Abraham de Lemos, Petition to the Prussian King, Hamburg 1735

Source Description

On January 24, 1735, the Sephardic Hamburg merchant Abraham de Lemos sent the petition presented here to the Prussian King Frederick William I. In this document Abraham de Lemos petitions the King for the abrogation of the marriage between his son, Benjamin de Lemos, a student of medicine at the University of Halle in Prussia, and the sister of his Jewish landlord. After a four year stay in Halle, the son, without the permission of his father, married an Ashkenazic woman. The father’s arguments against the marriage form the substance of the petition. The hand-written letter, particularly in the introduction and conclusion, comply with the contemporary petition formula. The king had the petition sent to the University of Halle in order to have its opinion; however, this has not been preserved. Yet according to later sources from the family’s history, it is evident that the king did not dissolve the marriage of Benjamin de Lemos. The three page petition resides in the Secret State Archives Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation Geheimes Staatsarchiv, Preußischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin.
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Recommended Citation

Abraham de Lemos, Petition to the Prussian King, Hamburg 1735 (translated by Richard S. Levy), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <https://dx.doi.org/10.23691/jgo:source-43.en.v1> [July 19, 2024].