The historical events noted here are selected because they have some relevance, however apparently tenuous, to Monamy's life and work; or because they are felt to be of some wider contextual significance. They will be continuously revised and updated, as will all details on all pages on this site. Fault-finding in the interests of eliminating error is more than welcome.
The historical approach is basic to any form of art appreciation, but especially of this era in English painting. As noted in the Chichester catalogue, the problems arising from Monamy's oeuvre can helpfully be resolved if we "try to develop an understanding of the naval, political, social and economic realities of the period."
1652: Admiral Blake's defeat of the Dutch Fleet, left; action against the Dutch off Dover, right
from Oliver Cromwell, by Peter Young, pp 62 & 91; no artist named
Year of birth of Pierre Monamy, son of André Monamy and Anne Le Febvre, Guernsey, as proposed in 1927. Correction January 2008,. Although 1652 is the date given for Pierre Monamy's birth by Colonel de Guérin, recent comprehensive researches by Terry Dowinton of Guernsey have discovered that Pierre was actually born in 1650, and baptized on August 11th. See here for a full update of the genealogy of the Monamy family in Guernsey.
André Monamy appointed Jurat in Guernsey. The dictionary definition of the office is: "a magistrate in the Channel Islands".
Restoration of Charles II. His brother James, Duke of York, appointed Lord High Admiral.
André Monamy, Jurat and one of 12 Parliamentary Governors of Guernsey in 1653, dismissed from office. (Guernsey Transactions).
Probable year of birth of André (Andrew) Monamy, brother of Pierre (Peter).
Birth of George Byng, son of John Byng of Wrotham Park, Kent. The father was obliged to sell the estate in 1666, and went to Ireland, whence he returned in 1672, fleeing creditors. (DNB).
Great Plague in London.
1666: the bonfire: about 150 dutch ships burnt
1-4/6. The Four Days Fight with the Dutch, beginning off the N.Foreland.
25/7. The St James's Day Fight.
8/8. "Sir Robert Holmes his bonfire".
2/9. Great Fire of London. Wren's design for rebuilding.
a view of the bonfire
May. Captain Berry engaged a Franco-Dutch fleet off Nevis.
11-14 June. The Dutch in the Medway. Three warships were burnt, and the Royal Charles taken to Holland as a trophy. "A dishonour never to be wiped off" (John Evelyn, Diary). The effect of this affair can be judged from Last Instructions to a Painter, by Andrew Marvell.
25/6. Sir John Harman burnt a French squadron at Martinique.
Publication of Paradise Lost, John Milton. Publication of History of the Royal Society, Thomas Sprat. Publication of "Denham's" Instructions to a Painter.
the dutch burn three ships in the medway
29?/12. John Kempthorne, in the Mary Rose, 48 guns, defeats or beats off seven Algerine pirates, off Cadiz. (See DNB). Mezzotint depiction alleged to be of this action, "after W Van de Velde", engraved by E.Kirkall: no date (circa 1722-25). In fact, Kirkall's mezzotint is probably after neither this action, nor the Kingfisher action of 1681. See here. Etching by eye-witness Bohemian artist Wenzel Hollar. No date, but probably contemporary, with a description of the fight given below the etching. According to Bowen the engraving was published 1670. Hollar was on board the Mary Rose. (See Cust's collection of prints 1909). John Kempthorne was knighted for valour in this action. His son, Morgan, captain of the Kingfisher, died 1681 in the Mediterranean in action, also against seven Algerine pirates.
May: Charles II signed the secret Treaty of Dover, "one of the most startling obligations ever imposed on a fortunately ignorant nation", as pointed out in The Life and Times of James II, by Peter Earle, p.95. "Charles was to receive a large subsidy from Louis XIV to raise an army and re-equip the navy. In return he was to co-operate with Louis in the total destruction of the Dutch Republic and partition of its empire, and to declare his Catholicism." It was hardly possible to keep such matters totally secret, and from now on the Stuart dynasty was doomed.
Samuel Swinock appointed Master of the Painter-Stainer's Company.
"In Cal.S.P.Dom. 1671, p.496, there is an informer's report to Williamson, dated 21 September; however enigmatic in its phrasing, it tends to prove that B[lood] and Marvell ..... were in touch as being both agents 'from Bucks'; ie the Duke of Buckingham." From Margoliouth's Andrew Marvell, Vol I, p.379.
Moses Mocatta, of a Jewish Marrano family, came to London from Amsterdam to set up business as a merchant, and founded his gold bullion firm in Camomile Street.
12 & 18/3. Holmes's action with the Dutch Smyrna fleet.
28/5. The Battle of Solebay. Indecisive naval battle against the Dutch. The Royal James was burnt.
Arrival of the van de Veldes, father and son, in England. The Elder recounts (1674) that the Duke of York "liked him a lot" and that "he did not know whether the English were interested in his pictures", as he "had never done anything for anybody other than His Majesty and the Duke of York". The artists were given annual salaries of £100 each, and provided with a studio in the Queen's House at Greenwich. (Art of the Van de Veldes, NMM 1982). According to Vertue, the Elder's brother, Cornelius, also received a salary.
6/5. William Clark, son of William Clark of St Andrew's, Holborn, in the County of Middlesex, Carpenter, bound to James Newman for seven years by indenture. (Binding Book, Painter-Stainer's Company. Guildhall Library MS 5669).
28/5. The first Battle of Schooneveld.
4/6. The second Battle of Schooneveld.
11/8. The second Battle of the Texel. Last battle of the Anglo-Dutch wars.
James, Duke of York, marries Mary of Modena. Test Act excludes Roman Catholics from office under the Crown. The Duke of York retires as Lord High Admiral.
The Battle of the Texel: by the van de Veldes, father & son
De Ruyter thwarts Prince Rupert's attempt to destroy the Dutch fleet.
The Anglo-French alliance failed to invade Holland.
The Royal Prince dismasted during the Battle of the Texel, 1673.
"Follower of van de Velde"; 10 x 12. See Robinson , no 422, pp 203-204. Bonhams Sale, 27 Feb, 2007.
11/9. Resignation, following impeachment in January, of Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlington, as Secretary of State. He was one of the members of Charles II's Cabal. He was thought to be a secret Catholic, and Buckingham specifically charged him with frustrating all Protestant and anti-French plans. Succeeded in the office by Williamson.
Birth this year of James Thornhill, later first native English artist to be knighted, son of Walter, a grocer in Dorchester. Both of Thornhill's grandfathers had served with distinction in Cromwell's army. (E.Croft-Murray, Decorative Painting in England, 1962).
Arrest (and apparent release after two or three months) of Pierre Monamy on charges relating to customs evasion. (CSPD 24/6/1676). The case must be more complicated than simple smuggling would imply. Among names mentioned in the context is that of Swinock, merchant of London (CSPD 21/2/1678). A Samuel Swinock had been Master of the Painter-Stainers in 1671.
Secret alliance between Charles II and Louis XIV of France; Charles had engaged to become a Roman Catholic at an earlier Anglo-French treaty.
Conjectural year of marriage of Pierre Monamy to Dorothy Gilbert, born in 1660, the third child of James and Ann Gilbert.
First record of gold being sent to India by Mocatta. 75 ounces of gold were shipped to London to purchase diamonds. Gold and silver shipments then became regular events. The firm, later known as Mocatta & Keyser (1767) and then Mocatta & Goldsmid (1783), became bullion broker to the Bank of England and the East India Company in the 18th century. By the 1770s it was handling all aspects of the Bank's bullion operations, amounting to three-quarters of the world's entire gold production.
1/3. Baptism of Peter Gilbert Monamy, son to Pierre Monamy and his wife Dorothy, of the Minories, at St Botolph's without Aldgate. (Guildhall Library 9225/2). Child presumed died before 1681.
25/3. Death and burial of Wenzel Hollar in St Margaret's Church, Westminster. Described in the register as "the famous". An epitaph to him was put up by George Vertue in the C18th. (G.Parry, Hollar's England).
Moses Mocatta moves his firm to Mansell Street.
14/2. Baptism of Ann, daughter to Pierre and Dorothy Monamy, at St Botolph's. (GL 9225/2). Ann survived to adult life, and married John Randal at Allhallows, 1701.
George Byng enters navy, aged 15.
So-called "Popish Plot". Roman Catholics excluded from Parliament.
Publication of Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan of Bedford. Bunyan's characters, Greatheart, Standfast and Valiant-for-Truth are idealised veterans of Cromwell's army.
12/1. Baptism of Charity, daughter to Pierre and Elizabeth (?) Monamy, at St Botolph's without Aldgate. (GL 9225/2). The name Elizabeth here is very odd. However, Charity was the name of Dorothy Gilbert's sister, which is unlikely to have been used for the infant if she was not Dorothy's daughter by Pierre.
Party names of Whig and Tory come into use.
Jan. Baptism of James, son to Pierre and Dorothy Monamy, at St Botolph's. Can any significance be read into the choice of this particular name for his son? Presumably not, since it was the name of Dorothy's father, James Gilbert.
Death of Pierre's father, André Monamy, in Guernsey. (Transactions. SG 1928).
Succession Bill, directed against succession to throne of James, Duke of York, passes Commons, but is rejected by Lords.
January. Birth and baptism of Peter Monamy, son (and last known child) to Pierre and Dorothy Monamy, of the Minories, at St Botolph's without Aldgate. (Guildhall Library. MS 9225/2). 16/1. "Partage de l'heritage qui fut a feu M André Monamy, parti entre Pierre et André Monamy, et Dames Marie et Catherine Monamy, enfans du dit defunct." (MS of Colonel de Guérin, Guernsey. 1927).
Publication of Miscellaneous Poems by Andrew Marvell: contains Cromwell & Blake poems.
20/9. Pierre Monamy, heir of André Monamy appeals against judgement of court of Guernsey in proceedings of suit brought against the deceased by Samuel Dobrée. (CSPD 1682). Protestants in France excluded from Guilds, Civil Service and King's Household.
The Great Frost. The Thames freezes over at London.
Jan Griffier the Elder. Notice Mr and Mrs Monamy on the ice, with their infant son Peter.
[29 Dec 2011. A message has been received from someone, probably named Damian R.Klinkenberg, as follows: "I fancy that painting that much and I need a much bigger version to spot the family anyway - any chance?" Not very likely. I may easily have been mistaken about the presence of the Monamy family; I can't remember where I got the image from; more specific information about the DRK identity is required.]
John Locke deprived of his academic appointment at Christ Church, Oxford, "through the malice of Charles II". (W.S.Carpenter)
6/2. Death of Charles II. Duke of York succeeds as James II.
Monmouth's rebellion 11/6. Monmouth beheaded 15/7.
18/10. Revocation of the Edict of Nantes: Huguenots flee France. Pastor Desaguliers of La Rochelle escapes to Guernsey, his infant son, Jean-Theophilus hidden in a barrel. (DNB).
Mme de Maintenon founds Maison de St Cyr for poor noble girls. See origins of the crypto-Jacobite anthem, God Save the King.
9/8. Letter from Andrew Monamy (the painter's uncle, brother of Pierre Monamy of Guernsey) in London to Lord Hatton, Governor of Guernsey, requesting licence to trade in wool. (BM MS f 285; 29 562). William Clark appointed Master of the Painter-Stainer's Company.
Seven Lords invite William of Orange to England. James II flees.
Sir James Thornhill: The Arrival of William III. Painted Hall, Greenwich; completed 1728
William III accedes to English throne.
1/5; The Battle of Bantry Bay. 28/7; The Relief of Londonderry (besieged from 1/4 - 1/8).
War with France begins and continues until 1697.
Publication of Poems on Affairs of State, by Andrew Marvell and others.
Jacobite plot to assassinate William III.
7/12. Andrew Monamy witnesses baptism of Samuel Winn at the French Huguenot church in Threadneedle Street, London.
French Huguenot church in Threadneedle Street
11/7. William III defeats James II at the Boyne. 30/6. Torrington (the first Lord Torrington, not Byng) engaged with De Tourville off Beachy Head.
John Locke publishes Two Treatises of Civil Government.
5/6. Passes issued at Whitehall for Mr Andrew Monamy and Mr Daniel Le Febvre to embark for Holland (CSPD. 1691)
19/5. The Battle of Barfleur. Russell defeated De Tourville. Action engraved (probably contemporary) by M. van der Gucht, after Isaac Sailmaker. 22-24/5. Destruction of De Tourville's fleet at La Hogue. Virtually same action.
36 x 47. Unsigned: attributed to Monamy. The Battle of Cap La Hogue. Click on picture.
Lloyd's coffee-house becomes office for marine insurance.
2/8. Andrew Monamy of St Martin's in the Fields, Gent, marries Mary le Bouteiller of Golden Square at St Mary Abchurch. (Harleian Society. Vol. 31).
Death of Willem van de Velde, the Elder, aged 82. Buried in St James's, Piccadilly.
12/7. Bombardment and destruction of Dieppe by Admiral Lord Berkeley.
27/7. Bank of England incorporated by Act of Parliament.
Birth of William O'Brien, 4th Earl of Inchiquin, son of the 3rd Earl. Died 1777. Grandmaster of the Freemasons of England (1726); an original member of the Order of the Bath. (Like George Byng, Lord Torrington?) Also Lord of the Bedchamber to Frederick, Prince of Wales. Married Anne, Countess of Orkney. Portrait painted by William Hogarth. NB: the two Monamy yacht paintings (one dated 1738) presented to the Royal Cork Yacht Club were donated by the Marquis of Thomond (Earl of Inchiquin) in 1805(?). This Marquis of Thomond was probably Murrough O'Brien, nephew and successor of the 4th Earl, created Marquis of Thomond in 1800.
The Monamy entitled "The English Fleet at Anchor with the Admiral's ship sailing", signed lower left, canvas 61" x 33", with the original carved giltwood frame 71" x 42", was bought from Leggatt, St James's Street, in about 1925, and was described as "From the collection of the Marquis of Thomond". (ref Letter to Paul Mellon July 10th, 1970 from R.E.de Zoete: also John Baskett Ltd, note 21st September 1970). The Hon James O'Brien, brother of the 4th Earl of Inchiquin, who died 1771, was Grandmaster of the Freemasons of Munster. MP for Youghal.
December: Death of Queen Mary II, of smallpox.
Sir Martin Beckman, naval engineer and topographer of Swedish birth, visited Guernsey, drawing plans of St Peter Port, Castle Cornet and Bouche de Vale (DNB, & BM map room).
End of press censorship in England.
Newton appointed Warden of the Mint, and moves to house opposite St Botolph's without Aldgate. With Locke, directs restoration of English currency. Daniel Defoe had been married (1684?) in St Botolph's. (Visitor's Guide to St Botolph's).
3/9. "Peter Monamy, son of Peter Monamy of London, Merchant, bound to William Clarke for seven years by indenture." (Binding Book. Painter-Stainer's Company. GL 5669). Thornhill's apprenticeship ended this year; but he did not pay freeman's dues to the Painter-Stainer's Company until 1704, on the same day as Peter Monamy. (Croft-Murray. DPE). William Clark(e) is listed 21/12 under the second precinct of London Bridge, and third precinct in Thames Street; and also as constable and petty juryman. His name appears regularly from 1690 to 1700, when it disappears. (Wardmote Minutes. London Bridge Ward Within, 1689-1747. GL MS 3461/3).
Several letters recorded from Andrew Monamy and Daniel Le Febvre concerning their merchant activities in salt and wool. (BM.MS). ("It is no derogation to a man in England to be a merchant; yet it is very rare for Peers to put their younger sons out apprentices, as 'tis said they used to do". Memoirs, 1697, by Henri Misson. Quoted in Journeys of Celia Fiennes. Cresset Press 1947).
John Sturt and Bernard Lens set up a drawing school where apprentices and young engravers might take extra lessons. (Clayton; p.13)
Completion of first Eddystone Lighthouse.
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