Jose Francisco Correa De Serra, a Portuguese naturalist, born atJSerpa in Alemtejo in 1750, died at the baths of Rainha in 1823. He was educated in Rome and Naples, was admitted to holy orders, returned to Portugal in 1777, and in 1779 was made perpetual secretary of the academy recently instituted at Lisbon. He collected cabinets of natural history, especially of botany, established a laboratory for scientific research, and prepared for the press numerous unpublished documents relating to the history of Portugal. Accused before the inquisition, he escaped to Paris in 1786, but was permitted to return to Portugal after the death of Pedro III. At Paris he had been intimately associated with the naturalist Broussonnet, and he became the host of the latter when he fled in disguise from the reign of terror to Lisbon. Endangered by the detection of Broussonnet, he took refuge first in Gibraltar and then in London, where he arrived in 1796. He was Portuguese counsellor of legation at Paris from 1802 to 1813, when he sailed to the United States, where he continued his scientific studies, and in 1816 became minister plenipotentiary of Portugal. He was recalled to Portugal on the promulgation of the constitution of 1820, and made minister of finance.
His most important writings are contributions to the Biographie universelle, treatises on the physiology of plants, Archives litteraires de l'Europe, Sur l'etat des sciences et des lettres en Portugal, Sur l'agriculture des Arabes en Espagne, Sur les vrais successeurs des templiers, an article on Europe in the "North American Review," and Gollecgao de livros ineditos de historia portugueza (4 vols, fol., Lisbon, 1790-1816).