Dormido, David Abrabanel

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DORMIDO, DAVID ABRABANEL (d. 1667), a founder of the modern English-Jewish community. Born in Spain of a Marrano family, as Manuel Martinez Dormido, he collected taxes in Andalusia and was a city councilor until arrested by the Inquisition in 1627. After appearing as a penitent in an auto-da-fé in 1632, he escaped to Bordeaux and in 1640 reached Amsterdam where he joined the Jewish community. Financially ruined by the Portuguese reconquest of Brazil he later accompanied Samuel Soeiro, son of *Manasseh Ben Israel, in 1654 to London where he petitioned Oliver Cromwell to assist him in recuperating his fortune and to readmit the Jews into England. Cromwell complied with the first request and apparently expressed sympathy with the second. Under the name David Abrabanel, Dormido signed the petition of the London Marranos for freedom of worship in 1656. When the Jewish community was formally organized in 1663 he was presiding warden. His son solomon (antonio) dormido (1622–1700) was the first Jew to be admitted formally to the Royal Exchange in London. The statement that Dormido was Manasseh Ben Israel's brother-in-law has no authority.


C. Roth, Menasseh Ben Israel (1934), 212–4, 219–21; D. Bueno de Mesquita, in: jhset, 3 (1896–98), 88–93; 10 (1921–23), 235–7; L.D. Barnett, Bevis Marks Records, 1 (1940), index; A.M. Hyamson, Sephardim of England (1951), 24–26; A. Wiznitzer, Jews in Colonial Brazil (1960), 71, 137, 172. add. bibliography: Katz, England, 185–86.

[Cecil Roth]