Preziosi

 

Title: Count
Title in succession:
10th
Date created:
1718
Grant by:  
Granted To: Giuseppe Preziosi
Rep: 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 longobardun'



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 skirmish 

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.
The Young 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 years.
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:
The 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 cousin.

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
8th Count, Luigi,
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.
No patients shied away from asking questions.

He was an outstanding model of a dying breed of gentlemen medical specialists.


10th and present Count, Dr. Josef John Preziosi, M.R.C.S.(ENG.),L.R.C.P,(Lond.) 


To see some more information regarding the Preziosi family history please click here  PAGE 2 Cont......


A Genealogical Account of the Counts Preziosi


Alfredo Preziosi (1859-1949), 7th Count Preziosi, married Filomena dei Baroni Azopardi

1.Prof. 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 Grima
1.1.1. Dr Josef Preziosi M.R.C.S. (1953- , 10th Count Preziosi, married 1978 to Caren dei Marchese Testaferrata Bonici
1.1.1.1. Marie Christine Preziosi (1980-
1.1.1.2. Fabrizia Camilla Preziosi (1983-
1.2. Dr Victor Amadeus Preziosi M.D (1925- , married 1968 to Margaret Ambrose
1.3. Lucia Preziosi (1921-, married Vjenceslav Hero, with issue

(IF THERE ARE ANY UPDATES TO ANY TREES, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO 'bibinomagno@hotmail.com or doverville@orbit.net.mt ' stating site you seen the genealogical tree and updates.)



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.

 

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Last updated: September 2011