Originally a county, Montferrat was elevated to a margravate (march or marquissate) of the Holy Roman Empire under Count Aleramo in 961, following the transition of power in Northern Italy from Berengar of Ivrea to Otto I of Germany. In 1305, the last Aleramici margrave died and Montferrat was inherited by the Greek imperial Palaiologos dynasty, who held it until 1533, continuously diminishing its territory. In 1533, Montferrat was seized by the Spanish under Emperor Charles V of Habsburg, who restored it to Federico II, Duke of Mantua from the illustrious House of Gonzaga in 1536. His son, Margrave William X was elevated to a Duke of Montferrat in 1574 by Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, and the march became the Duchy of Montferrat. With the War of the Mantuan Succession (1628–1631) a piece of the duchy passed to the Duchy of Savoy, the remainder passing to Savoy in 1708, as Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor gained possession of the Gonzaga territory. The next heir of the House of Gonzaga was later compensated with the Duchy of Teschen in Silesia.
The first capital and mint of Montferrat was Chivasso. In 1435, Chivasso was handed over to the Duke of Savoy and the capital and mint were moved to Casale. During the brief Spanish rule (1533-1536), the Governor Alvaro de Luna maintained the mint operational.
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