Henry, Count of Malta

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Henry, known as Enrico Pescatore (i.e., the fisherman), was a Genoese adventurer, privateer and pirate active in the Mediterranean at the beginning of the thirteenth century. His real name is said to have been Erico or Arrigo de Castro or de Castello.[1]

The title Count of Malta was created by Tancred of Sicily some years before, for Margaritus of Brindisi and then was taken over by Emperor Henry VI, Tancred's opponent in Southern Italy and Sicily. Henry’s irregular acquisition of the title is attributed to his relationship as son-in-law to the previous holder, Guglielmo Grasso, Henry VI's and then Emperor Frederick II’s admiral, around 1204.

He took control of large parts of Crete from 1206,[2] but was pushed out a few years later by the Venetians.[3] The Genoese held onto Chania, and in 1211 his fellow Genoese, Alamanno da Costa, began a campaign against Crete.

He was employed with imperial galleys in the Eastern Mediterranean, in particular in 1225 transporting Yolande of Jerusalem to marry the Emperor Frederick.[4]


  • David Abulafia. Henry count of Malta and his Mediterranean activities: 1203-1230, in Italy, Sicily and the Mediterranean, 1100-1400 (1987)
  • Enrico Basso. "Pescatore, Enrio". Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Volume 82 (Rome: 2015).