A graphic of a blue unicorn.The Family of Kemmis

Edition 3.3 - 5 June 2020

Kemys of Slough

Kemys of Slough


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"Cairguent (227) in Base Venteland" say Leleand in his Itinerary "is iiii miles from Chepstow in the way to Cairleon. Yt was sumtyme a fair and large cyte. The places where the four gates was yet appere and the most part of the wal yet standeth, but al to minishchyd and torne. In the lower part of the walle toward a lytle valey standeth yet the ruine of strong. Within and above the waulle now be a XVI or XVII smal houses for Husbondmen of a new making and a paroche church of S. Stephyn". The old Roman city formed a parallelogram covering an area of 50 acres, divided by the high road, as Coxe informs us "nearly into two equal parts passing through two openings, which were the eastern and western gates, remains of the eastern gate are still visible, and a stone, to which one of the hinges was attached, stands at the door of a public house and is used as a stepping stone for mounting horses....all the sides, except the southern, are defended by a deep moat. The height of the walls appeared to be from 12 to 24 feet, though from their dilapidated state it cannot be easily ascertained: the thickness at the bottom is 12 feet and at the top not less than 9. The southern wall is the most perfect and for a considerable length almost entire and the western part of this side is strengthened with three pentagonal projections or bastions of stone....The members of that branch of the illustrious family of de Clare, who were seated at Chepstow, are occasionally called lords of Caerwent, but it does not appear that it was possessed by the later proprietors of Chepstow. In subsequent time the Manor of Caerwent belonged to the family of Williams of Llangibby and in 1701 was conveyed to John Jeffery, Esq. ancestor of the Earl of Camden: his son and heir sold it in 1749 to the late Admiral Mathews and the present proprietor Colonel Wood of Piercefield purchased it from his son Wm. Mathews Esq. of Llandaff". Caerwent is mentioned in the inquisition post mortem, in 1393 of Thomas, Earl of Stafford as "Kairwent unum feod'", in that of hiw brother and heir William, in 1399, as "Kairwent unum feodum per Galfrum Lucy," and again in 1403, in that of Edward, Earl of Stafford. The present lord of the Manor is Charles Ed. Lewis, Esq. of St. Pierre. The living is a vicarage, united to which is the perpetual curacy of Llanvair Discoed, of the total value of #250 a year and is in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Llandaff. The village of Crick is about a mile from Caerwent on the road to Chepstow; it is mentioned in the inquisition in 1399, of Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk, daughter and heiress of Thomas Brotherton and wife of John Segrave, as "Crike dimid' feod' per Willum Depeford". In Crick there are the remains of a very fine old mansion formerly the seat of the Moore family, but which has long been unoccupied; Charles I visited the house several times in 1645. Near the ruins, among farm buildings, stands an old chapel, dedicated to S. Neveyn, now desecrated and turned into a barn. Slough (St. Loo) house stands between Caerwent and Crick, nearer to the former than the latter.

XV. Thomas Kemeys: second son of John Kemeys (XIV) of Syston Co. Gloucester, by Agnes his wife: Lord of the Manor of Slough in Caerwent, Co. Monmouth: died 1498; married a daughter of...Flemyng of Glamorganshire: father of 1. William, and possibly of (2) Thomas: Marshall of the Hall and subsequently keeper of Horsfreth Park, Essex, the property of the Duke of Buckingham, for which in April 1522 he received 2d. a day and an annuity of #6. 13. 4; he died before July 1532, when the same grant was made to Anthony Knevet, one of the gentlemen Ushers of the Privy Chamber (228). Possibly he was father of the Thomas Kemysshe who in 1557 was holding a messuage of Balthazar Gwercye M.D. in the parish of St. Helen's within Bishopsgate, London, (228a) and who was probably father of Edward Kemes, described in his marriage license (228b) as "of St. Botolph's parish, Bishopgate, gent:" by which license he married on 6th. May 1581, Sicily, daughter of .... Williams of St. Botolph's parish. From this branch probably descended the various persons of the name of Kemeys found, down to a recent date, in London - principally in Southwark.

XVI. William Kemeys: of Slough: Janitor of Newport Castle in 1504: 7th. January 1484 granted by the King life annuity of 10 marks from the issues of the Lordship of Newporte. (?) The William Kemys who on Thursday 6th. January 23 Hen. VII. (1507) was at dinner at Tutbury Castle, Gloucester (229). Taxed in the Subsidy Roll of Caerwent 1543-44 (230); married .... daughter of Thomas Moore of Crick in Caerwent. Issue, 1. John. 2. A daughter; married John David, yeoman of the guard, second son of David Goch of Llanarth.

XVII. John Kemeys: of Slough: Lord of Caerwent 1571; married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Read of Boddington, Gloucestershire and widow of Nicholas Sanery, barrister-at-law of the Inner Temple, who died 6th. September 1589. Issue, 1. John. 2. Mary; married Richard Herbert.

XVIII. John Kemeys: of Slough: Lord of Caerwent. Father of Bridget, who married first .... Butcher, second, John Nanffant, (231) who died at Barnesley; he bore, "Sable, a chevron ermine between 3 wings argent". This lady sold her estates to Sir Charles Williams of Llangibby.

Footnotes to Kemys of Slough

(227) Caerwent is a corruption of Islaw Gwent, which means Under Went or below Gwent - Wakeman.

(228) Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic Henry VIII, Vols. 3 and 5.

(228a) Inq. p. mortem London, Gwercye. 13th. Feb. 1557. Index Library.

(228b) London Marriage Licenses. Ed. by Jos. Foster.

(229) Archaeologia.

(230) Wakeman.

(231) Vide "Gloucestershire Visitations", 1623 and 1582-3.

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Kemys of Bedminster and Wickwick
Kemeys of Cefn Mably

John L. & Irene Kemmis
E-mail: john.kemmis@kemmisfamily.info