Netherlandish family; one of the thirty prominent Jewish families which emigrated from Spain to Portugal under the leadership of the aged rabbi Isaac Aboab, and to which King John II. assigned the city of Oporto as a residence. Persecuted by the Inquisition, the Mendeses left Oporto and settled in Holland and England, emigrating later to America.

Gideon Mendes:

Consul of the Netherlands in 1703 in the republic of Zale, Barbary, which had entered into a treaty with the Netherlands in 1651 (Koenen, "Geschiedenis," p. 210).

Isaac (Francisco) Mendes:

A learned Jew who, with his parents and his brother Mordecai (Christoval) Mendes, went from Oporto to Amsterdam in 1598. Isaac was highly respected by the Senate of Amsterdam. Through his efforts, it is said, the second synagogue of Amsterdam, Neweh Shalom, was erected, and that without occasioning dissension in the community, despite Grätz's assertion to the contrary ("Gesch." ix. 518; Barrios, "Casa de Jacob," pp. 6 et seq.).

Isaac Mendes:

Poet and musician; lived at Amsterdam about 1665; a friend of Daniel Levi de Barrios. About 100 years later another Isaac Mendes lived there, who copied "Danielillo ó Respuestas à los Christianos."

Joseph Israel Mendes:

Physician; brother of Abraham Israel Mendes; died at Amsterdam Jan. 7, 1619.

Joseph Mendes Bravo:

Physician; practised in London in 1663.

Moses (Fernando) Mendes:

Physician; son of Maranos in Portugal; professor in the faculty of medicine at Coimbra, and physician to King John IV, of Portugal; died, according to some sources, in 1725, or, according to others, Nov. 26, 1724. When the king's daughter Catherine, wife of King Charles II. of England, became seriously ill in Castile on her way to London, Fernando was sent to her, and at her request he accompanied her to London and remained there as her physician. His brothers Andreas and Antonio went there with him. In London Fernando and his wife openly confessed Judaism, he taking the name of Moses. A daughter was born to him in the royal palace, to whom the queen was godmother, and who was named Catherine (Rachel) after her. In 1698 this daughter married Moses (Antonio) da Costa. In 1687 Mendes was elected a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. See Costa, Andrea Mendes Da.

  • Lindo, History of the Jews in Spain, p. 350;
  • Kayserling, Gesch. der Juden in Portugal, p. 324;
  • idem, Sephardim, p. 168;
  • idem, Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud. p. 70;
  • Gaster, History of Bevis Marks, pp. 12, 97 (with portrait), et seq.
D. M. K.
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