Maltesenobles6

Maltese Rules of Precedence amongst the Nobility

(Description of the system of precedence amongst the Maltese Nobility, as established in the 18th Century).

 

HISTORY

 

The first legal instrument ever, dealing with the Maltese nobility as a body corporate was only promulgated by Grand Master Despuig as late in 1739. 

This legislation was intended to regulate the precedence amongst the nobility, for candidature to membership of the “Universita’”. The effect of this legislation was to divide the titled nobility into two classes, those local and those foreign, which in all cases required registration. 

All Maltese titles ranked before foreign titles. Provision was made for cadets of the former, but no provision was made for cadets of the latter. Neither was provision made for the untitled local nobility first introduced by Grand Master Vilhena. 

Amongst the local titles, the 1739 legislation did not contemplate the eventuality where the Grand Masters created titles of a rank higher than “Barone”, resulting in new families taking precedence over older families.

The legislation was amended in 1795, whereby precedence was set according to the antiquity, not rank, of a title that ennobled the family.

The 1795 legislation provided that there should be no distinction between a local title and a foreign title provided that registration had been effected. 

Moreover, the Grand Master decreed that the precedence is to be enjoyed by the actual holder and the cadets of that title, without distinction between them.

 

1739 LEGISLATION

 

According to a Royal Commission whose findings were published in 1878, the first legal instrument ever, dealing with the Maltese nobility as a body corporate was only promulgated by Despuig as late as 1739 and the only other legislation enacted by the Grand Masters was that by Rohan in 1795. 

 

That is to say prior to 1739, Malta had noble families, but not an organized nobility: a system of Precedence amongst the Maltese noble families only came into effect in 1739.

 

The relative law is reproduced hereunder:-

Hosplis Mgr et Hierlem Sti. Sepulchri. - Per togliere le differenze di precedenze tra le persone che saranno promosse alla giurazie dell’ Universita’ della Notabile e della Valletta, vogliamo, ordiniamo e comandiamo che tutte siano precedue dagli infrascritti, e che fra queti si regoli la precedenacall’ ordine seguente cioe’: Primieramente, chi fu Capitano della Verga della Sudetta Citta’ Notabile e nostra Isola di Malta.; Secondo. Il Titolato che ha un titolo fondato sopra un feudo in realta’ esistente qui, benche’ non lo possegga.; Terzo. Il titolato che non ha un titolo fondato sopra fondorealmente esistente nel nostro Dominio, registrato che sia il titolo nella Cancelleria nella nostra Religione e nella Gran Corte della nostra Castellania, e pagato per i rispettivi registramenti il diritto di scudi cento sedici di questa moneta, da dividersi per meta’ tra la Cancelleria e la Castellaniasudetta.; Quarto. Il discendente per linea mascolina da chi fu Capitano della Verga, se vive colle proprie rendite, e se i di lui ascendente intermedie vissero pure colle proprie rendite.; Quinto. Il discendente per linea mascolina da un titolo con titolo fondato sopra un feudo qui realmenteesistente, se vive colle proprie rendite, e se i suoi ascendenti intermedie cosi vissero; Sesto. Chi fu primo Giurato della Notabile; Settimo. Chi fu primo Giurato della Valletta; Ottavo. Il piu’ anziani di Giurazia di quella Universita’ della quale sara’ creato giurato.; Nono. Chi fu Giudiced’Appello Criminale o Civile della Gran Corte della Castellania e della Corte Capitanale e Governatoriale; Diecimo. Il Dottore di Leggi ed il Dottore di Medicina.: - Dichiariamo che fra le persone d’un stesso grado si deve attendere l’anzianita’ del titolo primordiale e che chiunque fu Giurato, se sara’ fatto Console di Mare, fra i quali s’attendera l’anzianita d’ufficio. Dat. In Palatio, die xvi. Septembris 1739 (f. Despuig) 

 

(TRANSLATION

The Master of the Hospital at Jerusalem and of the Holy Sepulchre – To remove differences about precedency among the persons who will be appointed to the Juratships of the Universities of Notabile and Valletta, it is our will and pleasure, and we ordain and command, that they shall all be preceded by the undermentioned and that among the latter the precedency be regulated in the following order, namely:

First: Any person who was Capitano della Verga of the said City Notabile and of our Island of Malta.

Second: the Titolato having a title founded on a fief really existing here, though he may not be in possession of it.

Third: The Titolato who has not a title founded upon a fief really existing in our dominions, on the registration of the title in the Chancery of our Religion, and in the High Court of the Castellania, and the payment, for the respective registrations, of 116 scudi of our money, to be divided in equal shares between the said Chancery and Castellania.

Fourth: A descendant in the male line from any person who was Capitano della Verga, if he lives on rents of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on the rents of their own property.

Fifth: A descendant in the male line from a Titolato, with title founded on a fief really existing here, if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.

Sixth: Any person who was First Jurat of Notabile.

Seventh: Any person who was First Jurat of Valletta.

Eighth: The most senior Jurat of the University to which he belongs.

Ninth: Any person who was Judge of Appeal, Criminal Judge, or Civil Judge of the Court of the Castellania, or the Courts Capitanale and Governatoriale.

Tenth: A Doctor of Law, or a Doctor of Medicine. 

We declare that, among persons of equal rank, the antiquity of the original title must be attended to, and that a person who was a Jurat, if he be appointed Console di Mare, shall have precedence over other Consoli, and amongst the latter the precedency shall be regulated by the antiquity of the appointment.

Given at the Palace, 16th September 1739 (Signed) Despuig”

On the basis of this enactment, Grand Master Despuig regulated the order of precedence amongst the titled nobility in two classes. First a title based upon a fief in Malta, and secondly a title conferred by a foregn Government, provided it was registered in the two registries and the relative fee of 116 Scudi was duly paid. 

In addition, all descendants in the male (not cognative) line of the holder of a title based upon a fief in Malta was given precedence after the holders of (registered) foreign titles. There is no similar provision for descendants of the holder of a foreign title. 

As seen elsewhere in this section by 1739 only honorific titles of “Barone” of various lands and equally honorific titles of “” had been created by the Grand Masters. 

The latter are clearly not comtemplated by the 1739 legislation as they are not titles based on fiefs and can be regarded, at best, as untitled nobility. 

The former, however, are most definitely contemplated by the enactment. In addition, there was nothing to preclude the Grand Masters from creating titles of a rank higher than “Barone” and this first happened in 1743 when the title of “Conte” was created. The first Maltese title of “Marchese” was created as late as 1776.

Lastly, by 1739 a small number of foreign titles had been obtained by some Maltese and were registered. These are regarded by the enactment as being inferior to the local titles, even though all of these registered titles purported higher ranks of “Marchese” and “Conte”.

The aforesaid legislation was to be amended on the 17 March 1795. 

 

APPLICATION OF 1739 LEGISLATION

 

By 1795, successive Grand Masters went on to create new titles. Many of the new titles were of a rank higher than “Barone”.

Thus by the 17 March 1795, the precedence was effectively divided into five categories as follows:

FIRST: - MALTESE MARQUISES EXTANT AS AT 1795:

  1. the "Marchese Muscati Xiberras di Sciorp il-Hagin"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Claudio Muscati Xiberras on the 8 March 1776 (Extinct by 1795)
  2. the "Marchese Barbaro di San Giorgio"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Carlo Antonio Barbaro on the 23 September 1778 as amended on the 2 February 1779 and, afterwards in favour of his only son Gioacchino Barbaro on the 5 June 1792 (Premier Maltese Marquis and therefore Premier title as at 1795) As at 1795, it appears that the grantee was still alive and therefore still enjoying this title.
  3. the "Marchese Mompalao della Taflia"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Gio Battista Mompalao on the 25 October 1783 (Extinct by 1795). 
  4. the "Marchese Mallia Tabone del Fiddien"  *  whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Salvatore Mallia Tabone on the 15 October 1785 as amended on the 15 June 1793. As at 1795, it appears that the grantee was still alive and therefore still enjoying this title.
  5. the "Marchese Alessi della Taflia" (second creation)  *  whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Saverio Alessi on the 13 November 1790. As at 1795, it appears that the grantee was still alive and therefore still enjoying this title.
  6. the "Marchese Apap di Gnien Is-Sultan"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Filippo Apap on the 1 December 1792. As at 1795, it appears that the grantee was still alive and therefore still enjoying this title.

SECOND: - MALTESE COUNTS EXTANT AS AT 1795:

 

  1. the "Conte Stagno Navarra della Bahria"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Pinto Manuel Pinto de Fonseca in favour of Ignazio Muscati Falsone Navarra on the 16 May 1743. In 1790, There appears to be no record of any of Ignazio’s successors ever being invested, however, their right to this title was never queried. In receiving his knighthood in 1790 from Grand Master Rohan, Giuseppe Stagno Navarra is described as the then holder of the title. As at 1795, this title was held by Giuseppe Stagno Navarra. (Premier Count as at 1795)
  2. the "Conte della Catena"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Pinto Manuel Pinto de Fonseca in favour of Pietro Gaetano Perdicomati Bologna on the 20 January 1745. The grant subjected the title to a private agnatic entail. Pietro Gaetano was succeeded by his so Nicola. However Nicola did not have any male issue and in terms of the entail, succession had to wait until the birth of his daughter’s son Nicola Sceberras Bologna. As at 1795, this title was in ABEYANCE
  3. the "Conte Gatt di Beberrua"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Luigi (Ludovico) Gatt on the 23 October 1783 As at 1795, it appears that the grantee was still alive and therefore still enjoying this title.
  4. the "Conte di Ghain Toffieha"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc, by rescript, in favour of Ferdinando Teuma Castelletti on the 7 January 1792. As at 1795, it appears that the grantee was still alive and therefore still enjoying this title.
  5. the "Conte Barbaro di Santi"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Romualdo Barbaro on the 14 January 1794. As at 1795, it appears that the grantee was still alive and therefore still enjoying this title.
  6. the  "Conte Marchesi di Meimun"  *  whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Saverio Marchesi on the 8 March 1794. As at 1795, it appears that the grantee was still alive and therefore still enjoying this title.

 

THIRD: - MALTESE BARONS EXTANT AS AT 1795: 

 

  1. The  Barone D’Amico Inguanez di Djar il-Bniet et Bucana  * who enjoyed a precedence before all other Barons as attested in a letter dated 1726 by Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena). (Premier Barony). The Barone Marc’ Antonio Inguanez whose precedence was acknowledged in 1725 and 1726 died in 1760 without any issue. He was succeeded in 1761 by his collateral Gio Francesco D’Amico Inguanez, who in turn was succeeded on the 22 November 1782 by Alessandro D’ Amico Inguanez As at 1795, this fief was held by Alessandro D’Amico Inguanez.
  2. the "Baronessa Sant di Ghariescem et Tabia"  *whose title was granted by Procurators of the Comun Tesoro of the Order to Giacinto Cassia by a deed of transaction received by Notary Michele Ralli on the 14 April 1638 and assented by Grand Master Lascaris on the 16 April 1638. Giacinto Cassia was succeeded in 1655 by his son Gio Antonio Cassia, in turn succeeded in 1658 by Pietro Cassia, in turn succeeded in 1678 by Domenica Cassia wife of Stanislao Xara, in turn succeeded in 1721 by Pietro Paolo Xara, then by Stanislao Xara (junior) who died in 1794. As at 1795, this fief wasn’t held by anyone as his daughter Felicita wife of Gio Francesco Sant was only invested in 1797. As at 1795, this fief was in ABEYANCE.
  3. The  Barone Testaferrata di Gomerino  * whose title was created by Grand Master Perellos in favour of Paolo and Beatrice Testaferrata, on the 24 December 1710 and was succeeded in 1737 by their younger son Ercole Martino by permission of Grand Master Ramon Despuig. Ercole Martino’s son Paolo died in 1760 who in turn was succeeded by his son Pietro Paolo. As at 1795, this title was held by Pietro Paolo Testaferrata.
  4. The  Barone De Piro di Budac  * whose title was created by Grand Master Perellos in favour of Gio Pio De Piro on the 23 April 1716. .Gio Pio was succeeded by his grandson Vincenzo. As at 1795, this title was held by Vincenzo De Piro.
  5. The "Barone Catelletti della Marsa"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena in favour of Ferdinando Castelletti on the 12 June 1725. Ferdinando died without issue. As at 1795, this title was EXTINCT. 
  6. The  Barone Galea Feriolo di San Marciano  * whose title was created by Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena in favour of Diego Antonio Galea Feriol on the 14 June 1726 Diego Antonio was succeeded by Pietro Paolo, who in turn was succeeded by Lorenzo who in turn was succeeded by Giovanni. As at 1795, this title was held by Giovanni Galea Feriolo.
  7. The  Barone Testaferrata Viani della Tabria  *whose title was created by Grand Master Vilhena in favour of Isidoro Viani on the 11 December 1728. Isidoro Viani was succeeded in 1740 by his son Gio Battista who in turn was succeeded in 1784 by permission of Grand Master Rohan by Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani. As at 1795, this title was held by Giuseppe Testaferrata Viani.
  8. the Barone Bonnici della Culeja  * whose title was created by Grand Master Ramon Despuig in favour of Ignazio Bonnici on the 2 June 1737. Ignazio Bonnici was succeeded by his son Go Francesco Bonnici who in turn was succeeded in 1793 by his son Ignazio (junior). As at 1795, this title was hreld by Ignazio Bonnici (junior).
  9. The  Baronessa Muscati Gatt di Benuarrat  * whose title was created by Grand Master Despuig in favour of Saverio Gatto on the 18 August 1737 and was succeeded  in 1783 by his eldest daughter Paola wife of Emmanuele Muscati by permission of Grand Master Rohan. As at 1795, this title was held by Paola Muscati.
  10. the "Barone Mompalao di Frigenuini" (First Creation *whose title was created by Grand Master Ramon Despuig in favour of Alessandro Mompalao on the 17 September 1737. Alessandro died without issue. As at 1795, this title was EXTINCT.
  11.  the "Barone Azzopardi Casteletti della Marsa" (Second creation *whose title was created by Grand Master Pinto Manuel Pinto de Fonseca in favour of Giovanni Antonio Azzopardi Castelletti on the 4 December 1753. Giovanni Antonio died without issue. As at 1795, this title was EXTINCT.
  12. the "Barone Pisani di Frigenuini" (Second Creation) *  whose title was created by Grand Master Francisco Ximenes de Texada in favour of Gaetano Pisani on the 17 June 1773. As at 1795, this title was still held by Gaetano Pisani.
  13. the "Barone Dorell Falzon della Marsa" (Third creation) * whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Gio Francesco Dorell Falzon on the 10 March 1776. Gio Francesco died without issue. As at 1795, this title was EXTINCT.
  14. the "Barone Azzopardi di Buleben"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Gaetano Azzopardi on the 23 July 1777 as amended on the 25 April 1778 in favour of Calcedonio Azzopardi who succeeded the entail described in that decree. As at 1795, this title was held by Calcedonio Azzopardi. 
  15. the "Barone Gauci di Gauci"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Francesco Gauci on the 23 December 1781. Francesco had agnatic issue, but as this title was personal it could not be transmitted to his descendants. As at 1795, this title was EXTINCT.
  16. the "Barone Calleja di San Cosmo"  * whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Ugolino Calleja on the 27 November 1792. As at 1795, this title was still held by Ugolino Calleja.
  17. the "Barone Carbott Testaferrata della Grua"  *whose title was created by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in favour of Saverio Carbott Testaferrata on the 30 December 1794. As at 1795, this title was still held by Saverio Carbott Testaferrata. 

 

FOURTH: - FOREIGN TITLES REGISTERED BY 1795: 

 

  1. The "Marchese De Piro di De Piro"  * in the Kingdom of Castile whose title was created by Philip V, King of Spain, by a patent of the 6 November 1742, in favour of the Barone Gio Pio De Piro and registered in Malta on the 8 October 1743.  (Premier Foreign title) (n.b. De Piro already ranked 16 by reason of his Maltese title). As at 1795, this title wasn’t held by anyone as the title was left to lapse and was only revived in 1870 in favour of Gio Pio’s descendant Xaver De Piro. Moreover, neither Registry has any record of registration of succession in the country of origin subsequent to 1743. As at 1795, this title was in ABEYANCE. 
  2. the "Conte Preziosi di Preziosi"  * whose title was created by Victor-Amadeus, King of Sicily, Duke of Savoy &c, and Perpetual Vicar of the Empire, by a patent given at Rivoli on the 19th October 1718 in favour of Giuseppe Preziosi and registered in Malta on the 20 June 1720. As at 1795, this title appears to have been held by many of Giuseppe’s descendants. Moreover, neither Registry has any record of registration of succession in the country of origin subsequent to 1720. As at 1795, this title was in ABEYANCE.
  3. the "Conte Piscopo di Mont' Alto"  * whose title in the Duchy of Parma , together with the fief of Monte Alto, were conferred by Francis I (Farnese), Duke of Parma at Piacenza on the 8 July 1720 at the request of Bernardo Piscopo and registered in Malta on the 2 September 1721. Bernardo was succeeded by his great nephew Felice Manduca, by permission of the Duke, and registration was effected in Malta on the 14 July 1744. Until 1775, date when this title became extinct, it was subjected to a private entail. Felice Manduca died without male issue. Moreover, neither Registry has any record of registration of succession in the country of origin subsequent to 1744. As at 1795, this title was EXTINCT.
  4. the "Conte Fenech Bonnici di Fenech Bonnici"  * whose title was registered on the 27 April 1750 . Neither Registry has any record of registration of succession in the country of origin subsequent to 1750 (UNKNOWN STATUS AS AT 1795)
  5. the "Conte Fournier di Fournier"  * whose title in the Kingdom and Provinces of Germany, was conferred by Empress Maria Theresa by a patent given at Vienna on the 29 January 1770 to Giorgio Fournier de Pausier and registered in Malta on the 2 December 1775. As at 1795, it appears that the grantee was still alive and therefore still enjoying this title. 
  6. the "Conte Sant di Sant"  * whose title in the Italian Provinces annexed to the German Empire, was conferred by Empress Maria Theresa by a patent given at Vienna on the 22 December 1770 to Salvatore Baldassare Sant and registered in Malta on the 12 December 1775. Salvatore Baldassare Sant died in 1791. Neither Registry has any record of registration of succession in the country of origin subsequent to 1775. As at 1795, this title was in ABEYANCE. 
  7. the, "Barone Ciantar di San Giovanni" *  whose title was created by Ferdinand I. King of the Two Sicilies, by a patent given at Palermo on the 16 July 1777, in favour of Serafino Ciantar and registered in Malta on the 17 January 1778. As at 1795, it appears that the grantee was still alive and therefore still enjoying this title.

 

 

FIFTH AND LAST: - DESCENDANTS IN THE AGNATIC LINE FROM HOLDERS OF MALTESE TITLES AND WHO ARE QUALIFIED BY THEIR INCOME: 

 

 

  1. the descendants in the male line of the  "Marchesi di Sciorp il-Hagin" *, if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/moscati.html  (Extinct by 1795)
  2. The descendant in the male line from the "Marchesi di San Giorgio" *, if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/sangiorgio.html
  3. the descendants in the male line of the  "Marchesi Mompalao della Taflia"  * if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/mompalao.html (Extinct by 1795)
  4. The descendant in the male line from the "Marchesi del Fiddien"  * if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see: http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/fiddien.html
  5. The descendant in the male line from the "Marchesi Alessi della Taflia" (second creation) *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see: http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/taflia.html
  6. The descendant in the male line from the "Marchesi Apap di Gnien Is-Sultan"  * if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see: http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/gnienissultan.htm
  7. The descendant in the male line from the "Conti della Bahria" *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/bahria.html
  8. The descendant in the male line from the "Conti della Catena"  * if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/catena.html
  9. The descendant in the male line from the "Conte Gatt di Beberrua"  * if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income).
  10. The descendant in the male line from the "Conti di Ghain Toffieha" *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/ghajntuffieha.html
  11. The descendant in the male line from the "Conti Barbaro di Santi"  * if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/sangiorgio.html
  12. The descendant in the male line from the "Conti Marchesi di Meimun" *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/meimun.html
  13. The descendant in the male line from the Baroni di Djar il-Bniet et Bucana *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/djarilbniet.html and http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/djarilbniet1.html
  14. The descendant in the male line from the "Baroni di Ghariescem et Tabia"  *, if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/ghariexem.html
  15. The descendant in the male line from the  Baroni di Gomerino  * if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/gomerino.html
  16. The descendant in the male line from the  Baroni di Budac  * if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/depiro2.html
  17. The descendant in the male line from the "Baroni della Marsa" *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) (Extinct by 1795)
  18. The descendant in the male line from the  Baroni di San Marciano *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/sanmarciano2.html
  19. The descendant in the male line from the  Baroni della Tabria *  , if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/tabria.html
  20. The descendant in the male line from the Baroni della Culeja *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income).
  21. The descendant in the male line from the  Baroni di Benuarrat  * if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/benwarrad.html
  22. The descendant in the male line from the "Baroni di Frigenuini" (First Creation) *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see: http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/mompalao.html (Extinct by 1795)
  23.  The descendant in the male line from the "Baroni della Marsa" (Second creation *if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income)  (Extinct by 1795)
  24. The descendant in the male line from the "Baroni di Frigenuini" (Second Creation) *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see: http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/frigenuini.html
  25. The descendant in the male line from the "Baroni della Marsa" (Third creation *) if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see: http://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/maltesenobility/baronedimarsa.htm (Extinct by 1795)
  26. The descendant in the male line from the "Baroni di Buleben"  * if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/buleben.html
  27. The descendant in the male line from the "Barone Gauci di Gauci"  * if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/gauciapap.html
  28. The descendant in the male line from the "Barone Calleja di San Cosmo" *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/calleja.html
  29. The descendant in the male line from the "Baroni della Grua"  *, if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. For agnatic descendants (not income) see:http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/grua.html

 

 

 

 

TITLES NOT ENTITLED TO PRECEDENCE AS AT 1795: 

 

All the recipients of the Maltese title of "Most Illustrious and Noble" are not contemplated by the above precedence. It should be added, however, that many of the recipients of that untitled nobility may have been entitled to precedence by reason of qualifying under different criteria.

 

In regard to those titles of foreign origin which were not registered in accordance with the 1739 leglislation, it is clear that these were not entitled to any precedence whatsover.

 

There is no record of the following foreign titles ever being registered in accordance with the 1739 legislation. Therefore they were not entitled to any precedence whatsoever:-

 

a.     The Marchese Testaferrata di San Vincenzo Ferreri *, whose title in “the Kingdom of Naples” was created on the 10 November 1716 by Philip V, King of Spain and Sicily in favour of Mario Testaferrata. 

b.     The "Marchese Testaferrata di Testaferrata * " whose title in the Kingdom of Sicily was created by Victor Amadeus King of Sicily and Duke of Savoy, by a patent of the 13 July 1717, in favour of the same Mario Testaferrata. 

c.     the "Conti Wzzini Paleologo * " whose title was enjoyed by the family Wzzini Paleologo since 1722

d.     The Barone Testaferrata di Cicciano *  whose title was enjoyed by Fabrizio Testaferrata by virtue of Royal assent dated 13 September 1695 

e.     the "Conte Manduca "*  in the Duchy of Parma, at the request of Salvatore Manduca, and of the grantee’s male issue, by means of a Rescript dated 28 December 1776.

f.      The Barone Fournier di Fournier *  whose title was granted on the 31 March 1768 by Empress Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, upon Giorgio Fournier de Pausier.

g.     The Barone Ribera di San Paolino * whose title was granted to Matteo de Ribera on the 16 July 1638, by the President and Captain-General of Sicily by authority of Philip IV, King of Spain and Sicily. 

h.     The Conte Stagno di Casandola *  whose title was presumed to have been granted by Charles II, King of Spain and Sicily, on the 6th January 1685

i.      The Knights Testaferrata of the Order of Noble Tornearii and Armigers of the Holy Roman Empire *  whose title was granted to Giacomo Testaferrata de Robertis on the 6 November 1637 by Ferdinand 3rd Emperor Elect of the Romans and of Germany.

j.      The Knights Balzano of the Order of Noble Tornearii and Armigers of the Holy Roman Empire  * whose title was granted to Massimiliano Balzano on the 19 November 1698 by Leopold I Emperor Elect of the Romans and of Germany;

k.     The Patricians Testaferrata of Messina *  whose title was granted to Mariano Testaferrata on the 20th December 1553 by the Jurats of the city or municipality of Messina

l.       The Patricians Testaferrata of Messina *  whose title was granted to Marchese Don Mario Testaferrata Castelletti, Don Daniele and Don Pandolfo Testaferrata De Noto, and the Barone P.P. Testaferrata Abela on the 28 August 1792 by the Senate of Messina.

m.    The Patricians Abela, di Ferro, Surdo and Testaferrata of Rome  *     whose title was conferred upon Monsignor Don Leonardo Abela, Bishop of Sidonia, Placido and Alessandro Abela his brothers, and upon his three nephews ex sorore Pietro di Ferro, Ascanio Surdo and Paolo Testaferrata on the 11th day of the calends of June of the year 1590 by the Roman Senate.

n.     The Patricians Testaferrata Bonici and Cassar Desain of Rome   * whose titles are dated 6 July 1674, but origins unknown.

o.     The Patricians Ciantar of Rome *  whose titles are dated 4 July 1744, but origins unknown).

p.     The Patricians Barbaro of Venice *, whose origins are unknown;

q.     The Knights Fontani of the 1st class of Charles III., King of Spain *, whose origins are unknown.

r.      The Patricians Stagno of Messina  * whose origins are unknown.

 

 

1795 LEGISLATION

 

As seen above, by applying the 1739 rules, by 1795 all the newly created Maltese “Marchesi” and “Conti” being of a higher rank/grade ranked before all the older “Baroni”. Moreover, a Maltese “Marchese” ranked before the older “Marchesi” which originated outside Malta.

This anomaly was finally rectified in 1795 by Grand Master Rohan as follows:

 

Hosplis Magr. Hierlem. Sti. Sepulchri, et Ordinis Sti Antonii, Viennensis Essendo una massima universalmente ricevuto, che il maggior lustro della Nobilta’ principalmente dipende dalla sua maggiore antichita’, niente che il piu’ giusto e ragionevole che il piu’ antico Nobile preceda il piu’ moderno. Siamo pertanto venuti nella determinazione di Ordinare che nel regolarsi la precedenza tra le persone Nobile di questo nostro Dominio, cosi’ primogeniti che cadetti indistintamente, si abbioa ad avere unicamente riguardo alla maggiore o minore antichita’ del titolo che nobilito le loro famiglie, e cio tanto se il titolo sara’ stato concesso da Noi o Nostri predecessori, che se lo avessero ottenuto da Principi esteri, purche’ pero sara’ stato questo debitamente registrato nella Nostra Cancelleria e Gran Corte della Castellania; nel consorso pero’ di ugual data quello nella di cui persona concorreranno piu’ titoli dovra’ essere preferito, all’ altro che ne avesse meno, secondo la graduazione stabilita nel Chirografo Magisteriale del Nostro Predecessore Gran Maestro Despuig di Gl. Em. Del 16 Sept 1739, quale in quelle parti che non contradicono la questa nostra disposizione intendiamo di pienamente confermare. Datum in Palatio die xvii Martii 1795 (f.) Rohan

 (TRANSLATION

The Master of the Hospital at Jerusalem, of the Holy Sepulchre and of the Order of St. Anthony of Vienna – It being a principle universally acknowledged that the lustre of Nobility principally depends on its greater antiquity, nothing is more just and reasonable than that the older Nobles should have precedence over the more recent. We have therefore determined to ordain that, in regulating the precedency among the Nobles of this our dominion, whether first-born or cadets indiscriminately, regard shall be had only to the greater or lesser antiquity of the title by which their family was ennobled, whether that title had been granted by ourselves or by our predecessors, or by foreign princes, provided however, it was registered in our Chancery, and in the High Court of the Castellania. In cases, however, of grants bearing the same date, the person possessing two or more titles, shall have precedence over another who has less titles, according to the rule established by the magisterial decree of our lamented predecessor, Grand Master Despuig of the 16th September 1739, which in any part not inconsistent with our present enactment, we confirm in its entirety. Given at the Palace, 17th March 1795 (signed) Rohan.

 

 

APPLICATION OF 1795 AMENDMENT

 

With effect from the 17 March 1795, the precedence was overhauled and effectively divided into one category as follows:

 

  1. The  Barone D’Amico Inguanez di Djar il-Bniet et Bucana  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Baroni di Djar il-Bniet et Bucana  *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. (Premier Title). 
  2. the "Baronessa Sant di Ghariescem et Tabia  *, TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Baroni di Ghariescem et Tabia *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent..
  3. The  Barone Testaferrata di Gomerino  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Baroni di Gomerino *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  4. The  Barone De Piro di Budac  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Baroni di Budac  *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. 
  5. the "Conte Preziosi di Preziosi"  * whose title was created by Victor-Amadeus, King of Sicily, Duke of Savoy &c, and Perpetual Vicar of the Empire, by a patent given at Rivoli on the 19th October 1718 in favour of Giuseppe Preziosi and registered in Malta on the 20 June 1720. As at 1795, this title appears to have been held by many of Giuseppe’s descendants. Moreover, neither Registry has any record of registration of succession in the country of origin subsequent to 1720. As at 1795, this title was in ABEYANCE.
  6. the "Conte Piscopo di Mont' Alto"  * whose title in the Duchy of Parma , together with the fief of Monte Alto, were conferred by Francis I (Farnese), Duke of Parma at Piacenza on the 8 July 1720 at the request of Bernardo Piscopo and registered in Malta on the 2 September 1721. Bernardo was succeeded by his great nephew Felice Manduca, by permission of the Duke, and registration was effected in Malta on the 14 July 1744. Until 1775, date when this title became extinct, it was subjected to a private entail. Felice Manduca died without male issue. Moreover, neither Registry has any record of registration of succession in the country of origin subsequent to 1744. As at 1795, this title was EXTINCT.
  7. The descendant, if any,  in the male line from the Baroni della Marsa (first grant) *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  8. The  Barone Galea Feriolo di San Marciano  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Baroni di San Marciano  *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. 
  9. The  Barone Testaferrata Viani della Tabria  *, TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Baroni della Tabria *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  10. the Barone Bonnici della Culeja  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Baroni della Culeja *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. 
  11. The  Baronessa Muscati Gatt di Benuarrat  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Baroni di Benuarrat  *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. 
  12. The descendant, if any,  in the male line from the Baroni di Frigenuini" (First Creation *if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  13. The "Marchese De Piro di De Piro"  * in the Kingdom of Castile whose title was created by Philip V, King of Spain, by a patent of the 6 November 1742, in favour of the Barone Gio Pio De Piro and registered in Malta on the 8 October 1743.  (Premier Foreign title) (n.b. De Piro already ranked 16 by reason of his Maltese title). As at 1795, this title wasn’t held by anyone as the title was left to lapse and was only revived in 1870 in favour of Gio Pio’s descendant Xaver De Piro. Moreover, neither Registry has any record of registration of succession in the country of origin subsequent to 1743. As at 1795, this title was in ABEYANCE. 
  14. the "Conte Stagno Navarra della Bahria"  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Conti della Bahria *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. 
  15. the "Conte della Catena"  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Conti della Catena  *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. 
  16. the "Conte Fenech Bonnici di Fenech Bonnici"  * whose title was registered on the 27 April 1750 . Neither Registry has any record of registration of succession in the country of origin subsequent to 1750 (UNKNOWN STATUS AS AT 1795)
  17. The descendant, if any,  in the male line from the Baroni della Marsa (Second creation *, if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. 
  18. the "Conte Fournier di Fournier"  * whose title in the Kingdom and Provinces of Germany, was conferred by Empress Maria Theresa by a patent given at Vienna on the 29 January 1770 to Giorgio Fournier de Pausier and registered in Malta on the 2 December 1775. As at 1795, it appears that the grantee was still alive and therefore still enjoying this title. 
  19. the "Conte Sant di Sant"  * whose title in the Italian Provinces annexed to the German Empire, was conferred by Empress Maria Theresa by a patent given at Vienna on the 22 December 1770 to Salvatore Baldassare Sant and registered in Malta on the 12 December 1775. Salvatore Baldassare Sant died in 1791. Neither Registry has any record of registration of succession in the country of origin subsequent to 1775. As at 1795, this title was in ABEYANCE. 
  20. the "Barone Pisani di Frigenuini" (Second Creation) *  , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Baroni di Frigenuini *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. 
  21. . The descendant, if any,  in the male line from the "Marchese di Sciorp il-Hagin*if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. 
  22. The descendant, if any,  in the male line from the Baroni della Marsa (Third creation *, if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent. 
  23. the, "Barone Ciantar di San Giovanni" *  whose title was created by Ferdinand I. King of the Two Sicilies, by a patent given at Palermo on the 16 July 1777, in favour of Serafino Ciantar and registered in Malta on the 17 January 1778. As at 1795, it appears that the grantee was still alive and therefore still enjoying this title.
  24. the "Barone Azzopardi di Buleben"  *  , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Baroni di Buleben *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  25. the "Marchese Barbaro di San Giorgio"  *  , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Marchesi di San Giorgio *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  26. The descendant, if any,  in the male line from the "Barone Gauci di Gauci"  * if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  27. the "Conte Gatt di Beberrua"  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Conte di Beberrua *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  28. The descendant, if any,  in the male line from the "Marchese Mompalao della Taflia"  * , if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  29. the "Marchese Alessi della Taflia" (second creation) * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Marchesi della Taflia *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  30. the "Marchese Apap di Gnien Is-Sultan"  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Marchesi di Gnien Is-Sultan *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  31. .the "Conte di Ghain Toffieha"  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Conti di Ghain Toffieha *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  32. the "Barone Calleja di San Cosmo"  *   TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Barone di San Cosmo *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  33. the "Marchese Mallia Tabone del Fiddien"  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Marchesi del Fiddien *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  34. the "Conte Barbaro di Santi"  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Conti di Santi *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  35. the  "Conte Marchesi di Meimun* , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Conte di Meimun *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.
  36. the "Barone Carbott Testaferrata della Grua  * , TOGETHER WITH the descendant in the male line from the Baroni della Grua *  if he lives on rent of his own property, and if his intermediate ancestors lived also on such rent.

 

 

NO CHANGE TO REQUIREMENT FOR REGISTRATION OF FOREIGN TITLES 

 

 

All the recipients of the Maltese title of "Most Illustrious and Noble" were yet again not contemplated by the above precedence. 

 

It was probably desumed that many of the recipients of that untitled nobility were already entitled to precedence by reason of qualifying under different criteria.

 

In regard to those titles of foreign origin (listed above) which were not registered in accordance with the 1739 leglislation, it is clear that the Grand Master did not relax the requirement of formal registration. 

 

REFERENCES

PRIMARY REFERENCES

 

1.     REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF PRIVILEGES OF THE MALTESE NOBILITY ON THE CLAIMS OF CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THAT BODY WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S REPLY, AUGUST 1883, PRESENTED TO BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT BY COMMAND OF HER MAJESTY (C-3812) 

2.     REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF PRIVILEGES OF THE MALTESE NOBILITY ON THE CLAIMS OF CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THAT BODY WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S REPLY, AUGUST 1883, PRESENTED TO BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT BY COMMAND OF HER MAJESTY (C-3812) 

3.     COPIES OR EXTRACTS OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH REFERENCE TO THE MALTESE NOBILITY (IN CONTINUATION OF C3812, AUGUST 1883), PRESENTED TO BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT BY COMMAND OF HER MAJESTY MAY 1886 (C-4628A) (SEE: FULL TEXT AT 

4.     JOHN MONTALTO, “THE NOBLES OF MALTA 1530-1800” (MIDSEA BOOKS, MALTA, 1980)

OTHER:

1.   TABULAR VIEW OF PUBLISHED INCONSISTENCIES RELATING TO THE ORIGIN OF NOBILIARY TITLES CONNECTED TO MALTA 

 

2. FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE SEE:-
Said Vassallo, C.M.,Charles Said-Vassallo's Research site and Maltese Nobility web site http://www.maltagenealogy.com