COSTA, SOLOMON DA:
Donor of Hebrew library to the British Museum; flourished about 1760. A broker by profession, he acquired a considerable fortune, much of which was distributed in deeds of piety and beneficence to non-Jews, as well as to his coreligionists. He was also able to render monetary assistance to several of the leaders of the House of Commons, and by his credit with them effected at times national good services. Among these was the preservation of the collection of Hebrew books at present in the library of the British Museum. These had been collected during the Commonwealth, and had fallen to Charles II. at the Restoration. They lay unnoticed throughout the reign of Charles, and this neglect continued during the reigns of James II. and William III. At length in Anne's reign they were sold to a bookseller, from whom, some time in the reign of George I., the entire collection was purchased by Solomon da Costa, then a young man, and desirous of knowledge, who subsequently presented it to the British Museum.
- Thomas Hollis, Biography of Costa;
- Jew. Chron. Dec. 2, 1859;
- Cat. Anglo-Jew. Hist. Exh. Preface;
- Zedner, Cat. Hebr. Books Brit.Mus.