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Arms of the Order - St John's Cathedral, Valletta

Coats of Arms
of the
Grandmasters of the Order of St John of Jerusalem
© John Cilia La Corte 2005

The most reliable sources were consulted in this compilation which attempts an accurate reproduction of the arms of all the Grandmasters of the Order of St John. An enlarged image, the blazon  and further information on each grandmaster  with illustrations can be viewed by clicking on each icon. Some of the arms, particularly of the early masters, one or two possibly attributed anachronistically, gave rise to various interpretations and these are also reproduced where available.

The list is in chronological order commencing with the founder of the Order, the Blessed Gerard and grouped under the name of each successive Seat of the Order. The first official master, however, was Gerard's successor, Raymond du Puy with whom the numerical order starts here. This is the sequence adopted by Vertot but others, notably the SMOM, begin with the Blessed Gerard and  this will account for numerical differences when compared with other lists.

The two Caracciolo grandmasters are also included, although the first, Riccardo, an anti-grandmaster, is the less eligible since he was a non-elected appointee of Pope Urban VI. Giuseppe, on the other hand, although properly elected, was rejected by Pope Pius VII. Two other controversial Grandmasters, Rostang and de Pagnac, are also appended. The first is only known through his seals and the second was elected by the Rhodian knights after they had illegally deposed Foulques de Villaret.

Click each icon for a larger image and fuller details

 

JERUSALEM
c.1100-1187

 

Alphabetical List

Founder of the Order
 
Blessed Gerard
c.1100-1120

Numerical List


1. Raymond du Puy
1120-1158/60


2. Auger de Balben
1158/60-1163


3. Arnaud de Comps
1163-bef.1165


4. Gilbert d'Assailly c.1165-1169


4a-Rostang c.1169


5. Cast de Murols
1169


6. Joubert
1169-1179


7. Roger des Moulins
1179-1187


8. Garnier de Naplous
1187

MARGAT/ACRE
1187-1191


9. Ermengard d'Aps
1187-1192

ACRE
1191-1291


10. Geoffroy de Donjon de Duisson  
1192-1202


11. Afonso de Portugal
1202-1206


12. Geoffroy le Rat
1206-1210


13. Guerin de Montaigu
1210-1230


14. Bertrand de Texi
1230-1240


15. Guerin
1240-1244


16. Bertrand de Comps
1244-1248


17. Pierre de Villebride
1248-1251


18. Guillaume de Châteauneuf
 1251-1260


19. Hugh Revel
1260-1278


20. Nicolas Lorgue
1278-1288

ACRE/CYPRUS
(1291)


21. Jean de Villiers
1288-1294

CYPRUS
1291-1309


22. Odon de Pins 1294-1296


23. Guillaume de Villaret
1296-1308

CYPRUS/RHODES
(1309)


24. Foulques de Villaret
1308-1322


24a. Maurice de Pagnac
(1317-1322)

RHODES
1309-1523


25. Hélion de Villeneuve
1322-1346


26. Dieudonné de Gozon
1346-1353


27. Pierre de Corneillan
1353-1355


28. Roger de Pins
1355-1365


29. Raymond Bérenger
1365-1373


30. Robert de Juillac
1373-1376


31. Juan Fernandez de Heredia
1376-1396


32. Riccardo Caracciolo
(1383-1395)


33. Philibert de Naillac
1396-1421


34. Antonio Fluvian
1421-1437


35. Jean de Lastic 1437-1454


36. Jacques de Milly
1454-1461


37. Pedro Raimundo Zacosta
1461-1467


38. Gian Battista Orsini
1467-1476


39. Pierre d'Aubusson
1476-1503


40. Emery d'Amboise
1503-1512


41. Guy de Blanchefort
1512-1513


42. Fabrizio del Carretto
1513-1521

RHODES/
VITERBO/
MALTA
1523-1530


43. Philippe Villiers de l'Isle Adam
1521-1534

MALTA
Birgu
1530-1571


44. Pietrino del Ponte
1534-1535


45. Didier de Tholon Sainte-Jaille
1535-1536


46. Juan de Homedes y Coscón
1536-1553


47. Claude de la Sengle
1553-1557


48. Jean Parisot de Valette
1557-1568

MALTA
Valletta
1571-1798


49. Pietro del Monte
1568-1572


50. Jean l'Evêque de la Cassière
1572-1581


51. Hugues, Cardinal de Loubenx Verdale
1582-1595


52. Martin Garzés 1595-1601


53. Alof de Wignacourt
1601-1622


54. Luis Mendes de Vasconcellos
1622-1623


55. Antoine de Paule
1623-1636


56. Jean Paul de Lascaris Castellar
1636-1657


57. Martin de Redin y Cruzat
1657-1660


58. Annet de Clermont
1660

 


59. Rafael Cotoner y de Oleza
1660-1663


60. Nicolas Cotoner y de Oleza
1663-1680


61. Gregorio Carafa della Roccella
1680- 1690


62. Adrien de Wignacourt
1690-1697


63. Ramón Perellos y Roccaful
1697-1720


64. Marcantonio Zondadari
1720-1722


65. Antonio Manoel de Vilhena
1722-1736


66. Ramón Despuig y Martinez de Marcilla
1736-1741


67. Manoel Pinto de Fonseca
1741-1773


68. Francisco Ximenes de Texada
1773-1775


69. Emmanuel de Rohan de Polduc
1775-1797


70. Ferdinand von Hompesch
1797-1799

 

RUSSIA
1798-1803


71. Paul I, Emperor of all the Russias
1799-1801

SICILY
1803-(1826)


72. Giovanni Battista Tommasi
1803-1805


73. Giuseppe Caracciolo di Sant Eramo
1805-1816

Following  the rejection  by Pope
Pius VII  of Caracciolo,   the  last
legitimately elected Grandmaster,
an   interregnum    of    Lieutenant
Grandmasters   lasting  74   years
was ended by Pope Leo XIII who
restored  the Grandmastership by
appointing Johann Baptist Ceschi
a Santa Croce in Rome.

 

 

 ROME
1834

 
74. Johann Baptist Ceschi a Santa Croce
1879-1905

75. Galeas von Thun und Hohenstein
1905-1931

76. Ludovico Chigi Albani della Rovere
1931-1951

77. Angelo di Mojana di Cologna
1962-1988

78. Andrew Bertie
 1988-2008  
 

 

 

 

79. Matthew Festing

2008-  

 


 

 

 

Sources:  

Heraldic
ANF - Annuaire de la Noblesse de France, 1845       
G - Galuppi, Giuseppe: Nobiliario della città di Messina, Napoli 1877                                            
JM - Jougla de Morenas H.; de Warren R.:  Grand Armorial de France  
R - Rietstap, J.B.: Armorial Général (2éme ed.), G.B van Goor Zonen, Gouda 1884
S - Monuments, etc, St John's Cathedral, Valletta, Malta   
SPS - SMOM Philatelic Series
U - Attributed
V - Vertot, Monsignor l'Abbe de. The History of the Knights of Malta. Illustrated with LXXI. heads of the grandmasters, &c., engraved by the best hands in France, from the original paintings, under the inspection of mons. Bologne, director of the Royal academy of painting. With maps by mons. de Lille, and the plans and fortifications of Malta by the Chevalier de Tigne. And a compleat index to the whole. Printed for G. Strahan, 2 Volumes, London, 1728.

Historical

Avity, Pierre d' (1573-1635): Les Estats, empires, et principautéz du monde : représentez par la description des pays, moeurs des habitans, richesses des provinces, les forces, le gouvernement, la religion, et les Princes qui ont gouverné chascun estat ; Avec l'origine de toutes les religions, et de tous les Chevaliers et Ordres militaires.
Boisgelin, Louis de: Ancient and Modern Malta, and the History of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, 3 Volumes bound together. G & J Robinson, London 1804.
Castagna, P.P.: L-Istorja ta' Malta bil-Gzejjer taghha, 3 volumes, 2nd edition, Stamperia ta C. Busuttil, Valletta, 1890
Delaville Le Roulx, Joseph  [Ed.]: Cartulaire général de l’ordre des Hospitaliers de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem, 1100-1310, 4 vols., Ernest Leroux, Paris,1884-1906
Foster, Michael J.: The Order of St John of Jerusalem Research Website, http://www.knights-of-st-john.co.uk
Gottfried, Johann Ludwig (1584-1633): Archontologiae Cosmicae, Liber III: Origo Ordinum Militarium, tam Regularium, Frankfurt am Main, 1628 being a Latin translation of the work of Pierre d'Avity (see above)
Gervers, Michael (Ed) The Cartulary of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem in England, Secunda Camera, Essex. The British Academy/Oxford University, 1982.
Pauli, Sebastiano: Codice diplomatico del sacro militare ordine gerosolimitano, 2 volumes, Salvatore e Giandomenico Marescandoli, Lucca, 1733 (Vol.1) & 1737 (Vol.2)
Pierredon, Count Marie Henri Thierry Michel de: Histoire Politique de l'Ordre Souverain de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem, Ordre de Malte, Volume 2, Paris 1963
Sainty, Guy Stair: The Order of Saint John, American Society of the Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John in Jerusalem, New York 1991
Seward, Desmond:The Monks of War, Eyre Methuen, 1972.
Sire, H.J.A.: The Knights of Malta, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1996
Vertot, M. l'Abbé de: Histoire des Chevaliers Hospitaliers de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem, appelles depuis chevaliers de Rhodes, et ensuite chevaliers de Malte. J.B. Pélagaud et Cie., Lyon, 1853

Illustrations
The portraits of the Grandmasters up to Zondadari are the engravings by JF Cars taken from Vertot (See above). The later ones are adaptations in the style of Cars.

The engravings of the Great Siege of Malta, 1565 as well as the second set of Grandmasters' portraits up to La Valette are by Antonio F. Lucini, reproduced from the frescos of Matteo Perez d'Aleccio in the Palace of the Grandmasters,Valletta. They were originally published in:
Lucini, Antonio F: Disegni della guerra assedio et assalti dati dall'armata Turchesca all'Isola di Malta l'anno 1565, Bologna 1631  and reproduced again in:
Sanminiatelli Zabarella, Conte Carlo: Lo assedio di Malta, Tipografia Salesiana, Torino, 1902

    

 

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