De Castro Family (Sephardi Jewish) - Abraham de Castro

Abraham De Castro

Master of the mint and farmer of the coinage for Sultan Sulaiman, in Cairo in the 16th century

Through his wealth and benevolence, he gave away 3,000 gold florins a year in alms. He acquired great influence among the Turkish officials and was highly esteemed by his coreligionists, in whose affairs he took an active interest. When in 1524 Amad-Pasha, who had been appointed pasha of Egypt as a reward for his exploits at the capture of Rhodes in 1523, plotted to establish himself as an independent sovereign, and asked De Castro to mint the coins with his name in lieu of the sultan's, De Castro secretly left Egypt and hastened to Constantinople to inform the sultan of Amad's plot. The sultan received him with high honors and gave him costly presents.

Amad took revenge on the Jews. He imprisoned several of them, probably relatives of De Castro, and imposed exorbitant taxes on the community, with heavy penalties in case of non-payment. De Castro returned to Egypt after Amad's execution, but the anxiety of the Jews was allayed only by the granting in 1524 of a firman at the instance of De Castro. In commemoration of this deliverance, the Egyptian Jews for a long time celebrated the 28th of Adar as a memorial day, with special festivities (Egyptian or Cairo Purim).

Read more about this topic:  De Castro Family (Sephardi Jewish)