Copyright © The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica : Journal of the Malta Historical Society. 14(2004)1(67-94)

[p.67] Bibliographical notes on Melitensia - 2

Albert Ganado

In continuation of the bibliographical notes I started publishing in Melita Historica in 2003, I thought of turning my attention to the earliest descriptions and/or guide books of the Maltese islands published under British rule.

A resident officer

Without any doubt the first description of Malta under British rule was that written in Malta by an officer residing here for quite some time during the French occupation. It is entitled: A description of Malta, with a sketch of its history and that of its fortifications, translated from the Italian, with notes, by an Officer resident on the island. The Preface is signed and dated as follows: "The Translator, Malta, 30th December 1800". The book (19 cm) was published in Malta in 1801. It consists of these pages: preface (iv), index (one unnumbered), text (95), and one unnumbered with errata and two notes. It was dedicated to Major-General Henry Pigot "Commanding the Allied Forces, at the surrender of the important islands of Malta, and its Dependencies".[1]

The anonymous translator stated in the preface that the account he was publishing was written in French in 1792 by an anonymous traveller, but his translation was made from an Italian copy. The description of Malta therefore was to be considered a fair picture of the general appearance of Malta previous to the French occupation. This description was accompanied by a short 'abridgement' of the island's history. The Italian copy of the French original had 'accidentally' fallen into his hands 'during a residence on the Island'.

A geographical description of Malta is followed by a tour of Valletta, Città Vecchia, the interior of the island, and Gozo. The account then passes on to various headings, namely, population, fertility, commerce, ancient usages, manners and customs, festivals, language, poetry and climate. Apart from a sketch of the history of Malta, the book contains also observations on the physical constitution of the islands and a 'historical abridgement of the fortifications of Valetta and its dependencies from the arrival of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem'. The translator warned that this latter abridgement was an extract from another author.

The anonymous translator added to the text some footnotes of his own which make interesting reading. For instance, after recording that the French with their usual [p.68] rapacity stripped the beautiful Church of St John of almost everything valuable,[2] he added that even statues of bronze were pillaged merely for the value of the metal. A large statue of Grand Master Cotoner was taken from the entrance to the work which bore his name and it was found on board 'the Athenian Man of War' when the British entered Valletta.[3] Another footnote gives the Maltese version of the Pater Noster.[4]

The book being examined is a translation of the book published anonymously in 1791 entitled Malte par un voyageur François. The translator was therefore right to state that the French original was written by a traveller, but he mistook the date. Possibly, the date 1792 was on the Italian version he came across. Whoever undertook the Italian translation might have intended to publish it in that year. This Italian version is not known.

The author of the French book was François-Emmanuel Guignard, comte de Saint-Priest (1735-1821), but the authorship remained obscure for a long time. The text is illustrated with various engravings, including a plan of the harbour area and a map of the Maltese islands signed by Sebastiano Ittar (1768-1847).[5] The English translation being examined does not have any illustration.

In the page at the end of the book containing the errata, the translator apologized for the errors and explained that these were due to the difficulty of printing English correctly in a foreign press (meaning Malta) without a person on the spot to superintend its progress. He added that these errors had delayed the publication of the book. Proposals for subscriptions had been published, and the work was sent to the press just a week later, on 3 January 1801. This could be an indication that the proposals met with a favourable response.

The question to be resolved is an intriguing one: who was the author of this book? The two officers that come to mind as having resided in Malta in 1800, when [p.69] this book seems to have been compiled, are General Thomas Graham (1748-1843)[6] and Captain James Weir of the Marine Forces.

Graham arrived in Malta on 9 December 1799 in command of about 800 rank and file of the 30th and 89th Foot regiments. He lived at Villa Dorell[7] in Gudia, and occasionally in Lija at the house of Count Luigi Preziosi.[8] Immediately after the French capitulation, signed on 5 September 1800, he gave up his command and requested six months' leave of absence to go home. He left Malta on 15 September, arrived at Messina on the 21st, whence he sailed for Trieste. He proceeded to Verona and was still there in February 1801. As the preface of the book is dated 'Malta, 30th December 1800', it seems to exclude Graham if the place and date are both correct.

Captain Weir, on the other hand, arrived in Malta in March 1799, he was appointed Major by Nelson on 6 December 1799, stayed in Malta throughout the rest of the siege, and left for Elba in command of a Maltese detachment where he landed on 11 October 1801.[9] Possibly, therefore, James Weir is the author of this book.

Wilkinson

The second book published in the early days of British rule with the purpose of conveying information on the Maltese islands to the English-speaking public appeared in London in 1804. It was entitled Epitome of the history of Malta and Gozo and was printed by W. Bulmen and Co. of Cleveland-row, St. James's, for William Miller of Old Bond Street. It consists of 210 pages (17 cm) with an additional smaller page for 'Errata'. The author was Charles Wilkinson.

[p.70]

Fig. 1. Map of the Maltese Islands by Sebastiano Ittar published in Chevalier Saint-Priest's book Malte par un voyageur Français, Malta, 1791. (© Albert Ganado collection)

[p.71]

Fig. 2. Map of the Maltese Islands published by William Miller, of Old Bond Street, London, for the book by Charles Wilkinson Epitomes of the history of Malta and Gozo, London 1804 (© Albert Ganado collection)

[p.72] In his preface the author stated that, from the information he had been able to collect on the subject, it appeared "that we possess no historical account of the Islands of Malta and Gozo in our own language". The British public, the author considered, would welcome some description of the ancient and modern state of the islands, their productions, and inhabitants, since England had added them as a bulwark to her Mediterranean trade.

Wilkinson wrote that he knew about the works of Count Gio. Antonio Ciantar, Jean Houel, Chevalier St Priest and the anonymous Francophile pamphlet Recherches Historiques et Politiques sur Malte.[10] Patrick Brydone's observations on Malta he dismissed as 'the cursory remarks of a traveller'. Consequently, he had endeavoured to collect all the information which might be useful and satisfactory.

In view of the fact that 'Malta owes all her grandeur and wealth to the Order, and as the history of the latter is so intimately blended with that of the Island', Wilkinson decided to include in his book a short account of 'that illustrious body of Knights'.

Wilkinson made no mention of the anonymous 1801 description of Malta discussed in the first part of the present paper. It is possible, though unlikely, that he did not know about it. As regards the account of Malta, the author of the 1801 publication frankly stated that his was just a translation of St Priest's book. On the other hand, Wilkinson plagiarized St Priest's account without acknowledging the source. All he stated in the preface was that St Priest had compiled a small work in 1791, but probably very few copies had reached England as the book was printed in Malta. In contrast, he gave the reader to understand that the short account of the Knights had been culled from the works of Abbè Vertot.

As already stated, St Priest's book contained a map of the Maltese islands engraved and signed by Sebastiano Ittar;[11] it is a small map (100 x 235 mm) in the French language. Wilkinson's book has a map of approximately the same size (115 x 250 mm) in the English language which was not signed by the engraver but it carries the publisher's imprint and the date: Published Jan.y 11th. 1804 by, Wm. Miller Old Bond Street. On this map there is the following note in the 'Errata' page: [p.73] "By an inadvertency of the Engraver the words Città Vecchia should have been engraved over the word Rabato in the island of Malta".

Wilkinson's book was followed in 1810 by William Domeier's work: Observations on the climate, manners and amusements of Malta published in London. It was described by Dr Paul Xuereb as a detailed vademecum for the visitor. Unfortunately, the present writer had no opportunity to examine the original as the copy at the National Library of Malta is missing and the University Library has only a microfilm copy.

Pericciuoli Borzesi

The first proper guide book was printed and published in Malta in 1830. Written by Giuseppe Pericciuoli Borzesi of Siena, it was entitled: The historical guide of the Island of Malta and its Dependencies, and it was dedicated to Mr Henry Ponsonby. It had 90 pages of text, with an index in two pages, and it was printed at the Government Press. Uncut it measured 16 cm.

The text was preceded by two unnumbered pages with the dedication in English and Italian. These were followed by a map of the Maltese islands facing the first page of the text. Like the book by St Priest, this guide book is divided in three parts; the first part deals with the history of Malta, the second part, the most interesting section, guides the visitor round the towns and villages of the island of Malta, while the third part describes Gozo and Comino.[12]

Henry Ponsonby, whom the author addressed as 'the Noble young Gentleman', was the eldest child of Major-General Frederick Cavendish Ponsonby (1783-1837) who governed Malta between 1827 and 1836. When Sir Frederick and Lady Emily Ponsonby arrived in Malta in February 1827, Henry was their only child. They were to have another five children, four of them born in Malta.[13] In his dedication of the book to Henry Ponsonby, dated 8 March 1830,[14] Pericciuoli Borzesi noted that he had been encouraged in the preparation of his 'little work' by the hope that it might afford the young gentleman some beneficial entertainment then in his first years. He trusted that it might thereafter be an introduction to a more mature examination of the subjects of which it treated.[15]

[p.74]

Fig. 3. List of subscribers to the reprint of the guide book by Giuseppe Pericciuoli Boerzesi issud from the Government Press in Malta in 1832 or 1833. (© Albert Ganado collection)

[p75] The map, measuring 98 x 230 mm, is a faithful copy of the map engraved by Ittar for St Priest, with some slight differences. For instance, the place name of Ramla Bay in Gozo has been omitted and the scale bars have also been left out.

This guide book was mentioned in the report on the freedom of the press submitted to the Secretary of State for the Colonies on 10 March 1837 by the Royal Commissioners John Austin and George Cornewall Lewis.[16] They recorded that 500 copies of the book had been printed. They added that for the first sheets of this work the author had paid the expenses of printing, but not meeting with the number of subscribers he expected, the charge of printing was abated for the latter part of the work; this notwithstanding he incurred a loss, and left the island in poverty, the sale of his book being very slow.

In the light of what is stated in the Royal Commissioners' report, it is rather curious to discover that there was a second edition of Pericciuoli Borzesi's guide book. The title page, the dedication and the whole ninety pages plus index are exactly the same as those in the first edition. However, there are two additional features. Firstly, a nineteen-page short dissertation written in Italian intended to prove that the Maltese islands were the remains of the lost continent of Atlantis, entitled Che Malta, Comino e Gozo siano gli avanzi della antica Atlantide. Secondly, a two-page list of subscribers to the book.

The dissertation on Atlantis is unsigned, but it was almost certainly written by the renowned Giorgio Grognet (or Grongnet) de Vassé, the architect who designed the parish church of the village of Mosta, whose dome is the third largest in the world. In his investigations and research on the 'mythical' Atlantis, Grognet became convinced that it was not mythical at all and that the Maltese archipelago in the Central Mediterranean stood as a testimony of its existence and its site. He upheld this theory with undeterred fanaticism.[17]

In his guide book Pericciuoli Borzesi wrote that in front of the Auberge de Provence there was the study of Grognet, adding that: "This very capable engineer [p.76] preserves in lithography the form of a stone which is said to be antediluvian, found at Città Vecchia, and which he afterwards sent to Paris for trial of its antiquity". A Latin translation of the inscription engraved on this stone was then given, together with a transcription of another Latin inscription found on the side of the stone, signed by T. Sempronius, certifying that the stone was Atlantean.[18]

In this dissertation inserted in the second edition, the writer stated that the stone, which was in a perfect state of conservation, was found in May 1826 and the Atlantico-phoenician inscription engraved on this precious relic placed its seal and settled for ever the great vexed question of Atlantis. He added that the signature referred to Tiberius Sempronius Longus of 218 BC.[19]

Grognet had in his possession a letter dated 7 May 1826 signed by Don Giuseppe Felice Galea addressed to him from Città Vecchia (Notabile or Mdina), informing him that during deep excavations carried out in the foundations of the yard of his house, a large stone had been found, covered with what looked like a Phoenician script. This stone he was donating to Grognet, for him to discover the significance of the inscription.

During his stay in Rome between 1810 and 1814, Grognet had befriended Marquis Agricol de Fortia d'Urban, Membre de plusiers Académies en France, en Italie, et en Allemagne. Grognet therefore decided to inform his friend of the exciting discovery. On 13 June 1827 he sent him a copy of Galea's letter, with a copy of the inscription and the alphabet of its text. On 30 August 1827 Don Giuseppe Felice Galea wrote separately to the Marquis from Città Senglea confirming his casual discovery and informing him that he had presented the stone to Grognet as a gift. On 7 January 1828 the Marquis addressed in Paris the Asiatic Society on the matter and presented the lithographs which had been made from the copy sent by Grognet.

This discovery created a sensation among the European savants. In Italy, for instance, august personages like Mezzofanti in Bologna, Valeriani in Florence and Lanzi in Rome were dedicating all their time to the study of this exceptional archaeological monument. On 10 March 1829 this 'precious' stone reached Marquis de Fortia through the services of M. d'Aiguillé, the chancellor of the French consulate in Malta, accompanied with a report on the nature and character of the stone drawn up by the Maltese sculptor Sigismondo Dimech (1769-1853).[20]

[p.77]

Fig. 4. Portrait of Sir george Cornewall Lewis (1806-1853), finely engraved by D.J. Pourd, 215 x 170 mm. Lewis was ont of the royal Commissioners appointed in 1836 to inquire into the affairs of Malta. In 1847 he was elected to the House of Commons. (© Albert Ganado collection)

[p.78]

Fig. 5. The Alphabet used on the so-called 'Atlantis stone'. Lithograph (195 x 135 mm) printed in Paris after a drawing made by Giorgio Grognet de Vassé (© Albert Ganado collection)

[p.79] As time went on various savants started having serious doubtsabout the authenticity of the Grognet stone, which by 1832 had deteriorated considerably. On 7 September 1832, M. Louis-Domeny de Rienzi, Membre de plusiers Académies et Sociétés Savantes, de France, de Rome, des Indes, etc., etc., wrote a letter to Marquis de Fortia in which he accused Grognet, whom he had known in Rome, as an impostor with a fertile imagination, not to be trusted. The letter was published in Paris in 1832 with the title: Question importante de manuscripts et inscriptions antiques. Réponse a M. le Marquis de Fortia d'Urban.[21]

Even before the publication of this letter, Grognet must have got wind of what was brewing in Paris. Indeed, in a footnote to the dissertation the writer, presumably Grognet, remarked unconvincingly that the interpretation of the stone made by the savant Baron Saci (Sacy) had not yet reached him, but he had been assured that it was only slightly different from his own.[22]

It is extremely likely that this second edition of the guide book was published at the instance of Grognet with the intent of vindicating his stance on Atlantis by inserting the dissertation on its site. Perhaps Grognet even bore part of the expense. Although the date on the title page was not changed, it does not necessarily mean that the book was reprinted in 1830. The year 1832 is more likely. Certainly, the reissue was planned before September 1832 because two of the subscribers, namely, Lt George Whitmore and Jane Frere, left Malta on 11 September 1832,[23] while another subscriber, Baron Paolo Sceberras Bologna, passed away on 4 October 1832.[24] The list of 104 subscribers included the Governor and Lady Ponsonby, as well as the Hon. J. Ponsonby.

In 1834 an anonymous pamphlet was published at the Malta Government Press on the volcanic island which appeared to the north-west of Malta in 1831.[25] According to the Royal Commissioners' report mentioned above it was written by Pericciuoli Borzesi, the author of the guide book. The report says that 500 copies [p.80] were printed at his expense and he left Malta shortly afterwards in very reduced circumstances.[26]

Martin

The next book to be considered is much more than a simple guide book. It deals with Malta extensively as one of Britain's possessions in the middle sea. The book (17.2 cm), in a hard cover, is entitled History of the British Possessions in the Mediterranean: comprising Gibraltar, Malta, Gozo, and the Ionian Islands, written by Robert Montgomery Martin, F.S.S., published in London in 1837 as the seventh volume in the series 'The British Colonial Library'. It consists of 408 pages, but the largest section is devoted to Malta; it occupies the pages from 112 to 296 of Book II.

The volume contains an engraved view of Gibraltar facing the frontispiece and maps of the three possessions described in the book. The Malta map entitled MALTA AND GOZO shows the Maltese islands, with an inset of VALLETTA AND ITS FORTIFICATIONS at the bottom left corner. Measuring 100 x 170 mm, it was drawn and engraved by J. & C. Walker, and published by Whittaker & Co., of Ave Maria Lane, London.

Dealing with Malta and Gozo, the second book of the volume is divided into four chapters. The first chapter gives a synopsis of the history of Malta, but it dwells extensively on the history of the Order of St John in Malta and the Great Siege of 1565. The second chapter starts with the geography and physical aspect of the island and passes on to describe the fortifications, the capital city of Valletta, the catacombs, the villages, the geology, the climate and diseases, agriculture and the 'animal kingdom'.

The population at different periods, the language, religion, education, manners and customs of the inhabitants, together with an account of various institutions, fill the pages of the third chapter. Finally, information is given on the government, the traditional rights and privileges of the Maltese and their grievances under British rule, military defence and the barracks, legislation, revenue and expenditure, the monetary system, commerce, imports and exports, manufactures, and shipping.

The liberally minded author ended his highly detailed description of Malta (in which a few errors crept in) by a plea to the colonial government to restore to the Maltese the political liberty for which they had fought bravely and "which we so shamefully deprived them of". He added: "Let a representative assembly be given to the Maltese, with power, of course, to remedy the numerous existing abuses, and to revise the system of taxation now in force.... It will cost England nothing to render Malta once more flourishing and happy".

[p.81] One of the documents Martin had before him when he wrote the history of Malta was a Memoir presented to him in London on 4 August 1835 by Giorgio Mitrovich, one of the leaders of the Comitato Generale Maltese. In a letter sent to Martin the day after Mitrovich stated: "General Pigot and Sir Alexander Ball were the first who deceived the Maltese in their expectations and good faith; the former by the Capitulation of 1800, and the latter by the suspension of their National Council.... Ball, who, after having promised its rigorous preservation, when the vicissitudes of the war were over and the fortifications in the hands of the British troops, despotically and shamefully suspended it".[27]

The Appendix in the last five pages of the volume refers to the system of French navigation which the French Government had adopted for the Mediterranean. It gives a number of tables showing the organization of the service, the tariff of the tax on letters conveyed and the tariff on the fares for passengers.

The Malta table shows that the packet from France arrived at Malta on the 7th, 17th and 27th of each month at noon, leaving Malta twenty-four hours later. From Constantinople the packet arrived on the 4th, 14th and 24th of each month at 10 a.m. The postage rate of a single letter destined for Alexandria or Constantinople was 2 francs, while 1 franc was charged for the other destinations (Smyrna, Syra, Athens, Leghorn, Civita Vecchia, Naples, Marseilles).

In the section dealing with the Ionian Islands, one finds an occasional reference of Maltese interest: "The palace of St. Michael and St. George, occupying one side of the esplanade [in Corfu], along which its front extends, is built of Malta stone, and ornamented with a colonnade of fluted Doric".[28]

Badger

George Percy Badger was the son of Edward and Ann Badger. His father was a Quarter Master Sergeant of the 80th Regiment of Foot, 'The South Staffordshire Regiment', which was stationed in Gibraltar since autumn 1820.[29] In October 1821 this regiment was transferred to Malta. The first detachment under the command of Major George D. Pitt arrived in Malta with the transport Chapman from Gibraltar on 19 October 1821, while the remainder under the command of Major Maclean came on 26 October on board the transport Star.[30]

When Edward Badger died in Malta on 26 July 1823, his widow decided to stay here to bring up their three children of minor age, George Percy and his two sisters. In those days only commissioned officers' widows were entitled to a pension, [p.82] so how the family survived and where they received their schooling is unknown.[31] On 1 January 1835 Matilda, one of the sisters still a minor, married Tao Anthony Rassam, 'a native of Mosul, in Asiatic Turkey,[32] then working as a translator for the Church Missionary Society. Later, he became British Vice-Consul in Mosul, and Matilda, accompanied by her mother Ann, went to join him there. The fate of the other sister is unknown.

George Percy Badger, born in 1815, remained in Malta where he must have received a very good education. On 3 June 1835 he left for Beirut; travelling on the same vessel there was Father Francesco Saverio di Malta, Apostolic Commissioner, Custodian and Visitor of the Holy Land.[33] A year or two later he came back to Malta to work for the Church Missionary Society which had been formed almost twenty years before. It was here that he began his literary career. In addition to translation work undertaken at the Society's printing office, he published a number of books, including the guide book which will be described later.

On 8 January 1840 Badger married Maria Wilcox at the Chapel of the Governor's Palace in Valletta.[34] The couple then left Malta on 27 April 1841[35] so that he could undergo missionary training in London at the Church Missionary Society Institution at Islington. He was ordained priest of the Anglican Church in 1842 and was a direct collaborator of the Bishop of Canterbury. They were back in Malta a year later, on 27 April 1842, en route for the Middle East, leaving the island [p.83] on 18 June 1842 never to return.[36] Badger went on to publish between twenty and thirty other books and articles, two of which became standard works of their kind, his two-volume work on the Nestorian Christians and an Arabic Lexicon.[37]

Badger became noteworthy not only as an author, cleric and orientalist, but also in the diplomatic field.[38] He died in February 1888 in his seventy-third year at number 21 Leamington Villas Road, Westbourne Park, London.[39]

The best known work published by Badger in Malta in his guide book: Description of Malta and Gozo, Malta, Printing and Lithography by M. Weiss, 1838. It consists of 317 pages (16.5 cm) and is profusely illustrated.

In his preface Badger wrote that the sky, and air, and country of Malta is African, but its life and civilization is European. This Fior del Mondo (as dubbed since the seventeenth century) is but a rock, but a rock singularly interesting, and of vast intrinsic importance - a remarkable country. As the facilities offered by steam navigation had greatly increased the number of strangers in Malta, the chief design of Badger's guide book was to afford to the numerous English travellers, who were continually going to and coming from the Levant, some assistance in the knowledge or investigation of the Maltese islands. Not unlike other authors Badger claimed a 'first'. He wrote that this was 'the first book in the English language ever attempted, on so limited and portable a scale, in illustration of Malta'.

The book is divided in three parts. The first part, like the guide book of Pericciuoli Borzesi, gives a short history of Malta, the second part deals with the geographical situation and features of the island, while the third part, which includes Gozo, takes the traveller round the island, starting with Valletta.[40]

The book has two maps. The main one MAP of MALTA AND ITS DEPENDENCIES (365 x 455 mm) lies at the end of the book, numbered page 318 in the list of illustrations. The other one (145 x 225 mm) has no title, but it is [p.84] described 'Map of St. Paul's voyage', in the said list. It faces page 286. The first map is signed Lui. Brocktorff.[41] and it is uncoloured, while the second one has no signature, and green has been used for hatching the coastlines and for the waterways. The place names of the latter map are in black ink, but the places touched by St Paul on his voyage to Rome are printed in blue: Fair Havens, I. Claudos, Melita, Syracuse, Regium, Puteoli, Via Appia, ROME, Forum Appii.[42] Both maps are lithographed.

Some copies of Badger's guide book are printed on thick paper, which makes the book 25 mm in thickness, while the illustrations of views and costumes are tinted (in two cases tinted only in part), although in some pictures the tint has worn off in one particular copy of the guide book which was examined. In another copy which has the same thickness all the lithographed illustrations are heavily tinted, with only one illustration having a black and white centre where a musical score of a folk song is printed.[43] This indicates that there were two editions printed on thick paper.

There are other differences between these two copies of the guide book on thick paper. The illustration facing page 83 is entitled Zaqq player in both cases. However, in the first copy mentioned above the picture is vertical, in keeping with the text of the book, with villages playing boċċi in the background, while in the second copy the picture is horizontal, and therefore wider, depicting the two musicians in front of houses in STRADA FORNI.

Another difference lies in the Malta map. Instead of Lui. Brocktorff., the signature in this last printing is Lui. Brocktorff. fec.t. The other difference is to be noted in the map of St Paul's voyage, when it was presumably reprinted for the second edition. The place names printed in blue ink are now printed in red ink. Besides, an imprint has been added at the bottom left corner which reads: Brocktorff (in green ink) Scrip.t (in red ink). The last word stands for Scripsit.

Other copies of Badger's guide book are printed on thin translucent paper which makes the book only 13 mm instead of 25 mm in thickness, more suitable to be carried in the pocket of the traveller. In this particular printing, which was probably the very first one, all the illustrations were in black and white, but the map had green colouring and a few blue place names, like the map in the first edition of thick paper above mentioned.

What may be considered the first printing of the guide book contained these black and white illustrations:

[p.85]

1. Zaqq player. LB. 90 x 77 mm
2. (A Maltese folk song). Luigi Brocktorff fec. 143 x 178 mm.
3. Country man. L. B. 110 x 65 mm.
4. A Lady in Walking Dress. L B. 103 x 55 mm.
5. Country woman. L B. 100 x 60 mm.
6. Entrance of the Great Harbour. Lui. Brocktorff fec. 70 x 140 mm.
7. Auberge de Castile. Lui. Brocktorff fec. 80 x 135 mm.
8. St John's Church. Lui. Brocktorff fec. 82 x 125 mm.
9. NICOLA COTONER (mausoleum). L. Brocktorff fec. 126 x 66 mm.
10. EMMANUEL DE VILHENA (mausoleum). L. Brocktorff fec. 123 x 70 mm.
11. RAYMONDO DE PERELLOS ET ROCAFULL M.M. (mausoleum). L. Brocktorff. fec. 120 x 60 mm.
12. MARC. ANN10 ZONDADARIO (mausoleum). L. Brocktorff fec. 123 x 75 mm.
13. FORT ST ANGELO. L. Brocktorff fec. 55 x 120 mm.
14. Città Vecchia. Luigi Brocktorff. fec. 58 x 135 mm.

All these illustrations were included in the other printings of the guide book without any change in the titles or the imprints, except that, as already pointed out, the illustrations were tinted yellow in the copies printed on thick paper, and the Zaqq player horizontal lithograph measures 95 x 137 mm, instead of 90 x 77 mm, height always given first.

George Percy Badger did not enjoy much popularity among the Maltese. His guide book was published at a time when there was considerable political agitation led by the Comitato Generale Maltese[44] in its quest for the abolition of censorship and the attainment of an elected legislative assembly. In his guide book Badger brought forward his reasons in support of the colonial government's opposition to grant representative government to the Maltese, one of his reasons being 'the general unfitness of the inhabitants, at present, to govern themselves'.

In 1839, the year after the publication of the guide book, Badger brought out another book entitled Sullo stato della educazione pubblica in Malta which further deepened the wound. He criticized the higher classes of the population, and in a special manner the Catholic clergy, as the cause of the religious prejudices and state of ignorance of the Maltese people.

His guide book on the other hand must have enjoyed immense popularity. Apart from the various printings of the 1838 edition, revised editions of the guide book appeared right up to 1881.

[p.86] The second edition appeared in 1851. It was entitled Description of Malta and Gozo by George Percy Badger: with some additional illustrations of the present state of the Islands by the Editor, and it was printed and published by Paolo Cumbo at 208 Strada Sant'Ursola, Valletta. The price was 2s. 6d. The editor brought the first edition up to date both in the text and by the insertion of footnotes. It contains 372 pages (13 cm). The illustrations are tinted, copied from the 1838 edition with some differences, but freshly made. For instance, the first lithograph is entitled ZAPP (instead of Zaqq) PLAYER, while there are two ladies in walking dress instead of one in another lithograph. The views and costumes average 97 x 63 mm and they are variously signed Brocktorff Malta, Lith. Brocktorff Str. Reale 111, Brocktorff Valetta. The mausoleum of Perellos is signed. G. Brocktorff e Fra., which stands for Giuseppe Brocktorff and his brother.[45] This edition contained a MAP of MALTA and its Dependences (sic), measuring 220 x 300 mm.

The third edition appeared in 1858. It was entitled Description of Malta and Gozo improved on that by George Percy Badger, published by G. Muir, printed by Paolo Cumbo, 'Army Printer, 77 Strada Bretannica, Malta'. It has VI + 385 pages (15 cm) + 14 unnumbered pages of advertisements. Facing the preface it has a map entitled MAP of MALTA and its Dependences (sic), Lith: Brocktorff. Malta, probably made by Giuseppe Brocktorff, quite similar to the one in the 1851 edition. A complete copy has twelve tinted lithographs of views and costumes, each averaging 65 x 105 mm, without any imprint. The illustration of the Maltese song is in black and white, measuring 140 x 175 mm., with the imprint Lith: Brocktorff. Str. Reale 111. Malta[46] at the bottom left corner. The book was published with a hard cover of a light red colour, with the title page repeated on the front cover and a full-page advert of G. MUIR OF MALTA who kept a circulating library at 247 Strada Reale, Valletta, on the back cover.

A fourth edition was published in 1860 with the following title: Description of Malta and Gozo improved on that of George Percy Badger, with additions and corrections according to the present state of the Islands, published by Paolo Cumbo. It has VI + 385 pages (14 cm). The only copy known to the present writer has only eight illustrations, one of which is the Maltese song which seems to be the same as that in the 1858 edition, but it has no imprint.

The guide book was then taken in hand by the prolific and versatile author Dr Nicola Zammit (1815-1899) who brought out the fifth edition in 1869 with a new title: Historical Guide to Malta and Gozo by G. Percy Badger, improved and augmented by N. Zammit M.D. Printed by F. Cumbo. Published and sold by P. Calleja. It consists of 366 pages (12.5 cm).

[p.87]

Fig. 6. Two maltese musicians playing the Żaqq (bagpipe) and the tambourine. This lithograph (100 x 166 mm) tinted yellow, in horizontal format, was published in Badger's Description (1838), in the copies printed on thick paper. In those printed on fine paper and all later editions this illustration appeared in vertical format. (© Albert Ganado collection)

Fig. 7. View of St John's Church in Valletta published in Badger's guide book of 1838. Lithograph (80 x 125 mm) by Luigi Brochtorff. (© Albert Ganado collection)

[p.88] The book starts with an 'Advertisement' which states that: "The third Edition of this very interesting and useful work being exhausted, a new and improved one has been compiled containing the latest information as to the trade, commerce, laws, festivals, Public buildings, Churches, and other things and places of interest to gentlemen visiting these Islands." Besides, many fresh statistical tables were included to correct errors and note changes, and whatever was of little use or interest in former editions was suppressed. The editor thought that this was the fourth edition of Badger's guide book but in reality it was the fifth.

Facing the title page is a MAP of MALTA and its DEPENDENCIES, (220 x 330 mm sheet size), without any imprint, but probably lithographed by Giuseppe Brocktorff. There are in all sixteen lithographs, including the Maltese song which is not the same lithograph published in the 1858 edition. There are two new views, namely, the NEW OPERA HOUSE and the CHURCH OF CASAL MOSTA,[47] but St John's Church is not included. All the illustrations are in black and white, averaging 60 x 105 mm, except the lithograph of the Maltese song which measures 140 x 178 mm and which is the only picture with an imprint Lith: Brocktorff. 111 Str: Reale Valetta.

The sixth edition was published in 1870. It is a reprint of the 1869 edition with the same title, imprint and number of pages, a sure indication that the 1869 edition was quickly sold out. The views and costumes are the same in both editions, but the caption of the musicians facing page 108 has now become ZAKK-PLAYER instead of ZAPP. PLAYER. In the copy examined, the only one available, both the map and the Maltese song are wanting. It is quite possible that they were taken out. It is not easy to come by a complete Badger guide book, and this applies to all editions. All the illustrations are black and white, like those in the 1869 edition.

The seventh edition, which was stated to be the fifth edition, was published in 1872. The title and imprint on the yellow front hard cover read as follows: Historical guide to Malta and Gozo by G. Percy Badger. Fifth edition. Malta. Published by P. Bonavia, - Printer. Sold by L. Critien, 28, Strada S. Giovanni (Opposite St. John's Church).[48] The date of MDCCCLXXII is given on the title page, while PRICE 2s. 6d. is printed on the spine. The book has 323 pages (14.3 cm).

The uncoloured lithographed map and illustrations were copied from the 1869

[p.89

]

Fig. 8. A lithograph of the new Mosta parish church, still without the lantern, published in the 1869 edition of Badger's guide book improved and augmented by Dr Nicola Zammit. (© Albert Ganado collection)

[p.90] edition, but they were redone with some differences. For instance, the stone bench between the doors of the Governor's Palace is no longer there. The illustration with the Maltese song is wanting.

While the name of Dr N. Zammit was left out in the 1572 edition, it reappeared again in 1879 when the eighth edition was published, stated to be the sixth edition. The title is now exactly the same as in the 1869 edition. It was printed by P. Bonavia, published and sold by F. Calleja. It has 320 pages (14 cm). A sale offer quoted a copy with four plates.[49]

The ninth and probably the last edition was published in 1881 with the title A guide to Malta and Gozo by G. Percy Badger. It was printed by Paolo Bonavia, at 23 Strada Cristoforo, Valletta, and consists of 320 pages (13.8 cm), without any illustrations. However, a copy recently advertised for sale had a folding frontispiece map, taped to rear.[50]

MacGill

The next guide book was written by Thomas MacGill and published in 1839. It is entitled A hand book, or guide, for strangers visiting Malta, and it was printed by Luigi Tonna.[51] Although licences for the setting up of presses by private individuals started being granted in 1838, the law of the freedom of the press and abolition of censorship was only proclaimed a year later, on 15 March 1839. That is why MacGill stated in his Prefatory Note that this book was the first work in English 'published from the Free Press of Malta'.[52]

It seems that by this time the stock of Pericciuoli Borzesi's guide book had been exhausted. This induced MacGill to write: "As up to the present day, in which we write, there is neither Hand-book, Guide or Valet de place, to assist strangers in their rambles through these interesting islands....

[p.91]

Fig. 9. Thomas MacGill's dedication of his guide book to her Majesty Queen Adelaide. (© Albert Ganado collection)

Fig. 10. Portrait of Queen Adelaide, engraved by H. Cook, after H. Dawe, published in London by Fisher, Son & Co. in 1834, four years before she came to Malta. 110 x 90 mm. (© Albert Ganado collection)

[p.92] we have attempted to compose, what we consider may be both useful and entertaining to them".

MacGill's guide book was written in anticipation of the abolition of censorship and it was actually published even before the official enactment of Ordinance IV of the 15th March 1839. Indeed, an advert appeared a month before this date announcing that the hand book was available in the shops of Mrs Kilburn and Mr Watson[53]. The author must have known that the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Glenelg, had sent a despatch to the Governor on 20 November 1838 authorizing him to follow the recommendations of the Royal Commissioners for the abolition of censorship. Besides, the relative Ordinance was published in draft form on 16 February 1839 awaiting the approval of the Council of Government set up in 1835, which of course was a foregone conclusion. So, MacGill's guide book was not published, strictly speaking, 'from the Free Press of Malta', although on the very eve.

Queen Adelaide, the widow of William IV (1830-1837), who was seeking a warmer climate because of her frail health, sailed into the Grand Harbour on 30 November 1838 and stayed in Malta till the end of March. The title page of the guide book is followed by the dedication to her: "Dedicated through Royal condescension, to Her Most Gracious Majesty Adelaide Queen Dowager of England by Her Majesty's most humble and most devoted servant Thomas MacGill".

When this guide book was published, the dust had not yet settled apparently on Grognet's controversial stone which had attracted the severe contumely of de Rienzi when he described him as un fabricateur impudent et un adroit imposteur. In fact, in the very first paragraph of the introduction MacGill wrote as follows:

"Whether the Island of Malta, is mount Atlass (sic) looking out of the water, as some antiquarians assert.... we shall leave to those of deeper research to determine; as we find no dates to show at what time Atlass went a bathing".

Further on, in the main text, he jumped to the defence of Grognet. He stated that Grognet's action to cover the stone with hot oil led malicious interlopers to insinuate that the stone was not antique, but of his own fabrication.

After saying that a distinguished English antiquarian believed in its authenticity, MacGill ended with his own rider:

[p.93] "This truly eccentric genius has set all the savans (sic) of Europe by the ears, with this stone, and volumes have been written on the subject. - One, of two things must be true, - the stone is either real or false; if it be a true piece of antiquity, he is a very fortunate man; if it be false, he is a remarkably clever fellow, to have made such an imitation, as to have created so much controversy".

Thomas MacGill, one of the first English residents in Malta, settled here around 1806. He died at Valletta on 8 October 1844.[54]



[1] This book is not listed in the bibliographies of Hellwald (1885) and Rossi (1924). For Major General Pigot see 'The Pigot Brothers - Arrogance, treachery, sadism, murder' by G. Bonello in Histories of Malta - Convictions and Conjectures, Malta 2003, Vol. IV, 108-125.

[2] Mention is made of a lamp of gold, suspended by a chain of the same metal, lighting the Chapel of the Virgin.

[3] Note on page 9. The 'Athenian' was the last ship of the Order of St John built in its own dockyard at Malta. She was given the name San Giovanni and was to be the 64-gun new designate flagship. She was completed by the French invaders and renamed L'Athenien. When the French capitulation was signed in September 1800 the ship was incorporated in the British Navy and retained her name. On 27 October 1806 she was wrecked in a storm off Sicily. (J. M. Wismayer, 'San Giovanni: The last ship of the Order of St John', in The Sunday Times, 23 August 1987, 15). Nicholas Cotoner's bronze bust was saved and it still adorns a niche in Notre Dame Gate.

[4] Note on page 47. The Maltese version of Our Lord's prayer was probably copied from the book of Christian Doctrine in Maltese published by the Reverend Don Franciscu Wzzinu in the eighteenth century.

[5] For biographical details on Sebastiano Ittar and his work see A. Ganado, 'Through the Artists' Eyes: Views of Malta and Gozo before 1900', in 7th Malta International Book Fair 26-29 October 1989, 55-63.

[6] For a biography of Graham see A. Brett-James, General Graham - Lord Lynedoch, London 1959. He revisited Malta on 16 December 1840 and stayed till 25 May 1841. On his residence in Malta in 1800, Lieut. Aeneas Anderson on his way to Egypt in that year wrote: "Such were his amiable manners, and so far had he conciliated the affections of the Maltese, that they acted under him with a zeal, confidence, and spirit, which proved, on various occasions, that their ancient valour was not extinguished" (A. Anderson, A Journal of the Forces which sailed from the Downs in April 1800 on a Secret Expedition, London 1802, 119). Graham died on 18 December 1843 in his ninety-sixth year.

[7]Thomas MacGill wrote in his guide book: "Near Gudia, is a pretty miniature palace, of the late Marchioness Dorell....; this may be called the prettiest place in Malta". See E. G. Montanaro 'Villa Dorell, the Pride of Gudia' in Journal of the Malta University Literary Society, II (1935), 291-5; A. Crosthwait, 'The prettiest place in Malta. The garden of the Palazzo D'Aurel', in Country Life, 22 March 1979.

[8] Luigi was the 3rd Count Preziosi, a member of the renowned family of corsairs. On 27 April 1790 in Senglea he married Matilde Camilleri, whose family was also involved in privateering. He contracted a second marriage at Porto Salvo in Valletta with Marianna Maurin on 27 September 1808.

[9] B. N. Tarpey, 'Malta and Elba', in The Times (Malta), 30 September 1983, 16. See also The Times, 3 December 1983, 7. A corpus of Weir's watercolours is in the present writer's collection. A few are dated between March 1799 and 9 July 1801; two others, 29 April 1802 and 28 October 1806.

[10] On this book see these three articles published in the Journal of Maltese Studies - Essays on Mikiel Anton Vassalli ed. O. Friggieri, Malta 1993, nos. 23/24, 194-9, 200, 212-4: G. Bonello, 'A mysterious book by Mikiel Anton Vassalli?'; A. Ganado, 'Another clue to Vassalli's authorship of Recherches'; A. Blondy, 'More about the Recherches Historiques et Politiques sur Malte'.

[11] Ittar's map, one of the smallest maps of the Maltese islands, was based on the largest printed map of Malta (582 x 1350mm) made by Gervais De Palmeus in 1752 entitled: Carte générale de la Principauté Souveraine des Isles de Malte et du Goze dressée sur les Mémoires des Grand Officiers de l'Ordre. In 1794 Ittar published a fine plan of Marsa in a book written by Marchese Carl'Antonio Barbaro. At the same period he produced another map of Malta Carte générale des Isles de Malte et Goze and he later prepared in ink and colour washes a beautiful plan of the harbours of Valletta, flanked by six inset views, which he subsequently engraved with the title Porto e Fortezza di Malta. A second state of this engraving was published in 1798 or 1799 dedicated to the French Directoire.

[12] Part I, pp. 1-24; Part II, pp. 25-78; Part III, pp. 79-90, followed by an index in two pages.

[13] A. E. Abela, Governors of Malta, Malta 1991, 14.

[14] The guide book was on sale immediately after the 8th March as the copy in the present writer's collection has a manuscript date '20th March 1830' after the owner's signature which however is illegible.

[15] While this book was dedicated to Henry Ponsonby, an album of Maltese costumes published by 'Paolo Caruana' in 1829 had been dedicated to Henry's mother, Lady Emily Ponsonby (see A. Ganado, 'Pietro Paolo Caruana: the first lithographs produced in Malta', in Proceedings of History Week 1981, ed. M. Buhagiar, Malta 1982, 49-60; A. Ganado, 'The earliest lithographs of Maltese costumes produced in Malta by Pietro Paolo Caruana', in Costume in Malta, eds. N. de Piro, V.A. Cremona, Malta 1998, 106-113.

[16] J. Austin and G. C. Lewis, 'Report on the expediency of introducing into Malta a liberty of Printing and Publishing', in Copies or Extracts of Reports of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Affairs of the Island of Malta, and of correspondence thereupon, Part I, 16 February 1838, 23 (Parliamentary Paper 141). An Italian translation of the Report was published in Malta by Filippo Izzo e C.o entitled: Traduzione. Copie ovvero estratti di Rapporti dei Commissionarj...., Malta 1838, 6-47. In the Italian version the reference to the 1830 guide book is on page 40.

[17] There is at the National Library of Malta a manuscript detailed dissertation in two volumes by Giorgio Grognet de Vassé Atlante dei disegni dell'Atlantide, beautifully illustrated (Libr. Ms. 614), as well as another manuscript Alfabeto Atlantico Maltese.... che doveva essere stampato pei tipi di F. W. Franz, 1856 (Libr. Ms. 1856). In 1854, when Grognet was eighty years of age, he published an abridgement of his work entitled Compendio ossia Epilogo anticipato.... della famosa sommersa isola Atlantide, in which he printed a Sonetto by Pericciuoli Borzesi in praise of Grognet's theory. For recent publications supporting Grognet's pet theory see A. Mifsud, S. Mifsud, C. Agius Sultana, C. Savona Ventura, Malta - Echoes of Plato's Island, Malta 2001 (2nd edn.); F. Galea, Malta fdal Atlantis, Malta 2002.

[18] Pericciuoli Borzesi's guide book, 1st edn., 48-50.

[19] Page 7 of the dissertation published in the second edition of the guide book.

[20] Dimech's stone work was much admired and appreciated by his contemporaries: I vasi di pietra nostrale di bellissimo lavorio fregiati, i bassirilievi, e le statue nella medesima pietra eseguite, in dimostrando l'attitudine della nostra pietra ad ogni genere di scultura fanno maravigliosamente spiccare lo ingegno dello artista (Il filologo maltese, no. 23, 27 ottobre 1840, 150). In 1802 Dimech executed the small marble bust of the Venetian Admiral Angelo Emo placed on a sarcophagus in the church of Our Lady of Victory in Valletta (A. Ganado, 'The funeral of Angelo Emo', op. cit., 16). For a recent biographical note in English on Dimech see J. F. Grima, 'Monthly Anniversary Story: Sigismondo Dimech', in The Democrat, 26 May 1990.

[21] The information contained in this paragraph and the preceding three paragraphs is derived from a volume of documents assembled by Marquis de Fortia d'Urban having a manuscript index entitled Pièces relatives à la pierre Atlantico-Phénicienne de Malte. It has his ex libris with his name and address: M. le Marquis de Fortia, Rue de la Rochefoucaud, No. 12. The gilt title on the leather spine reads PIERRE ATLANTIQUE. The volume is in the present writer's collection.

[22] Note 1 on page 7 of the dissertation published in the second edition of the guide book.

[23]M[alta] G[overnment] G[azette], no. 1128, 12 September 1832, 284. Jane Frere was the second daughter of Edward Frere of Clydach (D. Sultana, The journey of William Frere to Malta in 1832, Malta 1988, ad indicem).

[24]MGG, no. 1132, 10 October 1832, 309. Baron Sceberras Bologna, a resident of Valletta, died at the age of 64, leaving behind him a large family.

[25]Narrative of the volcanic eruption or Graham Island, which appeared in the Mediterranean, off Sicily, between Sciacca, and the island of Pantallaria, in the summer of 1831, Malta 1834, 32 pp. The pamphlet contains a small map (125 x 190 mm) signed by L[uigi] de Brocktorff (1814-1857), entitled SITUATION OF GRAHAM ISLAND.

[26] Report of Austin and Lewis, op. cit., 24.

[27]Correspondence between Mr. George Mitrovich.... and R. Montgomery Martin. London 1835? It was only in 1849 that Malta was granted a semblance of a representative assembly, while a measure of self-government came its way only in 1921. Malta finally became independent in 1964 after having fought for its political freedom for over a century and a half.

[28] Martin's History, 315. For a biography of R.M. Martin see the Dictionary of National Biography, XXXVI (1893), 293-4.

[29] R. H. Melville Lee, British Infantry of the Line stationed in Malta since 1799, Malta 1969, 41.

[30]MGG for 1821, 2809 and 2816.

[31] In the early 1820s a school of the Lancastrian kind was operating at Żejtun founded by the munificence of a Spanish resident in Malta, Don Alberto de Megino; a hundred children attended. There was also a British National School at Cospicua. In 1825 a Young Ladies' School was housed at 10 Strada San Cristoforo, Valletta, under the direction of Mrs Naudi and Miss Rosina Nuzzo. The Normal Schools at Valletta, set up in 1819 by public subscription and later chiefly supported by the government, had three hundred children towards the end of the 1820s.

[32] In the marriage certificate J. J. H. Le Mesurier, Chaplain to the Forces, declared Matilda to be of the city of Bath, in the county of Somerset, England. The witnesses were four: Matthew Weiss, Joseph Wolff, Louisa Coulter, and the bride's brother, George Percy Badger (Privy Council - In the matter of the validity of certain mixed and unmixed marriages at Malta; Case on behalf of the Protestant Communities at Malta, London (c. 1890), 237). Matthew Weiss worked as a printer for the Church Missionary Society. He purchased its printing press when it brought to a close its printing activities. Joseph Wolff was a celebrated Anglican missionary, formerly a German rabbi with an extraordinary gift for languages. Georgiana, his wife, was a daughter of the Earl of Orford, who was related to Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of Britain. During a sojourn in Cairo in the spring of 1836 he was elected a member of the Egyptian Literary and Scientific Society recently established there by the English and French literary residents of that city. Mosul is on the river Tigris in today's Northern Iraq.

[33] Badger left by the English Brig Apollo for Jaffa, (now Tel Aviv). MGG, 10 June 1835, 204.

[34] This information, like other biographical notes on Badger for which no source is here indicated, was taken from a letter dated 1 December 1996 addressed by Mrs Mollie Bainbridge, of Sutton-upon-Derwent, York, to Professor Victor G. Griffiths. Grateful thanks to Professor Griffiths for passing on to me Mrs Bainbridge's letter.

[35] They left by the British vessel Prometheus. (Il Portafoglio Maltese, 3 May 1841, 1324).

[36] Arrivals 27 April 1842: Rev. G. P. Badger e signora, by the French government vessel Mentor, from Marseilles, Leghorn, Civitavecchia and Naples (Il Portafoglio Maltese, 2 May 1842, 1774). They left by the French government vessel Rhamses (Il Portafoglio Maltese, 20 June 1842, 1836).

[37] These are the titles of the two books: The Nestorians and their Rituals, with a Narrative of a Mission to Mesopotamia and Coordistan in 1842-1844, published by Joseph Masters in 1852; An English-Arabic Lexicon, in which the equivalents for English words and idiomatic sentences are rendered into literary and colloquial Arabic, published in London in 1881 (See Sotheby's auction catalogue of books 26-27 October 1995, lot no. 10; Smitskamp Oriental Antiquarium, catalogue no. 627, item 864). According to Sotheby's catalogue, G. P. Badger was an East India Company Chaplain sent to Mesopotamia and Kurdistan in 1842, returning in 1850. Among his other works, Badger published in Malta in 1839 the Trial of Mr. J. Richardson, for an alleged libel against the Roman Catholic Religion, printed at the Church Mission Press, in which he criticized the judgement given by three Maltese judges.

[38] Mrs Bainbridge's letter quoted above.

[39] Ms. note in a copy of Badger's guide book of 1838 at the National Library in Valletta (Bn. 2. 49).

[40] Part I, pp. 3-46; Part II, 49-122; Part III, 125-317 (of which 291-317 cover Gozo).

[41] This reads: Luigi Brocktorff. Luigi Brocktorff, son of Charles Frederick, was born on 22 October 1814 and he died in Valletta on 2 January 1857. He spent some time in Italy in 1835. He went to Constantinople with his family in 1843 and again in 1844, where his brother Federico had settled with his wife and family.

[42] For a description of maps of St Paul's voyage see A. Ganado, 'Saint Paul's Shipwreck in European Cartography', in Melitensium Amor, Festschrift in honour of Dun Ġwann Azzopardi, eds. T. Cortis, T. Freller, L. Bugeja, Malta 2002, 359-376.

[43] Both these copies are in the author's collection.

[44] The Maltese General Committee was composed of almost 100 members representing the various classes of the population as well as all the towns and villages of Malta and Gozo chosen by 11,712 electors in an election organized by the political leaders. Its main function was to lay the Maltese grievances before the Royal Commissioners appointed in 1836.

[45] Giuseppe Brocktorff was born in Constantinople in 1818 or 1819. He died on 30 December 1893 at Msida where he carried on his business in lithography with his brother Leopoldo (1826-1886).

[46] Before the Brocktorff family established its business at 111 Strada Reale, it had at least two other addresses in the same street at numbers 81 and 104. When the survivors were Giuseppe and Leopoldo, they moved their business to Msida Seafront.

[47] The Mosta church, designed by Giorgio Grognet de Vassé, was still under construction in 1869. His Rotunda consisted of a main body, circular in form, having an internal diameter of 39.60 metres, and an external diameter of 55.20 metres, crowned by a catenary-shaped dome. By 1860 the dome was closed, when Grognet was 86 years old. Work on the lantern was started in 1889 (D. De Lucca and H. Bonnici, 'Urban development in Mosta', in Mosta, the heart of Malta, ed. L. J. Scerri, 59-82.

[48] L. Critien was a bookseller, stationer and printer. He kept a large assortment of English and Foreign books, Murray's Hand Books, Dictionaries, School books, Bibles and prayer books, portfolios, etc. He also took orders for bookbinding and engraving (Advert on page 91 of The Malta Almanack and Directory for the year of Our Lord 1868).

[49] The writer thanks Paul Bezzina for this information.

[50]Francis Edwards (London), catalogue 1295, lot no. 172.

[51] In the first thirty-eight years of British rule printing censorship in Malta was extremely strict. In 1835 Luigi Tonna, a bookseller, presented a petition praying that he be permitted to establish a printing office in Valletta for the purpose of printing classical works in science and literature, books of education, works of celebrated living authors, and writings of native Maltese then being sent to foreign presses. His petition was refused twice over. Notwithstanding a subsequent petition to the King in Council, permission was not granted.

[52] The book (16 cm uncut) consists of 150 + iv pages. The first licence to set up a printing press was granted to Filippo Izzo e C.o who rendered it public on 7 January 1838. It was established at 69 Strada Santa Lucia, Valletta. It was officially announced on 28 March 1838 that Luigi Tonna had 'lately obtained a similar licence' (MGG, 10 January 1838, 14, and 28 March 1838, 118). On 12 May 1838 Tonna started publishing from his bookshop La Minerva, at 29 Strada Reale, Valletta, a weekly newspaper Il Portafoglio Maltese written in Italian. Founded by a Maltese patriot and 'an advocate of very considerable ability', Dr Paolo Sciortino, it had a very long life; the last number was issued on 26 December 1902. Tonna kept his printing press at 72 Strada Santa Lucia, and he kept a Gabinetto di Lettura at 24 Strada Reale, Valletta (reading rooms for subscribers).

[53]MGG, 20 February 1839, 71. Anne Kilburn kept a fashion shop at 271 Strada Reale, Valletta, at least since 1816. John Watson was born in Preston, Lancashire, around 1776. He formed part of the commercial community in Malta since at least 1812-13. His partnership with David Grant was dissolved in 1815, and that with A. Wright in 1818. Around 1838 he tried to introduce into Malta the Brazil cotton plant and he had an interest in the Malta Tanning Company. He kept a bookshop at 277 Strada Reale, Valletta, and lived at Villa Belvedere in Saint Julians at least since 1831. He passed away in July 1848, leaving seven sons and a daughter.

[54] As from 1811, if not before, Thomas MacGill resided in a house at 27 Strada Stretta, Valletta, which he rented from the government at 600 scudi a year, equivalent to Lm50. In 1815 he associated with a group of persons to take over the impresa of the Theatre. In 1820 he was a member of the Committee of the Società delle Scuole Normali della Valletta. Between 1813 and 1821 he imported timber from Lampedusa, wine and carpets. In 1829 he had an interest, like A. Wright, in the Malta Tanning Company.