Maltesenobles74

Title of Marquis de Piro

 

HISTORY

The title Marquis de Piro is a title of Nobility created in 1742 in the Kingdom of Castile http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Castile , Spainhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Spain. By reason of a registration made in accordance with Maltese legislation of 1739 and 1795, this title forms part of the Nobility in Malta enjoying a precedence with effect from 1743.

The title was granted in Spain in 1742 to the Barone Don Gio Pio De Piro. It was revived by the Kings of Spain in 1870 in favour of Don Xaver De Piro and again in 1987 in favour of Don Anthony Buttigieg de Piro.

Some Maltese publications refer to this title as “Marquis of Castile” and “Marquis of San Vincente en Castile”.

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 “Marchese” in the Kingdom of Castile was conferred by Philip V, King of Spain, by a patent of the 6th November 1742, on the Barone Gio Pio De Piro. The following are extracts from the patent of creation (Translation from the Spanish):- ‘Wherefore you having selected the title of Marchese De Piro, and in order that your person and family be further honoured and ennobled, it is my will that you the aforesaid Barone Don Gio Pio De Piro, your heirs and successors, for the time being, in perpetuum  and for ever, may name and style yourself, and be named and styled, as I do hereby create you Marchese De Piro. And whereas under the Ordinance of His Majesty Phlip IV, whom God may receive into heaven, any person who is to be raised to the dignity of Marquis or Count must be previously created Viscount, which title is to be subsequently suppressed: wherefore we by letters patent bearing the same date as these presents, have granted unto you the title of Viscount of Cartely, which in accordance with the said Ordinance must be suppressed and cancelled in my Secretairerie of Grace and Justice of the Kingdom of Castile’.

 

From the said patent of which the above-quoted is the most important part, it appears that Barone Gio Pio De Piro was actually ennobled by the King of Spain with the title of Marquis in Castile; but that the title of Viscount of Carteley for the reasons more explicitly stated in the patent itself, was suppressed and cancelled. 

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 in Spain. In particular, it was specified that it was a Title of Our Kingdom of Castile rather than one of the several other Kingdoms the Spanish Crown possessed.

 

REVIVAL OF TITLE IN 1870 AND 1987

 

The title of Marquis was later revived in favour of Saverio De Piro, by a letter of the Under Secretary of the Spanish Ministry of Grace and Justice of which letter the following is a translation: -

Ministry of Grace and Justice

His Excellency the Minister of Grace and Justice makes known to his Excellency the Minister of Finance as follows: As it appears from the record of the proceedings entered in this office at the instance and request of D. Xavier De Piro, who begs that the title of Marquis De Piro lately possessed by his predecesors should be revived in his favour; the Regent of the Kingdom, having seen the Royal Decree of the 4th December 1864, and in conformity with the resolution of the section of Grace and Justice of the Conseil d’Etat, has thought it advisable to order that the above-named dignity of Marquis De Piro should be revived in favour of the said D. Xavier De Piro, without prejudice to the rights which third parties may have acquired by a more favourable decree: provided, however, the said De Piro should pay the special duty and the other charges imposed on the said title, and which must be liquidated in favour of the Treasury, as stated in the decree of the 12th February 1826, in which it was declared that the payment of that duty had been suspended. By His Highness’s orders I forward these presents to you for your information and for all intents and purposes. May God preserve you for many years. The Under Secretary - Madrid, September 28, 1870 (signed) URAN C.Z. MONSAN

The same title of Marquis was again revived in favour of Anthony Buttigieg de Piro, by a letter of the Ministry of Grace and Justice in Spain, dated November 13, 1987.

RECOGNITION BY GOVERNMENT OF THE ORDER OF SAINT JOHN AND PRECEDENCE ENJOYED BY HOLDER OF TITLE OF “MARQUIS DE PIRO”

As the title originated in the Kingdom of Castile in Spain, it could not be held to form part of the Maltese Nobility unless it was registered in the Government Cancelleria and of the High Court of the Castellania.

In 1739, the then Grand Master Depuig had enacted a law introducing the concept of extending a form of precedence to even holders of foreign titles. 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 precedena call’ 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 fondo realmenteesistente 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 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 proprierendite, 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’ dellaquale sara’ creato giurato.; Nono. Chi fu Giudice d’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’anzianitad’ufficio. Dat. In Palatio, die xvi. Septembris 1739 (f. Despuig) 

The latter enactment was amended in 1795 by the then 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

It follows therefore that on the basis of the aforesaid enactments, the title of Marquis de Piro as granted in 1742 could only enjoy a precedence in Malta from the day it was registered in the legal registries.

In fact this title was duly registered in Malta on the 8 October 1743.  

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. 

In 1870 the Marchese Giorgio Crispo Barbaro published a compendium of the “Maltese Nobility and the Maltese Gentry holding Foreign Titles”. In that publication Giorgio Crispo Barbaro describes the Captain Saverio De Piro, R.M.F.A. as a Maltese Gentleman holding the foreign title of “Marquis of Castiglia (Depiro)”. - See full text of the Crispo Barbaro’s book athttp://www.saidvassallo.com/SME/1870%20barbaro.pdf

In that book, Crispo Barbaro adds a note to the effect that he had not read the terms of the original grant. 

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. 

SUCCESSFUL CLAIM OF SAVERIO DE PIRO TO THE TITLE CREATED IN 1742

In 1878, this title was claimed by Saverio de Piro. 

The Royal Commissioners held that in view of the 1870 revival by the Kingdom of Spain in favour of Saverio de Piro, it was unnecessary to investigate the claim any further and concluded that Saverio de Piro was the then lawful holder of the title originally granted in 1742.

SECOND REVIVAL OF TITLE IN 1987

The same title of Marquis was again revived in favour of Anthony Buttigieg de Piro, by a letter of the Ministry of Grace and Justice in Spain, dated November 13, 1987.

CONTROVERSIES 

Some argue that the title has been rendered Maltese. This has no basis whatsoever on the findings of the 1878 Commission. 

Some publications show that the title was enjoyed at some time between 1870 and 1987 by other persons. It is clear that the only the King of Spain is the relevant “Fons Honorum” for the title of Marquis as created in 1742 in favour of Gio Pio de Piro. 

OTHER ENTITLEMENTS

According to the 1878 Report, this title was considered after the title of “Conte” enjoyed by the Family Ciantar Wzzini Paleologo, and before the title of “Barone” conferred by Maria Theresa Empress of Austria on the 31 March 1768 upon Giorgio Fournier. 

As from the year 1886, the holder of this title of Nobility became entitled to be styled “The Most Noble”. 

The holder of this title was accorded a precedence in Malta The presumed successor of this title is by custom entitled to be styled Marchesino de Piro. 

Other descendants of the various holders of this title are by custom entitled to be styled dei Marchesi de Piro.

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 genealogy of the Marquises de Piro is as follows:

1st creation (1742) 

·         Barone D. Gio Pio de Piro 

1st Revival (1870)

·         D. Xavier (Saverio) De Piro 

2nd Revival (1987)

·         D. Anthony Buttigieg de Piro 

For full Genealogy please see http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/depiro1.html 

REFERENCES

PRIMARY REFERENCES (GRANT/S):

 

(1)         Creation of title of Marques De Piro in the Kingdom of Spain by Philip V, King of Spain, together with creation and immediate suppression of title of “Viscount of Caterly” on the 6 November 1742 in favour of the Baroen D. Gio Pio De Piro. (Official Archives of Secretariat of Grace and Justice of the Kingdom of Castile (Spain))

(2)         Revival of title of Marques De Piro originally granted to Gio Pio de Piro in 1742 in favour of D. Xavier De Piro on the 28 September 1870 (Official Archives of Secretariat of Grace and Justice of the Kingdom of Castile (Spain)) 

(3)         Revival of title of Marques De Piro originally granted to Gio Pio de Piro in 1742 in favour of D. Anthony Buttigieg de Piro on the 13 November 1987 (Official Archives of Secretariat of Grace and Justice of the Kingdom of Castile (Spain)) 

 

 

SECONDARY REFERENCES (HISTORY):

 

(1)         Note of Registration dated 8 October 1743 of title conferred in 1742 to the Barone D. Gio Pio de Piro. (Recorded in the Archives of the Order, National Library, Malta Ref. AOM 627, unpaginated)

(2)         Matter of revival of title of Marquis in favour of Saverio De Piro described in Letter dated 20 October 1870 (Archives and Correspondence at British Financial Secretary’s Department of the War Office)

(3)         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.): 

(4)         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)

(5)         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) 

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

 

TERTIARY REFERENCES (PUBLISHED GENEALOGY):

 

(1)         Crispo Barbaro "THE NOBLES OF MALTA, AND THE MALTESE GENTRY HOLDING FOREIGN TITLES AS AT PRESENT EXISTING BY GEO. G.C.’A. CRISPO BARBARO MARQUIS OF ST. GEORGE” MALTA:- A.D. MDCCCLXX (THE ANGLO-MALTESE PRESS, MALTA, 1870)"

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

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

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

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