Moses da Costa

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Moses Mendes da Costa (died 1747), also called Anthony da Costa, was an 18th-century English banker.

He was so successful as a banker, that he has sometimes been said to have been on the board of the Bank of England;[1][2] however, although he held shares in the bank, he was not in fact ever a director.[3]

In 1727, he brought an action against the Russia Company, which refused to admit him to membership on the ground of his being a Jew. The attorney-general decided that he must be admitted, whereupon the company petitioned Parliament to modify the former's charter so as to give it the right of refusal.

Background and family[edit]

He was the son of Jacob (Alvarez or Álvaro) da Costa, who is probably the da Costa referred to in the Thurlow Papers. Jacob da Costa arrived in England with his family in 1655. He married Leonora (Rachel) Mendes, sister of Fernandez (Fernando) Mendes, the Marrano physician of King John IV of Portugal.

Moses married his cousin Catherine Mendes in 1698. Catherine had been born in Somerset House, and was named after Queen Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, who graciously consented to stand sponsor to her. This Catherine da Costa is supposed to have made, in 1721, the water-colour portrait of her father which now hangs in the vestry of the Bevis Marks Synagogue. Their children included Sarah (Simha) Mendes da Costa who married Ephraim Lópes Pereira d'Aguilar, 2nd Baron d'Aguilar.


  1. ^ The Families of Mendes and da Costa, The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. 82, Part 1, p.23, Jan. 1812 (via Google Books)
  2. ^ Suasso, Encyclopedia Judaica, 1972, via Jewish Virtual Library
  3. ^ Norma Perry, "Costa, Anthony Moses da (1667x9–1747)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008; accessed 20 May 2010. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/39728

External links[edit]