Ephraim Lópes Pereira d'Aguilar, 2nd Baron d'Aguilar
In 1757, d'Aguilar was naturalized in England, where he had settled with his father, Baron Diego Pereira d'Aguilar. On 8 December 1756, he married Sarah (Simha) Mendes da Costa (born c.1742, died 5 May 1763), daughter of Moses Mendes da Costa, who is reported to have brought him a fortune of £150,000. She was the mother of his two legitimate daughters. He also had a son. He succeeded to his father's title and fortune in 1759, and for a time lived in luxurious style with twenty servants at the Broad Street Buildings. By the time of the American Revolutionary War, however, d'Aguilar had lost an American estate of 15,000 acres (61 km²).
Subsequently, he became known as a miserly and eccentric person, giving up his mansion in Broad Street as well as his country houses at Bethnal Green, Twickenham, and Sydenham. His establishment at Colebrook Row, Islington, was popularly styled "Starvation Farm", because of the scanty food provided for the cattle. He came a freemason in 1778. Upon his death there in 1802, d'Aguilar left a fortune valued at £200,000 hidden throughout the dwelling to his two daughters who survived him.
D'Aguilar held various positions in his community, and served as treasurer of the Portuguese Synagogue; the minutes of the proceedings of the Mahamad bear the signature of Ephraim d'Aguilar. He was elected warden in 1765, but declined to serve, and refused on technical grounds to pay the fine. D'Aguilar was given eight days to accept the position or to submit to the penalty. He evidently submitted, since on 5 March 1767 he married Rebecca, née Lamego (dsp 30 November 1795), daughter of Isaac Lamego and widow of Benjamin Mendes da Costa, the elder (the father of Benjamin Mendes da Costa?), Chairman of the Committee of Diligence. He would not have been able to marry her had he been lying under the ban. When d'Aguilar took up his eccentric life, however, the couple separated. After twenty years, a partial reconciliation took place between the baron and his wife, but only for a short time. d'Aguilar was again elected to office in 1770, and for some years thereafter remained a member of the synagogue.
- "Selected Jewish Masons 1717 – 1860". Synagogue Scribes. 12 October 2017.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Goodman Lipkind and Joseph Jacobs (1901–1906). "Ephraim Lopez Pereira, Baron d'Aguilar". In Singer, Isidore; et al. Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.
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