A graphic of a blue unicorn.The Family of Kemmis

Edition 3.2 - 1 May 2010

Kemeys of Cefn Mably


Kemeys of Cefn Mably

"They of this family of Kevan Mably carry in an escrowle this British Motto underneath their shield `DUW DY RAS`, Englished - `God thy Grace`". - Beaufort progress, 1684.

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Michaeston-y-vedw, or Llanvihangel-y-vedw, as it is otherwise called, is the parish situated on the river Rumney, lying partly in Glamorganshire and partly in Monmouthshire: the village is five and a quarter miles distant from Newport and situated S.W. by S. from that town; the parish Church of St. Michael is an ancient stone building, consisting of chancel, nave, transept and tower of six bells; the transept is and ancient burying place of the Kemeys family. In Llan-vedw, the portion of the parish which lies in Glamorganshire is Cefn Mably. The mansion is said to have been built by Mabel, (whence its name,) daughter and heiress of Robert Fitz-Hamon and wife of John, Earl of Gloucester: it stands upon the brow of a hill from whence there is a sudden fall of ground towards the Began on the south and towards the parrish Church on the east: the part, noted for its fine trees, lies W. and S. from the house, in 1739 the branches cut from one tree weighed thirty one tons and when the tree itself fell in 1779 it was found to be fifty six feet long by twenty one feet in circumference. During the Civil Wars the house was beseiged by the Parliamentary forces, but successfully defended by Sir Nicholas Kemeys; at one time the puritan soldiers effected a temporary lodgement between the gate-house and the present steps, which led to "Cwrt Gl}", but were driven out with loss. The large hall, which is hung with paintings by Dobson, Sir Peter Lely, Dipenbeke, Berghem, Walker, etc., and panelled with oak, is in the form of the letter T and contains three fireplaces, one in each limb of the T: the back of the principal grate is stamped with the date and regal escutcheon of Queen Elizabeth; the upper, or cross part, of the hall had formerly a raised oak floor, forming the dais, upon which was a long table where the family dined, another table, running down the longer part of the hall, being occupied by the retainers. A hiding place still exists behind one of the paintings, which, opened by pressure, reveals a staircase descending to a vault beneath the library, from whence it is said a subterranean passage led to the river Rumney. In the hall there is a massive table bearing with it its own floor, marking thereby an age prior to the introduction of wooden floorings: here also stands a black jack with the Stewart crown and letters C.R. and date 1646 upon it. Two curious screens of the time of Queen Anne stand in the room. The great parlour over the chimney carrieth this inscription "aml ei goed am ei dan", that is, "He that hath plenty of wood hath fir enough" (232). The smoking room, a panelled chamber, adjoins the hall; it contains a stone table and a large japanned claret jug. The stone gallery, lying between the old chapel and the rest of the edifice, is sometimes called the Soldiers' Gallery, because occupied by them at the time of the siege; in it stretches nearly the whole length an oak table of one plank six inches thick, two feet nine inches wide, and forty two feed eight and a half inches long, to which at some time an additional plank nine feet long has been attached. In the old chapel, now lighted by a handsome memorial window, the two sexes used formerly to sit apart. Above the Soldiers' Gallery is the dancing-room some eighty or ninety feet in length with its covered ceiling and communicating by a sliding panel with the priests' apartments; it terminated in a large window, which reaches from the ceiling to the floor and through which, opening on to the chapel garden, is presented a fine view of the old deer park. Close to this gallery is a staircase, each step of which is formed of massive oak leading to a platform in the centre of which is a perpendicular flue, which communicates with what was formerly a small dimly lighted chamber. The King's room is so called from Charles II who slept in it, and the Bishop's room from Compton, Bishop of London, his Majesty's companion at the time. The Bishop's room, as also the Tub room contain fine hangings of antique Spanish Leather; the high beds with curtains descending from the ceiling, are of the time of Queen Elizabeth. In the Red bedroom is a recess concealed behind a panel; the same rom has a fireplace, which is a fine specimen of the time of Charles I. The lofty kitchen and adjoining pantry contain the ancient "buttery patch", the wheel for the turnspit-dog and a bumper glass three feet nine and a half inches long. (233) Llanvair, another possession of this Branch of the Family, is situated upon the outskirts of Wentwood forest about two mile N.E. from Caerwent, close to the road leading from the town over the hills of Pen-y-cae-Mawr to Usk; the ruins of the Castle occupy a gentle eminence above the Church, and although its position is not very elevated, it overlooks Caerwent and commands the whole tract of country between the hills which rise on the N.W. and the Bristol Channel. Coxe says "the area which formed the principal court is a kitchen garden and a part of the foundations is occupied by a small tenement inhabited by a farmer, who rents the estate. The Castle was once a large building, as is evident from the foundations which may still be traced to a considerable extent: the strength my be estimated from the thickness of the walls, which is in no part less than seven feet. The present remains consist of a square and round tower, almost dilapidated, several high walls and a round tower nine feet in diameter standing at the S. angle, and only to be entered by a ladder: a staircase in the side leads to the top, which was once provided with battlements and commands a pleasing prospect of an undulating and woody country. In 1120 Llanvair, or as it was then called, Llanveire, was possessed by Sir Robt. Pagan, Knt., who was one of the jury summoned to the Court of Struguil to determine who has house-bote and hey-bote in the forest of Wentwood, which he proved himself to be entitled to as the owner of the Castle of Llanvair from the time of the Conquest". The estate is mentioned in 1399, in the inquisition of Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk, daughter and heiress of Thomas Brotherton and wife of John Segrave, as "Lanveyr unum feod' milit'", and again in the inquisition of John de Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk and Lord of Mowbray, Segrave and Gower, in 1433, as "Lanneyre vel Lanveyre i foed' per Radum de Mont Hermer". In the reign of Queen Elizabeth it was in the possession of the Crown and was let out on lease of lives to Williams of Mathern. In 1578 Rhyns Kemeys was described as of Llanvair parish, wherein he had a dwelling house. In 1610 the Castle, Manor, and Estate were granted on sale to Edward Woodward, who seems to have sold it to Edward Kemeys of Cefn Mably, but the latter had at any rate a lease of the Manor prior to 18th. January 1608. The property then remained in the Kemeys family until 1704, when it passed by Jane Kemeys to her husband, Sir John Tynte, Bart. The Church is dedicated to St. Mary, Llanvair is Welsh signifying "the Church of Mary": it is also called Llanvair-is-coed, or "Llanvair below the wood"; the living is a perpetual curacy of the value of #80 per annum in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Llandaff. The village is situated under two hills of an oblong shape, one called Mynwdd, or the Grey hill and the other Allt-yr Arfaid, or Wolves' cliff.

XIV. David Kemeys: fourth son of Jevan ap Jenkin Kemeys (XIII) of Began by his wife Christian a tenant in Wentloog 1447-83, in the former year holding part of the demesne lands in Machen (234) as mentioned in the estate rolls, and in the latter attesting a conveyance of land in Machen (234): married Cecil, daughter and heiress of Llewelyn ap Evan ap Llewelyn ap Cynrig of Cefn Mably, who bore, "gules, 3 chevrons argent". Issue, 1. Lewis. 2. Jenkin: whence Kemeys of Vaendre. (see which branch) 3. Ann: married first Thomas ap Devid Jenkin and second Lewis ap Philip ap Thomas ap Gwilim of Llansanfraid, living 1490.

XV. Lewis Kemeys: of Cefn Mably: probably the Lewis Kemeys whose will was administered in London between 1553 and 1559; married Jenet, daughter of Philip aap Thomas ap Gwilim Jenkin of Llantrissant, whose brother Lewis, as before mentioned, married his sister Ann; (235) she survived her husband and married secondly, Jenkin Thomas ap Jevan David. Father of,

XVI. John Kemeys: of Cefn Mably; married Catherine daughter of Lewis ap Richard Gwyn of the Van, who bore "sable, a lion rampant argent". Issue, 1. David. 2. Possibly Nicholas; secular priest, B.A. Oxon 18th. July 1530 (236). (?) The Nycolas Kema, one of the fifteen friar preachers or Blackfriars who signed a document dated 15th. September 1539, by which they gave up their priory in Exeter to the King's Visitor, the Suffragan Bishop of Dover (237). 3. Ann; married first John Williams, second Thos. Massey, third Edward Turner (Tyrrell), fourth Thomas Bowen of Fishwear, whose daughter Catherine was heiress of Fishwear and married Richard Basset, who built the porch of Beaupr{ and in 1608 was 65 years of age. 4. Cecil; married Lewis Vanne of Marshfield (238); said to have been drowned in her house in the flood of 1606 (239). 5. Mary; married first, Lewis ap Rees Vachan, second, Watkin, son of Jevan, sixth and base son of Ress Vachan, who was dead in 1607. 6. A daughter; married Thomas ap John ap Jenkins.

XVII. David Kemeys: of Cefn Mably: also of lands in the parishes of Gelligaer and Llanderne, Glamorganshire: probably the Davig Kemes, J.P. for Glamorgan and Coroner for same mentioned by Rice Merrick in his "Glamorganshire Antiquities of 1578"; will, as "David Kemis", dated 2nd. March 1563-4, and proved in London 4th. December 1564; married first Catherine, daughter of Sir William Bawdrip, Knt. of Penmark Place, who bore "Gules, 3 swans argent, webbed or", and second Gwenllian, daughter of Reynold, second son of Thos. Margan of Machen (240). Issue, 1. Edward. 2. Rhys: of a house and property in the parish of Llanvair, Co. Monmouth: of a tenement and lands in the parish of Llanederne, Glamorgan, previously his father's concerning which he was a plaintiff in an action against Morgan Llewelyn (241). Admitted a student to the Inner Temple 1573: joint plaintiff, 1st. November 1589 in a Chancery suit, as "Rees Kemis of Heston, Co. Middlesex, gent": with his brother Edward concerning a lease for three lived of lands in Monmouthshire which they had purchased in 1587 for #400 from the Bishop of Llandaff: Will as "Rees Kemmis" dated before 29th. January 1609: married Wilsophet or Wilgiford, fourth daughter of Wm. Awbrey D.C.L. of Llantrithid, Glamorganshire, a Master of the Court of Bequests to Queen Elizabeth, and one of her Majesty's Commissioners in the Marches of Wales, Chancellor to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Judge of his Court of Audience and Vicar General throughout all the Province (242), who bore "argent, a chevron between 3 eagles' heads erased, or". Issue, i. Edward: admitted a student to the Inner Temple, 1601; died before 1607-8, s.p. ii. David: heir to his uncle Edward Kemeys of Cefn Mably. iii. Nicholas: eventually heir to his brother David. iv. Charles: whence Kemeys Co. Kildare and of New York. (see which branches) v. Edmund, of the Llanvair Estate under his father's will, of which he was sole executor and as such proved it in 1634: of lands and messuages in the parish of Gelligaer, Co. Glamorgan, under the will of his uncle Edward Kemeys: matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford, 3rd. May 1616, aet. 18, as "Edmund Kemis" (243). vi. Henry: of Llanederne, Co. Glamorgan: matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford, 21st. March 1617 (243); married first Blanch, daughter of Thomas Morgan of Llanrhymny, and second Catherne, daughter of ....: administration by his second wife in London, 1635. Issue by his first wife, a daughter Blanch, who married first, Hoo Games, of Newton Sheriff of Brecon in 1657, in which year he died; and second, William Morgan her cousin, Clerk of the King's Stables 1665-73 and a Colonel in the Army; by his second wife (a) Nicholas: of Llanederne: born 1626: plaintiff at the age of 10 years, by his mother, in a Chancery suit (244) 26th. May 1636, to recover 48 acres of copyheld land in the Manor of Rumney, Co. Monmouth, lately held by Edward Kemeys of Cefn Mably, his first cousin, which he claimed by custom of the Manor as being the only son of his father Harrie the youngest son of Rees Kemeys: 24th. January 1638 defendant in a Chancery suit (244) brought against him, (245) through his guardians Henry Bassett and Thomas Nicholls, by his uncle Nicholas Kemeys of Cefn Mably concerning the possession of various copyhold lands in Bassaleg, St. Bride's, Pererston, Coedkernow, Marshfield, Rumney, St. Melans, and Michaelston-y-vedw, Co. Monmouth, lately the property of David kemeys of Cefn Mably, his uncle, and which he claimed to hold by custom of Court Roll as only son of the said David's youngest brother Henry; whilst his uncle Nicholas claimed these lands as tenant in tail under the will of Edward Kemeys of Cefn Mably (XVIII). 5. May 1648 admitted at Gray's Inn (246) as "Nicholas Kemeys of Llanederne, Co. Glamorgan, Esquire": of Arundel House Strand, and subsequently of Cardiff: probably the Nicholas Kemishe mentioned as an intended Knight of the Royal Oak in 1660, with an estate of #600 per annum under London and Middlesex; and the "Sir Nicholas Kemeys" mentioned in the list of officers claiming relief out of the #60,000 granted by Charles II to his indigent party in 1663: Will dated 22nd. October 1696, and proved in London 15th. February 1698, by which, after bequests to his sisters, Mrs. Miles and Mrs. Horton, he devised his property to Sir Charles Kemeys, 3rd. Bart. of Cefn Mably. Buried in the left side of St. John's Chancel, Cardiff, (247) above the steps "Ye 8th. December 1697, being Wensday", by the Rev. Thomas Andrews, Vicar of Cardiff, who preached the funeral sermon (248). (b) Mary: married ..... Miles: a widow before 1697. (c) Elizabeth: married William Horton; she and her husband were living in 1697. (d) ? Anne: administration as "Spinster, of Radir", at Llandaff 6th. April 1666. vii. Anne: married subsequent to January 1609, William Powell of Castell Madoc, who died 1637. viii. Cecily: married subsequent to January 1609, William Vaughan of Magor and Caldicot; died 1610-11. 3. Thomas: served in Munsteer under Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Colonel of the Royal forces in that province. 13th. January 1569-70 as "Thos. Kemise, gent:" received a pardon, together with Sir Humphrey Gilbert and five other officers of these forces. Died at Newhaven, s.p. 4. Reynold; married Anne, daughter and co/heiress of Jenkin Morgan Gwyn of Llanishen, who survived him and married second, Lewis Wm. Mathew; had a natural daughter, Denis, by Margaret David, who married Edward Morgan of Ruddry. 5. Ann; married Llewelyn, fourth son of Howel ap Jevan, a lineal descendant of Jarddyr, Prince of Dyfed, his second wife.

XVIII. Edward Kemeys: of Cefn Mably; of the Castle and Manor of Llanvair; of copyhold lands in Caldicot, Llanvaches, Bassaleg. St. Brides's, Pererston, Coed Kernow, Marshfield, Rumney, St. Melans, Michaelston-vedw, and Eboith alias Greenfield, all in Co. Monmouth; and of (?freehold) lands in Llanvedw, Michaelston-vedw, Lisvaine, Llanederne, Llanissen, Cardiff, St. Fagans, Eglisys, Llanvaboe, Mensher, and Gelligaer, all in Glamorgan; also held lands in Co. Brecknocke. J.P. for Glamorganshire 1578: High Sheriff for the same county, 1575, 1585, 1595, and 1603; on 12th. January 1576 commanded to make personal appearance before the Lords of the Privy Council, together with Thos. Fleminge of Flemminges Towne, concerning certain sureties which they had taken for the appearance of four pirates: executor to his father; witnessed one of the Tredegar deeds in 1571; in the year following was trustee of the settlement of his wife's niece Blanch, whose sister married John Kemeys of the Vaendre, (see which branch) daughter of Thos. Morgan of Machen, on her marriage with Sir Edward Lewis of the Van: plaintiff in a suit against Anne Bowen, widow, to protect his title by purchase of a messuage, or tenement, called "Tyrydy", containing 40 acres in the parish of Llucyvoren, sometime the estate of John Williams (249): possibly the Edward Kemeys, who sold a house near Cardiff to Tho. Lewis of the Van: Will as "Edward Kemis, ar: of Kevan Mabley," dated 8th. January 1607-8, with codicil dated 29th. January 1609, proved 3rd. March 1610, and again in 1614-15-17-18, in London. Married first Elizabeth, daughter of Rowland Morgan of Machen, and second Margaret, daughter of David Kemeys of Llanrhymny, (see which branch) and third Katherine, daughter of ....., who survived him: died s.p. (250).

XIX. David Kemeys: 2nd. son of Rhys Kemeys: of Cefn Mably, which was entailed upon him by his uncle Edward Kemeys on his marriage circa 1610 with Rachel Hopton: High Sheriff of Glamorganshire 1617; died intestate 30th. November, 14 Jas. I., leaving about #1,500 personal property; when his son Edward, then a minor succeeded to the Cefn Mably Estate under the said entail (251); administration by his widow Rachel in London 12th. February 1618, and a second administration on 25th. June 1631 by Sir Robert Hopton K.C.B.; married Rachel, daughter of Sir Robert Hopton of Witham Friary, Co. Somerset (by his wife Jenet, daughter and co-heiress of Rowland Kemeys of the Vaendre - see which branch) and sister and co-heiress of Ralph, Lord Hopton, who bore "ermine, on 2 bars sable, 6 mullets or". Sir Robert on 24th. April 1608 conveyed the Vaendre to Trustees to the use of his daughter Rachel and her husband for life, and to the longest liver of them, and to their issue and in default to Nicholas, 3rd. son of Rhys Kemeys, with remainder to Edward Kemeys, brother of Rhys. Rachel outlived her husband and married second in 18 Jas. I, Thos. Morgan of Machen, son of Sir William Morgan, Knt. Father of 1. Edward. 2. Margaret, living 1631-3.

XX. Edward Kemeys: of Cefn Mably and the Vaendre; presented to Llanfigan in 1635; died in Somersetshire 12th. January 1635; inquisition post mortem 17 Chas. I.(1642); married 3rd. March 1631-2 at Hadham Parva, Herts., Theodosia, daughter of Sir Henry Capel, Knt. of Hadham, Herts. (by his wife Theodosia sister to Edward, Lord Montague and to Henry, Earl of Manchester) (252), and sister to Arthur, first Baron Capel of Hadham. Her will dated 12th. January 1636 was proved 22 January of the same year. Issue, 1. Elizabeth. 2. Other children, who died infants.

XXI. Elizabeth Kemeys: of Cefn Mably and the Vaendre; died 31st. January 1637: inquisition post mortem 17 Chas. I. 1642, when her great uncle Sir Nicholas Kemeys, then of the age of 40 years and upwards, was found to be her heir and next of kin. She also held divers lands, etc., in Cogan Fleming, St. Mellons, Marshfield, St. Bride's, Coedkernow, Bassaleg, Michaelstone, Peterstone, and Rumney, etc.

XIX. Sir Nicholas Kemeys, Bart: 3rd. son of Rhys Kemeys: of Llanvair Castle and Manor by entail under the will of his uncle Edward Kemeys (XVIII): of Cefn Mably and the Vaendre, as heir to his grand-niece, as before mentioned; of lands in Caldicot parish. High Sheriff of Co. Monmouth 1632 and of Glamorganshire 1638: M.P. for Monmouthshire 1628 and for Glamorganshire 1642: one of the Feodaries of Monmouthshire in 1635: warrant issued to him 6th. August 1637, for preserving His Majesty's game in Michaelstone-y-vedw and other parishes; (252a) knighted by Charles I 31st. May 1641; created baronet 13th. May 1642; a party with his son Charles to a deed in 1638; in the deposition of Howel Morris of Llanvair, within the purlieus of Wentwood, taken before Wm. Morgan of Tredegar and Thomas Lewis of the Rock in May 1678, it is stated, as mentioned by Rogers, that "Sir Nicholas, Chief Ranger of Wentwood", did, "upon a certain occasion binder the Earl of Worcester's servants to carry sea stakes out of Wentwood, which were stopped and the horses impounded and that he was commended by the Earl for so doing": opposed the Earl of Worcester's enclosure of one third of Wentwood; a noted wrestler. Sir Nicholas was distinguished for his loyalty to Charles I for whom he raised a regiment of horse; on his standard he bore "this device and inscription in the British language, First issuing out of a cloud a dexter arm arm'd, holding a broad sword drawn, proper, subscribed in an escrowle 'Os dal hwn Gwae'r pen crwn'" or in English "If this holds, woe to the Roundhead". Taken prisoner by the Parliamentarians prior to 7th. May 1646 but appears to have made his escape in January 1648, when he had permission of the House of Commons "gone to the Bath for the recovery of his health" (252b). Early in the following May he effected his renowned capture of Chepstow Castle, in the brave defence of which he was killed on the 25th. of that month (253). In the Life of Francis Mansell, Principal of Jesus College, Oxford, it is stated that Sir Nicholas Kemeys "who was murdered in cold blood at Chepstow Castle" was a benefactor of the College, contributing #20 a year: in Principal Powell's time and at his request Sir Nicholas contributed towards building the hall, buttery and kitchen the sum #5. In the Tanner MSS. fol. LXVI, p. 244, preserved in the Bodleian Library, there is a letter dated 23rd. January 1641, from E. Morgan and Sir Nicholas Kemeys to "the Honourable W. Herbert Esq." one of the knights of the shire for Co. Monmouth, respecting the state of the county and the probability of "some suddaine and unlawfull attempt" to surpise their magazines: administration in London 1652 and 1661 and in Llandaff 1680-84 and 1702; married first Jane, daughter of Sir Rowland Williams, Knt. of Llangibbwy Castle, near Usk, and second Jane, daughter of Sir Rawley Bussey, Knt. and widow of Wm. Herbert of Cogan Pill (254). Issue, by his first wife, 1. Charles. 2. William: of Llangidien; buried as it would appear at Michaelston-y-Vedw; married Mary, daughter of Thomas ap Jevan ap Jenkin Herbert of Llangatton-Vibon; father of (a) George, of Llangidien in 1717 (255), probably the George Kemeys who matriculated at Merton College, Oxford, on 26th. July 1659 as the son of an "armiger"; (b) Mary, died unmarried in 1749; Will dated 1746. 3. Cecil; married Walter Jones of Magor; living 1652-68. 4. Rachel; married Thomas Jones of Llantrissant; died before 1675. 5. Mary; married Thomas Morgan Junior, of Llanrhymny living 1676. 6. Florence; married Miles Button, - as his second wife, (256) - of Cwrt-y-faid (Sheep Court) near Cottrell, High Sheriff 1688, eldest son of Admiral Sir Thomas Button, Knt., the Artic Navigator: she died 2nd. December 1711, aet. 93, and has a monument in St. Nicholas' parish Church. By his second wife. 7. George: of Llanvair Castle and Manor: matriculated at Jesus College Oxford, 2nd. November 1666, aet. 18, as "eldest son" (by his second wife) of Sir Nicholas Kemeys Bart: of Kevan Mably, Glamorgan. Presented as "George Kemmys" in 1666 a piece of plate weighing 33 ozs. 15dwts to Jesus College. Mentioned in Blome's Hist, of the Gentry of Monmouthshire 1673, as "George Kemeis of Llanvaire, Esq". died s.p.; buried 14th. July 1696 at Llanvair. Devised all his lands except one lease from the Bishop and Chapter of Llandaff to his nephew George Kemeys, as recited in the Chancery suit mentioned below. (?8) Edmond: father of John Kemeys, who in a Chancery suit 1702-5 claimed from Mary and Anne Kemeys the aunts and trustees of Sir Charles Kemeys (fourth Bart.) certain property in Llanvair, but compounded his claim for #200.

XX. Sir Charles Kemeys, 2nd Bart.: of Cefn Mably and Llanvair, and of lands in the parish of Llanederne; matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford, 3rd. February 1631-2, aet. 17, as son of Nicholas Kemeys, armiger, of Llanneyrtis, Co. Monmouth, admitted to Gray's Inn 5th. March 1634 (257). High Sheriff of Glamorganshire, 1643; a distinguished cavalry officer; knighted at Oxford by Charles I 30th. June 1643; described in "Memorials of the English Affairs, 1682", as "Sir Charles Kemish of Ragland, who was routed with all his men in 1645"; served with his father, as Lieutenant, in the gallant defence of Chepstow Castle in May 1648, where he was taken prisoner, but liberated on condition of leaving the kingdom for two years; on 21 August of that year was "beyond the seas according to his Articles", and petitioned Parliment to be allowed to compound for his estates, admitting that he had been in arms in Pembroke Castle against Parliament and stating that he was engaged in above #4,000 for his father and himself. His petition was allowed and he was fined at 1/3rd. (?value of his estates) viz: #4,600. On 2nd. July 1650 he petitioned for a revision, stating that he had been assessed as though a tenant in tail whereas he was only a tenant for life; in May of the next year he was finally ordered to pay #3,500, and having done this his sequestration was discharged. At this period, having signed an agreement to be true to the Commonwealth as established, he appears to have been living with his father-in-law Sir George Whitmore, at Islington. (257a) Mentioned in a letter, dated Cardiff Castle 21st. June 1647, from Bussy Mansell, Ed. Bicharet, Ed. Stradling, and J. Feshert (258) as one of the chief actors in the insurrection in Monmouthshire; assisted in the attack of Cardiff Castle, occupied by the Parliamentary forces, when with Colonel Carne and 500 others he was taken prisoner and confined in the Castle: 12th. December 1651, the Council of State ordered him to be discharged, if imprisoned only for what concerned the State, his bond being taken in #2,000 with two sureties in #1,000 each, to appear before the Council within 12 days after notice and to be of good behaviour (259); died at Balmes House 19th. May 1658 aet. 43 and buried "in capell} propri}" in the parish Church of Michaelston-y-vedw 28th. May 1658: will dated 15th. May 1658 and proved 2nd. July of the same year in London, and administered at Llandaff 12th. April 1680; married first Blanch, daughter of Sir Lewis Mansell, Knt. of Margam, Co. Gloucester; administration to her estate was taken out in 1651: and second Margaret, daughter of Sir George Whitmore, Knt. of Balmes House, Hackney, Lord Mayor of London 1631-2, she died 28th. July 1683 at Cefn Mably and was buried with her husband 2nd. August following (260); Will Dated 20th. April 1684 and proved in London the same year. Issue by his second wife, 1. Charles. 2. George, born 25th. January 1654 and baptised at Hackney 2nd. February following: of Llanvair Castle and Manor by will of his uncle George Kemeys, as aforesaid; of various lands and tenements in Co. Monmouth and Glamorgan under the will in 1696 of his cousin Nicholas Kemeys of Cardiff; matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, 14th. July 1671, aet. 16; about the year 1867 a letter, dated 6th. June 1674, addressed to him by his sister Mary was found between the boards of a room (Front Quad. No. VI., one pair left) in Wadham College, in which she sent him his mother's blessing, his brother's, Nancy's and her own love and said she hoped to see him shortly as his brother was going to travel and as Mr. Evans was taking him #10 and his mare: High Sheriff Co. Monmouth, 1699; probably the George Kemish who on 28th. February 1678 obtained a Commission as Captain in Colonel Stradling's Regiment of Foot (261); died unmarried 26th. March 1702; buried at Llanvair 30th. March following; administration August 1703 by his two sisters, and in January 1709, in London. 3. Mary, born 11th. December 1652 and baptised at Hackney 23rd. December following; of Nash (262), Co. Monmouth; died unmarried, aet. 55, October 5th. 1708, and buried on 13th. at Michaelston-y-Vedw; Will dated 11th. December 1701 and proved in London January 1709. 4. Anne; baptised at Hackney; of Nash: died 21st. December 1708, aet. 51 and buried on 30th. at Michaelston-y-Vedw, where there is the following inscription to herself and her sister, "Mary, Anne, Kemeys, sisters, who both chose The better part, wise Virgins, here repose, Mary first crown'd, Anne angisht till posest Of ye same grave, of ye same mansion blest". Her will, dated 8th. November 1708, was proved in London 18th. February 1709.

XXI. Sir Charles Kemeys, 3rd Bart: of Cefn Mably and Llanvair: born at Balmes House 18th. May 1651 and baptised 29th. of the same month, Sir George Whitmore and Sir Thomas Whitmore being his godfathers and the Lady Wylde of Shropshire his godmother (263): matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, 26th. May 1669, aet. 18: "created M.A. 9th. July 1669 between 8 and 10 a.m. in the Sheldonian Theatre" (264); in 1670 presented a large silver punch bowl with a lid having four unicorn's heads upon it, which when inverted became a stand, these heads being the legs (26), to Wadham College engraved with his crest and arms; M.P. for Monmouthshire 1685 and 1695 and for Monmouth Boroughs 1689-90: suffered loss and damage by the Duke of Beaufort's enclosure of part of Wentwood Forest in 1678 to the extent of #50 per annum, as computed by Rogers, "for his privilage of house-bote and hey-bote in the said chase for his mansion house at Llanvaire and 6 tenements there and for his Priory house and Vallice farm in Caldicot". "Tuesday, August 19th 1684, His Grace the Duke of Beaufort parted from Ruperra, a noble seat of Sir Charles Kemis in right of his lady, for Monmouth"... Wednesday, August 20th. 1684, His Grace with all the gentlement who accompanied him to Monmouth Town Hall were collated there with a cold treat, during which the Militia Horse the led by Sir Charles Kemis gave several vollies" (266); died at Cefn Mably and buried 22nd. December 1702, "in Capell} propri} in ecclesi} parochiali de Michaelston Vedw (267): Will dated 8th. June 1702, and proved in 1703-9 and 1710. Married first, in 1678, Mary, third daughter and co-heiress of Philip, fourth Lord Wharton, and widow of Wm. Thomas of Wenvoe and Ruperra; she was baptised at Upper Winchendon 19th. October 1649, and dying at Cefn Mably 28th. July 1683, was buried 2nd. August in the private chapel with her husband; her will, dated 27th. March 1699, was proved 16th. May following; she is probably the wife referred to in the following inscription in the Church of Michaelston-y-Vedw, "Here uncle, wife, brother and daughter lie. Exposed to pal faced Death all must die. Yet dead to live for ever then. T'inherite Heaven with the best of ment. Free from corruption and the sting of death. Compleatly happie lifted from beneath. To share with saints above joyes never endinge. With heavenly Allelulias happie Souls. Whom Heaven's sacred Penman thus enroles. All registers below needs must decay". Second (268) Mary, sister and heiress of Edward Lewis of the Van, Glamorganshire, of Boarstal, Oxon, and of Brill, Bucks., widow of first, Wm. Jephson, second son of Wm. Jephson M.P. Major General, Envoy from Cromwell to Sweden; and second, Sir john Awbrey of Llantrithyd, Bart. M.P. for Brackley, widower; (269) she survived her third husband Sir Charles, and married fourth Wm. Awbrey, B.C.L. of New College, Oxford; she died at Oxford 26th. August 1717 and was buried at Boarstall; (269a) her will, dated 24th. August 1717, was proved in January following. Issue by his first wife, 1. Charles. 2. George, baptised 3rd. June 1671: buried 19th. June 1691 at Michaelston-y-Vedw. (270) 3. Jane. 4. Margaret, born May 1688: died at Ruperra 10th. June of the same year and was buried in the chapel of Michaelston-y-Vedw Church on 12th. of the same month (270). 5. Mary, baptised 13th. June 1690: buried at Michaelston-y-Vedw 19th. January 1708-9 (270).

XXII. Sir Charles Kemeys, 4th. Bart.: of Cefn Mably and Llanvair; born at Rupera 23rd. November 1688 and baptised 8th. December following: High Sheriff of Glamorganshire 1713 M.P. for Monmouthshire 1713-14 and for Glamorganshire 1715, 1722, and 1727; one of the Commissioners of Land Tax for Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire in 1726; a personal friend of King George I., when he was Elector of Hanover; died unmarried; buried 7th. February 1734 at Michaelston-y-Vedw; administration taken out 8th. February 1734-5 and March 1735 in London; his arms are described as "Quarterly of four, 1. Kemeys. 2. Began, argent, 6 lozenges conjoined in a bend gules, on a chief azure 3 scallops or., 3. Lewis: sable, a lion rampant regardant, argent. 4. Bleddyn.

XXIII. Jane Kemeys: of Cefn Mably and Llanvair, as heiress of her brother, born 1685; obiit 1747; married 1704 Sir John Tynte of Halswell, Co. Somerset, Bart. Clerk in Holy Orders, Rector of Goathurst, Co. Somerset, died 1709-10. Their children were, 1. Halswell. 2. John. 3. Charles. 4. Jane, who finally on the death of her brothers without issue, succeeded to Cefn Mably and Llanvair; she married Major Hassell; their daughter and heiress, Jane, Married Colonel John Johnson, who took the name of Kemeys-Tynte, and from them is descended the present Colonel Charles Kemeys-Tynte the present owner of Cefn Mably and Llanvair, etc.

Footnotes to Kemeys of Cefn Mably

(232) The "Beaufort Progress".

(233) Vide, Rowland's "History of the Kemeys Family".

(234) Wakeman. Also vide Rowland's Welsh Royalists.

(235) Through these matches the Kemeyses became connected with the Herberts, Mrs. Lewis Kemeys and her brother being first cousins of Wm. Earl of Pembroke.

(236) Register of Oxford University, Vol. 1.

(237) Reliquary, Vol. 26, p. 259.

(238) Vide pedigree of Van in Coxe's "Monmouthshire", Vol. 1, p. 41.

(239) In the Church of St. Bride's, or Llansanfraid as it is termed in Welsh, on the south side in a porch, which formed the principal entrance is the following inscription: T-E. GREAT. FL. D.-20IANARIE IN T-E MORNING - 1606; the lowest part of which, 5 feet from the ground, marks the height to which the water rose.

(240) "Cambrian Register", Vol. II., 1799, p. 463.

(241) Ibid, Vol. 11, p. 124.

(242) Collectanea Top. Vol. IV. p. 376.

(243) Register of the University by Andrew Clarke, Vol. II. pp. 350 and 358.

(244) Chancery proceedings temp. Car. 1.

(245) It would appear that Nicholas Kemeys of Llanederne successfully defended this suit, as by his will in 1696 he devised various lands which appear to be those mentioned in this suit, to his cousin George, son of Sir Charles Kemeys, 2nd. Bart: of Cefn Mably.

(246) Register of Admissions to Gray's Inn. Ed. by Foster.

(247) Vide parish Registers of St. John, Cardiff.

(248) In 1687 and -92 Nicholas Kemeys is mentioned as attending the Courts and serving on the juries of the Manor of Ebboth in the parish of Rumney, and is also mentioned as a Trustee of the marriage settlement of Mary, daughter of Martin Button of Worlton, dated 1679.

(249) Calendar of Pleadings in Chancery, temp. Queen Elizabeth, Vol. 1. p. 124.

(250) A letter in the "Stradling correspondence" dated 9th. December 1580 mentions a commission "awarded at the sute of one Morgan David touchinge the taking of a cowe of Mr. Kemes of Cefn Mably."

(251) Vide Kemeys v Morgan - Chancery Proceedings temp Car. I.

(252) Chauncey's History of Herefordshire", p. 155.

(252a) Cal: S: Papers, 1637. p. 376.

(252b) Cal: of Committee for compounding. Domestic. Part 2.

(253) A portrait of Sir Nicholas was in the possession of Mrs. Lord of Kemeys Inferior and became the property of John Gardner Kemeys, who removed it from Bertholey; it was 3/4 length in armour, taken when he was 40 years of age with whiskers and chin tuft; another portrait of him was at Cefn Mably and another in possession of George Kemeys, (?at Malpas). Vide "Descriptive account of Persfield and Chepstow" by Chas. Heath, 1793. For some account of the siege of Chepstow see Appendix; there is also mention of the siege in "Beattie's Castles and Abbeys" under the description of Chepstow Castle, and in "Memorials of English Affairs 1682" there is a further relation of the capture, etc. of Chepstow Castle by Sir N. Kemish.

(254) "Sir Nicholas Chemish, Knight and Baronett, and Jane Herbert, wid. were married in the church of Llantrithied the fourth daie of November 1644". Parish Register. In 1661, Sir John Awbrey was ordered to direct the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester to proceed impartially in deciding the claims of himself and Dame Jane Kemeys in the tenancy of Glebes and tithes in Llantwitt Major, Co. Glamorgan, "Cal. States Papers", 1661,2.

(255) Llangidien which is near Usk, Co. Monmouth, in 1754 belonged to Colonel Kemeys-Tynte.

(256) His first wife was Barbara, daughter and heiress of Rhys Meyrick the author of "A book of Glamorgan Antiquities" and "the Cottrell Book", a volume of pedigrees. Vide the "Stradling Correspondence", p. 168, note. Miles and Florence Button and Eliza, widow of Colonel John Poyer, Governor of Pembroke, in December 1660, petitioned for a warrant to make a baron on account of their losses in the Civil War. "Cal. State Papers, 1660-1."

(257) Foster's Register of Admissions to Gray's Inn.

(257a) Cal: of Committee for Compounding, Domestic, Part 2.

(258) Vide fol. 218 of the Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian Library.

(259) Vide "Historical Traditions and Facts relating to Co. Monmouth", also "Cal. State Papers" for 1651, pp. 484, 486 and for 1651-2, p. 59, in which latter he is described as "Sir Charles Kemis".

(260) Vide the parish registers.

(261) English Army Lists and Commission Register by Chas. Dalton, Vol. I.

(262) Nash lies in the hundred of Caldicot, 3.5 miles S.E. by S. from Newport.

(263) Vide Lyson's "Environs of London", Vol. 11, p. 492, where he is described as the son of "Charles Kemmish, Knt. and Bart. by Lady Margaret his wife".

(264) Wood's "Fasti", Vol. 11. p. 317 his name being there given as "Charles Keymish, bart."

(265) This punch bowl is still preserved amongst the college plate.

(266) The "Beaufort Progress", 1684.

(267) Vide the Parish Registers.

(268) "Sr. Charles Kemmeyes and Dame Mary Aubrey were married the 31st. of December 1801" Llantrithyd parish register.

(269) There is a portrait of Sir Jno. Awbrey at Dorton with a wife on each side of him.

(269a) In Hearne's Collections vol. 64. pp. 96-111 the following occurs:- "1717 Aug. 29th. Friday. On Tuesday last in the afternoon died the Lady Aubrey (commonly Kemmish Bart.) of Borstall, She died in St. Peter's Parish in the East, Oxon. She had married four husbands. Her last Mr. Wm. Aubrey B.C.L. formerly of New College, survives her. She is carried to be buried at Borstall."

(270) Vide the parish register.


Beginning of Document
Table of Contents
Kemys of Slough
Kemeys of Co. Kildare


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

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