Jerome, 2nd Count de Salis

Jerome, 2nd Count de Salis
Hieronimus de Salis, by Joseph Highmore, c1735.

Jérôme de Salis, 2nd Count de Salis-Soglio (8 July 1709 - 8 August 1794) was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and sometime British Resident in the Grisons . He was also known as Hieronimus, Gerolamo, Geronimo, Harry, Jerome the grandfather and Monsieur le Comte de Salis.


Family background and early life in Chur and London

Map of Switzerland with today's Canton Grisons shown in red.

He was born on 8 July 1709 in Chur, capital of the Grisons, then an independent republic, whose rule extended into present day Italy, including the areas of Chiavenna and the Valtellina. He would be the only surviving son of Colonel Peter de Salis-Soglio (1675–1749), by his wife Margherita (1678–1747), daughter of Hercules de Salis-Soglio.

His father, of a distinguished family[1] had been a soldier in France, in the Dutch Republic and in England, where he became envoy of the Grisons Republic to the Court of St. James's during the reign of Queen Anne. There he became an Anglophile and made influential friends amongst the Hanoverians. On his return to Chur he resolved to send his son to London and Jerome de Salis became a naturalized British subject by Private Act of Parliament on 24 March 1730/31.

House of Commons Journal, showing the Bill Naturalizing Hieronimus de Salis
House of Commons Journal extract: Second reading/Bill sent to a committee, re. Hieronimus de Salis
His wife, the Hon. Mary Fane, Madame de Salis

On 7 January 1734/35, de Salis married Mary Fane, eldest daughter of Charles, the first Viscount Fane. Together they were to have four sons: Charles (1736–1781), who died at Hieres; Peter (1738–1807), who became 3rd Count de Salis; Henry Jerome (1740–1810) and William (1741–1750).

De Salis was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 19 March 1741, proposed by Philip, 2nd Earl Stanhope (his wife's cousin), Martin Folkes (former president of the society), Andrew Mitchell, and his brother-in-law, Lord Sandwich.[2]

Diplomatic Service in the Grisons

In 1743, de Salis was appointed British Resident. This means he served as King George II's extraordinary envoy or minister plenipotentiary to the Grisons Leagues. He arrived in Coire on April 10, 1743, and resided there in a public character until 13 March 1750.

In 1748, by a patent dated of 12 March Emperor Francis I created his father Peter, together with his descendants, a Count of the Holy Roman Empire; the father died the following year.

During and after his time as British Resident in the Grisons he lived in both Chur and in Chiavenna and, in the mid-1760s, he started to build an Anglo-Palladian double-pile summer villa [1] in Bondo, a village in the Val Bregaglia between Chiavenna and the Maloja Pass. The house was completed by his son Peter in 1774.

Return to London

De Salis returned to London in 1768 and lived in Harley Street until his death on 8 August 1794. In the meantime, his wife lived in Knightsbridge, Margate, Marseilles, Harlington and, from 1780, at Smallborough Green, Isleworth. She died there of dropsy on the 31 March 1785 and was buried at Harlington.


Margaretha, (born 2 July 1704 and died 13 May 1765), married 3 October 1728, Antonio v. Salis-Soglio; Chur Stadtrichter; (born 1702 and died 1765). He was son of commissioner Battista v. Salis-Soglio of the Casa Battista, by Anna v. Salis-Samaden.


Some of Jerome De Salis's ancestors
Jerome de Salis
Peter, 1st Count de Salis-Soglio (1675–1749)

Antonio de Salis-Soglio (1649–1735)

Antonio de Salis-Soglio (casa Antonio) (1609–82). Brother of Rudolf

Cornelia de Salis (1624–96). Sister of Margaretha

Perpetua v. Planta-Zuoz

Peter v. Planta-Zuoz (1617–1703)

Anna v. Perini

Margherita v. Salis-Soglio (1678–1747)

Ercole de Salis-Soglio (1650–1727)

Rudolf de Salis-Soglio (Casa di Mezzo) (1608–80). Brother of Antonio

Cleophea de Salis-Grusch (1622–98)

Maria Magdalena de Salis-Seewis (1653–97)

Jerome de Salis-Seewis (1621–1710)

Margherita de Salis (1627–1707). Sister of Cornelia


  1. ^ Salis's great-grandfather Antonio (1609-1682) had with his brothers Rudolph and Friedrich bought the seigneurie d'Ober Aich and Engishofen in Thurgau on 10 June 1646. Their father was a knight of the Order of San Marco (22 August 1603) and in turn his father had been invested an hereditary Knight of the Golden Spur on 11 April 1571 by Pope Pius V. Earlier the Venetians had also made him a (life) Knight of the Order of St. Mark.
  2. ^ Their citation ran as follows:Jerom de Salis Esqr. of London. A Gentleman of great merit & distinction, being desirous of becoming a fellow of this Honourable Society, we accordingly recommend him as a Person of Learning, well Skill'd in Philosophical & Natural knowledg, and every way qualified to be a usefull and valuable member of the Society. ‘Salis, Jerome de’, Library and Archive catalogue of the Royal Society.
Sauceboat with the arms of De Salis impaling Fane, for Jerome de Salis and Mary Fane. Marked London, 1734.


  • R. de Salis, Quadrennial di Fano Saliceorum, volume one, London, 2003
  • Rachel Fane De Salis, De Salis Family : English Branch, Henley-on-Thames, 1934.
  • other printed (History of Parliament, GEC, VCH)
  • manuscripts & muniments.
  • C. de Salis, secretary of the British Salis Family Association.
  • Die Zeitschrift Der Kultur, du, Heft Nr. 3, Marz 1989.
  • Der Grafliche Hauser, Band XI [volume 11], Genealogisches Handbuch Des Adels, C. A. Starke Verlag, Limburg an der Lahn, 1983 (pps 331-356).
  • William Coxe, Travels in Switzerland (London, 1789)
in a series of letters to [the son of] William Melmoth, esq.,
printed for T. Cadell, London, three volumes. Dedicated to Henry William Portman,esq., of Bryanston.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Peter, 1st Count
Count de Salis-Soglio
Succeeded by
Peter, 3rd Count
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Peter, 1st Count
Count de Salis-Soglio
Succeeded by
Peter, 3rd Count

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