Title in succession: 10th
Date created: 1718
Granted To: Giuseppe Preziosi
Remainder to: his legitimate and natural male descendants in perpetuity
Present Holder: Dr. Josef John Preziosi
Further notes: U.K
The title of Conte Preziosi was created in 1718 at
Rivoli by King Victor Amedeus of Sicily and Duca di Savioe. With reminder
to his legitimate and natural descendants in perpetuity. This title can be
inherited by all of the Ist Counts legitimate and natural descendants 'virilis sexes'. Since King Victor Amadeus didn't resist the succession
under the rule of Primogeniture. This title could be enjoyed
contemporaneously by all the grantee's male descendants 'ad usum
1st COUNT,Guiseppe Preziosi was nicknamed
‘Il-Tripolino’ was a Corsican Privateer who fought on the side of Venice
in the war of the Morea and was rewarded with a pension and a knighthood
in 1700. When in 1718, a Spanish force blocked Sicily, the Sicilian
Admiral asked Grand Master Perellos for help. The Grand Master sent
Preziosi who provided the necessary supplies to the Sicilian fleet
allowing it to break the Spanish blockade.
The Preziosi were
Corsicans who used Malta as an advanced base for their privateering in the
Levant. By far, the central figure of this family was Giuseppe Preziosi.
The first time that we hear of him in Malta was in the summer of 1702,
when he entered the Valletta harbour with three large Turkish vessels
which had captured in the Levant. He was accompanied by his brother Gio
Andrea Preziosi, and his friend Antonio Fournier (see Count Fournier).
There were two
reasons for his visit to Malta. Aprt from wanting to harbour his captured
vessels, and dispose of his prizes, Preziosi wanted to collect 40 zecchini
which his uncle Antonio Maria, had bequeathed. Giuseppe Father, Geronimo
Preziosi, and his uncle Antonio Maria, were also Corsiars. By the turn of
the century Geronimo had retired from privateering whilst Antonio Maria
was contemplating to undertake his last corso. Before this attempt, on the
24 November 1699, he lent the sum of 480 zecchini to another corsiar,
Albano Poussieghes, on condition that if he did not survive his
forthcoming voyage, Poussieghes would have to give 40 zecchini to Giuseppe
Preziosi, and use the remainder to put an alter in Corsica dedicated to St
Anthony of Padova. In August 1701 Antonio's ship entered Valletta Harbour
with the news that its captain had died of a wound received ina
For this deed, Preziosi was made a Count by the King
of Sicily .
By the time the notorious corsair Giuseppe Preziosi
became a Count, he had already been married three times. The first wife
was of Greek origins
2nd Count, Gio.Francesco, Before their
appointments to the 'Secrezia' many of the office-holders had acquired
substantial wealth, which either inherited, or shared through marriage.
The few who had built up their family fortunes had already established
their influences before occupying the office. Even when Count Gio
Francesco Preziosi was in financial trouble with the 'Secrezia', there was
no way for him to utilize his position to pay off debts. Before his
appointment, the inquisitor had remarked that the Preziosi family was one
of the richest in Malta but, in June 1759, less than twenty years after
his appointment, he was compelled to sell most of his silver treasures to
settle his accounts with the 'Secrezia'. Apparently this was not enough
because, two years later, Pinto advised Preziosi to auction a large part
of his estate in order to settle all his outstanding debts.
Gio Francesco, however, did not endeavor to follow his father's footsteps.
He had always aspired to a title and, when it came his way, he was
determined to live to it. In 1741 he was appointed Secreto of Grand Master
Pinto, whom he faithfully served in this capacity for the next 32
It appears that the link between this family and the corso was
never broken since, throughout the eighteenth century, there was always a
Preziosi at sea. However, evidence shows that it was the untitled side of
the family who carried on this tradtion, because the titled branch had
progressed from Corsairs to Counts.
3rd Count, Luigi, a member of the
renowned family of Corsairs, who married Matilde Camilleri whose family
was also involved in privateering.
4th Count, Gio. Francesco:
family of Preziosi, one of the wealthiest in the early Eighteenth century,
was financially ruined by the third quarter of that century. In 1757,
Count Preziosi, was obliged to dispose of all his silverware as he owned
thousands of scudi. Although the Count was in the employment of Pinto, it
was this Grand Master who forced Preziosi to sell many possessions and
ordered the auction of the Count's precious items to repay some of the
larger debts, particularly to the Count's sister. It is probable that
Preziosi had grossly overspent in the construction of his magnificent
villa at Lija.
5th Count, Amadeo:
The title of Count ,
succeeded from father to son till Roberto, the 6th Count Preziosi in
1917, dying unmarried and was succeeded by his first
Alfredo, 7th Count , married a member of the Azzopardi
family (Baron of Buleben) and the title has been succeeded from father to
son till the present day.
7th Count, Alfredo
9th Count, Dr.Franz Preziosi, succeeded by his son 17 April
2000, In spite of his high social and academic standing, the word
which describes Franz best is "humble".
He would come down to
friend level with all his patients. The unhurried thoroughness he
dedicated to his patients inspired limitless confidence.
shied away from asking questions.
He was an outstanding model of a
dying breed of gentlemen medical specialists.
present Count, Dr. Josef John Preziosi, M.R.C.S.(ENG.),L.R.C.P,(Lond.)
see some more information regarding the Preziosi family history please click
Account of the Counts Preziosi
Alfredo Preziosi (1859-1949),
7th Count Preziosi, married Filomena dei Baroni Azopardi
Sir Luigi Preziosi, Kt. MD, (1888-1965), 8th Count Preziosi, married 1920
to Ludgarda dei Baroni Chapelle
1.1. Dr Franz Preziosi M.D...
(1922-2000), 9th Count Preziosi, married 1952 to Edith Susan
1.1.1. Dr Josef Preziosi M.R.C.S. (1953- , 10th Count Preziosi,
married 1978 to Caren dei Marchese Testaferrata Bonici
Christine Preziosi (1980-
188.8.131.52. Fabrizia Camilla Preziosi
1.2. Dr Victor Amadeus Preziosi M.D (1925- , married 1968 to
1.3. Lucia Preziosi (1921-, married Vjenceslav Hero,
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References: 1) Gauci,C.A.," The Genealogy and
Heraldry of the Noble Families of Malta", Gulf Publishing Ltd, Malta,
2) Gauci,C.A.," The Genealogy and Heraldry of the Noble Families
of Malta, Volume Two", Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1992.
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,
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,
8) Said Vassallo, C.M., Unpublished research papers.
Vassallo, C.M., Maltagenealogy.com Research site.