The Marques Dower
A short time ago a comment was placed on SynagogueScribes asking about the ‘Marques Dower’ due to a contribution of £50 made from the Mahil Sedaca’ for orphaned girls and also £80 from the Marques Dower.
The enquirer had found this information on the Ketubot of Isaac Mordecai Rodriques and Phoebe Belasco dated 5 May 1874, Bevis Marks. Both Phoebe and her twin sister had been orphaned in 1853.
Whenever we don’t know the answer to a Sephardic History question we go to Kevin Martin, a Sephardic researcher and historian with many years’ experience in genealogy.
Whilst he knew of the Will of Diego Rodrigues Marques (1675) he decided to investigate further and see what else could be found.
A visit to the London Metropolitan Archive and sight of a ‘Restricted Access’ file brought some answers which Kevin has agreed to let us add here.
An item recorded as having formerly been ‘been in a special box’ a Will extra, from the registry of Prerogative Court of Canterbury, giving item of bequest of £1000 from the residuary estate, of which £50 is to be given annually to an orphan of our nation dated 10 Nov 1675, with an article relating to administration by Sara Anriques Marques dated 17 Oct 1678.
A decree was made that the amount of £1000 should be used for purchase of land and until that is done it would be placed in Government or other securities and the interest gained should be applied for the advancement of a female orphan of the Jewish Nation in London.
Diego Rodrigues Marques, alias José de la Fuente, was an incredibly wealthy diamond merchant who fled to London with his family following the imprisonment of his relatives by the Inquisition.
The trust was for orphaned girls whose marriage had to take place within two years to an acceptable young man or the money was withdrawn.
Kevin Martin was a keen supporter of both SynagogueScribes and CemeteryScribes for many years, his sudden passing in June 2023 came as a shock to many of us and is a great loss to Sephardic geneaology research.