Baron

Pasquale Sceberras Testaferrata was the eldest son of Michele Sceberras and Clara née Testaferrata, the 11th Baroness of Castel Cicciano and hailed from Valletta. 

The Sceberras Testaferrata family was one of the wealthiest noble families of the Island. Pasquale married Lucrezia Maria when she was nearing her twenty-first birthday at the church of Our Saviour at Bighi.

When Pasquale married Lucrezia, the family lived for a while at Lucrezia’s parental home and the marriage was soon blessed by the birth of a son, Antonio.

The second son, Fabrizio was born on 1 April 1757 and was baptised at St Paul Shipwrecked Church at Valletta.

Baron Pasquale and his wife, children and together with his parents Michele and Clara, as well as his brother Pier Antonio, by this time, left their former residence and took up permanent residence in St Paul Street Valletta.

Following the birth of Fabrizio, Pasquale and Lucrezia had eleven other children, seven of whom, (Gaetana, Clara, Bibiana, Antonia, Ignatio, Giuseppe, and Vincenzo) died young. Besides Antonio and Fabrizio, only Ursola, Michele, Paolo, and Camillo lived to adulthood.

On 12 September 1768 was conferred the clerical tonsure by Bishop Bartolomeo Rull and in 1770 he was appointed canon coadjutor of the canonry of Għar Barca.

Fabrizio together with his brother Michele, left Malta for Rome on 26 April 1771, where he was admitted to the Clementine College.

Pasquale's family was very religious and Pasquale belonged to the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament of St Paul’s Shipwrecked church at Valletta, and between 1769 and 1772 he was even elected its rector.

Soon after Emanuel de Rohan-Polduc was elected Grand Master in 1775, Pasquale Sceberras Testaferrata was elected Capitano della Verga. This appointment carried with it the offices of Governor of Notabile, Colonel of the Militia, and High Judge in all local courts except those of the harbour cities.

On 27 October 1776, Pasquale accompanied Grand Master de Rohan on his official visit to Notabile. A year later de Rohan awarded him the Gold Cross.

In his library, Baron Pasquale had copies of both G.F. Abela’s and Count Ciantar’s works: Della Descrittione di Malta, which he called Malta illustrata....dal Conte Giovannantonio Ciantar...  He had also other titles by Agius de Soldanis and M.A. Vassalli and other books.

He had also precious antique marble, jewellery, silver objects, and good paintings which included still-life subjects and family portraits. He tried to instil in his children his love for culture and involvement in his island’s welfare. He certainly had a good command of Latin, French, and Italian. His wife Lucrezia too could speak and write both Italian and French.

In 1808 Camillo’s parents were quite old and depended very much on the Sant family who were trying to alienate them from their children. In fact, Pasquale and Lucrezia, unlike in former times, rarely answered their children’s letters and appeals for financial help. Pasquale’s mental state at the time was deteriorating and he started to suffer from dementia.

On 3 March 1812 Baron Pasquale Sceberras Testaferrata died of what was described as a malattia del petto. For the last few years, he had become progressively more and more demented and housebound.

At the time of his death, only his son Paolo, of all his children was in Malta. Pasquale was buried in the Mdina Cathedral in the family vault.

On 4 April 1814, Lucrezia Sceberras Testaferrata died suddenly and was buried at St Paul’s Church in Rabat.

This biography is part of the collection created by Michael Schiavone over a 30-year period. Read more about Schiavone and his initiative here.

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