- Grand Master de Clermont descended from the distinguished Clermont-Tonnerre family, defenders of the Holy See.
- The Clermont-Tonnerre family was granted the honor of incorporating the apostolic keys into their coat of arms.
- He demonstrated bravery during the 1606 Siege of Mahomet in Africa, narrowly escaping death.
- King Louis XIII entrusted Clermont to secure the Order's support in the war against Huguenots.
- He died just three months after his election as Grand Master.
Annet de Clermont de Chattes-Gessan, born in 1587, was a prominent figure from the Langue of Auvergne and a distinguished member of the Order of Malta. Hailing from the noble house of Clermont-Tonnerre, his family had a rich history of valiantly defending the Holy See.
In the 12th century, the Clermont-Tonnerre family was granted the honor of incorporating the apostolic keys into their coat of arms.
The Clermont-Tonnerre family's bravery can be traced back to the 12th century when they defended the Apostolic See under Pope Callixtus II. As a reward for their unwavering loyalty, the family was granted the rare and prestigious honor of incorporating the apostolic keys into their coat of arms, symbolizing their commitment to the Church.
The 1606 Siege of Mahomet in Africa was a testament to Clermont's courage and determination. He was gravely wounded as the Berber horsemen were on the verge of defeating the Spanish troops. Miraculously, he managed to swim out to sea towards a Sicilian galley and climbed aboard, narrowly escaping death. After a brief stay in Malta, he returned to France.
In 1622, King Louis XIII of France sent Clermont back to Malta to seek Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt's support for his galleys in the war against the Huguenots. Clermont re-settled in Malta in 1645 and, within a few years, was appointed Head of the Langue of Auvergne. His role as Marshal of the Order and Bailiff of Lyon soon followed.
He succumbed to old wounds from the Siege of Mahomet, just three months after his election.
Clermont's battlefield courage, virtue, and generous nature earned him the admiration and respect of his fellow knights. On February 6, 1660, after the death of Grand Master Martin de Redin, Clermont was unanimously elected to the Grand Magistry. However, his tenure was tragically short-lived.
On June 2, 1660, just three months and twenty-four days after his election, Clermont succumbed to the wounds he had received during the Siege of Mahomet over five decades earlier.
His funeral was held with great solemnity in St. John's Conventual Church (St John’s Co-Cathedral). Initially buried in the crypt, he was later laid to rest in a lavish tomb in the Church. Clermont remains the only Grand Master whose monument is found in the Chapel of Auvergne in the Conventual Church.
Though Annet de Clermont de Chattes-Gessan's time as Grand Master was brief, his life is a testament to the courage, determination, and dedication that defined the Order of Malta.