Politician, diplomat, and patriotic activist, Ruggero Settimo was counter-admiral of the Sicilian Fleet, fighting alongside the British fleet in the Mediterranean Sea against the French (under Napoleon Bonaparte). He Reconquered the island of Malta, and defended the city of Gaeta near Naples. In 1811 he had to retire from the military due to health problems and became a politician leading the Sicilian Liberal Part. During his political career, Ruggero Settimo was Minister of the Navy and Minister of war of the Kingdom of Sicily.
In 1848 as president of the Sicilian Senate, he was appointed as Chief of the government of the Kingdom of Sicily leading the Sicilian government until 1849 when the Sicilian rebellion was put down by King Ferdinand II’s army. Ruggero Settimo had to escaped to Malta. Following the success of the Risorgimento movement during 1860 and 1861, he returned to Italy where he became President of the Senate of the newly created Parliament of the Kingdom of Italy until his death.