|His Most Eminent Highness, Fra|
Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim, O.S.I.
|Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller|
17 July 1797 –6 July 1799
|Preceded by||Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc|
|Succeeded by||Paul I of Russia (de facto)|
|Born|| 9 November 1744|
Bolheim, Electorate of Cologne, Holy Roman Empire
|Died|| 12 May 1805 60) (aged|
Montpellier, Hérault, First French Empire
|Resting place||Montpellier, Hérault, France|
|Years of service||1761–1799|
|Battles/wars||French invasion of Malta|
Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim, O.S.I. (9 November 1744 – 12 May 1805) was the 71st Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller, formally the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, by then better known as the Knights of Malta. He was the first German elected to the office. It was under his rule that the Order lost the island of Malta to France, after ruling there since 1530. This effectively marked the end of their sovereignty over an independent state, dating from the time of the Crusades.
Grand Master is a title of the supreme head of various orders, including chivalric orders such as military orders and dynastic orders of knighthood.
The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, also known as the Order of Saint John, Order of Hospitallers, Knights Hospitaller, Knights Hospitalier or Hospitallers, was a medieval and early modern Catholic military order. It was headquartered in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, on the island of Rhodes, in Malta and St Petersburg.
Malta, officially known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km (50 mi) south of Italy, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia, and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2 (122 sq mi), Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely populated country. Its capital is Valletta, which is the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km.2 The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese officially recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union.
Hompesch was born in the village of Bolheim, now part of the town of Zülpich in the Eifel region. He received the baptismal names of Ferdinand Joseph Antoine Herman Louis. He was admitted to the Knights Hospitaller on 10 July 1761, at the age of 14, for which he needed to obtain a dispensation from the Holy See, serving as a page to the Grand Master Manuel Pinto da Fonseca.By 1768 he had been promoted to the rank of castellan, and in 1770 he had advanced to the rank of lieutenant, responsible for the inspection of ships and fortifications of the Order. In 1774 he was given responsibility for the island's munitions.
Zülpich is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany between Aachen and Bonn. It belongs to the district of Euskirchen.
The Eifel is a low mountain range in western Germany and eastern Belgium. It occupies parts of southwestern North Rhine-Westphalia, northwestern Rhineland-Palatinate and the south of the German-speaking Community of Belgium.
In the jurisprudence of canon law of the Catholic Church, a dispensation is the exemption from the immediate obligation of law in certain cases. Its object is to modify the hardship often arising from the rigorous application of general laws to particular cases, and its essence is to preserve the law by suspending its operation in such cases.
In late 1775 Hompesch was appointed as the Order's ambassador at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna, a post he held for the next 25 years. The following year, he was also raised to the rank of Knight Grand Cross, making him a member of the Standing Council of the Order. During this period, he made efforts to re-unite the Protestant Bailiwick of Brandenburg with the Order; these efforts were unsuccessful largely due to the opposition of the German knights. In the following years, he received charge of the commandery in Rothenburg (1777), followed by those in Herford (1783), Basel and Dorlisheim (1785), Sulz, Colmar and Mülhausen (1786) as well as Villingen, in the Black Forest (1796).He was appointed Grand Bailiff of the German langue, based in Brandenburg, in 1796.
The Holy Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.
Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.
The Bailiwick of Brandenburg of the Chivalric Order of Saint John of the Hospital at Jerusalem, commonly known as the Order of Saint John or the Johanniter Order, is the German Protestant branch of the Knights Hospitaller, the oldest surviving chivalric order, which generally is considered to have been founded in Jerusalem in the year 1099 AD.
On 17 July 1797 Hompesch was elected Grand Master, which made him a Prince of the Church. As Grand Master, he raised the towns of Żabbar, Żejtun and Siġġiewi to the status of cities.
The term Prince of the Church is today used nearly exclusively for Catholic cardinals. However, the term is historically more important as a generic term for clergymen whose offices hold the secular rank and privilege of a prince or are considered its equivalent. In the case of cardinals, they are always treated in protocol of Catholic countries as equivalents of royal princes.
Żabbar, also known as Città Hompesch, is a city in the South Eastern Region of Malta. It is the sixth largest city in the country, with a population of 15,404 as of March 2014. Originally a part of Żejtun, Żabbar was granted the title of Città Hompesch by the last of the Grand Masters of the Order of St. John to reign in Malta, Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim.
Żejtun is a city in the South Eastern Region of Malta, with a population of 11,218 at end 2016. Żejtun holds the title of Città Beland, which was conferred by the grandmaster of the Order of the Knights of Malta, Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim in 1797. Before that, the village was known as Casale Santa Caterina, named after its patron saint and parish titular.
In 1798 Hompesch was warned that the French fleet that was sailing to Egypt under Napoleon Bonaparte intended to attack Malta as well. He disregarded the warning and took no action to reinforce the island's defenses.On 6 June 1798, the advance squadron of the French fleet reached Malta. One ship was permitted to enter the harbour for repairs. On 9 June the main fleet arrived. The French commander Napoleon had a force of 29,000 men against Hompesch's 7,000. Bonaparte demanded free entrance to the harbour for the entire fleet with the excuse to get water provisions. Hompesch replied that only two ships at a time could do so. Napoleon saw it as a provocation and ordered the invasion of the Maltese Islands.
The Mediterranean campaign of 1798 was a series of major naval operations surrounding a French expeditionary force sent to Egypt under Napoleon Bonaparte during the French Revolutionary Wars. The French Republic sought to capture Egypt as the first stage in an effort to threaten British India, and thus force Great Britain to make peace. Departing Toulon in May 1798 with over 40,000 troops and hundreds of ships, Bonaparte's fleet sailed southeastwards across the Mediterranean Sea. They were followed by a small British squadron under Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, later reinforced to 13 ships of the line, whose pursuit was hampered by a lack of scouting frigates and reliable information. Bonaparte's first target was the island of Malta, which was under the government of the Knights of St. John and theoretically granted its owner control of the Central Mediterranean. Bonaparte's forces landed on the island and rapidly overwhelmed the defenders, securing the port city of Valletta before continuing to Egypt. When Nelson learned of the French capture of the island, he guessed the French target to be Egypt and sailed for Alexandria, but passed the French during the night of 22 June without discovering them and arrived off Egypt first.
On 10 June the French fleet began disembarking.The French forces were supported by a local insurrection of Maltese, many of whom wished to get rid of the Knights. The rules of the Order prohibited fighting against fellow Christians and many of the French members of the Order did not want to fight against the French forces. Hompesch capitulated on 11 June. The following day a treaty was signed by which the Order handed over sovereignty of the island of Malta to the government of the French Directory. In return, the French Republic agreed to "employ all its credit at the Congress of Rastatt to procure a principality for the Grand Master, equivalent to the one he gives up". Hompesch was also promised an annual pension.
The Directory or Directorate was a five-member committee that governed France from 2 November 1795, when it replaced the Committee of Public Safety, until 9 November 1799, when it was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Coup of 18 Brumaire, and replaced by the French Consulate. It gave its name to the final four years of the French Revolution.
The Second Congress of Rastatt, which began its deliberations in November 1797, was intended to negotiate a general peace between the French Republic and the Holy Roman Empire, and to draw up a compensation plan to compensate those princes whose lands on the left bank of the Rhine had been seized by France in the War of the First Coalition. Facing the French delegation was a 10-member Imperial delegation made up of delegates from the electorates of Mainz, Saxony, Bavaria, Hanover, as well as the secular territories of Austria, Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, the prince-bishopric of Würzburg, and the imperial cities of Augsburg and Frankfurt. The congress was interrupted when Austria and Russia resumed war against France in March 1799 at the start of the War of the Second Coalition, thus rendering the proceedings moot. Furthermore, as the French delegates attempted to return home, they were attacked by Austrian cavalrymen or possibly French royalists masquerading as such. Two diplomats were killed and a third seriously injured. The congress was held at Rastatt near Karlsruhe.
A pension is a fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee's employment years, and from which payments are drawn to support the person's retirement from work in the form of periodic payments. A pension may be a "defined benefit plan" where a fixed sum is paid regularly to a person, or a "defined contribution plan" under which a fixed sum is invested and then becomes available at retirement age. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the former is usually paid in regular installments for life after retirement, while the latter is typically paid as a fixed amount after involuntary termination of employment prior to retirement.
On 18 June 1798 Hompesch left Malta for Trieste,where he established a new headquarters for the Order. On 12 October he addressed a letter to foreign governments in which he protested against the taking of Malta by the French. He published a second manifesto from Trieste on 23 October. On 6 July 1799 he sent two letters, one to the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II, the other to Emperor Paul I of Russia, in which he abdicated as Grand Master. He sent no letter of abdication to the pope as required by canon law, nor did the pope accept his abdication. He soon settled in Ljubljana. On 7 May 1801 and again on 20 September 1801 Hompesch declared that his 1799 letters of abdication had been written for him by the government of the Holy Roman Emperor, that he had been forced to sign them, and that therefore his abdication was invalid. In 1804, he moved to Montpellier in France, where he died penniless one year later of asthma. He is buried in the Church of Saint Eulalie in that city.
Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc
| Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller |
Paul I of Russia
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), officially the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta and also known as the Order of Malta, is a Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalric and noble nature.
Maximilian I was the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire. He was a younger brother of the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. After a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy as its commander, he accepted an offer by Napoleon III of France to rule Mexico, conditional on a national plebiscite in his favour. France, together with Spain and the United Kingdom, invaded the Mexican Republic in the winter of 1861, ostensibly to collect debts; the Spanish and British both withdrew the following year after negotiating agreements with Mexico's republican government, while France sought to conquer the country. Seeking to legitimize French rule, Napoleon III invited Maximilian to establish a new pro-French Mexican monarchy. With the support of the French army and a group of conservative Mexican monarchists hostile to the liberal administration of the new Mexican president, Benito Juárez, Maximilian was offered the position of Emperor of Mexico, which he accepted on 10 April 1864.
The Russian tradition of the Knights Hospitaller is a collection of charitable organisations claiming continuity with the Russian Orthodox grand priory of the Order of Saint John. Their distinction emerged when the Mediterranean stronghold of Malta was captured by Napoleon in 1798 when he made his expedition to Egypt. As a ruse, Napoleon asked for safe harbor to resupply his ships, and then turned against his hosts once safely inside Valletta. Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch failed to anticipate or prepare for this threat, provided no effective leadership, and readily capitulated to Napoleon. This was a terrible affront to most of the Knights desiring to defend their stronghold and sovereignty. The Order continued to exist in a diminished form and negotiated with European governments for a return to power. The Emperor of Russia gave the largest number of Knights shelter in St Petersburg and this gave rise to the Russian tradition of the Knights Hospitaller and recognition within the Russian Imperial Orders. In gratitude the Knights declared Ferdinand von Hompesch deposed and Emperor Paul I was elected as the new Grand Master. The continuous Order was also approved by the Papacy, but due to British fear of Russian taking presence in the Mediterranean and because many knights were Orthodox the Order became de facto the traditional Order but de jure not recognised similar or at par with the formation of the 19th-century Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM).
The War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802) was the second war on revolutionary France by the European monarchies, led by Britain, Austria and Russia, and including the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, Naples, various German monarchies and Sweden. Their goal was to contain the expansion of the French Republic and to restore the monarchy in France. They failed to overthrow the revolutionary regime and French territorial gains since 1793 were confirmed. In the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, France held all of its previous gains and obtained new lands in Tuscany, Italy, while Austria was granted Venetia and the Dalmatian coast. Britain and France signed the Treaty of Amiens in March 1802, bringing an interval of peace in Europe that lasted for 14 months. By May 1803 Britain and France were again at war and in 1805 Britain assembled the Third Coalition to resume the war against France.
Fra' Didier de Saint-Jaille was the 46th Grand Master of the Order of Saint John between 1535 and 1536.
The National Museum of Montenegro, is located in Cetinje, a historic capital of Montenegro. It was established in 1896.
Pierre Jean Louis Ovide Doublet was a French politician and writer who spent much of his life serving in the Knights of Malta. Following his enlistment as a soldier, he entered the service of the French Secretariat of the Knights and was eventually promoted to the leadership of the Secretariat.
Frà Giovanni Battista Tommasi was an Italian nobleman and 73rd Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta.
The French occupation of Malta lasted from 1798 to 1800. It was established when the Order of Saint John surrendered to Napoleon Bonaparte following the French landing in June 1798. In Malta, the French have established a constitutional tradition in Maltese history, granted free education for all, and established the freedom of press, such as with the publication of the Journal de Malte.
Palazzo Correa, also known as Casa Correa, Correa de Sousa Palace or Palazzo Hompesch, was a 17th-century palace in Valletta, Malta, located in Old Bakery Street. It was built on the designs to architect Carlo Gimach in the Mannerist style, the very first in Valletta and very unusual to the period.
The Hompesch Gate is a commemorative archway in Żabbar, Malta. It was built in 1801 to commemorate the locality's status as a city, which had been granted by Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim on 14 September 1797.
The De Rohan Arch, also known as the New Gateway, is a commemorative archway in Żebbuġ, Malta. It was built in 1798 to commemorate the locality's status as a city, which had been granted by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc on 21 June 1777.
The French invasion of Malta was the successful invasion of the islands of Malta and Gozo, then ruled by the Order of St. John, by the French First Republic led by Napoleon in June 1798 as part of the Mediterranean campaign of the French Revolutionary Wars.
Hompesch Hunting Lodge, also known as Id-Dar tal-Kaċċa, is an 18th-century hunting lodge in Naxxar, Malta. It is a traditional Maltese historic building with a vernacular architecture. The hunting lodge was built intentionally to be used as a hunting lodge for the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, namely Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim. Today the building is in a dilapidated state.
Admiralty House, formerly known as Casa Miari, Palazzo Don Raimondo and by several other names, is a palace in Valletta, Malta. It was originally built in 1569–70 as two private houses by Fra Jean de Soubiran dit Arafat, a knight of the Order of St. John. The houses were later leased to various owners, including Fra Raimondo de Sousa y Silva, who rebuilt them a single residence between 1761 and 1763.
Our Lady of Philermos is a Byzantine icon of the Theotokos, dated to the 11th or 12th century. Originally kept at Phileremos Monastery in Rhodes, the icon was long venerated as the patroness of the Knights Hospitaller, and kept at Rhodes and Malta. It is now kept in the Museum of Art and History at Cetinje, Montenegro.