List of Grand Masters of the Knights Hospitaller
This is a list of Grand Masters of the Knights Hospitaller, including its continuation as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta after 1798. It also includes unrecognized "anti-Grand Masters" and lieutenants or stewards during vacancies.
The title "Grand Master" is applied retrospectively; the medieval heads of the order took the title of custos ("guardian") of the hospital. The title magister ("master") is used on coins minted in Rhodes, beginning with Foulques de Villaret. The first to use the title Grandis Magister ("Grand Master") was Jean de Lastic (r. 1437–1454); the title Grandis Magister is found on coins minted by Pierre d'Aubusson (r. 1476–1503). Later Grand Masters in Rhodes used Magnus Magister.After the loss of Rhodes, Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam and his successors went back to using simple Magister, abbreviated M.H.H. for Magister Hospitalis Hierosolymae. Use of Magister Magnus is taken up again in the 17th century, under Antoine de Paule (r. 1623–1636).
The title Prince and Grand Master (Principe e Gran Maestro del Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta) was adopted in 1880, when Franz Joseph I of Austria granted the title of Prince of the Holy Roman Empire to the Grand Masters. Only two Grand Masters styled themselves Prince and Grand Master before the dissolution of the Austrian Empire in 1919, though the title is still used. Thus the most recent head of the Order was the 80th Grand Master and the 7th to use the title Prince and Grand Master.
Numbered lists of Grand Masters of the Order, with portraits and attributed arms, were published beginning early 17th century, with updated editions appearing throughout the 18th century. The numbering of Grand Masters in use by the Order by the early 18th century, published in the 1719 Statutes of the Order, lists the Blessed Gerard as founder without number, counting Raymond du Puy as first Master of the Hospital, Foulques de Villaret as 24th, Riccardo Caracciolo as 32nd, Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam as 43rd and the incumbent as of 1719 Ramón Perellós y Rocafull as 63rd.