruch Lousada was in Amsterdam in the 1649-59 period (before appearing in London in 1660) and if the marriage was in the 1649-54 period Gracia may have been the only Baruch Lousada to have been in Dutch Brazil. However, the only evidence we have (see note 15 below) makes it unlikely the marriage occurred before 1655. Nevertheless her marriage may have had a strategic aim of building the Baruch Lousadas into the growing sugar trade. This was indeed achieved and its success was marked by later marriages between the families (see note 9 below). Gracia's brother Aaron seems to have got to Barbados in 1659 (see note 10 below) and may have joined in the Mercado business before becoming a wealthy merchant in his own right. In any event, after the death of her husband in 1685, and until the death of Aaron in 1695 (see note 12 below) Gracia carried on David's business (see note 11) before moving to Curacao.
In Livorno, a few years after 1654, it was well known (see ref 21) that the Dutch were offering favourable terms for Jews to settle in their new Caribbean ventures of Tobago, Pomeroon and Cayenne, and it seems that the English learnt of this and tried to emulate the Dutch so as to better develop Surinam which was then in their hands. In addition the English, led by the Royalist Willoughbys operating from Barbados, disrupted the Dutch ventures and relocated their Jews - whether they were planters originally from Dutch Brazil, or whether they were financier/merchants - to Surinam. This messy struggle ended when the British reluctantly ceded Surinam to the Dutch in 1667 but the sought-after Surinam Jews mostly stayed on with the Dutch with only a few going to Barbados or Jamaica. Perhaps Baruch Lousadas went to those promising Dutch new Caribbean ventures as well and hence indirectly to Surinam which they reached by 1671. But it seems more probable that they reached Surinam directly from Amsterdam via Barbados, since Isaac #42 had left Livorno for Amsterdam by 1662 when the first Surinam Baruch Lousada (Moses) was about 12. In any case, Surinam is where the ancestry of Emile Louzada has been traced to though it was not the first Baruch Lousada arrivals in Surinam he descends from - they retired to Curacao - but from David Baruch Lousada #44 of Barbados and Amsterdam whose descendants reached Surinam from Curacao.
Barbados was a key stepping-stone for the Baruch Lousadas. Around 1705 four siblings went to Jamaica. These 4 were the youngest children of Aaron Baruh Louzada #376 of which the 2 sons Jacob #380 and Emanuel #41 married Lamego daughters and this inter alia gave rise to the successful and enduring line of English Lousadas. The rise of Jamaica's economic fortunes - from 1720 Jamaica outstripped Barbados as a sugar producer - was no doubt a key factor in this partial re-location. The Barbados Baruch Lousadas also went to Curacao and there they linked with the original Surinam Baruch Lousadas. Gracia followed her niece Rebecca there and married again becoming Gracia de Caceres and died there in 1707 only 9 years before her niece. Gracia's brother David #44 was in Barbados for a decade or so - he was endenized in 1664, his daughter Rebecca was born there in 1667, and he went to live in Amsterdam in 1672 returning for a short period around 1680 and again after their brother Aaron died (about the last trip see note 13 below). David's daughter Rebecca married Abraham Henriques Moron in about 1685 possibly in Barbados but lived a married life in Curacao and died in Amsterdam in 1718. Her oldest brother Isaac #1297 lived the last years of his life in Curacao and it was his grandsons who established the enduring Baruch Lousada presence in Surinam.
We illustrate the 4 generations of Baruh Louzadas of Barbados and also their links with the Massiah family with their Barrow and Lindo links. We also illustrate how the enduring Baruch Lousadas of Surinam descend from David #44.
How the Montefiores were drawn to Barbados
Again there is much we don't know but it seems that the Barrow family was involved in this. Some Baruch Lousadas had remained in Livorno after 1660 - see note 6 below - and from this the Barrows originated in the form of our key ancestor Simon Barrow of Barbados 1709-1801. His wife Bailah Montefiore was born in 1720 probably in Livorno which is the origin of those Montefiores who settled permanently in England. The Barrows may have contributed to the English Montefiore presence in Barbados along the following lines:
The Barrow/Montefiore marriage would place Simon Barrow in Livorno around 1740. The year of Simon Barrow's travel to Barbados from Livorno is unknown but it was certainly before 1773 when Bailah died in Barbados and probably before 1759 (see note 14 below). Conceivably Simon Barrow and his sister travelled to London with Moses Vita Montefiore in 1752. This is the year when Moses Vita Montefiore settled in England after several preparatory visits. Then - presumably after acquiring passes - Simon Barrow with his sister and their spouses proceeded to Barbados so that the Montefiores might be represented there well before the offspring of Moses Vita Montefiore were of an age. Ultimately 3 such offspring made their way to Barbados, marrying into families established there including as noted below the Barrows (once) and the Nunes Castellos (twice).
An Amsterdam connection was also established as Isaac Levi the brother-in-law of Simon Barrow went there after a period in Barbados but we do not know when he left Barbados. Isaac's son Abraham also appeared in Amsterdam but it seems 2 other sons Jacob and Joseph were married in Barbados (both as it happens to Eve the youngest known daughter of Simon Barrow).
The 5th son of Moses Vita Montefiore was Eliezer 1761-1837. Simon Barrow's wife Bailah Montefiore was probably his aunt - and so his wife Judith Joseph Levi would have been a first cousin once removed. They married in Bridgetown in 1797 (see note 1 below). Though Bailah Barrow nee Montefiore died in 1773 when Eliezer was 12 he had by then many Barrow relatives in Barbados. Perhaps significantly one of them came to London, for in 1785 at Bevis Marks, Jacob Barrow (his probable cousin) married Jael Nunes. We do not know of the connection with her father Semaya Nunes with the Castello Nunes family (see below).
Perhaps also influential was Eliezer's sister Rachel marrying Moses Nunes Castello of Barbados at Bevis Marks in 1788 (see note 2 below). Rachel and Moses must have then soon travelled to Barbados for in late 1794 they prepared to leave Barbados with Elias Nunes Castello (ref 138), with Rachel given a power of attorney in Barbados thereby showing her return was anticipated. Where they went is unclear though their nephew the eldest son Moses b1798 of Eliezer and Judith went to St Thomas (ref 168). Neither parent can be found in ref 61 so perhaps Rachel's anticipated return (see ref 138) to Barbados was not permanent. Rachel's time in Barbados overlapped briefly with Eliezer's - he arrived before 1794 (see note 4 below).
John Castello Montefiore was born in 1794 (see note 3 below) but seems not to have been the son of Rachel and Moses nor of Judith and Eliezer (but Eliezer before his 1797 marriage to Judith is the probable father - see note 4 below). John Castello Montefiore became prominent in Barbados (see memorial fountain above).
There is an Australian dimension to this Barbados Montefiore story (see note 7 below).
1. Judith Joseph Levi married Eliezer Montefiore #463 in Barbados and James Greener in his email of 3 Jan 2013 first gave us their marriage date as 5 July 1797 - from Townsend, Peter, ed ‘Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry’, 18th edition p506 and from ref 173 p454. He also pointed out that ref 110 p206 records Judith's tombstone at Mile End describing her as being a 'native of Barbadoes'. Later ref 132 not only confirmed the 5 July 1797 marriage date of Judith Joseph Levi but clarified her ancestry in that despite her name her father was Jacob Levi. Her Barbados birth was probably in 1776 and she died in London in 1836. (James Greener is thus not a Barrow descendant, as John Castello Montefiore who was born in 1794 obviously does not descend from the 1797 marriage of Eliezer and Judith). See note 3 for a further useful data resource. Judith Joseph Levi has sometimes (mistakenly) been referred to as Judith Barrow. It has then been suggested that Eliezer Montefiore married Judith Barrow before his 1797 marriage to Judith Joseph Levi and that this earlier (fictitious) marriage produced offspring. This theory is incorrect because no such Montefiore children appear in the Barrow wills - only the children of Judith Joseph Levi - and because the only available Judith Barrow was the aunt of Judith Joseph Levi and the aunt died unmarried in 1805 (see note 5 below). However it does seem that at least one pre-1797 child did otherwise emerge (see note 4 below).
2. Actually 13 Sivan 5548 - marriage #1256 in Bevis Marks Records 2
3. See ref 170 for a basic resource of Montefiore family data. In it there are several independent citations of the death of John Castello Montefiore aged 60 in 1854 - one of which is a newspaper report of his death of cholera. The other reference details his epitaph in Bridgetown. The claim in ref 38 that John Castello Montefiore became an Anglican in 1710 aged 20 is erroneous - he was 16 still of course rather late in life for baptism due no doubt to discrimination (see note 4 below).
4. Esther Montefiore - sister of Eliezer and Rachel - perhaps also married a Nunes Castello (Jacob who became known as James or John Nunn) but they cannot be found in Jewish records and probably converted quite early so their offspring probably carried the Nunn surname. However, neither this marriage nor that of Rachel Montefiore and Moses Nunes Castello seems to have been that which produced John Castello Montefiore. For as ref 181 points out, John Castello Montefiore was a well-known and wealthy free mulatto, as was his son John. It seems likely that the mother was a slave or a descendant of a slave of the Castello family, and that the father was Eliezer Montefiore before his 1797 marriage. Such a liaison probably arose because of contact with the Nunes Castellos via the previous Montefiore/Castello marriage(s), but then family pressure was brought to bear on Eliezer to marry within the family which he did in 1797 some 3 years after John Castello Montefiore was born! James Greener has seen a description of John Castello Montefiore in a codicil of the will of Eliezer Montefiore as a 'good friend', a description which undoubtedly obscures their true relationship for the sake of the family's feelings.
5. See burial record #4390 of Bevis Marks Records 6.
6. We are inclined to accept that there was an early Barrow link to the Baruch Lousadas and we conclude that it must have occurred in Livorno where the Baruch Lousadas first went after leaving Iberia. That is, we think it likely that Simon Barrow's father Baruch married a Baruch Lousada in Livorno around 1708. Simon Barrow #64, the original Barrow of our family was born in 1709, and as just suggested this must have been in Livorno.
7. Joseph Barrow Montefiore and Jacob Barrow Montefiore who went on to play an important role in the early development of Australia were sons of Judith Joseph Levi of Barbados who was a first cousin of Simon Barrow of Bath; thus Joseph and Jacob were great-grandchildren of Simon Barrow of Barbados. Their sister, Esther Hannah Montefiore, then produced in Barbados two sons Eliezer 1820-94 and Jacob Levi Montefiore 1819-85 who also both entered Australian history a generation later than their uncles. Jacob became a squatter then a senior figure in mining and a distinguished member of the community (and also wrote the lyrics of Australia's first opera 'Don John of Austria' whose score was written by Isaac Nathan), while Eliezer, as an adjunct to a career in business, became senior in the arts world - a founder of the Art Gallery of NSW and other galleries. Jacob and Eliezer both appear in the Australian Dictionary of Biography (ref 53). In Australia Eliezer married Esther Hannah Barrow Montefiore, a daughter of Joseph Barrow Montefiore. Jacob gave up an Australian political career and returned to England but Eliezer stayed in Australia. All these people appear in our chart of early Australian Barrows and Lousadas.
8. Drax bought a triple-roller sugar mill and copper cauldrons during his visit to Pernambuco, according to ref 172 p38.
9. There were 4 later Lousada/Mercado marriages at least 2 of which involve Baruch Lousadas (all 4 if as appears likely the Den Haag Louzadas are Baruch Lousadas). Of particular interest was the Daniel Mercado/Sarah Baruch Louzada marriage of 1683 in Amsterdam where the groom was born in Genoa in 1659. Perhaps after the expulsion from Dutch Brazil some Mercados went to Genoa where they made contact with the Baruch Louzadas in nearby Livorno.
10. In ref 5 can be found a comment by Aaron Baruch Lousada #376 in connection with some unsigned family accounts for the year 1685 to the effect that he had then served 26 years of slavery for the family! The will extract from which this comment is taken can also be found here.
11. For 6 or 7 years, and perhaps even acquired a plantation - ref 5.
12. Clearly Aaron died between his will of 9 May 1693 and its proving on 3 Oct 1695. A conversion error obviously afflicted ref 61 #17 when converting the gravestone death date of 17 Tisri 5456 for it somehow comes up with a death date after the proving date! It is easy to calculate Aaron's date of death to have been 16 Sep 1695 taking care to apply the deduction of 10 days when converting a Gregorian date to a Julian date (the English date change occurred in 1752). Another transcription error afflicted ref 61 #17 in giving age at death of 25 - and because a very easy gravestone transcription error to make is to read a 7 as a 2 it seems that the most likely age at death was 75 meaning a birth probably in Madrid in 1620. Perhaps Aaron was the oldest son of his father David, and perhaps Amador (the father of David and Isaac) was also Aaron a name for which Amador may have been a convenient equivalent in 1540!
13. For the last trip he obtained a pass on 17 Apr 1696 (ref 182) for him and son (Jacob) and daughter-in-law Rebecca (as reported by ref 5). The date of this pass is consistent with the date of his brother Aaron's death being in late 1695.
14. From ref 190 (last page) it is clear Joseph Barrow witnessed with Isaac Lindo the will of Judith Castello on 22 Aug 1759. Thus Joseph Barrow must have been in Barbados for at least a few years and must have known Isaac Lindo, who was part of a link between the Barrows and the Baruh Lousadas of Barbados.
15. The Barbados travel pass issued by Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector, on 27 April 1655 to David Raphael de Mercado and his father makes no mention of his wife Gracia (ref 5). Later passes (as shown in ref 182) do generally include all members of a party. This leaves unclear how Gracia got to Barbados and when her marriage took place. Perhaps she and her brothers got to Barbados unofficially, a situation that was rectified retrospectively with her marriage and the endenization of David #44 in 1664, Aaron #376 in 1676, and Abraham #45 in 1672 (ref 5).