Curtius was a diplomat representing the House of Stuart during the Thirty Years' War and the exile of Charles II, and head magistrate for two of the Electoral Palatinate districts for many years.  
The di Curti family were Italian lower nobility from the Lombardian region around Gravedona. Parts of the family moved along Lake Geneva and the river Rhine (ex allobrogius) to the German area of the Electoral Palatinate. Sir William's father settled at the city of Bensheim, where Curtius was born in 1599.
Curtius served as secretary to King Charles I's Calvinist brother-in-law, Frederick V, Elector Palatine, up until the Elector's death in November 1632. Curtius last met with Frederick when he was displaying early symptoms of the plague that killed him only days later. 
In 1632, in the midst of the Thirty Years' War, Curtius went to the Swedish King campaigning in Germany as Secretary to the English ambassador Sir Henry Vane. Curtius then remained in Germany as an Agent of Charles I of England until December 1633.
I pray remember what I saide to you about Curtius that if the king my deare Brother will not keep him in his service, he may be dismissed with his favour, and the sooner the better for the poore man is there [in London] on his own purse and cannot be paid what is owing of him. 
Curtis then entered the Palatine Service until Charles I appointed him as representative of England at the Imperial Diet of Nürnberg in 1639 and 1649, and at Frankfurt in 1642. He also supported Sir Thomas Roe in Vienna in 1641-42.
Curtius was appointed by Charles I as official resident of the English Crown in the Holy Roman Empire. In 1652, the time of his appointment to the Baronetcy by the then-exiled Charles II, Curtius was "resident for his majesty, with Gustavus, King of Sweden, and the princes of Germany". Charles II described him as "borne in these partes, and long imployed there by our father of blessed memory" 
Curtis was appointed Oberamtmann - Bailiff, or District Governor - for the Electoral Palatinate in the city of Umstadt from 1650 to 1672, and again from 1681 to 1691. At that time, half the city was owned by the Palatinate as a condominium with the County of Hanau, later with the Landgraviate of Hesse.
Fellow of the Royal Society
Sir William was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society on 3 October 1667. He corresponded with both Henry Oldenburg, the Secretary of the Society, and Leibniz, bringing the latter a copy of Wilkin's Encyclopaedic Essay.
Curtius Baronets, of Sweden
- William Curtius FRS, 1st Baronet (Born Johann Wilhelm di Curti on 12 August 1599 in Bensheim, died 23 January 1678 in Frankfurt am Main).
- Charles (William) Curtius, 2nd Baronet (26 December 1654 – 13 April or September 1733)
- Herman Carl (Charles) August Adolf Curtius, 3rd Baronet (22 April 1699, married 15 March 1740, 18. August 1753)
- Wilhelm Adam von Curti, 4th Baronet (21 July 1742 - 15 January 1823).
On his death in 1678, Sir William was succeeded as Baronet by his son, Sir Charles William Curtius (Carl von Curti), who lived until 1733.
Sir Charles petitioned the English Parliament to pay the substantial fees promised Sir William by "Kings Charles the First, and Second". The petition sought "for a Debt incurred upon the Account of Publick Service by his Father Sir Wm. Curtius, that to the Amount of Fourteen thousand Two hundred Fifty-five Pounds, as appears by the Accompt signed by his late Majesty King Charles the Second; who was pleased to grant him a Privy Seal for Two thousand Pounds; but only Five hundred Pounds, Part thereof, was paid."  The petition was unsuccessful.
Since 1785, the church in the village of Wald-Amorbach, Breuberg has rung its bells at 10am daily in the "Curti-Peal" for the salvation of the von Curti family. The peal was established by Carl August Adolf von Curti's widow, Erhardine Catharina Louise von Wahl (* around 1700, † 17. Februar 1786), when she gave the Curti forest to Gross-Umstadt.
Wilhelm Adam von Curti was declared bankrupt in 1790. His estate at that time included feudal leases ("lehen") in six towns: Groß-Karben, Klein-Karben, Kaichen, Kloppenheim, Burggräfenrode and Dortelweil, Kurpfalz.
The baronetcy became extinct in 1823 with the death of Wilhelm Adam, the last male descendant.
|Baronetage of England|
Sir Carl William Curtius
In popular culture
In the novel Quicksilver, Neal Stephenson quotes from the The History of the Royal Society of London, in which "the president produced from Sir William Curtius a hairy ball found in the belly of a cow". 
- Heyleyn, Peter (1773), Help to English History: Containing a Succession of All the Kings of England ... the Kings and Princes of Wales; the Kings and Lords of Man: and the Isle of Wight. As Also of All the Dukes, Marquises, Earls and Bishops Thereof ... Together with the Names and Ranks of the Viscounts, Barons, and Baronets, of England, p. 475
- Cokayne, George E. (1900), Complete Baronetage, Exeter: W. Pollard & co., ltd.
- Widder, Johann Goswin (1 January 1787). Versuch einer vollständigen geographisch-historischen Beschreibung der kurfürstl. Pfalz am Rheine. Band 2. (A geographic history of the Palatine Electorate, volume 2). Frankfurt und Leipzig: Dritter Zheil. p. 4. Retrieved August 2015. Check date values in:
- Wilhelm von Curti, Biography of Hesse, at: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS) in Germany
- "Fellowship of the Royal Society".
- German secondary school qualifying for university admission or matriculation
- S. Scholz: Die Inschriften des Landkreises Bergstrasse, part 12, publ. house Reichert, 1994, p. 173-174
- Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, part 52, page 254
- Peter Schröck-Schmidt: Wilhelm Curti: Ein kurpfälzischer Adliger aus Bensheim und sein Schloß in Groß-Umstadt. chapter in: 1250 Jahre Groß-Umstadt 743-1993. ed. and publ. by: Magistrat der Stadt Groß-Umstadt, publ. house: Geiger-Verlag, Horb am Neckar, p. 194-198.
- Evelyn, John; Bray, William (1850). Diary and Correspondence of John Evelyn, to which is Subjoined the Private Correspondence Between King Charles I and Sir Edward Nicholas, and Between Sir Edward Hyde and Sir Richard Browne. Colburn. p. 267. Retrieved March 2015. Check date values in:
- Oman, Carola (1938), Elizabeth of Bohemia, London: Hodder and Stoughton Limited, pp. 325, 369
- Green, Mary Anne Everett (1854), Lives of the Princesses of England: From the Norman Conquest, Volume 5, H. Colburn, p. 508
- Green, Mary Anne Everett (1921), Elizabeth, Electress Palatine and Queen of Bohemia, London: Methuen & Co (republished by Forgotten Books, 2003), p. 298
- Collins, Arthur (1812), Peerage of England, England: F. C. and J. Rivington, p. 509
- Bell, Gary M. (1995), Handlist of British Diplomatic Representatives, 1509–1688, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 146, 274
- Queen Elizabeth (Consort of Frederick King of Bohemia) (2011), Akkerman, Nadine, ed., The Correspondence of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 274
- Calendar of the Clarendon State Papers Preserved in the Bodleian Library 1649-1657, ed. by the Rev. W. Dunn Macray. Great Britain: Clarendon press. 1869. p. 166.
- Thomson, Thomas (1812). History of the Royal Society, from Its Institution to the End of the 18Th Century. London: Baldwin. p. xxv, Appendix IV.
- Maat, Jaap (2012). Philosophical Languages in the Seventeenth Century: Dalgarno, Wilkins, Leibniz. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 298.
- Curti Castle (de)
- "Stadtarchiv Breuberg: Curti-Waldkauf-Originalurkunde von 1785 entdeckt".
- The Standing Council of the Baronetage. "A short history".
- "House of Commons Journal Volume 10: 3 August 1689". Journal of the House of Commons. 10 (1688–1693): 251–252. 1802.
- "Leonhardi, Johann Peter Freiherr von, in: Hessische Biografie". 10 Sep 2013.
- Birch, Thomas (1756). the History of the Royal Society of London for Improving of Natural Knowledge from Its First Rise ... As a Supplement to the Philosophical Transactions, Volume 1.
- Stephenson, Neal (2003). Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle No. 1). William Heinemann Ltd.