NUÑEZ, HECTOR (1521–91), leader of the Marrano community in England. A distinguished physician and successful merchant, Nuñez was born in Portugal and arrived in London about 1550; he was admitted a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1554. His large-scale trading activities in the Mediterranean enabled him to provide information for the government, and it was he who brought Sir Francis Walsingham, whose friendship he enjoyed, the first news of the arrival of the Spanish Armada at Lisbon. His wife, Leonara Freire, subscribed to the upkeep of the secret synagogue in Antwerp.
Roth, England, 140ff., 283; idem, Anglo-Jewish Letters (1938), 23–26; Wolf, in: JHSET, 11 (1924–27), 6f., 23f., 37–48, 50–55.
[Vivian David Lipman]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.