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SOEIRA, SAMUEL ABRAVANEL (known also as Samuel ben Israel):

Son of Manasseh ben Israel (Abravanel Soeira being the maiden name of Manasseh's wife); born in Amsterdam 1625; died in London Sept., 1657. In l654, in behalf of his father, he accompanied his uncle Manuel Martinez Dormido to England for the purpose of presenting a petition to Oliver Cromwell for the readmission of Jews to England. On this occasion he is said to have received from the University of Oxford the degree of doctor of philosophy and medicine in acknowledgment of his scientific attainments. The text of his supposed diploma, signed by Chancellor John Owen and Professor Clayton, has been reproduced by Koenen in his "Geschiedenis der Jodenin Nederland" (p. 440), but Dr. Griffith, keeper of the archives of the university, has attempted to prove that the document is spurious, and this opinion is expressed also by Dr. A. Neubauer in an article published in Roest's "Letterbode." In May, 1655, Samuel returned to Amsterdam to persuade his father to go to England and personally lay his case before Cromwell. Manasseh ben Israel arrived in London in October, accompanied by his son, who died during their stay in that city. In accordance with Samuel's dying wish, Manasseh ben Israel conveyed his son's corpse back to Holland for burial, and he himself died on Nov. 20, 1657, before reaching his home at Middelburg, Zealand.

Bibliography:
  • Lucien Wolf, Menasseh ben Israel's Mission to Oliver Cromwell;
  • H. Adler, A Homage to Menasseh ben Israel, in Transactions of Jew. Hist. Soc. of England, i. 34, 39, 44, 48-54;
  • M. Kayserling, Life of Menasseh b. Israel, in Miscellany of Hebrew Literature, 2d series.
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