Pierre Monamy 1652-1731 ?
see here

some wild and some perhaps less wild

1. Origins of Monamy family before the Channel Islands

2. Political activities of Pierre Monamy

3. Berkeley, Byng, Walpole, and the evidence of treachery circa 1728.

In Admiral Vernon and the Navy, 1907, Douglas Ford comments (p.148) on some apparently damaging evidence that Robert Walpole was actually involved in an intrigue to betray the House of Hanover. He quotes John Morley, a biographer of Robert Walpole, as declaring it "incredible", but goes on to say that "Nevertheless if the English leader was really in league with the Pretender, it certainly would go far to explain his conduct in reference to the war with Spain". The Americans had a higher appreciation of Vernon, since they named a mountain (actually a bluff) after him. In 1761, George Washington, aged 27, inherited the property.

4. Parentage of Peter Monamy Cornwall

André Monamy the Guernsey Jurat

Pierre's father, the Guernseyman André Monamy, was a totally committed Cromwellian Parliamentarian, it may well be for deep-rooted, atavistic reasons. The genealogical details I am relying on for most of the rest of this family history are contained in notes compiled in 1927 by Colonel de Guérin, including three separate family trees, which do not agree in all details. (Here). On 21st May in 1927, the Guernsey Society reports that "at the Monamy Stone ... Colonel de Guérin told what is known of the extinct family of that name".

These family details were very briefly summarized by Edith Carey, in her comments on André's life, published in the Society's Transactions, in connection with Major Rybot's article on the marks, and the meaning of the Sign of Four, above the monogram.


The names André Monamy and Rebecca Guille are hopefully still faintly discernible on the left-hand stone, above a sundial. The date, apparently 1312, is on both stones. 1312 seems far too early, and perhaps it should read 1512. In a letter dated June 12, 1981, Mr Jean LePelley of La Société Guernesiaise remarks that "the coats of arms ... have always attracted my curiosity as they are obviously in Spanish style". Could these stones point to some remoter Spanish or Portuguese ancestry for the Monamys? Is this André Monamy a forefather predating the Elizabethan André, perhaps his father?

André Monamy

"In the Guille-Allès Library (St Peter Port, Guernsey) there is a sablière from the Savings Bank, that is, one of the beams running across the frontage between the side walls to support the overhanging or jettied first floor. This sablière bears the inscription La Paix de Dieu soit ceans, fait le 18 Octobre 1578 de par André Monamy". From The Guernsey House, by John McCormack.

"God's presence dwells in a peaceful and loving home", says the Talmud. On the first Sunday in April, 1569, Andrieu Mon Amy was one of a group of eight Channel Islanders who professed their faith and were admitted to Holy Communion in the "Wallonne" church at Southampton. This church was established par patente du Roy Edouard Sixe et de la Reine Elizabeth.


From The Guernsey House, by John McCormack, Phillimore 1980, pp 245-251

This André Monamy must have been an enterprising and dynamic Elizabethan merchant. He "settled in Guernsey" before, or in, 1569, which is the year he is said to have bought the house in the High Street. He married, first, Elizabeth Perrin, on 29th June 1572; and, second, Bertranne Estur, on 17th November 1577. He died in 1591, and his widow later married John Fautrat. There seem to have been no children of the first marriage, but by his second wife Bertranne he had, besides André and Elie, two daughters: Elizabeth, born 5 July 1584. who married Pierre Bonamy on 5th February 1605/6; and Marie, who married Jean Guille. A web search has revealed that Jean and Marie (born "about 1577") Guille had 10 children. Their marriage is dated 1597. The deeper into the past we dig, the more fragmentary the details. Is it possible that this André's parents were yet another André and his wife Rebecca Guille, and that their son, this merchant who died in 1590, was born, say 1530?

Étienne Monamy
fl 1540

Below is a family tree, based, with a few additional details, on the Colonel's three versions. In one of them, probably the earliest version, he writes: "André Monamy (fils Etienne) of St Clements Jersey settled in Guernsey". In what seems to be the third version he gives "Etienne Monamy of St Saviour's, Jersey". Edith Carey writes: "André, son of Etienne Monamy of Jersey". Delving into the genealogical reources of the web it was a shock to be presented with 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: 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.

More unravelling remains to be done, and if there is any genealogical expert out there with special knowledge of Channel Island familes would they please contact me here

Note, 16 November, 2006. Since writing the above I have heard from at least two residents in Guernsey, who have generously provided me with additional valuable information and corrections. For incorporation of these new details, see here, here, here and linked pages. The tree given below, as anticipated, is not entirely accurate, and I am highly obliged to my correspondents for their help.

Note, 12 December, 2006. From scouring the internet, a very curious additional item has come to my notice. In The Environs of London, Volume 3, by Daniel Lysons, 1795, there is mention of the burial of a "John, son of Peter Monamy, buried Mar. 31, 1680." An accompanying footnote states "A celebrated painter of sea-pieces", and the author, Lysons, has evidently confused the painter with his father. Besides suggesting that Pierre/Peter Monamy, the elder, was possibly living in Stoke Newington at the time, it is difficult to fit this son, John, into the sequence of births recorded between 1677 and 1681, as given on the tree, below. All the children mentioned on the tree were baptized at St Botolph's without Aldgate: see here. Various explanations come to mind, but the simplest is that John is actually James. It is worth noting, however, that Stoke Newington was a centre for Dissent during this period.

From a few hints contained in the above family history, together with other reading on this topic, it seems to me quite possible that the earliest Monamys in the Channel Islands, along with other early 16th century settlers, were Marranos or Conversos, that is forcibly converted, or semi-converted Jews expelled from Portugal or Spain in 1492. Memories of the "Inquisition dogs and the devildoms of Spain" lasted at least until Tennyson wrote The Revenge: A Ballad of the Fleet.

Sink me the ship, Master Gunner --- sink her, split her in twain!
Fall into the hands of God, not into the hands of Spain!

"The conclusions I have arrived at in these researches differ so widely with commonly held views, that I do not delude myself with the hope that they will be easily accepted. No doubt they will encounter, apart from fair criticism, that opposition which seems to be the fate of every new idea." B.N. September 30, 1965. From the foreword to The Marranos of Spain, from the Late 14th to the Early 16th Century, by B.Netanyahu, New York, American Academy for Jewish Research, 1966.

descent to the present
article 1981       article 1983
transcription of notes of colonel de guérin
note on smuggling
artistic range
monamy website index


© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2007
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