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ANTONIO °, known as the "Prior of Crato" (1531–1595), claimant to the throne of Portugal which, on the death of childless Henry ii in 1580, had been seized by Philip ii of Spain. Antonio was the grandson of King Manuel (who had been responsible for the expulsion of the Jews from Portugal in 1496–97) through an illegitimate union between the latter's son Luis and a beautiful *New Christian woman, Yolante Gomez. It was therefore hoped that if he succeeded to the throne he would curb the activities of the Portuguese Inquisition. Partly for this reason, partly because of their inveterate hatred of Spain, the Portuguese Marrano communities strongly favored his cause. Among his principal supporters was Solomon *Abenaes, who endeavored to secure Anglo-Turkish support for him. In London, the ill-fated Roderigo *Lopes was his personal physician. Dom Antonio proved a weak and unreliable character and the Marrano group later broke with him, while he retaliated by accusing them of treachery. This quarrel ultimately led to the execution of Lopes, who did not turn down a Spanish suggestion that he should poison the pretender and was also suspected of having similar designs on Queen Elizabeth i.


Wolf, in: jhset, 11 (1924–27), 1–91; C. Roth, House of Nasi: The Duke of Naxos (1948), 205–13; J. Veríssimo Serrão, Dom Antonio (Port., 1962); idem, O reinado de Dom Antonio, Prior do Crato (1956).

[Cecil Roth]

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