Antonio Fernandez Carvajal - Encyclopedia




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ANTONIO FERNANDEZ CARVAJAL (d. 1659), a Portuguese Marano or Crypto-Jew, who came to England in the reign of Charles I. He was the first "endenizened" Jew in England, and by his extensive trade with the West Indies rendered considerable services to the Commonwealth. Besides his commercial value to Cromwell, Carvajal was politically useful also, for he acted as "intelligencer." When Manasseh ben Israel in 1655 petitioned for the return of the Jews who had been expelled by Edward I., Carvajal took part in the agitation and boldly avowed his Judaism. Carvajal may be termed the founder of the Anglo-Jewish community. He died in 1659.

See Lucien Wolf, "The First English Jew," Trans. Jewish Historical Society, ii. 14.

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