Kitty Villareal, the Da Costas and Samson Gideon1

Anglo-Jewish territory of the early eighteenth century, rich though its historical product, is still heavily scarred by barren patches. Catherine (Kitty) Da Costa Villareal wanders over them, a lost soul in Israel, in ragged robes of conflicting records, her death unchronicled. She lives?a wealthy young widow, the victorious ” heroine ” of a sensational breach of promise action brought against her by her cousin, Jacob (Philip) Mendes Da Costa (brother of Emanuel, the naturalist), and the mother of the first Jewess to enter Debrett as Viscountess Galway, the ancestress of Viscount Galway and the Marquis of Crewe of to-day.

Picciotto incorrectly records that she was the daughter of Moses (Anthony) Da Costa,2 who married Catherine Mendes, his cousin, daughter of Dr. Fernando Mendes,3 physician to king Charles II. This statement is repeated by Dr. Gaster4 and the Rev. Isidore Harris.5

This Paper, dealing mainly with the life of Kitty Villareal,

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