KEMYS, Sir Charles, 3rd Bt. (1651-1702), of Cefn Mabli, Glam.; Llanfair Discoed, Mon. and Denmark Street, St. Giles in the Fields, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 18 May 1651, 1st s. of Sir Charles Kemys, 2nd Bt., of Cefn Mabli by 3rd w. Margaret, da. of Sir George Whitmore, ld. mayor of London 1631-2, of Balmes, Hackney, Mdx. educ. Wadham, Oxf. 1669. m. (1) 1677, Mary (d.1699), da. of Philip, 4th Baron Wharton, wid. of William Thomas of Wenvoe, Glam., 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da.; (2) 30 Dec. 1701, Mary, da. of William Lewis of Bletchington, Oxon., coh. to her bro. Edward Lewis, and wid. of William Jephson of Boarstall, Bucks., and of Sir John Aubrey, 2nd Bt., of Llantriddyd, Glam., s.p. suc. fa. c. June 1658.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Mon. and Glam. 1673-80, 1689-90, j.p. Mon. 1682-Apr. 1688, Oct. 1688-d., Glam. 1689-d., Bucks. 1702-d.; Lt. of militia horse, Mon. by 1684-Feb. 1688; dep. lt. Mon. and Glam. 1685-Feb. 1688, Glam. Oct. 1688-d., Mon. Oct. 1688-9, by 1701-d., Bucks. 1702-d.; v.-adm. Mon. by 1700-d.2


Kemys’s ancestors had been seated at Cefn Mabli since the 15th century, but his grandfather, MP for Monmouthshire in 1628, was the first to enter Parliament; a man of gigantic strength and stature, he was killed at Chepstow Castle in the second Civil War. Kemys’s father was likewise a Royalist in both wars, and was fined £3,500. Kemys succeeded to an estate of £1,200 p.a., only two-thirds of its former value, and even before his first marriage, into a notoriously Whiggish aristocratic family, was described as ‘unsettled’. His wife proved a ‘doughty’ Puritan, but he was himself remarkable chiefly for his addiction to the bottle. Returned for Monmouthshire in 1685 as a follower of the Tory Duke of Beaufort (Henry Somerset), he was moderately active in James II’s Parliament, being appointed to the committee of elections and privileges and to three others of minor significance. He returned negative answers to Beaufort’s questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, and was removed from local office. He was not elected in 1689, but in the next two Parliaments voted with the court Whigs. He died in December 1702, and was succeeded by his son, a Jacobite who sat for Monmouthshire with one interval from 1713 to 1734.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. G. T. Clark, Limbus Patrum, 51, 412-14, PCC 383 Wootton.
  • 2. Old Wales, i. 87.
  • 3. W. R. Williams, Parl. Hist. Wales, 127; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1276; SP29/398/185; Beaufort mss, Lord to Lady Worcester, 11 Dec. 1681; NLW Jnl. xxi. 161, 166, 167-8.