Samuel Palache was born on 1550 in Fez, Morocco. The Palaches were one of the most distinguished families of Spanish refugees to settle in Morocco. Samuel and his brother, Joseph, were leading advisers on the country’s finances and the sultan of Morocco even entrusted them with negotiations with Philip II of Spain. On one of their visits to Spain, the brothers aroused the wrath of the Inquisition, probably for helping Marranos to leave the country and return to Judaism. They had to be hidden by the French ambassador before they escaped.