Rodrigues, Bartholomew

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RODRIGUES, BARTHOLOMEW (Jacob de Sequeira ; d. 1692), Anglo-Indian merchant, son of the well-known merchant, Gomez Rodrigues (d. 1678). Bartholomew Rodrigues left London in 1683 for Fort St. George (Madras), the center of the diamond trade. Though originally an "interloper," he was admitted as freeman of the East India Company in 1684. His widespread commercial transactions in diamonds, precious stones, amber, and coral, and the extent of his trade with Manila, Pegu (Burma), Bengal, and China are documented in the records of the Madras Company up to 1692. As the representative of the "Hebrew merchant colony" in Madras, he served as alderman of the Madras Corporation in 1688. On his death, he was buried in the garden of his house in Mint Street, Madras. His brother Alphonso Rodrigues (d. 1716) was also a notable East India merchant and diamond importer in London.


H.D. Love, Vestiges of Old Madras, 4 vols. (1913); W.J. Fischel, in: Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 3 (1960), 78–107, 175–95. add. bibliography: odnb online for Alphonso Rodrigues; E. Samuel, "Diamonds and Pieces of Eight: How Stuart England Won the Rough Diamond Trade," in: idem, At the Ends of the Earth: Essays on the History of the Jews in England and Portugal (2004), 241–57.

[Walter Joseph Fischel]

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Rodrigues, Bartholomew