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del Monte Pietro
Fra Pietro del Monte was an Italian who succeeded La Vallette as Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller at Malta. He continued the construction of Valletta. One of his contributions to the military history of Malta was the building of Del Monte Gate which was eventually demolished and replaced by the Victoria Gate.
Prior of Capua, nephew of Pope Julius Ill., was elected on the 23rd August 1568 to fill the post of Grand Master on the death of la Vallete. The lengthened services of del Monte and the high reputation to which he had risen, both at the siege of Rhodes and during the siege of Malta, had fully entitled him to the position which the vote of the fraternity now called upon him to occupy. His first thoughts on assuming the magisterial baton were at once bent, on carrying out the reforms which his glorious predecessor had begun. The works of the new city progressed rapidly under his fostering care, and although the new residence of the Order was still unfinished, he moved the Convent from the Bourg to Valletta with great pomp and magnificence on the 18th March 1571.
The navy under the administration of this Grand Master attained a strength unparalleled in the history of' the Order. In addition to the galleys of the regular navy, a number of Knights obtained permission from their chief to fit out ships at their own expense and to cruise the waters of the Mediterranean in search of marauding vessels. Fired with. ambition, they undertook several expeditions against the corsairs, returning to Malta with many valuable prizes.
In 1571 the Maltese navy once more vindicated its glorious reputation. Three galleys under the command of Pietro Giustiniani took part in the hard-fought battle of Lepanto, when the combined fleets of Christendom inflicted such an overwhelming defeat upon the Turks that the Mediterranean was practically freed from their depredations for many years, Del Monte died on the 27th January 1572 at the advanced age of seventy six years.
S. M. O. M., 1974, Pietro del Monte
S. M. O. M., 1990, Arms of Pietro del Monte