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The Maltese title of Ghain Kajet.

 

Footnote: The title of “Marchese di Ghain Kajet” is purely nominal and does not have any property attached to it. In their general observations, the Royal Commissioners observed that most of the titles granted by the Grandmasters were merely honorary and had no relevance on property tenure “although it appears that those titles (granted by the Grand Masters) have derived their different denominations from several feudal lands existing in these islands, this annexation, however, is in most cases purely nominal, for those lands were never in reality conveyed to the grantees, but they remained as they are still Government Property.” The Commissioners also identified the only three exceptions to this purely nominal phenomenon, where tenure of property was a prerequisite namely Bahria, delle Catene, and Senia, the last being a divisible property. 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. 82).

It was originally granted by Grand Master Rohan on the 4 June 1796. It is the last of the titles granted by Grand Master Rohan and the last to have ever been granted by the Grand Masters. (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. 80-81).

Some published sources show the title of “Marchese di Ghain Kajett” as having become extinct in 1917. However this is not correct as the grant allows primogenial descent.

The actual report says the following:

The last among titles included in the committee list and granted by the Grand Masters, is the title of “Marchese di Ghin Kajet”, conferred by Grand Master Rohan on Dr. GerolamoDelicata, by a patent of the 4th June 1796. ‘Praedictum Marchionis de ghain Kajet titulum, tibi Magnifico ac Nobili Hyeronimo Delicata, tuisque descendentibus primogenitis legitimiset naturalibus tribuimus concedimus, et donamus. The claimant Dr. Gaetano Delicata is the first born grandson in the primogenial line of the grantee, and will be referred to in the Commissioners' list as 'Dr. Gaetano Dleicata Marchese di Ghain Kajet

In support of the view that this title is transmissible in the female line according to the rules of primogeniture, one may refer to the Commissioners Supplemental Report, where they described those circumstances where it is permissible for a title to be transmitted through a female line, as well as those circumstances where such transmission through a female line  is disallowed:

“The title and dignity of ‘Barone della Grua’ was, as already stated in our former report, conferred on the 30th of December 1794, by Grand Master De Rohan, upon Saverio CarbottTestaferrata, with succession to his sons and male descendants, from firstborn to firstborn. The operative clause of the patent of creation is as follows: - ‘Tibi tuisque filiis et descendentibus masculis de primogenito in primogenitum tribuimus et concedimus ‘”.et tehujusmodi Baronis titulo decoramusThe Barone Saverio Carbott, left on his death his son Giuseppe, on whose decease the title devolved upon Saverio Carbott, who had no male issue, but only a daughter Giovanna, wife of Dr. Giuseppe Delicata, of whom Nicola Maria Delicata, the present claimant, was born. The question involved in this claim is whether the son of a female descendant is called to the succession of a title originally conferred on one of his ancestors and his male descendants, from firstborn to firstborn, or, on the contrary, the title is determined by the extinction of the grantees male line. With reference to that question, we beg to submit that it is a settled point of jurisprudence that the appellation of male descendants includes not only the sons issuing from the male line (masculi ex masculis), but also those issuing from the female line (masculi ex foeminis), when, however, some other expression occurs in the deed of grant which controls the meaning of that term, as for instance when the grantor limits his grant to such among his male descendants as should belong to the male line (descendentes masculi ex linea masculina);, or when he employs other words which clearly show that he contemplated the grantees agnatio, in such case, the effect of the disposition is limited to the male line, and on the failure of males issuing from that line the grant becomes extinct, the male issue of daughters not being called into succession. In the present case, the order of succession settled in the charter granting the title in question includes generally the grantees male descendants, and therefore taking the law relative to the transmission of lands (primogeniture) to be applicable to the transmission of titles, that charter comprehends the claimant who is descended from the grantee through a female line. We are consequently of the opinion that the said Nicola Maria Delicata has established his claim (etc) (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 Supplemental Report Part I).

However, it remains debatable whether the grant to Delicata allows the possibility of a female coming to hold this title as opposed to a male claiming through a female.