The Family of Kemmis
Edition 3.3 - 5 June 2020
Kemeys of Newport
"Kemis of Newport: Vt., on arg. pheons a". (Family Names and Arms) The pedigree here given corresponds almost entirely with that of Mr. Thomas Wakeman F.S.A. Mr. Wakeman states that he drew up his pedigree "from family deeds, above a hundred in number, and which include every name mentioned and proved most fully the whole pedigree."
Wentloog comprises the western extremity of Monmouthshire, adjoining the Cos. of Brecknock and Glamorgan: the Level is that part of it which lies along the Bristol Channel, between the rivers of Usk and Rumney, formerly belonging to the Duchy of Lancaster and subsequently to the Morgans of Tredegar, the proprietors in it being under the control of a Court of Sewers.
Newport, anciently called Castell Newydd or New Castle, is the chief town of Wentloog, situated upon the Usk 4 miles from the junction of that river with the Severn. Leland in his Itinerary, 133, speaks of it as "a Town yn ruine", but it is now a flourishing seaport and a place of considerable importance. Once it had walls and gates: the writer just referred to says "There is a great stone gate by the bridge at the est end of the town, another yn the middle of the town as in the high strete to pass through and the 3 at the west end of the tunne and hard without it is the paroche church". The sites of the eastern and western gates were still to be traced in Archdeacon Coxe's time, 1801, but no vestiges of the walls then remained. The shell of the castle, which was founded by John, Earl of Gloucester, natural son of Henry I, in the form of a Parallelogram, stands near the bridge upon the right bank of the Usk. The parish church, dedicated to St. Woollos is built upon Stow hill, a gentle rise commanding an extensive view: the present nave represents the original structure and was erected either in the Anglo-Saxon or Norman period, but has since undergone many alterations and additions, the other parts of the building are the belfry, a square tower, the chapel of St. Mary, now used as a place of burial, and a chancel: the living is in the patronage of the Bishop of Llandaff.
Originally Newport was included in the lordship of Glamorgan, in which, tempore Wm. Rufus, as before related, was conquered by Robert Fitz-Hamon and conveyed by his great-grand-daughter to Richard de Clare, Earl of Hertford. In 1314 Gilbert de Clare died and the lordship was brought by his sister Margaret to her husband, Hugh de Audley, from whom at one time Hugh le Despenser, married to Gilbert's other sister, obtained it: eventually Margaret's daughter conveyed it to Ralph, Earl of Stafford, in whose family the lordships of Wentloog, with the town and castle of Newport, remained until the attainder of the 3rd Duke of Buckingham in 1521, when his possessions were seized by Henry VIII. The castle, Cox states, was afterwards sold or granted to the Herberts of St. Julian and formed part of the property which Lord Cherbury obtained by marriage with Mary, daughter and heiress of Wm. Herbert: subsequently it came into the possession of the Earl of Powis and was sold to Charles Van Of Llanwern; Mr. Van granted a long lease of the tower next the bridge to the Rev. Mr. Burgh, whose father had purchased the Manor of Newport, and exchanged the remainder with William Kemeys Esq. of Maindy.
The genealogical line principally followed in this branch of the Kemeys family is that given in the Vincent Collections in the College of Arms.
- XIV. William Kemeys: 2nd. son of Jenkin Kemeys (XIII) of Began by his wife Christian: a free tenant in Wentloog 1447: Constable of Newport Castle 10th. December 1446, by the appointment of Humfrey Stafford, Duke of Buckingham: Mayor of Newport 1447: Approver and Receiver General of the lordship of Wentloog and Manor of Machen, offices of great importance and emolument at that period: bought Rogerston and Sutton, (124) Co. Monmouth, from Sir Henry Stradling Knt., also Westgate House, (125) Newport, the town mansion of the Stradling family: married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John de la Bere, Knt., who bore "Azure, a bend or, cotised argent, between six martlets of the second", probably the "Isabel, wife of William Kemeys, mercer" to whom Joan Forde, widow, left #5 under her will dated 8th. February 1463, as recorded in the "Great Orphan Book and Book of Wills in the Council House at Bristol." (126) Issue,
- 1. William.
- 2. Thomas of Newport: Coroner for Wentloog 1462; (126a) probably the "Thomas Keamys" witness and overseer of the will of John Browne, baker and burgess of Bristol, dated 20th. January 1473, under which he received 4 marks sterling, as mentioned in the aforesaid Great Orphan Book: will dated 2nd. August 1493 and proved in May 1494: father of a daughter Sybilla, who married Morgan Mathew of St.-y-nill, Glamorganshire.
- 3. Roger: thus mentioned by Leland "Roger Kemmeis a man of about XL marks p. Landes by yere, dwellith in Newport town." Living 1493: married ....., and had a daughter Agnes who married William ap ..... of "ye Prisk".
- 4. John.
- 5. Katherine: married John eldest son of Sir David Mathew, Knt. of Llandaff Court.
- XV. William Kemeys: of Westgate House: Lord of Rogerston and Sutton: Coroner for Westloog 1459: "his tenement in the town of Newport a little way beyond the hig cross" is mentioned in the will of John Seynte, burgess of Bristol, dated 25th. December 1471: (127) married 1st. Margaret, daughter of Morgan ap Jenkin ap Philip of Langston, who bore "Argent, a lion rampant gardant, sable," 2nd. Fortune, daughter of Thomas Norton of Bristol, she survived her husband and afterwards married John Denis of Pulcherchurch, Co. Cloucester, 3rd. son of Sir Walter Denis, Knt. Issue, by his 1st. wife,
- 1. Henry.
- 2. Thomas: clerk: will dated 7th. April 1516 and proved in London in 1519, in which he is described as "Thomas Keymeys, Clerk, of Chepstowe in Mon: Newport in Kemmeys, Pembroke; Wratlynge in Sussex." - buried in the Chancel of St. Mary's Church Chepstow.
- 3. John: living 1505.
- 4. Morgan: married a daughter of ..... Douglas of Scotland: living 1513: father of
- (a) Morgan, father of Miles, who, as lessee of Wm. Earl of Pembroke, held a parcel of land, commonly called Garrege, in the Manors of Greenfeilde and Dufferyne, Co. Monmouth, (128) and who died s.p. 1565.
- (b) Thomas: the Thomas Kemmis or Keymis, who at Oxford 22nd. March 1557-8 supplicated for the degree of B.C.L., and was
admitted 30th. March of the same year, supplicated for the degree of D.C.L. 23rd. May 1558 and was admitted 9th. July following, (129) married Jenet, daughter of William Morgan of Gwern-y-Cleppa and was father of Thomas, heir to his cousin Miles, and as such was impleaded in 1565, by the Serjeant of the Duchy of Lancaster on behalf of the Queen, respecting the land of Garrege, married Bridget, daughter of George Herbert of Caldicot, who survived him and married 2nd. Watkin Wm. Rees of Gelligaer.
- (c) Roger, who as King's Steward in 1543, impleaded John ap Yver and other tenant of Greenfylde Manor, St. Melyns, Co. Monmouth for neglect and refusal to serve the King in his wars (130) and married Mary, daughter of Wm. Morgan John of the Gwern-y-Cleppa family, she outlived him and married 2nd. Henry ap Edward ap Thomas Edward of Crindau: Roger was father of
- (a) Edmund, who held lands in Gunley, Newport, Tredegis, Eboth (or Greenfield) Manor and Dufferyne Manor Co. Monmouth. (130) In 1577 he was defendant, with Abraham Mathewe, claiming from Henry, Earl of Pembroke, in a dispute respecting the land of Garrege aforesaid, and the same year, as Queen's farmer, he was plaintiff in an action against Mile Morgan and Philip Maddicke, defendants, respecting a mill, lands and appurtenances particularly Bishop's Close at Pencarne mill, Eboythe river, in Bastige or Baslege Manor and Llandaff Bishoprick, (130). In 1583 he was defendant in a suit concerning the Longland, Doy-yo-velyn, and other specified lands and mills in Greenfield, Eboth Manor and river, and Pencarne, Monmouthshire. Died s.p. before 1586. Married Katherine, daughter of Thomas Williams of Penrhos, she was defendant with John Thomas and Lewis Rotheryhe respecting the demesnes of Langland, Camshill, or Gamshill Cay, Thomas Gozhe, or Foshaloge, and other lands and fishings in Greenfield Manor and Eboth river in 1586. (130).
- (b) Elizabeth, co-heir of her brother, living 1586.
- (c) Cicely, co-heir of her brother, married Thomas Durban of St. Brides, living a widow 1601.
- (d) Probably, Agnes, married Thomas 4th. son of Lewis ap Thomas ap Meyric.
- 5. Llewelyn: father of Morgan, father of Johanna, who in 1552 held lands in Tredunnoc near Usk, and appears to have married William Thomas of Brigan.
- 6. Maud: married Roger Grante, alias Button "of the honor and mansion of his ancestours, that is to say, in Duffryn Golywch, parish of St. Nicholas, Glamorganshire" (131) who bore "the three tonnes for his coat."
- 7. Elizabeth: married 1st. Morris Mathew (132) by whom she had a daughter, Elizabeth Warburton, 2nd. Thomas Lucas of Saxham Parva, Co. Suffolk, who bore "Argent, a fesse between six annulets gules," he was Solicitor General to Henry VIII, having been promoted to that office from the household of the King's brother, Jasper, Duke of Bedford, whom he
served as secretary; he died 7th. July 1531. (133)
- 8. Cicely: married Howel Carne of Nash, who was descended from Thomas le Carne, 2nd. son of Ithyn, King of Gwent, and bore "Gules, a pelican in her piety, proper": living a widow 1546: their 2nd. son Sir Edward Carne of Ewenny, a man of learning and eloquence, was Ambassador, Excusator and Proctor to Rome from Henry VIII, in the matter of Queen Catherine.
- 9. A daughter who married Philepott Raff and had a daughter Margaret who is mentioned in her uncle Thomas Keymes' will in 1516.
- XVI. Henry Kemeys: of Westgate House: Lord of Rogerston and Sutton: of Maesglas Castle, Co. Monmouth: coroner for Wentloog: mentioned by Leland in his Itinerary thus, "Henry Kemeis dwelleth at Maesglass 3 miles from Newporte by weste, a man of meene": died before 1533: married Maud, daughter of Lewis ap Richard Gwyn of the Van, Co. Glamorgan. Issue,
- 1. John.
- 2. Katherine: married Jenkin Franklin of Parc-le-Braose, or Lythrid in Gower, (134) his second wife.
- XVII. John Kemeys: of Westgate House: Lord of Rogerston and Sutton: of Maesglas Castle: J.P. Co. Monmouth February 1543: (135) High Sheriff of the Co. Monmouth in 1547 and 1567: the John Kemeys mentioned in Letters and Paper Foreign and Domestic Henry VIII: Vol. IV. part 3: 1529-30, with reference to lands in North Wales as one of the King's wards and son and heir of Harry Kemeys; his estate as that of "John Harrie Kemeys late of Newporte Mon:" was administered 15th. January 1585 by his son John. In Letters and Papers relating to the reign of Henry VIII (edited by Gairdner), Wm. Morgan with 8 horses, George Morgan with 2, and John Harrie Kemyse with 3 horses, are mentioned as attending the muster for Newporte town in 1539: married Nest (Isabella) daughter of Sir John Morgan, Knt., of Tredegar. Issue,
- 1. Giles,
- 2. Morgan: married Elizabeth, daughter of James Parker: father of William: probably the William Kemeys of Colwinstone, Glamorgan, whose will was proved at Llandaff 23rd. April 1667, and who was father of Jenet, Elanor and Mary (135a).
- 3. John: whence Kemeys of Llanblethian. (see which branch)
- 4. George: married Eleanor daughter and heiress who married James Reynolds of Llanllowel: 28th. August 1594 a warrant was issued to discharge him, Jno. Carne and Jno. Aubray of a recognizance of #300 for the due accounts of Jno. Carne, late Sheriff of Glamorganshire. (136)
- 5. Elizabeth: married Thomas Prosser of Llansore.
- 6. Sybil: married John Williams of Glamorgan.
- 7. Possibly Ann: married Wm. Vaughan of Gadlys-in-Tir, widower, whose 1st. wife was Margaret, daughter of John Turberville of Llanblethian.
- XVIII. Giles Kemeys: of Westgate House: Lord of Rogerston and Sutton: of Maesglas Castle: plaintiff in a suit in chancery against John Kemys and David Gibbons, defendants, to recover title deeds in the Manors of Tribginlion, alias Rogerston, and Sutton, and a capital messuage and divers lands in Newport, being his inheritance: (137) died 1595. Administration that year in London by his widow Margaret: married 1st. Cicely, daughter of John Carne of Nash, who was High Sheriff of Glamorganshire in 1561, settlement dated 1565, by whom he had no issue: and 2nd. subsequent to August 1584, Margaret, daughter of Roger Kemeys of Bedminister, who survived him and married afterwards Edward ap John James of Llanblethian. Issue by his 2nd. wife,
- 1. Roger.
- 2. Florance: married Edward Strange of Nonescourte, in Syston, Gloucestershire, who bore "Gules, two lions passant, argent". (138)
- 3. Lettis: living 1610.
- 4. Amy. Florence Kemis of Stoke, Glouc: and Amy Kemis of Caerleon, Mon: daughters of Giles the eldest son of John Kemeys, were plaintiffs in a Chancery suit circa 1637 concerning lands in the Manors of Sutton and Rogerston and other lands in Co. Monmouth.
- XIX. Roger Kemeys: of Westgate House: of Rogerston and Sutton: of Maesglas Castle: under age in 1595: sold Westgate House to Morgan of Penllyn in 1611: sold Rogerston in the same year and Sutton in 1614: in 1613 described as of "Trevildu" married a daughter of Henry Morgan of Penllwyn, Co. Glamorgan. Father of
- 1. Margaret.
- 2. Other daughters, who died young.
- XX. Margaret: of Maesglas Castle: married Thomas Doughty, who in 1650 executed a release of Maesglas Castle to Sir William Morgan of Tredegar. (139) A letter from Thos. Doughty to Sir Wm. Morgan occurs in the Calendar of States Papers for 1639, as follows: "My aunt Kemeys and Myself, when you were in London this time twelve month, did many times wait at your lodgings, desiring to have had opportunity to have spoken with you, but not having that happiness I soon after wrote to you. Fearing that my letter miscarried, having now a more sure way of conveyance, I presume to trouble you once more. It is not unknown to you that I married the only surviving daughter of Roger Kemys, late of Newport, who was your ward and you were pleased to say, when I was with you, that he was your kinsman. I have been informed by my Aunt Kemeys and many others that her father left money in your hands for their use and now, she being the only surviving daughter, I conceive that it belongs to me. She is now with child and means are somewhat short with me: therefore if you would shew me so much favour as to send the money up you have of her's by my cousin Thos. Morgan, I shall acknowledge myself much obliged to you and shall be ready to give you such discharge for it as you shall think fit. I pray honour me so far as to send me an answer."
Footnotes to Kemeys of Newport
- (124) Rogerston is in Wentloog, 3 miles W. from Newport, Sutton was probably near it.
- (125) Westgate House became the residence of the Newport Kemeys's. It still stands and is now "Westgate Hotel", the principal hotel in Newport.
- (126) Abstracts of these wills have been printed by the Rev. J.P. Wadley M.A.
- (126a) He was in receipt of a pension from Richard III. Wakeman.
- (127) See the Great Orphan Book.
- (128) "Calendar to the pleading of the Duchy of Lancaster", Vol. III, p. 28.
- (129) Wood's "Fasti" Vol. 1, p. 155. and the "Register of the University of Oxford" by Rev. C.C. Boase.
- (130) Vide "Calendar of the Pleadings of the Duchy of Lancaster".
- (131) See the pedigree of Grante alias Button by Sir Thomas Philips.
- (132) Wakeman.
- (133) Gage's "History of Suffolk", pp. 131-3. See also the "Visitation of Suffolk", 1561.
- (134) Gower is a peninsula which forms the eastern side of Swansea bay.
- (135) Letters and Papers relating to the reign of Henry VIII. Ed: by Gairdner.
- (135a) Colwinstone is about 3 miles N.W. of Llanblethian.
- (136) Calendar of States Papers, A.D. 1591-4, p. 551.
- (137) "Calendar of Pleadings in Chancery, temp. Queen Elizabeth", Vol. II, p. 120.
- (138) "Visitation of Gloucestershire," 1623.
- (139) Thos. Doughty, Canon of Windsor, preceptor to Queen Mary and Queen Anne, who died in 1701 and has a tomb in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, mentioned in "Magna Brittanica" Vol. 1, p. 427, was probably a descendant of Thomas and Margaret above.
Beginning of Document
Table of Contents
Kemeys of Began
John L. & Irene Kemmis