1555 to 1597 Ledger and Diary of French Jewish Merchant and Land Baron

1555 to 1597 Ledger and Diary of French Jewish Merchant and Land Baron

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A handwritten 16th century French manuscript book, earliest date 1555 with entries through 1597, in original blindstamped calf with small Fleur-de-lis.

This stunning book has approximately 300 pages of handwritten entries documenting acts, properties, transactions, loans, personal notes, and journal entries. The majority of entries concern Marc-Antoine Hbrart, a noted merchant in the village of Dgagnac in Lot in southwestern France. Most certainly Jewish, it is evident that the Hebrart family was one of the largest land-holding families in the area. "In 1504 and 1505 the two 'headmen' of the village, Antoine Hebrart and Pierre Peysson, together accounted for 15 percent of the land of the village" (Ref: By Le Roy, Emmanuel and Ladurie, John Day, The Peasants of Languedoc).

A pencil annotation indicates that Marc Hbrard was of Jewish origin. A fairly cursory examination of the manuscript lends no additional support to this assertion, but it is possible given the history of the Jews of neighboring Languedoc, and the fact that some Jews remained in France under Christian-like assumed names after their expulsion in 1306. The generic 'Marc-Antoine' is cited as a Jewish name in Sara Uckelman's "Jewish Given Names Found in 'Les Noms Des Isralites en France'."

Handsome blindstamped 16th century calf, legible btarde script, some old and minor restoration, but otherwise VG.; French; 4to - over 9" - 12" tall.

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