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  • Manuel Dias Sueiro (deceased)
  • Joseph Ben Israel (b. - 1621)
    A native of Lisbon, Gaspar Rodrigues Nunez escaped Portugal after appearing as a penitent in an *autoda-fé" and settled in 1613/14 in Amsterdam. He took the name Joseph ben Israel and called his...
  • Menasseh ben Yossef ben Israel (1606 - 1659)
    Note; Some historians argue that Menasseh ben Israel was born in Amsterdam on the October 3, 1606 and died on the December 2, 1659. Others claim that Menasseh ben Israel was born on the island of Madei...

Madeira (Ilha da Madeira) was discovered in 1419 by João Gonçalves Zarco, Tristão Vaz Teixeira, and Bartolomeu Perestrello, three captains in the service of Prince Henry the Navigator. The families of the discoverers began to settle the island about 1420. Later settlers were drawn from the general population of Portugal, together with a dominant class of Genoese merchant families. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the island played a role in the international wine trade and in the colonization of Brazil.

Jews in Spain and Portugal were compelled to leave the country or convert to Christianity in 1492 and 1497, respectively. The converted Jews were called New Christians (cristãos-novos). There was general suspicion that they continued to practice Judaism in secret--and some did.

There are no reliable estimates of the number of secret Jews in Madeira. Some experts believe the proportion was significantly higher than in mainland Portugal, while others believe the percentage was small, perhaps only five percent of the population.

Inquisition

Portuguese Inquisition records show trials of Jews from Madeira as early as 1558. There may be 60-100 Inquisition files on judaisers from Madeira. There seems to have been heightened Inquisition activity from the 1580s to 1613, and then from the 1630s to 1670s.

Below is a list of names (and arrest dates) of people possibly connected with Madeira, and accused of judaizing by the Portuguese Inquisition. See Sephardim in Madeira.

  • João Madeira …
  • Teresa Madeira …
  • Afonso Mendes 1558
  • Catarina Henriques 1558
  • Andresa Dias 1558
  • Isabel Dias 1558
  • Guiomar Fernandes 1558
  • Margarida 1558
  • Leonor Fernandes 1562
  • Inês Lopes 1581
  • Francisco Tomás 1582
  • Leonor Jácome 1582
  • António Pereira 1586
  • Isabel Gomes 1586
  • Catarina Dias 1588
  • Fernão de Álvares 1591
  • Catarina Garcia 1591
  • Violante Pereira 1591
  • Diogo Nunes 1591
  • Ana Roiz ou Ana Rodrigues? 1591
  • Leonor Ribeiro 1591
  • Ana Mendes 1591
  • Margarida Ribeira 1591
  • Ana Dias 1591
  • Leonor Álvares 1591
  • Leonor Álvares 1591
  • Beatriz Mendes 1591
  • Isabel Rodrigues 1591
  • Isabel Gomes 1592
  • Pedro Gonçalves 1592
  • Justa Pereira 1592
  • Isabel Pereira 1592
  • Branca Mendes 1593
  • Maria Rodrigues 1593
  • Isabel Gomes 1593
  • Nicolau Nunes 1594
  • Isabel Gomes 1594
  • Maria Jácome 1594
  • Rodrigo Fidalgo 1594
  • Catarina Peres 1594
  • Afonso Fidalgo 1595
  • Leonor Nunes 1596
  • Leonor Gonçalves 1596
  • Francisco Peres 1597
  • Grácia Rodrigues 1597
  • João Nunes Baião 1598
  • Brasia Pinto 1599
  • Paula Duarte 1600
  • Isabel Dias 1600
  • Inês Franca 1600
  • Manuel Rodrigues 1600
  • Henrique Pereira Tenório 1601
  • António Pereira 1601
  • Filipa Nunes 1611
  • Joana de Bastos 1613
  • Jorge Fernandes de Faria 1613
  • Maria da Fonseca 1634
  • Maria da Fonseca 1634
  • Maria Pacheco 1634
  • Lourenço Madeira 1634
  • André do Canto de Almeida 1636
  • Helena Correia 1636
  • Francisca Rodrigues 1638
  • Manuel Madeira 1640
  • Maria Fernandes 1640
  • Águeda Dias 1640
  • Isabel de Bivar 1643
  • Clemente Fernandes 1644
  • Fernão Vaz de Álvares Madeira 1644
  • Inácio Madeira 1645
  • Isabel Madeira 1646
  • Manuel Madeira 1646
  • Maria Bugalha 1646
  • Catarina Mendes 1646
  • Manuel Madeira 1649
  • Isabel Madeira 1649
  • Joana Gomes 1649
  • Inês Madeira 1651
  • Maria Martins Madeira 1651
  • Catarina Henriques 1652
  • Gaspar Rodrigues 1654
  • Maria Lopes 1654
  • Catarina Henriques 1655
  • Beatriz Calaça 1657
  • Estêvão Madeira Benito 1657
  • João André 1660
  • Inês da Guerra 1664
  • Inês Madeira 1665
  • Ângela Carrasca 1666
  • Leonor Madeira 1666
  • Joana de França 1666
  • Inês Mousinha 1668
  • Maria Álvares 1669
  • Catarina Silveira 1669
  • Catarina Fernandes 1671
  • Inês Madeira 1672
  • Maria Madeira 1672
  • Inês Rodrigues 1673
  • Catarina Madeira 1673
  • Sebastião Madeira 1673
  • Luzia Rodrigues 1674
  • Sebastião Madeira 1706
  • Manuel Madeira 1706
  • Mariana Madeira 1708
  • Francisca Madeira 1708
  • Inês Madeira 1710
  • Maria Madeira 1717
  • Diogo Dias Correia 1728
  • Damásio Tavares 1734
  • Joana Soares 1736
  • António Fróis Nunes 1737
  • André Mendes da Silva 1737
  • Rita Maria Fouta 1752
  • Francisca Fouto 1752
  • João Caetano 1752
  • Teresa Maria Fouta 1752
  • Manuel Madeira Arisco 1752
  • Francisco Gonçalves Madeira 1755
  • Isabel Madeira 1755
  • Maria Madeira 1756
  • Álvaro Ornelas 1779