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NUÑEZ, MARIA:

Daughter of the Portuguese Marano Gaspar Lopez Homem and Mayor Rodriguez; lived in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In order to escape the Inquisition, Maria, with her brother Manuel Lopez and her uncle Miguel Lopez, determined to emigrate (about 1590-1593). They accordingly sailed for Holland, but their vessel was captured by an English ship, the captain of which, an English nobleman, was so enamored of Maria's beauty that he proposed marriage.

In London the comment upon her unusual beauty excited the curiosity even of Queen Elizabeth, who summoned Maria to her presence and drove with her through the streets of the capital.

Maria persistently rejected all proposals of marriage, even from persons of rank, and asked only that she and her companions be allowed to continue their journey to Holland. Finally she arrived safely in Amsterdam, where she was soon joined by her mother, and by her brother and sister, Antonio and Justa. Maria and her sister married their cousins Manuel Lopez Homem and Francisco Nuñez Pereyra; the latter (d. Feb. 14, 1625, in Amsterdam) afterward adopted the name of David Abendana. Their mother, Mayor Rodriguez, otherwise known as Sara Abendana, died Sept. 16, 1624.

Bibliography:
  • Barrios, Casa d. Jacob, p. 5;
  • Koenen, Geschiedenis der Joden en Nederland, p. 142;
  • De Castro, Keur van Grafsteenen op de Nederlandsch-Portugeesch-Israel. Begraafplaats te Oudekerk aan den Amstel, pp. 50 et seq.;
  • Kayserling, Sephardim, p. 167;
  • Grätz, Gesch. ix. 479.
D. M. K.
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