Emanuel Mendez da Costa

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Emanuel Mendez da Costa (June 5, 1717 – May 31, 1791) was an English botanist, naturalist, philosopher, and collector of valuable notes and of manuscripts, and of anecdotes of the literati.


Da Costa was elected one of the first Jewish Fellows of the Royal Society of London in 1747 and became their librarian. In 1767 he was discovered to be withholding members' subscription fees, was convicted of fraud, and sentenced to five years in debtors' prison.[1]

He was also a fellow of the Antiquarian Society of London; a member of the Botanic Society in Florence, the Aurelian Society, and the Gentleman's Society at Spalding.


His publications included: