Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/244

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [11 s. XL MAB. 20, 1915.

kingdoms being then at peace.* These facts are too well known to be made more meritorious toy my writings."

Froude, Webb, and many other his- torians allude to this desperate attempt of Thomas Stafford who, it may be mentioned, was the second son of Henry, Baron Stafford, .and Ursula de la Pole to attain his majority, the eldest of the family, a son called Henry, having died as an infant, and the second rson being called by the same name. Two younger brothers of Thomas, George and Myles, were afterwards outlawed for their share in Northumberland's rising in 1572, and died in France. The elder of this pair had been Surveyor of the Stables at the coronation of Edward VI. The grand- mother of Thomas Margaret, Countess of .Salisbury (heiress of George, Duke of Clarence) had been beheaded by Henry VIII. His Stafford grandsire and great - grandsire had been beheaded ; the succes- sive heads of the family for the three pre- vious generations had been slain in battle.


DA COSTA: BBYDGES WILL YAMS (11 S. xi. 190, 218). MB. BRESLAB will find a full account of Mrs. Brydges Willyams in the third volume of the ' Life of Disraeli,' published last year, edited by G. E. Buckle, late editor of The Times, where a whole chapter (xiii. ) is devoted to her. She was " of the race of Israel, though a professor of the Christian faith." As this book is accessible to every one, I need not copy out what is there stated about her family. The story of her intimacy with Disraeli is most interesting reading.

The statement that this "eccentric lady placed a considerable part of her fortune at Disraeli's disposal to aid his career " requires explanation, as it rather implies that the money was given him during her life- time. The facts are as follows. She asked him in 1851, being then a widow, " as a great favour," to be one of her executors, .and stated that she intended her executors to be her residuary legatees. She further requested that Sir Philip Rose, Disraeli's friend and solicitor, would act for her in making her will ; but Disraeli informed her that her proper course was to consult a " local solicitor of high standing " at Tor- quay, where she lived, and this advice was followed. Until her death on 11 Nov., 1862, he did not know what was the amount of his legacy. She had described it as not

  • See Journals, 144.

being " a considerable one, but substantial." Her estate was a little over 40,OOOZ. Several persons who had been left legacies and the other executor predeceased the testatrix, and their legacies, therefore, fell into the residue ; and thus Disraeli, instead of getting about 20,000?., got about 30,OOOZ. The lady appears to have left this money to Disraeli because she became devoted to him, and admired him as a man of unrivalled genius, who in his speeches and writings nobly vindicated the race to which they both belonged. In one of his letters to her, dated 2 Aug., 1851, he wrote :

" You will receive to - morrow or Monday ' Tancred,' which, notwithstanding it is in the form of a novel, I hope you will read, and read even with attention, as it is a vindication, and I hope a complete one, of the race from which we alike spring."

The will was made about ten years before she died. She was buried, at her special request, at Hughenden ; and Disraeli and his wife now lie together with her in a vault in the churchyard, just outside the east end of the church.

MB. ABCHIBALD SPABKE states that this lady was " of Spanish -Jewish parentage, and her family, the Mendez da Costas, had. intermarried with Disraeli's family, the De Laras." In the ' Life of Disraeli,' vol. iii. p. 466, it is stated that Disraeli " believed himself to be a kinsman of the Laras ; both Da Costas and Laras being aristocratic famili es of Peninsular Jews." To this passage there is the following note :

"This was the belief both of Disraeli and of Mrs. Willyams ; but Mr. Lucien Wolf claims to have shown that the Portuguese Jewish Laras, with whom the Disraelis were connected, had no connec- tion with the Spanish noble family of Lara."


Inner Temple.

Mr. Lucien Wolf in The Daily Chronicle of 28 Nov., 1914, has identified the mysterious Mrs. Brydges Willyams. She was Sarah, the daughter of Abraham Mendez da Costa (died 1782) by his Gentile wife Elizabeth Legh. Abraham's father was Daniel of Jamaica, son of Jorge Mendez da Costa, a crypto (marrano) Jew of Portugal, who at one time resided at Venice, and subse- quently at Amsterdam.


118, Sutherland Avenue, W.

JOHN TBTJSLEB (11 S. xi. 190). Dr. Trusler died at his villa at Englefield Green, Surrey, in 1820, aged 85.


Wessex, Frome, Somerset.