Sarmento, Jacob de Castro (DNB00)

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SARMENTO, JACOB de CASTRO, M.D. (1692–1762), physician, was born in Portugal in 1692, of Jewish parents. He graduated M.D. at Coimbra on 21 May 1717. He came to England as rabbi of the Jews of Portugal resident in London, and, intending to practise medicine, was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians on 25 June 1725. He was created M.D. at Aberdeen on 2 July 1739. His first publication was a ‘Sermam Funebre,’ a funeral sermon in Portuguese on David Nieto [q. v.] It has numerous Hebrew quotations, and was printed ‘con licenza dos Senhores do Mahamad.’ He was admitted a fellow of the Royal Society on 12 Feb. 1730. He contributed to the ‘Philosophical Transactions’ accounts of astronomical observations made in Paraguay (1730 and 1749) and of ‘diamonds found in Brazil’ (1731). In 1758 he withdrew from the Jewish community. He died in London on 14 Sept. 1762.

In 1756 he published in London a treatise ‘Do uso e abuso das minhas agoas de Inglaterra,’ in 1757 ‘Appendix ao que se acha escrito na Materia Medica,’ and in 1758 a large quarto ‘Materia Medica’—all in Portuguese. His portrait, by Pine, engraved by Houston, forms the frontispiece of the last-mentioned volume, and represents him seated at a table, pen in hand, with a sheet of paper before him, on which he has just written the crossed , which is the proper prefix of a prescription.

[Works; Munk's Coll. of Phys. ii. 92.]

N. M.