please get your facts right!
The CULTURAL HERITAGE ACT became law in Malta in the year 2002. (__)
According to that law every Maltese citizen as well as every person in has the DUTY of protecting the cultural heritage as well as the RIGHT to benefit from this cultural heritage through learning and enjoyment. To achieve this right the Maltese State is obliged to establish and maintain administrative and regulatory structures.
Sadly, no such structure has been introduced for titles of nobility, let alone local-titles of nobility which were created during the Government of the Maltese Islands by the Order of Saint John (1530-1798).
Until these structures are implemented, we at Maltagenealogy.com are making it our business to let you too enjoy this part of Malta’s heritage. But we want to do so properly, without the clichéd errors that continue to be published regarding the Maltese Nobility.
Whilst everyone is entitled to his opinion, facts remain facts.
The recipient of our dubious honour of “first victim” is an article published in a Maltese Magazine namely “The Economic Update”, Issue April 2009, pages 76-78”. The article was written by a certain Kenneth Zammit Tabona “an artist, illustrator and writer of articles who describes himself as a free spirit, a lover of life and anything that evokes emotion, without which we would be but wooden puppets without a soul”.
Using a standard search engine on the writer, we discovered that not only is this guy a great artist and culture-vulture but he also paints lots of good stuff including heraldic paintings. As the Americans would put it, he is one who should know his onions.
In fact we found the article to be a very enjoyable read, but our mood soured when we came across the bits where he says:-
- that the Sant Fournier family occupied the post of Procuratori dei Grani during the Government of the Order;
- that Beatrice Cassia wife of Paolo Testaferrata was “in fact already the 9th Baroness of Castel Cicciano in her own right” at the time when she and her husband were jointly ennobled in 1710 with the title of “Baron and Baroness of Gomerino”.
Both statements are incorrect, because:
- The Order’s rule ended in 1798 but the Sant Fournier family stems from a marriage between the Conte Baldassare Sant (__)and the Contessa Luigia Fournier (__). He was born in 1789, she in 1793, and they married in 1811. Their offspring, the Sant Fournier family, could not have occupied any post under the Government of the Order. The important office of “Procuratore dei Grani” is detailed in Montalto’s book at pages 122-126 (__).
- Beatrice Cassia had transferred the Barony of Castel Cicciano to her elder son Fabrizio in 1695. This transfer received Royal Assent, from the foreign sovereign, in the same year (__). In 1710, she did not holding the title of Castel Cicciano in her own right. She was made a (joint) Baroness of Gomerino in December 1710 only to also transfer that title in 1734 to her younger son Ercole Martino. Royal Assent took longer in this case, and was received in 1737(__) . Both titles are also detailed in Montalto’s book (__).