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GAUNSE (Gaunz, Ganse, Gans), JOACHIM (Jeochim, Jochim):

German mining expert who figures in the English state papers of the reign of Elizabeth. He was born at Prague, and was therefore in all probability a connection of David Gans, who settled there in 1564; he certainly shared his scientific interests. He is first mentioned in his professional capacity at Keswick, Cumberland, in 1581, and he remained in England till the end of 1589. He introduced a new process for the "makeing of Copper, vitriall, and Coppris, and smeltinge of Copper and leade ures." A full description of his operations is preserved in the English state papers (Domestic Series, Elizabeth, vol. 152, No. 88). Foreign miners were very active in England about this period. There is no doubt that England owed much to such immigrants in the mining industries (see Cunningham, "Alien Immigrants," p. 122).

In Sept., 1589, in the presence of a minister, Richard Curteys, at Bristol, Gaunse, speaking "in the Hebrue tonge," proclaimed himself a Jew, and as a result was arrested and sent in custody to the privy council in London (Domestic Series, Elizabeth, vol. 226, No. 46). The council seems to have taken no hostile action, however. Walsingham, who was then secretary of state, was an old employer of Gaunse, and other members of the council also knew him.

Bibliography:
  • I. Abrahams, Joachim Gaunse, a Mining Incident in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, in Transactions of Jewish Historical Society of England, iv., where all the documents are published.
J. I. A.
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