Maltesenobles66

Title of Barone granted to Francesco Gauci

 

HISTORY

 

The title Barone Gauci is a title of Nobility in Malta. It was created in 1781 by the penultimate Grandmaster of the Order of Saint John during its rule over the Maltese Islands. It was only granted for life, specifically Tibi tantum, tua naturali vita perdurante

This title is extinct. However, the descendants of the grantee may be entitled to precedence.

Since 1975, titles of nobility are no longer recognized in the Republic of Malta by Act 29 of 1975 dated 17 October 1975. 

ORIGIN AND NATURE OF TITLE

The title of Barone Gauci was conferred by Grand Master Rohan on the 23rd December 1781, upon the nobleman Francesco Gauci, in the following terms: - " Tibi tantum, tua naturali vita perdurante."

No land was attached to this title of nobility. The title was merely honorific and did not give rise to any right of possession of any land whatsoever.

A Royal Commission of 1878 noted that all the new creations by Grand Master Rohan could be classified into three types:

1.           those expressly providing for the perpetuity of the title specifically include the children and descendents in infinitum of the person first ennobled; such as the title of “Barone della Marsa” granted to Gio Francesco Dorell Falzon on the 10 March 1775, .the title of “Marchese della Taflia” granted to Saverio Alessi on the 13 November 1790, the title of “Conte di Ghain Toffieha” granted to Ferdinando Teuma Castelletti on the 7 January 1792, the title of “Marchese di Gnien Is-Sultan” granted to Filippo Apap on the 1 December 1792, the title of “Barone della Grua” granted to Saverio Carbott Testaferrata on the 30 December 1794, the title of “Conte della Senia” granted to Vincenzo Fontani on the 6 June 1795 and the title of “Marchese di Ghain Kajet” granted to Gerolamo Delicata on the 4 June 1796. 

2.           those which only designated the grantees' names without proceeding further. The patents of the title of “Marchese di Sa Giorgio” granted to Carlo Antonio Barbaro on the 6 September 1778, of the title of “Conte di Beberrua” granted to Luigi or Ludovico Gatt on the 23 October 1783, of the title of “Marchese del Fiddien” granted to Salvatore Mallia Tabone on the 15 October 1785, and that which conferred on the 23rd October 1783, the title (now extinct) of Barone to Signor Mompalao, (as well as the title of “Barone di Buleben” granted to Gaetano Azzopardi on the 23 July 1777), all fall under this class. – The Commissioners explained that these patents only provide for the investiture of the person therein mentioned but do not proceed further to direct that the said investiture should be obtained by all the successors on any future vacancy, as laid down in the patents of the first class.

3.           those which besides the designation of the titled person exclusively, contain a restrictive clause; such as that granted to Conte Romualdo Barbaro, on the 14th January 1793, and worded thus: "Tibi Magnifico ac Nobili Romualdo Barbaro tantum", that conferred upon Marchese Saverio Marchesi on the 8th March 1793, in the following terms:-"Tibi Magnifico ac Nobili Saverio Marchesi tantum", and the other given to Barone Francesco Gauci, on the 23rd December 1781, and which runs thus:-"Tibi tantum, tua naturali vita perdurante." 

The Commissioners explained that they saw no difference between the second and the third class. Moreover, they remarked in regard to the patents of the second class, that the grantees have often applied for and obtained, by special favour of the Sovereign, the extension and amplification of the title in perpetuum, or in favour of their children or of their descendants generally. 

Thus the Marchese Barbaro had requested and obtained that the title should be extended to at least his first born son, who subsequently applied for and obtained a further extension for all his descendents in perpetuum. The Marchese Mallia Tabone had likewise prayed that his title should be made to extend after his death to his male descendents successively, and in default of male issue to his female descendents, and had obtained from the Grand Master an extension in favour of his first born male descendents only. (The Commissioners remarked that in the case of “Barone di Buleben”, the grantee successfully requested an amplification).

 

PRECEDENCE ENJOYED BY THE HOLDER OF THE TITLE OF BARONE GAUCI

 

Long before the above creation, the then Grand Master Depuig had introduced in 1739 the concept of according a form of precedence to a holder of a title of nobility. 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’ dellaNotabile e della Valletta, vogliamo, ordiniamo e comandiamo che tutte siano precedue dagli infrascritti, e che fra queti si regoli la precedena call’ ordineseguente cioe’: Primieramente, chi fu Capitano della Verga della Sudetta Citta’ Notabile e nostra Isola di Malta.; Secondo. Il Titolato che ha un titolofondato sopra un feudo in realta’ esistente qui, benche’ non lo possegga.; Terzo. Il titolato che non ha un titolo fondato sopra fondo realmente esistentenel nostro Dominio, registrato che sia il titolo nella Cancelleria nella nostra Religione e nella Gran Corte della nostra Castellania, e pagato per i rispettiviregistramenti il diritto di scudi cento sedici di questa moneta, da dividersi per meta’ tra la Cancelleria e la Castellania sudetta.; 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 realmente esistente, se vive colle proprie rendite, e se i suoiascendenti 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 Giudice d’Appello Criminale o Civile della Gran Corte della Castellania e dellaCorte Capitanale e Governatoriale; Diecimo. Il Dottore di Leggi ed il Dottore di Medicina.: - Dichiariamo che fra le persone d’un stesso grado si deveattendere 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) 

On the basis of this enactment it follows that in when the title was created all of Francesco Gauci’s male-to-male descendants (“Il discendente per linea mascolina”) were made automatically entitled to a precedence. 

The latter enactment was amended in 1795 by the same 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

 

In view of the latter enactment the Barone Gauci and his male-to-male descendants were to rank before the holder of any title created after 1781 and respective descendants. Therefore, it follows that the Barone Gauci ranks before the Marchese del Fiddien (created in 1785) Marchese della Taflia (1790) Marchese di Gnien is-Sultan (1792) and the Marchese di Ghajn Kajet (1796) even though all the latter titles purport a higher rank. The same position holds in regard to the respective male-to-male descendants. Conversely, the Barone Gauci ranks after the older creations (mostly barons) and the holders of noble fiefs.

THE ROYAL COMMISSION APPOINTED TO ENQUIRE INTO THE CLAIMS OF THE MALTESE NOBILITY

 

After the Capitulation of the Order of Saint John the new French Rulers formally abolished all titles of nobility. (General Napoleon Bonaparte issued two orders dated 13 and 16 June 1798 prohibiting the use of any title “ORDRE (1) QUARTIER GENERAL DE MALTE, LE 25 PRAIRAL, AN VI (13 JUIN 1798): Le General en Chef ordonne……(ARTICLE 2.)… Toutes les armoires seront abbatues dans l’ espace de 24 heures. Il est defendu de porter dest livrees, ni aucune marque et titre distinctif de noblesse. ORDRE (2) AU QUARTIER GENERAL DE MALTE, LE 28 PRAIRAL, AN VI (16 JUIN 1798): Bonaparte Membre de l’Istitut National, General-en-Chef ordonne…(ARTICLE CINQUIEME)….Dix jours apres la publication du present ordre, il est defendu d’avoir des armoires soit dans l’interieur, soit a l’exterieur des maisons, de cacheter des lettres avec des armoires, ou de prendre des titres feodaux. ……(ARTICLE DOUZIEME)….Tous les contrevenants aux articles cidessous, seront condamnes pour la premier fois, a une amende du tiers de leurs revenus; pour la seconde fois, a trois mois de prison; pour la troisieme fois a un an de prison; pour la quatrieme fois, a la deportation de l’ile de Malte, et a la confiscation de la moitie de leurs biens. Il devra toujours y avoir 10 jours d’intervalle entre la recidive.” 

 

Another Order was issued by Bosredon Ransijat, President of the Commission du Gouvernement dated 18 Messidor Year 6 (6 July 1798), where it was enacted that all honorary titles should be burnt on the 14th of that month and that every holder of a title should carry his patent at the Arbre de la Liberté

 

The French in turn lost Malta in 1800 to a contingent raised by Captain Ball and Admiral Nelson. Malta later became a British Protectorate after the Treaty of Paris of 1814.  

 

In time, the use of nobiliary titles was resumed. However, it appears that this use was unregulated. 

 

Eventually, the British Secretary of State for the Colonies commissioned a report in 1876, on those titles alleged to have been conferred to Maltese families before the annexation of Malta to the British Dominions, namely 1800. The Commissioners’ Report and Supplemental Report were published in 1878 together with relative correspondence.

NO CLAIM TO TITLE. COMMISSIONERS’ REMARKS ON REMAINDER OF TITLE

In 1878, nobody laid a claim to this title. This title was already extinct by then.

However, the Commissioners did make specific reference to this title, albeit in passing, when discussing the title of Barone di Buleben.

PRESENT DAY

Since 1975, titles of nobility are no longer recognized in the Republic of Malta by Act 29 of 1975 dated 17 October 1975. 

GENEALOGY

The published genealogy of the Barone Gauci is as follows: 

Original creation (1777)

·         Francesco Gauci, 1st Barone Gauci

For full Genealogy of the Barone Gauci, please see  http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/gauciapap.html

 

REFERENCES

PRIMARY REFERENCES

 

(1781 GRANT):

 

1.   Grant of title of Barone by Grand Master Rohan to Francesco Gauci on the 23 December 1781 (Recorded in the Archives of the Order, National Library, Malta Ref. AOM 585, ff. 107r)

 

SECONDARY REFERENCES (HISTORY):

 

(1)         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.): 

(2)         John Montalto, “The Nobles of Malta 1530-1800” (Midsea Books, Malta, 1980)

 

 

 

TERTIARY REFERENCES (PUBLISHED GENEALOGY):

 

(1)         Charles Gauci "THE GENEALOGY AND HERALDRY OF THE NOBLE FAMILIES OF MALTA" (GULF PUBLISHING, MALTA, 1981)"

(2)         Charles Gauci A GUIDE TO THE MALTESE NOBILITY" (PEG PUBLICATIONS, MALTA, 1986)

(3)         Charles Gauci "THE GENEALOGY AND HERALDRY OF THE NOBLE FAMILIES OF MALTA VOLUME TWO " (PEG PUBLICATIONS, MALTA, 1992)

(4)         Charles Gauci "THE GENEALOGY AND HERALDRY OF THE NOBLE FAMILIES OF MALTA VOLUME ONE " (PEG PUBLICATIONS, MALTA, 2002)