Bandi of the XV Century

E.R. Leopardi

The perusal of medieval texts and documents is today considered indispensable for a thorough understanding of the history of the Middle Ages; in fact such documents are the principal sources from which the history of that period is written.

Various medieval documents relating to Malta have been published. [1] The Charters and what are known as “Capitoli” form a corpus of the privileges, grants, immunities, exemptions or other rights regulating the administrative powers of the Universitas, the name by which the local government was known in the late Middle Ages. This corpus is found scattered in various works published by Miège, [2] Giambruno and Genuardi, [3] Mifsud, [4] and Valentini. [5]

Besides the Charters and the “Capitoli” there are other less well known but important documents which, to the best of our knowledge, have not yet been published. These are the “Bandi,” the proclamations which the Jurats of the City issued from time to time to enforce certain obligations on the citizens and likewise to prohibit certain abuses. Many interesting aspects of the social life and conditions of the inhabitants of the Island can be obtained from a careful study of these “Bandi,” and the transcription and publication of the original texts have, we feel, sufficient importance to warrant this work being undertaken. They are also available to students of philology and of the history of legislation in Malta.

The population of these Islands in the second half of the 15th Century was about twenty thousand. [6] The capital, called by the people Mdina, officially referred to as Notabile, was the seat of the government. The governing body was formed of the Captain of the City and four Jurats. Besides these principal officials there were others who attended the meetings and together formed the “Consiglio Popolare,” or the general assembly.

The Jurats were elected annually on St. John’s Day – 24th June – and took office on 1st September, after receiving the ratification of their election from the Viceroy of Sicily.

The “Bandi” are the proclamations which were issued by the Jurats for the good order of the people and were proclaimed. by the Town Crier (Banditore) from certain specified places of the City. After the Town Crier had proclaimed the “Bando,” the Notary of the Council (Magister Notarius) made an entry of the document in the register of the Universitas, adding the name and surname of the Town Crier responsible for its diffusion. The subjoined transcriptions of 14 “Bandi” have been taken from a register of the Universitas of the 15th Century, preserved in the Royal Library in Valletta where the Archives of the Universitas are kept. The earliest of these registers covers the second half of the 15th Century, is marked 1450-1498, and bears No. 11 in the Inventory. Its chief contents are minutes of the Council, records of the lease of immovable government property, the proclamations known as “Bandi” and other documents. Although earlier registers must have existed of the council meetings, this is presumably the oldest of its kind that has survived the ravages of time.

Some details on the binding and foliation of register No. 11 are worth recording. The volume, bound in parchment, presumably in the 17th century, contains leaves numbered on the recto, or front, from 1 to 600. These are interspersed by a few leaves left blank and unnumbered. There are also some leaves which have a duplicate number. It is interesting to observe the careless manner in which the sewing together of the quires was done when the volume was bound. One of the quires is transposed thus making a confusion in the sequence of foliation. Another gross error of the book binder was to leave out a quire containing documents of the year 1467 when collating volume No. 11 covering the years 1450-1498. This missing quire was included in volume No. 13 which contains documents covering the years 1531-1570.

The transcription of these “Bandi” presented considerable difficulty on account of the hand in which they were written, varying from a uniform cursive gothic to an almost illegible scribble.

The 14 “Bandi” transcribed below have been selected as throwing light on various aspects of everyday happenings of the period. These are a first contribution and further transcriptions will follow. Capital letters have been used in the transcription of proper names as is the practice today. Punctuation, which is absent in the original texts of the “Bandi” has been introduced where necessary to make the sense clear. All abbreviations have been extended in accordance with the rules of palaeography.

For reference purposes the “Bandi” produced hereunder have been numbered 1 to 14, and the correct and full date of the documents, whenever possible, has been inserted with the number of the folio whether front or back (recto or verso), in which they are found in Manuscript No. 11. A short precis in English of the proclamations is given below the transcription of the texts, which are written in Medieval Latin and old Sicilian.

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            1. (1470) Fol. No. 195 verso.

XXVII eiusdem

            Emissum est bannum sive proclama in locis puplicis debitis et consuetis per Georgium Galdes ki nixuna persuna sia ausantj di vindiri pluj di chincu carlini lu rotlu di chira lavurata tantu di Sichilia quantu di Malta et si lu virria vindiri a candila ki rispunda a chentu chinquanta candili sub pena falsi et sub pena carlenorum XV aplicandi acatapanis dicte civitatis.

This “Bando” fixes the price of tallow, both of Sicilian and local origin, at 5 carlini per rotolo. It states that from one rotolo of tallow 150 candles should be produced. Infringement of this order was a fine of 15 carlini payable to the Catapans of the City. “Cattapani” are the officials appointed to supervise in the market that correct weights and measures be used.

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           2. (18th March, 1471) Fol. No. 208 verso.

XVIII eiusdem

            Georgius Galdes serviens retulit preconizasse de mandato dominorum juratorum in locis puplicis debitis et consuetis in hac ferme videlicet: ki tucti quilli persuni li quali havissiru acatatu vinu per loru usu oy acatirannu et dapoi lu vindissiru sencza revelarlu a lu cabellottu, ki sia in pena per omni unu novj more solitu.

Wine cannot be sold except through a licence obtained from the Tax-collector (Cabellottu). Should any person after buying wine for his own use decide to sell it without the necessary licence he will be fined nine times the cost of the wine.

3. (11th September, 1472) Fol. No. 225 recto.

Eodem die

            Emissum est bannum seu proclama in locis pupicis debitis et consuetis ipsius civitatis in hac forma videlicet: bandu et comandamentu per parti di lu Signori Re che nixuna persuna, cuiusque gradus seu condicionis existat, sia ausanti di extrahiri bestiamj per via di lu Gozu sub pena unciarum decem ponderis regio fisco applicansi, et chi nixxunu pocza vindiri bestiami a li Gaudisani sub eadem pena.

The above “Bando” is unusual for it is by command of the King (lu Signuri Re). It prohibits the importation of cattle from Gozo and exportation of same to that Island, the fine for infringement of this order being 10 uncias.


4. (11th September, 1472) Fol. No. 225 verso.

Eodem die

            Emissum est bannum per eundem servientem eodem modo: quod nemo audeat neque presumat vendere carnem in eius domo et quod vendat in loco consueto di la buchiria sub pena carlenorum XV acatapanis predictis applicandi.

This order prohibits the sale of meat in private dwelling places and regulates its sale at the market places, against a fine of 15 carlini.

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           5. (12th September, 1472) Fol. No. 225 verso.

XII eiusdem

            Bandecta sive [meta] carnium lactium et aliarum rerum facta et ordinata per nobiles Juratos anni presentis VIe Indictione MCCCCLXXII.


La carNi di lu crastatu                                                                        a dinari XX
Item la carni di lu muntuni                                                                  a dinari XVI
Item la carni di la pecura                                                                    a dinari XIIII
Item la carni di lu boy                                                                         a dinari XII
Item la carni di la vacca                                                                      a dinari XIIII
Item la carni di la ginicza                                                                    a dinari XIIII
Item la carni di lo vitella                                                                      a dinari XVIII
Item la carni di lu beccu crastatu                                                        a dinari XII
Item la carni di la crapa                                                                      a dinari VIIII
Item la carni di lu porcu oryatu                                                           a dinari XX
Item le carni di lu porcu di la xara                                                      a dinari XIIII
Item la troya oryata                                                                            a dinari XIIII
Item la carni di la troya di la xara                                                       a dinari VIIII
Item la carni di lu agnellu                                                                   a dinari VIIII
Item chi nixunu pocza vindiri carni a quartu sub pena carlenorum XV

Li lactumj

Imprimis la pisa di lu furmayu friscu                                                   a dinari XXVI
Item lu furmayu muxe la pisa                                                             a tari II
Item la pisa di lu furmayu di gractari                                                  a grani X
Item la hubara di lu burru                                                                  a tari V
Item la hubara di burru di la ricocta                                                   a tari III
Item la hubara di lu lacti                                                                     ad un soldu
Item la hubara di meli                                                                        a tari V
Item la chira di Malta lavurata                                                           a tari XII
Item lu Rotulu di lu finu                                                                      a dinari XXI
Item lu Rotulu di li candili di lu finu di Malta                                      a grani X
Item la pisa di li chipulli                                                                     a dinari XII
Item la pisa di lana                                                                            a tari V
Item lu tuminu di favi di Malta                                                           a tari V

Item chi nixunu pocza vindiri pixi fora di la piscaria

Item ki nullu taurnaru pocza accactari di la piscaria exceptu una resca di pixi et non ultra.

This is the price list of meat, dairy produce and other articles issued by the Jurats once a year. The following is an explanation of terms used in the price list which are now archaic.

Ginicza, veal, heifer.
Crapa, capra, goat flesh.
Porcu oryatu, pork from swine fed on oats (good quality meat).
Porcu di la xara, pork from swine that roamed semi wild in search of food. (Xara a waste tract of land).
Furmayu friscu, fresh cheese; furmayu muxu, dry cheese; furmayu di gractari, cheese for grating.
Hubara, was the measure by which the following articles were sold: butter, ricotta, milk and honey. Professor J. Aquilina has been good enough to contribute the following note on the etymology of this word: “The word hubara is not found in either De Soldanis or Vassalli or in later dictionaries. I suspect the word should be spelt għubara or għabbara and in this sense it should mean just a weight obtained by a lead measure, from the verb għabbar, “mettere del pesi nella bilancia per equiparare le due parti.”

Caruana explains għabara “sorta di misura antica che equivaleca a dieci kejliet moderne.” The word għabara occurs also in the saying Nhar Santa Barbara iż-żara’ jikber għabara. Hubara in the document must have meant a weight or measure the amount or quantity of which has to be determined by outside comparative criteria, since words of weights and measures in Semitic languages and also Romance, may indicate different weights or quantities in different places and sometimes also in different times. Cf. in this connection the weight value of It. modio. M. modd, in different Italian dialects and also with its weight value in Ar. mudd.”

Chira, tallow for the making of candles. Lu finu probably wax for better quality candles.

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           6. (April, 1472) Fol. No. 244 recto.

Pinus de Luna serviens emisit bannum puplicum sive proclama de mandato dominorum juratorum in locis puplicis et consuetis quod nemo cuius gradus existat audeat nec presumat lavare pannos sive foglamj oy non aliquod fordiciej intus biviraturas di la Saccaya et di Garhesim, sub pena carlenorum XV marammati civitatis; et si fiunt servus vel serva sint in pena di chinquanta czocti sive chinglij, et qui denunciaverit tales lavantes intus dictas biviraturas habeat carlenos sexdecim (?) pena predicta pro premio suo.

It is prohibited to wash clothes, vegetables or other articles in the fountains of the Saqqajja and Għariexem against a fine of 15 carlini payable for the upkeep of the walls surrounding the City. Should menials transgress the order they will receive 50 lashes. A reward will be given to the informers. “Marammero” is the official in charge of the building and repairs of the city walls.

7. (23rd June, 1472) Fol. No. 250 recto.

                                   vicesimo tercio mensis eiusdem

            Gullielmus Buchaiar serviens retulit emisisse bannum puplicum regia ex parte de mandato dominorum juratorum in locis puplicis et consuetis, quod omnes qui solent intervenire in consilio debeant, sub pena unciarum quinquaginta, venire hodie post horam vesperam ad consilium per ipsos juratos tenendum pro beneficio puplico.

This notifies Members of the Council to attend a meeting to be held that evening. Failure to attend was punished by a fine of 50 uncias (a heavy fine for those days).

8. (21st June, 1472) Fol. No. 250 recto.

XXI Junij

            Gullielmus Buchaiar serviens retulit qualiter ipse ut serviens de mandato dominorum Juratorum emisit bannum puplicum sive proclama in locis puplicis debitis et consuetis ipsius civitatis regia ex parte, che nixunu curviseri pocza vindiri li cauczari fimminj ultra grana X lu paru, et li masculini a dui carlini, sub pena carlenorum XV marmmatis.

This lays down the prices of footwear. Shoes or sandals for women (li cauczari fimmini) being 10 grani per pair, whilst footwear for men was 2 carlini a pair. For overcharging the fine was 15 carlini, which sum went towards the funds for the upkeep of the city walls.

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           9. (8th July. 1472) Fol. No. 254 recto.

VIII Julij

            Emissum fuit et est bannum puplicum sive proclama per Gullielmum Buchaiar servientem in locis puplicis et consuetis ipsius civitatis de mandato nobilium Juratorum, quod nemo audeat nec presumat vendere fructus seu foglami extra portam civitatis, videlicet in planicie santi Augustini, sub pena carlenorum XV acathapanis.

It was forbidden to sell fruit and vegetables outside the gates of the City, i.e., the area known as St. Augustine. The fine for infringement was fixed at 15 carlini payable to the Catapans.

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           10. (14th October, 1474) Fol. No. 308 recto.

XIIII Octobris VIII Indictione

            Emissum fuit bannum in locis consuetis dicti civitatis per Lanciam de Lia servientem regia ex parte de mandato dominorum Juratorum, ki tucti persuni di consiglu a lu matinu, scilicet die sabati, digianu vinirj a lu consiglu sub pena unciarum quinquaginta regio fisco.

Members of the Council are hereby notified of a meeting on the following Saturday morning. Members failing to attend will be fined 50 uncias.

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11. (9th September, 1478) Fol. No. 389 verso.

Eodem die

            Pinus de Luna serviens emisit bannum de mandato dominorum juratorum in locis publicis et consuetis regia ex parte,.ki nixunu di qualsivogla statu e condicionj sia presuma vindiri carni a quartu e ki tucthomu vinda secundu la meta seu bandecta data a li acatapanj, videlicet: la carni di lu crastatu a la chitati et so Rabbatu a vinti dui, la vitella a vinti, et lu porcu orgiatu a vinti dinari, et in li casalj a dui dinarj minu. videlicet: lu crastatu a vinti, in porcu orgiatu a XVIII, et la vitella a XVIII, sub pena carlenorum XV Capitano et carlenorum XV Acatapano, et ki omne unu vinda la dicta carpi in puplicu et non amuchunj sub dicta pena.

This proclamation is for the regulation of prices of meat in Melilla and Rabat, fixing the cost of mutton, veal and first quality pork at 2 dinari more than the cost of same sold in outlying villages.

The meaning of the prohibition of selling meat “a quartu” is obscure.

The fine for breaking the order was fixed at 15 carlini payable to the Captain of  the City — another 15 to the Catapans. It is further stated that all butchers should sell meat only in the market place. (Ammucchuni = di nascosto, underhand).

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           12. (9th September, 1478) Fol. 389 recto.

VIIII Septembris XII Indictione

            Emissum fuit et est bannum seu proclama puplicum in locis debitis et consuetis regia ex parte de mandato dominorum juratorum, ki nixuna persuna di qualsivogla statu et condicionj sic ausati extrahiri mundicza seu fumeri per la porta di li Grechi, ne cum zimbili ne cum saccu oy altru vasu; sub pens carlenorum XV Capitano et duorum Tumeo Laureri custodi, et si fiunit servus vel serva sit in pena di chinquanta chinglij, quod bannum fuit emissum per Pinum de Luna servientem.

All persons regardless of position or state are forbidden to carry garbage or ashes out of the Greeks’ Gate of the City, in a “zembil,” sack or any other container. The fine imposed for breaking this order is 15 carlini to be paid to the Captain of the City and a further 2 carlini to be paid to the Custodian Tumeo Lauren. Should menials transgress this order they will receive 50 lashes. Zembil is a Maltese word of Arabic origin, meaning a basket made of interwoven twigs or rushes.

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           13. (14th September, 1478) Fol. No. 389 verso.

XIIII eiusdem

            Ex provisione et mandato dominorum juratorum fuit emissum bannum puplicum per Pinum de Luna servientem in locis puplicis debitis et consuetis regia ex parte: quod nemo audeat extrahere mundiciam seu fumerium per portam civitatis predicte, videlicet qui exiant per portam Grecorum et qui perhiciat fumerium seu mundiciam in loco deputato per Tumeum Laureri, et non in alio loco, sub pena carlenorum XV Capitano et alia carlenorum duorum ipsius Tumeo ut custodi, et si fiunt servus vel serva sia in pena di chinquanta czocti.

This Bando followed the previous one in 5 days time. It states that garbage and ashes must not be taken through the Main Gate of the City, but out of Greeks’ Gate and deposited in the place denoted by the Custodian Tumeo Lauren. The fine for breaking this order was 15 carlini paid to the Captain of the City and another 2 carlini to the Custodian mentioned above. Should menials be the transgressors they would receive 50 lashes.

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           14. (16th August, 1478) Fol. No. 402 verso.

XVI Augusti

            Emissum fuit et est bannum puplicum bis et tres in una et eadem die ex provisione dominorum juratorum per Paulum Busayle servientem: ki cuj si vilissi lamentarj di lu Capitanum et so Judichi ki comparisi in loru presencia ki ipsi li farianu justicia.

This proclamation was read three consecutive times in the usual places. It called upon all those having a grievance to appear before the Captain of the City and his Judges when their complaint would be heard. An interesting propensity of the Notaries of that period was to attempt to latinize surnames. An example of this is the surname of the Town Crier in the proclamation above — Psaila is written Busayle.


These “Bandi,” with their quaint wording, giving instructions to the people for the maintenance of law and order and the general well being and good government of the population, give us an insight into life in Malta during the late Middle Ages. Some of the present “Bandi” are near repetitions of a few published last year, yet on account of the wording they deserve attention if only because of their linguistic interest.

Besides the “Bandi,” other records are published which have been transcribed from MS No. 11. The history of the late Middle Ages in Malta is unfortunately obscure on account of the scarcity of documents relating to the period. It is only when we realize this fact that the importance of those few remaining documents becomes really evident as the sole means of forming a clear view of the history of these Islands.

To return to the point mentioned above, that these documents have a value for the student of linguistics, it is a fact that many expressions and terms used today in Maltese were in common parlance in the XV Century.

In the “Bandi” under review there is a reference to a parlamentu generali, the calling together of the people to air their complaints. This is an interesting event from two points of view: the first being the liberal, or as we say today the democratic outlook of the rulers of these Islands as far as back as the fifteenth century; the second point is that Malta, in spite of its distance from the mainland of Europe, was not far behind in its mode of government.

The method followed in the transcription and publication of these documents is identical to that used last year, and the same procedure has been followed as regards capital letters, punctuation, and the extension of abbreviations. A precis in English is added after each document which is written in Mediaeval Latin and Old Sicilian.

1. (4th October, 1469) Fol. No. 574 verso.


Emissum fuit et est proclama et bannum puplicum in locis puplicis debitis et consuetis civitatis Melitae, regia ex parte de mandato nobilium juratorum, per Guillelmum Buchayar, servientem, ki nixunu piscaturj et vinditurj di pixj oy di canna sia oy di xabica, oy per qualsivogla maynera si pigli lu pixj et  purtasi a vindirj digia vindiri li pixj a lu locu solitu di la piscaria et vindi est solitu semper vindirj li pixj et non di fora a lu Rabbatu, ne ali taverni ne ancora ad altra parte exceptu lu locu solitu sub pena di carlini quindichi da applicarj a la maramma di la chitati et aliorum chinqui a lu Capitaneu.

This proclamation forbids vendors to sell fish outside the customary market place. whether the fish be caught by rod, net or any other way. Both fishermen, piscaturj, and fishmongers, vindituri di pixi, were cautioned to bring their fish to the fish market, piscaria, and not to take their goods to Rabat or to the taverns, or to any other place except the fish market. The fine for infringement of the order was fixed at 20 carlini, 15 to be applied to the building of the city walls and 5 to be paid to the Captain of the City.

It is interesting to note the wording of the order, which leaves no room for doubt as regards the manner the fish was caught, nor excuse for evasion.

Xabica, or xabbaca, means net. In Maltese xibka. Cfr. “ …… lu regnu di chelu esti simili a la xabbaca, la quali cogli di omni mainera pissi, boni et rei.” SPOSIZIONE DEL VANGELO DELLA PASSIONE SECONDO MATTEO, a cura di P. Palumbo, Vol. I. Palermo, 1954, p. 66 (Collezione di Testi Siciliani dei Secoli XIV e XV, diretta da E. Li Gotti).

Carlino=10 grana; 60 carlini=one uncia.

A common form of fine mentioned in our “Bandi” was a sum of money which went towards the maintenance of the city walls. It is interesting to compare this to the fact that a similar form of taxation in England at this period was known as murage (Fr. murage, from L. murus, a wall), and was the money paid for keeping the walls of a town in repair.

2. (8th October, 1469) Fol. No. 575 recto.

Ihesus Christus

VIIIo Octobris IIIe Indictione lu factu di la cauchina, videlicet, cuj vulissj vindirj cauchina per minu prezzu ad opu di la maramma di li mura di la chitati misu ad incantu puplicu cum la candila a la placza di la dicta chitati, rimasi a lu Nobili Lancza Vaccaru et Antonj Cagege, comu ultimi dichiturj et quilli ii quali per minu prezu si offersiru in questu modu, videlicet: ki li dicti Nobili Lancza et Antonj vindiru a lu Juratu predictu comu ultimj dichiturj et per nomu di vindirj, darj et assignarj ad opu di la maramma predicta praesentis anni III Indictione, salmi di cauchina chinquanta ad raxuni di tari II et grana VII boni la salma portati per finu a la chitati oy maramma predicta ad requisicioni di li Nobili Jurati et Supermarammerj presente in queste et suplicanti li Nobili Notaru Perj Caxaru, Jufre Desguanes at Petrus Vaccaru, tri di li Jurati hujus praesentis anni in defectu di la absentia di Optavianu de Ravellu loru compagnu.

The above entry in the records of the Universitas refers to the supply of lime to the government for the preparation of mortar for building and repairing the walls of the city. The manner in which the prospective suppliers competed for the contract was the following.

At a given date and time they assembled in the square of the city. An official lit a taper and the would be suppliers bid their prices, the time allowed for this public auction ceasing as the taper burned out. This procedure was known by the term a candila accisa. Without loss of time the contract was awarded to the most advantageous offer.

On this particular occasion the contract to supply lime was given jointly to Lancza Vaccaru and Antonio Cagege. These partners had offered the best terms, which were that 50 salmi of lime would be supplied at the rate of 2 tari and 7 grana per salma. It appears from the text that the transport of lime from the kiln to the city was to be undertaken by the suppliers at their own expense, who bound themselves to do so whenever a demand was issued by the Jurats or by the Supermarammero.

The Jurats present at the above adjudication were: Peri Caxaru, Jufre Desguanes and Petrus Vaccaru who acted together in the absence of their fellow Jurat Optavianu de Ravellu.

Cauchina, calcina, lime for mixing mortar needed for the city walls.

Candila, sometimes found as candila amiss, a taper the burning of which denoted a period in which bids were called.

Placza, the square of the city.

Dichiturj, bidders.

Salma, a measure for grain, lime, etc.

Tari, a silver coin of the value of the thirtieth part of an uncia. Grana a bronze coin of the value of the twentieth part of a tari.

Supermarammero, or marammero, the official responsible for keeping the city walls, castles, etc., in good repair or building same.

* * *

3. (15th August, 1470) Fol. No. 597 recto.

XVo Agustj IIIe Indictione

Nobilis Tristaynus de Guivara, Capitaneus, deposuit baculus (sic) officij capitanie in manu di Nobilis Franciscus Gact de Sguanes, et ipsum Nobilem Franciscum constituit suum locumtenentem et posuit se, more solito et consueto, in sindicatu.

This entry dated August 15, registers the handing over of the insigna of the Captain of the Rod. It notifies that the Noble Tristaynus de Guivara, Captain of the City, consigned his staff to Francesco Gact de Sguanes and thereupon his term of office fell under revision or scrutiny by the Jurats.

The term of appointment of the Captain of the Rod was one year from September 1 to August 31. Since, in this case, the handing over took place in mid-August, we take it that de Guivara resigned before his time and by consigning the staff to de Sguanes he made him lieutenant to the vacant post.

Sindicatu, from sindicare, to inspect, verify, or audit. The word sindicatu, and its meaning, may be the source of the phrase used in Maltese: jissindikawk il-ġirien jew in-nies. A close as possible interpretation of this phrase might be: “the neighbours or people spy on you” or “the neighbours scrutinize one’s every action.” The Maltese phrase is used only to denote an unpleasant form of inquisitiveness on the part of others. See Docs. Nos. 13 & 14.

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4. (2nd September, 1471) Fol. No. 212 recto

IIo Septembris V Indictione

Johannes de Armanino retulit preconizasse de mandato dominorum juratorum ex parte regia sub pena carlenorum XV Capitaneo dictae civitatis et aliorum carlenorum XV marammatis ipsius civitatis applicandi, quod nemo audeat lavari aliquod neque pannos in biviraturijis Saccaya et Garheximi, sub pena predicta, et si fuerint servilis condicionjs quod sint in pena di chinquanta zocti ki li sianu dati per dominum Capitaneum predictum in placza dictae civitatis.

The above “Bando” was read at the usual places by the Town Crier Giovanni de Armanino. Prohibition to wash clothes or anything else in the fountain’s of the Saqqajja and Għariexem was proclaimed, and those transgressing this order would be liable to a fine of 15 carlini payable to the Captain of the City and a further 15 carlini to go towards the maintenance of the City walls.

Should menials be caught transgressing they would receive 50 lashes which, the “Bando” stipulates, would be given in the square by the Captain of the City.

* * *

5. (8th July, 1472) Fol. No. 254 recto.

Quisti sunnu li persuni li quali divino anno quolibet darj a la maramma jornati trj per esserj exemptj di la guardia.

Mastru Randinu Actard III
Mastru Julianu Butigeg III
Baptista Butigeg III
Manfre Butigeg III
Mastru Pasqualinu Vella III
Mastru Agustin Manyun III
Mastru Micheli Cassar III
Mastru Jacopu Dumah III
Mastru Micheli Dumah III
Mastru Cola Dumah III
Mastru Manfre III
Mastru Angelu Vassald III
Mastru Frankinu Vassald III
Andria Mardigan Balzan III
Mastru Julianu Farruge Balzan III
Mastru Blasi Skenbri III
Grigorj Skenbri III
Antonj Busayle III
Mastru Blasi Tard III
Luca Actard III
Mastru Nicolau Muscat III
Mastru Petru Seybe III
Mastru Nicolosiu Sint III
Mastru Jacobu Aczupard III
Mastru Nicola Frendu III

Li pirriaturj

Dominicu Frendu III
Julianu Curmi III
Franciscu Curmi III
Johanni Grima III
Salvaturj Frendu III
Luca Buras III
Nicolau Frendu III
Benedictu Frendu III
Benedictu Grima III
Fanzu Grima III
Bartolomu Burg III
Luca Frendu III
Micheli Frendu III
Martin Grima III
Nicolau Mule III

The above is a list of persons who had obtained exemption from military service through binding themselves to work without payment on the city walls for three days a year.

The second list is that of stone-cutters pirriaturj who likewise had obtained exemption from military service through binding themselves to work without payment on the city walls for three days a year.

In these lists there are instances of a different form in spelling surnames to that in use today. There are also surnames which no longer exist on the Island. In the above document it will be observed that Balzan appears twice as a double surname. From the character of the hand it appears that in both cases Balzan was added by a later scribe.

* * *

6. (16th August, 1472) Fol. No. 256 recto.

XVI Agusti

Emissum est bannum per Gullielmum Buchaiar de mandato dominorum juratorum de capitaneo ac judice sindicandi et cetera in hunc modum, videlicet: cuj si vulissi lamentarj di lu Capitaneu et so judichi li qualj su in sindicatu vegna a li jurati et ipsi li farrannu justitia.

This proclamation dated August 16, was issued fifteen days before the close of appointment of the Captain of the City and the Judges, who on expiration of their term of office were subjected to a close inspection on the manner in which they had governed during the year they were in office. This proclamation calls on all persons having a grievance against the outgoing Captain and Judges, to lodge their complaint with the Jurats, when the necessary action would be taken.

* * *

7. (17th August, 1472) Fol. No. 256 recto.

XVII eiusdem

Emissum fuit et est simile bannum per eundem servientem sedentibus Juratis pro tribunali di judice et capitaneo sindicandi, et cetera.

This proclamation is similar to No. 6. It was issued to notify the public that the Jurats had constituted themselves as an extraordinary tribunal to deal with cases concerning the outgoing Captain and his Judges at the termination of their year of office.

8. (11th September, 1472) Fol. No. 225 recto.


Gullielmus Buchaiar serviens curie predicte retulit preconizasse de mandato dominorum juratorum regia ex parte, in locis consuetis sub pena XV carlenorum applicandi acatapanis quod hive per totum diem martis proxime venturum unusquisque vendens aliquod pondere aut mensura accedat ad acatapanos predictor per aiustari li vasi et pisi cum quibus vendit.

This proclamation was issued on September 11, 1472, and read by Guglielmo Buchaiar. It ordered all vendors of goods who used weights and measures to bring their scales to the Catapans of the City for inspection and to have them adjusted and standardised. The time given was from the date of publication of the order until the following Tuesday. The penalty for disobeying this order was a fine of 15 carlini to be paid to the Catapans.

* * *

9. (16th September, 1472) Fol. No. 226 recto

XVI eiusdem

Gullielmus Buchaiar serviens retulit emisisse bannum seu proclama puplicum regia ex parte de mandato dominorum juratorum in locis consuetis et puplicis in hunc modum: chi tucti mereanti seu mircherj tantu iudej quanto cristianj hayanu a tinirj lj loru pisi sive balancj perchati a la asta et quod ceteri videlicet li bucheri e quilli chi pisanu a la grossa digianu tiniri li dicti loru pisi sive balanci pertusati a lu pernu sub pena carlenorum XV acatapanis applicandi.

The above proclamation was read from the usual places by Guglielmo Buchaiar, the Town Crier, by order of the Jurats. It was an order relating to weights and measures and called upon all traders, whether Jew or Christian, to have their scales regulated. Traders such as Butchers and wholesalers were warned to ascertain their weights were stamped to the perno, against a fine of 15 carlini payable to the Catapans.

Perno or pernio, pivot, hinge or support in modern parlance.

The wording in some parts of the bando is obscure and for this reason it is difficult to give a correct interpretation of the order, possibly perno, in this case, meant some part of the scales which unless marked might have served to give short weight.

* * *

10. (20th September, 1472) Fol. No. 226 recto


Retulit Gullielmus Buchaiar serviens preconizasse in locis puplicis et consuetis de mandato nobilium iuratorum regia ex parte chi nixunu cuiuscumque condicionis existat sia ausanti nexiri seu gictari mundicza di la porta di li grechi sub pena ammissionis zembili et carlenorum duorum applicandi guardiano ipsius mundicie et casu quo sit servus seu serva di aucharj chinquanta chocti.

The above proclamation was read at the usual places by Guglielmo Buchaiar, Town Crier of Notabile. It was an order forbidding the disposal of garbage through the Greeks’ Gate of the City.

Those caught transgressing this order would forfeit the offending rubbish container, and, further, would be fined 2 carlini to be paid to the watchman. Menials were to be punished by 50 lashes.

* * *

11. (19th March, 1473) Vol. No. 237 verso


Gullielmus Buchaiar retulit emisisse bannum puplicum sive proclama in locis puplicis et consuetutis (sic) de mandato Juratorum, chi tucti persunj chi havissiru quartari di misurarj vinu in tempu di octu jorni vegna a li acatapanj per aiustarj lj dictj quartarj sub pena carlenorum XV acatapanis et aliorum carlenorum XV marammati civitatis.

The above registers a report of Guglielmo Buchaiar who declares that in accordance with the orders he had received from the Jurats he had read a proclamation ordering all persons in possession of wine measures known as quartari, to take them within 8 days to the Catapans to be adjusted and standardised. Those failing to obey this order would be fined 15 carlini to be paid to the Catapans and a further 15 carlini for the maintenance of the city wallls.

* * *

12. (23rd May, 1473) Fol. No. 246 recto

XXIIIo madij VI Indictione. Nui Per Johannj de Mazara, Capitaneus de Malte, Georgi de la Chabica, Antonj Gact de Sguanes et Petrus Vaccaru, juratis, peroche quisti jornj passati Agustinu Xebirras et Saycu Xerri essendu di nocti a Salamunj a la guardia supervinni una fusta di Mori et misi agenti in terra e fora a li manu cum li dicti Mori taliter che lu dictu Agustinu fu per li dicti Mori firutu in facie et lu dictu Saycu etiam ligatu in putiri di ipsi Mori et deinde ipso Agustinu et Saycu viriliter et audacter si difisiru di li dicti Mori scapulandusi di li manu perfidi di ipsi Mori, per tanto attentis premissis et per dari marcha deinceps qua causa evenerit chasquidunu si habia a farj lu debitu contra ipsi Mori, pro premio et graciose fachimu exempti et frankj a li dicti Agustinu et Saycu di la guardia che de certo non poczano esserj ingariatj seu costricti affarj guardia alcuna et a cautela loru et nostra li fichimu farj la presente scriptura per manu di Andria Fauczunj notariu judichi et sub scripture di nostri proprij manj a bene placitu di li nostri superiurj et presente valitura perpetu.

† Ego Georgius de la Chabica juratus confirmo suprascriptos.

† Ego Petrus Vacaru juratu confirmo.

† Ego Antonius Gact de Sguanes juratus confirmo suprascriptos.

The above document is a warrant issued by the Jurats to Agostino Sceberras and Saycu Xerri. By this deed Sceberras and Xerri were to be exempted from future military service in recognition of bravery show by them while on patrol. This document records how Sceberras and Xerri, while patrolling the north-western part of the Island at Selmun, encountered and had a skirmish with Moorish troops who were landed at night time from an enemy schooner. Sceberras sustained facial wounds and both were overcome, tied and about to become prisoners. However, they gained enough strength to fight desperately, free themselves, and escape to raise the alarm.

In recognition of their bravery it was decided to free both from all further military duties and to ensure that this would be carried out, the present document was drawn up by Notary Andrea Fauczuni and signed by Giorgio de la Chabica, Pietro Vaccaru and Antonio Gact de Sguanes, three Jurats of the City.

* * *

13. (4th September, 1474) Fol. No. 302 recto

IIII Septembris VIII Indictione

Fuerunt misse licterae ex parte Nobilium Juratorum per Pinum de Luna et Johannem Cauki servientes, venerabilibus Cappillanis infrascriptis videlicet: Domino Lemmo Fauczuni, Domino Micaeli Fauczono, Domino Gilio, Domino Johanne Vella, Domino Gallo, Domino Rinaldo, Domino Antonio, Domino Czulio, tenoris infrascripti, videlicet:

Nui Antonius Falca, Barthu de Bernardu, Pinu de li Nasi et Franciscus de Laurerio, Jurati di la Isula di Malta, preganu a Vui Venerabili Capellani ki per serviciu di lu Signuri Vice Re regditi ac tucti Vostri parrochani ki ogi die dominica si digeanu presentari annuj et arricordarilj ki per omnem modum vegnanu altrimentu ki exegiremu la pena di lu bandu lu quali fachimu preconiczari ac tucti quissi Vostri capelli per ki lu Illustrissimu Signuri Vice Re voli haviri informacioni comu si passau cum li chitatini et habitaturi di la ysula lu Nobili Tristaynu de Guivara in lu tempu ki fu Capitanu. Datum ut supra Juratis ut supra.

The above entry registers the delivery of a circular notice to the Parish Priests of the vilages by the Town Criers Pinu de Luna and Giovanni Cauki. It will be noticed that eight names of Parish Priests are mentioned. They were the Parish Priests of the parishes existing in the villages of Malta at the time.

The notice was issued by the four Jurats of the city Antonio Falca, Bartolomeo de Bernardo, Pino de li Nasi and Francesco de Laurerio. It informed Parish Priests that upon an order from the Viceroy all parishioners were to come before the Jurats that day, the Sunday on which the Parish Priests read out the order. The Viceroy was seeking information as to how Tristano de Guivara had acted towards the citizens of the Island during his term of office as Captain of the City.

Those failing to obey this order by not attending the meeting would incur the penalties already specified in the bando. See Docs. Nos. 3 & 14.

* * *

14. (4th September, 1474) Fol. No. 302 recto

Emissum fuit bannum sive proclama per Cappellas, Rabatum et Civitatem, in locis debitis et consuetis regia ex parte de mandato dominorum Juratorum per Pinum de Luna et Johannem Caukj servientes quod omnes et singulae personae dicte Insole cuiuscuique gradus, status et condicionis existant debeant presentare coram predictos Nobiles Juratos in ecclesia majori Santi Pauli, civitatis et Insole Melivetanae pro regiri parlamentu generali super certi informacioni li quali li dicti Jurati divinu fari a lu Signuri Vice Re, videlicet: come si passau et regu lu Nobili Tristaynu de Guivara cum li habitaturi di la Isula in lu annu ki fu Capitanu in la dicta Insola sub pena oncie X regio fisco aplicanda, ogi die dominica IIII Septembris, VII Indictione.

The above proclamation was read in the villages, at Rabat and in the city of Notabile by the Town Criers Pinu de Luna and Giovanni Cauki.

Citizens of all social ranks were to assemble at the Cathedral Church at Notabile before the Jurats to take part in a parlamentu generali.

This general assembly of the citizens was convened to enable the Jurats to obtain information regarding Tristano de Guivara during the period he was Captain of the City. Those failing to attend the assembly would be fined 10 uncias.

While working on research of XV Century documents, this is the first instance that the term parlamentu generali has been encountered. See Docs. Nos. 3 & 13.

* * *

15. (2nd September, 1476) Fol. No. 353 verso

II Septembris X Indictione

Laurencius Fantinu serviens retulit emisisse bannum sive proclama de mandato dominorum juratorum in locis puplicis debitis et consuetis, quod nemo audeat exire cum mundicia da porta grecorum et debeat prohicere mundicia a lu canali solitu sub pena si est francu di pagari XV carlini a la maramma et si est scavu oy scava ki perdi lu simbilj et haja chentu zocti et kj nixuna digia lavarj a la biviratura tantu di Garexim quantu a la Sacaija, et si sara francu sia in pena di XV carlini a la maramma et si sara scavu oy scava haia chentu zocti.

There are two separate orders in the above proclamation, both relating to the hygiene of the population.

The first forbids the conveying of refuse through the Greeks Gate of the City and states that it should be disposed of at the customary place. The fine for neglecting this order was fixed at 15 carlini payable towards the maintenance of the city walls. Should the culprit be a slave he would forfeit the refuse container and receive 100 lashes.

The second order prohibits the washing of clothes at the public fountains of G ħ ariexem and Saqqajja, the fine for infringement of this order being the same as in the first instance.

* * *

16. (1st October, 1476) Fol. No. 356 recto

Primo Octobris X Indictione

Emissum est bannum sive proclama in locis puplicis debitis et consuetis ex parte regia de mandato dominorum juratorum per Laurencium Fantinu servientem, quod nemo cuiuscuique gradus et condicionis existat tam videlicet gentilomu quam autru qualsivogla chitatinu ne qualsivogla fimina audeat vendere furmentum, oleum, mel, suini, burru, carni, ne qualsivogla autra cosa exceptu secundu la meta ordinata per li dicti Nobilis Jurati, sub pena unciarum quinquaginta ponderis regio fisco aplicanda et carlenorum quindecim acatapanjs.

This bando, proclaimed by order of the Jurats, was read from the customary places by the Town Crier Lorenzo Fantinu. It prohibited the sale of wheat, oil, honey, swine, butter and meat and any other comestible, except at the price fixed in the list issued by the Jurats.

This order forbids persons of all social conditions: gentlemen, citizens or women to sell articles or goods at a price above those shown in the tariff, and makes the penalty for infringement 50 uncias, to be paid to the royal revenue, and 15 carlini to be paid to the Catapans.

* * *

17. (11th August, 1477) Fol. No. 362 verso.

XI Agusti X Indictione

Fuit emissum bannum per Laurencium Fantinu servientem de mandato dominorum juratorum regia ex parte sub pena unciarum quinquaginta ponderis regio fisco aplicanda, ki tucti quilli kj su di consiglu kj digianu vinirj in consiglu questa matina super lu factu di la collecta seu donativu.

The above proclamation was issued by order of the Jurats and read by Lorenzo Fantinu, the Town Crier. All members of the Council were called upon to attend an important meeting being convened that morning. Those evading their duty through non attendance would be fined 50 uncias — a comparatively high penalty.

The subject of the debate was to be the collecta or donativu.

The collecta was a sum of money exacted periodically by the king as his due. Subsequently this was termed donativu instead of collecta, the purpose behind the change being to give this taxation, hitherto looked on as an extortion, the form of a gift. Actually this stratagem worked both ways for accompanying the payment of the voluntary donation to the king, the Council sent a petition humbly begging privileges from His Majesty, who, under the circumstances, could not but grant them to the Maltese. These privileges were known as capitoli and were jealously guarded by the Jurats and citizens as well won rights. (Cfr. Francesco De Stefano: STORIA DELLA SICILIA DAL SECOLO XI AL XIX, Bari, 1948, pag. 95: E quando in luogo della colletta, si introdusse, con mutamento significativo di termine, l’uso del donativo, questo fu considerate come erogazione volontaria per scopi definiti di necessità generale, e fu il corrispettivo di ciò che il parlamento domandava per il regno, cioè dei capitoli, la cui redazione doveva essere fatta, da giuristi regnicoli, eletti dal braccio del parlamento.)


Naturally fortifications were very important and mention of these is predominant; hygiene and the importation of wheat are mentioned and it is interesting to read that in 1473 drought threatened the island and that as a result the Maltese considered mass exodus to Sicily. Price control seems as much in force as in present times, though the fines for infringement of the law vary considerably!

We have included a list of Charters, letters and other writings belonging to the Universitas of the island, which was ordered to be made by the Jurats in 1471. These Charters were the rights and freedoms dearly won and were much treasured by the government and people. They were preserved in a lead-lined wooden chest.

In the Royal Charters are freedoms awarded by King Martin in 1397; and the first Charter dated 1350, curiously enough, concerns integration! An important freedom was granted by King Alfonso in 1428.

The importance of this inventory can be grasped when the fact is realised that many of these charters have been lost through the years; fortunately some still exist and are found at the Royal Library in Valletta, others in the Archives of the Metropolitan Cathedral.

As I have done above capital letters have been used in the transcription of proper names as in use today; punctuation, which is absent in the original texts, has been introduced to clarify the meaning and all abbreviations have been extended in accordance with the rules of palaeography. Where numerals have been added they are in brackets.

Also as previously done we have given a precis in English below every entry which in the original are in Mediaeval Latin and Old Sicilian.

I take this occasion to express my deep gratitude to Dr. Lionel Butler, Professor of Mediaeval History at St Andrew’s. Without his encouraging words and advice my research work might not have been continued.

*          *          *


1.         (3rd September, 1460) Fol. No. 87 verso.


            Praefatus serviens preconizavit quod nemo cuius sit condicionis et status audeat vendere in sua domo oleum vel vinum nisi data fuerit sibi mensura per dictos acatapanos et hoc sub dicta pena.

The Town Crier read his order which forbade the sale of oil and wine in the private premises of the sellers, unless these had obtained the specific measures from the Catapans. Those caught contravening this order would be fined.

2.         (10th September, 1462) Fol. No. 164 verso.


            Emissum fuit et est bannum seu proclama puplicum per eundem servientem per loca puplica et consueta, ex parte regia de mandato dominorum juratorum quod nemo audeat taglarj li cuglunj di li crastatj ymo vindirila cum li cuglunj et non taglarj exceptu kj non fussiru presentili catapanj, alias sia in pena contraveniens di carlini quindichi a li ditti catapanj.

The above “Bando” refers to the castration of livestock and their sale. To ensure that castration had been performed correctly it was ordered that the Catapans should be present to inspect the animals at the time of sale. The fine for contravening this regulation was fixed at 15 carlini payable to the Catapans.

3.         (11th November, 1471) Fol. No. 215 verso.

XI Novembris

            Emissum est bannum sive proclama in locis puplicis debitis et consuctis civitatis praedictae ex parte regia de mandato dominorum juratorum per Georgium Galdes servientem: ki nixunu pocza vindici meli ultra la meta zoe di XV grana la ubara sub pena di carlini XV da aplicarj a la maramma e carlini XV a lu catapanu.

Item ki nixunu ausa vindiri carni a quartu sub pena predicta.

Item ki nixunu piscaturj ausa vindici pixi fora di la piscaria sub pena predicta.

Item ki nixunu putigaru ausa di pisari cum alcuna altra pisa kj acatari oy vinda sub pena predicta.

This proclamation was read at the usual places by the Town Crier Giorgio Galdes. It forbade the sale of honey at a higher price than 15 grana per ubara, under a penalty of 15 carlini payable to the fund for the repairing of the city walls and a further 15 carlini payable to the Catapans.

It was also forbidden to sell meat “a quartu“ (probably retail), and to sell fish anywhere except the fish market. Shopkeepers were warned against using false weights either for buying or selling merchandise, under the above penalties.

Ubarawas the measure used for honey, milk, butter, ricotta and oil. Monsignor A. Mifsud in his article entitled La Milizia e le Torri antiche di Malta published in “Archivum Melitense,” Vol. IV, No. 2, page 65, has the following note: MS 963 Regist. civit. Notab. an. 1600 f. 4 ed an. 1615 f.7. Bibl. Ivi la misura di miele di Malta è chiamata ha bara ed abara. L “identica parola è usata quale misura dell “olio tra le decime tesorierali, (libro D). “Abara d “olio di un rotolo alla grossa secondo l “antica ed inveterata consuetudine di quest “isola di Malta costa di venti misure sive due cartucci “per me D. Salv. Zammit deputatum anno 1752.”

*          *          *


4.         (19th March, 1473) Fol. No. 235 verso.

Ihesus XVIM Marcij VI Indictione

Emissum est bannum sive proclama puplicum in locis puplicis et consuetis civitatis Melivetanae de mandato dominorum iuratorum ipsius civitatis regia ex parte, quod unusquisque veniat ad ipsos iuratos in dies tres ad aiustarj lu so tuminu cum quo vendit frumentum et alia res, sub pena carlenorum XV acatapanis ipsius civitatis et aliarum carlenorum XV marammati civitatis predictae, quod quodem bannum emissum fuit per Gullielmum Buchaiar, servientem ipsorum dominorum juratorum.

This “Bandowas read “ by Guglielmo Buhagiar at the usual places in the city by order of the Jurats. It called upon all vendors of wheat and other commestibles, to go to the Jurats within three days for the testing of their measures. This order was made to ensure that the population obtained correct measure and right valve when purchasing goods. Those failing to comply with this order were liable to a fine of 30 carlini: 15 payable to the Catapans and 15 for the upkeep of the city walls.

*          *          *

            5.         (20th June, 1473) Fol. No. 247 verso.

XX Junij VI Indictione

            Emissum fuit et est bannum puplicum sive proclama per Gullielmum Buchaiar servientem, da mandato dominorum juratorum civitatis et insule Malte, in locis puplicis et consuetis, regia ex parte: chi tutti quilli persuni li quali sunnu soliti intraveniri et intrari in consiglu ac et tutti quilli chi su mandati sindachi per parti di li capelli diyati statim viniri et intrarj a la logia a lu consiglu generalj chi si divi tiniri hoggj.

This “Bandowas read by the Town Crier in the usual places of the city. It called all those citizens who formed part of the Council, likewise all those chosen as representatives of the Parishes in the island to assemble immediately at the “logiaof Notabile for an urgently called general meeting, which would be held that day. The “logiawas the meeting place of the Consiglio Popolare — a place in the open but protected by a covering “by this means all discussions were freely heard by the citizens.

*          *          *

            6.         (30th June, 1473) Fol. No. 254 recto.

Ultimo mensis eiusdem

            Gullielmus Buchaiar servientes retulit emisisse bannum puplicum regia ex parte de mandato dominorum juratorum in locis puplicis et consuetis, quod omnes qui solent intervenire in concilio debeant, sub pena unciarum quinquaginta, venire hodie post horam vespertinam ad consilium per ipsos juratos tenendi pro beneficio puplico.

Guglielmo Buhagiar, the Town Crier, read this “Bandoin the usual places. It called all the members of the council “the Consiglio Popolare —to attend a meeting that evening, and those failing to obey this order would be fined 50 uncias.


7.         (4th September, 1473) Fol. No. 261 verso.

IIII Septembris VII Indictione

            Emissum fuit bannum per Johannem Caukj, in locis puplicis consuetis de mandato dominorum juratorum, regia ex parte, quod nemo de dicta civitate et insola cuiuscumque gradus, status, et condicionis, ausi vindiri la carnj ne in puplicu ne in privatu a quartu si no a rotulu, secundu la meta ordinata subra pena di carlini quindichi a li accaptapanj.

This “Bandowas read by the Town Crier Giovanni Cauchi. It was an order to forbid the selling of meat “a quartu,” whether in a private dwelling or at the market. It states that meat must be sold by the “rotoluat the price fixed by the Jurats. Those failing to comply with this order would be fined 15 carlini payable to the Catapans. The reason behind the issuing of this order is not known, therefore the meaning is obscure. We can, however, safely assume “that the order was to protect the population from fraudulent deals.

*          *          *

            8.         (11th September, 1473) Fol. No. 262 verso.

Eodem die

            Emissum fuit bannum juxta deliberacionem dicti consilij de mandato dominorum juratorum per Johannem Caukj, servientem, in Iocis puplicis et consuetis, quod nemo cuiusvis condicionis, status, gradus et condicionis existat audeat neque presumat emere et comparare aliquas mercancias extra dictam civitatem, et quod dicta trafica minime fiat in Rabbato civitatis predictae, sub pena carlenorum XV aplicandorum domino capitaneo diete civitatis et aliorum carlenorum quindechim marammatis diete civitatis et aliorum XV carlenorum a li accaptapanj.

According to a decision made at a council meeting the above “Bandowas read “ by Giovanni Cauchi, the Town Crier. It stated that under no circumstances whatsoever should anyone sell or buy any kind of merchandise outside the walls of the city, and by no means were business transactions to be carried out in the suburb of Rabat. The fine for breaking this order was fixed at 45 carlini: 15 payable to the Captain of the City, 15 for the upkeep of the city walls and another 15 paid to the Catapans.

The purpose for this order was to centralise the market and so insure a fair price of merchandise, which would not have been possible had there been scattered market places.

*          *          *

            9.         (22nd October, 1477) Fol. No. 368 recto.

Emissum fuit est bannum sive proclama in locis puplicis debitis et consuetis per eundem Laurencium, quod nemo cuiuscumque gradus, condicionis existat ausa a gictari mundicza per canali oy per finestra supra li mura di la chitati, et si havi gictatu kj dicza ad octu jorni la facza nitarj et non getta pluj supra pena di carlini XV di aplicarj a lu capitaneu et carlini XV a la maramma et kj dicza contraveniens chi sia chiusa la finestra oy canali per unde gictassi tal mundicza.

This order was read in the usual places by the Town Crier Lorenzo. It forbade citizens to pollute the streets and walls of the city by emptying refuse (filth) into the channels opening on to the road; or through the windows overlooking the bastions. All erstwhile guilty of this abuse were ordered to clean both the walls and streets within 8 days, and forbidden to repeat the offence under the following penalties: a fine of 30 carlini, 15 of which were to be paid to the Captain of the City and 15 for the upkeep of the city walls. As a further penalty those breaking this order would have their windows bricked up and the water channels draining their homes sealed.

*          *          *

            10.       (4th September, 1478) Fol. No. 388 verso.

Pinus de Luna serviens retulit qualiter de mandato dominorum juratorum emisit bannum sive proclama, quod nemo audeat jocari lu rullu per anti la porta di Thumeo Cassia esistenti in Casale Lie, sub pena di uncia una ponderis da aplicari a lu Capitanu.

Pino de Luna, Town Crier, read this “Bandoby order of the Jurats forbidding anyone from playing “rulluoutside the front door of the residence of Thumeo Cassia at Casal Lia. Those failing to obey the order would be fined one uncia for the Captain of the City.            “Rulluwas a game popular at the time.

Thumeo is a derivative of Bartolomeo.

*          *          *

            11.       (23rd July, 1479) Fol. No. 399 recto.

XXIII° Julij XII Indictione

            Pinus de Luna serviens retulit emisisse bannum puplicum sive proclama in Casali Musta: kj nixuna persuna di qualisivogla gradu et condicionj si sia presuma jocarj a lu rollu sive rucellu in ditto casali et eius conturiu, maxime a lu terrinu di Beb Guytan, sub pena carlenorum XV Capitaneo et aliorum carlenorum XV marammati menium civitatis, quod bannum fuit emissum de mandato juratorum cum interventu nobilis judicis curiae capitaneo.

The above “Bandowas read by Pino de Luna in the village of Musta. It prohibited the game of “rolluin the village and its surroundings, making special reference to the precints of the locality known as Beb Guytan, under the fine of 30 carlini: 15 payable to the Captain and another 15 to go to the upkeep of the city walls.

This is the second order forbidding the game of “rollu” from which we assume this game was objectionable either because of gambling or because it incurred boisterous “merriment or quarrels.

In the previous “Bandothe spelling of “rolludiffers , i. e., “rullu.” The game was also known as “rucellu.”

*          *          *

            12.       (9th September, 1481) Fol. No. 499 verso.


            Lanceas Delia, serviens ipsorum dominorum juratorum, retulit emisisse bannum sive proclama in locis puplicis et consuetis de mandato ipsorum supradictorum juratorum regia ex parte, quod unusquisque veniat hinc ad dies otto per ajustarj li soy pisi et bilanczi et rotula et misuri, tantu di vinu comu di oglu, et ancorali obari di latti, di burru et di oglu, et di qualsivogla, et quilli di li Casali hinc ad dies XV, sub pena di quindichi carlini a li Cattapani, unde de premssis fuit fatta presente nota in acta dominorum juratorum.

The “ above “Bandowas read at the usual places by Lanceas Delia, the Town Crier. It called upon all vendors and traders in the city to have their weights and measures examined and adjusted. It is interesting to note how the measures are enumerated: the rotoli and measures for wine, also the “obarifor milk, butter and oil, and all other measures. Traders and vendors from the villages were allowed 15 days to comply with this order. The fine for not obeying this order was fixed at 15 carlini payable to the Catapans. The above “Bandowas entered “ in the Acts of the Jurats of the City.

13.       (31st October, 1482) Fol. No. 517 recto.

Ultimo eiusdem

            Fuit emissum bannum per Masium Xellulj, servientem de mandato dominorum juratorum regia ex parte, sub pena unciarum quinquaginta pondens regio fisco aplicanda, chi tucti quilli persuni li quali rumasiru et hannu a darj di la collecta digianu di cza a tuctu domenica prime sequente, alias sia in la dicta pena non pagandu in ipso tempo restandu altri bandi in eorum robone.

The above “ Bando” was read by the Town Crier, Masiu Xelluli, at the usual places in the city. It called upon all those who had failed to pay the poll-tax due for that year to do so within the period of the day of the “Bandoand the following Sunday, otherwise they would be liable to the fine of 50 uncial payable to the government. It was further staded that previous “Bandirelating to this matter were still in force in spite of the present order.

14.       (15th November, 1469) Fol. No. 29 recto.

Consilium congregatum super salario aromatarij, et super facto pecuniae mutuandae de redditibus Sancti Pauli, ad opus satisfacendi residua collectae anni presenti Indictione primae preterito.

Die XVa Novembris; primae Indictione.

A meeting of the Council was called to discuss the salary to be granted to the “aromatarius,” the Chemist of the Hospital of Santo Spirito in Rabat. The second item to be discussed was in relation to a loan from the funds of the Cathedral. It appears that the poll-tax had failed to yield sufficient to cover the required amount.

15.       (11th September, 1472) Fol. No. 225 recto.

Thesus XI° Septembris VIe Indictione apud Melivetum sub anno Domini MCCCCLXXII.

Incipiunt acta dominorum juratorum civitatis eiusdem existentibus Juratis: Nobilibus Georgio de la Chabica, Tristayno de Guyvara, Antonio Gaeta de Sguanes, et Petro de Vaccaro; pro iudicibus curie civilis: Gilio Zammit, Francisco Laurerio et Fabiano Zammit; pro Notario eiusdem curie: Paulo Tunne; pro Acatapanis: Honorablis Nicolao de Caxaro et Lancea Xidi; pro Judice notarium seu Notario dictorum dominorum juratorum: Andreas Fauczonus.

The “ above is the entry recording the elected Jurats and other officials of the government of Malta for the year 1472-73. The four Jurats were Giorgio de la Chabica, Tristano de Guyvara, Antonio Gactu de Sguanes and Pietro de Vaccaro. The Judges of the civil court were: “Gilio Zammit, Francesco Laurerio and Fabiano Zammit. The Notary of the Court was Paolo Tunne. The Catapans were Nicola de Caxaro and Lancea Xidi. Andrea Fauczonus was elected as Notary for the Jurats.

*          *          *

            16.       (18th October, 1472) Fol. No. 226 verso.

XVIII° Octobris

            Consilium congregatum per Nobiles Juratos civitatis Malte super facto marammatis civitatis, videlicet: an debeat fierj per ingara vel per collecta seu taxa generali, vel vero per inposicionj di dui per chentu super li mereancij et super lu maldinaru di la carnj, in quo quodam consilio interfuerunt persone infrascriptis.

The council sat to discuss the repairing of the fortifications of the city. Suggestions were put forward regarding the manner by which the walls should be repaired: whether by villenage, i. e., all adult males would be obliged to give their labour free for this purpose for a period to be determined; whether to raise funds to pay for the repairs by means of a poll-tax or whether by obtaining the necessary amount by means of a tax of 2 per cent ad valorem on all merchandise and on meat.

This meeting was attended by 35 members including the representatives of Birkirkara and Naxxar. It would seem that no decision was reached at this gathering for the matter was brought up again in the agenda of a future meeting held on November 8 (see “No. 17 below).

In the MS three words are cancelled preceding “la carnj.” These are “lu maldinaru di.” Since this phrase meant tax on meat the scribe probably deleted the redundancy.

*          *          *

            17.       (8th November, 1472) Fol. No, 228 verso.

VIII° Novembris

            Consilium iterum congregatum per Nobiles Juratos super facto marammatis murorum seu menium civitatis, videlicet: an debeat fierj al la Ingara vel per inposicionem di dui per chentu super mercancijs extrahendis ab insula Malte et gabella carnis, an non per collecta seu taxa generali iuxta continenciam binorum rescriptorum seu provisionum nuper emanatorum ab illustrissimo domino Vicerege, lectis prius in consilio dictis rescriptis seu provisionibus in eodem conslio in quo intervenerunt virj infrascripti.

An assembly of the council met to discuss for the second time the repairing of the fortifications: whether by villenage or taxation on exports at the rate of 2 per cent and a tax on meat, or a poll-tax according to recent instructions received from the Viceroy, which had been read at the beginning of this council meeting.

This assembly was composed of 52 members, a large gathering, from which it appears that much interest was taken in the agenda which was to have repurcussions on the whole population.

The following parishes were represented at this meeting by groups of persons elected for the purposes: Capella di Santa Caterina, Capella Bir Miftuh, Capella Sigeuj, Capella Curmj, Capella Bircarcara, Capella Zurric, Capella Naxar, Capella Zebug and Capella Rabbatj.


18.       (19th March, 1473) Fol. No. 235 verso.


            Consilium congregatum per nobiles dominos Juratos civitatis Meliveti pro regio servicio et Reipuplice civitatis et insule predicte conservacione super eo, videlicet: ex quo non pluit et tucti Li seminati su suchj, in tantum quod populus intendit aufugere et se absentare ab hac insula propter penuriam et necessitatem maximam, quod fiendo et quo modo aut qua via debeant vivere pauperes et alij qui non habent unde vivere; et super collecta seu donativo venturo in hac civitate et insula ex quo fertur quantocicius debere venire dicta collecta seu donativum; et super protextacione nuper facta pro Magistrum Salvatorem Passa, aromatarium.

A council meeting was held to debate on the following three items. On account “ of the lack of rain drought threatened the island: the ground was so dry that the seeds had failed to sprout. As a result “ of threatened famine the entire population sought to leave the island. It was debated how to find a solution in this extremity and seek a way of existence of the indigent and the poor. The second item on the agenda was connected with the above. With famine at the gates whether it would be possible to levy the poll-tax for that year. The final item referred to a protest lodged by Salvatore Passa, the chemist of the hospital.

The above sitting was attended by 34 members of the council “ and the resolutions on the first two items were as follows: a general moratorium was granted and the impoverished population would be exempted from all taxation. (Published by Mgr. A. Mifsud: L’Approvigionamento e l’Università di Malta nelle passate Dominazioni, in Archivum Melitense, Vol. III, p.177, Malta, 1918).

*          *          *

            19.       (21st March, 1473) Fol. No. 238 recto.

XXI° Marcj

            Consilium congregatum per dominos Juratos civitatem Malte super facto frumenti nuper delati a regno Sicilie per ipsos Juratos cum pecunia Universitatis quod fiendum sit de eo pro presenti in quo quedam consilio intervenerunt virj infrascripti videlicet.

The council met to discuss the cargo of grain recently received from Sicily which had been purchased from funds of the Universitas. Thirteen members attended this council meeting which probably lifted the fear of famine from the drought stricken island.

*          *          *

            20.       (31st March, 1473) Fol. No. 238 verso.

Ultimo Marcj

            Consilium congregatum per Nobiles dominos Juratos civitatis Malte super frumento aportando a regno Sicilie, pro subvencione huius insule cum pecunia Universitatis, videlicet, quod questa quantitate frumenti mictat pro presenti ex pecunia Universitatis, in quo consilio intervenerunt virj infrascripti, videlicet.

The council met to vote the necessary funds required for the purchase of wheat from Sicily for local consumption.

From the minutes of this debate 18 members were present and it was decided to purchase 100 salmi of grain.

*          *          *


21.       (30th April, 1473) Fol. No. 242 recto.

Ultimo Aprilis

            Consilium congregatum per nobiles Georgium de la Chabica et Petrum de Vaccaro, duos ex Juratis propter absenciam sociorum super facto frumenti delati per Pinum de Amurello, de civitate Agrigenti, ex quo ipse Pinus re obtulit velle capere aliquod prestitum cum Universitate, et super facto duorum maurorum seu saracenorum nuper captorum ex quibusdam fustis nuper applicandi et existentis in maritimis sive calis huius insule quod fiendum de dicti moris.

A council meeting was called by Giorgio de la Chabica and Pietro de Vaccaro, two of the Jurats, the others being absent. The purpose of this meeting was to debate on a request for a loan by Pino de Amurello of the city of Agrigento, who needed money to import wheat from Sicily. The other item on the agenda concerned two Saracen prisoners who had been recently captured from an enemy ship, “and it was to be decided how they should be treated.

*          *          *

            22.       (20th June, 1473) Fol. No. 249 verso.


            Omnes predicti di consilio eligerunt et aprobaverunt viros infrascriptos ad eligendum anno quolibet Supermorammerium marammatis menium civitatis tamquam deputati cum juramento super libro Santi Pauli, de eligendo aliquem probum, actum et fidedignum; omni amore, passione et rangore post positis, videlicet: —

Nobiles dominus Capitaneus una cum ejus Judice seu Assessore qui fuerint et Magistro Notario ipsius curie.

Nobiles domini Jurati una cum corum Judice seu Notario.
Nobiles Joannes de Mazara.
Nobiles Joannes Chabica.
Nobiles Franciscus Gact de Sguanes.
Nobiles Goffridus de Sguanes.
Nobiles Angelus Vaccarus.
Nobiles Nardus de Burdino.
Nobiles Petrus de Ribera.
Egregius Notarius Petrus Caxaru.
Nobiles Paulus de Biglera.
Honorabilis Rugerius de Caxaro.
Nobiles Antonius Falca.
Egregius Matheus Manuelj.
Nobiles Antonius Gact de Sguanes.

XII Indictione ex quo fuit mortuus dictus Franciscus Gact de Sguanes fuit electus eius filius per Juratos et Deputatos.

The above minute states that an election was held to form a sub-committee to consider the nomination of the “Supermorammerium,” an official in charge of the building and repairing of fortifications. Mention is made to the fact that the members selected for this purpose were required to take oath on the book of “Santi Pauli,” probably the old and precious MS now preserved in the Museum of the Metropolitan Cathedral.

Subsequently Antonio Gact de Sguanes was elected to the sub-committee in place of his deceased father Francesco.

*          *          *

            23. (23rd June, 1473) Fol. No. 250 recto.

Consilium congregatum per Nobiles Juratos super facto frumenti quod fiendum propter penuriam futuram frumenti in hac insula vigentem, et super licteris seu provisionibus nuper emanatis super donativo sive collecta unciarum sexaginta quatuor quod fiendum lecte prius ipsis provisionibus in eode consilio etcetera.

The council met to discuss the manner in which to meet the wheat scarcity and threatened famine on the island. Also “ to debate on the instructions recently received from Sicily to levy a poll-tax of 64 uncias, these instructions having previously been read in the council.

*          *          *

            24.       (2nd July, 1473) Fol. No. 252 verso.

II° Julij

            Consilium congregatum per Nobiles dominos Juratos super facto frumenti ex quo Blasius Michola offert se velle portare ad hanc insulam salmas duo milia si Universitas se obligaverit dare eidem Blasio carlenos septem pro salma di guadagnu.

The above debate concerned the importation of wheat by Blasio Michola. This merchant stated he was willing to supply 2,000 salmi of wheat on condition that the government agreed to allow him a profit of 7 carlini per salma.

*          *          *

            25.       (11th September, 1473) Fol. No. 262 recto.

XI eiusdem

            Consilium congregatum super ementis sex bumbardis a Nobili Johanne de Maczara, ad opus moniciomum dicte civitatis.

The council met to discuss the acquisition of six bombards for the purpose of fortifying the city. These were to be purchased by Giovanni de Maczara.

*          *          *

            26. (11th September, 1473) Fol. No. 262 verso.

Eodem die

            Per omnes supradictos fuit conclusum et deliberatum: ki nixunu ausi accactarj et traficari in mercantia, zoe filati et faldellj et cuctunj oy …… ne altra qualsivogla mercantia sino intra la chitati et no a lu Burgu oy a lu Rabbatu di la chitati predicta, subra pena di carlini XV di aplicarj a lu Capitaneu, altri XV a la maramma, et altri XV a li Accaptapanj.


The above deliberations concerned trading of wool and cotton yarns and any other material. It was forbidden to buy or sell these articles in any place other than the city, whether the Borgo (now Vittoriosa) or Rabat. The fine for infringement of these orders was 45 carlini: 15 payable to the Captain of the city, 15 for the upkeep of the city walls and 15 to the Catapans.

It is supposed that the purpose of the above regulations was to centralise the market thereby obtaining stable prices.

*          *          *

            27.       (1st December, 1479) Fol. No. 407 verso.

Primo Decembris XIII Indictione

           Consilium congregatum per Nobiles dominos Juratos super facto abbacie monialium ipsius civitatis urgentis ad ruinam, quo modo et di qua pecunia fiat maramma in ipsa abacia la quali tucta si va per terra et ubi stare debeat abatissa cum suis monialibus interim usque ad expedicionem ipsius abacie.

Egregius Caxaru laudat ki si mectanu unci X di la Universitati et quatru di San Paulu et sei di lu hospitali et mictanu per bursa et ipsu promisi carlini sei et ki si hajanu li casi di Rugeri oy di quondamNotari Antoni a lugheri, di inde laudavit ki sianu dati a la abatissa tantu quantu dichinu li maiuri vuchi.

Nobiles Gofridus de Sguanes laudat quod capiantur uncie XII ex pecuniam Universitatis, di lu spitali uncie IIII, et quod ipsa abatissa cum monialibus stet intus ecclesiam ipsius abacie.

A meeting was held to discuss an urgent matter regarding the abbey of the Benedictine nuns in the city. This building was in need of reconstruction owing to the bad state of repair, “and the council was to discuss the ways and means of rebuilding the abbey and, during the period needed for the work, where the mother abbess and her community were to be accommodated.

Twenty-four members attended this meeting and two of the speakers were Nicola Casaru and Gofridus de Sguanes. Casaru suggested that the Universitas provide the sum of 10 uncias for the reconstruction of the abbey, 6 uncias from the Cathedral and 4 from Santo Spirito Hospital, and he himself would donate a further 6 carlini. He further proposed that during the period the works were being undertaken the community should be accommodated either in the buildings belonging to a certain Ruggero or in others the property of the late Notary Antonio. De Sguanes proposed that the sum of 12 uncias be granted from the funds of the Universitas and 4 from the hospital. Regarding the matter of accommodation he suggested that the abbess and her community should live in the church of the abbey during the reconstruction of her convent.

*          *          *

            28.       (28th January, 1481) Fol. No. 471 verso.

Vicesimo octavo Januarij XIIII Indictione

            Consilium generale congregatum per dominos Juratos civitatis Melitae, super facto Cappellanj missi ut asseritur per Reverendum Dominum Episcopum, hoc est si acceptetur vel quid agendum sit de huiusmodi negocio cappellanie, ex quo iste missus est juvenis et linguam huius insule ignorat.

A general council met to discuss the appointment of a new Parish Priest to the Cathedral who had been chosen and sent to Malta by the Bishop . It was to decide whether or not to accept his appointment, taking into consideration his youth and lack of the language (Maltese).

At the time the Bishop of Malta resided in Sicily. Probably the Parish Priest in question was a Sicilian protégée of the Bishop.


Magnificus Georgius de la Chabica Capitaneus laudat quod si dictus Cappellanus est vere missus ad hanc civitatem per Dominum Episcopum ut habeat dictam cappellaniam, scribatur ad Dominum Episcopum ki multum ni mara viglamu di Sua Signoria ki ni havj provistu di tali Cappellanu maxime ki non sa la lingua et ki placza Sua Signoria providiri di altru Cappellanu ydoneu eo maxime ki antiquati tali Cappellanu si solia eligiri per consiglu dicte civitatis alia ki hayanu de recurriri ad Sanctissimum Patrem.

The above is an extract from the debate that followed the council meeting and is the deliberation of the Captain of the city on the subject. He said that a letter should be addressed to the Bishop saying that if it were true that he had selected this young priest to be Parish Priest, the Council was much surprised at his choice, principally because the priest in question had no knowledge of the Maltese language. The Bishop was to be requested to make another selection in keeping with the point raised by the council since by ancient custom it was the right of the council to select their own Parish Priest. Should the Bishop differ in opinion it was proposed to have recourse to the Pope. (The last two entries were published by Mgr. A. Mifsud in La Diocesi, Malta, 1918: Sulla “elezione del Parroco della Cattedrale che non sapeva il Maltese. A. D. 1481, pp. 203-205.

*          *          *

            29.       (5th October, 1482) Fol. No. 511 recto.

V Octobris Prime Indictionis.

            Consilium congregatum per dominos Juratos super facto di furniri guardi di Blalut il Meze, Lippie, Hayn Tuffieha, lu Gumarinu, per che su isfornute, non si trovanu homini exenti si lu parj che cum licencia di lu consiglu si hagianu a piglarj homini di li mura et di la placza per furnirili di quilli chi eranu antiquamenti et foru livati.

The council met to discuss the appointment of sentries at the following places: Blalut il Meze, Lippie, Hayn Tuffieha, and Gumarinu, as these posts had fallen vacant. Since the sentries had been withdrawn from these places to work on the fortifications of the city, permission was sought from the council to order their return to their previous duties.

*          *          *

            30. (11th December, 1482) Fol. No. 525 verso.

XI Decembris Prime Indictione.

            Consilium congregatum super facto procuratoris ordinandi ad fabrica seu reditus operae Sancti Pauli Ecclesiae Cathedralis civitatis predicte.

The council met to elect two Procurators for the general administration of the Cathedral property.

From the debates registered it appears that Antonio Falca and Rogelius de Caxaro were elected. Should Antonio Falca decline to accept nomination Blasio Michola was to be offered the post.

31.       (8th Februarv, 1471) Fol. No. 202 recto.

VIII eiusdem Februari IIII Indictione.

            Matricula di li privilegij, litteri et autri scripturi di la Universitati di la chitati predicta, facta, et ordinata per li Nobilis Jurati anni predicti, li quali foru et su misi intra la caxa di la Universitati predicta.

(1) In primis li capituli di la dicta chitati impetrati per lu Nobili Johannem de Maczara comu ambaxaturij a sacra maiestati domini regis Johannes intra Barchinonam die secunda mensis Januarij VIII Indictione anno a Nativitate Domini MCiiiiLX cum pendente de serica rubea et in quo sunt arma ipsius sacrae maiestatis et sunt in carta parcomena.

(2) Item li capituli di la dicta chitati impetrati novissime per lu dictu Nobiles Johannes de Maczara come ambaxaturij ab illustrissimo domine Vicerege sub data Messane XVII Januarij XIIII Indictione MCiiiiLXVI cum pendente et cera rubea in qua sunt arma sacre maiestatis in una buxulicta et est in carta parcomena.

(3) Item executoria di li capituli obtenti a majestate quondam gloriose memoriae regis Alfonsi per continenti infra lautro lu ricaptu di la Capitania e di lu Castellu sub data Panormi nono mensis Februarij prime Indictione.

(4) Item una littera di lu illustrissimu signuri Vicere super li spaci de Gued Ghersume sub data Panormi XXVIII Aprilis sexte Indictione.

(5) Item una littera domini precidentis de la prohibitum di armari fusti, sub data Panormi Vta Marcij XV Indictione.

(6) Item una autra confirmatoria di la supradicta domini Viceregie, sub data Panormi XXVIII Aprilis XI Indictione MCiiiiLXIII.

(7) Item una littera domini Viceregis super la paga di la collecta di quilli ki non habitanu a lu Castellu, sub data Sace XXV Februariji XIII Indicione.

(8) Item una littera domini Viceregis revocandu unu capitulu lu quali dictava ki la Universitati havissi eligirj Judichi per si remittendu la cosa a la Universitati.

(9) Item privilegiu super la gregacionem di li Insuli a lu regiu demaniu e di lu recaptu sub data Panormi, anno Domini Incarnationis MCiiiiXXVII, die III Januarij, VI Indictione cum sigillo pendente in carta parcomena.

(10) Item la confirmacione bone memorie Alfonsi pre inferri proxime privilegij sub data Valencie die vicesimo Junij anno a Nativitate Domini MCiiiXXVIII in carta parcomena cum sigillo pendente.

(11) Item unu privilegiu di Re Lodevicu de la gregacioni di li Insuli a lu regiu demaniu sub data Messane Anno Domini MCiiiL mensis Ottobris VII eiusdem III Indictione in carta percomena cum sigillo pendente.

(12) Item unu privilegiu di Re Martinu di la agregacione. di li Insuli a lu demaniu sub data Cathanie Anno Domini MCiiiLXXXXVII die XXVII Novembris VI Indictione in carta parcomena cum sigillo pendente.

(13) Item unu privilegiu di Re Martinu di la frankicza di la doana sub data Cathanie MCiiiLXXXXVII die XVIII Februari VI Indictione, in carta parcomena cum sigillo pendente.         (14) Item li capituli inpetrati per lu Nobile quondam Manfre de la Habica a maiestate quondam felice memorie regis Alfonsi, sub data in Castello Novo civitatis Neapolis die secundo mensis Novembris Anno Domini MCiiiiLV, in carta parcomena cum sigillo pendente.

(15) Item la exequtoria loru sub data Panormi, die VII mensis Marcij IIII Indictione MCiiiiLV.

(16) Item la executoria di loru facta per lu conservaturi sub data Neapolis, die XIII mensis Februari IIII Indictione MCiiiiLVI in carta paperi.

(17) Item dui litteri supra licencia di extrahiri frumentum.

(18) Item capituli portati per lu magnificu qondam misser Ximuni di Maczara e misser Franciscu Gactu in carta di papiro, sub data Cathanie XX Martij VII Indictione MCiiiiX.

(19) Item certi capituli impetrati per Stephanu de Perera olim ambaxaturi di questa Universitati et infra li autri che unu capitulu di Miseb Rihi sub Anno Domini MCiiiiL in carta di paperio.

(20) Item una copia extracta per qondam notarum Angelum super lu factu di lu ricaptu di li offici.

(21) Item la confirmacioni di lu privilegiu di la gregacioni di la dicta chitati et insula a lu regiu demaniu sub data Panormi XII Julij IIII Indictione.

(22) Item capituli inpetrati per quondam notarum Angelum data in civitate Capue, die XVIIII mensis Octobris M°CiiiiXXXVIIII in carta paperij.

(23) Item una littera di li ministrali ki staianu intra la chitati.

(24) Item una autra littera contra li Judej super li stagli di la maram ma.

(25) Item una autra littera super la licencia di extrahiri frumentum sub data Cathanie IIII Madij XI Indictione.

(26) Item una littera di licencia di inponirj la cabella di fiorinu per bucti, sub data Cathanie VIII Octobris X Indictione.

(27) Item tri transunti facti per manu di notariu Franciscu Calava di li privilegij di la gregacionj di li Insuli a lu demaniu, zoe di Re Lodevicu, di Re Martinu e di Re Alfonso in carta parchimina.

(28) Item unu transuntu di unu privilegiu di la frankyeza di la doana per tuctu lu regnu di Sicilia di Re Alfonsu per manu di notaru Antonio Falczunj.

(29) Item li capituli di la dicta chitati inpetrati per lu magnificu misser Per Johanne de Mazara a sacre maiestate felice memorie qondam regis Alfonsi, sub data in Terra Sancti Severj, die XXII Februarij VI Indictione, MCiiiiLVIII cum sigillo pendenti in carta parcomena cum eorum exequitoria in carta di papiro sub data Panormi VIII mensis Madij MCiiiiLVIII.

(30) Item li capituli inpetrati per Cola Rocca da lu illustrissimu signuri Vicere in carta di papiro, sub data Panormi die XIIII mensis Marcij XII Indictione MCiiiiXXXXVIII infra li quali che unu capitulu ki non si ponnu conchidiri li spacj existenti per casa cuj non havj.

(31) Item li capituli inpetrati per lu nobilis qondam Carlu Paternò a sacra mejestate felicis memorie qondam regis Alfonsi, in carta papiro sub data in Castello Novo Neapolis, die XVIIII Novembris prime Indictione MCiiiiLll infra li quali che unu capitulu di lu Castellu et unu autru capitulu di li fallutj lu quali dicta ki infra vidimu exequatur pena a fallentibus quo elapso intelligatur exactas via exclusa compitum.

(32) Item una littera conservatoria di li capituli sub data Capue XVIIII mensis Octobris III Indictione MCiiiiXXXVIIII.


The above is a list of charters, letters and other writings belonging to the Universitas of the island of Malta and kept in the safe of the said Universitas, which list was ordered to be made by the Jurats. In the manuscript the paragraphs are not numbered. To facilitate the indication of the different items we have numbered every paragraph. These added numbers are bracketed.

The items relating to “capituli,” i.e., charters obtained by Giovanni de Maczara, Manfre de la Habica, Ximuni de Maczara and Francesco Gatto, Stefano de Perera, Notary Angelo, Pier Giovanni de Maczara, Cola Rocca and Carlo Paternò are numbers (1), (2), (14), (15), (16), (18), (19), (22), (29), (30) and (31). Items relative to government offices are numbers (3), (8), (20) and (23). Items relating to taxation are (7), (26) and (28). Items concerning integration with Sicily are (9), (11), (21) and (27). Royal Charters are included in Nos. (10), (12), (13) and (32). Items relating to importation of wheat are (17) and (25). Piracy is considered under items (5) and (6). Item (4) concerns grounds at Wied Gherzuma and item (24) regards the position of the Jews.



[1] LA MANTIA, G. – Capitoli e Statuti Amministrativi dell’Isola di Malta, approvati dai Re o Vicere di Sicilia, 1130-1530, in Archivio Storico di Malta. Roma, Nov. 1936-Jan. 1937.

[2] MIEGE, M. – Histoire de Malte. Paris, 1840.

[3] GIAMBRUNO e GENUARDI – Capitoli inediti delle città demaniali di Sicilia approvati sino al 1458 (in Doc. Soc. Sic. Stor. Patr.) Vol. I. Palermo, 1918 (pp. 375 for Malta, and pp. 323-338 for Gozo).

[4] MIFSUD, A. – Le franchigie costituzionali Aljonsiane (in Archivum Melitense. Malta, 1918. pp. 324-369).

[5] VALENTINI, R. – Documenti per servire alla storia di Malta. (1452-1458) and (1458-1466) in Archivio Storico di Malta. Roma, Oct. 1937-Jan. 1938 and Oct. 1938-Jan. 1939 resp. Besides these Professor Valentini has published various articles and other documents on the period preceding the arrival in Malta of the Order of St. John in the above mentioned Archivio Storico di Malta.

[6] In 1530 the estimated population of Malta was just over 20,000. See Insula Melitae Descriptio by Fr. Joan. Quintinus, Lyons, 1536.


2 responses to “Bandi of the XV Century

  1. jim gregory

    May 7, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    a small typo was noticed In item 21.- The year 1743 should have read 1473

    • vassallomalta

      May 7, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      Thank you for pointing typo out. Corrected accordingly

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