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Shakespeare, Joyce & The Jews

Who was a Marrano?

Try the genealogical site.


October, 2016. Anyone who has followed my earlier ruminations this far, or perhaps has unwittingly stumbled on this page and website for the first time, may be wondering what James Joyce has to do with the Anglo-Saxon poem, The Seafarer, or the eighteenth century London marine painter, Peter Monamy. Those are the two topics that have occupied my thoughts since 1979, and 1995. Recourse to a previous page here might possibly help.

Check the allusions in the passage by Joyce at left with Harry Blamires, 1966, 1976; and/or Jeri Johnson, 1993. Chettle attaches to Falstaff because he was fat. Shakespeare was a moneylender, alias a usurer.

At this point we can say we have established that the link between Shakespeare's grandfather Richard, died 1561, and Etienne, the first Monamy in the Channel Isles, fl 1540, is that they have Marrano origins in common. The Marrano origin of the Monamy family is based on the dates of their arrival in the Channel Islands, and the names given to their children. Credence for Shakespeare's Marrano origin is based on the book by Ghislain Muller, titled Was Shakespeare a Jew? The entire work merits close study, but one brief and telling point is made below.

An attempt was made to revoke the 1290 edict of expulsion of the Jews from England as early as 1310, but in vain. However, Jews did return, for complaints were made to the King, Edward III, in 1376, that some of those trading as Lombards in London, were actually Jews.

Norman Roth, in Conversos, Inquisition, and the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain, first published in 1995 and updated in 2002, writes that from the 1390s, to c 1500, "hundreds of thousands of Jews converted to Christianity".

The Dean of Studies is named somewhere, but I have mislaid the reference. A Roman Catholic friend is still today wholly convinced Shakespeare was a Catholic. However, only his mother was a Catholic. He may have pretended to be a Catholic. Outwardly the Jews passed as Spaniards and Catholics; but they later held prayer-meetings at Creechurch Lane, and became known to the interregnum government as Jews by faith. See below.

Shappere equals Shapiro: from Speyer, or Spire, in the Rhineland-Palatinate.

80 in 1570 equals 14,000 today.

Below is an excerpt from a paper written in 1924 by Wilfred S. Samuel.

click for more

Carvajal, the first endenizened English Jew, in 1648 assembled his friends, including Samuel Swynock, a Painter-Stainer, and smashed open a warehouse to retrieve his merchandise, impounded by Customs Officers. Procuring membership of the Painter-Stainer's Company was a useful route for a Jew to become a Freeman of the City of London. Probably via the mediation of Samuel Swynock, Rowland Gideon took this route in 1697. Could he have known of the decision of Andrew Monamy, in 1696, to register his nephew Peter as an apprentice with its sometime Master, William Clark, who may have been a member of a privateering family?

The owners of a mid-18th century privateer were: Richard Bismon, John Bristow, John Clevland and Samson Gideon of London, merchants. Date: 1757 November 2 Folio: 109 Held by: The National Archives, Kew. Legal status: Public Record. Reference: HCA 26/8/108. Note that 1757 was only two years away from 1759, the Year of Victories, when Britain achieved world maritime ascendancy. This Samson, son of Rowland Gideon, having become a financial colossus, aimed for total assimilation into the British class hierarchy.

Sir Robert Walpole, scion of numerous dedicated Roman Catholics, first sought the help of Samson Gideon in raising a loan for the War of Jenkin's Ear with Spain, in 1739. This immensely significant war achieved the removal of Walpole, "the spaniel of Spain", from office, and led on to the eventual establishment of the British Empire. Gideon may be seen as a father of the Stock Exchange. His knowledge of the markets served him well in 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie advanced with his highland army on Derby. There was considerable panic in London, but Gideon kept his head and bought everything he could lay his hands on.

From the Jewish Encylopedia: "Samson Gideon: English financier; born in London 1699; died 1762. He was a son of Rowland Gideon (died 1720), a West-Indian merchant, who changed his name from the Portuguese 'Abudiente' on settling in England, and became a freeman of the city of London and a member of the Paper-Stainers' Company Feb. 17, 1697. Samson Gideon began business in 1720 with a capital of 1,500, which increased so rapidly that in 1729 he was admitted a sworn broker with a capital of 25,000 (equal in 2016 to well over 2 million), invested chiefly in landed estates. His fortune continued to increase so that in 1740 he had become 'the great oracle and leader of Jonathan's Coffee House in Exchange Alley.' So prudently were his speculations conducted that he seldom suffered losses." [When the Encyclopedia writes Paper-Stainers, it means Painter-Stainers.]

Wikipedia has this: "Toward the middle of the 17th century a considerable number of Marrano merchants settled in London and formed there a secret congregation, at the head of which was Antonio Fernandez Carvajal. They conducted a large business with the Levant, East and West Indies, Canary Islands, and Brazil, and above all with the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal. They formed an important link in the network of trade spread especially throughout the Spanish and Portuguese world by the Marranos or secret Jews (see Commerce). Their position enabled them to give Cromwell and his secretary, Thurloe, important information as to the plans both of Charles Stuart in Holland and of the Spaniards in the New World (see L. Wolf, "Cromwell's Secret Intelligencers"). Outwardly they passed as Spaniards and Catholics; but they held prayer-meetings at Creechurch Lane, and became known to the government as Jews by faith."

Recall (above) that Norman Roth wrote that between 1400 and 1500 "hundreds of thousands of [Iberian] Jews converted to Christianity"; and that, whether sincere or not, they subsequently inundated the rest of Europe. Very many Christians, in truth, are simply converted Jews. Which is the merchant, and which is the Jew ?

History of the Ancient Synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews: the cathedral synagogue of the Jews in England, situate in Bevis Marks : on the anniversary of its inauguration, 1701-1901, by Moses Gaster, might be worth a look.

Seafaring and the Jews serves to link The Seafarer, from the Anglo-Saxon, with the marine painter, Monamy, of probable Jewish descent, and Shakespeare, author of The Tempest and the hazardous nature of the several argosies of Antonio, the Christian merchant of Venice.

Ship petroglyph from Scandinavia.
Bronze Age

Hellenism and Hebräism
What's in a tree, my friend ?
bout de souffle 28
bout de souffle 26: naval supremacy & jews in barbados
bout de souffle 23: unfounded assertions
previous page

monamy website index
seafarer essays & papers

In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Truth is treason in an empire of lies.
George Orwell, 1903 - 1950

"There is no history, only fictions of varying degrees of plausibility."
Voltaire, 1694-1778

A Handy Reading List: partly repeated here.
Picciotto, James
Mocatta, F.D.
Wolf, Lucien
Singer, Isidore (ed)
Wolf, Lucien
Wolf, Lucien
Henriques, H.S.Q.
Hyamson, Albert M.
Friedman, Lee M.
Samuel, Wilfred S.
Browne, Lewis
Wolf, Lucien
Roth, Cecil
Wolf, Lucien (ed Cecil Roth)
Adler, Michael [ed]
Roth, Cecil
Roth, Cecil
Netanyahu, Benzion
Dimont, Max I.
Endelman, Todd M.
Newman, Aubrey [ed]
Ira B.Nadel
Samuel, Edgar
Katz, David S.
Roth, Norman
Netanyahu, Benzion
Felsenstein, Frank
Gitlitz, David M
Shapiro, James S.
Zimler, Richard
Arbel, Benjamin
Coulton, Barbara
Kashtan, Nadav (ed)
Cesarani, David (ed)
Endelman, Todd M.
Samuel, Edgar
Hessayon, Ariel
Rosenblatt, Jason
Azevedo, Manuel
Kritzler, Edward
Yovel, Yirmiyahu
Muller, Ghislain
Nirenberg, David
Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History
The Jews and the Inquisition
The First English Jew Antonio Carvajal
The Jewish Encyclopedia
The Jewry of the Restoration: 1660-1664
Cromwell's Jewish Intelligencers
The Return of the Jews to England
History of the Jews in England
Early Jewish Residents in Massachusetts
A Review of the Jewish Colonists in Barbados in the Year 1680
Stranger than Fiction
Jews in the Canary Islands
A History of the Marranos
Essays in Jewish History
Jewish Historical Society Transactions Vol XIII
History of the Jews in England
Sir Edward Brampton: An Anglo-Jewish Adventurer
The Marranos of Spain: late C14 - early C16
The Indestructible Jews
The Jews of Georgian England, 1714-1830
Jewish Historical Studies Vol XXIX
Joyce and the Jews
The Portuguese Jewish Community in London 1656-1830
Jews in the History of England 1485-1850
Conversos, Inquisition and the Expulsion of the Jews
The Origins of the Inquisition in C15 Spain
Anti-Semitic Stereotypes
Secrecy And Deceit: The Religion of the Crypto-Jews
Shakespeare and the Jews
The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon
Shipping and Toleration
Cromwell and the 'readmission' of the Jews to England, 1656
Seafaring and the Jews
Port Jews: 1550-1950
The Jews of Britain, 1650-2000
At the End of the Earth: Jews in England & Portugal
From Expulsion (1290) to Readmission (1656): Jews in England
Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden
How the Portuguese Marranos (Secret Jews} Saved England
Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean
The Other Within: The Marranos
Was Shakespeare a Jew ?
Revised, edited by Israel Finestein 1955
Transactions (JHSE Vol. 2, 1894-5 )
Facsimile 2005
Simplistic. Angled.
Eye-opening. Horrifying.
Some essays listed here separately
Updated and Expanded 1999
Slightly barmy. More than slightly.
Joyce proposed Shakespeare's Jewishness
Afterword 2002: addresses Netanyahu
False Jews & Counterfeit Christians
Mediterranean Historical Review: June 2000
Maritime anthropology. MHR reprint.
Essay collection
The Jewish Magazine, May, 2007
Highly readable. Tries to be non-partisan.
OK. You've convinced me.

The only sensible independent review of Ghislain Muller that I've read so far is by Alan Gold


© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2016
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