Armory of the Grand Masters of the Sovereign Military Order of Saint-John

See also a discussion of the heraldic practices of the Order.

The following armory is based on a set of late 19th-century plates reproduced (without citation) in Bascapè and Del Piazzo (pp.287ff). These plates contain a number of mistakes, particularly in spelling and in attribution, so I checked the coats as much as possible with other sources (Rietstap=R, Jougla de Morenas=JM, Woodward=W; I have also used ANF=Annuaire de la Noblesse de France, 1845, article on the Crusader rooms of Versailles, also described here, but preferred the other sources when they disagreed). Those arms that I could not confirm are between brackets. Even when it is confirmed in another source that the arms were used by a family of the same name, I am not sure that the author of the plates actually checked that the Master belonged to that family, or ever used those arms himself. In the case of Arnaud de Comps or Roger des Moulins, they may have lived before the arms were adopted by those families. Some arms, such as those of Gérard, are probably purely fictitious. Only after 1300 am I confident that the arms described here were in fact those used by the Grand Masters, because we have contemporary epigraphic, sigillographic and numismatic evidence.

Most of the illustrations are pictures taken in Rhodes, Bodrum (Turkey), and Malta.

The list of Grand-Masters comes from H. J. A. Sire's book.

  1. Gérard (d. 1120):
    [Azure a lion argent].
  2. Raimond du Puy (d. 1158/60):
    Or a lion gules. (ANF)
  3. Auger de Balben (d. 1162/3):
    [Sable on a bend between two bendlets wavy argent three martlets gules].
  4. Arnaud de Comps (d. 1162/3):
    Gules an eagle chequy argent and sable. (JM)
  5. Gilbert d'Assailly (d. 1169/70):
    [Azure semy of mullets and a lion or].
  6. Cast de Murols (d. c.1172):
    [Gules a cross fitchy vair].
  7. Joubert (d. 1177):
    [Or on a cross sable five escallops argent].
  8. Roger des Moulins (d. 1187):
    Argent on a cross ancree sable an escallop or (ANF).
  9. Armengard d'Aps (d. 1189/90):
    [sable a cross potent or].
  10. Garnier de Naplouse (d. 1190-92):
    [Argent a tower azure].
  11. Godefroi de Donjon (d. 1202):
    [Gules a bend argent].
  12. Alfonso de Portugal (d. 1206):
    Argent five escutcheons azure crosswise, on each five rings argent saltirewise, on a bordure gules seven castles or.
  13. Godefroi le Rat (d. 1207):
    [Azure a unicorn rampant argent].
  14. Guarin de Montaigu (d. 1227/8):
    [Gules a tower argent].
  15. Bernard de Thessy (d. c.1231):
    [Or a fess gules].
  16. Guérin Lebrun (d. 1236):
    [Argent a double-headed eagle displayed sable].
  17. Bertrand de Comps (d. 1239):
    Gules an eagle chequy argent and sable. (JM)
  18. Pierre de Vieille Brioude (d. 1244):
    a double-headed eagle displayed (arms born at the time by his relatives; see A. Romeuf's article in Cahiers de la Haute-Loire 2001
  19. Guillaume de Chateauneuf (d. 1258):
    Gules three castles or masoned sable. (ANF)
    His seal from the Corpus Inscriptionum Crucesignatorum.
  20. Hugues de Revel (d. 1277):
    [Or a wing azure].
  21. Nicolas Lorgne (d. 1284):
    Argent a fess gules. (ANF)
    Arms of Nicolas Lorgne

  22. Jean de Villiers (d. 1293/4):
    Or three chevrons azure. (ANF)
    Arms of Jean de Villiers

  23. Odon de Pins (d. 1296):
    Gules three pine-cones or. (JM)
  24. Guillaume de Villaret (d. 1305):
    Or three mounts gules in fess issuant from base, on each a crow sable. (JM)
  25. Foulques de Villaret (deposed 1317):
    Or three mounts gules in fess issuant from base, on each a crow sable. (JM)
  26. Hélion de Villeneuve (d. 1346):
    Gules six tilting spears in fretty, in-between the spears semy of escutcheons, all or. (JM)
    arms of Hélion de Villeneuve arms of Hélion de Villeneuve

  27. Dieudonné de Gozon (d. 1353):
    Gules on a bend argent a bendlet azure within a bordure of seven merlins of the second. (JM)
  28. Pierre de Corneilhan (d. 1355):
    Gules on a bend argent three crows sable. (JM)
    arms of Pierre de Corneilhan

  29. Roger de Pins (d. 1365):
    Gules three pine-cones or. (JM)
    arms of Roger des Pins arms of Roger des Pins

  30. Raymond Béranger (d. 1374):
    Gyronny "en croix" or and gules. (W; his coins show only a bend)
  31. Robert de Julliac (d. 1377):
    Argent a cross flory gules thereon a label azure of four pendants in chief. (JM)

  32. Juan Fernandez de Heredia (d. 1396):
    Gules seven castles or 1, 2, 1, 2 and 1.
    Arms of Juan Fernandez de Heredia

  33. Riccardo Carracciolo (from 1383 to 1395; appointed by Pope Urban VI but not acknowledged by the Order in Rhodes)
  34. Philibert de Nalhac (d. 1421):
    Azure two lions passant or in pale. (JM)
    Arms of Philibert de Nalhac

  35. Antonio de Fluvià (d. 1437):
    Or a fess gules. (ANF)
    arms of Antonio de Fluvian arms of Antonio de Fluvian

  36. Jean de Lastic (d. 1454):
    Sable a fess argent and a bordure gules. (ANF)
  37. Jacques de Milly (d. 1461):
    Gules a chief dancetty argent. (JM)
    amrs of Jacques de Milly

  38. Pedro Ramon Zacosta (d. 1467):
    Or two bars dancetty gules and a bordure sable besanty argent. (ANF)
  39. Giovanni Battista Orsini (d. 1476):
    per bend gules and argent, on a chief of the second supported by a divise or thereon an eel azure, a rose of the first. (R)
    arms of Orsini

  40. Pierre d'Aubusson (d. 1503):
    or a cross ancrée gules. (JM)
    arms of Pierre d'Aubusson arms of Pierre d'Aubusson arms of Pierre d'Aubusson

  41. Emmeri d'Amboise (d. 1512):
    pally of 6 or and gules. (ANF)
    arms of Emmeri d'Amboise arms of Emmeri d'Amboise arms of Emmeri d'Amboise

  42. Gui de Blanchefort (d. 1513):
    Or two lions passant gules in pale. (JM)
    arms of Blanchefort mid-17th c.
  43. Fabrizio del Carretto (d. 1521):
    Gules five bendlets or. (ANF)
    arms of Carretto arms of Carretto

  44. Philippe de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam (1464-1534):
    Or on a chief azure an arm argent issuant from sinister, clothed with a maniple ermine over the field. (JM)
    arms of Villiers de L'Isle-Adam

  45. Pietrino di Ponte (1462-1535):
    Argent a saltire gules. (ANF)
    arms of Juan de Homedes

  46. Didier de Tholon de Sainte-Jaille (d. 1536):
    Vert a swan argent, beaked and membered or. (JM)
  47. Juan de Homedes y Coscón (1477-1553):
    Per pale or a pine-tree vert and gules three castles or. (ANF)
    arms of Juan de Homedes

  48. Claude de la Sengle (1494-1557):
    Or on a saltire sable five escallops argent. (ANF)
    arms of Claude de la Sengle

  49. Jean Parisot de la Valette (1494-1568):
    Per fess gules a gerfalcon argent, one leg lifted, and gules a lion argent, armed and tongued or. (JM)
    arms of Jean de La Vallette

    18th c.
  50. Pietro Ciocchi del Monte San Savino (1499-72):
    Azure on a bend gules fimbriated argent three mounts of three hillocks or, between two wreaths of the last.
  51. Pierre L'Evêque de la Cassière (1503-82):
    Argent a lion gules. (JM) arms of La Cassiere
  52. Hugo Loubenx de Verdala (1531-95):
    Gules a wolf rampant or. (JM)
  53. Martín Garzés (1526-1601):
    Azure a swan argent and three mullets or in chief.
    arms of Martin Garzes
  54. Alof de Wignacourt (1547-1622):
    Argent three fleurs-de-lys couped (au pied nourri) gules and a label sable. (JM)
    arms of Alof de Wignacourt arms of Alof de Wignacourt
  55. Luis Mendez de Vasconcellos (1543-1623):
    Argent three bars dancetty gules.
    arms of Vasconcellos
  56. Antoine de Paule (1551/2-1636):
    Argent on a sheath or a peacock azure, on a chief gules three mullets of the second. (Provence)
    arms of Antoine de Paule  arms of Antoine de Paule
  57. Jean-Paul de Lascaris de Castellar (1560-1657):
    Or a double-headed eagle displayed sable crowned of the first.
    arms of Jean-Baptiste de Lascaris
  58. Martín de Redín y Cruzat (1590-1660):
    Azure a cross quarterly argent and gules.
    arms of Martin de Redin
  59. Annet de Clermont de Chattes-Gessan (1587-1660):
    Gules two keys per saltire argent.
    arms of Annet de Clermont
  60. Rafael Cotoner y de Oleza (1601-63):
    Or a cotton plant vert fructed argent.
    arms of Rafael Cottoner
  61. Nicola Cotoner y de Oleza (1608-80):
    Or a cotton plant vert fructed argent.
    arms of Nicola Cottoner
  62. Gregorio Caraffa della Roccella (1614-90):
    Gules on three bars argent a bend raguly vert. (Guelfi Camajani)
    arms of Gregorio Caraffa arms of Gregorio Caraffa
  63. Adrien de Wignacourt (1618-97):
    Argent three fleurs-de-lys couped (au pied nourri) gules.
    arms of Adrien de Wignacourt
  64. Ramón Perellós y Rocafull (1637-1720):
    Or three pears vert.
    arms of Ramon Perellos
  65. Marcantonio Zondadari (1658-1722):
    Azure on a bend or three roses gules.
  66. Antonio Manoël de Vilhena (1663-1736):
    per fess, argent a lion gules, and gules a winged arm clothed with a maniple or, holding a sword argent. (R)
    arms of Antonio Manoel de Vilhena
  67. Ramón Despuig y Martinez de Marcilla (1670-1741):
    azure from base issuant a mount topped by a fleur-de-lys or, thereon a mullet azure. (R)
    arms of Ramon Despuig
  68. Manuel Pinto de Fonseca (1681-1773):
    Argent five crescents gules 2, 1 and 2.
    arms of Manuel Pinto
  69. Francisco Ximenes de Texada (1703-75):
    per pale, gules a lion crowned or and vert a tower or the roof argent. (R)
  70. Emmanuel de Rohan de Polduc (1744-97):
    Gules nine mascles or 3, 3 and 3.
    arms of Emmanuel de Rohan
  71. Ferdinando von Hompesch zu Bolheim (1744-1805, abdicated 1799):
    Gules a saltire engrailed argent.
  72. Paul I of Russia (d. 1801; self-proclaimed 1798)
  73. Giovanni Tommasi (1731-1805, appointed 1803):
    Barry of six Or and gules.
    Arms of Grand-Master Tommasi

  74. Johann Baptist Ceschi de Santa Croce (1827-1905, appointed 1879):
    Quarterly, 1. and 4. Azure a griffon crowned or, 2. and 3. per fess gules and argent a cross patty counterchanged; over all per fess, sable a lion issuant crowned or its tail forked, and sable three bars or. (R)
  75. Galeas von Thun und Hohenstein (1850-31, retired 1929):
    Quarterly: 1) azure a bend or, and 2) per pale argent an eagle displayed gules, and Sable a fess argent; overall gules a fess argent.
  76. Lodovico Chigi (1866-51, elected 1931):
    Quarterly, 1. azure an oak-tree eradicated or, its four branches knotted-saltireways (Della Rovere), 2 and 3. Gules in base a mount of six coupeux and in chief and estoile or (Chigi), 4. Azure a fess between an estoile of six rays in chief and a mount of three hillocks in base or (Albani). (Gotha)
  77. Angelo de Mojana di Cologna (1905-88, elected 1962):
    Azure a fess ??? gules between three fleurs-de-lys or.
  78. Andrew Bertie (1929-2008):
    Argent three battering-rams fesswise in pale proper, armed and garnished azure. (Debrett)
    arms of Fra Andrew Bertie

  79. Matthew Festing (2008):
    Azure an eagle displayed or between three towers argent

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Last Modified: May 06, 2008