Romegas, The Wolf of the Sea

By Joseph-Stephen Bonanno  B.A. (Hons.) (Melit.)

The Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, throughout its long history, always produced famous naval commanders for her galleys.  Knights of great experience, who were grown old in the service, and who were most of them qualified to command considerable fleets: such were the commander Gozon de Melac, general of the galleys of the Order; the commander de Guimeran, who the king of Spain had desired of the Grand Master to command those of Sicily; the commanders de Giou and d’Elbeines, and the chevaliers de Thiange and La Motte, all excellent seaman, and of great reputation for their valour and experience.

But among these several officers, there was not anyone who took so many prizes, and so considerable at the same time, as the legendary Romegas; A knight who had followed cruising from his youth; nobody was so well acquainted as he himself, with all the coasts, the ports, and even the smallest creeks in the Mediterranean.  He was likewise brave, intrepid and was fearless of danger. 1  Romegas was considered by all one of the greatest mariners of his age. 2

Early Years

Mathurin d’Aux de Lescout, 3 commonly known as Romegas, 4 was born around 1529, 5 in the ancestral castle of Mansonville, a small village in the south of France.  In 1274, this castle was purchased by King Edward I, of England.  In 1313 his son, Edward II, donated it as fief to Bertrand de Goth (Pope Clément V) who was the cousin of Cardinal Arnaud d’Aux.

Romegas’ father was the nobleman Jean III d’Aux, Seigneur de Lescout who on 21 January 1519, agreed on marriage contract with Béraude de Beauville, daughter of the nobleman Jean de Beauville, Seigneur de Massames en Agenois, at the notary Jean Douat of Saint-Antoine de Pont-de-Rats. 6  They had two children, Jean (or Bernard) and Mathurin.

The coat-of-arms of Romegas family was made out of two parts.  On the left-hand side, on a field of gold, three red chevrons, placed in inverse pyramidal form.  This was the coat-of-arms of the d’Aux family.  On the right-hand side on a field of gold, three horizontal red bars.  The family added the second part since the marriage of Pierre d’Aux with Jeanne de Got which took place before 1270. This coat-of-arms could be seen in the Collegiate church of La Romieu.

The coat-of-arms of Romegas

Figure 2. The coat-of-arms of Romegas.

Joining the Order of St John

The interest of European noble families during the 16th century to enrol their second or third born sons in the Order was a very popular thing. 7  Most probably all the preliminary investigations as well as the paperwork and documents which had to be submitted by Romegas’s parents prior to his enrolment and subsequent noviciate in the Order of St John, were filed in the Grand Priory of Toulouse, which was part of the Langue of Provence. 8

It was a winter day when on 16 December 1547, the eighteen year old Romegas enrolled in the Order.  Four days later, he took the Habit of a Knight.  After this, Romegas had to undertake the statutory two year apprenticeship completing at least four caravans 9 of six months each on the Order’s galleys.  His love for the sea probably dates back to this time.  At the time, the Captain-General of the Galleys was Jean Parisot de La Valette who was also from Gascogne.  A strong bond of friendship soon arose between them. 10

From then on, Romegas spent nearly all his life on the Order’s galleys.        Every morning a trumpet sounded the Diana.  There were morning, noon and evening prayers.  The Ave Maria marked the end of a day.  There was no time for a wash; personal hygiene left much to be desired.  The life which Romegas had chiefly spent at sea, gave him a savage look.

His life was an existence filled with perils of every kind: sudden attacks, adventures, successes and defeats.  There was constant risk of life, or of liberty, which could be regained only at the cost of enormous ransoms.  La Valette himself experienced such a misfortune and was made a Turkish galley slave in 1541.  To the list, one had to add the element of nature.

The Storm – 1555

On the night of September 23, 1555, the four galleys of the Order (the Santa Fede, Santa Maria della Vittoria, San Michele Archangelo and the San Claudio) were riding safely at anchor in their secure harbour, ready to leave for Messina.  Romegas was asleep at the rear of the newly built galley Santa Fede, when a freak whirlwind whipped across the sea, snapped the ships’ masts, and flipped the galleys over.  When dawn broke, all four galleys were floating upside down on the gray water.  Rescuers put out in boats to hunt for signs of life and to inspect the damage; when they heard a dull tapping coming from one of the ships, they smashed a hole in the hull and peered downward into the dark.  Out promptly hopped the ship’s monkey ‘gatto miamone’, 11 followed by Romegas, who had spent the whole night up to his shoulders in the cold water in an air pocket.  It was only when the vessels were righted with the help of buoyant air barrels that the full horror of the event became clear; the corpses of three hundred drowned Muslim slaves still chained to the benches floated in the water like ghosts. 12  The incident severely affected Romegas nervous system – it was said that ever after, his hands shook so much that he could not drink from a glass without spilling some of the contents. 13  It is unclear if the incident also affected Romegas’s character, for he is reputed to have been exacting with his men and harsh with prisoners.  What is certain is that he was totally committed to the defence of the Catholic faith, fighting with unbounded zeal, Protestants and Muslims alike. 14

Romegas maintained a fearsome reputation for seamanship, courage, and violence.  Within a few years he became the terror of the Muslims, leaving behind him a trail of terror and destruction wherever he chose to attack.  Muslim mothers invoked him as a bogeyman to frighten their children to bed; Many a Christian sea-side town or village, in particular Sicily and Italy, looked on Romegas as their shield and stalwart champion who had delivered them from the depredations of their enemy.  Rumours of his sudden appearances on the coasts of Greece brought the local populace thronging to the beach with gifts of fruit and poultry. 15

Corsairing

As Fernand Braudel points out, in the sixteenth century, the boldest western corsairs were the Knights of Malta, led, from about 1560, by Romegas. 16  He was also described as the ‘Prince of knights-errant, [who] scoured the sea in search of prey.’ 17

The line between crusading and lucrative piracy was wafer-thin; for the Venetians, the knights were merely “corsairs parading crosses”.  Romegas’s raids were comparatively small-scale affairs.  The knights could put to sea only a miniature fleet of five heavily armed galleys, but their reach stretched as far as the shores of Palestine, and their impact was dramatic.  Romegas never attacked an enemy ship without taking or sinking it, frequently engaging half a dozen Turkish vessels singlehandedly.  He was indestructible. 18

Figure 3. 16th century galley of the Order of St John.

Figure 3. 16th century galley of the Order of St John.

On one occasion, while Romegas was cruising off the coast of Sicily with the St Martha, he encountered a large galiot, under the command of the tyrant Calabrian renegade, Yusef (Giuseppe) Concini. The two gallies bore down upon one another.  The fight was maintained for five hours.  Finally, Romegas, enraged at such a long resistance, put himself at the head of his brave officers, shouting: “Concine, you old bastard, where are you? Here is Romegas!”   Concini replied: “And here is Concini, the son of the Devil.” A long hand-to-hand tussle ensued between them two.  Happening to fall by a blow from Romegas upon one of the rowers benches, the Christian slaves, to revenge the ill treatment they had received from him fell on Concini like famished dogs, tearing him to pieces; before they finished with him, he was left with hardly the frame of a man, as many of the smaller bones were missing, which they in their revenge had devoured. 19

In the summer of 1564, Romegas’s activities suddenly became very dramatic indeed. 20 On June 4, sailing off the west coast of Greece with the Order’s squadron, Romegas came upon a great Turkish carrack on her way from Venice to Constantinople, accompanied by a posse of Ottoman galleys.  Sensing a rich prize, the knights advanced into battle and captured the ship after a fierce fight.  It proved to be a valuable trophy; the ship belonged to the Kustir Aga, Chief of the Black Eunuchs, and the ‘imperial odalisques’ had shares in her cargo.  The galleon was sailed back to Malta, where it was soon to become a potent symbol of injured Ottoman pride. 21  There was great uproar in the seraglio.

Meanwhile, Romegas set out again with orders from the Grand Master La Valette to wreak more havoc on the sultan’s shipping.  He chose his targets unerringly.  Off the coast of Alexandria, he used his cannon to hole a large armed merchantman he captured its high-ranking passengers as they abandoned ship.  Among those taken prisoners was the eunuch Mohammed Bei, lord of Timar, governor of Cairo and lieutenant of Süleyman.  However the biggest prize was an old woman, Giansever Serchies, former nurse of Süleyman’s favorite daughter Mihrimah, who was returning from Mecca pilgrimage. 22Three days later Romegas captured the Sanjak of Alexandria, who was on his way to Istanbul on the sultan’s orders.  These notables were worth considerable ransom.  As Romegas sailed back to Malta with his galley laden with three hundred extra captives, word of each successive outrage filtered casino online back to Istanbul. 23  In a period of five years waging war against the infidel, it is said that he destroyed over than fifty Turkish galleys and liberated around two thousand Christian slaves. 24  Also, he often brought captured ships to Malta and put them up for auction. 25

Figure 4. Mihrimah, Süleyman the Magnificent’s favorite daughter by Cristofano dell’ Altissimo.

Figure 4. Mihrimah, Süleyman the Magnificent’s favorite daughter by Cristofano dell’ Altissimo.

The Siege of Malta – 1565

Süleyman had had enough.  Mihrimah advised her father to attack Malta, offering to equip 400 ships at her own expense. 26  It was time to crush and destroy the Order once and for all.  Although Romegas’s brazen raids were not the reactive cause of Süleyman’s decision to wipe the knights off the face of the earth, however they were simply the last straw. 27 28  A siege was decided.

During the hectic weeks before the arrival of the Turkish armada, Romegas was kept busy escorting the ships carrying those Maltese who were evacuated

to Sicily for safety, and returning to Malta with large supplies of corn and various companies of foreign soldiers and volunteers. 29

Finally, on the 18 May 1565, the Turkish fleet appeared off Malta.  In a show of bravado, the Captain-General of the Galleys and the 35 year old Romegas sailed out of the Grand Harbour in battle order with flag flying, to reconnoiter the approaching enemy armada. 30  But perhaps even this fire-eater was daunted by the number of ships that covered the sea to the east of Malta. 31

From the first day of the siege up to the departure of the Turks, Romegas played a prominent role.  Since he was the captain of La Valette’s personal bodyguards, Romegas accompanied the Grand Master wherever he went. 32  He was always on the front, never afraid to sacrifice his life for the Order.  All chroniclers of the Siege refer to him as a brave and courageous knight.

Infact, when the Turks made an orderly reconnaissance in force against Birgu (21 May) in order to intimidate the defenders, La Valette unleashed some of his men.  According to Balbi, among the leading knights was Romegas. 33

On another occassion, when the need to acquire reliable intelligence on Turkish movements and intentions was a crucial necessity, La Valette offered a reward of 50 scudi for the capture, alive, of a Turkish soldier.  So great was the wish of Romegas to help the Grand Master that, had the latter allowed it, he himself would have gone out alone on this mission.  A first attempt was made by Romegas’ men who went out in a small boat during night in order to intercept some Turks, however, the mission was intercepted by an enemy brigantine and the crew were forced to jump into the sea and swim back to safety.  Romegas offered a hefty hundred scudi out of his own pocket for a second attempt, but this similarly produced no tangible result. 34

Figure 5. Romegas (far right) depicted by Matteo Perez d’Aleccio, in command of the cannon post.

Figure 5. Romegas (far right) depicted by Matteo Perez d’Aleccio, in command of the cannon post.

Again, when La Valette made an attempt to send relief to St Elmo, Romegas was among those who volunteered.  Five barges under his command were put to sea in the dark.  Midway, they were subjected to a hail of shots from the enemy; this forced them to retreat.  Romegas’s boat which had advanced more than the other four towards St Elmo, was lucky enough to beat a hasty retreat to safety without casualties. 35

Not only was he present in the mélée of long hours fighting but the tireless Romegas was also among the knights who assisted in the fortification works because of his knowledge and experience in fortification. 36  And after the Turks raised the siege and made haste to flee the island, it was Romegas with some other men whom the Grand Maser immediately sent to hoist once more the victorious standard of the Order; a white cross on a red field, on the battered fortress of St Elmo. 37

Back in France

During the siege there were several occasions when Romegas was wounded.  He was badly hit in both legs by splinters of rock; rumors even had it that he was killed.  Infact, in 1570 the Spanish historian Pedro de Salazar, counted Romegas among the victims of the Siege and wrote him a short elogy. 38

However, Romegas was alive and kicking.  At the request of the Pope, in autumn 1567, Romegas returned back to his home country France, to hammer and liquidate the Huguenot forces.  Romegas had a private axe to grind for the Huguenots had sacked the Collegiate Church of La Romieu which housed the tombs of his family and the remains of his ancestors.  He returned to his commanderie in Rouergue, south of France, and set himself under the command of the illustrious Blaise de Monluc who was related to him. 39

Figure 6. Blaise de Monluc.

Figure 6. Blaise de Monluc.

On 30 September, after travelling all night on horseback, Romegas together with the Vice-Seneschal de La Chapelle, joined Monluc at the city of Lectoure.  They immediately informed him of a surprise attack by the Huguenots which was on its way. 40

Romegas accompanied Monluc at the Siege of Mont-de-Marsan where he saved Monluc from drowning.  On their return to Lectoure, the town was placed under Romegas’s protection. 41

When the Protestant army under the command of Prince de Condé and the admiral de Coligny attacked and burned the village of Golfech, 42Romegas came to their aid by generously donated 80 livres for the Church, 100 livres to buy two new bells for the church and another 400 livres to restore the ruin castle in a state of defence. 43

As reward for Romegas’s important contribution in France, Monluc not only showered him with words of praise, but also offered him a very expensive Spanish horse which was priced at 275 écus. 44

The Battle of Lepanto – 1571

During the period from the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453 up to 1565, the Ottomans insisted on a policy of expansion.  In sixteen sea battles fought their navy had not been defeated once.  Yet the Siege of Malta had shown the world that the Turkish might was not invincible after all.  It was a sensible setback but it did not damage the fame of the Turks in the Mediterranean; although they were humiliated at Malta, the resources were still immense. 45

Pope Pius V had wished to form a Holy League. Negotiations began in June 1570 and a year later, the Pope invited Romegas, to join his fleet at Messina.  Although Pope Pius had confirmed Marc Antonio Colonna in the post of high admiral, his disappointing performance during a previous expedition, required someone competent in maritime matters to be appointed to assist him.  For the sake of Colonna’s dignity and the Holy See’s prestige, it was necessary to find someone neutral but of recognized international standing.  Pope Pius had no doubt about the right person for the job: the celebrated Romegas. 46

Romegas did not hesitate and ten days later climbed aboard Colonna’s flagship as the superintendent of the papal 15 galleys.  He is said to have quickly set order.

In a manuscript of the Bibliothèque du Roi (Number 10088) is an account of the Battle of Lepanto written by Romegas. 47  There he recounts that Don John the generalissimo of the Christian armada, left Messina on 16 September heading 208 galleys, 6 galleasses, 25 big ships and 40 fregate.  They sailed to Corfu, and three days later to Gomenizze where all personnel were counted and found to be: 12,000 Italians, 8,000 Spanish, 3,000 Germans, 3,000 adventurers and other sailors. 48

As time went by, it became increasingly clear with every successive sighting from the crows’ nests, that the Ottoman had more ships.  Even Venier, the grizzled old Venetian, suddenly fell quiet.  Don Juan felt compelled to hold yet one more conference on his Real to decide the best course of action.  He asked Romegas for his opinion.  The fire-eating Gascon answered while gesturing at the huge Christians fleet around the Real: ‘Sir, I say that if the Emperor your father had once seen such a fleet as this, he wouldn’t have stopped until he was emperor of Constantinople, and he would have done it without difficulty.’  ‘You mean we must fight, then, Monsieur Romegas?’ enquired Don Juanagain.  ‘Yes, Sir.’  ‘Very well, let’s fight!’ 49

The two fleets met near an islet today known as Oxia, but which at the time was called Isole Curzolari (the name included some smaller islets). For this reason the Venetians often called the fight as the battle of the Curzolari Islands.

Don Juan steadied himself on the poop of the Real with Marc Antonio Colonna and Romegas in the papal flagship on one side, Venier on the other. 50 Colonna and Romegas captured one galley, then turned to consider the next target.  “What shall we go for next?” asked Colonna.  “Take another galley or help the Real?”  Romegas seized the tiller himself and turned the ship toward the Sultana’s stern. 51

Figure 7. Formation of the vessels before the Battle of Lepanto.

Figure 7. Formation of the vessels before the Battle of Lepanto.

Before the battle, Romegas vowed that the first Turkish captain he would capture would be presented to the church in Malta.  This happened to be a cruel Turk who lost his right hand during the battle.  This Turk was given to the St John Church and later converted to Christianity. 52  According to Muzio Manfredi, a sixteenth century Italian poet, during the Battle of Lepanto, Romegas played an important role – even a decisive one. 53  Colonna wrote to Rome saying that Romegas was the architect of victory. 54

When Marc Antonio Colonna entered Rome on 4 December, all eyes were turned on Romegas who, as superintendent of the papal galleys, had the honour of carrying the papal banner.  Pope Pius kept Romegas for a while in Rome.  He gave Romegas five of his personal servants, made him a member of his Council and ordered everyone to consult in military matters with him before a decision be taken. 55

Figure 8. Romegas holding the Pontificial banner by Tommaso Dolabella.

Figure 8. Romegas holding the Pontificial banner by Tommaso Dolabella.

It was in the years following Lepanto that Romegas, who was appointed as Turcopolier of the Order, Captain-General of the Order’s Galley’s from 1575 to 1577 and Grand Prior of Toulouse and Ireland, had set his mark on the history of Maltese privateering.  With his four galleys and in close collaboration with three Tuscan galleys, he made several prizes in the Levant in 1577. 56

The Conspiracy

With a lifetime of continuous success, Romegas held several onerous posts in the Order.  He appeared to be destined to be elected Grand Master of the Order in due time.  He would probably have achieved that highest honour of his Order had it not been for the sinister machinations of some senior knights who used his influence and prestige for their own end. 57 A schism developed between the older, more conservative knights and the younger generation during the grand-mastership of La Cassiere.

Many different reasons contributed to incense the factious part of the community against the Grand Master who had, with great justice, forbidden the knights of the different languages to show any partiality towards their respective sovereigns.  La Cassiere, with even more propriety, had banished all courtesans from the suburbs and city La Valetta, and commanded them either to retire to those villages which were situated at the greatest distance from the convent, or to quit the island. 58

The rebels having, as they thought, taken every necessary measure to ensure the success of their plans, held a tumultuous assembly, in which they complained of the government of the Grand Master, whom they accused of having dissipated the sacred patrimony of the order, of having neglected its affairs, of leaving the magazines of Malta void of proper stores and of not maintaining the island in a state of defence against the different enterprises of the Turks and Barbary corsairs.  They even impudently pushed their calumny to such great lengths, as to accuse him of secret intelligence with the enemies of the Christian name.  They likewise attacked his moral conduct adding, that it was easy to judge, from all his actions, that his great age made him incapable of governing, and that he invariably fell asleep in Council. 59

Romegas is reputed to have fathered at least six illegitimate children when in Malta – to confirm to anyone who doubted it that no silly vow of chastity stood in his way. 60  Therefore, they unanimously appointed Romegas as Lieutenant of the Grand Master; he accepted that office with alacrity.  Also, they imprisoned La Cassiere in Fort St Angelo.

This was not the first instance encountered in the story of the Order in which the statutes were set aside in favour of schismatics.  So far back as the grandmastership of Fulk de Villaret (1309), a faction of knights rebelled against this haughty Grand Master and instead, elected Maurice de Pagnac as their Master, who immediately arrested Fulk de Villaret.  Later, Pope John XXII summoned them both to Avignon.  This schism was not settled till 1382. 61

Romegas was warned to relinquish immediately the office.  His close friend d’Arsac la Douse, pointed to him the perils on which he was embarking.  Alas, Romegas turned a deaf ear to all the wise advice of his sincere friend.

The news of Grand Master La Cassiere’s imprisonment by Romegas reached Rome around July 24, 1581.  This caused quite a commotion.  Pope Gregory XIII, indignantly summoned both parties to Rome to answer for their actions.  Romegas and his supporters left Malta on board the galley S. Giacomo on the 28 September 1581.  Once in Rome, Romegas was given a cold reception and was even reduced to rent lodgings at his own expense.  While in the house of the Roman notable Pier Antonio Bandini, father of Cardinal Ottavio and the knight Fra Giulio, Romegas viewed with silent mortification the triumphant entry which La Cassiere was given on his arrival in Rome;  Pier Antonio was among the few in Rome who still held Romegas in esteem.  He had invited him to dinner in his house to show him his support. 62

Figure 9. Pier Antonio Bandini.

Figure 9. Pier Antonio Bandini.

Badly disillusioned, Romegas fell into a deep depression and was gripped by a fever which confined him to bed.  An attempt by the doctors to drain some fluid from his legs was not successful and he died a few days later, during the early hours of 4 November. 63  The most famous of the Order’s sailors was only 51 years old.

Pierre de Bourdeille, Seigneur de Brantôme, who knew Romegas very well and who held him in great esteem wrote that everyone was claiming openly that Romegas was poisoned. 64  In compliance with La Cassiere’s order, all knights who were then in Rome participated in the spectacular funeral of Romegas which was held with great pomp in the church of the Santissima Trinità dei Monti where the former hero of so many battles was buried. 65

 Figure 10. The 80 cm x 200 cm white marble slab stone found at Trinità dei Monti Church and which recalls Romegas’ brave deeds.


Figure 10. The 80 cm x 200 cm white marble slab stone found at Trinità dei Monti Church and which recalls Romegas’ brave deeds.

To date, no monument was ever commissioned in his birth town, Mansonville, or in Malta.  However, one can admire is his portrait in the Salle des Illustres (Hall of Fame) of Auch, France.  There, Romegas is among the illustrious thirty-nine men of the region. The painting was donated in 1867, by the Marquis Gustave René d’Aux.

His name will be remember in history as the finest seaman who the Order of St John ever produced.

1

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Notes:

  1. Abbé de Vertot, Histoire des chevaliers de Saint-Jean de Jerusalem appelés depuis chevaliers de Rhode et aujourd’hui chevaliers de Malte, (1761), Vol. 7, p. 54; Carmel Testa, Romegas, (2002), p. 63.
  2. Niccolo Capponi, Victory of the West: The Story of the Battle of Lepanto, (2007), p. 208.
  3. There are various forms in books how the surname is written: Lescut, Lescaut, Lescur, Lescu and L’Escure.
  4. The sobriquet ‘Romegas’ was the name of an extensive estate which his grandfather, Jean de Lescout, had acquired on 25 July 1498, from the Count of d’Armagnac, before the Notary Brugnerys. Guy de Rubercy, Essai Genealogique de la Maison d’Aux, (1982), p. 59.
  5. Louis Richon, in his article, ‘Le Chevalier de Romegas’, points out that Romegas date of birth is still obscure. Société Archéologique et Historique du Gers, Quatrième Trimestre 1976, p. 384. In France, the feast day of the name ‘Mathurin’, was on the 9th November.
  6. Guy de Rubercy, Essai Genealogique de la Maison d’Aux, (1982), p. 60.
  7. Thomas Freller, Malta the Order of St John, (2004), p. 66.
  8. Carmel Testa, Romegas, (2002), pp. 3-4.
  9. ‘Caravans’: term given to military expeditions against the infidels. René Borricand, Malte, (1968), p. 143.
  10.  Carmel Testa, Romegas, (2002), p. 4; Niccolo Capponi, Victory of the West: The Story of the Battle of Lepanto, (2007), p. 208.
  11. ‘Gatto maimone’ in the south of Italy, meant a small monkey.  
  12. Roger Crowley, Empires of the Sea, (2008), p. 78.
  13. Ibid. p. 86.
  14. Niccolo Capponi, Victory of the West: The Story of the Battle of Lepanto, (2007), p. 208.
  15. Roger Crowley, Empires of the Sea, (2008), p.86.
  16. Fernard Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, (1966), vol.ii, pp. 875-6.
  17. Stanley Lane-Poole, The Story of the Barbary Corsairs, (1890), p. 142.
  18. Desmond Seward, The Monks of War, (1995), p. 274.
  19. Abbe de Vertot, The History of the Knights of Malta, (1989), vol. ii, p. 185; Antonio Rallo, ‘Corsari Nelle Egadi:Yusef Concini’, In Il Giornale delle Egadi, Dicembre 1995.
  20. Roger Crowley, Empires of the Sea, (2008), p. 86.
  21. Ibid.; Desmond Seward, The Monks of War, (1995), p. 277.
  22. Balbi, The Siege of Malta 1565, (1965), pp. 28-29; Carmel Testa, Romegas, (2002), p. 71.
  23. Roger Crowley, Empires of the Sea, (2008), p. 87.
  24. Michael Buttigieg, Is-Salib u n-Nofs Qamar, (1995), p. 74.
  25. David Abulafia, The Great Sea, (2011), p. 435.
  26. Christine Isom-Verhaaren, ‘Süleyman and Mihrimah: the Favorite Daughter’, in:  Journal of Persianate Studies, (2011), Volume 4, Issue 1, pages 64 – 85.
  27. Christine Isom-Verhaaren, ‘Süleyman and Mihrimah: the Favorite Daughter’, in:  Journal of Persianate Studies, (2011), Volume 4, Issue 1, pages 64 – 85.
  28. Roger Crowley, Empires of the Sea, (2008), p. 89.
  29. Balbi, The Siege of Malta, (1961), p. 43.
  30. Claire E. Engel, Le Grand Siège Malte 1565-1965, (1965), p. 20.
  31. Ernle Bradford, The Great Siege Malta 1565, (1961), p. 57.
  32. Stephen Spiteri, The Great Siege Knights vs Turks mdlxv, (2005), p. 315.
  33. Balbi, The Siege of Malta, (1961), p.  49; Stephen Spiteri, The Great Siege Knights vs Turks mdlxv, (2005), p. 74.
  34. Ibid. p. 137; Roger Crowley, Empires of the Sea, (2008), p. 164.
  35. Carmel Testa, Romegas, (2002), p. 79; Claire E. Engel, Le Grande Siège Malte 1565-1965, (1965), p. 43.
  36. Stephen Spiteri, The Great Siege Knights vs Turks mdlxv, (2005), p. 362.
  37. Bosio, Dell’Istoria della Sacra Religione et Illustrissima Militia di San Giovanni Gierosolimitano, (1683), t.iii, p. 669.
  38. Louis Richon, ‘Le Chevalier de Romegas’, Société Archéologique et Historique du Gers, Quatrième Trimestre 1976, p. 386.
  39. Roman D’Amat, Dictionnaire de Biographie Française, (1948), t.iv, pp.782-3.
  40. Blaise de Monluc, Les Commentaire, T.III, p.36.
  41. Ibid.  p. 244.
  42. In 1447, Romegas’ grandfather, Jean de Beauville was involved in a dispute against the Order of St John concerning Golfech, which ended up in front of the King of France. M.A Bourg, Histoire du Grand-Prieuré de Toulouse, (1883), p. 317.
  43. M.A. du Bourg, Histoire du Grand-Prieuré de Toulouse, (1883), p. 322.
  44. Blaise de Monluc, Les Commentaire, T.III, p. 352.
  45. Joseph Muscat, ‘Lepanto – one of the greatest naval battles’, in From the Great Siege to the Battle of Lepanto, George Cassar ed., (2011), pp. 99-100.
  46. Niccolo Capponi, Victory of the West: The Story of the Battle of Lepanto, (2007), p. 207; P. Debofle, Société Archaéologique et Historique du Gers, Quatrième Trimestre, 1994, p. 429.
  47. E. Hamilton Currey, Sea Wolves of the Mediterranean: The Grand Period of the Moslem Corsairs, (1910), p. 360.
  48. Joseph Muscat, ‘Lepanto – one of the greatest naval battles’, in From the Great Siege to the Battle of Lepanto, George Cassar ed., (2011), p. 120.
  49. Roger Crowley, Empires of the Sea, (2008), p. 256.
  50. Ibid. p. 268.
  51. Ibid. p. 272.
  52. Michael Buttigieg, Is-Salib u n-Nofs Qamar, (1995), pp. 74-75.
  53. Louis Richon, ‘Le Chevalier de Romegas’, Société Archéologique et Historique du Gers, Quatrième Trimestre 1976, p. 388.
  54. Michael Galea, Grand Master Jean Levesque de La Cassiere 1572-1581, (1994), p. 76.
  55. Carmel Testa, Romegas, (2002), P. 133.
  56. Salvatore Bono, ‘Naval Exploits and Privateering’, in Hospitaller Malta 1530-1798, Ed. Victor Mallia-Milanes, (1993), p. 359.
  57. Louis de Boisgelin, Ancient and Modern Malta, Vol. 2, (1988), p. 144.
  58. Ibid. p. 145.
  59. Ibid. p. 146.
  60. Giovanni Bonello, ‘Monkeys in Maltese history, art and language’, The Sunday Times of Malta, April 27, 2014.
  61. Alexander Sutherland, The Achievements of the Knights of Malta, (1831), T. I, pp. 270-2; T. ii, p. 315.
  62. Carmel Testa, Romegas, (2002), p. 208.
  63. David Dandria, ‘1581 affair ended by death, diplomacy’, Sunday Times of Malta, June 20, 2011
  64. Claire E. Engel, Le Grand Siège Malte 1565-1965, (1965), p. 112
  65. Vincenzo Forcella, Iscrizioni delle Chiese e d’Altari Edificii di Roma dal Secolo XI Fino ai Giorni Nostri, (1873), vol. III, p. 137; Revue de Gascogne, (1861), p. 208.

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