Follow that scent ! Study "Rabbi" Selden ! Rule the waves ! Britons, strike home !


Monamy, The Seafarer,
Shakespeare & The Jews

Who was a Marrano?

August, 2016. This page comes about because I've been reading Shakespeare & the Jews, by James Shapiro, and had forgotten I'd already touched on the subject of Jews in England and the implications thereof, fairly thoroughly, on a previous page. Here. Anno Domini, I fear.

The four topics mentioned in the above heading are linked, but the reason I have linked them is not necessarily yet totally clear. The reason I have posted the picture of the Oxford home for Jewish converts, and Oskar Kokoschka's life-like portrait of pretentious Ezra the fake, also needs explaining. A partial explanation is given in the following paragraph.

The following extract, from here [Intermediate Period], explains why I've posted the domus conversorum picture: "Between the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290, and their formal return in 1655, there are no official traces of Jews on English soil, except in connection with the Domus Conversorum, which kept a considerable number of Jews (who had converted to Christianity) within its precincts, until 1551. An attempt was made to revoke the edict of expulsion as early as 1310, but in vain. However, Jews did return, for complaints were made to the King, Edward III, in 1376, that some of those trading as Lombards in London, were actually Jews."

Norman Roth, in Conversos, Inquisition, and the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain, first published in 1995 and updated in 2002, writes that from the 1390s, to c 1500, "hundreds of thousands of Jews converted to Christianity". He argues that the Conversos were sincere converts who hated and were hated by the remaining Jewish community. Benzion Netanyahu's verdict on the nature of the Marranos is essentially the same as Norman Roth's: they were genuine and sincere converts to Christianity. Quote below. Nevertheless, they might well retain numerous characteristics and habits reflecting their previous lives as Jews.

This makes good sense in respect of the early C16th Monamy family. It was puzzling to find a family arriving, apparently suddenly, in the Channel Isles about 1510 - 30, possibly from or via France, which was evidently enterprising and of some wealth, baptizing its offspring Jacob, Judith, Eli, Jehan, Moses and Aaron, inter alia, and erecting what was possibly a Talmudic sentiment over the entrance to one of its more substantial dwellings. This was not Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Franco-Norman or native Channel Islander behaviour. It might, however, be regarded as unshakably anti-Spanish and anti-Catholic behaviour.

Netanyahu has a note: "Unless otherwise indicated, the terms Conversos, Marranos and New Christians are used in this work synonymously". Norman Roth devotes 11 pages, in his first chapter, entitled Marranos and Conversos, to discussing these terms. He states that he has "absolutely no clear idea as to what the term 'Marrano' means in Spanish, or, indeed, if it is a Spanish word at all. Numerous guesses ..... it has become more or less popularly understood that this word means 'pig'. However, there is no evidence whatever to support this." He clarifies: "Whatever the origin of the word (Marrano), the essentially insulting and derogatory meaning was clearly understood ....." Dr. Ghislain Muller, quoting Cecil Roth, Histoire des Marranes, in Was Shakespeare a Jew ?, 2011, p 25, has no doubt at all: "The word 'Marrano' is derived from the Arabic word 'Moharannah' which was in use in Spain in the the early Middle Ages. In Old Spanish, it means pork or pig." Cecil Roth, 1941, expands his spin on the term.

Max I. Dimont, in The Indestructible Jews, revised paperback edition, 1973, wrote, page 290, that "Jewish Conversos were called Marranos --- swine --- by unconverted Jews". Sadly, Dimont's account, p 239, of how a "venturesome Mediterranean people" arrived in Britain, where "the natives lived like animals", some time after 5,000 BC; erected Stonehenge "as a benchmark of their journey", and then left, is so utterly ridiculous that it undermines almost everything else he has to say. The first stirrings towards the ultimate construction of Stonehenge were started in approximately 8,000 BC. The peoples of those times, and subsequent millenia, were exceptionally well-groomed, and their astronomical knowledge was unique to the ancient world. This knowledge, and its concomitant polytheism, was transmitted by them to Greece. They were, as a result of their northerly location under the heavens, polytheistic, not monotheistic. See here.

Back to the island of Guernsey. According to Haim Chertok: "Unlike its sister island of Jersey, at no time in its history has Guernsey ever accommodated more than a smattering of Jews, never a Jewish community." One of these smatterings was the "extraordinary" Sir Edward Brampton, or Brandon, 1440-1508, sometime Governor of the island, for three years dating from 1482: a "chameleon", and a sort of cross between Robert Maxwell and Errol Flynn, but ten times more successful than either. Starting life in Portugal as Duarte Brandão, by the time of his death in 1508 the message may have circulated by bush telegraph that the Channel Isles could be a viable place for a Marrano to establish new roots. In any case the first Monamy must have arrived there within a very few years.

Monamy is, of course, a French name, doubtless long pre-dating the Monamys of the Channel Islands. Google turns up a William Monamy, or Munamy, a fishmonger in Old Fish Street, Castle Baynard ward, central London, in 1305. "Old Fish Street formerly ran from the Thames towards St. Paul’s Cathedral and was the location of a fish market since medieval times." "F mon ami, perhaps a habitual expression" maybe a note by Ekwall. The enigmatic Monamy Stone, surviving in Guernsey, linking the names of an André Monamy and a Rebecca Guille, and dated 1315, defies credible explanation. The date is seriously doubted.

Scroll down for the "Wallonne" church at Southampton.

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Scroll down for some unbelievable assertions. See here for more sense. Also here.


Comment: July 2017

Since the above, Theo Vennemann's theories have been noticed.
They need tackling, here.


Benzion Netanyahu's verdict on the nature of the Marranos, below.

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At this point we can say we have established that the link between Shakespeare's grandfather Richard, died 1561, and Etienne, the first Monamy in the Channel Isles, fl 1540, is that they have Marrano origins in common. The Marrano origin of the Monamy family is based on the dates of their arrival in the Channel Islands, and the names given to their children. Credence for Shakespeare's Marrano origin is based on the study by Ghislain Muller, titled Was Shakespeare a Jew? The entire book merits study, but one brief point can be inserted here.

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Now we can skip from 1597, and the death of Shakespeare in 1616, to the end of the 17th, and beginning of the 18th centuries. This therefore omits the Interregnum, which had been, up to a point, a welcome respite from Roman Catholic Stuart rule, which rule was largely unappreciated by Shakespeare and Monamy alike.

Below is an excerpt from a paper written in 1924 by Wilfred S. Samuel.

click for more

Carvajal, the first endenizened English Jew, in 1648 assembled his friends, including Samuel Swynock, a Painter-Stainer, and smashed open a warehouse to retrieve his merchandise, impounded by Customs Officers. Procuring membership of the Painter-Stainer's Company was a useful route for a Jew to become a Freeman of the City of London. Probably via the mediation of Samuel Swynock, Rowland Gideon took this route in 1697. Could he have known of the decision of Andrew Monamy, in 1696, to register his nephew Peter as an apprentice with its sometime Master, William Clark, who may have been a member of a privateering family?

The owners of a mid-18th century privateer were: Richard Bismon, John Bristow, John Clevland and Samson Gideon of London, merchants. Date: 1757 November 2 Folio: 109 Held by: The National Archives, Kew. Legal status: Public Record. Reference: HCA 26/8/108. Note that 1757 was only two years away from 1759, the Year of Victories, when Britain achieved world maritime ascendancy. This Samson, or Sampson, son of Rowland, having become a financial colossus, aimed for total assimilation into the British class hierarchy.

Sir Robert Walpole, scion of numerous dedicated Roman Catholics, first sought the help of Sampson Gideon in raising a loan for the War of Jenkin's Ear with Spain, in 1739. This immensely significant war achieved the removal of Walpole, "the spaniel of Spain", from office, and led on to the eventual establishment of the British Empire. Gideon may be seen as a father of the Stock Exchange. His knowledge of the markets served him well in 1745, when Bonnie Prince Charlie advanced with his highland army on Derby. There was considerable panic in London, but Gideon kept his head and bought everything he could lay his hands on.

From the Jewish Encylopedia: "Samson Gideon: English financier; born in London 1699; died 1762. He was a son of Rowland Gideon (died 1720), a West-Indian merchant, who changed his name from the Portuguese 'Abudiente' on settling in England, and became a freeman of the city of London and a member of the Paper-Stainers' Company Feb. 17, 1697. Samson Gideon began business in 1720 with a capital of £1,500, which increased so rapidly that in 1729 he was admitted a sworn broker with a capital of £25,000, invested chiefly in landed estates. His fortune continued to increase so that in 1740 he had become 'the great oracle and leader of Jonathan's Coffee House in Exchange Alley.' So prudently were his speculations conducted that he seldom suffered losses." [When the Encyclopedia writes Paper-Stainers, it means Painter-Stainers.]

Wikipedia has this: "Toward the middle of the 17th century a considerable number of Marrano merchants settled in London and formed there a secret congregation, at the head of which was Antonio Fernandez Carvajal. They conducted a large business with the Levant, East and West Indies, Canary Islands, and Brazil, and above all with the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal. They formed an important link in the network of trade spread especially throughout the Spanish and Portuguese world by the Marranos or secret Jews (see Commerce). Their position enabled them to give Cromwell and his secretary, Thurloe, important information as to the plans both of Charles Stuart in Holland and of the Spaniards in the New World (see L. Wolf, "Cromwell's Secret Intelligencers"). Outwardly they passed as Spaniards and Catholics; but they held prayer-meetings at Creechurch Lane, and became known to the government as Jews by faith."

Recall that Norman Roth wrote that between 1400 and 1500 "hundreds of thousands of [Iberian] Jews converted to Christianity"; and that, whether sincere or not, they subsequently inundated the rest of Europe. Very many Christians, in truth, are simply converted Jews. Which is the merchant, and which is the Jew ?

History of the Ancient Synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews: the cathedral synagogue of the Jews in England, situate in Bevis Marks : on the anniversary of its inauguration, 1701-1901 , by Moses Gaster, might be worth a look.

Seafaring and the Jews links The Seafarer, from the Anglo-Saxon, with the marine painter, Monamy, of probable Jewish descent, and Shakespeare, author of The Tempest and the hazardous nature of the several argosies of Antonio, the Christian merchant of Venice.

The Character of Sir Robert Walpole
published 1733 by Jonathan Swift

With favour and fortune fastidiously blest
He's loud in his laugh and he's coarse in his Jest;
Of favour and fortune unmerited vain,
A sharper in trifles, a dupe in the main.
Achieving of nothing, still promising wonders,
By dint of experience improving in Blunders;
Oppressing true merit, exalting the base,
And selling his Country to purchase his peace.
A Jobber of Stocks by retailing false news,
A prater at Court in the Stile of the Stews;
Of Virtue and worth by profession a giber,
Of Juries and senates the bully and briber.
Tho' I name not the wretch you know who I mean,
'Tis the Cur dog of Britain and spaniel of Spain.

The picture of Pound at the head of this page is because it was my close reading of his ludicrously dadaistic refraction of The Seafarer, and the inane praise given to this grotesque re-write by a bunch of congenital monoglots, that set me off on these investigations, all those years ago.

not "ancestry", but "descent"

What's in a tree, my friend ?
à bout de souffle 28
à bout de souffle 26: naval supremacy & jews in barbados
à bout de souffle 23: unfounded assertions
previous page

monamy website index
seafarer essays & papers

In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Truth is treason in an empire of lies.
George Orwell, 1903 - 1950

"There is no history, only fictions of varying degrees of plausibility."
Voltaire, 1694-1778

A Handy Reading List: partly repeated here.
Picciotto, James
Mocatta, F.D.
Wolf, Lucien
Singer, Isidore (ed)
Wolf, Lucien
Wolf, Lucien
Henriques, H.S.Q.
Hyamson, Albert M.
Friedman, Lee M.
Samuel, Wilfred S.
Browne, Lewis
Wolf, Lucien
Roth, Cecil
Wolf, Lucien (ed Cecil Roth)
Adler, Michael [ed]
Roth, Cecil
Roth, Cecil
Netanyahu, Benzion
Dimont, Max I.
Endelman, Todd M.
Newman, Aubrey [ed]
Ira B.Nadel
Samuel, Edgar
Katz, David S.
Roth, Norman
Netanyahu, Benzion
Felsenstein, Frank
Gitlitz, David M
Shapiro, James S.
Zimler, Richard
Arbel, Benjamin
Coulton, Barbara
Kashtan, Nadav (ed)
Cesarani, David (ed)
Endelman, Todd M.
Samuel, Edgar
Hessayon, Ariel
Rosenblatt, Jason
Azevedo, Manuel
Kritzler, Edward
Yovel, Yirmiyahu
Muller, Ghislain
Nirenberg, David
Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History
The Jews and the Inquisition
The First English Jew Antonio Carvajal
The Jewish Encyclopedia
The Jewry of the Restoration: 1660-1664
Cromwell's Jewish Intelligencers
The Return of the Jews to England
History of the Jews in England
Early Jewish Residents in Massachusetts
A Review of the Jewish Colonists in Barbados in the Year 1680
Stranger than Fiction
Jews in the Canary Islands
A History of the Marranos
Essays in Jewish History
Jewish Historical Society Transactions Vol XIII
History of the Jews in England
Sir Edward Brampton: An Anglo-Jewish Adventurer
The Marranos of Spain: late C14 - early C16
The Indestructible Jews
The Jews of Georgian England, 1714-1830
Jewish Historical Studies Vol XXIX
Joyce and the Jews
The Portuguese Jewish Community in London 1656-1830
Jews in the History of England 1485-1850
Conversos, Inquisition and the Expulsion of the Jews
The Origins of the Inquisition in C15 Spain
Anti-Semitic Stereotypes
Secrecy And Deceit: The Religion of the Crypto-Jews
Shakespeare and the Jews
The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon
Shipping and Toleration
Cromwell and the 'readmission' of the Jews to England, 1656
Seafaring and the Jews
Port Jews: 1550-1950
The Jews of Britain, 1650-2000
At the End of the Earth: Jews in England & Portugal
From Expulsion (1290) to Readmission (1656): Jews in England
Renaissance England's Chief Rabbi: John Selden
How the Portuguese Marranos (Secret Jews} Saved England
Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean
The Other Within: The Marranos
Was Shakespeare a Jew ?
Revised, edited by Israel Finestein 1955
Transactions (JHSE Vol. 2, 1894-5 )
Facsimile 2005
Simplistic. Angled.
Eye-opening. Horrifying.
Some essays listed here separately
Updated and Expanded 1999
Slightly barmy. More than slightly.
Joyce proposed Shakespeare's Jewishness
Afterword 2002: addresses Netanyahu
False Jews & Counterfeit Christians
Mediterranean Historical Review: June 2000
Maritime anthropology. MHR reprint.
Essay collection
The Jewish Magazine, May, 2007
Highly readable. Tries to be non-partisan.
OK. You've convinced me.

The only sensible independent review of Ghislain Muller that I've read so far is by Alan Gold

history: click for quotes

Who needs Eden, or Everlasting Life ?


© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2016
all rights reserved