Conte Palatine Sant 1769 & 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.
Last update: 21-05-2020.
* Granted to:  Salvatore Baldassare Sant.
By: Pope Clement XIV.
On: 1769 in Rome, Papal City.
With Remainder to: le, Nayosq et Descendands tuof masculos, legitimate, e natural in infinite qui in surceritate catholics fidei. 
* 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. 
List of Title holders: 
1. Salvatore Baldassare Sant, (d. 1791), 1st Conte Palatine e Graf, succeeded by his son.
2. Conte Gio Francesco Sant, 2nd Conte Palatine e Graf, succeeded by his son.
3. Conte Luigi Sant Cassia, CMG, (d. 1867), 8th Barone di Ghariexem e Tabia, 3rd Conte Palatine e Graf, succeeded by his son.
4. Conte Gio Francesco II Sant Cassia, (d. 1887), 9th Barone di Ghariexem e Tabia4th Conte Palatine e Graf, succeeded by his son.
5. Conte Giovanni Sant Cassia, (d. 1903), 10th Barone di Ghariexem e Tabia5th Conte Palatine e Graf, succeeded by his son.
6. Conte Francis Sant Cassia, (d. 1947), 11th Barone di Ghariexem e Tabia6th Conte Palatine e Graf, succeeded by his son.
7. Conte Francis II Sant Cassia, (d. 1988), 12th Barone di Ghariexem e Tabia7th Conte Palatine e Graf, succeeded by his son.
8. Conte John II Sant Cassia, (1956-, 13th Barone di Ghariexem e Tabia8th Conte Palatine e Graf.
Claimant of the male to male HeirConte Francis Sant Cassia, (1949-.
Claimant General heirConte Sean Sant Cassia, (1979-.
Articles relating to this title:
An interpretation of 1793 of the title of ‘Conte Sant’
According to the list of “Commmendarizie, Naturalizzazione, e Citadinanze Maltese” (marked in pencil fol. 73, p.2) in the unpaginated Volume 627 of the Archives of the Order of St. John, one finds a record of a passport issued in 1793 to the three sons of Gio Francesco Sant to further their studies in Monza, Milan. 
Gio Francesco was ennobled in 1770 with the foreign title of “Count”. This title was later registered in Malta in compliance with Maltese law. 
By 1795 an older law regulating precedence amongst nobles was modified by the Grand Master. He removed any differences between descendants in the male to male line of title holders, whether such titles originated in Malta or abroad, regard being given only to the antiquity of the title. 
In the 1793 document, there is no mention of the sons’ names but they are described as “three noble brothers Counts Sant, sons of the Count Don Giovanni Francesco Sant.”
The entry reads as follows:-
Commendatizia, o siano Lettere patente di Passaporto concesse alli tre Nobili Fratelli Conti Sant, in occasione, che dal di Loro Genitore Conte Don Giovanni Francesco Sant vennero mandate per attendere agli studj nel Reale Colleggio delal Citta’ di Monza, nel Milanese 14 Settembre 1793 f.
This means that the Grand Master’s interpretation of the remainder of the title of Count Sant is that all males descending in the male line from Gio Francesco Sant are entitled to the noble title of “Count”.
The above contrasts with the restricted interpretation by the Marchese Crispo-Barbaro, published in 1870 and also with the conclusions of the Report of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the claims of the Maltese Nobility published in 1878
Notwithstanding the Report of 1878, it is the Grand Master’s interpretation of 1793 which should prevail.

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