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The family of Perdicomati who held the title of Conte della Catena or delli Mori

(including explanation of reasons for dismissal of Marchese Felicissimo Apap Bologna’s claim and approval of Gerald (later Lord) Strickland’s following death of Sir Nicola Sceberras Bologna)



Lord Strickland also Count della Catena.


 All Corrections/Additions are Welcome

This family is NOT listed as a noble family in “Descrittione di Malta” (1647) however it was granted a hereditary title of Conte by Grand Master Pinto. The Perdicomati family is a ‘new’ family in Malta, and its male line appears to be extinct.

Updated 01-08-2017.

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1. Giovannetto Perdicomati of Rhodes Island, arrived with the Knight in 1530, married 1576 to Leonora Cagliola, the illegitimate daughter of Fra. Agostino Cagliola, Knight of St John of Malta, and Nobile Maddalena Zammit., with issue.
1.1. Lucrezia Perdicomati, married 1613 Valletta to Giuseppe Giansolem, with issue.

1.1.1. Maddalena Giansolem, married (1) 1632 Valletta to Agostino Borg, married (2) 1649 Valletta to Nobile Giacomo de Modica, with issue. (First marriage) Marianna Borg, married 1656 Valletta to Dr Gio Filippo Micallef JUD, with issue. Diana Micallef, married 1676 Valletta to Nobile Michele Angelo Crispo. Argenta Borg, married 1661 Valletta to Ignazio d'Amico. Anna Borg, married 1655 Valletta to Diego d'Amico.

1.2. Francesco Perdicomati,  married (1) to Antonia Xerri, married (2) 1635 to Vincenza Bologna. (Press Here-For Ancestry), with issue.
1.2.1. Gio Antonio Perdicomati, married 1652 to Maruzza Castelletti, dsp.

1.2.2. (Second Marriage) Leonara Perdicomati Bologna, married 1657 to Gio Antonio de Lorenzo..

1.2.3. Pietro Perdicomati Bologna, married 1662 to Eugenia Mangion, with issue Martino Perdicomati-Bologna, married 1692 to Anna Marie Muscat, with issue Pietro Gaetano Perdicomati-Bologna, 1st Count of Catena - See Below. Anna Marie Perdicomati-Bologna, married 1687 to
Dr. Calcerano Mompalao, (Note: See Frigenuini for First Marriage issues) with issue Gio Batta Mompalao, Marquis of Taflia, (Cr: 1783), dunm 1787. Claudia Antonia Mompalao,(died 1768) married Ferdinando Castelletti, Baron di Marsa, and dsp.

1.3. Giovanni Perdicomati, married Leonora Zammit, with issue.
1.3.1. Agostina Perdicomati, married 1679 to Pietro Ciambanin, with issue. Maria Teresa Ciambanin, mistress to Fra Louis-Alphone de Lorraine-d'Armagnac.

1.4. Gioannella Perdicomati, married 1597 Valletta to Mgco Giacomo Tholossenti, with issue.

1.4.1. Magco Giuseppe Tholossenti, married 1629 Valletta to Orsola Castelletti, with issue. Geronima Tholossenti Castelletti, married (1) 1651 Valletta to Giacinto Macedonia, married (2) 1651 Valletta to Rocco Costantino, (3) 1661 Valletta to Francesco Lauria, married (4)1663 Valletta to Don Giovanni di Napoli, with issue. (Fourth Marriage) Don Giorgio di Napoli, married 1714 Qormi to Caterina Camilleri, with issue. Donna Maria di Napoli, married 1734 Qormi to Carlo Borg.

1.4.2. Mco Lorenzo Tholossenti, married 1622 Valletta to Geronima Salbuco, with issue. Maddalena Tholossenti, married 1650 Valletta to Dr Nicola Britti JUD.




* Pietro Gaetano Perdicomati Bologna, 1st Count of Catena, (Cr:1745), married 1717 to Giovanna Fortunata Testaferrata dei Baroni di Gomerino, with issue

1. Nicolo Perdicomati Bologna, 2nd Count-See Below.
2. Vincenza Perdicomati Bologna, married 1752 to
Paolo Testaferrata Abela -See Gomerino.


Footnote: Unlike the great majority of titles conferred by the Grand Masters, the title of Conte delle Catene, or delli Mori conferred by Grand Master Pinto, by a patent of the 20th January 1745, upon Pietro Gaetano Perdicomati Bologna was specifically conferred so as to further enhance a property already held in entail by the grantee. This title was granted on the 20th January 1745, upon Pietro Gaetano Perdicomati Bologna and his sons, born and to be born, as well as on his heirs and successors, whether relations or strangers.

The entail referred to in the relative grant was the agnatial entail founded by Don Alessandro Perdicomati Bologna with a faculty to nominate amongst the male descendants.  The following is an extract from the deed of grant:- "Te supradictum Dominum Petrum Cajetanum Perdicomati Bologna tuosque filios jam natos vel nascituros, haeredes et successores primogenitos et etiam extraneos, Comitem et Comites Territorii seu Tenutae delle Catene hodie vero delli Mori appellati, positi in hac Nostra Insula a te et antecesoribus possessi jure pleni dominii et proprietatis, nec non Primogenitura masculinae ordinatae per bon mem canonicum Don Alessandro Perdicomati Bologna.....in feudum nobilem sub titulo comitis erigimus atque extollimus.". The entail is described in the footnote below was subject of court litigation.

It is to be especially remarked that the terms of ennoblement extend to Perdicomati's sons, as well as on his heirs and successors, whether relations or strangers and that this title follows the tenure of the territory known as Catene. That is to say, unlike other titles which provide for a remainder in favour of descendants of the relative grantee, succession to this title is to be reckoned according to the possessor of the land who must be a male. This effectively means that the title may be succeeded to by strangers in blood of Pietro Gaetano Perdicomato Bologna. Moreover, the Report observes that the remainder of the above extract favours not only the one of the grantee's descendants, but the grantees sons (born and to be born) heirs, AND successors (tuosque filios jam natos vel nascituros, haeredes et successores primogenitos et etiam extraneos), meaning that grant may allow to a plurality of claims being founded on the grant dated 1745. This view appears to be reinforced by the grant's use of the term comitem et comites. 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. 35-36). On the other hand, the entail referred to above was an indivisible primogenitura and that ulterior succession was to be limited according to a primogenitura favouring males. Therefore although the grant envisages the possibility of a plurality of sons of the grantee, the remainder is effectively restricted only by reason of the indivisible nature of the entail restricted in favour of males. It appears that Pietro Gaetano had only one son, apart from a daughter married to the barone Paolo Testaferrata.



* Nicolo Perdicomati Bologna, 2nd Count of Catena,  married 1745 to Maria Teresa Grech, with issue.

1. Johanna Perdicomati Bologna, (3rd?) Countess of Catena, married 1783 to Pietro Paolo Bonici Platamone, and dsp.
2. Maria Angelica Perdicomati Bologna, (4th?) Countess of Catena, married 1791 to Paolo Sceberras Testaferrata, with issue. 
(SEE Sceberras)


Footnote#1: As indicated above, the entail provides for an agnatial succession. There is therefore no reason to list the said lady Johanna and Maria Angelica as the 3rd and 4th Contessa respectively. Moreover, the enumeration attributed to these ladies is not consonant with the decision of the Pricy Council described below. In addition, a later succession bypassed a daughter in favour of the grandson (succession of Thomas Hornyold after Lord Strickland) (see below).


Footnote#2: Paolo and Maria Angelica had various children, the eldest being Sir Nicola Sceberras Bologna. Sir Nicola died without availing himself of the faculty to nominate his successor in the entail giving rise to a dispute between the Marchese Felicissimo Apap and Luisa Strickland Bonici Mompalao in her name and on behalf of her son Gerardo (later Lord Strickland).  

The Marchese Apap (Nicola’s younger niece’s son) claimed to the effect that as first born male in the collateral line and therefore closest to the last possessor, he was entitled to succeed. On the other hand, Luisa Strickland (Nicola’s eldest niece’s grandson) claimed that her son was the primogenial male descendant of the original grantee. That is to say the Marchese was closest in degree whereas Gerardo was better in line.

The matter was finally decided by a decision of the Privy Council (Ref: 8 A.C.106) which awarded succession to Gerardo by reason of him being in the primogenial line of the original grantee, the proximity of the Marchese to Sir Nicola being irrelevant for the purposes of calculating the terms of vocation.

As the decision favoured Gerardo, Luisa cannot be enumerated as Countess. This is in accordance with the agnatial nature of the title and entail. Lord Strickland subsequently died without any male issue. As the entail provides for an agnatial succession, Strickland was succeeded in the title of Conte della Catena directly by his primogenial grandson (his eldest daughter’s son) and not by his eldest daughter.


Footnote#3: Following the terms of the 1745 grant as construed within the terms of the entail, succession is reckoned as follows: Pietro Gaetano Perdicomati Bologna, (1st Count), Nicolo’ Perdicomati Bologna (2nd), Nicola Sceberras Bologna (3rd), Gerald Strickland (4th), Thomas Henry Hornyold Strickland (5th),  Henry Hornyold Strickland (6th).  


Titled, De Jures and Heirs.

* Titled:  Henry Hornyold Strickland as the 8th (recte: 6th) Count.

Heir: as above



  1. 1. MELITENSIA BOOK CLUB, Issue 1, Abela Commendatore Fra Gian. Francesco, Della Descrittione di Malta isola nel mare siciliano con le sue antichita’, ed altre notizie. Libr Quattro Facsimile edition. Malta, 1984.
  2. 2. Adami collection
  3. 3. www.maltagenealogy.com



* Key to Genealogies of titles of nobility;