Pedro de Palacios (1510 - d.) MP

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Nicknames: "Pedro Palache", "Pedro Palais"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Spain
Death: (Date and location unknown)
Managed by: Anthony Cohen
Last Updated:

About Pedro de Palacios

The Pallaches were a Sephardi family perhaps descended from the Bene Palyāj mentioned by the twelfth-century chronicler Abraham Ibn Da’ud as “the greatest of the families of Cordoba.” The family name had numerous variants, among them Palacios, Palacio, de Palatio, al-Palas, and Palaggi. Following the expulsions from Iberia, members of the family went both to North Africa and to the Ottoman Empire. Several members of the family served the Saʿdian sultans of Morocco as merchants, diplomatic envoys, translators, and personal secretaries from around 1608 till the end of the dynasty half a century later.

The first member of the Moroccan branch of the family to appear frequently in documents was Samuel Pallache, who was born in Fez around 1550 and died in the Hague in 1616. Details of his early life are fragmentary. The first open Portuguese minyan in Amsterdam met in his house for Yom Kippur services in 1596. Samuel was in Spain in 1603 buying precious stones for Sultan Aḥmad al-Manṣūr (1578–1603). During the interregnum and civil war following the sultan’s death, Samuel tried to find a place for himself and his brother Joseph in Spain by providing the Spanish government with information about Morocco. He, his sons, and his nephews tried to convert to Catholicism, but difficulties with the Inquisition forced him to abandon Spain. After spending some time in France and Holland, he returned to Morocco, where Sultan Mawlāy Zīdān sent him to the Dutch Republic as his commercial and diplomatic agent to buy arms, gunpowder, and naval equipment. Samuel helped to negotiate the first treaty between Holland and Morocco, concluded in 1608. Traveling throughout Europe and also between the Low Countries and Morocco, Samuel was a translator and diplomatic agent, a spy, a double agent, an enterprising merchant, and sometimes even a corsair. Having been caught in command of a privateer returning to the Dutch Republic laden with booty from Spanish ships taken near the Azores, he was tried in London as a pirate and imprisoned from 1614 to 1615. Following his release, he established links with Istanbul, apparently planning to place part of his family there, and he signed a contract with King Philip III of Spainto provide information on contacts between Morocco and the Dutch Republic. He died shortly thereafter. Although his loyalties seem to have been duplicitous, he generally worked on behalf of his Moroccan masters.

After Samuel’s death, several members of the Pallache family continued to live in the Dutch Republic. Samuel’s brother Joseph, in Amsterdam, inherited his position as agent for the sultan. Joseph’s son Moses settled at the Moroccan court in 1618 and became a important translator and interpreter of Spanish, Dutch, and French into Arabic, and court secretary to Mawlāy Zīdān. After Zīdān’s death in 1627 he served in the same capacities under three successors, Mawlāy ʿAbd al-Malik (d. 1631), Mawlāy al-Walīd (d. 1636), and Mawlāy Muḥammad al-Shaykh al-Saghīr. Moses became a very important and influential figure at the Moroccan court, responsible for international and diplomatic dealings. His father, Joseph, continued to live in Amsterdam but periodically returned to Morocco, at which times his brother David acted as his deputy in Holland. Joseph and Moses were prominently involved in a project to build a new Moroccan port on the Atlantic coast near Cape Cantin, enlisting Dutch technicians and engineers.

Moses’s standing in Morocco led many Pallache family members to return there, including his brothers Joshua and Abraham. Joshua became a tax official for Mawlāy Zīdān, and Abraham moved to the port of Safi, where he engaged in business ventures in partnership with Moses. Abraham was also involved in provisioning ships and trading precious stones and other luxury items. Samuel’s son Isaac(Moses’s cousin) also returned to Morocco, settling in Rabat-Salé, where he acted as an unofficial consul for the Dutch, a function also performed by Isaac’s brother David in Morocco from 1630. Isaac supported himself by ransoming Dutch captives. In 1621 David helped to negotiate a peace treaty with France; and in 1634 he had some commercial dealings with Michael Spinoza, the father of Baruch Spinoza, apparently in an effort to clear some of his debts. Thus, many of the family’s endeavors developed and fostered Moroccan-Dutch connections and concerned relations between the two entities. Moses emerged as the leading member of the family, holding the most stable and influential position at the Moroccan court; he was also able to assist his relatives when necessary. From 1636, Moses’s name appears in English records; he was also a signatory of the Spanish translation of the 1638 treaty between the English and Sultan Muḥammad al-Shaykh al-Saghīr.

In addition to their commercial and diplomatic activities, several members of the Pallache family were rabbis. Samuel’s father, Isaac, was a rabbi in Fez. Moses al-Palas (another variant of the name) was a rabbi and preacher in Marrakesh and Tetouan. He traveled to the Ottoman Empire and eventually settled in Venice. He was the author of at least two collections of sermons and eulogies, Va-Yaqhel Moshe (And Moses Assembled) and Ho’il Moshe (Moses Consented), both published in Venice in 1597.

Mercedes García-Arenal

Bibliography

The most important sources for the Pallache family are the archival documents published in the monumental series Sources Inédites de l’Histoire du Maroc, collected by Pierre de Cenival, Henri de Castries, et al. at the Institut d’études marocaines in Rabat from 1905 on. Relevant are the volumes dedicated to the Dynastie Saadienne, France (4 vols.), Pays-Bas (6 vols.), Anglaterre (3 vols.); vol. 3 of France includes “Introduction critique. Les relations de la France avec le Maroc de 1631 à 1635: les Pallache” (pp. 391–397).

García-Arenal, Mercedes, and Gerard Wiegers. Un hombre en tres mundos: Samuel Pallache, un judío marroquí entre la Europa protestante y la Católica, 2nd ed. (Madrid: Siglo XXI, 2007). Eng. trans. by Martin Beagles, A Man of Three Worlds: Samuel Pallache, a Moroccan Jew in Catholic and Protestant Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).

Hirschberg, H. Z. (J. W.). A History of the Jews in North Africa (Leiden: Brill, 1981), vol. 2, pp. 212–234.

Ibn Daʾud, Abraham. Sefer ha-Qabbalah: The Book of Tradition, ed. Gerson D. Cohen (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1967), Heb. p. 48.

Citation Mercedes García-Arenal. " Pallache Family (Moroccan Branch)." Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Brill Online , 2012. Reference. Jim Harlow. 09 December 2012 <http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/encyclopedia-of-jews-in-the-islamic-world/pallache-family-moroccan-branch-COM_0017270>

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ PALACHE (Pallache, Palacio, de Palatio, al-Palas, Pallas, Palaggi, Balyash, etc.), family whose name first occurs in Spain as Palyāj. The historian Ibn Dā'ūd relates (in his Sefer ha-Qabbalah, ed. by G.D. Cohen (1967), 66, no. 64 Eng. sect.), "R. Moses the Rabbi (one of the *Four Captives) allied himself by marriage with the Ibn Falija (Palyāj) family, which was the greatest of the families of the community of Córdoba, and took from them a wife for his son R. *Ḥanokh." Moses al-Palas (b. c. 1535), an outstanding rabbi and orator, was born in *Marrakesh. He later lived in *Tetuán, where his sermons attracted large audiences, including many former Marranos.

When he returned to Marrakesh, he delivered a lengthy discourse on the ethics of the Jewish religion – at the request and in the presence of the Spanish ambassador. This success encouraged him to undertake a journey through the countries inhabited by the descendants of the victims of the Spanish Expulsion in order to preach to them. He visited the Balkans, Turkey, and Palestine and lived in Salonika for a time. He appears to have finally settled in Venice, where he published Va-Yakhel Moshe (1597) and Ho'il Moshe (1597), which includes homilies, eulogies, and sermons, as well as a biography of the author. R. Isaac Palache was a distinguished rabbi in *Fez in about 1560. He had two sons, Samuel Palache (d. 1616) and Joseph (see below). They and their children held an important place in the economic life of that period and from the beginning of the 17th century became active at the courts of Europe, particularly the Netherlands which maintained relations with Morocco.

In Madrid, the Inquisition probably suspected them of inciting the Marranos to leave the country and return to Judaism. To escape prosecution, they took asylum in the house of the French ambassador, and offered their services to King Henry IV; they left Spain a short while later. According to some historians, Samuel was the first Jew to settle in the Netherlands as a declared Jew. He was responsible for obtaining the authorization for his coreligionists to settle. He gathered the first minyan in Amsterdam at his home for Day of Atonement prayers in 1596. Palache is also said to have built the first synagogue in that country. According to documents in the Netherlands archives, the right to settle in the country was refused to him, and during the same year, 1608, he was appointed ambassador to The Hague by the Moroccan sultan Mulay Zīdān.

In 1610 he successfully negotiated the first treaty of alliance between a Christian state (the Netherlands), and a Muslim state (Morocco). In 1614 he personally assumed the command of a small Moroccan fleet which seized some ships belonging to the king of Spain, with whom Morocco was at war. The Spanish ambassador, who was very influential in London, had him arrested when he was in England. He accused him of piracy; reverberations of his trial were widespread. Once acquitted, he returned to the Netherlands. When he died in The Hague, Palache was given an imposing funeral attended by Prince Maurice of Nassau. Samuel Palache's two sons, Isaac and Jacob-Carlos, also engaged in diplomatic work. The former was entrusted with Dutch interests in Morocco from 1624, and the latter represented the sultan in Copenhagen. Samuel's brother, Joseph Palache (d. after 1638), succeeded him in his diplomatic position. Joseph Palache's five sons held very important offices. One of them, Isaac Palache (d. 1647) was known as "the lame." His variegated career included a mission to the Ottoman sultan (1614–1), important negotiations in Danzig (1618–19), a professorship in Hebrew at the University of Leiden, and missions to Morocco and Algiers in 1624 on behalf of the Dutch. In 1639 he was called upon to redeem the Christian captives who were held by the famous marabout of Tazerwalt. He became involved in a violent conflict with his brothers over succession rights and converted to Christianity. Another son, Moses Palache (d. after 1650), was secretary to his uncle Samuel at the French court, interpreter and secretary to the sultan of Morocco, and the de facto – but not official – foreign minister of four successive Moroccan sovereigns; his name was cited by Manasseh Ben Israel to Oliver Cromwell as an example of the loyalty of the Jews when he sought authorization for them to settle in England.

Joshua Palache (d. after 1650) and his son Samuel Palache were merchants of international status and tax farmers of the leading Moroccan port, Safi. David Palache (d. 1649), another of Joseph's sons, was a diplomat. Entrusted with a mission to Louis XIII of France, various accusations were brought against him. His innocence was finally proven and he reassumed his position as Moroccan ambassador to the Netherlands. Abraham Palache (d. after 1630) was a financier in Morocco and diplomat. The descendants of the main branch of the Palache family lived in Amsterdam, where Isaac Palache was elected chief rabbi in 1900. His son Judah Lion *Palache was professor of Semitic languages at the University of Amsterdam and died in an extermination camp during the Holocaust. Another branch lived in Izmir, where Ḥayyim *Palache and his son Abraham Palache were noted rabbis in the 19th century.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

SIHM, ser. 1, index vol. S.V. Pallache; H.I. Bloom, The Economic Activities of the Jews in Amsterdam (1937, repr. 1969), 75–82; D. Corcos, in: Zion, 25 (1960), 122–33; J. Caillé, in: Hespéris-Tamuda, 4 (1963), 5–67; Hirschberg, Afrikah, 2 (1965), 228–42.

[David Corcos /

Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg]

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0015_0_15331.html -------------------- The Palache Family from Cordova, Spain & Fez, Morocco c.1510

The Palache family was originally from Cordova, Spain.

Also spelled Palyāj, Palacio, de Palatio, al-Palas, Pallas, Palaggi and Balyash.The earliest definitive records are for Rabbi Isaac Palache of Cordova, Spain and Fez, Morocco.

The Palache Family (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0015_0_15331.html).

Recent correspondence has thrown in doubt the veracity of some of the early data regarding the Palache family and the sources relating to them. It may take some time (like for ever) to reconsider the facts or lack of them and sort this out and then get the various researchers to reach an agreement. In the meantime I'm not making any changes BUT be warned that the in the Palache line (at the very least) some of the information may be erroneous.

It is interesting to note that there are several instances where men who married Palache women adopted the Palache surname, possibly because they did not have surnames themselves or because the Palache surname was more prestigious.