A graphic of a blue unicorn.The Family of Kemmis

Edition 3.3 - 5 June 2020


Appendix A

Notes on the Orthography of Kemeys


The following extracts from the "Description of Pembrokeshire" by Geo. Owan of Henllys, Lord of Kemes, (in Pembroke) written in 1603 (edited by Henry Owen - 1892) are of interest inasmuch as they are applicable equally to Kemes in Monmouthshire.

"Of the ould Orthography or writing of Kemes. And nowe before I procede further I will shewe the seuerall orthobraphye or order of writing of the name of this L'p or barony for that I find the same in seurerall ages diuersely written. And first in all the old historye of Cambria translated out of the ancient Britishe or Welshe tongue by Humfrey Uoid and lately published in print by Doctor Powell (wherein yt is as well before the conquest as after often mencioned), the same is written in most places Cemes wth a C, and sometime Cemeis and Cemaes, and so I allso finde yt written in the historye of Giraldus Cambrensis, who wrote in the tyme of h.2.R.i. King John, and ended in ye tyme of h.3; In all wch places, wch is the ancientst writinge that I can finde thereof the same in written wth C and not wth K. wch was the use of all the Ancient Brittaines in all their writinges to write. C. insteede of K. wch was a letter to them unknowne, and the use thereof brought in sithence, for they in their orthography to this day sound the C; after the greeke Cappa and never the sound of S. as the Englishe doe.

Allso in a suite wch depended before the Kinge and Councell in the tyme of E.3 and R.2 concerninge the Baronye and L'p of Kemes wherein mencion ys made of matters concerninge the same L'p in the tymes of h.3. E.i. and E. 2 I finde the same written often tymes, Kemoys, or Kemois, and Kemeis. Also I finde in diuerse Ancient wrytinges in the tyme of Edward the third that the same ys wrytten Camoys and so in many other writtinges namely Charta Jacobi de Audeley de Hely fact Nicholao de Audeley filio suo & Eliazbeth usori sue de Castro & Dominio de newporr in Camoys Ao 48 E. 3. And nowe for this 100 yeares last past & more, and at this present the same is comonely written Kemes & sometymes Kemeis wth a K. and sometymes Kemys and the former writinge wth C. quite omitted."

In the Editor's notes to the above occur the following:

"Cemeis or Cameis (with an optional K for C, "y" for "i" and "mm" for "m") are the usual Old and Middle-Welsh forms (the forms ending in -oys, -ois, being exceptional) These become in modern Welsh Cemais (of Cemmais) in the literary language, and Cemes or Cemmes in colloquial pronunciation ..... The two parishes of Kemeys (- Commander and Inferior) on the Usk, thanks to the absence of modern Welsh influences in those parts, preserve the pristine form of their (Welsh) name uncorrupted; so likewise do the Kemeys-Tyntes, the representatives of the Kemeys family of Cefn Mably ..... The family of De Camoys now represented by Lord Camoys (whose name is pronounced 'Camoys, as a tri syllable) ..... The Irish branches of the Monmouthshire Kemeys' spell their name Kemmis. Their seats are Saen, near Maryborough, Queen's Co., and Ballinacor, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow."


Appendix B


Authorities made us of for information respecting the families of Cameys of Flockthorpe and of Bekerton, but not there mentioned.

Patent Rolls

Rotuli Literarum

Close Rolls.

Praestita Rolls

Cal: Inquisitions post mortem.

Cal: Inquisitions ad quod damnum.

Cal: Rotulorum Chartarum, 1205-1374

Abbrevatio Placitorum

Testa de Nevill.

Rotuli Hundredorum.

Abbrevatio Rotulorum Originalum.

Placita de quo warranto.

Pedes Finium.

Rotuli Curiae Regis.

Great Roll of the Pipe.

Placita de Banco.

Rotuli Scotiae.

Feudal Aids.

Acts of the Privy Council.

Parliamentary Writs (Palgrave).

Ancient Charters (Pipe Roll Soc. Vol. 10.)

Liber Rubeus de Scaccario.

Annales Monastici.

Chartulary of St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin


Documents illustrative of the English History in 13 & 14 centuries.

Dodsworth. M.S.S. (Bodleian Library, Oxford).

Madox's Baronia.

Dugdale's Baronage.

Dugdale's Annales Monastici.

Bank's Baronia.

Bank's Genealogical History.

Calendarium Genealogicum.

Cambridge Fines (Cambr: Antiq. Soc. Publications).

Berry's County Genealogies.

Burke's General Armory.

Peerage, by G.E.C.

Sir N. H. Nicolas' Historic Peerage.

History of Norfolk - Blomefield.

History of the Hundred of Wanting, Berks -Clarke

History of Suffolk - John Gage.

County of Sussex - Horsfield.

History of Surrey - Brayley.

History of Bucks - Lipscombe.

History of Northamptonshire - Brydges.

Western Division of Sussex - Dallaway.

Rape of Bramber - Cartwright.

Lysons Brittania


Appendix C


Copy of the grant of Denchesworth Manor, Berks, by Ralph, Lord de Cameys (VII) to Adam Fettiplace, tempore Henry III. A copy of this grant may be found in the Ashmolean M.S.S. (852) in the Bodlean Library, Oxford.

"Dns Radus Cammeys vendidit Adae Fettiplace de Exonia totum manerium suum de Denchesworth cu' ptinen' in Com. Berk. Hiis testibus domino Fulcone de Ricote Tunc Vice comite Bertkshire, domino Walterio de Ripariis, dno Johanne de Turberuile, domino Nicholao Haured, domino petro de Coudrey, domino Hugone filio Adae tunc senescallo eusdem dni Radi Cammeys. Willielmo Spersholt, Nicholao Middleton, Galfrido de Husesie, Willo de Lyford, Willo de Hanney, Warino de Denchesworth et al."

Seal attached bearing the arms of Cameys, - or, on a chief gules, three plates, - encircled by the legend "SIGILL: DNS: RADI: CAMMEYS.+"


Appendix D


Copy of the deed by which Lord John de Cameys (VIII) made over his wife Lady Margaret to Sir William Paynel, Knight, shortly before 1289. A copy of this charter may be seen in Dugdale's Baronage of England (Vol. 1. p. 767).

"Omnibus Christi fidelibus, ad quos praesens Scriptum pervenerit, Johannes de Cameys, filius & haeres Domini Radulphi Cameys, salutem in Domino, Noveritis me tradidisse & dimisisse, Spontanea voluntate mea, Domino Willielmo Paynel militi, Margaretam de Cameys, filiam & haeredem Domini Johannis de Gatesden uxorem meum: Et etiam dedisse & concessisse eidem Willielmo relaxasse & quietum clamasse, omnia bona & catalla, quac ipsa Margareta habet, vel de caetero habere posset: & etiam quicquid mei est de praedicta Margareta, bonis vel catallis, cum pertinentiis: ita quod nec ego, nec aliquis alius, nomine meo, in praedicta Maragareta, bonis & catallis ipsius Margaretae, cum suis pertinentiis, de caetero exigere, vel vendicare poterimus, ned debemus imperpetuum. Ac volo & concedo, & per praesens scriptim confirmo; quod praedicta Margareta cum praedicto Domino Willielmo, sit & manent, pro voluntate upsius Willielmi. In Cujus rie Testimonium huic praesenti Scripto Sigillum meum apposui; Hiis testibus, Thoma de Depeston, Johanne de Ferrings, Willielmo de Icombe, Henrico le Biroun, Stephano Camerario, Waltero le Blound, Gilberto de Batecumbe, Roberto de Bosc, & aliis".

Appendix E


Copy of the grant of Hambledon Manor, Hants, by Ralph, Lord de Cammoys (IX) in free marriage with his daughter Joan to William, son of Robert Butevylein. A copy of this document may be seen in the Dodsworth M.S.S. (Vol. 75. p. 188) in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

"Sciant psentes et futuri Qd Ego Rad. de Cameis mil: concessi d.c.h.p.l. confir. Willmo fil Robti Botevillein in libero maritagio cum Johanna filia mea messuageiu manerii dei d Hameledon cum domibs et edificiis suis. Testibs Dno Joh d Mandeuile, Will d Chenney, ffilippo de Hozuille militibs"

Seal attached bearing the arms of Camoys -or, on a chief gules three plates, - but the document is not dated.


Appendix F


Some account of the retinue of Thomas, Lord Camoys (XI) at the battle of Agincourt. (X)

Amongst the retinues of the lords and knights of Sussex at this battle was that of Thomas, Lord Camoys who contributed 1 knight, 27 esquires or men at arms and 69 archers (mounted). This knight was Sir Thomas Hoo. The names of his men at arms and archers are also given. One of the former was John Ayleward, who took two prisoners in the battle. Another, Thomas Fitz Henry, also took a prisoner, and was the only one killed in the battle.

Lord Camoys commanded the rear guard of the Army, as a wing on the left. He had indented to serve with 30 men at arms, - i.e. himself, 2 knights and 27 esquires, - and 60 horse archers, but he actually served with one knight and 9 more archers in place of the second knight. He had his safe conduct to France on the 12th. June (Rot. Franciae. m. 19) His statement (Agincourt Roll. m.3.) of receipts was for priest money etc. for his own wages at 4s. a day, 2 knights each at 2s. a day, 27 men at arms 12d. a day each and 60 archers at 6d. a day each, with the accustomed reward for the 30 men at arms of 100 marks, for a quarter of a year in a certain voyage made by the King in person towards France, according to the force and effect of a certain indenture between the King and the said Thomas, made the 29th. April preceding. He acknowledged the receipt of #362. 8s. 4d. prest money received in Easter term for wages etc., viz, from the Treasurer and Barons of the Exchequer on 6th. June #208. 4s.0d. and on 6th. July #154. 4s. 4d. And for #16. 3s. 11d. the 3rd. part of the ransom of the French prisoners taken by the men in Lord Camoys' retinue: there being no other money or spoils of war. The total receipts being #378. 12s. 3d. The account was for wages of Lord Camoys at 4s. a day, 1 knight at 2s, 24 men at arms at 12d. a day each, and 60 archers at 6d. a day each and was from 8th. July, when the retinue was at Southampton ready to embark, to 16th. November following, when the King landed at Dover, and thence to 24th. November, being 8 days more, viz, for 1 quarter of a year and 49 days amounting in the whole to #420 and for the accustomed reward to the men at arms #88. 17s. 8.5 and a further sum of #13. 13s. 0d. was due for 3 additional men at arms: also #16. 13s. 3.5 after the rate of 100 marks for every 30 for their accustomed reward: and further for the shipment of 77 men of the retinue from Calais to Dover after the battle of Agincourt with 70 horses at the rate of 2s for each man and his equipment and 2s. for each horse, #14. 14s. 0d. making a total wages, shipment and rewards of #165. 52. 9.5: which was certified into the Exchequer 18th. February 8 Hen V (1421) as due to Lord Camoys, and he thereupon accounted for the following jewels "The Michael" (probably the figure of St. Michael and the dragon on a pedestal) of gold with a foot of silver and emeralds which had been bought of Drewe Barentyne (The Pell roll contains many entries of presents made to Henry V in anticipation of this war, which had been agreed to at Leicester in 1413) ornamented with 6 sapphires, 23 baloys (rubies of a pearl colour) and 76 pearls: the silver foot ornamented with 88 pearls weighing together by troy weight 11 lbs 4 ozs, value #200. Also a Maser on a foot ornamented with gold and with a "cersi" (ring?) on the foot ornamented with 6 balois, 4 sapphires and 30 pearls weighing together 4 lbs 11 ozs and worht #64. Also a cup of gold, ornamented with little pearls,having it's foot on 3 "Cheuses" (branches) with a white flower at the top, being the gift of Madame, the Queen, weighing 38 ozs at 26s. 8d. the oz, or in the whole #50. 13s.4d. Also a chased cup of gold of the gift of the Duke of Deverwyk (York) ornamented with 2 balois, 1 sapphire and 79 pearls, weighing 34 oz troy at 26s. 8d. the oz, and the pearls 53. 4d., making the whole value #49. These jewels had been received from Ric. Courtenay Bishop of Norwich, Treasurer of the King's Household by Indenture between him and Lord Camoys for securing payment of the wages and rewards of himself and his retinue. The schedule of the retinue is to be found in the miscellaneous records of the Exchequer.


(Exch. Q.R. Misc. Army Hen. V. parcel ------)



Appendix G


The Defance of Chepstow Castle by Sir Nicholas Kemeys (H)

May 11th 1648, "Cromwell proceeded to Chepstow, which town had been, since the surrender of the Castle in October 1645, the seat of the Parliamentary Committee for the Co. The Castle had also been held for the Parliament by Colonel Thomas Hughes of Moynes Court "....." A few day before Cromwell's arrival and during the absence of the Governor, a correspondence with some officers in the garrison was opened up by royalist officers in the neighbourhood, at the head of whom was Sir Nicholas Kemeys of Llanvair Iscoed, Colonel of a regiment of horse in the King's service." An attempt was made to surprise the garrison and "possession of the post was gained one night" ... the "Castle fell into the hands of the Royalists and Capt. Herbert, chief in command, with all the garrison were made prisoners".

"When Cromwell left Monmouth he thought to take Chepstow by storm. He found some of Colonel Herbert's forces assembled with a view to recover the place. Colonel Pride's men have the credit of attacking the place so furiously that they found little difficulty in gaining possession of the town and beating the soldiers back into the Castle. An assault was made upon the Castle in vain and Cromwell sent to Bristol for some good guns and being anxious to lose no time in reaching S. Wales, left Colonel Ewer behind him with instructions to lay siege to the Castle" .... "The attacking force comprised a train of Artillery, seven companies of foot and four troops of horse. The garrison under Sir Nicholas Kemeys, a gentleman remarkable for his stature and strength consisted of only 160 men. This small force most gallantly defended themselves until their scanty store of provisions was exhausted and even then refused to surrender on assurance of quarter given them. They relied as the last extremity upon being able to effect an escape in a boat, but in the design they were prevented by the intrepidity of a soldier in the Parliamentary army, who courageously swam across the river with a knife between his teeth, cut the rope and brought the boat away".

"Colonel Ewer's graphic report of the surrender of the Castle in a letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons is as follows:-"

"Sir, - Lieut. General Cromwell having to march towards Pembroke Castle left me, with my regiment, to take in the Castle of Chepstow, which was possessed by Sir Nicholas Kemeys and with him officers and soldiers to the number of 120. We drew close about it and kept strong guards upon them to prevent them from stealing out and so to make their escape. We sent for two guns to Gloucester and two off a ship board and planted them against the Castle. We razed the Battlements of their towers with our great guns and made their guns unuseful for them. We also played with our shorter pieces into the Castle. One shot fell into the Governor's chamber, which caused him to remove his lodgings to the other end of the Castle. We then prepared our batteries and this morning finished them. About 12 of the clock we made a hole through the wall so low that a man might walk into it. The soldiers in the Castle, perceiving that we were like to make a breach, cried out to our soldiers that they would yield the Castle and many of them did attempt to come away. I caused my soldiers to fire at them to keep them in. Esquire Lewis comes upon the wall and speaks to some gentleman of the county that he knew and tells them that he was willing to yield to mercy. They came and acquainted me with his desire, to which I answered that it was not my work to treat with particular men, but it was Sir Nicholas Kemeys with his officers and all his soldiers that I aimed at; but the Governor refused to deliver up the Castle upon these terms that Esquire Lewis desired, but desired to speak with me at the drawbridge, which I altogether refused to have any such speech with him, because he refused Lieut. General Cromwell's summons; but being over-persuaded by some gentlemen of the County that were there, presently, I dismounted from my horse and went to the drawbridge, where he through the porthole spake with me. That which he desired was that he with all his officers and soldiers might march out of the Castle, without anything being taken from them: to which I answered that I would give him no other terms, but that he and all that were with him should submit to mercy, which he swore he would not do. I presently drew off the soldiers from the Castle and caused them to stand to their arms: but he, refusing to come out on those terms, the soldiers deserted him and came running out at the breach we had made. My soldiers, seeing them run out, ran in at the same place and possessed themselves of the Castle and killed Sir Nicholas Kemeys and likewise him that betrayed the Castle, and wounded divers and took prisoners as followeth: Esquire Lewis, Major Lewis, Major Thomas, Capt. Morgan, Capt. Buckeswell, Capt. John Harris, Capt. Christopher Harris, Capt. Mancell, Capt. Pinner, Capt. Doule, Capt. Rosstree, Lieut. Kemeys, Lieut. Leach, Lieut. Codd, Ensign Watkins, Ensign Morgan, with other officers and soldiers to the number of 120. These prisoners we put into the Church and shall keep them till I receive orders from Lieut. General Cromwell. This is all at present, but that I am your humble servant."

Isaac Ewer.

Chepstow, May, 28, 1648

"From other accounts we learn that no less than 40 men of the garrison were killed. The gallant commander Sir Nicholas Kemeys is said to have been killed by the soldiers in cold blood and that they mangled his body in the most horrid manner and wore portions of his remains in their hats as trophies of their victories".

"The retaking of the Castle was considered by the Parliment of such importance that the Captain, who brought the news was rewarded with #50 and the Parliament directed that a letter of thanks should be drawn up and sent from that House to Colonel Ewer and the officers and soldiers employed on that service."

Footnotes to the Appendices

(X) Taken from Sussex Archaelogical Collecions Vol. XV.

(H) "Historical Traditions and Facts relating to the Co. Monmouth, by a Member of the Caerleon and Monmouthshire Antiquarian Society". Part V.

This ends the 1905 section.

Last updated circa 1995.

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Kemeys of Llanvair
Kimmis of Sushan, New York, USA

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