"Libro d'Oro di Melita”
The family of D’Amico, Barons of Djar il-Bniet and Buqana
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This family is NOT listed as a noble family in “Descrittione di Malta” (1647)
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Nobile Ersilia Fiott Farrugia Inguanez married 1670 to Don Pietro D'Amico Castelletti, with issue.
1. Don Claudio D'Amico Castelletti Inguanez, married 1716 to Rosalea Moscati, with issue.
1.1. Don Pietr'Antonio D'Amico, Archdeacon of the Cathedral, dunm.
1.2. Don Gio Francesco D'Amico Castelletti Fiott Farrugia Inguanez, died 1779, 15th Baron of Djar-il-Bniet and Buqana, married to Marchesa Asteria Testaferrata , M. Ill & Noble with issue.
1.2.1. Don Claudio Emmanuele D'Amico Inguanez, 16th Baron of Djar-il-Bniet and Buqana, (also by agreement of 1772, confirmed as Marchese di San Vincenzo Ferreri, Marchese Testaferrata and Hereditary Knight of the Holy Roman Empire), dunm. 1782
1.3. Don Alessandro D'Amico Castelletti Fiott Farrugia Inguanez, (Died 1802), 17th Baron of Djar-il-Bniet and Buqana, Married 1783 to Nobile Maria Bonici Platamone, with issue
1.3.1. Don Vincenzo D'Amico Inguanez, 18th Baron of Djar-il-Bniet and Buqana, (1794 - 1850), dunm.
1.3.2. Donna Maria Teresa D'Amico Inguanez, 19th Baroness of Djar-il-Bniet and Buqana, (1787 - 1880), dunm..
1.3.3. Donna Rosalea D'Amico Inguanez, (1790-1841), married to Sir Pasquale Sceberras Trigona, KCMG, 14th Baron of Castel Cicciano, and had issue.
1.4. Donna Ursula D'Amico, married 1729 to Nobile Pietro Paolo Dorell Falzon.
1.5. Donna Eugenia D'Amico, married 1765 to Nobile Diegio Galea Feriol. . M. Ill & Noble
1.6. Donna Anna D'Amico, dunm 1791.
1.7. Donna Filippa D'Amico, dunm.
1.8. (issue from Mistress Donna Amelia Spadafora) Donna Ersilea d'Amico, (1748 -93), married 1765 Birgu to Nobile Diegio dei Baroni Galea.
1.9. Donna Carolina d'Amico, (1749-74), 'Nun'.
1.10. Don Ferdinando d'Amico, (1750-51), d.inf.
2. Donna Maria Flaminea d'Amico, married to Don Palmiere Serrovira, Duca della Catena in Sicily, (cr: 1726), (d. 1746).
3. Fra Don Gio Franco d'Amico, Capellano Convent., dunm
4. Donna Agata d'Amico, Nun, dunm.
Footnote #1: Gio Francesco’s wife Asteria like other descendants of the Testaferrata de Robertis family, claimed the titles of "Marchesa di San Vincenzo Ferreri", "Marchesa Testaferrata" and "Hereditary Knight of the Holy Roman Empire". See: agreement between Daniele Testaferrata in his own name and on behalf of his brother Pandolfo, and of his sister Asteria, wife of the Barone Giovanni Francesco Damico Inguanez, and Mario Testaferrata, son of Gilberto, as procurator of his father dated 10th September 1772. Thus, Asteria, a daughter, and her descendants were admitted to bear all the titles belonging to the Testaferrata family. This agreement was regarded as legally null and void by the Royal Commissioners of 1878 because they held that they “cannot assume, that titles can be lawfully explained, construed, or extended by private agreements”)
Titled, De Jures and Heirs.
The fief of “Djar il-Bniet” was united by marriage to the other noble fief of “Bucana” and in 1404.
The Grand Master Lascaris of the Order of Saint John attempted to usurp these fiefs in 1660. This was resisted successfully.
This title enjoys the privilege of being the Premier title of the Maltese Nobility and rightly so because it precedes the rule of the Order of Saint John over the Maltese Islands by close to two centuries. Although the title of “Barone di Djar el Biet et Bucana” was not created in 1350, it is was customary in Malta to address the holder of that fief by that title. The date of 1350 is only a date attributed by a Royal Commission in 1878 but there is no doubt that this title had long been accepted by the Government of the Order of Saint John.
Some of the Barons of Djar il Biet and Bucana were never addressed as Baron during their lifetime, but are nevertheless are counted and numbered as Barons here. Other sources may not include some of the Barons listed here, and may consider the Barony to have been created more than once.
REMARKABLE EVENTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE TENURE OF THE FIEFS
Especially remarkable are the following events:-
1. On the same day that he conferred the fief of Diar il Bniet in 1350, King Louis also granted to Cicco Gatto and Lanza Gatto his son and to their heirs in perpetuity, exemption from the payment of dues to the Royal Court, thereby placing them on a footing with the noble patricians of Messina. This privilege reads as follows:
Considerantes fidem puram, et devotionem sinceram, quas Chiccus Gattus Castellanus Castri Insalae Meliveti, et Lanza Gattus filius ejus, fidelis Nostri erga Majestatem Nostram gesserunt, et gerunt satis fideliter, et devote; nec non grata obsequia per eos Culmini Nostro praestita animo indefesso, et quae praestant ad praesens, et praestare poterunt in futurum, auctore Domino, gratiora quae remuneratione maxima digna sunt.
The privilege was also confirmed in 1372 and is expressed in the following words:
Notum fieri volumes universes tam praesentibus, quam futuris, quod Judex Lancae de Gatto de Melivete familiaris, et fidelis Noster praesens coram Nostrae Majestatis aspectu consulit, et praesentavit Curiae Nostrae quoddam privilegium, etc. Serenissimi Principis Domini Ludovici dicti Regni Regis Illustris Carissimi Fratris Nostri bon memor etc.
2. Giacomo Angerao Inguanez Gatto was an avid opponent to Malta being granted to the Order of Saint John. Prior to this radical change, Giacomo Angerao enjoyed a number of privileges including the Governorship of Malta as well as Ambassador Extraordinary. However seeing that this had come to an end in 1530, he applied for permission to the King of Spain so that he may emigrate from Malta without incurring any penalties from the new rulers of Malta. Permission was in fact given by the King on the 21 March 1536 by a letter which reads as follows:-
DON CARLO BY THE DIVINE MERCY EMPEROR OF THE ROMANS, always August King of Germany, Donna Giovanna His Mother, and the same Don Carlo, by the Grace of God, Sovereign of Castile and Arragon, of the two Sicilies, of Jerusalem, of Hungary, of Toledo, of Valencia, of Galizia, of Mallorca, of Seville, of Sardinia, of Cordova, of Corsica, of Murcia, of Jaen, of the Algarvi, of Algesira, of Gibraltar, of the Canary Island, and lands of the Oceanic Sea, Archdukes of Austria, Dukes of Burgundy and of Brabant, Counts of Barcellona, of Flanders, and of the Tyrol, Lordsof Biscaglia, of Molina, and Dukes of Athens and of Neupatria, Counts of Rosiglione and of Cerdagna, Marquises of Orestagni and Gariano.
To the Most Reverend the Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of the Cerco of Rhodes, our very dear and well beloved friend, health and every good wish.
The Mag. co. Giacomo Angrao Inguanez of that city of Malta, having by means of his son Marco Inguanez, sent to petition that he being a gentleman, and person who prompted by good and just reasons, no longer wishes to live in that island, but to go over with all his property, he and his children, and several relations, to live in our Kingdom of Sicily, from whence those of his family derive their extraction. We decide that he is to be given permission to do this, without incurring thereby any punishment or disobedience whatsoever; and should he leave any of his fiefs, or possessions, they are not to be seized or prejudiced; and We in consideration of the services that he, and those of his house, rendered to the most Serene Kings of Arragon, our predecessors, and afterwards to ourselves, it is our wish that so it should be, to such effect we beg you, and we recommend to you affectionately, that should it be the wish of the aforesaid Giacomo Angerao Inguanez, and his children and relations, with all their property and family, to go over and live in our Kingdom of Sicily, you are not to give him, or to allow him, to be given trouble or anxiety, or to oppose any hindrance or difficulty whatsoever; and should they wish to sell their property, you will allow them to do so, and should they leave any fief or other property to be sold, you will see that they enjoy the same, treating them in all their affairs, well and favourably as our good and legal servants, and that every thing done by you for them, We shall receive from you with special favour. And so be it, very Reverend Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, our very dear and beloved friend. God our Lord have you in his keeping and protection.
From Naples the XXI day of the month of March, of the year of the birth of our Lord 1536.
Giacomo Angerao Inguanez never emigrated. However, his son Marco Angerao died at Catania in 1577.
3. Marco Antonio (1660) was challenged by Grand Master Lascaris. A judgment dispossessed Marco Antonio of the fiefs. His appeal was upheld by the Viceroy of Sicily who immediately reminded the Grand Master that he too was a servant of the Crown as subject to the Royal authority of the Court of Sicily. Lascaris died and his successor Grand Master Redin revoked the former judgment declaring that Marco Antonio was the lawful holder of the fiefs.
4. Marco Antonio Carlo Inguanez witnessed the first creations of title of nobility by the Grand Masters of the Order of Saint John. Unlike these new families (with the exception of the Testaferrata family which had already long been in possession of nobility) which all required innovative legislation to attain nobility, the Barone Inguanez saw no need for a new title.
It would have been most untactful, albeit desirable, of the Grand Masters to grant a new title of nobility to Malta’s principal feudatory. Instead the Grand Masters opted to keep on recognizing Baron Marco Antonio for what he was, namely a nobleman enjoying a descent of the greatest antiquity.
For example, when in 1725, the titles of “Illustrissimo” and “Nobile” were being abused so much that Grand Master Vilhena decided to criminalize the attribution of either title to anyone in any writing, contract and public acts, the first persons to be exempted by the very same Barone Marc’ Antonio Carlo Inguanez and his wife the Baronessa, and their descendants. That is to say they could continue being called “Nobile” or “Illustrissimo” or both. Similarly, Marc’ Antonio Carlo was moreover thirty-four times between the years 1705 and 1760, appointed Capitano della Verga, and always designated as Barone Inguanez.
According to the 1878 Report, the aforesaid enactment of 1725 and appointments were tantamount to the Government of the Order of Saint John accepting the title of Barone di Djar il-Bniet et Bucana as one of the titles forming part of the Nobility in Malta.
5. After the death in 1760 of the Barone Marco Antonio Carlo Inguanez, the fiefs were invested in favour of the descendants of Ersilea Fiott-Farrugia Inguanez and Pietro D'Amico-Castelletti who are the descendants of the Barone Alessandro Inguanez. This succession was confirmed by judgments of the Supremo Magistrato di Giustizia di Malta one of the 4 November 1761 in favour of Gio Francesco D’Amico Inguanez, and another of the 22 November 1782 in favour of Alessandro D’Amico Inguanez.
6. Notwithstanding the French abolition of nobiliary titles ordering the destruction of the relative grants (see below) the Barone Alessandro D’Amico requested that he be exempted from destroying the original grants of the two fiefs as results from the following order
Municipalita’ dell ‘Ovest della Citta’ di Malta
Ci fu presentata dal Cittadino Alessandro Damico una carta contenente il suo possesso di due fondi rustici ai quali era annesso il titolo di Baronia abolito colli altri tutti dichiarandosi pronto di esibire le carte di semplice titolo per abbruciarsi nel di festivo delli 16 Messidor (14 Luglio scorso) a motivo pero’ dell interesse che in quella si contiene, ha bramato sapere se poteva ritenerla come documento, onde provare in futuro la proprieta’ di pred. due feudi denominati Bucana, e Diar el Biniet; noi la assicurammo che tale carta era simile in tutte le sue parti a quella contenente l’egual possesso di due consimili feudi rustici denominati Gariexem e Tabia spettanti alal Cittadina Chiara Cassia esibitaci dal Cittadino Gio. Francesco Sant suo marito attuale Tesoriere Generale della Commissione di Governo e come quella meritare conservarsi per conforme coutela e future pacifico possesso, a tenore dell’ ordine e facolta’ concessa dal Governo delli B. Messidor sud. In piedi del memoriale da esso fatto a nome della D. Citadina Chiara sua moglie, in cui dopo avere Egli esposto di riternerla, o di essere contracambiata, con altro equivalente Documento, ordinossi col seguente Decreto -----Si aderisce alla domanda di ritenere la sudetta carta relattiva a suoi interressi Bosredon Ransijat Presidente – e per memoria del vero ad istanza del riferito Cittadino Damico abbiamo formato questa dichiarazione da noi sottoscrita.Il Presidt LIBRERIIl Segretario Amabile Vella
Si presente, si registri, e si restituisca alla parte.
Gregorio Bonici Presidente della Municipalita’ della Citta’ Vecchia
Salvatore Bernard Municipale della Citta’ Vecchia
Lorenzo Pullicino, altro Municipale di dta. Citta’
Romualdo Barbaro, altro Municipale di detta Citta’
Giuseppe Bonici altro Municipale di essa Citta. A di 13 Thermidor anno 6 della Republica Francese 31 Luglio 1798.
‘E stata presentata la presente petizione dal Cittadino Alessandro Damico prop. Et ne. nell’ officio della Municipalita’ della Citta’ Vecchia, e ricevuto la quale fuq registrata nel Libro delle petizioni fo. 3 e 4 conservato in dett’ officio, e registrato poscia a detta parte presentante a tenor del decreto di detta Municipalita’. Onde
7. In the 19th century, the new nobility of Malta attempted to change the rule of precedence. In terms of the legislation of 1739 and 1795, titleholders and their descendants were to enjoy precedence according to antiquity not rank. In the 1880’s the Marchese Barbaro proposed that the rule of precedence be changed to read according to rank (Marquis before Count, Count before Baron). This caused an uproar and the old nobility including the Baronessa D’Amico Inguanez and others representing a very angry Assembly of the Maltese nobility chided the new Committee of Privileges and a resolution was carried saying “It is the opinion of this Assembly to request His Excellency the Governor to recommend to the Right Honorable Earl Granville, K.G., that no alteration in regard to precedence among the Titolati be made, and that precedence continue to be regulated as at present, according to priority of creation.” The antiquity of the Baronessa’s nobility outshined that of the members of the newly-formed Committee of Privileges which was composed mainly of members whose nobility was only first created by the penultimate grand master (Rohan).
PAGES RELATED TO THE ABOVE GENEALOGY:-