Hospitaller Malta

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Hospitaller Malta_table_infobox_0

Malta

Order of Saint John of Jerusalem Ordine di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme (in Italian) Ordni ta' San Ġwann ta' Ġerusalemm (in Maltese)Hospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_0_0

StatusHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_1_0 Vassal state of the Kingdom of Sicily with de facto independence

(Sovereignty proclaimed in 1753)Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_1_1

CapitalHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_2_0 Birgu (1530–1571)

Valletta (1571–1798)Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_2_1

Common languagesHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_3_0 Italian, French, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, German (official)

Maltese (unofficial)Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_3_1

GovernmentHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_4_0 Elective monarchyHospitaller Malta_cell_0_4_1
Grand MasterHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_5_0 Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_5_1
1530–1534Hospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_6_0 Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam (first)Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_6_1
1797–1798Hospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_7_0 Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim (last)Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_7_1
Historical eraHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_8_0 Early modern periodHospitaller Malta_cell_0_8_1
AgreementHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_9_0 24 March 1530Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_9_1
EstablishedHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_10_0 26 October 1530Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_10_1
Loss of TripoliHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_11_0 15 August 1551Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_11_1
Purchase of Caribbean territoriesHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_12_0 21 May 1651Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_12_1
Sale of Caribbean territoriesHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_13_0 1665Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_13_1
Proclamation of sovereigntyHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_14_0 1753Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_14_1
Capitulation to the FrenchHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_15_0 12 June 1798Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_15_1
CurrencyHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_16_0 Maltese scudo


Other currenciesHospitaller Malta_cell_0_16_1

ISO 3166 codeHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_17_0 MTHospitaller Malta_cell_0_17_1
Preceded by

Succeeded by




Kingdom of Sicily



Habsburg Spain



Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique




French occupation of Malta



Ottoman Tripolitania



French West India CompanyHospitaller Malta_cell_0_18_0

Preceded byHospitaller Malta_cell_0_19_0 Succeeded byHospitaller Malta_cell_0_19_1
Kingdom of Sicily



Habsburg Spain



Compagnie des Îles de l'AmériqueHospitaller Malta_cell_0_20_0

French occupation of Malta



Ottoman Tripolitania



French West India CompanyHospitaller Malta_cell_0_20_1

Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_21_0 Kingdom of SicilyHospitaller Malta_cell_0_21_1
Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_22_0 Habsburg SpainHospitaller Malta_cell_0_22_1
Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_23_0 Compagnie des Îles de l'AmériqueHospitaller Malta_cell_0_23_1
French occupation of MaltaHospitaller Malta_cell_0_24_0 Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_24_1
Ottoman TripolitaniaHospitaller Malta_cell_0_25_0 Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_25_1
French West India CompanyHospitaller Malta_cell_0_26_0 Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_26_1
Today part ofHospitaller Malta_header_cell_0_27_0 Malta

 Libya  FranceSaint Barthélemy and France Saint Martin)  Saint Kitts and Nevis  United StatesU.S. Virgin Islands)Hospitaller Malta_cell_0_27_1

Malta was ruled by the Knights Hospitaller, or Order of Saint John, as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Sicily from 1530 to 1798. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_0

The islands of Malta and Gozo, as well as the city of Tripoli in modern Libya, were granted to the Order by Spanish Emperor Charles V in 1530, following the loss of Rhodes. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_1

The Ottoman Empire managed to capture Tripoli from the Order in 1551, but an attempt to take Malta in 1565 failed. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_2

Following the 1565 siege, the Order decided to settle permanently in Malta and began to construct a new capital city, Valletta. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_3

For the next two centuries, Malta went through a Golden Age, characterized by a flourishing of the arts, architecture, and an overall improvement in Maltese society. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_4

In the mid-17th century, the Order was the de jure proprietor over some islands in the Caribbean, making it the smallest state to colonize the Americas. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_5

The Order began to decline in the 1770s, and was severely weakened by the French Revolution in 1792. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_6

In 1798, French forces under Napoleon invaded Malta and expelled the Order, resulting in the French occupation of Malta. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_7

The Maltese eventually rebelled against the French, and the islands became a British protectorate in 1800. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_8

Malta was to be returned to the Order by the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, but the British remained in control and the islands formally became a British colony by the Treaty of Paris in 1814. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_9

Sixteenth century Hospitaller Malta_section_0

Early years Hospitaller Malta_section_1

The Order of Saint John was expelled from its base in Rhodes during the Ottoman siege of 1522. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_10

After seven years of moving from place to place in Europe, the Knights became established in 1530 when Emperor Charles V, as King of Sicily, gave them Malta, Gozo and the North African port of Tripoli in perpetual fiefdom in exchange for an annual fee of a single Maltese falcon, which they were to send on All Souls' Day to the King's representative, the Viceroy of Sicily. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_11

The Order settled in the town of Birgu and made it their capital. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_12

The ancient fortress known as Castrum Maris was rebuilt as Fort Saint Angelo, the town's defences were strengthened, and many new buildings were constructed. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_13

The Order soon began to mint its own coins as it settled in Malta. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_14

The Hospitallers continued their actions against the Muslims and especially the Barbary pirates. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_15

Although they had only a few ships they quickly drew the ire of the Ottomans, who were unhappy to see the order resettled. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_16

In July 1551, Ottoman forces attempted to take over Fort Saint Angelo and later Mdina but saw that they were outnumbered and invaded Gozo several days later. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_17

They sailed to Tripoli and captured the city in August. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_18

Following these attacks, the Order tried to repopulate Gozo and strengthen the Grand Harbour fortifications. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_19

Several forts including Saint Elmo and Saint Michael were built, and the city of Senglea began to develop around the latter fort. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_20

Sometime between 1551 and 1556, a tornado hit Malta, destroyed at least four of the Order's galleys, and killed 600 people. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_21

This is the worst natural disaster that ever occurred on Malta and one of the deadliest tornadoes in recorded history. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_22

In 1553, Charles V offered a third possession to the Order, the city of Mehdia in modern Tunisia. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_23

However, the Order refused to take control of the city since the commission that was set up decided that it would be too expensive to maintain. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_24

Therefore, the emperor ordered the Viceroy of Sicily, Juan de Vega, to destroy Mehdia to prevent Muslim occupation. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_25

De Vega burnt Mehdia, but retaliated against Malta for not accepting the city, and prohibited exportation of wheat to the island. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_26

To combat this, Grandmaster Sengle brought the engineer Vincenzo Vogo to Malta to upgrade the mills so the population would not starve. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_27

Authors such as Giovanni Francesco Abela claim that, following the Battle of Verbia in 1561, the Order may have gained a puppet state in Moldavia, which was ruled by the Malta native Iacob Heraclid until 1563; their assessment remains disputed. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_28

Great Siege and aftermath Hospitaller Malta_section_2

Main article: Great Siege of Malta Hospitaller Malta_sentence_29

In 1565 Suleiman sent an invasion force of about 40,000 men to besiege the 700 knights and 8,000 soldiers and expel them from Malta and gain a new base from which to possibly launch another assault on Europe. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_30

At first the battle went as badly for the Hospitallers as Rhodes had: most of the cities were destroyed and about half the knights killed. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_31

On 18 August the position of the besieged was becoming desperate: dwindling daily in numbers, they were becoming too feeble to hold the long line of fortifications. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_32

But when his council suggested the abandonment of Birgu and Senglea and withdrawal to Fort St. Angelo, Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette refused. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_33

The Viceroy of Sicily had not sent help; possibly the Viceroy's orders from Philip II of Spain were so obscurely worded as to put on his own shoulders the burden of the decision whether to help the Knights at the expense of his own defences. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_34

A wrong decision could mean defeat and exposing Sicily and Naples to the Ottomans. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_35

He had left his own son with de Valette, so he could hardly be indifferent to the fate of the fortress. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_36

Whatever may have been the cause of his delay, the Viceroy hesitated until the battle had almost been decided by the unaided efforts of the Knights, before being forced to move by the indignation of his own officers. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_37

On 23 August came yet another grand assault, the last serious effort, as it proved, of the besiegers. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_38

It was thrown back with the greatest difficulty, even the wounded taking part in the defence. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_39

The plight of the Turkish forces, however, was now desperate. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_40

With the exception of Fort Saint Elmo, the fortifications were still intact. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_41

Working night and day the garrison had repaired the breaches, and the capture of Malta seemed more and more impossible. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_42

Many of the Ottoman troops in crowded quarters had fallen ill over the terrible summer months. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_43

Ammunition and food were beginning to run short, and the Ottoman troops were becoming increasingly dispirited by the failure of their attacks and their losses. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_44

The death on 23 June of skilled commander Dragut, a corsair and admiral of the Ottoman fleet, was a serious blow. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_45

The Turkish commanders, Piyale Pasha and Mustafa Pasha, were careless. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_46

They had a huge fleet which they used with effect on only one occasion. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_47

They neglected their communications with the African coast and made no attempt to watch and intercept Sicilian reinforcements. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_48

On 1 September they made their last effort, but the morale of the Ottoman troops had deteriorated seriously and the attack was feeble, to the great encouragement of the besieged who now began to see hopes of deliverance. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_49

The perplexed and indecisive Ottomans heard of the arrival of Sicilian reinforcements in Mellieħa Bay. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_50

Unaware that the force was very small, they broke off the siege and left on 8 September. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_51

The Great Siege of Malta may have been the last action in which a force of knights won a decisive victory. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_52

When the Ottomans departed, the Hospitallers had but 600 men able to bear arms. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_53

The most reliable estimate puts the number of the Ottoman army at its height at some 40,000 men, of whom 15,000 eventually returned to Constantinople. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_54

The siege is portrayed vividly in the frescoes of Matteo Perez d'Aleccio in the Hall of St. Michael and St. George, also known as the Throne Room, in the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta; four of the original modellos, painted in oils by Perez d'Aleccio between 1576 and 1581, can be found in the Cube Room of the Queen's House at Greenwich, London. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_55

After the siege a new city was built, Valletta, which was named in memory of the Grand Master who had withstood the siege. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_56

It became the Order's headquarters in 1571 and remains Malta's capital city to this day. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_57

In 1574, the Roman Inquisition was established in Malta when Pope Gregory XIII sent Pietro Dusina as mediator between the Grandmaster and the Bishop. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_58

This inquisition replaced the old medieval inquisition in Malta that had been run by the Bishop of Palermo. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_59

In 1581, there was a crisis between the General Convent of the Order and the Grandmaster, Jean de la Cassière. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_60

This escalated into a mutiny in which la Cassière was confined in Fort St Angelo and the knight Mathurin Romegas was elected Grandmaster. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_61

Pope Gregory XIII sent the envoy Gaspare Visconti to settle the dispute, and la Cassière and Romegas were summoned to Rome to explain and plead the case. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_62

Romegas died within a week of arriving in Rome, and la Cassière was restored to his position as Grandmaster. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_63

However, he too died within a month in Rome thus ending the dispute. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_64

In January 1582, Hugues Loubenx de Verdalle was elected Grandmaster. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_65

Seventeenth century Hospitaller Malta_section_3

Main projects Hospitaller Malta_section_4

Between 1610 and 1615, the Wignacourt Aqueduct was built to carry water from Dingli and Rabat to the capital Valletta. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_66

This aqueduct remained in use until the early 20th century, and most of its arches still survive. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_67

Throughout the course of the seventeenth century, Malta's fortifications were also improved. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_68

Lage parts of Gozo's Cittadella were completely rebuilt between 1599 and 1622. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_69

The Grand Harbour area was strengthened by the construction of the Floriana Lines and Santa Margherita Lines in the 1630s and 1640s, which encircled the land front of Valletta and that of Birgu and Senglea. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_70

Later on, the Cottonera Lines were built around the Santa Margherita Lines between 1670 and 1680. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_71

Due to a lack of funds, the Santa Margherita and Cottonera Lines remained unfinished for many years before being completed. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_72

In the late seventeenth century, Fort Ricasoli was also built to protect the entrance to the Grand Harbour, while Fort Saint Elmo and Fort Saint Angelo were strengthened. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_73

Despite the significant fortifications in the harbour area, by the early seventeenth century, most of the remaining coastline was still largely undefended. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_74

In 1605, Garzes Tower was built on the island of Gozo. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_75

In the following years, Alof de Wignacourt continued upgrading the coastal fortifications by building the Wignacourt towers, a series of six bastioned watch towers. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_76

During Grandmaster Lascaris' reign, a number of smaller towers were also built. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_77

His successor de Redin once again built a series of similar towers. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_78

The last coastal tower to be built was Isopu Tower, which was constructed in 1667 during the reign of Nicolas Cotoner. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_79

In 1693, an earthquake damaged many buildings in Malta, particularly in the former capital of Mdina. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_80

The cathedral, which had been built during the Norman occupation of Malta, was subsequently demolished and a new Baroque cathedral was built in its place starting from 1697. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_81

In the seventeenth and early eighteenth century, the Order's navy was at its peak. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_82

The Order, usually along with other European navies, engaged in naval battles against the Ottomans such as the action of 28 September 1644, or the Battle of the Dardanelles in 1656. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_83

They had also participated in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 under the command of John of Austria. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_84

Corsairing also became an important part of the Maltese economy until the early 1700s. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_85

Colonization Hospitaller Malta_section_5

Main article: Hospitaller colonization of the Americas Hospitaller Malta_sentence_86

The Order also took part in the colonization of the Americas. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_87

On 21 May 1651, it acquired four islands in the Caribbean: Saint Barthélemy, Saint Christopher, Saint Croix and Saint Martin. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_88

These were purchased from the French Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique which had just been dissolved. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_89

The Order controlled the islands under the governorship of Phillippe de Longvilliers de Poincy until his death, and in 1665 the four islands were sold to the French West India Company. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_90

This marked the end of the Order's influence outside the Mediterranean. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_91

Eighteenth century Hospitaller Malta_section_6

Beginning of the century to Pinto's reign Hospitaller Malta_section_7

At the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 granted Sicily from Spain to the Duke of Savoy, becoming the new sovereign of Malta until seven years later, when Treaty of The Hague reunited Naples and Sicily to the Emperor Charles VI. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_92

In 1735, during the War of the Polish Succession, Charles, Duke of Parma, defeated the occupying Austrians and became Charles VII of Naples and V of Sicily. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_93

From 1714 onwards, about 52 batteries and redoubts, along with several entrenchments, were built around the coasts of Malta and Gozo. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_94

Other major fortifications of the 18th century include Fort Chambray on Gozo, which was built between 1749 and the 1760s, and Fort Tigné in Marsamxett, which was built between 1792 and 1795. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_95

Throughout the eighteenth century, Baroque architecture was popular in Malta. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_96

This is mostly associated with the Grandmasters António Manoel de Vilhena and Manuel Pinto da Fonseca, both of whom were Portuguese. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_97

During de Vilhena's reign, the city of Mdina was significantly remodelled in the Baroque style. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_98

Other significant Baroque structures built during de Vilhena's reign include Fort Manoel and the Manoel Theatre. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_99

The town of Floriana also began to be developed around this era between the Floriana Lines and Valletta, and it was given the title of Borgo Vilhena by the Grandmaster. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_100

During Pinto's reign, which lasted from 1741 to 1773, the Baroque style was still going strong. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_101

Typical buildings from this era include Auberge de Castille and the Valletta Waterfront. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_102

In 1749, there was the Conspiracy of the Slaves, in which Turkish slaves were planning to revolt and assassinate Pinto, but this was suppressed before it started due to their plans leaking out to the Order. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_103

In 1753, Pinto proclaimed the sovereignty of the Order on Malta and a dispute started with the Kingdom of Sicily under King Charles V. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_104

The dispute eventually ended a year later on 26 November 1754 when Sicily and the Order returned to normal relations. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_105

Despite this Sicily no longer had any control over the Maltese islands and Malta under the Order effectively became a sovereign state. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_106

Decline Hospitaller Malta_section_8

In the last three decades of the eighteenth century, the Order experienced a steady decline. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_107

This was a result of a number of factors, including the bankruptcy that was a result of Pinto's lavish rule, which drained the finances of the Order. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_108

Due to this, the Order also became unpopular with the Maltese. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_109

In 1775, during the reign of Francisco Ximenes de Texada, a revolt known as the Rising of the Priests occurred. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_110

Rebels managed to capture Fort St Elmo and Saint James Cavalier, but the revolt was suppressed and some of the leaders were executed while others were imprisoned or exiled. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_111

In 1792, the Order's possessions in France were seized by the state due to the French Revolution, which led the already bankrupt Order into an even greater financial crisis. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_112

When Napoleon landed in Malta in June 1798, the knights could have withstood a long siege, but they surrendered the island almost without a fight. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_113

The French then occupied Malta until 1800, when they were ousted by Maltese revolutionaries aided by Great Britain. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_114

Malta became a British protectorate and although the Treaty of Amiens stated that they should be handed back to the Order, nothing materialized. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_115

When the new Grandmaster Giovanni Tommasi demanded that the British Civil Commissioner Alexander Ball hand back the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta, Ball replied that Britain was authorised to continue basing troops on the island since some powers were still not recognising Malta's independence and that the government palace could not be vacated. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_116

Malta eventually became a British colony in 1813 and remained as such until independence in 1964. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_117

The Order itself became dispersed throughout Europe, but in the early 19th century it redirected itself toward humanitarian and religious causes. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_118

In 1834, the Order, which became known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, established its headquarters in its former embassy in Rome, where it remains to this day. Hospitaller Malta_sentence_119

See also Hospitaller Malta_section_9

Hospitaller Malta_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hospitaller Malta.