Delving into the genealogical resources of the web, some years ago, it was a shock to discover an Etienne, in the right era, of St Saviour's, Jersey, who was said to be a woman. Here are the details from the records of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, which, sadly, now, 2013, seem to have disappeared: Etienne MONAMY (AFN: 961X-T0); Sex: F; Birth: about 1516; of St. Saviour, Jersey, Channel Islands; Parents: ? Marriage(s): Spouse: Benoiste AUBIN (AFN: 961X-SS). However, after re-checking, it is clear that Étienne is purely and exclusively a man's name. Was the young Mormon Elder misled by the -enne ending ?

If anyone cares to add to this, would they please contact me here

The Monamy Family

So, what's in a name, my friend ?


Edgar Samuel's opening chapter in his collection of essays, At the End of the Earth, is devoted to nomenclature, mainly Jewish, although it also touches on naming patterns among other peoples. One learns that this is a discipline generally known as anthroponymy, a sub-division of onomastics; where anthroponymy is simply a hyponym of onomastics. Invaluable information of this esoteric and erudite character is designed to be packed into a pipe, and then smoked.

Samuel, although he ranges far and wide in his chapter on names, does not, in my opinion, come to any hard and fast conclusions. Contemplation of the early Monamy Channel Island tree prompts me to quote from page 15 of Samuel's essay: "The question is, when was a boy given his father's name and why was it generally avoided in rabbinic families? .....The rabbis taught that honouring one's father and mother was equivalent to honouring the Almighty. If, however, a man named his son after himself, he would be honouring himself --- a brazen and impious thing to do --- and contrary to rabbinic ethics". No such concern troubled either Aaron or Moyse, sons of Clement, however, as they both named their eldest sons after themselves. On page 17 Samuel notes that: "Double names occurred frequently among medieval English Jews. Herbert Loewe ..... instances a case where two men with double names, Jacob b. Jacob and Elijah b. Elijah, sign one document." NB: the medieval period lasted from the 5th to the 15th century.

The Monamys in the Channel Isles were, perforce, Christians, giving their children Christian names. Did the islands at any post-Viking/Saxon period contain any individual who was not a Christian, before, say, 1725 ? 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." Impossible, however, not to suppose that a family which gave its new-born infants the names listed in column A, below, would have been remembering pre-Christian forefathers. Unsurprising, therefore, that some of the few who contemplate this tree and its branches discern Marrano roots.


The names listed in column B could be described as quasi-Jewish. These names started their lives as Jewish --- although some of them, Andrew for instance, actually seem to have been Greek --- but underwent conversion, and then all ended up as Christian saints: St Stephen, St Andrew, St John, St Mary, St Martha, St Peter. Jehan appears in both columns, partly because he sounds, in a way, Jewish, but more because his is a truly ubiquitous name, having now come to stand for everyman, and used and abused in a great variety of contexts. Here is a run-down on his venerability:

JEHAN: Old French form of Iohannes (see JOHN). John is the English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name (Yochanan) meaning "YAHWEH is gracious". This name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who was considered the forerunner of Jesus Christ. The second is the apostle John, who is also traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth Gospel and Revelation. This name was initially more common among Eastern Christians in the Byzantine Empire, but it flourished in Western Europe after the First Crusade. In England it became extremely popular: during the later Middle Ages it was given to approximately a fifth of all English boys.

The name John (in various spellings) has been borne by 21 popes and eight Byzantine emperors, as well as rulers of England, France, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Portugal, Bulgaria, Russia and Hungary. It was also borne by the poet John Milton (1608-1674), philosopher John Locke (1632-1704), American founding father and president John Adams (1735-1826), and poet John Keats (1795-1821).

The four names in column C are evidently un-Jewish. Clement might be thought of as positively Papist, and distinctly non-Jewish, although I've suddenly remembered the existence of Clement Freud. However, since Wiki describes him as Anglican, he was not Jewish, although his grandfather was --- I think. Behind this name, or under it, lurk "14 popes, including Saint Clement I, the third pope, one of the Apostolic Fathers." Also "It has been general as a given name in Christian Europe (in various spellings) since early times. In England it became rare after the Protestant Reformation, though it was revived in the 19th century. It is the English form of the Late Latin name Clemens which meant 'merciful, gentle'." It initially occured to me that the instigator of the Alhambra Decree, January 1492, might have been a Pope Clement (merciful and gentle), but it turns out that the Pope at that time was, just as appropriately, named Innocent VIII, who died in July 1492. The life of this Pope Innocent makes eye-popping reading. Beneste appears to be a non-existent name (a feminisation of Benedict?), but "in the later Middle Ages Parnel, a variant of Perronnelle, became a slang term for a promiscuous woman, and the name subsequently fell out of use."

This leaves us with old Besse in the Ruffe, Gloriana, the Virgin Queen Elizabeth I, pride and joy of every British Heart of Oak, with the stomach of a King of England. Elizabeth was quite exceptionally celebrated in Guernsey, in spite of her castle sited off Jersey. This was named by Walter Ralegh, who was Governor of Jersey, 1600-1603,. In 1603 Ralegh was imprisoned, and later shamefully executed by James Stuart. Elizabeth has also been claimed and venerated as Guernsey's only link with English royalty, via Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon, 1526 - 1596, first cousin of Queen Elizabeth, and patently a member of the Carey family. Those believing in this connection may be mistaken, however, as, according to the Careyroots website: "There is no known connection between the Cary/Carey family of England and the Carey family of Guernsey."

Anyone retaining the slightest doubt of Guernsey's socio-political orientation from 1640 onwards could do worse than read Jonathan Duncan's History of Guernsey, 1841. Here is his opinion of Charles the Second, p. 118:

"..... he undoubtedly was one of the worst sovereigns who has filled the British throne, and even in exile he showed himself unworthy of a crown. In 1654, he offered £500 a year, and a knighthood, to any one who would destroy Cromwell by 'pistol, sword, or poison, or otherwise', as appears by a proclamation given by Thurloe, and he was only prevented from continuing in this course by the declaration of his intended victim, that if any attempt to assassinate him should fail, he would make an assassination war of it, and destroy the whole of the royal family, as he had instruments to execute his purpose, whenever he desired it. ..... On the restoration, the body of the heroic Blake ..... was removed from the abbey, and, by Charles's command, thrown with many others into a pit in St Margaret's churchyard, as if the services of such a man to his country had not entitled his remains to rest quietly in the grave! ..... we must now more explicitly state our conviction ..... that under [Charles's] despotic rule the Guernseymen of that day had no reason to be ashamed of the part which they took during the civil war ---- that struggle between kingly despotism and limited monarchy. In our opinion, their adherence to the parliament is the best proof of the higher degree of knowledge and civilization which this island then attained, and, as a necessary consequence, the inhabitants objected to be 'vassalized either in their consciences or estates' ---- words used by them in their declaration to Cromwell."

These, presumably, were "the views of his family" to which Horace Walpole attached such withering contempt when belittling Peter Monamy's early education, life and training. Horace, England's Art Arbiter-in-Chief, was the son of Sir Robert, who was the son of Colonel Robert, who was the son of Edward, a man who "ardently supported Charles II for restoration and would become a Knight of the Bath." Oh Happy Day ! Callooh ! Callay ! Horace, whose slightly remoter ancestry included a small collection of dedicated Jesuits, chortled at the thought. Ah, well, no-one should be held responsible for his or her ancestry, family, or their "views".

It grows clearer by the day that the two single actions of the Stuarts which really got the goat of the average Englishman were the execution of Sir Walter Raleigh, 1618, on the orders of James I, and the desecration of the grave of Robert Blake, 1661, on the orders of Charles II.

Elizabeth I was Queen Regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death in 1603.
Five of the women listed in the Monamy tree, above, were named Elizabeth. One of them was imported.

A remark by Murray N. Rothbard, from An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, vol. 1, Economic Thought Before Adam Smith, 1995, reads: "It was in the 16th century that England began its meteoric rise to the top of the economic and industrial heap. The English Crown in effect tried its best to hobble this development by mercantilist laws and regulations but was thwarted because, for various reasons, the interventionist edicts proved unenforceable." I think Murray mainly means the Stuart Crown, as I don't believe Elizabeth did a great deal of hobbling. She was short of money, however, and André (Andrieu, Andro) Mon Amy was certainly charged with customs evasion, in 1569. See here.

A few lines straight from the horses' mouths, 1675:

But canst thou Divine when things shall be mended?
When the Reign of the Line of the Stuarts is ended .....
The Gods have repented the Kings Restoration

by John Ayloffe ? Ayloffe was executed 1685.
Pierre Monamy seems to have vanished in the same year.
It was also the year of the Monmouth Rebellion.

What is thy opinion of James Duke of York?
The Same that the Froggs had of Jupiters Stork ...
If e're he be King I know Brittains Doome;
Wee must all to the Stake or be Converts to Rome.
A Tudor a Tudor! wee've had Stuarts enough;
None ever Reign'd like old Besse in the Ruffe.

It is possible, though contested, that Ayloffe's friend, Andrew Marvell, was poisoned in 1678.

When the Sword glitters ore the Judges head,
And fear has Coward Churchmen silenced
Then is the Poets time, 'tis then he drawes
And single fights forsaken Vertues cause.
He, when the wheel of Empire whirleth back,
And though the World's disjointed Axel crack,
Sings still of ancient Rights and better Times
Seeks wretched good, arraigns successful Crimes.

Tom May's Death


petitions & litigation
monamy genealogy: jersey
monamy genealogy: guernsey
monamy tree, root, branch, cutting and graft
maison monamy by graham guille
earlier notes & comments
notes by col de guérin
catalogue chronology
article 1981       article 1983
family background
moses and monotheism

note on guernsey politics

monamy website index


© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2013
all rights reserved

A Handy Reading List

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
Walsh, William Thomas
Roth, Cecil
Wolf, Lucien (ed Cecil Roth)
Adler, Michael [ed]
Roth, Cecil
Roth, Cecil
Netanyahu, Benzion
Dimont, Max I.
Endelman, Todd M.
Fortune, Stephen Alexander
Israel, Jonathan I.
Litvinoff, Barnet
Newman, Aubrey [ed]
Samuel, Edgar
Roth, Norman
Netanyahu, Benzion
Felsenstein, Frank
Gitlitz, David M
Zimler, Richard
Patai, Raphael
Arbel, Benjamin
Rozen, Minna
Kashtan, Nadav (ed)
Coulton, Barbara
Cesarani, David (ed)
Endelman, Todd M.
Samuel, Edgar
Hessayon, Ariel
Rosenblatt, Jason
Azevedo, Manuel
Yovel, Yirmiyahu
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
The Last Crusader: Isabella of Spain, 1451-1504
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
Merchants and Jews: BWI Commerce, 1650-1750
European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism: 1550-1750
The Burning Bush: Antisemitism and World History
Jewish Historical Studies Vol XXIX
The Portuguese Jewish Community in London 1656-1830
Conversos, Inquisition and the Expulsion of Jews
The Origins of the Inquisition in C15 Spain
Anti-Semitic Stereotypes
Secrecy And Deceit: The Religion Of Crypto-Jews
The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon
The Children of Noah: Jewish Seafaring in Ancient Times
Shipping & Toleration: Early Modern Jewish Shipowners
S & J:   Boatmen's Guilds in Nineteenth Century Istanbul
Seafaring and the Jews: Mediterranean Historical Review
Cromwell and the 'readmission' of the Jews to England, 1656
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
The Other Within: The Marranos
Anti-Judaism; History of a Way of Thinking
Revised, edited by Israel Finestein 1955
Facsimile 2005
Simplistic. Angled.
2001 paperback reprint. Gruelling.
1987 paperback reprint
Some essays listed here separately
Updated and Expanded 1999
Revised paperback edition 1973
The Struggle for the British West Indies
Third edition 1998
Exhibition catalogue: the Jewish Museum
Afterword 2002, addressing Netanyahu
"Brilliant revisionist achievement"
Med. Hist. Rev.: same as S & J, below
Seafaring & the Jews, 2000, XV, 1
Maritime anthropology: eight essays
Essay collection
The Jewish Magazine, May, 2007
Insightful. Stimulating. Engrossing.


The London equivalent of this Domus was in Chancery Lane, Holborn. see: The Burning Bush, Litvinoff, page 69