The Will of Jacques de Paiva 1688

Jacques de Paiva sometimes known as James and Isaac and whose Hebrew name is thought to have been Moses Zagache (according to R.D. Barnett and Edgar Roy Samuel see Jonathan Schorsch, « Mosseh Pereyra de Paiva : An Amsterdam Portuguese Merchant abroad in the Seventeenth Century » in The Dutch Intersection: The Jews and the Netherlands in Modern History ed. Yosef Kaplan, Leiden 2008, pp. 63-86. In note 61 Schorsch refers to Barnetts work on the Circumcision registers of Isaac and Abraham de Paiva ad to Samuel’s Diamonds and Pieces of Eight). Jacques parents are thought to be Diego Netto de Paiva (b. 1618 in St. Marnie) and Lea Sagache (b. 1636 in Madrid). They married in Amsterdam in 1648 (see Akevoth, Sepharadim Sephardic Marriages, certificate no. 680-19). Jacques’ cousin Abraham Zagache would therefore be a son of Lea’s brother.

Jacques wrote his will aboard the ship « Beaufort » en route to Madras. Cousin Moses « who goes with us » is Mosseh Pereyra de Paiva the subject of the article by Schorsch. Apparently, Jacques had travelled to India to buy diamonds, but he took sick and died in Madras in 1687. He was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Peddanaickenpet. This cemetery was later moved and his tombstone lost (see S. Muthiah, Diamonds were traded for coral, Madras Miscellany in The Hindu, Online edition of India’s National Newspaper, Monday, April 24, 2000).

Jacques notes in his will that his cousin Moses (Pereira de Paiva) should marry Mariana Gonzales. According to E.R. Samuel (see above) the mother of Moses was Ribca de Paiva, this is possibly Ribca de Paiva (b. 1631 in Seville) who in 1651 married Jacob Pereira (b. 1629 in Madrid).

The will concludes with a letter to Antonio Roiz/Rodrigues Marques (see NA1267) that includes an inventory and mention of Francis Francia.

After Jacques died his widow Jeronima became the mistress of Elihu Yale, Governor of Madras and said to be the founder of Yale University. Their son was Charles Yale.

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  1. […] so much romance and drama behind the dry, archaic, legal language in which it was written, as the Will of Jacques de Paiva  who wrote his Will aboard the ship Beaufort en route to Madras, and whose widow subsequently became […]

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