Alof de Wignacourt

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Alof de Wignacourt
Alof de Wignancourt official portrait.jpg
Grand Master of the Order of Saint John
In office
10 February 1601 – 14 September 1622
Monarch King Philip II
King Philip III
Preceded by Martin Garzez
Succeeded by Luís Mendes de Vasconcellos
Personal details
Born 1547
France
Died 14 September 1622
Malta
Resting place Valletta
Nationality French
Military service
Allegiance Sovereign Military Order of Malta Order of Saint John
Years of service 1564–1622
Rank Grandmaster
Battles/wars Great Siege of Malta
Raid of Żejtun

Fra' Alof de Wignacourt (1547 – 14 September 1622) was the 54th Grand Master of the Order of Malta, from 1601 to 1622. He was of the langue of France. He was respected, and was popular with the people.[1]

1601 Grano coin of Wignacourt

Wignacourt joined the Order in 1564, aged seventeen, and distinguished himself at the Great Siege of Malta a year later. He was elected Grand Master in 1601. He was patron of Caravaggio following the artist's arrival in Malta in 1607 until his arrest and subsequent expulsion from the Order in 1608.

His reign was notable for the construction of a number of coastal fortifications (the Wignacourt towers), and of the Wignacourt Aqueduct that brought water from the plateau above Rabat to Valletta. A gate was built as a part of the aqueduct between Birkirkara and Santa Venera, and it had his coat of arms with three fleur-de-lys on it, giving it the name of the Fleur-de-Lys Gate. A settlement which developed around this area is now known as Fleur-de-Lys, and the three fleur-de-lys from the coat of arms also appear on the flag of Santa Venera.[2]

During his reign, in 1614 the Ottomans made their final attempt to conquer Malta. Six thousand men landed at Marsascala Bay, and raided the village of Żejtun. The Order's cavalry and Maltese civilians, however, managed to overcome the Turks who retreated, without a single Christian dead.

His parade armour survives and is one of the treasures of the Palace Armoury in Valletta.

He died of apoplexy while he was out shooting on 14 September 1622 at the age of 75.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alof de Wignacourt. SMOM, 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  2. ^ Alof De Wignacourt : 1601–1622. San Andrea School, 1999. Retrieved 30 January 2014.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Martin Garzez
Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller
1601–1622
Succeeded by
Luís Mendes de Vasconcellos