History – 1720 – 1722 Marcantonio Zondadari

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Marcantonio Zondadari, of the venerable language of Italy, brother of the celebrated cardinal of that name, and nephew to Pope Alexander VIL, was elected to succeed Ramon Perellos y Roccafull as the Grand Master on the 13th January 1720. At a very early age he had joined the ranks of the fraternity at Naples, rising with great rapidity to the rank of General of the Galleys, and was eventually appointed Master of the Horse in the household of the late Grand Master. The first important event which took place during his brief rule was the gallant capture, made by the navy of the Order, of two Turkish men-of-war, and the flagship of the Algerine navy of 25 guns, with a crew of 500 men. This success was soon followed by the capture of another Algerine vessel of 40 guns, and a Christian galley was retaken from the enemy after an hour of sharp fighting.

The fleet of the Order of the Knights of St. John had at this period attained such a degree of superiority that the Infidels no longer dared to ravage the Mediterranean as they had been wont to do.

The energetic and pious Grand Master added several important reforms for the administration of the Convent, and enforced to a great extent those already introduced by his predecessors.

He was the only Grand Master who earned for himself a reputation for literary ability, through his valuable work on the history of the Order. Although his tenure of office extended only a little over two years, he enjoyed great popularity within the Convent, and was much beloved by the inhabitants of Malta, who deeply mourned his death, which took place on the 15th June 1722.

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