Peter, 3rd Count de Salis

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Peter's torso in June 2009
Upper part of the statue put up in honour the benevolevent and popular old Etonian Valtelline governor-general/landamann Pietro, PETRI.S.R.I.COM.A.SALIS..., in 1782/83.
Full heraldic achievement as seen in 2009
The full heraldic achievement (arms) of Peter, as seen on the plinth of his statue in Chiavenna

Peter de Salis, 3rd Count de Salis (Nobile Signor Don Pietro Podesta di Salis) (28 June 1738, parish of St. James, Westminster - 19 November 1807, Hillingdon, buried in the family vault at Harlington, Middlesex) was the second son of Jerome De Salis by his wife Mary, daughter of the first Viscount Fane. He was educated with his brothers, Charles and Henry, in the Grisons, in Chur where his tutor was Johann Heinrich Lambert, and then at Eton. He left Eton early in 1754 and was commissioned as an ensign in the 1st Regiment of Foot on 17 October 1754, which cost £900, subsequently he fought in the Seven Years' War (as seen in Kubrick's film Barry Lyndon), becoming a lieutenant on 27 October 1760. He left the army a captain and was sent by his father to the Grisons where he married a second cousin in 1763, she died, morte avec une fille en couches a year later. In 1765 he married a first cousin, she died 18 months later. In 1769 he married a combined third and fourth cousin, she bore him two sons and outlived him 22 years.

The plinth of Peter's statue
Base of the statue.
Chiavenna: site of the statue of Salis

Character[edit]

His brother Charles in a letter to their mother, dated London, 16 April 1766, described something of Peter's mind:

Peter writes to me his usual style, a perfect miniature of the lamentations of Jeremiah,
The letter Par Lindau & par Coire, au païs des Grisons à Chiavenne'’, was '‘Recu in Leiden ce 22 ayr: 1766 a six heures et demi du matin’', and was ‘Received le 9e. May 1766’' in Chiavenna.

Landeshauptmann[edit]

Salis was Governor and Capitaine General of the Valtelline 1771-1773, and 1781–1783, where, it was said at the time, with great munificence, insight and skill he hastened to relieve the poverty of the population of Chiavenna. Accordingly, in 1782 a statue was put up to him in a main square there. However, the statue was dismembered in 1797. Fragments survive.

Anglo-Irish property[edit]

In March 1785 he inherited his mother's half share of the Bourchier-Fane estates in counties Limerick and Armagh, (Ireland). On 13 November 1785 he returned to England, landing with his family at Dover. From then he styled himself Esquire and lived mostly at 19 Orchard Street, near Portman Square; 11 Great Cumberland Street; in Hayes; and then at Hillingdon Park, Hillingdon-heath, near Uxbridge, a fine villa which Joseph Bonomi designed for him c. 1795-1797.

The Hon. Peter de Salis, Count of the Holy Roman Empire, died 19 November 1809 at his house on Hillingdon-Heath. (from The Times, 26 November 1809)

He was succeeded in his British estates by his son, Jerome.

Some Ancestors[edit]

Some of Peter De Salis's ancestors
Peter De Salis (1738–1809) Father:
Jerome, Count De Salis
Paternal Grandfather:
Peter, Count de Salis-Soglio[disambiguation needed]
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Antonio de Salis-Soglio
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Perpetua v. Planta-Zuoz
Paternal Grandmother:
Margherita v. Salis-Soglio (casa di Mezzo)
Paternal Great-Grandfather:
Hercules v. Salis-Soglio
Paternal Great-Grandmother:
Maria Magdalena v. Salis-Seewis
Mother:
Hon. Mary Fane
Maternal Grandfather:
Viscount Fane
Maternal Great-Grandfather:
Sir Henry Fane, KB
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Elizabeth Southcott
Maternal Grandmother:
Mary Stanhope
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Hon. Alexander Stanhope
Maternal Great-Grandmother:
Catherine Burghill

References[edit]

18th-century Salis crest, Bellona, and count's coronet on an Irish silver jug
Peter's distant cousin, third wife, and mother of his two surviving sons Jerome and John
Paternal-grandmother-in-law: Anna à Salis-Samedan (d.1738).
  • R. de Salis, Quadrennial di Fano Saliceorum, volume one, London, 2003
  • Rachel Fane De Salis, De Salis Family : English Branch, Henley-on-Thames, 1934.
  • manuscripts & muniments.
  • The Times, notice of death, 26 November 1807, (page 3, column F).
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Jerome, 2nd Count de Salis
Count de Salis-Soglio
1794–1807
Succeeded by
Jerome, 4th Count de Salis