Gozo (1798–1800)

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De facto independent state claimed by the Kingdom of Naples

Location of Gozo in Malta.
Capital Rabat
Languages Italian, Maltese
Government Provisional
 -  1798–1800 Francesco Saverio Cassar
Historical era French Revolutionary Wars
 -  Established 28 October 1798
 -  Became part of Malta Protectorate 4 September 1800
Currency Maltese scudo

The island of Gozo, in modern-day Malta was independent for two years between 1798 and 1800.

Until 10 June 1798, Malta and Gozo had been administered by the Order of Saint John. When Napoleon ousted the Knights from the islands, the French took over the Citadel and remained in Gozo for another three months.

When the Maltese rebelled in September 1798, the Gozitans also attacked the Citadel, and with the help of Sir Alexander Ball negotiations were completed on 28 October 1798. The 217 French soldiers there agreed to surrender without a fight and transferred the island, its fortifications, 24 cannon, a large quantity of ammunition and 3,200 sacks of flour to the British.[1] Although the island was formally claimed by King Ferdinand of Naples, it was administered by Archpriest Francesco Saverio Cassar with several British and Maltese representatives, whose first action was to distribute the captured food supplies to the island's 16,000 inhabitants. A day later Cassar requested that Gozo becomes a separate Diocese and state.

When the French garrison in Valletta surrendered on 4 September 1800, the British took the whole Maltese archipelago including Gozo under their protection to form the Malta Protectorate, which then became a colony in 1813.


  1. ^ James, William. The Naval History of Great Britain, Volume 2, 1797–1799. Conway Maritime Press, 2002 [1827], p 189. ISBN 0851779069

Coordinates: 36°02′36″N 14°14′49″E / 36.04333°N 14.24694°E / 36.04333; 14.24694