Pinto De Fonseca, Emmanuel

Pinto de Fonseca, Emmanuel grand-master of the Order of Malta, born May 24, 1681, belonged to one of the first families of Portugal. Elected grandmaster Jan. 18,1741, after discharging the functions of vice-chancellor and bailli de grace, he won by his firmness of conduct the esteem of the sovereigns of Europe, to whom he had been useful. It was during his mastery that a widespread conspiracy against the order was discovered, June 25, 1742. A number of Turkish prisoners, among them Osman Pasha, governor of Rhodes, were to destroy the knights by the sword and by poison, and take possession of Malta with the aid of the Turkish fleet, with which they were in secret correspondence. In September, 1760, a number of Christian slaves forming the crew of a first-rate ship carrying a valuable freight, and on board of which Mehemet Pasha was going to Stanchio to collect the taxes, made themselves masters of the ship, brought it to Malta, and shared the spoils with the knights. The sultan prepared to wreak terrible vengeance on the order, when Louis XV, king of France, had the vessel redeemed at his own cost and restored to the padishah, Dec. 10, 1761. Pinto suppressed (1769) the Jesuits in all the dominions of the order, but granted them an indemnity in the form of life- rents. In 1772 he obtained from king Stanislaus-August of Poland the restitution of considerable donations which had been taken from the order. He died Jan. 24, 1773. — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, 40, 281.

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