!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2//EN"> The Grandmasters of the Order of St.John

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The Grandmasters of the
Order of St. John in Malta

Philippe Villiers De L'Isle Adam

Pietro Del Ponte

Didier De Saint Jaille

Juan D'Omedes

Claude De La Sengle

Jean Parisot De La Vallette

Alof De Wignacourt

Martin De Redin

Antonio Manoel De Vilhena

Ferdinand Von Hompesch
Coat of ArmsThe Grandmaster is the sovereign Head of the Order of St. John. He is elected for life by a secret ballot taken in conclave. He is assisted by a council of senior members of the Order. The Grandmasters were the absolute monarchs of the Maltese Islands for more than two hundred and fifty years. Elected for life by the assembly of Knights immediately after the death of their predecessor, they had full powers of decision. They had the title of Eminence and minted money.

Although they no longer belonged to their country of origin (that is their "Langue"), the Grandmasters had a sort of double nationality and their election exited much comment. The rule that the new Grandmasters had to be elected not more than three days after the death of his predecessor prevented any outside interference. Owing to the slowness of communication, only monarchs became The Signaturesaware of the results of the election several days, or even weeks, after the event. Each Grandmaster left his work on the island either by the building of the new fortifications (as La Vallette, Cotoner and De Redin did), or by the construction of public buildings, or by the construction of new buildings for the Order, or by works of art (paintings and frescoes).

The first two Grandmasters of the Order of St. John were Gerard De Martigues and Raymond Du Puy.

Gerard De Martigues

Gerard De Martigues
Gerard from Martigues, in Provence, was the first Rector (same as Grandmaster) of the Order of St. John. When Gerard died, Abbè Rene Aubert de Vertot, the 18th century French historian of the Order, wrote that: "The Hospitallers lost the Blessed Gerard, the father of the poor and the pilgrims; that virtuous man, having arrived at an exceeding old age, expired in the arms of his brethren almost without any sickness and fell, as we may say, like a fruit ripe for eternity".

Raymond Du Puy

Raymond du Puy became Grandmaster in 1120 and died in 1160. He was the second Rector of the Order. He drew up a code of regulations, upon which, all subsequent statutes and ordinances of the Order were based. The militarisation of the Hospitallers was also the major work of this great warrior, who died full of years and honours.

The Grand Masters of Malta

· Philippe Villiers de L'lsle-Adam (France: French) 1530-1534

· Pietro del Ponte (Italy: Italian) 1534-1535

· Didiers de Saint Jaille (France: French) 1535-1536

· Juan d'Omedes (Aragon: Spanish) 1536-1553

· Claude de la Sengle (France: French) 1553-1557

· Jean Parisot de la Vallette (Provence: French) 1557-1568

· Pietro del Monte San Savino (Italy: Italian) 1568-1572

· Jean L`Evque de la Cassiére (Auvergne: French) 1572-1581

· Huges de Loabenx Vedalle (Provence: French) 1581-1595

· Martin Garzes (Aragon: Spanish) 1595-1601

· Alof de Wignacourt (France: French) 1601-1622

· Louis Mendes de Vasconcellos (Castille, Leon and Portugal: Spanish) 1622-1623

· Antoine de Paule (Provence: French) 1623-1636

· Jean-Paul de Lascaris Castellar (Provence: French) 1636-1657

· Martin de Redin (Aragon: Spanish) 1657-1660

· Annet de Clermont de Chattes-Gessan (Auvergne: French) 1660-1660

· Rafael Cotoner (Aragon: Spanish) 1660-1663

· Niccolo Cotoner (Aragon: Spanish) 1663-1680

· Gregorio Carafa (Italy: Italian) 1680-1690

· Adrien de Wignacourt (France: French) 1690-1697

· Ramon Perelles Rocaful (Aragon: Spanish) 1697-1720

· Marc' Antoine Zondadari (Italy: Italian) 1720 - 1722

· Antoine Manoel de Vilhena (Castille, Leon et Portugal: Portuguese) 1722 - 1736

· Ramon Despuig (Aragon: Spanish) 1736-1741

· Manoel Pinto de Fonesca (Castille, Leon et Portugal: Portuguese) 1741-1773

· Francis Ximens de Texada (Aragon: Spanish) 1773-1775

· Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc (France: French) 1775-1797

· Ferdinand von Hompesch (Allemagne: German) 1797-1798