Peter Monamy
(1681 - 1749

Peter Monamy

The Monamy family had been prominent merchants and residents of Guernsey since at least the 1560s, and in the Channel Islands since the 1530s. Peter Monamy, aged 15, was bound as an apprentice for seven years by indenture to William Clark, a Master of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, one of London’s ancient guilds of craftsmen. Clark is recorded in several capacities in the London of the late 17th century, as a constable and juryman, with premises in Thames Street, and on London Bridge, and practised as what would today be called an interior decorator, with a thriving business.

House decoration comprised a wide range of activities, including the provision of paintings as overdoors, and on panelling, house murals on canvas as well as decorative sign-boards for trade establishments. William Clark died before January, 1704, when his will was proved. Monamy was made free of his apprenticeship on 1 March 1704.

It can reasonably be surmised that Monamy set up in business on his own account, both as a decorator and easel painter, quite soon after being made free in 1704. He is repeatedly mentioned in later accounts as having owned a shop on London Bridge. William Henry Pyne, an artist and raconteur (1769–1843) mentions that "Monamy, the marine painter, some of whose pictures were scarcely inferior to Vandevelde's, served his apprenticeship on London Bridge, and exhibited his
works in the window of his shop, to the delight of the sons of Neptune, men and boys, who were seen in crowds gazing at
his wondro
us art."