|1632 series |
POD: May, 1631
1635: The Dreeson Incident
Grantville Gazette XXIV
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Occupation:||Physician, courier, spy|
|Parents:||Aaron Abrabanel (father)|
|Children:||Rebecca Stearns (daughter)|
|Relatives:||Don Francisco Nasi (nephew)|
Uriel Abrabanel (brother)
|Created by:||Eric Flint|
Pre-Ring of Fire
Balthazar Abrabanel was descended from a Sephardic Jewish family. His branch of the Abrabanel family lived in England for over a century, even during those years when Jews were technically banned from England. When Elizabeth took the throne, Jews were more or less welcomed back. The Abrabnel family entered the employ of the government as spies. Balthazar's father, Aaron Abrabanel, had served in this capacity until his death. Both of his sons entered into the service of the queen.
The ascension of James I in 1603 changed everything. James was more favorably inclined towards Spain than Elizabeth had been, and by 1609, James ordered the expulsion of Jews. Balthazar and his daughter, Rebecca, traveled to Amsterdam, where they resided for a time until Balthazar ran afoul of the more orthodox rabbis of city. He and Rebecca left the Jewish quarter.
Post-Ring of Fire
During the Thirty Year's War, Abrabanel was employed by the government of the Dutch Republic. In 1631, he and Rebecca traveled to the German town of Badenburg with a shipment of treasure to help finance Swedish monarch Gustavus Adolphus and his war in Germany. Not far from Badenburg, the Abarabnels were chased by mercenaries in the employ of Count Tilly. Adding to their terror, Balthazar Abrabanel was suffering a heart attack during the chase. He and his daughter were rescued unexpectedly by the time-displaced Grantville posse lead by Mike Stearns. Balthazar was then tended to by Drs. James Nichols and Jeff Adams, who saved his life.
Mike Stearns arranged for them to stay with Morris and Judith Roth, the only Jewish family in the town, while Abrabanel recovered. Within days, Rebecca had become smitten with Mike Stearns, who appointed her National Security Advisor for the Grantville Emergency Committee. As his health improved, Abrabanel agreed to a partnership with Drs. Nichols and Adams. Soon, they were found by Captain Alexander Mackay, a soldier in the employ of Gustavus Adolphus, and the person responsible for taking possession of the Dutch monies. He became friends with Morris Roth and other members of the Grantville community, learning much from them. When he realized that Rebecca had become attracted to Stearns, he asked Roth's opinion of the man. Roth, whose father had been liberated from Buchenwald by Mike Stearns' grandfather, spoke highly of Mike. Abrabanel assured the Roths that he was not worried about the religious aspect, but only that Mike Stearns was a good man.
During the Elizabethan period, Balthazar was an acquaintance of William Shakespeare, and knew that some of the plays attributed to Shakespeare were in fact written by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. Abrabanel had been the Earl's physician. Abrabanel was initially surprised that posterity had cared about the plays, and was a little leery of the fact that Shakespeare was given the credit. However, Abrabanel quickly saw the justice in this, as the Earl of Oxford had used the pen-name to avoid debtors. He'd even owed money to Balthazar when he died. He shared the truth with the Roths and history teacher Melissa Mailey.
Abrabanel gave his blessing to the marriage of Michael Stearns to his daughter. He also contacted his extended family, and secured financial backing for what became the New United States.