CALMADY, Richard (by 1525-86), of Lion's Inn, London and Clyst St. Lawrence and Farwood in Colyton, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1525, 2nd s. of John Calmady of Calmady by Frances, da. of Francis Vincent. educ. Lion’s Inn. m. by 1564, Elizabeth (bur. 10 July 1580), da. of John Evelegh of Holcombe in Ottery St. Mary, 1s. 6da.1

Offices Held

Commr. i.p.m. Cornw. 1570, Devon 1573-5.2


Richard Calmady came of a gentle family which took its name from the hamlet in Devon where it had long been settled. He had a namesake who was a nephew and briefly head of the family before dying shortly after Calmady himself, and as the two were successively at Lion’s Inn they are not easily distinguished. It was perhaps the uncle who began his career in the court of augmentations and certainly he who in 1546, as deputy for Thomas Hickes, collected money due to the King in Cornwall. Under Mary and Elizabeth his professional services were much in demand in Devon. He sued out a general pardon in 1559 and five years later he and a younger brother Vincent bought lands in the county and elsewhere from the crown, dividing those in Devon between themselves and selling the rest.3

Vincent Calmady owned property in Plympton Erie, but it was probably the marriage of another brother into the influential Strode family which accounts for Calmady’s election to Mary’s third Parliament. If he was himself already married or affianced he could also have looked to his father-in-law John Evelegh, returned on this occasion for Tavistock: his fellow-Member William Strowbridge came from Colyton, where Calmady was to make his home, and was a neighbour of Evelegh at Ottery St. Mary. Neither Calmady nor Strowbridge followed Evelegh’s example in quitting the Parliament without leave before its dissolution. When Evelegh was fined for this contempt during Michaelmas term 1557 Calmady stood surety for him with Peter Sainthill, and a year later he performed the same service for Andrew Horde with Edmund Prowte.4

It was either Calmady or his nephew who as a fellow of Lion’s Inn in 1584 subscribed to the oath of association to protect Elizabeth. Calmady made his will on 10 Dec. 1586, providing for his daughters, only one of whom had married, his younger brother Andrew, Vincent’s children, other kinsmen, friends and servants, and charitable purposes: his only son John had predeceased him. In accordance with his wishes Calmady was buried in Colyton church on 27 Dec. 1586. His failure to leave papers relating to the winding up of Vincent Calmady’s affairs was to involve the heirs in an action for debt in the court of requests. The Thomasin Calmady who in 1592 married John Chase at Shute was not his widow, but his nephew’s.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference, Vis. Devon, ed. Colby, 93; Vis. Devon, ed. Vivian, 128 is not wholly reliable; Colyton Par. Regs. (Devon and Cornw. Rec. Soc. xiv), 39, 587; PCC 47 Spencer.
  • 2. CPR, 1569-72, p. 33; 1572-5, pp. 149, 152, 442.
  • 3. C219/23/38, 39, 42; Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 213, 476; LP Hen. VIII, xxi; CPR, 1555-7, p. 437; 1557-8, p. 441; 1558-60, p. 196; 1563-6, p. 115; HMC Var. i. 197-8.
  • 4. NRA 4154, pp. 135-6; KB27/1184, 1188.
  • 5. Cal. I.T. Recs. i. 476; PCC 47 Spencer; Colyton Par. Regs. 586, 592; Req. 2/33/60; Trans. Dev. Assoc. lx. 170.