Veiling 353 Manuscripts, Letters a.o. Written Documents
867

PENHA, Joseph de la. -- "Op dato 22 Februarij 1768 heeft Daniel de la Penja Josephsz. den gewoonlijken Lheen Eed bij handtastinge in Edes plaats afgelegt in handen van de Heer President van Wassenaer Catwijk ten overstaen van de Heeren Raden F[rans] Boëmer en C. de ?". Signature by ? Transcript/copy written on vellum (r° & v°) of a renewal of a grant in which Joseph de la Penja (Penha) is said to be the rightful owner of 'Labrador', 'Cortereal' and 'Estoliland' (Canada).

Joseph de la Penha (1658-1731), or Penja as it is written in this document, was a Rotterdam Sephardi merchant, ship-owner, and financier of privateers. He claimed Labrador for England in 1677. When he saved the life of King William III 20 years later, the king granted Labrador to De la Penha. From the internet: “According to records secured by the descendants of the De La Penha family in Canada and in London, King William the Third of Britain was saved from drowning in a shipwreck in 1695 by Joseph De La Penha, an Amsterdam Jewish merchant. In gratitude King William gave De La Penha hereditary tenure forever of Labrador. This grant was legalized in 1697 in a document signed at Het Loo Palace in Holland and renewed in 1732 and 1768 (our document), (…)". The grant is written in English and the 'renewal' on v° in Dutch.

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