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FONSECA (FONSEQUA), DE or DA:

Jewish-Portuguese family of Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, southern France, and America.

Abraham de Fonseca:

Died at Hamburg July 27, 1671 (according to other authorities May, 1651); ḥakam of the Portuguese community at Glückstadt, and later at Hamburg. He was buried at Altona. Abraham was the author of "'Ene Abraham," Amsterdam, 1627, an index of all the Biblical passages explained in the Midrash Rabbah.

Abraham de Fonseca:

Author of "Orthographia Castellana," Amsterdam, 1663, dedicated to J. Nuñes da Costa.

Abraham de Fonseca:

Lived at Amsterdam in the seventeenth century. He was one of the founders of the philanthropic institution, Maskil el Dal, in that city. In 1682 he organized a school in connection with the institution (D. L. de Barrios, "Maskil el Dal").

Abraham de Fonseca:

Son of Joseph b. Joshua de Fonseca; born at Hamburg; died Jan. 21, 1727. He was graduated in medicine from Leyden University, his thesis being "De Peste," Leyden, 1712.

Abraham de Fonseca de Mattos:

Graduated in medicine from Leyden University July 4, 1753, his thesis being "De Fractura," Leyden, 1753. He practised in Hamburg, where he died 1809.

Abraham Ḥayyim Lopez de Fonseca:

Buried at Curaçao in 1671 (Corcos, "Jews of Curaçao," p. 10; "Publications Am. Jew. Hist. Soc." No. 7, p. 57).

Antonio (Rodrigo) de Fonseca:

Physician; born at Lisbon. He taught for many years at the universities of Pisa and Padua, and practised medicine in Flanders and the Palatinate after 1620. He was the author of "Tractatus de Epidemia Febris Grassante in Exercitu in Inferiori Palatinatu Ao. 1620, 1621," etc., Mechlin, 1623.

Daniel de Fonseca:

The first person to have a Hebrew printing-press at Amsterdam. He printed in 1627 at his own expense the "'Ene Abraham" of his relative Abraham de Fonseca (Ersch and Gruber, "Encyc." section ii., part 28, p. 64).

D. M. K.Daniel de Fonseca:

Marano physician and diplomat; born in Portugal in the second half of the seventeenth century; died in Paris. His grandfather had been burned as a Marano, and his father escaped only by flight. Daniel, then eight years old, was baptized with his brothers: he entered the priesthood, but returned secretly to Judaism as soon as he had reached the age of manhood, continuing, nevertheless, to perform his sacerdotal functions. The Inquisition, suspecting him, endeavored to seize him, but he escaped to France, where he probably studied medicine. He then went to Constantinople, where he returned publicly to Judaism. A learned and talented man, the only philosopher, perhaps, among the Jews of his time (Voltaire, "Histoire de Charles XII." book v.), Fonseca succeeded in creating for himself a prominent position in the Turkish capital among the statesmen of the Ottoman empire. Thanks to his profession, he obtained the confidence of viziers and pashas, and rendered important services to the French ambassadors in Constantinople.

After the battle of Poltava, Fonseca adroitly aided Charles XII. of Sweden in his intrigues at the Porte against Russia and Poland. He was appointed physician to the French embassy at Constantinople under De Fériol, and kept this office until 1719. In March of that year he left for Bucharest as physician and adviser to the reigning prince, Nicholas Mavrocordato, with whom he seems to have associated in Constantinople when the prince was first dragoman at the Porte. The office of physician to the prince was only a pretext. Fonseca had accepted the post with the express permission of the French embassy, in whose service he still continued, and probably also with the consent of the Turkish government, to aid Turkey against Austria. Thus the representative of Austria at Constantinople, Count de Virmont, expressed apprehension when Fonseca took possession of his post: "He is a shrewd intriguer, whom I distrust very much" (Hurmuzaki, "Documente Privitoare la Istoria Românilor," vi. 279).

After spending some years at Bucharest, Fonseca returned to Constantinople, where he was appointed physician to Sultan Aḥmad III. He continued at the same time in the service of France, receiving a salary of 2,000 francs per annum. After the deposition of Aḥmad III. (1730), Fonseca went to live in Paris, where he associated with Voltaire, with the Countess of Caylus, and with other distinguished people of the period. He died at an advanced age.

Bibliography:
  • Marquis d'Argens, Mémoires, pp. 114-115. London, 1735;
  • Carmoly, Histoire des Médecins Juifs, pp. 198-199 (follows the Marquis d'Argens almost verbatim);
  • E. de Hurmuzaki,Documente Privitoare la Istoria Românilor, v., part ii., 293; Supplement i., part i., 444, 459;
  • Hammer-Purgstall, Histoire de l'Empire Ottoman, xiv. 24, 159.
D. E. Sd.Diego Lopez de Fonseca:

Burned at Lima Jan. 23, 1639, as an adherent of Judaism ("Publications Am. Jew. Hist. Soc." No. 4, p. 115).

Francisco de Fonseca Henriques:

Physician; author of "Medicina Lusitana, Socorro Delphico," Amsterdam, 1731.

Isaac (Miguel) Henriquez de Fonseca:

Lawyer; lived at Avios, Portugal, in the seventeenth century; was burned at Lisbon May 10, 1682, as an adherent of Judaism.

Isaac Hezekiah Lopez de Fonseca:

Ḥakam or ḥazzan at Curaçao about 1770; related to Jacob Lopez de Fonseca.

Jacob Ḥayyim de Fonseca:

German physician; born at Hamburg; died there Jan. 13, 1754. He received the degree of M.D. from Leyden University, his thesis being "De Chilificatione," Leyden, 1719. He was a son of Joseph de Fonseca, and practised medicine in Hamburg.

Jacob Lopez de Fonseca:

Ḥakam at Amsterdam; died after 1780. Several of his sermons were published at Amsterdam in 1763 and 1780.

Joseph Ḥayyim de Fonseca:

Son of Joshua de Fonseca; born at Hamburg; died Feb. 14, 1737; received his doctor's degree from Leyden University for his thesis, "De Dysenteria," Leyden, 1683.

Joshua de Fonseca:

Practised as a physician in Hamburg; died Dec. 7, 1701; son of Ḥakam Abraham de Fonseca.

Manoel de Fonseca:

Spanish interpreter in Jamaica; lived in London in 1661, in the house of the Spanish ambassador, in order to learn English.

Moses Lopez de Fonseca:

Ḥazzan of Congregation Shearith Israel, New York, in 1728 and later ("Publications Am. Jew. Hist. Soc." iv. 194, vi. 126).

Bibliography:
  • Kayserling, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. pp. 45 et seq.;
  • idem, Sephardim, p. 305;
  • Carmoly, Histoire des Médecins Juifs, p. 226;
  • Publications Am. Jew. Hist. Soc. No. 5, p. 66;
  • M. Grunwald, Portugiesengräber auf Deutscher Erde, pp. 103 et seq.
D. M. K.
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