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The Portuguese were not ready to house such a big population of Jewish immigrants.
In many cases Jewish families were house within Christian households, in the city of Évora the authorities had refused to let more Jewish families.
The history of the Jews in Portugal reaches back over two thousand years and is directly related to Sephardi history, a Jewish ethnic division that represents communities that originated in the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain).
Jewish populations have existed in the area even before the country was established, back to the Roman era (province of Lusitania), even though an attested Jewish presence in Portuguese territory, can only be documented since 482 CE.
For example, Isaac Abrabanel was the treasurer of King Afonso V of Portugal.
Many also had an active role in the Portuguese culture, and they kept their reputation of diplomats and merchants.
In 1493, King John deported several hundred Jewish children to the newly discovered colony of São Tomé, where many of them perished.
The importance of the Jewish population to the development of the urban economy can be inferred from charters Alfonso granted in 1170 to the non-Christian merchants living in Lisbon, Almada, Palmela and Alcacer.
Portugal was the destination of most Jews who chose to leave Spain after their expulsion in 1492.
Around 60,000 Jews had decided to move to the neighboring Kingdom of Portugal, a minor Jewish population was already residing in Portugal.
The Portuguese Inquisition expanded its scope of operations from Portugal to the Portuguese Empire, including Brazil, Cape Verde, and India.
According to Henry Charles Lea between 15 tribunals in Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra and Évora burned 1,175 persons, another 633 were burned in effigy and 29,590 were penanced.