Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 34.djvu/140

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Suspicion consequently fell on the doctor, and Essex insisted on his guilt. But when the earl obtained permission to examine his papers, no incriminating material was found, and Elizabeth told him that ‘he was a rash and temerarious youth to enter into a matter against the poor man which he could not prove’ (Birch, Memoirs, i. 150). Lopez, however, was said to have burned all his papers a little before (Carleton). Meanwhile other of Antonio's attendants were arrested and, under torture or threats of torture, they made statements implicating Lopez inextricably. At the end of January 1594 Lopez was carried to the Tower. On 28 Feb. he was tried at the Guildhall before a special commission, over which Essex presided. The prosecution was conducted by Sir Edward Coke, solicitor-general, who described the prisoner as ‘a perjured and murdering villian and Jewish doctor, worse than Judas himself.’ He was found guilty and sentenced to death. Sir Robert Cecil wrote to Thomas Windebank on the same day, ‘a most substantial jury found him guilty of all the treasons with the applause of the world.’ But his conviction may be as fairly ascribed to political intrigue and religious prejudice as to the weight of evidence against him. The queen delayed signing the death-warrant for three months, but on 7 June Lopez was carried from the Tower to the court of queen's bench at Westminster, and when invited to declare why execution of the sentence should be further delayed ‘made his submission and affirmed he never thought harm to her majesty.’ A few hours later he was borne on a hurdle to Tyburn together with two Portuguese associates. On the scaffold he stated, according to Camden, that ‘he loved the queen as well as he loved Jesus Christ, which [Camden continues], from a man of the Jewish profession, moved no small laughter in the standers-by’ (Annals, p. 676). He was afterwards hanged and quartered (Stow, Chronicle, 1631, p. 768). An official declaration of Lopez's crime from the pen of Francis Bacon was immediately circulated by the government (Spedding, Bacon, i. 273 sq.) The queen is said to have worn at her girdle until death the jewel given to Lopez by Philip of Spain (D'Ewes, Journals, p. 599). Lopez left a widow, Sara, who came from Antwerp, and two sons and three daughters. Queen Elizabeth, by a rare exercise of her prerogative, allowed the family to retain much of the doctor's property (cf. Sara Lopez's petition, August 1594, with inventory of the property, in Hatfield MSS. pt. iv. p. 601). A son Anthony was a student at Winchester in 1594, and was granted by the queen ‘a parsonage of 30l. a year … for his maintenance at school’ (ib.) In ‘Popish Plots and Treasons from the beginning of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. Illustrated with Emblems, and explain'd in Verse’ (1606), there is a drawing entitled ‘Lopas compounding to poyson the Queene.’ Here Lopez, dressed in academic costume, is engaged in conversation with a man wearing a Spanish ruff, and a label proceeding from the doctor's mouth bears the words ‘Quid dabitis?’ The same picture engraved by F. Hulsius appears in Carleton's ‘Thankfull Remembrance,’ 1627, p. 164.

Lopez's reputation, and the popular excitement evoked by his trial, may possibly have directed Shakespeare's attention to that study of Jewish character which he supplied about the time in his ‘Merchant of Venice.’ Very few Jews settled in England in the 16th century, and Lopez's position arrested national attention. Frequent mention is made of him in contemporary literature. He figures in the fifth scene of ‘England's Joy,’ a spectacular piece played at the Swan in 1602 (Harleian Miscellany, 1813, x. 198–9), as well as in Marlowe's ‘Faustus,’ in ‘Dekker's Whore of Babylon,’ 1607 (G. 4 H.), in ‘Middleton's Game at Chess’ (Act 4, Scene 2), and in John Taylor's ‘Churches Deliverance’ (Workes, 1630, p. 145).

[Articles by present writer in Gent. Mag., February, 1880 (‘The original of Shylock’), and in Transactions of the New Shakspere Society, 1887–92, pt. ii. pp. 158–62. See also authorities cited; Goodman's Court of James I, i. 149–53; Cal. of State Papers, 1591–4 passim; Forneron's Philippe II; Munk's Coll. of Phys. i. 64; Carleton's Thankfull Remembrance, 1627, pp. 163–98; Hatfield MSS. pt. iv. passim.]

S. L.

LORD, HENRY (fl. 1630), traveller, born in Oxfordshire in 1563, matriculated from Magdalen Hall, Oxford, on 15 April 1580, but apparently did not graduate. In 1624, on the recommendation of Dean White, whom he had served as curate, he was appointed by the East India Company chaplain to the English factory at Surat for a term of five years, and at a salary of 60l. per annum. His trial sermon at St. Helen's having been approved, the directors further voted him 20l. ‘to buy him books’ (Cal. State Papers, Colonial, 1622–4, pp. 229, 232). While at Surat he acquired some knowledge of Hindustani and Persian, and studied the customs of the natives. On his return to England he published ‘A Display of two forraigne sects in the East Indies, vizt: the sect of the Banians, the ancient Natives of India, and the sect of the Persees, the ancient Inhabitants of Persia,’ … 2 pts. 4to, London, 1630, with a curi-