The Sicilian title of Casandola.
Footnote: The title of “Conte di Casandola” appears to have been granted by Charles II, King of Spain and Sicily on the 6th January 1685. His descendant, a Sicilian of Maltese descent, claimed this title in 1878.
At Maltese Law this title is only a foreign title and, as such, it can be considered for the purposes of precedence if registration or Magistral recognition has been achieved in accordance with the rules of 1739 and 1795 as enacted by Grand Masters Despuig and Rohan.
VALUE OF REGISTRATION/MAGISTRAL RECOGNITION From the records of the Cancelleria it appeared that the titles so granted were registered in virtue of a rescript from the Grand Master, on an application by the party concerned. The Royal Commissioners of 1878 remarked that they were prone to believe that the Grand Master would not have given his assent to registration without any investigation. From the start, however, the Commissioners pointed out that the Despuig/Rohan Rules on the matter did not deny nobility to a Titolato who failed to duly register his title, but only assigned him no place insofar as precedence was concerned. (See:- “Correspondence and Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the claims and grievances of the Maltese Nobility”, May 1878, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C.-2033.) (See Report Paras. 101-102). It is also noteworthy that the Commissioners did not consider all the titles which were registered in the Cancelleria: For example the title of Conte granted to Baldassare Fenech Bonnici on the 11 June 1798 by Pope Benedict XIV, which was duly registered under Archives of the Order of Malta (554, f. 176) as well as the Archives of the Inquisition of Malta (102m f. 32) was not considered by the Report. It appears that no descendant of this grantee made any claim to the Commissioners.
In this case, this title was never registered in Malta, nor does it appear to have received direct recognition for the Grand Masters who ruled Malta. In addition, no supporting document was presented to the Royal Commission (See:- “Correspondence and Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the claims and grievances of the Maltese Nobility”, May 1878, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C.-2033.) (See Report Paras. 35-36)
Thus in accordance with the rule cited above, although the title of “Conte di Casndola” may be valid in a different jurisdiction, it does not enjoy precedence in Malta.
The actual report says the following:
“The claimant (Antonio Stagno Navarra Muscati, who resides at Messina) in the committee list is also styled “Patrizio Messinese” and “Conte di Casandola”, which latter title is presumed to have been granted by Charles II, King of Spain and Sicily, on the 6th January 1685. The date of the title of “Patrizio Messinese” is not specified in the list, and no proof of the existence of either of these titles having been made by the Procurator of Conte Stagno, we must conclude that the claimant has failed to establish his right to those dignities.”