Τhe refugee wave created by the loss of Nafplion (Napoli di Romania) and Monemvasia (Malvasia) in 1540 ‒ a loss which followed the Venetian-Turkish war ‒ washed the Mourmouri (Mormori) family ashore on the island of Crete. The once-prominent members of a Venetian possession were now trying to fit in the new social environment, as were the rest of their compatriots.
Most of the members of the Mourmouri family in Crete ended up as heads of the stradioti troops, a profession in which they were already engaged in their homeland. Most prominent was Emmanuel Mourmouris, who served as colonel and distinguished himself in the third Venetian-Turkish war. Several family members were engaged in agriculture and commerce or received high administrative offices. Georgios Mourmouris settled in the city of Chania, acquired real estate in Lassithi and became a high-level official of the local government. Along with his brother Emmanuel, he invested his assets in maritime commerce and transport. The sources also refer to the cartographer and military engineer Ioannis Mourmouris, the third brother, who died in the siege of Famagusta.
In a related branch, we trace the lawyer Emmanuel Mormori and his son Zuanne, who became a famous dottor di legge in Crete.
The article deals with aspects of the presence of the Mormori family in Chania, such as: (a) the social origin of its members and its persistence; (b) the confirmation of faith towards Venice as a social and financial investment; (c) techniques of refugees’ rehabilitation implemented by the authorities; (d) the connection between family strategies, private property and mercenary service; (e) the contribution of the family to the island’s prosperity.
This study is entirely based on unpublished archival sources, meaning public and private documents identified in the Venetian State Archives.