Family letter from Mira Chavarola, a Jewish woman, to António Rodrigues, also known as Judá Barroca, her husband.
The author asks her husband to leave the business he mantains in Lisbon and go back to Italy.
The Inquisition archives contain, apart from the around 40 thousand individual proceedings ("processos"), a collection of scattered charges, for which the Inquisition "Promotor" had to decide whether or not to prosecute. Complaints, confessions, letters by the commissioners or about different stages of each proceedings are some of the document types that can be found in these books. This letter has been kept among such documentation.
These three letters (PSCR0073, PSCR0074 and PSCR0075) are related to Mira Charavola, a Jewish woman who met the Portuguese friar Fernão Rodrigues de Trancoso in Northern Italy. She asked this friar to write a letter to her husband, António Rodrigues, who had the Jewish name Judá Barroca and had traveled to Portugal to bring his family with him to Italy. The mentioned friar, however, betrayed her, denouncing her and her husband to the Portuguese Inquisition.
«Venice, 26th March 1571
I don’t know when you will leave than land, where things cannot go right, because the house will fall down one day, since your mother Brites Rodrigues doesn’t want to come here, nor even your brother or any of your relatives. Let them be as they wish. You had warned me that you wouldn’t come back if you didn’t have some income and also that you had put a tent in the flour market. I tell you to first look at your soul and then to me and to this creature you left in my unfortunate womb without anything to live, and therefore I ask and beg you, for the love of God, that you come back; it was also who wants to calm down alive.
The bearer of this letter, named Fernão Rodrigues de Trancoso, will personally tell you my life and I asked him to convince you to come. I let you know that my sister, the widow one, with her daughter and brother-in-law they all went to Ragusa and therefore, my sister, my brother-in-law and I will be going there this week, where I will be eagerly waiting for you.
Please come, for God’s sake, and don’t be in such danger. I will pray God keep you and bring you in peace. Your daughter asks for your blessing. I asked this honourable man to write this letter because my brother-in-law and his son can’t stand hearing from you giving me what you have done to me. May Our Lord forgive you as I do.