Jewish History in the 16th Century

  • Period: Jan 1, 1478 to

    Spanish Inquisition

    The Spanish Inquisition took place in many parts of Europe during this period. It included accusations of heresy in the Church, calls for those accused to confession, and later trials of the accused.
    (Schoenberg, Shira)
  • Jan 1, 1500

    Readmission of Jews into England

    Throughout the 16th century, Jews were readmitted into England in giant waves. They were integrated back into the society at this point. Jews were still not completely free to live as they pleased during this time though. Conversos were Jews who had been forcibly converted to Christianity, although they still practiced Jewish traditions in secret. This is how the Jews in England at the time were able to be there.
    (Christian-Jewish Relations: The Inquisition The Inquisition)
  • Period: Jan 1, 1520 to

    The Influence of Alvaro Mendes

    Solomon Abenaes, also known as Alvaro Mendes, became wealthy through the diamond mining industry. He was born into a converso family but later accepted Judaism as his faith. He aided the Turkish and English courts at least once in his life. He held private Synagogue services in his home in 1592.
    (C. 1520 - 1603 Solomon Abenaes)
  • Jan 1, 1532

    Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

    Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
    Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn, against the wishes of the Catholic Church, after divorcing his wife on the grounds that she could not give him a proper heir. Since the king had separated himself from the Church, his marriage protected incoming Jews from the Spanish Inquisition in England.
    (Brooks, Andrée A)
    (Maxwell, Miss)
    (Brooks, Andrée A)
  • Jan 1, 1540

    Another wave of Jews enters England

    Another wave of Jews enters England
    A large population of conversos enter England. These Jews, turned Christian converts, entered freely. This particular wave had many people of similar occupation. Many of these people were musicians. They entered England to play music for the King.
    (Kreger, Kristin) (Music of the Renaissance Era)
  • Period: Jan 1, 1540 to Jan 1, 1560

    Jewish Merchants in England

    Jews, disguising themselves as merchants from Portugal and Spain, returned to England. They often attended Lutheran Churches, but secretly continued practicing Judaism, such as those who were dubbed conversos and Marranos.
    (Vallely, Paul)
  • Period: Jan 1, 1550 to

    Jews that were able to live in England

    In the second half of the 16th century, conversos could enter England mostly unafraid. Many of these people were primarily traders, physicians, and musicians.
    (Brooks, Andrée A) and (Schoenberg, Shira)
  • Jan 1, 1555

    William Annyas

    William Annyas
    The Jew, William Annyas, was expelled from Portugal in 1555. He traveled to Ireland and settled on the southern coast. He later became the mayor of Youghal in County Cork, Ireland.
    (History: Irish Jewish Community) (McCarthy, Daniel)
  • Jan 1, 1558

    Case of Thomas Fernandes

    Case of Thomas Fernandes
    Thomas Fernandes, a converso merchant in England, was questioned by Inquisition athorities.
    (Kreger, Kristin) (Stereotypes of Jews)
  • Period: Jan 1, 1558 to

    Marranos in England

    Queen Elizabeth I denied Marranos posing as Christians entrance into England during this time period.
    (Reign of Elizabeth I)
  • Jan 1, 1581

    England invites a Jewish man to North America

    Joachim Gaunse was the first known Jew to have been on English North American soil. His copper smelting skills got him invited to England in 1581 by the Royal Mining Company to purify copper in order to create weaponry for the looming war against Spain. His presence in North America was important, but later he was discovered for being a Jew and was sent back to England for judgment. (Joachim Gaunse)
  • Warning of the sailing of the Spanish Armada

    Warning of the sailing of the Spanish Armada
    Dr. Hector Nunes, a converso living in England at the time, was seen as a hero when he was the first to warn of the sailing of the Spanish Armada. The Spanish Armada was formed in order to remove Queen Elizabeth I, reinstate Catholicism to England and prevent England from beginning a war on Spain.
    (Christian-Jewish Relations: The Inquisition) (Mackenzie, John)
    (Mackenzie, John)
  • The Jew of Malta

    The Jew of Malta
    The play, The Jew of Malta, was performed for the first time. It was an anti-semitic play written by Christopher Marlowe.
    (O’Hara, Leonie) (The Cockpit-at-Court)
  • Dr. Roderigo Lopez

    Dr. Roderigo Lopez
    Jews fled England after Dr. Roderigo Lopez was accused, tortured and killed after people thought that he had been planning to assassinate one of his patients, Queen Elizabeth I. The fact that he was a Marrano , which is like being a converso, and that he was publicly executed, led to an outbreak of anti-Semitism in the country.
    (Rogers, Jami)
    (Doctor Rodrigo Lopez)
    (Doctor Rodrigo Lopez)
  • The Merchant of Venice

    The Merchant of Venice
    The play, The Merchant of Venice, was performed for the first time. It was written by William Shakespeare.
    (O’Hara, Leonie)
    (McCarter, Margaret H)