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Monks, Monk, Monck
(of Dublin and Wicklow)

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The name Monks is used as the anglicised form of two Irish names, Ó Manacháin (usually found as Monaghan) and Mac an Mhanaigh (usually found as MacEvanny). The root word in both of these names is "manach" meaning "monk", hence the adoption of Monks as an anglicisation. However, the Monks family of Dublin and Wicklow, would seem not to be derived from either of these Gaelic names, but rather from the Anglo-Norman family, originally known as Le Moyne. The name derives from the French word "moine" meaning "monk" and over the centuries became Monk, Monck and Monks.

The name is first recorded in England shortly after the Norman conquest of 1066. Ralph Moin is recorded in Sussex in 1158 and Henry le Moygne in Essex in 1255. Geoffrey le Moine was constable of the castle in Newcastle in 1219. The oldest known ancestor of the Dublin Monks family was William le Moyne of Potheridge in Devonshire who was known to be living in 1424. He had two sons, John le Moyne who inherited the estates in Devon and Robert le Moyne, from whom came Viscount Monck and the Monks families of Dublin and Wicklow. The Devonshire line includes the Dukes of Albemarle, a title that became extinct in 1687. George Monck or Monk, second son of Sir Thomas Monk of Potheridge, was, for his exertions in bringing about the restoration of Charles II to the throne of England, raised to peerage in 1670. However, the male line appears to have died with him. The Irish line seems to have fared better as regards survival.

Charles Monck Esq., of Grange Gorman, county Dublin was descended from the above-mentioned Robert le Moyne of Devon. In 1705 he married Agneta, sister and heir of John Stephens, alias Hitchcock, of Charleville, county Wicklow. Agneta's grandfather was Sir John Stephens of Finglas, county Dublin and Charleville, county Wicklow. The male line of the well-known Stephens family failed and family became represented by Viscount Monck as a result of the marriage of Charles and Agneta. They had two children; A son, Henry Monck whose only daughter and heir, Elizabeth, married George Beresford, first Marquess of Waterford and a daughter, Anne who married Henry Quin. Anne and Henry had one daughter, Ann, who married her cousin, Charles Stanley Monck, thereby uniting two lines of the family and probably avoiding a major inheritance battle, Charles being the nearest male relative. Charles inherited the properties of the Monck and Stephens families in Wicklow and Finglas, was created Baron Monck in 1797 and elevated to Viscount Monck in 1800. His son, Henry Stanley Monck, the second Viscount Monck, was created Earl of Rathdown in 1822, but he died childless and the title became extinct in 1848.

The family, however, survives through its junior lines. Charles Monck of Grange Gorman (1705), had at least one brother, William from whom descends a known line of the family, one of whom emigrated to Coley Park, Berkshire in England. There may also have been other brothers. Another junior line of the same family may be found in Drogheda, county Louth as early as 1620, when Edward Moncke was recorded as bearing the family coat of arms with a "martlet for difference", indicating that he was a fourth son. His parentage is not noted, but he was probably of the line of one of the early descendants of Robert le Moyne.

Other lines of the same family may be found in and around Liverpool and in Chester, as Lingard-Monk. These descend from Reverend George Monk of St. Paul's, Liverpool who had a son, John Boughy Monk and a daughter, Mary Monk. John died childless, so Mary became the sole heir. Mary married Roger Rowson Lingard (she was his second wife) and their son Richard formally assumed the additional name of Monk in 1875 and was known as Richard Boughy Monk Lingard.

Interestingly, though the name Moyne is known today, it does not appear among the descendants of William le Moyne, all of whom adopted the forms Monck, Monk and more recently Monks.

Heraldry

Monck, Monk or Monks (Dublin & Wicklow)

Arms: Gules a chevron between three lions' heads erased argent.

Crest: A dragon, wings elevated sable.

Motto: fortiter fideliter foeliciter

(bravely, faithfully, happily.)

The Le Moyne family of Petheridge, Devonshire bore the same arms, without a motto, and a different crest - "A cockatrice argent".