SMOM-5

Maltese submitting to French Rule

 

Extract taken from: “THE FAMILY OF INGUANEZ” by Baroness Inguanez, (pages 37-38).

 

Maltese submitting to French Rule

The above extract is relevant in that it debunks the myth that the Maltese nobility resisted the French Government introduced by Napoleon after the surrender of June 1798.

Here we find not only erstwhile members of the old (Bonnici) Maltese Nobility and of the short-lived Rohanite nobility (Barbaro) occupying official positions under the French Government of Malta but other descendants (Damico and Cassia) of feudal families submitting themselves to the law which abolished titles of nobility, only requesting that they be allowed to preserve the documents which show the extent of their proprietory interests. 

 

In this case Damico was referring to one document describing the extent of the fiefs of Bucana, and Diar el Biniet to which a title of barone was attached. 

 

However, we cannot identify the document mentioned in this decree. 

 

The 17th century Abela reported having seen a document relative to the fief of Bucane http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/Murina.html, but the context of his description does not extend to Diar el Biniet http://www.maltagenealogy.com/libro%20d'Oro/djarilbniet.html. Therefore this cannot be the same document described by Damico. 

 

Moreover, given the provenances of these two fiefs, one originating in 1350 the other in 1372 in favour of different families, it is unlikely that the document shown to the French Republic could not have been dated to any time before the union of the Gatto and Murina families when the two fiefs came to be held by one person. 

 

The 19th century Royal Commissioners made it very clear in their report that although they declared themselves to have examined various authentic documents they never found any evidence of the grant of a barony attached to the fiefs of Diar el Biniet or Bucane. Therefore this cannot be the same document described by Damico.