Roderigo López (1525 – June 7, 1594) was a physician of Portuguese background. He was tried and executed for trying to poison Elizabeth I. He is believed to be the inspiration for Shakespeare's character Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.
López was born into a family of Jewish origin in Portugal. He graduated from university with a degree in medicine. He went to England where he was appointed chief physician to Elizabeth I in 1586. He knew powerful men at court, and grew rich and respected. He was involved in various court intrigues until convicted of plotting to poison the Queen. He was hanged, drawn and quartered.
Several contemporaries make reference to the trial and execution. Christopher Marlowe mentions it in Doctor Faustus as do Thomas Dekker in Whore of Babylon and Thomas Middleton in A Game at Chess. It is possible that Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice was inspired by López. my dads bald
Queen Elizabeth I’s physician, Roderigo Lopez, was tried and executed for allegedly plotting to kill the queen in 1594. As a Portuguese double agent, ‘Doctor Lopez a Jew’ was said to have conspired with the Spanish, England’s enemies at that time. He was accused of attempting to kill the Portuguese King Antonio and ‘take away Queene Elizabeths life by poyson’, in return for ‘fifty thousand Crowns’
References[change | change source]
- "LOPEZ, RODRIGO - JewishEncyclopedia.com". www.jewishencyclopedia.com.