His family, the de Rohans, produced a series of famous historical personalities, including four cardinals, two archbishops and a large number of dukes and princes.
This day in 1725 marked the birth of Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc, Grand Master of the Knights of St John (Knights Hospitaller). Since that knightly order was based on Malta at this time and was known as the Order of Malta. Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc was born in the Spanish province of La Mancha, the birthplace of the famous fictional character Don Quixote from Miguel de Cervantes’s famous novel.
Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc became the Grand Master of the Knights of St John in 1775 and remained at that position until 1797. He was therefore head of the Order of Malta for a full 22 years. Among other things, he led the order in the pivotal period of Enlightenment and the French Revolution.
Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc stemmed from the Rohan family, one of the most important in French history. It originated from Brittany (French: Bretagne), and got its name from the small town of Rohan in the heart of that French province. In the Middle Ages, Brittany was an independent state ruled by a duke (the Duchy of Brittany). It became part of France only later and still has a specific identity.
The Rohan produced a series of famous historical personalities, including four cardinals, two archbishops and a large number of dukes and princes. Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc was the last member of the Rohan-Polduc branch of the family, which was named after the small town of Polduc (today Saint-Jean-Brévelay), also in Brittany, some 20 km south of the mentioned Rohan. Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc had his seat of power in Valletta, Malta. He died there in 1797, aged 72.