Conte (Graf) Sant, 1770.
Salvatore Baldassare Sant was granted the title of Conte in virtue of a patent granted, on the 22nd December 1770, by the Empress Maria Theresa in the Italian Provinces annexed to the German Empire. In this grant, a condition is attached by which the grantee is required to purchase a fief in Lombardy,. The operative parts of the grant read thus:- (A) Quod cum ita sint, non difficiles aures praebuimus precibus tuis, Nobilis dilecte Nobis Don Balthassar Salvator de Sant, Nobilis Melitensis quibus licet ordine, in numerum Comitum nostrarum in Italia Provinciarum postulas referri, illisque deficientibus, Comitis titulum ad Primogenitum ex ultima foemina superstite nasciturum, hujusque posteris extendi (B) Teque una cumflio tuo primogenitor Joanni Francisco Salvatori, et ab hoc, eodem nascendi ordine, descendentibus virilis sexus ex legitimo thoro natis atque nascituris, in infinitum, Comitem ac Comites nostrarum in Italia Provinciarum facimus, nominamus, atque creamus…(C) Et quoniam in Longobaria nostra les obtinet, quae Comitis titulum, congrua eidem feudi posessione jubet fulciri, aequi bonique facimus, te prompto nobis obsecundandi studio ad laborare, ut feudum clientelie vinculo obstrictum, inditione nostra, primo quovis tempore adquira.…. (D) Addentes hanc gratiam speccialem, ut si aliquando stirpem masculinam familiae tuae extingui contingat, Comitis titulus et dignitas ad Primogenitum ex ultima foemina generic tui superstite natum vel nasciturum, qui gentis tuae cognomen assumit ejusque posteros modo antedicto, servatoque simper ordine primogeniali transeat. The Commissioners commented that they were not aware that the land referred to in the patent was actually acquired by the grantee, but stated that as this condition is not peremptorily laid down in the patent, they did not think that its non-performance invalidates the grant. 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. 216-217 AND Supplemental Report Part III) At Maltese Law this title of Conte (Sant) is only a foreign title and, as such, it can be considered for the purposes of precedence in Malta only 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. In this case, it appears that the 1770 title granted to Salvatore Baldassare Sant was in fact registered in the Cancelleria, and in the High Court of the Castellania. Although published sources refer to this title as Conte Sant it is clear that that is a misnomer as the title granted was of Conte and not Conte Sant. However, the accepted form is used here so as to distinguish it from other dignities enjoyed by the grantee’s family.
Granted to: Salvatore Baldassare Sant.
By: Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, Archduchess of Tuscany.
On: 1770 in Vienna, Austria.
With Remainder to: Addentes hanc gratiam specialem ut si aliquando stirpem masculinam familiae tuae extingui contingant, comitis titulis ed dignitas ad primogenitum ex ultima foemina generis tui superstite natum vel nasciturum, qui gentis tuae cognomen assumit, ejusque posteros modo antedicto, servatoque simper ordine primogeniali, transeat (All male descendants are styled Conte and females are to style Contessa, though the title can only be enjoyed in the male to male line.
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