Livorno: 6 July 1800. Folio (36,5x24 cm). 10 leaves stitched together over pink ribbons; pink stitching in gutter mostly gone. Brown ink on watermarked laid paper, text in Portuguese. Leaves 1-7 and the table of contents on verso of the last leaf written in neat and legible secretarial hand, leaves 8-9 – by Sousa Coutinho, with his name at the bottom of leave 9 (recto). With a leaf of a French manuscript text loosely inserted. Paper slightly age toned and with mild creases, but overall a very good manuscript.
This manuscript report by prominent Portuguese diplomat D. Domingo Antonio de Sousa Coutinho deals with Napoleon's 1800 campaign in Italy, including the siege of Genoa and the Battle of Marengo and its aftermath. The author, as a diplomat, was focused on the manoeuvrings that resulted in the Convention of Alexandria signed the day after the Battle of Marengo by Napoleon and Austrian General Michael von Melas. By the Convention, Austria ceded all Italy above the Mincio River to the French. Sousa Coutinho reports more briefly on the activities of the British fleet and military manoeuvres in various towns and regions of Northern Italy (Lucca, Bologna, Florence, Genoa, and elsewhere). These observations were made in the author's capacity as special envoy to the Court at Naples. There is a rather vague single-line reference (f. 2r) to "Mylord Nelson, Cavalheiro Hamilton e Miladi sua mulher".
The leaf laid in, in French, begins "Traduction literalle. J'ai reçu et mis sous les yeux de S.A.R. La Prince Regent notre Maitre votre Depeche." It relays orders to give "deux millions de Livres en pieces Portuguaises de 6.400 à la disposition du Gouvernement François."
D. Domingos António de Sousa Coutinho, a Portuguese diplomat and political figure, represented Portugal in Turin (1796-1803). Brother of D. Rodrigo de Sousa Coutinho, the first Conde de Linhares, he served for many years, with distinction, as Portuguese ambassador to the Court of St. James (1803-1814) and to Rome (1814-1818). In the civil war that was raging when he died, he lent his considerable support to D. Maria II. A member of the Academia Real das Sciencias de Lisboa and author of numerous works on diplomatic and political questions, he was responsible for the publication of the periodical “Investigador Português” in London, a counter blast to the “Correio Brasiliens”, edited by Hipólito José da Costa. From February 26 to July 4, 1821 he served as regent for the absent D. João VI. Sousa Coutinho was created Conde de Funchal in 1808 by the future D. João VI, acting as Prince Regent for his mother D. Maria I. Shortly before his death in England in 1833, he was made Marquês de Funchal by D. Pedro, former Emperor of Brazil, acting as regent for his daughter D. Maria II.
See Afonso Eduardo Martins Züquete, ed., “Nobreza de Portugal e do Brazil”, II, 629; also “Grande enciclopédia” XI, 964-5.
Price: $1,250.00 USD