Papers of Joseph Cortissos

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Papers relating to Cortissos' career and business transactions, 1704-38, including an account of the supplies furnished by Cortissos to the British army, 1706; a ratification by Don Carlos of the contract between his generals and Cortissos, 1705; a copy of the contract, 1706; three bills of exchange, in Portuguese, 1708 and 1709; notarial protests, 1707 and 1708; two certificates by Joo Bressano Leyte, State Inspector of Portugal, confirming that Cortissos' accounts will be settled, 1708; communications with the Treasury about the payment owed to Cortissos, 1718-21. Family papers, 18th and 19th centuries, including a translation of the will of Joseph Cortissos, and probate wills of Joseph Cortissos the younger, 1789, and of Sarah Cortissos, 1816; memorials, a selection of correspondence, a petition to the Crown of Portugal, genealogies of the Cortissos family, case papers sent to Mr Adams for his opinion, a copy of the decree of the Queen of Portugal, certificates of burial, marriage, etc., and an account relating to the circumcision of a son of Joseph Cortissos.

Administrative / Biographical History

Joseph Cortissos was an army contractor who claimed descent from Emanuel Jose Cortissos, Marqus de Villa, a Spanish grandee of Jewish origin. For a time Cortissos was in the Spanish diplomatic service. Pressed by Lord Galway, the commander of the English army, and Lord Stanhope, the British ambassador at Madrid, who virtually pledged the English government to see that all sums due to Cortissos by the Portuguese government would be paid, he agreed to supply the needs of the Portuguese authorities on credit. In 1712, he came to England to press his claims for monies owed to him and remained in England for the next thirty years.

Conditions Governing Access

The Special Collections Division is available for anyone to use, regardless of whether you are attached to an academic institution. Access to the Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books reading room, however, is by prior appointment to access the manuscript material. See our website for more details.