The Ancestors of Count Peter Sant Manduca.
Eight Generations of Ancestors.
All descendants of the 1st Count Sant in the male-to-male descent have the right to carry the hereditary Germanic title of Count before their name, and this is recognised by the British especially with Count Baldassare Sant who married the Fournier heiress. Baldassare went on to become the Lord Lieutenant of Mdina during the French and the British colonisation of Malta in the 18th and 19th century. Also to note a son of the 2nd Count Sant went on to become a Bishop of Malta and is buried in Mdina Cathedral.
In the article of “Three Sant Cassia families” it says.
There are in Malta three distinct branches of the Sant Cassia family:- Sant Cassia, Sant Fournier and Sant Manduca. There were other branches, but these lines are now extinct.
The brothers Luigi Sant (1778-1867), Baldassare Sant (1789-1858) and Giuseppe Carmelo Sant (1792-1877) were the sons of Giovanni Francesco Sant, and grandsons of Salvatore Baldassare Sant who was, on the 22nd December 1770, granted the title of Conte (Sant) in virtue of a patent granted by the Empress Maria Theresa in the Italian Provinces annexed to the German Empire.
This title was registered in Malta on the 12 December 1775 under reference A.O.M. 571, fol. 351.
This was not their only claim to nobility because their own mother Felicita Chiara, born Bonnici Platamone had came to hold the barony of Gariescem et Tabiathrough her own maternal ancestors the Xara family who had since 1721 been invested in that fief which had come their way through marriage to the Cassia family who first received the property in 1638.
Technically Gio Francesco, a count, ranked before his wife a mere baroness. However, by a general legislation of the 17 March 1795 enacted by Grand Master Rohan-Polduc, holders of titles of nobility were made to rank for the purposes of precedence in appointment to municipal offices ('giurati') according to their dates of creation and all the other new creations came to be ranked after the older, “It being a principle universally acknowledged that the lustre of Nobility principally depends on its greater antiquity, nothing is more just and reasonable than that the older Nobles should have precedence over the more recent”.
The legislation clarified that actual possession of the Maltese fief was not required to enjoy the title. (Holders of foreign titles could enjoy this precedence only if they effected due registration.) At the same time, equal precedence for the same purposes was accorded to the holder of Maltese titles and any descendant from such holder provided he was descended in the male to male line, if he lives on rent of his own property, and this only if his intermediate ancestors had also lived on such rent. Therefore the older title of barone di Gariescem et Tabia now outranked the new conti Sant.
Such importance was given to the descent from the original feudatories of Gariescem et Tabia, that during the French occupation of 1798-1800, the ex-Count Gio Francesco, now appointed Treasurer-General of the new Commission of Government, requested permission to retain and preserve the old documents which showed the extent of the property interest.
The title of “Baron of Ghariescem et Tabia” is not a hereditary title but personal to the holder of the fief known by that name.
The text of the 1770 grant requires that certain lands be acquired by the grantee. It is not known whether such lands were ever acquired but by 1793, Giovanni Francesco Sant sent his three sons to study in Monza, Italy. According to the passport issued under the hand of the Grand Master each one was referred to as a ‘count’, indicating not only that the original grant benefited the grantee’s son but also that the comital title granted to Sant was considered to have a multiple remainder.
All three sons were known by the combined surname of ‘Sant Cassia’. According to Gauci (1986, page 60) the relative blazon shows elements taken from the families Sant, Bon(n)ici and Cassia only. This is less inconvenient than the more accurate ‘Sant Bonnici-Platamone Xara-Cassia”.
In time only the senior branch retained this combined surname (even though a Report dated 1878 specifically disallowed the then baron from appending the surname “Cassia”).
In 1811, the younger son Baldassare married Luigia Fournier de Pausier, granddaughter of Giorgio Fournier de Pausier who had applied and was granted two titles by the same Empress Maria Theresa, one of Barone by letters patent bearing date the 31st March 1768, the other of Conte by a patent given on the 29th January 1770. Only the comital title was registered in Malta (reference A.O.M. 571, fol. 349) and is registered as one originating in Hungary. The descendants of this branch dropped “Cassia” for “Fournier”.
In 1821, the youngest son Giuseppe Carmelo married Francesca Barbaro, daughter of Gioacchino Ermolao Barbaro who in 1792 had successfully applied for an extension of the title of Marchese di San Giorgio “to all his descendants, forever”. At first, this branch adopted the surname “Sant Barbaro”; however in 1844 one of the descendants married Maria Teresa Manduca, granddaughter of Salvatore Manduca who had applied for a revival of the title of “Conte di Mont’ Alto” (or “Count Manduca”) originally granted in 1720 in the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza and extinguished in 1775. For this reason the descendants from this union adopted the surname of “Sant Manduca”.
In terms of the 1795 legislation, as lineal male-to-male descendants, all branches, and sub-branches, of the Sant Cassia, Sant Fourniers and Sant Manducas ranked equally, “in regulating the precedency among the Nobles of this our dominion, whether first-born or cadets indiscriminately”. An attempt to change this rule of precedence to favour the new counts and marquises was defeated by Lord Granville on the 19 May 1886 who ruled that in view of the considerable opposition and the small support which the proposal received, “I have to request that you will inform the Committee of Privileges that I am not prepared to reconsider the decision of Grand Master Rohan.”
The use of the titles of "Most Illustrious" and "Noble" was criminalized in 1725 and the Grand Masters relaxed this rule in favour of only some families. Of all the various exceptions promulgated by the Grand Masters between 1725 and 1798 it appears that none benefited the Sant, Xara, Fournier and Manduca families. However, some members of the Bonnici family were exempted.
On the 18 June 1884, the Committee of Privileges of the Maltese Nobility requested the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, for permission to allow each 'titolato' the use of the style and title of 'The Most Noble' explaining that “during the Government of the Order of St. John each and every Titolato in Malta was allowed the style and title of Most Noble or Most Illustrious”. At first this request was resisted by the British Authorities, not because the claim was misleading, but because British law allowed only Princes of the English Blood Royal use the title of “Most Illustrious”.
Not wanting to offend what was wrongly perceived as a Maltese custom, a compromise was reached and on the 23 February 1886, Lord Glanville instructed Governor Simmons that:- “I am also to desire you to give directions for the resuming the practice of according to the ‘Titolati’ in all public and official documents and in all communications from officers of the Government their customary titles of ‘Illustrissimo e Nobile’ or the ‘Most Noble’ as suggested in your despatch of the 7th of December, as there can be no good reason for withholding a courtesy the discontinuance of which has been felt to be a grievance.”
Therefore all the ‘titolati’ acknowledged by the British Administration became entitled to the style “The Most Noble”.
A long line of Lawyers living in Valletta, holding to their name a link of their ancient past. Intermarrying with other Judical families in Valletta until 1785, Aloisea Clothide Crispo married to Gioacchino Barbara, the 2nd Marchese di San Giorgio.
Count Giuseppe Carmelo Sant’s marriage to Francesca Barbaro dei Marchesi di San Giorgio produced four known children, all intermarrying with their cousins (Barbaro)., A younger son also married a Barbaro forming the Sant Barbaro family. Count Luigi Sant (1824 – 1866) had married to Maria Aloisia Barbara dei Marchesi di San Giorgio, and their children took the surname of SANT BARBARO, but later became extinct, with one daughter, Contessa Carmela Sant Barbaro marrying in 1897 to Temistocle Bruno Oliver. His descendants still exist today.
Count Francesco Saverio Sant, (1822 – 1890), married in 1844 to a Maria Teresa Manduca dei Conti di Mont’Alto, and their issue carried the surname of SANT MANDUCA.
They had three known children, the elder being Giuseppe (1847 – 1885); Marianna who married to Magistrate Paolo Giorgio Falzon, their descendants took the surname of Falzon Sant Manduca. The younger child was Salvatore dying unmarried in 1868.
The marriage of Francesco Saverio Sant and Maria Teresa Manduca brought an interesting legacy and dowry. Maria Teresa Manduca was the second daughter of a very wealthy family, her elder sister had married a Marchese di Gnien is-Sultan, the younger, married the Barone di Buleben. Maria Teresa’s elder brother, Salvatore married the daughter of the Barone di Benwarred and the younger brother, married the heiress of the Counts of Senia (ie; Descendants of the Grand Master de Rohan). So a very weathly family with much dowry to provide possible matches.
Maria Teresa Parents, Giuseppe Manduca married to Maria Angela Galea Feriol dei Baroni di San Marciano, a very noble match though Giuseppe being the third son was given a weathly inheritance. His eldest brother succeeded their father, Salvatore Manduca Piscopo Macedonia, Count of Mont’Alto as the next Count and later knighted by the British with the Order of St Michael and St George.
Count Salvatore Manduca, dying in 1800 had inherited the title from his Uncle, Felice Manduca, who left no surviving legitimate children. The title was regranted by the Sovereign Duke of Parma on its third succession, then onto Salvatore’s descendants in the male line. The Manduca family stem from a Judge Antonio Manduca in 1405 and his great grand son, Magnifico Dr Antonio Manduca JUD was nominated by Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire, the title of Hereditary Knight of the Holy Roman Empire for his services as Ambassindor and Capitano della Verga of Malta in the 16th century. This honour now stems to all his descendants. “cognominato il Cavaliere, per haver conseguito l’honor di quel grado dall’Imperadore Carlo V in Messina, allora quando dalla nostra Citta gli fu’ destinato Ambasciatore nel 1535”
Count Giuseppe Sant Manduca and Agnese Francesca Micallef had three children, Salvino (1878 -1938); Luigi (1881 – 1938) and Maria (1870 – 1956). Count Salvino Sant Manduca, married to a Stella Camilleri, though dying without any surviving issue in 1938. His brother, Count Luigi Sant Manduca married 1908 to Baroness Giovanna Maempel, the daughter of Baron Carlo Enrico von Maempel of Saxe Gotha, in Germany and his Maltese wife, Jane Calleja. Baron Carlo Enrico had several enterprises in Malta and also a member of many institutions around the Island. Jane Calleja comes from an ancient Maltese family of de Calafato’s who held a Maltese title of Baron since 1398 and were from Syracuse, Italy. Countessa Maria Sant Manduca, the daughter of Giuseppe and Agnese, married to Giovanni Bugeja Caruana, with issue.
Count Luigi Sant Manduca (1881 – 1938) and Baroness Giovanna Maempel had one child, Count Giuseppe Sant Manduca (1909 – 1958) married to a new Industry family who merge in Malta as a major force in its economy of the Cassar Torreggiani family.
The Cassar Torreggiani family become prominent in the 19th century with much of Malta’s prime industrial forces and this continued right into the late 20th century. A large family who married very well with other new and old families in Malta, this family lays claim to being a descendant of the ancient Cassar family of the 15th century and the Italian family of Torreggiani whose cousins are Marchese Torreggiani in Northern Italy.
Count Giuseppe Sant Manduca and Maud Cassar Torreggiani had one son, John Mary Sant Manduca (1938 – 2012), the sole heir to the Sant Manduca legacy.
Count John Mary Sant Manduca, married to the very noble and illustrious Contessa Louisette Bonnici Mallia dei Baroni di Gomerino. Contessa Louisetta family and connections with the Testaferrata Moroni family and another branch of the Barbaro family which brings into the fold another Germanic title of Graf to all descendants from the marriage of Francesco Crispo Barbaro, 3rd Marchese di San Giorgio and Contessa (Grafin) Caroline von Zimmerman. The Zimmerman’s were from Switzerland though had a strong connection with France and the Imperia Emperor of Germany. Their ancestry brings some interesting connections with the Counts Jenisons von Walworth, Comtes de Chavagne, who were illegitimately connected to the Royal House of Bourbon of France and lay claim to being a descendant of Prince Philippe I of France, Duc d’Orleans (1640 – 1701).
The connections of Contessa Louisette is amazing, with a number connections with the Count Sant family, the Testaferrata family, and almost most of the other Maltese nobility. The Bonnici Mallia intermarried with the Denaro family who themselves are interconnected with the Portelli O’Conner and Gollcher families who served Malta on major fronts in commerce or judical. Such as Sir Agostino Portelli KCMG, thje 1st President of Borsa and Member of Council of Government in Malta. The Gollcher family are from Sweden and connected to Olof F. Gollcher who bought Palazzo Falzon in Mdina. A merchant family who married into the Bruno Olivier family, the Olivier family were Seigneurs in France and intermarried with the Borg family and later succeeded to the Principe di Selimbria title from the Byzantine Empire.
Sant-Manduca Giovanni Maria, born on 10th May 1938 in St Julians, Malta. Sant-Manduca Giovanni studied at St Edward's College (1945-55). From 1957-1956 he served in the Regiment of the Royal Artillery (UK). In 1978 Sant-Manduca obtained a British private pilot's license and joined the Royal Aero Club. In 1994 he was awarded the National Service 1939-60 Medal (UK). Sant-Manduca Giovanni was elected member of various clubs which societies including: The Malta Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (1959), the Casino Notabile (where he was president during 1970-72 and 1972-74) and of the Malta Heraldic Society and Genealogical Association (1970 hon. Secretary general: 1972 fellow). Sant-Manduca Giovanni was also a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (1972), a Knight of grace of the Sacred Military Order of Constantine St George (1974), Officer of the Princely House Order of Lippe (1976) and Knight of Magistral Grace of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (1995). In 1995 elected delegate/representative for Malta for the Sacred Military Order of Constantine St George. He was awarded with the Title of Count on the 08.12.1999 by His Royal Highness Prince Ferdinand Borbone of the Two Sicilies and Duca di Castro. Sant-Manduca and Louisette Bonnici-Mallia have two sons: Peter Giuseppe, born on the 15.01.1966 and Nicholas Giuseppe, born on the 06.12.1971.
Count Peter Sant Manduca, the successor of his father in Name of house of Sant Manduca, is the Mayor of Mdina, Malta, a knight of Numerous orders from reigning and non-reigning Sovereigns, and presently hold the honour of being the Head of the Malta association with the Order of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George.
Count Peter is married to the Noble Alexandra Apap Bologna, the sister of the Marchese di Gnien is-Sultan and daughter of the Late 6th Marchese di Gien is-Sultan and Elizabeth Cassar Torreggiani. The Apap family are also very interconnected by marriage and by descent to the Gollcher, de Piro, Manduca, Sceberras Bologna, Mallia Tabone, Vassallo families and are deep rooted back in Gozo from a Salvo Apap who married to Leonora de Nasis de la Porta, whose grand father Nobile Paolo de Nasis, was a Giurato of Malta in 1465.
With such a noble marriage, the connections to everything noble on the islands of Malta are ancestors to Count Peter and Alexandra. If one was to put pen to paper and stretch the Who’s who in Malta, you will find Count Peter is perhaps first or second cousins, or his wife is.
1. Count Peter Sant Manduca, (1966-., Mayor of Mdina.
1. The Caravasco family can trace back to Tomaso Granasco of Genoa and his wife Teresa Cumbo, married 1658 Cospicua. Gabriele's parents Giovanni and Rosa Hever. Rosa Hever, daughter of Domenico Hever sives Axisa and Caterina Mamo.
2. Teresa Putois parents are Giuseppe Pitoies /Putois of Namur, Flanders and Felicita La Grange. Felicitia parents are Jean Joseph La Grange of France and Generosa Picard. Generosa mother was Ninfa Dora Xicluna,