Who is the rightful Baron of Gomerino? .



Who is the rightful Baron of Gomerino? The title of Baron of Gomerino was granted by Grand Master Perellos, by patent, jointly to Paolo and Beatrice Testaferrata on the 24 December 1710, and to one of their male or female descendents, with power to each holder of the title to name his successor: 


They were invested in that title on the 10 January 1711.  Reference A.O.M. 514, ff. 129v-134v. Succession to the title was not complete until the successor was invested.


1st May 1737 saw the installment of Ercole Martino Testaferrata as second holder of the title of originally created in favour of his parents. The formal act of investiture reads that this was done after a contract was made before Notary Tommaso Gatt of the 5 November 1734 when the original cograntee Beatrice attached the title of Baron of Gomerino to the Testaferrata primogenituraMorti li di Paolo, Testaferrata e Beatrice Cassia Coniugi, il Nobe D. Ercole Martino Testaferrata come figlio legmo e naturale di essi, e percio discendente dalla med. Beatrice, nominato a questa Baronia in atti del Notaro Tommaso Gatt sotto li 5 9bre 1734 prese l’investitura e presto’ il giuramo di fedelta Sotto il primo Maggio 1737. f. 184p


This investiture is not even mentioned in Debrett’s and Burke’s. Instead they indicate Ercole Martino only as the third holder, and say that he “succeeded” his elder brother Fabritio by nomination in this title in 1744. Debrett’s and Burke’s also wrongly indicate Fabritio as the second holder of this title.


This confusion can easily be explained. In 1713 Beatrice and Paolo passed the Gomerino property onto their eldest son Fabritio. However, Fabritio was never invested in the title of Gomerino and in 1744 Ercole Martino the property of Gomerino by virtue of Fabritio’s will. Debrett’s and Burke’s overlook the fact that by 1744 Ercole Martino had already been installed as Baron since 1737.


The Testaferrata primogenitura and the property of Gomerino eventually went their separate ways in 1827. 


In time the owners of the property of Gomerino were enumerated as the barons, but as explained above their claim is not backed by the 1737 investiture. For this reason, they can no longer be considered as valid successors of the title of Barone di Gomerino.


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