The Austrian title of de Pausier.
Footnote: The title of “barone” was granted by Empress Maria Theresa to the Maltese citizen Giorgio Fournier de Pausier.
At Maltese Law this title is only a foreign title and, as such, it can be considered for the purposes of precedence if registration or Magistral recognition has been achieved in accordance with the rules of 1739 and 1795 as enacted by Grand Masters Despuig and Rohan.
VALUE OF REGISTRATION/MAGISTRAL RECOGNITION From the records of the Cancelleria it appeared that the titles so granted were registered in virtue of a rescript from the Grand Master, on an application by the party concerned. The Royal Commissioners of 1878 remarked that they were prone to believe that the Grand Master would not have given his assent to registration without any investigation. From the start, however, the Commissioners pointed out that the Despuig/Rohan Rules on the matter did not deny nobility to a Titolato who failed to duly register his title, but only assigned him no place insofar as precedence was concerned. (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.) (See Report Paras. 101-102). It is also noteworthy that the Commissioners did not consider all the titles which were registered in the Cancelleria: For example the title of Conte granted to Baldassare Fenech Bonnici on the 11 June 1798 by Pope Benedict XIV, which was duly registered under Archives of the Order of Malta (554, f. 176) as well as the Archives of the Inquisition of Malta (102m f. 32) was not considered by the Report. It appears that no descendant of this grantee made any claim to the Commissioners.
In this case, this title granted to Fou8rnier de Pausier was never registered in Malta, nor does it appear to have received direct recognition for the Grand Masters who ruled Malta. (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.) (See Report Paras. 205-208)
The actual report says the following:
By letters patent bearing date the 31st March 1768, the above title was conferred by Empress Maria Theresa on Giorgio Fournier de Pausier. The patent issued, at the grantees request, runs thus:- “Te supradictum Georgium Fournier in numerum, consortium, coetum, ordinem,atque Baronum dignatatem assumimus, teque una cum filiis tuis atque posteris virilis sexus, ex legitimo thoro natis atque nascituris in infinitum, primogeniali ordine simper servato, Baronem ac Barones Regnorum et Provinciarum nostrarum facimus, nominamus atquecreamus.”
The original patent of creation has been produced by Lazzaro Sant Fournier, who claims this title as the first-born descendant in the grantee’s primogenial line. It is, however, to be observed that he descends through Luigia Fournier his mother, wife of Baldassare Sant, and grand-daughter of the first titled person.
This patent is not among the records of the Government Cancelleria, or of the High Court della Castellania; although in the diploma whereby the title of Conte was granted by the same Empress to the said Giorgio Fournier (see next Chapter IX), and duly registered the present title is referred to as having been granted by that Empress to the above-mentioned Fournier.
No proof having been made of the recognition of this title on the part of the Grand Masters, which might have supplied the want of its registration, the claim of Lazzaro Sant to the title of Barone must necessarily be disallowed.
Thus in accordance with the rule cited above, although the title is valid, it does not enjoy precedence in Malta. It is to be remarked however, that the aforesaid Giorgio Fournier de Pausier was in receipt of another title discussed elsewhere, namely that of “Conte”.