Historical figure Chiaramonte

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The Chiaramonte dynasty would be derived from the French de Clermont family, originally from Picardy, with whom it shares the same emblem.

The oldest members of the family of which we know (according to some distant writers of Charlemagne), arrived in Italy in the wake of the Normans, and were a Edgardo di Capua, and a Hugh lord of Colubraro and Policoro (in Basilicata), lived between the end of the eleventh century and the beginning of the twelfth century.

A branch of the family settled in Sicily, and its foundation is conventionally attributed to a Verlando of Chiaramonte, who arrived on the island following the Norman Ruggero d'Altavilla, who drove out the Saracen occupants and became the first count of Sicily in 1062.

A Ugone of Chiaramonte was present at the coronation of Roger II of Altavilla to the first King of Sicily in 1130; from the said Ugone, who was a small feudal lord, the Palermitan brothers Athanasius, Nicolò, Pietro and Federico Chiaramonte descended.

Athanasius was patriarch of Alexandria from 1216 to 1227, when King of Sicily was Frederick II of Swabia; Nicholas, appointed by Pope Honorius III in 1219, with the title of cardinal-bishop of Frascati, participated in the papal election of 1227 in which Pope Gregory IX was elected; Pietro was abbot in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grotte di Marsala in 1220; Frederick was armed knight by the same pope Honorius III and received from them the papal rose gold, and in the privilege conferred on him by the Supreme Pontiff he is a descendant of the emperor Charlemagne, and obliges him to fight against the Saracens, the infidels and the schismatics

Said Frederick, he was lord of Sutera, and with him began the political and economic ascent of the Chiaramonte: he married in Girgenti the noblewoman Rosalia Prefoglio called Marchisia, daughter of miles Pietro, lord of Ragusa, and sister of Federico, lord of Caccamo, to which, at his death he succeeded in the goods and in the lordship he administered, and in his city he always lived, with his husband, until his death in 1330. Frederick I Chiaramonte and Marchisia Prefoglio were born in Girgenti several sons, among whom Manfredi, Giovanni and Federico.

Despite the French origins, during the Wars of the Vespers started in Sicily in 1282 in revolt against the Angevin dominators, the Chiaramonte sided with the Aragonese, who took control of the island in 1296 with the coronation of Federico d'Aragona - brother minor of King James II of Aragon - to King of Sicily. Manfredi Chiaramonte Prefoglio, for having served King Federico III of Sicily in his war against the Angevins, was awarded by him in 1296 with the concession of the Modica County, confiscated from his brother-in-law Manfredi Mosca, accused of being a rebel. The Modica County, in the Val di Noto, included the cities and lands of Modica, Biscari, Comiso, Giarratana, Gulfi, Monterosso, Odogrillo, Ragusa, Scicli and Spaccaforno, and was one of the largest feudal domains in Sicily. To Manfredi, who was the Great Seneschal of the Kingdom, succeeded his son Giovanni, who, unlike his father, adopted a pro-political line. During the reigns of Peter II of Sicily (1337-1342) and of Ludovico his son (1342-1355), the Chiaramonte, together with the Palizzi headed the Latin faction that fought that of the Catalans.

The noble and miles Giovanni Chiaramonte Prefoglio, Grand Seneschal of the Kingdom and Captain General of the Army, brother of Manfredi, was married to the noblewoman Lucca Palizzi, daughter of Nicolò, who made him the father of eight children, including Manfredi, Enrico, Federico and Giacomo. The younger brother Federico II, was lord of Racalmuto and Siculiana, and married to the noblewoman Giovanna Camerario, daughter of Cataguerra, had two daughters, Giovanna and Costanza.

Manfredi Chiaramonte Palizzi, Count of Chiaramonte from 1335, and successor to the title of Count of Modica of his cousin Giovanni il Giovane because he died without male heirs, he was captain of Palermo and one of the four vicars of the Kingdom of Sicily. It was his only descendant Simone, IV count of Modica († 1356), the seneschal of the Kingdom, who hostile to the Crown of Aragon was declared rebel by the King Ludovico, from which his titles and assets were confiscated in 1353; Henry, royal military, was rational master of the Kingdom, and vicar of the King in 1348; James, was governor of Nicosia in 1354, and had the privilege of minting and spending copper coins with the imprint of his effigy and with the coat of arms of his family, which coin was called Jacobin.

The Chiaramonte recovered the possession of the counties of Modica and Chiaramonte and of the other feudal positions in 1360: Federico Chiaramonte Palizzi, son of Giovanni il Vecchio, who became loyal to the Aragonese, was granted the Modica County as successor of his nephew Simone, who had no children from his marriage to Venice; he was vicar general of the Kingdom of Sicily, Master giustiziere, governor, praetor and captain of Palermo (1361-1363). The county of Chiaramonte instead passed to Giovanni Chiaramonte Moncada († 1374), son of Enrico, who was lord of Bivona, of Misilmeri and of Sutera, seneschal of the Kingdom, castellano and captain of the Island of Gerba, founded in Naro the convent of the Franciscan friars in 1362, and was married with the noblewoman Isabella Ventimiglia Lauria, daughter of Francesco, XVI count of Geraci, from he had only one daughter, Costanza, wife of Giovanni Peralta d'Aragona, son of Guglielmo, count of Caltabellotta.

Matteo Chiaramonte Moncada, son of Federico, VI count of Modica, was a seneschal to the life of the Kingdom since 1361, executioner of the Kingdom since 1365 and captain of Naro from 1366. From his marriage with the noblewoman Giacomina (or Jacopella) Ventimiglia, daughter of the Count Francesco, three sons were born, of which one Federico said Federichello, premortogli in tender age. His cousin Manfredi, the natural son of Count Giovanni II, succeeded him in the possession of the Modica County and his other assets.

Said Manfred, VII count of Modica, III count of Chiaramonte, was lord of many Sicilian castles. He was also Count of Malta and Gozo, Duke of Gerba and Grand Admiral. Opposed to the Aragonese of Sicily and the nobility of the Catalan faction, he was one of the four vicars during the reign of Mary of Sicily, from 1377 to 1391, by testamentary disposition of King Frederick IV of Aragon. Governor of Messina until 1364, he was lord of Trapani and Agrigento, a state-owned city that ruled in the name of the sovereign. In 1391 he gathered together with the main barons of the island in the so-called Castronovo Oath, aimed at organizing a national uprising against Martino d'Aragona, groom of Princess Maria, a revolt supported by the Church that, with Pope Boniface IX, considered this marriage to be invalid kinship between the two spouses, procuginos, dispensed by the Antipope Clement VII of which therefore they declared themselves followers.

A Manfredi III Chiaramonte, succeeded in the titles and in the offices, one of his relatives, Andrea, who continued the anti-Aragonese policy. Last Count of Modica of this family, despite his efforts, the party of Martin the Younger, supported by his father Martin the Elder, managed to occupy much of the Sicilian territory thanks to the Aragonese admiral Bernardo Cabrera, who also obtained the submission of three other Vicars of the Kingdom and some state-owned cities. Supported by the city of Palermo, in which he had taken refuge, he considered supporting the strong enemy siege of his legitimist convictions, but after about a month he had to start the surrender negotiations. At first, welcomed by the new sovereigns de facto, if not de jure, he thought he could obtain forgiveness; arrested then to treason, despite the explicit promises of personal safety, he was tried and executed by decapitation on 1 June 1392 in Palermo, in front of his palace in Piazza Marina. The legitimist attempt, supported also by the Church of Rome, was thus set with the Chiaramonte family. On June 5, a few days after the death of Count Andrea, his immense fiefdom was assigned to the Cabrera who had done so much to obtain a kingdom from his sovereign. With Andrea's death, however, the Chiaramonte family did not die, stripped of all the feudal titles and assets, but with the only son of the last Count of Modica, named Giovanni. Enrico Chiaramonte, natural son of Matteo, VI count of Modica, hoped to avenge him with the resumption of Palermo in April 1393, but, betrayed and disappointed, he was out in 1412 in Gaeta.

The minor branch of the barons of Salfetta was still flourishing, deriving from Ugone Chiaramonte, a cadet son of Giovanni il Vecchio and therefore a younger brother of Count Manfredi II, who enjoyed nobility in the city of Caltagirone. A Giorlando held the position of captain of justice in the said city in 1575-76 and, with privilege given to May 20, executed at 2 August 1576, he obtained the concession of the title of noble with the don; an Antonio, son of the previous one, was a Praetorian judge of Palermo in 1592-93, and, with privilege given to June 26, executed at 30 August 1622, he was appointed judge of the Court of the Consistory; a Giacomo, he was captain of Caltagirone in the years 1600, 1604 and 1623 [33]; a Charles was captain of justice of the city of Caltagirone in the years 1679, 1680-81, 1685-86 and 1691-92, proconservative in 1680 and 1694, and patrician of that city.

The calamino branch of the Chiaramonte became extinct in the male line in the eighteenth century and merged into the Bonanno family of the branch of the barons of Rosabia, which became Bonanno Chiaramonte

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