Don Francisco Mendes Benveniste (Nasi Benveniste)
Hebrew: Don Francisco Mendes Benveniste (Nasi Benveniste), צמח בנבנישתי
|Also Known As:||"Benveniste", "Francisco Mendes"|
|Death:||Died in Lisbon, Portugal|
|Place of Burial:||Lisbon, Portugal|
Son of Don Mendes Benveniste and Donna Mendes Beneveniste
|Managed by:||Private User|
About Don Francisco Mendes Benveniste
Wealthy Spanish banker and husband of the famous Donna Gracia Mendes.
In 1528, Beatriz de Luna Gracia Nasi married the very rich black pepper trader Francisco Mendes Benveniste, who belonged to the same very prominent Jewish family as her mother – Benveniste from Castile and Aragon – and was also the great grandchild of Don Abraham Benveniste of Castile. Like other Spanish women, she never went by her husband's name (Mendes or Benveniste), although many historians have since called her Gracia Mendes. The couple were believed to have been married in the great cathedral of Lisbon, in a public Catholic wedding, and then to have had a Crypto-Judaic ceremony with the signing of a ketubah,. Francisco Mendes Benveniste and his brother Diogo were the directors of a powerful trading company and bank of world renown, with agents across Europe and around the Mediterranean. The House of Mendes Benveniste probably began as a company trading precious objects and currency arbitrage. Following the beginning of the Age of Discovery and the finding, by the Portuguese, of a sea route to India, the Mendes Benveniste brothers became particularly important spice traders. They also traded in silver – the silver was needed to pay the Asians for those spices.