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MENDES-NASI, FRANCISCO:

Member of one of the richest and most respected Portuguese Marano families; died about 1536; husband of Beatrice de Luna. He owned a large banking-house in Lisbon, which had branches in Flanders and France, and which advanced money to Charles V. and other rulers. After Mendes-Nasi's death his brother Diogo, director of their Antwerp branch and husband of Beatrice de Luna's sister, was the richest Portuguese Marano, and, together with his sister-in-law, sacrificed great sums to prevent the introduction of the Inquisition into Portugal. Diogo died at Antwerp about 1546, leaving, like his brother, one daughter. A kinsman of both the Mendes was Hector Mendes, a very rich man, who, when asked by the King of Portugal what he called his own, replied: "The alms which I have given."

Bibliography:
  • Herculano, Da Origem e Estabelecimento da Inquisiçao em Portugal, ii. 159, Lisbon, 1854;
  • Grätz, Gesch. ix. 366 et seq.;
  • Kayserling, Gesch. der Juden in Portugal, pp. 211, 266 et seq.
D. M. K.
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