Montalto

 

Title: Count
Title in succession:
9th
Date created:
8th July1720
Grant by: 
Francis I Farnese, Reigning Duca di Parma
Granted To: Dr. Bernardo Piscop Macedonia LL.D
Rep: Manduca Azopardi Piscopo Macedonia
Remainder to:
his successors in perpetuity
(both in Nomination and Primogenito see Note 4)
Present Holder:
Alfred Manduca Piscopo Macedonia 
Note (details): Title went into abeyance in 1775, and in 1776 the title would only qualify as a 'foreign title'.
This title was regranted in 1883
Correspondence and Report of the Commission, in 1992 at the death of Bernardo who
died without an heir, this title went into abeyance once again. Was later brought out of abeyance by the COP in favour of
Alfred, the present title holder. 


The title of Mont’Alto was granted to Dr Bernardo Piscopo-Macedonia LL.D, a jurat of Notabile in 1720 at Piacenza by Francis I Farnese, Reigning Duca di Parma.

Bernardo, being without issue petitioned for permission to nominate one of his grand-nephews as his successor to the title , the further descent being to the male issue of his successor according to primogeniture. He also asked for permission to found a primogeniture based on the fief. The Duke of Parma gave his assent on 1724 and 1725.

The feudatory of the old and noble fief of Mont'Alto in the Duchy of Parma, given to Bernardo Piscopo and his direct descendants were also entrusted with this prerogative. Although, in practice, a Titolato had to register his title in both the cancelleria and in the Castellania and pay a fee of 116 scudi, the absence of such a registration did not necessarily invalidate the act of ennoblement. 

The petition of the first Count of Mont'Alto was not only accepted, but the Italian Grand Master Zondadari issued a special decree to that affect. 
The owners of a large number of owners were prosperous, prominent persons who were to become ancestors of the new nobility created in the eighteenth century. Bernardo Macedonia the Capomaestro of the Gozitian artillary and the ancestor of Count Piscopo Macedonia built, in 1613, the tower of Sant Cilia on the outskirts of Mgarr in Gozo. In 1628, Grand Master de Paule granted a special privilege to all those who lived on Macedonia's lands exempting them from all guardie.
Bernardo nominated his eldest grand nephew , Felice Manduca-Piscopo.



Felice ,the 2nd Count of Mont’Alto died in 1775, leaving no male issue, where upon his brother, Salvatore Manduca-Piscopo petitioned Ferdinand I, Duke of Parma for permission to inherit the title. This request was granted on the 28th of December 1776. Since then , the title has descended thru the male line according to primogeniture. For matters of precedence in Malta, the title is considered to have been granted in 1776. The holder of the primogeniture is obliged to used the Name and Arms of Piscopo-Macedonia.


During the last years of the Order of Malta, Hompesch appointed three Counts (Manduca, Barbaro and Teuma Castelletti) and one Marquis ( Mallia-Tabone) as Jurats of Notabile.

Under the French occupation, the parents had to pay 800 livres for their sons' board and lodging, and 600 livres for their passage on board French warships. The chosen studnets had to waer 'blue trousers and waistcoats, red cuffs, and facing and white pipings'. Those families who refused to send their sons to France were to be fined 1000 scudi. Among those who were intially chosen were the young Count Fontani, the three sons of Count Sant, and four other boys whose fathers were respectively Baron Galea, Marquis Mallia, Count Manduca, and Marquis Testaferrata.

Salvatore, the 3rd Count was succeeded by his son in 1800, Sir Vincenzo Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia K.C.M.G, 4th Count was a member of the Malta council of Government and married the daughter of the Baron di San Marciano, though died without any children.



His successor was his nephew , Rev. Mgr. Salvatore Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, Domestic Prelate to H.H The Pope and Apostolic Pronotary.

Died unmarried in 1885, succeeded by his nephew , Francesco Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, as the 6th Count.

Francesco married twice, firstly to Nicolina Azzopardi dei Baroni di Buleben , without issue, and secondly to her sister Angiolina, with issue.

Francesco , died in 1916 and succeeded by his eldest son , Bernardo, who died in 1972, unmarried.

Bernardo’s successor was his nephew, Francis, who was also Baron di Buleben.

Francis was the first in his family to hold both titles of Count of Mont’Alto and Baron di Buleben, untill his death, when the titles were split between his sons.

Alfred Manduca, the successor and present holder to the title of Count of Mont'Alto, married to Marika Anne (Muccia) nee' Vassallo with issue.
1.1. Luisa Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, (1981-.
1.2. Michela Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, (1992-.
1.3. Sarah Rose Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, (1994-.
1.4. Nicola Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, (1996-.


A short version of the Barons of Buleben and the Counts of Montalto


Francesco Manduca Piscopo Macedonia Azopardi (1851-1916) 6th Count of Montalto, married firstly to Nicolina dei Baroni Azopardi-Zammit, without issue, and married secondly her sister in 1889 Angiolina dei Baroni Azzopardi Zammit, with issue.

1. Bernardo Manduca Piscopo Macedonia (1891-1971), 7th Count of Montalto, dunm.
2. Joseph Manduca Piscopo Macedonia Azopardi Zammit (1893-1964), 7th Baron di Buleben, married 1942 to Lucy Muscat Fenech
2.1. Francis Manduca Piscopo Macedonia Azopardi Zammit (1926- ??) , 8th Count of Montalto and 8th Baron di Buleben. Married 1957 to Margaret Gatt
2.1.1. Alfred Joseph Manduca Piscopo Macedonia (1958- 9th Count of Monalto, married with issue
2.1.2. Joseph Bernard Manduca Piscopo Macedonia Azopardi (1959-, 9th Baron di Buleben, married 1985 to Angela Marich, with issue
3. Maria Manduca Piscopo Macedonia (1890-1913/4), married 1910 Francis Sant Cassia, 6th Count Sant, 11th Baron di Ghariexem e Tabia, with issue
4. Concetta Manduca Piscopo Macedonia (1896-, married 1915 Francis Sant Cassia, 6th Count Sant, 11th Baron di Ghariexem e Tabia, with issue
5. Carmelina Manduca Piscopo Macedonia (1898-1964) , married Joseph A. Borg with issue
5.1. John Francis Borg Manduca (1934-, married 1961 to Josephine Camilleri
5.2. Angele Borg Manduca (1931- , married 1957 to Lawrence Cachia Zammit, with issue
5.3. Myriam Borg Manduca (1939-, married 1962 to Architect Richard England Sant Fournier, with issue

A detailed family tree and notes reproduced with the kind permission of Conte Charles Said Vassallo:

* Felice Manduca Piscopo Macedonia, (died 1775), 2nd Count of Mont'Alto Succeeded his great uncle in the title of Conte di Mont’ Alto and the fief of the that name by virtue of the rescript dated 9 March 1725: see Note 4), married to Bulbina Bonici, with issue.

1. Anna Manduca, dunm.
2. Maria Manduca, married Pietro Paolo Testaferrata Abela (See Gomerino), and dsp.
3. Felicita Manduca, married Ignazio Bonici, and dsp.

* Salvatore Manduca Piscopo Macedonia, (Died 1800), ‘3rd Conte di Mont'Alto’ 1st (?) Conte Manduca (Cr. 1776?), Married 1783 toElena Portughes, with issue

1. Sir Vincenzo Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia K.C.M.G. died 1865, 4th (recte 2nd) Conte di Mont’ Alto (recte: Conte Manduca, Cr. 1776(?))- See Below.
2. Paolo Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, married Antonia Gauci Bonici (See Gauci) with issue

* Sir Vincenzo Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia K.C.M.G. died 1865, ‘4th Conte di Mont'Alto’, 2nd Conte Manduca (Cr. 1776?), married Madalena Galea Feriol dei Baroni della San Marciano, and dsp.

1. (illegitimate from Anna Ebejer) Giuseppe Manduca, married 1808 Valletta to Felicity Dingli., with issue.

* Rev. Mgr Salvatore Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, ‘5th Conte di Mont'Alto’, 3rd (?) Conte Manduca (Cr. 1776?), dunm 1885.
[Note: it appears Monsignor Manduca managed to substantiate his claim sometime between 1878 and 1883 because his name appears as one of the five titolati who were appointed to form a Committee in 1883 as results from the document Report of the Committee of Privileges of the Maltese Nobility on the claims of certain members of that body with the Secretary of State's Reply, August 1883, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C-3812). However, this in itself does not satisfactorily indicate the enumeration of the holders of this title nor does it shed any light on the relative remainder. The only clue of a remainder was the Monsignor’s claim that it extended to his grandfather’s ‘male issue’]


* Francesco Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, ‘6th Conte di Mont'Alto’, 4th (?) Conte Manduca (Cr. 1776?), (c 1851-1916),
married firstly 1882 to Nicolina Azopardi dei Baroni Buleben, and dsp
married secondly 1889 to Angiolina Azopardi dei Baroni di Buleben, with issue

1. Bernardo Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia (c 1891-1972), 7th Count-See Below.
2. Joseph Manduca Azopardi (c 1892-1972) 8th Barone di Buleben, married 1923 to Lucy Muscat Fenech, with issue
2.1. Francis Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia-Azopardi (c 1926- died) 8th Count-See Below.
2.2. Mary Rose Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia-Azopardi (c 1924-, married 1967 to Anthony dei Conti Sant Cassia., dsp.
3. Maria Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia (c 1890-1914)., married 1910 to Francis Sant Cassia, 11th Barone di Ghariexem e Tabia, 6th Count Sant, with issue
4. Concetta Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia (c 1896-, married 1915 to Francis Sant Cassia, 11th Barone di Ghariexem e Tabia, 6th Count Sant, with further issue
5. Carmelina Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia (c 1898-1964), married 1930 to Joseph A. Borg, with issue.
5.1. John Francis Borg Manduca, (1934-, married 1961 to Josephine Camilleri, with issue
5.1.1. Juan Borg Manduca, married to Roberta Delia, with issue.
5.1.1.1. Nicholas Borg Manduca.
5.1.1.2. Alexia Borg Manduca.
5.1.1.3. Emma Borg Manduca, (2006-.
5.1.2. Stefan Borg Manduca, married to Johanna Parnis England, with issue.
5.1.2.1. Andrew Borg Manduca.
5.1.2.2. Amanda Borg Manduca.
5.1.2.3. Stephanie Borg Manduca.
5.2. Angele Borg Manduca, (1931-, married 1957 to Lawrence Cachia Zammit.
5.3. Myriam Borg Manduca, (1939-, married 1962 to Richard England Sant Fournier, with issue

* Bernardo Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia (c 1891-1972), ‘7th Conte di Mont'Alto’, 5th (?) Conte Manduca (Cr. 1776?), dunm.

* Francis Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia-Azopardi (c 1926- 1993) ‘8th Conte di Mont'Alto’, 6th (?) Conte Manduca (Cr. 1776?), Barone di Buleben, married 1957 to Margarett Gatt, with issue

1. Alfred Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia (1958-, Acknowledged by the COP as ‘the 9th Count of Mont Alto’ married 1990 to Marika Ann Vassallo (Daughter of Dr Louis Vassallo), with issue.
1.1. Luisa Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, (1991-.
1.2. Michela Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, (1992-.
1.3. Sarah Rose Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, (1994-.
1.4. Nicola Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia, (1996-.
2. Joseph Bernard Manduca-Piscopo-Macedonia-Azopardi (c 1959-, Baron of Buleben, married 1985 to Angela Marich, with one son and one daughter (see title of Buleben).
2.1. Nobile Christian Manduca Azopardi, Baroncino di Buleben, (1987-.
2.2. Nobile Francesca Manduca Azopardi, (1991-.

 

Some notes: (1) As seen above the title of Conte di Mont’ Alto as extended in 1724, and became extinct in 1775. However at the time of the 1878 Commission, Monsignor Salvatore Manduca Piscopo Macedonia, claimed that same grant was again ‘extended’, this time by another rescript dated 28 December 1776, in favour of Salvatore Manduca, his grand-father, and of the grantee’s male issue. (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.) (Para. 188)) . Unfortunately for the Monsignor, his representative failed to produce an authentic documentation and the Commissioners, feeling pressed to get on with their work, did not think it advisable to delay further the presentation of their Report.

(2) It should be recalled that at Maltese Law this title ‘granted’ in 1776 would only qualify as 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, this title supposedly granted or extended in favour of Salvatore Manduca 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.). This consideration does not render the title invalid (assuming the claim is substantiated) but in accordance with the rule cited above, it does not enjoy precedence in Malta.

 

(3) It appears Monsignor Manduca managed to substantiate his claim sometime between 1878 and 1883 because his name appears as one of the five titolati who were appointed to form a Committee in 1883 as results from the document (Report of the Committee of Privileges of the Maltese Nobility on the claims of certain members of that body with the Secretary of State’s Reply, August 1883, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C-3812)).

(4) Bernardo moreover asked that should the Duke grant him the power of disposing of the said fief as requested, then that the person so nominated be declared as having been invested with the said fief of Monte Alto and with a title of Conte, as if the person so nominated had been within the original vocation of the grant. Bernardo made a third demand, namely that the Duke allows him to create on that fief a regular and lineal Primogenitura, in favour of the legitimate and natural first-born descendants in infinitum of the person so nominated. On the foregoing petition, the Duke issued the following rescript: Concedimus investimus, mandamus, declaramus, approbamus, et derogamus in omnibus et per omnia ut petit. Et non obstantibus [We grant invest, we order, we declare, we approve, in all things and in all things, as I have requested, and derogate. And this not withstanding] (Dat. Comitii, die 19 Mensis 7 bris anni 1724, Franciscus Dux. It appears that in his solemn testament received in the acts of Notary Tommaso Vella, on the 9th March 1725, Bernardo nominated his grand nephew Felice Manduca.

There seems to be a disagreement amongst the Committee whether this title was granted to all heirs in perpetuity to all Primogenito as declared in note 1 to 'all of the grantee’s male issue'and note 4 whereby he declares 'lineal Primogenitura, in favour of the legitimate and natural first-born descendants in infinitum of the person so nominated' or again as per same request in note 4 by nomination?.

Personal note : Nontheless the Committee of Privileges at the time the title was brought out of abeyance probably used a dice and a few notes scribbled on some scrap paper with a conclusion based on some 'careless' decision. Once again, this title shall be at the mercy of the new Committee in future years, due to the fact that all heirs to the titleholder are female. Should this title continue by Nomination or by Primogenito, begs the question ?

 

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References:
1) Gauci,C.A.," The Genealogy and Heraldry of the Noble Families of Malta", Gulf Publishing Ltd, Malta, 1981.

2) Gauci,C.A.," The Genealogy and Heraldry of the Noble Families of Malta, Volume Two", Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1992.
3) Gauci,C.A and Mallet, P.,"The Palaeologos Family- A Genealogical Review" ,Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1985
4) Gauci, C.A.," A Guide to the Maltese Nobility", Publishers Enterprise Group (PEG) Ltd, Malta, 1986.
5) Montalto, J., "The Nobles of Malta-1530-1800", Midsea Books Ltd, Malta, 1980.
6) De Piro, N., "Casa Rocco Piccola", The Conde' Nast Publications 1999.' Http://www.vol.net.mt/casarocca '
7) Giles Ash, S., "The Nobility of Malta", Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1988.
8) Said Vassallo, C.M., Unpublished research papers.
9) Said Vassallo, C.M., Maltagenealogy.com Research site.
10) Correspondence and Report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the claims and grievances of the Maltese Nobility, May 1878 to 1883, presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty (C.-2033.) 

 

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