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con Real Dispaccio...

Going through the Late Chevalier Joseph C Sammut’s From Scudo to Sterling we are given a step by step account of the tumultuous years of the expulsion of the Order and the blockade of the French by the Maltese ashore and the Portuguese and British offshore.

Alexander Ball was appointed President of the Maltese National Assembly.

Rear Admiral Alexander John Ball (1757-1809), by Henry William Pickersgill

One pressing problem was the lack of foreign currency to purchase grain. The knee jerk reaction was to devalue the Maltese currency which had the effect of making the bullion value greater than face value. The disastrous effect was that large quantities of coins were exported to nearby Sicily, melted down and re struck into Sicilian currency with an instant gain of 20%.

Sammut makes reference that Dr Luigi Agius, the Abbe Ludovico Savoye and Baron Gaetano Sant Fournier were sent to Sicily to implore King Ferdinand to permit the circulation in Sicily of Maltese coinage at a fair rate.

He goes on to doubt a successful outcome.

Lately a Sicilian friend of mine, Matteo Mattaliano kindly sent me this edict with kind permission to share which is proof of the success of their mission.

Colin Formosa

Secretary General

Malta Numismatic Society

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