Maltese Rebellion 1775
also known as the "Rebellion of the Priests"

In 1773, Francisco Ximenes de Texada, an Aragonese, was elected Grand Master of the Knights of St. John. Thorough reforms were expected of him, but he disappointed expectations. By ruling in the manner of an absolute monarch, he infringed upon the rights of the Maltese clergy. A rise in the price of (imported) wheat caused the Maltese to suffer, poverty to increase. Public sentiment turned against Ximenes, and clergymen organized a rebellion, lead by priest Don Gaetano Mannarino (a figurehead, said to have been simple-minded). On September 1st 1775, the rebels took two fortresses by surprise, St. Elmo and St. James' Cavalier, took down the Order's flag and hoisted the Maltese flag instead.
The population failed to come out in support of the rebellion; negotiations, mediated by Monsignor Pellerano, then Bishop of Malta - the rebel priests disobeyed the state, but not their bishop - resulted in a truce; then the rebel leaders were arrested and tried, several of them were executed, Mannarino sentenced to life in prison; others were exiled. Unpopular Grand Master Ximenes died on November 9th 1775, age 72.

Important Works under the Knights, from Knights of Malta
Francisco Ximenes de Texada, from SMOM
Francisco Ximenes de Texada, from History of the Knights of Malta

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 18th 2004, last revised on November 19th 2004

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