Who is the rightful Barone Gauci? .



Who is the rightful Barone Gauci? The title of Barone was granted by Grand Master Rohan, by patent, to Francesco Gauci on the 23 December 1781: Reference Gauci. Titolo di Barone concesso dal Gr. Mro al Nobile Francesco Gauci pro se tantum. 23 Xbre 1781, f.Reference A.O.M. 585, ff. 107r.).


He was invested in that title on the 24 December of that year.  Nel seguente dto di’ il nomto Nobile Gauci fece il solito Giuramento.Reference A.O.M. 585, ff. 107r.).


The grant did not extend to Francesco’s descendants and was destined to become extinct upon his death as in fact happened. In fact by 1878, year when a Commission Appointed to enquire into the claims of the Maltese nobility published its findings, nobody laid a claim to the latter title as it was already extinct. 


Both the Commissioners and the British Secretary of State (Michael Hicks-Beach) concurred that acts under the British Government issued to a gentleman where he is styled baron or count or marquis, may not be taken to have revived or perpetuated a title which had become extinct, or was otherwise without legal basis. 


The Commissioners made specific reference to the title of Barone Gauci, albeit in passing, when discussing the title of Barone di Buleben, and the precise terms of the Gauci grant were by implication made use of to justify the Commission’s decision accepted by the Secretary of State, that the (extended) title of Buleben and that of Conte di Beberrua were extinct. 


The Commission had 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 San 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, 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. For example, the Commissioners declared the title of Beberrua extinct upon the death of the original grantee Luigi, sive Ludovico, Gatt. 


The Commissioners noted 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. 


– No such application was ever made in regard to the title of Barone Gauci.


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