"This book deserves to reach a wider public - it's a lovingly detailed and scholarly piece of family history, a good story well told, but it's more than that...


Joe Fisher, author/screenplay writer, regarding


ISBN: 9781425161972,

Joseph Augustine Anthony Silmon-Monerri, BA(Hons), MCIL, Dip.Coimbra, Dip.RSA **1937-2016**


All or most of Mr Silmon-Monerri's book projects are long-term academic/reference/textbook material. Universities, libraries and colleges may benefit from the variety of topics available in publications by the Author. However, most topics covered are equally attractive to general readers.


The Series Title for Volumes 1 to 3 is: SECRETS OF THE ST. MAURS


Non-Fiction Works

New And Upcoming Titles

Biography/ Genealogy/ Military History/ World Travel: A Secret Son - Was Mohamed, his 'servant', the Earl St. Maur's eldest offspring?


Mohamed's grandson investigates.

Genealogy/Military & Medieval History & Heraldry, World Travel

The Origins of the Seymours in pre-Conquest France and Britain


Work-in-Progress. Generously illustrated.

Genealogy/History: Mohamed, Sarah and Families.

About the Author's Grandparents, and their ensuing branches.


Work-in-Progress. Generously illustrated. Will be published mainly for the Author's family & friends.

Previous Titles

Silmon-Monerri Books was established in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 2012.

Website still under construction. Please Note: The old website: , which related to the book by that title, no longer exists. "A Secret Son" is a re-hashed volume based on part of the first book. "The Origins Of The Seymours In Pre- And Post-Conquest France And Britain" is a companion volume to volume 1.

"The "Manchester Jazz Scene ..." book is still incomplete.

A Secret Son is Volume 1,

The Origins ... is Volume 2

A Volume 3 exists - about Author's family only - so a limited publication and the last priority.

Whilst your visit is most welcome, please bear in mind that it took the Author many years to research all the work advertised here. It, would therefore, be much appreciated if you would remember that:


Forthcoming Titles in:

  • Biography, Genealogy, Heraldry, History & Jazz

Great news: My new Publisher is CreateSpace/Amazon, USA.

While we all wait, come browse awhile

As the first two volumes of the present series are interrelated, because they both deal with the immediate family and ancient ancestors of the Earl St. Maur (Lord Edward Adolphus Ferdinand St. Maur, of the ducal House of Seymour [1835-1869]), they must now be considered separate, from what was to be volume 3, which is all about the Earl's Moroccan 'servant', Mohamed Osman U'led Slimane (later Christianised and naturalised British, as William Osman de Weld Silmon) in the 1870s. Volume 3 will possibly be called: Mohamed, Sarah and Families. It is likely to be for family only.


This book is now out of print. It is, therefore, regarded as a 'rare' book. The Author holds a limited number of copies. Contact details:

A Secret Son -

Was Mohamed, his 'Servant, the Earl St. Maur's eldest offspring?


Volume 1 in this new series, is the first part of the re-hash of the Author's original publication The Secret Life of the Earl St. Maur (1835-1869) - Was He My Great-Grandfather?

The book was 728 pages long in 'letter' size. With 300+ graphic plates, it was a large book. It , therefore, made sense to split It into more manageable units. A Secret Son ... has all the main elements of the earlier book, but is minus two large chapters - which became Volume 2 and a third book all about the Author's grandparents and families, respectively.



If your surname is 'Beaton', 'Bentinck', 'Cavendish-Bentinck', 'Blackwood', Graham' , 'Graubard', 'Gordon-Duff-Pennington', 'Hamilton-Seymour' , 'Hoare', MacBeth, 'Monaghan', 'Monerri', 'Oyaneder', 'Ravestein', or its variant 'Ravesteyn', 'Seymour', 'Sheridan', 'Silmon' or 'Weld' (but not 'Silmon' or 'Weld', separately, from earlier than the late 1860s), 'St. Maur', 'Swan', 'Temple-Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood', then volumes 1 and 2 may arouse your interest for family reasons.









The dynasty that produced the above 19C earl was the House of Seymour. Unfortunately, this surname became confused with another of distinctly Norman origins. The origins of the Seymours are much more vague than those of the St. Maurs, with whom they became confused for many centuries. Volume 2 of this series, explains what happened over time and offers documentary proof. Volume 2, with many additions, replaces Chapter 4 in the original work "THE SECRET LIFE OF THE EARL ST. MAUR (1835-1869)", which is no longer available through conventional channels, except through the Author.


Even before 1066, Wido de St. Maur, a famous knight who accompanied William the Conqueror to Britain, and who fought at Hastings, was from a powerful Norman baronial family. His actual surname was not necessarily St. Maur. It could have been Du Bois, Bastille or Lafayette. But knights were then identified by their place of origin, not a surname as such; e.g.: "Robin of Loxley", "William of Normandy", "John of Gaunt".


Although the Battle Abbey Roll is not regarded as a reliable reference source, Wido was listed in it as the Seigneur [Lord] of St. Maur. In fact, he was from the only place in Normandy named after St. Benedict's right-hand-man, St. Maurus of Norcia, Italy.


At the request of the Bishop of Le Mans in 543 AD, Benedict had sent his trusty Maurus to France, to establish the Benedictine Rule and to set up as many monasteries and abbeys as possible. One theory claims that he built 160 of these. Maurus died at St. Maur-sur-Loire in 584 AD, soon afterwards being beatified. But Wido [variants: Guido; Guy; Guidonis; Buidonis; Wydonis] de St. Maur was not from that location. He was a Norman; but from another place called St. Maur.


There are, at least, fifteen places in France, even today, named St.-Maur-de ...? or Sur ....? Wido was from a place named after St.Maurus in the Mortain area of Avranches, Lower Normandy. For centuries, his place of origin was unknown, or incorrectly identified. His surname was, in fact, a locative surname, as we see, commemorating a place named after a quite distinctive saint. The surname denoted the tiny village named after the saint, or the knight's lordship of that place. His coat-of-arms bore two chevrons gules [red] on an argent [silver] field with a label of three points in azure [blue].


The Seymour family would not make its mark until the 1300s/1400s, but they were not even baronial until the mid-16th century, when Edward Seymour became the 1st Duke of Somerset at the time of his sister Jane's marriage to King Henry VIII. Yes, it is that Seymour dynasty! There had been other dukes of Somerset before, from different families with entirely different surnames, including Royal dukes. However, Edward belonged to the 5th creation of dukes of Somerset, and he was the son of Sir John Seymour of Wolf Hall and Margerie Wentworth. His arms, which were untraceable before the 1300s, and even little known in the early 1400s, consisted of a golden hunting lure (not angel's wings) on a red field. See the cartoon at the foot of the page, for a comparison between the arms of these families.


Although it had been believed for centuries that these families were one and the same, no proof has ever emerged to show that they were all part of one big family called the Seymours. In chapter 4 of "THE SECRET LIFE OF THE EARL ST. MAUR (1835-1869) - Was He My Great-Grandfather?" (now permanently out of print, but available in two libraries in Britain - and otherwise only through the Author) one can see why they do not connect. In the mid-late 17th century, the Herald Sir William Dugdale was the first to realise that they were two separately evolved dynasties, and listed them as the 'St. Maurs' and the 'Dukes of Somerset', respectively, in his BARONAGE OF ENGLAND. Nor could he trace any St. Maurs back to their arrival at Hastings in 1066, starting their line in the early 1200s with the rebel baron Milo de St. Maur.


Unfortunately, the 11th Duke of Somerset, the Earl St. Maur's grandfather, in an effort to join the Seymours up with the Conquest knight and his largely untraceable descendants - after some incursions into etymology - revived the ancient earldom of St. Maur of Berry Pomeroy, in abeyance for several centuries, and suddenly these Seymours became 'St. Maurs', but not by the usual inheritance channels, as they simply did not belong to the same family as the others; inheritance followed entirely different routes in both families, as volume 2 clearly shows.


Compounding the confusion even further, the Earl's first recognised illegitimate son Maj. Richard Harold St. Maur, Doctor at Law, a very learned man in his own right, came by flawed information and established in his "ANNALS OF THE SEYMOURS", published by Trubner, Trench, Kegan Paul, London, 1902, that the head of all the "Seymours" was one Goscelin de Sainte Maure, Seigneur (Lord) of Touraine, the town and manor by that name even today, in Touraine. This was a locative surname, too, but it was based on the female saint - and an early nun and martyr - Maura of Touraine. This was quite incorrect information, and formed part of the first of three pedigrees of the "SEYMOURS" attached to the book. My task involved correcting these unintended, but glaring, anomalies for all time. This was the object of volume 2.


All was also explained in chapter 4 of the original single book, with appropriate documentary proof from HISTORIA SABLONIENSIS (THE HISTORY OF SABLE, or L'HISTOIRE DE SABLE), a place in France, this being a compilation by Gilles de Menage, working with ancient charters, grants of benefices, etc., in the area in question. The Sainte Maures had their own coat-of-arms, dating back to the 900s A.D. and different again from the other two, never ventured across the English Channel to Hastings, and their lines became extinct after the 5th generation, always based in France. In the forthcoming 3-volume series to be produced shortly, please refer to Vol. 2, "THE ORIGINS OF THE SEYMOURS IN PRE- AND POST-CONQUEST FRANCE AND BRITAIN", by this author.