Statement by Antonio Amarroty about the conflict between Antonio Di Seravezza and Jean Ambrozin, 1669-12-12, Marseille


Statement by Antonio Amarroty about the conflict between Antonio Di Seravezza and Jean Ambrozin, 1669-12-12, Marseille


Seravezza case


Copy of a statement on behalf of Antonio Di Seravezza, a Minor Observant from Rome, who also served as vicar apostolic in Tunis and Tripoli for three years, after he received this authority by Girolamo Da Sassari. In September 1668 he left Tunis for Rome. The French consul in Tunis, Giovanni Ambrogini [Jean Ambrozin] should have collected alms for S. Antonio Abate, in order to buy the necessary things for the church, and also in order to conserve the churchyard; he should also have bought a gift for the Agha. The consul has always been aware of this, but never said anything to the church nor given alms. For this reason Girolamo Da Sassari (the apostolic vicar at the time), threatened to report the case to the pope and the king of France, if the consul would not concede the alms to the church; the consul responded that he did not know any pope, cardinal or king, after which Girolamo Da Sassari was forced to leave. Knowing that his abscence would leave the community without a leader, he [Da Sassari] decided to leave Antonio Di Seravezza in his place. The latter left the bagno of S.ta Lucia and took the room in the house of the consul, that Girolamo Da Sassari had previously used. In December 1669 a French woman called Chiara was ransomed, the greater part was paid by the merchants and slaves. The consul gave the woman a room in his residence very close to his own, and next to the chapel and the altar. When Antonio Di Seravezza said the midnight mass of Easter in the chapel of the consulate, there were many merchants and slaves present, only the consul and Chiara were absent. When he asked the merchants and slaves were they were, they said that the consul had laid in bed with the woman. After this night a servant of the consul named Pietro went to the room of Di Seravezza and asked him to do something about the scandalous situation of his master. At Easter Di Seravezza said mass in all the chapels, after which he went to the consulate where he begged the consul to put the woman on a ship that would soon leave for France. The consul responded, saying that the woman did not want to go to France but to Livorno, in order to be able to travel to Sardinia where her husband lived. Di Seravezza was trying to help the consul, but he took offence and continued in his vice. All the nations started saying that the residence of the French consul was a public brothel, but the consul kept refusing to send the woman away. During Ascension Di Seravezza went to all the bagni to take confessions, after which he returned very tired to the consulate. When passing by the room of the consul, he saw things he cannot describe. He told the consul that he was not living a Christian life, that he would leave his residence, and that the consul should take in mind that his room was so close to the Holy sacrament. The consul responded by stating that he would remove the sacrament, and that he could do whatever he wanted in his own residence; the consul later beat Di Seravezza with a stick and told him that he had to leave his house. He moved to the bagno of S. Leonardo, and the sacrament was also moved. The consul went to the Bey and told him that Di Seravezza had remained in Tunis, in order to make the slaves and renegades flee. Di Seravezza was arrested and beaten up, and as they were about to enslave him, the highest person after the Agha said that he never heard any bad things about Di Seravezza, stating that he risked his own life by going to Malta to mediate for the Christian slaves. He was saved by this person, and he told Di Seravezza that he has always done good things, and that he should not live with the consul anymore. The Agha then went to the consul and orded him to send the woman away, after which she was sent to Livorno. The consul kept trying to condemn Di Seravezza, but with God's help, the Turks kept saving him. In July 1669 Di Seravezza converted two jews, who were named Giuseppe and Angiolo, and stayed in the house of a merchant named Labar. The consul used this situation to his advantage, by saying to the Bey that he already warned him about this, but that he did not want to believe him. The two rennegades were found in the house of Labar. When they were questioned they answered that they were Christians and that they were converted by God. They were tortured and confessed that it had been Di Seravezza who converted them. After being tortured they said that they wanted to become Turks, and because of the consul, these two souls were lost. The consul paid Turks and rennegades to beat Di Seravezza. Afterwards, the merchants and slaves decided that he had to go to Marseille. There in the convent he received a visit from Monsù Pras, who told Di Seravezza that he should be patient, as it would take another year until Ambrozin's consulate would be over. Di Seravezza said that this was too long, and that he could not leave five or six thousand souls without mass or the possibility to confess; Di Seravezza insisted that he [Pras] should think about the interests of the church, and about the Missione della Servitù that had made him chaplain; Monsù Pras only laughed about this, and Di Seravezza said that if he laughed about such a serious matter, he would go to Paris and plead his case to the king. Pras said that he would never reach Paris, and even if he did he would not get an audience. Di Seravezza responded by saying that he would bring his case to Rome. Eventually he decided to stay in Rome, as he did not want to make such a long trip for little purpose. However as it was winter and he was old, he decided to stay in Marseille. After the consuls of the cities visited him, and he told them everything about the case, and they had read the reports from merchants and slaves from Tunis, they told him that justice would be done; they would try to remove Amrozin from the consulate in order to let Di Seravezza resume his position as vicar apostolic.
Date discussed: 1671-08-06
Additional comments
There is also a later version of this document (from 1670); there, the first part is missing. At the end there is another line, saying: "Io Antonio Amarroty Mercante in Marsiglia fu fede e Confesso di hauer/ tradutto a litteram il presente verbale di francesce in Italiano." See: APF SC Barbaria 1, 178r-180v (database item 880).


Nicolas de Bausset
Antonio Amarroty


APF SOCG 430, 248r-249v, 255r-256r




Adressed to [PF]


For the minutes of the PF meeting where this matter was discussed, see: APF ACTA 41 305r, 330r-338r.
This verbale or statement is also mentioned elsewhere, see: APF SC Barbaria 1, 176r-177v (database item 879). For a later version of the same document (from 1670), see: APF SC Barbaria 1, 176r-177v (database item 880).










Origin: Marseille


Nicolas de Bausset and Antonio Amarroty, “Statement by Antonio Amarroty about the conflict between Antonio Di Seravezza and Jean Ambrozin, 1669-12-12, Marseille,” Early Modern Documents: Sources and Resources for Historical Research, accessed May 26, 2024,