Key historical detail on the 1600s and 1700s period when Jews resettled in England comes from ‘The Sephardim of England’ by Albert Montefiore Hyamson (ref 6). It contains the results of analysis of annual records of the Bevis Marks Synagogue, and particularly the annual election of leaders of the London Jewish community from the 1660s onwards. David Man of Columbia University suggested this as a good source of historical information on the Lousadas; he had discovered in the course of his work on the Man, Montagu, Samuel and other families many marriages with the Lousadas; he was seeking information about the Lousadas and I was able to provide him with a copy of the family tree, errors and all. From Hyamson we learn fascinating details of the early days of the Synagogue, including family names of the newer members (Pereira, d’Oliveira, Barrow/Baruh Lousada, Rodriguez, Gomes, Gabay, Nunes); Jewish assistance in the marriage of Charles 2 and Catherine of Braganza, the petition associated with the Robles trial, and some of the older Sephardic names like da Costa and Mendes. Summarising the founding of the community, Hyamson says ‘the first founders of the Amsterdam Sephardic community, refugees from Portugal, tarried for a short time in England before they made their way to their final destination in the Netherlands…(to) ... return some two generations later ... to join with fellow Sephardim – some direct from Spain or Portugal, others after a temporary residence in France eg Bayonne – to establish a community in London. Thus the London Sephardi community may be considered a child of that of Amsterdam’. For the Lousadas, Amsterdam appears to have remained a family base for decades after Moses Baruh Lousada reached England. In his 1693 will, his brother Aaron Baruh Lousada of Barbados writes of 1685 ‘I did not sign (a family balance-sheet from Amsterdam) owing to my then serving my 26 (years) slavery’ (quoted by Wilfred Samuel). A picture of the family's presence in Amsterdam comes from the regular payments family members made to the Amsterdam Sephardic community - an example of the data that can be found in Amsterdam, in this case by Ton Tielen.
Bevis Marks later served as a model and a support of Sephardi communities elsewhere – Dublin, Cork, New York, Canada, Barbados, Georgia (USA) etc. Moses Baruh Lousada was appointed Gabay on 18 November 1663 to a community established under organizational precedents of Venice and Amsterdam. Hyamson says he was the first member in England of a family that flourished and multiplied in England and the West Indies and which has given ‘pillars to the Synagogue and distinguished men to English public life’. He was ‘known in the wider world as Antonio Louzada, which name he or his family bore in Portugal, and slightly modified to Moses Barrow for business purposes in the City....... In the middle of the 18th century, both Barrows and Baruch Lousadas, men of wealth, left the West Indies to settle in England, and for a century they and their descendants were prominent at Bevis Marks. Today, few Lousadas are in the Jewish community, but there are many non-Jewish Baruh Lousadas and Barrows; the Barrows provided provided a whole dynasty of British generals and other soldiers'. However there are questions here; not the least being how to link the Barbados Baruch Louzadas of Wilfred Samuel with the Jamaican Baruh Lousadas. There is a distinction between the Barrows and the Baruh/Baruch Lousadas/Louzadas which is blurred in Hyamson's comments. There is a possible link with the Spanish Duque de Losada to consider. And the use of a Portuguese name Antonio Louzada by Moses Baruh Lousada reminds us of our Portuguese link.
Portuguese traders were able to establish trading settlements in the Muslim African coast in the period after Vasco da Gama discovered the sea ('Cape') route to India in 1498. Portuguese traders were very early participants in the sugar trade after it began in early 16th century Morocco and it spread to Madeira, Sao Thomé and then Brazil. The Atlantic trade grew rapidly and Antwerp became an important centre for Portuguese New Christian merchants. Amsterdam then started to become important but the independence struggle with Spain slowed this advance and Hamburg briefly became important as a base for Portuguese Sephardic merchants. After the 1579 Union of Utrecht by the United (northern) Provinces, the Dutch Republic in 1588 proclaimed its independence from Catholic Spain, and soon Amsterdam's Sephardic population grew rapidly as Jews were tolerated. The Northern Provinces benefited greatly and led to growing Dutch presence in Latin America. Once the English/Spanish war was over in 1604 Portuguese merchants in Amsterdam used English ships to continue their trade with Portugal. The 1580-1640 union of the Spanish and Portuguese crowns was in this instance and in others an important factor leading to advances by the Portuguese New Christian merchants. However after the 1609-21 Spanish truce with Holland ended, Amsterdam's trade suffered and internal Iberian tensions rose; the Portuguese felt the Spanish were not defending their Brazilian interests adequately against the Dutch (whose West India Company - WIC - captured Olinda and Recife in 1630) and the success of Portuguese New Christian merchants encountered resentment in Spain. Once Portugal seceded from its union with Spain in 1640, however, Dutch trade with Portugal resumed, and the end of the Dutch war with Spain in 1648 further regenerated the fortunes of the Portuguese traders in Amsterdam. When the Dutch yielded their Brazilian colonies back to Portugal in 1654 more Portuguese Sephardic traders came to Amsterdam, although those with sugar planting experience went to Caribbean destinations via London or Amsterdam or in some cases directly. England prepared for a growing role in the West Indies through the attempted colonisation of Surinam around 1660 and the acquisition of Jamaica from Spain in 1655; these ventures, the first unsuccessful and the second successful, followed the earlier English acquisition of Barbados in 1627. By the end of the 17th century, many Portuguese Jews in Amsterdam were active in the stock market, owning a quarter of the shares in the Dutch East India Company (Encyclopedia Judaica ref 9 provided much of this detail). They were also influential shareholders in the Dutch West Indies Company, a fact which forced Peter Stuyvesant in New Amsterdam to tolerate Jews fleeing Pernambuco after 1654; the company for a long period ran the trade of Curacao and Surinam. The English gained New York and lost its anticipated sugar colony of Surinam as ratified in the Treaty of Breda of 1667. It is said that when the British brag about this exchange, the Dutch response is to ask how long new York was kept (for Surinam stayed Dutch for centuries longer).
Whilst it quickly seemed evident to us that Moses Baruh Lousada - after a decade in Amsterdam - came to England for trade reasons (ref 37 discusses the early Sephardic Jewish traders of London including Moses Baruh Lousada), it took us quite a while to realize that it was almost simultaneously around 1660 that his brothers went to Barbados, and his father and other family members went to Amsterdam. Later we realized that this was a common pattern - Amsterdam-based Jews pursuing trade with British colonies (especially Barbados and Surinam where Dutch influence was profound) needed to have family members in London to camouflage their Dutch involvement. During 1660-80, the firm of Serra and Lousada was very active (ref 37); Antonio Gomes Serra and Antonio Louzada were endenized in 1675 and 1679 respectively - testament to the benevolent attitude Charles 2 had to Jewish merchants. In ref 21 p214 there is a description of the techniques which helped the Jewish merchants to acquire a virtual monopoly on the Amsterdam/Barbados trade via England. Ref 35 p200 records how the Falmouth customs incident involving Moses Baruh Lousada illustrates how popular opinion started to follow the lead from London in terms of accepting the local economic benefits of Jewish trade. Ref 117 explains how it was that the favourable attitude to them in England enabled Jewish merchants in Barbados and Jamaica to survive the hostility of local merchants.
English officialdom had become receptive to Jews after centuries of exclusion. From ref 10 we learn that in the wake of the Civil War, the English Commonwealth was struggling to establish itself both politically and economically and Portuguese businessmen trading discreetly in London as 'Spanish merchants' made an impact with their large and wealthy trading networks spanning across the Dutch and Spanish empires. A small group of long-time resident crypto-Jewish merchants of London were allowed to purchase land for the Jewish Mile End cemetery in 1657 (among them was Antonio Fernadez Carvajal, a major dealer in cochineal, gunpowder and silver who had advanced large sums to Parliament and provided Oliver Cromwell with significant information against the Dutch during the war, and Simon de Caceres, another useful merchant with extensive interests in the West Indies and Spanish South America). Menasseh ben Israel (alias Manoel Dias Soeiro), the leader of the Amsterdam Jewish community, had spent great effort inveigling a sympathetic Queen Christina of Sweden to open Scandinavia to wholesale Jewish settlement but her abdication had put paid to this and Menasseh’s attention was attracted by England (Edgar Samuel ref 11 refers to an earlier English mission to visit Menasseh in Amsterdam in 1651). He sent emissaries and a silver salver as a gift to Cromwell, but negotiations were disrupted by the breakout of war between Britain and Holland in 1652-4. As soon as hostilities abated, Menasseh renewed negotiations with a petition asking for the repeal the Expulsion Order of 1290.
The petition was presented to Cromwell on 3 November 1654 by David Abravanel (alias Manuel Martinez Dormido) who had the ear of Cromwell having advised him earlier – see ref 5. In 1655 Cromwell summoned a national conference of lawyers, ecclesiastics and merchants to Whitehall to consider the petition and the lawyers could find no reason to deny Jews re-entry; however the ecclesiastics and merchants balked and Cromwell withdrew the petition to prevent any binding negative vote. War erupted again in 1656, this time with Spain, and the status of the already operating network of 'Spanish merchants' was in immediate jeopardy, as individual 'Spanish merchants' were arrested and their assets impounded. (Perhaps the caution of the Portuguese merchants in revealing their true identity was due to the fact that until 1641, it was a capital offence for a baptized Christian to practice or convert to Judaism – see ref 11). Cromwell of course knew the Jews' inestimable value, particularly through their ability to both strengthen England and deplete her enemies by bringing Jewish interests in Dutch and Spanish sources of wealth with them. The Robles trial made the issue (and the persecution of Portuguese crypto-Jews) explicit. Cromwell responded positively to a petition by leading Jews on the Robles matter made on 24 March 1656, a few days after the trial started. Robles was exonerated and his goods returned. The Jewish merchants had no choice but to disavow their Spanish (Catholic) masks and declare themselves to be (Portuguese) Jews outright. In his own terms Menasseh failed in that there was no formal welcome and acceptance of Jews to England; but in the long run he was successful because Cromwell made it clear that bans against the Jews would no longer be enforced and supported the Jews informally by asserting that they could practice their religion discreetly as long as they made no attempt to proselytize. This phrasing echoed that setting out religious freedom of protestant groups during the Commonwealth. A more complete account of the history of readmission can be found in ref 160 and an account of the mindset of Menasseh ben Israel - including his reaction to the doomed messianism of Sabbatai Zevi and the discoveries of Antonio Montezinos in present-day Colombia - can be found in ref 161.
David Abravanel, brother-in-law of Menasseh and father of Solomon Dormido
(the latter was allowed to become a licensed broker in the City of London without
having to take the usual Christian oaths of the Royal Exchange), became the
first head of the formally constituted London Jewish
community. He being Spanish explains (according to Edgar
ref 11) why the nominally
Portuguese community initially used Spanish as its main language. David Abravanel,
probably descending from the New Christian Abravanels remaining in Spain when
the family split, was a regional revenue collector in Andalucia, before
running foul of the Spanish Inquisition in 1627. After a period in Bordeaux he
then conducted a large Brazilian business from Amsterdam before coming to
England having lost a fortune when Dutch Brazil was lost. He had sons in
Charles 2 (King of England from 1660 to 1685) continued the informal welcome of Sephardic Jews extended a few years earlier by Cromwell. Much of his exile was spent in the Low Countries – both the Catholic south and the Protestant north. He consulted widely. Jenny Uglow, in her book on Charles 2 (ref 12), agrees that the Jewish dealers arriving in the mid-1650s were protected by an agreement with Cromwell. However, although their Synagogue in Cree Church was now one of the sights of the town they still had no written permission to settle. In exile Charles had promised Jewish bankers in Amsterdam toleration in return for a loan, and he kept his promise. Charles’ need for funds was in fact an ongoing theme; one pressing need immediately was the Army and its backpay which were vital early in the Restoration to consolidate Royal power. In 1664, when the Conventicle Act was passed, forbidding religious meetings, some hostile merchants and nobles saw this as a way to eject the Jews, or at least extract money for arguing on their behalf. But the Jewish leaders (ref 96 gives them as David Abravanel, Moses Baruh Lousada and Elias de Lima) appealed directly to Charles, who, wrote Rabbi Jacob Sasportas (1610-98; born in Oran, Morocco; briefly leader of the community in 1666; later settled in Amsterdam) ‘chuckled and spat on the business; and a written statement was issued from him, duly signed, affirming that no untoward measures had been or would be initiated against us’. Charles remained generous towards the Jewish community throughout his reign, granting naturalization (probably endenization is meant here) to those who asked. After breaking from union with Spain in 1640, Portugal was concerned to make strategic alliances to guard against Spanish power in the mid-1660s (Spain secured closer trading relations with the Dutch still smarting from the loss of Dutch Brazil in 1654). Portuguese Jews suggested the marriage of Catherine of Braganza (whom Charles married in 1662) and then helped Charles by negotiating and arranging the payment of a magnificent dowry, which included the ports of Tangier and Bombay – the latter giving the English a foothold in India - and a great deal of money (which - it is not hard to guess - helped in repayment of his debts). The great speculators Duarte da Silva and Gomes Rodrigues used London as a base to trade in bullion, jewels, wines and sugar across the world. The turnover of Jewish wholesale merchants was reckoned to be a twelfth of the total commerce of all the three kingdoms (of England, Scotland and Ireland), paying thousands in customs dues each year.
A little later, after Charles 2 died, and his brother James 2 failed to summon the same degree of wisdom as his brother, the Governments of England and Holland were in the same hands - of William of Orange - from 1689 to 1703, and this further facilitated the flow of Sephardim to London. Indeed, the 1688 expedition of William of Orange was - as we learn from Cecil Roth (ref 58) - inspired by Englishmen and executed by Dutchmen but to a large extent financed by Portuguese Jews - especially Francisco Lopez Suasso of The Hague, subsequently made Baron d'Avernas le Gras. The succession of the Stadtholder William to King of England meant that the Barbados trade - at the beginning very much part of the Dutch trading system - evolved into parallel Dutch (via Curacao) and English (via Jamaica) trading systems which feasted on bullion and other treasures from the Spanish colonies for the next century or more.