The Pawning of Malta to Monroy

 Godfrey Wettinger

The heroic rising of the whole Maltese and Gozitan population in 1426-27 against their local ruler Don Gonsalvo de Monroy and his administration is one of the best known and the best loved episodes of Malta’s medieval history. All historians have given it ample space, and Ninu Cremona has written an ambitious drama about it which makes good reading especially for young minds in search of an exciting tale with a local and patriotic inspiration. [1] All historians, however, showed some confusion and embarrassment in having to explain how it came about that Malta was originally pawned to Don Antonio Cardona in 1420 or 1421 and yet the Maltese rose only against Monroy and not before 1426-27. G.F. Abela was the first to become aware of the problem and to provide a solution. Abela stated that Cardona obtained the islands on pawn for 30,000 Aragonese florins in 1420. He then proceeds:

Whether it was that then our Island was repurchased or redeemed out of public funds by its Università in this first pawning, according to tradition, or whether, indeed, Cardona had obtained its equivalent from the King in some other way and restored his possession to the Royal Domain, we have not up to now seen any writings which clarify the matter, except that afterwards, in 1425, for other needs, indeed most urgent necessities of the King himself, [Malta] was once more pawned to Don Gonsalvo Monroy, a Royal Knight, for the same sum of another thirty thousand gold florins of Aragon. [2]

He explains that it was this second pawning which aroused the anger of the Maltese.

Count Ciantar, the editor and continuator of Abela, did not add anything significant to Abela’s account. [3] D. Miège rather carelessly wrote in 1840 that Cardona passed on his rights over the Maltese islands to Monroy and that the latter abused his authority causing a popular uprising. [4] On the other hand, G.A. Vassallo was very cautious. Writing in 1854, he pointed out the problem and bewailed the lack of documentation, admitting that:

We do not know how the inhabitants of our islands had been treated by Cardona or his agents for the space of five years during which he was their sovereign lord; we do not know in what way after that period the islands were brought under the power of another lord with the same title and for the same reason; whether perhaps King Alfonso had somehow extinguished his debt of thirty thousand florins to Cardona and therefore withdrew the islands into the royal demanium; or whether, with the king’s approval, Cardona and Monroy made an exchange of their interests. We only know that in 1425 Malta and Gozo are found under the dominion of the latter, who exercised the right of high authority over them in return for the loan of thirty thousand florins to King Alfonso. [5]

A. Mifsud, who was the first to give a full account of the rising against Monroy, publishing most of the surviving documents, in his study of 1919 does not refer to the replacement of Cardona by Monroy in any detail. [6] Ninu Cremona relied on Mifsud­’s publication, and particularly on his documents, for his dramatic story, elaborating on Cardona­’s supposed fair-mindedness and Monroy’s harsh rule. [7]

In 1937 R. Valentini published an even fuller and more scholarly study in the Archivio Storico di Malta, in which, in particular, he analysed the diplomatic and financial backgrounds to the pawnings of the islands. He also published a more reliable edition of the documents, most of which had already been published by A. Mifsud. [8] However, though he discovered no new document which explained how Monroy seems to have taken Cardona’s place as holder of the rectorship and governorship of Malta and Gozo, he thought he could see an explanation in the troubled situation of the islands and of the whole Central Mediterranean in the early 1420s. Thus he expatiated much upon the terrible invasions of the Maltese islands by the Moors of Tunis in 1423-24. He suggested that Cardona simply surrendered the islands back into the King’s hands without even insisting on the return of his 30000 florins, knowing that King Alfonso was unable to pay him. In 1425 the King pawned the islands again, this time to Don Gonsalvo Monroy. Valentini pointed out that the document proving the latter does not refer to the former pawning, showing that the second transaction was independent of the first. He rejected scornfully the idea of a local historian (Abela?) that the islanders had themselves paid Don Antonio Cardona his 30000 florins as they were so soon to promise to do and almost succeeded in doing after their rising against Monroy. [9]

There the matter rested. When the present writer in 1976 made his first extensive if rapid search in the State Archives of Palermo for later medieval documentation on the Maltese islands, he had little hope of finding any information for the whole Cardona-Monroy period because it was already abundantly clear that the islands were then cut off from the direct control of the officials at Palermo. He did, however, hope to find the documents by which Cardona and, later on, Monroy obtained the islands. In his disappointment at not finding either, he hardly noticed that the document of 1427 which referred to Monroy’s transaction with King Alfonso and which was already well known from the original in Malta and was already published contained, in its registration copy at Palermo, a different date — the fourteenth Indiction (1420-21) rather than the fourth (1425-26) as in the Valletta copy and published versions. [10]

In the summer of 1977 the present writer was able to spend another four weeks at Palermo. This time his luck held. Though the period 1420-26 was almost totally lacking in any documents on Malta and Gozo, he came across the registration of four rather long documents dealing precisely with the relationship of Cardona and Monroy and their rectorship of the Maltese islands, the very documents so many Maltese and other historians had wished so much to find. [11] They all belonged to the winter and spring of 1421. The matter can therefore now be finally cleared up.

The first of the four documents, dated 20 January 1421, [12] grants the Maltese islands, together with the town of Malta (i.e. Mdina), the walled towns and castles situated on them, their neighbouring islands, fiefs, royal lands and revenues, and all other rights inside them belonging to the royal court to Don Antonio Cardona in return for the loan of 30000 gold florins of Aragon. [13] The King’s needs were great owing to the alliance then made between the Genoese, the ‘capital enemies of the Catalan nation’ and the Duke of Anjou, that is, Louis III of Anjou who was trying to have himself recognised as the successor of Joanna II of Naples. Alfonso himself eventually invaded Naples, thus beginning the long series of campaigns which were to lead to his conquest of South Italy. Antonius de Cardona, a knight, ‘like a faithful lily of the field…… out of his good heart and ready will,’ was prepared to lend the King the required money. In return he acquired the following rights:

a. that he should appoint the captain, rector, governor and all other officials of Malta ‘in daytime and night-time, in peace and in war,’ and should be able to replace them;

b. he should be able to farm out the usual rents, custom duties and other emoluments at the best price obtainable and at his own discretion;

c. he should collect by means of his own officials all the usual rents and other dues, feudal or not, of the said city, the walled towns and castles of Malta, at the best price according to his own discretion, and devote such revenue to his own use;

d. he would exercise full ‘merum et mistum imperium,’ that is, full civil and criminal jurisdiction;

e. he had first to deduct from such revenue the ordinary salaries of the men guarding the said walled towns and castles at his own wish and discretion in the same way as the King would have done had he to do it himself;

f. such rights acquired by Cardona would not be annulled by whatever was contained in the capituli issued at Syracuse nor by other capituli approved by the former Kings Federico, Jacobo and others;

g. if the royal government was unable to repay the sum of 30000 florins to Cardona at his request, then it should be lawful for Cardona to grant the Maltese islands to another subject of King Alfonso under the same conditions, until payment of the King’s debt was made.

For his part, Cardona promised to fly the royal flag over Malta and Gozo, and retain his fealty toward the King and his successors and to ‘make war or peace’ at their command.

One day later, on 21 January 1421, J.B. de Platamone was commissioned to travel to Malta and Gozo in order to arrange the transfer of the islands to Cardona, [14] and a letter was written to the officials of the Università of Malta and presumably another to those of Gozo calling on them to obey. [15] On 23 January 1421 Cardona appointed Platamone as his procurator instead of Thomasio Cucuzza, Philippu de Merlo and Andreas de Ravello. [16] The scene then switches to Malta, where on 11 February 1421 the people of the island asked for and obtained the confirmation of their rights and privileges from Cardona’s original procurator, Cucuzza, [17] and then swore their fidelity and homage to him. [18] Cucuzza accepted and confirmed in Cardona’s name. [19]

Up to here the traditional picture of these events is not substantially altered. [20] But the second of the newly discovered documents, dated 7 March 1421, only a few weeks after the original moves had been made and consummated, shows Don Antonius de Cardona transferring his rights over Malta and Gozo to Don Gondisalvo de Monroy, declaring that he had really acted in the original transaction in the name and on behalf of Monroy and by Monroy’s own express commission though this is not stated there and no mention in fact of Monroy was made — everything having been attributed to Don Cardona as a precaution, pro certa cautela. [21] Unfortunately the reason for this unusual (and unexpected) behaviour is not explained any further. Perhaps Monroy had not yet reached Palermo when the original contract was drawn up, or the negotiations about the exact terms were dragging on too long, or he was finding it difficult to produce the money. Consalvus de Monroy accepted the transfer under the same conditions imposed on Cardona. On 10 April 1421, as is shown by our third document, he paid the 30000 florins into the King’s account at one of the Palermo bankers, as is testified by Nicolaus de Speciali, the royal treasurer of Sicily. [22]

Monroy, however, was able to obtain a further widening in his favour of the rights which had been granted to Cardona, in recompense of his own past services and of the way in which he had burdened himself in order to find the money for the King. He was therefore now also given: [23]

a. all the fines and other escheats of the secreto’s jurisdiction including those of a feudal or maritime nature, customs on exports and imports, as well as all those appertaining to the regalia such that he could not be charged later for them when the pawn money was returned to him and he had to surrender the islands again to the royal officials;

b. a promise that the King would not redeem the islands except with his own money and in order to return them to the royal domain, that is, that he would not pawn them to someone else;

c. an undertaking that if the King or his viceroys ever visited the Maltese islands, they would take an oath on the Four Gospels before entering the castles, city, fortified towns or the villages that Monroy would not be disturbed in his occupation of the islands;

d. that neither the royal treasurer nor the herarius nor the portmaster or other officials should in future exercise their office in the islands, Monroy being given the right of resistance if they attempted to do so;

e. the right of meri et misti imperii was extended to include all appellate jurisdiction so that the inhabitants may not be burdened with expenses (of appealing to the Sicilian courts);

f. jurisdiction over all cases still pending before the Magna Curia, the Curia Sacre Consciencie, and all other royal courts;

g. any expenses incurred by Monroy in constructional or repair work in town or castle of either island not covered by the revenues of the same would be made good to him by the King when the pawn money was returned to him.

Many of the rights given to Monroy and Cardona were already known from other subsidiary documents which have survived and been published. That the arrangement was mainly of a financial and certainly not of a feudal nature has long been realized. As such therefore it must be carefully distinguished from the older feudal grants of the Maltese islands as a county and from that of 1530 when they were given to the Order as ‘a free and unencumbered fief.’ For the Maltese citizens of 1421-27, however, little difference could be discerned. The administration functioned entirely on a local basis without any supervision or interference from Palermo. Monroy’s authority was almost entirely unrestricted provided he remained loyal to the King. Maltese taxes were paid to his officials, the town officials were appointed by him, and the citizens were tried in his courts. The ‘rights and privileges’ were preserved by a local arrangement with the representatives of Cardona and presumably a similar arrangement was made with Monroy, but that is no different from what happened when the Order arrived in 1530 and presumably when counts exercised their authority over the islands at least during the fourteenth century. No wonder there was no rejoicing in Malta in 1421.

All in all, however, these newly discovered documents transform our knowledge of Cardona’s and Monroy’s association with Malta in several ways. It is not merely that the original grant, that to Cardona, occurred in 1421 and not in the previous year as argued even by Prof. Valentini, but that Cardona’s own connection with Malta was brief in the extreme. It is unnecessary to speculate any longer on the reasons why the Maltese inhabitants accepted Cardona’s rule without demur but rose in a wonderfully united and spirited rising little more than a year after Monroy had himself taken over. That Cardona was kind and his rule mild compared to Monroy’s turns out to have been the idle speculation of historians at a loss for specific information. Monroy, in fact, ruled the islands for some six years before the Maltese rose up against him, and we do not have to explain why he was granted the islands in 1425 because that was not when he obtained them. There is no reason for thinking that the Maltese were prepared to accept a kind governor or rector but not a harsh one. That they were against the new arrangement right from the start is certain but they understandably waited for six years before their cup of bitterness filled to overflowing. Unfortunately we still do not know what led to the final outburst.


Nos Alfonsus dei gracia Rex Aragonum Sicilie Valencie Maioricarum Sardinee et Corsice comes Barchinone dux Athenarum et Neupatrie ac comes Rossilionis et Ceritanie Presentis priuilegij seriem siue contractus uel obligacionis notum fierj volumus vniuersis tam presentibus quam futuris quod Cum die xxa Januarij xiiije Jndicionis Anno dominice Incarnacionis millesimo cccco xxo per nostros vicereges Jn dicto regno Sicilie de nostro mandato fuisset facta pignoracio ciuitatis et Jnsolarum Meliuetj et Gaudisij cum omnibus castris Villis et Juribus Vniuersis in eisdem Jnsolis et Jpsarum qualibet existentibus spectantibus et pertinentibus ad nostram excellenciam seu ad patrimonium nostrum quocumque modo nobili et dilecto Consiliario nostro Antonio de Cardona militi prout Jnfrascripto contractu puplico diffusius est videre tenoris sequentis:

Here follows a copy of the contract by virtue of which Don Antonius de Cardona obtained the islands of Malta and Gozo:

Jn nomine domini nostri Jhesu Christi amen. Notum facimus et testamur quod magnifici et potentes dominj dominus Ferdinandus Vasques miles et dominus Martinus de Turribus decretorum doctor vicereges In dicto regno Sicilie facientes nos ad eorum presenciam accersirj in presencia domini Johannis de Ansalono magne regie curie Judicis et testium subscriptorum vocatorum et rogatorum exposuerunt dicentes quod cum Jpsi domini vicereges de mandato et expressa licencia et voluntate predicti serenissimi domini nostrj regis Alfonsi qui ut pastor bonus ex Jgnata clemencia sua voluit et vult pocius sibi super proprijs facultatibus suis terrarum et castrorum regnj necessitate subuenire quam suos regios fideles eiusdem regni in aliquo grauare sed propria clemencia ex  animo principis beniuolo considerato quod melius est necessitate (?) cohactus magnis et arduis expensis necessarijs Jncumbentibus ut notorium est ante tempus occurrere quam post vulneratam plagam remedium adhibere, eo presertim quia prudenter mala prefidendo [i.e. prefidendo] bona salubriter succederent et offend… sublato nocendi pacifice occurrit adictis ad octata considerataque siculorum fidelitate nec minus Januenses qui sunt puplici Jnimici ac capitales hostes naccionis Cathalanorum cum duce Andagauie adinuicem confederatj sunt et per consequens et succesiue sint hostes omnium regiorum fidelium dicte regie (f. 240v) maiestatis cuiuscumque naccionis et lingue sint, non paciens Jdem serenissimus dominus noster rex dictum regnum Sicilie gregem fidelem a dictis Jnimicis deriperi nec lacerarj ac invadi tamquam a lupis rapacibus ut alias actis temporibus visum fuit et per eorum mala opera sepe sepius ostenderunt ne forte destitutione gentis armigere et ample pecunie necessitate circa tuicionem et defensionem predictum regnum suum Sicilie tuicione et defensione careret et ab offensione necessaria facienda que resultat Jnimicis debellatis ad conseruacionem regnj et temporis tranquillitatem cessaret visum fuit eisdem dominis viceregibus quibus predictam et Infrascriptum dictus serenissimus dominus Rex commisit et mandauit expresse ut patet de necessitate et commissione predictis ex assercione dictorum dominorum viceregum et offensione dierum (?) puplica vox et fama quod amplam pecunie quantitatem ab aliquibus regijs fidelibus perquirerent et exigerent mutuj nomine sub securitate aliquarum terrarum et castrorum dictj regnj Sicilie cum magna libertate et liberalitate ac gracia concessionem donacionem et remissionem reddituum et prouentuum earumdem terrarum et castrorum deductis custodia castrorum et aliorum salariorum ordinariorum eamque reciperent et haberent et Juxta commissionem per dictum regem eis factam solverent et distribuerent eadem qua propter dicti domini vicereges commissionem ut asseruerant de predictis habentes (?) pro effectualj execucione omnium et singulorum premissorum non nullos regios fideles dictj regnj Sicilie nuper mutuo dicte ample pecunie quantitatis dictis dominis viceregibus nomine et pro parte dicti serenissimj dominj Regis Alfonsi ac heredum et successorum suorum facienda requisiuerunt, et quia perquestus et explorans multis et diuersis regijs seruitoribus nullum alium nisi magnificum dominum Antonium de Cardona militem quemdam Jnter ceteros tamquam lilium fidelis campi Jnuenerunt qui bono animo et prompta voluntate ac totis viribus se paratum obtulit ad mutuandum amplam pecunie quantitatem eisdem dominis viceregibus antedictis pro necessitatibus arduis et defensione et tuicione regni predicti sub forma capitulorum conuencionum graciorum et pactorum subscriptorum ei penitus et absque dubio conseruandorum. Et propterea dictus magnificus dominus Antonius miles coram nobis suis securitate et pignoracione ciuitatis Jnsolarum et castrorum Jnfrascriptorum eisdem magnificis domino Ferrando et domino Martino viceregibus (f. 205) presentibus et stipulantibus pro parte et nomine dictj Serenissimj domini Regis Alfonsi ac [p.274] heredum et successorum suorum promisit et conuenit nomine mutuj et amore fidelj quam senper gessit erga regiam maiestatem pro conseruacione et tuicione dicti regni Sicilie et omnium Jncolarum et fidelium habitancium Jn eodem soluere et mutuare Jpsi domino regi et eisdem viceregibus pro eo triginta milium florenorum de aragonia ad racionem de carlenis nouem pro quolibet floreno habita prius possessione Jnfrascriptorum ciuitatis terrarum castrorum et Jnsolarum Meliuetj et Gaudisii cum juribus et pertinencijs suis Jnfrascriptis nec non et habita certificacione veritica habicionis (?) possessionis Jpsarum Jnde videlicet ad dies vigintj numerandos a die dicte certificacionis veritice habicionis possessionis Jpsarum ciuitatis, castrorum et Jnsolarum actenta pocius fidelium regiorum tuicione et conseruacione dicti regni quam aliquo alio reciproco comodo expectato, et ea de causa dicti domini vicereges et autoritate et potestate et valia eis ut asseruerunt super premissis omnibus et singulis per dictum dominum regem concessis pignoris nomine et pro securitate dictarum pecuniarum mutuandarum per tradicionem penne mej notarij Jnfrascripti puplici loco corporalis et realis possessionis ciuitatem terras castra et ambas Jnsolas Meliuetj et Gaudisii cum adiacentibus Jnsolis ac pheudis cabellis Juribus prouentibus et redditibus vniuersis dicte regie maiestatis et eius heredibus et successoribus debitis et consuetis traddiderunt et assignauerunt atque pignorauerunt obligauerunt et ypothecarunt et Jpsis titulis habere concesserunt dicto magnifico domino Antonio mutuare debentj presenti et recipientj pignoris nomine ut predicitur cum munitatibus gracijs pactis et condicionibus Jnfrasciptis in presenti contractu declaratis et per dictas partes nominibus quibus supra sollemni stipulacione vallatis et eidem domino Antonio remanentibus senper saluis Et primo quod dictus magnificus dominus Antonius mutuaturus pecunie facultatem potestatem habeat et ei concessa extitit Jn et super Jnsolis ciuitate terris et castris predictis et Vnaquaque Jpsarum et Vnoquoque Jpsorum vnum et plures capitaneum rectorem castellanum gubernatorem ac officiales alios quoscumque de die et de nocte pacifico tempore et discrimine guerrarum quod absit creandum et faciendum creatos et factos remouendum cabellas siue dohanas solitas et consuetas ac omnia et singula alia emolumenta subuencionis excadencias et morticinia pheudalia et burgensatica earumdem (f. 205v) ciuitatis terrarum et castrorum vendendum et disclocandum precio quo poterit meliori eius arbitrio et voluntate sarciatis, durante tempore mutuj predictj Jpsosque fructus redditus et prouencias ac Jura cabellarum et dohanarum predictarum graciose actentis Jnteresse Jpsorum et pecuniarum restituendarum ac fidelium seruiciorum necessitatibus predictis exhibitorum petere exigere recuperare recipere et habere ac confiterj recepisse valeat a suis officialibus et debitoribus predictis, ex causis predictis Illosque valeat et possit Jdem magnificus dominus Antonius suis Vtilitatis applicare ac eciam omnes alios fructus obuenciones excadencias pheudales burgensaticas ex predictis Jnsolis prouentura quomodocumque et qualitercumque prout et sicud caperet regia curia sj presens pignoracio facta non fuerit nec  minus Jn eisdem castris ciuitate terris et Jnsolis Jurisdicionem omnem merum et mistum Jnperium exercere uti et habere prout et sicud potest et habet regia maiestas deductis prius et ante omnia custodia castrorum et aliorum salariorum et alijs salarijs ordinarijs officialium debitis et consuetis pro custodia terrarum et castrorum predictorum ad arbitrium et voluntatem dicti domini Antonij credditoris prout et sicud dictus dominus Rex facere possit et fierj mandaret sj premissa personaliter Jnteressit eius presencia et absentia et dictorum dominorum viceregum seu aliorum non obstantibus donec et quousque presens contractus pignoracionis durabit et si domino Antonio fuerit Jntegre satisfactum de dictis triginta milibus florenorum de Aragona mutuandis cum Jure accionj et Recepcionj castrorum ciuitatis et terrarum predictarum cabellarum dohanarum reddituum et prouentuum earumdem tam racione et causa debiti principalis quam dependencium ab Jpso debito Jnteresse capitulis Syracusarum editis et alijs dominj regis friderici Jacobj et aliorum regum in aliquo omnibus et singulis Jn presenti contractu contentis forte contradicentibus non obstantibus quoquomodo, quibus eidem derogarj voluerunt de certa sciencia et expresse ac si de verbo ad verbum essent capitula Ipsa in contractu presenti expressa cuj et quibus dictj dominj vicereges habentes ut dixerunt expressum mandatum et commissionem super hijs autoritate eorum officij predictj expresse renunciarunt et renunciant Jntencione et animo eis et dicto domino regi suisque heredibus et successoribus preiudicandi in omnj Jure accione operacione et actu quibus possit contrauenire presenti contractu. Jtem quod sj predictus Magnificus (f. 206) dominus Antonius vellet seu requireret dictam suam pecuniam debiti principalis predicti quandocumque de regia maiestate predicta seu eius curia, et curia Jpsa Jllam pecuniam eidem non restitueret quod eo casu liceat et licitum sit Jpsi magnifico domino Antonio creditorj predictam ciuitatem terras Jnsolas cum castris pro dicta pecunia mutuanda alicuj cuicumque fideli Juxta eius arbitrium cum Illis autoritate libertate condicionibus prerogratiuis gracia precepcionibus atque recepcionibus et acquisicionibus supradictis pignorare seu locare usque inclusiue ad tempus satisfacionis debitj principalis predictj Jpsique domini vicereges nomine regio propterea autoritate et licencia eis attributa ut prefertur coram nobis presentes stipulacioni sollempnj pro parte et nomine dictj domini regis suorumque heredum et successorum pro quo licet absentj de rato promiserunt et ratihabicionem tenerj voluerunt et vult, sub ypotheca et obligacione omnium bonorum dictj dominj regis ciuitatis terrarum et castrorum predictorum pheudalium burgensaticorum presencium et futurorum predictorum magnifico domino Antonio presenti et sollemniter stipulantj predictas pecunie quantitates eis quo supra nomine ut predicitur mutuandas soluere traddere et restituere promiserunt Jpsi domino Antonio creditorj uel persone legitime pro eodem nomine regis ut supra nulla peticionj seu repeticionj fienda reddituum et prouentuum Jnsolarum predictarum sed peticione et. accione earumdem pro extintis penitus habeantur et Jntelligantur. Ita quod dictus dominus Antonius creditor super  ciuitate terris et castris predictis durante pignoracione predicta vexilla regia retinere debeat quociens et quando opus fuerit ac eciam teneatur ad debitam fidelitatem Jpsi domino nostro regi suisque heredibus et successoribus et pro eis ad eorum mandatum facere guerram et pacem ut regij fideles tenentur et debent Jta quod sj vllo Vmquam tempore aliqua prouisio emanaret siue sancio sive proglama uel quocumque nomine censeretur siue generalis siue specialis per quam uel per quas super eius uel alicuj predictorum aliqualiter contraveniretur direpte uel per oblicum quod eo casu liceat predicto magnifico et officialibus resistere Inpune. Item quod predicti domini vicereges teneantur et debeant ac promiserunt et conuenerunt stipulacione sollemnj predicto magnifico domino Antonio creditorj presentj et sollemniter stipulantj et sic ad sancta dej euangelia corporaliter tacto libro Jurauerunt omnj excepcione remota tractare et curare Ita et taliter cum effectu quod predictus dominus Rex Alfonsus per se et suos heredes (f. 206v) et successores presentem contractum dicti debitj pignoracionis cum translacione possessionis plene et omnia et singula in eo contenta ad omnem Jpsius domini creditoris uel persone legitime pro eo requisicionem confirmabit aceptabit et ratificabit cum deliberacione consilij ad omnem maiorem cautelam dictj magnifici dominj Antonj specialiter quod dictus serenissimus dominus Rex de certa sua sciencia et plenitudine potestatis sj opus fuerit omnj via modo et forma quibus melius poterit reuocabit si quam forte concessionem seu promissionem fecisset de predictis ciuitate terris castris et Jnsolis Meliuetj et Gaudisij cum debito et sollemnj Sacramento per Instrumentum puplicum unum et plura et Jn nullo contrafaciet nec contrauenire Jurabit et ad habundanciorem cautelam predictj dominj creditoris Jpsi domini vicereges Jurauerunt tactis scripturis dictam confirmacionem et aceptacionem et ratificacionem tractare et habere in formam puplicam a predicto domino Rege pro Jpso domino Antonio creditore absentia eiusdem creditoris non obstante que omnia et singula supradicta et Jnfrascripta predicti magnifici domini Ferdinandus et Martinus vicereges et magnificus dominus Antonius nominibus quibus supra promiserunt et conuenerunt sollemnibus stipulacionibus hinc Jnde Jnteruenientibus senper rata grata et firma habere tenere et Jnuiolabiliter obseruare et non contrafacere uel venire aliqua occasione uel facto ymmo Jpsa actendere et efficaciter adimplere. Jn omnem euentum et sine aliqua diminucione Jn pace de plano sine lite et curie querimonia ac Judiciorum strepitu omnj libello peticione dilacione et apposicione remotis et ab eisdem partibus nominibus quibus supra per pactum sollemne recusari et renuncians expresse sub ypotheca et obligacione omnium bonorum dicti serenissimj dominj regis Alfonsi et dictj magnificj dominij Antoni de Cardona presencium et futurorum ac reficione dampnorum et Jnteresse et expensis litis et extra super predictis omnibus et singulis dicte partes nominibus quibus supra renunciavuerunt omnibus excausis dolj malj metu tam et in factum subsidiarie condicionis siue tam priuilegio forj et legi sj contrauenerit rey non sit ut predicitur geste ferijs omnibus et generaliter ceteris Juribus canonicis et ciuilibus scriptis et non scriptis et omni alij Juris et canoni auxilio quibus uel eorum aliquo dicti contrahentes nominibus quibus supra Juuare se possunt aliquatenus uel tuerj volentes dicti contrahentes quod presens contractus possit reformarj semel bis ter ad consilium sapientis factj substancia non mutata. (f. 207) Vnde ad futuram memoriam etc. Testes nobilis dominus Sallimbenj de Markisio prothonotarius, dominus Jacobus de Grauina secretarius, Nicolaus de Specialj thesaurarius et dominus Baptista de Plathamone legum doctor. Ego Aloysius de Meo de Panormo Jnperialj autoritate vbique ac regia per totum regnum Jnsole Sicilie et archiepiscopali per dyocesim Panormitanam Judex ordinarius atque notarius puplicus premissa omnia rogatus scripsi et puplicaui et meo signo signaui.

The text of the main document is resumed:

Et ex Jnde prefata pignoracio translata fuerit Jn nobilem Condissaluum de Munroy consiliarium et cammarium nostrum dilectum de nostro consensu et expressa voluntate si translacio dicj meretur uel quouis vocabulo possit et valeat nuncuprj quoniam sic processit ueritas ut Jn contractu Jnde facto manu persone puplice omni qua debet sollemnitate vallato tenoris ut Jnfra:

The contract by which Cardona’s rights over Malta and Gozo are transferred to Don Gonsalvus de Monroy is transcribed here:

JN NOMINE dominj amen. dominice Jncarnacionis anno Mo CCCCo XXo Jndicionis XIII secundum cursum panormj die vij mensis marcij. Regnante Serenissimo domino nostro domino Alfonso dej gracia Jnclito rege Aragonie et Sicilie etc. ac ducatuum Athenarum et Neupatrie duce regnj uero eius Sicilie anno Vo feliciter Amen. Nos Antonius de Surrentj Judex felicis urbis Panormj Symon de Ganacijs notarius Jnfrascriptus et testes subcripti ad hec uocatj specialiter et rogatj presenti scripto puplico notum facimus et testamur quod magnificus dominus Antonius de Cardona miles sciens et habens noticiam quod magnifici et potentes dominj videlicet dominus Ferdinandus Vasques miles et dominus Martinus de Turribus decretorum doctor tamquam vicereges regni Sicilie Jntendentes pecuniam acquirere et habere pro certis arduis negocijs regijs ex vna parte et Jpse dominus Antonius ex parte altera venerunt Jnsimul ad certas conuenciones et pacta videlicet quod Jdem magnificus dominus Antonius sub securitate pignoracionis fiende et quam fecerunt predicti magnifici domini vicereges de ciuitate terris castris et ambabus Jnsolis Meliuetj et Gaudisij cum adiacentibus Jnsolis et pheudis cabellis Juribus et prouentibus et redditibus Vniversis regie maiestatj et eius heredibus et successoribus debitis et consuetis debet et sic promisit et se obligauit dictis magnificis dominis viceregibus tunc presentibus et stipulantibus nomine regio supradicto mutuare eidem domino Regi florenos triginta millia aragone ad racionem de carlenis nouem pro quolibet floreno primo habita possessione dictorum ciuitatis terrarum et castrorum et Jnsolarum Meliuetj et Gaudisij cum Juribus suis predictis Jnfra vigintj dies [p.278] postquam erit notum et certum de habicione possessionis predicte continue numerandos sub certis pactis modis formis et condicionibus appositis (f. 207v) et serio declaratis et contentis in quedam puplico contractu de premissis facto Jnter dictas partes, scripto manu notarij Aloysij de Meo ciuis Panormj die XXa mensis Januarij XIIIJe Jndicionis anno ab Jncarnacione domini millesimo CCCCo XXo et quia factum predictum aliter se habet quam ut supradictum est et Jn dicto contractu apparet. Propterea magnificus dominus Antonius antedictus Jn presencia mej notarij et testium subscriptorum et ad Jnstanciam et requisicionem magnifici dominj Condissaluj de Munroy militis dixit et confessus extitit ac Jusiurratus (?) legitime recognouit veritatem esse et fuisse quod licet Jn dicto contractu appareat dictum magnificum dominum Antonium proprio nomine suo et per se promississe facere mutuum predictum triginta milium florenorum dicto domino Regi et recepisse stipulasse promissionem et obligacionem dictorum magnificorum dominorum viceregum eidem magnifico domino Antonio actas et possessionem dicte ciuitatis terrarum et castrorum ac Jnsolarum Meliuetj et Gaudisij et Jurium eorumdem ut prefertur per tradicionem penne notarij Aloysij predicti habuisse et Jpse dominus Antonius omnia et singula supradicta fecit nomine et pro parte dictj magnificj dominj Consaluj et de sua expressa commissione ad eundem dominum Consaluum omne comodum et Jncomodum quod absit quod Jnde superuenerit de premissis spectat et pertinet de Jure, non obstante quod Jn contractu predicto aliter contineatur et de dicto domino Consaluo mencio nulla fiat cum contenta et declarata in contractu eodem facta fuerint proprio nomine Jpsius domini Antoni pro certa cautela renuncians dictus dominus Antonius ex causa dicte confessionis et recognicionis ut supra non facta rey ut supra et Jnfra sic non geste et sic non se habentis doli malj metus et Jn factum accionj condicionj siue causa et omnj alij Jurj et quam pignoracionem et totum contractum predictum ad opus dicti magnifici domini Consaluj factum et presentem cessionem dicitur fuisse factam et factum per dictos magnificus dominos vicereges de consciencia certa sciencia beneplacito et per voluntatem serenissimj domini nostrj Regis Alfonsi et premissa volentis et aceptantis de certa sciencia ut supra, et volens dictus magnificus dominus Antonius facere qui tenetur et Juris sunt erga dictum magnificum dominum Consaluum, cum dicta Jura non sunt penes eundem dominum Antonium remansura dedit cessit habere concessit transtulit et mandauit eidem domino Consaluo presentj et recipientj pro se et suis heredibus omnia Jura acciones raciones vtiles et directas reales et personales tacitas et expressas et quaslibet alias que et quas dictus dominus Antonius habet seu sibi competunt et competere possunt et competitoria sunt contra et adversus (f. 208) dictos dominos vicereges dicto regio nomine et omnes alias personas que ad contenta in dicto contractu essent quomodolibet obligata vigore contractus eiusdem et omnium et singulorum contentorum in eo Jta ut Jpsis Jure accionibus racionibus dictus dominus Consaluus heredes et successores suj vti possent agere et experirj defendere et se tuerj et demum omnia et singula facere et execucionj mandare qui Jpsemet dominus Antonius facere potest posset uel vmquam melius potuit Jpsumque dominum Consaluum procuratorem constituens in omnibus et singulis supradictis in rem suam propriam et ponens eum Jn locum suum domino nostro rege consenciente volente et ratificante ut asseritur de certa eius sciencia ut prefertur quae Jura qualia sunt et Jpsi domino Antonio competunt talia cessa esse Jntelligantur Jtaquod Jdem dominus Antonius ipsi domino Consaluo Jn nichilo teneatur de premissis et versavice dictus dominus Consaluus recipiens et aceptans omnia et singula supradicta et declarato ei tenere et substancia contentorum Jn dicto contractu in posse dicti notarij Aloysij celebrato volens de premissis eundem dominum Antonium bene tantum promisit et sollemniter conuenit dicto domino Antonio presenti et stipulantj quod Jpse dominus Consaluus attendet complebit et obseruabit pro eodem domino Antonio dictis magnificis dominis viceregibus dicto nomine regio seu regi predicto et tam Jn mutuando dicto domino regi dicta trigintamilia florenorum aragonie ipso modo et forma et pactis Jn dicto contractu declaratis quam Jn omnibus alijs appositis in contractu predicto ea omnia et singula ad que prefatus dominus Antonius in Jpso contractu tenetur et obligatus est et demum Jpsum dominum Antonium heredes et bona sua de premissis conseruabit penitus absque dapno quam recognicionem Jurium cessionem et omnia et singula supradicta et Jnfrascripta promiserunt et conuenerunt dicti contrahentes sibj ad Jnuicem et Vicissim vnus alteri et altervnj sollemnibus stipulacionibus hinc Jnde Jnteruenientibus senper actendere et obseruare et rata grata et firma habere et tenere et contra non facere uel venire ullo Vmquam tempore aliquo modo uel Jure ad penam dupplici tocius eiusdem quo contrafierj uel ut supra non obseruaretur sollemnj stipulacione premissa cum restitucione dapnorum Jnteresset expensarum litis et extra ritis manentibus predictis (?) et sub ypotheca et obligacione omnium bonorum eorum presencium et futurorum Vnde ad futuram memoriam et dictorum magnificorum dominorum contrahencium cautelam et requisicionem presens puplicum Jnstrumentum ex Jnde factum est per manus mej notarij Symonis (f. 208v) Jnfrascripti quod est actum Jn vrbe predicta Jn hospicio regio presentibus nobilibus domino Vguetto de Frixa (Fuxa?) domino Jacobo de Grauina militibus Nicolao de Specialj thesaurerio et Ferrando de Ariona testibus ad hec vocatis et rogatis anno die mense et Jndicione premissis. Ego Antonius de Surrenti Judex qui supra me subscripsi. Ego Symon de Gananjs ciuis Panormj apostolica et Jnperialj autoritate ac realj tocius regni Sicilie notarius puplicus premissa omnibus et singulis Jnterfuj et rogatus scripsi et puplicauj.

The text of the main document is again resumed:

Jdemque Consaluus pro obseruacione dictj contractus translacionis pignoracionis eiusdem ut prefertur soluit tradidit et assignauit nostre curie eosdem triginta millia florenos Aragonie presencialiter et manualiter numerando recipiente Jpsos  florenos pro parte nostre curie de nostro mandato regio consiliario thesaurario dicti regni Sicilie Nicolao de Specialj prout apparet et laccius expressatur Jn secunda eius cedula Jnserta in quadam puplica apoca et contractu quod [est] tenoris sequentis:

Here follows a copy of the official acknowledgement of the payment to the royal treasury of 30.000 florins of Aragon by Monroy, including the receipt:

Nouint vniuersi presens scriptum Jnspecturj quod Jn nostri presentia constitutes nobilis Nicolaus de Specialj regni Sicilie thesaurarius ad Jnstanciam magnifici domini Consaluj de Munroy militis et Jllustrissimj et excellentissimj dominj nostrj dominj Alfonsi Regis Aragonum et Sicilie maioris camerarij absentis presente me notario puplico ut persona puplica suo nomine stipulante sponte suo motu proprio confesses et testatus est subinsertam cedulam ab eo amanasse et Jn ipsa nomine eius manu propria subscripsisse et firmasse prout et quemadmodum in cedula Jpsa continetur Cuius tenor est per omnia talis: Ego Nicolaus de Specialj regni Sicilie thesaurarius presenti fateor cedula quod die Xo presentis mensis Aprilis XIIIJe Jndicionis apud Panormum magnificus dominus Consaluus de Munroy maior camerarius serenissimi domini nostrj Regis Aragonie et Sicilie assignauit michi recipientj pro parte regie curie, quos per me soluit Jn banco Petrj de Afflicto bankerij felicis Vrbis Panormj omnes Jllos triginta millia florenos de Aragona Jn quibus Jpse dominus Consaluus tenebatur domino regi pro pignoracione Jnsolarum Meliuetj et Gaudisij factam per dictum serenissimum dominum Regem dicto magnifico domino Consaluo ut de dicta pignoracione clare patet per contractus et scripturas alias Jnde factas de quorum triginta millia florenorum de Aragonia assignacione mihi facta ut supra presentem cedulam ad Jpsius magnifici Consaluj cautelam fierj fecj mej sigillj officij et subscripcione munitam scriptam (f. 209) Panormj prefato die Xo Aprilis XIIIJe Jndicionis vidit thesaurarius Registrata. Nunc Antonius Jdem nobilis Nicolaus ratificando et approbando dictum suam cedulam eodem modo de nuovo confitetur et recognoscit omnia et singula in preJnserta cedula contenta fuisse et esse vera firma et efficacera que aped omnes et quascumque personas vult et mandat ad cautelam vlteriorem dictj magnificj dominj Consaluj senper et omnj tempore fore et esse validam et aceptam et nichilominus coram me Jnfrascripto notario et testibus subnotatis nobilis Jpse Jterato confessus est sua sponte dictos triginta millia florenos de Aragonia habuisse et recepisse eosdemque ad suas manus realiter peruenisse sicud et prout Jn dicta cedula exprimitur satis large Vnde ad futuram memoriam dictique magnifici domini Consaluj cautelam sibi Jnposterum reseruandam factum est per me notarium Leonardum de Bankerio de Panormo puplicum tabellionem dictj regnj Sicilie et Jnsolarum quoadiacencium presens confessionis Jnstrumentum quod actum est In Vrbe felici Panormj die xijo mensis Aprilis XIIIJe Jndicionis anno dominice Jncarnacionis Mo CCCCo XXJo regnante eodem serenissimo domino nostro Rege Alfonso Aragonum et Sicilie Rege etc. feliciter amen, regnorum uero eius anno VJo. Ego Alonsus Ferrandes de la Ribera testor. Ego Alferius de Leofante testor. Ego Antonius de Johanne notarius puplicus testor. Ego Antonius de Caramanna testor. signum mej Leonardj de Bankerio de Panormo regia autoritate per totum regnum Sicilie et Jnsolas quoadiacentes notarij puplicj qui premissa omnia rogatus scripsi eaque coram prenominatis testibus firmauj et sollemniter clausi Jn testimonium premissorum anno mense die et Jndicione premissis.

The text of the main document is again resumed and carried. through to the end:

Nunc autem supplicacionibus dictj nobilis Consaluj benignius Jnclinatj actentis eius arduis et satisdignis seruicijs et obsequijs singularibus non solum omnia Jn dictis contractibus apposita aceptamus approbamus ratificamus et pleno fauore regio confirmamus ac eciam de nouo concedimus et donamus eidem Consaluo pro se suisque heredibus et successoribus Recipiente predicta actenta natura actus. Nos nostrosque successores ex capitulis (f. 209v) in principali potessimis contractu contentis efficaciter obligando ac eciam prefatam graciam ymmo pocius recompensacionem seu retribucionem aliqualem seruiciorum nobis per eundem continuo prestitorum ac eciam consideracione dapnorum et Jnteresse que substinuit dictus Consaluus pro reperiendo dictam quantitatem, ampliantes eidem domino Consaluo donacionem seu retribucionem et recompensacionem omnium premissorum facimus cum presenti omnium fructuum proventuum excadenciarum et omnium emolumentorum suis vsibus comoditatibus et voluntatibus applicandorum Jta quod ex nunc Jn antea prefatus Consaluus percipiat omnes et quoscumque secretiarum Jurisdicionum penarum et excadenciarum quarum ius eciam sj fuerint pheudalia et omnia Jura maris portuum exiturarum tractarum et collectarum sj opus erit, ac eciam regalium quorumcumque Jn dictis Jnsolis de preterito presentj uel futuro apparencium uel contingencium Jn posterum uel ex legitima causa Jnponendorum adeo quod de Jure redditibus fructibus prouentibus excadencijs obuencionibus et emolumentis ac comoditatibus omnibus per eum habitis et consequutis de quibus ut prefertur donacionem et graciam seu recompensacionem ut supra dictum est et nunc facimus largiferiam et habundantem constituentes vos ea omnia Jura et emolumenta pro eodem Consaluo precario possidere uel quasi. Jta quod casu quo regia curia easdem Jnsolas cum castris et villis quandocumque redimere et recuperare a manibus et posse Jpsius nobilis Consaluj uel suorum heredum contingeret Jdem Consalus nullam compensacionern compotum et racionem cum eodem principali precio triginta milium florenorum facere teneatur quando ymmo adueniente casu redempcionis Jpsorum sibi Jntegrum precium reddituum triginta millia florenorum manualiter Jn pecunia numerata absque excepcioni aliqualiter consignetur et restituatur nulla tamen facta mencione de Jure redditibus fructibus et emolumentis omnibus predictis sibi per nostram excellenciam liberaliter donatis et contentis uel recompensatis. Jtem quod nos per nos et successores [p.282] nostros volumus et promictimus non posse reddimere dictas Jnsolas et Jura nisi de propria pecunia et ut redducantur ad demanium non autem ad opus uel alteri pignorentur uel vendantur seu quo quo modo concedantur quecumque esse persona, et quod eo casu nos seu nostrj vicereges uel alius officialis accederemus seu accederet ad dictam Jnsolam teneamur et teneantur super sanctis quatuor euangelijs Jurare (f. 210) ante Jntroytum castrorum ciuitatis terrarum et casalium ac territoriorum earumdem Jnsolarum de non turbando seu molestando eundem Consaluum seu eius officiales Jn possessione predicta quod eo uel eis recedentibus remanebit Jn Jlla possessione sicud erat ante predium nostrum seu dictorum viceregum Jtaquod ex nunc Jn antea nec thesaurarius noster nec herarius nec magister portulanus uel alius officialis quicumque Jn dictis Jnsolis aliquid agere administrare quirere uel se Jnpedire vlterius adeat quinymmo eis uel quibuscumque contrarium actentantibus per eundem nobilem Consaluum et suos officiales Jnpune possit et valeat resisti quam omnia et singula supradicta et alia quecumque Jura eciam sj regalia sint Jn eundem Consaluum plenarie transferimus donamus et recompensamus ex causis honorem et comodum maiestatis regie concernentibus quibuscumque Juribus pragmaticis capitulis ordinacionibus constitucionibus et edictis Jn contrarium dictantibus specialiter constitucione Syracusarum bone memorie regum Jacobj et Martinj ac eciam reuerendi patris nostri et nostris ac sj presencialiter Jnserto forent eciam sj de hijs primam et vlteriorum mencionem fierj oporteret non obstantibus quoquomodo quibus de certa nostra sciencia et plenitudine potestatis derogamus expresse volentes quod dictus nobilis Consaluus easdem Jnsolas cum Juribus predictis pleno fauore possideat cum omnibus Jnmunitatibus exempcionibus priuilegijs gracijs et Juribus quibuscumque sicud vmquam plenius possiderint uel habuerint potissime quod vigore Jurisdicionis et merj et mistj Jnperij sibj dicti contractus compitentis volumus Jllud ampleantes quod eciam omnes cause appellacionum dictarum Jnsolarum ut minime habitatores earumdem vexentur sumptibus expensis eidem Consaluo uel cuj dictus Consaluus mandauerit deuoluantur eciam omnes cause pendentes Jn magna curia Jn curia sacre consciencie uel alia curia nostra Iterutrum deuoluantur eidem, et predicte omnes curie seu alie de habitatoribus dictarum Jnsolarum quo quo modo uel causa se non Jntromictant declarantes cum presentj quod sj contingerit Jn futurum eundem Consaluum aliquam expensam facere in reparacionem uel eciam construcionem uel aliter in terra castro uel aliqua Jnsolarum predictarum quod nulla facta compensacione fructuum et Jurium perceptorum sibj resalcirj (f. 210v) debeant Jn pecunia manuali simul cum debito principali triginta milium florenorum Jntegre et completo tempore quo prefata bona nostra curia reddimeret quam expensam uel eiusdem summam declarandam dum taxat decernimus assercionem prefatj nobilis Consaluj uel officialium eiusdem domini nos eam redempcionem pro precio et expensis nostro arbitrio Inposterum reseuamus quandocumque videbitur et placuerit nos enim pro huiusmodi gracie roboris firmitate eidem Consaluo presentj promictimus sub nostra bona fide regia ac eciam ad bonum sanum Jntellectum Jn fauorem eiusdem nobilis Consaluj per dominum deum eius sancta quatuor euangelia nostris manibus corporaliter tacta premissa omnia et singula ac ex eis dependencia et cognexa, tenere actendere et Jnuiolabiliter obseruare et nullo vmquam tempore durante pignoracione presentj reuocare seu reuocarj permictere aliqua racione uel causa, supplicantes ex eadem plenitudine potestatis legibus absoluta omnis defectus si quj possent Jn presentj nostra confirmacione donacione concessione uel serviciorum contribucione et gracia suborirj seu quomodolibet allegarj siue formales siue reales Jn et super omnibus sj quam fortasse dubietatem orirj contingerit declarandum ac eciam Jnpetrandum sancimus et promictimus Jn fauorem et partem magnam fauorabilem (?) prefatj nobilis Consaluj, mandantes ea propria (?) de nostra certa sciencia et expresse viceregibus, magistro Justiciario et magistro portulano qui pro tempore fuerunt thesaurario quoque magistris racionalibus conseruatorj nostrj patrimonij nec non Judicibus magne nostre curie ac vniuersis et singulis officialibus et personis alijs regni nostrj Sicilie et Jnsolarum predictarum quacumque duynitate fulgentibus presentibus et futuris sub pena vnciarum millia nostreque Jre et Jndignacionis Jncursu et alias quanto forcius dicj potest quatenus presens nostrum priuilegium et omnia et singula Jn ea contenta teneant firmiter et obseruarj faciant per quoscumque cauentes presentj nostre confirmacionj concessionj et gracie ut prefertur aliquatenus contra Jre sj dictas penas cupitis euitare quibus exactis (f. 211) uel non presens priuilegium Jn eius roboribus et viribus perseueret quod vim et efficaciam bine trine et vlterioris Jubsionis seu mandati obtinerj volumus et Jubemus ad solam ostensionem presentis et si bina trina et vlteriora jubsio seu mandatum a nobis seu nostra curia sufficienter mancionente Jn cuius rey testimonium presens priuilegium ex Jnde fierj et nostro magno sigillo Jnpendente Jubsimus munimine validarj. Rex Alfonsus. Datum in vrbe felici Panormj per reuerendum Jn xpo. patrem Alfonsum diuina miseracione archiepiscopum cesaragustanum regni Sicilie Cancellarium familiarem et fidelem nostrum dilectum anno dominice Jncarnacionis millesimo CCCCo XXJo die primo Aprilis (sic) XIIIJe Jndicionis Regnique nostrj sexto.

Conseruatorj. Dominus Rex mandauit mihi Jacobo de Grauina eius secretario.


[1] A. Cremona, Il-Fidwa tal-Bdiewa, 1936, 2nd ed. 1948.

[2] G.F. Abela, Della Descrittione di Malta, Malta, 1647, pp. 287-90.

[3] G.A. Ciantar, Malta Illustrata, Malta, 1772-1780.

[4] D. Miège, Histoire de Malte, Paris, 1840, II, pp. 58-64.

[5] G.A. Vassallo, Storia di Malta raccontata in compendio, Malta, 1854, pp. 141-45.

[6] A. Mifsud, “Le franchige costituzionali Alfonsiane e l­’invasione dei Mori del 1429 nella compilazione della storia di Malta,” Archivum Melitense, III, especially pp. 314-23 and the documentation.

[7] A. Cremona, op. cit., Malta, 1948, p. 24 on Cardona:
‘Dawn il-bdiewa
lil Don Antonio [Cardona] jagħrfu, u lil ħadd ħliefu.
Don Antonio, il-ħabib tal-faqar tagħhom,
ta’ ulied uliedhom għax ix-xwejħa tħobbu
u tilqgħu kienet għandha fl-ewwel lejla
taż-żwieġ ta’ bintha, għax minnu l-ġhież u l-għalqa
u l-bhima tal-moħriet.’

Op. cit., p. 44 (about Monroy):
‘Aħjar tistħarrġu
lill-Fieres tas-Sultan, l-imgħallem tagħkom
u tistaqsuh: Int b’liema jedd ħadt dina
l-art ta’ l-ibdiewa u rsiera għamilthom f’darhom?
Xi kemm l-uqija tajt? Dil-mistoqsija
il-lum qiegħda tagħmillek din l-imjassra
qalb tal-Maltin. Int min int? Tweġiba
fis nistennew inkella oħroġ ’il barra!’

[8] R. Valentini, ‘Gli ultimi Re Aragonesi ed i primi Castigliani in Malta,’ Archivio Storico di Malta, VII, especially pp. 438-44 and the documentation.

[9] Ibid., p. 442: ‘La formula del pignoramento era espressa in un pubblico contratto, a noi non pervenuto, rogato dal notaro Palermitano Luigi de Meo, il 20 gennaio 1420, come da esplicito accenno nella pergamena IV del Ms. 854 della Biblioteca di Valletta.’

[10] Archivio di Stato di Palermo, Real Cancelleria, vol. 59, fols, 50-52v: ‘cum olim in anno xiiii Jndicionis proxime preterito,’ document dated 3 January 1428; cf. copy made in Malta in 1475 and published by R. Valentini in Archivio Storico di Malta, VIII, p. 307: ‘cum olim in anno quarte indicionis (1425-26).’

[11] Archivio di Stato di Palermo, Protonotaro del Regno, vol. 23, fols. 204-211; documentation published below. In reality they consist of one long document dated 1 April (sic, for May?) 1421, enclosing three others dated 20 January 1421, 7 March 1421, and 12 April 1421 (itself incorporating a receipt dated 10 April 1421).

[12] The date on this document is given as xx Januarii xiiij Indicionis Anno dominice Incarnacionis millesimo cccc xx; the third inserted document (and its own insert) is dated xij (and x) mensis Aprilis xiiij Indicionis anno dominice Incarnacionis m cccc xxj regnante eodem serenissimo domino nostro Rege Alfonso Aragonum et Sicilie Rege etc…. Regnorum uero eius anno vi. The document in Malta dated 12 April 1420, which misled Prof. Valentini, must be in error: Archivio Storico di Malta, VII, p. 97.

[13] See below, pp. 272-277.

[14] Archivio Sto. di Malta, VII, pp. 85-87.

[15] Ibid., p. 87.

[16] Ibid., pp. 84-97

[17] Ibid., pp. 84-93, 97-99.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid., pp. 99-100.

[20] The rights acquired by Cardona are set out in the appointment of his permanent procurator Baptista de Platamone: ibid., pp. 95-96.

[21] See below, pp. 277-279.

[22] See below, pp. 280-281.

[23] See below, main portion of document dated 1 April (May?) 1421, pp. 281-283.



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