[p.119]

Shipwreck, enslavement and an angry wife: Corsairing in Malta in the late eighteenth century

Liam Gauci*

Introduction

Exhaustive evidence of a rich maritime past exists for the Maltese islands. The Maltese corso is one such facet which yields intriguing historical clues to Malta's maritime tradition. The aim of this paper is to glance at a different aspect of corsair's life from that to which we have been accustomed. Although a corsair's life was not a world of swashbuckling, treasures and crusades, it was one of hard work, occasional carnage, desertion, and for the lucky few, it offered the prospect of a profitable career. The late eighteenth century is the period in which this study is set. During this era, the corso in Malta was still a highly dynamic and important economic activity.[1] A few first-hand compassionate descriptions of corsair life are still extant; the description afforded to us by the corsair Pietro Stellini (1788-1792) in this present study provides an excellent example.

Contrary to established ideas, the corso at the end of the eighteenth century was not only fully operational but a seemingly flourishing economic activity. By the early 1970s, a revision to the idea of a decline in corsairing ventures during this period and the hypothesis which proposed a resurgence of this activity in Malta in the late eighteenth century was already being put forward.[2] However, this hypothesis has still yet to be fully proven; nevertheless, from evidence available to the scholar today we can start to have a better picture. The corso we have concerned ourselves with in the following study is not in any way part of the official operation of the Order of St John's galley and ship-of-the-line squadrons. The ship Stellini was sailing on was a privately owned galleot armed for war. It formed part of an all together independent yet essential economic activity to the Order and its Maltese [p.120] subjects. Highly regulated,[3] the corso was something the Order had been endorsing since its establishment on the island of Rhodes.[4] They successfully continued this tradition in Malta and local corsairs had become a truly para-military force of the Hospitaller Order. Just like in previous centuries, in the eighteenth century the corso was heavily dependent on investment from the local populaton. However, it was powered by the Order's military muscle. Weapons, dockyard facilities and even soldiers belonging to the Order of St John were put at the disposal of Maltese corsairs. Corsairs were not the free booting pirates they are at times portrayed as the Maltese corsairs flying the flag of the Order or more often than not flying the Grand Master's flag[5] acted as privateers. In fact, privateers – or corsairs when we are referring to a Mediterranean context – were a military force used by various countries as early as the sixteenth century up till the early nineteenth century.[6] It is unfair to label Maltese corsairs as being pirates since pirates were an unlawful group of men who answered to no one, to no prize court and to no sovereign. On the other hand, corsairs answered to both a prize court and a sovereign since they operated under licence. It must be admitted that the corso is tarred, just like privateering in northern waters, with 'the black brush of piracy'.[7] It must be understood that this commerce raiding, although at times volatile, was well within the maritime laws of the time and was also an important facet of military activity at sea up till the 1850s.[8]

Adventure and peril at sea

The loss of a ship in any marine situation is the worst kind of circumstance a mariner could find himself in; however, it was not always armed engagements that annihilated corsair ships. On particular occasions the sea would be the perpetrator of a corsair's misfortune, since nature at times could easily be the architect of death. In 1792 Captain Benedetto Valentini was on his fourth cruise as a corsair captain. He was not a veteran captain, however, according to Captain Gaetano Cumbi and Captain Pietro Zelalich, he had been an experienced sailor working with the corsair fleet for a number of years. Serving under various captains, Valentini [p.121] had risen to the position of first lieutenant.[9] His experience at sea was considered enough for him to command a vessel of his own; however he was strongly advised by the Tribunate degli Armamenti[10] to embark with him an experienced pilot on his first cruise in 1791.[11] During this same year Captain Valentini was living in Senglea; nonetheless he was not Maltese but a native of Corsica and was around forty years old at the time of this first cruise as Captain.[12] Incidentally, several corsairs of the period hailed from Corsica and the contribution of Corsica to the corso should not be underestimated. In fact, it bore some of the most successful corsair captains of the eighteenth century: Captain Giacamo Di Natale, Captain Francesco Di Natale and Captain Guglielmo Lorenzi.

As a vessel for his corsairing venture Valentini chose to arm one of the smallest crafts employed at the time, a felucca of ten benches with a crew of around twenty sailors.[13] Such a craft made use of its great speed and manoeuvrability to pounce on small inshore trading vessels. Many such feluccas operated in conserva[14] with other craft and had to return to base after a few days due to their lack of space for victuals and munitions. As for weapons the felucca employed by Captain Valentini was too small to afford space for the arming of cannon on its decks, however, for fire power the crew made use of four large blunderbusses on yokes and another fifteen handheld blunderbusses.[15] The arsenal of weapons kept aboard the felucca included twelve muskets, eighteen pistols, six spontoons, eighteen half swords, and twelve clay fire grenades.[16] With such an arsenal of weapons on board Captain Valentini took to the sea in May 1791.[17] Once out at sea Captain Valentini never really made any major capture and after his first two cruises his pilot, the seasoned [p.122] corsair Lorenzo Stafrag, led a mutiny against Valentini and forced the latter to return to Malta.[18] Notwithstanding these failures Valentini was not discouraged and took to the sea once more this time with a different crew but keeping the same ship and equipment. Captain Valentini's run of bad luck soon came to an end. On his third cruise his booty proved to be very profitable since he managed to capture numerous slaves. In fact, he was so successful that his boat could barely take the added burden of the human prize. While sailing back to Malta the heavily laden craft had to hastily sail into Dwejra bay at Gozo as the waves hitting the felucca were perilously pouring water over the sides into the boat.[19] The felucca finally arrived in Malta where the slaves were auctioned off and the profits were split among the investors, captain and the crew. A crew member who benefitted from the newly acquired profits was the felucca's lieutenant Pietro Stellini.

Pietro Stellini

Pietro Stellini, son of Salvadore from Bormla, had been working with the corsair fleet since at least 1788.[20] Pietro was married to Vincenza nee Chetchuti of Bormla and their marriage had taken place at Bormla in 1784.[21] When Pietro went to sea in 1792 he left behind three young children back home.[22] This first campaign he undertook with Valentini yielded various profits and provided much needed money to Stellini's young family. After such success Pietro once more embarked aboard Valentini's felucca. Pietro's second campaign was not to be as rewarding. What follows is a rendering of Pietro Stellini's version of what happened on Captain Valentini's fourth campaign. It should be noted that the text presented here has been formatted — for instance by inserting punctuation — to make it easier for readers to follow. A transcription in the original Italian is reproduced in Appendix I:

Tripoli of Barbary 25 June 1792
Dear Mother,
With this letter I take the occasion to submit my fine and good health, and likewise I do hope in our blessed God that you are fine, I also hope that my sisters and family are fine too. I pray for your blessing and so I must relate to you my terrible ordeal and terrible destiny. After we left Malta we sailed for five days and on the fourth day of sailing, in the evening, we sighted the city of Djerba. The next morning we set sail to go to Sfax. Due to a south westerly wind and a tempest throughout [p.123] the day, on four separate occasions, we got completely overwhelmed by waves, but thank God we survived and by sunset every one prayed for his miserable soul. We put our faith in the Madonna and each and every one of us prayed forgiveness to each other for any shortcoming we had imposed on one another. Suddenly, a large wave hit the felucca [Here Stellini mentions the apparition of Our Lady with a manto or cloak and of Our Lady of Lampedusa[23] to a certain Captain Michele] after which he continues to describe how we started throwing things overboard to lighten our galleot,[24] barrels of wine and water, blunderbusses, pistols, swords, cannon balls, oars, clothes, everything was thrown into the sea as we recommended our souls to God once more. Just half an hour after midnight we sighted Tagiura, about twelve miles to the cast of Tripoli, and being three or four miles away we decided to weigh anchor. We had hardly done so when two large waves hit the galleot. The waves toppled the galleot, [and] all men screamed for mercy while in the sea. I tried to swim since I wanted to try and hold on to the now overturned galleot. As soon as I did so I was hit again by the waves. This time the galleot disappeared under the waves [and] I could only hear the voices and screams of my dying shipmates. I could do nothing. I tried then to swim to shore. I spent five hours in the sea, [and] on four occasions I lost hope and was about to drown and every time I took heart from the Madonna del Carmelo. At the fourth and final occasion I gave up and breathlessly I said, 'dear Madonna why do ycu want me to die this ungrateful death? Why have you abandoned me dear Madonna?'; I gave myself up for dead when suddenly a wave hit me and washed me onto the shore and there I lay with only my shirt, dying of cold. In the morning I saw the galleot which had been washed ashore along with our dead sailors. Only seven of us survived, the rest never made it. On that terrible night we got to know that five Turkish ships were lost. And now I have nothing left to tell you. I beg for your blessing, send my regards to my family and friends and even to Signora Margarita. I hope to be with you soon. I am at the house of the Pasha and I beg you, dear mother do not lament my great misfortune since it is better to be a slave than dead like the others.[25]

[p.124] Nobody can describe the tragic experience better than the protagonist himself. As the corsair says in his letter, he was lucky to have survived such an ordeal while at the same time he also admits that it was better to fall slave than to drown at sea. The letter gives a rare insight into the psychological impact of shipwreck and sheds light onto the strong religious beliefs of the corsairs, at least in time of despair. The letter also describes the feeling of comradeship found aboard in times of danger. This is evident when Stellini recounts how all the crew prepared themselves for the worst and asked each others' forgiveness for any short comings. The scene he describes the next morning after the terrible storm is that of calmness and devastation after the tempest. He spares a thought for his dead comrades and he laments their tragic end and contemplates upon his lucky escape. Stellini's letter to his mother Rosa is a letter of empathy about a disaster which befell a Maltese corsair ship and stands in stark contrast to Stellini's second letter addressed to his wife Vincenza (the same principles as above has been applied here, so for the original, see Appendix II):

Dear Wife,

I give you the news you have always wished for me, that is [when you] always cursed that I would fall a slave or perish at sea. You always prayed to God that something bad would befall me. Now I will give you your greatest consolation and also console your friends and sisters who always had a grudge against me. You and your curses that I may drown, I actually drowned and God has saved me. You have wished me a slave and God has conceded you this grace. I am now a poor slave. Conscle yourself, be happy and have fun as if you had never known me, as if I was never your husband. Being the dog I am I have nothing else to tell you, bless my children and if you wish to send me a letter, give it to Signor Lipo di Musu or Giachi [at the] Bariera. He has delivered the letters I have written to you. And if you don't want to write to me, neither will I write to you. If you want to forget me, even I will forget you. You will be fine. I pray to God that he gives me some help, like when he saved me, and in this way I hope he gives me strength to see my country again. I have been sick and for a few days I was exhuming blood. But now I am feeling much better praise be to God. The memory of your words and actions hurt me even more than being a slave. Now you derive happiness from my calamity. I am sorry that I cannot send you anything with this letter, as I have told you I have been sick for a long time and the little money I had I used to buy some necessities. I have nothing else to add. Send my greetings to my family and friends.

Pietro Stelini.[26]

The second letter written by Pietro Stellini is different in nature to the one he addressed to his mother; in fact, it offers us a rare first-hand insight into marital relations and problems in pre-modern Malta. Stellini obviously believes that he has [p.125] been cursed. He seems to point to the fact that his wife always hinted to the hope that he would either drown or fall into slavery, and he ironically mentions to her that he wishes to console her that now he has become a slave. Notwithstanding that his speech was far from being flowery, he addressed his children in a loving and fatherly way. Furthermore, despite a seemingly troubled marital relationship, Pietro still hoped that Vincenza would find the time to send him a message in Tripoli. Pietro Stellini's letter also makes clear his yearning to return to his country.[27]

Both letters written by Pietro Stellini survived at the archives because they were subsequently used as evidence by Rosa, Pietro's mother and Vincenza his wife. The two women were claiming Pietro Stellini's share from his first cruise with Captain Benedetto Valentini.[28] It is clear that Vincenza was claiming the money for herself and refused to share the spoils with her mother-in-law, even if Stellini himself had written that he wanted to give some money to his mother. She argued in her statement at court that hers was a dire situation; alone in the world, she needed to provide for her young children and the only means of subsistence she had was the money and goods owed to her enslaved husband.[29] In order to prove her dire situation, Vincenza turned to the parish priest of Bormla, namely Father Antonio Muscat, who provided a written pledge which confirmed her poor financial situation. The prize court eventually decreed that Vincenza was to get forthy three scudi while Pietro's mother was to get five scudi and a pair of silver shoe buckles which her son had ordered and paid for at a local silversmith.

Conclusion

Some questicns remain unanswered and hopefully further research will provide us with a better insight into this most intriguing story; who wrote the letter? Was it Pietro or did he get someone to write it for him? The original letters read as a corsair logbook and therefore the terminology used in the letters to describe the shipwreck was very technical and must have been written by someone who was conversant with nautical terminology. Judging from Pietro's position on board the felucca it is possible that he might have written the letter himself. It is not known whether Pietro ever received word from his mother or wife or if he ever managed to return to his home in Bormla. He is not listed in subsequent crew lists of the period and he is not found in the register of redeemed slaves of the Confraternita delta Carita of Valletta.[30] While Pietro Stellini was a slave in Tripoli his mother and young wife Vincenza were arguing about who should control his money in Malta.[31]

[p.126] Regardless of all the unanswered questions Pietro Stelfini's letter remains one of the few first-hand experiences of a corsair shipwreck. It is a compelling narration of a Maltese man's struggle when faced with overwhelming bleak prospects and his tenacity to pull through.

The letters of Pietro Stellini offer firsthand insights into the daily dangers which a Maltese corsair faced. We know of other ships that sank during the 1790s due to inclement weather. One example is the ship of Captain Michele Borg, who was one of the most active corsairs during this period and was lucky to escape with his life when his ship foundered in the Levant.[32] Facing the elements was usually considered to be more dangerous than facing an enemy ship. Such fears are recorded to have been harboured by sailors serving with other navies such as the Royal Navy[33] and it must be noted that the possibility of shipwreck was a sailor's worst fear no matter how large your ship was or in what sea you sailed, the limited technology of eighteenth-century seafaring made working at sea a dangerous career. A singular letter of a Maltese corsair does not provide sufficient proof for the resurgence or continuation of the Maltese corso in the late eighteenth century, however, it helps us to start questioning the hypothesis that the corso in the eighteenth century was a moribund and economically dead activity.[34] Thus, further investigation in this field of study might lead to a revision in established theories of the history of the Maltese corso. Above all, ambiguities between piracy and legalised piracy must be put aside to provide a better understanding of Mediterranean seafaring.

[p.127] Appendix I

Tripoli di Barbaria li 25 di gunio de 1792

Cara mia Madre con la presente hochossione vi do notissia de mia ottima e bona salute e chossi spero in Dio benedetto che voi siette il similie assiemi con li miei sorelli et coniati e vi prego la vostra santa benedissione e chossi vi faro sapere la mia cattiva sorte e malo distino che doppo la nostra partensa di Malta siamo navicati gorni 5 ali 4 gorni che siamo navichati siamo andati [siamo andati] sopra la cità, di gerbi alla sira, la matina siamo salpati per andare in sfaguisi con vento ponenti li bicc temporale nel gorno siamo quattro volte negati sotto aqua e Dio tornato do salvare alla sira di calare il sole eramo gia oni uno prega la sua divina misericordia sipossimo la Madonna fara oni una prega perdono I altro e vicini un colpo di mare pilia la madona con il manto e la Madona di lampidosa che ci da mandato capitan Michele e botasimo vino,laqua, schioppi, trombone, pistoli, sabaoli, balli, perucli, remi, robba di vestire tutto in mare e ricomandasimo lanima a Dio e siamo ceri di bona sevua uno ora avanti la meza notti vedesimo la terra di Tagurara 12 mila li[?] livanti Tripoli eramo lontani tri ho quarto milia dasimo fondo apena di dar fondo ci vieni due colpi di mare che guano lo vedissimo siamo stati morti sono avviciati da noi ano rivolato la galiotta e tutta la gente grida misericordia in mare, io muote che e chossi mi voleva montare do cavallo su la schina dila galiotta viene due colpi di mare uno drio laltro mi fanno di sparire la galiotta non mi sento altro che la voci di li genti miciedutto e chosi mi muotai per la terra e mi sono stato 5 ore in mare mi ibandonai per negarmi in mare quarto volte perro sempre ci avevo viva cuore la Madonna di carmeno all oltima volta che gia mi era ibandonato e sensa fiato mi detto ho Madonna del carmeno cara perche mi vuoi vedere morire questa ingrate morte, perche mi ibandona Madonna cara delli carmeno e mollai per morire vieni un colpo di mare e mi botto in terra stato fina la matina fro larena con la camisa solo morto di friddo. La matina tornai la marina vido la galiotta venuta in tera i anche lo poveri nostra gente morti. Di noi altre siamo solvate sette li altri son morti incora sono persi 5 bastimenti turchi in quella stessa notti e chossi non altro che dirvi vi prego la vostra santa benedissione e saluto caramente per li vostri siniore e anche per la s[igno]ra margarita e per parenti er amici. Spero Dio che pocho tempo saro con voi altri. lo sono la casa dil basa non mi batischo e ora matre non pilia gran dispiacere perche melio schiavo ho morto como I altri

[p.128]

Fig. 1. Pietro Stellini's letter to Rosa (part 1). Reproduced by kind permission of the Notarial Archives, Valletta

Fig. 2. Pietro Stellini's letter to Rosa (part 2). Reproduced by kind permission of the Notarial Archives, Valletta

[p.128] Appendix II

Cara Moglie vi do la nova di come sempre voi mi disiderate cio mi sempre bestimiate di essere schiavo ho di esere anegato nova mala semprere voi Dio pregare adesso vi daro la vostra magor consolasione i anche consolate li vostri amici e li vostri soreli quelli che vi daranna qualche intendere contra di me voi sempre li vostri bestiemei di essere negato negato sono stato e Dio mi salvato voi mi disideraste schiavo i Dio vi concesso la grassia io povero schiavo sono adesso consolativi alegrativi devertite non mi farete ancora di mai mi aver conossuto como mai sono stato it vostro marito como io cane che sono non ho altro da dirvi benediqo li miei figlioli e si voi mi voi mandarmi qualche letera datila a Si[gn]or Lipo di musu o giachi la bariera lui mi lo ma(?] i queli che io scrivo per voi lo mando da lui e si voi no mi scrivete ni meno io vi scrivero i si voi iscordarmi anche scordro do voi io voi sarete bene io prego i Dio che me da qualche aitto come me salvo Cossi spero che ml da salute per veder il mi paese. Son stato malaro pochi gorni mi cavai sangue adesso sono bene grasiamo i Dio. Non mi displace perche sono schiavo come mi dispiaco quanta ricodero di vostra lingua e di la vostra asione adesso voi palate alegria di mia mala disgrassie io ho piacere mi dispiace per questa lettera non ti pozo man dare niente per che come stato malato sempre mi fa bisonio di comprare qualche cosa pero altra vi ripondo melio non altro da dirvi farete gudissio
Saluto tutti li parenti et Amici
Pietro Stelini

Fig. 3. Pietro Stellini's letter to Vincenzo (part 1).
Reproduced by kind permission of the Notarial Archives, Valletta

Fig. 4. Pietro Stellini's letter to Vincenza (part 2).
Reproduced by kind permission of the Notarial Archives, Valletta


* LIAM GAUCI is the Curator of the Malta Maritime Museum. His current research focuses on the Maltese corso between 1775-1798, with a special interest in the men that worked aboard the corsair ships and their impact on Maltese society. He obtained his MA from the Department of History of the University of Malta in 2012.

[1] G. Wettinger, Slavery in the Islands of Malta and Gozo, ca 1000 -1812, Malta 2002, 561.

[2] P. Caruana Curran, 'The Last Years of the Maltese Corso 1787-1798', Unpublished BA honours dissertation, University of Malta, 1973.

[3] National Library Malta, Codice Rohan. Diritto Municipale di Malta, Book VI.

[4] A. Luttrell, 'Malta and Rhodes: Hospitallers and Islanders', in Hospitaller Malta 1530-1798: Studies on Early Modern Malta and the Order of St John of Jerusalem, ed. V. Mallia-Milanes, Malta 1993, 255-284; D. Panzac, La caravan maritime, marins européens et marchands ottomans en Mediterranée 1680-1830, Paris 2004, 10; A. Williams, 'Sacra Militia, the Order of St John: Crusade, Corsairing and Trade in Rhodes and Malta 1460-1631', in Trade and Cultural Exchange in the Early Modern Mediterranean: Braudel's Maritime Legacy, eds. M. Fusaro, C. Heywood, M. S. Omri, London & New York 2010, 139-156, 144.

[5] Wettinger, Slavery in the Islands of Malta and Go:o, ca 1000 -1812, 561.

[6] D.1. Starkey and K. Payne,'"Tarred with the Same Brush" Pirates and Privateersmen, 1560-1855, TenDen2en2000, Jahrbuch IX, Ubersee-Museum Bremen 2001, 51-68.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] N[otarial] A[rchives] V[alletta], Verbali Box: 1791-92, Verbale e vendita delli Schiavi condotti dalla filuca nominate la Beata Vergine del Carmelo armata in corso con la gloriosa insegna di sua altezza serena padrone di Capitano Benedetto Valentini.

[10] The Tribunale degli Armamenti, was the local prize court which controlled the local corsair business. In the 1790s the court had evolved into its final incarnation whose roots stemmed from the Mogistrato degli Armamenti instituted by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt on 17 June 1605. In the 1841 edition of the Code De Rohan, Diritto Municipale di Malta, Sir Antonio Micallef points out that the Tribunale degli Armamenti as constituted by the code in 1784 had originally (since 1605) been called the Magistrato degli Armamenti. Codice De Rohan, Chapter xxxv, Book 1. This court was conferred with the power to Judge cases related to the proper Implementation and adherence of a system of legal codes related to piratical belligerercy. One of the main functions of this tribunal was to inspect ships and report on the suitability of applicants to sail as privateers. M. Greene, 'Victims of Piracy', eds. Fusaro et al, Trade and Cultural Exchange, 179-182; P. Earle, Corsairs of Malta and Barbary: London 1970, 124.

[11] NAV, Verbali: 1791-92 Valentini.

[12] Ibid.

[13] NAV, Verbali: 1791-92 Valentini: Refer to initial arming application.

[14] A nautical term referring to the agreement of two or more ships to work and cruise together. A forerunner of the wolf pack tactics of the World War I. M[alta] M[aritime] M[useum] Library: Dizionario di Marina Saverien, Venezia 1769, 171.

[15] The blunderbusses on yokes were slightly larger than the normal blunderbusses. The blunderbuss could be considered to be an early form of shotgun or muzzleloader which was often adapted to sweep enemy decks with numerous musket ball fired at one go from a single blunderbuss. MMM Library: Prima classe dell'esame d'artiglieria praticca e con riflessioni manoali, e teoriche, e con le dimostrazione delle costruzione Marittime, (unpublished and undated manuscript).

[16] NAV, Verbali: 1791-92 Valentini: Refer to Armamenti e Viveri.

[17] NAV, Verbali: 1791-92 Valentin: Refer to Verbali of first cruise.

[18] Captain Lorenzo Stafrag, who was from Senglea, was the son of a sea captain. Lorenzo's corsair ng career stretched over three decades and he remained active as a corsair Captain until his early 80s in the 1790s; MMM, Libri di Arrivi: 1777. NAV, Verbali: 1791-92 Valentini: Refer to petition conducted on Lampedusa.

[19] NAV, Verbali: 1791-92 Valentini: Refer to Log book.

[20] NAV, Ruolli Box: 1788 Lorenzi: No.126.

[21] NAV, Verbali: 1791-92 Valentini: Refer to documents written by the Bormla parish priest.

[22] Ibid.

[23] On Lampedusa there existed a venerated shrine of the Madonna. This shrine was very peculiar, and is a testament to the superstitions of mariners. The shrine was venerated by both Christians and Muslims alike. Towards the end of the 18th century the shrine was in the care of a certain Don Benigno Gauci who played a vital role in offering help to the various Maltese corsairs that called at Lampedusa. Many captains provided alms and even material offerings such as food and wine to be deposited at this shrine. The corsair captain Alonso De Contreras mentions this shrine in his memoirs which were written well before Pietro Stellini's time in the sixteenth century. He explains how every visitor to this shrine at Lampedusa, irrelevant of whether Christian or Muslim, venerated this holy place and left an account of food as an offering. Such food was left for the benefit of any shipwrecked mariner. The Spaniard Alonso de Contreras explains how it was believed that if ever somebody was greedy enough to offload more food then he was allowed to take from the shrine, his ship would never leave harbour. C. A. Philips, The Life of Captain Alonso de Contreras, written by himself, London 1926, 45.

[24] Throughout the letter Stellini refers to the felucca as a galleot and a speronara; this was common place at the time and all three ship types were very similar. Often applications for the arming of corsair vessels record ships as 'una felucca o sia speronara' (a felucca or a speronara). NAV, Verbali, German 1778: Application Form.

[25] NAV, Verbali: 1791-92 Valentini: First letter by Stellini.

[26] NAV, Verbali: 1791-92 Valentini: First letter by Stellini.

[27]  'spero the mi do salute a vedere il mio paese'.

[28] NAV, Verbali: 1791-92 Valentini: Refer to covering statement of Rosa Stellini found before the attached letters.

[29] Ibid.

[30] F. Ciappara, Society and the Inquisition in, early modern Malta, Malta 2001, 514- 517.

[31] NAV, Verbali: 1791-92 Valentini: Refer to third letter by Stellini.

[32] N[ational] A[rchives] Malta], T.A A.O, File 22 Case 25.

[33] R. & L. Adkins, Jack Tar, London 2008, 1C9.

[34] R. Cavaliero, 'The Decline of the Maltese Corso in the XVIIIth Century', in: Melita Historica : Journal of the Malta Historical Society. ii, 4, 1959, 224-238, 224.