CURTOYS 1645-2002
Researched and compiled by Judy Jerkins
Author's Notes |Generations 1-3 | Generation 4 | Generations 5-7 |
Fourth Generation

6. Ann CURTOYS #2081 (5.Charles3, 2.William2, 1.John1) born 5.4.1740, Wootten Rivers, ref: the tree, married ?  DAVIES #2082, ref: WFC, occupation Reverend.  Ann died 1816.  Wiltshire Baptism microfiche.  Probably resident of Winchester, information from Will of Elizabeth Davis Curtoys                


                  9.         i       Frances DAVIES #2083.

7.         Charles CURTOYS #2087 (5.Charles3, 2.William2, 1.John1) born 19th June, 1750, and christened at Wootton Rivers, 6 days later Charles’ occupation was Surgeon.  The name of his wife was Ann, surname unknown #2088.  Charles and his family lived in Scotts Lane Salisbury, not far from St. Thomas Church.  He was Consultant surgeon to Laverstock House Lunatic Asylum, just outside the city.  Charles died (according to W.F.D. Curtoys information 1785 which is well before the recorded christening of his fourth child – perhaps the grieving widow delayed the christening, or perhaps the child was ill, as Marion’s name does not appear in any family paper work). 


                10.        i        Charles Lockyer CURTOYS#1982 born 27.8.1782.

                             ii       George William CURTOYS#2086  30.12.1783, St Thomas, Salisbury, Wiltshire, ref: IGI 7702726, occupation Gentleman ex R.N.

                             iii      Elizabeth Matilda CURTOYS #1983  20.8.1785, St Thomas, Salisbury Wiltshire, ref: IGI 7702726.  Spinster, named as Executor in the Will of Mary CURTOYS, separated wife of Charles Lockyer Curtoys, ie her sister in law.

                             iv      Marianne CURTOYS#1984  christened 5.12.1786, St Thomas, Salisbury, Wiltshire, ref: IGI 7702726.

George William Curtoys #2086   joined the Royal Navy at age 18 and was sent the following year, 1802 as Master Mate onboard H.M.S. Glatton to the colony of New South Wales.  Shortly after arrival at Sydney Cove he was promoted to Acting Lieutenant and given command of Lady Nelson, a 60 ton brig which had recently successfully completed exploration in the waters south of Sydney Cove. 

The Lady Nelson, built on the River Thames at Deptford, was launched on November 3rd 1798.  It had been designed and built with 3 sliding keels to facilitate survey work in the colony of New South Wales.  Under the command of James Grant, The Lady Nelson had accompanied Matthew Flinders during his navigation of Australia’s coastline and was the first ship to enter Phillip Bay, the harbour of Melbourne.  When Grant return to England, G.W. Curtoys was given command of the brig and ordered to take John Bowen and a small group of free settlers, 12 convicts, a surgeon and supplies and drop them off on the unoccupied, and unclaimed, island of Van Diemens Land. (The French had ships in neighbouring waters at this time.)

June 1803 The Lady Nelson, accompanied by the whaler Albion, sailed out of Sydney Cove en-route to Tasmania. Bad weather prevented Lady Nelson from getting further than Twofold Bay, (Eden, NSW) and in getting out of there, the main sliding keel carried away and she had to return to Sydney.  Curtoys and his crew lost an anchor during the voyage back to Sydney and were forced to undergo repairs on the sands of Sydney Cove.  However the ship was seaworthy in time to take Governor King, the Governor of the Colony out past Sydney Heads to farewell Matthew Flinders as he sailed away from the colony. 

One story of Governor King concerns the Lady Nelson and Curtoys - unconfirmed, but interesting all the same:

Governor King who slept on board his ship in Sydney Harbour suffered terrible gout; it kept him awake most nights, and during the early hours he would listen for the various ships' bells tolling the change of watch etc.  He took great delight in being able to recognize the tone of each bell.  However one night it came to him that he was not hearing the bell from the Lady Nelson. 

Orders were that the bell should be rung every hour, on the hour and the next day King devised a plan. He ordered a convict to swim out to the Lady Nelson during the next night and bring the bell to him.  He then timed how long it took Lt. Curtoys to realise his bell had been stolen.  The tale does not include how long it took Curtoys to figure it out, or to admit to the loss, but the story does mention that the Captain of Lady Nelson was put on bread and water for a week as punishment.

The mast of Lady Nelson was found to be rotten, so Curtoys and his crew of 14 men again hauled their ship on to the sands of Sydney Cove on 28th August 1803. They replaced the mast with a tree trunk they chopped down and doctored to fit.  The mast was replaced within the day and the Lady Nelson was again ordered to sail to Van Diemen's Land.

On the 6th September 1803, the Lady Nelson arrived at the Derwent River to establish the first European settlement in Tasmania.  They arrived in the Derwent River five days ahead of Lieutenant Bowen, who sailed on the Albion from Port Jackson.  The original colonists were John Bowen, who was going to supervise the colony, a surgeon, three soldiers and ten male and six female prisoners.

It was the passengers of these two ships who began Van Dieman's Land's
first settlement at Risdon Cove, which later become Hobart, Tasmania.
16th October 1803
Sydney Gazette (the new newspaper of the colony)


On Wednesday arrived His Majesty's Armed Tender Lady Nelson from Van Dieman's Land, having left Lieut. Bowen and those under his command in perfect health and making every progress their number will allow of. The accounts received from thence speak highly of the great local advantages of the settlement which the Commandant has named Hobart.  Further supplies of people and provisions will be sent in the course of the ensuing week by the Dart and Endeavour

Lieut COURTNOYS  brought the stuffed skin of an animal hitherto entirely
unknown, together with some specimens of new Birds and several very fine
black swans alive. Close to the settlement are abundance of Emus, Kangaroos and swans.


Unfortunately George Courtnoys was suffering from bad health.

 (Medical information about his being unable to tolerate the sun, the heat and the weather generally suggests it most likely that George William Curtoys suffered from Lupus.  (Mr. L. Harris, Lupus Specialist, Sydney NSW, 2001))

George Curtoys was forced by his ill health to relinquish command of Lady Nelson in October, 1803.

It is possible that he left for England before Christmas but no information has been found.  It is possible to obtain his Navy Record from England, but I have not done so.  If anyone does, I would love a copy if possible please.


19 February 1804
Sydney Gazette

All persons who have any claims or demands on Lieutenant COURTOYS of the Royal Navy, late of His Majesty's Armed Tender Lady Nelson are requested to send their accounts in to Mr Lord, in order that they may be settled on or before the 26th Instant: and all persons who stand indebted to the said Lieut. Courtoys are desired to settle their accounts on or before the above date.


NOTE: Although I have a will for a George Courtoy I am not 100% convinced the man of the will is the same man who is included here.  The ‘George of the will’ married Mary Creech and died without issue.  He named two Harlan girls as beneficiaries and his will was drawn up by Thomas Oliphant of London.  There are no other names in either his will, or his wife Mary’s will to definitely connect to this Curtoys family and because of this I am reluctant to make a quantum leap.  It may well come to light that I am wrong, but rather than make a mistake and lead others astray, I am publishing only that which I CAN confirm.


8.         William CURTOYS #2080 (5.Charles3, 2.William2, 1.John1) ref: WFC, occupation Diplomat for Spain, married Mary Josephine ANDRIAGAS #2162, born Madrid, Spain, ref: Frank Curtoys.  William died 4.11.1826, Rome, Italy. – I have a copy of his Will which has provided me with confirmation of names and dates.


                             i        Joseph A. A. CURTOYS #2163 born 17.9.1807.

                             ii       Joachim A CURTOYS #2164 born 18.10.1808. 

Unconfirmed but probable:

Jachim? (Anthony) CURTOYS married Elizabeth NEALE at St. Nicholas Church, Liverpool L3 England date unknown but can be obtained after payment of 5 Pounds – I have not done this, but suspect that anyone interested in locating Anthony CURTOYS might start at the Liverpool City Council offices who have the information

This handwriting is another piece of the puzzle.

 It is the same handwriting as on a document sent to me by the Curtoys family of Clerkenwell & Blewsbury who also have no idea on where it came from or sadly, whose writing it is.

JJ 2002

W. Frank Curtoys published this in 1931

It is thought that these brief notes may be of interest to members of the Curtoys and Corfe families.  The former are direct descendants of Charles the brother of Sir William Curtoys: and the latter of Anne, his sister who married the Reverend ? Davies, whose daughter Frances married Dr. Corfe, organist of Salisbury Cathedral.  Canon Corfe possesses the very interesting letters which William Curtoys wrote to his sister Mrs. Davies, between 1770 and 1816.  Unfortunately her death causes a cessation of the letters and we know nothing of him between that time and the time when he went to Rome as Ambassador.


At a party given to the ‘Friends of Italy’ – most of them hailing from the ‘Roman towns of Bath, Dorchester and Colchester and headed by their respective Mayors – by the British Ambassador and his Lady (Sir Ronald and Lady Graham) I was introduced to Mr. Ogilvie-Forbes, the British Charge de Affairs at the Papal Court.  In conversation, I mentioned to him that I had an ancestor who was Spanish Ambassador at the Papal Court and died at Rome in 1826.  He at once said that I should probably get some information about him at the Spanish Embassy and there and then gave me his card with an introduction to Signor Gomez Ocerin, the ‘Ministra-Conseiller’ at the Embassy.  In the following week (on Wednesday April 1st) I called at the Embassy, a magnificent house, entered through an enormous arch leading to a court yard in the Piazza di Spagna, and made an appointment with Signor Ocerin for the following day.  He was most courteous and at once produced a printed book with the list of Ambassadors (since I think 1482) from Spain to the Vatican, amongst which I found

“GUILLERMO CURTOIS’ (sic) 1824 – 1827

I told him, as far as my imperfect French would permit, all I knew about my collateral ancestor, how he emigrated to Spain when a mere boy, entered the diplomatic profession, in which he served in Spain, at Berlin and in London, and eventually became Ambassador to the Holy See and died in Rome.  He told me that I should probably get more information from Padre Jose ma Pou, and see letters, autographs etc. as he was in charge of the documents in connection with the Embassy and had done a good deal of Archaeological work in the study of them.  I noticed that he had edited the book which began with the list of Ambassadors.  Padre Pou was to be found between 4 – 6 every day except Thursday.  So I asked for Padre Pou on Saturday April 4th (Easter Eve) and found him in the Registry, a large room full of cupboards and shelves and documents.  I found that he was a Franciscan Friar (a priest) and as he had been in the community of Assisi, and I had just come from there, this formed an interesting introduction.  I found him most courteous and more than willing to help in every way.  I was with him for about two hours, during which Signor Ocerin again appeared and also a Marquis d’……., a very pleasant young Spaniard who could talk a little English: and they were both interested in my researches which, so far as they went… were very successful.  For Padre Pou, almost immediately produced a list of manuscripts relating to the previous Ambassadors and found a roll of papers connected with Sir William Curtoys.  (It was only in the printed list that the name was spelt Curtois).  Most of these I think, were letters in Spanish received by him in connection with his diplomatic duties, and consequently of no special interest to us.  But there was a full account of his death, a printed account of his Funeral, in the “Diario di Roma), November, 95 1926 (a newspaper): three copies of his Will, in English, Italian, and Spanish: a codicil, in (I think) English, and a document signed by his two sons, Joseph and Joachim, who had come to Italy on hearing of their father’s serious illness (or perhaps before, they would have been 19 and 18 years old at this time I think) and were living at Frascati (a beautiful country town near Rome).

He died, as we know on November 4th 1826 (the paragraph from the Times of that date about his life and death was reprinted in the Times of November 4th 1926).  But various details of his last illness were given.

The letters show how anxious he often was about his health, and how careful about his diet.  I did not catch the exact nature of his complaint, but there was a good deal about his sad breathlessness.  To relieve this ‘senapiami’ (mustard poultices) were used and ‘nignatte’ (I think) = leeches.  But in vain.  He died at eight o’clock at night, November 4th 1826.

He had directed in the document above mentioned that his funeral should be very simple (a direction which does not appear to have been carried out) and that he should be buried in the church attached to the Monastery of  S. Alexis, on the Aventine, near to the alter of St. Thomas of Canterbury.

In the Will he appears to have left all to his sons, at least his money in British securities – in the hands of Trustees – Emmanuel de la Torre, his brother Anthony de la Torre, M.A. German broker residing in London and my nephew Charles Lockyer Curtoys Esq: (my Grandfather) “To be Trustees for money left to my sons Joseph and Joachim which they should inherit when they were 25 years of age ie: in 1832 and 1833 – (not 21 as according to English Law)”.   No interest to be paid till then but the capital to accumulate except on account of any urgent need to be made known by their Guardians and Tutors”.

The Will is lengthy but I did not notice anything of special interest except the conclusion which I transcribe:- 

Lastly it is also my Will and desire… that the Fees and Alms be paid for five Masses to be said in the Spanish Chapel Manchester Square, and other five in St. Patrick’s Chapel Soho Square, and other five in the Catholic Chapel Moor Fields for the repose of my souls at 5/- each and also the cost of three mourning rings of the value of five guineas each with my name and sypher thereon one for each of my said Trustees, to wear in my memory as a token of my friendship and regard”.

The Will was signed at Leghorn on 20th January 1826 and the signature, with an extensive flourish, is very clear and strong in contradistinction to the signature on the codicil which was only made a few weeks before his death.  The account of the funeral in the ‘Diario di Roma” of Merecledi (Wednesday) 29th November is of some length.  Padre Pou said he could have it photographed if it were desired: and also the signatures.  Briefly the Ambassador’s body lay in state at the Embassy for three days and was buried “Alla chiesa di S. Alessio di Monaci Gerelimini” at 10 o’clock on November 9th or 10th.

Amongst the papers were a few blank copies of Invitations to the Funeral, of which the Padre gave me one. It is in a handsome border and is worded as follows:-

L’incariesto d’affairi Di asa Maesta Cattolica Presse la S. Sede
A volergli fare l’enore di assistera al Funerala solenne che avra luege
Chisse di S. Allessio al monte Aventina in sufragion di S.E. il Sig. Gav, Den Guglielmo Curtoys
Inviato Straordinarie, e Ministro Plenipotennstario di S.M. Cattolion presso la S. Sede .alle are……….
Antimeridiane del corrente mese di ... (one line missing)

... I set out (with Rev. F.G. and Mrs. Ellerton) to find the church of S. Alexis (or Alessio) this we easily did. It is close to a far more interesting one St. Sabina. But, in itself, it is not devoid of interest. Till 1217 it was San Bonifacio: and a monastery, which had been in the hands of several orders, was attached to it.  It is now occupied by the Blind Asylum, and in the room round the cloister work is done by the blind, and baskets are made by them and exhibited.  The church is chiefly used by them and we saw Braile books for the choir behind the High Altar.

To the left of the High Altar which according to William Curtoy’s instructions for the Funeral is dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury, an interesting link with his native country – is a large white marble slab (with a border of darker coloured marble) about 12 foot by 6 foot with an incised inscription in very bold characters.

The custodian on hearing our errand, went to find the Padre who is at once head of the blind asylum and priest to the Church. He was much interested in comparing my card with the name on the Tomb. He showed me a printed history of the church, I did not buy a copy, and I am rather sorry I did not as it contained an allusion to the Tomb stone and perhaps a copy of the inscription which I copied and is as follows:-

Mortalia hic condita suntspoilia
Guillelmi Curtoys
Sanctioyis oe raril    Ordinis
Equistris Caroli iii PROM TORIM
Regierum areanorum consiliaril
Regis Catholici
Ejusque ad pontificem maximum
Plasa cum petestate LEGATI
Artibus redte politicis
Virtuete as religione clarissimi
Obit Roma die IV Novembris MDCCCXXVI
Joseph et Joachimus filii
Optimo et indulgentissimo Patri
Ceternum gementes pesuere.

I translate:

Here are buried the mortal remains of William Curtoys of the Order of the Sacred Treasury, Knight Commander of Charles III Privy Councillor of his Catholic Majesty and Ambassador Plenipotentiary to His Highness the Pope renowned for his diplomacy religion and virtue.  He died at Rome 4th November 1826. Joseph and Joachim his sons have erected this to the best and kindest of fathers whom they ever mourn.