Title: Baron
Title in succession:
Date created: 
Grant by:  
Grandmaster Jean Paul Lascaris de Castellar
Granted To: Dr. Gio Pio De Piro
Rep: De Piro D'Amico Inguanez
Remainder to:
his descendants in perpetuity each holder having 
the right to nominate a successor; in default of nomination to the first 
born son and in the absence of male issue, to the first born female issue. 
Present Holder:
Nicholas de Piro D`Amico-Inguanez
Extinct Magisterial Titles: Baron of Budach 1644
Other related titles: De Piro

Budaq - By Joseph Barbara


The fief of Budaq (originally Budacco) had been granted or sold numerous times in its interesting history as a fief.

The Barba family were granted this fief in 1397, following the Gatto family in 1398, Aulesa also in 1398, following the Inguanez in 1408, the Cilia family in 1644, the Fiteni`s in 1646, following the Passalaqua in 1646. 

Francesco Cilia had purchased the fief of Budaq from Baron Antonio Inguanez on 16th May 1590. For some reason neither father or son ever paid homage to the Grand Master as an acknowledgement of Fealty and were consequently never styled Baron. Niccolo was in danger of having his fief confiscated by the order. However he successfully petitioned the Grand Master to be formally recognised as the Baron di Budaq. Cilia died in 1646, leaving no successor, where upon the fief devolved to the Order to be regranted a few months later.

The first Protomedico to be ennobled was Niccolo Cilia, who in 1633 had been appointed to this office. He probably also awarded the 'Croce d'Oro' on his appointment. Cilia, however had been aware that he possessed the fief of Budach. His father , Francesco, had bought the lands from Baron Antonio Inguanez for the sum of 2280 onze. The sale had been made on the 16 May 1590, and was registered in the acts of Notary Enrico Zarb. When the Protomedico realised that he held feudal territory he wanted to be invested in order to acquire the title and hold a legitimate claim for his fief. Grand Master Lascaris acceded to Cilia's request and concluded a transaction with his protomedico, but only over a part of the fief. On the 18 February 1644, the council of the Order had given the Grand Master permission of the said transaction. After eight days, Cilia was created Baron di Budaq, only two years before his death in 1646. There is no evidence that Cilia had been ennobled because of service to the Order, but his appointment as Protomedico probably had considerable influence in his investiture as Baron, since Lascaris could have claimed this fief in virtue of Cilia's omission to pay homage.

This time the fief, went to Cesare Passalacqua , to his daughter and her husband Silvestro Fiteni.

Silvestro Fiteni was Capitano della Verga 1644-52, and created a Knight of the Order of St John in 1656.

Fiteni left no legitimate heir and so the title became extinct with his death.

The Barony was regranted to Gio Pio de Piro and his wife Anna Gourgion by the Grand Master Perollos on 23rd of April 1716, with the required tribute of two muskets on St. Barbara.

The Barony de Budaq was given to the de Piro's and his legitimate heirs, males and females, procreatis vel procreandis. 

The Baron de Piro could not attend his first Investiture since he was in Sicily and his father paid homage instead. Only three years after de Piro was ennobled he neglected to present his two muskets-to grave concern of his father. Not only Gio Pio's successors was ever invested, but their rights to the Barony was never queried. It may be argued that when a nobleman did not pay homage and present tribute he was in breach of the original oath, which was similar to that taken, in 1644, by the feudatory of Budach, who declared: 

" I Niccolo Cilia swear and promise fidelity, reverence and observance to your Highness and to Your Holy Religion, recognising you as the true and rightful Lords of the fief of Budach which you and your Holy Convent have honoured me with and to present every year at Easter of the Resurrection a bunch of Roses as rightful recognition in the said fief "

(Reference: John Monalto., "The Nobles of Malta 1530-1800" Midsea Books Ltd, Malta 1979.,pp35)

The de Piro family hold this fief to this day. 

Note of Interest - 

The remainder of the Barony to the de Piro family, stated " His descendants in perpetuity , each holder of the title having the right to nominate a successor, in default of nomination to the first born male descendant and in absence of male issue, to the first born female descendant. Members of the clergy are precluded from succession by primogeniture".

Wealth therefore becomes an influencing factor in the choice of a prospective 'Secreto'. The fourteen thousand scudi which Baron Gio Pio de Piro paid out during 1720-21 in his official capacity as Zondadari's administration was less than the private income for the same period of the de Piro-Gourgion family.

The only two sons of Marquis Vincenzo de Piro to marry, disregarded the wish of their parents and married partners of their own choosing. The eldest Antonio, married Teresa de Re, a person of his own 'nationality but not of equal rank', from whom-it was rumoured, had an illegitmate child. This enraged his father who not only disinherited him, but also his innocent descendants. Five years later, in 1795 Antonio left with his family to live in Rome. The second son, Giuseppe, was nominated , within the space of three years, the future heir to the lucrative Gourgion and the de Piro entails. Rather surprisingly he was not disinherited in spite of the fact that he married Generosa Borg, below his rank.

The title passed from father to son, until the 4th holder, where it was succeeded by his sister, who died in 1877, and nominated her cousin Mgr. Don Salvatore Grech-Delicata to succeed her. But the Court of Appeal overruled this decision in favour of Guiseppe de Piro-Gourgion, the holder of the Primogeniture .

Though , the senior branch of the de Piro`s were excluded from succession due to Vincenzo de Piro being born outside of wedlock to the 3rd Baron and his wife Teresa della Re.

On 5th December 1807, in a lengthy judgment, the Courts of Malta upheld the primogenital and fede-commessary right due to Vincenzo and his descendants as members of the de Piro family.

Just recently, a descendant of Vincenzo de Piro, claimed the Spanish Title of Marquisate di San Vincente en Castilla, ( Marquis Anthony Buttiegieg de Piro ).

Today, the Junior branch still carried the titles of Baron di Budaq and Marquis de Piro (Maltese recognised title), with Nicholas de Piro D`Amico-Inguanez, as the 8th Marquis de Piro, and 9th Baron di Budaq, (See de Piro for history).

Short version of the family tree of the Barons de Budaq

Jerome de Piro D'Amico Inguanez, (1914-96) 8th Baron di Budaq, 7th Marquis de Piro, married 1938 to Phyllis Cassar Torreggiani

1. Nicholas de Piro D'Amico Inguanez (1941- , 9th Baron di Budaq, 8th Marquis de Piro, married 1970 to Frances Wilson
1.1 Cosmo de Piro D'Amico Inguanez (1971-, Marchesino de Piro, married with issue
1.2. Clement de Piro D'Amico Inguanez (1972- , Baroncino di Budaq
1.3. Anton de Piro D'Amico Inguanez (1985-
1.4. Mary Louisa de Piro D'Amico Inguanez (1974-
2. Rosemary de Piro D'Amico Inguanez (1943-, married Dr John O'Connell M.R.C.P, with issue
3. Mary Theresa de Piro D'Amico Inguanez (1946-, married Simon Bailey, with issue
4. Mary Elisabeth de Piro D'Amico Inguanez (1950-, married Ralph Bianchi, with issue
5. Mary Margaret de Piro D'Amico Inguanez (1951-, married Architect Paul Bianchi B.E., A.&C.E. with issue. 

A full account of genealogy is herewith:

A genealogical account of the Marquis's de Piro

Vincenzo de Piro, 2nd Baron di Budaq, 2nd Marquis di Castilla (de Piro), died 1799., married 1757 to Maria Teresa dei Baroni Testaferrata Abela

1. Antonio de Piro, 3rd Baron di Budaq, 3rd Marquis di Castilla (1758-1806), married 1790 to Teresa della Re.
1.1. Vincenzo de Piro (1785-1840), married 1810 to Loreta Mallia
1.1.1. Guiseppe de Piro, married 1845 to Maria Antonia Mizzi Antonio de Piro, married firstly to Louisa Borg, with issue, Married secondy to Florence Cowley, with further issue. Fortunato de Piro, married 1893 to Ersilea Leone Ganado Joseph de Piro, married 1930 to Antonia Caruana Dingli dei Marchesi del Fiddien, and dsp. Jane de Piro, married 1928 to Joseph Buttigieg Anthony Buttigieg de Piro, Marquis Buttigieg de Piro, "Marquis di Castillo" (1932- , married 1959 to Alice Pace. Capt Joseph dei Marchese Buttigieg de Piro (1934- , married 1969 to Corinne Eminyan David dei Marchese Buttigieg de Piro (1974- Victoria dei Marchese Buttigieg de Piro (1971- Cecil dei Marchese Buttigieg de Piro (1936- Victoria de Piro, married Paul Fenech Gasan, with issue Loreto de Piro, married Annette Mizzi, with issue.
1.1.2. Antonia de Piro, married to Gio Batta Mamo Mompalao, with issue
1.2. Sir Giuseppe Maria de Piro C.M.G., (1794-1870), 4th Baron di Budaq, married Antonia Moscati Gatto, 3rd Baroness di Benwarrad, and dsp.
1.3. Francesca de Piro (died 1877), 5th Baroness di Budaq
2. Giuseppe de Piro Gourgion, C.M.G (died 1852), married 1810 to Gaetana Borg Madiona
2.1. Adriano de Piro Gourgion (1817-66) Styled Marquis de Piro, dunm.
2.2. Dr Carmelo dei Marchese de Piro-Gourgion, married 1844 to Gerolama dei Baroni Sceberras d'Amico-Inguanez
2.2.1. Guiseppe de Piro-Gourgion (c 1845-1916), 6th Barone di Budaq, dunm.
2.2.2. Alessandro de Piro-Gourgion (c 1849-98), married 1868 to Ursola Aguis-Caruana Dr Carmelo de Piro, MD. (c 1871-1912), married 1908 to Dolores Dyer-Lister Maria Pilar de Piro (c 1911-44), married Alexander Apap-Bologna dei Marchese di Gnien is Sultan, with issue Maria Teresa de Piro (c 1869-1920), married 1899 to Paolo Apap Bologna, 5th Marchese di Gnien is Sultan Rev Santo de Piro (c 1873-1929) dunm. Igino de Piro d'Amico Inguanez (c 1874-1942), 7th Baron di Budaq, married Nicolina Apap Bologna Jerome de Piro d'Amcio Inguanez (c 1914-9?), 8th Baron di Budaq, 7th Marquis de Piro , married 1938 to Philomena Cassar-Torreggiani Nicholas de Piro d'Amico Inguanez (c 1941- , 9th Baron di Budaq, 8th Marquia de Piro , married 1970 to Frances Wilson Cosimo de Piro d'Amico Inguanez (c 1971-, Marchesino de Piro Clement de Piro d'Amcio Inguanez (c 1972-, Baroncino di Budaq Anton de Piro (c 1985- Mary Louise de Piro (c 1974- Madeleine de Piro (c 1943-., married 1974 to Dr John O'Connell Thomas O'Connell (c 1975- James O'Connell (c 1976- Victoria O'Conell (c1978- Mary Therese de Piro (c 1946-, married 1974 Simon Bailey Sebastian Bailey (c 1977- Paul Bailey (c 1977- Mary Elizabeth de Piro (c 1950-, married 1977 to Ralph Bianchi Mark Bianchi (c 1980- Guilia Bianchi (c 1978- Philippa Bianchi (c 1982- Mary Margaret de Piro (c 1951-, married Paul Bianchi Alexandra Bianchi (c 1982- Catherine Bianchi (c 1979- Marie de Piro (c 1902-., married Niclino Trapani Galea Feriol, 9th Baron di San Marciano Cecilia de Piro (c 1904-, married firstly 1924 to Count Nazzareno Zimmermann Barbaro, 5th Count von Zimmermann, married secondly to Professor John Pick. Monica de Piro (c 1909- ), married Col.John Toole Nelson. Alberto de Piro (c 1877-99) dunm Mgr Alberto de Piro (c 1877-1933) dunm. Maria de Piro (c 1872-1907), married Dr Alfredo Stilon MD Dr Guido de Piro (c 1879-., married Betta Capone.... Gio Pio de Piro (c 1881-..., married Emma Gauci-Tramblett Dr Alessandro de Piro Gourgion LLD (C 1917-
2.3. Francesco Saverio de Piro, C.M.G (1824-94), 4th Marquis di Castillo, married 1856 to Adelaide dei Marchese Cassar Desain
2.3.1. Guiseppe Lorenzo de Piro, C.M.G, (1858-1911), 5th Marquis di Castillo, married 1891 to Georgina Galea-Naudi Adelina de Piro (1892-1962), 6th Marchioness di Castillo, married to Kenneth MacPherson, dsp.

(IF THERE ARE ANY UPDATES TO ANY TREES, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO '[email protected]' 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 a member of the 'Triple Alliance Site- Maltese Nobiliy'.