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JUDAH (known also as Thesoureiro Mor Judah):

Treasurer to Ferdinand, King of Portugal; appointed in 1378. After the king's death he became the favorite of his queen, Leonora de Meneyes, whom he accompanied as a page when she was obliged to flee from the infuriated populace of Lisbon. The deposed queen requested her son-in-law John I. of Castile, who had made war upon Portugal, to bestow the chief rabbinate of Castile (not of Portugal, as Grätz says) upon Judah; John, however, at the instance of his young wife, Beatrice, gave the office to Judah's rival, David Negro-Yaḥya. Thereupon the crafty Leonora hired a count to kill her daughter's husband, then besieging Coimbra. But the plot failed; the king was informed of it by David Negro, of his suite, who had been warned by a Franciscan monk. Leonora, Judah, and a maid who was in the conspiracy were immediately arrested. Brought before the king, Judah disclosed everything in presence of Queen Beatrice, David Negro, and a notary, and repeated his confession before Leonora. The last-named was banished to Tordesillas; Judah, whose wife was the sister of a wealthy man by the name of David Alguadez, a relative of Meïr Alguadez, was condemned to death, but was pardoned at the intercession of David Negro. He fled to Castile, accompanied by Judah and Moses Nahum, his tax-collectors. His treasures were given by John I. of Portugal to Gonçalo Rodriguez de Abreu, and his houses and other possessions to the widow of the brave king Pereira.

Bibliography:
  • Brandão, Monarchia Lusitana, viii. 509, 584;
  • Kayserling, Gesch. der Juden in Portugal, pp. 26, 32 et seq.;
  • J. Mendes dos Remedios, Os Judeus em Portugal, i. 168 et seq.;
  • Grätz, Gesch. viii. 49-51 et seq.
G. M. K.
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