CHAMOND, Sir John (by 1488-1544), of Launcells, Cornw.

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



Family and Education

b. by 1488, s. of John Chamond of Launcells by Agnes, da. of Thomas Worth of Washfield, Devon. educ. I. Temple. m. by 1504, Margaret, da. of Thomas Tregavethan of Tregavethan, Cornw., 1s.; (2) by 1509, Anne or Jane (d.1552), da. of Sir Thomas Grenville of Stowe in Kilkhampton, Cornw., wid. of Sir John Arundell of Trerice in Newlyn, Cornw., 1s. Richard. Kntd. aft. 3 Nov. 1529.2

Offices Held

J.p. Cornw., Devon 1509-d.; commr. array Cornw. 1511, subsidy 1512, 1514, 1515, 1523, 1524, assessionable manors 1521, 1532, tenths of spiritualities 1535; esquire of the body in 1512; mayor, Launceston, Cornw. 1522-3; sheriff, Cornw. 1528-9, 1536-7, 1543-d., Devon 1529-30, 1538-9; chief steward, Bodmin priory, Launceston priory by 1535; custos rot. Cornw. by 1544.3


John Chamond came of a gentle family of little distinction until the 16th century. He practised as a lawyer, his counsel being retained by many of the principal magnates, monastic houses and corporations in the south-west, as well as by the duchy of Cornwall. His first marriage brought him into a family with a legal tradition and an extensive clientele, but it was his second, into a more prestigious family in the neighbourhood of Launcells, which established him as a figure of some authority. Early in his career he obtained a post in the royal household, and it was perhaps in the company of Sir Richard Guildford that he visited Jerusalem where he was dubbed a knight of St. John.4

In 1529 Chamond was sheriff of Cornwall, and in this capacity he served as the shire’s returning officer to the Parliament of that year: it was presumably his influence which procured the election of his nephew Richard Grenville as a knight of the shire and of several Grenville kinsmen and associates as Members for Cornish boroughs. He was knighted by the King on the same day as his nephew, and during the 1530s the two men co-operated in many affairs of mutual interest, Chamond acting on Grenville’s behalf in his nephew’s absence abroad. In 1539 Grenville’s duties as marshal of Calais prevented him from standing for Parliament, and Chamond made ‘great suit’ for his own return for Cornwall: this was reported to Cromwell, who may have extended to Chamond the favour that he had already shown to Grenville. Evidently his links with the recently executed Marquess of Exeter and the fact that he was at the time sheriff of Devon were no bar to his election. This may have been Chamond’s only appearance in Parliament, but as the returns for most of Henry VIII’s Parliaments are lost it is possible that he had sat there earlier and that he did so again in 1542. Nothing is known of his contribution to the proceedings of the House, but after its dissolution a letter was sent to him about the collection of the subsidy which he had helped to grant.5

As a reward for his services Chamond had been granted in 1537 Launcells, a cell of Hartland abbey, which he had converted and adapted to a family residence where he died on 13 Jan. 1544. He was succeeded by the son of his first marriage, but Launcells descended to his younger son Richard, whom he made executor of his (lost) will and who was referred to the Chancery for settlement of a debt owed by Chamond to George Rolle.6

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. E159/319, brev. ret. Mich. r. [1-2].
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Cornw. (Harl. Soc. xi), 40; Vis. Cornw. ed. Vivian, 84; A. Gibson, Early Tours in Devon and Cornw., 12 CIPM Hen. VII, iii. 857; LP Hen. VIII, iv. v.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, i, ii, iv, v, viii, ix, xi, xiii, xv, xx; Statutes, iii. 84, 113, 175; R. and O. B. Peter, Dunheved and Launceston, 31, 401; J. Maclean, Trigg Minor, i. 135; C193/12/1 ex inf. J. C. Sainty.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, i; R. Carew, Survey Cornw. (1769), 118.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, iii-xv, M. R. Westcott. ‘The estates of the earls of Devon 1485-1538’ (Exeter Univ. M.A. thesis, 1958), 101; E159/319, brev. ret. Mich. r. [1-2]; 371/309, r. 61(i).
  • 6. Carew, 117-18; S. Drew, Cornw. ii. 407; C1/1260/21-22; 142/70/69; L. Snell, Suppression of the Rel. Foundation in Devon and Cornw. 113.