EH 49 B 16


Against Christianity

Reposta do Dr. Sequeira Vezinho

Polemical treatise by Dr. Sequeira Vezinho, 18th century copy.

Reposta do Dr. Sequeira Vezinho / de Londres, / ao Libro Ititulado (sic!) dialogos / Theologicos, que compós hum autor / anonimo, cristão para reduzir / aos Judeos, ao Cristianismo.


f. 1r: To the Reader: “Benevolo Leitor”.

f. 2-20v: Chapter I.

f. 20v-46r: Chapter II.

f. 46r-52v: Chapter III.

f. 52v-59r: Chapter IV.

Response to an anonymous Christian polemical work, probably Diálogo entre Discípulo e Mestre Catequizante, Lisbon, 1621. (Curado, p.115).

Meyer Kayserling identifies the author as being Isaac de Sequeira Samuda (Lisbon, 1681-London, 1729), a physician who was the first Jewish Fellow of the Royal Society. The same opinion is shared by Joaquim Mendes dos Remédios in Os Judeus Portugueses em Amsterdão.

However, the few known writings by Isaac de Sequeira Samuda – a funeral sermon, an epic poem and several scientific reports and letters -, as well as his closeness to the Portuguese diplomatic mission in London and to the Jesuits of the College of Santo Antão in Lisbon are inconsistent with the general content of Resposta do Dr. Sequeira…. In addition, none of the two handwritings in this manuscript is identical to Samuda’s writing. Although this is not necessarily an autographic manuscript, it seems unlikely that Samuda could be its author.

After all, there were other Portuguese Jewish physicians with the surname “Sequeira” living in London at the same time as Samuda, such as Joseph Henriques Sequeira or Abraham Machado de Sequeira, doctor of the Hebrá of the Sephardic community of London (Barnett, 111). The latter was the father of David Machado de Sequeira, writer and a leading member of the Sephardic community of Dublin. According to Wolf, David Machado de Sequeira would have been responsible for the edition of An Account of the Cruelties Exercised by the Inquisition… (London, 1708), an English translation of Noticias Recônditas e Póstumas (Wolf, 165). Then, the authorship of this polemical work against the Inquisition was attributed to the Jesuit priest António Vieira.

Therefore, Resposta do Dr. Sequeira would have been produced in this context of strong criticism against the Inquisition that emerged within the Sephardic community of London during the first decades of the 18th century. Indeed, there is some evidence of a connection between Resposta and Noticias Recônditas, namely some mention of Antonio Vieira (fls. 18v, 47r) and a reference to the condemnation of the priest Manuel Lopes by the Inquisition of Lisbon (fl. 19r), one of several cases mentioned in Noticias in order to demonstrate the “cruelties exercised by the Inquisition”.

Kayserling, 100; Lucien Wolf, “Note on the Early History of the Dublin Hebrew Congregation”, Transactions and Miscellanies of the Jewish Historical Society of England, XI, 1924-27, pp. 163-167; Richard Barnett, “Dr Jacob de Castro Sarmento and Sephardim in Medical Practice in 18th-century London”, Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England, 28, 1978-80, pp. 84-114; Bruno Feitler, “A circulação de obras antijudaicas e anti-semitas no Brasil colonial”, Cultura [Online], Vol. 24 | 2007, pp.60-61, consulted 5 October 2015. URL : http:// ; DOI : 10.4000/cultura.810; Manuel Curado, As Viríadas do Doutor Samuda, Coimbra, Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra, 2014; Carla Costa Vieira, “Observing the skies of Lisbon. Isaac de Sequeira Samuda, an estrangeirado in the Royal Society”, Notes & Records of the Royal Society Journal of the History of Science, n.º 68, 2014, 135-149.

Belonged to the collection of David Montezinos.

Portuguese with some Latin quotations / Paper / 21,7 x 16,2 cm. / [60] ff. / 24 lines to a page / Current writing / Title written in a different hand on the first flyleaf / Catchwords at the bottom of each page / Modern half-linen binding.

Fuks 229. Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.