Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica [Published by the Malta Historical Society]. 7(1977)2(145-155)

[p.145] The maintenance of the Order's galley-squadron (c. 1600-1650)

Joseph F. Grima

            Perhaps the greatest headache ever present in the financial administration of the Order of St John’s Treasury in Malta was the heavy expenditure incurred by the galley-squadron. The Prior of Dacia, Fra Christian Osterhausen, in his treatise about the Statutes, Ordinances and Customs of the Order, estimated that the upkeep of the Religion’s six galleys cost the Order between 125,000 and 130,000 scudi in c. 1650. [1] This estimate was only slightly higher than the sum of 123,000 scudi paid annually by the Treasury to Bailiff Don Carlo Valdina and to Grand Master Jean Paul Lascaris Castellar who were responsible for the squadron’s upkeep between 1637 and 1649. [2] Yet these sums are sober ones when considering that in 1605 the upkeep of a galley was considered to be between 18,000 and 20,000 scudi [3] whilst in 1631 the Treasury calculated galley expenditure at an average of 27,700 scudi for each galley and it was further reckoned that by 1637, expenditure had risen by another 2,000 scudi. [4] Yet the Chapter-General of 1631 was presented with a different assessment when it was informed that expenditure on the galley-squadron amounted to 24,000 scudi per galley. In fact, 144,000 scudi were spent on the maintenance of the squadron whilst 1168 scudi were spent on the Arsenal. [5] Perhaps the higher figure also includes the expenses of new galley hulls, since only two foundations for galley-building were operating in 1631. Yet, though somewhat conflicting, all these figures show a gross exaggeration on the part of another source which claims that the maintenance of each galley cost the Order 30,000 scudi in 1627. [6]

           In 1583, out of an income of 151,734 scudi, the Order spent 97,535 scudi on the galleys, which sum probably included also replacements since none of the galley foundations was then in being. Yet during the Grand Mastership of Antoine de Paule, out of an average yearly income of 269,116 scudi, over 125,000 scudi — about one-half — was spent on the galley-squadron [7] and this was a period when five of the galley foundations were already in operation. On the other hand the figure quoted for 1583 seems excessive when compared to that of 1587 when the Order spent 75,671 scudi on the galleys, four in number, to which one can add a further 1,280 scudi spent on the Arsenal. [8] Undoubtedly, whatever the exact figures may have been, it is indisputable that the naval defence budget perhaps constituted too large a percentage of the total revenue. On the other hand, this seemingly huge expenditure was not negatively spent [p.146] because jobs were provided for the hundreds of Maltese, and also foreign adventurers, who earned an albeit precarious living in the Order’s naval service. In the enumeration of the islands’ population carried out in 1632, one finds that no less than 3,080 men, including the rowers, were engaged on the galleys out of whom 1,459 slaves and gaolbirds were not remunerated for their services although they had to be fed and clothed. [9] To this number one must add those land-based workers who earned a living from auxiliary naval services including rope and sail makers, caulkers, carpenters, and blacksmiths whose services had to be made use of when refitting was in progress.

            Although the Treasury always remained ultimately responsible for the maintenance of the squadron, there was a change of policy in 1637, a change which persisted till 1646. Up till 1637, all the relevant accounts were directly handled by Treasury officials themselves but, in 1637, the squadron was farmed out by contract to Bailiff Don Carlo Valdina, a former Captain-General who administered the upkeep of the squadron till his death in 1645 when the administration was taken over by Grand Master Lascaris until he too relinquished this burden in 1649. [10]

            Maintenance expenses included all the expected normal expenses associated with the galleys and their complements except the cost of new galley hulls themselves. [11] The first expenditure naturally consisted of the salaries and wages paid out to the men every four months in the presence of the Treasury Procurators and the Commissioners of the galleys. [12] The Prior of Dacia, Fra Christian Osterhausen, calculated that the monthly wages of the Capitana’s 190 huomini di capo amounted to 499 scudi 11 tarì 10 grani which, added to the wages of the 90 buonevoglie on board, gave a grand total of 634 scudi 11 tarì 10 grani. [13] One must then keep in mind the wages and salaries of the other galley complements and that certain officials on board were not paid anything at all. The Knights did not receive a salary but simply their keep, three pitardieri were paid from ashore whilst the physician’s pay, amounting to 300 scudi annually, is not included in the above estimate. Although the majority of the ciurma — or rowers — was not paid (the number of slaves and gaolbirds amounted to 1,459 as against 357 buonevoglie in 1632), yet the Order was bound to furnish each rower with a change of clothes every year valued at 5 scudi 5 tarì each. The buonevoglie had to pay for these clothes, the relevant cost being deducted from their minute pay. [14] The total salaries calculated in 1644 amounted to 29,508 scudi 6 tarì for all officers and free men — including the physician and the pitardieri — on board the six galleys. Expenditure on the buonevoglie was calculated at 8,057 scudi, including the cost of their raiment. [15]

            Undoubtedly, expenditure on provisions was also high on the list of priorities. The Captain of a galley was allowed an estimated sum to cover the cost of two-thirds of the provisions whilst he himself had to fork out the [p.147] remaining one-third of the amount from his own pocket. [16] When in port or in foreign harbours, bread was distributed to the crew but ship’s biscuit was distributed when the squadron was at sea in the Levant or in Barbary waters. The amount and quality of bread and biscuit distributed was always according to the receiver’s rank. One must here note that each captain had a claim on 50 loaves to be distributed as he pleased to deserving cases. The bread of the Ciurma was wholly paid for by the Treasury, unlike that of the other seamen. [17] Rank also accounted for other provisions distributed, a man’s share being classified according to its cost. These included provisions valued at 4 tarì, 2 tarì, 1 carlino, 6 grani, and 4 grani. [18] The provisions of the ciurma was calculated at 1 grano each. [19] Expenditure on provisions was calculated on three main divisions of time, viz., 211 days spent in Malta, 144 days spent voyaging in the West and 144 days spent cruising in the East and Barbary. These days were calculated over a period of two years which was the normal term of office of a galley-captain. The Order’s Treasury paid for the majority of the expenditure and this was estimated at around 8,398 scudi 9 tarì. The Captain paid a share of 2,811 scudi 5 tarì 10 grani but this break-down of the expenditure accounted for 720 days only. The remaining ten days had to be made good by the galley-captain, an expenditure estimated at 100 scudi. A Captain had other bills to face. When he took up or relinquished his office he had to present gifts worth 30 scudi each time whilst at Martinmas, Christmas and Easter he had to supply a further 20 scudi worth of bonuses on each occasion, the grand total amounting to 180 scudi over his two year term of office. Other expenses, such as the upkeep of his table, sickness of crew members, his house, stores and the like inflated these expenses to about 735 scudi. In all, a Captain therefore spent an estimated 3,826 scudi 5 tarì 10 grani from his own private means. [20] To risk such a sizeable sum, the Captains naturally always kept in mind that their galley service would hold them in good stead when commanderies were distributed whilst the winning of the privilege of benservito was also another incentive. [21] In fact a number of commende di gratia were kept vacant and awarded to outgoing Captains. If there was no such incentive, probably there would never have been enough Knights willing to command the galleys. [22]

           All in all, however, one must here note that the Captains personally incurred more than one-sixth of the total maintenance and it was no surprise that, as the seventeenth century rolled on, less and less knights were found who were willing or financially able to risk such a sum. To be fair, some knights refused promotion to Captain out of mere caprice such as Chevalier Lomellino who refused a captaincy offered to him in 1645 on the pretext that his brother had just died. Actually, Grand Master Lascaris found it easy to see through this hollow excuse because his brother’s death had left Lomellino a richer man and he could more afford to take over this captaincy after the sad event than before. [23] Knightly virtues and valour seemed to be declining and to be at such a [p.148] low ebb that in 1649 we find Lascaris complaining to the order’s ambassador at Rome that not enough knights could be found to man the galleys owing to the fact that they had influential princely patrons and they were not willing to risk their lives. [24] Lascaris further complained that the Order was finding it difficult even to find suitable Captains and says that when the Padrona’s captaincy was vacant recently, no one volunteered for the post. The Treasury could not hope to cope with such an added burden but the Order’s policy could not allow having one galley lying idle in port. The situation was resolved by Bailiff Domandolx who, although he was a Grand Cross, a former Captain and was also designated to be the next Captain-General, volunteered to captain the Padrona and, furthermore, he took onto himself the burden of the Padrona’s expenses. [25] If anything, Domandolx seems to have degraded himself by his action according to the practices of the times, when honour counted for so much. Obviously, he was very rich and either very ambitious or very zealous. Anyway, Domandolx seems to have been the exception but he did, after all, help the Order out of its difficulty.

           In 1644, in fact, Grand Master Lascaris had decided to take positive action about this fact and proposed to the Venerable Council certain changes and modifications which would alter the status of Captain-General and Captain. It was becoming manifestly clear that the personal expenses involved in these two offices were a deterrent to the better development and management of the squadron. It was recognised that certain expenses were superfluous and that knights had become so capricious as to pretend better treatment at sea than when ashore. Moreover, notwithstanding the number of captains-elect who refused a commission and actual captains who resigned their office before their terms of two years were over because they were unable to cope with the expenses involved, it was realised by Lascaris that two years was too short a period of time in which a Captain or Captain-General could develop his talents or learn the seamanship necessary to enhance and uphold the prestige and glory of the Order. The most pressing need was to attract to these posts of command those knights whose ability was marked and great but who could not aspire to such posts because of their inpecuniousness. It was imperative that something be done to remedy the customs in use and arrange things in such a way that the Captain-General and the Captains would not have to spend money from their own private means. [26] So the Grand Master proposed that a foundation be set up yielding an annual income of about 10,000 scudi out of which regular annual salaries would be paid, 1,800 scudi to the Captain-General and 1,500 scudi to each of the five galley-captains. To ameliorate the efficiency of the squadron, it was further proposed that the term of the Captaincy-General be increased from two to three years, and that the length of the term of office of each Captain and the Riveditore be extended from two to five years or, at least, to three years. [27] The regular salaries to be paid, however, would exclude these captains [p.149] from using their positions as stepping-stones to higher promotion in the Religion. The Venerable Council decided to elect a Commission of four members who were to report on the stated proposals. [28] It seems that the Commission gave a negative answer for, in the following years, the former practice of Captains forking out money from private means was continued. [29] It seems a pity that the Lascaris proposals were shelved for they presented a chance to place the higher naval posts on a more professional footing by attracting more talented knights than had been the case up till then. Yet on the other hand the position of a salaried knight might have presented other difficulties since a member of the Religion was expected to contribute all he could to the well-being of the Order and not expect to be remunerated for his work. In practice the latter was far from being the case, since — indirectly at least — such men were remunerated by the future acquisition of rich commanderies, from whose income a percentage was retained by the Commander. But in such matters, theoretical arguments usually supersede practical suggestions and the negative end of these proposals seems to be another of those settlements reached ‘according to the rule-book’ and not according to common sense and the needs of the time.

            As has already been mentioned above, in 1637, the Order decided to give out on contract the general maintenance and upkeep of the squadron. Obviously it was felt that expenses had become over-inflated and that a private contractor would spend less. [30] Probably, the Order realized that the farming out of recurring maintenance expenses had helped to streamline the expenditure of the Papal squadron which had used the system between 1611 and 1621. A provider was paid a fixed sum of 63,000 scudi and he supplied the necessary services. The main difference was the fact that the provider was also the commander of the squadron. Two such contracts were made. The first was with Francesco Centurioni who was in charge of maintenance between 1611 and 1620. He was followed by Alessandro Pallavicini who signed a contract for the period 1620-1626 but which was terminated in January 1621 owing to the death of the Pope. Another point of similarity is that papal galleys could be used to ferry supplies, particularly during the winter season, thus saving further expenditure which would have been incurred to hire cargo ships. Such saving was estimated to have been between 4,000 and 8,000 scudi per annum. [31] On the other hand the Venetian Navy was provided for by the Provveditori allArmar, three in number, elected by the Venetian Senate and which formed a sort of Admiralty Board, [32] the Order’s counterpart being the Congregazione delle Galere. The Order’s system was proving to be inefficient and wasteful and so a better way to maintain the squadron was sought.

            In May 1637, the Captain of the galley San Nicola, Chevalier Antonio Papacoda, offered to see to the maintenance of one galley for the price of 20,000 scudi annually. This figure compared very favourably with the sums ranging between 27,700 scudi and 29,700 scudi spent yearly on each galley between 1631 [p.150] and 1637. The Council members decided to accept Papacoda’s offer and made it clear that they were willing to farm out the expenses of the whole squadron. Papacoda had to resign the captaincy of the San Nicola to take over this new burden of provider but he was promised the first vacancy possible in the future so that he would be able to complete his two years’ service and acquire his benservito. [33]

            Within less than a month there was a further development. The Order found someone else who was willing to take over the maintenance of all the six galleys of the squadron, a wish expressed by the Venerable Council when it had come to terms with Papacoda in May. The new contractor, Bailiff Fra Don Carlo Valdina, was willing to maintain each of the five private galleys for 20,000 scudi but asked for 23,000 scudi for the maintenance of the larger Capitana, a request which was acceded to by the Council. A Commission was therefore set up to finalise the details of the new contract. The Council realised that a contract incorporating all the squadron was more useful and beneficial for the Order than the previous agreement regarding just one galley, and so the agreement with Papacoda was dropped. [34] In mid-July 1637, the Council approved the conditions set out in the contract to be signed [35] and the actual contract, valid for four years, was signed and published on 20th July 1637. [36] This might have seemed unfair to Papacoda as he had been the first to undertake such a contract, albeit a limited one, but it must be pointed out that the Council had immediately expressed the wish to find a contractor willing to take over the maintenance of the whole squadron instead of just one galley. Moreover, the Order honoured its obligations in its agreement by appointing Papacoda to a galley captaincy at the first opportunity. [37]

            The agreement with Valdina was to expire in 1641 but during this four year period, the Council of the Order came to the conclusion that the Religion had benefitted greatly by farming out the recurring expenses of the squadron. So, in November 1641, it was decided that a contract similar to that of 1637 should be entered into with anybody who was willing to take over the maintenance of the squadron. There was, as one might say, a sort of call for tenders with the contract to be given to whoever offered the best quotation. [38] Apparently, either there were no new applicants or Valdina’s offer was not bettered by anyone else, because a week later the Order again entered into a similar contract with Valdina for another four years, with the same stipulations of the 1637 agreement, and expiring in 1645. [39]

           In 1644, the Venerable Council asked Grand Master Lascaris to take over the contract of the galleys if Valdina decided to relinquish it or when it expired in 1645. [40] In 1645, Valdina died before the expiry of the contract [41] and Grand Master Lascaris took over the maintenance of the galleys in May 1645 [42] by means of a conditional contract which had been signed and published in 1644 and which contained similar stipulations to those of the contracts with [p.151] Valdina. [43] This contract with Lascaris remained in force till 1649 when it was terminated and the upkeep of the galleys was henceforth directly administered by the Common Treasury of the Order. [44]

            One might here question whether such a policy of farming out the maintenance of the squadron was beneficial for the Order. The Council members of the Order had no doubts; together with the Procurators of the Common Treasury they were convinced that these contracts were saving the Order thousands of scudi every year and this view was recorded several times in the Order’s archives. [45] It is true that on many an occasion there were differences between the contractor, Valdina, and the Treasury over payments, money due, and the finalisation of each year’s accounts, [46] but such differences seemed to have been settled quite amicably despite the haranguing and written memorials which were presented over rather long periods. [47] One may here note that litigation mainly happened during the period covered by the second contract of 1641 by which Valdina had undertaken to maintain the squadron for the same sum of money contracted in 1637, namely 123,000 scudi annually. Probably prices had increased and so it was becoming increasingly difficult for Valdina and the Treasury officials to come to terms because whilst the former did not want to incur personal losses, the latter were quite content to let the contractor take the now greater risks and save money for the Religion’s Treasury. In fact, in 1644, it was feared that Valdina might refuse to continue honouring his contractual obligations and it was mainly because of this that Grand Master Lascaris was induced to take Valdina’s place should the latter retire from the scene. [48] It is a fact, however, that on 1st April 1645, the Council ordered the Commissioners of the Galleys to inspect the squadron to determine what were its needs and order Valdina to carry out his obligations. [49] Whether this lack of preparedness was due to pique or because of ill-health on Valdina’s part is uncertain but what is known is that Valdina died that same month and the squadron was not prepared for immediate military undertakings. [50] When Lascaris took over, there were various disputes in the Order itself about whether such contracts were beneficial for the Order resulting in the setting-up of a Commission in 1647 to report on the matter. [51] Although the Commission reported that it would be better if the Treasury took over the maintenance of the galleys, the Council decreed that it was more convenient for the Treasury if this work continued to be administered by the Grand Master on the accepted contractual basis. The Commission had come to its conclusions because farming out the squadron had resulted in only marginal savings for the Order and also, since enough cash was not always readily available, the Order as a body could obtain credit in Sicily more easily than a contract holder. [52] Yet, a few months later, Lascaris again asked to be relieved of the burden of this contract after April 1648. His reasons for this decision included increased high prices and the Order’s need of ready cash to buy supplies of grain for the islands. Once more [p.152] the Venerable Council decided to ask the Grand Master to continue honouring his contractual obligations. [53]

            On comparing the figures given above concerning the cost of maintaining the galley squadron before 1637 to the sums paid to Lascaris and Valdina, it is difficult to accept adverse criticism of such contracts for the future. Since the average cost of maintaining each galley was worked out at 27,700 scudi in 1631, the whole squadron of six galleys cost the Religion 166,200 scudi annually. [54] But the Valdina and Lascaris contracts stipulated a figure of 123,000 scudi annually for the same squadron of six galleys, thus saving the Order about 43,200 scudi annually. Moreover, the amount saved was actually greater since it had been calculated that total expenditure on the six galleys had increased by about 12,000 scudi between 1631 and 1637. [55] Even if the 1631 figures included the cost of galley hulls, such an extra expenditure of not more than 7,000 scudi annually — the cost of replacing an average of one galley hull each year — would still have left a large margin in favour of retaining the figures contained in the two contracts. That these two contractors made a profit is understandable and probable, for although both were members of the Religion, yet they probably tried to better their personal financial position and at the same time fulfil their obligations to their Order by saving the Treasury a sizeable amount. It was unfair for other knights to point out such profits made because these resulted from private enterprise and one accepts the fact that an individual contractor is more able to obtain favourable terms on goods and services and is always in a much better position to take advantage of favourable opportunities than a governmental body bound by rules, red tape and bureaucracy. In the latter case, opportunities for saving probably disappeared by the time a decision was forthcoming. Any profits that were made must have resulted from such opportunities because the contracts stipulated in detail the wages to be paid, the food to be distributed, and the repairs — including certain replacements — to be carried out.

            The Valdina and Lascaris contracts convey quite a sizeable amount of interesting information such as the numbers of men — uomini di capo and ciurma — on board each galley, the amount of their combined salaries, the value of the provisions meted out, the dress of the ciurma and the numbers of members of the Order serving on board. [56] Information is given on maintenance work to be carried out regularly on the galleys and this enables one to form a good idea of the servicing needed on these vessels. Thus regular supplies of relevant goods were to be available. Painting involved supplies of red paint, red lead, verdigris, white lead, varnish and oil. Boatswains were to be provided with enough supplies of tallow for smearing the galleys. The vessels were to be so treated once annually with the use of fire; throughout the year, the smearing of the whole or parts of galleys could also be carried out, but by application through the use of brushes and without using fire. [57]

            [p.153] Every year, each galley had to go through a general refit involving caulking, repairing and cleansing which included changing round the deck and replacing the oakum [58] according to the needs pointed out by the Capo Mastro of the Arsenal. For the purposes of this refitting the contractor had to provide the necessary supplies of oakum, pego, brisea, ciavaggioni, timber and also pay the relevant salaries to all the skilled workmen employed, as had been the usage of the Religion prior to 1637. All tools and hardware needed were to be obtained from blacksmiths who were to be paid — on the basis of the number of days worked — by the contractor. [59]

            Being fighting vessels, the galleys had to be provided with the necessary ammunition. Thus the contractor had to provide the Capitana with fifteen qantars of powder, and eight qantars to each of the other five galleys. If this amount was not enough, the Order was to pay for the extra amounts provided. [60] In fact, as stated in the 1637 contract, the contractor had to provide all the supplies declared and also those not mentioned with the exception of the galley hulls, main lateen-yards and masts, skiffs, felucas and caiques which were provided by the Religion. [61] However, if the Order had in its stores certain goods needed by the galleys, these goods were to be handed over to the contractor who was obliged to replenish them in kind. [62]

            The Order, on its part, was to hand over the galleys in 1637 fully armed and fitted-out with an inventory of goods on board together with their estimated value made by experts in naval affairs. On the termination of the contract, the galleys were to be handed over in the same condition. [63] However, the galleys could be utilised by the contractor to ferry goods used by the squadron without the payment of dues to the Order. [64]

            The contracts could be terminated in the event of war, plague or famine occurring in either Malta or in Sicily and Naples, in which case the contractor was not bound to continue supplying the squadron which would become once more the responsibility of the Treasury. [65] Payment to contractor Valdina was to be made every four months in three payments of 43,000 scudi, 40,000 scudi, and 40,000 scudi respectively. The contractor was personally responsible for upholding his side of the bargain whilst the Order was bound to pay the contractor his due, or else incur interests of not more than eight per cent annually. The Lascaris contract stipulated four payments annually, namely, one payment of 40,000 scudi, two payments of 38,000 scudi each and lastly the balance of 7,000 scudi, all to be handed over on 1st December, 1st April, 1st August and the end of the current contractual year respectively. [66]

            These two contractors then gave out other contracts to subcontractors. In 1644, a certain Ignatio Ribera testified in the Courts of Law that he had been given various contracts in previous years to supply the Order with wood and ships’ biscuit. [67] Since ships’ biscuit was one of the items to be supplied by Valdina, one may safely assume that Ribera obtained contracts from him to [p.154] supply this commodity. In 1645 Giovanni Alard was contracted to supply material for shrouds for the galleys, something which he failed to do and for which he had to answer to Grand Master Lascaris who, by now, had taken over the maintenance of the squadron which, it was alleged, was impotent because of the lack of stores of this kind. [68]

            On other business, it seemed a quite common practice for the Order to give out contracts for certain supplies to be imported. One such contract, important also for the armaments of the galley squadron, was the commissioning of Salvatore Attard and Agostino Garzin to supply the Order with the wooden parts of muskets and arquebuses. Musket parts were to be priced at 9 tarì 10 grani each whilst every arquebus part was to cost 7 tarì 13 grani. These wooden parts were to be imported from abroad. [69] Actually, such prices are not high when compared to the then current prices of fresh meat. [70]

[p.154: cont’d]

[1]             N(ational) L(ibrary of) M(alta Manuscript) 162, f. 106v. Internal evidence shows that this treatise was written in 1650 which is also the opinion of P. Debono, Sommario della Storia della Legislazione in Malta, Malta 1897, p. 184.

[2]            Valdina was responsible for the period 1637-1645 and Lascaris for the years 1645-1649. These contractual agreements are considered further on.

[3]            B. Dal Pozzo, Historia della Sacra Religione Militare di San Giovanni Gerosolimitano, Volume I, Verona 1703, p. 496.

[4]             A(rchives of the) O(rder in) M(alta Volume) 112, f. 38r-v, 25 May 1637.

[5]            AOM 311, f. 47r-v, passim.

[6]           J. Salva, La Orden de Malta y las acciones navales espanolas contra Turcos y Berberiscos en los siglos XVI y XVII, Madrid 1944, p. 82.

[7]            B. Blouet, The Story of Malta, London 1967, p. 124, from which the figures for 1583 and the average income of Grand Master de Paule’s rule are quoted. These figures are compatible with each other because whereas the 1583 figure is equal to almost two-thirds of the revenue but includes the expenditure on galley hulls, the figure for de Paule’s period — less than one half of the revenue — does not include expenses to buy galley hulls. The latter figure compares favourably with Osterhausen’s, quoted above.

[8]            A. Donna d’Oldenico, Redditi e Spese dellOrdine Militare Gerosolimitano nel 1587, Ciriè 1964, pp. 21, 26, 27, passim.

[9]            NLM 162, f. 127v.

[10]          AOM 737, ff. 87r-93v; AOM 738, ff. 2r-9v.

[11]          NLM 162, f. 106v.

[12]          Id., f. 108r.

[13]          Id., f. 108r-v.

[14]          Ibid.

[15]           AOM 738, f. 2r-v; N(otarial) A(rchives) V(alletta), 1031/10, not paginated, Deeds of Notary Michele Ralli, 27 July 1644.

[16]          More will be said about the Captains’ personal expenditure further on.

[17]          NLM 162, ff. 111v-112r.

[18]          Id., ff. 112r-113v.

[19]          AOM 737, f. 87r-v.

[20]          NLM 162, ff. 113v-117v.

[21]           This privilege enabled them to obtain whichever dignity, commandery, promotion, or magistral favour was given them without the requirement of having to be living in the Convent at the time of conferment. Cf. AOM 293, Ch(apter) G(eneral) 1598, f. 88r, Ord(inatione) 3 Galere; AOM 294, Ch.G. 1604, f. 116r, Ord. 5 Galere; AOM 275, Ch.G. 1612, f. 113v, Ord. 8 Galere; AOM 296, Ch.G. 1631, f. 138v, Ord. 9 Galere.


[22]           AOM 1427, not paginated, 29 December 1649, 1st letter sent by Grand Master Lascaris to the Order’s Ambassador in Rome.

[23]          Ibid.

[24]          Ibid.

[25]           Ibid. Domandolx became Captain of the galley S. Ubaldesca in 1642, Captain of the galley San Nicola in 1649 (referred to above), and was twice Captain-General, i.e. the periods 1650-2 and 1657-1660.

[26]          AOM 257, ff. 165v-166r, 11 May 1644.

[27]          AOM 222, f. 166v, 11 May 1644.

[28]           Ibid; AOM 257, ff. 165v-166r; both dated 11 May 1644. The Commissioners were: Fra Henrico de Merles Beauchamp, Fra D. Thomaso de Hoges, Fra Bernardo Vecchietti, and Fra Christiano d’Osterhausen; the first three were former Captains or Captains-General of the squadron whilst Osterhausen was a Commissioner of the galleys.

[29]           I have been unable to find a report of this Commission but NLM 162, written by one of the Commssioners himself, Osterhausen, about six years later in c.1650, contains details of the expenses usually incurred by galley captains, which have already been referred to.

[30]           AOM 112. f.38r, 25 May, 1637.

[31]           A. Guglielmotti,Storia della Marina Pontificia, Rome 1886-93, Volume 7, pp. 195-205, 240-251.

[32]           Nani, Mocenigo, Storia della Marina Veneziana da Lepanto alla Cadua della Repubblica, Rome 1935, pp. 4-5.

[33]           AOM 112, f.38r-v, 25 May 1637; NAV, R(egister) 376/29. Deeds of Notary Pietro Vella, ff.373r-374r.

[34]           AOM 112, f.47r; AOM 227, f.367; both dated 22 June 1637. NAV, R. 476/29, Deeds of Notary Pietro Vella, ff.374r-376r

[35]           [missing in original text]

[36]           AOM 112, f.53r; AOM 737, ff.79v, 87r-93v; NAV, R 476/29, Deeds of Notary Pietro Vella, ff.377v-390r; all dated 20 July 1637.

[37]           AOM 112, ff.143v, 227r. Papacoda was appointed Captain of the galley San Nicola on 1 August 1638 and remained in command till he was replaced on 6 July 1639 by Fra Paolo de Ager.

[38]           AOM 257, f.96r, 8 November 1641.

[39]           AOM 227, f.367r; AOM 113, f.191v; both dated 14 November 1641.

[40]           AOM 227, f.369r; AOM 257, f.161r-v; both dated 29 (i.e. ultimo) February 1644.

[41]           AOM 115, f.32v, 26 April 1645.

[42]           AOM 227, f.369r; AOM 257, ff.214v-215r; both dated 24 April 1645.

[43]           AOM 738, ff.2r-9v; NAV, 1031/10, Deeds of Notary Michele Ralli; all the agreements are dated 27 July 1644, 29 July 1644 and 16 December 1644.

[44]           AOM 116, f.222v; AOM 227, f.370r; both dated 4 May 1649. Actually, the contract was binding for six years starting form the death of Valdina, thus supposedly binding the Order and Lascaris til 1651. Cf. AOM 738, f.7r.

[45]           AOM 112, f.38v, 25 May 1637; AOM 257, f.85r, 8 November 1641; AOM 257, f.161r, 29 (i.e. ultimo) February 1644; AOM 256, ff.214v-215r, 24 April 1645.

[46]           AOM 665, ff.140v-144r, 23 May 1642, 4 June 1642, 8 April 1642; f.169 r-v, 5 May1643; ff.179r-180r, 17 and 24 October 1643; ff.196v-201v, 6 September 1644, 7 October 1644, 4 December 1644, 23 and 26 December 1644, AOM 737, f.131r, 22 February 1644. AOM 114; ff.23v-234r, 18 and 21 July 1644; ff.259r-263v, 13 and 25 October 1644; f.269r, 22 November 1644.

[47]           AOM 737, f.129v, 3 November 1643; AOM 738 f.1r, 23 July 1644.

[48]           AOM 257, f.161r, 29 (i.e. ultimo) February, 1644/

[49]           AOM 115, f.22v, 1 April 1645.

[50]           Id., f.32v, 26 April 1645.

[51]           AOM 116, ff.26r-27r, 14 June 1647; AOM 227, f.370r, 14 June 1647.

[52]           AOM 116, ff.47v-48v, 6 September 1647.

[53]           Id., ff.64v-65v, 21 November 1647.


[54]           AOM 112, f.38r, 25 May 1637.

[55]           Ibid.

[56]           AOM 737, ff.87r-88v; AOM 738, ff.2r-4r.

[57]           AOM 737, f.89r; AOM 738, ff. 4v-5r.

[58]           Oakum or tow was a substance made of old ropes untwisted and pulled into loose fibres; it was driven into the seams of sea vessels to prevent leaking, the seams being smeared with melted ptich. This whole processs is known as caulking.

[59]           AOM 737, f.98r; AOM 738, f.5r-v.

[60]           AOM 737, f.89v; AOM 738, f.5r. 1 qantar = c.175 lbs.

[61]           AOM 737, ff.88v-89r; AOM 738, f.5r.

[62]           AOM 737, f.91v; AOM 738, f.6r.

[63]           AOM 737, ff.89v-90r; AOM 738, f.6r.

[64]           AOM 737, f.90r-v.

[65]           AOM 737, f.92r; AOM 738, f.6v.

[66]           AOM 737, f.93r-v; AOM 738, ff.7r-8r.

[67]           A(rchives of the) S(uperior) C(ourts of Justice), M(agna) C(uria) C(astellaniae), O(fficium ) V(enerandae) S(eniscalliae0, Vol. 3, not paginated case Joseph Sacco vs Ignatio Ribera, 11 July 1644 to 9 November 1645.

[68]           NAV, 759/1, Deeds of Notary Gio. Domenico Debono. Actually, this document is one of a batch which, imbound and unpaginated, is packed with Vol. 1 and has been erroneously dated in pencil as 1602.

[69]           NAV, 521/4, Deeds of Notary Tommaso Agius, 2 June 1640.

[70]           NAV, 521/2, Deeds of Notary Tommas Agius, 6 November 1637. In a contract for the provision of frech meat for the Grand Master's palace for the period 6 November 1637-1641, a certain Andrea Falzon from Zebbug, Malta, agreed to procure fresh meat at the following prices: veal at 43 grani per rotolo between Easter and Martinmas, veal at 50 grani per rotolo between Martinmas and Easter, cow's flesh at 18 grani per rotolo, mutton at 20 grani per rotolo and pork at 22 grani per rotolo.