Title in succession: 9th
Date created:10th November 1716
Grant by: by King Philip V
of Spain, Sicily and Naples
Granted To: Mario Testaferrata de
Remainder to: his legitimate and natural first born
male descendants in perpetuity
Present Holder: Agnes Gera De Petri,
British crown recognition: 1878
Foreign Titles not recognised by the Royal 1878 Commission:
Note: This title was never registered at the
chancellory of the Order in Malta, but full recognition was
granted by Grand Master de Vilhena in a declaration on 30
Previous coat of Arms
The Title of Marquisate
di San Vincenzo Ferreri was created on the
year of 1716 by King Philip V of Spain, Sicily and Naples,
with reminder to his legitimate and natural male descendants
Mario Testaferrata de
Robertis, was later created Marquis Testaferrata in 1717 (see
Mario Testaferrata de
Robertis was the father of the Marquisate
Testaferrata-Olivier, Cassar-Desain, Testaferrata ,and the
Barony of Tabria and Qlejja.
Most of the nobility can claim Mario as an ancestor. Mario
married three times, with a large family, and died in 1747.
Mario Testaferrata who became the Marquis di San Vincenzo
Ferreri had three sons, two of whom two minor Orders. Both the
Marquis and his brother, Canon Testaferrata, admitted on
various occasions that it was always their intention that the
cadets of the family would accept an ecclesiastical life.
Lorenzo, the 'secondo genito' of Mario, was the first to
become a cleric, being encouraged to do so by a promise made
by his father and uncle to present his family benefices which
, they claimed, provided 500 scudi annually. On the Morning of
the 11 April 1797, Mario and his son Lorenzo returned from
Messina. Two days after the arrival, the Marquis wrote several
letters to his eldest son Giuseppe, who had remained in
Messina. The Marquis complained that Lorenzo does not want to
wear black socks and, moreover, he parades the streets of
Valletta wearing white socks, slipper shoes and long hair tied
at the back like a layman. His uncle, the Canon, was also very
disturbed and wrote that 'the whole city was gossiping, and
referring to Lorenzo as Mad'. At the age of 27, Lorenzo
decided that he could no longer comply with the wishes of his
father and those of his 'stupid and foolish uncle'. He
declared that he had never wished to become a cleric and he
'did not want to have anything to do with black clothes or
ecclesiastical property'. This made the Marquis and the Canon
furious and their subsequent letters are full of references to
Lorenzo as 'PAZZO'. They quickly decided that Filippo, the
'terzogenito' must become a cleric, and they instructed him to
approach Bishop Labini with a request that he may receive the
first tonsure. They argued that 'Filippo' had said on various
occasions, that he would gladly receive the benefices. Filippo
subsequently became a cleric. The Testaferrata, like other
noble families, were thus able to retain most of their
A despute, which appears to have shocked everyone, involved
Marquis Mario, the first Marquis of the Testaferrata family.
Mario was involved in an incident which was called 'un
successo cosi scandaloso'. The Bishop, Cocco Palmeri, had
expressly forbidden the Valletta Jurats to drape their church
bench with green damask. On the morning of Sunday, 26 June
1707, a mass was being celebrated in the church of St Paul
Shipwrecked. Just after the Host had been consecrated, Mario
Testaferrata, followed by three other Jurats, entered the
Church. Immediately behind them was the 'Gran Visconte'
accompanied by a number of 'sbirri' carrying a sack containing
green damask. They marched up the central aisle intent on
nailing the cloth to the Jurats bench. Among the surprised
congregation there was the Bishop's Profiscale, who warned
Testaferrata not to disturb the divine service, and instantly
snatched the sack from the sbirri. Immediately, the Profiscale
was violently manhandled and thrown to the ground by Mario's
As a sequal to this incident, Testaferrata and his associates
were publicly excommunicated by the Bishop. Moreover, Mario
was sentence to six months imprisonment in the castle by the
Judges of Grand Master Perollos. He was removed from the
Office of Jurat. He obtained his release in January 1708, but
Mario was determined to apply to the Sicilian Monarchy for the
revocation of his excommunication. The Grand Master did his
utmost to dissuade Testaferrata from this course of action,
but relising his determination the Grand Master signes the
necessary permits for him to leave Malta. On 14 April 1708,
Testaferrata boarded ship for Sicily, but was later put ashore
since the crew refused to sail with a 'publico scomunicato'
because they were afraid of 'il divino Castigo'. A week later
Mario boarded a Sicilian schooner, and news of his arrival in
Palermo reached Malta at the beginning of June that year. The
Monarchia di Sicilia arbitrarily revoked the excommunication
and granted Mario a Patent which placed him beyond
Ecclesiastical jurisdiction. On the 18 July, Cardinal
Paolucci, the Papal Secretary of State, ordered both the
Inquisitor and the Bishop to imprison Mario Testaferrata
should he ever return to Malta. Paulucci was assured that his
instructions would be carried out to the letter.
Testaferrata continued to reside in Palermo and had no
intention of returning to Malta. Since this frustrated the
plan of Cardinal Paolucci, the Inquisitor of Malta then
suggested that, if Mario's properties were to be sequestrated,
he would obliged either to return to the island or go to Rome.
Paolucci accepted this strategem, and Mario's properties were
sequestrated. However, even this plan misfired. In September,
the Sicilian Monarchy denounced the confiscation and decreed
that Testaferrata must be compensated. To ensure that this
would happen the Mensa Vescovile in Sicily was requisitioned
and Testaferrata allowed to enjoy the revenue from the
Bishop's properties which included the lands of Lentini.
When the Bishop found himself in financial difficulties he
requested Perollos to pay him 3000 scudi out of the Order's
coffers in compensation for loss of revenue from his Sicilian
properties. Besides, Mario's estates in Malta did not prove to
be so lucrative since their previous owners had been in debt
with various legatees. When the Bishop's request was not
complied with, he commented 'that at all cost the Grand Master
intended to impoverish him'. However the only compensation
that he got from Perollos was ab invitation to dinner, but on
entering the dining hall, the Bishop lost his appetite when he
saw that his chair was draped in green velvet!
Testaferrata was more fortunate. His services were recognised
by King Philip V of Spain and the two Sicilies who made him
Marquis di San Vincenzo Ferreri in the Kingdom of Naples. The
letter-patent recorded that Mario was ennobled 'in
consideration of what he had to endure for the defense of the
The Marquis Mario Testaferrata had three sons, two of whom,
Lorenzo and Filippo, did nothing to enhance the family name.
Lorenzo, a cleric, fathered 'several children' by Angela
Attard, the daughter of the family coachman. Filippo, also a
cleric, had 'bastard sons' by one of the family maids,
Vincenza Falanca. Eventually both brothers married the mothers
of their children, this nearly drive their father completely
mad. Fortunately for these noble cadets, as Lorenzo and
Filippo are described-the Marquis who was 'feeble-minded and
scarcely capable of managing his own affiars, was on even
worse terms with his eldest son, Giuseppe the Baron di Tabria.
Resulting from all the bad feelings towards the eldest son,
Lorenzo was granted the prerogative of the family benefices
and also allowed, by his father, to buy the family palazzo in
Valletta, together with all its contents. On the other hand,
Filipo was their heir to the Castelletti entail. These actions
appear rather strange in view of the Marquis's former attitude
towards his younger sons, and would appear to bear out the
above statement on his mental state. This is even more
astonishing since Mario, in his will, had excluded all
bastards, even though they may have been legitimsed at law. He
appears, however to have, possible inadvertantly, left a
loophole by withdrawing the exclusion in the case of those
bastards legitimised by subsequent marriage, provided that the
marriage was not contracted with an ignoble female.
His eldest son Enrico succeeded as the 2nd Marquis , marrying
Feliciata Cassar-Desain from the Wealthy Primogenture
The 3rd Marquis, elder son of the 2rd Marquis, marrying a
daughter of the 1st Count Sant .
The Barons Pisani and Galea-Feriol, Marquis Testaferrata and
Count Sant were the first titled Jurats ever to serve together
in 1776. 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 piping'. Those families who refused to
send their sons to France were to be fined 1000 scudi. Among
those who were initially 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.
The 4th Marquis, elder son of the 3rd Marquis, married in 1817
, the daughter of the Barony of Tabria (Testaferrata-Viani)
The 5th Marquis , elder son of the 4th Marquis, married in
1840 to a co-heiress of the Barony of Qlejja
The 6th Marquis, elder son of the 5th Marquis, also succeeded
as the 5th Baron di Qlejja and the Primogeniture Ghaxaq,
married in 1874 to the daughter of the Marquisate de Piro
The 7th Marquis and 6th Baron di Qlejja, succeeded on the year
of 1903, later marrying a daughter of the Baroncino di San
Marciano, with two sons, whom each succeeded a title on The
7th Marquisís death , 1945.
Alfio Testaferrata-Bonici-Ghaxaq, the elder son succeeded as
the 8th Marquis, and his brother Lino succeeded as the Baron
di Qlejja. (see Qlejja)
Alfio, died unmarried in 1988, and for the first time in this
titles history, was succeeded by his late Brotherís eldest
Daughter, Agnes (also noted the Marquisate Testaferrata went
to the next Male kin Testaferrata).
Agnes Testaferrata-Bonici-Ghaxaq, succeeded firstly after her
fatherís death in 1982 the Barony di Qlejja, and in 1988, the
Marquisate di San Vincenzo Ferreri.
Agnes married to Alfred Gera de Petri, and has two sons and a
The heir to the Marquisate is her eldest son Daniele, as the
Marchesino di San Vincenzo Ferreri.
A short view of the Family Tree of the Marquis's di San
Emmanuele Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq, 6th Marquis di San
Vincenzo Ferreri, e Testaferrata, 5th Baron di Qlejjgha
(1843-1903), married 1874 to Filomena dei Marchese de
1. Daniele Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq, 7th Marquis di San
Vincenzo Ferreri, e Testaferrata, 6th Baron di Qlejjgha
(1880-1945), married 1910 to Agnese dei Baroni
1.1. Alfio Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq, 8th Marquis di San
Vincenzo Ferreri, e Testaferrata (1911-88), dunm.
1.2. Lino Testaferrata Bonici, 7th Baron di Qlejjgha
(1917-82), married Maria dei Baroni Testaferrata Moroni Viani
1.2.1. Agnese Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq (1949- , 9th
Marchioness di San Vincenzo Ferreri, 8th Baroness di Qlejjgha,
married 1973 to Alfred Gera de Petri, B.Pharms.
220.127.116.11. Daniele Gera de Petri Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq
(1974- , Marchesino di San Vincenzo Ferreri.
18.104.22.168. Dr. Andrea Gera de Petri Testaferrata Bonici, LL.D
(1975- , Baroncino di Qlejjgha.
22.214.171.124. Giulia Gera de Petri Testaferrata Bonici (1982-
1.2.2. Caren Testaferrata Bonici (1952- , married Dr Josef
Preziosi, 10th Count Preziosi, with issue
1.2.3. Anna Marie Testaferrata Bonici (1961- , married 1984 to
John Spiteri Debono, with issue
1.3. Elena Testaferrata Bonici (1915- , married Arthur Miles,
1.4. Florence Testaferrata Bonici , married Colin Davidson
Jensen, with issue
2. Esther Testaferrata Bonici , married 1906 to the 6th Count
Fournier, with issue
3. Agata Testaferrata Bonici, married 1905 Philip dei Marchese
Testaferrata Bonici (Her first Cousin) Also Her grand son is
the eldest Male member of the Testaferrata Bonici family and
carried the Italian Title of Marquis Testaferrata (See
Full Genealogical tree:
Giacomo Testaferrata de Robertis, Capitano
della Verga of Malta-1636-37, married Teodora Bonici, with
1. Mario Testaferrata de Robertis, 1st Marquis-See
2. Camilla Testaferrata, maried 1673 to Nott. Giuseppe Cagnano
3. Leonora Testaferrata, dunm.
4. Maria Testaferrata, married 1679 to Paolo Cassar
* Mario Testaferrata de Robertis,
(1654-1747), 1st Marquis of San Vincenzo Ferreri, (Cr:
1st Marquis Testaferrata, (Cr: 1717-Spain), Married Firstly
1677 to Anna de Noto Cumbo, with issue.
Married Secondly 1697 to Elisabetta Castelletti, with issue.
Married thirdly 1727 to Alticunda Vassallo Castelletti, with
1. (First Marriage) Enrico Testaferrata de Noto, 2nd
2. (Second Marriage) Gilberto Testaferrata Castelletti, 1st
3. Pulcheria Testaferrata Castelletti, married Pietro Antonio
Testaferrata dei Baroni di Castel Cicciano.
4. (Third Marriage) Gregorio Testaferrata Vassallo, (1740-...)
* Enrico Testaferrata de Noto, 2nd Marquis
of San Vincenzo Ferreri and Testaferrata,
Married 1730 to Felicita Cassar Desain, with issue.
1. Saveria Testaferrata., d.inf.
2. Gregorio Testaferrata., d.inf.
3. Daniele Testaferrata, 3rd Marquis-See
4. Pandolfo Testaferrata de Noto, 1st Marquis Testaferrata
Olivier.-See Testaferrata Olivier.
5. Asteria Testaferrata, married 15th Baron di Djar-il-Bniet,
4. (Released from Slavery or perhaps an illegitimate child of
Enrico). Maddalena Testaferrata, married 1765 to Martino
Lamotta, with issue.
* Daniele Testaferrata, (Born 1733.), 3rd
Marquis of San Vincenzo Ferreri, and Testaferrata.
Married 1781 to Maria dei Conti Sant, with issue.
1. Gregorio Augusto Testaferrata, 4th Marquis-See
2. Raffaele Testaferrata, married Maria Spiteri
3. Anna Marie Testaferrata, married 3rd Baron of Qlejjgha,
4. Angelica Testaferrata, married 2nd Marquis of Gnien is
Sultan, with issue.
* Gregorio Augusto Testaferrata, (died 1828),
4th Marquis of San Vincenzo Ferreri, and Testaferrata.,
Married 1817 to Maria Testaferrata Viani dei Baroni di
Tabria, with issue.
1. Daniele Maria Testaferrata, 5th Marquis-See
2. Fr.Giovanni Francesco Testaferrata, dunm.
3. Arfio Filippo Testaferrata, (1823-77)., dunm.
4. Publio Testaferrata, (1821-...),married Regina Galizia,
4.1. Augusto Gregorio Testaferrata, (1850-
4.2. Tes'Attilio Testaferrata, (1852-
4.3. Niccolo Testaferrata
4.4. Luigi Testaferrata, (1863-
4.5. Carmela Augusta Testaferrata, (1844-
4.6. Giulia Testaferrata, (1860-
5. Asteria Testaferrata, married 1843 to Major Cavarra, with
5.1. Irene Cavarra, married Dr. Alfonso d'Armenia, LL.D, with
* Daniele Maria Testaferrata, (1819-63), 5th
Marqis of San Vincenzo Ferreri, and Testaferrata.,
Married 1840 to Eugenia Bonici dei Baroni della Qlejjgha,
1. Emmanuele Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq, 6th Marquis-See
2. Ignazio Testaferrata Bonici, (1848-1928), married 1877 to
Maria Carmela dei Marchesi Testaferrata, with issue.
2.1. Philip Testaferrata Bonici, (1878-1933), married Agata
Testaferrata Bonici -See Below.,
2.1.1. Dr Victor Emmanuele Testaferrata Bonici,MD.,
(1907-1976), married 1950 to Victoria Zammit Maempel, with
126.96.36.199. Joseph Phillip Testaferrata Bonici, 9th Marquis
Testaferrata-See Foreign Titles-
188.8.131.52. Rita Testaferrata Bonici, (1952-
184.108.40.206. Marie Testaferrata Bonici, (1954- , married 1986 to
Nicholas Bianchi, with issue.
2.1.2. Maria Testaferrata Bonici, (1909-
2.1.3. Beatrice Testaferrata Bonici, (1911-, married Joseph
Amato Gauci, (See Gauci-Barony), with issue.
2.1.4. Josephine Testaferrata Bonici, (1913-
2.1.5. Lucy Testaferrata Bonici, Married 1941 to Alfred
Bencini, with issue.
220.127.116.11. Col. Dr Raymond Bencini, (1944-, married Marlena
Warstat, with issue
18.104.22.168.1. Alexander Bencini
22.214.171.124.2. Phillip Bencini
126.96.36.199.3. Tara Bencini, married Timothy Sinclair
188.8.131.52.4. Ramona Bencini
184.108.40.206. Marlene Bencini, married Dr. Anton Zammit Bonett,
220.127.116.11.1. Dr Shaun Bonett, LL.D
18.104.22.168.2. Dr Stephen Bonett, LL.D
22.214.171.124. Freda Bencini, married Herbert Naudi, with issue
126.96.36.199.1. Mireille Naudi
188.8.131.52.2. Roberto Naudi
2.5.4. Denise Bencini, married Udo Turscherl, with issue
2.5.1. Nadine Turscherl
2.2. Eugenia Testaferrata Bonici, (1892-
3. Carmela Testaferrata, (1841-)
* Emmanuele Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq,
6th Marquis of San Vincenzo Ferreri and Testaferrata., 5th
Baron of Qlejjgha.
Married 1874 to Filomena de Piro dei Baroni di Budaq, with
1. Antonio Testaferrata Bonici, (1879- ob.Inf.)
2. Daniele Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq, 7th Marquis-See
3. Esther Testaferrata Bonici (1876- , married 6th Count
Fournier, with issue.
4. Agata Testaferrata Bonici (1878-1933), married 1905 to her
cousin -See Above.
Philip Testaferrata Bonici, with issue.
5. Antonio Testaferrata Bonici, (1879-)
* Daniele Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq,
7th Marquis of San Vincenzo Ferreri and Testaferrata, 6th
Baron of Qlejjgha.,
Married 1910 to Agnese dei Baroni Galea Testaferrata, with
1. Alfio Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq, 8th Marquis-See
2. Lino Testaferrata Bonici, (1917-82), 7th Baron of Qlejjgha,
married 1948 to Maria Testaferrata Moroni Viani, with issue-See
Qlejjgha for all issue..
2.1. Agnese Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq, (1949-, Acknowledged
by the COP as the 8th Baroness of Qlejjgha and 9th
Marchioness of San Vincenzo Ferreri., Married 1973 to
Alfred Gera de Petri, B.Pharm, with issue
2.1.1. Daniele Gera de Petri Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq, KM,
(1974-., married 2003 to Enyd Pisani.
2.1.2. Dr Andrea Gera de Petri Testaferrata Bonici,LL.D,
(1975-, married 2003 to Kate De Cesare., with issue.
184.108.40.206. Georgia Gera de Petri, (2004-.
2.1.3. Giulia Gera de Petri Testaferrata Bonici, (1982-
3. Helen Testaferrata Bonici, (1915-2004), married 1949 to
F/Lt. Arthur Miles.
4. Florence Testaferrata Bonici, (1919-, married 1949 to Capt.
Colin Davidson-Jenson, with issue.
4.1. Nicholas Davidson Jenson, (1952-.
4.2. Irene Davidson Jenson, (1950-, married 1985 to John
* Alfio Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq,
8th Marquis of San Vincenzo Ferreri and Testaferrata, dunm.
* Agnes Gera de Petri Testaferrata Bonici
Ghaxaq, ,Alfio, died unmarried in
1988, and for the first time in this titles history, was
succeeded by his late Brotherís eldest Daughter, Agnes (also
noted the Marquisate Testaferrata went to the next Male kin
Testaferrata). 9th Marchioness of
San Vincenzo Ferreri and Testaferrata,
(IF THERE ARE ANY UPDATES TO ANY TREES, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL
TO 'email@example.com' stating site you seen the
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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,
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., www.maltagenealogy.com