SÁNCHEZ, GABRIEL (d. 1505), treasurer of the kingdom of Aragon under Ferdinand and Isabella. He was a member of a distinguished family of *Conversos, which traced its origin to the Alazar (see *Eleazar) family of Saragossa; his father, Pedro Sánchez, became converted to Christianity with the rest of his family at the beginning of the 15th century. In 1475 Gabriel Sánchez was appointed assistant to his brother Luis, who served as treasurer of Aragon, and whom he later succeeded. After the murder of the inquisitor Pedro de *Arbués in 1485, Gabriel's brothers Juan de Pedro, Alonso, and Guillén were accused of complicity, and grave charges were brought against Gabriel as well. The Inquisition, however, disregarded these accusations and his position was not affected. His brothers succeeded in fleeing from Aragon. With Luis de *Santangel, Sánchez assisted Christopher *Columbus in collecting funds for his voyages, and Columbus sent him a letter in May 1493 from Portugal similar to that which he sent to Santangel, describing his first voyage.
After Gabriel's death, his son LUIS succeeded to his position, in which he served until his death in 1530, when it was transferred to his other son, GABRIEL. During the 16th century members of the Sánchez family married into several of the prominent families of Spanish aristocracy, such as the Gurrea and Mendoza families.
Baer, Spain, 2 (1966), 370f., 375f., 498; Serrano y Sanz, Orígenes de la dominación española en América (1918), 152ff.; Zaforteza y Musoles, in: Archivos de genealogía y heráldica, 2 (1953), 156–76; Cabezudo Astrain, in: Revista de Archivos, Bibliotecas y Museos, 58 (1960), 81–103.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.