For some time (25 years, in fact) it has been bothering me that there is an apparent vacuum in Monamy's life history between the years 1712-1723. During this period he made the transition from Whitechapel to Westminster, but there seems to be no record of where he may have been in the interim. A daughter, Mary, who survived him and married Francis Swaine, ought to have been born during these eleven years, and in a period of such length there would very probably have been other children, deceased in infancy.
Vertue mentions that: "he made many excursions towards the Coasts and seaports of England to improve himself from Nature", and I felt that these were the years when he would have been most likely to have made these excursions. I also surmised that he might very probably have ventured beyond the coasts, and perhaps sailed to the Channel Isles, or Holland.
I now (November 2006) believe there are reasons for thinking that he may have visited Ireland, and Cork in particular, for which seaport he would have embarked from Bristol.
Left: early 18th century Bristol, unsigned.
From about 1980 the painting shown here has been de-attributed, and is now said to be "by an unknown artist". Before that it was, reasonably firmly and consistently, attributed to Peter Monamy, and one seriously wonders how and why such a surprising attribution could ever have been made. Suspicion lingers.
Could the earlier attribution really have been made on no foundation whatsoever? See here.
The difficulty so far has been that the two paintings in Cork which are with certainty associated with Monamy are dated to 1738. There is now evidence that at least one of these may have been preceded by an earlier version, to which the date 1722 is credibly attached.
27¾ x 36. Signed. 1722 ?
27 x 35½. Signed. 1738 ?
From Burke's Peerage
Notice by Bowles, 15 March, 1729. See here for Brooking's map, 1740 edition.
See timeline 1726.
Portrait from A History of the Royal Cork Yacht Club
See here for O'Brien family tree