Marquis’s di San Giorgio (cr: 1778), (1779), (1792).
Last update: 13-09-2020.
Granted to: Dr Carl Antonio Barbaro JUD.
By: Emanuel de Rohan Polduc, Grand Master of Malta.
On: 1778 in Valletta, again 1779 in Valletta.
With Remainder to: The title of Marchese di San Giorgio was granted by patent on the 6th September 1778, by Grand Master Rohan, to Carlo Antonio Barbaro without any mention of sons, heirs, and successors of the grantee. The operative part of the patent of creation runs thus:- Tibi Nobile D. Carolo Antonio Barbaro tribuimus, concedimus, et donamus, hujusmodi titulo insignimus ac Marchionem dicti Pheudi Sancti Georgii constituimus et ita nominari posse et debere The aforesaid Marchese Carlo Antonio Barbaro, after the dignity had been conferred upon him, considering that the grant was limited to himself alone, applied to the Grand Master praying that it might at least be extended to his first-born son. Grand Master Rohan, by a rescript dated the 2nd February 1779, acceded to the petitioner's request in the following terms: Fiat prout petitur. It appears that the Marchese Carlo Antonio Barbaro did not file any other application. In view of this, it follows that Carlo Antonio Barbaro should be listed as the first Marchese di San Giorgio and that his first-born son (Gioacchino Ermolao) should be listed as the second and last Marchese di San Giorgio (1779). In fact, according to the 1878 report, it appears that it was the Marchese Gioacchino Ermolao Barbaro, in whose favour only the grant had been extended, applied to the Grand Master for the extension of the title to all of his descendents in perpetuum. His application was complied with by a rescript of the 5th June 1792. 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.) Thus it follows that enumeration should be as follows: Gioacchino Ermolao Barbaro (c 1760-1844), 2nd and last Marchese di San Giorgio (by virtue of a rescript of 1779), 1st Marchese di San Giorgio (by virtue of a rescript of 1792). According to the aforesaid report of 1878, "no proof or document whatsoever" was produced concerning the claim of "Venetian Patrician". Consequently, this claim was disallowed.
List of Title holders:
Granted to: Gioacchino Ermolao Barbaro.
By: Emanuel de Rohan Polduc, Grand Master of Malta.
On: 1792 in Valletta.
British Crown recognition: 1878.
With Remainder to: According to the 1878 Report, Gioacchino Ermolao Barbaro applied to the Grand Master for the extension of the title granted in 1778 and extended in 1779, to all of his descendents in perpetuum. His application was complied with by a rescript of the 5th June 1792. There is clearly no remainder regulating ulterior transmission by the rules of primogeniture. Instead the remainder (made on a rescript) is very wide and extends to all of Gioacchino Barbaro's descendants. In the other parts of the afore-said Commissioner's Report, this conclusion is very clear. In fact the Report at paragraphs 41 to 57 says 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 (#59, 60). 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 (#68). Similarly, the same Report at paragraphs 62-66 says The terms of the grant are similar to those of the preceding patents granted to Barone Azzopardi and to Marchese Barbaro, containing no provision for the descent of the title to sons, heirs, descendents, and successors of the grantee. The two preceding grants, as we have already remarked, were by the same Grand Master taken to be personal, and as such, they were extended on an application of the grantees themselves, either to their first-born son exclusively, or as in the instance of Marchese Barbaro, to all their descendents for ever. 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.) In view of this, it follows that there is a plurality of Marchesi di San Giorgio, that is to say more than one person enjoying the title at the same time!The question that remains is whether 'all descendants' here means exactly what it says or whether there are some principles of interpretation which moderate a wide interpretation, that is to say whether the title of Marchese di San Giorgio as extended in 1792 can in fact be transmitted to females descended from Carlo Antonio Barbaro, or to males claiming from Carlo Antonio Barbaro through a female line. The aforesaid 1878 report answers this question of interpretation where the Commissioners pointed out. The claimant lastly contends that the diploma and the rescript must be extensively construed; for although it is a legal maxim, Privilegia sunt stricte interpretanda, the privileges, however, granted by a sovereign authority, and which do not act to the prejudice of third parties, are susceptible of a wide and liberal interpretation. Although this is admitted by the common opinion of civilians, yet that principle holds good with regard to those privileges which are granted by the sovereign's mere motion (moto proprio) and not at the request of the party concerned (Jasonii Comment. Quoted by Altograd. Consilia Con. 71, No. 9, 10, 11, and by many other legal writers). Now as a general rule, patents of nobility in Malta were granted by the Grand Masters at the request of the grantee, and it was moreover upon an application by Barone Azzopardi that the rescript of 1778 was issued. It is likewise a settled opinion that, when the patent of creation does not contain the expression motu proprio, the grant is taken to have been made at the request of the party concerned. (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.) (Paras. 41-57). There are many other arguments which militate against construing the 1792 rescript in favour of 'mere' females and/or 'mere' male descendants claiming through a female line.
List of Title holders:
Articles relating to this title:
The Venican Patricanship of Barbaro.
The Patricanship of Venice. The dignity of Patrician of Venice (Barbaro) (??), origins unknown)
Footnote: A “Dignity of Venetian Patrician” was claimed in 1878.
In 1878, this dignity was claimed by Giorgio Crispo Barbaro.
The Royal Commissioners dismissed this claim because, the same Commissioners decided not only that the claimant did not provide any proof whatsoever BUT ALSO because the same Commissioners held that this dignity was a mere municipal honour and not one emanating from a foreign sovereign, or fons honorum. (“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 Para. 240)).
Thus, as far as the Commissioners were concerned, once they regarded this dignity as a municipal honour, it did not fall within the remit of the Commission because the Commissioners were of the opinion that once it is a municipal honour it does not qualify to be registered in accordance with the rules of 1739 and 1795 as enacted by Grand Masters Despuig and Rohan. In this case, it appears that the claimant did not only not even present any documents in proof of his claim, but did not even indicate a date when this was supposedly granted. The claim was dismissed altogether by the Commissioners.
The actual report says the following:
“No proof or document whatever having been produced concerning these grants, such claims cannot be consequently allowed. The same conclusion will also hold good with regard to the claims of Giorgio Crispo Barbaro to the dignity of Venetian Patrician.”
However, upon a more detailed analysis about the nature of this dignity, it appears that contrary to what was held by the Commissioners, that this dignity (if proven) may in fact a conferral of nobility if it results that Venice acted as a fons honorum (fountain of honour) in the same way as Messina and Rome.
Sadly, from a reading of the Report, there is no indication as to who was the original grantee of the dignity claimed by Crispo Barbaro.
Who is the rightful Marchese di San Giorgio? .
Who is the rightful Marchese di San Giorgio? The title of Marchese di Sam Giorgio was granted by Grand Master Rohan, by patent, to Carlo Antonio Barbaro on the 6 September 1778:
He was invested in that title on the 23 September 1778. Reference A.O.M. 582, ff. 282v-283v. Succession to the title was not complete until the successor was invested. Barbaro. Il Nobe D. Carlo Barbaro ottenne dal Gr. Mro Titlo di Marchese di S. Giorgio, V. Boll. 6 7bre 1778. f. 282, p.2. Il medmo Nobe Marchese Barbaro fece sotto il di’ 23 del dto Mese, ed anno, il consueto giuramento, e presa in seguito, l’investitura del detto Marchesato. V. f. 283 p.2
The grant did not extend to Carlo’s descendants and was destined to become extinct upon his death.
However, in January 1779 (1778 ab. Inc) Carlo applied for an extension and this was granted only in favour of his first born son. Barbaro. Lo stesso Marchese Carlo ottenne l’ampliazione e concessione del dto Titolo di Marchese di San Giorgio per il di Lui figlio Primogenito 2. Genn. 1778 ab Incne f. 292
Some years later, the son Gioacchino Barbaro applied for an extension and this was granted on the 5th June 1792. l Marchese di S. Giorgio Gioacchino Ermolao ottenne dal Gr. Mro, che il dto Marchesato passi in Persona dei di lui discendenti in perpetuo. 5 giugno 1792 f.
The last extension was thereafter followed by Gioacchino’s investiture in the first grant on the 22nd June 1793. Il dto Marchese Gioacchino Ermolao Barbaro, seguita la morte del di lui Genitore, come primo genito, gli fu’ data l’investitura del dto Marchesato di S. Giorgio, e fece il solito giuramento 22. Giugno 1793. f.
There is no record of any investiture in the extension of 1792. Gioacchino was invested specifically in the title as extended in 1779. There appears to be no need for investiture in the extension of 1792.
This means all of the Gioacchino’s descendants may freely use the title of Marchese di San Giorgio, but does this extend to persons descended in a female line?