The New Christians of Rouen and the remarkable set of 5 Lamego/Lousada marriages 1700-50

Whatever the underlying reasons (see notes 5 and 10 below) for the remarkable cluster of Lamego/Lousada marriages shown in the chart, the first pair of marriages around 1705 in Jamaica (but see note 3 below) was associated with the Lousadas establishing a firm foothold in Jamaica from Barbados around 1705, and the last pair of Lamego/Lousada marriages enabled offspring of these Jamaican Lousadas to make a successful transition to England in the 1736-43 period (see note 12 below). The chart above also shows an intermediate Lamego/Lousada marriage around 1720 (see note 14 below). The key ancestor from these perspectives is Aaron Lamego (see note 6 below), and Edgar Samuel advised us that it is likely that both Aaron Lamego and the Bordeaux Lamegos (ref 114) derive from the Rouen Lamegos. In the Southwest of France the Sephardim could live as Jews by the end of the 17th century (but see note 11 below) and the rise of Bordeaux as a trading port was partly due to their presence and their trade with the Caribbean (ref 198). The chart illustrates 3 of the many routes to Judaism followed by the New Christians of Rouen (see note 17 below) in the 17th century.

 There was a prominent French presence in the Caribbean in the 1600s (see ref 129 and ref 21) and Jews were present in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Cayenne/Remire. Many of the Jews were from Dutch Brazil but in the case of Cayenne some were from Livorno. But their presence did not last long. In Cayenne the Jews departed either displaced across the border into Surinam upon the French attack of 1664 or taken to Surinam or Barbados by the English in 1667, and they left Martinique and Guadeloupe in the 1683-85 expulsions from French colonies. But Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) then unofficially absorbed Jewish settlers and by 1713 it had developed a vigorous trade with Jamaica and Curacao (ref 197) and by 1764 when French authorities eventually took notice there were 50 Jewish families not the expected 3 (ref 197). The travels of Aaron Lamego are discussed in note 6 below and his path to Jamaica may have been via Saint-Domingue at the time when its trading link with Jamaica was being forged. Aaron's son Isaac was born in 1685 (see note 9 below) in a time of great change for French colonial Jews. Aaron was probably a grandson of Antonio Rodrigues Lamego though we have no indications as to his father except that his Jewish name may have been Isaac - for it seems likely that Isaac was first-born (given that Aaron died around 1747 and must have been quite young when Isaac was born in 1685).

 The top line of the chart overlaps with the bottom line in our chart of the early Lamegos and other ancestors. However without much doubt the wealth the early Lamegos generated was that which enabled the participation in the d'Olivares refinancing of their descendants (see notes 7, 8 and 13 below). Overlapping this participation, the Rodrigues Lamegos of Rouen actively deployed their capital, for they (as shown in ref 120 table 25) operated an Atlantic trading business from Rouen for several generations (see also notes 1, 11 and 13). The marriage in Portugal of Antonio Rodrigues Lamego to Beatriz Henriques aka Sarah Curiel (see note 4 below) brought many Curiel/Acosta connections (see notes 1 and 5 below) and yielded 3 sons (ref 115). In any event it seems likely that the Curiel/Acostas were the ancestors that it is claimed the Lousadas had in Jamaica many generations before the English acquired it from Spain in 1655.

 

Notes:

1. From ref 30 it appears that in the 1620s whilst the Lamego representatives in Cartegena and Veracruz were linked to the family, the Jamaican representative was not - unlike the others his relationship was not stated. The Cartegena representative was Antonio de Acosta a brother-in-law of Antonio Rodrigues Lamego clearly a brother of Sarah Curiel. She had other close relatives with this surname which was variously spelt as da Costa, d'Acosta or de Acosta eg in ref 142 her brother appears as Duarte Nunez de Acosta (this is Jacob Curiel of Hamburg 1587-1664). The eminent Moses Curiel, also known as Jeronimo Nunes da Costa, merchant and diplomat extraordinaire, was the son of Jacob and thus a cousin of Duarte Rodrigues Lamego of Rouen as the chart shows. Antonio de Acosta does not appear in ref 142 - perhaps because his name was prudently withheld from the Inquisitional hearing which shed light on the other family members. In ref 14 can be found reference to a 'converted Jew d'Acosta (who) was superintendent of the commissary of the English troops and was one of the chief negotiators of the Spanish surrender. (He may have known Spanish).'

2. Our chart of the early Lamegos suggests a plausible link via the Rodrigues Lamegos. Then in ref 142 we find Antonio Luis Morais shown as the son of Luis de Oliveira de Lisboa, though as we suggest here this is unlikely - he is more likely to have been a son-in-law. Antonio Luis Morais was no doubt Antonio Rodrigues de Morais, the Rouen merchant who was a partner of Duarte Rodrigues Lamego. A grandson of Luis (ie Abraham de Jacob de Oliveira whose uncle was Polycarp de Oliveira who arrived in London before him) appeared in London in 1685, married his cousin Rebecca de Abraham Isaiah de Morais in London (see ref 11 and BMR2 #53) on 15 Heshvan 5458 ie 30 Oct 1697. It seems that Antonio Rodrigues de Morais married a hitherto unknown daughter of Luis de Oliveira Lisboa as shown in the chart. Abraham de Jacob de Oliveira was a member of Bevis Marks with Moses Baruh Lousada (see ref 6 p422 where they both appear as signatories to the 1677 Code of Ascamot). Ref 37 p45 shows Antonio Fernandez Carvajal trading with Antonio Rodrigues Morais and Jeronimo and Raphael Rodrigues Lamego all of Rouen from around 1655 and having an agent and factor in Porto Polycarp d'Oliveira.

3. The marriage of Jacob #380 to Abigail Lamego the elder seems to have been the second for Jacob as he seems to have first married Leah in Barbados but we do not know who Leah was.

4. On the marriage see note 2 here. Through the work of Edgar Samuel we can see that Sarah Curiel descends from the last Visigothic kings of Leon and Asturias (see ref 35 Table 6 and preceding material) and is related to the entire Portuguese ruling family! There are many references to Antonio Rodrigues Lamego of Rouen in the literature eg ref 123 pp 255-6 and 320-1, but we have found some hitherto unknown occurrences of his name in the Amsterdam Notary Archives - and though we have not yet digested the documents their online summaries are detailed enough to give at least a partial picture of the trade they engaged in.

5. The Lamego/Curiel and Rouen influence on the Baruh Lousadas may have gone well beyond the 5 marriages we show above. Thus (1) the Barbados wife of Aaron Baruh Lousada was Rachel Gomez Henriques the relevance of which is discussed in note 18 below; (2) the name of wife David #44 married in 1673 ie Esther Rodrigues da Costa reminds us that Antonio Rodrigues Lamego married Sarah Curiel and the Curiels frequently used the da Costa/d'Acosta name; and (3) Moses Baruch Lousada appears to have travelled to London via France - presumably Rouen - and his main London business associate was Jacob Gomes Serra whose surnames suggests the Montezinos family (see ref 153).

 6. Aaron Lamego of Jamaica, probably from a family of French crypto-Jews of Rouen and then Bordeaux, most likely first went to French territory (Guadeloupe or Martinique). But the French colonial expulsion of Jews of 1683 and 1685 perhaps forced his departure. Jeronimo Nunes da Costa (see note 1 above) used his diplomatic talents in intercession on behalf of the Jews of Martinique. There is no evidence that Aaron Lamego went to nearby Barbados, and the plantation owner David de Acosta noted by ref 5 p14 as being from Spain and whose will showed a Livorno connection) was probably not the David aka George noted in the chart above. It seems likely that Aaron Lamego spent most time in the unofficial Jewish community in Saint Domingue as discussed above. He may have had a relative in Jamaica from the outset of British rule (see note 1) but in any event he was probably in Jamaica some time before his Barbados future sons-in-law arrived around 1705 and perhaps since 1694 (see here note 7). Probably the end of his stay in Jamaica was marked by his appearance as a Bank of England stockholder in 1714-39 (ref 127) and in Bevis Marks (ref 6) in 1716. His son Moses appears in Bevis Marks in 1731 (ref 6) and his son Isaac in 1744 (ref 6). Regrettably, Aaron Lamego had an involvement in 1708 with the Jamaican slave trade (ref 44 p97) though on a scale dwarfed by that of his ancestor Manuel Rodrigues Lamego a century earlier who for 7 years exclusively held the official Spanish slave contract.

7. See here for how the early Lamegos may have participated in the d'Olivares refinancing.

8. Bartoleme Febos was a product of an earlier marriage - to Joana Febos (ref 30 and ref 142) - and came to Rouen aged 12 (ref 150). He became his father's Madrid representative, and provided specialist bill and credit support to many banking asentistas. His trial in Madrid in 1634 has become well-known for giving insights into the impact that the Inquisition had on commercial and other life in Madrid (ref 41 p137). An investigator was sent to Rouen to clear the Fonseca family, but while there he discovered much about the Lamegos who had become less secretive about their Jewishness, whilst the Fonsecas appeared to be faultless Catholics. The investigator's report led to a number of Portuguese merchants in Madrid being compromised including Febos, whose high-profile celebrity friend Fernando (later) Isaac Cardoso testified for him. Cardoso by doing so could have endangered himself but seems not to have, whilst Febos was fortunate that whilst tried and convicted, this was apparently without serious consequences as he was active in Atlantic trade in 1644 (ref 30). An uncle of Bartolomeo Febos was Luis de Oliveira Lisboa, was also a bill specialist (see note 2) and the chart of the early Lamegos suggests an obvious way the relationship may have arisen. 

9. The birthdate of Isaac Lamego appears erroneously as 1710 in Bevis Marks Records Part 6 Appendix C. This error arose because his age at death was not 57 (the figure from which 1710 was calculated from the 1767 death date) but probably 82 (which gives the 1685 birthdate shown in ref 91p38). It would have taken 2 transcription errors for 82 to be read as 57 ie 8 as 5 and 2 as 7 (both of course quite plausible). On 22 Oct 2013 by email Edgar Samuel reported that he had found from inspection of an image of the grave in Bevis Marks Archives that age at death was 80 plus thereby confirming the first of the transcription errors. The gravestone was lost when the burial remains were relocated to Brentwood, Essex and Edgar Samuel suggested it may have suffered damage from chemical pollution in the time between its initial observation (leading to the date in ref 91 p38) and the observation made just before the relocation (leading to the data in Bevis Marks Records Part 6 Appendix C).

10. Lamego in the Duoro River valley is close to the Lousada towns and villages of northern Portugal. The 2 families seem to have a similar palette of forenames.

11. The family was in Rouen in the 1650s - Antonio Rodrigues Lamego was in Rouen in 1632 (ref 41) and 1633 (ref 51), and in 1655 the family was represented by his sons Jeronimo and Raphael Rodrigues Lamego (ref 37). But from ref 123 pp255-6 it seems that Royal pressure made Rouen less favoured as a home for Sephardic crypto-Jews compared to Bordeaux. Louis XIV and his Chief Minister Colbert had planned to expel Jews and while in 1683 their attention was focussed on the Southwest this only led to a limited expulsion. Some evidence of the Lamegos of Bordeaux may be found in ref 114.

12. Once in England, the Lousadas, with the Lamegos, formed multiple marriage links with the Lopes Pereira and Mocatta families and re-established their position at the heart of Anglo-Jewry first taken by Jacob's grand-uncle Moses Baruh Lousada.

13. Antonio Mendes Lamego participated in the d'Olivares refinancing (ref 23) and though ref 142 shows Fernan Mendez as a son of Antonio Rodrigues Lamego and Beatriz Henriques it seems likely that he was their stepson and possibly a son of Antonio Mendes Lamego. If Fernan Mendez was born in Rouen (which his appearance in ref 142 as just cited suggests), then Antonio Mendes Lamego must have visited Rouen from Madrid, perhaps in establishing a family involvement in the d'Olivares banking reform, and perhaps also in preparing for the 1644 asientos bid of Bartolomeo Febos (see note 8). In Madrid, Antonio Mendes Lamego and Bartolomeo Febos must have overlapped with another representative of the Rouen Lamegos, until about 1656 when trouble with the Cuenca Inquisition arose and he left for Antwerp, namely Fernando de Montezinos a man with a Villaflor background like Abraham Israel Pereira (see ref 123 p256 which describes him and Bartoleme as correspondents). Antonio's brother Manuel Rodrigues Lamego of Rouen had paid a very large sum for the contract to supply slaves to the Spanish colonies in 1623-30 (ref 30 p4 and ref 116 p115) which suggests top Madrid representation. Duarte Rodrigues Lamego became a powerful merchant of Rouen and substantial creditor (with Antonio Rodrigues de Morais) of Michael de Spinoza, the father of the excommunicated philosopher Baruch Spinoza (ref 90). These two Rouen merchants were themselves in debt to Antonio Fernandez Carvajal of London and were his factors in Rouen around 1655 (ref 37). Duarte Rodrigues Lamego, like his more eminent cousin Jeronimo Nunes da Costa (see note 1), provided intelligence to the Portuguese government.

14. There are many references in the literature to a marriage between Isaac Lamego and Rachel Baruh Lousada eg http://www.dutchjewry.org/genealogy/duparc/10351.shtml while the old Lousada family tree even suggests she was the daughter of Emanuel #41 (in chart above) but it can readily be shown that neither she nor the daughter named Rachel of Jacob #380 (also in chart above) can have been her. We considered whether Rachel derived from the Barbados Baruch Lousadas. Our first choice was that she was a daughter of David Baruh Lousada #612, but this seems unlikely because David's daughter seems to have married and gone to Curacao. The next most obvious possibility is discussed in note 16 below. The marriage does not appear in Bevis Marks Records 2 whilst early Barbados marriage records have been lost - in ref 132 the first entry is for 1778 - as have early Jamaican marriage records. The marriage of Isaac and Rachel must have been before the birth of Abigail #37 on 12 Nov 1723 and probably before the birth of Haim in 1722. Rachel could hardly have been Isaac's first wife, for his daughter Sarah was born in 1715. Thus the marriage was probably in 1721.

15. The transcription we have of the will of Emanuel #135 (in English not Portuguese) showed 2 daughters of his brother Daniel named Rebecca, but inspection of the will itself showed that one of them was Rachel.

16. The 1st daughter of Solomon #712 would also have been called Rachel (after Rachel Gomez Henriques the wife of Aaron #376 - as were the 1st daughters of each of Jacob #380, Emanuel #41, David #612 and Hannah Alvin). If Rachel - daughter of Solomon - did survive, she is a possible last wife of Isaac Lamego. If this is correct she was born after 1703, and Isaac Lamego presumably came to Barbados to marry her. If as suggested in note 14 the marriage was in 1721 Rachel would have been no older than 18. Currently, we have no evidence that Solomon had a surviving daughter Rachel - other than that we believe he had a surviving daughter Rebecca in addition to his 3 sons Aaron, Jeremiah and David in which case Rachel must have existed at least for a time. Rachel Lamego nee Baruch Lousada #1262 died in 1751.

17. The chart shows (1) direct transition to London of Rouen crypto-Jews in the case of the Morais and Oliveira families; (2) a transition to the Jewish life that emerged in Bordeaux and then to Amsterdam in the case of Rachel Jessurun; and (3) a transition via French colonies to the Jewish society that emerged strongly in Jamaica to which Bayonne contributed (see ref 316).

18. Ref 348 discusses the remarkable Manuel Fernandes Vila Real who had links with Rouen and the Lamegos there and who from Paris around the time of the Restoration of the Portuguese monarchy in 1640 provided semi-official diplomatic support for Portugal during this shaky period for the newly independent country. Around 1632 Manuel married Isabel Dias, a descendant of a New Christian merchant family from Vila Real, and participated in large-scale trade ventures led by her cousins, João and António Rodrigues de Morais (the latter, as explained in note 2, was an associate of Duarte Rodrigues Lamego). He moved to Madrid but in October 1638 he joined the Morais brothers in Rouen, possibly in reaction to the threat of persecution from the Spanish Inquisition (though it was the Portuguese Inquisition which was eventually responsible for burning him at the stake in 1652). His extant writings cover many areas of interest, particularly his intervention in the scandal caused by the anti-inquisitorial pamphlet Política Angélica, secretly published by Antonio Enríquez Gómez in Rouen. The latter person carries the Gomez and Henriques surnames (albeit in the wrong order) and one wonders whether he was a close relative of Rachel Gomez Henriques #377 1650-1703 and her London brother Isaac (who represented her interests in the 1699 Lousada family financial settlement - see here).