Title in succession: 24th
Date created: (Buqana - 1377) (Djar il-Bniet -
Grant by: (Buqana - King Frederick III of
Sicily) (Djar il-Bniet - Ludovic King of Sicily)
Granted To: (Buqana - Guglielmo Murina) (Djar
il-Bniet - Cicco Gatto)
Rep: (Buqana - Murina) (Djar il-Bniet -Gatto)
Remainder to: his descendants in perpetuity
Present Holder: Francesco Apap Bologna
Note:(i) The Barony was granted as a noble fief, the
3rd Baroness Buqana married the 3rd Baron of djar il-Bniet
and the fief of buqana formed part of her dowry, and the 3rd
Baron of djar il-Bniet wa confirmed as Baron of Buqana by
Martin King of Sicily to the remainder of his descendants,
and the two titles have descended concurrently ever since.
(ii) Abeyance; Passed into abeyance 1981 and
brought out 1983 by the Com. of Privileges
Nobility chic and beauty, Mary Frances Carmen Sciberras d'Amico -Inguanez
Baroness of djar il-Bniet and Buqana and Castel Cicciano
The Most Senior and
oldest surviving Maltese Noble Title (recognised by the
Royal commission and British Crown) today.
First it was granted to
a Michele Bava about 1330 whom had married a member of the
Royal House of Aragona and had one surviving child born
within the marriage that became an heiress. Michele had an
illegitimate son who was given other land in succession and
is the ancestor to Bava’s of Sicily and in Malta. (Note: Can
also be spelt as Fava). Sophia Bava had married the Milite
Cicco Gatto a Sicilian, who was granted the title of DJAR
IL-BNIET in 1350.
Barony of Djar-il-Bniet was granted by Feudal tenure in
perpetuity to Milite Cicco Gatto, Keeper of the Royal
Castle in Malta, Commander of the Royal galleries by
King Louis of Sicily on the 4th of January 1350 at
Cicco Gatto, died in 1372 and was succeeded
by his son.
Francesco or Cicco Gatto the first of his name recorded in
Malta, was governor or keeper of its castle in 1350,
for four years, with power to appoint a Judge, and is
spoken of as miles or chevalier Gatto, councillor and
Algozino. He quelled a rebellion in the island of Gozo, and
induced the inhabitants to submit to the illustrious
House of Aragon.
The Noble fief of Djar-il-Bniet having fallen to the crown
of Aragon through the Bava family, during the reign of
king Louis (Ludovico) in 1350, was by him conferred on
Francesco (Cicco) Gatto, and his heirs and descendants
for ever. Interesting note, that Cicco had other sons who
intermarried with other Barony families in Malta and in
Sicily and some can claim descendants as Gatts today.
Interesting note is that the 18th century Count
of Beberrua and Baron of Benwarred are direct descendants.
On the same day he conferred the fief of Djar-il-Bniet, King
Louis also granted to Francesco Lanza his son, and to
his heirs in perpetuity, exemption from payment of dues
to the Royal Court, thereby placing them on a footing
with the citizens of Messina.
King Frederick of Sicily subsequently confirmed this
privilege at the request of Lanza, when this king was
On the death of Lanza, Francesco his son succeeded, Feb.
14th, 1397, and was invested by King Martin of Sicily
and Aragon. in the Barony of Djar il Bniet.
2nd Baron of Djar-il-Bniet Lanza Gatto; Baron Lanza was a
Chief Justice of Malta and Regio Proposito of Malta
as well, was confirmed as a Baron.
Baron Cicco’s son Francesco Gatto, the Third Baron married
in 1397 to an Heiress of the Barony of Buqana.
The Barony of Buqana was created to Guglielmo Murina in
1372, Guglielmo was a Governor and Keeper of the Castle in
Malta, the Title was Granted as a Noble fief under
Conditions of military service.
Guglielmo Murina was Governor of the Island in 1372, and
is the first of this name mentioned in Abela's
History of Malta.
During his administration, he instituted the practice of
obliging all officials of each indiction on appointment,
to make their oath by placing their hands in those of the
Governor, as pledge of fealty.
Guglielmo Murina was also Keeper of the castle on the sea,
as St Angelo was formerly called, and King Frederick
of Sicily and Aragon, during his stay in Malta,
confirmed on him the fief and Barony di Buqana.
Guglielmo died without male issue, but left an only
daughter, heiress to the fief and Barony of Buqana,
who married Manfredo, a Member of the Noble Sicilian
family of de Castelli, a scion of the Spanish Royal House
The only descendants of this marriage were Paola, who
married the Baron Francesco Gatto, and they became
the parents of Imperia, the wife of Antonio Inguanez.
Francesco Gatto succeeded as the 3rd Baron of
Djar-il-Bniet and Buqana, created Baron of Budaq and
received the Lordships (Signors) of Hemsija
and Zabbaria by King Martin I of Sicily on the year
of 1397. Francesco was a Governor of Malta and also Regio
Proposito, died in 1442, succeeded by his daughter
Imperia Gatto, who married a Spanish Baron Antonio
Inguanez, closely related to the Royal Aragona Family of
The same day, the fief of Chemisia was granted to him
'Jure Francorum', confirming a former grant of this
fief, made by Don Guglielmo Raimondo di Moncado, at
the time when this same Raimondo was in Possession of
Francesco stated that his ancestors had formerly been in
possession of this fief, but had lost the original
title deeds, which, with other property, had been
wrested from them by Count Artale d'Alagona, and carried
away to the
Castello, now know as the Castle of St Angelo, and there
retained by d'Alagona, who was at this time a rebel
to the crown of Aragon.
This new concession and investiture, is said to have been
given to him out of gratitude, for the good and
acceptable services rendered to their Majesties.
The remainder may be read in the original privilege, dated
Feb 14, 1397.
Francesco Gatto also enjoyed the honor of being in the
service of his Royal master as Captain of the
Galleys, which were then being equipped at Malta, in
the name, and at the expense of King Martin. This office
was granted to him for life in 1397, when he was made
Commander in chief of the Royal Gallery.
Francesco Gatto was also made Regio Proposito, and
Governor of Malta on the 16 Oct. 1403, for five years,
with power to swear in the Judges and other Officials
and assigned 18 Golden Ounces yearly on the Vice Segrezia
of Malta, as Castellano, or keeper of the Castle.
Having no issue, but an only daughter, he obtained
permission by Royal letter 1404, that in default of
heirs, he might dispose of his fiefs in favour of the
Francesco died in the year 1442, when his only daughter,
by name of Imperia and the last representative of the
ancient Gatto family, became the sole heiress of the
Baron Antonio Inguanez, was created and also inherited the
following titles Baron di Ghariexem , Signor di
Saccaja, Mugiarro and San Giorgio, and several
This union of Baron Antonio and Baroness Imperia, produced
not only descendants to most of the Maltese,
Sicilian, Roman, Neapolitan Nobility, but also
Royalty such as H.M. Queen Paola of Belgian, the
Orleans-Bourbons, Austria-Estes and so-forth.
The House of Inguanez was almost Hereditary Capitano della
Verga from Baron Antonio Inguanez, his son the 4th Baron
down to the 15th Baron in the late 18th Century.
The family of Inguanez, settled in Malta, had been a noble
and powerful family in the Province of Catalonia,
where its members are know to have held high offices,
and to have possessed the fief of Ortigos, and many
Angeraldo Inguanez accompanied by his son Antonio, who
subsequently became the husband of Imperia Gatto.
Angeraldo held the office of Governor of Malta and Gozo
during the space of three years, when having settled
the affairs of the two islands, and handed over the
governorship to his trusted friend, Francesco Gatto. On
1403, he was on the eve of departing from Spain, when he
was seized with a sudden illness, which terminated
Before his death, Angeraldo had intrusted to his friend
Francesco Gatto, the guardianship of his only son,
the young Antonio, and as in those days a journey to
Sapin was by no means an easy means undertaking. The
orphan Antonio settled in Malta and married his
guardian's only daughter, Imperia Gatto, who brought
in dowry a house in the town of Notabile, with
several fiefs and other property.
Antonio Inguanez accompanied King Alfonso of Sicily and
Aragon as his vassal to the wars and was after the seige
of barbary appointed despotic governor of the Islands of
Malta and Gozo, as successor to his father in
law Francesco Gatto.
During the reign of King Alfonso, Antonio Inguanez
continued in high favour and many were the honours
and privileges granted to him and his descendants.
The Governorship of Malta and Gozo became almost
hereditary in his family, it having been mortgaged to
him and to his son, by King Alfonso in the year 1437
and confirmed by the same King in 1441.
Antonio Inguanez was Governor of Malta in 1427, and for
several other years, holding the governorship in
pledge from the King, until the city of
Malta redeemed it with its own money.
He was also appointed commander in Chief, with power to
pardon or punish as he might determine.
In the year 1432, King Alfonso visited Malta, on his
triumphant return from Barbary, withered Antonio had
accompanied him as his faithful vassal and during his
stay in the Islands, he was the guest of Francesco Gatto
and Antonio Inguanez at the familly house in Mdina,
which is still in the possession of their
The leather canopy and dais, erected in one of the rooms
he occupied on this occasion, has not since crumbled
to dust, as the late Baroness Maria Teresa D'Amico
Inguanez, who died in 1880, remembered to have seen it
when a child.
As a reward for services to King Alfonso during the war in
Barbery, the estate and garden of Saccajja near
Mdina, was confirmed on Antonio free from all obligations.
This grant is dated Oct. 25, 1442.
The united arms of Gatto and Inguanez were placed over the
Castle of St Angelo by King Alfonso, as a mark of
gratitude, and as a testimony for the services to the
House of Aragon, by Francesco Gatto and Antonio Inguanez.
Antonio Inguanez was very devout, and founded four
benefices, which exist to the present day. By his
wife Imperia, he had sired many children,
which caused a great division of his properties.
He died in 1458, when his first-born son became invested
with the Noble fiefs of Djar il Bniet, Buqana, and
Angeraldo Gatto Inguaez, Antonio's son was Consigliere
Regio in 1439 and Governor of Malta in 1469. Nothing
more is know of him, but that had married and had an
Antonio Angerao Inguanez, son of Angeraldo, received his
investiture from Palermo dated 1472.
On the year 1487, the wife of Antonio Angerao recieved on
behalf of her son the investiture of the fiefs, at
the time Giacomo Angerao was a minor. Giacomo Angerao
Inguanez was an Ambassador extraordinary to the
University, on the same business concerning public
government, and a letter still exists, proving his
having received all necessary assistance for his service
to the crown.
Giacomo Angerao also obtain from his most serene Majesty
King Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire,
King of Castile and Aragon, an authorative letter to the
Grand Master of the Holy Order of St John of Jerusalem,
and Prince of this Island, giving him and his kindred full
permission to sell their property and fiefs in the events
of their wishing to leave Malta, and settle
Besides the two Baronies of Buqana and Djar il Bniet,
Giacomo possessed the estates of Budaq as appears
from several deeds of leases, and also from
his codicil, found among the acts of the Notary
Matteo Surdo, dated 13 August, 1542.
Antonio, second son of Marco Angerao Inguanez, succeeded
his brother in the investiture of the fiefs of Buqana
and Djar il Bniet in 1589. He was also lord of the
estates of Budaq, which he sold, as appeared from a deed
of sale. Also Antonio was Capitano della Verga from
Antonio nominated as his heir, his eldest son Alessandro
Inguanez, Alessandro, at the time of his father's
death was living abroad and his whereabouts was quite
In spite of his father's will, which made ample provisions
for his eldest son's succession. Marco his brother,
took advantage of his absence, and owing to the
uncertainty respecting his existence, usurped the Baronies
in 1608, and held them till his death, which occurred
Baron Alessandro Inguanez, in 1608 was the eldest son of
the deceased Baron Inguanez, was denounced before the
local Tribunal on several charges of heresy. The case
was particularly interesting since the title of Baron
of Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana legally belonged to the
accused, but his father had nominated Alessandro's
brother as the universal heir, perhaps in view of
the circumstances of the case. In 1606, at the age of
eighteen, Alessandro embarked on a privateer, on a
Levant expedition. About eight months later he and
his companion disembarked near Alesandretta, in search of
fruit and water. Alessandro was ambushed and captured
by some fifteen Turks. He became a slave in the Household
of Bascia de Rey, where, after nearly two months, he was
persuaded to convert to Islam with the help (so he
claimed) of three hundred bastinados. Morato (Alessandro's
assumed Mohammedian name) managed to escape and boarded a
Flemish vessel in harbour, but he was recaptured when the
Turks threatened to burn the ship. The Young Maltese
nobleman was nearly executed for his audacity, but was
given another chance to repent.
After serving his master faithfully, Morato was adopted by
Bascia de Rey and married an Eleven-year Mohammedian
called Fatama. But apparently, he still felt an alien
in the Moslem environment and, eventually, managed to
escape with the aid of two missionaries, a French
consul, and a number of handsome bribes.
Back in Malta, Alessandro was denounced and brought before
the Inquisition, in spite of the fact that he belonged to
one of the principal local families, he was charged
with having apostatized, and having
actually practiced the Moslem religion. It was only
the special circumstances of the case that enable
Inguanez to receive a relatively mid penalty. He was
fined only 30 scudi, had to confess and receive
communion at least six times annually, and was made
to fast every Friday on bread and water
whilst reciting the psalms
The direct Line of Inguanez, became extinct with the Marc’
Antonio 14th Baron, who died childless after two marriages
Marc’ Antonio, had a Brother (Francesco), who was born
illegitimate by his father with an heiress of the
Gheriexem (Junior branch of the Inguanez Family).
Francesco dei Baroni Ingunaez was unsuccessful in claiming
the Estates and Feudal titles from the Grand Master.
The Estate went to a distant cousin and next of Kin
(Legitimate). Though the claimants tried for several
generations to claim what was rightfully theirs. The
present claimant is Principe Giuseppe Said, the De-Jure 27th
Baron of Djar il-Bniet e Buqana.
Gio Francesco d’Amico succeeded as the 15th Baron also
sometime Capitano della Verga (c1764-75), Gio
Francesco only had one son who died unmarried
The Estate, then succeeded by the Last holder’s uncle who
assumed the surname of Ingaunez and married a member
of the Bonici Family, who were holders of the
Gheriexem e Tabia Barony.
Their eldest son, Vincenzo d’Amico-Inguanez, succeeded as
the 18th Baron, and died unmarried in 1850 and was
succeeded by his sister, Maria Teresa, who in turn
died unmarried as well in 1880.
The title went to Maria Teresa sister’s Granddaughter.
Francesca Sceberras d’Amico Inguanez, Baroness di
Djar-il-Bniet, also Baroness di Castel Cicciano.
Maria Francesca Represented the Maltese Nobility at
the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1903, King
George V in 1911, and King George VI in 1937. She
married Coloniel Alexander Chalmers McKean C.M.G, but
failed to produce an heir, dying in 1947.
Maria Francesca sister’s eldest son, Alexander
Chesney-Sceberras d’Amico-Inguanez, as the Premier Baron
of Malta, yet again, succeeded the titles. Alexander
represented the Maltese Nobility at the coronation of
Queen Elisabeth II in 1953, also was a Major in the
Worcestershire Regiment and was awarded the M.C and the
Belguim Criox de Guerre for service in World War.
Alexander also died unmarried in 1960, and succeeded by
his sister Frances, who succeeded as the 22nd Baroness of
Djar-il-Bniet and the 18th Baroness di Castel
Cicciano. Frances, also dying unmarried in 1981, which
brought the title yet again in abeyance.
In 1983, the Title of Barony of Djar-Il-Bniet and
Buqana, was called out of abeyance to be succeeded by
the next living heir. Dr Carmelo Apap-Bologna Sceberras
d’Amico-Inguanez M.D as the Premier Title Holder of
Malta and 23rd Baron.
The Present Baron is a descendant of the 17th Baron di
Djar-il-Bniet, and is third cousin, twice removed
to Frances Chesney, 22nd Baroness.
Baron, Dr Carmelo Apap-Bologna Sceberras-d’Amico-Inguanez
MD, is a member of the Marquisate of Gnien-is-Sultan
family and is closely related to most of the Maltese
Lastly, Baron Carmelo has two sons, and two daughters,
which will carry the Baronies on to another
generation securing it within the Apap-Bologna
family as the Jewel of Malta.
A short Family tree of the Barony di Castel Cicciano
Sir Pasquale Sceberras D'Amico Inguanez (1789-1869), 14th
Baron di Castel
Cicciano e Montagna di Marzo of Sicily. Married firstly 1811
D'Amico Inguanez dei Baroni di Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana.
Married secondly in
1844 to Gaetana dei Baroni Sceberras-Trigona with further
1. (First Marriage) Alexander Sceberras D'Amico Inguanez
(1821-80), 15th Baron di Castel Cicciano e Montagna di
Marzo of Sicily. Married Frances Ann Whittuck
1.1. Maria Francesca Carmen Sceberras D'Amico Inguanez,
(1880-1947), 16th Baroness di Castel Cicciano e
Montagna di Marzo of Sicily and 20th Baroness di
Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana. Married 1890 to Col. Alexander
Chalmers McKean, C.M.G dsp.
Roselea Sceberras D'Amico Inguanez (1867-1946), married 1895
to Col.Alexander Chesney.
1.2.1. Alexander Chesney-Sceberras D'Amico Inguanez
(1896-1960), 17th Baron di Castel Cicciano and 21st
Baron di Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana, dunm.
1.2.2. Mario Chesney (1901-38)
1.2.3. Frances Mary Carmen Chesney-Sceberras D'Amico
Inguanez (1898-1981), 18th Baroness di Castel Cicciano
e Montagna di Marzo of Sicily and 22nd Baron di
Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana, dunm.
1.2.4. Norah Chesney (1904-77), dunm.
2. (First marriage) Gerolama Sceberras D'Amico-Inguanez,
married 1844 to Dr Carmelo dei Marchese de Piro
2.1. Giuseppe de Piro-Gourgion, 6th Baron di Budaq
2.2.Alessandro dei Marchese e Baroni de Piro (1849-98),
married 1868 to Ursula Aguis-Caruana
2.2.1. Dr Carmelo dei Marchese e Baroni de Piro (1871-1912),
married Dolores Dyer
188.8.131.52. Maria Pilar de Piro, married Alessandro dei
Marchese Apap Bologna
184.108.40.206.1. Dr Carmelo
1939-2021, 23rd Barone di Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana, the
Premier Holder of Malta). Married 1962 to Anne
Apap-Bologna-Sceberras--d'Amico-Inguanez (c 1963-, Baroncino
di Djar-il-Bniet, married...
220.127.116.11.1.2. Kristina Apap-Bologna (c 1965-
18.104.22.168.1.3. James Apap-Bologna (c 1967-
22.214.171.124.1.4. Stefanie Apap-Bologna (c 1971-., married to
Noble Dr. Martin Testaferrata Moroni Viani dei Baroni di
Tabria e Gomerino
126.96.36.199.2. Marlene Apap Bologna (c 1941-, married 1960 to
Austin Attard Montalto
188.8.131.52.2.1. David Attard Montalto (c 1961-
184.108.40.206.2.2. John Attard Montalto (c 1967-
220.127.116.11.2.3. Christopher Attard Montalto (c 1967-
18.104.22.168.2.4. Mark Attard Montalto (c 1972-
22.214.171.124.2.5. Veronica Attard Montalto (c 1963-
Point of Interest: Claimants to the Ancient Barony
Inguanez,(died 1682) 13th Baron of Djar-il-Bniet and
Married Firstly to Monica Cassia, and dsp., Married
Secondly to Eugenia Galea, with issue.
Had Children from his Mistress, Isabella
dei Baroni Inguanez.
1. (Second Marriage) Marc'Antonio
Inguanez, (died 1760), 14th Baron of Djar-il-Bniet and
Married firstly to Diane Testaferrata dei Baroni di
Gomerino and dsp.
Married Secondly to Maria Galea Feriol dei Baroni di San
Marciano, and dsp.
(Illegitimate) Francesco Inguanez, married 1662 to
Contessa Brigida Inguanez
2.1. Conte Publio Inguanez, married 1687 to Marietta
2.1.1. Contessa Maria Inguanez, De Jure "15th" Baroness
di Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana, Married 1720 to Pedro Tanti.
Giacobina Tanti, De Jure "16th" Baroness di
Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana married 1746 to Paolo Spiteri,
126.96.36.199.1. Margherita Spiteri, De Jure "17th" Baroness
di Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana married 1773 to Chev. Gio
Batta Farrugia. Kt.
188.8.131.52.1.1. Anne Farrugia, De Jure "18th" Baroness di
Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana married 1809 to Joseph Ciangura (A
descendant of Marc'Antonio
Inguanez, 13th Baron of Djar-il-Bniet and Buqana)
184.108.40.206.1.1.1. Angelo Ciangura, De Jure "19th" Baron di
Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana married 1857 to Marguerite Aguis
Dun. Giuseppe Ciangura S.J. (1861-1888), De Jure "20th"
Baroness di Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168. Mary Ciangura, De Jure "21st" Baroness
di Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana married 1889 to Ambrose
Bugeja, 27th Barone di Ghajn Rihani
Angelo Bugeja, 28th Barone di Ghajn Rihani (c 1891-1942)
16th Signor di Mugiarro, De
Jure "22nd" Baron di Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana dsp.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1.2. Count Guisepe Bugeja, 29th Barone di
Ghajn Rihani, De
Jure "23rd" Baron di Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana
(c 1895-1944), married 1920 to Anne Gauci
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1.2.1. Count Ambrose Bugeja, 30th Barone di
Ghajn Rihani, De
Jure "24th" Baron di Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana
(c 1922-46), dunm.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1.3. Countess Maria Bugeja (c1896-1973),
17th Signorina di Mugiarro, 31st Baroness di di Ghajn
Rihani, and De
Jure "25th" Baroness di Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana married
1916 to Guiseppe Vassallo dei Baroni Bauvso, with issue
Maria Vassallo (c 1926-91) 32nd Baroness di Ghajn Rihani,
17th Signornina di Mugiarro and De Jure "26th" Baroness di
Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana married 1947 to Principe Carmelo Said
Testaferrata. (A descendant of
Inguanez, 13th Baron of Djar-il-Bniet and Buqana several
Principe Giuseppe Said (1949-, De Jure "27th" Baron di
Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana, married 1970 to Mary-Doris Vassallo
dei Baroni di Bauvso.
Charles Said-Vassallo, (1971- De Jure Baroncino di
Djar-il-Bniet e Buqana.
(IF THERE ARE ANY UPDATES TO ANY TREES, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL
or [email protected]
' stating site you seen the genealogical tree and updates.)
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.," A Guide to the Maltese Nobility",
Publishers Enterprise Group (PEG) Ltd, Malta, 1986.
4) Montalto, J., "The Nobles of Malta-1530-1800", Midsea
Books Ltd, Malta, 1980.
5) Giles Ash, S., "The Nobility of Malta", Publishers
Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1988.
6) Said Vassallo, C.M., Unpublished research papers and
7) Said Vassallo, C.M., www.Maltagenealogy.com Research