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Roderigo Lopez

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Roderigo (or Rodrigo) Lopez (c. 1517 – 7 June 1594), served as physician-in-chief to Queen Elizabeth I from 1581 until his death by execution, having been found guilty of plotting to poison her.

In 1562, Lopez was appointed to St. Bartholomew's Hospital. Eventually, he became Queen Elizabeth I's chief physician. However, in 1594, he was arrested for attempting to poison the Queen, and was hanged, drawn, and quartered in June of that year. The scandal, combined with Lopez's Judaism, reignited a trend of Jewish villains in theatre, including a revival of Christopher Marlowe's The Famous Tragedy of the Rich Jew of Malta and most notable, William Shakespeare's writing of The Merchant of Venice.

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