From Ref 6


From this snippet found by Tony Harding in A S Diamond's 'The Community of the Resettlement, 1656-1684' (ref 75) we get a sense of the early workings of the Community:

'Hardly had the plague finally died down when on 2 September 1666 the Great Fire was upon the city and most of it was burnt down. Again the community was fortunate, for the bulk of the Jewish area escaped, but trade had been severely limited in both years and synagogal life was only beginning to stir. Nevertheless, a new Mahamad was elected for 1667 by the heads of families and sketchy accounts were got out for 1666 and 1667. In 1666 the imposta fetched only half the figure of 1665, though the rate had been doubled, and in 1667 it fetched only a quarter. In the latter year no money was spent on the poor and very little in the previous year.

Slowly the synagogue recovered, but it was not till 1669 and 1670 that its income and numbers were again what they had been in 1665. Till then three stalwart Ashkenazim were the spiritual officers of the congregation. One of the differences between the congregation of that day and of this was that the blessings of democracy had not arrived. No synagogue meeting except of the Mahamad took place from the adoption of the constitution in 1665 to 1681. 'The Mahamad,' said the 4th Escama 34 'shall have authority and supremacy over everything.' Anyone criticising any of its decisions was liable to 'herem' or excommunication. The Mahamad elected its successors, appointed the Haham (till 1681) and the other officials, and added new escamoth.

Indeed, as early as February 1662, John Greenhalgh, who visited the synagogue, remarked that the Chief Ruler (presumably David Abravanel) was 'a very rich merchant a big, black, fierce and stern man to whom, I perceive, they stand in as reverential an awe as boys to a master' (from Cecil Roth, quoted on p195 of ref 35).

According to ref 75, Moses Baruh Louzada was elected 'gabai' on 18 November 1663, at the second of a series of three founding meetings of the Yehidim (heads of households/families), the first being in 3 Sep 1663.