MANTUA AND MONTFERRAT

From Irish Pedigrees; or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation by John O'Hart

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Line of Heremon | Heremon Genealogies

SCARRON, who was Court Poet, temp. Louis XIV., described the Armorial Bearings of this family, in a parody written with reference to Regnier, Duc d'Anjou, King of Sicily. That description was, at the request of Duke Archibald of Mantua, translated by Thomas Moore, as follows:

"Six mighty realms, beneath the helmet crowned,

Shine on the shield of Charlie the renowned:

Byzantium, Baleares and Bar, Arragon, France, and Mantua,

Are blazoned all in chief; and underneath the shield fair Navarre.

Thus is our courteous Knight, and none such known,

A king of kings, a noble generous son.

The war-cry "Olympus Fides" doth he choose

In battle-field or Tournay's shock to use;

And, with his emblems, birds of plumage rare,

That his brave shield may be their constant care.

With that (his loving Worship) may be seen

The Paternoster crosses of a Queen."

As in pp. 59-63 of "The Pedigree of Her Royal and Most Serene Highness, the Duchess of Mantua, Montferrat, and Ferrara" (London, 1885), this family pedigree is elaborately traced in regular lineage, in the "Table of Descent from the Irish Kings," from Heremon, son of Milesius of Spain, down to the Duchess and her son Charles, Prince of Mantua (living in London, in 1887), we are content with here inserting the following extract from pp. v., vi., and vii. of that carefully compiled volume; containing the opinion of Sir John Holker, Her Majesty's Attorney-General, on the claims and Titles of the Duchess of Mantua and Montferrat, and her son:

"I am of opinion on the following grounds," says Sir John Holker, "that Anne Napier, widow of Charles Edward Groom, Esquire, Prince of Gaeta, is entitled to the appellation Duchess of Mantua and Montferrat, she having proved her claim thereto. I have read over and critically examined all the certificates and other documents which prove Duchess Ann to be the lineal descendant and heir of Ferdinand, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat, by his wife Camilla. I have read the documentary evidence which proves the claim of the aforesaid Duchess Ann to the title and states of the Duchy of Ferrara, of the Duchy of Este, Duchy of Modena, of the Duchy of Guastalla, of the Duchy of Bozzola, of the Duchy of Sabioneta, of the Principality of Castiglione, of the Counties of Canossa and Novellara, and to be the heiress of the line of Medici, Dukes of Florence and Grand Dukes of Tuscany. I am likewise of opinion, having considered all the acts and settlements of Louis XIV., Louis XV., Louis XVI., and of Napoleon I., Kings and Emperor of France, that the Duchess is entitled to style herself Duchess of Nevers, Réthel, and Alençon in France and Cleves in Flanders. I am likewise of opinion that the aforesaid Duchess Ann is the heiress of the line of Paleologi or last Emperors of Costantinople, and one of the heirs general of Charlemagne, Emperor of Germany and King of France; to be heiress also of the old Emperors and Kings of Italy; and to be heiress of the Kings of Jerusalem and of the Kings of Cyprus; the Balearic Isles and Candia; and of the King of Thessaly; and I am likewise of opinion that the aforesaid Duchess Ann is heiress of the Royal House of Stewart, as the chief of the line of descent of the Earls of Menteth. I am likewise of opinion that the Duchess Ann has made out her claim to be heiress of the line of Duncan, Earl of Lennox, both on account of her being the representative and lineal descendant of Lady Margaret, who is proved to be the second daughter of Duncan, who married Sir Robert Menteth, of Rusky, by whom Lady Margaret had one son, who died unmarried, and two daughters. Agnes, the eldest, became the wife of Sir John Haldane, of Gleneagles. I have read the certificate of the baptism of Agnes, which describes her as the eldest daughter of Lady Margaret, and Sir Robert Menteth, his wife. The second daughter of Lady Margaret, Elizabeth, married John Napier, of Merchiston, and the certificate of her baptism now before me describes her as the second daughter of the Lady Margaret and her husband, Sir Robert Menteth, and the certificate showing that Agnes was two years older than Elizabeth. And I am further of opinion that the Duchess has proved her line of descent as heiress of the Haldanes, of Gleneagles, and to be chief of their family, as well as to claim priority over the other claimants to the Earldom of Lennox. I have examined the certificates of the marriage of Mungo Haldane, Esq., M.P. for Stirlingshire, with Mary Scott, of Edinburgh. He was erroneously reported to have died unmarried. Also the marriage certificate of his daughter, Mary Jane Haldane, with the Rev. Archibald Napier, the claimant to the Earldom of Lennox as heir general of Elizabeth Menteth, the wife of John Napier of Merchiston. I am likewise of opinion that the two lines of descent from the sisters Agnes and Elizabeth are now represented by the Duchess of Mantua and Montferrat. I am likewise of opinion that she has proved her claim to be the representative of the line of the Napiers of Merchiston, Tobago, and of the line of the Napiers of Kilmahew. I am also of opinion that the Duchess has brought proof that her grandfather, the Rev. Archibald Napier, and her father, Archibald, were acknowledged by King George II., and King George III., as Earls of Lennox, Fife and Menteth; the Attorney General in King George II.'s time, having reported in favour of the Rev. Archibald Napier's claim.

"I am likewise of opinion that the Duchess of Mantua and Montferrat has proved her pedigree as a descendant of the ancient Kings of Ireland, and the Princes of Wales, and as such entitled to be a representative family as regards pedigree in both these countries. And I am likewise of opinion that the Duchess is Sovereign of the Order of Knight Templars, founded 1119, by Baldwin II.; Sovereign of the Order of Siardino del Palestina, instituted 1197, by Baldwin, King of Jerusalem; Sovereign of the Most Ancient Order of the Sword in Cyprus; the Most Sacred Order of the Redemption; and the Most Ancient Order of the Annunciad, or St. Michael, in Mantua; of the Noble Order of the Swan, of Cleveland; of the Illustrious Order of the White Eagle, of Este; dignities which are associated with the representation of the families which constituted them, and are personal and not geographical, as I have proved by reference to the statutes of each.

"I am likewise of opinion that the Duchess can claim to exercise all the powers which her ancestors exercised over these Orders, and I am farther of opinion that the Duchess has inherited all the powers of creation which were vested in her ancestors, of which she is the lineal representative. And I am likewise of opinion that she has proved her claim to be the hereditary Sheriff of the Counties of Lennox and Dumbarton, in Scotland. And I am likewise of opinion that the Duchess Ann has proved her claim to the old Barony of Lennox, the representative of the ancient Thanes of Lennox; and to the titles of Countess and Baroness de Lennox, in France; and to the titles of Baroness de Tabago and Merchiston, in Tobago. And I am likewise of opinion that the Duchess is entitled to the appellation of Royal and Most Serene Highness.

"And I am likewise of opinion that to her son, His Royal and Most Serene Highness Charles, belong the titles of Prince of Mantua and Montferrat; Prince of Ferrara, Prince of Este, Prince of Guastalla, Prince of Bozzola, Prince of Castiglione, Prince of Modena, and Marquis of Viadona, and Count de Canossa, in Italy; Prince of Nevers, Réthel and Alençon, in France; Prince of Cleves, in Flanders; Prince of the House of David, King of Israel; Master of Lennox, Fife and Menteth, and Master of Kilmahew, in Scotland; Baron de Tabago, in the West Indies; Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Templars; Grand Master of the Order of Siardino del Palestina; Grand Master of the Most Ancient Order of the Sword, of Cyprus; Grand Master of the Most Sacred Order of the Redemption, of Mantua; Grand Master of the Ancient Order of the Annunciade of St. Michael, of Mantua; Grand Master of the Illustrious Order of the White Eagle, of Este; Grand Master of the Noble Order of the Swan of Cleveland.

"I have, with the aid of Sir George Jessel, Master of the Rolls, examined five ancient Pentateuchs, which contain the Genealogical line of descent from David, the ancient King of Israel; and a Genealogical Table contained in a manuscript, written by Moses Maimonides, which is a Commentary upon the Old Testament. I have likewise examined Genealogical Tables and Charters of the line of Paleologus, and Genealogical Tables made at different times by order of the House of Gonzaga, Captains, Marquises, and Dukes of Mantua, and I am able to trace and see clearly proved a connection between the two lines of descent from David, King of Israel, and the Houses of Paleologus and Gonzaga, their representatives. And I am likewise of opinion that the Prince of Mantua and Montferrat is descended in lineal descent from Zerrubabel, he having shown a continuous descent therefrom, and as such, is entitled to the appellation of Prince of the House of David.

"John Holker, A.G."

Having been asked my opinion as to the correctness of three lines of descent from the House of David, as now represented by the Duchess of Mantua and Montferrat, or her son, the Prince of Mantua and Montferrat, I, having examined all the documents on which this claim is founded, more especially five ancient Pentateuchs, containing at the end Genealogical lines of descent from King David, and a manuscript commentary by Moses Maimonides on the Old Testament, and sundry Genealogical Tables relating to the families of Paleologus, Gonzaga, and Groom, am strongly of opinion that the Duchess and Prince of Mantua and Montferrat are entitled to the appellation of Princess and Prince of the House of David.

J. Montgomery. (Signed) "George Jessel,[1] M.R."

On the 5th November. 1878, the Comte de Chambord (de jure Henri V., King of France and Navarre,) issued Letters Patent to the Duchess Ann and her son Charles, confirming the Acts of Louis XIV., Louis XV., Louis XVI., and Louis XVII., Kings of France, acknowledging them (the Duchess and her son) to be "Their Royal and Most Serene Highnesses, the Duchess and Prince of Mantua, Montferrat, and Ferrara, Nevers, Réthel, Alençon, and Cleve, and Prince of Charleville, etc.; Baron and Baroness de Tobago; and that they should have precedence in France next to the House of Orleans, when it pleases God to give me my Rights." They were to discontinue the names of Groom and Napier, and assume the sirnames of Bourbon, D'Este, Paleologus, Gonzaga, and the Arms of those families, with the Quarterings for Gonzaga, Paleologus, Nevers, Réthel, Alençon, Cleve, and Navarre: being the Arms borne by Duke Charles IV. of Mantua, and assumed by their ancestor James Dalrymple. In accordance with these Letters Patent, the Prince of Mantua and Montferrat succeeded to the property entailed by Duke Charles IV., and with his mother assumed the surnames of de Bourbon, d'Este, Paleologus, Gonzaga, which act was enrolled in the High Court of Justice (London), Chancery Division, on the 11th of October, 1884.

Letters Patent were in 1885 issued by Her Majesty Queen VICTORIA, reciting their Titles; and similar Letters Patent have been issued by the French Republic, the Italian and other principal Powers of Europe, and by the United States.

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Line of Heremon | Heremon Genealogies

NOTES

[1] George Jessel: For the Genealogical Tables and Letters Patent above referred to by Sir John Holker, Attorney General, and Sir George Jessell, Master of the Rolls, see "The Pedigree of H.R. and M.S.H. the Duchess of Mantua, Montferrat, and Ferrara; with the Roll of the Mantuan Medallists; compiled by John Riddell, the Comte de Chambord, etc. New Edition, with Portraits, 4to (London: Dulan and Co., 1865);" a work which shows the origin of these families from a very remote period.


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