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LOPEZ, SIR MANASSEH MASSEH:

English politician; born in Jamaica Jan. 22, 1755; died at Maristow House, Devonshire, 1831; descended from ancient Sephardic stock. Both he and his father, Mordecai Rodriguez Lopez, became converts to Christianity in 1802. In the same year Manasseh Lopez was returned to Parliament as member for New Romney, and was created a baronet Oct. 5, 1805, with remainder to his nephew Ralph Franco. At the next election Lopez secured a seat for Barnstaple, for which borough he was again returned in 1818. On March 18, 1819, he was found guilty of having bribed the electors of the borough of Grampound to secure his election, and on conviction was sentenced to two years' imprisonment with a fine of £1,000 ($5,000). On Nov. 13 he was again prosecuted for a similar offense, and on conviction was sentenced to another fine and term of imprisonment. Notwithstanding this, Lopez was once more returned to Parliament, in 1823, as member for the borough of Westbury. He was reelected in 1826, but resigned to make room for Sir Robert Peel, who had been rejected at Oxford University.

Subsequently Lopez filled the office of recorder of Westbury, in addition to being a magistrate for two counties.

Bibliography:
  • Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History, pp. 304, 305;
  • Dict. Nat. Biog.;
  • Gentleman's Magazine, 1831.
J. G. L.
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