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he wished to hear the sentiments of the Jews from their own lips, and to learn their actual impressions, as to their present circumstances and future hopes.

In his Memorial respecting the Syrian Christians, presented to Marquis Wellesley, the Author also noticed the existence of an ancient colony of Jews on the coast of Malabar, particularly at Cochin; and as this place had recently become a part of the British Empire, by conquest from the Dutch, Lord William Bentinck, then Governor of Madras, who had received letters from the Supreme Government, was pleased to direct the civil officer, who had charge of the department of Cochin,* to afford him every aid in the prosecution of his Researches. His first tour to Cochin was in November, 1806, and he remained in the country till February, 1807. He again visited it in January, 1808. He has only room, in this present Work, to introduce a few notes from his Journal.

* Thomas Flower, Esq.

Cochin, Feb. 4, 1807.

I have been now in Cochin, or its vicinity, for upwards of two months, and have got well acquainted with the Jews. They do not live in the city of Cochin, but in a town about a mile distant from it, called Malta chery, and Jews’-Town. It is almost wholly inhabited by the Jews, who have two respectable Synagogues. Among them are some very intelligent men, who are not ignorant of the present history of nations. There are also Jews here from remote parts of Asia, so that this is the fountain of intelligence concerning that people in the East; there being constant communication by ships with the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the mouths of the Indus. The resident Jews are divided into two classes, called the Jerusalem or White Jews; and the Ancient or Black Jews. The White Jews reside at this place. The Black Jews have also a Synagogue here ; but the great body of that tribe inhabit towns in the interior of the province. I have now seen most of both classes. My inquiries referred chiefly to their antiquity, their manuscripts, and their sentiments concerning the present state of their nation.'

THE JERUSALEM OR WHITE JEWS.

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' On my inquiry into the antiquity of the White Jews, they first delivered to me a narrative, in the Hebrew Language, of their arrival in India, which has been handed down to them from their fathers; and then exhibited their ancient brass Plate, containing their charter and freedom of residence, given by a King of Malabar. The following is the narrative of the events relating to their first arrival.

After the second Temple was destroyed, (which may God speedily rebuild !). our fathers, dreading the Conqueror's wrath, departed from Jerusalem, a numerous body of men, women, priests, and Levites, and came into this land. There were among them men of repute for learning and wisdom ; and God gave the people favour in the sight of the King who at that time reigned here, and he granted them a place to dwell in, called Cranganor. He allowed them a patriarchal jurisdiction urithin the district, with certain privileges of nobility; and the Royal grant was engraved, according to the custom of those days, on a plate of brass. This was done in the year from the creation of the world, 4250 (A. D. 490); and this plate of brass we still have in possession. Our fore-fathers continued at Cranganor for about a thousand years, and the number of Heads who governed were seventy-two. Soon after our settlement, other Jews followed us from Judea ; and among these came that man of great wisdom, Rabbi Samuel, a Levite of Jerusalem, with his son, Rabbi Jehuda Levita. They brought with them the silvER TRUMPETS, made use of at the time of the JUBILEE, which were saved when the second Temple was destroyed ; and we have heard from our fathers, that there were engraven upon those trumpets the letters of the ineffable Name.* Therė joined us also from Spain, and other places, from time to time, certain tribes of Jews, who had heard of our prosperity. But at last, discord arising among ourselves, one of our chiefs called to his assistance an Indian King, who came upon

us with a great army, destroyed our houses, palaces, and strong holds, dispossessed us of Cranganor, killed part of us, and carried part into captivity. By these massacres we were reduced to a small number. Some of the exiles came and dwelt at Cochin, where we have remained ever since, suffering great changes from time to time. There are amongst us some of the children of Israel (Beni-Israel) who came from the country of Ashkenaz, from Egypt, from Tsoba, and other places, besides those who formerly inhabited this country.

* This circumstance of the Jubilee Trumpets is to be found in a similar account of the Jews of Malabar, published in the “ History of the Works of the Learned," for March 1699 It is not necessary to suppose that these trumpets belonged to the Temple ; for it is well known, that in every considerable town in Judea there were Jubilee trumpets.

« The native annals of Malabar confirm the foregoing account, in the principal circumstances, as do the Mahomedan histories of the latter ages; for the Mahomedans have been settled here in great numbers since the eighth century.

The desolation of Cranganor the Jews describe as being like the desolation of Jerusalem in miniature. They were first received into the Country with some favour and confidence, agreeably to the tenor of the general prophecy concerning the Jews; for no country was to reject them : and after they had obtained some wealth, and attracted the notice of men, they are precipitated to the lowest abyss of human suffering and reproach. The recital of the sufferings of the Jews at Cranganor resembles much that of the Jews at Jerusalem, as given by Josephus.

I now requested they would shew me their brass plate. Having been given by a native King, it is written, of course, in the Malabaric language and character; and is now so old that it cannot be well understood. The Jews preserve a Hebrew translation of it, which they presented to me: but the Hebrew itself is very difficult, and they do not agree among themselves, as to the meaning of some words. I have employed, by their permission, an engraver at Cochin, to execute a fac-simile of the original plate, on copper.* This ancient document begins in the

* The original is engraved on both sides of the plate, the fac-simile forms two plates.

These are posited in the Public Library at the University of Cambridge.

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