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Coleridge’s Laws

Barry Hough
Howard Davis

Appendix 1. Translations of the Proclamations and Public Notices

Lydia Davis

Texte intégral


  • 1 In each case the date has been added by the present authors for ease of reference

129 January 18051

2Given the great benefits to be gained from having a road network which is maintained in a good condition, His Excellency the Royal Commissioner wishes to relay to the Public his hope that, in seeking to obtain this important objective, he does not neglect any of the ways in which it may be achieved.

3The type of wheel found on gigs and carts today, constitutes the principle reason behind the deterioration and ruin of the roads. Therefore, His Excellency orders and commands that from now on, all similar wheels must be made to fit a model which will be delivered to all respective craftsmen. Furthermore, he orders that the nails that cover the circumference of the wheel should not stick out from the iron rim. Craftsmen who breach these rules will be ordered to pay a fine of twenty oncie for each offence, one half of which will be paid to the treasury, and the other half which will go to the informant.

4His Excellency hopes that the majority of those who own gigs and carts will, in light of his wishes and of their own comfort, try to alter the wheels of their vehicles, even if they have only recently been made. One therefore expects from now on, to have the satisfaction of seeing the introduction of a general system for making wheels that, whilst sparing the streets, will also be of some advantage to the owners of gigs and carts. It is easy to see how, when the large and projecting nail heads give continual jolts to gigs and carts, or to people or goods carried in the vehicles, they damage that same gig or cart even more quickly, and, above all, destroy the iron rims of the wheels, which receive the knocks at first hand. These projecting nail heads cause discomfort to the passenger, damage any goods which are being transported, and exhaust the animals all the more, since they act as numerous points of resistance, working contrary to the moving force.

5Government Offices 29 January 1805.

6Samuel T. Coleridge, Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner.

7G.N. Zammit - Assistant Secretary.

8Today the 1 February 1805 it has been read and published to the sound of drums, and similar notices have been displayed in the usual and customary places of this city… its suburb and in individual farm houses, ut q: p felicem Micalles Bann


91 March 1805

10Matteo Sacco of Senglea has been imprisoned for having extorted thirty scudi from Ignazio Miccallef of Birchircara, under the pretence of obtaining for him the permission to return from exile. He shall continue to remain in prison until he has repaid the sum extorted. His Excellency hopes that this notice will encourage the Public to be wary of this man in the future, and that it will warn sellers of tobacco, who resemble him, not to dare to scrounge money from the credulous public under the pretence of protection. His Excellency, who devotes all his time to helping public matters, and who is always ready to listen to petitions from anybody, does not see why the offence of promising, or of seeking protection in this way, or in other similar ways, has not entirely ceased.

11From the Government Offices 1 March 1805

12Samuel T. Coleridge, Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner.

13G.N. Zammit - Assistant Secretary

14Today the 2 March 1805, it has been displayed in the usual and customary places of this city and its suburb, ut q: Francesca Ebejer


158 March, 1805

16Let all those concerned be informed that next Sunday, 10 March, the appropriate local lieutenants will carry out the distribution of payments due to the Maltese people, which is part of the gift of His Majesty for the actions taken during the surrender of Valletta.

17During this distribution, no distinction will be made between Corporals and soldiers, nor between those who served only for a short period of time and those who remained in service right up until the surrender of the city. Neither will there be a distinction made between Sergeants and any other officials above the rank of Corporal. In order to avoid any confusion, the same rules as in previous distributions will be applied and they will only be extended to those who, during other similar payments, have shown themselves to have been worthy of participation in a Royal donation.

18The right to participate is also extended to those who can prove on the spot, and with correct documentation, that they have previously been unjustly excluded from participating in a similar event, as set out in the rules adopted for such distributions, and according to the laws established by the notice of 11 December 1803.

19Such claimants should submit their appeals within the period of one month beginning on the date mentioned above, 10 March. After this time has elapsed, no appeal or request for any reason will be accepted from anybody.

20From the Government Offices 8 March 1805.

21Samuel T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

22G.N. Zammit - Assistant Secretary

23Today the 9 March 1805 it has been displayed…

24Ut q. Felicem Micalles Banns


258 March 1805

26From the first moment of his ascension to the civil government of this island, His Excellency the Royal Commissioner has esteemed it his sacred duty to occupy himself tirelessly with ways in which to make the inhabitants happy, and how to give assistance to those who have suffered greatest damage during the French invasion, and to those who due to general circumstances were either born or fell into poverty, and to those who, having no means of supporting themselves, apart from some civil employment, base all their hopes for a decent style of living on a monthly honorarium.

27The Tribunal has been rearranged as have several public projects. Public works have continued uninterrupted and a monthly distribution of charity has been set up. The Monte di Pietà, the hospitals, homes for the poor, for orphans and for students have been restored. The main area of enthusiasm is currently the Bank of the University of these Four Cities, as His Excellency remains most attentive to the situation of those families who keep all their domestic aspirations alive with the capital that they have invested in this post.

28Wishing, therefore, to increase support for so many poor families, and bearing in mind that wines and liquors of the kind usually found in Malta are in general consumed by foreigners, it is hoped that it will be in the public interest to increase the scarcity of these products, as this shall force immoderate drinkers to lower their consumption. It is, therefore, evidently better to generate a small increase in the price of wine and liquor, than to decide to increase the price of grain. His Excellency has also decided to reintroduce the duty that was once paid for the importation of wine, bringing into effect the following orders.

  1. From today onwards, anyone wishing to import wine must pay duty of six tari per barrel.
  2. That this resolution is intended to include all types and quality of wine without any exception.
  3. That all types of liquor require duty of thirty tari for whatever quantity, corresponding to a measure of one barrel.
  4. That no place or person for whatever reason may be, or intend to be exempt from the payment of this duty as set out above.
  5. That the exaction of such duty should be entrusted to the above mentioned University.
  6. That the penalty of any contravention shall be the confiscation of the entire quantity of wine found to be illegal.

29The employment of the money raised by these taxes cannot be detailed before the exact figure is known. His Excellency, therefore, wishes to advise, that it is his intention is to pay all individual owners of capital tied up in the bank of the above mentioned university, interest on their money at the rate of thirty tarì for every hundred, without taking into account the interest rate that was agreed at the time of the deposit.

30It is, furthermore, the intention of His Excellency to increase the salaries of those employees whom he considers worthy of such a raise, and to give some financial aid to charitable institutions, particularly those which are involved in constructing buildings which will be of benefit to the public.

31The first payment of the interest mentioned above will be that of one semester, and will be paid six months after the publication of this proclamation.

32As soon as he is able, His Excellency shall not neglect to give the necessary help to places of worship, and to religious foundations.

33From the Government Offices March 1805.

34S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

35Dr. G.N. Zammit -Assistant Secretary

36Today March 1805 it has been read, published, and displayed in all the usual and customary places of these 4 cities, and Floriana, to the sound of drums and in the presence of several people.


379 March 1805

38In the entrance to the Great Port on the side of Sant’Elmo, an area of shallow water has been discovered which, although very small in size, is dangerous nevertheless. In order to warn any ships and boats which may have to pass this point, an anchor has been thrown down, which is attached to a thick cord that can be seen floating.

39Some people, however, imagining this marker as being for some other purpose, have misused it, taking it for themselves to use as a mooring berth. By doing this they transport the cable and anchor, and move it away from the correct place, thereby impeding it from doing its job.

40In order to prevent this inconvenience, His Excellency has ordered that this public notice should serve to inform the public about the true state of affairs, in such a way that no-one will now be excused, and any person who continues to misuse this marker will have only themselves to blame if they are welcomed by rifle shots.

41Government Offices 9 March 1805.

42S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

43Dr. G.N. Zammit - Assistant Secretary

44Today the 9 March 1805 it has been fixed in the usual and normal places of these

45four cities, and Floriana in the presence of several people….


4622 March 1805

47The attention of His Excellency the Royal Commissioner has been drawn to the abuse of spirituous liquors, and to the damaging effect that they have on health. He has, therefore, willingly undertaken the task of trying to find a way to limit this problem and with this aim in mind he proposes the following decrees, and orders their strict observance.

  1. He orders and commands that no-one may import, unload or take delivery of spirituous liquor of any kind without a written license that refers to the person who wishes to receive the goods.
  2. That the above mentioned license may be granted whenever required by the President of the Grand Court of Valletta. The President should then make a note of it in the register, which can be opened whenever required in the Tribunal of the Grand Court mentioned above.
  3. That as this license deals with alcoholic spirits, it should not be awarded by the above-mentioned President unless done so in moderation to apothecaries, and to those who have a license to produce liquor.
  4. That any distillation of wine in order to produce spirits or brandy (acquavita) is strictly forbidden without a special license from the same President, which specifically expresses the quantity to be distilled.
  5. That nobody may produce spirituous liquors without having been licensed by a special decree from His Excellency in communication with the Grand Court of Valletta, and without having informed the President of the same Grand Court. In addition, the licensee must have provided a suitable guarantee to pay fifty oncie to the treasury in the case of any contravention of the law.
  6. That any producer of liquor must be held to account for the quantity of liquor that he was licensed to import, manufacture, or distil. He may not sell any quantity of liquor to any person without first undergoing an inspection to verify the quality of the liquor to be sold. This should be carried out by the Chief-physician, who must certify in writing that the liquor is of sufficient quality so as to pose no risk to health.
  7. That once the liquor has been certified as of good quality, the manufacturer may not sell it at retail, or to anyone else except for those who have obtained the necessary license and are authorised to sell it at retail to the Public, heads of family, and people of good character. Every manufacturer is obliged to keep a record of all sales that he makes within the limits of both this article, and the preceding one.
  8. That no shop-keeper, inn-keeper or publican may sell wine or spirits unless he is well-known, of good character, and in possession of the previously mentioned license granted by a decree of His Excellency, in conjunction with the above mentioned Grand Court.
  9. That no person within these four cities, and in the Vilhena district shall be licensed to sell, or to display as if for sale, both wine and spirits at the same time, but must choose either one or the other.
  10. That on the door of every shop, inn or tavern, there must be a written sign, visible to everybody, which states whether or not the premises is licensed to sell wine and spirits to soldiers. No producer, confectioner, or proprietor of a shop, café, inn or tavern, may sell sprits to soldiers without an express license for this purpose.
  11. That whoever is licensed to sell spirituous liquors either resale or wholesale, must present themselves to the President of the Grand Court in order to make a note of it in the register.
  12. That any contravention of the preceding articles from number 6 to number 11 should be punished by a fine of fifty oncie paid to the treasury. Any non-payment will be punished with imprisonment or six months service on public works. Furthermore, the offender shall suffer the permanent removal of their right to continue in business, or to run a shop.

48From the Government Offices 22 March 1805.

49S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary of the Royal Commissioner.

50Dr G.N. Zammit - Assistant Secretary

51Today the 24 March 1805, it has been read and published to the sound of drums, and copies have been displayed in the usual places of this city, its suburb and in individual farmhouses … ut q: per Felicem Miccalles Bann:


5222 March 1805

53Although the laws of the land forbid the extraction of cotton which is not spun either with seeds, or with wool, his Excellency the Royal Commissioner is, nevertheless, displeased to hear that some people, in the hope of making a profit, are daring to break the law.

54Wishing, therefore, to put an end to such incidents, and to punish the audacity of these offenders, he orders that whoever shall dare to extract cotton not manufactured with seeds or with wool, without a specific license, shall be punished with one month’s imprisonment, and that furthermore, he shall suffer the confiscation of all the cotton grown illegally, one-quarter of which he must hand over to the informant.

55Meanwhile, His Excellency promises to grant some licences for the extraction of a certain amount of cotton if the universal public good so demands, and if this year’s crop proves to be plentiful, in such a way that there will be no lack of material for people used to earning a living by spinning cotton.

56Government Offices 22 March 1805

57S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

58Dr G.N. Zammit - Assistant Secretary

59Today the 24 March 1805 it has been displayed in the usual places of this city and its suburb.


6022 March 1805

61It is a well known and long-established custom that all wine should be subject to examination by sworn-in officials responsible for food quality and control, both before being sold, and if any doubts are raised as to its quality.

62Given that he cares as much about the protection of trade as he does about the merchants themselves, His Excellency the Royal Commissioner is very much hoping to avoid the necessity of punishing anybody, or of making anybody suffer even slightly. He, therefore, wishes to inform all concerned, that from time to time, officials accompanied by the chief physician will carry out random inspections in shops and store houses belonging to wine merchants. Any wine which is found to be of insufficient quality, and therefore damaging to health, will be permanently confiscated.

63Government Offices 22 March 1805.

64S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary of the Royal Commissioner

65Dr. G.N. Zammit Assistant Secretary

66Today the 24 March it has been displayed in the usual places of this city and its suburb.


6722 May 1805

68Let it be known that Giovanni Hasciach from the city of Pinto, Andrea Borg, and the youth Saverio Bonello from Cospicua have been whipped, and will soon be sent into exile for having invented and spread malicious rumours which disturbed the peace of the inhabitants. His Excellency is determined to treat in the same manner all others who are discovered to have started, or who have been complicit in similar gossip. This includes those who have repeated these rumours in normal conversation, and those who, finding themselves present during the relation of such rumours, did not attempt to undeceive the listeners, or to inform the Tribunal of the Grand Court of Valletta.

69As this is a situation which regards the peace of the public, the principal aim of any civil society, no status or condition of person, and not even minors, shall be exempt from the severity of the punishment.

70Government Offices 22 May 1805.

71S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

72Today the 22May 1805 it has been displayed in the usual places of this city, and its suburb. Ut q.& ..Felicem Micalles Bann..


7325 May 1805

74On 22 May this year, Fortunata Tagliana from the Notabile suburb marked out as a Jew one of the French prisoners stationed in the little wood, who had gone into the house of a woman living near her, with whom she was in disagreement. She caused this man to be followed, and he was beaten up and stoned by two or three delinquents who came running after hearing her cries.

75Francesco Borg, from the same district, was woken up by the commotion and ran to the area. Far from following the example of the others, he managed to undeceive the pursuers, and by this means he rescued the pursued man.

76Fortunata Tagliana has been banished permanently to the island of Gozo, where, having no opportunity to meet any Jews she will be able, with the change in air, to find a cure for her fanaticism.

77Francesco Borg has been rewarded with twenty-five scudi for his good conduct on this occasion.

78His Excellency is disappointed that he has found it necessary to punish Fortunata Tagliana for her attempt to exploit a popular prejudice. He is even more displeased that he has had to reward the act of duty carried out by Francesco Borg, as if it were one of particular merit. Now that the senseless pleasure in inventing malicious slander has stopped, and the people have realised their own foolishness, and how damaging their credulity can be, His Excellency hopes that the nation shall again enjoy its former peace, regardless of those who are envious of its happiness. There should, therefore, be no more need to punish anybody, and rewards will be reserved for those of greater claim and greater merit.

79Government Offices 25 May 1805.

80S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner.

81Today, the 26 May 1805 it has been read and published to the sound of drums as requested by the letter from the Government Offices… Copies have been displayed in all the usual places of this city and its suburb, and in individual farm houses. Ut q: Felicem Miscalles Bann.….


8212 June 1805

83His Excellency the Royal Commissioner has learned that there are false coins in circulation, found especially in silver pieces of one scudo with the imprint of the Grand Master Rohan. He wishes to avert the Public of this so that everybody is properly informed, and may then make every possible effort not to be tricked. Should anybody come across such a coin, he shall be obliged to deliver it at once to the Tribunal, or to the local lieutenant, indicating who gave it to him, or tried to give it to him, so that he may be brought to justice.

84Government Offices 12 June 1805.

85S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

86Today the 13 June 1805 it has been displayed in the usual places….ut q..Philippum Frendo Servum... [illegible]


8714 June 1805

88Aloisia Caruana has been imprisoned for having dared to offer to Doctor Vincenzo Caruana Zerafa, the Penal Judge of the Grand Court of Valletta, an ounce of Sicilian gold which she hoped would encourage him to look favourably on her appeal. She will continue to remain in prison for several days, and, furthermore, she will suffer the loss of her monetary offering which will be distributed to the poor.

89The insult that this woman made to the Tribunal showed her to be clearly of the most offensive opinion, that any difficulties raised in her appeal could be alleviated by the contemptible methods which she tried to use – a belief which certainly deserved the most severe punishment. Given that is the job of His Excellence to instruct each and every person in his duty, he believed it necessary to use this notice to avert the Public of this case, hoping that it shall serve as an example to avoid similar punishments in the future.

90Government Offices 14 June 1805.

91S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

92Today the 16June 1805 it has been displayed in the usual places ut q…Philippum Frenco Servum [illegible]


9320 June 1805

94The Royal service requests that an end is put to the continual thefts carried out by people who pretend to enrol in the army, take the money and then use it for gambling or for some other underhand scheme, with the hope of being able to return it within the appointed time. It should, therefore, be noted, that the following decree, extracted from the articles of War, otherwise known as Martial law, will in future be fully applied on these islands.

95”Whenever any person receives money for enlistment, within the next forty-eight hours, but not sooner than twenty-four hours (unless through his own choice), he must be taken before a magistrate or an official who is appointed to swear in soldiers. Before this official the person will either declare his consent, or else may freely make clear his dissatisfaction at his enlistment. In case of the latter declaration, he must repay the enrolment money, and after making an additional payment of ten scudi, he shall be immediately freed from his obligations in the presence of the above-mentioned magistrate or official.

96However, if the person indicated above should refuse, or should neglect to repay the above-mentioned money within the aforesaid period of twenty-four hours, this person will be treated as enlisted, and as if he had given his full consent to the appropriate official as laid out in this document.

97Government Offices 20 June 1805.

98S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

99Today the 22 June 1805 it has been displayed in the usual places: ut q: Philippum Frendo Servum [illegible]


10021 June 1805

101His Excellency the Royal Commissioner wishes to clarify various doubts which have been raised regarding the authority of the Lieutenant of Vittoriosa to allow ferry-boats to work at night inside the Grand Port, and also regarding the duties of the night captains with respect to the lieutenants. He therefore orders

  1. That the Lieutenant of the City of Vittoriosa should continue to give the usual permission to ferry-boats to work during the night. The customary small dock-charges should be divided up equally between himself, and the two lieutenants of the cities of Senglea and Cospicua, who themselves must remain on the alert for any possible breaches of the law committed by boatmen authorised in this way.
  2. That the above mentioned lieutenant of Vittoriosa should only grant the above-mentioned permit to boatmen of whose honesty he is convinced, so that he does not expose himself to being held responsible for any damage which results from the illegal behaviour of anybody to whom, through his own negligence, he has issued a license.
  3. Finally, he orders that all night captains should extend the usual courtesies towards all lieutenants, and that together with the people who make up the patrols, they should perform the rounds every night, providing mutual help to one another whenever necessary.

102Government Offices 21 June 1805.

103S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner.

104Today the 23 June 1805 it has been displayed in the usual places ut q Felicem Micalles Bann [illegible]


10521 June 1805

106His Excellency the Royal Commissioner, has observed that despite the proclamations issued up until now, which deal with foreigners, carts, boats, and other issues which involve the police, and which have as their objective the preservation of good order and the prevention of crime, he has not yet managed to create a system which is as smooth running and as comprehensive as he would have wished. Therefore, in addition to those regulations already fixed as laws of the land, and to the proclamations already made, he orders

  1. That every foreigner wishing to remain for a period of time on these islands must be in possession of a written permit signed by both the President of the Grand Court of Valletta, and by the Chief of Police. The permit should give details of the real name, surname, and home-country of the foreigner, as well as his business, and the amount of time that he wishes, and is able to remain on the island.
  2. That every foreigner already resident in these islands must try to obtain the above mentioned permit within eight days. Any foreigners who come and go frequently, should obtain this permit immediately after their arrival, and should they fail to do so, they will be subject to a fine of ten oncie and be ordered to depart immediately and prohibited from ever returning. Out of the above mentioned ten oncie, ten scudi will be paid to the person who informed the Tribunal of the offence, even if he is a minister of the Tribunal himself.
  3. That the above mentioned President and Chief of Police, may only award this permit to a foreigner that is able, using the correct documents, to distance himself from any suspicion, and to cite a feasible reason for his entry into this island, and of the need to remain here for some time.
  4. That the above mentioned President and Chief of Police may only award this permit for a period of two months, which they may then extend for the same period of time again in one or more instalments as the situation dictates. Should the foreigner wish for permission to reside for longer than four months, he should apply to His Excellency.
  5. That any foreigner about to depart must submit his permit to the Chief of Police. In the case of any infringement of this law, he will suffer the penalty of being denied future permission to disembark in these islands.
  6. That no inhabitant of any status or condition has permission to give lodging, or to rent houses to foreigners, either for their use or for others, without having first ensured that the person in question is in possession of the above mentioned permit. In the case of any infringement of this law, the offender shall be sent into exile. No-one shall be exempt from this law, not even those who claim to have been tricked by being shown a permit granted to someone else, as it is easy to obtain the truth of the matter by appealing to the above mentioned President and Chief of Police.
  7. That the above mentioned President and Chief of Police, shall meet every day at ten in the morning in the Grand Court of this city Valletta, and there they shall together review the foreigners who have arrived that day. After ten o’clock on the morning of the previous (sic) day, they shall decide whether to grant them permission to remain on the island, and for how long. They should make their decision together, with the participation of His Excellency wherever the circumstances of the case make this necessary.
  8. That the above mentioned President of the Grand Court and Chief of Police both carry a book in which they describe in alphabetical order all the travellers who arrive. They should make clear notes in the margin of all observations relating to the person, to the reason for their arrival and residence on the island, and to the permit granted as a result, and they should provide details of the documents examined. Then, in a separate column, but on the same page, the Chief of Police should note in the above mentioned book the departure of the foreigner, and whether or not he gave back his permit. He should then send by hand all the necessary information to the President of the Grand Court, specifying whether or not the above mentioned restitution of the permit was carried out.
  9. That all gigs for hire, all carts, all ferry-boats and fishing boats, must display in a visible place, a number painted in oil, which distinguishes them. This number and the place where it should be painted will be assigned by the above mentioned President of the Grand Court, although it must be painted at the expense of the owner of the boat, gig or cart, by any person whom he wishes to employ.
  10. That any driver of gigs or carts, and all boatmen, and those who work on fishing boats in place of the proprietor, should preserve the original number which was assigned by the President in the form of a card or parchment, which must always be carried in their pockets.
  11. That the above mentioned President should have a register of all the numbers given to carts, gigs for hire, ferry-boats and fishing boats, together with a note of the proprietor, their name, surname, nickname, and home country or place of residence. One page should be allowed for each number so that in each page it is easy to note all the passengers and all the changes in ownership of the boats, carts and gigs as they happen. Note should also be made if one of the vehicles is destroyed or if it is missing for some reason, and in this case, the vacant number should be reserved for the next boat, cart or gig which has need of one.
  12. That in case of infringement of articles nine and ten as stated above, the proprietor of the gig, cart or boat should pay the penalty of six onze for the first offence, one half of which should be given to the informant. For the second offence he shall suffer the confiscation of the cart, gig or boat, from the sale of which three onze shall be given to the informant. His Excellency desires that the responsibility for the gig, cart, or boat is entirely that of the proprietor, and that the absence of the driver, boatman or sailor, may not be used as an excuse.
  13. That the same President is charged with the task of watching over the implementation of this present proclamation, and also of the laws and the proclamations already published with respect to foreigners and to the numbering of gigs, carts and boats. This should also include that section of the proclamation of 3 December 1800, which regards layabouts and vagabonds, and the proclamation of 12 November 1804 which deals with women in politics, and also all the concerns raised in relation to the job of Maestro di Piazza.2 The President should ensure that the Grand Viscount, or his lieutenant, the Maestro di Piazza, and the captains and viscounts are on the look out to ensure that these laws are observed. In the case of any infringement of the law on the part of these junior ministers, the President should appeal, as in the past, to the Tribunal of the Great Court of Valletta so that the cases can be dealt with appropriately.
  14. That the same President, within the space of one month, must give a copy of the books which he has made as a result of the above mentioned orders, to the Government Office. He should then keep updating the notes held in the office, making sure that he adds any extra information so that these copies correspond exactly to the books which he himself holds.
  15. That the fiscal lawyer of the maritime court, and every local lieutenant, is obliged to keep on their person an up-to-date register of the numbers of gigs for hire, and of all the carts in his district which should contain all the notes specified in article 11. Every month he is obliged to identify all owners of these gigs and carts, and the condition of their numbers, and he must then make the appropriate written report in the Government offices.

107Government Offices 21 June 1805.

108S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commission

109Dr. G.N. Zammit - Assistant Secretary

110Today the 23 June 1805 it has been read, published and displayed in the usual and customary places of these four cities, Valletta, Senglea, Conspicua and Vittoriosa and in Floriana to the sound of trumpets and in the presence of several people…Salvatore Cortina night-captain of this G.C.


11125 June 1805

112The attention of His Excellency has been drawn again to the fact that, despite the effective measures which have been implemented at various times in order to deal with the problem, passport-holders have continued to abuse and exploit their rights to hold passports of this island.

113Given the lack of our own national ships, and the urgent need to assist the transport of goods, His Excellency was obliged, in those early days following the surrender of these cities, to distribute certificates which promised British Protection to various foreign vessels. The governors of the Barbary states agreed to respect this measure, which was dictated by the necessity of the situation.

114Once the abuses began, His Excellency began to wish to deny the validity of the above-mentioned documents. However, as the circumstances mentioned continued to remain the same, he tried to deal with the problem by introducing by-laws and some new restrictions aimed at providing a remedy for the problem. As even these new by-laws then proved to be ineffective, His Excellency had to take the decision not to issue any more passports, nor to promise British protection to any vessels which were not actually Maltese or English. This arrangement was made known to the public with the proclamation of 28 October 1803. Unfortunately, not even this system has been enough to remove every infringement of the law.

115It has been discovered that on several occasions, foreigners may have made a false sale of ships to a Maltese subject, an event which has disappointed the Tribunal entrusted with the job of verifying the pertinence of all vessels which require passports.

116This discovery has obliged His Excellency to take the decision to deny the usual passports to all vessels, and to order that any authentic English or Maltese vessels of any description must obtain special passports made from parchment, called ”passports of the Mediterranean”. It is hoped that the surety that will result from the receipt of these passports, will make any abuses of the law stop at once. Therefore, from today onwards, the old-style passports will not guarantee any vessel which leaves from this port.

117His Excellency hopes that with such a move, all breaches of the law will stop at once, above all because all those whom it concerns shall be much less willing to take risks. He wishes to inform everyone that the governors of Barberia have become suspicious, and have employed spies everywhere in order to make sure of the authentic and true pertinence of those vessels which travel under the protection of the above mentioned passports. Any foreigners who abuse the law risk not only the loss of their boat and its cargo, but even the possibility of being captured and enslaved. His Excellency does not intend to engage himself in any manner to help those whom he deems to have broken the law in any way.

118Government Offices 25 June 1805.

119S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

120Dr G.N. Zammit - Assistant Secretary.

121Today the 26 June 1805 it has been displayed in the usual places of this city and its suburb. Ut q. p Felicem Micallese


12215 July 1805

123Some people enrolled in the Royal Maltese Regiment have deserted, and are now armed and roaming the countryside, disturbing the population.

124His Excellency wishes to put a stop to this problem, and, therefore, orders everybody to make all possible effort to discover their hiding places. He promises a suitable reward to whoever shall provide the relevant official with information leading to the arrest of these deserters. In addition, he wishes that any person who provides help for these deserters, or anyone who knows where they are hidden but fails to immediately inform the Tribunal or the appropriate lieutenant, should be severely punished.

125Government Offices 15 July 1805.

126S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

127Today the 17 July 1805 it has been displayed in the usual places of this city, its suburb and in individual farm houses. Ut. q; p Mariam Zammit …[illegible]


1285 August 1805

129His Excellency the Royal Commissioner recognises that, although the proclamation of 3 April 1801 expressly forbids the purchase of any item by soldiers, it is often generally supposed by many people that the purchase of bread is not included in this. As proof of his desire to prevent, rather than to punish crimes, His Excellency has, therefore, ordered that this notice be published, in order to make clear to those who question whether bread and other things are included in the above mentioned prohibition, that the general prohibition on purchasing goods, obviously includes everything.

130Government Offices 5 August 1805.

131S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

132Today the 8 August 1805 it has been read and published to the sound of drums and copies have been displayed in the usual places of this city, its suburb and in individual farm houses. ut. que; Felicem Micalles Bann…[illegible]


1335 August 1805

134Following the proclamation published on 13 May 1803, in which everyone, including the owners of allotments, was prohibited from selling unripened fruit, His Excellency the Royal Commissioner wishes and orders that the above mentioned proclamation is further extended to include those who display unripened fruit of any sort either inside or outside the shop, next to other saleable goods. In addition to the penalty set out in the above mentioned proclamation, the guilty party will suffer the penalty of permanent exclusion from the right to run a shop, or work a plot of land. If they are the actual owner of one or more plots of land, they shall suffer the penalty of one month’s imprisonment at their own expense.

135Government Offices 5 August 1805.

136S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

137Today the 8 August 1805 it has been read and published to the sound of drums, and copies have been displayed in the usual places of this city, its suburb and in individual farmhouses, ut q p. felicem Micalles Bann…


13819 August 1805

139It should be noted that next Thursday, 22 August, the distribution will begin in the Government Offices of the payments due to those people who, during the month fixed in the notice of 8 March 1805, applied to obtain their share of the royal donation.

140The above mentioned distribution must be finished by the following Thursday, 29 August this year. Consequently, anyone who does not arrive to make a claim during these stated eight days shall lose the payment allocated to him.

141In order that no person should show up unnecessarily, it should be noted that people should only apply, if their applications were supported by a statement from a lieutenant or from another similarly responsible official.

142Government Offices 19 August 1805.

143S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary of the Royal Commissioner.

144Today the 21 August it has been read and published to the sound of drums, and copies have been displayed in the usual places of this city, its suburb and in individual farm houses, ut: q Felicem Micalles Bann.


1452 September 1805

146Desertions by Maltese Soldiers continue to be frequent despite the strenuous measures adopted. This is principally due to the hospitality which these soldiers find in various farm-houses, where they are welcomed, aided and sometimes even assisted with things which, were they to be deprived of, would perhaps dissuade them from deserting, or ensure that it would not be long before they returned to their regiments or were arrested. Given this situation, His Excellence the Royal Commissioner orders that no inhabitant may give shelter or assistance to any of these deserters, under the penalty of being punished with a fine decided by the Tribunal, which should correspond to the circumstances and people involved.

147From the Government Offices 2 September 1805.

148S.T. Coleridge Public Secretary to the Royal Commissioner

149Today the 5 September 1805 it has been read and published to the sound of drums, and copies have been displayed in the usual places of this city, its suburb and in individual farmhouses, ut q: Felicem Micalles Bann…[illegible]


1 In each case the date has been added by the present authors for ease of reference

2 No record of the Proclamation of 12 November 1804 has been identified in the National Library of Malta. It appears not to have survived.



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