Tools: PROB 11/296/118 Will of Anthony Fernandez Carnajall, Merchant of London 03 December 1659

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PROB 11/296/118 Will of Anthony Fernandez Carnajall, Merchant of London 03 December 1659

Editorial history

12/01/14, CSG: Transcribed item and posted to wiki

Abstract & context

The C17th copyist for the Prerogative Court of Canterbury insisted on rendering the name of the Portuguese Jewish merchant, Antonio Fernandez Carvajall as Anthony Fernandez Carnaial. The name "Carnaial" is used consistently in the copy of the will transcribed below by the MarineLives project team. This copy is contained in the bound manuscript volume at the National Archives (TNA), Kew, England, and is reproduced as a digital image both by both TNA and by However, the commonly accepted spelling of the merchant's name is Antonio Fernandez Carvajall.

Carvajal appears quite frequently in Admiralty Court records in the 1650s, with a range of trading partners and involved in a broad range of commodities and geographies.

Particularly interesting is Carvajal's involvement in trade with the Spanish West Indies from his London base, in partnership with Irish, English, and Dutch merchants, and working closely with a Spanish Supra-Cargo and with a crew of mixed nationality (Irish, English, Dutch, Danish, and French, and Spanish from the Canary Islands).

The deposition of John Lopez, a Spaniard from Cadiz who was hired as Supra Cargo on the Hope by a seven person joint stock partnership led by Carvajal

SEE HCA 13/73 f.179r in which Carvajal is referred to simply as "Anthony ffernandez".

Digital Image

SEE Ancestry Digital Image

Suggested links

To do


In the name of God Amen
I Anthony Fernandez Carnaial of London Merchant being infirme and
weake of Bodie but of good sound and perfect memorie iudgment and under=
=standing (thankes be given to Almightie God for the same and all other mercies
to mee Doe make this my last Will and Testament in writing

Imprimis I doe
Committ my Soule into the hands of my Creatour and my Bodie to be decentlie
buried according to the discretion of my most deare and loving Wife Marie
ffernandez Carnajall whome I doe hereby make nominate and appoynte full and
sole Executrix of this my said Will and Testament and of the same Will doe
hereby expressely will ordaine and appoynte my Brothers in Lawe Manuell
Rodriguez Numez and Szmon de Sosa and my loving Cozen Manuell de
ffonseca Meza Supervizors and Overseers earnestly desiring them that they will
be aiding and assisting unto my said Wife and Executrix by and with theire best
advice and Councell in what they may in and for the due execution and per=
=formance of this my said Will according to my intent and meaning hereafter
declared: And as touching the Temporall Estate which it hath pleased God to
lend mee I doe dispose thereof in manner and forme following:

ffirst I doe give
and bequeath unto the poore of my Nation in London Thirtie pounds to be distribu=
-ted unto and amongst them according to the dircretion of my said Executrix
and to the poore of the Parish of Saint Katherine Creechurch Tenn pounds

Item I doe give and bequeath into Charles Rayworth my Servant Twentie pounds
in case he shall continue and live with my said Wife and Executrix untill the
full expiration of his time

Item I doe give and bequeath unto Deborah Nunez
my servant six pounds and unto Sanne Somers and Marie Morison my two other
Servants Three pounds a peece:

Item I doe give and bequeath into my loving
Cozins Marie Atias and Abraham de Tonar Twentie pounds a peece and unto
my said Cozin Mannuel de ffonseca Meza I doe give one hundred pounds sterling
And all the rest and residue of my momnies Goods Chattells and Estate whatso=
=ever hereby unbequeathed my debts Legacies and ffunerall Charges being
ffirst paid and deducted I doe will give and dispose of the same in this
manner (That is to say) one just Third part thereof I doe leave and give unto
my said Wife and Executrix Mary ffernandez Carnajall

Item one other
just Third part thereof unto my sonne George And the other Third part thereof
unto my sonne Joseph To be paid unto them att theire severall and respective
ages of one and Twentie yeares: And if either of them my said Sonnes
shall die before he shall attaine the age of Twentie and one yeares Then
the part and portion of the deceased shall Come and belong unto the Survivour
of them and I doe will and desire that my said Cozin Manuell de ffonseca
Meza with the assistance and consent of my said Wife, and approbation
of my said Brothers in Lawe Manuell Rodrigues Nunez and Simon de Seza:
shall be imployed in and have the Government and mannagement of my Trade
affaires and busines And that if anie busines for strangers or other mens accompts
shall be contained in my house One halfe of all the provision or profitts thereof
shall Come and belong to my Estate: And the other halfe he the said Manuell
de ffonseca shall have and enjoy to his owne use for and in Consideration of his
Care and paines to be therein taken whoe shall be besides gratifyed according
to the good will and pleasure of my so[XX] Executrix for that he shall doe in
the busines which shall concerne and be for the Accompt propper of my
Estate revoking and making voyd and of none effect all former or other


Wills Testaments Codicills Legacies and bequests by me heretofore made or
given desiring this to stand for and as my last Will and Testament to be accomp=
=ted and noe other

In witnesse whereof I the said Anthonie ffernandez Carnajal
have hereunto putt my hand and seale The one and Twentieth day od
October in the yeare of our Lord God One Thousand six hundred ffifty and
Nyne: Anthonie ffernd: Carnajal: Signed sealed published and declared the
say and yeare above said in the presence of Samuell Poyner Lucas Einans
Jo: Me[?i]zies Noatary Publique: 1659:

This will was proved att London the
Third day of the moneth of December ffiftie and nyne
before the Judges for probate of Wills and granting Administra=
tion lawfully authorized by the oath of Mary ffernandez Carnajall the Relict
and sole and only Executrix named in the above written Will To whome Admi=
=nistration of all and singular the Goods Chattells and debts of the said
deceased was grannted and Committed she being first legally sworne truly
and faythfullie to administer the same


Antonio ffernandez [Carvajal?]

Wikipedia entry: Antonio Fernandez Carvajal

Text of entry: "Antonio Fernandez Carvajal (c.1590–November 10, 1659)—in Portuguese: António Fernandes Carvalhal—was a Portuguese-Jewish merchant, who became the first endenizened English Jew.

He was born around 1590, probably at Fundão, Portugal. He appears to have left Fundão on account of the persecution of the Inquisition and, proceeding to the Canary Islands, acquired much property there, made many commercial connections, which led him (about 1635) to London, where he settled in Leadenhall Street. In 1649 the council of state appointed him one among the five persons who received the army contract for corn. In 1653 Carvajal was reported as owning a number of ships trading to the East and West Indies, to Brazil, and to the Levant.

He dealt in all kinds of merchandise, including gunpowder, wine, hides, pictures, cochineal, and especially corn and silver, and is reported to have brought to England, on average, £100,000 worth of silver per annum.

In the early days of his residence in England, Carvajal used to attend mass at the Spanish ambassador's chapel, and in 1645 was informed against for not attending church; but the House of Lords, on the petition of several leading London merchants, quashed the proceedings. In 1650, when war broke out with Portugal, Carvajal's ships were especially exempted from seizure, though he was nominally a Portuguese subject. In 1655 he and his two sons were granted denizenship as English subjects (the patent being dated August 17 of that year); and when the war with Spain broke out in the following year, his property in the Canaries was liable to seizure, as he was a British subject. Oliver Cromwell made arrangements by which Carvajal's goods were transported from the Canaries in an English ship which passed under Dutch colors.

When Menasseh Ben Israel came to England in 1655 to petition Parliament for the return of the Jews to England, Carvajal, though his own position was secured, associated himself with the petition; and he was one of the three persons in whose names the first Jewish burial-ground was acquired after the Robles case had forced the Jews in England to acknowledge their creed.

Carvajal, besides advancing money to Parliament on cochineal, had been of service to Cromwell in obtaining information as to the Royalists' doings in Holland (1656). One of his servants, Somers, alias Butler, and also a relative, Alonzo di Fonseca Meza, acted as intelligencers for Cromwell in Holland, and reported about Royalist levies, finances, and spies, and the relations between Charles II and Spain.

It was to Carvajal that Cromwell gave the assurance of the right of Jews to remain in England. Under the date of February 4, 1657, Burton, in his diary, states:

"The Jews, those able and general intelligencers whose intercourse with the Continent Cromwell had before turned to profitable account, he now conciliated by a seasonable benefaction to their principal agent [Carvajal] resident in England."

According to Lucien Wolf, in 1658 a cargo of logwood belonging to Carvajal was seized by the customs officers. He assembled his servants and friends, broke open the government warehouses, and carried off his merchandise. The litigation to which this gave rise was interrupted only by Carvajal's death, which occurred in London."

Possible primary sources



DEL 2/121 Report from Committee of the Admiralty to Council of State touching petition of Antonio Fernandez, referred to Judges of Admiralty Note: paper 2 fos 1650


PROB 11/296/118 Will of Anthony Fernandez Carnajall, Merchant of London 03 December 1659 [PRESUMABLY A TNA INDEXING ERROR FOR "CARVAJAL(L)"]

PROB 11/306/348 Will of Gowen Paynter, Merchant of London 26 November 1661

State Papers

SP 84/159 Deposition of Ant. Fernandez Carvisall, on the King Solomon. f. 225. 17 August 1654

Secondary sources

Lucien Wolf, 'The First English Jew', from in Transactions of the Historical Society of England, ii.14-16