Thursday, 25 October 2012

"Almanza", an Antwerp Jew, gets blamed when his nephew runs off with the cash, 1698

"The Citizens of Antwerp twice invited the Elector of Bavaria to Honour their Grand Festival with his Presence. But he gave ‘em a positive Denyal, alledging, That he could not go to a City that had so obstinately refus’d their Consent to the Subsidies granted by the States of Brabant, for the Service of his majesty; as also for that they had contemn’d the Orders he sent ‘em, to commit the Jew Almanza to the Castle of Antwerp, to the end that as the King’s Cashier at Antwerp he might be brought to his Tryal before the Superintendant of the Military Justice. It seems this Jew, who has liv’d at Antwerp many Years, broke fraudulently, some Months since, for above Four hundred thousand Florins; for which, not being able to alledge any other Reason, but the premeditated Flight of his Nephew with his Cash, he was immediately committed to Prison; he has been twice examin’d by the Authority of the City; but the Persons concern’d, demand, that he may be punish’d with Death, according to the Rigour of the Law; and then he must be sent to the Castle."

The Present State of Europe, Or, The Historical and Political Mercury, Volume 9. May 1698. Page 211

The Elector of Bavaria was Maximilian II Emanuel (pictured), who was Governor of the Spanish Netherlands at the time. He ambition for his Wittelsbach dynasty to replace the Hapsburgs as Holy Roman Emperors led to his supporting the French during the War of Spanish Succession. He had a bad war, but recovered his throne in 1713.

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