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John Kempe, Cardinal, AKCHBisHor of Canterbury. 
Lord Chancellor of England. 




Kemp and Kem pe 

i ^= 


Of Qreat (Britain and Her Colonies 

Arms, Pedigrees, Portraits, Illustrations of Seats, Foundations, 
Chantries, Monuments, Documents, Old Jewels, Curios, ^c. 


Fred. Hitchin- Kemp 


Daniel Wm. Kemp, J.P., Edinburgh (Author of works on Sutherland, <&c.), 


John Tabor Kemp, M.A., 


Sir Kenneth Hagar Kemp, Twelfth Baronet of Gissing ; George Kemp, Esq., M.P., Rochdale ; 

J. A. Kempe, Esq., C.B., Deputy Chairman of H.M. Customs ; 

Rev. Prebendary Kempe, M.A., Chaplain in Ordinary to the late Queen Victoria ; 

Charles N. Kempe, late of the Admiralty ; 

Alfred Bray Kempe, Esq., F.R.S., Chancellor of the Dioceses of St. Albans, Newcastle and Southwell 


Miss Lucy E. Kemp -Welch 




New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 153-157, Fifth Avenue. 

The Leadenhall Press, Ltd: 

50, leadenhall street, london, e.c. 

T 4,753. 



I HE question has so constantly been asked, with whom did the idea of 
compiling a history of the Kemps originate ? that it seems fitting to 
preface the work with a brief account of its inception and achievement. In 
order to simplify matters the chief writer will, with the reader's leave, speak in 
the first person singular. 

I was on a visit to an elderly cousin, living near Ashford, in 1896, when, 
finding that the topics of modern conversation failed to interest him, I sought 
something to read in an old library adjacent, of which my relative was trustee. 
My first inspection of the shelves inclined me to think that the ancient volumes 
with which they were loaded would afford me no. entertainment, for I was 
neither an antiquarian nor interested in historv or genealogy. I came, however, 
to a copy of Hasted's " History of Kent," which I took down with some 
curiositv as to what it might say about the places of interest around my cousin's 
home, and finding that I had thus dropped upon an account of a great man of 
my own name — Archbishop Kemp — I read page after page concerning him and 
his relations. This exhausted I turned to the index for the name of Kemp in 
order to discover more information concerning my namesakes. , ■ •- 

During the next few days I frequently returned to the library and found 
that the name of Kemp appeared prominently in numerous volumes, while the 
crest and arms closely resembled those granted to my father on accession to 
certain Kemp estates. What connexion, I naturally asked, was there between 
this Kentish familv and those of Hendon, Middlesex, from whom we were 
descended ? 

ii. Preface. 

On my return to town, after visiting Wye College, Chilham Castle, and 
other places connected with the Kemps, my desire to determine this question 
took definite shape, and I made enquiries at the Heralds' College. The officials 
could not give a ready reply, as the pedigree of my people was not recorded 
when the present arms were granted. I then sought admission to the British 
Museum Library intent upon a search which might solve the problem. I did 
not anticipate that this would be a very difficult matter, for " The History of 
Hendon " (by E. T. Evans, 1890) mentioned our Kempes as being at Hendon 
in 1 6 10, the very year in which Ollantigh and other Kentish property was 
distributed among the four daughters of the last Sir Thomas Kempe of Wye. 
This Kentish Knight had no sons, but as he had brothers and uncles, I reasoned 
might not one of these have founded the family at Hendon ? . 

Genealogists will smile at this, for the longer one studies pedigrees the more 
one realises how difficult it is to adduce conclusive evidence in proof of descent 
from a family, or individual, living at a remote period. They will not wonder 
that 1 soon collected a mass of information pertaining to various Kemps and 
Kempes which in no way threw light on my family's connexion with Wye. This 
collection must, however, relate to various living representatives of the name, I 
thought ! Why not offer it to them ? So I took the libeiLy of addressing Sir 
Kenneth Kemp, Baronet, and one or two others, saying that I had a collection 
of notes relating to the Kemp and Kempe families which I thought might be 
printed privately for those whom it might interest. 

Lady Kemp favoured me with an interview in London the following year 
(1897), and shortly after this I was delighted with an invitation to Mergate Hall, 
near Norwich, to have a look at the deeds and records relating to the long 
pedigree and large estates of the Kemp Baronets. Sir Kenneth most kindly 
gave me access to his great chests full of Manorial Rolls and documents ranging 
from the reign of King John to the present time. It need hardly be said that 
these records contain the most valuable genealogical evidence, but to examine 
them fully would require close attention for quite a year, and I was unable to 
do much more than note each series and the dates, except where a definite query 
suggested a closer investigation. With the assistance of Sir Kenneth I have 

Preface. iii. 

reproduced in this history a few of the documents which are of the chief general 
interest to Kemps. 

After this first visit to Mergate and Gissing Halls, George Kemp, Esq., M.P. 
for the Heywood Division of Lancashire, helped the project of publishing the 
result of my researches by handing me a cheque which covered the cost of 
addressing circulars to Kemps and Kempes throughout England. In response 
to the first issue of about one hundred some twenty-five replies were received 
warmly supporting the scheme. The chief result, however, of this circular was 
the very unexpected news to me that Mr. Daniel W. Kemp, of Edinburgh, had 
issued a somewhat similar circular a year or two previously, saying that having 
collected Kemp items for some tw^enty-five years he proposed to issue in periodical 
form " Notes on Kemps of Great Britain." To this circular he had had many 
replies, but having other literary work in hand, as well as numerous municipal 
and business engagements, he had postponed the publication indefinitely. He 
therefore offered to hand over to me the whole of his collection for me to deal 
with. This very generous offer was gladly accepted, and a visit to Scotland in 
the interests of the Scottish Kemps followed. By this time the work assumed 
large proportions, and I felt it necessary to obtain the services of some gentle- 
man who had both the time and the means to render me assistance in the great 
work of arranging, selecting and editing the matter. I deem myself fortunate 
in having found Mr. John Tabor Kemp, M.A. (Camb.), willing to devote a great 
deal of his time to this honorary work. 

The second circular was addressed in 1899 to Kemps in India, Australia, 
United States and elsewhere, and advertisements calling for information 
concerning Kemp(e)s abroad were inserted in the Times and several American 
and Colonial papers. The letters received were so numerous, and requests 
for special researches so many, that the whole of my time for more than two 
years was devoted to the necessary correspondence and to researches at 
Somerset House, the Record Office, British Museum, Provincial District 
Probate Courts, ancient libraries and other store-houses of historical and 
genealogical facts. The notes personally collected from these sources fill 
forty-eight octavo manuscript books, each of over one hundred pages, while the 

iv. Preface. 

annotations and indexes relating to these fill another twenty-five books, half of 
which are quarto, and amount to an aggregate of 1,500 pages of manuscript. 
In addition to this bulk of matter requiring sorting and arrangement, the 
collection of manuscript and books, by and concerning Kemps, sent by Daniel 
William Kemp, J. P., weighs about one hundredweight. Mr. John Tabor Kemp 
has also gathered a valuable amount of useful information, but the work for 
which Kemps and Kempes in general must be indebted to him is his editorial 
share of the work, for while it has fallen upon myself to write the matter, space 
at our disposal has made it necessary for him to cut down to the lowest 
consistent form the histories of the numerous distinct families of the names of 
Kemp and Kempe. 

Subscribers will, I trust, find, that where possible, some details of their 
family are included, and I hope will realise that we have treated their family 
traditions with respect, even where evidence was against them. History, 
however, is valueless if not true, and we have in a few cases to show that errors 
have been found in some ancient as well as modern pedigrees, while others 
lack documentary evidence. 

To all subscribers and others (Kemps, Kempes, Kempts, and even Camps 
and Campes) I may here say that the mass of information in our hands is far 
greater than space permits us to print in full. Those interested in making 
further research concerning their family historv should communicate with me, 
and I will place other details at their disposal. I may add, also, that where any 
statement in this work is found to be in error, I shall welcome correction or 
addition in view of a possible reprint of the work. 

In conclusion I may be permitted to say the cost of research has fallen 
almost entirely upon the joint compilers. Mr. Daniel W. Kemp, two years ago, 
found that he had expended / 100 in research, collecting and circulars. Mr. 
John Tabor Kemp has travelled extensively in quest of records, the cost of all 
fares and hotel, as well as other incidental fees, being borne bv himself. My 
own time devoted to the work represents five years of close studv and journevs 
all over England, and a visit to the Record House, Edinburgh. In most cases 
the illustrations in this work are from photographs taken personally, but I am 



also greatly indebted to Miss Lucy Kemp-Welch for giving her valuable time to 
reproduce (in black and white) some portraits and the tomb of Archbishop 

To many gentlemen who have considerable collection of Kemp(e) notes I 
also owe my thanks, but their names being many I omit the list here, as in most 
cases their loans are mentioned in the text. 

Fred. Hit chin- Kemp, 

6, Beechfield Road, Catford, 
London, S.E. 
June, IQ02. 

Willirim Kempe, Shakespeare's Comedian, the celebrated Morris Dancer who 
danced from London to Norwich in nine days. 

History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 



THE name Kemp or Kempe is widely distributed among the population of the British 
Islands. Nevertheless, except in certain regions, it cannot be considered a very common 
surname. It abounds chiefly in the eastern and southern counties of England, notably 
in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Sussex, to which may be added Surrey and 
Hampshire. It is also tolerably frequent in the adjacent counties. In these parts families bearing the 
name, or recognised variants thereof, have dwelt since the period of the earliest existing records. 
For a thousand years, it is safe to assert, the stock of the modern Kemps * has occupied an 
important place among the people of East Anglia. Although no contemporary documents as 
old as this are extant, the earliest references to the name (dating from a period soon after the 
Norman Conquest) testify its representatives as being above the class of villeins. The popular 
etymology of Kemp, countenanced by the high authority of Prof. Skeat, regards it as the Anglo- 
Saxon word Cempa, a champion, in modern spelling. Reasons for doubting whether this is the 
true explanation are set forth in the chapter on the origin of the name (Chapter II.) One point, 
however, in favour of the accepted derivation, is the early period at which Kemps came to the 
fore in the social life of the nation. If champions they were, the qualities, to wit, strength of limb 
united with force of character, which gave them that position naturally fitted them to be leaders 
in other affairs than war. 

But the name is not by any means confined to East Anglia, either in early or modern times. 
In the south it extends to Wales and Cornwall. It is sparsely disseminated throughout the 
midland and northern counties, and even reaches the Highlands of Scotland. The Scottish 
Kemps, though few in numbers, have been far from undistinguished. Some of these scattered 
families, no doubt, migrated from, the south-east of England at various periods. In very 
many cases, however, there is no evidence, apart from their name, to connect them with the 
Kemps of the south. We may not designate them, after Jewish analogy, as " the Kemps of 
the Dispersion " on the assumption that they are descendants of one original stock. In all,, 
probability the name has arisen independently in different localities. It may also have had more? 
than one derivation. 

Among the vast English-speaking populations beyond the seas, in the United States of 
America, in South Africa and Australia, the name of Kemp is well known. References to the 
career of the more distinguished bearers of the name outside the British Islands will be found in 

* In order to avoid needless repetition of the phrase '• Kemps and Kempes," and the like, it will be convenient to state once for all that, except 
where the contrary is indicated by the conte.xt, the term Kemps includes the Kempes. 

2 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

other parts of the present work. Some of the Colonial and American Kemps are, however, not of 
English origin at all, but are the descendants of emigrants from the Low Countries. This 
meeting and commingling of English and Dutch Kemps is no new event, for the ancestors of many 
of the Kemp families of the old country are known to have come over from Flanders at various 
periods. A noteworthy man was John Kemp, the weaver, who settled at Carlisle about 1335. 
The name is frequent among weavers in many parts of Great Britain till quite recent times. The 
entries in the Scottish Registers relating to the Kemps often specify the occupation as that of a 
weaver. It is a somewhat curious coincidence that " kemp '' is a technical term in connexion with 
weaving, denoting a bristly hair often found among wool. "Kemb" is an old spelling of comb. 
Referring to the English and Dutch Kemps, it may here be noted that they have fought against 
one another in the present war. 

Families vary enormously in the proportion of distinguished individuals which they have 
produced to the total number of bearers of the name. It is customary to speak of those families 
whose members were persons of importance centuries ago as "old" families. "Historic" would 
be the more correct term, since it is equally certain that the obscurest of the poor at the present 
day are descended from individuals who lived a thousand years ago, as that the representatives of 
the noblest houses are so descended. Their "simple annals" have not been recorded except in 
very fragmentary form in the parish registers of the land or the tenant rolls of estates, and now 
and again in the records of crime. More rarely have the memories of their simple goodness 
been handed down in such stories as "The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain" and the "Dairyman's 
Daughter." Some families are distinguished by many illustrious names. Others, like the 
Shakespeares and the Bunyans, have flashed forth in glory once and for all ; the posterity, if any, 
of their one famous name is hardly more noted than was his ancestry. The Kemps do not fall 
exactly under any of these categories. Their families are unquestionably " historic," for their 
records reach back unbroken for at least five hundred years. They are by no means lacking in 
famous names as the following pages amply testify. Yet they have produced no celebrity of the 
first rank — no name which stands for an epoch in the annals of his own vocation, like Milton, 
Newton, Darwin, Wellington or Nelson. Not a few of them have received marks of honour from 
their Sovereign for their services to the State. Though they do not stand foremost among the 
truly great families of the land — families that are great on account of the noble deeds of their 
members, and not because the creatures of some early king — they do claim rightly that they have 
enriched the nation's life. And herein lies the justification for the publication of the present 
history. Every man or woman who takes any delight in the records of worthy actions, or who 
cares to know anything of the personality of the authors of inspiring utterances, must feel a special 
pleasure in becoming acquainted with such memorials when connected with their own ancestors or 
namesakes. " I hope for light," expresses the feeling with which many readers will open the 
present work, light which will reveal to them fragments of history in which they may justly feel 
a peculiar pride. " Lucem spero," again, may voice the hope that something herein recorded 
may in some way be helpful in their own lives, if only by directing their attention to forgotten 

The rest of this chapter will be devoted to brief references to some of the more notable Kemps 
in various walks in life. The connexion of Kemps with the Courts of the English Kings and 
Queens is noticed /;/ limine, because earliest in date, while the names of some deservedly famous 
individuals can be introduced here who do not come under any of the subsequent categories. 

Kemps appear in close association with royalty almost from the first known appearance of 
the name to the present day. One, Stephen Kempe, was fined for leaving the Court in 11 27. 

Introductory. 3 

Archbishop Kempe, of Canterbury, in virtue of his office, was necessarily much in touch with the 
king, as was also Thomas Kempe, his nephew, the Bishop of London. The Archbishop was 
frequently sent abroad by the king on important missions. For many years he held the office of 
Lord Chancellor. Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Kempe of Gissing, was Lady of the Bedchamber 
to Elizabeth of York, the Consort of Henry VIL Sir Thomas, Sir William and Lady Kempe of 
Wye, attended the Court of Henry VHL in various capacities, and were present at the Field of the 
Cloth of Gold. A Lady Kempe was prominent at the Court of Queen Mary. During the long 
reign of Elizabeth, at least a dozen Kempes, both of Norfolk and Kent were active. A Robert 
Kempe of Gissing was gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles L, who first knighted him and 
afterwards raised him to the dignity of a baronet. He raised arms for the King at the outbreak 
of the Cromwellian troubles, sacrificing much of his property in so doing. John Kemp, of Boldre, 
a representative of the Kentish stock was a prominent Roundhead. Various Kemps of minor note 
from time to time appear at Court under the Georges. At the present time two Kempes are 
Chaplains to the King. Some of the living branches of the Kemps possess royal blood. Pedigrees 
of their descent will be found in other chapters. 

The Kemp families have given some very high dignitaries to the church, including the 
Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London above mentioned. The second Bishop of 
Maryland was James Kemp, a native of Scotland. Various Kemps have held canonries and 
prebends. But while Kemps have risen to fame in the church none of them can be claimed 
as great divines in the restricted sense of the word as applied to Hooker or Pearson. They make 
up, however, for any lack of distinction in scientific theology by the fervent piety and practical 
philanthropy which many of them have exhibited. One of the earliest productions of the printing 
press, issued by Wynkyn de Worde, was "A Short Treatyse of Contemplacyon taught by the 
Lorde Jhesu Cryste, taken out of the Boke of Margerie Kempe of Lyn." Her writings resemble 
those of the Ouietists and Quakers. Grover Kemp was a leading member of the Society of 
Friends. Among the victims of the Boxer massacres in China was Mrs. T. W. Pigott, ne'e Kemp, 
murdered Avith her husband and son at Tai-Yuen-Fu. 

Kempt is a well ascertained variant of the name Kemp as will appear in the pages of this 
history. It is specially frequent in Scotland, but is known elsewhere. This being the case it is 
legitimate to name here Sir James Kempt, G.C.B., Governor-General of Canada from 1828 to 
1830. He served under the Duke of Wellington in the war against Napoleon, when he 
distinguished himself on many occasions, including the Battle of Waterloo, and was frequently 
mentioned in despatches. He was of Scottish parentage. 

The most eminent Kempe who ever served in the Navy was Admiral Arthur Kempe 
of the Cornish stock. A Kempe sailed with Captain Cook in his celebrated voyages of discovery. 
Another individual of the same family was granted by royal patent the privilege of catching 
whales. The late Mr. Dixon Kemp, the celebrated yachtsman and writer on ship building, may 
be mentioned here. He was yachting editor to the Field newspaper. 

Art, science, and literature claim a considerable number of Kemps. A lady of the name still 
living is the only woman artist, any of whose paintings have been purchased by the Chantrey 
Trustees for the National Gallery. As a connoisseur in the fine arts John Kemp, who died in 
1717, was renowned. The contents of his collection of antiquities was described in a volume 
written in Latin and published after his death entitled, " Monumenta Vetustatis Kempiana." 
Alfred John Kempe, who died in 1846, was the author of many articles in the Gentleman'' s 
Magazine on antiquarian subjects. As an architect John Meikle Kemp, designer of the Scott 
Monument at Edinburgh, occupies a distinguished place. The most noted musician bearing the 

B 2 

4 History of the Kemp and Keuipe Families. 

name is Joseph Kemp, some time organist of Bristol Cathedral. His brother, James, was a minor 
poet. One, Andrew Kemp, who has left a setting of the Te Deum, was master of the Song 
School at St. Andrew's in 1575. A William Kemp, contemporary with Shakespeare, achieved 
fame as a comic actor and dancer. 

John Kemp, F.R.S., Edin., a native of Aberdeenshire, was a noted mathematician. Other 
Kemps have also distinguished themselves in the same study. Medical science has been advanced 
by several Kemps who have written upon different subjects in connexion therewith. Two 
brothers named Kemp taught chemistry at Edinburgh University during the first half of the 
nineteenth century. Both were cut off under forty years of age after careers of great promise. 

To conclude this review it may be added that a valuable dictionary of the Maori language 
was compiled bv a Kemp, who abandoned civilised society and took up his residence among the 
natives of New Zealand, who recognised him as a chief, using his portrait on their tribal banner. 

Kemps have taken their full share in mercantile pursuits. Many noted business houses bear 
their name. For several generations they have likewise been connected with banking. Of late 
the name has become famous in connexion with sport. References to living Kemps who have 
in any wav distinguished themselves, and to existing firms founded by Kemps, will be found 
elsewhere in the present work. 

The compilers of this history would here express the hope that their readers who possess the 
ability and leisure to continue the researches which they have begun will do so. Much work 
remains to be done in the patient examination of ancient records of many kinds. The systematic 
search of parish registers would probably repay the time and labour spent on it in clearing up 
many doubtful points in descent. Of the relationship of some of the famous Kemps little or 
nothing is known. To discover their family connexion would be to earn the gratitude of future 
biographers and historians. Again, to trace out the migrations of the families of any one name 
would be a distinct addition to the history of the social life of the nation, still more, if the 
causes which determined the movement could also be ascertained. The history of a family if truly 
written is no mere monument of that selfish pride known as snobbery, but a valuable contribution 
to human knowledge. 

^. .. ■'^"\;. 

The Kemp and Kempe Families of Kent. 

CHcA'PTETi 11. 

(By John Tabob Kkmp, M.A.) 

THE prevalence of the surname Kkmp in the eastern counties of England indicates it as of 
probably Saxon origin. Students of old English ballads are familiar with the word 
" kemp," signifying a fighting man or champion, derived from the Anglo-Saxon Cempa, 
a soldier. Since warfare occupied an important place in ordinary life during the period when 
surnames were coming into vogue, there is an antecedent likelihood that such a word as ''kemp " 
would be found among them.. Arguing from these premises many writers have concluded 
somewhat hastily that the question of the origin of the name was settled beyond dispute, Kemp 
the surname and " kemp " the soldier being certainly regarded as one and the same word. 
Plausible as what we may term the accepted derivation appears at first sight, some weighty 
evidence against its validity will be adduced in the sequel. It is almost certain, however, that the 
name has arisen in more than one way. The divergent physical types presented b}' its bearers 
afford clear evidence of descent from more than one racial stock. ,The Kemps of the east of 
England belong generally to the Saxon and Danish types, with light hair and skin and blue or 
grey eyes. In the west Kemps are met with distinguished by the dark features which 
characterize the modern Kelts. 

The English language presents numberless instances of identical collocations of letters ha\-ing 
divers meanings and derivations. For example, " host " in its different senses represents the three 
Latin words hostis (enemy, hence multitude), hostia (victim), and hnspes (entertainer). Another 
and even better instance is furnished by the word "lime" in "quicklime," "birdlime," "lime-tree," 
and " lime-fruit." Similar instances are not unknown among English surnames, while it is 
very probable that they would be found more common than they appear in the light of present 
knowledge had as much attention been bestowed on personal names as on the language 
generally. The surname Samson may represent either a contraction of Samuelson, i.e. son of 
Samuel or Sam, or it may point to the exceptional strength of some remote ancestor recalling the 
prowess of the hero and judge of that name. Craven, again may be and probably is in many 
cases equivalent to coward ; its frequency in the north of England, however, points to the Craven 
district of Yorkshire whence the Earls of that ilk derive their title. With regard to the name 
Kemp, it is well within the compass of possibility in the case of different families bearing it, that it 
may be taken in some instances from the calling of some remote ancestor, in others from his place 
of abode, in others from some physical or moral characteristic, and in others again from somg 

6 History of the Kemp and Kemp e P ami lies. 

object adopted as a tribal or family badge or used as a sign for some purpose. Etymologically the 
modern name may represent Saxon, Danish, Keltic or other appellatives. Apart, however, from 
any prepossessions or suspicions which the philologist may entertain his first duty is to collect and 
examine the various forms through which the name has passed wherever it is found. 

Before dealing more particularly with the question of derivation it will be convenient to 
mention the fact that in Anglo-Saxon, as in modern Welsh, likewise in Gaelic and Irish, the 
symbol c universally possessed the sound of k. Hence, as would naturally be expected, many of 
the early forms of the name Kemp are written with a C even before the vowels e, z, and ;>», in which 
positions modern usage gives c the sound of s. The spelling Cemp met with in early documents 
survived as late as the latter half of the eighteenth century. Among the wills proved in the 
Norwich Consistory Court is that of Mary Cemp, of Great Yarmouth, who died in 1759. 

The earliest examples of the forms Kemp or Kempe date from about the middle of the twelfth 
century, but the spelling with a k did not become frequent till considerably later. One Gotfred 
Kemp is recorded as living at Norwich in 1154. No Kemp is found in Domesday, the nearest 
I approach being de Canipo. 

Much uncertainty prevails as to the connexion between the forms Kemp and Kempe and the 
earlier forms from which they certainly arose, which the researches of the present writers have 
only partially enabled them to clear up. Many names which may have passed into Kemp are met 
with in early registers and other documents, but the proof that they actually did so is often 
wanting. Only in very few cases can we discover the individual who changed the spelling of his 
name, or whose name was changed for him by the officials of the time. In Domesday and other 
ancient records, prior to the period when surnames had come into general use, we find various 
descriptive terms relating to place of abode or occupation, appended to baptismal names for the 
purpose of distinguishing the bearers from others of the same name. Among instances may be 
mentioned de Campo, de Campis, de Combes or Compes, and Campio. In the sixteenth century 
we find their place taken by the regular surnames Camp, Kemp, Campion and so forth. The 
inference is that the latter are the historical successors of the former, but it is only rarely that the 
transition can be traced in any given family line. 

According to the Roll of Battle Abbey, Radulphiis de Campis held land at Wye from the 
Abbey. He is also known as Ralph Kemp, of Wye. The same Roll contains the names of several 
tenants called de Cumbe, de Combe and Kempe. 

Edmund Canipian, the Jesuit, executed in 1581 for treasonable correspondence, was arrested 
and tried as Edmund Kemp. 

The family of John Kemp the Archbishop, are known to have changed the spelling of their 
name from de Campis. 

As late as 1624 the author of a will signed his name Thos. Chatnpe, while his son witnessing 
the same document wrote Thomas Kempe. 

The author of the '• Worthies of Devon " (1701) says the members of the Champernown family 
formerly wrote their name " De Campo Arnidphi from a certain Champion Country where one 
Arnulphus lived or had his seat." The Inquisitio 30, Edward I., records that Lady John 
Champernown granted land for the celebration of masses for her father William de Campo 
Amu/phi, and her husband Ralph de Willington. If the following entries in the Probate Registry 
of Canterbury represent mere coincidencies they are sufficiently curious. Under Archdeaconry of 
Canterbury, 1403 (fol. b.) is mentioned the will of one Arnolphus Kempe, of Boughton Aluph. 
In 1517 (lib. 12) we find Amoldus Kempe of Newenden. Another Arnold Kempe is mentioned in 
the Norwich Charter Rolls temp. Edward I. 

Origin of the Name. - ' 7 

Among the Essex wills is one dated 1539 of Henry Camp al. Kamp of Nasing, and another 
dated 155 1 of John Camp al. Kempe of the same place. 

Many Kemps and Kempes in various parts of England are met with in early documents 
claiming descent from the Earls of Warwick, who had the title of de Bello Campo. The number 
of Kemps known to have been tenants or recipients of patronage from the House of Warwick is . 
certainly remarkable. 

In the Canterbury Probate Registers (1396-1496) the earliest spelling is Combe. No spelling 
with an a occurs. 

In Esse.K, Combes seems to be the chief early spelling, giving place to Kemp about 1370. 
Compes is known as an alternative form in connexion with the Kemps of Finchingfield. 

In Norfolk, Campe or de Campo is said to give place to Kemp about 1270. Comp occurs 
frequently in the fifteenth century in the records of the Norwich Consistory Court. 
In Wiltshire, de Catnpo appears to be the forerunner of the name Kemp. 
The will of John Compos is preserved in the Archdeaconry of St. Albans. 
Among the Archers of the Vale of Revill the name of Thomas atte Campe is recorded. 
Arnaldus de Campiswz?. Master of the Knights Hospitallers in 1160. Bertrand de Campis 
succeeded to the office in 1231. 

No Kemps are known in Cornwall till about 1400, but Kemys, Camois, Cames and similar 
forms occur from the time of the Norman Conquest. The pedigree of the Cornish Kempes 
commences in 1544. They claim descent from the Kemps of Kent. The Manors of Blisland and 
Liskeard belonged to the Earls of Warwick. In the Manorial Rolls the form Kympe (rare in 
other parts of England) occurs repeatedly from 1500 to 1618. The name Kemys and its variants 
occur in the Battle Abbey Roll. 

In the Exchequer Receipts for 1185 the name of Umfrid de la Cumb occurs in the' 
Buckinghamshire section. 

'' Kemp " was, as has been already mentioned, an old English word signifying a soldier, also 
a contender in single combat, being the philological successor of the Anglo-Saxon Cempa. 
Examples of its use may be found in the Ballad of King Estmere, printed in Bishop Percy's 
" ReHques of Ancient Poetry." 

" They had not ridden scant a myle ■' 

A myle forthe of the towne. 

But in did come the kyng of Spayne, . ^ 

With kempes many one." 
And again — 

" ' And how nowe, kempe,' said the kyng of Spain 
' And hcAv what aileth thee ? ' " 
In the same ballad the derivative kempery occurs more than once : — 
" Downe then came the kemperye man. 
And looked him in the eare." 
Again — 

" And aye their swords soe sore can fyte. 
Through help of gramaryd 
That soone they had slayne the kempery men. 
Or forst them forth to flee." 
" Kemp " being an actual Enghsh word, and moreover, one designating an occupation or 
profession of universal importance, it would seem a priori probable that it would be met with 

8 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

among modern surnames. As the case of Edmund Campian, alias Kemp, above quoted shews, the 
accepted derivation possesses some historical support. In early Latin documents such entries 
as Galfredus Campio^ Ricardus Campio are frequent, where Campio signifies a champion or 
fighting man, being the nearest equivalent of " Kemp." The frequent occurrence of such phrases 
as de Campo, de Campis, atte-Campe and, we may add, Champe to designate members of the 
Kemp family, indicates that the name was regarded as having reference to abode rather than 
occupation. In other Avords the name Kemp represents the Anglo-Saxon Cempa only 
exceptionally, not universally as many have supposed. 

The " Historical English Dictionary " has not yet reached the word Kemp. We are, therefore, 
unable to obtain any direct assistance from it on the present subject. There are, however, six 
distinct words, " Camp," viz., four substantives and two verbs, under more than one of which 
information is given which may guide us to the origin and meaning of the name The four 
substantives are designated Camp, sb.\ sb.", sb." and sb.*. We shall consider them in the reverse 

''Camp, sb.^ " is a rare obsolete word defined as meaning "whiskers of a cat, stout bristl}- 
hairs " The only known example of its use dates from the fifteenth century. It would seem to 
have no bearing on the present subject but for the significant note " Cf Kemp sb." 

'' Camp, sb.^ " is a modern dialect word of uncertain origin and history, signifying " a conical 
or ridge-shaped heap of potatoes or turnips in the open air, co%''ered Avith straw and earth for 
winter storage." 

The earliest known example of the word in use is dated 17 13. Could the word be traced 
back to the twelfth or thirteenth century with some such sense as a hill or ridge, it were plausible 
to conjecture that it and the surname Kemp might be one and the same word, the Latin scribe 
being guided by sound rather than sense when he rendered, say, " John-atte-Camp " by Johannes- 

" Camp sb.- " is the military camp. The following quotation from the " Historical Dictionary " 
disposes of the hvpothesis that Camp in this sense can have given rise to the surname 
" Although camp was the Norman form of champ, no trace of it appears in ME., which had only 
Champ from central OF., in the senses of field of due! or tournament and heraldic ' field.' Camp 
was fntroduced early in the i6th c, from contemporary Fr. and with the sense castra, but was also 
at first used to render L. campus in other senses, as well as occasionally in the sense of the 
earlier champ ' field of combat.' " Camp in this sense, not having been introduced into the 
English language until centuries after Kemp had become a well established name, cannot be the 
original of it. 

One other substantive Camp distinguished in the Historical English Dictionary remains to be 
noticed. This word was sometimes spelled comp during the period 1000- 1300 ; komp is found in 
the thirteenth and kamp in the fourteenth century. The sense is given as "Martial contest, 
combat, fight, battle, war." The latest illustrative quotation is taken from the Morte Arthur 
which was composed ante 1400, and runs thus : — " Alle the kene mene of kampe, knyghtes and 
other." The same word enters into the compound camp-ball, " an ancient form of football in 
which large numbers engaged on both sides." The earliest quoted instance of the word is dated 
circa 1600, but under the verb " camp " much earlier references to the game are found. 

Of the two verbs " camp," one corresponds to the military camp and therefore possesses no 
further interest in the present connexion. 

The etymology of the Old English verb " camp " is thus stated, " OE. campian, compian, 
from camp, fight." The prirriary signification of the word is " To fight ; to contend in battle." 

Origin of the Name. ' 9 

The Morte Arthur has the following : — " There es no kynge undire Criste may kempe with hym 
one ! " It is also applied to contending in athletic sports. Enclosures where such contests were 
wont to be held Avere known as " camping closes." The sense was further extended to include 
any kind of competition, e.g. in drinking. Sir James Melvill (1587) mentions a " banquet of wat 
and dry confectiones, with all sortes of wyne wharat his Majestie camped verie mirrelie a guid 
whyll ! " The game camp-ball gave rise to another use of the word. Thus, Tusser in his Five 
Hundred Good Points of Husbandry : — 

" Get campers a ball to campe therewithal ; '' 
and again — 

" In meadow or pasture (to grow the more fine) : n • 
Let campers be camping in any of thine." 
Tusser, it may be noted, spent his life chiefly in the eastern counties. Sir Thomas Browne, 
author of Religio Medici., who practised as a physician at Norwich, and who had travelled 
extensively in England, speaks of camp as a Norfolk word. 

None of the words passed in review appears at first sight to furnish a completely satisfactory 
explanation of the surname Kemp. Further consideration may possibly modify this conclusion. 
It should, however, be borne in mind that the name has almost certainly more than one origin. 

The grand objection to the popular derivation from the Anglo-Saxon Cempa is that early 
forms, whether Latin, English, or French point to the name as possessing a local signification. 
Two of the substantives " camp," as we ha\'e seen above, designate places or features of the ground. 
Unfortunately, however, as far as is known, they only came into use as English words centuries 
after the surname of Kemp was well established. 

" Camp," with the meaning contest, requires further notice. In this sense which appears to 
be the only one known to literature, it scarcely meets the necessities of the case as the original of 
the name Kemp. It seems, however, extremely probable that the word may have been transferred 
from the contest itself to the place where contests were accustomed to take place. Whether this 
be so or not, plots of ground on which athletic contests were held used to be known as ''camping 
closes." A deed of 1466 relating to Hawsted in Suffolk speaks of the " camping pightel joined to 
the east side of the churchyard." These terms correspond accurately with one of the uses of the 
Latin word campus., meaning originally a level place, but which came specially to be applied to such 
places as adapted for battles or athletic contests. A John or Richard distinguished by having his 
dwelling by a " camping close " or " pightel " would naturally be described in Latin as Johannes or 
Richardus de Campo, even if the old English substantive camp were not appHed to such a locality. 
The descriptive phrase noted above, viz., " atte camp " [i.e. at the camp) favours the presumption 
that the substantive was used in the sense indicated. In schoolboys' slang, about r6i2, the 
" campo " was a term for the playground. Examples of this usage are given in the " Historical 
English Dictionary " under that word. 

" Camp " is an element in many English place names. In Cambridgeshire are the parishes of 
Castle Camps and Shudy Camps. Camps End and Camps Green are localities in the said parishes. 
Camp is a hamlet of Miserden in Gloucestershire. In the same county are Chipping Campden 
with Broad Campden. Campsall is a parish in Yorkshire, Campton one in Bedfordshire. Near 
Hatfield is a place named Camfield. There is a Camping Hill in the parish of Stiffkey in 
Norfolk. Many other instances might be adduced. In some cases the syllable camp has evident 
reference to the existence of an ancient entrenchment near the spot so named. Most Scottish 
examples must be thus explained. 

We have seen that comp is a variant of camp with the sense of contest. The question at 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

once suggests itself whether the syllable '' comp " in place-names such as Compton be the same 
word. Most of the places so designated are situated in narrow valleys, " combes " they are called 
in the West of England, where also the majority of Comptons are found. It is evident, therefore, 
that Compton means the town m the combe. There is, however, a hamlet named Comp in the 
parish of Leybourne, Kent, and another called Great Comp in the parish of Wrotham, in the 
same county. In these instances it is very possible that comp may be a variation of camp. Comp 
appears as an early surname in the county. 

In favour of the accepted derivation it may be submitted (i) that the Anglo-Saxon Cempa 
actually gave rise to the English word " Kemp " ; (2) that Camp survived as a variant of Kemp 
till a verv late period ; (3) that Campian is found as an alias of Kemp. On the other hand, the 
forms de Campo and de Campis with " atte Campe " shew that the name was certainly regarded as 
taken from a place of some sort. With this also agrees the alias Champ. In early documents as 
already mentioned, we find Campio used to distinguish certain individuals. This word is 
undoubtedly a Latin translation of Cempa. From it comes the modern surnames Campion and 
Champion, which are, therefore, the true representatives of the Anglo-Saxon Cempa, rather than 
Kemp, though it may be freely conceded without detriment to the vaHdity of other proposed 
derivations, that the latter name in some probably comes ultimately from the same source. 

Among the early representatives of the name Kemp the phrases " de Combes '' or 
'• de Compes" occur frequently in the eastern counties. In Suffolk, is a parish named Combs, 
while Sussex has a parish of Coombs. There is evidence that in a few instances " de Combes " or 
" de Compes" passed into Kemp, but it is more probable that these forms are represented by the 
modern surname Coombs. 

The early spelling of the name of the Cornish Kempes appears to have been Camois, Kemys 
or Cames, variants of the Welsh place-name Cemmaes or Cemmes. Kemes is the name of one of 
the hundreds of Pembrokeshire. There are two parishes named Kemeys on the River Usk in 
Monmouthshire, viz., Kemeys Commander and Kemeys Inferior. Kemmaes or Cemmaes Head is 
a promontory on the north of Pembrokeshire. Cemmaes is a hamlet of Llanbadrig, Anglesey. In 
Montgomeryshire is a parish and village of Cemmes. In Pughe's Welsh Dictionary Cemmaes is 
defined as an amphitheatre for games, while Maes is stated to signify " that which is spacious, clear 
or open ; an open region ; a plain, an open field." Kemeys appears, therefore, to have nearly the 
same meaning as Kemp, in the sense of camping close. Possibly it may be a translation. Cornwall 
is a county with a peculiar history. The Keltic language there survived till the latter half of the 
ei<^hteenth century. Yet the landholders in the time of Edward the Confessor as recorded in 
Domesday without exception possess Saxon names. Nowhere else did such a large Keltic 
population pass under Saxon rule. Under such circumstances it is reasonable to think that names 
may have been translated from one language to the other. Where a similarity in sound between 
the forms occurred such translations would be almost certain to " catch on " and become better 
known than the original. It will be noted that the Kempes of Cornwall being known as Kemys 
favours the theory set forth in this chapter as to the origin of the name Kemp.* 

As it has been shewn highly probable that Kemys is a translation of the name Kemp, it is 
possible that the name Kemys may have in turn given rise to Kemp through hasty pronunciation. 
Kemys, Kemmis, Kemms and Kemps are all existing surnames. When it is remembered that 
Pepys and Sandys are pronounced as Peps and Sands, the transition from Kemys to Kerns appears 
natural. Kemps again illustrates the tendency to insert an unnecessary/ after the letter m as in 

* An actual instance of Kemp giving place to Kemys occurs on p. 22. 

.'^V-w---' Origi7i of the Name. ■' ' ii 

Thompson. Finally, what can be more probable than the dropping of the final s by bearers of 
the name Kemps, thus making it identical with a well-known English surname ? 

But an s may have been cut off at the beginning of a name making it into Kemp. Skemp, 
like Kemps, represents an e.xisting English name. Kemp, it will at once be admitted, is more 
euphonious than Skemp. It is also more easily understood when spoken. "My name is Skemp"; 
"Kemp did you say?" "No, Skemp" is a dialogue with which bearers of the name Skemp must 
be painfully familiar. The name is moreover suggestive of Scamp, to which, indeed, it may be 
equivalent. Thus on many grounds Skemps would be disposed to transform themselves into 
Kemps. It should perhaps be added that the writers have not met with any actual instance of the 
transition from Skemp or Kemps to Kemp. 

The Danish word Kimpe^ a giant has been suggested as a possible original of the name Kemp, 
but no evidence of much weight has been adduced. The spelling with an / or a v in place of e is 
very rare in old documents except in Cornwall as above noticed. Among the Gloucester wills is 
that of William Kympe, alias Kempe, of Maismore, dated 1566. The absence of such variant 
spellings in the eastern counties where the Danes principally settled is an objection to this 

Among the Flemish weavers of whom many have settled in England, Kemp was a common 
surname. It is at least a curious circumstance that more than one technical term connected with 
their industry suggests a plausible origin of the name. " Kemb " was an old spelling of comb. 
From it was derived the word " kembster " or " kempster," signifying a woolcomber. Kemb 
is found as a surname at Bristol in the sixteenth century. It may very probably have been 
exchanged for the better known Kemp. If Kemb the surname be the same word as kemb, a 
comb, its adoption as a family appellation, most probably arose through the ancestors of its bearers 
being engaged in wool or perhaps flax combing and using the chief implement of their trade as a 
sign of their abode. 

Kempt is a variant of Kemp occasionally met with. Among the Lincoln wills is that of 
Thomas Kempt of Dunston, who died in 1558. The form also occurs frequently in Scotland. 
" Kempt " is the past participle of the old English verb kemb, signifyiiig to comb. " Unkempt " 
is still in use in the sense of rough or shaggy-haired. Kempt would thus be the sobriquet of a 
man who paid more than usual attention to his personal appearance, " well groomed " as we say. 
As a surname the final t would almost certainly tend to be dropped in course of time. 

The stiflF coarse hairs which grow among the finer wool and prevent it becoming matted are 
known as " kemps." They are very brittle and will not take any dye. Hence they have to be 
carefully removed before the wool is manufactured. It will be noted that this word is evidently 
identical with "Camp sb* " previously mentioned. "Kemp" or "kempe" appears also to have 
been used as an adjective in the sense of shaggy or rough. Thus in Chaucer's Knights' Tale 
1. 1276, it is said of the King of Thrace : — 

" Lik a grifphon looked he aboute 
With kempe heeris on hise browes stoute." 
It should be added, however, that there is a variant reading " kemped " found in some copies of 
the " Canterbury Tales." 

According to the "Century Dictionary" the word kemp, besides being used in the above- 
mentioned senses, is applied to (i) an eel ; (2) a boar ; (3) various species of plantain. It is possible 
that each one of these senses may have caused the adoption of the word as a surname in some 
cases, though we have no proof that it did so. Many surnames are taken from fishes. Herring, 
Roach, Salmon, Sturgeon are examples. Eel as a surname is nQt known to the present writers, 

1 2 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

though they have met with Eeles. Quadrupeds furnish another important category, including 
Bull and Bullock, Fox, Hare, Lyon, Pigg. A small class of names are taken from plants. 
Examples are Fennel, Moss, Parsley, Rose and Primrose. It would be out of place to enter into 
the reasons for which such names were originally bestowed. The fact of their being so numerous 
is a proof of the possibility of the word " Kem.p " in the senses here enumerated having been so 

■' Kempie " is a term of reproach applied in Scotland to a contemptible rascally fellow. 
Among the Edinburgh wills is preserved that of John Kempie. Maltman, Burgess of Perth, who 
died in mg.S. In the same collection is the will of William Kempyew proved in 1569. Kempie 
is another name which would naturally tend to be changed into Kemp. (See Scottish section.) 

Kemp (with its variants) is used throughout northern Europe as a surname, and from at least 
as early as the time of Edward III. Kemps from the Continent have frequently settled in this 
country. Holland and Germany have given many Kemps to Britain whose descendants little 
imagine that their ancestors were of foreign .stock. From the lowlands of Scotland the name has 
almost disappeared, through migration to other parts of the kingdom or the colonies. At the 
present time numerous Dutch Kemps are living side by side with Scottish and English Kemps in 
the Transvaal, and it will be well nigh impossible in the future to trace their origin, unless the 
present generation take the trouble to record their facts. The compilers of the present History 
will gladly welcome information. 

Appendix to Ch.apter IT. 

Since this chapter was written a note has appeared in Notes and Queries (gth S. \'Iir. August 3rd, 1901, p. 113) bj- 
Dr. G. Krtieger, of Berlin, in reply to an inquiry by the writer in a previous issue. 

Dr. Kruecer states that the Latin word campus, with the primary meaning field, passed into the Old English, Frisian 
and Low German languages as well as French. It formerly denoted an enclosed piece of land belonging to a single owner 
as distinguished from one belonging to the community. In Westphalia it now-a-da3-s simply signifies a field. It is found 
in various place names. Many surnames contain it as one of their elements, especiall)' in Westphalia, of which the Doctor 
cites numerous instances. His conclusion is that the name has reference to the place of abode only, being the original usage 
of the word. 

An important event has occurred in the publication of the fifth volume of the " Historical English Dictionary," which 
includes the letters H, I, J, K. 

The Dictionary gives no less than five substantives " kemp " — 

Kemp sb'^champion. It also signifies a reaper. From a game with the seed-stalks of the ribwort plantain, 
in which each competitor tried with his own, of which he held a certain number, to strike off as many heads 
as possible from the stalks held by his opponent, the word w'as transferred to this plant. 
Kemp sb'=:a coarse hair. 
Kemp sb' is given as doubtfull}' =ignif3"ing a barrel or cask. Illustrative quotations mention " kemps " of ale 

(1391) and also of herrings (c 1440). 
Kemp sb-'=a kmd of eel. Its use belongs to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 
Kemp sb^=a contest of reapers. 
Kemb appears in the sense of comb as a substantive and as a verb. From the latter comes the participle adjective 
kempt found in use soon after the year looo. The surname Kempt is doubtless the same word. 




( A LFRED JOHN KEMP, the antiquary, who, perhaps, took more trouble in comparing the 
/-\ Kempe pedigrees with original and authoritative sources of information than any previous 
-*■ ■*- compiler, had not the facilities for verifying and correcting them which we enjoy to- 
day. Had the Record Office been as advanced towards order as it is now, there is little doubt 
that he would have made good use of its wealth of documents before writing the interesting 
articles on the family which appeared in the Gentleman^ s Magazine in 1823, 1829, and 1845. 

With regard to the Kentish Kempes he seems to have relied on the statement contained in 
a chart pedigree of the family privately printed in 1808 for the use of the Cornish Kempes, the 
information in which is apparently drawn from the printed pedigree of the family given in 
" Stemmata Chicheleana " (1765), which is repeated in Berry's " Kent Genealogies " (1830). 

" Stemmata Chicheleana '' is a work which is generally accepted as an authority, but is not 
without important errors. Its full title is " Stemmata Chicheleana : A Genealogical Account of 
some of the Families derived from Thomas Chichele, of Higham Ferrers, Co. Northampt., all whose 
descendants are held entitled to Fellowships in All Souls' College." The author was Dr. Buckler. 

Hasted in his " History of the County of Kent," published in 179S, gives as his authorities 
for the ancestors of the Kempe family a book in the Heralds' Office marked " h. 2. Kent," a 
manuscript in the possession of Thomas Knight of Godmersham Park and the " Stemmata 

Robert Kempe, of Gissing, about 1680 collected the various pedigrees of Kempe families. 
These in his own hand-writing are now in the British Museum (Harl. mss. 901). 

Other MSS. might be mentioned, but as they appear to have been derived from the same 
sources, and vary little in their main features, it is not necessary here to specify their differences. 

The general statement made by A. J. Kempe that the first known ancestor of the Kempes 
of Wye came " from the North," and that he was " connected with the Nevils of Raby " appears 
never to have been satisfactorily proved or disproved. It will be well, therefore, first of all to 
inquire what is meant by the very indefinite " North," and how the Nevils and the Kempes 
were connected. 

Northumberland would seem to be the region probably indicated as the " North," for we 
know of a Kempe there to whom King John in 1205 gave land at Newcastle of the annual value 
of 50.y. " till he could provide for him in marriage." This Kempe, whose Christian name is not 
given, was balistai-ms, or bowmaker to the King. Evidently he had powerful family connexions 
since the King considered it necessary thus to provide for him. How long he enjoyed the above- 
named provision, or what other lands he eventually obtained, we have not traced ; but we find 
from the Pipe Rolls for Northumberland that in 1277 the lands at Newcastle which had belonged 
to " Kempe the bowmaker," were then held by the burgessess of the town, who paid _^5 los. 6d. 
per annum. As the Nevills were Earls of Northumberland, the bowmaker, an important follower 
of the King, would certainly be familiar with them. It may be possible some day to prove that 
the families were linked by marriage. Meanwhile we can show many later instances of Kempes 
being associated with the Neville family. The tradition as to the origin of the Kempes of Wye 
recorded by A. J. Kempe, though not proven, is easily credible. As Kempe is by no means a 

14 History of the Kemp afid Kempe Families. 

common name in the North of England the probability that Kempe balistarhis was of the same 
family, if not a progenitor, of the Kempes of Wye (admitting the truth of the tradition), is distinctly 
strengthened. Long before this day, however, Kempes had settled in Norfolk, and it is probable 
that the north country Kempes came originally from the East Anglian stock. 

The Kempes and Nevilles may have been linked in another way. A. T. Kempe, as above 
noted, specifies the " Nevilles of Eaby." Now Isabel de Neville, daughter and heiress of Geoffrey 
de Neville, Governor of Berwick-on-Tweed, married Robert Fitz Maldred, Lord of Raby, in the 
Countv of Durham, the stock of the Earls of Northumberland. Her son, who assumed the 
name of Neville, was an ancestor of the Earls of Westmoreland and of the Marquises of 
Abergavenny. From the Kalendar of Inquisitions, post mortem, of i6 Edward IV. (1477), we 
learn that Edward Nevill, Knight, Lord Abergavenny owned, among other real estate, land at 
Morley and Birlingham in Norfolk, of which one, Roger (or Robert) Kempe was tenant. These 
lands had descended to the Nevills from William de Bello Campo, Knight and Lord Bergaveney, 
of the family of the Earl of Warwick, who died possessed of them in 1436 when the above Roger 
or Robert was already tenant. 

When, therefore, we find Thomas de Bello Campo, the powerful Earl of Warwick, interceding 
on behalf of a Thomas Kempe of Rochester, who had lost his estates for misdemeanour, we can 
hardly doubt that this was a case of an influential man assisting an unfortunate relative. It 
was in February, 1381, that Thomas Kempe, having failed to render an account to William de 
Gadesby for his stewardship was outlawed, and his goods forfeited. In the following April a 
petition was presented to the King on his behalf by the Earl with the result that a pardon was 
obtained and the estate restored. This interesting episode is recorded in the Patent Rolls, while 
the existence of Thomas Kempe is further attested by the Inquisition made at the time which is 
given in the Escheat Rolls, where he is called " Thomas Kempe atte Raven," " de Ravene " * or 
" de Rochester." He was found to possess a tenement, " Bogham de Boldye," and ten acres of 
arable land in " Bowte-walle," both in Kent, though these places have not been certainly 

The identity of this Thomas Kempe is involved in obscurity. He may be the father of 
Archbishop Kempe, who was born in 1380. If he was a kinsman of the Kempes of Wye at all 
(for even this is uncertain) the above event shows that this family are probably connected with 
those Norfolk Kemps who held land from the Earls of Warwick, the Bello Campo and Neville 

There is another point from which our inquiries into the origin of the Kempes of Wye might 

The pedigrees above mentioned generally agree in stating that the head of the family held 
Billing (or Biletingj with Ollantigh, as early as the time of Edward III., both of which manors 
are in Wye. x'\Ithough Wye is but a village to-day it was a place of considerable importance at 
that period. The Conqueror bestowed it on his newly-founded Battle Abbey by the name of the 
Royal Manor of Wye, which, it is said, contained twenty-two towns. Fortunately the Custumals of 
Battle Abbey from Edward I. to Edward III. are in existence, the substance of the earlier portion 
(1283-13 1 3) having been printed by the Camden Society. These show the various properties 
held by the Abbey with the names of the chief tenants. On pp. 101-136 are given the tenants 
of the Royal Manor of Wye. Among them is Radulphus de Campis, who is, of course, identical 
with Ralph Kempe, the accredited ancestor of the Wye Kempes. In Sussex they had a tenant 

* The Bishop of Rochester still signs himself " Roffen," v.c, Roffensis. 

The Kempes of Wye. 15 

named Galfridus [i.e.^ Geoffrey) Kempe holding " messuagium et dimidiam acram." One, 
Johannes de Campo, is their tenant in Wilts. Willielmus de Combe, or Coumbe, is also at Wye 
with Hamo de Cambe. All these names occur before 1312 when the spelling Kempe was rare. 

Another origin is suggested by the author of the " Scotts of Scott's Hall," who tells us that 
the Kempes of Wye were probably descendants of John Kempe, the Flemish weaver, who settled 
in this country under Royal protection in 1331. In support of this vieAv he tells us that a John 
Kempe, who witnessed a Scott deed, described himself as a " scissor," which the author of that 
work says means a cutter and hence a tailor. The fact of the Kempes having been established 
at Wye before the time of the arrival of the Flemish weaver and his relatives of the same name 
sufficiently refutes this theory, which but for the distinguished support it has received, would be 
unworthy of notice. 



THE earliest ancestor of the Wye Kempes, of Avhose existence and relationship to the 
house we possess any certain knowledge, is Radulphus de Campis, otherwise Ralph 
Kempe, whose name occurs among the tenants of the manor from 1283 to 1313. He is 
the first-known holder of OUantigh. 

He left a son, Sir John Kempe, of Wye, who held Boxley, Birling, Stentor, and other estates. 
The Christian name of his wife is unknown. But among the deeds at the Public Record Office 
is one dated 5 May, 3 Edward III. (1330), granting pieces of land called " Kingscroft," in the 
parish of Maidstone, and " Bromfield alias Freynhill," in the parish of " Boxle," to "Agnes 
Kempe, widow," John Payne and William Harding, the grantors being John Scot and Stephen 
Wolf. This is the earliest known deed relating to the Kentish Kempes. Although historians 
have not told us the name of Sir John Kempe's wife, we know that he married a daughter of Sir 
Thomas Aldon, by whom he had two sons, Roger and Peter, and possibly others. 

Sir Roger Kempe inherited OUantigh. He died without issue leaving his property to his 
next of kin, viz., his brother, Peter, who appears as already possessed of a portion of Brabourne. 
Now Brabourne was at this time, and for many generations, a seat of the Scots with whom the 
Kempes intermarried several times. The John Scot above mentioned was undoubtedly of this 
family. Peter Kempe was certainly living at Brabourne in 1352, for at Michaelmas in that year 
he made a perpetual grant of a plot with a messuage at " Colmannes," in the parish and in the 
tenure of Brabourne (? Manor) ; also an acre near the Rectory of which he was presumably 
proprietor. This deed is quoted in brief in the history of the Scotts of Scott's Hall. It was 
Avitnessed by one, Rado Kempe. As Ralph Kempe of Wye must have been dead by this time, this 
must have been a relative of whom we have no other record. He may have been the ancestor of 
one of the lines which are found existing soon after. 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

David, King of Scotland:^Ma.ud of Xorthumberland. 

Adama de VVarrene=Henry, Prince of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdo 

Maud de Meschines=David, Earl of Huntingdon, went with King Richard I to the Crusades, died 1 2 19. 

Hugh Balliol. Lord of Teesdale and 
..Marwood Forests, temp. Henry HI. 

Allan, Lord of Gallo\vay=iIargaret, of Huntingdon. Isabelle, of Scotland, Ada, of Huntingdon:=Henry Hastings. 
Steward of Scotland I mar. Robert de Ros. Lord Hastings^ 

I died 1230. 

John Balliol, Lord of Bywell,:=Dornagieen, of Galloway. 
Founder of Balliol College, I . 

Oxford ; died 1269. 

Sir William Balliol, called le Scott= 

John Scott, of Brabourne, Kent. 

Sir William Scott, of Brabourne. ... 

Michael Scott^Emma. 

WilUam Scott=Matilda. 

.... the heiress of Cumbe, Brabourne=:John Scott. 

William Scott, of Scott's Hall, Smeeth, East Kent, 
:^l5abel Herbert or Fynche. 
Sir John Scott, of Scott's Hall:=Agnes Beaufitz. 

Sybilla Lewknoi-=Sir William Scott, of Scott's Hall. 

Anne Pympe=Sir John Scott, of Scott's Hall and of Iden, Sussex. 
Sir Reginald Scott, of Scott's Hall=EM.MELINE Kempe. 

Sir Robert Scott. 

Alice Scott^WiLLiAM Kempe. 

■ ^"■' '■ ' The Kempes of Wye. ' ' ' 1.7 

The connexion of the Kempes with the Scots is of great interest, both because it is through 
this Hne that some of the Kempes inherit royal blood, and because, apart from all such 
considerations, some members of the Scot family were persons of great personal distinction. The 
pedigree of the Scots from David, King of Scotland, who married Maud of Northumberland, to 
Sir Reginald Scott, who took as his wife Emmeline Kempe, is here given, having been kindly 
supplied with other royal descent by Herbert Robertson, Esq., author of " Stemmata Robertson et 
Burden." Further reference to this subject will be made when we come to speak more 
particularly of the marriages between the families. 

Peter Kempe probably moved to Ollantigh on the death of his brother. His wife's name is 
unknown. He left two sons, viz.. Sir Roger Kempe, who like his uncle died without issue in 
1425, and Sir Thomas Kempe, who consequently succeeded to the family property. 

This TffOMAS Kempe appears to have been escheater to the King, for we find that one of 
this name living at " Wy " was frequently called upon in and about 1388 to admit clergy and 
others to lands which had escheated to the Crown. It was usual for sheriffs and others of 
standing in a county to undertake this office. " Thomas Kempe of Wy " must therefore have 
been known as a fit person for this responsibility. According to the Close Rolls recently printed 
his jurisdiction was not confined to Kent, for we have his name mentioned in connexion with 
Middlesex. He died in 1428. He probably held some minor office, in the discharge of which he 
distinguished himself before he became escheater to the Crown, and was consequently regarded 
as likely to rise to some much higher position, for long before he could have entertained any 
prospect of being heir to the chief estates of the family he made a very good match, securing 
as his wife Beatrice, the daughter of Sir Thomas Lewknor, whose family exceeded his own in 
importance and extent of possessions. Roger Lewknor had been Sheriff of Sussex in 1284, while 
his son, Roger, was Sheriff for the same county in the 14th and 20th years of Edward III. The 
latter married Barbara Bardolph, whose arms he quartered with his own, and whose coat is 
quartered by the Kempes of Gissing. By her he had a son, Thomas, who was, we believe, father 
of the Thomas Lewknor, whose daughter, Beatrice, wedded Sir Thomas Kempe. The date of 
this marriage is not precisely known. John Kempe, who became Archbishop of Canterbury, was 
their second son. The date of his nativity is given as 1380. 

Some authorities state that Beatrice Lewknor was also married to a Ralph Roper, but as to 
whether before or after her union with Sir Thomas Kempe they differ. In " Segar's Baronao-e " 
It is said that her daughter married this individual, which seems far more likely. In any case, 
the pedigree makers are right in stating that both Kempes and Ropers, who were subsequently 
jointly interested in certain estates, were equally descended from her. 

Sir Thomas Kempe's eldest son, Roger, succeeded to the Wye estates. Besides the somewhat 
hypothetical Beatrice, or Joan, who married Ralph Roper, he undoubtedly had a daughter, 
Isabelle, who married Sir Robert Strelley. A separate chapter is devoted to the life of Archbishop 
John Kempe. 

Camden and others describe the parentage of the Archbishop as " mean," by which they 
did not, of course, intend to convey the idea of contemptible or really low rank. But when after 
a succession of archbishops drawn from the noblest families of immense wealth John Kempe 
was appointed, a host of disappointed expectants must have relieved their feelings by gibing at 
the comparative obscurity and poverty of his family. The Cardinal was certainly not of this 
opinion, judging both from the fact that all the time he could snatch from the onerous and 
multifarious duties of state he delighted to spend under the parental roof. The monument 
which he erected in Wye Church confirms the esteem in which he held his home. The tomb 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families, 

disappeared when the church was destroyed by fire, but the inscription which follows is given in 
Parson's " Monuments of Kent " : — 









christi(anus) lector CUNCTIS SUPPLICET HORIS 



THE KEAiPES OF WYE— contvmed. 

THE biography of John Kempe we shall give in subsequent chapters. We now pass to' 
the elder brother Robert. 
The name of this brother has been omitted in several pedigrees, as also the name 
of his wife, while some entirely ignore him and make his son William brother to the Cardinal. 
Certainly there seems no satisfactory evidence of his holding Ollantigh. If he did so it was 
probably for but a short period, for we find no Robert as a payer of subsidy in the Lathes of 
Scray or Saint Augustine in the year 1440, by which time the nephew of the Archbishop had 
come into the estates. 

The Subsidy Roll for that year is still in e.xistence at the Record Office, and the Kempes on 
it include the following : — 

In St. Augustine's Lathe. 

Hundred of Ringslow. Simon Kempe paid, 12 pence. 
Do. 12 



















ake or 

?) „ 

Hundred of Bier 







The Kempes of Wye. 19 

Lathe of Shipway. ■ .• ■ ■ 

(Hundred doubtful) 

John Kempe paid 8 pence. 



Hundred of Bircholt. John 
In some cases the individuals of the same name may be identical, being rated in each of the 
parishes where they held lands. The William and John in the Lathe of Shipway may represent 
William Kempe of Wye and Archbishop Kempe, but if so it is singular that they do not appear 
under the Lathe of Scray. 

It will be noticed from the above that the names in each case occur more than once, and this 
may indicate that since 1418, when only three Kempes occur on the Kentish Subsidy Roll, the 
property had descended to the sons, nephews and grandsons of the then holders, according to the 
custom of gavelkind. The amounts are all small compared with others paid at this time, but it 
does not necessarily follow that these Avere all poor people. In the Subsidy Roll of 141 8 Hamo 
Kempe of Ringslow hundred paid two shillings. It was a common practice to name two sons 
alike ; hence it is probable that the Simons, Stephens, Thomases and Nicholases of Ringslow in 
1440 were his descendants. Hugh Kempe appears in the hundred of Heane in 1418. This 
hundred lies around Hythe, which ancient port was in constant communication with Romney. 
Hence the Kempes of the latter may thus have originated here as they crop up soon after this 
date. Of them we shall give some account in due course. 

Neither in 1418 nor in 1440 does a Roger or Robert appear, and no inquisition post mortem, 
or a will is forthcoming ; but it is yet early for these documentary evidences to be obtainable. 
We must merely credit the existence of this elder brother of Cardinal Kempe, who was father of 
William Kempe the next heir, and Thomas Kempe, who became in time Bishop of London. 

This William Kempe married Alice, daughter and heiress of Sir Robert Scott. By her the 
Manor of Hinxhill (between Brabourne and Ashford), passed to the Kempes, but it was alienated 
by her grandson. Sir William Kempe, about the end of the reign of Henry VIII. Her father was 
Lieutenant of the Tower of London in 1424, and hence a man of considerable importance. 

William and Alice had at least two sons, Thomas and William. The latter was educated 
for the church, and is mentioned in the will of Bishop Thomas Kempe in 1488. It was 
doubtless due to the influence of this uncle that he obtained his preferments in the church. 
Newcourt in his " Repertorium," in giving a list of his livings, calls him "doubtless a relation of 
Thomas Kempe, at this time Bishop of London." He may in early life have had one of the 
Kentish churches of which his relations were patrons. He first appears, however, in the Diocese 
of London in 1473, when he was elected to the Prebend of Hoxton in St. Paul's Cathedral. This 
stall derives its stipend from Shoreditch, in which parish a family of Kempes were settled for a 
very long period, as will be seen under that head. (Middlesex, Shoreditch.) In February, 1476, 
he was made Rector of Stepney. On March 2, 1478, he was transferred to the Prebendal Stall of 
Kentish Town, that stall being worth about three times as much as his former one. Before his 
death Kempes had established themselves at Kentish Town and St. Pancras, in which the corpus 
of this prebend lies. Noticing how frequently this settlement of Kempes follows the course of 
the favoured ecclesiastics of the family, one cannot fail to infer that they thus obtained leasehold 
property on very easy terms. On the 28th March, 1489, being then B.D., William was presented 
to the Rectory of Orset in Essex, which he retained with Stepney until the end of December, 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 


He, perhaps, died at this time, as we find no further trace of him. His will has not been 
discovered ; it would in the ordinary way have been proved in the Court of the Dean and Chapter 
of St. Paul's. The first extant register of Probates belonging to this court commences in 1535. 

His brother, Thom.^s Kempe, was Sheriff of Kent in 1493 and again in 1506. At the 
marriage of Prince Arthur, the eldest son of Henry VH., in 15 10, he was made a Knight of the 
Bath, and in 1508 he rebuilt his mansion at Ollanty. He married Emelyn, daughter of Sir 
Valantyne Chiche, by Phillippa, daughter and heir of Robert Chichley, who was son of Sir Robert 
Chichlev, Knif^ht, Lord Mayor of London, and nephew of Henry Chichele, Archbishop of 
Canterbury and Founder of All Souls' College, Oxford. 

This marriage was one of very great importance to the succeeding generations ; as being 
descendants of the " Founder's Kin " they were entitled to election as Fellows of All Souls, a 
privilege which was eagerly claimed for hundreds of years, not only by the Kempes but by the 
innumerable other descendants of this marriage. The College at last sought to limit the claim, 
but litigation failed to relieve them of this wide-spreading bequest of the founder, and, providing 
claimants were in a position to show their lawful relationship, their claim could not be set aside. 

The arms of the family of Chicheley, who were descended from Thomas of High Ferrars, 
Northamptonshire, were :— Azure, three lions rampant and a bordure argent. The tomb of 
Archbishop Chichley is the most resplendent in Canterbury Cathedral. It stands exactly opposite 
that of Archbishop Kempe, and has recently been most gorgeously regilt and highly coloured by 
Charles Eamer Kemp, M.A. (the noted stained window manufacturer), at the expense of All 
Souls' College. On the tomb is the very fleshy form of the Archbishop in full episcopal vest- 
ments, and beneath in striking contrast is a ghastly representation of his skeleton, devoid of all 

earthly pomp. 

Emelyn Chiche presented Sir Thomas Kempe with a numerous family, at least seven sons 
and half a dozen daughters. There is, however, a curious error in the pedigrees widely printed. 
It has been standing now so many years, and having received even the apparent approval of Sir 
Edmund Burke in his " History of the Commoners of England,"' it is difficult to set this right 
without hurting the susceptibilities of some who feel themselves bound to stand up for their 
family traditions. The editors would infinitely have preferred to confirm such traditions rather 
than to upset them, but the sacred duty of the historian is to administer the truth, so far as 
possible. The error to which we refer is the insertion of the name of Edmund Kempe, " Citizen 
and Mercer of London " among the children of Sir Thomas Kempe. This Edmund Kempe was, 
in fact, a native of Suffolk, bore the arms of that family, with the quarterings of his father, who 
resided at Gissing, and is shown in the visitation of London made in 1563 to be son of Robert 
Kempe, of Weston, in Suffolk, by Anne, daughter of John Clifford, of Holmdale, Kent. This 
association with Kent, coupled with the fact that he married Bridget, daughter of John Style, 
sister to Sir Humphrev Style, of Beckenham, in Kent, was quite sufficient to lead to the mistake. 
Consequently persons mentioned in his will (1542) were added to the pedigree of Kentish Kempes 
as well as himself, notwithstanding the fact that in the Harleian MSS. (1154) he is said to be 
" Heire elect to Robert Kempe of Gissing and "Weston." This Edmund had two sons, both 
mentioned in his will. James, the eldest, was of Acton, Middlesex, and was married in 1 544 to 
Anne Powle. Humphry Kempe, the second son, was evidently not married till some years later, 
hence it is quite impossible for this Edmund to have been ancestor to the Kempes of Cornwall, 
as stated by Burke, for Richard Kempe was at Levethan with a family in 1544. Added to which 
is the statement of Sir John Maclean in his " History of Trigg Minor," that the seat of the 
Kempes of Cornwall was at Trevelver in 1475, in which year they removed to Levethan. 

The Kempes of Wye, 


Edmund Kempe. Citizen and Mercer of London, will be therefore more fully dealt with under 
the Kempes of Norfolk, and the Cornish family by themselves. 

We now give the names of those who are duly authenticated as children of the above Sir 
Thomas Kempe and Emelyn Chiche, which are as follows :— Christopher, William, Richard, 


Brass to the memory of John Toke, in the Church of Great Chart, near Ashford. 

John, Andrew, Edward, George, and Cecilia, the last of whom married John Toke of Godinton. 
To their memory there is still a fine brass, with figures and inscription, in the Church of Great 

2 2 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Chart, near Ashford, of which an illustration is given in "Belcher's Kentish Brasses." It must 
not be taken for granted that these figures are actual likenesses of the persons they commemorate, 
for a number of brasses were often made from the same drawing. In this case the effigies of 
seven children of this couple are also represented. Cecilia died in 1559, her husband on 7th 
November, 1568, aged eighty. In this church there are other monuments to the Tokes, extending 
faom 1 513 to 1680. 

The arms and pedigree of this family are given in the " Visitation of Kent." Their initial 
coat is : — Per chevron sable and argent, three griffins' heads erased counterchanged. To this eight 
quarterings are attached. 

Christopher Kempe, the eldest son of Sir Thomas Kempe, by Emelyn Chiche, married Mary, 
daughter of Sir Richard Guildford,* Knight. 

By her he had a daughter, Mary, born in 1508, who married Lawrefice Finch of the Mote 
(brother to Sir Thomas Finch, of Eastwell). She became heir to her father (who died without 
leaving a son) before 15 18, as appears from the will of Sir Thomas. Mary, his widow, afterwards 
married Sir William Haut, or Hawte. There are in the British Museum (Add. Char., F49 & 
54-5) two deeds e.xecuted when Christopher's daughter was eighteen, at which Kentish 
maidens come of age. These deeds are chiefly interesting for their seals, one of which has the 
initials " I. C," which it is quite possible was the signet of John Kempe. The signatures and 
seals of William and Mary Haute are appended. By the will of Sir Thomas Kempe, proved in 
1520, "Mary, wife of William Haute, Esq., formerly wife of Christopher Kempe," was bequeathed 
certain tenements in Warehorne, Newchurch, Roking, and Snave, in accordance with some 
indenture made 27th June in the second year of Henry VIII. (1511)- We are unable to say 
who were the parties to this deed, perhaps it was executed by way of provision for his child in 
accordance with the will of Christopher Kempe, but there is no such will registered at 
Canterbury or in the Perogative Court of that See. 

William Klmpe, the second son of Sir Thomas and Emelyn, became heir to the Ollantigh 
estates, and of him we shall speak later ; Richard Kempe, the third son, under his father's will, 
was to receive the reversion of the family mansion and chief lands in the case of this William 
dying without male heir ; this, however, did not occur, and Richard seems to have left the 
neighbourhood. Possibly it was he who obtained a licence to marry Katherine Catesby, of the 
Diocese of Worcester in 1547. She was one of seven daughters of Will. Willington, a wealthy 
merchant of Oxford, Barcheston, in Warwickshire, and other places. Her first husband was 
William Catesby, of Lapworth ; after the death of Richard Kempe she married Anthony 
Throckmorton, a younger son of Sir George Throckmorton. Richard Kempe, who describes 
himself as of Longdon, in the Parish of Treddington, and Diocese of Worcester, made his will in 
the fifth year of Edward VII. (P. C. C. 17 Bupk). In it he mentions his wife, Katherine, Anthony, 
his son, his daughter Ann, John Bradley, son of William Bradley, sisters named Anne and Jane, 
and Phillip Rawlins. The will of his wife as JKatherine Throckmorton, proved 1594 (P. C. C. 
6q Dixy), mentions her cousin " Rawlins," her " brother's sons, Richard and Anthony Kemys," 
and many other relatives. She desired to be buried in the Church of St. Martin Orgar, London, 
with the body of her late husband, Anthony Throckmorton. {Sec Throckmorton under Norfolk 

It is open to doubt, however, if Richard of Longdon, Treddington, was of the Wye family. 
Possibly the following will may represent the third son of Thomas and Emelyn Kempe 

• Arms of Guildford, with quarterly of four, as given in the Visitation of Kent are: Or, a saltire between four martletts, sable. Crest; a tree 
couped or, from the three branches fire issuant proper. 

■ ■'• ■ The Kempes of Wye. 23 

Richard :— Richard Kempe, of London, dated 9th March, 1547, proved the last day of that month 
(P. C. C. 5 Popuwell), leaves " to myne hoste John Barton the goodman of the ' George ' besides 
Fleet Bridge 40/-, to Harry Bennet 20/- and the residue to Nicholas Udall of London gentleman. 
Nicholas Udall, M.A., was a celebrated schoolmaster and playwright in the employ of Stephen 
Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester. The latter, in his will of 1557, bequeathes £^ to Francis 
Kempe, who witnessed the will. 

A third Richard, who might prove to be the son of William of Ollantigh, was a husbandman 
of WhatUngton, Sussex, whose will was proved in 1558. {Vide Sussex Section.) 

John, the fourth son of Sir Thomas Kempe and Emelyn Chiche, was an " F.S.A." in 1541 ; 
this does not mean that he was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, as some writer in the 
Genileman's Magazine supposes " Berry's Pedigrees " to have inferred, but that he became a 
Fellow of All Souls' College in virtue of his descent from Chichley before explained. It may 
have been this individual who, after being a preacher throughout Kent and Essex, was parson 
of Freshwater, and a friend of John Foxe, with whom we shall deal under the Isle of Wight 

Andrew, the fifth son of Sir Thomas Kempe, is probably the same as one of that name who 
constantly appears as a Notary Public engaged in making probate valuations in London, as given 
in Inquisitones Post Mortem, 1485-1561, but the identity is not clear. There is a will proved 
in 1575 (Arch, of London, No. I., 139) of an Andrew Kempe, whose profession and parish are 
not given ; he mentions his sister, Margaret Lynicke, his sister, JuHan Viggas, Joan Hill, his wife's 
sister, and Sara, the wife of John Spylsbury, his kinswoman ; also a Robert Kempe, who is to 
divide the chief part of his estate with one, John Hankes, a barber surgeon ; and some other 
names occur. 

No definite account is given of Edward and George Kempe, the two youngest sons of Sir 
Thomas Kempe, except that Edward was not to inherit any estates (even if his elder brothers died 
without issue) if_he became a priest. There is an Edward Kempe in the "Alumni Oxonienses " 
who became B.A. 26th January, 1519-20, and was a Fellow of Merton (where Archbishop and 
Bishop Kempe were educated) in 1521. This looks like the son who desired to enter the church. 

The name of George was not very common — at least among the Kempes — so early as this ; 
we do not find another in Kent till the next generation. There was a George Kempe at 
Hampstead, in Middlesex, in 1523 ; there is nothing, however, to connect the one name with the 

Sir Thomas Kempe, by deed dated 4th March, 1503, gave all the trees on the west side of 
the Church of Crundal, as a succour of defence to that church. He served as Sheriff of the 
County of Kent for the fourth time in 1513-4. In 1520, the year of the " Field of the Cloth of 
Gold," the Kempes were well to the front. Mistresses Margaret and Margery Kempe attended the 
Queen of England at the interview with the French King, while John Kempe was master of the 
Les%e Barke^ one of the chief ships fitted out for this great State function. The identity of these 
individuals is uncertain, but they were most probably connected in some way with the distin- 
guished Kentish family. Sir Thomas made his will in 15 18, and it was proved in 1521, he having died 
in 1520- His chief mansion house of "Ollanty " and estates were strictly entailed to his heirs 
male. His wife, Emelyn, was to have the lease of the messuage in the town of Wye known as 
the " Bell," held from the Master and brethren of the College of Wye. She is also to enjoy the 
use of all the furniture and other goods at " Olantye." Cecile, his daughter, is to receive 300 
marks on her marriage, 100 in cash on her wedding day, and the remainder from the income 
derived from the testator's Manor of Boughton Aluph. William, the eldest surviving son, is to 

24 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

pay out of this manor to each of his five brothers five marks every half year ; if he fail to do so 
the brothers have right of entry, or to a grant of sufficient demise to satisfy this bequest. The 
tenements and lands in Warehorn, Newchurch, Roking and Snave, after the decease of the 
widow of Christopher Kempe are to revert to William Kempe and his heirs. The testator desires 
to be buried in the Parish Church of Wye, in the chancel of Our Lady, " beside the sepulchres 
of my grandfadres and grand-dams." He leaves the usual bequests, for the good health oi his 
soul and " all Christian souls," and donations to the poor. Sir Lawrence Broke, parson of 
Boughton Aluph, with the eldest son, is to be executor. Elinor, the wife of William Kempe, is 
mentioned, and the will is witnessed by John Roos, Esq., John Hales, Christopher Hales and 
Humphrey Gage. 

Sir Thomas gives his widow the option of using that part of " Olantye '' within the Mote, 
contaming the " chamber wherein I usually lye," for her own habitation, on the south side of the 
mansion. She is also to have an acre in Boughton Wood cleared for her fowls. 


THE KEMPES OF WYE— continued. 

As we have said William, the second, but eldest surviving son, succeeded to Ollantigh and 
/— \ the chief Kempe estates in 1520- He had married some time before this Lienor, 
daughter and coheir of Sir Robert Browne, Knight, and widow of Thomas Fogg, Esq., 
Sergeant Porter of Calais. 

This marriage was, like that of his grandfather with Alice Scot, of Scotshall, the means of 
bringing more royal ancestors to the family, and the subsequent generations were always anxious 
to claim the connection with the Earls of Arundel, as shown in the accompanying sketch of this 
Elenor's descent. It is interesting to notice that the Kemp baronets of Gissing, by a later 
intermarriage with these Brownes, enjoy the same line of royal descent as the issue of this 
Kentish Kempe-Browne alliance. fSee Chart. J 

We cannot dwell upon the honours and distinctions of the Brownes of Betchworth Castle ; 
their history will be found in Surrey county works. Many illustrations have appeared of their 
fine seat. Their arms were : — Sable, three lions passant in bend between two double cotises 
argent. And their crest : — A griffin's head erased or. Their pedigree was duly registered at the 
Visitation of Surrey, and is printed by the Harleian Society, and appears also in Berry's Surrey 
pedigrees. William Kempe is said to have been born in 1487. In 1523 he paid a subsidy as one 
of the persons in the Royal Household (his kinsman, John Roper, being also in that favoured list). 
This John Roper was steward of the Liberty of "Battle Abbey in the town of Wye " {sic), and in 
this capacity — as well as because of his relationship — he was much concerned with the late Sir 
Thomas Kempe and the present William Kempe in the control of their estates, and was party 
with them and other influential landed gentry of Kent in petitioning for amendments in the laws 


(f the Conqueror. 


Walter Fitzallan, 
Lord High Steward 
of Scotland, ancestor 
of the Stuart Kings of 
Scotland & England. 

Will'lo Campo, of Elmley Castle:=Emme!ine de Abitot or Dispenser, 
(otherwise called Beauchamp) I 

William de Bello Campo, Lord of Elmley=:Maude de Broase. 

William be Bello Campo, Lord of Elmley=Joan, dau. of Sir Thomas Walerie. 

Walter de Bello Campo, Lord of Elmley, died l235=:Bertha de Broase. 

Hamelin Plantagenets 

William de Warren Plantagei 
married Maud Marshall. I 

John de Warren Plantag 
6th Earl of Warren & Su 

Walcheline de Bello Campo, Lord of ElmIey=:Joan de Mortimer. 

William de Bello Campo, Lord of Elmlej'=Isabelle, heiress of Earldom of Warwick. 

William de Bello Campo, Ear! of Warwick=Maud Fitzjohn. 

^^Isabelle de Bello Campo — Hugh Despenser, Earl of Winchester. 

)ispenser married Hugh Despenser^Alianor de Clare, 

[astings, Lord Hastings, 
fourite of Edward 11. 

Edward Despenser, died l343=Anne Ferrers, d. of Baron 
I Ferrers of Groby. 

Sir Anthony Browne, created 
Coronation of Richard H, I 

Edward Despenser^Elizabeth Burghersh. 
' Lord Despenser, 

Sir Richard Browne, Sir 

living /<?»!/>. I 11, Earl of Westmoreland. 

Henry V. 

Alice de Joni^Guy de Beauchamp or Bello Campo, 
I Earl of Warwick. 


Catherine de Mortimen=Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. 
Joan Fitzallan, sister to John=Sir William Beauchamp, Lord Abergavenny, by 

Fitzallan, Marshall of 

bequest of Lord Hastings, Earl of Pembroke, 
Lord of Abergavenny. 

Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick=lsabelle Despenser, dau. of Baron 

I Despenser, Earl of Gloucester. 

Edward Nevil, Baron=Elizabeth Beauchamp, heiress of Abergavenny. 

;rnon, Surrey, Knight. 

24 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

pay out of this manor to each of liis five brothers five marks every half year ; if he fail to do so 
the brothers have right of entry, or to a grant of sufficient demise to satisfy this bequest. The 
tenements and lands in Warehorn, Newchurch, Roking and Snave, after the decease of the 
widow of Christopher Kempe are to revert to William Kempe and his heirs. The testator desires 
to be buried in the Parish Church of Wye, in the chancel of Our Lady, " beside the sepulchres 
of my grandfadres and grand-dams." He leaves the usual bequests, for the good health o£^ his 
soul and " all Christian souls," and donations to the poor. Sir Lawrence Broke, parson of 
Boughton Aluph, with the eldest son, is to be executor. Elinor, the wife of William Kempe, is 
mentioned, and the will is witnessed by John Roos, Esq., John Hales, Christopher Hales and 
Humphrey Gage. 

Sir Thomas gives his widow the option of using that part of " Olantye " within the Mote, 
containing the " chamber wherein I usually lye," for her own habitation, on the south side of the 
mansion. She is also to have an acre in Boughton Wood cleared for her fowls. 


THE KEMPES OF WYE— continued. 

As we have said William, the second, but eldest surviving son, succeeded to OUantigh and 
/— \ the chief Kempe estates in 1520- He had married some time before this Elengr, 
daughter and coheir of Sir Robert Browne, Knight, and widow of Thomas Fogg, Esq., 
Sergeant Porter of Calais. 

This marriage was, like that of his grandfather with Alice Scot, of Scotshall, the means of 
bringing more royal ancestors to the family, and the subsequent generations were always anxious 
to claim the connection with the Earls of Arundel, as shown in the accompanying sketch of this 
Lienor's descent. It is interesting to notice that the Kemp baronets of Gissing, by a later 
intermarriage with these Brownes, enjoy the same line of royal descent as the issue of this 
Kentish Kempe-Browne alliance. fSee Chart.) 

We cannot dwell upon the honours and distinctions of the Brownes of Betchworth Castle ; 
their history will be found in Surrey county works. Many illustrations have appeared of their 
fine seat. Their arms were : — Sable, three lions passant in bend between two double cotises 
argent. And their crest : — A griffin's head erased or. Their pedigree was duly registered at the 
Visitation of Surrey, and is printed by the Harleian Society, and appears also in Berry's Surrey 
pedigrees. William Kempe is said to have been born in 1487. In 1523 he paid a subsidy as one 
of the persons in the Royal Household (his kinsman, John Roper, being also in that favoured list). 
This John Roper was steward of the Liberty of " Battle Abbey in the town of Wye " [sic], and in 
this capacity — as well as because of his relationship — he was much concerned with the late Sir 
Thomas Kempe and the present William Kempe in the control of their estates, and was party 
with them and other influential landed gentry of Kent in petitioning for amendments in the laws 


I heiress=Alaii, obtained the Castle o( Oiivestry from William I. 


William Fitzallan, died before I i6o=Isabelle de Say, Lady of Clun, grand-daughlet of I lenry I. 
William Fitzallan, died 1172. 

Waller Fitzallan, . 

Lord High Steward 

of Scotland, ancestor 

of theStuart Kinesof 1 „ .. , , , , , ,,i_- ■ i_ ■ t l ^ .1 

Scotland & England. John Fitzallan, Lord of Clun 4 Oswestry, died I239=lsabej jie^ Albim, heiress of the Caslle 

and Earldom of Arundell. 

Hugh de Bello Campo, Companloi of the Conqueror. 

Hamelin Planlagcnel=lsabel de Warrennc. 

William de Warren Planlagenet l»abcl=Roger Bigod, 

married Maud Marshall. I Earl of Nor- Isabel de Mo: 

I ot E.T^I. II, l^Maud of Scotland. 

William be Bello Campo, Lord of Elmle)=Joan, dau. of Sir Thomas Walerit 

Geoffrey Pl.mi.ic.;!. . ,_,junt of Anjou=Matilda ot England, Empress Mau. . Waller de Bello Campo, Lord of Elmlcy, died l:3S=Bcrlha de Bi 

=John Fitzallan, 6th Earl of Arundel, died 1:69. 

John (le Warren Plantagenet^Alice de la Marche. I 

6th Ear! of Warren & Surrey I Alice, d. of a Marquis=Richard Fitzallan, 7th Earl of Ai undel, died 1 302. 

John, King of En gbnd=lsabelle of Angoulei 

111, King of England=Eleanor of Provenc. 

Walcheline de Bello Campo, Lord of Elmley=Joan de Mo: 
William de Bello Campo, 
Wniiam de Bello Ca: 

, Lord of E 

npo, Earl of \ 

I de Saluce in ttaly. 

'Varren Plant 


Edmund Plantage let, E;iri of Lai 

William de Warren Plantagi 

heiress of house of War 

, Chester & Derby. Peter Chawoi S=Isabelle de Bello Campo— Hugh Despenscr. Earl of Winchester, 

;n=Maud Chaworth. 

Isabel Dispenser married Hugh Despenser=Alianor de Clare 
John Hastings, Lord Hastings. I 

F ^ourite of Edward 11. \ 

I 3nd wife I - 

Richard Fitzallan, gth Earl of Arundel, born i3o6,=:Elenor Plantagen u[, 
sold his right to the Stewardship of Scotland I 
to King Edward III, in 1355. I 

Sir Richard Browne, Sir Stephen Browne, Lord Mayor of London, 1438. I | snc*, husband I 

living temfi. I " John Fitzallan, born 1365, died i392=Elizabeth Despenser=Hugh J ,jrd Zouch. Richard Di5temper=Elizabeth, d. of Ne ill, Earl of Westmoreland. 

Henry V. ' " ... 

Sheriff of Kent 1440 and 1460, died 1460 

Fredeswith. dau.of Sir Richard Guildford=Sir Mathew I 

Catherine de Mortimer=Thoma3 de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. 

loan Fitzallan sister to John:=Sir William Beauchamp, Lord Abergavenny, by 
Fitzallan, 'Marshall of I bequest of Lord Hastings, Earl of Pembroke, 
England.' Lord of Abergavenny. 

Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick=[3abelle Despenser, dau of Baron 
I Despenser, Earl of Gloucester. 

Edward Nevil, Baron=Elizabeth Beauchamp, heiress of Abergavenny. 

Sir Matthew Browne, of Beechwood, di( .j i6o3^ane, dau. of Sir Thomas Vincent, of Stoke Da ( 

The Kempes of Wye. ■ ^ 25 

of gavelkind, by which much of their land was held. This petition resulted eventually in certain 
land belonging to the Kempes being disgavelled in the 31st year of Henry VIII. under an Act 
of Parliament. {See Patent iz Henry VIII., p. 2, m. I4d. ; Ped. Fin., 11 Henry VII. Hil.). 
There is, in the Beaney Institute at Canterbury, a printed volume on the law of gavelkind, and to 
this we would refer those of our Kentish readers who are interested in the subject. To others it 
may be well to explain that this ancient law was peculiar to a few parts of the United Kingdom. 
It has been abolished by Statute in Ireland and Wales, but it still exists in Kent where the custom 
is recognised by 4 & 5 Vic. c. 35. It appears to be a survival of the ancient Saxon law of landed 
property. The continuance of the custom is due to the demand of the men of Kent backed 
by the supreme resistance which they offered to the Conqueror. The chief features of this are 
that all lands (held under that law) were divided equally among the male issue, ajad in absence 
of male issue among the daughters. The heirs entered their estates at fifteen years of age, 
and they had a right to part with their share by sale, gift or otherwise. This practice must in the 
case of landowners, whose property was extensive, have tended to keep the younger members of 
the family from seeking their fortunes at a distance from the paternal home. 

By his wife Elenor Browne, Sir William Kempe had a large family. Five daughters Uved to 
be married as follows : — 

Mary, to Sir Nicholas Boughton, son of Sir Edward Boughton, of Plumstead ; 
Faith, to Francis Neale (or Mayall, or Naylor), of Lancashire ; ,{■,'. 

Emelyn, to Sir Reginald Scott, of Scott's Hall and Netsted, Kent ; , 

Margaret, to Sir George Fogg — related to her mother's first husband, and 
Cecilia or Cicily, to William Latham, whose wife she was in 1558, and afterwards to 
William Strangeman, of Hadley Castle, Essex. . .. , 

He had also six sons living at his death, as follows : — 

Thomas, his heir, of whom later ; . : . , 1 ' . 

John (the second son), of Wye, who died wealthy in 1598 ; 

Edward (the third), who went to live in the New Forest, and died in 1605, leaving issue ; 
Anthony, an important man at Court, and founder of the Slindon Kempes ; {See Sussex.) 
Francis Kempe, a lawyer, who had no male issue, and 

George, the youngest, who appears to have lived in London, and died in 1588. 
Of each we have some account, but first we must say that after serving as Sheriff of his 
County in 1529 and 1538, Sir William Kempe died on Tuesday, 28th January, and was 
buried at Wye, 30th January 1538-9- 

His will was dated 28th November, 30 Henry VIII., and describes him as Knight of " Olenty." 
The usual items of money " for tythes negligently forgotten," and the Church come first. He then 
bequeaths to his daughter " Ciceley " 300 marks on her marriage, and the same sum each to Faith 
and Mary. A like amount is given to Margaret, provided she be " putt owte of the house where 
she is now Nunn, and then she be disposed to marry." The testator doubtless felt convinced that 
the monasteries must all go, as he had witnessed the dissolution of that of Wye and many others. 
The daughter we have seen did leave her nunnery and become a mother of a family, one of whom 
Ezecias Fogg was presented by his uncle. Sir Thomas Kempe, to the church of Chiiham. The 
will proceeds to provide for the maintenance of Elenor, the testator's widow, for which purpose 
the messuage of " Olenty " has been demised for twenty years to Reginald Scott, Esq. and John 
"Took" Gent, to raise the 1,200 marks above given to the daughters, and 40J. per annum to 
each of the five younger sons, Elenor, the widow, to have the use of the mansion for the term of 
her life after providing for the above payments from this Estate. 

2 6 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

She is further to have the profits arising from the estates of Henry Idon during his nonage, 
she, meanwhile, providing his keep. The reversion of Ollantigh and the residue of the estate 
passes, of course, to the eldest son, he paying to his five brothers ^lo each per annum. (This 
is doubtless, by way of giving them a share equivalent to what they should receive under 
the law of gavelkind. The inquisition showing his estates is number 34 in "31st Henry 
Vni. Kent." 

Elenor, the relict of Sir William, may have continued to live at Wye for a time, but it 
doubtless was her pleasure to be amidst the Court, and her will is dated from the Savoy, where at 
the time the ladies of Oueen Mary had apartments. It is dated 21st August, 1560, and bears 
witness to the Roman faith to which she and her son Anthony Kempe were staunchly attached. 
She desires to be buried in the Savoy according to the rites of the " Catholic Church of Christ." 
She left a rather liberal sum to be expended on her funeral, and for distribution among the poor 
and the prisoners at Ludgate,' Newgate, and Fleet Prison, and the poor of the " Galdhouse " of 
Westminster. To Sir Thomas Kempe she left her " ring with diamonds," and a pair of gilt 
saltcellars weighing twenty ounces. To Anthony, a gilt bowl weighing twenty-two ounces, a great 
flat standard (family banner) and furniture. Francis Kempe was also to have a standard, a ring 
set with a ruby, a gilt goblet of twenty-one ounces and tapestry. To Edward, her son, she 
bequeathed six spoons with gilt ends ; to John, a little gilt saltcellar, and to George, her youngest 
son. the bed which she "lay in at Court " and more gilt-ended spoons. To her daughters, Cecily 
Latham and Mary Boughton (as well as her daughters by her first husband whose names appear 
in the will as Pollard and Ann Cross), she left a large quantity of dresses and finery, the list of 
which is too long to insert here ; furs, velvet, damask, silk, satin, and fine linen, with chests 
of household linen and blankets are included. The daughters, like their brothers, each are to have 
a piece of plate weighing about twenty-two ounces. 

She does not forget to reward her faithful servants ; those mentioned being William Bowth, 
Francis Hitchcock, and William Kitt or Kyttes. The latter is to enjoy his "lease of the manor 
of Marie Court," and the others are provided with pensions. Her other manors are Morris Court, 
Kent (which had belonged to the Brownes from the time of Henry IV.), Tonge, Redmersham, 
Murston and Lynsted, all of which she settled on her son John and his heirs, failing issue to revert 
to his brothers in succession and their issue. 

Others mentioned are the Vicar of Colman Street, Mrs. Brent, Mrs. Cisley Barnard, Master 
Robert Alee, William Roper of Eltham (her overseer), and Sir Thomas Oxenbridges, who was one 
of her Executors, and the husband to one of her daughters, Fogge. 

John Kempe, the second son, and chief legatee of his mother, who thus received the manors 
of Morris Court, Tonge, Redmersham, Murston and Lynsted, married a woman named Jane . . . 
who died in 1597. He was buried at Wye 30th July, 1598, and his will dated 27th November, 
1507, was proved on 8th September, 1599 (Arch. Cant., 51. fo. 360), the executors being his 
nephew, Thomas Kempe, of " Olentigh," and Ezechias Fogge, of Chilham. The will is 
remarkable for the number of pieces of silver bearing " the Kempe sheaves " which he distributed 
among his brothers and other relatives. He left the house in which he was living called 
" Fancocke," in " Wie," to his nephew, Thomas Kempe. To his brother, Francis Kempe, he 
bequeathed ^100; to the wife of his nephew Thomas, a " jewell of gold with two diamonds 
therein ; to their daughters, Ann (the eldest), Dorothy, and Mary, silver pieces and " fine Holland 
sheets " ; to his nephew, " Raynold " (Reginald), /50 instead of " my household stuff which I 
purposed to have given him," also a " deaths-head ring of gold " and a cloak. To his godson, 
John Kempe, a great silver saltcellar and a dozen silver spoons " with the Kempe Sheaves graven 

''"■' The Kempes of Wye. 27 

on them."* It is not stated whose son this John was ; Reginald had a son of that name by Mary 
Argyll, who was married to him in 1590. Possibly this is the relative intended. 

Unfortunately the testator does not mention any of his estates by name except the above 
house at Wye. We do not, therefore, know whether these were disposed of by him or passed to 
his nephew under the " residue " clause. 

Space will not permit us to give details of the numerous legacies, but a list of the other names 
occurring in the will may prove of interest. They are briefly as follows : — Mr. Jackson, Minister 
of Wye ; Mr. Nicholls, Parson of Eastwell ; his nephew, Anthonie Broughton, and his daughter, 
Marie Broughton ; his niece, Richard Fogge's daughter, and William, the son of nephew Ezichias 
Fogge ; nephew Duddlie Lullgrave ; Mr. Thomas Moile, of Molash ; Francis Hill and wife ; 
Goodwife Evans (?) of Wye ; Mrs. Morehouse, Roger Moste, Richard Cooke, John Tittenden, 
Edward Earnet and Thomas Cottum. To his servant, Miss Drewe, he left a tenement near 
" Knockseale," which he bought from Henrie Bronde, of Canterbury. His other servants 
mentioned are Alice Marsh and William Carter ; witnesses to the document are John Kempe, 
Thomas Hall or (Haull) and Terras, and Thomas Cock or Cocke. The will is duly registered in 
the Archdeaconry Court of Canterbury. (Liber 51, folio 360). 

The further details of Edward Kemp, the next brother to this testator will be given under 
Hampshire Kempes. 

For the account of Anthony Kempe, the next brother, see under Sussex. 

Francis Kempe was Clerk of the Hanaper, and Attorney of Court of Chancery. Amongst 
the Stowe Manuscripts in the British Museum (415 f. 86) is a complaint of the Clerk of the 
Hanaper concerning his grievances against Sir Nicholas Bacon. t The date is 1564; the matter is 
as to the profits, which had provided a very handsome income to these officers, whose clerks 
practically did all the work. Sir Nicholas Bacon's reply is worded with much caution and with 
evident justice, to the effect that it is quite time that the office should be reformed and regulated. 
Francis Kempe, therefore, does not appear to have gained by his petition. 

Francis Kempe appears to have held some \oh acres of pasture and " appertenances '" in 
Mitcham I about 1592, and he certainly had a share of some 200 acres of land at Plumstead in 
Kent, which he held with his brother Edward. Of the latter we shall have to give further notice, 
as in and around it the Kempes held lands from a much earlier date, while as we have said a sister 
of this lawyer had married a Boughton who held the manor. 

The land at Mitcham he doubtless held in right of his wife who was Elianor, daughter and 
coheir of Henry Carew, brother to Wymond Carew, whose family long had property here. 
Sir Francis Carew in 1592 was directed by Her Majesty to hold an inquisition of the property 
here belonging to John Gage (related to the Gage who married Anthony Kempe), whose estates 
were forfeited owing to his having concealed a Roman Catholic missionary named Beesley. 
By this wife Francis had two or more daughters who were his coheirs, he having no surviving son. 
One of them, named Ann, married Gamaliel Jerins of Letheringset, in Norfolk, who was living in 
1634 : they also had a son, Richard Jerins, who was then 18, the " only son and heir apparent.'' 

* John had a definite tight to both the arms of his father, viz : three sheaves on a red ground surrounded by a border engrailed and the 
crest, the pelican " vulning," i.e., peeking her breast, providing merely that the cadence marks were added ; but, like the archbishop, he deemed 
it sufficient to use the sheaves merely,— in allusion to his arms. Families who believe themselves entitled to arms will do well to follow this 
ancient custom of using a badge in allusion thereto instead of the crest which they consider theirs by descent. Then, should they find that the 
arms of their ancestors were not the same as those they had believed to be theirs, they v/i\\ not have the ignominy of haviug to retract when their 
veritable arms have been discovered or a new coat granted to them by the Heralds. A badge, it may be mentioned, is distinguished from a 
crest by the omission of the wreath on which a crest always stands. Kemps of to-day may use any badge they please without infringing on the 
rights of the Heralds, but the use of a crest or arms without the sanction of the College of Arms and Royal consent is as wrong and foolish as 
one styling himself " Lord" or " Baronet" without such authority. It may also be noted here that it is quite wrong for ladies to use a crest. 
+ It is singular that Bacons and Kempes of Norfolk were related and much connected \vith the law at this time. (See Norfolk section.) 
I " Collectanea Top. et Genealogiwa," vol iii. An account of the Manor of Hayling, in the parish of Croydon, Surrey. 

28 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Sir Wymond Carew was of Anthony in Cornwall, and was connected by marriage also with 
the Kempes of Gissing. Indeed, it is singular to notice how closely the four chief Kempe families 
of Kent, Norfolk, Essex and Cornwall were drawn together at about this period by inter-marriages 
with the same families, and by their various properties. 

In later times certain Kempes have purposely sought to purchase lands and houses formerly 
connected with others of their name, but at this time the distinct families actually exchanged and 
bought one from another, and have made the matter of distinguishing one from the other very 

Among the manuscripts of Lieut. -Colonel Carew at Crowcomb Court, Somerset, a notice of 
which is given by the Historical MSS. Commission (Report 4th, p. 371), mention is made of 
letters concerning Francis Kempe, but the actual date is unfortunately not stated. 

George, the youngest brother to this Francis Kempe, inherited jointly with his brothers the 
Manor of Chelworth, out of which his mother ordered that (40.S.) forty shillings yearly should be 
paid to her servant, William Bowth, during his life. Edward seems to have released his share 
of this manor to George, and perhaps the other brothers did the same. His will is dated 
28th February, 1567, but was not proved till 1588, and we fairly conclude that he did not die 
much before then, although we have no direct evidence to establish this as a fact. He does not 
mention any wife or children, but gives back to his brother Edward the fifth part of the manor 
which he had acquired by "bargain, sale, or gift" from him. This brother, Edward and Anthony 
were the executors, and employed Thomas Wheeler, a notary, to prove the will on their behalf. 
(P.C.C. 37 Rutland). 


KEMPES OF WYE, 1539-1591. 

SIR THOMAS KEMPE, who succeeded to Olantigh in 1539, was perhaps the most active 
and illustrious of the Kentish Kempe knights, much of his power being but the outcome 
of position he had gained by a line of knightly ancestors and the prestige obtained from 
his mother, Lady Ellenor Browne. He was, doubtless, a capable governor and good man of business, 
otherwise he would not have kept himself so much in the foreground of the Royal Court and field 
of politics. His marriages were all apparently the outcome of negotiation, rather than prompted 
by passion. He first married Katherine, daughter, and eventually co-heir, of Sir Thomas 
Chaney, K.G., who was Treasurer of the Royal Household ; a favourite and privy councillor to 
four successive Kings and Queens ; twice Sheriff of Kent ; proxy to Queen Elizabeth, as godparent 
to the Dolphin of France ; Governor of Rochester Castle, and one of the challengers of all men at 
the "Field of the Cloth of Gold"; besides numerous other offices of distinction and profit. 

Katherine's mother, too, was the heiress to a famous name and considerable estates, which 
must be mentioned as having, in time, some effect on the issue of her daughters. She was 
Frideswide, daughter of Sir Thomas Frowick, her father being the last of his name and family. 
His will, dated 14th October, 1505, leaves his Manor Place and messuage at Finchley, Middlesex, 

Kempes of Wye, ijjg-i^gi. 29 

to his wife, and large estates at South Mimms and other places devolved upon his daughters. 
Thus, from Frowick to Chaney, and Chaney to Kempe, certain property passed. A sister to this 
Catherine (or Katherine) Chaney, named Margaret, married to George Nevill, Lord Bergaveney, 
a descendant of the Bello Campo or Beau-Champ family, Earls of Warwick, whose consanguinity 
with these Kempes we have before remarked upon and shown in the descent of Browne. 

Thomas Chaney had the honour of entertaining King Henry VIII at his house at 
Eastchurch, and was buried at Minster, in the Isle of Sheppey, in 1558, where a brass to his 
memory still remains. 

By Katherine Chaney, Sir Thomas Kempe had several children, of whom short notices are 
appended : 

Fryswyde was baptized at Wye 26th December, 1544 (doubtless named after her grand- 
Margaret, married Sir Thomas Shirley, at Wye, 20th February, 1560, to whom Sir 
Thomas Kempe conveyed the Manor of Wadling, in Ripple, Walmer, Deal and 
Monham (which had formed the marriage portion of Amy Moyle, his second wife.) 
This Sir Thomas Shirley was treasurer of the war in the Low Countries. He rebuilt his 
family seat of Wiston Manor House, in Sussex, in which the Countess of Phillip, Earl 
of Arundell, was committed to his wardship, and where subsequently was born 
Elizabeth, the Earl's only daughter. Sir Thomas Shirley died in 1507, aged sixty-seven. 
Portions of his mansion are still in existence, and many of his families' tombs, from an 
early period, will be found in Wiston Church. 
Alice (the third surviving daughter of Katherine and Sir Thomas Kempe) married Sir 
James Hales, of the " Dungeon," Canterbury. His family had a grant of the Nunnery 
of St. Sepulchres, in the same city, at the suppression of the monasteries, and this 
property he sold to Sir Thomas Kempe about 1572- He seem.s to have died at sea, 
for on the fine mural monument to his memory, still in the nave of the Cathedral, he 
is represented as being lowered into the deep, over the side of a ship, wearing his full 
armour. On this monument his wife Alice Kempe is mentioned, and the various arms 
of his family are shown. 
Katherine had died before 1550, for, on the iqth January of that year. Sir Thomas Kempe 
married, at Eastwell Church, Amy daughter of Sir Thomas Moyle, of Eastwell Place, ancestor of 
the Earls of Winchelsea, who died in 1560, leaving considerable landed estates in Kent and 
Somerset. By his will he devises the property as follows : to his son-in-law. Sir Thomas Kempe, 
Knight, the lease of Rokyng Court ; to Thomas, the son of the latter, his Manors of Preston, 
Grandisons, Waldyslands in Kent, and lands at Dartford, Sutton-at-Hone and Chatham, also in 
Kent, and the Manors of King's Weston, Wythys and Lottsham, in Somerset. His house at 
Newgate, in London, he left between his grandsons, Reginald, Moyle and William Kempe ; and 
Moyle, Thomas and Henry Finch. Sir Thomas Kempe and Sir Thomas Finch, Knight, were the 
executors, Anthony Kempe being a witness. This Sir Thomas Finch had married the other 
daughter and coheir of Sir Thomas Moyle (and was brother to Thomas Finch who married Mary, 
daughter of Christopher Kempe) and they were ancestors of the Earls of Winchelsea. 
By Amy his second wife Sir Thomas Kempe had : 

Thomas Kempe, his eldest son, baptized at Wye, 7th November, 15 51, who became his heir, 

and of whom we shall give further details later. 
Reginald Kempe, baptized at Eastwell on i8th May, 1553, and who also eventually owned 
Olantigh, and died in 1612. 

30 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Moyle Kempe, baptized at Wye, 24th August, 1554, buried there in December. 
* Moyle Kempe, baptized also at Wye, 30th September, 1555, who was entered at Exeter 
College in 1573, aged eighteen (? and was "recusant" in Cornwall in 1590), buried at 
Wye, 17th March, 1585. 
William Kempe, baptized 17th February, 1556, (?) buried at Wye, 22nd March, 1597 ; 

probably the founder of the Dartford Kempes. 
George Kempe, baptized 24th January, 1557 ; possibly identical with George Kempe, of 
Northaw, in Middlesex, in 1593, assessed at thirty pounds for the defence of the Kingdom, 
and who was prosecuted as a Jesuit concerned in Clerkenwell and Edmonton plots. 
Lady Anne Kempe appears as buried at Wye on August 17th, 1557 ; this is doubtless Amy 
Kempe, for she had died before the Will of Sir Thomas Moyle was made. 

Sir Thomas Kempe was created a Knight of the Carpet on Tuesday, 22nd February, 1546, 
and was Sheriff of his County in 1548, 1549 and again in 1563- In 1565 the "History of 
Juan de Mendoca," was dedicated to him, so we may presume that he was a patron of literature. 

In 1567 he, with the other chief gentlemen of Kent (many of whom were his relatives), met 
at Ashford as Commissioners for the defence of the sea coast. They developed a definite arrange- 
ment of signalling by means of fire beacons, and provided for the raising of an organised force of 
" Hobelers " or light horse. The long and careful report of this Commission to the Privy Council 
is considered one of the most praiseworthy schemes for defence ever suggested, and even two 
hundred years later the precedents then made were followed, when a descent on the English coast 
was expected under the first Emperor Napoleon. {Vide "Scott of Scott's Hall.") 

In 1588 Sir Thomas Kempe, Sir Thomas Scott (his nephew) and others, were officers 
commanding these bands of Kentish men-at-arms on the approach of the Spanish Invincible 
Armada. We know that their fighting qualities were not actually put to the test, but half the 
difficulties of war consists of organizing and arming, in suitable manner, a well-trained army. 
This we know they had duly and most successfully accomplished, largely at their own costs ; and 
the fact that they were ready and able to back up the work of their felloAv defenders on the high 
seas, doubtless had much to do with the tremendous victory which our first line of defence then, 
and ever since have, looked upon as one of the most glorious to the credit of our nation. 

It will be seen that this Sir Thomas Scott was the son of Sir Reginald Scott by Emelyn 
Kempe. A fine portrait of him in armour was in the possession of Thomas Fairfax Best, Esq., of 
Chilston Park, Kent. His helmet still hangs in Brabourne Church, where he was first buried ; and 
an epitaph, with si.xteen verses telling of his fame, was erected in Scott's Chapel where his body 
was removed. One verse must suffice as a specimen, as follows : 

" Here lyes Sir Thomas Scott, by name ; 
O happy Kempe that bore him 
Sir Raynold, with four knights of fame, 
Lyved lyneally before him." 

He was called by his contemporaries, "Father of Romney Marsh and Founder of Dover 
Haven"; having, as said, protected the district of the former and been chief commissioner in the 
construction of the latter. He died in 15Q4. 

We may here say that this marriage between Reginald and a daughter of the Kempes was 
the outcome of an interesting family agreement, duly attested by deed, dated 9th December, 1522, 
between Sir William Scott and William Kempe and Elenor, the latter's wife. It was agreed that 

* Perhaps there was a third son baptized Moyle, who was thus living in 1590. 

Kempes of IVye, i^jg-i^gi. 


in the event of either Edward Scott, son of Sir William Scott, or of the eldest son of Sir John 
Scott (who was eldest son of Sir William) marrying either of the daughters of William Kempe and 
Elenor, these Kempes would settle land of the annual value of ^fso upon the Scott during his life, 
on his wife after his decease, and eventually on the children of the marriage. Edward Scott 
married Alice Fogge, who was the daughter of this Elenor by her first husband, Thomas Fogge ; 
at the making of this agreement she seems to have been but twelve years of age, she was therefore 
placed under the wardship of Sir William Scott, who paid X-°° f°^ ^^^ grant of her custody till 
she reached the age of fourteen, when her consent to the marriage was considered valid, Thomas 
Fogge at his death held the Manor of Walmer (as the Manor of Folkestone), and during the 
minority of his children this and other estates 
were administered by William and Elinor Kempe. 

Anne Fogge married William Scott, a 
brother of Sir Reginald Scott, so the families 
were related in very many ways. 

Sir Thomas Kempe married for his third 
wife Dame Joan, the daughter of ... . Far.mer, 

of and widow of Lord Mordant. She 

was recusant with her stepson, Moyle Kempe, 
residing in Cornwall in 1592. 

The Mordant arms were argent, a chevron 
between three estoiles sable, which closely 
resembles, in all but the tinctures, the arms 
used by the Kempes of Spain's Hall, Finching- 
field, Esse.x. So far as can be ascertained, how- 
ever, there was no reason for the two coats to 
be in any way associated ; there are over a 
dozen such coats, varied by tinctures and minor 
changes, all or most dating from before the 
visitations of the sixteenth century. Indeed it 
would hardly be worth mentioning the fact but 
for the chance of the coats, when appearing 
without the tinctures being indicated, giving a 
wrong impression. 

The descent of the Mordants is given on a 
very curious and handsome tomb in Fulham 

Church, an illustration of which, with much concerning the family, is given in Feret's 
Old and New." 

By this wife Sir Thomas Kempe seems to have left no issue. He was buried at Wye on 22nd 
March, 1590. His Post Mortem Inquisition is dated 1591 (No. 49 Kent, Anno 33 Elizabeth.) 
Where his will was proved does not appear. 

(There is a grant of administration in 1587 (P.C.C. loth June) to John Kempe, husband of. 
Elizabeth Mordant alias Kempe, late of the parish of St. Dunston's-in-the-West, London.) 

Before recording the details known concerning the issue of this Sir Thomas Kempe, we must 
revert to an earHer period, as, although his sister and he were both interested in fresh acquisitions 
of land at Plumstead, Kempes had long before this held property around that place which lies 
between the great ancient Manor of Lewisham and Greenwich. 

Arms claimed by the Kempes of Wye but not fully 
authorized' by the Heralds' College. 


32 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 



THE name of Kempe is said by Hasted, in his '' History of Kent," to be frequently met 
with in the Court Rolls of Lewisham. It is rather singular, therefore, in so large a 
parish that from 1558 to 1750 no Kempe or Kemp appears in the church register, 
neither does the name occur on any of the innumerable monuments, the inscriptions of which 
have been printed. 

Greenwich was anciently the harbour of the Danes, and the early occurrence of the name of 
Kempe here and along the shores of the Thames, where they settled, or wintered, has given rise 
to the claim of some Kempes of Teddington that they owe their origin to these early invaders. 
The word kimpe in the Danish language means a giant. It is just possible that the word in that 
sense survived down to the period that surnames became customary in England, but extremely 
improbable that these humble fisherfolk and watermen passed down the surname continuously 
from such an early time. " Kempe's Tenement " was the name of a house at Fulham before the 
time of Edward III. In this ancient town the Danes were for long resident ; but when we 
consider the other occupants of the place subsequently, and recall the fact that some 400 years 
intervened before the first known mention of this messuage as " Kempes," it seems the more 
absurd to ascribe such an origin to the name. 

At Greenwich, however, so early as the i6th year of Edward I. (1288) William Kemp 
held "Uplands " in East Greenwich. At a later date Ranulph, Vicar of Greenwich, paid to the 
Abbot and Convent of Gand the sum of fourpence, being quit for a field called '' Uplands " or 
" Upfield," in the V^iUe of Lewisham, receivable from the heirs of William Kempe. Blackheath 
is certainly high land and adjoins the manor, if it was not actually in it. And in the hundred of 
Blackheath, which included Lewisham, Greenwich and other manors, we find a John Kempe 
paid one shilling and a halfpenny as his assessment in the subsidy collected in the first year of 
Edward III. (1327)- Compared with other items, which vary from iid. to 25J. 40^., this amount 
is but small. The fact of this holding being from the Convent of Gand or Ghent is interesting 
as suggesting a connection between the Kempes of Ghent from whom descended the great 
Flemish weaver, John Kempe of Flanders (of whom see under Kendal) and the Kempes of 
Wye. (Chapter III.) 

Communication between Kent and the opposite coast was very frequent at this period. 
L'nder the auspices of the various abbots even humble individuals found frequent opportunity of 
transit, and as even now practised, those connected with a monastery or convent would travel 
provided with a recognised introduction to a fraternity of the same order in a foreign land, or 
those who held lands or office under them. 

Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, built a noble palace here, which eventually became a much 
frequented royal residence in the time of Henry VI. and Henry VII., aiid both Queens Mary and 
Elizabeth were born there. During this time the Bishops Kempe must have often been here, and it 
was on the adjoining " Blackheath " that the two rebels, Wat Tyler and Jack Cade — whose 
insurrections marked the beginning and the end of the life of Archbishop Kempe— gathered their 
bands of malcontents. In the following of Cade in 1450 there was a John Kempe, a labourer, 
from Mundefeld in Sussex, and from the same county a husbandman named Richard Roper ; 

Blackheath Hundred. 33 

perhaps these claimed the other Kempes and Ropers as kin, and personal ill-will actuated their 
taking part in a feud which was largely aimed at the aged prelate. 

Except for these passing Kempes we know of none at Greenwich from about 1299 till 
14-99. In the latter year Henry Hurst, a citizen and tailor of London, having property in 
Greenwich, made Thomas Kempe, Esq., and John Roper, respectively, executor and overseer to 
his will. 

About this time (i Henry VII. or ? VIII.) Thomas Kempe, Gent., William Kempe, Clerk, 
John Fineaux (Justice of the King's Bench), John Woode, John Roper, and Richard Stevens, 
conveyed lands at Greenwich, Charlton, Plumstead, Woolwich and Westerham to John Pole and 
Margery, his wife (Ped. Fin.) 

* (In the 12 of Henry VIII. Sir Thomas Kempe, John Roper, Steward of the Liberty, John 
Fineaux, Sir William Scott, and others, are mentioned as having obtained a grant under Royal 
Patent concerning property in the town of Wye.) 

The Manor of Plumstead belonged to Sir Nicholas Boveton or Boughton, who died possessed 
of it in 1517, leaving it to his son. Sir Edward Boughton. The latter married Joan, daughter of 
Sir William Scott, by Sibbela, a daughter oi Sir Thomas Lewknor. His will was proved in 
1550,. and left the bulk of his local property to his son. Sir Nicholas Boughton, who as we have 
said, married Mary, daughter of Sir William Kempe of OUantigh. This Sir Nicholas left by his 
will,; proved 9th February, 1559 (14 Maellershe) lands called Shooter's Hill in Plumstead, and . 
his residence called '' Plumstead Park," providing for the maintenance of his wife, Mary, his four ; 
sons and a daughter. He made Sir Thomas Kempe and Sir Robert Oxenbridge his overseers. 

It may be that part of this estate passed by. subsequent will, by sale or gift to Anthony, 
Francis and Edward Kempe, sons of Sir William Kempe of OUantigh, who held over 200 acres of 
land there in the reign of Elizabeth, the details of which will appear under their respective names. 

There are in the registers of the Rochester Probate Court two Wills, both proved in 1548, 
relating to the little estates of a couple named Jasper and Jertrude Kempe of Greenwich. These 
individuals do not appear on any pedigree we have seen, and may not be connected with the Wye 
family ; there is, however, some chance of their being traced to that origin. The husband's will 
is dated 6th July, 1548, he makes his wife, "Jertrude," executrix, and mentions his two 
kinswomen, Jermyn and PoweU (i'/c). Henry Hall, Vicar of Greenwich, and Erasmas Kyrknor 
(? Lewknor) are witnesses. 

The widow's will is dated 6th May the same year. She mentions many relatives and friends, 
among whom she distributes silver spoons, rings, clothes and " angels " — which, of course, are 
pieces of money. The list is a long one and cannot be given fully here, but the following names 
may lead to identification. Some names certainly are Dutch, the name of Conelius Jansen occurs 
and is given as the painter of the portrait of Sir Nicholas Kempe who married a daughter of Roger 
James of Holland (in Essex). 

, She mentions, " my brother Barnard, wholemaker, if he be alive." Many Johnsons are 
named, — Corneles or Cornilis and his wife, Christopher, Alls, Peter, Garrett, Egbart, Jasper, his 
son, his mother, and Perter's children, Leonard Vanwanary, Hans Mitris, Lucas Goldsmyth, 
Leonard Gibbes' wife, Agnes Powell. The will is witnessed by the same Vicar of Greenwich, 
Roger -Rogerson of London, Hans Myter, John Mylles and others. 

Cornelius Johnson and Henry Blewe were the executors. No real estate is mentioned, and 
the testator's rank or trade is not mentioned. The mention of Roger Rogerson of London would 

..■ * This flote flight. 4e_em rathej put of place here, but the Dames being almost the same as in the preceding it is inserted. . . 

34 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

lead us to suppose relatives might be found there. Powell or Powle was the surname of the wife 
of James Kempe of London and Acton, belonging to the Suffolk Kempes, while the names of 
Hall, Johnson, and Gybbes were all connected with the Kempes of Willesden and that part of 

Perhaps Garret Kempe, of Slinden, derived his name from the Garrets mentioned in the 
will, as his father, Anthony Kempe, in addition to having the property at Plumstead close by, was 
much at Greenwich Palace. 

We find that an Agnes Kempe, of Poplar, married Thomas Loone, of Woolwich, at St. 
Dunstan's, Stepney, in 1588. But of them we have no further knowledge. These riverside 
places had a large proportion of migratory people, and there is frequently an intermarriage of 
mariners' families extending from Stepney right down the river and round the coast to Ry£. 

The Rochester Calendars of Wills commence in 1440. The surname of Kent is from the 
first found at Mailing, Cowling, Charlton, West'ram and Hadlow, and many similar names occur, 
such as Kemby, Combe, Kempsay, Kene, Kember, and Kempall. The present work cannot enter 
into these, although some might prove to be actual corruptions or variants of Kempe. 
Particularly should we suspect this to be the case at Lewisham, Charlton and Westerham. 

Francis Bacon, who was closely related and most intimate with the Gissing Kempes, had 
much property in Woolwich, and had the Queen's licence to alienate 130 acres there, and at East 
and West Ham, in Essex, to Francis Kempe and his heir, in 1583. At this time there was a 
Fiancis Kempe belonging to each of the principal families, and all three were more or less 
frequently concerned with London ; it is not certain which of these was the purchaser of this. 

The manor and advowson of Charlton were conveyed to Sir Henry Puckering, als . Newton, 
in 1658, by Henry Kempe, Gent., and others. 

Close by Lewisham is Deptford, at which "place Kempes have been a numerous, if not a long 
staying family. This part must be given some consideration later, as we must now return to the 
remaining generation of the Kempes of Wye, who we have shown to be definitely associated with 
this neighbourhood in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 


THE KEMPES OF ^YY.— continued. 

SIR THOMAS KEMPE (the son of the previous one of his name, by Amy Moyle) inherited 
Olantigh in or about 1591- He was knignted at Charterhouse in 1603- He took some 
part in county affairs and also provided suitable husbands for his daughters. He has, 
however, left no record of any great service to the community, and seems to have lived a rather 
uneventful life. He married, as his second wife, Dorothy, daughter of John Thompson or 
Tomson, Esq., of London. The surname of his first wife is unknown ; she was the mother of his 
daughters Mary and Anne. 

It was, doubtless, a great sorrow that there was no son to continue the knightly line of these 
Kempes. By the second marriage there were only two daughters, whose names were Dorothy and 

The Kempes of Wye. 35 

Amy Kempe. Of these we will give a few particulars, but before doing so we append the 
inscription which was placed on the tomb of this last Sir Thomas Kempe, of Ollantigh, in Wye 
Church. The original has now been lost, and the following is taken from " Archseologia Cantiana," 

vol. 5, p. 117. 1198482 

" Sir Thomas Kempe of Olantigh Knt. Heir male of the Kempes of Olamigh, by Dame Emelj-n Daughter and Coheyr 
of Sr. Valentine Chich, by the Heir of Sr. Robt. Chichley, left his Heyre Sir William Kempe, that by dame Eleanor widdow 
of Sir Thomas Fogge, being ye Heir of Browne, by an heir of Sr. Thomas Arundel left his heyie Sr. Thomas Kempe Knt., 
that by Dame Amie Daur. and cohejT of Sir Thomas Moyle, left his Heyr this last Sir Thomas Kempe." 

He died in 1607 and was buried in the family chapel with his ancestors. His Inquisition 
Post iVIortem is registered in the 7th year of James I. 

The Subsidy Roll of 1593-4 for the Hundred of Wye gives an idea of the then comparative 
values of his own and other local Kempes' estates. 

The Hundred of Wye, with Hundreds of Folkestone, Oxney and Stowting. At the head of 
the lists of landholders at Wye is — 

Thomas Kempe, Esquire, in land, ^40, for which he pays £'i. 

The second name under Wye is — 

Reginald Kempe, Esquire, in goods, ^4, for which he pa3's lis. ^d. 

Their uncle John Kempe, Esquire, in Wye, has _^i8 in lands, for which he pays ^3 ij^s. 

There is on this Roll, but under which hundred is not quite clear, a Roger Kempe whose 
goods are rated at _^8, and he pays 21s. j\d. 

In the Hundred of Aloes Bridge there is a William Kempe rated for goods at ^3, paying Si'. 

The above Reginald either inherited Olantigh as heir male under the entailing clause in the 
will of Sir Thomas Kempe proved in 1520, or, having lost it under the law of gavelkind, acquired 
it by purchase, as appears by his will hereafter given. 

The above John, as we have said, died in 1599, and we can identify Roger as one who was 
living at Boughton Aluph, and his will, proved in 1602 will be given under Boughton Aluph 

In the Hundred of Aloes Bridge is New Romney, where there was a William Kempe whose 
will was proved in 1600, and whose family will be mentioned under Lydd. 

Mary, the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Kempe, was baptized at Wye, 14th March, 1590, 
and married Sir Dudley Digges, who was the son of Thomas Digges, of Digges Court, Barham, Kent, 
by Ann, daughter of Sir Warren St. Ledger. Both his father and grandfather, Leonard Digges, 
had been great mathematicians and he had a decided bent in that direction. He was born in 1583 
and matriculated at Oxford in 1601. In his early life he travelled a good deal. 

In 16 18 he was sent by James I. as Ambassador to Russia, and in 1620, with Sir Maurice 
Abbott, was commissioned to go to Holland to obtain restitution of certain goods seized by the 
Dutch from some Englishmen in the East Indies ; he was at this time a director of the Virginia 
Company, of London, and was associated in the East India Company with Sir Nicholas Kempe, 
who had ^2,500 invested in East India Stock. Sir Dudley was a member of the third Parliament 
of Charles I, and was made Master of the Rolls in April, 1636. 

On the distribution of the Kempe property in 16 10, his wife secured, by arrangement with her 
sisters, the castle and lands at Chilham, which her grandfather, Sir Thomas Kempe, had bought 
from his first wife's relative — Henry, Lord Chaney — and to the church of which the Kempes had 
presented clergy. 

Mary Kempe found the Castle in decay and set about, at considerable expense, to rebuild it. 
This she took some years to accomplish, and she thought it desirable to record the fact by inserting 


36 History of the Kemp and Kempc Families, 

a prominent memorial stone on which her name appears, and the text, "The Lord is my house of 
defence and my castle.'' 

The castle is still standing in very much the same state as then built, and the above inscription 
may be seen. The entrance to the castle forms one side of the picturesque village square, the 
church standing to the rear of the old houses which face the castle grounds. On either side the 
square are httle primitive shops and a typical Kentish inn. The church, which is very full of 

Chilham Castle, Kent, rebuilt by Mary Kempe — Lady Digges — about 1610. 

interest, contains a lofty and handsome tomb to the memory of "Mary Kempe — Lady Digges." 

A well-known antiquary remarks that this entirely spoils the appearance of the south aisle, others 

rtiay be of his opinion, but the inscription, with its quaint pomposity, will be none the less 

interesting : 

" Mary Kempe, Lady Digges Daughyer and Coheire of Sr Thomas Kempe of Olentigh Knight by Sir Thomas 
Moyle's Daughter and Coheire, Son of Sir Thomas Kempe Knight, b}' an heir of Brown and Arundel, Son of Sir William' 
Kempe Knight, who by Emelyn daughter and coheir of Sir \''alentine Chichley and Phillipa daughter and heire of Sir 
Robert Chiche, Ma3'or of London, and brother to Henry the Archbishop, was son of Sir Thomas Kempe Knight, nephew 
to Thomas Kempe, Bishop of London, the nephew of John Kempe Archbishop of York, then of Canterbury, Cardinal, Lord 
Chancellor, L)'es here buried to-gether with Francis her 4th and Richard her eighth son." 

Several coats of arms with various impalements and quarters are displayed on the tomb. The 
three sheaves within a bordure engrailed, duly occur in the usual manner, and for Digges, Gules, 
on^a cross argent, five eagles displayed, sable. 
' Sir Dudley became one of the administrators of the estates of the last Sir Thornas Kenipe and 

The Kempes of Wye, ... .37 

.his widow Dorothy, on the death of the latter in 1629- He died 8th March, 1639, and on .his 

monument the following eulogy is given : 

" He was a pious son, a careful father, a loving husband, a, fatherly (j/c) brother, a courteous -neighbour, a merciful 
landlord, a liberal master, a noble friend." 

By his will (said to have been proved in 1638) he left a sum for the winners of a competition 
to be contested for on the 19th of May yearly. Two young men and two maidens between the 
ages of sixteen and twenty-four ran a tye on " Old Wives Lees," the winners receiving £10 each. 
This sum has been appropriated to the National Schools. The will, which has been recently 
required in connexion with the charity, appears to be missing, and we understand that a search in 
the P.C C. and Canterbury Courts has failed to trace the probate of this important will. 

Dorothy (the first daughter by the second wife) married Sir Thomas Chichley, of Wimpole, 
Cambridgeshire. He died before 1626, as appears from the will of Lady Dorothy Kempe. The 
latter mentions her ^r^wo'-daughter, Dorothy Chichley, and other children of her daughter Lady 
Dorothy Chichley. The eldest son, Sir Thomas Chichley, died old at Bloomsbury Square, 
London, in 1698. 

This family were descended from the same stock and bore the same arms as the Chichleys, of 
Higham Ferrers.* Thus a second time they were connected by marriage with the Kempes of Ollantigh. 

Amy Kempe, the fourth co-heiress of Sir Thomas Kempe, had for her husband Sir Henry 
Skipworth, Baronet. Their children, William and Elizabeth Skipworth, as well as Lady and Sir 
Henry, were mentioned by Lady Kempe in her will as living in 1626. 

Sir Thomas Kempe had also a son by his second wife, whose baptism is entered in Wye 

Register as Isaac, son of Thomas Kempe and Anne, ist October, 158b. We know that this 

son did not live to succeed his father, but the date of his burial or death is unknown. The surname 

of this wife is not given in the usually recognized pedigrees, although it generally appears that 

Dorothy Thompson was his second wife. 

Anne Kempe was baptized at Wye, 19th June, 1589, and, as we have said, married Sir John 
Cutts, an Alderman of London, who served the ofHce of Lord Mayor. Tliere is an amusing story 
told concerning some Spanish Grandees who were invited to meet him ; it is said that they were 
deeply aggrieved 'at being asked to a banquet by a man with so short a name, for they reasoned 
that a man with so brief a title could not be a man of importance, when however they saw the 
sumptuous provision made for them, they changed their opinion. 

The following is a copy of an inscription to Anne Cutts, which is to be seen in Swavesey 
Church, Cambridge, for which we are indebted to Captain William Kemp, of Arundel : 

"Anne Kemp. — Lady Cutt, 
"eldest daughter and co-heir of Thomas Kempe of Ollantigh Knt. by Sir Thomas Moyles daughter and co-heir, sonne of 
Sir Thos. Kempe Knt. by Ann heire or Browne and Arundell sonne of Sir William Kempe Knt. who by Emline daughter 
and coheire of Sir Valentine Chich and PhiKp(a) daughter and heire of Sir Robert Chichley, Mayor of London and brother 
to Henry the Archbishop, was sonne of Sir Thomas Kempe Knt. Nephew to Thomas Kempe Bishop of London, the 
nephew of John Kempe, Archbishop of York, then of Canterbury, Cardinal, Lord Chancellor, lies buried here, she lived 
48 years and dyed the 13th March 1631." 

Dorothy Kempe, the mother of this Anne Cutts, mentions several treasures which she had at 
Swavesey, perhaps these had been left there when visiting this daughter. 

Lady Dorothy Kempe {nee Tomson or Thompson) had a grant of administration of Sir 
Thomas Kempe's estates on loth December, 1607, and this was re-granted 23rd June, 1609. 

She Uved till 1629, and by her will, dated 14th November, 1626 (P.C.C. 49 Ridley, 1629), 

* For the line see " Burke's Commoners " and the " Northamptonshire County Histories." 

38 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

she desired to be buried " decently but not sumptuously," in the parish church of Wye, " by the 
ashes of my dear husband Sir Thomas Kempe." Being in London at the time the will was made, 
she provided ^^loo for the conveyance of her body to Wye, an amount which seems extremely 
large for mere conveyance. Doubtless this would include something of a state funeral by easy 
stages. Dr. Jackson, who we take to be the then Vicar of Wye, is bequeathed £\<:> for a gown, 
and a considerable sum is distributed among her relations and others for '' blacks " (i.e. mourning.) 
Sums of money are left to her four daughters, the three living sons-in-law, and several grand- 
children, as well as to the poor at Shelford, Childerley, Lolworth and Swavesey in Cambridgeshire. 
The list of chests, jewels and clothes would afford interesting reading, but space is limited, 
and we will only mention that " the Great Standard," doubtless the family banner borne by the 
successive Kempes when Sheriffs of Kent and at other functions, was left to Sir Dudley Digges, 
who was the most distinguished of the four sons-in-law. 

Her pe'-'-.onal effects were evidently scattered at the various residences she frequented. 
'' Olenty," of course, contained the bulk of her personal treasures, but some were at Shelford 
House and others at Childerly. There is a mention of " russet curtains at Shelford with Sir 
Thomas Kempe his colours," and his armour, these also going to the Digges. 

Others whose names appear in the Avill are briefly as foNows : Marie Charnworth, Lady 
Bowles, Mr. Jacob Bridgeman and Mr. Thomas Adye, Mr. John Marchinoff, Thomas Osbourne 
and John Collier. 

Nothing is said of real estate, only " residue to be divided " between the four daughters. 
Reginald Kempe, the next younger brother of the last Sir Thomas Kempe, of Ollantigh, was, 
as we have said, born in 1553, and baptized at Eastwell, his mother's native place a few miles 
from Wye. We have also shown that when only some seven years of age he had a legacy from his 
grandfather. Sir Thomas Moyle, in the form of a share in his town house in Newgate Street, 
London. Under this will his elder brother inherited lands at Dartford, Sutton-at-Hone and 
Chetham, which property seems to have also come to him. He married Mary, the daughter of 
Richard Argyl or Argall, of East Sutton (by licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury) in 1590. 

The licence is dated nth December; he is described as a "gent, of Wye," and she as "of 
Sutton, virgin." The one Sutton is quite distinct from the other, the former being by Dartford, 
in the north-west of the county, and the latter — with Sutton Valance and Chart Sutton — near 
Maidstone and within some twelve miles of Wye. 

The pedigree of Argal is given in the "Visitation oi Essex ^'' of 1612. 
By his wife he had the following children : 
Thomas, who was to inherit Olantigh. 
John, baptized at Wye, 26th March, 1594, to have the reversion of Ollantigh under certain 

Ann, baptized at Wye, 20th January, 1595, married Josias Clarke, to whom she conveyed 
the Manor of Stowting, Kent, in 1622- She died at Wethersfield, Essex, her 
husband having letters of administration for her estate 12th May, 1623- 
Amy, baptized at Wye, 1st October, 1598, married Maurice Tuke, Esq., of Layer Marney, 
Essex, whose family had held that manor. She left a daughter (who inherited her 
portion of the Kempe property) named Dorothy. The latter married Sir Robert 
Filmer, Baronet,* of East Sutton. He died 22nd March, 1675-6, and Dorothy died 
10th June, 1 67 1. 

♦ Arms of Filmer ; Sable, three bars and in chief as many cinquefoils or crest. On a ruined tower or a falcon argent, wings expanded proper 

beaked and belled or. See " Visitation of Kent." 

The Kempes of Wye. 39 

Dorothy, baptized at Wye, 17th February, 159Q, married Sir William Denny, of Gray's 
Inn, Knight, by licence from the Archbishop of Canterbury, dated i8th February, 
1632-3- This gentleman wrote the "Shepherd's Holiday," which he dedicated 
to " Lady Kemp." 

We have seen that in 1593-4 Reginald Kempe was assessed at ^18, and that in 1599 he 
received a legacy that did not gi^eatly increase his property, the bulk of his estate therefore must 
have come to him on decease of his father and brother, but there is little to prove the exact means. 
Hasted says he died at Tremworth and was buried at Crundell, close to Wye. His will was 
proved in the Archdeaconry Court of Canterbury, by his widow Mary, on 12th September, 1612- 
It is dated 2nd January, 1610, and he therein describes himself as "Renold Kempe, of Tremworth, 
in Co. Kent, Esq." He desires to be buried at Wye, amongst the " reste of my ancestors." The 
will recites that he had, by a deed dated 26th November, 3-4 James, passed all his lands to his 
son Thomas Kempe, "for the continuance of our Sheefe (chief) House of Olantye," the testator 
accordingly leaves the lands and " Ollanty " to Thomas, his son, for his life only, giving him 
power to make a jointure for his (Thomas's) wife ; after her decease the whole estate undivided is 
to pass to the lawful heir male of this eldest son, and for want of an heir male the whole undivided 
estate is to pass to John Kempe — the testator's second son. The following abstract from the will 
shows the intent, which is briefly summed up in the words "strictly entailed to the heirs male": 

" If such son attempt or goe about to do any act or acts to alien or discontinue the said howse, 
lands, tenements, fe'c." .... "so that it cannot, or any part of it be alienated, then their 
interest to cease and be thereby determined and extinguished, that then ymediately and from 
thenceforth the same shall remain and be to such person by this my will is limited, fo'c." .... 
" the estate of apportionment to the wife of John Kempe excepted." 

A second important item in the will is that under date of ist November, 1606, he passed the 
Park of Stowting, hmited for certain uses to his "cousin " Thomas Scott, of Eggerton, and to Mr. 
George Finch, that Avhen his son comes of age, or his, the testator's, "sister Kempe" dies, which 
shall first happen, the park is to be sold and j^' 1,400 out of the produce to be paid to Sir Dudley 
Digges according to the purchase made by the testator : meanwhile the profits from the manor to 
go to the advancement of his daughters in marriage. The daughters were also to have the 
overplus (after the payment of the_^i,40o) from Stowting, and of 100 marks issuing out of 
Chilham by the year, until the said "sister Kempe" die or marry. Mr. Balford to have the next 
advowson of the church of Crondell. The will contrasts with the previous ones in the absence ot 
the religious bequests and petty legacies. The children being minors, their mother, doubtless, 
had the use of all the household effects, and her income was presumably provided by a settlement 
at the time of her marriage, as the will does not give her anything more than the reversion of the 
daughters' portions in case of their dying unmarried. 

The inquisition of Reginald Kempe appears in the Calendar in the loth year of James I. 
The parchment on which the original report of his possessions was made has, however, been so 
saturated with wet, at some period, that Httle or nothing could be deciphered by an expert. 

In 1617 (22nd November) Commission was granted to administer the effects of Mary Kempe, 
widow, deceased, late of the parish of St. Mary the Virgin, in the toAvn of Colchester, Anne 
Kempe, the daughter, being the grantee. 

Ann having married and died before the 29th March, 1622, a fresh grant was made, on that 
date, of Mary Kempe's estate to John Argall, Gent., brother of the deceased. 

It may here be noted that Mr. Kempe was Head Master of Colchester School at this time, his 
term of office extending from 1598 till 1637. During the last years of his Hfe the school dwindled 

'40 History of the Kemp and Kempe Fajnilies. 

down to ten boys, Avhereas in the following eighteen months eighty were admitted. The Christian 
name of this master does not appear in the history of the school (by J. H. Round). His identity 
is at present unknown. 

It is evident that before 161 7 the sons of Reginald Kempe were dead, otherwise the adminis- 
tration of his widow's estate would have been granted to the eldest son instead of a daughter. The 
date of their death, however, is not known, and we cannot taace the Kempes who ppear at Wye 
later than this to the same stock ; in the adjoining parish of Boughton Aluph, however, a line of 
Kempes continued to the eighteenth century, and there can be little doubt as to these being a 
collateral line of the Kempes of Ollantigh, although the date at which this branch started is left 

It must not, however, be thought that, with the co-heiresses of the last Sir Thomas Kempe of 
Wye and Reginald -Kempe, the family - became extinct. 'Those branches best known, which 
continued much later, are those of Slindon-, Sussex ; the issue of Edward Kempe, of Hampshire, 
who spread into Herefordshire, Buckinghamshire and other counties ; and it seems -that the 
Kempes of Dorset, from whom the Kemp-Welches descended, were also of the Ollantigh stock, as 
they were landholders in Hampshire- and the Isle of Wight, where their properties appear to be 
close tOj if not identical with, the lands belonging to the known indivrduals of the Archbishop's 
family. The exact connexion, however, has not been traced. 



JOHN KEMPE, who eventually became practically head of both Church and State, could 
hardly, even in the moments of boyish enthusiasm, have hoped that such positions w^re in 
store for him. For although his father was of knightly family and his mother's -relatives 
held large estates, both were comparatively poor people until some years after John had made his 
first great impression as a man of keen intelligence. 

It was, therefore, the necessity of carving out a position for himself that stimulated him to 
make the utmost use of his opportunities, and to apply himself to study. Further than this we 
have ample evidence of his good physique, and, perhaps, chief of all, of his strong self-control, and 
moderation in times of extravagance and passion. 

His rapid rise shows that he possessed great abilities, and that his character was one on which 
men could rely. The latter quality is specially attested by his maintaining his high positions for 
SCT many years, during a period when public opinion and court influence underwent such great 
and sudden changes. Doubtless he was always ready to seize any opportunity of adding-to his 
estate, audit may have been galling to others when he instituted his own km to lucrative posts. 
In his times, and for very long afterwards, positions were obtained far more by favour than they 
are in these days of acute competition, with railways and newspapers providing communication 
with the whole kingdom. An official would naturally have to draw his subordinates from his 

[, KENT. 

1 thi parish, which 
, beijre 1499. 

=Mi choir Sharpe. 

Note. — Cardinal Kempe settled the Manor of Boughton Aluph 
on his College at Wye, 1453. 
Bishop Thomas Kempe held it at his death, 1489. 

Sir Thomas Kempe, Knight, of OUantigh, demised the 
Manor to his son, William Kempe, in 1 5 18. 

Edward Kempe had power to enter upon a 
portion of the Manor, 1539. 

tife 2nd wife. re-mariied 

rin; . . . .^Edward Kempe, of Boughton Aluph, =Mary Pinner,^Wm. Watts, of 
P.A.i 584. bur. B.A. 1597. mar. B.A. 1584, Newchurch. 

(? brother to ne.xt Edward*) re-mar. 1603. 

t of ' homas Le Gent (or Segent) and widow of John Tench, 
1613-1619. I 

I Catherine Tench^William Ward, Mayor of 

I Dover in 16 19. 

Wife died 

Katherine Kempe, 
of Ashford. 

Mercy (.') Kempe=Wm. Dodd. 

I I I I I I 

William B^'g' y Dodd. Elizabeth Dodd. John Dodd. Stephen Dodd^Agnes. Thomas Dodd. 

died ante i"^'' John mar. of Selling, 

loru' of Wye. Wm. Hoone. died 1618/9. 

Johr Home. 

Edward rfiton '\luph (yeoman i^Katherine Hinckley, of Harrietsham. 

heir to Ec '63 
afterward' '^ 
arms 164 

(Perhaps son 

married 161 1. 

Alice Kener K; mp, of= 
ndo and 
tenbi ough, 
/ill i .92. 


Frances . m R ^mp, 
bur. I7<)- 16 ?, 
r. i6i 7. 

William Kemp, 
(? of Ramsgate) 

Elizabeth Kemp, 
bap. 1631, mar. 
=Thos. Sturafe. 

Hannah Kemp. 

bap. 1633, mar. 

^Rowland Price. 

2nd husb. 


Edward Kemp,^Catherine .... 
Adminis. 1706. | (re-mar. Isaacs) 

Hannah Kemp=Henry Gould, 
mar. 1676. 

Maltha Kemp. 

Joyce Kemp. 

Katherine Kemp. 

Edward Ij VVl liam Kemp, 
bap. B.A. ' 'ap. 1691. 
(? bur. I 

Hannah Kemp, 
bap. 1693. 

Jane Kemp, 
bap. 1695. 

Roger Kemp, 
bap. 1699. 
bur. 1725. 

'40 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

down to ten boys, whereas in the following eighteen months eighty were admitted. The Christian 
name of this master does not appear in the history of the school (by J. H. Round). His identity 
is at present unknown. 

It is evident that before 161 7 the sons of Reginald Kempe were dead, otherwise the adminis- 
tration of his widow's estate would have been granted to the eldest son instead of a daughter. The 
date of their death, however, is not known, and we cannot taace the Kempes who ppear at Wye 
later than this to the same stock ; in the adjoining parish of Boughton Aluph, however,- a line of 
Kempes continued to the eighteenth century, and there can be little doubt as to these being a 
collateral line of the Kempes of Ollantigh, although the date at which this branch started is left 

It must not, however, be thought that, with the co-heiresses of the last Sir Thomas Kempe of 
Wye and Reginald -Kempe, the family -became extinct. 'Those branches best known, which 
continued much later, are those of Slindon, Sussex ; the issue of Edward Kempe, of Hampsfiire, 
who spread into Herefordshire, Buckinghamshire and other counties ; and it seems -that the 
Kempes of Dorset, from whom the Kemp-Welches descended, were also of the Ollantigh stock, as 
they were landholders in Hampshire- and the Isle of Weight, where their properties appear to be 
close tOj if not identical with, the lands belonging to the known individuals of the Archbishop's 
family. The exact connexion, however, has not been traced. • 



JOHN KEMPE, who eventually became practically head of both Church and State, could 
hardly, even in the moments of boyish enthusiasm, have hoped that such positions w-ere in 
store for him. For although his father was of knightly family and his mother's -relatives 
held large estates, both were comparatively poor people until some years after John had made his 
first great impression as a man of keen intelligence. 

It was, therefore, the necessity of carving out a position for himself that stimulated him to 
make the utmost use of his opportunities, and to apply himself to study. Further than this we 
have ample evidence of his good physique, and, perhaps, chief of all, of his strong self-control, and 
moderation in times of extravagance and passion. 

His rapid rise shows that he possessed great abilities, and that his character was one on which 
men could rely. The latter quality is specially attested by his maintaining his high positions for 
so many years, during a period when public opinion and court influence underwent such great 
and sudden changes. Doubtless he was always ready to seize any opportunity of adding-to his 
estate, and it may have been galling to others when he instituted his own ktn to lucrative posts. 
In his times, and for very long afterwards, positions were obtained far more by favour than they 
are in these days of acute competition, with railways and newspapers providing communication 
with the whole kingdom. An official would naturally have to draw his subordinates from his 


Note. — Kempe settled the Manor of Boughlon Aluph 

■Sir Thomas Kempe, Kniehl, of Ollantigh, demised the 
M.inor to his son, William Kempe, in 1518. 

Richard Kempe married tMonasyn Pett, at Boughton .^luph, 1558. 

William Kcmpc, buried at Wye 1560. 


.1 .. . I .. 

William Kempe, living I58o,=Maiy Dein 
> in. 1569. I 

> bap. at Wye 1556. 

Aleringe Sh.^rpe=.'\nne Kempe. Dennis Kempe=Mi choir Sharpe. 

mar. B..A. 1565, I I 

living 1602. I 

'St wife 2lid wife. re-married 

Katheriie . . . .=Edw;ud Kempe, of Bonghlon Alupll,=Mary Piilner,=Wm. Watts, of 
bur. B.A.I 5S4. bur. B.A. IS97. mar. B.A. [5S4, Ncwchurch. 

t? biother to next Edw.ird") re-mar. 1603. 

• Edward Kempe, of Dover ,=Alice, dau- of liomas Le Gent (or Segent) and widow of John Tench, 
p. died before 16 1 3. j Will 161 3.1 619. I 

Catherine Tench=William Ward, Mayor of 
- ' I Dover in 1619, 

Wife died aa/t 1582=John Kempe, of Roger Kempe, of Boughton Aluph, 
I Kennington. Eastwell, Wve and Kennington 

Will ISS:. (Yeoman) Will I6<i2, bur. B.A. 

Edward Kempe, of Maidstone, Gent.^Katherine, daughter of 
and of Dover, Boughton Aluph I Christopher Bachelor, 
and Kennin ton. Will 1620. (? Will 1670/2) 

Mercy (?)Kempe=Wm. Dodd. 

William Kempe,=(?) Judith Gibson, 
Maidsl ' 

1st husb. i 

Trindall=Meicy Kempe, 
I of Longham. 

John Chapman=Mary Trindall. 

Ann Kempe. Mary Kempe. F.dwajd Dodd. Marg y Dodd. Eliiabelh Dodd. John Dodd. Stephen Dodd=Agne5. Thomas Dodd. 
(eldest son) mar John mar. ofSelhng, 

Horn, of Wye. Wm. Hoone. died 1618/9. 

Edward Kempe, of Biddenden, a minor in l6lS.=(? Alice BaseJon, mar. at Maidst; 

heir to Edward ICerape, of Maidstone. (Perhaps ] she re-married, 1668, Thomas i 

afterwards of Dover and obtained grant of 

arms 1645) ^ 

I i -■ I 

Alice Kempe. Anne Kempe,=Roljert Cunis, Mary Kemi: 

(These childrtn \ 

Edward Kempe, of Boughtor Aluph (yeomani^Katherine Hinclcley, of Harrietshai 
Buried B.A. 1638. Will i6} , (Perhaps son | married 1611. . 
of Edward Kemp bur. at B ',. 1597) 

Edward ICempe, of=:Sarah . 

Boughton .Aluph, 

(eldesi son) 

bap. B.A. 1618, 

bur. B..A. 1693. 

Katherine Kempe, 

mar. 1638] 
^Thomas Fogg. 

^lary Kempe, 
.P.Will 167a. 

Roger Kf mp, of^ . 

Londo: and I 
Oueenbf ough, 
~ Will ) ,92. 

William Kemp, Elizabeth Kemp. Hannah Kemp. 

C? of Ramsgate) bap. 1631, mar. bap. 1633, mar. 

=Thos. Sturge, ^Rowland Price. 

Roger Ker.i 
Vfill 1696 




rst husb. 1 2nd husb 







i;s . . . .= 

=Edw;ird Kemp 



=Tliumas Kemp, 

Roger Kemp, 

John Hope,^Maiy Kempe:=Norton 

Saiah Kemp=Philip Smith, 

William h 'mp, 

Martha Kemp. 





bap. B.A. 1649, 
bur. B.A. 1708. 

bap. 1651, 

living 1696, 

" Felimonger," 

of Wye. 

bap. 165 z, 
Will 1696, 
of Homsey. 

mar. 1667. mar. 

- of Eastwell. 
mar. 1667. 

bap. 16 1, 
bur. I& 7. 

Edward Kemp, 
bap. B.A. 1670, 
t? bur. 1700) 

Thomas Kemp, 
bap. 168 1, 
bur. 1681. 

Roger Kemp, 
bap. 1699, 
bur. 1725. 

The Archbishop' of Canterbury^ Lord Chancellor bf England. 41 

own acquaintances, and he would, of course, select those on whom he could rely for suitable 
service. Positions were sold frequently to the highest bidder, or arrangements made for the 
reversion of an office by payment of a considerable sum down (with an indefinite period of waiting 
for the -vacancy), or by the undertaking to pay to the retiring person the income for a term of 
years during which the new officer must be dependent on other income, perhaps that raised by a 
similar sale of minor posts, or by the illegal enforcement of payments. It was this injustice which 
prepared the way for Jack Cade's rebellion of which we shall have to speak later. But looking 
down the long list of those appointed to various, valuable posts during the long period of his 
governing of the church, we do not find a large percentage of relatives presented to the " fat hvings," 
nor do- we find an undue portion of the vacancies filled up by men who were in a position 
to pay premiums to the Archbishop. -It is only fair to point this out, as he been has repeatedly 

The Norman Stairs, Canterbury. 

charged with nepotism and greed. The rules which he so carefully compiled for the regulation of 
his College at Wye, bear the strongest testimony in his favour. He held his ecclesiastical 
appointments with great dignity — we are incHned to-day to look upon his grave hauteur, such as 
demanding it as his right to sit before the king wearing his cardinal's hat, as popish arroo-ance. 
Yet here it must be borne in mind that the Roman Church was still regarded as the chief 
authority in matters concerning Christian Religion, while in the Bishop of Rome was recognised 
the faithful and inspired representative of Christ. Archbishop Kempe believed in the reality 
and sacredness of his authority, and felt that in maintaining his own position with prescribed 
insignia of his various powers he was upholding the dignity {i.e. greatness) and reaUty of Christ 
through the church. 

John Kempe was sent at an early age to Canterbury (some nine miles from his home). Here 
we are unable to find that he distinguished himself, but he must have shown an aptitude for study, 
otherwise being but the second son of a small property holder, he would not have been sent to 
college. At what age exactly he went to Oxford no record shows — probably at about sixteen. 

^.2 History of the Kemp and Keinpe Families. 

There he quickly made his presence felt as a brilliant debater. Doubtless the puzzles with which he 
embarrassed his learned masters made him popular among his fellow students. Eventually, having 
more than mastered the legal conundrums of the day, and the usual subjects taught, he became 
both Doctor of Divinity and Doctor of Laws. He entered the legal profession which, be it 
remembered was then recognised as a clerical calling. At this time he was probably about twenty. 
We do not know the date of his ordination, but we find him as Rector of both Saint Michael's,* 
Crooked Lane, London, and of of Slapton in Bucks, before 1407, for in that year he resigned both 
livings. It seems that about the same time he was also Rector of Southwich, Sussex, which, 
perhaps, was due to his relatives' influence with the patron of that living. It is, however, quite 
possible that at Slapton, at least, he did not personally officiate, as one of the evils of the time arose 
from the fact that many livings were held by one man who put a badly paid clerk in charge. 
At his city church he probably exercised his powers of preaching, and thus doubtless spread his 
fame. In any case, he was so well known as a learned man and clever barrister in 1413 that 
Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, engaged his services in the most memorable trial of 
Lord Cobham, otherwise called Sir John Oldcastle, who was looked upon as a dangerous enemy 
of the church. 

This gentleman, whose family held considerable property in Kent, had imbibed the doctrines 
of John WycklifTe (who died four years after the death of John Kempe). His chief offence was 
that he denied that the clergy had any priestly power ; for this he was brought before an assembly 
of the greatest ecclesiastics, who were soon deeply involved in discussing the matters which then, 
and ever since, have been such serious matters of difference between Christian communities. 
The account of the trial is extremely interesting ; we must, however, confine ourselves to the 
questions put by the young barrister, John Kempe, and the answers given. 

At the trial of Lord Cobham, t 25th September, 1413, it is thus recorded : 

" . . . . When a Doctour of Lawe, called Master Johan Kempe, plucked out of his bosome a copye of that Byll which 
they had afore sent into the Tower, by the Archbishop's Council, thinking thereby to make shorter work of him. For they 
were so amased with his answers .... that they knew not well howe to occupye the tyme 

'• ' My lord Cobham ' (saythe this doctor) ' we must brefely know your mynde concernyng these 4 poynts here following. 
The first of them is thys, And then he redde vpon the Byll. The Fayth and Determinacion of holy Church touching the 
Blessed Sacrement of the Alter is this, that after the sacramentall words be once spoken by a pryst in hys masse, the 
materyall bread that was before bread, is turned into Christes very blode. And so there remaineth in the sacrement of the 
Aulter from thens forth no materyall bread nor materyall wyne, which were there before the sacrementall words spoken ; 
Sir, beluve ye not this ? ' 

" Then Lord Cobham sayed, ' This is not my Beleue ; but my Faith is (as I sayed to you afore) that in the worshipful! 
sacrament of the aulter, is very Christes body in fourme of bread.' Than said the Archbishop, ' Sir Johan, ye must saye 
otherwise.' Then Lord Cobham saide, 'Nay, that I shall not, if God be vpon my syde (as I trust he is) but that there is 
Christes bodye in fourm of bread, as the comon beleue is.' 

" Then redde the doctor again. ' The second Point is this : Holy Churche hath determined that euery Christen man 
lyuing here bodely vpon earth, ought to be shryen to a priest ordained by th' church, if he may come to him. Sir, What 
say ye to this ? ' 

" The Lord Cobham answered and said, ' a diseased or sore wounded man had nede to have a sure wyse chyrurgion, 
and a true ; knowing both the ground and the danger of the same. Moost necessary were it therefore, to be fyrst shryuen 
vnto God. which only knoweth our diseases and can help us. I deny not in this the going to a priest, if he be a man of 
good lyfe and learning : for the lawes of God are toibe required of the Priest which is godly learned, But if he be an Ydiote, 
or a man of viciouse lyuing that is my curate, I ought rather to flee him than to seke vnto him. For souner might I catch 
yll of him that is nought, than any goodnesse towards my soule helth.' 

" Then redde the doctour againe, ' The third Point is this, Christe ordained Saint Peter ye Apostle to be his Vicar here 
in earth, whose see is the church of Rome. And he granted that the same power which he gave vnto Peter, should succeed 

* Su Dr. Thomas Kempe was also Rector of this church, 1747-1763, in our Middlesex section. The church was pulled down in 1832 to 
make space for London Bridge. The Rector of that time, Dr. Dakins, has published a Parish History of it and Alfred J, Kempe wrote an 
account of Roman Antiquities found on the site. 

t " Cobbett's State Trials," 1163-1600, vol. i. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury^ Lord Chancellor of England. 43 

to all Peter's successors, which we call now Popes of Rome. By whose special power in churches partycular he ordained 
prelates, archbishops, parsons, curates, and other degrees more ; vnto whom christen men ought to obeye after the lawes of 
the church of Rome. This is the determination of Holy church ; Sir, belieue ye not this ? ' 

" To this he answered, and said, ' He that followeth Peter moost nighest in pure lyuing, is next vnto him in succession ; 
but your Lordly ordre estemeth not greatly the lowly behauer of pore Peter ; what soeuer ye prate of him : neither care 
you greatly for the humble maners of them that succeeded him tyll the lime of Sylvester, which for the most part were 
martirs, as I told ye afore. You can lett all their good condicions go by you, and not hurt your selues with them at all ; all 
the world knows thys well enough by you, and ye can meke boast of Peter.' 

"Then redde the Doctor again : 'The fourth Pointe is this, holy Church hath determined, that it is meretorious to a 
chrysten manne to go on pilgrimage to holy places, and there specially to worship holy relicks and images of saintes, apostles, 
martirs, confessors, and all other saintes besides, approued by the Church of Rome ; Sir, what say ye to this ? ' 

"Whereunto he answered : ' I owe them no seruice by any commandent of God, and therefore I minde [?you] not to 
seke them for your coueteovsness ; It were best ye swept them fayre from cobwebs and duste ' " 

John Oldcastle was condemned to be burnt as a heretic, in accordance with a law made in 
1401 for the suppression of the Lollard doctrines. He, however, escaped into Wales, and it was 
not until 141 7 that he was executed. A most ghastly picture of his execution is given in " Foxe's 
Book of Martyrs," it depicts the Lollard hung in chains nude, over a great pile of burning faggots, 
an aged bishop on horseback, and many clergy and officers are represented as looking on. 

The able way in which John Kempe had conducted the prosecution led to the next step in 
his now rapid promotion. Archbishop Chichele introduced him to King Henry V., who soon made 
use of his services. In July, 141 5, he was sent, attended by a large retinue, and provided with 
what seems an enormous amount of plate and money to negotiate with the King of Arragon for 
peace, and for the hand of his daughter. Princess Catherine. It was not unusual for clerics to be 
sent on State negotiations, but the very delicate and difficult task entrusted to him in his thirty- 
fifth year — when older and more experienced men were available — shows how greatly the king 
and great officers of State esteemed his talents. Although these desired objects were not attained, 
he was soon dispatched on a second mission to France, and afterwards to Burgundy in 141 7 and 
1418. In April, 141 9, Henry V. made him keeper of his Privy Seal, and in less than two years 
he was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Normandy, during which office he on one occasion 
at least held a review of the troops, he being the inspecting general ! He had, meanwhile, been 
successively appointed Archdeacon of Durham, Dean of Arches, Vicar-General to Archbishop 
Chichele, and Chief Justiciary of the Province of Canterbury. In the same year he was appointed 
Bishop of Rochester, the Papal provision being dated 26th June, 1419, and the temporalities of the 
see being delivered to him by the Archbishop of Canterbury on the 9th December following. 
It is probable that his consecration as bishop took place at Rouen at the same time as that of 
Bishop Morton, who about this time was appointed Bishop of Winchester, and who it is known 
was consecrated at Rouen Cathedral on 3rd December that year. In this see he remained till 
142 1, when he was appointed to that of Chichester ; he was, however, never enthroned there, nor 
did he perform any episcopal act in that diocese, as the more important bishopric of London 
becoming vacant, he claimed that see under a Papal provision dated 17th November, 1420. This 
provision, however, was felt by the London clergy to be an encroachment on the right exercised 
by the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, of selecting a candidate and submitting his name to the 
Pope. They had in this case elected Thomas Polton, Bishop of Hereford, and thus to compromise 
matters the Pope translated the latter to the See of Chichester, while John Kempe received the 
spirituals of London from the Archbishop on 20th May, 1422, and the temporals from the King 
on the 20th of the following month. It is interesting to notice as one of the results of this struggle 
between the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's on the one hand, and the Pope on the other, for the 
right of nominating a new Bishop to the See, that at the Court General of the Manor of Fulham 
held on 2nd October, 1421, it was decreed as follow :— 

44 -" ■ 'History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. . - 

• . "Presented that the Dean and Chapter claim one shilling during the vacancy of the See as 
recognizance from the Customary Tenants, and the same to be levied forthwith." 

When at length John Kempe was presented to the temporalities pertaining to his Bishopric 
of London, all the tenants of his manors had to attend to do fealty. We may here digress to note 
the very considerable lands which the Bishop of London then held, in addition to his chief seat, 
Fulham Palace. The Manor of Fulham alone included Hammersmith and Finchley covering 
about 4,000 acres. The Bishop held the manors of the following places in Middlesex, Herts, and 
Essex with the advowson of several of them : — Acton, Ealing, Ashwell, Drayton, Peering, 
•Greenford, Hanwell, Rtckmansworth, Hornsey, Hadham, Kelvedon, Layndon, Steavenage, 
Stortford, Wickhara, and Paddington. Granting that both the Kempe bishops were guilty of 
remembering their relatives and introducing them to positions of advantage, it will be interesting 
for us to bear in mind these places, with those which they held personally, and others like the 
lands held by the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's to which the bishops' influence doubtless 
extended. In many cases the ancient Manor Rolls go back to their times or nearly so, and we 
may thus obtain a trace of Kempes who settled down on these episcopal lands during the 
period over which the Kempes were Lords of these Manors. This subject will be followed in our 
Middlesex section more particularly, and it will seem evident that the Kempes of Norfolk were 
recognized as kinsmen by both John and Thomas Kempe, although even then the connexion 
between the two families of Norfolk and Kent must have been remote and merely supported by 
tradition. In any case, both Kentish and Norfolk Kempes became holders of land in some of the 
above manors (indicated by italics) within a short time. 

In his London bishopric, John Kempe couid have found but little time to devote to the 
improvement of his manorial residence at Fulham, his numerous offices must have necessitated his 
being much in London, and frequently he was away on missions, so that his stay at Fulham could 
not have been prolonged, yet it seems that at least he had meditated the alterations and 
improvements which his nephew eventually carried out. This rebuilding of the episcopal seat 
will therefore be mentioned at a greater length under our notice of Bishop Thomas Kempe. 

On the accession of Henry VI. Bishop John Kempe resigned the post of Chancellor of 
Normandy in order to become a member of the Council appointed to act for the boy-king during 
his minority. In this he took no small part, for the Duke of Bedford, who had been appointed 
Protector, tried to ignore the Council, and it was necessary to check his arrogance. This duty 
fell upon Kempe, and Bedford was summoned to the Star Chamber at Westminster. At first he 
refused, then he made excuses for non-attendance, but eventually he appeared, and before a great 
gathering of noblemen, prelates, and the King's Council Bishop Kempe addressed him with a long 
and powerful reprimand. The whole is too long to be given here, but the opening sentences as 
recorded in the Parliament Rolls, will afford an idea of its tone : — 

" tuiste, after protestation made, that it is in no wyse th'entent of my said Lordes of the Counsaille, to with drawe 
from the saide Lorde of Bedford, Worship, Reverence, or enything that thei owe unto him, considering his birth, the state 
that God hath sette hymne ynne ; but to do him all Worship, Reverence, and Pleasure ; it was rememboud howe that after 
the time of his last coming unto this land, he had made unto the saide Lordes of the Counsaille many notable good and 
great exhortations." . . . 

With many such polished speeches Kempe made it distinctly understood that the noble lord 
must not trifle with the Council, and great and powerful as was the Duke of Bedford he had to 
at least nominally assent to the rulings of this " Kempe of mean origin." 

The King's education was one of the chief concerns of this Council. In the British Museum 
IS an mteresting document relating to this subject, in which directions " for the better rule and 
government of the King " are laid down. It is signed by all the members of the Council. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor of England. 45 

Kempe, who had by the date when the document was drawn up become Archbishop of York, 

signs himself " J. Ebor." 

At the assembling of Parliament in the Painted Chamber, Westminster, in 1428, John 

Kempe, then being Archbishop of York and Chancellor of England, opened the Cause of the 

Summons with a sermon based on the words, " Sine Providentia Regali impossibile est Pacem 

Rebus dare," from the Book of Maccabees, deducing therefrom two heads of discourse which are 

given in the Parliamentary History, vol. ii., para. 201, as follows : — 

" The first was the duty of the Prince towards his Subjects, and the other the duty of the Subjects to their Prince. 
The first of these he again subdivided into three other points that the Subjects should be defended from any foreign invasion ; 
that Justice should be indifferently administered, and that Peace should be kept within the Realm. Three things he said 
also belonged to the subjects ; first, that they should grant large supplies for their better defence in time of war ; in Peace, 
that they should readil}' obey their Majesties and meekly to submit themselves to the known Laws of the Land. All which 
the. better to accomplish, the King had called this Parliament and confirmed all their Liberties ; and, that business might be 
sooner begun and ended, he desired the Commons to make choice of a Speaker and present him the ne.xt da}' before the 
Kiiig." (John TjTrel, Esquire, was the Speaker, who was then accordingl}' presented.) 

At the opening of Parliament at Westminster, in 1429, Archbishop Kempe addressed the 
assembly, taking for his text the words " Ouomodo stabit Regnum '' (Lk. xi., 18), from which he 
argued " That in the Realm of England three Causes were to be noted which hindered its 
advancement : 

1. "Want of Faith, which is the root of all good- works : quod sine Fide impossibile -esl placere Deo ; 

2. "Want of Fear, which was the chief in every good mind : Nam qui timet nihil, negliget ; 

"And lastly. The want of upright Justice, the pillar of every Kingdom, for. Ex Justitia sequitur Pa.\ et Pace Rerum 
Abundantia maxime procreatur. 

" Instead of these three virtues three abominable Vices," he said, "were sprung up, namel}-. Infidelity, through Errors 
and Heresies ; Obstinac)', instead of fear ; and Oppression in place of Justice. Through infidelit}' he told them that the 
troubles in Germany had happened. Fear he again, divided into two parts, the one Spiritual and virtuous, as fearing God 
and man for God, the other, Carnal and A'icious, from whence sprung murmurs and rebellion which would procure such 
destruction as happened to Dathan and Abiram. 

" From oppression ensued the transferring of the King's arms, according to the Wise Man, ' Regnum a gente in gentem 
transferetur propter Injustitias aut Injurias ! But that if true Faith, due Fear and strict Justice were restored, there was 
then no doubt but this would be a flourishing Kingdom.' He concluded. That as the Prince was bound to defend the 
Subjects and to keep Peace, so ought the Subjects to grant lar^el}' to the Prince out of their goods that he might be enabled 
to perform the same, to which end the said Parliament was called." (Pari. Hist., vol. ii., pp. 205-6.) 

The substance of the- addresses at the Assembling of Parliament here recorded are given in 
the Pari. Hist. II., 258 and II., 262 in the years 1428-9. During the years of his office Kerape- 
seems to have opened Parliament each year with only one exception, when illness prevented him- 
from doing so. ' - . : 

John Kempe, soon after the address to the Duke above recorded, was sent to the Duke,- 
then acting as Regent of France, and was employed to treat for the release of the King of 
Scots (Acts of Privy Council, III., 83, 137.) On i6th March, 1426, he was raised to the 
Chancellorship of England, and on the 8th of April ' following was elected Archbishop of 
York. As Lord Chancellor he remained for nearly six years, resigning the Great Seal on 
25th February, 1432. This resignation is believed to have been due to the friction between the 
two factions of the governing powers — Bedford and Gloucester. The Archbishop was one of 
those who signed the " Answers " of the latter Duke resisting the other's claim to govern at his- 
own will and pleasure and explaining the limitation of his authority as Protector (Rot. Pari. IV.,- 
327). He, however, continued to take an active part in, and assiduously attended the Council; 
notwithstanding his relinquishment of the Purse. - 

We have mentioned that Kempe held for a time the post of Chancellor of Normandy, and it 
will be of interest to further note that when his other duties prevented his personally executing 
the acts of that- position his -s.eal was affixed -by Jehan Brinkley, -his Esquire^ Lieutenant at Caen. 

46 History of the Kemp and Kempc Families. 

The impression of this seal is preserved among the additional charters in the British Museum 
(No. 114), though slightly damaged it will be found to bear the inscription " myn. J.K." in old 
English characters and ''an eagle displayed,'' which being similar to his badge, " a bird in her 
piety," may be also a cognizance worn by the personal following of the Chancellor in Normandy. 
We may here venture to say that just as our regiments wear the present Royal badges in various 
forms, so the servants of a lord possessing numerous seats and offices would frequently be 
distinguished by a badge which would serve readily to identify the individual both with his lord 
and also with the seat or office to which he was attached. Such badge was not subject to the 
decrees of the Heralds as Arms were and still are, thus many badges have passed out of mind and 
are entirely unrecorded. Archbishop Kempe used as his badge when Archbishop of York and 
Canterbury a pelican or similar bird plucking her breast, commonly termed a " bird in her piety," 
and so frequently used in churches to allude to the self-sacrifice of Christ. It was probably due 
to his using this as a badge that a crest of such a bird, standing on a wheatsheaf, was adopted by 
his family and the Kempes of Norfolk, who had previously used "a hooded hawk" as their crest. 



As at his appointment to the See of London, there was opposition to John Kempes' translation 
Z— \ to the Archbishopric of York. In this case the Pope had preferred Richard Fleming 
■*■ -^ of Lincoln to this province, but the King, with the Dean and Chapter, taking advantage 
of the law against the usurpations of Rome, stoutly opposed him, and the Pope had practically 
to withdraw his nominee. Again, however, the Pontiff did not acknowledge that the 
King had either the right or power to instal any to the See without his direct sanction ; thus 
obliged to give way to the King he yet claimed the prerogative, and issued a letter to the clergy 
of the province directing in rather odd terms that Kempe should be acknowledged as the 
Archbishop of York. 

During the long period of twenty -six years which he occupied this position he was so occupied 
with the more secular offices connected with the State politics that suffragan bishops discharged 
most of his episcopal functions. He, however, seems to have been very mindful of his parishes, 
and there can be no doubt that out of his revenues he spent yearly large sums in restoring the 
churches in his province which specially required such outside help. He made good use of his 
nephew, Thomas Kempe, as we shall presently see, and, doubtless, this relative was the factotum 
who was entrusted with the administration of the Archbishop's charitable funds. Perhaps it was 
to acknowledge the generosity of this Archbishop, or, perhaps, out of esteem for his personal 
qualities, that many churches displayed some allusion to his name or arms. For instance, in 
the Church of St. George, at Doncaster, over the principal eastern arch of the interior, there is 
a demi-figure archangel in ecclesiastical vestments, pall, &c., the right hand raised in the act of 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor of England. 47 

benediction, in the left an episcopal mitre, and on a shield supported by two smaller figures the 
coat of arms of the See of York impaling the coat of Cardinal Kempe (three sheaves within a 
bordure engrailed). Over the angels' heads the sacred monogram I.H.S. And there also was a 
carving in the masonry, representing a woolsack with the letter K, in allusion to Archbishop 
Kempe being Lord Chancellor of England.* 

Archbishop Kempe left various material memorials of his occupation of the See of York He 
beautified Southwell Minster, and to a great extent rebuilt it. He built the Gatehouse to the 
Palace of Cawood, which he adorned inside and out with his arms and insignia as Cardinal and 
Archbishop. His arms, badges, and motto are also to be seen in the now decayed woodwork of 
the palace itself. Kx\ illustration of the gateway is given in Drake's " Eboracum," page 443, 
showing the shield, three sheaves within an engrailed border, being supported by birds— possibly 
meant for hawks, presumably in allusion to the early crest of his family. In the engraving the 
birds appeared to be strangled by a cord, but this line may be the lower edge of a hood such as 
the hawk crest often had. The Cardinal's hat was used here and in other places as Kempe's crest. 
His personal motto was " Loue soit Dieu," i.e., God be praised. We have not, however, actually 
seen these relics at Southwell Palace, and are relying upon Drake for these details. He also 
speaks in the above-mentioned work of the existence of " vestry furniture cloth " at York Minster 
bearing Kempe's arms. These may, however, have disappeared before now. 

The beautiful window of Bolton Percy Church, near York, contains in the centre section a 
portrait figure of Archbishop Kempe, which was doubtless placed there at the cost of Thomas 
Kempe when rector of that church in recognition of his uncle's generosity and patronage. 
Unfortunately the glass with the head of the figure is modern. Hence it cannot be relied on as 
an actual likeness. We give a small illustration of the whole window which will give an idea of 
the figure, and below may be seen a shield bearing his arms. 

The Archbishop was prepared to attend the Council at Basle, and his credentials and passport 
were made out and permission given him to take _^2,ooo sterling, with plate valued at 1,000 
marks, in 1433, when a change in the policy of the Kingdom occasioned a delay. He addressed 
letters to the Council in consequence. These are said to be very verbose in character. They 
may be seen in the British Museum Library (Harl. MS., 826). The year is not mentioned, but 
the month is July, probably 1433. 

In X435 he represented England at the great European Congress held at Arras, when he 
declared with immense vigour and dignity the King's desires, which were for peace. As repre- 
senting the King, rather than in his Ecclesiastical capacity, he went on this important mission 
in greater state than before. The gold, silver plate and jewels which he took with him on this 
occasion were valued at three million marks. Other officials he took with him must, according 
to the permission granted to them, have taken altogether more than twenty million marks in 
similar valuables. His principal commission was to arrange a marriage between one of the 
daughters of Charles of Valois and Henry VI., but this he failed to accomplish. On his return 
he resumed his many State duties within this realm. t 

In 1439 he was again engaged in a fruitless mission to France with the object of arranging 

The embassy consisted of the Duke of Norfolk with a long retinue of nobles, prelates, lawyers 
and their respective suites, with a following of armed soldiery. Dr. Thomas Beckington was 
secretary to Archbishop Kempe, and Sir Thomas Wotton, Knight (formerly esquire to King 

♦ " History of St. George's, Doncaster," by Rev. Jackson, 1855. 
t " Foedera," v, i, 18. " Acts of Privy Councils," iv, 302. 

4S History of the Kemp mid Kempe Families. 

Henry VI.), was now one of his esquires. The secretary kept a voluminous diary, and the 
minutes, of which three contemporary copies are extant. * From these a book might be written ; 
we must, however, give here but few of the graphic details to enable us to enter a little into the 
reality of this long-forgotten but memorable mission. 

It was on Friday, the 26th June, that the Ambassadors landed at Calais, where on the 
following Sunday they received news of the approach of the French Embassy, headed by Count 
de Vendome and Archbishop of Rheims, and accordingly rode out in great state to meet them. 
Next day both parties dined with the Archbishop of York at ten o'clock, excepting the Count de 
Vendome, who made the excuse that on that day he kept a fast. The arrangements for the 
conference were made on a magnificent scale, the preparations requiring over a week to complete. 
On Monday, 6th July, at six o'clock in the morning, the English Legation left Calais, a sufficient 
guard being stationed there to prevent the town being taken unawares in order to rescue the Duke 
of Orleans, who was then a prisoner in the hands of the English. At eight o'clock they arrived 
at the place of Convention, the Gravelines being seven miles distant, when refreshments were in 
readiness for the whole cavalcade, the chief of the party being entertained in the tent of the 
Archbishop of Rheims. The Duchess of Burgundy on the one side and Cardinal Beaufort on the 
other were the appointed mediators, and before them the Ambassadors of England and Charles 
laid their proposals. Great friction, however, again prevailed, and each party was so little assured 
of the other's honour that their camps were surrounded by trenches in which the armed soldiers 
kept continual watch, ready for an outbreak of hostilities at any moment. The object of the : 
Council was not accomplished, but the Archbishop of York was not held to have erred in judgment- 
or ability, for not only did he continue to hold his many high offices, but further dignities were' 
conferred on him. 

In the December of the same year (143Q) Pope Eugenius IV., at his third creation of- 
Cardinals, made John Kempe Cardinal Priest of Santa Balbina. This Ted to a controversy 
between the Archbishop of Canterbury (Stafford) and himself as to which provincial had the 
precedence. On this matter being referred to the Pope it was decreed in favour of Archbishop - 
Kempe, on the ground that an Archbishop, even in his own province, must go after a Cardinal, - 
the latter office being second in the church only to the papacy. 

Some two years later Cardinal Kempe, with Archbishop Chichley and Cardinal Beaufort, had ■ 
to judge Alenor or Elenor Cobh-am, \vho was charged with conspiracy, with her acquaintance, 
Roger Onley, otherwise called Bolingbroke, for planning to cause the King's death. This lady - 
was the daughter of Reginald, Lord Cobham, and -wife of Humphry, Duke of Gloucester. She 
is said to have been a weak-minded person and the dupe of Bolinbroke, who is called a 
necromancer. The ignorance of the time is shown by these three learned men judging her for 
the offence of procuring a wax effigy of the King, by burning which she would cause the King's 
actual body to waste away in death. Both she and Bolingbroke protested that they had never 
intended more than to foretell when the King should die by means of the wax figure. This trial 
was held in St. Stephen's Chapel, Westminster, where she had taken sanctuary, according to the 
custom of the times. The verdict was that she should be imprisoned at Leeds Castle, in Kent, 
but the villainy of her enemies (her husband), who sought by this charge to get rid of her, 
having been foiled by this comparatively mild sentence, they soon brought her to the Guildhall, 
London, where, on a false chnrge of having by means of witchcraft induced her betrayer, the 
Duke, to marry her, she was condemned to do public penance (1441J. 

* " Hari. .M.S.," 86i snd 4,763. " Cotton M.S. Tiberius,'' B. xii. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor of England. 49 

In 1443 Cardinal Kempe granted an indulgence to those who gave to the building of a bridge 
at Oxhead, Norfolk, the charter concerning which is among the Stowe MSS. (Charter 608.)* 
Oxhead is a parish on the River Bure, about nine miles north of Norwich, and close to Brampton. 
It will be noticed in our Norfolk section of this work that Alice, the daughter of Robert, Duke 
of Brampton, married John Kempe of Weston. It is just possible that Archbishop Kempe 
recognised these persons, or rather their ancestors, as kinsmen and the senior line of his own 
family, and that consequently he was easily induced to render this favour. Archbishop Kempe 
was one of those who signed the great Charter granted to the City of Norwich in 1452, and this 
act may also indicate that he used his influence to obtain the advancement of a place so intimately 
connected with Kempes. 

On 31st January, 1450, Kempe was again called upon to fill the offices of Chancellor and 
received the Great Seal on the resignation of John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury. 

In 1450, M'hen the Cardinal was seventy years of age, he had to go forth to meet the 
formidable rising headed by Jack Cade. This rebellion was supposed to have been instigated by 
the Yorkists, and had it been successful the king would probably have been deposed. But timely 
warning was carried to the City of London, which immediately turned out its pikemen and sent 
tor the venerable Chancellor and Archbishop to come to direct their operations. The insurgents 
were met at the south side of London Bridge, where the two forces met, and a furious but 
indecisive fight occurred. It was then arranged that Cade and Kempe should hold a parley in 
St. Margaret's Church, Southwark (now Southwark Cathedral), and the Archbishop Kempe agreed 
that Jack Cade should be pardoned, provided the rising was quelled. The pardon was dated 
Monday, r2th July, 1450, but it took the Council a full month before all concerned in the rising 
had been brought to justice. During that time a Commission was issued in Kent to enquire by 
whom the disturbances had been instigated ; the Cardinal was naturally one of this Commission 
and opened the proceedings at Canterbury. Eight men were executed at that City as the outcome 
of the enquiry, and many minor offenders punished. 

Archbishop Stafford having died on 6th July, 1452, John Kempe was elected Primate in 
his stead on the 21st of the same month. The Pope again demurred, for he held that this 
appointment rested with the Pontiff, as, however, he had every reason to approve of the elected 
bishop, he issued his usual mandate, and Cardinal Kempe was duly enthroned at Canterbury on 
December nth that year. 

At this time the Pope, doubtless in recognition of his powerful influence in England created 
an extraordinary cardinal bishopric by separating the See of Porto from that cf Salva Candida, or 
Santa Rufina, and constituted Kempe Cardinal Bishop with the latter title. He received the Pall 
at the hands of his nephew, Thomas Kempe, Bishop of London, at Fulham Palace, on 24th 
September, 1452. 

Still retaining the Great Seal, he remained till his death, both head of the Church and 
Lord Chancellor of the Kingdom. His age led his enemies to hope for more power, and getting 
impatient for his death, it appears that the rival political parties were preparing for hostilities 
which they felt must follow. Thus we find that only two months before he died the aged 
Archbishop was actively trying to stave off nobles and others who desired the King's 
dethronement. In a letter privately sent to John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, and one of the most 
powerful of the Yorkist Lords, written by some paid spy, within the Court at Windsor, we find 
trace of the plotting of these enemies. The letter is quoted in " Annals of Windsor," and contains 
the following " item " : — 

* This Charter may now be seen in the Castle Museum, Norwich, bearing the signature of Archbishop Kempe. 


History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

" The Cardinalle (Kempe) hathe charged and commanded alia his servaunts to be redy with 
bowe and arwes, swerd and bokeler, crosse-bowes and alle other habillements of Werre, suche as 
as thei kun meidle wt., to awaite upone the safe guard of his persone." (^See " Archaeologia," 
vol. XXIX., p. 310). 

Another war-Hke duty which fell upon Cardinal Kempe in his declining years will be worthy 

of mention. A warrant was 
issued in the name of the 
King in 1453, addressed to 
" the moost revend flFadre in 
god Joh'n Cardinal Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury," com- 
manding him to erect barriers 
for a battle upon an appeal 
of High Treason. The ap- 
pellant in this case was John 
Hatton, and the defendant 
Robert Norreys. Doubtless 
the Archbishop had to be 
present at this "Battle" or 
tournament, which took place 
in London. 

This may have been his 
last public function, for on 
22nd March, 1453, the aged 
Archbishop died. The King 
was at the time lying ill at 
Windsor, suffering from that 
strange disorder of mind, 
bordering on insanity, which 
caused him to evince no 
interest in events. In the 
letter above mentioned, for 
instance, it is recounted how, 
when his infant son, the 
Prince of Wales, was brought 
to him for the first time, the 
King looked upon the babe 
without the smallest change 
of countenance or word. 
When, however, the Bishops 
of Winchester, Ely and Ches- 
ter, with other Lords deputed 
by Parliament, told the King of the Lord Chancellor Kempe's death, the King for a moment awoke 
from his protracted silence and indifference and remarked with emphasis : " One of the wisest 
Lords in this Land is dead." The detailed account, written as a report to the House of Lords by 
this deputation, will be found in the "Annals of Windsor" and in the " Parliamentary History." 

Canopy over Tomb of Archbishop Kempe in Canterbury Cathedral, 
Specially drawn by Miss Luc)- Kemp-Welsh. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor of England. 51 

During the closing years of his life, Archbishop Kempe took steps to found and endow 
liberally a College for Secular Priests— a Collegiate Church and School in his native town of Wye, 
and we can feel sure that, from the time of his becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, he was as 
frequently resident in Kent as his duties of state would allow. He, doubtless, was frequently the 
guest of his nephew at Ollantigh, and thence watched the rebuilding of the church and the 
erection of his college and schools ; to the subject of his foundations we shall, however, give a 
separate chapter. 

One other important item should be mentioned here. Some accounts tell us that Archbishop 
Kempe performed the ceremony of marriage between the King and Margaret of Anjou, on the 

Cardinal Kempe's Tomb, Canterbury Cathedral. 

continent. It seems well within reason that he should be the officiating bishop at this marriage, 
but there is some doubt about it. The King was represented by the Earl of Suffolk, and the 
wedding was solemnized in the Cathedral of Tours, i8th April, 1445, the King and Oueen of 
France being present. There is a celebrated picture of the marriage, by Jan Mabuse, which was 
m the Walpole collection at Strawberry Hill. This picture, and the portrait of Archbishop Kempe, 
passed to the present Duke of Sutherland, and^both have been reproduced, the wedding having 
appeared in "England's History," by A. G. Temple, F.S.A., in 1897-8. 

In the picture of the marriage Archbishop Kempe is represented in full Ecclesiastical Vest- 
ments-Albe, Tunicle, Chasuble, Pall, Cope, Amice, and a jewelled M.tre. The Archbishop is said 


52 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

to have worn yellow gauntlets, but from the reproduction one would judge that the painting merely 
represented his old wrinkled hands. The Morse worn on the Cope is apparently a very large 
example, like a cruciform broach of gold with pictures in enamel. If it is somewhat doubtful if 
this marriage was actually performed by Cardinal Kempe, we have at least a reliable record of his 
having stood as god-father for the Prince of Wales, who was born in 1453. 

With the death of Archbishop Kempe the political troubles, which are known as the Wars of 
the Roses, commenced, and within a few years the House of Lancaster was succeeded bv the 
House of York. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor of England. 


John Kempe, Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal of the Church of Rome and Lord 
Chancellor of England, was buried in the Chancel of Canterbury Cathedral, on the south side and 
just opposite the tomb of his friend and patron, Archbishop Chichele. The tomb erected over 
him is a fine example of fifteenth century work, and it is greatly to be regretted that it has been 
allowed to fall into decay. In 1899 the editor of The Kentish Gazette and Canterbury Press 
called attention to the urgent need of repair in which the handsome canopy of this tomb stood. 
Dean Farrar was approached on the subject and expressed his desire to see the restoration 
accomplished ; there had, however, arisen much discussion among antiquaries as to the manner in 
which this work should be carried out, the exceedingly gorgeous colours and amount of gold 
recently used to re-decorate Archbishop Chichele's tomb having given rise to much dissatisfaction, 
the general opinion being that the high colours were entirely out of harmony with the 
surroundings. Doubtless Mr. Charles Eamer Kempe, who had been entrusted with this restoration 
by the authorities of All Souls' College, carried out their wishes, but as this gentleman is a well- 
known designer of church furniture and stained glass he would be conscious of this and would 
treat Archbishop Kempe's tomb in a suitable manner if funds for the restoration were placed at 
his disposal. 

With the sanction of the Dean it was proposed to start such a fund, and the compiler of this 
work volunteered to send out an appeal for donations for this object to every Kemp and Kempe 

in the Directories of Great 

Britain and her Colonies and 

the English-speaking world. 

The outbreak of the war in 

South Africa at this moment, 

and the many calls upon 

the charitable, was deemed 

a reason for delaying this 

appeal ; now, however, those 

who feel disposed to aid in 

the restoration of this ancient 

memorial of the greatest man 

of the name of Kempe, should 

intimate the amount which 

they are prepared to subscribe 

to the editors of this history, 

and should more than suffi- 
cient be received to accom- 





•i?iinijjiiffy£aiOiUiiiUa>^iji.ijir n (ib 


/^H^lUIh^ ^l mlmi^i^uCTla?IT^^ 

'Biinii^o nuiniilTdmnunT??;^' tur' .£ i]?ii.s 

(iiuiiir jJiuinarnii- oai5^;lgR ^v-i^Tf~x 

Rubbing of Inscription on Tomb of Archbishop Kempe, 1452. 

plish this restoration, the surplus would be devoted to similar restoration of other Kemp or 
Kempe relics. 

The inscription round the bevelled edge ot the tomb is deeply cut in abbreviated Latin, the 
annexed illustration being from a rubbing specially made for this work, with the Dean's kind 
permission. It will be noticed that sheaves occur at the end of the principal lines in allusion 
to the arms of his family. The cross at the commencement probably has reference to his office 
as bishop. 

The inscription on the tomb, if given in full, would read as follows : 

Hie jacet Reverendissimus in Christo Pater et dominus Johannes Kempe tituli * Sanctae 
Rufinae sacrosanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Episcopus Cardinalis Archiepiscopus Cantuariensis Qui 

^4 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

obiit vicesimo secundo die Mensis Marcii Anno Domini Millesimo CCCC liij. Cuius animae 
propicietur Deus. Amen. 

Neither the actual will of the Archbishop nor even a copy has been found, but it appears 
that it was duly proved in 1454. The executors, however, having declined to act as such, the Prior 
of Christ Church, "auctoritate prerogativa Ecclesiae Xpi, que hac vice ad nos plenarie spectat " 
appointed as administrators, the Bishop of London (Thomas Kempe, the Archbishop's nephew), 
Judge Fortescue, two Kentish Knights, Dr. Packenham and Robert Ballad, a priest, in their place. 

In the ordinary course an " inquisition " was held to ascertain what lands and property the 
Archbishop held at the time of his decease. This document, recording his possessions and 
personal effects, is extant, and the following details are given in the appendix to the ninth volume 
of the "Historical MSS. Report," pages 104-5. ^^'^ do not know if any books are in existence 
which can be identified as having been in his collection when this inventory was prepared, but 
possibly a few may be found in the Bodleian and other libraries of Oxford, to which university he 
is likely to have bequeathed them. 

" Inventarium Dm. Johis Kempe Cardinalis." 
The ready money amounted to 
The Vestments in the Chapel 
The Silver, Jewels and Ornaments of the Chapel 
The Gold Plate of the Chapel and Pantry - 
The Silver Vessels in the Cellarer's Office 
The Silver V^essels used for Spices - 
The (Silver) in the Pantry - 
The Linen in the Pantry 
The Silver Vessels for Water 
The Silver in the Kitchen 
The Books for the Chapel 
The Books of Divinity and Law 
Brass and other ware 
Horses and other property in the Stables 


This is certainly a large sum, but it must not be taken to be, as has been said, a reflection on 
his greed or love of display ; he had to keep up an official and palatial retinue, not only as 
Archbishop but as Lord Chancellor, and yet Archbishop Arundel's Liventory for similar effects 
was half as much again 1 — _^6,ooS 12^-. ']\d. in 1413. 

\n a Metrical History of the Archbishops of York the following lines, commemorating 
Archbishop Kempe, occur, and are thence quoted by Weever in his " Funeral Monuments," from 
wh we take them : 

Tunc Johannes nobilis Kemp vociferatus 

Prius in Londoniis presul instalatus. 
Et erectus pontifex metropolitan us, 

Presul Archipresulem confinnat Romanus, 
Mandans sibi pallium Martini ; erectus 
Sagax Cancellarius regis est effectus. 
Cardinalis presbyter digne sublimatur 














1 1 































Wye College. 55 

Sub Balbinae titulo ; sic laus cumulatur. 
In Suthwell manerium fecit preciosum, 

Multis artificibus valde sumptuosum. 
Annis multis prospere curam sui gregis, 

Rexit per insticiam, et per normam legis. 
Tandem Archiepiscopus est inthronizatus 

Apud Lambeth. Abiit, labor iam finitur, 
Et in Cantuaria corpus sepelitiir. 

Licet prohibuerit abbas rigorose. 
lacet ibi condita gleba, gloriose. 



OF Ollantigh we have no illustration. The present structure is modern and possesses no 
feature of special interest. There is nothing, we believe, in evidence at the mansion con- 
necting it with the Kempes, but there is, or lately was, a bell, marked Thomas a Kempis, 
which had evidently been purchased as a suitable relic. We need hardly say here that Thomas, the 
reputed author of " The Imitation of Christ," was in no way connected with Archbishop Kempe, 
but was living a monk on the continent when Kempe was flourishing in this country, both having 
been born about 1380. 

The Church of Wye is also disappointing. Through fire and lightning the church as built 
by Archbishop Kempe has disappeared, and the present erection on its site would not be 
recognised by those who knew it in the days of the founder. No tomb marks the long connexion 
of his family with the parish, all having been destroyed. 

The graveyard is rather a large one. Adjoining it at the east end of the church is what remains 
of the college and school founded by Archbishop Kempe, with numerous additions in red brick, 
easily distinguished from the original buildings. 

A fine view of the church, college, and the mansion and grounds of Ollantigh may be 
obtained from the train when travelling from London to Margate on the South Eastern Railway. 

The college, as an institution, was doomed to but a short career, for founded with much care 
by a man with good foresight in 1447, it fell into the grasping hands of Henry VIII. in iS45i 
thus existing less than a century. The Thornhill family, who afterwards lived at Ollantigh, 
established a school in the building, but this, too, fell into disuse, and the old buildings are utilised 
for an agricultural college. We are indebted to the secretary of this institution (Mr. Hall) for 
the illustrations and for much of our information. Those who have an opportunity to visit the 
vicinity should not fail to call at the college, where, under ordinary circumstances, they will be 
permitted to see the library, in the window of which are the genuine arms of the founder. This 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

fragment of glass was found by Mr. Parsons in one of the windows of a farmhouse at Wye, 
whither it had doubtless been carried for safety ; perhaps at the time when a battle between 
Royalists and Roundheads occurred in the parish. Mr. Parsons effected its return to the college. 
The fragments include a shield, on which the arms of the See of Canterbury impale three sheaves 
within a border (all yellow) the field being red. (The border is not engrailed, possibly this was 
effected by painting out in black by hand, which painting would be likely to wear off in time.) 
In addition to the chasuble and cross of Canterbury there is a cross of yellow, which we take to 
represent that the founder was Primate of all England as well as Bishop of that See, while a red 
circle below the chasuble was intended, we believe, to represent the Cardinal's hat, as that appears 
above his arms in the chief boss over the Martyrdom in Canterbury Cathedral. 



I Views ^ OF ilyE I College S^^E. 

— =^^^ 


We have not space to describe the building, the illustrations giving a good idea of the original 
structure before the alterations of the last century. The chief interior features are the staircase, 
library and kitchen. For further details we must refer our readers to " The History of Wye," by 
Dr. W. Leliven Morris, F.R.C.S., a copy of which is at the Canterbury Public Library. 

In the Library of the British Museum there is a bound manuscript entitled, " Wye College : 
Being an Abstract of Statutes made for the Good Government of the said College." In addition 
to the statutes this manuscript gives details of the college history and possession, collected by Dr. 
Brett, of Wye, and written down to about 1735. 

Bishop Thomas Kemp. ej 


Space at our disposal prevents us printing the statutes, which are most interesting, and sh 
that Archbishop Kempe took the greatest care to establish his college on scriptural lines. He 
frequently refers to Apostolic teaching, and strongly enforces sobriety upon the clergy and 
choristers forming the staff. He directs that their dress shall not be of a dark, dull colour nor yet 
glaring. The outer garment is to reach to their heels and to have proper sleeves, but not unduly 
long ones. Their shoes are not to have " beaks." In the other parts they are to be hke other 
grave clergymen. The cost of their clothes, which are to be renewed annually, is as follows : 
the Master, thirteen shillings and fourpence per year ; Fellows, ten shillings, and Clerks, seven 
shillings. The choristers' clothing and keep is not to exceed forty shillings a year. The members 
of the college are not even to look upon others playing with dice or other games of chance, are 
never to go into taverns, nor even the town unless accompanied by another member of the 
college. " Honest women are not to be admitted to the college unless for some necessary, useful, 
or lawful cause, those of suspicious character never." 

Every person admitted to the college as a member must have been born in lawful wedlock. 
The entertainment of guests and visitors of other orders is allowed, and a scale fixed for the cost 
of feasting such. The member intoducing the guest is required to defray half the cost out of his 
stipend. When guests are present at meals conversation is permitted in English, but at other 
times only necessary speaking is allowed at such times, and then only in Latin. When desired, 
one of the staff may read or lecture to the others while at dinner. All food must be taken in the 
common hall to avoid private gluttony or tippling. The time for meals and daily services may 
be given generally as follows : Fellows were to rise at five and begin mattins at six, to have mass 
at eight o'clock, and finish all canonical hours by eleven to have a convenient hour for dinner. 
Vespers were to be said at three or four and to finish at five. In the interval of these services 
study or manual labour were to form part of the day's occupation. Fines had to be paid for 
absence from services, the amounts of which helped to swell the property of l;he college and also 
to benefit those who most regularly attended to their duties. 



THOMAS KEMP, who eventually became Bishop of London, had certainly better prospects 
at his birth than had his uncle, who at that time had already become famed as a lawyer. 
The son of Sir Roger Kempe of Ollantigh, he was probably born at the chief mansion 
of the family, Ollantigh, in 1405. His education was similar to that of his uncle. At first he 
daily attended at the old school of Christ Church, or the " King's School." 

He was in due time entered at Merton, Oxford, and there his benefactions to the University, 
both during his lifetime and after his death, caused him, like his uncle, to be designated the 

^S History of the Kemp and Kempe Families, 

Macaenas of the University, while special prayers were ordered to be recited for them at the 
Commemoration of Benefactors. 

He was elected proctor of his college in 1437, to which, as well as to the Divinity Schools he 
was a liberal benefactor. Weaver states that it was this Bishop, and not Humphry, Duke of 
Gloucester, as it is commonly supposed, who was the chief builder of the " Divine School " as it 
stood before Bodley's foundation. Weaver enlarges on its beautiful "walls, arches, vaults, doors, 
towers and pinicales, all of square, smooth polisht stone and artificially depainted." He also 
speaks of " the Doctor's chair " and the " lively representation of the glorious frame of the celestial 
globe." It was, indeed, as old drawings show, a handsome building, but looking on such as this 
and the College at Wye and the schools there, we cannot but feel that these were after all but 
small institutions compared with the great buildings which the modern supporters of education put 
up. Yet in their day the money expended was a fair proportion of the donors' fortunes, and must 
be appreciated as works of very useful charity. 

Speaking of his munificent gifts to the University, we are bound to say that the latter was 
not always content with freewill offerings, and seems to have pressed for funds for this purpose, 
even threatening to throw aside the prayers for the Kerapes unless a large sum was given. 

It appears that a Thomas Kemp was Rector Warden of the hospital called Eastbridge or 
Kingsbridge, in Canterbury, sometime between 1429-45. We do not know whether such an 
office could be held without the holder residing in the house, but it seems likely that this was 
one of the many positions which he filled. In any case we may remark here that this hospital 
had as part of its endowment two salt pits near Whitstable, and the windmills at Reculver and 
West-Halimot, in Thanet, as well as the tithes of Westgate Mill (Canterbury). This may have 
something to do with the later Kempes of those places settling, as they could under his influence 
obtain their leases on very favourable terms. 

By this time his uncle had become Archbishop of York, and thus it was that Thomas Kempe 
was made a Canon of that Cathedral in 1431. In April, 1435, he received the Prebend of 
Stillington, which he vacated on the 7th July following on being presented to the Prebendal 
Stall of Driffield ; he was subsequently made Prebendary of Langtoft. From 1439 till 1442 he 
held the Stall of Southcore, resigning this in the latter year, but was again admitted to it in 1447. 
On his first resignation he had been made Archdeacon of Richmond, and afterwards Chancellor 
of the See of York. During this time he was also Rector of Bolton Percy — a very fine church 
some six miles out of York— the patron of which was the Archbishop. It is likely that 
Thomas Kempe made this rectory his residence for a time, as he took considerable trouble to 
improve the church, erecting a large east window of well executed stained glass, in the centre of 
which he placed the portrait of his revered uncle, John Kempe, with his arms. This window 
was taken out to save it from destruction by fanatics, but has been recently replaced, and the 
Bishop of Beverley, who is now rector, took much trouble to point out to the writer the various 
ages of restoration indicated. Unfortunately the portion representing the Archbishop's face is 
among the modern pieces. The accompanying illustration shows the window in its present state.* 

To the rear of the present rectory is a great tythe barn of ponderous carved timber, which 
must date back to the time when Prebendary Kempe stored his own grain there. Doubtless the 
humbler followers in the train of distinguished visitors were frequently provided with a night's 
shelter in this barn's upper story, which is now often used for parochial meetings and as a school. 

About 1442 Thomas Kempe was Archdeacon of Middlesex, but the date of his appointment 

* The arms contained in the window were noted by Sir William Dugdale in i6,i, the book in the Herald's Office records no less than thirty- 
three coats m this window. Those that were original are noted in Drake's " Eboracum," page 386, Kempe being one. 

Bishop Thomas Kemp. 59 

and resignation is not recorded, the probability is that he resigned when he was re-admitted to 
the Prebendal Stall of Southcore, and became Archdeacon of Richmond in 1447. This, however, 
he did not hold long, for by virtue of a Bull, published by Pope Nicholas, he was proclaimed 
Bishop of London 21st August, 1448. 

As in other instances of presentation by the Pope, the English Church objected to his 
appointment without first being elected by the Chapter of St. Paul's, and afterwards obtaining 
the approval of the King. Thus it was not until a year and a half after that he was consecrated 
Bishop by the hands of his uncle, the Archbishop of York, assisted by five Suffragans of the 
province of Canterbury, the ceremony taking place at York Place, now known as Whitehall. It 
is interesting to note that while the uncle thus consecrated his nephew, that nephew two years 
later (1452) had the pleasure of investing his uncle with the insignia of the Archbishopric of 
Canterbury and Cardinal Bishopric of Santa Rufina, this function being performed in the Bishop's 
Palace at Fulham. 

During his long episcopate he must have lived the greater part of his time at that Palace, 
and arranged for the restoration and alteration of this official residence and manor house. The 
work, however, was not complete, even at his death, although the arms of the Kempes were 
the most prominent in the Bishop's Hall and the chief apartments as denoting that mnch of the 
palace was constructed by him. Bishop Fitz-James, who succeeded to the See in 1 506, has the 
credit for what is now said to be the oldest existing portions of the palace. On this subject we 
would refer our readers to Feret's " Fulham Old and New," in which full details of the palace are 
given, and in which many records of the various Kempes of that ancient parish are included. 
Those visiting Fulham will not fail to see the arms, mottoes, badges and other allusions to the 
Kempes, who together held the manor longer than those of any other name or family. 

In 1456 we have an interesting specimen of the Bishop's mode of settling a dispute, and his 
independence and originality in administering the work of his diocese. The chapel of St. 
Stephen, in Coleman Street, had anciently belonged to the Canons of St. Paul's, who annexed it 
to St. Olave's, Jewry ; with the latter it became appropriated to the Priory of Butley in Suffolk, 
and eventually a parish church. Between these various bodies a contention had long existed as 
to the right of presentation to the living ; on the matter being placed before Bishop Kemp he 
ordered that in future the parishoners should elect their own pastor^ which they have done 
ever since. 

Bishop Thomas Kempe set a higher value on the use of sermons than many of his immediate 
predecessors, for he rebuilt the pulpit of St. Paul's Cross, which remained standing until the Puritans 
ruthlessly pulled it down, although it " was guilty of no superstition." There are numerous 
illustrations of St. Paul's Cross, differing much, but the original materials have entirely 
disappeared, and we can obtain no trace of any relics. 

About the year 1478 the Bishop founded and endowed a chantry for one priest, at the Altar 
of the Holy Trinity, and instituted the Office of Penitentiary. To this he united the Church of 
Chigwell, Essex, and the Prebend of St. Pancras, from which the prebend has since been called 
the " Office or Dignity of the Penitentiary." 

This chantry priest was to celebrate Divine Service daily at the High Altar of the Holy 
Trinity " for the good estate of the King, Queen Elizabeth, his wife, and the Bishop during their 
abode in this world, and also after their departure.'' We are told that the chantry was one of the 
most beautiful in Old St. Paul's At the destruction of the Cathedral in the great Fire of London 
this, of course, perished, but among the fragments of the old masonry, now treasured in the 
present edifice, there are pieces of stonework, the carving of which correspond with the illustra- 


History of the Kemp cuid Kempe Families. 

tion which we give of the fine tomb to this bishop, who, according to his desire, was buried within 
the chapel. Doubtless, the chapel and the tomb were of uniform style. The inscription on Bishop 
Kempe's tomb as given in " Tombs, Monuments, fe'c, in London Churches," was as follows : 

" Infra Capellam istam requiescit corpus Domini Thomae Kempe quondam Episcopi 
Londinensis, Fundatoris eiusdem, et unius Cantariae perpetuae in eadem ; qui multa bona tempore 
vitae suae Ecclesiae S. Pauli dedit et stetit XXXIX Annis LXXXIV diebus Episcopus Lond. ac 
obiit XXVTII die mensis Martii, anno Domini MCCCCLXXXIX. Cujus animae propitietur 
Deus. Amen. 

This being rendered into the following English : 

Beneath this chapel resteth the body of Thomas Kempe, sometime Bishop of London and 
founder of this chapel and of a chantry therein, forever. In his lifetime he was a bountiful 

benefactor to St. Paul's Church. He sat as Bishop of London 
thirty-nine years four-score and four days, and died 28th 
March, in the year of Grace 1489. On whose soul God have 

The various Episcopal Act books in use during Thomas 
Kempe's Episcopate are still to be seen, but Ave know of no 
other impression of his official seal than that here illustrated. 
This original, which is very imperfect, is exhibited with 
other seals of the diocese in a large case in the centre of the 
library over the Consistory Court in St. Paul's Cathedral, 
where it is accessible to the public. Among other im- 
portant documents existing which was witnessed and signed 
by him, is the Charter to the City of Norwich, which was 
signed also by his uncle, Archbishop Kempe. We have not 
heard of any portrait or effigy of this Bishop, unless that 
on the seal represents himself. 

His will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canter- 
bury. The original is lost, though the probate is extant. 
It is written in Latin and dated 4th February, 14S8. He 
describes the chapel in St. Paul's, where he desires to be 
buried, as St. Erkinwold's. To his nephew, William 
Kempe, he left his missal ; he also mentions his relatives, 
Thomas Kempe, John Kempe ; the latter's son, John Kempe ; 
Sir Robert Strelley, Knight, and his children ; his kinsman, William Upton ; John Read or 
Reede, boy of his chapel ; the Archdeacon of Essex, Richard Lichfield, Archdeacon of Middlesex, 
and others. 

A writ was issued for an inquisition of the late Bishop's estate on the 5th April, and the result 
of the inquiry was dated 8th May in the fourth year of Henry VII. The document, which is 
given in English in the " Calendar of Inquisition Post Mortem," printed by the British Record 
Office, is too long to be given here in full. It is, however, important as giving how his various 
properties were held. 

A messuage or tenement called " Clente," with 200 acres of land, 24 acres of meadow, 120 
acres of pasture, and 140 acres of wood in Wye, Crundel, Godmersham and Walham, held by 
the tenure of gavelkind, whereof 16 acres in Crundel were held from John Lee, the Master of 
the College of All Saints' at Maidstone ; 26 acres of land at Wye, held of Thomas Combes, Esq., 

Seal of Thomas Kempe, 
Bishop of London, about 1475. 

Bishop Thomas Kemp. 


as of the Manor of Combe ; 24 acres of pasture in Godmersham, held from the Prior of 
Christ Church, Canterbury ; 7 acres of wood in Walham, held from the Prior of St. John of 
Jerusalem* and the messuage called " Clente," and the residue of land worth 100^. of the Abbot 
of St. Martins, at Battle, Co. Sussex. 

Besides these estates, which were all in one district, he held the Manor of Boughton Aluph, 
direct from the King, as of the Manor of Boulogne, by service of one Knight's fee ; and the Manor 
of Stowting, from the Archbishop of Canterbury ; the Manor of Ashemersfield, from the " Abbott 
of St. Augustines without the walls of Canterbury '' ; the Manor of Hadlow, from Jasper, Duke of 
Bedford, as of the Manor of Tunbridge, Kent ; an acre of land at Staplehurst and the advowson 
of the church there, held from the Lordship of Merden ; 60 acres in Staplehurst, called Henhurst, 
held from Alexander ClifiFord, Esq., as of the Manor of Sutton Valance, and other lands called 
Sandling, Saltwood, Postling. These lands the Bishop had entrusted to John Roper, Gent., 
Nicholas Wright, Clerk, and John Chauncey to the use of his will. The estate to be entailed on 
the male heirs of his nephew, Thomas Kempe, with remainder to daughters. 

The escheators found that the Bishop had died on " Saturday after the Feast of Annunciation, 
and that Thomas Kempe, Esq., aged forty-four and more, is his cousin and heir, being son of 
William Kempe, the Bishop's brother. 

* See other Kempe tenants under this Piiory in Norfolk and Middl'jse.t sections. 

Tomb of Bishop Thomas Kempe in old St. Paul's. 

Numerous other Kentish Kempes have been traced, and all iheir 
wills have been searched at Canterbury and London, but space at our 
disposal prevents us including details of them here. 

ryai il ^if»inrt^ : iSf L^mJ ' ^ . ,L J > .'m rJJ^ , ^J i,, 'i,t'J!=rtJ i M^ i,..0,i4 ^ j(»i i i . l.>X■Jt^^i,Jl<waU>i.JJt»>a.^ ^ , i^'^' , r± ±'± ±_rVr? ,i imi 


Sir Robert Kempe — First Baronet. 

Section II. 

The Kemp and Kempe 
families of • 

Norfolk and Suffolk. 

The Kemp and Kempe Families of Norfolk and Suffolk. 

:. CHoA'PTETi^ I. 


A PART from tradition it is antecedently probable that the Kempes of Norfolk and Suffolk 
/— \ are of Saxon origin. Many facts support the belief which is current in the family. 
"*■ ^ The significance of the name has already been discussed in another chapter, but it will 
be convenient to refer to it again. According to popular etymology, Kemp and Kempe are 
modern English forms of the Anglo-Saxon Cempa, a soldier. Whether the name means soldier or 
field of contest (for which view there is strong evidence) its Saxon derivation is undisputed. 

A fact which was not mentioned in the chapter on the derivation of the name is the 
designation " Kemping " applied to competitions among reapers in the harvest field. This usage 
is found both in the south of Scotland and East Anglia, and probably in other parts of the 
country. Its history has not been traced, but were it proved to have existed, as in all probability 
it did, earlier than the custom of distinguishing families by heraldic arms it would account for 
the adoption of the three sheaves in the Kempe coat. The country folk in the eastern counties 
speak of the best sheaves in a field as " Battle " sheaves, from the belief that where human blood 
has been shed the corn grows more luxuriantly. Whatever sense the invention of the arms 
ascribed to the name the appropriateness of the sheaves is obvious. 

There were in Norfolk before 1300, one or more members of the family known as Belle 
Kempe, signifying beautiful field. They survive to the present as Belkemps and Beauchamps. 
In Latin the name appears as Bello Campo, borne by the noble house of Warwick. By a play in 
words, though in total defiance of grammar, it might be rendered battlefield. 

Such playful twistings of a name were dear to our mediaeval forefathers. The very motto 
used by the Kempes of Norfolk suppHes a rather far-fetched pun on the name. LuCEM sPero 
(Lucem Spero) has but a vague significance except in allusion to the name. Perhaps it is worth 
noting here that it reminds one of the dying words of Goethe, " Light, more light," the meaning 
of which has been variously interpreted as a request that the window of his chamber might be 
opened, or as a prayer for higher knowledge of spiritual truth. Even in the latter sense the words 
Lucem Spero are hardly likely to have suggested themselves to a warrior five hundred years ago 
as a family motto. Such an aspiration would be more likely to have emanated fi-om a monastic 
cell. The present baronet suggests that " I hope for light " was the cry of the hooded hawk which 
is one of the crests of the family. When the identification of Kempe with CEMPA is borne in 
mind the word play appears much more natural than it does to modern €ars. 

There is a story current in the family concerning the origin of the shield. A king (whose 
name is not recorded) with his followers, being tired of falconry, were attracted by the shoutings of 
a band of reapers engaged in gathering in their equally allotted portions of their lord's harvest, 

F 2 

2 Histow of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

this being one of the customary services in Heu of rent. " What game is this ? " inquired the 
king. " Kemping " was the reply, followed by further explanation. The young men goaded to 
fresh efforts by their anxiety to display their skill before so noble a company presented a lively 
scene. His Majesty, in order to spur them to yet keener contest, promised three hundred acres 
and some kine to the man who first laid three sheaves at his feet. Hardly had the reaper laid his 
last sheaf down when one of the royal birds returning from his flight alighted upon it, whereupon 
the king granted him as arms and crest three sheaves and a hawk, an appropriate memorial of the 
incident whereby he obtained his estate. In the hall at Gissing there was formerly an old picture 
of unknown date representing the " Kempers " or reapers competing, but without the royal party. 
Also in the church reapers were introduced as supporters of the Kemp arms with evident allusion 
to the family tradition. 

There is in Suffolk, near Blythburg, on the river Blyth, a locality known as Bulchamp, with 
a hamlet of the same name. In the immediate neighbourhood is the traditional site of a fierce 
battle in which the Christian Saxons of East Anglia were defeated by Penda, the ruler of the still 
heathen kingdom of Mercia. From this event the name is supposed by some to be derived. 
Camp, as stated in a former chapter, has among other meanings that of battle or contest, while the 
syllable bul is believed to represent the Anglo-Sa.xon bald, i.e.^ bold. Hence, the name would 
signify " bold fight." It is quite possible that the name Kemp, meaning field of contest, may have 
reference to the traditional site of this battle being in the midst of the ancient settlements of the 
Kemps. It may be added that Kemps are known as tenants of Blythburg Abbey as early as 1187- 
In 1154, a Gotfred Kempe was living at Norwich,' his daughter having married that year 
Jevan Bladwell. From this time numerous individuals of the name occur in records of Norfolk 
and Suffolk. At Gasthorpe, on the border of these counties we know that there was a manor called 
" Kempes " before 1288- where at that date was living as its Lord, one, Adam Kempe, who paid 
two shillings and sixpence annually to the Abbey at Bury St. Edmunds. In the following year it 
was held by Gilbert Kempe, and in 1294 William Kempe gave part of it as a marriage portion to 
his daughter Lettice, on her marriage with William, of Norwich. This husband having died three 
years later, she married again, and her portion thus passed to Simon de la Majorwaring of 
Herling, and was afterwards considered part of East Hall Manor. The other portion in 1330 is 
recorded to have passed from Emma Kempe, a widow, to her son, John Kempe What remained 
of the manor after numerous charitable gifts and other assignments, decended to William Kemp 
before 1341. 

This manor was Avithin ten miles of Gissing, and we suggest that Adam de Gissing, a Knight, 
who with Sir Nicholas Hastings founded and endowed the chapel to "All the Saints,'" at Gissing, 
in 1280, was one and the same with Adam Kempe of Kempe's Manor. We have ample proof that 
the Kempe and Hastings families were much together during the fourteenth century, and must 
have had interests in common, despite the fact that their properties were adjacent might tend to 
differences over boundaries and privileges. Of the marriage between Kempe and Hastings families 
we shall speak later, when we come to consider the recorded pedigree. Long before the above 
Kempes are known to have had Kempe's Manor, we find some of the name as land holders in 
in Norfolk and Suffolk. 

To begin with, we may ask whether there is any known reason for the Kempes being 
associated with the Abbej' of Bury St. Edmunds. In the study of small holdings in early times, 
it is noticeable that the tenants were closely attached to their greater owners. Even when they 
removed from one place to another they generally remained on the rolls of the same landlords. 
(We do not refer here to the vassels who were actually the property of the landlord, and could not 

Early Norfolk and Sufolk Kempes. .3 

quit the manor without his permission.) If, therefore, we find other early Kempes associated with 
the Abbey of Bury, we may infer a possible connexion with the families. Anyway, this Kempe 
Manor connected them with Suffolk. 

A William Kempe was a tenant under St. Augustine's Priory, Blythburg, in that county 100 
years earlier than the first date mentioned at Gasthorpe. This William and Ermesent, his wife, 
were living in 1187, and had a son named Bartholomew, who joined in the sale of their property 
at Darsham, to " Ralph de Bulitot; son of Geoffrey." 

Among other property belonging to the Priory of Blythburg were lands at Stubbing, 
Heveningham, Redisham, Rushmere, and also at Canterbury. At Little Redisham, Robert Kempe 
was a witness to a deed (now among the Stow MSS.) dated 1411- William Kempe was possessed 

^^ -as"- ^ 




Royal Grant to Adam de Gissing and Sir Nicholas Hastings for founding a Chapel at Gissing in 12S0. 

of tenements at Heveringland, Norfolk, in 1343-4, and Isabelle Kempe had land called Stubbing, 
at Wenham Parva, as well as other lands in Chatsham and Belstede Magna, in Suffolk in 1347, 
which had been settled upon her by her son in 1327. Deeds relating to these are in the Record 
Office, and with them several which are dated in 1287, and witnessed by Geoffrey Kempe, 
Warden of Ipswich. 

This name brings us to the first occurrence of the name of Kempe on the Norwich Charter 
Rolls, and although Kempes were even then numerous in East Anglia, we consider it probable 
that this Geoffrey was connected with, if not the same as Geofifrey Kempe, a citizen of Norwich, 
who, in 1294, had a grant of land in the parish of St. Lawrence. He had a son then hving 
named Thomas. The next year Geoffrey Kempe le Gierke and Cecilia, his wife, are mentioned in 

4 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

St. John, " Woddermarket " (? Maddermarket), Norwich, and twice more in 1305-6. This couple 
are also named in connexion with land and other property in St. Lawrence and the Market, which 
had formerly belonged to Arnold Kempe. [See Arnold Kempe under Boughton Aluph, Kent). 

Geoffrey, we need hardly say, is rendered in Latin as Galfridus, and as such is recorded in 
" Rotuli Hundredorum." He is termed "Clerk of Norwich," but does not seem to have been 
either a city clerk or a clergyman. In the same record, and at the same period, " Galfrid Kempe 
balli de Castello " is entered, which may represent him to be a Bailiff of the Castle, an office likely 
to be held by the same individual as he who was Warden of Ipswich. 

In 1298 and 1305 Richard, son of Geoffrey Kempe and Matilda^ is mentioned also in 
connexion with St. Lawrence, Norwich, and St. Margaret, Westwick. 

In 1306, John Kempe appears with his wife Pleysinica, who was previously wife of Mathew de 
Swathing, a goldsmith of St. John, Maddermarket. 

From the Close Rolls we find that one, Galfrid Kempe, was imprisoned at Norwich, with 
other persons, on a malicious charge of having been the cause of the death of " Thomas, the son of 
John de Ladnes," but the King sent authority to the Sheriff of the County to bail him out. 

In 1321 Richard Kempe was presented to the fifth Prebend or Provostship in Norwich 
Cathedral ; perhaps it was the same Richard who was Rector of St. George's in Tombland, in 
Norwich in 1326, and the "Sir Richard Kempe,'' who as Chaplain of Hingham, was buried in 
that Church as mentioned by Blomfield. No monument now remains to his memory. 

In 1349 a Walter Kempe was presented to the Vicarage of East Walton, from which he was 
transferred to the Rectory of St. Matthew the Apostle, Norwich, in 1364. A Walter Kempe 
was also a Rector of Narborough in 1370. From the fact that the Kempes of Esse.x were 
constantly represented in the West of Norfolk from early times until the last centur}^, it is 
probable that this cleric was one of that family. 

In 1346 Nicholas Kempe of Westwych, or West Winch, held a portion of the manor called 
Dovedales, in Newton, of which Peter de Ovedale was then, or pre\aously, Lord. It was doubtless 
a kmsman of this Nicholas, who was in 1612 Rector of West Winch, both being, we believe, of the 
Esse.x stock, by whom at an early date the name of Nicholas was used. This is, perhaps, the first 
Nicholas Kempe of whom we find record, unless one Nicholas Kempyn, of North Erpingham, can 
be claimed as a Kemp. This latter was living old, blind and infirm in 1256, for which reason he 
could not attend a court, to which he owed homage. (Crown Plea Rolls). He may also be the 
first Kempe known in the Hundred. But it is doubtful if any Kempes were his offspring, for 
nearly a century later when the subsidies were collected we find only two Kempes in the Hundred. 
These are both found on the coast, and pay but small sums ; it is, therefore, not improbable that 
they were foreigners, who had but recently settled, perhaps relatives of the Flemish Kempe 
weavers who had license to establish their craft in England in the reign of Edward III. (the King 
to whom these subsidies were paid). Their names were Thomas Kempe of Beeston, who paid two 
pence, the lowest amount collected in 1334-5. Roger Kempe of Sherringham, who paid the same 
amount in 1327, when other people paid from twelve to eighteen pence each. 

In 13T4 a. William Kew^e witnessed the will of Sir John de Reppes, one of whose daughters 
was Alice de Redisham. This testator mentions the Church of Antingham, and from the names 
of other witnesses, it seems likely that William was related to him, thus for the first time on 
record, Kempe and Anti7igham are brought together. It was not, however, until two hundred 
years later that the Kempes made Antingham one of their favourite seats. 

In 1379 we find that Richard Kempe, a tanner of Fletcham, was made a Freeman of Norwich. 
The same honour was conferred upon Thomas Kimmppe in 1405, and Gregory Kempe soon 

Roots of the Tree. 5 

afterwards. John Kempe, a carpenter in the reign of Henry VT., was also a Freeman of this City ; 
also Thomas Kempe, a tailor, in 1456. When we recall the fact of the woollen industry, having 
an early home at Worsted, and that much of their manufacture was shipped from Norwich to the 
Continent, it seems probable that these tailors, mercers, and tanners were also oi foreign origin. 

In 145 1-2 Norwich obtained the great Charter which may still be seen at the Castle Museum. 
This was signed by John Kempe, Cardinal and Archbishop of York, and Lord Chancellor of 
England, and his nephew, Thomas Kempe, then Bishop of London. Among other names 
thereon are the Duke of Norfolk as Marshal of England, and Duke of Somerset as Constable of 



JUST south of Gasthorpe and Garboldisham, but in Suffolk, lie two Westons, Coney Weston 
and Market Weston. Owing to their proximity to " Kempe's Manor," and being on the 
route which must have been taken by these Kempes when they repaired to Bury St. 
Edmunds to pay their dues, it would be easy to believe that one of these was the Weston, which 
according to the pedigree was the earlier seat of the Kemps of Gissing. 

We have, however, evidence that it was another Weston in the north-east corner of Suffolk. 
In the " Rotuli Hundredorum " for the county, we find that in the time of Edward I. Alan 
Kempe was rated at five shillings for land which he held at Westo7i in the Hundred of Waynesford, 
and William Kempe and his sons, John and Alan are mentioned. This Weston is further 
identified by the deeds now at the Records Office, which as we have said relate to Redisham, the 
adjoining parish to this. 

For further proof of the Kempes being here we turn to the Suffolk fines (for which details 
we are indebted to Mr. Walter Rye). The most important item touching the present question is 
an entry made in the nth year of Edward 11. (1318), which runs as follows :— "Henry, son of 
Robert le Clerk, of Carlton, and Aullina, his wife, V. Geoffrey, son of Alan Kempe, of Weston, 
in Carlton, Rushmere, Mutford, Barnaby and Honberg." 

The Carlton here referred to is, doubtless, Carlton Colville, which is close to Mutford and 
Barneby, and Rushmere is just south of these. A few miles southward again we come to 
Blythburg, the priory at which received dues or charities from the Kempes as early as 1187, and 
as we have said ovi^ned land at some of those places, at which the Kempes also had possessions. 

It would then be reasonable to suppose that at some earlier period, for which no records now 
exist, an ancestor of the family settled or bequeathed a portion of his lands on this Priory of 
St. Augustine, and that others of the family caused a charge to be made on their estates to the 
end that in return for these benefactions the monastery would " pray for the health of their souls." 

We have before spoken of the custom of one religious house entertaining the friends and 
tenants of another of the same order ; and we suggest that in this way these Suffolk Kempes 

6 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

were likely to communicate with those in Kent, some of whom we have seen were tenants of the 
St. Augustine at Canterbury, in which city this Blythburgh Priory also had property. The 
frequent interchange of Combe and Kempe in early documents has been notified. We here call 
attention to the coincidence, that while Alan Kempe held his property at Weston the same 
authority tells us that Alan Combe held a messuage and lands in Kent from Alic de Schalar, by 
service of three capons, and that at this time also " Barthus * de Combis " paid fourteen pence as 
rent for his lands at "Blackburn," in Suffolk, and another three pence for other neighbouring 

The Calendars of Wills for Norfolk do not commence until 1416, they show that Comp was 
the favourite spelling between that date and 1450 ; Thomas Comp of Ashfield, there can be little 
doubt, belonged to the same family as William Kempe of Griston, who in 1304 had some interest 
in that place. In course of another half century Campe had become a common rendering. 

In the Calendar of Ipswich Wills, which commences in 1400, no Comp or Cemp occurs at 
this period, the Kempes there having settled upon the spelling, which they continued uninter- 
ruptedly until about the end of the seventeenth century, when they dropped the final E. 

William Kempe, of Griston, was also concerned with lands in Walsham and Stanton, as well 
as Ashfield Parva in 1304, and in 131 3 William and John Kempe paid a fine relative to properties 
in "Elgh and Wylyngham," which were also the subject of a fine in 1327, the parties then being 
William Kempe and Agnes Kempe, with Walter de Blyford. (Blyford is close to Blythburgh.) 
The identity of these places is not quite clear, but we presume that Ellough and Wellingham, 
near Weston, are meant. 

It is interesting to find that Ubbeston, which was centuries later a seat of the family, was so 
early as 1311 partly held by one Roger Kempe. He, with his wife, Alice, was concerned that 
year with Adam Love, of Westhale, in settlements of land situated in Ubbeston^ Laxfield^ and 
Huntingfield. Laxfield is the place of residence of the first Kempe, whose will is preserved in 
the Ipswich Probate Court. His Christian name was Godfrid, the date of proving being 1444 
or 1445- The will of AHce Kempe, of Laxfield, also appears in the Calendar, between 1458 
and 1477. 

Summing up the groups of Kempes, so far briefly reviewed in Norfolk and Suffolk, we find 
them as follows : — 

At Darsham, as tenants of St. Augustine's, Blythburg, in 1187- 

At Kempe's Manor, Garboldisham, from 1288 till 1330, as tenants of the Abbey of Bury 
St. Edmunds. 

At Weston, circa 1300 to 1555. 

At Norwich, from 1150. 

At Ipswich and around, from 1294- 

And in and around Monks Eleigh, from 1372. 
It is noticeable that Darsham is just equi-distant from Norwich and Ipswich, although not 
in a direct line between them. The dates, so far ascertained, would lead us to suppose that the 
Ipswich family came to Norwich, and as the land around the former was acquired soon after the 
Geoffrey Kempe was Warden of that borough, it would appear probable that his ofifice led to his 
settling in or near the latter place. This supposition is in accord with the suggestion made by 
Blomfield, in the " History of Norfolk," who, however, had it seems even slighter evidence to 
guide him. The other ancestors which he gives, as additional to those authorised by the 

* Contraction for Bartholomaeus. 

Roots of the Tree. .- ' 7 . 

"Heraldic Visitations," he appears to have obtained from the collections made by Robert 
Kempe about the end of the sixteenth century. 

This collection of matter relating to the county families of Norfolk and Suffolk, as well as the 
Kempes of Kent, is now at the British Museum (Harl. MSS., 901.) It has his arms inside the 
cover — three sheaves within a bordure engrailed, and a crescent for difference. On page 10 he 
starts the " Descent of Kempe of Weston, in Suffolk," with Norman de Campo, Rogerus de 
Campo, and a remark to the effect that these were " vulgarly called Kempe." These are followed 
by Roger Kempe, Ralph Kempe, William Kempe, and then the Allan Kempe, the latter being the 
first on the pedigree of " Herald's Visitation." 

It is certainly rather curious if the family at so early a date attributed their name to their Sa.xon 
origin, as Blomfield states, that they should have started their pedigree with a Norman Kempe. 

Accepting for the moment these ancestors, we find Ralph Kempe to be the grandfather of 
Allan Kempe of Weston. The latter we have shown was living in 1318, and he is said to have 
married before 1324. At that time his grandfather might reasonably be living ; but he does not 
so far as we have traced appear as a land-holder in Norfolk or Suffolk. Now we find from the 
cuslumals of Battle Abbey that Radulphus de Campis, otherwise Ralph Kempe, was between 
1283 and 1312 a tenant of that monastery as stated under our records of the Kempes of Wye, 
and that at this time Galfrid Kempe was also a tenant of the same house, having his holding 
situated in the Manor of " Lymenesfield," in Sussex. Thus, so far as dates are concerned, Ralph 
Kempe, of Kent, and Galfrid Kemp, of Sussex, might be the same individuals as those connected 
with this Norfolk pedigree. 

It has, apparently, always been claimed that those of Wye and those of Gissing were of the 
same original stock, and the early authorised use of the same coat would seem to acknowledge 
this. Yet the relationship has, it seems, never been traced. 

Taking another aspect of the matter, and adhering to our theory of migration as mfluenced 
by monastic tenures, we revert to Bury St. Edmunds. 

The only portrait claimed as that of Archbishop Kempe was formerly in the " Abbey of St. 
Edmundsbury " — so Lyson in his work on London tells us. The question as to whether it really 
represents him has been threshed out in the pages of Notes and Queries, with the result that we 
may rest assured that the portrait is his, and that beyond doubt it was at Bury with that of 
Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, both of whom were benefactors of this place and of Oxford. 
The original Register of Expenses at Bury St. Edmunds is in the Harleian Library (645), it is 
entitled on the vellum cover as follows : — 

" Registrum Kempe olim ad Abbattiam Sci. Edmundi, in agro Suffolciensi pertinens." 
Either the paintings themselves, or replicas, were placed in the Abbey of Barking, in Essex, about 
the time of Bishop Thomas Kempe's death. This convent was founded by Saint Erkenwold, by 
whose shrine in St. Paul's this bishop desired to be buried. St. Erkenwald was a Saxon, great 
grandson of Uffa, the first King, and second son of Anna, the seventh King of the East Angles, 
which may account for the especial veneration in which the Kempes held him. (He was made 
bishop of London in 675.) 

Alice Kempe, of the Weston family, became a nun at this abbey at Barking. Why she 
should enter so distant a convent when there were many nearer is a mystery, unless due to the 
same esteem for the founder, or for its being patronised by her renowned kinsmen, Archbishop 
and Bishop Kempe. She must have been there some forty years after the death of the latter, 
possibly until the suppression under Henry VIII. 

Between this house and the Convent of Chertsey there were great disputes as to the interment 

8 History of the Kemp ajid Kempe Families. 

of the body of this St. Erkenwald, each claiming exclusive right to the bones of the venerable 
prelate The connection between these houses may have occasioned the settlement of Kempes at 
Chertsey. John Kempe had a grant of a toft of land in that place in 1379-80, the deed making 
this grant is preserved at the Record Office. The grantor was John de, Thorpe. This was not 
the first Kempe in Chertsey, for back in 1235 one, Gilbert Kempe, of Chertsey (Certesey), 
conveyed a portion of his estate to Phillip de Henley. 

Gilbert being one of the names associated with Kempe's Manor in Norfolk, there may be a 
connexion between the two ; while Ailwin Kempe, who was a landowner in the Hundred of 
Blackheath, Surrey, in 1205, suggests by his name a distinctly Saxon origin. Perhaps Ailwin 
became corrupted in time to Allan, for so far the Kempes had not come into touch with Scotland, 
whence it would be expected the name of Allan might be derived. 

If, however, Allan Kempe of Weston was neither connected with Ailwin Kempe, of Surrey, 
nor drew his name from the name of Allan so prevalent in Scotland, he may yet have been 
connected through the Scotts of Brabourne, in Kent, with North Britain as recorded in our 
Kentish section of this work. We must also bear in mind the tradition of the Kentish Kempe 
family, that their ancestors came from "the North," from which we may further argue, that if 
this tradition holds good for Kent it may do so also for those of Weston and Gissing. We fear 
that all evidence in favour of this is, however, prehistoric. One more word, however, may be 
said in support of the connexion between Scottish and English Kempes. This Allan Kempe 
of Weston, we are told, had at least two sons, John, who succeeded him at Weston, and Alexander 
Kempe, of whose further existence we have no trace in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex or Kent. He 
appears to have left the country. One of the earliest Kempes whom we find in Scotland, though 
at a much later date, is an Alexander Kempe, who was a favourite of King James V. It is very 
possible that the Christian name was handed down from the one to the other. Alexander is one 
of the names oftenest used by the Kempes of Edinburgh and the Lowlands since 1500. 

With regard to the early ancestors named by Blorafield in his account of the Kempes of 
Gissing, in his great " History of Norfolk," beyond the facts that such individuals did live about 
the time he ascribes to them, there is no conclusive evidence that they were the progenitors of 
the Weston or Gissing Kempes. When, however, he tells us that Ralph Kempe married a 
daughter of De la Haute, and that their son, William, married a daughter of Barstaple or 
Bainspath,* we must think that he had some reasonable ground for making such a statement. 
We have sought to trace these ladies in records of their respective families, and among the ancient 
documents of the present Baronet, but have found nothing more than the bare repetition of the 
statements dating apparently no further back than the eighteenth century. When the family 
histories connected with these names come to be written these points may be cleared up. Mean- 
while we cannot feel quite certain that these early ancestors of the Kempes are correctly recorded. 
While there is no reason why we should set them entirely aside we yet suggest that like the de 
Campos they were but individuals of whose existence Blomfield had but a bare knowledge. Had 
it been possible to establish a claim to them as direct ancestors, the Elizabethan Kempes of 
Gissing would have eflfected their being recorded as such in the official " Heraldic Visitations." 

We have shown that the Ralph Kempe and Geoffrey Kempe claimed by Blomfield as 
progenitors of the Weston and Gissing Kempes synchronize with individuals of the same name in 
Kent and Sussex, and that Blythburgh Abbey had communication with Canterbury. It is feasible 
therefore to believe that at about this time (1 180) the Norfolk Kempes held lands in each county ; 

* Bainspath sounds like a northern name. Cf. Brancepeth, Copeth, Morpeth. Bain is a Scot;ish name. 


Norman de Camp(j^>'' ieavi7tg the King's Court, 1127. 

I Got/red Kempe, lived at Norwich tn Ii5-f=^ 

I Master of the Knight's Hospitallers, 1160. Anne Kempe=Jijoan Bladwell. 

Ralf Kempe (said do. do. 1231. 

I \t Chertsev, Surrey. Living 12J5. 

William Kempe (Sorpe, Norfolk, in 12SS. Gilbert Kemp held " Kempe's Manor " in 128c,. 

I \eld " Kempe's Manor," Gasthorpe in i2g4-z^Emma Kempe of same, living ijjo. 

Arnold Kempe, of ist husband \ 2nd husband 

U illiam de i\orwiclt=Lettice Kempe=i>imon de la Mavvwaring. 

_ , ^ ' yxthe same as William K. of "-Ely," living in IJ2-; with his wife .ignes. 

of the City of Ni^^ j;^,^p,^ of Monk's Eleigh, living in 1372. 

John Kempe, of Wrd Kempe (perhaps Rector 
bur. there 1459 (?' of Heigham) 

Anne or Margaret Kempe, 
mar. . . Loveday, of Norwich. 

Alice Kempe. 

;er to Robert Beuteveleyn=:a co-heir of Thomas Gardiner. 

William Beuteveleyn, an idiot, died S.P. 

? 1st wife I 
=Elizabeth, sister to Robert Beuteveleyn. 

eth Kempe,=:Thomas Herteshorne, of Gissing, Esq. 

f Beuteveleyn. 

' \ \ r 

Elizabeth dau and Richard Kempe. Cicely Kempe=John iVloulton. Alice Kempe, 

of Mergate Hall, ^ Nun at Barking. 

^j,jj_-5i]. Richd. B Kempe=Robert Blaverhausett, of Florence Kempe:=Sir Philip Woodall, of 
of Harlston P rincethorpe, Warwickshire. Frampton, Suffolk. 

Elizabeth d. of Edie, William Kempe. Francis Kempe, Elizabeth Kempe=Lionel Throgmorton, 
of Bucking °f Little Hadham. of Flixton, Saffolk. 

Alice, d. of Phillipobert Kempe, of 

Hampstead, Mdsery St. Edmunds, 

=Agnes, dau. of 

Robert Kempe, of liHiam Staunton. 
at Hampstead 15C 

William Kempe, Edward Kempe. 
of Cambridge. 

Elizabeth Kempe, 
=:John Buxton, 

lane d. of Sir Mat'empe, Col. Matthew Kempe, Dorothy Kempe, Elizabeth Kempe, 

of Betch worth Cham.. of Virginia. =William Jackman. =Sir Robert Kempe, 

Bart. o" 1642. Knight, of 


1st wife. i 

Mary d. of Thomdie Kempe^Thomas Waldegrave. 
Shelley, Suffolk, | 

Jane Waldegrave. 

Maurice Shelton=Elizabeth Kempe. 

Letitia, d.'of Robeipe, Elizabeth Kempe, Elizabeth, d. of=William Kempe, Esq.=Jane Coleman, 

of Thurlow, Suflois, died unmarried. Henry 

the widow of Sir Shardelow 

Kempe, Knight. (or ? Shallcross) 

of Antingham, mar. 1704, 

died 1744. Tomb in died 1705. 
Antingham Church. 

Letitia Kempe, « 

born 1694. Eq cilia, d. and co-heir 
Cf Thos. Holden. 
I ^'arried A. Merry. 

Sir Benjamin Kemp, 7th Bart., 

Physician of Coin St. Dennis, Glo. 

born 1708, died 1777. 

Sir John Kemp, 
born 1754, diedunl 

1st husb. I 2nd husb. 

John Cook,=Elizabeth Kemp,^James Gay, of 
of Horsted. died 1803 North Walsham. 

Sir William Rober 
died Octo 

The Rev. Sir WilliFrancis Melissa=:Capt. Thos. Elinora=Shephard Sarah^Richd. Fish, 
loth Bart., Rect< Woodrow. Withers, R.N. Holmes. 
Flordon, bom 17 

Mary, d. of Admiri'iarah, 
H agar. j ifant. 

Elinora Sarah Caroline, 

Lucretia Melissa, 
S.P. died 1901. 

Jane Louise, 
died an infant. 

Captain Edgar Ka aroline Russell Kemp=Rev. John Sharp, D.D., late Rector of Elmley Lovets. 
the 4th King's C ' .-, , „o 

S.P. died 18' Edgar Snarp, bom 1887. 

Robert Hamilton lorothy Kemp, mar. at Flordon, l90I=Robert Gwilt, Esq., Hartest, Suffolk, 

8 History of the Kemp atid Kevtpe Families. 

of the body of this St. Erkenwald, each claiming exclusive right to the bones of the venerable 
prelate The connection between these houses may have occasioned the settlement of Kempes at 
Chertsey. John Kempe had a grant of a toft of land in that place in 1379-80, the deed making 
this grant is preserved at the Record Office. The grantor was John de. Thorpe. This was not 
the first Kempe in Chertsey, for back in 1235 one, Gilbert Kempe, of Chertsey (Certesey), 
conveyed a portion of his estate to Phillip de Henley. 

Gilbert being one of the names associated with Kempe's Manor in Norfolk, there may be a 
connexion between the two ; while Ailwin Kempe, who was a landowner in the Hundred of 
Blackheath, Surrey, in 1205, suggests by his name a distinctly Saxon origin. Perhaps Ailwin 
became corrupted in time to Allan, for so far the Kempes had not come into touch with Scotland, 
whence it would be expected the name of Allan might be derived. 

If, however, Allan Kempe of Weston was neither connected with Ailwin Kempe, of Surrey, 
nor drew his name from the name of Allan so prevalent in Scotland, he may yet have been 
connected through the Scotts of Brabourne, in Kent, with North Britain as recorded in our 
Kentish section of this work. We must also bear in mind the tradition of the Kentish Kempe 
family, that their ancestors came from "the North," from which we may further argue, that if 
this tradition holds good for Kent it may do so also for those of Weston and Gissing. We fear 
that all evidence in favour of this is, however, prehistoric. One more word, however, may be 
said in support of the connexion between Scottish and English Kempes. This Allan Kempe 
of Weston, we are told, had at least two sons, John, who succeeded him at Weston, and Alexander 
Kempe, of whose further existence we have no trace in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex or Kent. He 
appears to have left the country. One of the earliest Kempes whom we find in Scotland, though 
at a much later date, is an Alexander Kempe, who was a favourite of King James V. It is very 
possible that the Christian name was handed down from the one to the other. Alexander is one 
of the names oftenest used by the Kempes of Edinburgh and the Lowlands since 1500. 

With regard to the early ancestors named by Blomfield in his account of the Kempes of 
Gissing, in his great " History of Norfolk," beyond the facts that such individuals did live about 
the time he ascribes to them, there is no conclusive evidence that they were the progenitors of 
the Weston or Gissing Kempes. When, however, he tells us that Ralph Kempe married a 
daughter of De la Haute, and that their son, William, married a daughter of Barstaple or 
Bainspath,* we must think that he had some reasonable ground for making such a statement. 
We have sought to trace these ladies in records of their respective families, and among the ancient 
documents of the present Baronet, but have found nothing more than the bare repetition of the 
statements dating apparently no further back than the eighteenth century. When the family 
histories connected with these names come to be written these points may be cleared up. Mean- 
while we cannot feel quite certain that these early ancestors of the Kempes are correctly recorded. 
While there is no reason why we should set them entirely aside we yet suggest that like the de 
Campos they were but individuals of whose existence Blomfield had but a bare knowledge. Had 
it been possible to establish a claim to them as direct ancestors, the Elizabethan Kempes of 
Gissing would have effected their being recorded as such in the official " Heraldic Visitations." 

We have shown that the Ralph Kempe and Geoffrey Kempe claimed by Blomfield as 
progenitors of the Weston and Gissing Kempes synchronize with individuals of the same name in 
Kent and Sussex, and that Blythburgh Abbey had communication with Canterbury. It is feasible 
therefore to believe that at about this time (1 180) the Norfolk Kempes held lands in each county ; 

• Bainspath sounds like a northern name. Cf. Braneepeth, Copeth, Morpeth. Bain is a Scot;ish name. 


ivine l rSy. Sweetman Ktmpi jin-'d for leaving the Kings Court, iisy. 

Gotfred Kempe, lived at Norwich in ii^.f= 

Rogerus de Campo or Roger Kempe. ^ _^ Bartholomew Kempe, living IlS;. Amaldus de Campis, Master of the Knight's Hospitallers, zi6o. Anne Kempe=.J-wan Bladwell. 

_ ' - . , I ^ - 1 J . „f n-, u Utihd Bertrand de Campis do. do. fSJi. 

Ralf Kempe (said to have) ma,ned a dau. of De la Haute. ^^^^^ ^^ ^^_^^ . ^ .^^^^^ ^^_^^^^ £^j ^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^.^^^ ^^^^ J 

,,,.,,. „l ^1,1, ,..1 „,r,i,H , ,1,11 of Barslaole Sir Nicholas Hastings and Sir Adam de Gissing, Knt., founded Gisslng Church, I -So. A.tam Kimf, hild' Kimpts Manor;' GasOiorpt, Norfilt, in iiSS. Gmtrt Ktmp htWKEmz'S MANOR" in nSo. 

.William Kempe (said to have) marr ied a Oau. "'^"'g^^^^P^'^^^ / ■ William Km.p, Md " K^mp,', Mamr," Gmthorp, m ,2g^Emma K>mp, of ,am,. living ,330. 

A „u k-.i™ of Norwich livinrr in IW; fabelle, daughter of Edmund and Philippa Hastings=Allan Kempe, Lord of Weston, Suffolk, i Isl hmbamt. \ mj Imsimd. 

Arnold Kempe, of Morwich, living in 1305. (I.abelle Kempe, widow at I.illle Wenhaii, Suff. 1347I I living in I jlS (had mar. before 13:4) Jolm K,mf,,= Witham ,U NorM.ndi=Ltll,u Kimp,=St,nc,i d, la Mai,marmg. 

I hvtngI330.\ob. anil 1341. 

Geofrey Ke'mpe Warden of Ipswich and=Matilda, living 1305. Alice or Agnes Bvir.g in .35==John Kempe, of Weston, H'.ffi^^ K,„p,.p.rkat ,h. ,am, as K. of "Ely," living ,n y.^ M Ais ^,f, Ag,u,. 

ucwirLy r^cmiic, v / ^ j be heiresi-of Duke livin" m 1347 and 

of the C.tyof Nonvch, ''^>'^'\J^^^ Kempe, livin g 1305. ' a"d Beutevelyn) | perhaps 1376. ^./mtW Kempe, of Monk's Elligh, living in 1372. 

-r^ rn T^A ^~-~irA 1st wife. ~ \ ^nd wife. | 'I I . . I 

=Robert Kempe,^Agnes. Ralph Kempe (3rd son) perhaps Rector 

of VVesion. \ 3rd wife. of Harlow,. 1429. 

:^Kathenne, dau. of Roger Hawker, of Redenhall, living 1473. 

=Jeffrey Kempe, cf Weston, ■ John Kempe:=AIi<:e, dau. of Robert Duke, of Brampton, Suffolk, by Julian, si:cer to Robert Beuteveleyn^a co-heir of Thamas Gardiner. 

living 1440. (Perhaps | 

also of Woodbridge, 

•ixW proved 14 44. \ William Beuteveleyn. an idiot, died S .P. 

Mstwife] \ 

?ston, co-heii of Duke, Beuteveleyn and Gardiner. Deed of Settlement, 1473— Elizabeth, sister to Robert Beuteveleyn. 

I 2nd I ] I 

Flwihprh dau ind heir of John Applevard,=Robert Kempe, of Weston, Flordon and=Anne, dau. of Join Clifford, Edmund Kempe, John Kempe, William K< 

S Sate Hall Braconash | Gissing, died 1526. P.M.I, 15:7 | of Holmedale, Kent. Merchant, of London. (? of FundenhaiU Rector of Spr< 

1 — — '^ 1 i I •- I 

^nn=Sir Richd. Bacon, Mary=Thomas Jernygan, Elizabeth, Lady of Bed- 
of Harlston, Norf. of C ove, Suffolk, chamber to Qn. Catherine. 

Elizabeth, d. of Edmund Smythwin,=Rol 
of Buckinghambhire I 

of Little Hadham. 

Robert Kempe, of Gissing & Flordon, bap.=Dorothy, d. of Arthur Hr 
at Hampstead 1567, bur. at Gissing 1612. I Cricksea. Essex. Will i6g6. Kempe. of Gissing, 16 26. 

John Kempe, of Aniineham, Marpafet Kempe, Anne Kempe, Other children Thomas Kempe, of Robert Kempe, of William Kempe, Edward Kempe. 
diedl6lo. Left a son Robert =thos. Rouse. =Anthony Drury. died infants. Little Brkit& Beccles. Bi ry St. Edmunds, of Cambridge. 

Kempe, who gave his estates {jce Thwaite Pedigree) ;=Agnes, dau. of 

lane d. of Sir Matthew Browne,^Sir Robert Kempe, Knight & Baronet, John Kempe, Re\ . Arthur Kempe, Richard Kempe, Edmund Kempe, Edward Kempe, Thomas Kempe, Col. Matthew Kempe, Dorothy Kempe, Elizabeth Kempe, 

ofBetchworth Castle, Surrey. I Gent, of the Privy Chamber to =Amphillis Bigot. of Cncksea. Secretary of of Virginia. of Virginia. of Antinj-ham. of Virginia. =William Jackman. =Sir Robert Kempe, 

Bart. Charles I., of Gissing, Flordon and Will 1645. S.P. Virginia,=Dame Administrat on 1642. Knight, of 

I Antingham. Will 1647. Eliz. Limsford. Fine hingfield. 

1st wife. - I 2nd wife. III. I 

Mary, d. of Thomas Kerridge, of=Sir Robert Kempe, 2nd Bart.,^Mary, d. and sole heir of John Sone, Thomas Kempe. Matthew Kempe, Richard Kempe. Jaie Kempe=Thomas Waldegrave. Maurice Shelton=:Elizabeth Kempe. 

Shelley Suffolk, died 1635. born at Walshingham Abbey I of Ubbeston, Suffolk, died 1705. of Virginia. Will 1714, S.P. | 

1 627, died 1710. I •_ Jane Waldegrave. 

1st wife. I 2nd wife. 3'"d wife. 4th wife. I I I I I I 

Letitia, d. of Robert King,=:Sir Robert Kempe, 3rd Bart.,=Mary Elizabeth, d. or=Martha, d. of Williain=Aray, d. of Richard? John Kemy<, Robert Kempe, Jane Kempe. Mary rKempe, Elizabeth Kempe, Elizabeth, d. of=William Kempe, Esq.=Jane Coleman, 

of Thurlow, Suffolk, by I of Ubbeston, born 1667, I John Brand Colt, of | Blackwell.of Mortlock. Phillips, of died young. died young. =John Dade, :=Sir Chi-.rles Btois, died unmarried. Henry I of Antingham, mar. 1704, 

the widow of Sir Robert died 1734. Ed wardeston, d. 1709 | Surrey, died 1727. Edwardeslon, widow M.D., of mar. 1680. Shardelow ciied 1744. Tomb in died 1 705. 

Kempe, Knight. | | I of John Burroughs, Tannington, (or ? Shallcross) Antingham Church. 

] I I Martha K.=Daren Short. William, died young. died 1745. " " ' 

Letitia Kempe, Mary Kempe^ir | | 'II I I 

born 1694. Edmund Bacon, Bart., Sir Robert Kemp, 4th Bart., Sir John Kemp, 5th Bart.=Eliiabeth, d. of Thos. Mann Isaac. Edward. Anne, d. of . . .=Rev. Thomas Kemp,=Pri ciila, d. and co-heir Sir Benjamin Kemp, 7th Bart., 

of Garboldisham born 1699, died unmar. 1752. born 1700, died S.P. 1761. and widow of John Colt. d. young, d, young. Mallum, Esq. ] Rector of Gissing, cf Thos. Hoiden. Physician of Coin St. Dennis, Glo. 

I I I bom 1706, d. 1761. rei -arried A. Merry. bom 1708, died 1 777. 

I ■ 1st husb. I 2nd husb. 

Robert Kemp, John Cook,^Elizabeth Kemp,=James Gay, of 

died S.P. of Horsted. died 1803 North Walsham. 

I I 1st wife. I 2nd wife. 

Sir William Robert Kemp, 9th Bart.^Sarah, d. of Thomas Adcock, Sarah, d. of ... Cooke=Thomas Benjamin Kemp, 
died Oc tober, 1804. | of Carlton. J r.f Swaffield, died 1837. 

The Rev. Sir William Robert Kemp.^Mary, d'.of Charles Saunders, Sir Thomas Kemp, nth Bart. Rev. Thomas Cooke Kemp,^ane, d. of Robt. Pretyman, Clarissa^Ebenezar Lucretia= Francis Melissa^Capt. Thos. Ehnora^Shephard Sarah=Richd. Fish. 

loth Bart., Rector of Gissing and Esq., of Camberwell. S.P. died 1874. Rector of East Meon. b. 1 787. | Esq.. of. Eye, Suffolk. Randall. Woodrow. Withers, 

Flordon, bora 1791, died 1874. 

lary Louisa, d 
of Fordam, C 

f A. Canham,=Thoma5 Cooke ivemp. (Two sons of same names Martha Maria,= rames Barnard, Jane Sarah, Elinora Sarah CaroHne, Lucretia Melissa, 

liediifant. S.P. S.P. died. 1901. died an infant. 


Captain Edgar Kemp, of=Ellen, d. of Alfred Giles, Esq., M.p. Sir Kenneth Hagar Ki'mp, uth Bart.,=Henrietta Mary Eva, d. of Henry Hamilton, Esq., of C iiroline Russell Kemp=Rev, John Sharp, D.D., late Rector of Elmley Lovets. 

the 4th King's Own. born at Erpingham, 1853. I Chilham, Kent, and late of Blackrock, Ireland. | 

S. P. died 1873. ■ I ' Edgar Sharp,.boni 1887. 

Robert Hamilton Kemp (only son and heir) Lieut. 3rd Bait. Norfolk Regiment. Eva Conslanc: Kemp. .Margaret Hagar Kemp. Violet .Mary Kemp. Ida Toroihy Kemp, mar, at Flordon, l90l=Rbb(!rt GwUl, Esq., Hartest, Suffolk, 

The Sufolk Ancestors. ■ 9 

and that their property being thus divided the senior branch would naturally retain the ancestral 
holdings in Norfolk, the Kempes of Wye being the junior branch. This hypothesis best meets 
the tradition that the Kempes of Ollantigh came "from the North," and that they were of the 
same stock (indicated by a common heraldic coat) as those of Norfolk. 

There is one other little point which we may mention here, Adam Kempe, of Kempe's 
Manor, Adam de Gissing, and Allan Kempe of Weston, were living about the same time, and 
knowing how often at this period a man was given a variety of appellations it seems quite within 
probability that these three names represented one and the same individual. 



WE now come to the consideration of the accepted and official pedigree of the Kempes 
of Norfolk. This certainly dates from before the time of Elizabeth, for in the 
"Visitation of London" the arms are given of EdmUiND Kempe, citizen of London, 
who died in 1542, being one of the Weston (Suffolk) family. The earhest official record of which 
we have actual knowledge is Harvey's "Visitation of Norfolk," in 1563 (printed by the Harleian 
Society), but it is likely that an earlier but undated Visitation, now preserved in the College of 
Arms, which has not been printed or published, may include the Kempe pedigree. On the occasion 
of this Visitation the Kempes of Weston and Gissing took the opportunity of obtaining several 
official copies with the arms differenced for each son. There were then living six brothers, for 
whom (if not for their sons) the pedigree and arms, with their respective marks of cadency, were 
prepared. The copy belonging to the eldest was very likely destroyed by the Cromwellian party 
when they visited Gissing to apprehend the faithful Royalist Sir Robert Kempe, Bart., for the 
original copy now in possession of the present Baronet belonged, it will be seen, to the sixth son 
as indicated by the fleur-de-lis. The accompanying illustration shows only the commencement 
and end of the roll, which was brought down to 1592 by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of 
Arms ; Robert Kempe, who was head of the family in 1563, being still alive. 

It will be noticed from this that the pedigree starts with Sir Philip Hastings, son of Sir 
Edward Hastings, whose daughter Isabel married Allan Kempe, Esquire. This Allan Kempe, 
there can be no doubt, is the same Allan of Weston mentioned in the foregoing chapters, but this 
copy omits to state his residence or seat. 

The second point, which is one of considerable interest and importance, is that Isabel is not 
claimed to be the heiress of Hastings, and that even as late as 1592 the Hastings coat was not 
quartered by the family. If then the quartering was not theirs by right at that date, the family 
cannot have any right to it through this marriage at the present time. Some historians tell us 
that the quartering came through the next marriage on the pedigree, viz., John Kempe with Alice 
Duke, heiress to both Duke and Butvilleyn. If this was the case the same objection would arise, 
as the Hastings quartering would have been quartered then with Butvilleyn and Duke and thus 


History of the Kemp and Kemp e Fam.ilies. 

handed down, but this was not done. What then can we say in support of this use of the Hastings 
quarter by the Norfolk family ? It is stated in the " Visitation of Norfolk " that the coat as now 
used, comprising eight quarterings, was set out by Raven, Richmond Herald ; the actual date is 
not given, but as his "Visitation of Norfolk" was made in 1613, that date is doubtless about the 
time of the enlarged coat. He gives the fourth quartering as Or, a maunch gules, which is the' 
well known Hastings arms. Thus placed, the right to quarter it would occur between that of Duke 
and that of Blackwell, the latest quartering 




fCISSmC.C? NORFOLK. ESqtllHE,: 1566 31592. 

being the arms of Lomnor of Maningham. 
Both Blackwell and Lomner arms were 
shown in the east window of Gissing Church 
as being impaled by Kempe quartering 
Buttveleyn, and Kempe quartered with 
Buttveleyn also as impaling Hastings. 
These of course each point to a direct mar- 
riage between Kempe and the families they 
represent ; thus Kempe, aftej' marriage 
with the heiress of Butteveleyn, must have 
married a Hastings. It is, therefore, singular 
that we find neither of these marriages in 
the pedigree which accompanies the en- 
larged Kempe shield. 

Another clue is given by an ancient 
gold signet ring still in the possession of the 
Baronet's family. This ring has engraved 
upon it the coat of six quarters as given in 
our illustration of the pedigree roll, with 
the addition of a maunch on a shield of 
pretence. The tinctures are not indicated, 
which gives rise to the question as to whether 
the coat is in reahty that of Hastings or 
another of the same charge, but distinctive 
of another family. Mistakes have frequently 
occurred from this cause, while often an 
ignorant painter, by "restoring" coats in 
colours to suit his own fancy, has caused 
far-reaching errors. Even families inter- 
ested in heraldry are liable to trip in 
blazoning their arms, as will be seen by 
comparing the following coat given as that 
of the above-mentioned Edmund Kempe, 
citizen of London, with the correct description. 

Edmund Kempe's coat was said to be (in 1542) as follows : 

I. — Gules, three garbs or. 2. — Argent, three crescents gules. 3. — Azure, two chevrons sable. 
4. — Sable, a lion rampant argent. 5. — Sable, three bars argent, on a canton gules, a saltire of the 
second. 6. — Ermine, a bend chequy sable and argent. The tinctures of the generally recognized 
arms are : i. — Gules, three garbs or. 2. — Argent, three crescents gules. 3. — Azure, two chevrons 


■ - 



,».; j 


-/ \ 







The Suffolk Ancestors. 


sable. 4. — Azure ^ a lion rampant argent. 5. — Sable, three bars argent, on a canton gules, a 
saltire gules. 6. — Ermine, a bend chequy sable and argent. To mistake azure for sable, when the 
coats become black with age, is a most frequent occurrence, but how they came to drop out of the 
above shield, the Duke quartering, which brought the quarterings 2 and 3, is inconceivable — except 

as an ignorant blunder. Then, too, the 


quartering for Bardolph is omitted, while 
we find that this Edmund claims three coats 
which were not granted to his brother's 
descendants until 1587 or 16 13. 

This late blunder would not be cited 
here but for the additional object of further 
showing that, although these latest coats 
were claimed by him, the Hastings arms, 
most to be coveted, were not claimed. The 
same negligence which caused him to omit 
the other quarters might be considered 
sufficient to account for this, or it might be 
possible to show that the eldei' branch did 
obtain a subsequent right to the Hastings 
quarter through a later marriage with that 
family, as indicated by the signet ring. No 
Kempe and Hastings direct intermarriage 
is traced occurring at a suitable date, but 
the explanation appears to be given by the 
pedigree of Calthorp of Antingham. It is 
to the effect that Ann, daughter of Sir 
Edmund Hastings (and relict of Robert 
Raynes of O-xstrand) married Richard 
Calthorp, of Antingham ; their daughter 
Ann married John Kempe, second son of 
Robert Kempe, of Gissing. This John 
Kempe died in 1610, leaving his estate to 
his son Robert, who gave it to his cousin 
Robert Kempe, of Gissing. Thus we pre- 
sume the ring represented Calthorp^ of 
Orthonby, Norfolk, whose arms were 
Ermine^ a maunch gules, in allusion, we 
may believe, to Hastings. Their arms, 
however, as shown in Antingham Church, 
impaled by Kempe, are : Or and azure 
chequy a fesse ermine. This latter coat also 
impales " Or a maunche gules quartering 
gules a bend argent '' for Hastings. 
While it may yet be possible to find another union between Kempe and Hastings, it is clear 
from the pedigree that there was no second marriage in the direct senior male Hne of the Kempes 
of Gissing, and that the Baronets attributed their right to the quartering to the alliance by which 


12 History of the Kemp and Kernpe Families. 

the Hastings property in and around Gissing passed to them. At what date then, we may ask, 
did this actually pass to them ? According to the pedigrees in 1324! Allan Kempe was then 
living as the husband of Isabella Hastings, so that it has been frequently stated that the Gissing 
Manors have belonged to the Kempes from that time ; but Mr. Walter Rye, who has made a 
considerable study of this matter (as well as Norfolk pedigrees in general) points out, in an article 
on the subject in Notes and Queries^ that Gissing Manor was held by the Hastings until 1353, 
Ralph Hastings being Lord of it in 1347, as is authoritively recorded in the '-Book of Aids," 20th 
year of Edward HI. It was sold about 1353 to Thomas Gardiner, of Gissing, whose daughter Joan, 
dying without issue in 1400, left it to her brother-in-law Sir Robert Buttevileyn who had married 
her half-sister. It remained with the Buttevileyn family till 1465, when William Buttevileyn died 
and the Manors of Gissing and Florden came to his sister Julian, who by marriage conveyed these 
to Robert Duke, of Brampton, in Suffolk. This gentleman's daughter Alice, as shown in the 
pedigree, married John Kempe. The date, however, attributed to this match, Mr. Rye points out, 
is much earlier than was actually the case. 

Among the Norris MSS., a collection of pedigrees and family evidences now in Mr. Rye's 
possession, there is the following remark against this Duke-Kempe alliance : 

"Here is a notorious mistake in Mr. Blomfield's from whom the former part of the pedigree 
is taken, but how to correct it I know not yet. and also Alice daughter and only child of Robert 
Duke of Brampton in Suff., by Julian his 2nd wife who was sister and coheir of Wm. Butteveleyn 
who died s.p. 1465, therefore she could not be wife to this John who was born before 1324." 

Both Mr. Rye and Norris seem to be corrected by the author of the " History of North- 
ampton," vol. i, p. 354. He states, under an account of the Cotesbrook property held by the 
Butteveleyn family, that the Manor of Cotesbrook belonged, in the reign of Henry V., to Robert 
Butteveleyn, Esquire, who, in the fifth year of that reign, going to " foreign parts," conveyed this 
property to the Duke of Clarence and other feoffees for the time of his absence out of the kingdom, 
with remainder after his decease to William, his son and heir, and for want of such heir then to 
the right heirs of himself, Robert. He, however, died seized of it in the 9th year of Henry V. 
(1422) and was succeeded by William Butteveleyn, Esquire, his son, who leaving no issue it 
devolved to his cousins and heirs, Elizabeth, the wife of Thomas Herteshorne, of Gissing, Esquire, 
the daughter of Elizabeth, one of the sisters of his father Robert Butteveleyn, and (upon) Robert 
Kempe, of Weston, in Suffolk, Gent., son and heir of Alice Kempe, daughter of Julian, another of 
the sisters of Robert Butteveleyn, between whom partition was made 6 Edward IV. (1467) of the 
Manor and advowson of Cotesbrook and lands in other counties. The Inquisition Post Mortem 
of William Butteveleyn, made 30th Henry VI. (1451-2) in which he is described as " fatuus," is 
given in the "History of Northampton," (vol. iv, p. 150.) 

There can be no doubt that at this time part of the Gissing Manors became the property of 
the Kempes, but even at this date (1467) it is doubtful if the whole became theirs, for we are told 
by Blomfield that, in 1548, Sir Anthony Hevenyngham, Knight, Lord of Gissing cum Dagworth, 
settled three acres of land upon the churchwardens for the poor, and ordered Bartholomew Kempe 
and his heirs to pay three shilHngs a year to the same use out of his estate. This is recorded in 
the Manorial Rolls now in the present Baronet's yossession. 

It is evident from these facts that generations elapsed between Allan Kempe, whom we 
positively know as being at Weston in 1318, and the marriage of the heiress who brought the chief 
part of the Gissing property to the family in 1456-7. To set this right we must therefore remove 
the Duke marriage from the second generation of the Heraldic pedigree and place it about one 
hundred years later. We have further to attempt to set straight the intervening generations. 

The Suffolk Ancestors. 13 

Allan Kempe, we know (from the "Suffolk Feet of Fines"), had a son Geoffrey, otherwise 
called Jeffry or Galfrid Kempe. This son was interested in land at Carlton, Rushmere, Mutford, 
Barneby and Honbergh. 

It is not recorded in the " Suffolk Fines," or in other records searched, that Allan had also 
a son named John, but we find that a John Kempe and a William Kempe paid fines for land in 
Elough and Wellingham in 1313, which places, hke those of Galfrid's, are close around the 
patronal seat of Weston. William was of Griston, in Norfolk, and was interested in lands at 
Walsham, Stanton, Ashfield Parva, Elough and "Wyrlyngham" (? Worhngham) between 1304 
and 1372, his wife's name occurring as Agnes. Of John Kempe we find no further trace in the 
fines, but the deeds relating to holdings at Chattisham, Belstead Magna and Reddenhall, before 
mentioned, seem to be his, as he granted parts of these lands to his mother Isabel in 1327- This 
same John then was the father of Robert, John, Richard and other children. Robert, the son and 
heir, is said by Norris to have married Mary, daughter of Bartholomew White, by 1350, but the 
only reason for giving this date appears to have been a conjecture based on the 1324 given as a 
date at which Allan Kempe was living. Bartholomew White was " of Shotisham, in Norfolk." 
There are two Shotteshams close to Florden and Braconash, where the Kempes were afterwards 
seated ; if it is a fact that the Whites belonged to either of these they would have been near 
neighbours, and the match might be thought to have been the natural outcome of local social life. 
It is, however, necessary to point out that Braconashe did not pass to the Kempes until some 
generations later, and that Florden was one of the possessions of the Butteveleyns, the last of whom 
in the male Hne was, as we have said, William Buttevelyn, who being an idiot in 1447 his estates 
were controlled by his guardians. These guardians were Sir Thomas Tudenham, Knight, Willm. 
de la Pole, Marquess of Suffolk, and Thomas Brewer, who together committed the care of this 
idiot to William White, Esq., of Shotesham, 1450- 

This fact throws some light on the matter, and the connexion between Kempe and White 
does not seem quite so likely to have been " purely for love " as for the possible annexation of 
" a desirable freehold property." The Whites may certainly have lived at Shottesham, in Norfolk, 
but it is very singular that in 1440 John Kempe, John Dod of Woodbridge, Thomas Ward, 
Reginald Rous and William "Jenny" (? Jermy) should have been concerned with property at 
Shotesham and other places near Woodbridge, in Suffolk, while we have no mention of Shotisham 
in Norfolk among our collection of Notes from the ancient Kempe records. 

In 1381 Robert Kempe and Mary (or Margaret) his wife, with others, were jointly interested 
in the Manor of Blounts, in Suffolk. This couple, it seems, would correspond with the more 
probable date at which Robert married the Mary White, who after her death married successively 
two other wives. Of his second wife we do not know the surname, her Christian appellation being 
Agnes ; by her no issue is recorded. His third wife was Katherine, daughter of Robert Hawker, of 
Redenhall. At the latter place, in 1376, John Kempe, of Weston, had property which seems to 
have remained with the Kempes until 1536 and perhaps later. This place may be seid to be the 
" half-way house " between Weston and Florden or Braconash, and it is very likely to have been 
used as such. This John was probably the father of Robert and grandfather of another John, who 
was half-brother to " Jeffrey Kempe " of the fourth generation shown on the official Heraldic 
pedigree. Geoffrey Kempe, as stated, was by the first wife, Mary White, and if the property 
around Woodbridge, noted above, belonged to her this would be sufficient to account for his 
setthng there during his father's lifetime ; while John Kempe, who is stated in the Norris MSS. 
to be the son of Robert Kempe's third wife, is more likely to have been provided temporally with a 
residence at Redenhall or on any other of his father's estates. It was then this Geoffrey and his 

I2}.- History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

half-brother John who, in 1440, paid a fine, with their respective wives and John Somerset, for the 
property at Woodbridge, as recorded in the " Suffolk Feet of Fines." Both Geoffrey and John's 
wives are there stated to be named Margaret, of them we shall have more to say, but first we 
venture upon rather a hazardous suggestion. 

Those familiar with the earliest parochial registers and wills of the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries will readily admit that Agnes and Alice were, during that period, often taken to represent 
the same name. Now if the second wife of the above Robert Kempe was Agnes Duke, the 
properties would of course devolve upon her husband or his children. Under this hypothesis, 
Geoffrey, John and all other children might have interests in the estates, or, as is frequently the 
case, only the children of the heiress would participate. If John Kempe was half-brother to 
Geoffrey, by his father's second wife, he might have become sole heir to the Manors of Gissing, 
while the elder son perhaps used the heiress' arms with his own, although not strictly entitled to 
them. If however John, as it seems, had these Duke estates, he and not Geoffrey, the eldest son, 
was the ancestor of the subsequent Gissing line. To explain how Weston also passed to the 
younger branch we must further presume that the male issue of Geoffry became extinct. 

The entire absence of wills purporting to belong to Kempes of Weston forces us to base our 
further investigations on the Woodbridge line, of which we have some records ; as however this is 
entirely outside the scope of the official pedigree we will deal with it in a separate chapter, which 
the sceptical can " skip " to follow the later and more certain generations. 



WOODBRIDGE is situated about seven miles east-north-east of Ipswich on the river 
Deben, and like the latter place stands at the head of a creek some ten miles from the 
sea. Its proximity to both Ipswich and the sea would make it a suitable residence 
for that Geoffrey Kempe, who, at the end of the thirteenth and commencement of the fourteenth 
centuries, was Warden of the Port and perhaps also an official of the City of Norwich, which he 
could thus reach by water as conveniently as by land. We know that at Chattisham, Wenham 
Parva and Belstead, near Ipswich, the Kempes had property in 1327 and 1347, and at Bucklesham 
and Rushmere juxta Ipswich about 1385, Edmund Kempe, of Saxthorp, in Norfolk, paying a fine 
for his possessions at the last two places in that year. The first mention of Kempes actually 
connected with Woodbridge occurs in 1440, when, as stated, Geoffrey and John Kempe, with John 
Somerset, paid a fine for property there. In 1455, all the following names were jointly parties to 
some settlement of local property lying in Sutton, Shottisham, Ramsholt, Alderton, Bawdsey, 
Henley, and Newbourne, together with lands at Thornham and Gislingham in the north of the 
country ; Philip Wentworth, Knight ; Robert Wylieghby, Robert Wyngefield, Thomas Drewes, 
Gilbert Debenham^ John Heydon, Reginald Rons, William Jenney, Walter Fulburne, Richard 

Woodbridge and early Suffolk Kempes. 15 

Chiche, William Boundis, Thomas Kene, John Prylle, Thomas Ward, John Kempe and John Dod 
of Woodbridge, with John Tymperley and Margaret, his wife. The manors concerned in this 
agreement were Pettistrees, Osmondis and Talvos or Salvos. 

Many of the above names are familiar in connexion with Kempes of Kent as well as of 
Norfolk ; Chiche is associated with the Kentish stock of this date. Debenham occurs in the will 
of John Kempe of Woodbridge, proved in 14^9, while Ward is variously stated to have married 
either Alice Duke herself, or Alice, the daughter of Robert Kempe by that heiress. "Collin's 
Peerage" states that Robert Ward of Kirby Bedon, married Alice Kempe of Gissing ; the date is 
not given, but from the context the middle of the fifteenth century is inferred. Drewes in various 
spellings is a prominent name in the Kempe wills of this and subsequent periods, as also is 
Rous or Rowse. 

We have nothing to show that the Geoffrey of Ipswich ever took up his residence at the 
Weston seat. Although we have every reason to believe that the family retained their property 
there, t\ytj appear to have resided chiefly around Ipswich from about 1440- The will of Geoffrey 
Kempe of Woodbridge, was proved in the Suffolk Archdeaconry between 1444 and 1455 ; we have 
not, however, been able to obtain a copy of this. The pedigree tells us that he married Margaret, 
daughter of Sherrington, a gentleman, having a seat at Cranworth in Norfolk. By her, so the 
pedigree says, he had a son Robert, who became heir to the numerous scattered estates and ancestor 
to all the Kempes of Gissing. There is no reason to doubt the fact of his marriage, but if he had 
a son, we think he must have been John Kempe, the husband of Alice Duke, for Robert, the 
son of John, not Geoffrey, had grant of the manors of Butteveleyns and Dallings in 1473, as given 
in Dairy's MSS. (19, 138 add. Mss.) in the British Museum. Although we are unable to give the 
whereabouts of the original deed, we must credit Dairy's statement that such a document existed 
signed by " Robert Kempe, son of John. ^^ 

A will dated and proved in 1465 commences " Ego Dns Robertus Kempe." Perhaps this 
Robert was a son of Geoffrey, hence he would be lord of several manors. He mentions the Curates 
of Whitton and Thurlston, his Lord and patron, Peter of Claydon, and William ffyshlie. Rector of 
Blakenham. He leaves bequests to amend the bridge at Claydon, to provide candelabra and lamps 
for the church and for other charitable objects. He mentions, however, neither wife nor children, 
but leaves legacies to his nephew and niece, William and Katherine. These are the only relatives 
mentioned, and their surname does not appear. We know of no Kempe named William 
as connected with this family at this time. 

The earliest monument on record to a Kempe in Suffolk or Norfolk is that of John Kempe 
at Woodbridge. It is described in Weaver's "Funeral Monuments," under the Diocese of Norwich, 
and the inscription is given as follows : — 


The church at Woodbridge was founded by Sir Hugh Rufus and Alice, his wife. It is very 
probable that these were closely related to the Kempes, and it may be that their settlement at 
Woodbridge was influenced by this as well as the site being a convenient one for communication 
with Ipswich. For many generations the Rouse {alias Rufus) and Kempe families were intimate, 
and later we know of intermarriages. 

The will of this John Kempe, of Woodbridge was proved in the Suffolk Archdeaconry Court, 
and also in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. The fact of it having been proved in the second 
court probably indicates that the testator had properties in more than one diocese or county. The 
various estates are not, however, enumerated in the will, and we are not aware of the existence 


i6 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

of any Post Mortem Inquisition, The descent of property was so definitely settled by the customs 
of manors and other written and unwritten laws that even if the ancestors had not entailed their 
freeholds, it was hardly necessary to mention either the lands or the heirs, and thus numerous 
wills of considerable landowners only deal with petty bequests and charitable deeds, and give 
us no clue as to what estates they owned at their death. A late example of this is the will of 
Sir Benjamin Kemp, the seventh Baronet, who in his will of 1777 leaves "all real and personal 
estate whatsoever to his sister, Martha Short, of Sevenoaks," and does not mention Gissing, 
Florden, Braconash, or other family estates which, of course, duly passed to the next male heir 
without any difficulty. Thus John Kempe, of Woodbridge, ordains that Thomas Kempe, his son, 
Margaret Kempe, his wife, and Thomas Alnard, his son (in law) should be executors, but gives no 
directions for the disposal of his real estate. He mentions the poor of Orford, Rosamond Dalie, of 
Clopton, Thomas Panwed, Thomas Stub, John Debcnham, and his son, "Thomas Kempe, of 
Woodbridge." The mention of Margaret Kempe as his widow, and the three wives named on 
the brass shews that it was not this John who married Alice Duke. The will, however, of 
Margaret, alias Alice Kempe, of Ipswich, was proved in the Consistory Court of Norwich, in 
February 1480. 

The chief point of interest is the fact of the Curzons being mentioned as relatives. The will 
commences " Domina Margaiet Kempe, vidua de Ipswich." The original will is, we understand, 
not in existence, but in the margin and index of the Probate Register the name of the testatrix is 
given as Alice Kempe. She desired to be buried in the Monastery of SS. Peter and Paul, at 
Ipswich, to which and to the Priories of Butley and Letheringham she leaves legacies, as also for 
repairs to the churches of the Carmelites, Friars Preachers, Friars Minor, and others at Ipswich, 
and also to St. Margaret's Chapel, Cretingham. Out of the goods of her " husband, John 
Kempe," she gives ^20 for the repair of the highways. She speaks of her sister, Edith Curzon, 
also of William and Thomas Curzon. Margaret Alverd, Robert Chapman, Richard Wengfield, 
Richard Osberne, who also appear, may be relatives. Thomas Goodwyn she calls her son, and 
John Drewry, her nephew. Among others who are mentioned, the following are all styled 
"Dominus : — Thomas Drewiy, John Fert, John Reigner, John Bridgewater, Thomas Baker, John 
Lacye, William Smith, John Debenham, John Clar, Robert Stowe, Robert Beenlie, and Thomas 
Goodwyn. To the last of these, evidently her son, she leaves the residue of her estate after 
numerous small bequests. We may further note that the churches of St. Clement's Norwich, 
"Mowlesford" and "Waloughby" are to receive small doles, which may show that she was 
formerly resident or connected with those places. Persons of the name of Kene and Keme 
are also mentioned in this will. We cannot say with certainty that these were Kempes, but it is 
known that Kene and Keme were sometimes used as variants of the name. 

There cannot be much doubt as to this will being that of the widow of John Kempe, of 
Woodbridge, for she mentions her late husband of that name, while Margaret Alverd must be his 
daughter " Aluard " or Alnard. WiUiam Curzon died in 1485, for in that year Robert Kempe, 
and his wife Margaret, daughter of the said WiUiam Curzon, were made feoffees of his estate, as 
appears from Dairy's MSS. before cited. 

From this point it would seem the chief branch became again more intimately associated 
with Norfolk. With the subsequent representatives of the Gissing line we shall deal in our next 
chapter. Here we must follow the issue of the Woodbridge couple. 

The first couple whose wills are given above had, besides the daughter who married Alvard, 
a son, Thomas Kempe, who in 1459 was of Woodbridge. He evidently remained there till his 
death, his will being proved in the Norwich Consistory Court in 1474 (Herbert fo. 54). He 

Woodbridge and early Suffolk Kempes. ij 

therein desires to be buried in the church of Woodbridge, doubtless beside his father. He leaves 
his house at Woodbridge, which was late the tenement of " Wm. Cane '' (another likely variant of 
Kempe), to his wife for life, and afterward to his son, Galferd or Geoffrey Kempe, to whom also 
all the testator's other lands at Woodbridge were bequeathed. All residue was to be equally 
divided between his sons John and Galfred, but a '■''dividend'''' of his houses was reserved for his 
daughters Anne and Agnes. Thomas Kempe is also mentioned, but his relationship is not 
indicated. Other places are spoken of in the will ; these have not all been identified, as the 
spelling is eratic. " Ballings " evidently stands for Dallinghoe, as Debach, the next parish occurs 
in the same clause, otherwise this might have been taken to refer to the manor of Ballings, at 
Gissing. " Chenlye " might stand for Shenley, in Buckinghamshire, where Kempes flourished, 
or for Shenley, in Hertfordshire, but it is as hkely to mean Shelly, in Suffolk, which long after 
this was a possession of the Kempes. " Pytyste," doubtless stands for Pettistree by Ballinghoe ; 
" Sabyley " is a name with which we are unfamiliar. 

Of Galfred we find no further trace, but it is probable that he was the father of a Thomas 
Kempe, of Woodbridge, whose will was proved with that of Katherine Kempe of the same place, 
in the Suffolk Archdeaconry Court (1518-24). In the same Court about 1477 was proved the 
will of John Kempe, of Ipswich. That of Henry Kempe, also of Ipswich, is recorded in the 
same register as the last, the date being before 1524. The will of Joan Kempe, of Ipswich, is 
registered between 1564 and 1566, and one of Nicholas Kempe, of the same place, occurs between 
1647 and 1649, and in 1734 in the same Court was a will of William Kemp, of Ipswich. Buring 
the period covered by these Ipswich wills, relatives naturally were settled around, while those 
who had settled at Gissing were frequently reconnected by marriage with the town as will be 
seen in the following chapters. It cannot, however, be said that Ipswich was ever a centre from 
which Kempes multiplied or where any subsequent branch remained for generations. The 
Registers of St. Nicholas, Ipswich, have been printed, covering the period from 1539 to 1710 ; during 
that long period only three marriages of Kempes are there recorded which are as follows : — 
1570 (no day or month given) George Kempe to Helen. . . . (blank). 
29th November. 1599. Elias Kempe to Susan Silverside. 
8th November, 1677. Robert Jacob and Grace Kempe. 

We have said that the early Kempes of Ipswich had property at Ballinghoe. The following 
items are taken from the registers of that parish. (" Visitation of Suffolk," J. J. Howard, 1866) : 

1568. 8th April. Anthonie Kempe, son of John and Maria, baptized. 

1571. 1st May. Marie Kempe, daughter of John, baptized. 

1574. 13th December. John Kempe, buried. 

1579. 1 6th September. Susan Kempe, son (izc) of Robert Kempe, baptized. 

1583. 9th June. Robert Kempe, son of Robert, dwelling in Bynghall, baptized. 

1583. I2th February. Robeit Kempe, buried. 

1589. 14th July. William Kempe, Son of Robert, baptized. ' :• 

1592. nth March. Anne Kempe, daughter of John, baptized. 

1603. l6th August. Henry Kempe, son of Robert Kempe, buried. 

1618. 14th September. William Thompson and Susan Kempe, daughter of John Kempe the elder, married. 

163 1. i8th April. Anne Kempe, wife of John Kempe, buried. 

The following wills will add to the information thus given : 

IS74-5- John Kempe, of Dallinghoe, proved in the Suffolk Archdeaconry, Ipswich. 
1606. Jane Kempe, Dallinghoe, proved in the Norwich Consistory Court. 
1638-40. John Kempe, of Dallinghoe, proved in the Suffolk Archdeaconry, Ipswich. 
1638-40. Bridget Kempe, of Dallinghoe, proved in the Suffolk Archdeaconry, Ipswich. 

Of these wills the only one examined is that of Jane Kempe. She mentions Mary May, a 
widow, of Ballinghoe, and Robert, Margaret and James May, sons and daughter of this widow ; 

G 2 

i8 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

also Thomas Gardener and a friend named Elmes and widow London. The only relative is her 
brother Robert Kempe, of " F," which may stand for Fakenham, where Anne and William Kempe 
lived at this time. Around Dallinghoe, at Parham, Wickham Market and between these places 
and Ipswich, some of this line certainly remained down to recent times, and there seems little room 
for doubting that the celebrated preacher and author, the Rev. Edward Curtis Kempe, Chaplain to 
the late Duke of Cambridge (who came from this part), was a representative of this line; with him 
and his distinguished descendants we, however, shall deal later. The three following Wills very 
probably refer to his near relatives. They will be found in the Probate Office at Ipswich under 
the dates given: Henry Kempe, of Parham, 1769 ; John Kempe, of Woodbridge, 1771-2, and 
Amy Kempe (widow), of Felixstow, 1783. The Index to the Administrations at the same office 
mentions James Kemp, of Parham, 1716-19, and Mary Kemp, of Wickham Market, 1795. 

As early as 1518-24 there is a will of Cicely Kempe, of Parham, which is close to Marlesford, 
which appears to be the " Mowlesford " in the testament of Margaret Kempe in 1480 ; thus one 
may consider Dallinghoe, with Parham, a nest of a branch of the Kempes, of Woodbridge, from 
about 1480 down to late in the nineteenth century. Tuddenham, Westerfield, Sproughton, 
Clopton, Claydon and perhaps Henley were early homes of the Kempes around Ipswich ; most, if 
not all, of these were of the old Norfolk stock dating from the fourteenth century. 

CH(iA'PTE%_ V. 


At the end of Chapter III. we suggested that a Geoffrey Kempe, of Woodbridge, whose will 
/—\ appears in the Ipswich Calendar between 1444 and 1445, was identical with Geoffrey or 
-*- -^ Jeffrey Kempe of Weston. In the last chapter we have shown that Kempes 
remained at Woodbridge and around Ipswich for some generations, during which, however, 
Weston was continuously held by the family. It is, however, still an open question as to whether 
John Kempe, the next on the pedigree (as of Weston), was son or half brother to Geoffrey. It 
is remarkable that we can find no will which can be positively identified as this John's, and 
the more so since it was in his time that the Gissing lands were settled on his son Robert. Dairy 
in his MSS. collections (Brit. Mus., Add. MSS., 19, 138) mentions a deed dated 1473 of Robert 
Ke.mpe, co-heir of Buttevelyn, of Gissing, concerning the manors there, and another dated 
1485, being a grant by John and Robert Norman to Richard and Edmund Kempe, Gents, 
sons of Robert Kempe and "Margaret, daughter of William Curzon." William Curzon was of 
" Sturton," otherwise " Stutton," a parish on the Stour just south of Ipswich. It would appear 
from this last-mentioned deed that he died in or before 1485 ; he was, we know, living in 1480, 
as he is mentioned in the will of Margaret, the widow of John Kempe, of Woodbridge. 

Dairy gives us another note concerning this " Robert, son oi John Kempe and Alice Duke," 
stating that in his grant of the Manors of Buttevelyns and Dallings in 14-73 he used a seal bearing 
the impression or device of a squirrel sitting and cracking a nut upon his head. Where these 

Kempes of Weston and Gissing. 19 

deeds now are we have not discovered ; possibly they may be among the large collection of ancient 
documents belonging to the present Sir Kenneth H. Kempe. Dairy also states that a Ralph 
Kempe was co-feoffee of the Manor of Gissing. He does not give the date, but it was probably 
about 1467 or 1473. No Ralph KeiMPE is entered in the various Probate Calendars of Norfolk 
and Suffolk. This Ralph evidently settled in Middlesex and was a merchant of London, his will 
being proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1477- As he founded a line of his family 
in Middlesex the records of his estates and issue will be treated with under that county. Norris 
in his MSS., now in possession of Walter Rye, Esq., of the Priory, Norwich, shows a Ralph 
Kempe on the Norfolk pedigree as a brother of Robert, and uncle of Geoffrey and John Kempe. 
This seems quite compatible with the other facts we have given, but we know of no better 
authority for this Ralph being so placed on the pedigree. Norris also informs us that Margaret, 
widow of one Drewry, married John Kempe, Gent., and died as widow of the latter in 1483 at 
Ipswich. This date would seem to be a mistake for 1480, as the will of Domina Margaret 
Kempe, Vidua de Ipswich, given in our last chapter accords with that statement except as to date. 
This will, mentioning as it does Will. Curzon, would at least appear to be a close relation to 
Robert Kempe, the co-heir to the Duke estates. We suggest that her husband, John Kempe, 
was brother to Ralph Kempe. 

Dairy states that a Richard was a mercer of London ; he does not say which this Richard 
was. But there is little doubt that he was the brother of Edmund, another mercer of London, 
both being recipients of the grant mentioned above, dated 1485, as sons of Robert Kempe 
and Mary or Margaret Curzon. The Harleian Manuscripts (i 154) contain a sixteenth century 
pedigree showing the issue of the last-named couple, placing Robert Kempe as the eldest son, 
but curiously stating that Edmund, the second son, was then " heere electe." His issue is also 
shown and is continued to 1585 ; but we suppose for the sake of excluding the junior line from 
participation in arms and property the line is made to die out with " Pawle " Kempe, son of 
James Kempe, of Acton, Middlesex, the eldest son of Edmund Kempe, the Citizen and Mercer 
of London, who died in 1542. His line will also be reserved for the Middlesex section of our 
work, he being chiefly connected with that county. We will here only say that his daughter 
Margaret, as widow of William Dane, an Alderman of London, was a great benefactor to the 
City Guilds, and that her portrait still hangs in the Ironmongers' Hall. She left a sum of money 
to purchase a necklace for Queen Elizabeth with whom she was on intimate terms. 

John, the third son of Robert by Margaret Curzon, is said in the Norris MSS. to have been 
living in 1539, married and left issue. There is a will in 1557 of John Kempe of Fundenhall, 
Norfolk, which might be his ; if so he appears to be the founder of a family who continued 
around Bunwell and Carlton Rode down to last century, and is now represented by a Quaker 
family of Kempes at Norwich, Manchester and London {Vide post). 

William Kempe, the third son of Robert, and next younger brother to this John, was a 
clergyman, of " Sprockton," probably Sproughton, near Ipswich. Perhaps it is his will as of 
Cratfield which appears in the Norwich Consistory Court Calendar between 1546 and 1548, John 
Kempe of that place appears in the same calendar in 1606, so presumbly he too had issue which 
continued in the north-east of Suffolk. 

Ralph or " Rarfe " Kempe is shown as the fifth son of Robert, this may be a mistake for 
Richard, who does not appear on the pedigree quoted (Harl. 1154). No Kempe appears in the 
various Probate Courts of Norfolk, Suffolk, or Essex to correspond with this name, nor do we 
trace any Ralph Kempe as living nearer than Middlesex, and the one of the name there was 
grandson to that Ralph of London mentioned above. " Raffe " Kempe, however, witnessed the 

20 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

will of Robert Kempe of Winchcomb, with whom Sir Nicholas Kempe and his heir, Ralph 
Kempe, were connected. Thus a west country branch may have been established by this " Rarfe " 
Kempe from Weston and Gissing. Such a distant settlement might seem unlikely to many who 
have studied the Norfolk families, but as the grandchildren of Edmund Kempe of London are 
recorded as intermarrying with families resident in Somerset and Surrey, the distance of 
Winchcomb from Gissing cannot be looked upon as too great for these Kempes to cover at one 

Alice Kempe (sister to the above Edmund, John, William, and Rarfe) became a nun at the 
beautiful Sa.xon Abbey of Barking, the reason for her choosing a convent so distant from her 
native home may reasonably be atttributed to her venerating the Saxon founder of that abbey to 
whose race she claimed to belong. 

Her sister, Ciseley Kempe, married John Moulton, or Melton, of " Sturston," which is 
undoubtedly the modern Stuston in the north of Suffolk near to Diss. 

A John Moulton at this period had extensive possessions in Gloucestershire, his will, which 
describes him as of Toddenham, in that county, was proved in 1563 (P.C.C., g Stevenson). If this 
is a relation to Cicely Kempe's husband it may perhaps account for her younger brother Ralph 
being in that county. "Cicely Melton" is mentioned as living in 1542 in her brother 
Edmund's will. 

Before we take leave of this generation we may here note, as we have stated in the Kentish 
section, that this last mentioned Edmund Kempe, and some of those enumerated as his relatives 
by his will, have by an error been repeatedly attached to the pedigree of the Kentish Kempes. 
All the Kempes of Cornwall have also claimed this Edmund Kempe to be their ancestor in order 
to link themselves with the family of Archbishop Kempe, a distinction greatly coveted. They 
state that his son, Humphrey Kempe, was father of Richard Kempe, who was living a married 
man at Levethan, Cornwall, in 1544, whereas Sir John MacLean, in his careful history of that 
family in "Trigg Minor," states that even in 1475, when Edmund Kempe was but a boy, 
ancestors of the Cornish Kempes were already seated in Cornwall. Then, too, James Kempe, the 
eldest son of Edmund Kempe, did not marry until 1544, and Humphrey Kempe, the younger 
brother, must have married even later. Perhaps it is but fair to add that this unfortunate error 
does not necessarily deprive them from sharing either kinship with both Norfolk and Kentish 
stocks, but their pedigree goes back to such remote times that we fear that proofs of the common 
origin of the three great families of the same arms will never be forthcoming. 

Robert Kempe, on whom the Gissing Manors were settled, thus left behind him by his wife, 
Mary or Margaret Curzon, a numerous issue, who, even at his death must have spread out into 
half a dozen counties. His newly-augmented estates had permitted him to send his family forth 
well portioned, and as time proceeded it is natural to imagine that he found the ancient home at 
Weston too confined for his status. Hence he had doubtless arranged before his decease for the 
transfer of the chief family seat to Gissing. We do not know for certain the date of his death ; 
there is an Inquisition of a Robert Kempe of Norfolk and Suffolk indexed as taken in the eleventh 
year of Henry VIIT. (1518), but this seems to be a mistake for the nineteenth year of that reign, 
when his son Robert Kempe's estate was the subject of an Inquisition. 

Robert Kempe must have married Elizabeth Appleyard, heiress of Margate Hall, Braconash, 
before 1470, for as we shall see he had married a second wife before 1474, the first one having left 
no son but three daughters. Mary, the eldest child, married Thomas Jernygan, of Cove, Suffolk, 
and had by him at least four children living in 1527. Elizabeth Kempe, the second daughter of 
the heiress of Braconash, became Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Catherine, and died in 1536. 

Kempes of Weston and G is sing. 21 

She states in her will * that she was born at Gissing, being daughter of Robert Kempe late of 
that place. 

The third daughter of Robert Kempe and Elizabeth Appleyard was Anne, who married Sir 
Richard Bacon, of Harleston, Norfolk, of whose family were Lord Keeper Sir Nicholas Bacon and 
Sir Francis Bacon. It was, doubtless, due to these being in the Royal Court, with other relatives 
of the Kempes, that Queen Elizabeth stayed at Margate Hall on one of her state progresses to 
Norwich. This occurred on Saturday, i6th August, 1578, and it is duly recorded in the official 
records of the Queen's " Progresses " that the Queen and Court were there entertained at dinner, 
after which the company proceeded to the city. At this time Lady Style was residing at Mergate 
Hall, her sister-in-law, Bridget Style, having married Edmund Kempe of London, son of Robert 
Kempe, of Weston. Margaret Kempe, the daughter of this Edmund, had married Sir William 
Dane, Lord Mayor of London, and was at the time of this progress a lady of the Royal Court. 
She died the following year bequeathing X^oo to the Queen for a necklace. 

Robert Kempe's second wife was Anne, daughter of John Clifford, of Holmdale, Kent 
(probably related to Richard Clifford, Archdeacon of Canterbury, and afterwards Bishop of 
Worcester and London), who died in 142 1. By this wife he had several children, Bartholomew, 
the eldest son, being declared to be aged fifty-five at his father's death in 1527 ; thus this second 
marriage must have taken place before 1474. He inherited the chief estates as we shall presently 
notice. Margaret Kempe, a daughter of Robert, married Robert Blaverhauset, of Princethorpe, 
Warwickshire; Florence, another daughter, married Sir Phillip Woodhall, of "Frampton,"t 
Suffolk, and was living in 1542 ; Lewis Kempe, a younger son, was to have the remainder of his 
father's estate, but we find but little local trace of him except that he joined his elder brother in 
a deed relating to some land in which his name is rendered as Ludovicus Kempe, the deed 
concerning which is noted by Dairy in the MSS. before quoted. No will of any Kempe of his 
name occurs in the calendars of the various Probate Courts of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, or 
Lincoln, but " Sir " John Kempe, Vicar of Hungerton, Leicestershire, in a will dated, 153Q speaks 
of his brother, "Ludwyke Kempe," and the latter's son, Ludwick. We have not traced the exact 
abode of this elder Ludwick Kempe, but his sons and their issue lived at Croxton, and established 
a family who have continued in Leicestershire and Lincolnshire to the present day. Other 
Kempes of Leicestershire came from Staffordshire and Warwickshire, perhaps these also, although 
apparently an earlier branch, may be akin to those of Norfolk stock, and thus account for 
Margaret's marriage with Blaverhauset of Warwickshire. 

The Blenerhauset marriage is one of much interest, as it opens up many complex relationships 
between Kempes of Norfolk and other families of Kempes about the Kingdom. The family had 
been long seated at Frenze, Norfolk, in the church of which many brasses and monuments to 
their family exist. John Bleverhausett, who died 15 10, married first Jane, daughter of Thomas 
Higham, of Higham Green, Suffolk (whose family afterwards intermarried with Kempes of Essex), 
and secondly Jane, daughter of Thomas Tyndale, of Norfolk. By these wives he had a numerous 
issue, of whom not all are shown in the Heraldic Pedigree as given in the " Norfolk Visitation." 
Sir Thomas Bleverhauset, his eldest son, was of Frenze, and had seats in Suffolk and Essex. His 
will was proved in 1532 (P.C.C, 17 Thower) ; Robert, the second son, married Margaret Kempe 
as we have said ; Margaret Bleverhauset was the Prioress of Kempsey, Gloucestershire, and John 
Bleverhauset was of Hampstead, Middlesex, where a line of Kempes were established as early as 
1520. The will of this John Bleverhauset has been examined, it was proved the same year as 

* See mention of this will under the Middlesex section of this work. 
t Perhaps this may be Framsden, near Letheringham, where the Kempes, of Woodbridge, held property. 

2 2 Histor\ of the Ketnp and Kempe Families. 

that of his brother, and is registered in the same court (i6 Thower). Among those he mentions 
are "his cozen, Christopher Jermyn,'' his brothers. Sir Thomas and Robert Bleverhauset, Sir 
Henry Grey, Knight, Sir John CorwalHs, Knight, and Sir Phillip Calthorp. His properties 
mentioned are the leases of his house at Hampstead, held from St. Bartholomew's Hospital, leases 
of the parsonages of " Brome, Southell, and Camfield, in Essex," and an interest in the Manor of 
Frenze, also a lease of Lyston Farm. To the High Altars of Marylebone and Ridge he bequeaths 
sums of money. To his wife, Margaret, and after her death to their son, Edmund Bleverhauset, 
he leaves the reversion of his leases and estates. The mention of Marylebone was doubtless 
occasioned by the association therewith of this testator's mother, Jane Bleverhauset, who obtained 
a portion of the Tyburn Manors from the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. Her will, in 
which she is called " Jane Blenerhasseth, formerly Hobson," describes her as of St. John of 
Jerusalem, London. We are inclined to believe that it was due jointly to this Blenerhauset lease 
of Marylebone that Kempes were established at Marylebone, these being associated as will be 
seen with the Hampstead Kempes. Of this interesting point we shall have more to say in the 
Middlesex section, the facts, however, require mentioning here, as shortly after this Richard 
Kempe of Gissing, then studying the law in London, selected his bride from Hampstead, whither 
presumably, he went to visit his kinsmen. Before leaving the Bleverhausetts we may add 
another mention of them in a relatives will. Richard Hungerford, Esq., in his will dated and 
proved in 1510, mentions " My cousin, Margaret Kempe, and my cousin, Robert Blaynerhauset." 
This testator was buried at Blackfriars, and was possessed in right of his wife, Jane, widow of Sir 
Edmund Lucy, of the Manor of Charlecote, Warwick. The Bleverhausett arms were Gules, a 
chevron ermine between three dolphins naiant embowed argent, and five quarterings. 

Robert Kempe (father of Bartholomew and Lewis Kempe) made his will 8th September, 
1526, and it was proved at Hoxne on the 22nd January following. Dairy in giving an abstract 
from it describes the testator as of Weston, but in the Norwich Register (224 Briggs) he is stated 
to be "of Gissing, Esquire." Dairy says that his will recites that whereas his son, Bartholomew 
Kempe, stands indebted to him for two hundred marks, this sum shall be expended in employing 
some " honest " priest to sing for the soul of the testator, his wife's, the souls of his father and 
mother and ancestors, for ten years to come. He desired to be buried by his wife in the Lady 
Chapel of Gissing Church, and left bequests to the altar of that church and to the high altars 
of Florden, Burston and Tivetshall. The most important item in the will is the statement that 
the Manors of Dallings and Hastings in Gissing belonged to his father, while other lands "in the 
said town " had been purchased from " various persons." These Gissing lands he settled on his 
eldest son, Bartholomew, and his heirs male, with remainder entailed on Lewis, his second son, 
and his issue. The testator says that Bartholomew had then (1526) five sons and one daughter, 
the names of these are not given, but bequests of money are left to each. The testator also leaves 
£\o to his "godson," Robert Bacon,* son of (Sir) Richard Bacon by his third daughter, Ann 
Kempe. The executors are Bartholomew Kempe, William Chowte or Haute, and Sir Philip 
Tylney (related to the Bleverhausets and Kempes of Thweyt), the supervisor was Sir John 
Shelton, Knight, and Richard Bacon ; John Chapman and Robert Kene were witnesses. 

• It is interesting to note that the first of his family, of whom we have actual praof as living at that place, viz., " Dominus Allan Kempe," 
in the time of Edward I., had for his neighbour "Dominus Ad(am) Bacon"; thus for over two hundred years the Kempes and Bacons had 
already been closely connected. W"e shall see that this connection became even closer for the next century at least, while it is probable 
that the families were connected by common descent from William de Roos, of Bulchamp and Woodbridge, for Bulchamp by Blythburg, as 
we have intimated, seems to have been the actual place whence the Kempes of Weston first derived their name. (Sec Chapter I. Norfolk 



According to the inquisition Post Mortem made in 1527 of the property lately held 
/-\ by Robert Kempe, of Weston, Gissing and Flordon, Bartholomew Kempe was fifty-five 
^ "^ years of age at his father's death, and was found to be duly entitled to the estates at each 
of these places. With his brother Lewis, he was, as we have said, concerned in the settlement of 
some part of the lands in 1529 ; perhaps this was a partition in settlement of Lewis's interest in 
the reversion, for as previously stated, Lewis Kempe does not appear to have remained in the 
county. It is hkely that he had settled long before his father's death at some place at 
Leicestershire, or perhaps Northampton, for in the latter county his ancestors, the Dukes, held 
property, which may have been his portion during the father's lifetime. 

Bartholomew, hke his father, had an invincible desire to get the whole of the Gissing Estates 
into his hands. It was this doubtless that led to his parting with Weston, so long the seat of his 
ancestors. Did Bartholomew believe that Gissing had formerly belonged to his ancestors in the 
person of Adam de Gissing or Adam Kempe, of Kempe's Manor ? It is possible that such a 
tradition had been handed down, and that in all good faith the wife of Allan Kempe (whose name 
at least was Isabel), was put down as the daughter of Sir Edward Hastings by his wife Phillipa, 
which in time became corrupted into the daughter of Sir Philip Hastings. Bartholomew, at least, 
knew that the house of Hastings had held the lordship of Gissing, and claiming descent from 
them, he would be the more anxious to have entire possession of the manors comprised in Gissing. 
Thus in 1532 he sold the seat at Weston, and as opportunity occurred he bought off the interests 
held by others in the Manors of Gissing. That Bartholomew Kempe was a good business man 
there can be little doubt, the sale of Weston, and the additional acquirements and building at 
Gissing, demonstrate that he had a definite purpose in view, which is further manifested by his 
seeking and obtaining from the king a confirmation of his free warren in the demesne lands af 
Gissing, which the grant recites, were originally granted by Henry III. to Nicholas Hastings on 
23rd May in the 54th year of that King's reign (1270). The Patent to Bartholomew is dated at 
Westminster, 4th May, in the 21 Henry VIII. (1529), and is mentioned in vol. iv., part. 3, of 
" Letters and Papers of Henry VIII." 

Nor did Bartholomew neglect his religious duties, for we find him in possession of the Church 
Funds in 1537. These funds probably were raised for the purpose of restoration, very likely at 
his instigation, for we may judge that he was anxious for the welfare of the church as well as all 
else at Gissing. The advowson of the rectory of this church was not yet in his family, for we are 
told by Blomfield that it was purchased by Robert Kempe, his son, on 17th February, 1574. 
In the Subsidy Roll of 1323, when Bartholomew was but eldest son of the Lord of these Manors, 
he is rated as the chief " gentleman " residing in the Hundred of Diss, his land being then valued 
at £S yearly, for which he paid Ss. as his proportion of the rate levied. In the reign of Mary, as 
Lord of Gissing and Dallings, he paid £4. subsidy for his lands, they being then valued at /80 
per annum.* Bartholomew Kempe, be it remembered, was the son of Robert Kempe's second 
wife, Anne Chfford, of Kent. It is possible that he was named after a Bartholomew Kempe, of 
that county, who died a few years after the birth of this namesake. Bartholomew may have had 
some property in Kent from his mother, which may account for his son, Edward Kempe, retiring 

* On this Subsidy Roll appear John Kemp, at Shelfhanger ; Thomas Kemp, at Starston ; William Kemp, at Shelton, and Robert 
Kemp, at Forncett St. Mary, all within the Hundred of Diss. 

24 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

to that county after an active life in London as a merchant ; of such maternal estate, however, we 
have no actual knowledge. He married Anne, daughter of John Alleyn, of Bury St Edmunds, by 
Constance, daughter and heiress of William Gedding. (This John Alleyn, with a Godfrey Kempe 
and others, petitioned the King to translate Thetford Monastery to a Dean and Chapter of 
Thetford Church, at the time of the suppression of the monasteries). 

Bartholomew had a very large family, some of whom died in infancy. We know that at the 
decease of his father in 1526, he had five sons and a daughter, after which, at least, two more sons 
were born. The order of the sons is not uniformly given, the cadency marks to their arms being 
shifted evidently on the decease of a brother without issue to make their line appear as close as 
possible to the head of the family. The following order we think most probable : — (i) Robert, 
who in time succeeded to the Gissing and Flordon estates ; (2) Bartholomew, who settled in 
London and became founder of the Kempes of Croydon ; (3) Anthony, who died old and childless 
in 1612 ; (4) Edward Kempe, a mercer, of London, and afterwards of Shorn, Kent ; (5) John, who 
died a bachelor ; (6) William Kempe ; (7) Francis Kempe, who settled at Little Hadham, Herts ; 
(8) Thomas, whose effects and estates were administered by his brother Edward in 1562 ; and a 
daughter named Elizabeth, who married into the Throgmorton family, and of whom we shall 
have more presently to say. 

Bartholomew (the elder) died in 1554, in which year there is recorded an Inquisition, 
which may now be seen by any interested at the Record Office, London. Besides Gissing and 
Callings it mentions Shimpling as one of the places where he had property.* William and 
Thomas Foley, Robert, Elizabeth, Dorothy and Anne Kemp are mentioned therein. 

Details of the issue of Bartholomew Kemp, junior, will be given under Surrey ; of Edward 
further notice will be found under Shorne, Kent. Of the other sons John, William and Thomas, 
we know nothing more than is recorded above. Francis Kempe, of Little Hadham, married 
Armynell, daughter of John Brooke, of London, by whom he had a son named Francis, 
said to be the same as one of that name settled at Fulham. 

Francis, the elder, had also two sons, William and Thomas, and perhaps a daughter, Dorothy, 
who was baptized at St. Dunstan's in the West, London, 30th June, 1579. William entered the 
Merchant Taylors' School, 6th March, 1574, and is marked in the school books as having died 
young. Thomas, perhaps, was of Sandon, Herts, for in 1646 a grant of administration was made 
to Joanne Kempe, alias Allen (? Tillon), widow, of the goods, credits, and estate of Thomas 
Kempe, a minor, her son. The Fulham line will be given under Middlesex, but we may here 
note that thence it branched out to Lincolnshire, where the name is largely represented from 
many distinct sources. Francis, of Little Hadham, besides being credited by the Heralds as the 
ancestor of these lines, is said by the author of the " History of Hendon," to be probably the 
ancestor of Hendon Kempes, but this will be seen to be impossible, as the latter were established 
before Francis Kempe, of Little Hadham, could have married. 

The will of Anthony Kempe (third son of Bartholomew, of Gissing) was proved in 16 14 
(P.C.C. 37 Lawe), and "is interesting chiefly as confirming relationships. He is, of course, styled 
" gent." He says rather pathetically " I am set as you know at board with my nephew, Edward 
Rous, of Flordon, in Co. Norfolk, Clerk," adding that whereas he is an " ould man," he cannot 
ride for his money to Cambridge and other place-, he has, therefore, become indebted to this 
nephew for his keep, therefore, and considering the kindness of his nephew, he leaves all he 
possesses at the time of his death to him. It appears that this Rev. Edward Rous was Anthony's 

* This is presumably Shimpling, in Norfolk, near to Diss. There is another place of the same name in Suffolk, not far from Lavenham. 

Kempes of Gissing. 25 

grand-nephew, being the son of Thomas Rous, otherwise Rowse, who married Margaret Kempe, of 
whom we shall speak again. 

Anthony Kempe's sister Elizabeth married Lyonell Throckmorton, of Flixton, Suffolk, and 
South Elmham, and Bungay in Norfolk. This Lionel was under twenty-one in 1540, and died in 
1599. By this wife he is said to have had no issue and he married again, his second wife being 
Elizabeth, daughter of John Blenerhausett, of Barsham, related to the Bleverhausett's before 
mentioned, and thus a second time connected with the Kempes, while Catherine, daughter of 
Wm Willington, had married first William Catesby, of Lapworth, secondly in 1547, Richard 
Kempe, and as her third husband she had Anthony Throckmorton, whose widow she died in 1594. 
Her will is recorded in that year (P.C.C, 6q Dixy), and in it she speaks of her brother's sons, Richard 
and Anthony Kemys, which probably is the scribe's error for Kempe ; she also mentions her beloved 
son, Richard Butler, her cousin, Richard Rawlins, Thomas Palmer, of Holbourne, and numerous 
relations and friends known or related to Kempes of both Norfolk and Kent, thus it is difficult to 
say with certainty how her husband, Richard Kempe, was connected. His will describes him as 
of Longton, in the Parish of Tredington, Worcester, and was proved 1552 (P.C.C. 17 Buck). 

The arms of Throckmorton, as given with the pedigree in the " Visitation of Norfolk," are 
Gules, on a chevron argent, two bars gemelles sable, with five quarterings. 

Robert Kempe, the eldest son of Bartholomew, succeeded to the Gissing estates in 1554 
on his father's decease. He married first Elizabeth, daughter of John Smythwyn, some authorities 
say Edmund Smythwyn, and both differ as to the County to which he belonged, Berks or Bucks, 
the place of his abode having been omitted in the pedigrees. We find that at Gissing Church the 
epitaph to Robert Kempe states that the father-in-law's name was John, and that by this first wife 
Robert had two sons and three daughters ; these represent only those who survived infancy, for 
she had besides Bartholomew, Genehide, Edward and John, who died as children. Those who 
attained majority were Richard, the eventual heir ; John, of Antingham ; Margaret, who married 
Thomas Rous ; Ann, the wife of Anthony Drury, and another daughter (perhaps named Dorothy, 
the wife of Norton). Robert Kempe's second wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Edmund de Grey, of 
Merton, whose sister Margaret had already married Edward Kempe, this Robert's brother. 
Edmund de Grey died 12th May, 1562, and was buried at Merton Church, Norfolk, where tombs 
to him, Thomas de Grey, his son, and others of the family exist. This marriage again not only 
complicated the relationships between the brothers, but also made a connexion between the 
Norfolk Kempes and Francis Kempe, of the Kentish family through'the Carews, Thomas de Grey 
having married a daughter of Sir Wymond Carew, of Anthony, Cornwall, and Elianor Carew, 
the latter's neice, having become wife of the said Francis Kempe, son of William Kemp, 
Knight of Wye. 

By Elizabeth de Grey, his second wife, Robert Kempe had the following issue : — Thomas 
Kempe, of Bricett Parva and Beccles, founder of the Kempe family of Thwaite ; Robert, who 
married and left issue ; William Kempe, of Cambridge ; Edward, who appears to have been a 
clergyman of Oakington, Cambridgeshire ; and Elizabeth, who married John Bu.xton, whose family 
resided at Channonz Hall, at Tibenham, the adjoining parish to Gissing. 

Before dealing with these children and their respective families, we must note a few facts 
concerning Robert, their father, who lived to be 80. Following the example of Bartholomew 
Kempe, he endeavoured to improve the ancestral estates and to raise the status of the family in 
various ways. It was he who purchased the adwowson of Gissing Church in 1574. With 
Charles Le Grey, John Hastings, Jennys Bygott, and others, he founded a free chapel at Moulton, 
Norfolk, the deed concerning which bearing his signature and seal is preserved at the British 

26 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Museum (Add. Charters 874). He also re-roofed Gissing Hall, the account of which, with the cost 
and his domestic expenses, from about 1584 to his decease, is entered in the Museum with other 
Kempe documents. We are chiefly indebted to him, however, for collecting the scattered 
pedigrees of the different Kempe families, and other families of Norfolk, to which we have 
repeatedly referred (Brit. Mus. Harl. 901). During the earlier days of his married life he was, it 
would seem, in London, for a family corresponding to his were baptized at St. James', Clerkenwell, 
Richard being baptized in 1545, John in 1547, and Margaret in 1548. It is antecedently probable 
that until after his father's decease he may have been engaged in London where his uncles and 
other relatives were established as merchants. It must be admitted that the Clerkenwell Register 
may refer to quite a different line, for as has been noticed both Kempes of Kent and Kempes of 
Cornwall certainly resided in that parish, and appear in the church books. 

Robert Kempe, of Gissing died 27th April, 1594, and was buried with his wife or wives at 
Gissing, where, as we have said, is a monument to his and their memory, with his arms displayed 
impaling theirs and the motto " Spero Lucem " (now written generally in the reverse order), the 
earliest instance of its use actually found, although doubtless this motto had been used from 
remote times. The Inquisition Post Mortem of this Robert Kempe was made in 1595, and may be 
seen at the Record Office. His name figures in the Close Rolls of Elizabeth, with the following 
names, at the dates indicated, but the nature of the transaction has not been followed up : 1566 
with William Grice and 1575 with Edward Dyer. 

He was succeeded by his son Richard, before dealing with whom we will give some account of 
the younger sons of this Robert Kempe and their issue. 

John Kempe, the second son of Robert Kempe, of Gissing, by Elizabeth Smythwin (or 
Smithwine) married first Anne, daughter of Robert Cuddon, of Weston, in Suffolk, Esquire, by 
whom he had a son Robert and a daughter who married Robert Palgrave, of Bradfield, in Norfolk, 
Gent., second son of Clement Palgrave, of Barningham, Norfolk, Esquire. During the life of this 
first wife John Kempe probably lived at Cromer, for we find that a John Kempe had a lease of 
the Manors of UflTords and Tomlyns in that town from 1561. 

He married as his second wife, Ann, daughter of Robert Calthorpe, of Antingham (which is 
near Cromer), who had married as her first husband Robert Jermy (sometimes corruptly called 
Germy and even Gerry) by whom she had several children. We do not know the date of her 
first husband's death or of her second marriage, but as we find John Kemp obtained property in 
and around Antingham, in 1587, his second marriage was most probably prior to that date. The 
lands which he held included the Manor of Callyce, in Suffield, and lands at Colby, Felmingham, 
North Walsham, Gunton and Antingham. They were not all his freehold property, but we 
cannot say on what terms he held the several estates, though we know that these, with other 
lands at Antingham St. Mary, Antingham St. Margaret, Gunthorp, Thorp Market, Bradfield and 
other properties, descended to his son, who held them in 1610-11. 

This first Robert, of Antingham, acquired additional land at Thorp Market by marriage with 
Mary, daughter of Edmund Gresham and sister to Sir Richard Gresham, of Thorp Market. Her 
father, Edmund Gresham, had also a seat at this place and made his will in 1586, it being 
witnessed by Robert and John Kempe, William Jermy, William Hall and others, it was proved in 
London that year (P.C. C. 64 Windsor) and a copy may be seen printed in "Miscellanea 
Genealogica," vol. ii, pp. 264-5. -^t the time of his decease Mary, his daughter, was a minor and 
unmarried ; the marriage, however, must have taken place soon afterwards, probably the following 
year. We may here call attention to the long connexion and friendship which had existed 
between the Greshams and Kempes. Edmund Kempe, four generations earlier, had left legacies 

Kenipes of Gissing. 27 

to Sir Richard Gresham, Sir John Gresham and William Gresham, with whom, as a Citizen and 

Merchant of London, he had become intimately acquainted ; he had succeeded the first Richard 

Gresham in the honourable office as surveyor and accountant of St. Paul's School, which the 

latter vacated in 1533. He was the father of the celebrated Sir Thomas Gresham, founder of the 

Royal Exchange, near whom, in the parish of St. Michael, Basinghall, Edmund Kempe lived. 

Within that parish church Sir Richard Gresham, Sir John Gresham, Edmund Kempe and others 

of his family were buried side by side. Margaret Dane, Edmund Kempe's daughter, kept up the 

intimacy. The wife of a John Kempe, of Birchington, Kent, was godmother to Mildred, daughter 

of Edward Gresham, in 1579, but how this Gresham was connected with the others we do not 

know. Feret, who gives a good account of the Greshams, shows that one Edmund is also 

repeatedly called Edward ; his father was of Mayfield, Sussex, and was son of Sir John Gresham of 

the Norfolk family. Thomas Gresham, brother to this Edward or Edmund, Uved at Fulham, 

where he also was intimate with the Kempes. — {^ide Feret's " Fulham Old and New.") After this 

long family connexion it is no wonder that an intermarriage should take place, nor that John 

Kempe, of Antingham, should direct that Sir Richard Gresham should nominate feoffees for his 

estate to assure the payment of certain annuities. The will of this first John Kempe, of 

Antingham, was dated and proved in 1610 (Norwich Cons. 164 Harman). The testator leaves 

sums to the poor and for the reparation of the churches at North Walsham, Worsted, Fritton and 

Antingham ; to his wife £20 over and above what she " brought out of Suffolk," as well as the 

annuity of _^5o ; to his nephew Rowse, "parson of Flordon," his stepson WiUiam Jermy, his 

sister Lawrence, his wife's son William Grudgfield and other relatives, he leaves rings and other 

small legacies. To the wife of John Neave, Gent., of Banningham, he leaves a yearly rent of /loo, 

and to his godson, the son of his nephew Robert Kempe, of Gissing, ^5. The same amount is 

bequeathed to Thomas Kempe, son of his brother Robert Kempe. His son Robert Kempe is 

to be executor and chief legatee, but to be supervised by the testator's nephew Robert Kempe, of 

Gissing. The will is witnessed by William Jermy, Gent., Thomas Cully, Samuel Mackctt (clerk 

to the testator) and John Albon (? Allen). 

He was buried in Antingham Church, where a monument was erected to him bearing the 

following inscription : 

"Here Resteth in the Loid the Body of John Kempe, Esq., Second son to Robert Kempe of Gissing Esq., who had 
issue by Anne the daughter of Robert Cuddon Esq. Robert sonne and Heire who made this monument remembering 
immortality in the hope of Resurrection the XVIII of November. Anno D'ni. 1610 aetatis 76." 

The arms of the Gissing Kempes, with seven quarterings and four smaller shields referring to 
to the deceased, were displayed on the tomb. 

Robert Kempe, the only son, duly inherited the whole of the estates, and, having no children, 
settled the whole of his lands upon his nephew Sir Robert Kempe, of Gissing. This settlement 
was evidently made during his life, as we find that he left no will, an administration being 
granted in 1626 to John Cudden, Gent., who was doubtless his cousin. 

Thomas Kempe, Gent., next occupied the seat at Antingham, for we find that on 2 1st January, 
1642, William Cock was granted to administer his estate, which, as we shall see, then became the 
favourite residence of Sir Robert Kempe. 

28 History of the Kemp and Kenipe Families. 

CHqATTE'F^ uii. 

kempes of thwaite and bricett. 

THE founder of the Kempe family at Thwaite was Thomas Kempe, the third surviving son 
of Robert Kempe, of Gissing, and next younger brother to the John Kempe who first 
settled at Antingham. He probably became connected with the Thwaite district through 
visiting his brother. It was not, however, until the next generation that Thwaite was, as we shall 
see, acquired. 

Thomas Kempe was a "councellor of law" practising, doubtless, chiefly at Ipswich, where 
Richard, his eldest brother, was the official lawyer to the borough. In the " Calendar of Pleadings " 
(Ducatus Lancastriae) we find, during the reign of Elizabeth, that a case of Thomas Kempe versus 
John Layton is entered. This concerns an Ingress Fine at ''Brissett, otherwise Talmays Manor, 
in Little Brissett, Clare Honor, Suffolk," which actually concerned Tallmach Hall, at Bricett. 
The exact year is not given, but a second suit between the parties is dated 1590, and this doubtless 
marks the time when the young counsellor made his home at that place, which would be 
conveniently placed for business requiring frequent journeys into Ipswich. He further identified 
himself with that town by marrying Ann, daughter and co-heir of John Moore, " Portman of 
Ipswich"; by this lady he had two sons, Thomas and John, and three daughters, Anne, Martha 
and Elizabeth. The last- named child married Josias Faweather (? Fair weather), of Halesworth (at 
which place some Kempes had been living shortly before this time). Thomas, the elder son, seems 
to have died before his father, for John, the second son, became heir. Thomas Kempe, the father, 
removed from Little Brissett to Beccles some time after 1595, perhaps on his retiring from his 
profession ; it is said that he died in 1623, but no will or other evidence of his death has been 
traced by the present writers. 

John Kempe, the succeeding son, first lived at Beccles, where he married Jane, one of the co-heirs 
of Thomas Hobart, of Thwaite, by Anne, daughter of William Raynes, of Overstrand, of whom 
we have spoken as connected with the John Kempe who settled at Antingham. This wife was to 
inherit— jointly with her sisters, Mary, the wife of Dr. Colby, and Elizabeth Peters— the Thwaite 
property, including Somerton Hall Manor, which had been in the Hobart family some generations. 
These sisters released their interest in the estate to John and Jane Kempe, who in time settled it 
upon their son Thomas Kempe. 

This Thomas was a clergyman, but what cures he held is not known. At his death he seems 
to have been on the Norwich Cathedral staff, for he dated his Will from the precincts of that church, 
though he desired to be buried in the south isle of Thwaite church. He seems to have been 
married about 1649 to Frances, daughter of Sir Thomas Corbet, for a deed dated 26th September 
that year was made between Thomas Kempe, Sir Thos. Corbett, Sir Robert Kempe, William 
Kempe and John Gosling, Gent., settling the Manor of Somerton Hall and divers other lands in 
Norfolk as provision for his wife and her issue. Subsequently— doubtless owing to Cromwellian 
troubles— the estate was made over to Clement Kempe, their son, who was therefore at his father's 
death enjoined, " as he hoped for God's blessing," to faithfully pay to his mother an annuity of /80 
during her life, paying this to her regularly at the Feasts of the Annunciation, Nativity, St. John 
the Baptist and St. Michael, in the porch of the parish church of Thwaite. These instructions he 
seems to have faithfully carried out. 

Besides this son, Thomas and Frances had a son Hobart Kempe (named after his grandmother) 

Kempes of Thivaite and Bricett. :2g 

who visited Bombay and died at sea on his way home in 1689. There was a bookseller of his 
name, at the sign of the "Ship," in London, in 1672, but we cannot say whether this is the same 
individual. The estate of Hobart, who died at sea, was granted in 1689 to his mother Frances 
Kempe, and after her decease a fresh power of administration was granted in 1693 to his brother 
Robert Kempe. This son left no issue, being a bachelor at his death. Robert acted also as 
executor to his mother, but of his later movements we are not certain. 

The Reverend Thomas Kempe left children named Thomas, Elizabeth and Frances, the last- 
named daughter married the Rev. Thomas Benyon, of Ely, in 1684, at St. George's-in-Tombland, 
Norwich, she being then a resident in the precincts of Christ Church, Norwich. (At the sam^e 
church an Elizabeth Kempe was married, in 1699, to Thomas Chitting of that parish, it would 
seem likely that she was the sister of the Frances married there, but we have no proof of this.) 

The Reverend Thomas Kempe dated his will 23rd March, 1667, it was not proved until 1670, 
we do not know exactly the date of his death. His will, besides directing Clement, his eldest son, 
to provide for his mother out of the Thwaite estates, required him to pay ^^300 to each of the 
testator's daughters (Frances and Elizabeth). In case the mother died before receiving her legacies 
Clement was to allow £^ per annum to each of his younger brothers until they came of age, and 
to the daughters each ;jri2 until their legacies were paid. Thomas Kempe mentions also his 
"good sisters-in-law" Mrs. Elizabeth Gostling, the Lady Alford and Mrs. Katherine Corbet, and 
he constituted his " honorable and dear friend and kinsman " Sir Robert Kempe, of Gissing, 
Baronet, supervisor. Robert, the youngest son, was to be brought up in " the schools of good 
learning," to be afterwards sent to the university and to study Divinity. Charities were left to the 
poor of Thwaite and Alby. This will, with many pious paternal injunctions, is registered in the 
Prerogative Court of Canterbury (61 Penn) with a carefully made list of outstanding debts. 

The will of Frances Kempe, the widow, was proved in the same court in 1690 (27 Vere). She 
was living at Ely, Cambridge, when it was drawn up, presumably as a guest of her daughter 
Frances Benyon, whose husband and children are mentioned, with her grandchild Frances Kemp 
and her sister Katherine, who is one of the witnesses. The chief property appearing is a lease 
from the Bishop of Norwich which, with ^100, she left to the Rev. Thomas Benyon her 
son-in-law ; this son however died before December, 1690, and the lease and money passed direct 
to Frances Benyon his wife. (Thomas, as well as her son Hobart, are mentioned as having died 
before February, 1689.) 

She died on January 12th, 1691, aged sixty-nine, and was buried at St. Mary's, Ely, where 
there is a mural tablet to her memory. Her maiden name being Corbett has led to a correspondent 
in the Gentleman^ s Magazine connecting the Kempes of ThAvaite with the Essex family, George 
Kempe, of Pentlow and Tottenham, having married, for his third wife, Mary, daughter of John 
Corbet, of Sproughton, Norfolk, whose first husband was Sir Roger Woodhouse. George Kempe 
will be seen by our Essex section of this work to have a distinct line of Kempe ancestors (back to 
1296) from those of Norfolk, but a double intermarriage had occurred before the above Frances 
Kempe died, which closely linked two Sir Robert Kempes of the distinct families together. In 
this way, if not directly through the Corbets, there was a relationship between those of Thwaite 
and Pentlow. , ■ 

The inscription referred to is as follows : 

" Near this stone lyeth the body of Frances Kemp late widow of Thomas Kemp of Thwait Hall in Co. Norfolk 
Gent, who departed this life January 12th in the year i6gi, aged 67." 

Clement Kemp married a daughter of one Whitton, of Wilby, by whom he had only a 
daughter, who became sole heiress and conveyed the Thwaite estates by marriage to John Home, 

30 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

of Witchingham, Gent. The name of this daughter and heiress was, we beUeve, Frances, as 
mentioned in the will of Frances her grandmother. The Homes and Kempes were frequently 
after this united by marriages both in Norfolk and others of the same name having estates in Kent, 
the relationship between the various Homes has not however been ascertained. These Kemps 
appear to be extinct in the male line unless Robert Kemp had issue. We have no trace of a 
clergyman of his name at this period, and can only suggest that one of the following wills might be 
his and that, if examined, it is possible that the pedigree may be brought down to recent times : 

Robert Kemp, Hunstanton, 1719-20, Norfolk Arch. Court, fo. 23. 

Roger Kemp, Wrentham 17 19 and 1734, Suffolk Arch. Court. 
In attempting to trace further descent it Avill be well to notice that, living within the same 
Norwich Cathedral precincts and attending the same church of St. George's-in-Tombland, there 
were Kempes of the Pentlow stock before mentioned who had much property throughout Norfolk, 
chiefly round Lyng, Heydon and Wood Bailing. 


KEMPES OF Gl?>'S^mG— continued. 

ROBERT, the fourth son of Robert Kempe, of Gissing (by Elizabeth Grey), married Ann, 
co-heir of William Stanton or Staunton, Esq., and had two sons, Robert and Thomas 
Kempe, but of the place of their abode or of further issue we have no details. William 
Kempe, of Cambridge, who married Thomazine, daughter of William Waldegrave, of Hitcham, 
Suffolk, does not appear to have left any issue. His widow married Samuel Harsnet, Bishop of 
Chichester, afterwards of Norwich, who died in 1629. Her arms were Per pale, argent and gules, 
with eleven other quarterings. Edward we have not identified with any will or local record ; it 
is, therefore, open to question whether he reached manhood. 

We now return to Richard Kempe, the eldest brother of these, and son and heir of "old" 
Robert Kempe of Gissing, by Elizabeth Smythwime. We find his name enrolled as a student at 
Gray's Inn, 1556, and also in the registers of that Inn in 1582 as being one of the " Readers of this 
House." We may remark that two earlier entries concerning Kempes entering Gray's Inn as 
students of the law occur, the first being a John Kempe in 1544, who may have been this 
Richard's bachelor uncle, and the second Edmund or Edward Kempe who was admitted in 1552. 
It is possible that the latter belonged to the same family, but of this we have no evidence other 
than the fact that Edward Kempe, of Gissing, who settled in London as a mercer, had a son 
named Edmund, who would be of a suitable age to be a student at this date. 

Richard Kempe married Alice Cockerham, the daughter of Phillip Cockerham, of Hampstead, 
whose family were connected with the Cockerhams of Cornwall. They sometime spelled their 
name as Corkrom and Kockrom, as appears from their Signatures to the will of John Kempe of 
Hampstead, in 1574 (Com. Court, London, 35 Martyn) and the Parish Register, 1566 to 1584. 
The Arms of Cockerham, of Hampstead, Middlesex, are given in the Harleian MSS., 1551, as 

•■ ■. Kempes of Gissing. 31 

Argent, on a bend sable three (? tigers') heads caboshed or. Their pedigree appears in the 
" Visitation of Devon." 

Hampstead had been separated from the parish of Hendon by Bishop Thomas Kempe, and as he 
considerable episcopal property in this district it is not unlikely that some of his own kinsmen had 
were admitted to his lands as tenants in his time, but the Subsidy Rolls do not give names of 
residents in this part until 1520, when the chief inhabitants of Hampstead are WiUiam, George 
and (widow) Margaret Kempe. These, however, must have gone to Hendon Church, as did their 
descendants, for the first entry of a Kempe in the Hampstead Register is that recording that on 
January 22, 1566, Richard Kemp and Alice " Kockrom " were married. Perhaps the couple 
resided in the Parish of Hampstead for a while, for certainly their son and heir (from whom all 
the Baronets are descended), was baptized at the same church on 28th December, 1567, this being 
the second Kemp entry. It was so usual for the young wife to be with her mother for the first 
confinement that we must not necessarily conclude that Richard Kempe the lawyer, was a 
householder here. There can, however, be no doubt that three other Kempes holding the chief 
establishments were in this parish at the time, while in Hendon adjoining Humphrey Kempe was 
a "considerable" landowner, and Bartholomew Kempe had also an interest in land there. We 
learn the latter fact from the Feet of Fines for Middlesex, in 1567 (printed). Concerned with 
Bartholomew in the Hendon property are Thomas Andrews, Edward Wyseman, and Richard 
Nicholles. This Bartholomew has not certainly been identified with Bartholomew Kempe of 
Gissing, but it will be recollected that Bartholomew, the Lord of the Manor of Gissing, died in 
1554, leaving a son of the same name, who was at this time married and living in London. As 
there is no record of any other Bartholomew Kempe in or near London at this time it is very 
likely that Bartholomew had a suburban retreat at Hendon, as did so many of his relatives. Of 
this we shall have more to say in our Middlesex section. Meanwhile we must follow Richard 
from Hampstead to Ipswich. That ancient and important borough, whose interest had been 
dear to other Kempes, called for the services of Richard Kempe and appointed him to the post 
of Councillor of the Law to the town. In the Archives of Ipswich, as given in the Ninth Report 
of the Royal Historical Commission, it is officially recorded as follows : 

"23rd March, 14 Elizabeth (1571-2') Order for the appointment of Richard Kempe, Esquire, learned in the law, to 
be Councel for the town during pleasure, at a yearly fee of twenty shillings." 

We need scarcely remark upon the handsome retaining fee ; we feel sure that the barrister 
made a very substantial addition to his income by the appointment, and that as we have remarked 
he managed to put professional fees in the way of his eldest brother, who also practised as a 
lawyer in the Ipswich Courts. 

This appointment necessitated residence in the neighbourhood. The place he selected was 
" Wasbrooke," hodie Washbrook, situated about three miles to the south-west of the town. 
Here, doubtless, other children were born who presumably died in youth, for we are informed 
that the son baptized at Hampstead was the only son, while no daughters are mentioned. 
Blomfield gives a few abstracts from the Gissing Church Registers, only one of which refers to 
this Richard, who is entered as having been buried there on 5th April, 1600. We can only infer 
from this that Richard probably removed from Washbrook to Gissing on the death of his father 
about six years previous to this date, by which time he was fifty-four years of age (at which age also 
Bartholomew had succeeded to the estates). We do not know much concerning the Gissing 
property during his tenure, except that it was made subject to a marriage settlement for his wife. 
The deed was made between Richard Kempe, described as of Gissing, and Alice Cockerham, of 
Hampstead, and concerns the Manors of Hastings, in Gissing, Flordon, Dallings and Redisham 


32 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

in Suffolk. The last-named property is mentioned in a Kempe of Weston deed as having been 
in possession of those Kenipes in 1411. The original is among the Stowe MSS. at the British 
Museum (Ch. 250). This alone is good evidence of the direct descent of the Norfolk family from 
the Weston Kempes. 

After the decease of Richard, his widow, Alice, married again, her second husband being 
Edmund Foley, Gent., of Badley, near Stowmarket. The wedding is duly recorded as having 
taken place at Gissing Church on 17th September, 1601- Tn the church of Badley there is a long 
inscription to the Poleys, including this Edmund Foley, who died the last day of October, 1613, 
aged sixty-nine. His marriage with "Alice, relict of Ricard Kemp," of Gissing, is likewise 
mentioned. The pedigree and notes concerning the Foleys of Badley is given in Jackson's 
edition of " The Visitation of Suffolk." 

We do not know if the property at Washbrook was handed down by Richard to his son. 
Possibly it was settled on the widow outright in place of the charge on the Gissing and other 
properties. Richard added at least one other possession to the family estates, for in (or soon after) 
1579 he purchased the manor afterwards known as that of " Gissing Hall," in Roydon. Thus his 
manors practically extended from Braconash to Diss, along the present route of the Great Eastern 
Railway from Ipswich to Norwich. Richard desired to be buried in the Chapel of Gissing " with 
the rest of my ancestors." His Will was proved in the Norwich Consistorial Court on 7th May, 
1600, by his son and his wife. 

The Will states that the Manors of Gissing, Flordon, and Burnells had been charged with a 
dowry for the wife of his son, which the testator had confirmed since the son's marriage. It 
settles £}^ 6s. Sd. per annum on the deceased's sister Margaret, the wife of Daniel Cotton, who 
was also to receive a mourning ring and gown. Rings and gowns are also given to Richard's 
brother-in-law, Drury ; his sister, Buxton ; his nephew and niece Harbourne ; his brother at 
Antingham, and Thomas Kempe, of Beccles ; his niece, Dorothy Norton ; his cousin, Robert 
Kempe, of Bury St. Edmunds ; his god-daughter, Ann Lany (or Lang) ; his nephews, Thomas 
Kemp, then a scholar in Cambridge, and Edward Rowse. Robert and John, sons of his son 
Robert, are to have a sum of money when they go to Gray's Inn to study the law, and a Mr. 
Sherwood, of Tivetshall, with servants and maids, are remembered. Roger Fayne, John Buxton 
and Henry Horseman were the witnesses. 

Anne Kempe's marriage with Mr. Anthony Drury, above named, took place at Gissing, 26th 
May, 1567. This gentleman was seated at Besthorp. Their daughter or grandchild married 
Henry Roswood the Lord of Weston. 

At the call to arms in 1509 this Richard Kempe, of Norfolk, with William Kempe, of Spain's 
Hall, and George Kempe, of Middlesex, each provided one lance and two light horsemen at 
their own expense. 

As already indicated, the estates next devolved upon the only son of Richard Kempe, of 
Gissing, in 1600. This Robert, who was born at Hampstead, Middlesex, in 1567, was entered as 
a student at Gray's Inn on 9th May, 1582- We do not know that he ever practised as a lawyer, 
he may however have assisted his father as a councillor at Ipswich and afterwards taken over the 
duties on his father's removal to Gissing. The supposition consists with the fact that his first two 
children are not recorded as having been baptized at Gissing, while on his accession to the manors 
he evidently settled there at once with his wife and infant sons, for Richard, his third son, was 
baptized there in 1600 and Arthur, his fourth son, was also baptized there in 1601. Of the subsequent 
baptisms we have no knowledge ; Blomfield, who gives some extracts, tells us that the registers were 
partially burnt, which fact prevents us making a search for these details ; however, in the present 

Kempes of G is sing. 


case it is unimportant, so fully are the relationships supported by other evidence. We may, however, 
say that Blomfield mentions the burial of a Robert Kempe at Gissing in 1600, as well as the burial 
of Richard ; perhaps this relates to Robert, the brother of the last Lord of Gissing, though 
mentioned in the Will above recorded, or perhaps the son of Robert Kempe, of Bury. 

Robert Kempe, of Gissing, had married (about 1596) Dorothy, daughter of Arthur Harris, of 
Cricksea and Woodham Mortimer, Essex, by Dorothy, daughter of Sir William Waldegrove, of 
Smallbridge, Suffolk, and sister of Sir William Harris, of Cricksea. Their pedigree is duly set out 

This poiti-ait, which is at Margate Hall, is marked in pencil " Mrs. Sone," but the dress and features 
suo-o-est that it moie probably represents Dorothy Harris, the mother of the First Baronet. 

in the " Esse.x Visitation " of 1612. Her father was buried with Heraldic formality, by Segar 
Norroy, in Mortimer Church. (While speaking of Woodham Mortimer we may note that 
connected with this parish and Althorne there were several generations of Kempes, ancestors of 
the present Charles Filch Kemp, Esq. of Hildenborough, Kent, whose seat is celebrated for its fine 
pack of hounds. 

34 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

The Waldegrave who was the mother of this Dorothy Harris makes the third relationship 
existing at this period between Kempes and that family. 

Besides the four sons already mentioned, Robert had the following children by this wife (who 
outlived him) : Edmund, who acted as the first Baronet's attorney in Virginia ; Thomas, who 
appears to have been living in 1626 ; Edward, who went to Virgmia, and Matthew Kempe, a 
colonel who played a prominent part in the settlement of Virginia, of which Colony Richard, the 
third son, was the first Secretary. Of John, the second son, we are told by Blomfield that he 
married Amphillis, daughter of Roger Bigot (ancestor of the Earls of Norfolk), who was possessed 
of the Manor of Antingham, which thus came to the Kempes. John and Amphillis are said, 
by the same authority, to have settled it upon Robert Kempe, Esquire, their nephew, who 
was Lord of it in 1700 ; this may be quite in order but the proofs have not been searched for 
by the present compilers. The fourth son, Arthur, took holy orders and preached at Gissing 
in 1639 with the Bishop's licence, having studied at Pembroke College, Cambridge, between 
1620-23, and obtained a curacy at Cricksea, Essex, From 1631 to 1635 he was Rector of 
Mapiscombe, in Kent. He used frequently to write little moral essays to his relatives in the 
form of letters, some of which may be seen at the British Museum (Add. mss., 10,435). An 
idea of the contents maybe gathered from the following titles: i. — "Upon the death of her 
younger son"; 2. — "Upon the death of her daughter"; 3. — "To one going to reside as 
Factor at Constantinople "; 4. — "To Mrs. . . . upon the death of his wife "; 5. — "Advices 
concerning marriage "; 7. — " To a gentleman tortured with gout." The last covers 207 pages of 
manuscript. These manuscripts were reviewed in the Gentleman^ s Magazine of 18 14. The 
reviewer was not aware of their having been published, and one would hardly expect that their 
sale would be profitable. They were, however, printed in 1641 and dedicated to "The Noble and 
Virtuous Lady the Lady Waldegrave." The author soon afterwards became the Rector of St. 
Michael-at-Thorne, in Norwich, where he died in 1644, or the following year. His Will was 
proved in 1645 (P.C.C. Rivers, 68). It leaves bequests to the poor of the two parishes of Antingham, 
Flordon, St. Michael-at-Thorn and to the City of Norwich. He mentions the following : the four 
eldest children of his brother Edmund ; his nieces Dorothy Jackman, Wal(de)grave and Elizabeth ; 
"his cozen Freeman's wife"; Thomas Cain, of Best Street; his sister Lady Kempe, of Spain's Hall, 
in Essex ; his cousin Thomas Rous, of Flordon, and his cousin Porter, of Dover ; cousin " Tom 
Kempe the Minister"; his brother Sir Robert Kempe and Doctor Thomas Browne. The last 
named was the celebrated Sir Thomas Browne, author of " Religio Medici." The cousin Porter, 
at Dover, we do not know. The Reverend Arthur Kempe seems to have accumulated a good 
collection of books. He leaves a choice copy of " Tolosinus " to Browne, while all those at his 
London Chambers as well as those at Norwich were to go to the Gissing Hall Library. His niece 
Dorothy Jackman was the daughter of his sister Dorothy Kempe, she having married William 
Jackman, the sister having died before this. The other nieces were daughters of Sir Robert Kempe. 

Judging from these Wills it would seem that little thought was bestowed upon those of the 
family who had emigrated, although one was attorney to Sir Robert and Colonel Matthew was 
over again in this country. News however travelled so slowly and uncertainly that it doubtless 
seemed useless to leave bequests to' those who were out of reach and might have been dead months 
before tidings could reach home. 

Robert Kempe died in 1612, when none of his children had reached manhood. He was 
buried at Gissing, where the inscription to his memory runs as follows : 

" Robert Kemp only sonne of Richard Kempe of Gissing Esquire and Alice Cockerhara of Hampstead .... 
married Dorothy Harris of Crixeth, Essex, by whom he had VIII sons and III daughters, seven sons and two daughters 
survived him. He died, 25 October MDCXII, aged 47 years and having been married 17 years." 

Kempes of G is sing. 


Dorothy, his widow, lived after his death at the Manor House at Flordon, of which we give 
an illustration. It remains to-day much the same in external appearance as it did in her day, the 
arms will be seen over che porch, just the Kempe shield without quarters. Although much of the 
oak panelling has been removed to Mergate Hall by the present Baronet, one can well picture 
the interior as the widow Dorothy Kempe knew it. There, in the great drawing-room in the 

Flordon Hull, built .iboiit 1500 on the site of a previous Manor House, which passed to the Kempes 
by intermarriage with the heiress of Duke and Butteveleyn. 

south wing, its floor laid with unusually broad oaken boards, she sat day after day with her 
unmarried daughter spinning the thread and making, and carefully marking with their respective 
initials, the hoards of fine household linen which she prepared for each of her children "aaainst 
their marriage." In her will she gives us a glimpse of this outcome of her domestic activity, even 
explaining that Edward and Edmund Kempe having the same initials she had distinguished the 
Hnen intended for Edmund by an E being " let in the corner." In the early days of her widowhood 
she had, of course, the usual trouble which seven boys in a house are bound to cause. Robert the 
eldest, must have been a young incorrigible and a constant anxiety to his pious mother, for with 
the daring and gaiety which manifested itself in his manhood, we are sure that he demanded 
obedience from the servant and the homage of his future tenants, while his amorous proclivities 
must have got him into numerous scrapes with the fair young ladies and beautiful rustic maidens 
of the district, but college days then commenced earher and in a few years the widov/ was much 
left to the company of her daughters and divided her time between the devotions prescribed by 
strict Puritan views and the linen for her sons and daughters. She died at Flordon in 1626, and 
was buried, as she desired, beside her husband in the family chapel at Gissing. Her will was 

2)6 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

proved that year (P.C.C, 120 Hele.) and is expressive of her maternal affection and Puritan 
feelings. She mentions certain wills under which her family were to receive legacies, viz., those 
of her late husband : Alice Foley, the children's grandmother ; Roger Payne and Grizzell Herbert. 
Of this last we shall be glad to gain some knowledge, for it would appear likely that this " Grissell 
Herbert, of Gissing," was the Lady Herbert who married a John Kempe in 1572. A mystery 
hangs round the marriage for no Grizzell or Grace Herbert appears in the pedigrees of that family. 
The Herberts were at this time successors to the Greys, both as Lords of Powis Castle and Lords 
of Hendon, where the Kempes were their neighbours. Between the Herberts and Greys a very 
long litigation was carried on as to right to the title and certain Welsh estates, the cause being an 
Edward (Kempe) who was claimed to be son of Edward Lord Powis, by one Jane Kempe alias 
Jane Orwell. Whether she was akin to the Norfolk Kempes we do not know. Any information 
concerning Lady Grace Herbert and Grissell Herbert, of Gissing, will be welcomed by the editors 
of this work. Dorothy Kempe mentions the following children : Robert, Arthur, Edmund, 
Edward, Thomas, Dorothy and Elizabeth ; her daughter-in-law Dame Jane Kemp; her "cousin" 
Thomas Kempe, of Barrow Hampton, and Dorothy the daughter of her " cousin " Clere Tolbot, of 
Wymondham ; Prudence the daughter of her cousin Edward Rouse, of Flordon, and Henry Bing, 
Sergeant at Law of Grantchester, Cambridgeshire. The testatri.x mentions that she holds a lease 
of a house in Finsbury from Sir William Parkhurst, Knight. If this refers to Finsbury, Middlesex, 
it might represent a London residence, perhaps mentioned by Arthur Kempe as his Chambers in 
London. She also speaks of her personal property at " Hopen " and Eye, in Suffolk, and land in 
Old Buckenham, Norfolk. Her chief jewels she left to her daughter-in-law Lady Jane Kempe. 

The Rev. Edward Rous was evidently not only a beloved relative of Dorothy and the Rev. 
Arthur Kempe, but also an acceptable teacher of the Puritan beliefs and practices, perhaps he was 
related to that Francis Rous who was created a peer by Cromwell and at an advanced age was one 
of his Privy Council ; the portrait of this "speaker of the House of Commons" hangs in the Hall 
of Pembroke College, Oxford ; he was buried at Acton, in Middlesex, where a branch of the 
Norfolk Kempes had a house. It must have created domestic difficulties when Sir Robert became 
a Royalist, while this his cousin Rous was a pronounced Roundhead. 



ROBERT KEMPE, who was destined to become both a Knight and the first of the line of 
Baronets, was, as already shown, an infant at the death of his grandfather, Richard 
Kempe, the Councillor of Ipswich, who hoped that this grandchild would follow the law 
as his profession. At his father's death, though only about fifteen years of age, he was even then 
averse to following the studies which he had been desired to take up, reasoning, no doubt, that he 
had but to wait until his twenty-first birthday before he could enjoy the income of the family 
estates, and that hence there was no need of any occupation (other than pleasure) for him. 

The First Baronet. 


He was nevertheless entered as a student of Gray's Inn, his name being enrolled on 26th 
February, 1614, as " son and heir of Robert Kempe, Esquire, of Gissing." It is unlikely that he 
ever practised as a lawyer, but it seems probable that he obtained some office in the Court of 
Faculties, as for some years a Robert Kempe issued marriage licences. This office, if he actually 
held it, may well have opened the way to his becoming intimate with many influential people, 
but it must be remembered, that apart therefrom, he had a "friend at court" in the person of his 
kinsman Bacon, and must have been familiar with many of the ladies of the Royal circle. Young 
and wealthy as he was, he soon found favour, with the result that in 16 18 he was Knighted by 
James I., at his Palace at Theobalds, Herts., on the 12th November. In the same year Robert 
Kempe retired from the Court of Faculties. 

From that date Sir Robert Kempe became closely attached to the King's person, and 
doubtless with Sir Francis Bacon, 
enjoyed both pleasure and profit. 
From the bonds of matrimony, how- 
ever, he kept himself free till he 
reached middle life, although it is im- 
possible that he lacked admirers, for 
his portrait (frontispiece) which must 
have been painted about this time, 
shows that his face was almost as 
attractive as his fortune. Eventually, 
however, before 1626, he married 
the heiress of Sir Matthew Browne, of 
Betchworth Castle, a gentleman who 
could boast of long descent, and 
moreover, possessed connexions with 
exceptional influence at Court. Jane 
Browne, too, if she bore him children, 
would link them with the descendants 
of her kinswoman, Eleanor Browne, 
the wife of Sir William Kempe, of 
Wye, at the same time providing 
Royal ancestors for their children. 
From how many Royal personages 
and other worthies this Jane Browne 
was descended, we must leave our 
readers to ascertain from the tables of 

Kempe descent irawn up by the author of " Stemmata Robertson et Durdin," from which the Royal 
descent given in the Kentish section of this work is extracted. That table shows a few of the 
Hnes which can easily be multiplied by a little patient study of the above-mentioned tables and 
other works on regal hneage. This being merely a history of the Kemps and Kempes, we must 
not devote pages to this very interesting but remote ancestry. 

Sir Robert Kempe naturally accompanied the Court in its peregrinations, while he had many 
friends of his own, at whose houses he was a frequent guest. We are not surprised, therefore, to find 
that his eldest son, Robert, was born at Walsingham Abbey, whose charming ruins are one of the 
glories of his native county. The date of his birth was 2nd February, 1627, and the heir was 

Jane Brown, wife of the First Baronet. (^Circa 1620) 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Favtilies. 

soon conveyed in safety to Gissing Hall. Lady Kempe, doubtless, found Gissing rather quiet after 
the life at Court to which she had been accustomed, and consequently preferred living in London ; 
when a retreat to the country became imperative, she preferred Antingham as a home rather than 
Gissing Hall. The Antingham residence we find described as their " winter" house in 1643. 

The year 1641 will ever be a memorable in the annals of the Kempes of Gissing. 
Generation after generation had for centuries led a prosperous but somewhat uneventful life, 
escaping the attainders and escheats which upset many landed families. Except once when a 
member was detained at Norwich Castle on a false charge of manslaughter, for which he received 
a so-called " pardon," the chief members of the family have never figured in the records of 
disgrace. This year, however, gaiety and pleasure gave place to trouble in the prospect of civil 
war. Sir Robert Kempe as became a Knight and personal attendant of the King, determined to 

stand by his colours and 



T-rsar^j.' V?r-*^ 


made no secret of his aver- 
sion to the policy of the 
Parliamentary party. 
Foremost among the Nor- 
folk Royalists was Sir 
William D'Oyley, whom 
Sir Robert Kempe, of 
Gissing, calls in his will 
" his cousin." With this 
Knight Sir Robert shared 
the honour of raising 
among their tenantry and 
friends a band of soldiejs 
as a King's body-guard, 
while from time to time 
they raised at their own 
expense further forces, 
providing the necessary 
supplies for their main- 
tenance, and otherwise 
assisting the King with 
funds. Before the war 
actually broke out the 
King recognised the long 
personal devotion of Sir 

Robert by raising him from the rank of Knight to that of Baronet. As an especial mark of 

Royal favour he directed that the usual heavy fees for the Patent, the charges of the Heralds, 

scribes and other officials should be borne by the Royal purse instead of devolving, as is usual, 

upon the recipient of the honour. 

The original Patent is extant and quite perfect, the great seal attached not even being 

cracked. The portrait of the King in the initial letter of the document is, as will be seen from the 

illustration here given, a very good portrait of His Majesty. 

At this time there were two Sir Robert Kempes resident in Norfolk, the other being Sir 

Robert Kempe, of Heydon, and afterwards of Spains Hall, Essex. He had married Elizabeth 

Royal Patent granting the Baionetcy to Sir Robert Kempe, of Gissing, 1641. 

The First Baronet. 






Kempe, sister to the first Kempe Baronet of Gissing. Thus they were brothers-in-law, but were 
otherwise of quite distinct descent and diverse arms. They are beheved to have come from 
entirely different stocks, the earliest known ancestors of the one being styled " de Campo '' and the 
other "de Combes." The two Sir Robert Kempes were most intimate friends, and seem to have 
been companions at Charles's Court, both in days of peace, and during the exciting times of the 
Great Rebellion. Nor was this all, for as in war so in love, they seem to have risked even their 
ancestral domains to gain their desires. Surely nothing but a sporting propensity could have called 
for a bond so great as the whole of one's Hall and Manors to be pledged to secure a wife. Yet such a 
bond is recorded as having been made between the two Sir Roberts. Later on. as we shall see, 
the widow of Sir Robert Kempe, 
of Spain's Hall, became the wife 
of the second Sir Robert Kempe, 
of Gissing, thus further confus- 
ing and complicating the rela- 
tionships. Further than this, 
by mere chance, it seems Lady 
Jane Kempe, of Gissing, being 
an heiress of the Brownes, held 
the advowson of Finchingfield 
Church, which was afterwards 
held by the Kempes of Spain's 
Hall, in that parish, so that both 
Kempe families were in turn 
patrons of the living. 

One other point in common 
possibly helped to cement their 
friendship. Both their mothers 
held pronounced Puritan views, 
which they endeavoured to im- 
press on their children with the 
result that they worked to the 
opposite extreme. We shall deal 
more particularly with the Sir 
Robert Kempe, of Heydon, when 
we come to the Essex section, 
though he remained in close 
association with the Gissing 

When the war broke out, in 1642, the little force raised by Sir Robert Kempe, and others, 
was found to be helpless against Cromwell. Sir William D'Oyley and Sir Robert Kempe had, 
therefore, to fly for safety to Rotterdam, as is fully told in the history of the D'Oyley family. 

How long Sir Robert actually remained at Rotterdam and " parts beyond the sea " we are 
unable to say, but in October, 1643, he was at least in hiding, for a warrant was issued for the 
sequestration of his personal and real estate on the sixteenth of that month. This interesting 
document, with others mentioned in this chapter, are still in the hands of the Kemps of Gissing. 
It is addressed to the " Tenant ffarmers and any other debtors of Sir Robert Kempe," and is signed 

Warrant issued under Cromwell for the sequestration of 
Sir Robert Kempe, 1643. 

40 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

by (Captain) Richard Warner and Bernard Utber (or Utberd), "Two of the Additional Committee." 
Edward Freeman and William Walter were the bearers of the warrant and collectors of the rents 
and moneys demanded. Edward Singleton paid on the 25th October, 1643, £60 due to Sir 
Robert Kempe, and John Stell paid £10 on the 18th of the month, leaving a balance due of ^^15. 

Between these dates and November 27th of that year, Gissing was threatened with an attack 
from the " unruly people in Essex and Suffolk," in consequence of which the valuables there were 
hidden or removed with all speed to places less likely to be plundered. A letter signed by " J.D." 
addressed to a "Mr. Bradley," tells us of this, and in a friendly way pleads with the appraisers not 
to interfere unreasonably with the personal effects of Lady Kempe, or to do wanton mischief to 
the family pictures or the place. The letter was evidently a kind service of some friend of both 
parties, who calls himself a cousin of the Kempts, and had the desired effect of restraining the 
Cromwellian officer and his men from pillaging and damaging the property, otherwise many 
treasures still held by the family must have been lost. We gather from the various documents 
that Lady Kempe was at Gissing in the memorable October, and afterwards retreated to 
Antingham, which was deemed a safer residence. Even there, hoAvever, the collectors seem to 
have demanded payment for things which had been brought thither from Gissing after being 
appraised, which were deemed subject to further fine demanded from Sir Robert Kempe for his 
" delinquences." 

In the absence of Sir Robert, the Parliamentary Committee had granted a lease to Edward 
Singleton, giving him a reduction of one-fourth the rent he had formerly paid to the Baronet. 
Notwithstanding a previous agreement, this tenant was declared as not liable for the full rent to 
Sir Robert, even after the latter had compounded for his estate. In this way alone Sir Robert 
suffered heavily for years. His fine paid on 3rd March, 1645 was £112 i8j. 40^., as appears 
by the original receipt signed by Hugh Newhouse, Clerk to the Committee of Accounts for 
Norfolk and Norwich 

In order to release himself from the consequences of his heavy expenditure in raising troops 
and the subsequent fine, he was forced to sell some of his estates. These lands have now returned 
to the family by the present Baronet purchasing them. 

On 29th April, 1647, Sir Robert Kempe, styling himself Knight and Baronet of Gissing, 
made his will. The opening sentence indicates his religious views. He commends his soul 
"to God and Jesus Christ my sweet Saviour and redeemer," phraseology not favoured by the 
Puritans. He gave the usual bequests to the poor, but abstains from tributes to the clergy or 
churches. The will was not proved until 6th September, 1647, by which time his late Royal 
master was a prisoner in the hands of the Roundheads. (Norwich Cons. 1647, fo. 93b ) 

The will mentions Antingham, Diss, North Walsham, Cromer, Dicklesburgh and Burston, 
in all of which the first Sir Robert Kempe had property as well at Gissing, Flordon, Braconash 
and other parishes. To his wife. Dame Jane Kempe, he bequeathed his coach and horses, jewels, 
and the use of his ready money for " the bringing up of the children," five of whom it seems 
had been placed out to board during the war. A marriage settlement having been made, it was 
not necessary to mention other provision for his wife in the will. 

To his eldest son, Robert Kempe, he particularly bequeathed his "yellow diamond ring"; 
this, it seems, has now been lost. It is thought that it passed out of the family with other 
trinkets ; the widow Kempe married Anthony Merry, of whom we shall speak in due course. 
Sir Robert further left his books to his son Robert, and £?>o per annum from his 17th year. To 
his other sons he left the following annuities : — To Thomas, his second son, £(>o ; to Matthew, 
his third, ^50 from 16, and ^^30 until he reached that age. To Maurice Shelton and his Wife, 

The Second Baronet. 4^ 

£io, and to Dorothy, daughter of his late sister, Dorothy Jackman, £\oo^ on her marriage with 
consent of his " sister, Lady Kempe, in Essex,'' with _^io per annum until her wedding. To his 
" brother. Sir Robert Kempe, of Finchingfield, Essex," and to his sister, his wife, also to each of 
his sisters and his son, Thomas Waldegrave, he left sums for mourning. To his grandchild, Jane 
Waldegrave, he gave ;^20, and to his executors £^o each ; these being Dame Jane Kempe, the 
Baronet's wife, and Sir William D'Oyley, who had shared so many ot his escapades. The 
witnesses to the will were William Starkey, Junior, and Thomas Thurston. 

We may here note that Maurice Shelton and the daughter of Sir Robert Kempe were 
ancestors of Lord Nelson, of whom we shall have occasion to speak again. Sir Robert died on 
20th August, 1647. 



SIR ROBERT KEMPE, the second Baronet, was born, as above stated, at Walsingham 
Abbey, where his parents were visiting with the Court. His baptism is entered in the 
register of Walsingham Church, the entry being as follows : 

" Robertus Kempe filius Roberti. 14 Februarii 1627." 
We are told that he was born on the second of that month, thus he was baptized when only twelve 
days old. At the death of his father he was but little over twenty years of age. Before he was 
twenty-four he married Mary, daughter of Thomas Kerridge, of Shelley, in Suffolk, the wedding 
taking place at that parish church 15th July, 1650- This lady gave birth to three children, 
all of whom died young, they were probably born and baptized' at Antingham, as the following 
inscriptions to their memory were erected in Antingham Church. The first runs : 

" Here lyeth interred the body of Elizabeth Kemp ye Daughter of Sir Robert Kemp of Antingham in the County of 
Norfolk, Baronet, and Mary his wife ye Daughter of Thomas Kerridge of Shelley in the County of Suffolk, Esq. She was 
born the 23 of April 1655 and Died on the 17th day of March 1657." 

The second differs only in the child's name and date, which was Mary Kemp, who was born 
on the 20th and buried on the 29th January, 1654. The other child was a son, who also died in 
infancy. Lady Kempe's death occurred in 1655. 

Sir Robert married for his second wife Mary, daughter of John Sone, of Ubbeston, Gent. 
The wedding took place at St. Andrew's Church, Holborn, London, in 1657. It is probable that 
the marriage was celebrated here owing to Sir Robert being a barrister belonging to Gray's Inn, 
the members of which were considered parishioners of St. Andrews. If, like most of his family, 
he ever qualified as a lawyer, it would seem that he rarely or never practised. On the death of 
his first wife he left Antingham for Gissing Hall, but Ubbeston Hall passing to him on his second 









The Second Baronet. 


marriage he removed thither. Thus his second family were baptized at Ubbeston Church, the 
entries being as follows : 

Mary Kemp the first daughter of Sir Robert and Mary, born 20 March 1659. 
Jane Kemp the second daughter of the same, baptized 23 November 1662. 
Robert Kemp son of Sir Robert and Mary born 25 Jan. 1667. 
WiUiam Kemp son of Sir Robert and Mary baptized 5 December 1675. 

Besides these, two sons, named John and Robert, are recorded to have died in infancy. Mary, 
the eldest child, married at Ubbeston, Charles Blois, Esq., on nth May, 1680 ; Jane, the younger 
daughter, was also married 
there on 15th March, 1694, 
to Dr. John Dade ; William 
Kemp, the younger son, was 
of Antingham, and became 
the ancestor of the eighth 
and subsequent Baronets, we 
shall therefore return to him 
and his issue after following 
the senior branch. 

Sir Robert, the second 
Baronet, was Lord of the 
Gissing, Flordon, and other 
family manors for the long 
period of sixty-two years ; the 
estates on his entry were, as 
we have said, encumbered 
with charges, and Gissing Hall 
at least was much despoiled 
and in want of repair. This 
hall had been rebuilt about 
the beginning of the six- 
teenth century and re-roofed 
in or about 1595, but doubt- 
less the fire which caused the 
necessity for the new roof 
had weakened the walls, and 
as the family treasures had 
been carried to Antingham 
at the outbreak of the Civil 
War, there was little to make 
it attractive as a residence. 
Sir Robert, therefore, decided 
to pull the whole place down, 

and the materials were soon made use of for local buildings. All that remains to mark the site 
of the old hall is the wide and deep moat. The actual island site is now the home of ducks, the 
only access to the island being by means of a tree trunk, which is thrown across the stream at a 
spot where the fragments of the ancient bridge are just traceable. 

The Moat round the site of the old Gissing Hall. 
(From a photograph by F. H. Kemp, taken in 189 


44 Historv of the Kejup and Kevipe Families. 

For some 150 years the family lived at Ubbeston, and when at length they decided 
to build a new Gissing Hall, they selected the crest of the hill instead of the ancient site 
on the lower ground, over which the new hall has a commanding view. The old hall had a large 
amount of heraldic glass, all the quarterings and arms of the Kempes and their kinsmen being 
displayed in a variety of forms, most of which had been duly recorded by the heralds at their 
visitations. Many of these arms were doubtless destroyed by the fire ; some perhaps were 
maliciously damaged by the Cromwellian soldiers, who made many visits to the place. What 
remained must have been treasured by Sir Robert and were probably removed to Ubbeston and 
thence to Gissing, Flordon and Bracon Ash. From the time it left Ubbeston until recently, 
much of this old glass with glories of heraldic signification lay hidden in boxes, which had 
evidently escaped the observation of the successive baronets. "When the present Lady Kemp 
attempted to fit the pieces together so many were missing or shattered that the hope of restoring 
them was regretfully abandoned. 

It was also in this old Gissing Hall that the picture of " two labourers threshing wheat- 
sheaves " was preserved. The Rev. William Kemp, in his " History of Norfolk," says that the 
subject alluded to the family arms. A similar representation, either painted or carved, is said to 
have been in Gissing Church ; possibly this was the same picture. Its disappearance is due to a 
fire which damaged the church, destroying the early parish registers at the same time. 

In 1660, the year of the accession of Charles II., Sir Robert Kempe was elected the Tory 
Member of Parliament for the County of Norfolk. It is therefore evident that he had kept up the 
loyal traditions of his family, and as he must have been intimate with the King when they were 
boys together, there is little doubt that he shared in the renewed Court fetes. Sir Robert was 
again elected for his county in 1668, and in 1679 and 1700 he was returned "Tory" member 
for Dunwich. In addition to his Parliamentary duties he was a Justice of the Peace for Norfolk. 
We find that on loth of October, 1670, he was appointed, with his father's old friend. Sir William 
D'Oyly, to hear a case of William Clerk, a churchwarden, versus Richard Huntingdon, at the 
Angel, Norwich. 

In 1693, Sir Robert Kemp introduced into Parliament " the Kerridge Estate Bill,'' which 
sought powers to purchase certain lands from Maurice Shelton which adjoined the property of 
Thomas Kerridge, a minor, who was a ward of Sir Robert Kemp and Sir Thomas Gerrard, of Green 
Street, East Ham, Essex, Bart. This ward was a son of Samuel Kerridge, of Shelley, nephew of 
Mary Kerridge, the first wife of this Sir Robert Kemp(e), while Maurice Shelton was the latter's 
brother-in-law. The properties which had descended to the minor were in Shelly, Laybourne, 
and Polsted, Suffolk, and in Codenham, Creeting St. Mary, Creeting All Saints, Bricet, Ringsale, 
Trimley St. Mary, Trimley St. Martin, Walton, and Bildeston in the same county, a messuage in 
Broad Street, St. Peter le Poor, London, and at Hampstead, Middlesex. The mother of the ward 
was said to have agreed to pay _^9,ooo for the Manors of Reydon Hall, Marks or Martins and 
Sullies or Selvies, for which purpose it was necessary to mortgage the Kerridge property. After 
considerable trouble for so simple a matter, the Bill was passed, subject to due provision being 
made for Thomas Kerridge's sisters. The digest of the Bill and the details of the case will be found 
in the '" House of Lords MSS," vol. i. (new series) 1900. 

With Thomas Kerridge, Sir Robert Kemp had a good deal more to do of which some record 
may be found in the Additional MSS. (19, 185) in the British Museum. The papers referred to 
were the original bonds for money lent, and such documents which passed from the Kempes to 
Dr. Dade, of Ipswich and Tammington, the son-in-law of this Baronet, and who had subsequently 
much to do with the property of Kemps and their kinsmen. 

46 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Among the same collection of papers are numerous Dade documents, including the marriage 
settlement of Jane Kemp with this Doctor of Physic. (It is, of course, mere coincidence that the 
arms of Dade as shown on the seal to this document closely resemble that of some Kemps, namely, 
three sheaves with a chevron between them). There is also among these manuscripts a scribbled 
note by Sir Robert mapping out his idea as to settling certain properties on his children ; also a 
long list of his election expenses in 1708, when, however, he was not the successful candidate. 
With these are papers relating to Ubbeston Hall from 1585 till 1710, which was, it seems, also 
known as Harefield House and Tile House. It may be further noted that one of the receipts in 
this collection dated 1751 was witnessed by " Jno. Van Kamp," who doubtless was a Dutchman. 
We do not know how he came to have anything to do with Dade or Kempes. 

The following inscriptions on monuments to the Dades are existing in the Church of 
St. Matthew, Ipswich, with the arms of Dade impaling Kemp : 

■' [ANAE, Filiae Natu Minimae / Dni Robert! Kemp De Ubbeston / In Comitatu Suffolciensi / Baronetti / Uxoris 
Johannis Dade, / De Gippovico In Medicina Doctoris. / Obiit Octavo Die Decembris. / Anno Dni 1724, et Aetatis 62." 

Also under a lozenge with the Dade arms : 

" lanae, Filiae Natu maximae / Johannis Dade, Medicinae Dris / et lanae, Filiae Roberti Kemp de Ubbeston in hoc 
comitatu. / Baronitti / Obiit Martii die 24 / Anno Dni. 1721. / Aetatis 23." 

Sir Robert Kemp, the second Baronet, may be said to have been the first of this line to 
establish the spelling of his name without the final E ; in this he was merely following a custom 
of the age, and as we have said several times the only fixed exception to this change existed in 
Cornwall, the Kempe family, of which have studiously maintained the older spelling. 

Sir Robert was buried at Gissing, his monument of white marble hangs on the North Wall of 
the Lady Chapel in Gissing Church, the inscription being as follows : 

" Sir Robert Kemp of Gissing / in the County of Norff. Baronet / was born at Walsingham Abbey upon the 2nd of 
February / 1 627 and died the 26 of September 1 7 10, / in ye 83rd year of his age. His first lady was Mary the Daughter 
of Thomas Kerridge, by Susan his wife, she was born in London in February 1631, they were married July 15th 1650 and 
she died in June 1655. They had a son and two daughters born and Christened which died young. The second Lady of ye 
sd Sr. Robert Kemp was Mary the daughter of John Sone of Ubbeston in ye County of Suffolk, Gent, by Mary ye 
Daughter of William Dade and of ye said County, Esquire, she was born April ye 6th 1637, they were married November 
the 25th 1657, she died July 29th 1705 at Ubbeston, by whom he had 3 sons and 3 daughters. Both these Ladyes were 
verv prudent and pious— feu- exceeded ye former and scarce any the latter'' 

The curious unbiassed closing sentence of this monument must surely have been the outcome 
of very careful consideration on the part of the second Baronet, and with his portrait here 
reproduced,* will help us to form an opinion of his character. 

His will was proved in the Suffolk Archdeaconry in 1710- The digest is given amono- 
Dade's collection above-mentioned. 

The will, which is dated 3rd May, 1704, nominates Mary, the wife of the testator, as e.xecutrix. 
She, however, as we have seen, died before her husband. Sir Robert mentions Thomas and Peter 
Kemp, sons of his deseased brother, Matthew Kemp. This Matthew, as we shall presently note 
had died in Virginia, where he and his relatives had done much to establish our British Colony. 
Robert, the eldest son, and Mary, the latter's daughter, are the recipients of legacies, as is also 
the testator's son, William Kemp. These two soni>, with their sister, Jane Dade, are also the 
chief legatees under the will of Richard Kempe of Ubbeston, their uncle, which was proved 
2 1st July, 1714, in the same Court as the foregoing. He appears to have died without issue ; we 
do not know if he married, but possibly Jane Alexander,! whom he speaks of as his niece, and his 
kinsman, Thomas Alexander, were so related through his wife, as we have no further mention of 
them. (This will also is given in Add. MSS. 19, 138, in the British Museum\ 

♦ Portrait at commencement of chapter, 
t The name Alexander was connected from this time with London Kemps who had come from the Kent. We do not think that the one 
family were connected with the other, it is however curious that a daughter of this third Baronet was buried at Ramsgate with which the 
Alexander Kemps were connected. Vide Post and the Kentish section. 

)f this A'^bey at the same time were Galfrid Kempe, Hamo de Cumbe, 
illiam o ^Willielmus de Coumbe and Johannes de Campo.) 

daughtt " of Sir Thomas Aldon. (Perhaps hving a widow in 1 332.) 

ghter ol Sir Robert Lewknor. 
ith her lusband at Wye. 

I, Archb sh.^p of Canterbury, Cardinal, 
Chai -= Ic of England. 1 380-1454. 

Alice, dau. ol Sir Roi 

Lieutenant of the npe, of Fulham, Lord Bishop of London. 
London in 1424. d at St. Paul's Cathedral, 1489. 

Emelyn, dau. and co^ 

grand-niece of H«)e, Vica ■ of Fellham, Middlesex, 1513-IS33, 
bishop of CanterU of Oki 'ey Parva, Esse.x, in 1539. 
Souls' College, Oxi 

Mary, dau. of Sir Ricl 
Knight. Afterwarfeginald 
Sir William Haute c Capt. 
stle of 

( 1542. 

Richard Kempe. 

(? of Boughton 


John Kempe. 

Ann Fogg=V\i 

Andrew Kempe. 
(? of London) 

Edward Kempe. 

(? of Boughton 


George Kempe. 

1st wife. 

Catherine, dau. and cc 
Sir Thomas Chanejincis N ;ai 
Warden of the Cinqu Naylo . 
Captain of the C^ ^ 

Calais. Treasurer 
King's Household. 

Mary =Sir Nicholas 
Kempe. Boughton. 

Margarel=George Fogge. 

Anne Kempe= 
(or Fogg) 


Anne Kempt, mar. 

in 1560, Sir 

Thomas Shirley. 

lu. of . 
of Ea- 





living 1592. 

William Kempe. 
(? of Dartford 
and Sheppey) 

Mary Kemp(:,=Sir Dl ' | 

of Chilham Ka Join Kempe, Anne Kempe, mar. 

Castle. Rfl died ' Josias Clarke, 
witlioui issue. 

Dorothy Kempe, mar. 
Sir Wm. Denny. 

George Kempe, 
baptized at 
Wye, 1557. 

Amy Kempe, mar. 
Maurice Tuke. 

_^6 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Among the same collection of papers are numerous Dade documents, including the marriage 
settlement of Jane Kemp with this Doctor of Physic. (It is, of course, mere coincidence that the 
arms of Dade as shown on the seal to this document closely resemble that of some Kemps, namely, 
three sheaves with a chevron between them). There is also among these manuscripts a scribbled 
note by Sir Robert mapping out his idea as to settling certain properties on his children ; also a 
long list of his election expenses in 1708, when, however, he was not the successful candidate. 
With these are papers relating to Ubbeston Hall from 1585 till 1710, which was, it seems, also 
known as Harefield House and Tile House. It may be further noted that one of the receipts in 
this collection dated 1751 was witnessed by " Jno. Van Kamp," who doubtless was a Dutchman. 
We do not know how he came to have anything to do with Dade or Kempes. 

The following inscriptions on monuments to the Dades are existing in the Church of 
St. Matthew, Ipswich, with the arms of Dade impaling Kemp : 

•' lANAE, Filiae Natu Minimae / Dni Roberti Kemp De Ubbeston / In Comitatu Siiffolciensi / Baronetti / Uxoris 
Johannis Dade, / De Gippovico In Medicina Doctoris. / Obiit Octavo Die Decembris. / Anno Dni 1724, et Aetatis 62." 

Also under a lozenge with the Dade arms : 

" lanae, Filiae Natu maximae / Johannis Dade, Medicinae Dris / et lanae, Filiae Roberti Kemp de Ubbeston in hoc 
comitatu. / Baronitti / Obiit Martii die 24 / Anno Dni. 1721. / Aetatis 23." 

Sir Robert Kemp, the second Baronet', may be said to have been the first of this line to 
establish the spelling of his name without the final E ; in this he was merely following a custom 
of the age, and as we have said several times the only fixed exception to this change existed in 
Cornwall, the Kempe family, of which have studiously maintained the older spelling. 

Sir Robert was buried at Gissing, his monument of white marble hangs on the North Wall of 
the Lady Chapel in Gissing Church, the inscription being as follows : 

" Sir Robert Kemp of Gissing / in the County of Norff. Baronet / was born at VValsinghara Abbey upon the 2nd of 
February / 1627 and died the 26 of September 1710, / in ye 83rd year of his age. His first lady was Mary the Daughter 
of Thomas Kerridge, by Susan his wife, she was born in London in February 1631, they were married July 15th 1650 and 
she died in June 1655. They had a son and two daughters born and Christened which died young-. The second Lady of ye 
sd Sr. Robert Kemp was Mary the daughter of John Sone of Ubbeston in ye County of Suffolk, Gent, by Mary ye 
Daughter of William Dade and of ye said County, Esquire, she was born April ye 6th 1637, they were married November 
the 25th 1657, she died July 29th 1705 at Ubbeston, by whom he had 3 sons and 3 daughters. Both these Ladyes were 
very prudent a7id pious— feii: exceeded ye former and scarce any the latter." 

The curious unbiassed closing sentence of this monument must surely have been the outcome 
of very careful consideration on the part of the second Baronet, and with his portrait here 
reproduced,* will help us to form an opinion of his character. 

His will was proved in the Suffolk Archdeaconry in 1710- The digest is given among 
Dade's collection above-mentioned. 

The will, which is dated 3rd May, 1704, nominates Mary, the wife of the testator, as e.-cecutrix. 
She, however, as we have seen, died before her husband. Sir Robert mentions Thomas and Peter 
Kemp, sons of his deseased brother, Matthew Kemp. This Matthew, as we shall presently note, 
had died in Virginia, where he and his relatives had done much to establish our British Colony. 
Robert, the eldest son, and Mary, the latter's daughter, are the recipients of legacies, as is also 
the testator's son, William Kemp. These two sons, with their sister, Jane Dade, are also the 
chief legatees under the will of Richard Kempe of Ubbeston, their uncle, which was proved 
2 1 St July, 1714, in the same Court as the foregoing. He appears to ha-e died without issue ; we 
do not know if he married, but possibly Jane Alexander,! whom he speaks of as his niece, and his 
kinsman, Thomas Alexander, were so related through his wife, as we have no further mention of 
them. (This will also is given in Add. MSS. 19, 138, in the British MuseumV 

* Portrait at commencement of chapter, 
t The name Alexander was connected from this time with London Kemps who had come from the Kent. We do not think that the one 
family were connected with the other, it is however curious that a daughter of this third Baronet was buried at Rarasgate with which the 
Alexander Kemps were connected. Vide Post and the Kentish section. 


Sir Roger'Kempe, of Wye 

Sir John Kerripe, ol Wye, " Boxley, Bii ling, Stentor and other lands "'=(,? Agnes), a daughu ■ of Sir Thomas Aldon. (Perhaps living a widow in I332-) 

Sir Peter Kempe, of Brabourne and VVye,= 

=Sir Roger Kempe. Knight, of Wye 

Alice, dau. ol Sir Robert Scoti,=Sir Willia 
Lieutenant of the Tower of I 
London in 1424- | 

Thomas Keinpe, of l-'ulhai 

■melj-n, dau and co-heir of Valantine Chichley,=Sir William Kempe, of Wye, Knighi (K-B.) of Olanty 
grand-niece of Henry Chichele, Lord Arch- ; or Ollantigh and Boughton Aluph. Sheriff of 
bishop of Canterbury and Founder of All ' Kent 1493, 1508, 1513; died 1518/1519. 
Souls' College. Oxford. ' , 

Mary, dau. of Sir Richard Guildford.^Christopher Kempe, Thomas Fogge,^Eleanor, dau. and co-heir of SirThomas^Sir Willia 

Afterwards married to 

Sarent. Porter 
of Calais, died 

Ham Haute or Hawke. 

: issue before 1518. 

1312, bur. at 

Mary KeE 

[ipe:=Lawrence Finch, of 
"The Moat.'- 

Ashford, Kent, 

by Elenor, daughter df Sii 
"' ;allen, a/ias Arundel. 

Ann Fogg=WilUam Set 

Alice Fogg:=Edward Scott, of The Moat, Iden, Su; 

Caiherne, dau. and co-heir of:=Sir Thomas Kempe, Knight,=;Anne, dai 

Sir Thomas Chaney, Lord 
Warden of the Cinque Ports. 
Captain of the Castle at 
Calais. Treasurer of the 
King's Household. 

High, Wye, Ger 
Court. Sheriff of 
548, 1550, 1563- 
u Wye, 15S9. 

John Kempe, 
Gent, of Wye, 
died 1599. 
Chief heir to 
his mother. 
(.« Wye) 

Alice Kempe, mar 

Sir James Hales, 
of the "Dungeon." 

Margaret Kempe, mar. 
Sir William Cromer, ol 
Eastwell, died 1597. 

Ellen Kemp 
died 1548. 

Fryswyde Kemp< 
baptized IS44- 

, of Ollantigh, 
Wye. Sheriff in 
1505. born I439, 
bur. at Wye, 1539. 

pe:=John Toke, 


elyn Kempe=Sir Reginald 
Scott, Capt. 

Richard Kemp 


(r of Boughton 


of Castle of 
. Calais. 
Sheriff 154::- 




of Che] 

Dorothy, dau. 

John Thompsc 

of London. 

of=Sir Thomas Kempe, Reginald Kempe, [ 

n, I of Ollantigh. Wye, of Wye, bur. at 

bur. in Wye Chtirch, Crundel, 1611/2. 

William Kempe. George Kempe, 

(? of Dartford baptized at 

and Sheppey) Wye, 1^57. 

Mary Ke 
of Chilh 

Sir Dudley Digges, 
Rolt ° 

..\nne Kempe^:Sir John Cu 
(eldest (or Curtis) 

daughter) Knight. 


'^' ^ ■ ' ' THE THIRD BARONET. 

WE must go back a little in order to review the chief events of the life of Sir Robert, 
the third Baronet (and eldest son of the last Baronet), who was some 43 years of age when 
his father died. He had graduated at Cambridge in 1 683, and had married in rather a 
romantic way the daughter of the widow of Sir Robert Kempe, of Spains Hall, Essex, the latter 
being the same Sir Robert who had married as his first wife a sister of the first Baronet of Gissing. 
This widow of Sir Robert, of Essex, had remarried Captain Robert King, of Great Thurlow, in 

Sir Robert Kemp, Third Baronet. 
M.P. Dunwich M.P. Suffolk. 

Essex, by whom she had only one child, Letitia King, who became the wife of the third Sir Robert 
Kemp, about 1693. We do not know the exact date of this marriage, which probably took place 
at Great Thurlow, but we find that their first child, named Letitia (Kemp), after the mother, was 
baptized at Ubbeston on 23rd April, 1694- This daughter became heiress to her mother, so far 

^8 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

as the King estates were concerned, and to her grandmother, who was EHzabeth Steward, daughter 

of Thomas Steward, of Barton Mills, by Susan Wendy, sister of Sir Thomas Wendy, ot 

Haslingfield, Cambridge. Thus Haslingfield and Wendy estates descended through the wives 

of two unrelated Sir Robert Kempes to a Lelitia Kempe, and were passed by her marriage to 

Sir Edmund Bacon, of Garboldisham, the " Premier Baronet." This marriage took place at 

Ubbeston, on 27th November, 1712, but the bride's name is given in the parish register as 

''Mary Kemp, eldest daughter of Sir Robert Kemp, Bart." Sir Edmund Bacon was of the same 

family as those of the name who have repeatedly been mentioned as connected by marriage and 

in other ways with these Kempes fromi the time of Edward III. 

Sir Robert Kemp lost his first wife within a few years of their marriage, for his first child 

by his second wife was baptized in 1697. The name of this second wife is given as Mary 

Elizabeth Brand Colt, but the children's mother appears merely as Elizabeth, the wife of Robert 

Kemp, Esq. The following children of these parents occur in the baptismal register of Hoxne 

Church : 

Elizabeth, 26th September, 1697 ; Letitia, 27th October, l6g8 ; Robert, 28th November, 1699 ; John, 27th December, 
1700 ; Jane, 23rd January, 1701 ;" Anne, 20th April, 1703, and Isaac, 27lh September, 1704. 

It would appear from these entries that Sir Robert lived at Hoxne (which is situated on the 

border of Suffolk, near Diss and the Gissing estates) from the time of his second marriage until 

the death of his mother, which event, doubtless, made it desirable that he should share Ubbeston 

Hall, and thus keep his aged father company. Thus we find that the Ubbeston Church Registers 

record the following baptisms, all of which, it will be noticed, are prior to his father's death. 

The parents in each case are Robert Kemp, Esq., and Elizabeth, his wife : 

Thomas Kemp, 19th October, 1706; Edward, Jth November, 1707, and Benjamin, 4th January, 1708-9. Edward 
was buried there three days after his baptism, and Elizabeth, the second wife of Sir Robert, was buried there on 1 2th 
January, 1708-9 — just after the birth of Benjamin. 

It was within a year of this bereavement that the second Baronet died. After his accession 
to the family estates. Sir Robert, the third, married as his third wife, Martha, daughter of William 
Blackwell, of Mortlake, Surrey, Gent. And on her decease in 1727, he married as his fourth wife, 
Amy, daughter of Richard Phillips, of Edwardstone and widow of John Borroughs,* of Ipswich. 
This Borroughs had left an only daughter named Amy, who thus came under the care of Sir Robert 
as his third wife's step-daughter. Amy Borroughs became sole heir to her father, and under Sir 
Robert Kemp's influence married Nicholas Blois. She was buried in St. Nicholas's Chapel, 
Westminster i\bbey, on April 9th, 1733, and is mentioned in Chester's '' Register of Westminster 
Abbey," also in " Memorials of Westminster Abbey." 

By his third wife, Sir Robert Kemp had a small family, who, like the issue of his preceding 
spouse, were baptized at Ubbestone. The registers give the following facts : 

" Martha daughter of Sir Robert Kemp Bart, and Martha, baptized 7th September 1 7 12, buried 8 September 17 1 2." 
"William Kemp son of Sir Robert Kemp Bart and Martha, baptized 26 February 1713/4." 
" Martha Kemp daughter of Sir Robert Kemp Bart and Martha, baptized 4th May 1716." 

Jane Kemp, the third daughter of Sir Robert, by his second wife, was married at this church 
2nd March, 1730, to William Blois, of Yoxford, Esq. Thus this Baronet had two daughters and 
a stepdaughter married to members of the Blois family. It is no wonder, then, that Sir Robert 
and his executors and relatives had much to do with the Blois property. Unfortunately, 
Sir Charles Blois, the son of Sir Robert's eldest daughter, was declared to be insane, or at least too 

* A John Borroughs, of St. Maiy'b, Whitechapel, London, Mariner, appeared to attest and prove the Will of Robert Kemp, of 
St. Ctiristoplicr's (Middle Island) in 1732. 

' ■*■ The Third Baronet. 49 

weak of intellect and physique to manage the estates which devolved upon him at a very early 
age. Much legal procedure was consequently necessary which must have been exceedingly trying 
to those responsible. We cannot go further into the matter here, but would refer those interested 
in the case to a mass of information in original documents to be seen in the British Museum 
(Add. MSS. iq, 138; 19, 186-7). 

Martha Kempe, the Baronet's youngest child, married Darell Short,* of Wadhurst, Sussex, in 
September, 1738, her husband being connected with the Shorts, of Tenterden in Kent, and 
others in Sussex : 

Martha Short was one of the grantees of administration under the will of her half-sister, 
Elizabeth Kempe, who died at New Buckenham, a spinster, in 1763, and is mentioned in the 
wills of her brothers, Sir John and Sir Benjamin Kemp, the fifth and seventh Baronets, she being 
sole executrix to the latter in 1777, at which time she was living a widow, at Sevenoaks, Kent. 
She was buried at Ramsgate, in 178Q, and in the old Parish Church (St. Lawrence), there is a 
white tablet to her memory, giving her relationship to the Kemps of Ubbeston, and as widow of 
Darell Short (junior), of Wadhurst, and stating her age to have been 77 at her death. Darell 
Short, of Wadhurst, her husband, died, according to a notice in the Gentleman''s Magazine, in 
March, 1768. 

Of the other children of the third Baronet, Isaac died young, while Robert, John and 
Benjamin succeeded in turn to the title, as will be further noted. William was a captain in the 
army, and appears to have left no issue. The third Sir Robert, after a very active public hfe, died 
in December, 1735, at the age of 68, when on his way from Ubbeston to take his seat in 
Parliament as the Tory Member for Suffolk. He seems to have been taken suddenly ill in his 
coach at Ufford (on the main road to Ipswich), and despite medical attention, succumbed before 
his relatives could reach him.t 

He had, however, time to make a fresh will, for the one which was proved in the Prerogative 
Court of Canterbury in 1735 (104 Ducie) is dated the 7th December, 1734. The substance of it is 
given in the Additional MSS. at the British Museum (19, 138), and mentions the testator's wife, 
Amy, his brother William, his sons Robert, Isaac, Thomas, Benjamin, John, William, and his 
daughters Martha, Elizabeth, and " Blois," the last four being under the age of twenty-one. 

Amy, the widow of the third Baronet, had inherited, under the will of her father, Richard 
Phillips, of Ipswich (dated 17th September, 1719), the reversion of property at Brockley, Suffolk. 
This property, however, did not pass to the Kemps as she released her interest, or devised her 
share to her brother Richard, by her will dated nth October, 1T45, and proved on the 
1 8th February, 1746. She bequeathed to Christ's Hospital ^240, which was placed out at interest 
and still benefits that Institution, to which his father was also a benefactor. 

* We are indebted to George Dudlej' Short, Esq., of Brighton, for a number of notes on various Short families who have at different 
times intermarried with sundry Kemps. Martha Short's pedigree, and other particulars, may appear before long in a history of the Short 
families, for which our correspondent is collecting. 

+ The death of a well known man occurring in so tragic a way created considerable notice. See Ceiilleinan's Magazine and the other 
papers and periodicals of the day. 



History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 



SIR ROBERT KEMP, the fourth Baronet, succeeded his father in 1734-5- He lived at 
Ubbestone for nearly eighteen years. He was M.P. for Orford. He was Lord of the 
Manor of Frenze as well as of the family Manors of Gissing and Flordon, and was also 
patron of the livings of Frenze, Gissing and Flordon. Judging from his portrait here reproduced 
(from a painting now at Mergate Hall) he was a man of intelligence and kind disposition. He 
seems, however, to have left very little record of his tenure of the estates, which he retained 

Sir Robert Kemp, Fourth Baronet. M.P. for Orford. 

intact but did not augment. He died unmarried in 1752, and was succeeded in title and estates 
by his ne.xt brother, John. He succeeded his father as M.P. for Orford in 1734. 

Sir John Kempe, the fifth Baronet, married in 1742 Elizabeth, the daughter of Thomas Mann 
and widow of John Colt, Esq., of Tooting, Surrey, a lady of considerable fortune (vide London 

The Fourth Baronet. 51 

Magazine^ Dec, 1742). Her pedigree is not Icnovvn to the compilers of this work, but it would 
appear likely that her husband belonged to the Colt family, who intermarried with the Kempes 
of Spains Hall. His marriage, occurring as it did before his accession to the title, led to Sir John 
making his wife's residence at Tooting his permanent home. He died there 25th October, 1761, 
and his will describes him as of Tooting, only mentioning Gissing as the place where he desired 
to be buried. He requests that his funeral be conducted in the same simple way in which his 
late brother. Sir Robert, was buried, namely, with a hearse and one coach only. He directed that 
all his personal estate was to be held in trust by his widow, Dame Elizabeth Kemp, and his 
friend, Eleaza Davy, of Ubbeston, Gent., who were to continue the annuities to his brother 
Benjamin under the will of his elder brother. Sir John's widow was provided with an annuity 
ofjTsSO and a legacy of ^^500, as well as all the estates of her former husband, and other property 
which she inherited from her father. Further, she was to have Sir John's "chariot, chaise and 
horses," and all the stock of wine, beer, and certain other provisions at his house at Tooting. 
She was to enjoy the use of the family jewels during her life as well as the plate. 

Among others who benefitted under this will we may mention the widow of the Reverend 
Thomas Kemp, of Flordon and Gissing, a brother of the testator, Martha, his sister, wife of 
Darell Short, his nephew, John Kemp, and Simon Adams, to all of whom annuities for life were 
bequeathed. Simon Adams was also to receive in all ^'3,500 ; he was at this time at school with 
the Rev. Cutting at Bungay, but how he was connected with the Baronet we are unable to 
explain, the large amount settled on him suggests that he was more than a mere acquaintance. 
This will was proved on 4th December, 1761, by Dame Elizabeth in the Prerogative Court of 
Canterbury (435 Cheslyn). 

Dame Elizabeth Kemp survived her husband some seven years, her death being announced 
in the Gentleman's Magazine and other papers in 1768. Her will calls her Dame Elizabeth 
Kemp, of Tooting, Co. Surrey, widow of Sir John Kemp. She desired that she should be buried 
in a family vault at Tooting in which her grandmother and the latter's husband. Dr. Creighton, 
were buried, and directed that not more than ^100 should be spent on her funeral. The will 
mentions many relatives, both her husbands and her own. Among the latter she especially dwells 
on her daughter, "Elizabeth Lady Trimlestown, wife of the Right Honourable Lord Trimlestown 
of the Kingdom of Ireland," to whom she leaves several miniature portraits set in diamonds 
and other valuable trinkets. These heirlooms have disappeared, the present Lord Trimlestown 
and the Hon. Mrs. Elliot declare that these miniatures and jewels never passed to their ancestors, 
but the treasures are certainly not among the Kemp heirlooms. The miniatures represented Mr. 
Brand, the Bishop of Ely, Dame Elizabeth Kemp's father and others. Several of the Barnwells 
are mentioned in the will, Mary Colt, the daughter of Lady Kemp, having married Bartholomew 
Barnwell in 1762. The will was proved in London 12th March, 1768, by WilHam Mann 
Godshull, of Weston House, Surrey, and Eleaza Davy, of Ubbeston, the executors (P.C.C., 
115 Seeker). 

The Rev. Thomas Kemp, the next younger brother of the fifth Baronet, had been presented 
by his father to the family livings of Gissing and Flordon, and married as his first wife Anne 
Mallum (or ? Marlow), by whom he had three children as follows : John, who became the sixth 
Baronet; Robert, who died young, and Mary, who died single in 1784. This first wife having 
died before 27th May, 1753, the Rev. Thomas married Priscilla, daughter and co-heiress of 
Thomas Holden, Esq., of Tooting. Thomas, the father, died on 5th March, 1761, and thus just 
missed succession to the title, which consequently devolved upon his eldest son, Sir John Kemp. 
This Kemp was at Westminster School a minor when his uncle of the same name died. By the 


-,, ,.,^,,^-v;y:KiaaBB>rBfeOv^^£^^ 

The Fourth Baronet. 53 

latter's will £'io per annum was to be allowed for the maintenance of this nephew until he was 

seventeen years of age, and from that time until he became of age ;^200 a year was to be allowed. 

Unfortunately this sixth Baronet never saw his majority, having died unmaried at Duke Street, 

Westminster, on 16th January, 1771- He was buried in the Cloisters of Westminster Abbey, 

where a tablet to his memory may be seen on the east side against the last arch. We may here 

note that a celebrated John Kemp, Counsellor-at-Law and F.R.S., was buried here in 1738, also 

his wife and children, but we do not know with certainty that these were of the Baronet's family. 

The fact of Amy Blois being buried in the Abbey, together with the fact of his being resident in 

Westminster, may sufficiently account for his burial there instead of at Gissing with his 

predecessors. On his death his mother obtained letters of administration for his personal estate, 

the real estate with the title passing to Benjamin Kemp, his uncle. 

Sir Benjamin Kemp, the seventh Baronet, was, we have seen, baptized at Ubbeston in 1708. 

He was, however, according to Burke, born in the parish of St. George, Hanover Square, London, 

in 1707. He entered Caius College, Cambridge, in 1731, and became MA. in 1735, afterwards 

studying medicine and surgery. He practiced as a physician for many years at Coin Dean or 

Coin St. Denis in Gloucestershire, where he died unmarried in 1777- He was buried in the 

church of that parish. A monument of black and white marble bears his arms with the following 

inscription : 

"Near this place is deposited, in Hope of Blessed Resurrection, the remains of Sir Benjamin Kempe Bart., who 
departed this life January 25 1777, aged 69 years." 

His will was proved by his sister, Martha Short, widow, on 7th February, 1777 (P.C.C. 
73 Collier). This will is probably the briefest will of any Kemp of this family ; he simply 
leaves the whole of his real and personal estate to Martha Short with the exception of one guinea 
for a mourning ring to Mary, daughter of his late brother Thomas, and _^5 to the poor of the 
parish in which he dies. No mention of Gissing or other Kemp properties occurs. The witnesses 
to the will are, Jane Hughes, Giles Hancocke and Robert Berk, of whom we know nothing. 

We may here conveniently note that his sister, Elizabeth, lived at New Buckenham, 
Norfolk, where she died unmarried in 1763. Her will was proved by Mary Blois on 28th March 
that year, a further grant on the death of the latter being made to Priscilla Merry (P.C.C, 135 
Caesar). This will is dated 1750, and mentions her brother, Thomas Kemp, then of Bracon 
Ash ; Judith, the wife of the Rev. William Leeth ; Sarah Young, of Bracon Ash, widow ; Ann 
Phillips and her brothers and sisters. Her kinsman, Richard Phillips, witnessed the document. 
Her brother and other relatives predeceased her. 

Mary Kemp, the niece mentioned by Sir Benjamin, died at the " Gravel Pits," Kensington, 
but her residence had been Queen's Square, Westminster. It seems, from an obituary notice in 
the Gentleman'' s Magazine^ that she had been an invalid from birth, enduring " misery " daily 
with the utmost patience and resignation for twenty-five years. Her character is said to have 
been exemplary, her disposition mild, and her piety and goodness of heart unbounded. Her Will 
was proved by Priscilla Merry, her mother, in 1784 (P.C.C, 395 Rockingham). She desired to 
be buried " in a private manner " at Gissing, and she left all her estate to the use of the Rev. 
Peter Pinnell, D.D., Prebendary of Rochester ; Thomas Birch, of Bond Street, Middlesex, banker, 
and Ingham Foster, of St. Clement's Lane, London, Gent., for the benefit of her mother, who 
also lived at Queen's Square. 

On the decease of the seventh Baronet the title and chief estates passed to his first cousin, of 
whom we shall speak in the next chapter. 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 



^ Y^ 7ILLIAM KEMP, of Antingham, whose portrait as a child we reproduce, was second 
\\/ surviving son of the second Baronet by Mary Sone. He inherited the Antingham 
^ » property from his father and there made his seat. He first married at Ubbestone 

Church, on 4th May, 1704, Jane Coleman, who it appears was related to Amy Phillips, wife of 
the third Baronet. She, however, died within a year and was buried at Gissing, where a mural 
inscription states that she died on nth April, 1705, in her nineteenth year. By this wife, 

Arms of William Kemp, of Antingham, in Margate Hall. 

therefore, William, of Antingham, had no family. His second wife was Elizabeth, daughter of 
Henry Shallcross or Shardelow. By this second wife William had three children, viz., William, 
who became the eighth Baronet ; Robert, of whom we have no record ; and Elizabeth, who married 
first John Cook, of Horsted, and afterwards James Gay, of North Walsham, as relict of whom she 
died in 1803, aged eighty-seven. In Antingham Church is a monument bearing the arms of Kemp 

< J 

:5 c 

^ '5 

56 History of the Konp and Kempe Families. 

with a crescent for difference, and an inescutcheon of pretence or, charged with a chevron gules 
between three crosslets fitchee sable {sic). The inscription runs as follows : 

" M. S. Gulielmi Kemp nuper de Antingham armigeii Qui obiit xij mo. die Maij Anno Domini MDCCXLIV. 
Aetatis suae LXIXmo. Ac post mortem liicem in coelis sperat aeternum." 

This allusion to the family motto is very noteworthy, and since it illustrates the possible 
meaning of the words hicejn spero suggested in the introduction to Chapter I, namely, a desire for 
spiritual illumination and consequent felicity. No other similar example is known. It was 
doubtless for this William Kemp that the arms now in Mergate Hall were carved. It will be noticed 
that the crescent for difference is prominent in the illustration we give annexed. Possibly the 
book-plate with this difference, contained in the Kemp collection for the " History of Suffolk " 
(Harl. MSS. No. 901, Mus. Brit.), was also made for this Kemp. (His name appears on the 
Norfolk Polls of 17 14 and 1734 as of Antingham.) 

Sir William Kemp, the eighth Baronet, probably lived chiefly at Antingham. but latterly he 
resided at Worstead, where he died in October, 1799, aged eighty -four. He married Mary Ives 
whose father Avas seated at Coltshall. She died in 1762 leaving three sons, viz., William Robert 
Kemp, Thomas Benjamin Kemp and John Kemp. 

The youngest of the three Avas twice married, his first wife was Mary, daughter of . . . Groat 
and widow of a Mr. Chandler. The name of his second wife does not appear. He left no issue 
by either. 

William Robert Kemp, the eldest, became the ninth Baronet on the death of his father ; he 
married Sarah, daughter of Thomas Adcock, of Carlton, by whom he had two sons, both of whom 
succeeded to the title. His death was due to a fall from a "Hobby" (the forerunner of the bicycle) 
being "killed instantly on the spot" — so the Gentleman^ s Magazine informs us. At the time of 
his death he is said to have been residing at Briston, in Norfolk, but we have no knowledge 
whether this was where the death occurred. The date of the fatal accident is set down as 6th 
October, 1804- 

The next Baronet bore the same names and was the elder son of the last. This Sir William 
Robert Kemp was the tenth of his line and was born in 179 1. He graduated M.A. at Corpus 
Christi College, Cambridge, in 18 13, and afterwards took orders; we do not know what curacies he 
previously held, but we find that he was instituted as Rector of Gissing with Flordon, in 18 16, he 
himself being the patron of both livings. He was thus lord of the manors, patron and spiritual 
overseer of these places, which complex position suggested the advisability of combining Manor 
House and Rectory. He therefore took the trouble to plan out for himself a building to comprise 
both, and in course of time built a fine mansion upon the garden and ground of the Rectory, and 
by turning a road and levelling some fences connected it with the ancient parts of the ancestral 

He married Mary, daughter of Charles Saunders, Esq., of Camberwell, but had no children. 
His life was greatly occupied in expensive litigation, he having a keen sense of the rights and 
homages due to the family, which from the absence of his predecessors had become encroached 
upon, and taking, like so many of his predecessors, a practical interest in legal questions. He was 
a subscriber to a " General History of the County of Norfolk," by William Kemp, a copy of which 
may be seen in the Guildhall, London. This book is in two volumes, and the text is in places 
almost identical with Blomfield's " Norfolk." We cannot identify William Kemp, the author 
or editor, but he was presumably one of the family. Possibly the history was originally due 
to the collections made by William Kemp, of Antingham, and his ancestors, and the Robert Kempe, 
of Gissing, whose family and county manuscripts have found their way to the British Museum. 

The Tivelfth Baronets Family. 


Sir William Robert Kemp, the tenth Baronet, died at Gissing Hail, on 29th May, 1874, in 
his eighty-third year. 

Thus Sir Thomas Kemp, brother to the last and the eleventh successor to the Baronetcy, 
practically never enjoyed the estates, he was living a bachelor at Long Stratton, Norfolk, and 
died within a few months of his elder brother, in August, 1874, as the age of eighty. 

Under the will ot Sir William Robert Kemp, dated 1861, the family estates devolved, with 
the title, upon his cousm Kenneth Hagar Kemp, who for some years past had been treated by 
him as the heir and now became the twelfth Baronet. 

Gissing H;ill, rebuilt by the Rev. William Kemp, Tenth Baronet. 



WE must now retrace our steps to Thomas Benjamin Kemp, second son of the eighth 
Baronet. This gentleman was of Swaffield, and married Sarah Cooke, by whom he 
had a son, Thomas Cooke Kemp, born in 1787, and the following daughters: Clarissa, 
who married Ebenezar Randall ; Lucretia, who married Francis Woodrow ; Melissa, who married 
Capt. Thomas Withers, R.N. ; Sarah, who married Richard Fish ; Elinora, who married Shephard 
Holmes, with others who died in infancy. 

^8 Historx of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Thomas Benjamin Kemp, the father, died 25th June, 1837, aged eighty-nine, and was 
buried at Antingham, in which church there is a mural inscription to his memory. 

His son, Thomas Cooke Kemp, studied at Caius College, Cambridge, took his B.A. in 18 11, 
and was presented by his kinsman. Bishop Tomline, to the Rectory of East Meon, Hampshire, 
in 1826. He married Jane, daughter of Robert Pretyman, Esq., of Eye, SufTolk, who bore him 
children, two sons named Nunn Robert Pretyman and Thomas Cooke. There were also two 
other sons of these same names who had died, and were buried at Dilham. The daughters were 
Martha Maria, who married James Barnard, of Bordean, on 28th October, 1830 ; Jane Sarah, who 
died aged four years, and Elinora Sarah Caroline and Lucretia Melissa, both of whom were 
unmarried, and Jane Louise who died, aged four years. 

Thomas Cooke, the younger son, was married at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London, on 17th 
June, 1841, to Mary Louisa, only surviving daughter of Anthony Canham, of Fordham, Cambs. 
He, however, left no surviving issue. The Rev. Nunn Robert Pretyman Kemp, the eldest 
surviving son of Thomas Cooke Kemp (senior), married Mary, daughter of the Rev. George Hagar, 
of Bourne, Cambridgeshire, grand-daughter of Admiral Hagar, and by her had five children, two of 
whom died young — the eldest, Edgar Kemp, was Captain in the 4th King's Own, and died in 
March, 1873, without issue, having married Ellen, daughter of Alfred Giles, Esq., M.P. ; Kenneth 
Hagar Kemp and Caroline Russell Kemp. The latter married in 1875 the Rev. John Sharpe, D.D., 
Rector of Elmley Lovett, near Droitwich, sometime Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, and 
author of many Hebrew and theological works. Their son, Edgar Sharpe, was born in 1887. 

Sir Kenneth Hager Kemp, the twelfth Baronet, was born at Erpingham, Norfolk, on 
2ist April, 1853, and graduated at Jesus College, Cambridge, B.A. in 1875, being registered as a 
Student of the Inner Temple, on 22nd June the same year. He was called to the Bar on 
26th January, 1880, and practised in the South Eastern Circuit. 

In 18T4, he inherited the family estates and Baronetcy from his cousin. He married 
Henrietta Mary Eva, daughter of Henry Hamilton, Esq., of Chilham, Kent, and late of Blackrock, 
Co. Leitrim, Ireland, in August, 1876, by whom he has had the following children, all now living. 
Robert Hamilton Kemp, only son and heir, born nth September, 1877, who entered the Militia as 
Second Lieutenant of the 3rd Batt. Gordon Highlanders, and is now Lieutenant of the 3rd Batt. of 
the Norfolk Regiment. His coming of age was celebraced at Gissing, in 1898, by a feast in a 
building close to the site of the ancient hall, to the tenants of the estates. The presents sent on 
this occasion form an interesting cabinet at Mergate Hall. He is now serving with his regiment 
in South Africa. 

The daughters of Sir Kenneth are Eva Constance, born 27th, August, 1878 ; Margaret Hagar, 
born 9th January, 1880 ; Violet Mary, born 14th February, 1881 ; and Ida Dorothy, born 
i6th August, 1882, and married at Flordon, in 1901, to Robert Gwilt, Esq., of Hartest, Suffolk. 

[By a mere coincidence, Margaret Hagar Kemp was born at Chigwell, in Essex, where 
Alexander Davidson Kemp, a well-known London lawyer, had at this time a residence called 
" Ollanty." As a matter of fact, the ancestors of Alexander Kemp were long resident in Thanet, 
and no relationship between his family and the Baronet's e.xists (Vide Kempes of Thanet). It is 
well to note this, as the fact of a child of A. D. Kemp being born at Chigwell the same year 
(1880) might lead future generations to believe in some such near relationship.] 

Sir Kenneth Kemp is a J. P. for Norwich, and until recently was a partner in the old Norwich 
Bank, styled Lacons, YouU and Kemp (now amalgamated with the Capital and Counties Bank). 
He has also taken an active part in the late South African War, having served as second in 
command of the 3rd Batt. Norfolk Regiment for upwards of a year. 

The Twelfth Baronets Family. 


During the first years of his tenure of the family estates he was much occupied with the 
setting straight of those legal difficulties and complications caused by the tenth Baronet. The 
Ecclesiastical Commissioners had to be settled with for the building of Gissing Hall on the Rectory 

The whole of the estates have been greatly improved by the building of modern premises 
for the tenants and farmers, and a large amount has been expended in restoring Flordon Hall and 
Mergate Hall, but the most noteworthy items in the improvements are the fine roof and other 
restorations to Gissing Church, which is now one of the best furnished village churches with 
which we are acquainted in Norfolk. (This is, however, almost entirely due to his late brother- 
in-law, Dr. Sharpe, who was for some time rector.) The roof is of massive oak and enriched with 

Merg:ite Hall (Bracon Ash) which passed to the Kemps in the fifteenth century by intermarriage with the 
heiress of John Appleyard. Queen Elizabeth dined here l6th August, 1578. 

large well-carved angels and shields. The organ also is new and handsomely encased. According 
to the "Great Landowners of Great Britain," published by authority in 1876, Sir Kenneth 
held, in 1875, 2,133 acres in Norfolk, then valued at ^3,163 per annum. To this he has added 
a strip of land running through the estates, which seems to have been sold by the first Baronet 
in his efforts to raise arms for the King. Sir Kenneth is a keen sportsman, and has twice 
contested North Norfolk in the Conservative interest— this being the division his ancestor, Sir 
Robert Kemp, represented in 1668. 

We give illustrations of both Gissing Hall and Mergate Hall. The former, although having 
a splendid position and the advantage of modern construction; was not found so suitable a 

6o History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

residence for the present Baronet as Mergate Hall, which lies some ten miles nearer to Norwich. 
Mergate Hall is not large nor imposing, but is a delightfully quaint country house. The oak 
panelling throughout the house date back to Elizabethan times, if not earlier, while the brick- 
work, although much reconstructed, must be much the same as when the hall passed to the 
Kempe in the fifteenth century. The Styles (whose family intermarried with the Kempes) had 
a lease of this house in the si.xteenth century, and in the last century the Berneys, who own 
adjoining lands, held it on lease for sixty years. Entering the house one is struck with the oak- 
pannelled hall hung with family portraits from 164a, furnished with quaint oak furniture, and 
when, after viewing the oak mantelpieces in the panelled rooms, and the many curious and 
ancient memories of the family, including deeds from Henry I., we go outside to the bowling 
green at the back, we are conscious of having seen evidences of a family past and present which 
for nearly 600 years has given in each century an honoured name to the counties of Norfolk and 
Suffolk, which has not increased its wealth but retains the same lands, the same houses, the same 
names and the same position in Norfolk that it did more than five centuries ago. 



THE compilers of the present work have addressed circulars to every Kemp in the directories 
of the United Kingdom, and as far as possible to those whose names appear in the 
directories of Colonial and English-speaking countries, with the request that the 
genealogical form supplied might be filled in, and inviting further information as to the origin 
and family history of the recipients. Although this world-wide request has produced a large 
return of matter, we have had no claim from any who can show actual kinship to the Baronets by 
direct male line. Notwithstanding this, many persons of the name of Kemp, both at home and 
abroad, have addressed letters claiming kinship, and very often asking financial assistance or help 
of some sort or another. The present Baronet has had many such letters, aud has frequently 
taken some trouble to give a polite reply, but in no case has a relationship been found to be more 
than "traditional " or imaginary ; we beg that if any can show kinship, or believe that they come 
from the same (Kemp or Kempe) stock, they will be good enough to communicate with the 
compilers of this work, who will give the subject careful study in the light of numerous historical 
details relating to the family which they have not space to print in the present edition. 

A prominent official of Norwich named Kemp, who is said to have displayed the Baronet's 
arms as his own, has written disclaiming relationship, and modestly saying that he was not of 
sufficient consequence to be even mentioned in this history. 

An instance of a genuine claim occurred as far back as 1730, when one Dorothy Seaton, 
writing from Piankatank, Virginia, addressed the third Baronet in a piteous letter sa3^ng that she 
was a widow with several children, and in but reduced circumstances. She claimed to be the 

'"'■ Colonial and other Branches. - ■ 6i 

eldest and only surviving daughter of a Peter Kemp, son of Matthew Kemp, who was brother to 
the second Baronet. This letter is given in Add. MSS. 19, 185, now in the British Museum. On 
this subject much has appeared in the Joii.rnal of the Virginia Historical Society (to whose 
Secretary the compilers are indebted for many of the following details) with records of other 
Kemps too numerous to mention here. 

Sir Robert Kemp, the second Baronet, in his will of 1704, mentions Peter and Matthew, sons 
of his brother, Matthew Kemp, deceased. According to the journal above mentioned a prominent 
Colonel Matthew Kemp died in 1683, but the Jourrzal reasons that this Matthew was the son of 
an Edmund Kemp another brother of the Baronet. Even if this is so there is no doubt that 
Colonel Matthew and Dorothy Seaton were closely related to the Norfolk Kemps. 

So early as 1622 there was a William Kempe settled in Virginia, who held considerable 
property and lived chiefly at Elizabeth City, of which he was a J.P. and Burgess in 1628 and 163c. 
He is recorded to have lodged a complaint against one, John Bush, in 1622, and to have had a 
son, Anthony Kempe, born in 1623. In 1624 he was living with his wife Margaret in Virginia. 
Possibly he paid a visit to England after 1630, for he, or one of his name, landed in the colony 
in 1635. There is no evidence that the J.P. of Elizabeth City was of the same stock as Richard 
Kempe, brother to the first Sir Robert Kemp, Baronet, of Gissing, who, doubtless, under this 
relative's influence obtained the appointment of Secretary to the State in 1634. The British 
State Papers and Virginia records contain numerous details of great interest concerning the acts 
of this first Secretary of Virginia, who served as Deputy Governor 1644 and 1645- Richard 
married Elizabeth Thomas, niece to Christopher Wormley, and had by her an only child, 
Elizabeth. In his will, which was proved in London on 6th December, 1656 (P.C.C, 455 Berkley), 
he bequeaths to his wife and child the whole of his estate in Virginia and all moneys due to him 
in England. During his daughter's minority his uncle, Ralf Wormeley, was desired to place out 
the portion due to her, and the testator desired that his property in the colony should be realised 
as soon as possible, and that both his wife and child should " depart the country." To his 
brother, Edward Kempe, he left _^"5, and to his nephew, Edmund Kempe, "one new servant." 
The will closes with a prayer for the prosperity of the colony and a request that Governor Sir 
Wilham Berkeley would accept ^'10 and befriend his wife and child expediting their return to 

Edmund Kemp, evidently the nephew mentioned in this will, acted as attorney for Sir 
Robert Kempe, of Spain's Hall, Essex, Knight, in Virginia in 1656. This Sir Robert Kempe, as 
we have already shown, was brother-in-law to Sir Robert Kemp, Baronet, of Gissing, thus it is 
natural that this Edmund Kemp, although of distinctly different family, should act for him. 
Edmund was a Justice of the Peace for Lancaster County (Virginia) from 1655 to 1657 and died 
in 1660, in which year the Lancaster County Court ordered that his estate should be appraised. 
His widow, Anne, married Sir Grey Skipworth, Baronet, of Lancaster County, who conveyed 900 
acres in New Kent to his stepdaughter, Elizabeth Kemp, in 1661, Matthew Kemp being a witness 
to the deed. It was doubtless this Matthew who acted as attorney for Sir Grey Skipworth, Bart., 
" administrator of Edmund Kemp, Gent.," in 1662, and who, in, j 663 was granted administration 
of the estate of James Bonner as being next-of-kin, Elizabeth, the daughter of Edmund Kemp, 
having married one named Bonner. 

A number of deeds ranging from 1653 to 1715 are cited by the Journal bearing out these 
and subsequent relationships. The will of Matthew Kemp of Middlesex County (Virginia), dated 
4th May, 1715, was proved in that county on 2nd June, 17 16. This will expresses the testator's 
wish to be buried in his orchard, and that his lands, negroes and other property should belong 

62 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

to his son Matthew, subject to a payment of ^200 to the testator's daughter, Ann, when twenty- 
one years of age. Should this son die the estates were to pass to Ann, his sister, and in case of 
her death to revert to Sir Grey Skipworth. The will desires that Matthew, the son, should 
follow the advice of the testator's " father," Sir William Skipworth, and his friend, Major Edmund 

Matthew Kemp, Esq., was party to a deed dated I 687 with Adjutant-General Jennings, who 
had married Catherine Lunsford, daughter of Elizabeth, formerly wife of Secretary Richard 
Kempe, showing again that the third Matthew was evidently kinsman to the Secretary and hence 
to the Kemp Baronets, but it is not clear whether Colonel Matthew Kemp, who died in 1 683, 
was the brother or nephew of the second Baronet of Gissing. 

Peter Kemp was attorney to Mary, the wife of Thomas Kemp, of Kingstone parish, in 
Gloucester County (Virginia), in 1692, who calls him in her power of attorney "my loving 
friend." Thomas Kemp was a Justice of the Peace for this county in 1695, and with Peter 
patented land there in 1687. These two it would appear were respectively father and uncle of 
Dorothy Seaton, who, as we have said, wrote to the third Sir Robert Kemp, Bart., claiming 
kinship and practically asking for his financial assistance. 

It is interesting to notice that when Colonel Matthew Kemp was denounced by the populace 
of Virginia as one of the officials said to be oppressors of the poor and a corruptor of the adminis- 
tration of the colony, he was in the same catagory as Sir Henry Chichley, Knight, who had 
married one of the daughters of the last Sir William Kempe, of OUantigh, Wye, thus both 
Kempe families (Norfolk and Kent) were represented and denounced by " The Declaration of the 
People," which was signed by Nathaniel Bacon, Gent., a kinsman of the Kemps of Gissing. We 
need not venture a remark as to whether or no the charges against these " Oppressors " was just, 
but we can guess that personal interests and family fueds had somewhat to do with these affairs 
although concerning the whole State. It is further noteworthy that as the Essex Kempe family 
had twice intermarried with the Kempes of Gissing, Sir Robert Kempe, Knight, of Spain's Hall, 
was drawn to speculate in land in Virginia, his relative (by marriage only), Edmund Kemp, 
being his attorney concerning his colonial possessions in 1656. Again we have reason to believe 
that when the prospects of wealth induced many Puritans and others of Suffolk to emigrate to 
this colony, Kempes of that county were joined by Kempes of Middlesex, while Lord Berkeley, 
the governor, was certainly intimate with Cornish and other Kempes, thus it seems from the 
earliest formation of this colony, numerous distinct Kempe stocks were represented. Nor were these 
confined to those of British origin, for religious persecution again caused Dutch Kempes to make 
their home in this settlement. The wills and records of the colony have become very frag- 
mentary, and it seems now impossible to trace every family to its origin. We may, however, 
record some later immigrations from which some of the present Kemps of Virginia may owe 
their lineage. 

Among the Huguenots who settled in Virginia in 1742 and 1744 were Thomas Kemp, his 
wife Mary, and a daughter, Anne ; while William, Peter, Daniel, Jack, Dick, Jenny and Kate 
appear with a Thomas Kemp as settling in Mannacan Town in Wilt, and are said also to have 
been Huguenots. Among still later emigrants to the colony we know of man}' Kemps, but space 
at our disposal forbids our bringing down the Kemp records to the present time. 

An interesting collateral line involving the Kemps is that to which Lord Nelson belonged. 
Briefly, his descent from the Kempes of Gissing is as follows : The first Baronet in his will 
mentions his daughter, Elizabeth, who was then (1646-7) living as the wife of Maurice 
Shelton, Esq., of Barningham, Suffolk. Their daughter, Sarah Shelton, married Robert Suckling, 

Some Miscellaneous Kemp{e)s. 63 

of Wooton, who rebuilt the hall there and died in 1 708. His arms were Per Pale Azure and 
Gules, three Bucks tripping or. Catherine Suckling, their daughter, was married at Beccles 
nth May, 1749, and died in December, 1767 aged forty -two, having married Edmund 
Nelson, M.A., of Caius College, Cambridge, Rector of Burnham Thorp. He died in 1802 at 
Bath. These were the parents of Horatio Nelson, born 29th September, 1758, and who died in 
the service of his country at the Battle of Trafalgar. That the relationship was not lost sight of 
by the Kemps is shown by the tenth Baronet having offered to sell Ubbeston and Suffolk property 
as an estate suitable for the nation to purchase for Lord Nelson's family. Much concerning this 
proposal and its consideration by Parliament will be found in the " Historical Chronicle " of 
1815, and in proceedings of Parliament. The estate offered by the Baronet comprised some 
1,000 acres, and the price mentioned was ^70,000. Earl Nelson, however, having expressed 
a preference for the Wiltshire estate, which was eventually purchased, the offer of Sir William 
Robert Kemp was not accepted. 



WE have noticed more than once in previous chapters of this section, the coincidence of 
Sir Robert Kempe, a Knight of the Essex family, being seated in Norfolk at the time 
that Sir Robert Kempe, of Gissing, both a Knight and a Baronet, was living in the 
county. Sir Robert of the Essex stock lived at Heydon, where his father had made his home 
about 1599 on his marrying with Frances, daughter of John Mingaye, of Arminghall. As Sir 
Robert of Heydon eventually inherited Spain's Hall, we shall deal with the details concerning 
Heydon in the Essex section. We now pass on to a junior branch of his family, which appears 
to have been ignored by the county historians as well as the Heralds. 

A reference to the Essex section will show the descent of George Kempe, of Cavendish, 
Suffolk, who had a son, George Kempe. This George probably lived at Cavendish before his 
father's death, for the latter died at the Rectory of Tottenham, which he had leased. Under his 
father's will he only received a legacy of ^20, while his elder brother inherited Pentlow Hall and 
owned lands and " White House " in South Lynn, and the Manor of West Walton in Norfolk. 
The registers of Cavendish have not been searched, but it seems that George, the younger, had 
several of his children baptized at the adjoining Parish of Pentlow, where we find the following 
names duly recorded: Matthew, 25th March, 1611 ; Marie, 17th March, 1612 ; Ferdinando, 
28th September, 1613 ; Anne, 27 December, 1614 ; Thomas, i8th June, 1617 ; Christopher, 
30th March, 161 9. The last two are entered as the children of Bridget ; the others were probably 
by the first wife, Elizabeth Springham, but the mother's name is not given. 

About 1620 George Kempe left Cavendish for Wooddalling, in Norfolk, where he died 
between 1644 and 1646, his will being proved in the latter year (Consistory Court of Norwich). 
The testator leaves sums of money to his sons Charles, George and Nathan Kempe, his daughter, 
Philippa, his wife, Bridget, and his grandchildren, John, George and Barbary Cooke. His sons. 

64 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

John and Ferdinando Kempe, received all his property in WooddaUing (which estate we presume 
to have in some way descended to him from a John Kempe of Woodalling, whose will was proved 
in the Norwich Archdeaconry Court between 1545 and 1551). 

John Kempe was a merchant, probably of Norwich ; both he and Ferdinando appear to have 
died during the Commonwealth, which would account for their wills being missing from the local 
registers. The WooddaUing property evidently descended to Charles, the eldest son of John 
Kempe, who by will dated 1668 proved in 1671 (Nor. Arch.) left it to his son Charles. This 
will mentions also the testator's son Thomas, and daughters Bridget and Elizabeth ; his nephews, 
Charles and John, sons of Mathew Kempe, with George Kempe, son of his brother, George 
Kempe. Thomas Newman, the Clerk of Heydon, was desired to assist the testator's son in 
administering the estate. Henry Waller, brother-in-law to the testator, is also mentioned. 

No wife appears in the will, she having been buried in WooddaUing Church in 1646. The 
following inscription is copied from " Le Neve's Monumenta Anglise " : 

Under this ancient gravestone is interred 

The Body of Susan Kemp, hereby declared 

To Charles Kempe, Gent., being wife 

Both chaste and loving to him during life. 

So constant also was as ever breathed. 

Her soul in Heaven she thankfully bequeathed 

To him who gave it for his service here 

And now hath crowned it with his glory there. 

Whose natural health of body did thus forsake her 

Of much unnatural pain was made partaker, 

Her soul God in mercy keep with heavenly love 

Blessed with thankfulness he thereby did prove. 

Glory, O God, to Thee, and unto Christ, Thy Son 

And also to the Holy Ghost eternally be done 

Her patience here on earth being firmly tryed 

Upon the nth of May then in peace she died. 
A.D. 1646. 
Charles Kempe (the grandson of John Kempe) of WooddaUing, made his will in 1703, it 
being proved in the Norwich Consistory Court by Martha, his relict, on 2nd February, 17 14. She 
was to enjoy the local estates of her husband during her life, after which they were to revert to 
Charles, son of Charles Kempe, of Lyng, Norfolk. The testator leaves a legacy of £\o to his 
brother, Thomas Kempe, whose residence does not appear. Martha Kempe, the widow, died 
before 1717 ; her will proved that year (Norwich Arch., 119) mentions Frammingham Jay, Anne 
Draper, Thomas Neal, of Hackford and Charles Neal. The latter was to receive all the estate of 
the testatrix and to be e.xecutor. The couple, it would appear from the above wills, left no issue, 
and the Wooddaling property duly passed to Charles Kempe, of Lyng, for whose descent we must 
turn to Matthew Kempe, who was born at Pentlow in 161 1, and who was a son of George Kempe, 
the founder of this branch of the Essex family in Norfolk. 

In October, 1656, Susan Kempe was granted power to administer all the estate of her late 
husband, Matthew Kempe, of Lyng, Norfolk (P.C.C), at which time, of course, her sons would 
still be minors. We do not know when she died, but we find that she had at least two sons, 
Charles and John, both of who were living in 1670- Charles, of Lyng, had, as we have seen, 
sons named Charles and John, who inherited the estate of their kinsman, Charles Kempe, of 

Some Miscellaneous ICemp{e)s. 65 

Wooddalling. This youngest, Charles, removed from Lyng to Hunuingham, where he died in 
1721, his will being proved in the Archdeaconry Court of Norfolk, that year. In it he mentions 
his lands at Lyng, leaving them to his wife Mary, with reversion on her death to his son, John 
Kempe, and his heirs, stipulating, however, that John should divide the rents among his brothers 
and sisters, whose names were Charles, Elizabeth, Susan, Thomas and William. What became 
of this family we have been unable to trace further, as the name of Kempe does not occur later 
in the calendars of the local Probate Courts either at Woodalling or Lyng. 

An earlier mention of these places is found in the wills of a collateral line, the first of which 
was George, brother to Mathew Kempe, of Lyng, and the first Charles Kempe, of Wooddalling. 
This George Kempe was a mercer of Norwich, and lived in the parish of St. Simon and St. Jude 
in that city. By his first wife (whose name we have not traced), he had only daughters, named 
Bridget, Ann, and Mary. By his second wife, Margaret, he had sons named George and John, 
and daughters named EHzabeth and Margaret. His will is dated 1655, and was proved on the 
8th August that year by his relict. All his personal estate was devised to his wife, while his 
sons were each to have_;^"i5o on coming of age, and each daughter by his second wife was to have 
£100 at twenty-one, the other daughters being left but £<,o apiece. 

The will of another George Kempe, of Norwich, was proved in the Peculiar of the Dean 
and Chapter of that city in 1712, which date would rather suggest that this was a grandson of the 
above mercer and not his son, but there is no intervening will of a George Kempe of the county. 
This will shows that the testator was of the same family, as he speaks of his kinsman, George 
Kempe, son of Charles Kempe, of Lyng, who is to inherit " Horningham " Grange after the death 
of his father. Charles Kempe, of Wooddalling, is also mentioned as a " cousin," a very indefinite 
term in documents of this and earlier periods ; in this case the cousin is twice removed. Others 
mentioned are as follows : testator's sister, Durben, nieces Elmy, Framsham, Cady and Elizabeth 
Stephenson ; cousin Robert Awborne, of King's Lynn, Martin Tolbot, of Burlingham and 
Elizabeth Tolbot, the latter's sister ; also Ruth Davis, widow, Mrs. Vernon, Mrs. Sarah Vernon, 
Peele Maxey and Susan and Martha Kemp, these being the testator's sisters. 

The George Kempe who was thus to receive Horningham Grange is, doubtless, the same as 
one of his name, son of Charles Kemp, of Horningham, who, under his father's will (1721), was 
merely bequeathed ^5. There is a will indexed as of George Kemp, of Cawston, in 1728-9, 
which might prove to be his (Norwich Archdeaconry), and in 1747 another will of George 
Kempe was proved, this testator being a gentleman living at Brandeston, close to Cawston. 
There is, however, no mention therein of property at Lyng or Wooddalling, and no actual proof 
that he belongs to the foregoing Kemps of those places. His property extends to Surlingham, 
Yelverton, Holveston, Rockland, South Burlingham, Beighton and Upton, all in Norfolk. The 
whole of this he settled on his wife, Ann, for life, Surlingham and Yelverton land going after her 
death to the testator's brother, John Kemp, with the family plate ; the rest of the land after the 
widow's death reverting to Robert Kemp, brother to the testator, in whose favour the devise to 
John was for some reason revoked. The following " sisters " are also left money, Elizabeth 
Church, Mary Whaites, Sarah Besfor, Martha Kemp and Susan Kemp. Robert Kemp, the 
brother, was the executor, and the witnesses were Mary Heath, Elizabeth Bradford and Jeremiah 
Berry. A codicil states that the testator was quite blind with the smallpox, and that consequently 
the will had been duly and distinctly read over to him. He desired to be buried at Surlingham. 

Between 1746 and 1748 a will of George Kemp, of Surlingham, was proved in the Norfolk 
Archdeaconry Court : by this, presumably, the above properties passed to George Kemp of 
Brandeston. Robert Kemp, who next inherited the bulk of this property, perhaps made his 

K 2 

66 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Fam,ilies. 

residence at Stalham, for there is a will of Robert Kemp of that place entered in the Norwich 
Consistory Court in 1768- There is in the same court a will of John Kemp, of Catfield, which 
may be that of the John who inherited the residue of this estate. 

In view of the fact that arms are justly due to any who can prove themselves representatives 
of this line, it will be interesting if further information concerning the descendants are sent to the 
compilers of this history. 

We are unable to include the Kempes of Carlton Rode as an actual branch of the Kemps of 
Gissing, but although proof is wanting, the fact of their being established so close to Gissing from 
the sixteenth century makes it appear probable that both came from a common stock. There is, 
unfortunately, a break in the pedigree, due to the want of registration both in Probate Courts and 
Church Registers, that prevents the numerous descendants from the Carlton Rode family showing 
their right to the Kemp arms. Possibly in time further evidence will be forthcoming from deeds 
and local records which will make good the two missing links. The pedigree annexed is the 
outcome of much research, being derived from some twenty-five wills and numerous odd items 
from other sources. The wills are in every case to be found in the Norwich Probate Office ; 
they contain, however, few items of interest other than the relationships shown. The family 
from the end of the sixteenth century, down to about 1740, styled themseves yeomen, and the 
senior branch by that time having acquired small estates deemed themselves entitled to be 
described as gentleman. The junior branches, however, have been content to continue as yeomen 
farmers, and many during the past century have left their agricultural pursuits to enter business 
in London and other commercial centres. 

One of the last Kemp landowners of the family to hold property in and around Carlton Rode, 
was William Kemp, a solicitor's clerk in Norwich. His father, having suffered by the general 
agricultural depression, had heavily mortgaged his land, which consequently was relinquished by 
his son, who naturally had no desire to continue the unprofitable farming. This William Kemp 
eventually settled in London, and has a large family, who have spread out to such distant places 
as Manchester, Swansea, Leeds and Harrogate, while others have crossed the seas to California, 
Klondyke, and South Africa. 

Another branch of the Carlton Rode Kemps is known as long a-sociated with the " Society 
of Friends," and have by intermarriage with other Quaker families become nearly related to 
another Kemp Quaker family, of whom Caleb Rickman Kemp, Esq , J. P., of Lewes, is the present 
head, but whose family came originally from Kent. 

Numerically the Kempes of Carlton Rode, Bun well and Tibenham, were very important, but 
they are well pictured in " Grey's Elegy " : 

. . . " Their sober wishes never learned to stray ; 

Along the cool sequester'd vale of life 
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way." 

Now, however, having risen above the village life, many members of this old family are 
making good positions for themselves, and our colonies as well as our cities will benefit from their 
long dormant powers. 

Another Kemp family long associated with Norfolk and Suffolk is represented by the lay 
Secretary of the S. P. G., William Francis Kemp, M.A., Camb., who acted as Secretary to the 
Ritualistic Commission of 1867, and who married, in i860, Julia Lane Grace, third daughter of 
Sir Daniel Keyte Sandford, D.C.L., by whom he had a daughter, Geraldine Kemp, authoress of 
"A Modern Mirabah," "Ingram," and other novels, poems and songs which are making her name 
well known. "A Modern Mirabah" should find a place in the Ubraries of all fiction-loving 

, N(i)RFOLK. 

; .ichard K. of Carlton Rode. Will l6l2^Jone. 

(?' iobert) Kemp (? of Thelveston). Will 1634. 

R. and Margaret K. Mary K. Elizabeth K. John K. of:=Elizabeth. 

1671. Bunwell. 

lichard K. of Bunwell. Will 1695. William K. of C.R. Will i683=Margaret Raye. 

^^Robeit K. (? of New Buckingham). Will 1701. Edward K. 

I (? of Bunwell) 

Mary K.^Wm. Mitchel. Elizabeth K. 

Edward K. John K.= 

John K. Mary K. Abigail K. 

.lary K. George David K. of Heigham. Will 1854. 

iunt K. Michael K. John K. David Thomas K. Frederick Charles K. 

811. born 1814 in Australia. 1817-65. 

beth Hammond, Alfred John K.^Maria Utting H. R. K. (Chemist) of Holloway. 

brn 1839, bom 1851. 

rried 1865. a son (Chemist) of Holloway. 

Leonard K. Sidney Alfred K. Gertie K. Frank Edward K. 

FH Afric/. of Leeds. of Harrogate. 

Lewis V/ilby K. Hubert Alfred K. Frederick K. Florence Dorothy K. 

66 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

residence at Stalham, for there is a will of Robert Kemp of that place entered in the Norwich 
Consistory Court in 1T68- There is in the same court a will of John Kemp, of Catfield, which 
may be that of the John who inherited the residue of this estate. 

In view of the fact that arms are justly due to any who can prove themselves representatives 
of this line, it will be interesting if further information concerning the descendants are sent to the 
compilers of this history. 

We are unable to include the Kempes of Carlton Rode as an actual branch of the Kemps of 
Gissing, but although proof is wanting, the fact of their being established so close to Gissing from 
the sixteenth century makes it appear probable that both came from a common stock. There is, 
unfortunately, a break in the pedigree, due to the want of registration both in Probate Courts and 
Church Registers, that prevents the numerous descendants from the Carlton Rode family showing 
their right to the Kemp arms. Possibly in time further evidence will be forthcoming from deeds 
and local records which will make good the two missing links. The pedigree annexed is the 
outcome of much research, being derived from some twenty-five wills and numerous odd items 
from other sources. The wills are in every case to be found in the Norwich Probate Office ; 
they contain, however, few items of interest other than the relationships shown. The family 
from the end of the sixteenth century, down to about 1740, styled themseves yeomen, and the 
senior branch by that time having acquired small estates deemed themselves entitled to be 
described as gentleman. The junior branches, however, have been content to continue as yeomen 
farmers, and many during the past century have left their agricultural pursuits to enter business 
in London and other commercial centres. 

One of the last Kemp landowners of the family to hold property in and around Carlton Rode, 
was WiUiam Kemp, a solicitor's clerk in Norwich. His father, having suffered by the general 
agricultural depression, had heavily mortgaged his land, which consequently was relinquished by 
his son, who naturally had no desire to continue the unprofitable farming. This William Kemp 
eventually settled in London, and has a large family, who have spread out to such distant places 
as Manchester, Swansea, Leeds and Harrogate, while others have crossed the seas to California, 
Klondyke, and South Africa. 

Another branch of the Carlton Rode Kemps is known as long asociated with the " Society 
of Friends," and have by intermarriage with other Quaker families become nearly related to 
another Kemp Quaker family, of whom Caleb Rickman Kemp, Esq , J. P., of Lewes, is the present 
head, but whose family came originally from Kent. 

Numerically the Kempes of Carlton Rode, Bunwell and Tibenham, were very important, but 
they are well pictured in " Grey's Elegy " : 

. . . " Their sober wishes never learned to stray ; 

Along the cool sequester'd vale of life 
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way." 

Now, however, having risen above the village life, many members of this old family are 
making good positions for themselves, and our colonies as well as our cities will benefit from their 
long dormant powers. 

Another Kemp family long associated with Norfolk and Suffolk is represented by the lay 
Secretary of the S. P. G., William Francis Kemp, M.A., Camb., who acted as Secretary to the 
Ritualistic Commission of 1867, and who married, in i860, Julia Lane Grace, third daughter of 
Sir Daniel Keyte Sandford, D.C.L., by whom he had a daughter, Geraldine Kemp, authoress of 
"A Modern Mirabah," "Ingram," and other novels, poems and songs which are making her name 
well known. " A Modern Mirabah " should find a place in the libraries of all fiction-loving 


William K. of Carlton Rode=Katherine K. of Carlton Rode. 

Samuel K. of C.R. John K. of C.R. Stephen K. Katherine K. Fra 
Will proved 1646. Will 1643. 

John Kemp, of Carlton Rode. Will proved l6t2. 

(?'ilobert) Kemp (?of Thelveston). Will 1634. 

Robert K. of C.R.= 

Robert K. of C.R. Richard K. of C.R.=Ann Cwidow) Edward K. of Burslon. V\ 11 1667. 

Will proved 168;. Will 1669. 1 Will 1706. i 

Richard K. of C.R. Will 1 669. 

Robert K. of Thelveston, Will 1676. Richard K. of Bunwell. Will 169s. 

William K. of C.R. Will j683=Mai 

Robert K. John K. 

Mary K.=Wm. iMitchel. 

Elizabeth K., only child. 

George David K. of Heigham. Will 1854. 

Richard K. of Islington, bur. at^Maria Holmes, of Gissing, bur. a 
Stoke Newington 1877. I Stoke Newington. mar. at 

Friends' Meeting House 1829. 

Elizabeth K. j :ilatilda K. Le 

Henry John K=Elizabeth Rli 

Daniel Raynes K. William Hunt K. Michael K. John K. 

=Elizabeth Reeker bornlSlI. 

and .Mrs. Pippet. ' 

William K.=Elizabeth Hammond, Alfred John K.=Maria Utting H. R. K. (Chemist) of Holloway. 

born 1839, bom 1S51. I | 

arried 1865. a son (Chemist) of Holloway. 

in South Africa 

Lewis Wil 

I I I 

Hubert .^fred K. Frederick K. Florence Dorothy K 



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B. C. 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Kempes, and the song, a portion of which we reproduce in fac-simile from her writing (and that 
of Mr. Percy Fletcher), is sure to be popular among those to whom the latest form of cultured love 

song appeals.* We regret that space at our disposal 
does not permit us to reproduce one of the " Kempe 
Traditions " which she specially set in verse for this 
work, it alludes to one of the Kemp crests, and is styled 
" The Legend of the Pelican feeding her young." 

Miss Geraldine Kemp's grandfather was the Rev. 
Edward Curtis Kemp, M.A., for many years Chaplain 
to the late Duke of Cambridge, who presented him 
with a valuable gold snuff box, the illustration of 
which we here give. Edward Curtis Kemp was a writer 
of a very large number of tracts and small works of 
theological interest, the list of which is too long for us 
to give here, but that on " Nonconformity," published 
in 1837, may be mentioned as typical, while his 
rendering into Latin Dr. Watts' Divine Songs indicates 
his esteem for that worthy and a love of poetry which 
he has handed down. This Chaplain was a represen- 
tative of two Kemp lines, who apparently derived their 
descent from the Kempes of Ipswich t in the fifteenth 
century. He was born at Melton, near Woodbridge, in 
1795, and, after being Rector of Whissonsett, became 
the Incumbent of St. George's Chapel, Great Yarmouth, 
in 1865, where he remained until his death, which 
occurred in 1881. 

The Rev. Edward Curtis Kemp. 

t Copyright igoi, Boosey iS- Co. 

* Sec Section 11., Chapter IV. 

Snuff Box presented by the Duke of Cambridge to the Rev. Edward Curtis Kemp. 

Section III. 

The Kemp and Kempe 


Essex, Middlesex and 
Surrounding Counties. 

The Kemp and Kempe Families of Essex, Middlesex 
and adjoining Counties. 



THE author of additions to Camden says that the Manor of Finchingfield, Essex, was given 
by Wilham the Conqueror to Roger Bigod, who is recorded as holding it in Domesday, 
and that from him or his successors it passed to the " Compes," one John de Compes, 
holding this manor from Edward III. by the service of turning the spit at the coronation. This 
speUing of the name, even at so early a date, is uncommon, but there can be little doubt that 
Compes, Combes, and Kempe were at this time variants of one and the same name. As stated in 
the chapter on the origin of the name "comp," " komp " and " kamp " are early spellings of the 
word "camp." It is a curious fact that Sampford Magna, which adjoins Finchingfield, and which 
was partly owned by the Kempes after 1500, if not earlier, was held in the time of Edward II. by 
Edward de Kemmesek^ who also possessed at his death Felstead and " Illebury " Manors in the same 
county, with other manors in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Edmund de Kemesek next held 
Sampford Magna, and within the same reign it passed to Petronilla, daughter and heiress of this 
Edmund. There is no conclusive evidence, however, to show that Kemesek became Kemp. 
Probably the occurrence of the two names at the same place is merely a coincidence. 

If there may be doubt as to Compes being ancestors of the Kempes of Spains Hall, it is at least 
evident that as early as 1350 the Kempes were in the parish of Finchingfield, for in the Inquisitions 
and Assessments relating to Feudal Aids (preserved in the Public Record Office), for the period 
1284-1431 we find that land there which formerly belonged to Thomas de Ruby was held by John 
Kempe and Agnes his wife between 1346 and 1350. From the same authority we find that in 
1428 Richard Kempe, of Finchingfield, held land called " Snoterstones " in the parish, which 
formerly belonged to William Ambresburye. Between these dates we have further evidence in 
the Patent Rolls of 6 Richard II., from which we learn that John Kempe, of Finchingfield, 
had been charged with high treason (perhaps in connexion with the Wat Tyler insurrection), and 
his property at Newmarket, Cambridge, of the yearly value of 145., had escheated to the Crown. 
The King, by patent dated 4th June, 1383, granted it to William Power, but this grantee 
surrendered it to John Kempe, of Finchingfield, to whom a pardon had been given. 

In 1385 John Kempe, of Finchingfield, and Katherine, his wife, were concerned in the 
payment of a fine for land at Newmarket, Geoffrey Michael and William Hore being probably the 
purchasers. (Pedes Finium.) These same Kempes held the Manor of Dullingham, Cambridge, or 
at least had some interest in it in 1382, Alfredus de Veer^ Knight, being the other party to a fine 
then paid. Dullingham, it would appear, was for long connected with the Kempes, for a marriage 
license was issued in 1667 for Alice Kempe of that place to marry William Eade, of Cambridge, 

2 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Gent., her grandmother, Anne Harrington, being her guardian as her parents were dead. This 
license permitted the marriage to take place either at Dullingham, Worlington in Suffolk, Bury 
in Norfolk, or in the town of Warwick. The mention of the last place may point to the Kempes 
of that place being related to those of Finchingfield. (See Midland section.) 

Another early Kempe, of Essex, of whom we have trustworthy record, was Richard Kempe, 
of " Little Horkesley," who appears on the Roll of the Hundred of Lexden in the time of 
Edward I. As Little Horkesley belonged in the eighteenth century to the Kempes, it is possible 
that the property had descended with that at Finchingfield. Morant's history states that John 
Kempe, who was living at Finchingfield in the time of the first King Edward, married Alice 
Gunter, and supports the statement by quoting a deed dated the twenty-fourth year of that reign, 
which grants a piece of arable land in Finchingfield, opposite Brent Hall, to Humphrey, and Agnes, 
his wife. In this document she styles herself " Uxor quondam Johannis Kempe." Nicholas 
Peche and others were witnesses to the deed. Where this deed was, or is, we are unable to say, 
but there is little doubt that the statement is correct. Morant next states that Nicholas Kempe, 
the son of this Alice, married Margaret, daughter of Richard de Hispania (z>., Spain), the 
possessor of Spain's Hall, which had descended to him from Hervey de Hispania, who built the 
original mansion about io68. Whether Spain's Hall actually passed to the Kempes by this 
marriage we have no other authority than Morant for stating, but soon after this the family 
certainly made Spain's Hall their chief seat. Margaret Hispania was living in 1310, and her son, 
John Kempe, married a daughter of one surnamed Ramond from an estate which he owned at 
Finchingfield, he being the son of John de Lincoln. By this marriage the estate of Ramonds 
passed to the Kempes and remained with them for some three or four centuries, and the arms of 
the heiress were forthwith quartered by her husband. Her Christian name is not given by Morant 
nor in the Heraldic pedigree. The Inquisition and Assessment, however, point to her as Agnes 
Kempe, who was living between 1346 and 1350. A Nicholas Kempe held a part of West Winch, 
near King's Lynn, in 1346, and as the Essex Kempes continued to hold land in that district we 
suggest that Nicholas, of Finchingfield and West Winch, died about 1346, and thus John and 
Agnes were the head of the family at that time as the records imply. 

Their son John married for his first wife a daughter of Armesbury. This wedding must have 
occurred before 1428, since the Armesbury property had passed to the Kempes, as we have seen, 
before that date ; it is stated that Kempe and the daughter of Armesbury had a son living in 
1371 named Richard^ and this is quite reasonable. After his first wife's death John married 
Catherine, the same, doubtless, as m.entioned in the deed on which a fine was paid in 1385. By 
her no issue is recorded. Richard is said to have married first a Katherine and secondly Margaret, 
daughter of Robert Jekell, a mercer of London. The name of Jekell has died out, and what little 
trace we have of the family was summarized in a short article in Notes and Queries of 14th 
April, 1900. The property of Jekells and Justices passed with this Margaret Jekell to her husband 
in or about 1406- According to this date Richard must have been quite an old man at the 
time of his second marriage. We therefore incline to think that it was a son of the first Richard 
who married Margaret Jekell, and accordingly introduce his name as belonging to a distinct 
generation. They had a son, William, who is said to have married Alice, daughter and heiress 
of a gentleman named Mild or Miles, in whose right the Kempes quartered the arms of that 
family. What property she brought to William Kempe or her children we are unable to say ; it 
was probably considerable, for her son, Robert Kempe, is the first recorded as buried in the 
Kempe Chapel at Finchingfield, of which he seems to have been the founder as well as of the 
Guild House, of which we shall presently speak. This Robert married first Ann Apulderfield, 



e Combes, held land at; 
■vice of turning the sp 
living at time c 

Finchingfield by the=Alice Gunter, mentioned in a deed 
. at the Coronation, j still existing, dated 1297. 
Edward III. j 

Nicholas Combes or Kempe,:=Margaret, d. of Richard de Hispania, 
of Finchingfield. ' living 1 3 10. 

John Kempe=Agnes, d. of Raymond, 
I living 1346. 

nchingfield, held propei|.y=Katherine, d. of Armesbury. 
idgeshire 1383 \ 

\ i~ 

F Finchingfield=Alice,, 1. of Miles or Mildes. 

Finchingfield=Ann, d'. of Apulderfield, of Kent. 

of John Maxey, 
w of Yardley) 

I I I I I I I I 
Seven sons and two daughters. 

I 3rd wife. I ist husb. \ 

=George Kemp(-, of=Mary Corbet, Margaret K.=Geo. Cavendish. Ann K.^Thos. Wright. 

1 Cavendish, <; ed widow of 2nd husb. 

!erfieid:= at Tottenha! n Woodhouse. =Thos. Downes. 

I 1606. 


Dorothf K.=:R. Lee. 

fard Golfer. 

Fra ! ces K.^ . . . Doughty. 

I Tst husb. 

Mary K. ^Nicholas Osbourne. 
2nd husb. 
^ohn Kitchiner, of Norwich. 

Ine =Robert Green, George Kempe,=Elizabeth Spring. Christopher Kempe,=Agnes, d. of Mathew 

of Norwich, 

of Norwich. 2nd wife. 

Will pro. 1644. =:Bridget 

of Smithfield and 

buried at F. 1630. 

JThomas K. Chri: opher K. John K. George K. Charies K. 

] 1617- of I orwich. 

;\ Will 643. S.P. 

Will proved 

If Richard Randall. \nne K.= . . . Gage. Elizabeth K.=J. Springham. Mary K.=Edward Chaplin, 
ndrew Parne. 
Df Ralf Minors. 

By third wife. 


1 1 1 1st husb. 
Rebecca K.=Cooper. Elizabeth K.=Rogers. Anne K.=Thomas Briscoe 

2nd husb. 
^J. Chaplin. 


Anne Kemp, Elizabeth Kemp. Catherine Kemp. Rebecca Kemp 
of London. 

2 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Gent., her grandmother, Anne Harrington, being her guardian as her parents were dead. This 
license permitted the marriage to take place either at Dullingham, Worlington in Suffolk, Bury- 
in Norfolk, or in the town of Warwick. The mention of the last place may point to the Kempes 
of that place being related to those of Finchingfield. (See Midland section.) 

Another early Kempe, of Essex, of whom we have trustworthy record, was Richard Kempe, 
of " Little Horkesley," who appears on the Roll of the Hundred of Lexden in the time of 
Edward I. As Little Horkesley belonged in the eighteenth century to the Kempes, it is possible 
that the property had descended with that at Finchingfield. Morant's history states that John 
Kempe, who was living at Finchingfield in the time of the first King Edward, married Alice 
Gunter, and supports the statement by quoting a deed dated the twenty-fourth year of that reign, 
which grants a piece of arable land in Finchingfield, opposite Brent Hall, to Humphrey, and Agnes, 
his wife. In this document she styles herself " U.xor quondam Johannis Kempe." Nicholas 
Peche and others were witnesses to the deed. Where this deed was, or is, we are unable to say, 
but there is little doubt that the statement is correct. Morant next states that Nicholas Kempe, 
the son of this Alice, married Margaret, daughter of Richard de Hispania {i.e.^ Spain), the 
possessor of Spain's Hall, which had descended to him from Hervey de Hispania, who built the 
original mansion about 1068. Whether Spain's Hall actually passed to the Kempes by this 
marriage we have no other authority than Morant for stating, but soon after this the family 
certainly made Spain's Hall their chief seat. Margaret Hispania was living in 1310, and her son, 
John Kempe, married a daughter of one surnamed Ramond from an estate which he owned at 
Finchingfield, he being the son of John de Lincoln. By this marriage the estate of Ramonds 
passed to the Kempes and remained with them for some three or four centuries, and the arms of 
the heiress were forthwith quartered by her husband. Her Christian name is not given by Morant 
nor in the Heraldic pedigree. The Inquisition and Assessment, however, point to her as Agnes 
Kempe, who was living between 1346 and 1350. A Nicholas Kempe held a part of West Winch, 
near King's Lynn, in 1346, and as the Essex Kempes continued to hold land in that district we 
suggest that Nicholas, of Finchingfield and West Winch, died about 1346, and thus John and 
Agnes were the head of the family at that time as the records imply. 

Their son John married for his first wife a daughter of Armesbury. This wedding must have 
occurred before 1428, since the Armesbury property had passed to the Kempes, as we have seen, 
before that date ; it is stated that Kempe and the daughter of Armesbury had a son living in 
1371 named Richard, and this is quite reasonable. After his first wife's death John married 
Catherine, the same, doubtless, as m.entioned in the deed on which a fine was paid in 1385. By 
her no issue is recorded. Richard is said to have married first a Katherine and secondly Margaret, 
daughter of Robert Jekell, a mercer of London. The name of Jekell has died out, and what little 
trace we have of the family was summarized in a short article in Notes aud Queries of 14th 
April, 1900. The property of Jekells and Justices passed with this Margaret Jekell to her husband 
in or about 1406. According to this date Richard must have been quite an old man at the 
time of his second marriage. We therefore incline to think that it was a son of the first Richard 
who married Margaret Jekell, and accordingly introduce his name as belonging to a distinct 
generation. They had a son, William, who is said to have married Alice, daughter and heiress 
of a gentleman named Mild or Miles, in whose right the Kempes quartered the arms of that 
family. What property she brought to William Kempe or her children we are unable to say ; it 
was probably considerable, for her son, Robert Kempe, is the first recorded as buried in the 
Kempe Chapel at Finchingfield, of which he seems to have been the founder as well as of the 
Guild House, of which we shall presently speak. This Robert married first Ann Apulderfield, 



From '* Visitations " made by the Heralds, with additions from original records. 

= Jans Colt Mary, d. of John Colt = WiLLlAME Ke 

William Kempe, of Finching:field=Alice,,i. of Miles 

Elizabeth, d. of Cleraent=Robert Kempe, of Spain's Hall, Henry K.=Elizabeth (living 1563) John K.=Elizabeth. Arthur K., 

Hieham, of Baron Hall, I died 1527, buried in of West of Bury St. Edmunds. d. before I of London. 

Finchingfield Church. Ham. 15119. | Will 1562. 

John Kempe, ? of Walpote. 

John K.= 
of London. 
Will 1569. 

Margaret Lai _ 

:nd wife. Cavendish, (] ed widow of 

Margaret -Apulderfield^ at Tottenhan Woodhouse. 

I K.=Geo. Cavendish. Ann K.=Thos. Wright. 
2nd husb. 
=Thos. Downes. 

WiUiam Kempe, of Spain's Hall ("the Mute,")=Phillipa, d. of Francis 

M.I. in Finchingfield Church 1628. | Gunter, mar. 1588. 

John Burgoyne^Jane Kempe (only child). 

ces, d. of Mingay, 
,f Amiinghall, 
died 1633. 

t K.=Clement Pamen. Dorothy K.=R. Le( 


Sir Robert Kempe, Knight,=Eltzabeth, d. of Nicholas Miller, of Kent, 
of Spain's Hall. 2nd wife. 

Will proved 1663. ^Elizabeth, d. of Sir Robert Kempe, Bart., of Gissing. 
I 3rd wife. 

I ^Elizabeth, d of Thomas Stewart, she remarried King, of Bai 

Elizabeth K.= Ralf Outlaw 

Isabelle K.=Edward Colfer. 

Mary Kempe (only child)^Sir Francis Tibbard. 

Hlenor Drew,=John Kempe, of Pentlow Hall 

of Devonshire. | buried in large tomb in Pentloi 

Church. Will proved 1610 

Alice Kempe^George Soi 

of Wickhambrook. 

George Kempe,^Elizabeth Spring. Christopher Kempe,=Agnes, d. of Mathew 

■ ■ of Smithlield and - • ■ 

buried at F. 1630. 

buned in Pentlow Church.; 

.Mary Kempe=Sir John Win 

Windsor Finch=;:Katherine Kempe. 

John K.= . . . Brooke. 

John Kempe=Kalhe.i 

s Daniel, of Buimen 
By second wife. 

iMathew K. Maria K. Ferdinando K. Anne K. Thon 

1611— Ig. 1643, 1613-44. 1614-16. 161; 

of Lyng, Norfolk. 

ine, d. of Robert ] j Ist wife. 

.wer, of Borley, George Kempe, Thomas Kemp,=Elizibeth, d. of Richard Randall 

, of Ralf Redman. S.P. of London. znd wife. 

^ Will proved =Mary, d. of Andrew Parne. 

Barbara K. '692. Jrd wife. 

I =Elizabeth, d. of Ralf iMinors. 

Chri.' opher K. 

of I orwich. 
Will 643. S.P. 

John K. George K. Charles K. 

.Gage. Elizabeth K.=J.Springl 

Mary K.^Edward Chaplin. 

Mary K. 
^ . . . Bernard. 

~. I... 

Rebecca K.=:Coopei 

Elizabeth K.=:Rogers. 

=:Thomas Bris 

2nd husb. 
=J. Chaplin. 

=Bnan Brodley. 


1 the present Dyer Baronet is descended) 

Alice Kemp, 
=Thos Osbourne. ' 
(a Bookseller of London) 


am s 


of Kent, and quartered her arms, which arms are also quartered by the Kempes of Kent by a 
distant descent through the Chiche family. Thus we might show a common ancestry to the 
Kent and the Essex Kempes, although so far as their Kempe ancestors are concerned they were 
in no way related. The conne-xion, however, was sufficiently close to bring members of the family 
together, while the heads of both families as men of social standing shared in raising arms for the 
safety of the Kingdom. 

The children of Robert and his wife are said to have numbered ten — seven sons and three 
daughters — but their names are not known with the exception of the eldest, William Kempe, who 
inherited the property, including Spain's Hall, in 1524. According to this descent two generations 

only held Spain's Hall during the whole century, 1400 to 1500, which is so unusual that we 
suspect another generation has been omitted. We are, however, unable to set this right, as no 
series of wills relating to Essex include wills of Kempes of that county until after the death of the 
Robert Kempe of whose memorial brass we here give an illustration (1527)- 

We may here briefly say that the chapel of the Kempes of Essex is still in existence, but is 
now the property of the Ruggles-Brise family,'who purchased Spain's Hall so far back as 1729. 
Several inscriptions to the Brises now appear in the chapel, but the Kempe altar-tomb, and one 
to William Kempe still remain. The squires' pews have been turned to face the chancel, thus 
leaving much clear space which adds to the effect of the chapel from the nave. No stained glass 
is left in the church, which otherwise is full of interest to the antiquary. Adjoining the church- 
yard is the almshouse founded by the Kempes of Spain's Hall, which still fulfils its original 



WE now come to the period when records began to be carefully kept and preserved, so 
that we learn not only the descent of the heads of the family but also their brothers' 
and sisters' fortunes. The Finchingfield registers, we believe, are quite perfect, but 
we have been unable to obtain extracts from them. The earliest wills of Kempes of Essex are 
given here as a possible means of tracing earlier branches of the Spain's Hall family. It is, how- 
ever, noticeable that in each instance given below the testators are " yeomen," whereas we should 

4 History of the Kemp and Kempe Faniilies. 

expect relatives of Finchingfield Kempes to style themselves " gentlemen." The following are 
wills and administrations proved or granted in the Archdeaconry Court of Essex. 

John Kempe als. Campe, Dagenham, 1551. 
Richard Kempe, Hutton, 1556. 

Thomas Kempe, St. Osyth, 1 560. 

John Kempe, Great Burstead, 1562. 

Arthur Kempe (? Kemys), 1574- 

John Kempe, Mucking, IS76. 

Edward Kempe, Canewdon. 1585. 

John Kempe, Stanford-le-Hope. 1603. 

During this period in the same court Campes appear at the following places : South Benfleet, 
1493, Danbury, 1491, Prtttlcwell, 1504, and Nazing in 1539 and 1558. As to these Campes of 
Nazing, we should remark that the family were at Standon, in Hertfordshire, as early as 1463, and 
at Nazing before 1500, where we know that they remained for some 150 years or more. A branch 
of the family obtained arms, and members became citizens of London, but for the most part the 
Campes remained yeomen and continued in the county down to quite recent times. Camp, as an 
alias of Kemp, occurs at least down to the beginning of the last century, for even in 1797 we find 
an " Ann Kemp, otherwise Camp, formerly Ann Turner," proving the will of William Camp, her 

husband. At Prittlewell 
Kemp and Camp grave- 
stones are placed close 
together as if to suggest 
that the Kemps of that 
place were related to the 
Camps. In this place, 
however, it is evident 
from the church registers 
that the names did not 
continue from 1504, for 
neither appear therein 
until about 1750 when 
both occur. In the Essex 
portion of the Arch- 
deaconry of Middlesex no 
earlier instance of Kempe 
occurs than 1591, when 
Rose Kempe having re- 
nounced, her son, Thomas 
Kempe, of Braintree, ob- 
tained power to administer the estate of his late father, Thomas Kempe, of Castle Hedingham. 
Turning to the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (in which wills relating to more than one 
diocese had to be proved) we find the earliest will of a Kempe, of Essex, is indexed in 1562- 
This is the will of Arthur Kempe, Gent., of Lincoln's Inn and Finchingfield. His exact 
relationship is shown by a bequest of £10 towards the repair of his brother Robert Kempe's 
chapel and twenty shillings for books and ornaments in Finchingfield Church. He 
further mentions his sisters Downes, Cavendish and Wright ; his brothers John, Henry and 
George : his nephew, Arthur, son of Robert Kempe ; Alice and Jane, daughters of George, his 
brother ; his nephew, William Kempe, and also Mary, Bridget, and Margaret Kempe, whose 
relationship is not stated. To the New Building of Lincoln's Inn he leaves £b i^s. 4^. ; Arthur, 
son of Henry Kemp, receives /loo. He leaves his law books and gown to Arthur, son of Robert. 

Spain's Hall (front view), Finchingfield. 
The chief seat of the Kempes of Essex, 1 300-1 720. 

Spain's Hall. 

The residue of his estates goes to his brother George, who is appointed executor ; Robert Kempe, 
Esq., and John Kempe, of London, draper, acting with him. The only real estate mentioned are 
leasehold lands in West Ham, in which place it will be seen Kempes of this and other families 
held property at various times if not continuously. 

Henry Kempe, brother of the above testator, is, it appears, the same as one of his name 
whose will was proved in the same court in 1563 (P- C. C, 41 Chayre). He is described as 
" Gent.," of Bury St. Edmunds, and desired to be buried in the churchyard of " Swans " in that 
town. His estate he leaves to his wife, Elizabeth, subject to a small sum to St. Mary's for " tithes 
negligently forgotten." William Purdie is the appointed supervisor ; the witnesses are named 
Wiffin, Nycholas and Stock. 

John Kempe, the citizen and mercer mentioned above, was, he states, apprenticed to William 
Parker, to whom, by his will dated 8th September, I 569, he left ^^50. This John Kempe, the 
mercer, mentions his nephew, John Kempe, son of his late brother, John Kempe. It was by no 
means unusual during the reign of Elizabeth and earlier to baptize two brothers with the 
same name, and it makes 
the identification of the 
numerous John Kempes 
very difficult ; in this case 
we cannot say what be- 
came of the nephew John, 
nor when or where his 
father died ; his mother's 
Christian name was Eliza- 
beth, and she was living in 
1569. To the Universities 
of Cambridge and Oxford 
he left ^200 each, and an 
annuity to Theodor Bacon, 
son of Thomas Bacon, and 
John Wynnesherst, that 
they might study at one 
of these universities. He 
mentions Robert, second 
son of his eldest brother 
Robert ; John Kempe, 

eldest son of his brother George ; and his own son, Arthur, who was at the time a minor. The 
only landed property named is a messuage in Bromley-at-Bow, relative to which we find fines 
recorded in 1566 and 1569. Andrew Young, Gent., with his wife, Margery, and John Barnby, 
Gent., were concerned in a moiety of this property. The messuage was bequeathed to Mary 
Aylyffe for her life and afterwards to the testator's son, Arthur, who is recorded to have paid a 
fine in 1585, when the other party to the transaction was Roger James. Others mentioned in 
this will are " Uncle " Thomas Colt and his daughter Joan ; his sister, Anne Wright, deceased ; 
his sister Margaret, wife of George Cavendish, and his friends Robert Crowley, Henry Middleton, 
Sir William Cordall, Knight, and Edward Lilsey. The will particularly states that the testator 
was born at Finchingfield, where one hundred sermons are directed to be preached, the clergy 
being paid for these out of the estate. At St. Antholm's (? London) also one hundred sermons 

Spain's Hall (south side), Fincliingfield. 
The chief seat of the Kempes of Eese.x, 1300-1727. 

6 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

were paid for, and a third hundred were to be provided for at the discretion of Robert and 
George Kempe. One hundred pounds was bequeathed to St. George's, Southwark, with the object 
of starting young men in business, the money being lent to worthy individuals for that purpose 
free of interest. This sum is now the means of providing poor parishioners with bread. 

The Register of St. Antholm, Budge Row, London, says that William Young, a servant 
to John Kempe, was buried there in 1563, and it also gives the baptisms of William and 
Francis, sons of Francis Kempe, in 1565-6, and the marriage of a Dorothy Kempe with 
John Token in 1569. We do not, however, know that these were connected with the Kempes of 

The will of an Arthur Kemp, Gent., of Suckles, Bradfield, was proved in 1595 (P. C. C, 
63 Scott). It mentions his son, Henry Kempe, and leaves money to other children, who are not 
named. The widow, named Mary, was to hold the legacies until the children came of age. The 
witnesses to this will were Robert and William Jermyn, James Bacon, William Webb and 
Edmond Smythe. Persons of the name of Jermyn and Bacon were at this time closely related to 
the Kempes of Gissing, with which family it will be seen these Essex Kempes were intimate. It 
seems likely that this Arthur was the son of Robert Kempe, of Spain's Hall, and not son of John, 
the citizen and draper of London. 

We do not know if the place here mentioned is identical with Bradfield, near Harwich, but 
it may be here noted that Aluric Camp held land at Bradfield so far back as the time of the 
Confessor ; it had, however, passed from the Camps in the Conqueror's reign. 

It will be seen by the pedigree annexed that George Kempe mentioned above was founder of 
a branch which eventually inherited the chief estates. We shall deal with this line later, and 
therefore pass over the intervening wills to that of John Kempe, of London, Gent., which was 
proved in 1612 (P. C. C, Fenner 77). This is important, as showing a mistake which has been 
copied from the Heralds' Visitation into .several county histories and other works. The testator 
more than once speaks of his son, Robert Kempe, of Heydon, in Norfolk, and of his son, William 
Kempe, of Spain's Hall. This, with other evidence, shews that again a generation has been omitted. 
William, Robert, Isabelle, Mary and Francis, all children of Robert Kempe, of Heydon, are 
mentioned, as also Anne, the daughter of Mr. Gawaynt Whittingham, of Tottenham, goddaughter 
of the testator. A piece of plate valued at ;^6o is devised to William Abbot, citizen and grocer 
of London, dwelling in London. This last was made overseer to the e.xecutor, Mr. Robert Kempe, 
of Heydon. William and Ambrose Abbott witnessed the will. 

Concerning persons of the name of Abbott connected with various Kempe families we have 
several notes. The most distinguished was Archbishop Abbot, who crowned James I., and was 
co-founder of the Trinity Hospital, Guildford, with Sir Nicholas Kempe. Certainly Sir Nicholas 
did not belong to the Essex family, for his arms are displayed on his tomb as well as on seals ; yet 
in many points he seems more closely connected with friends of the Kempes of Spain's Hall than 
with either of those families whose arms he used. But, as we have said, Norfolk and Essex 
Kempes were repeatedly united by marriage, while the Kentish Kempes at this period are known 
to have bought property from both Essex and Norfolk Kempes, who also bought from the Kentish 
family, thus showing that the principal families of the name were intimate although of very 
distinct descent. A Richard Kempe, of Cornard, in Suffolk (close to the borders of Essex), 
mentions in his will, of 1584, his son-in-law, John Abbott : there may be thus an intermarriage 
with the Abbotts which occasioned or resulted from the intimacy of the two families. Richard 
Kempe, of Cornard, describes himself only as a "labourer," while the parents of Archbishop Abbot 
and his vi^orthy brothers were very humble people of Guildford. 


14th November. 


8th September. 


3rd February. 


8th February. 



28th July. 


29th March. 


23rd December. 


3rd June. 

Spain s Hall. 7 

The Heydon Church Registers contain the following items, which confirm the statements in 

the will given above : 

Isabelle, daughter of Robert Kempe, Gent, (baptized) 

Frances, „ ,, ,, ,, „ 

Mary, „ „ „ „ „ 

William, son of ,, ,, ,, „ 

John Kempe, Gent, (buried) ' ' 

Robert Kempe, Gent. ,, 

William, son of Robert Kempe, Gent., and Frances his wife, (buried) 

Mrs. Frances Kempe, Widow, (buried) 

Mrs. Mary Kitchingman. (buried) 

It will be seen by this that Robert Kempe, of Heydon, only survived his father John some 
three years and was buried near him. His will was proved by Frances Kempe, his relict, in 1615, in 
the Norwich Consistory Court. To his wife he leaves his lands at Heydon and Sail for her life and 
then to his eldest son Robert Kempe, he paying to William Kempe, the younger son of the 
the testator, ^20 a year out of it. He also leaves the profits arising out of his lands in Essex to 
his wife for the purpose of educating and bringing up his younger children. What these Essex 
lands were is not stated, but doubtless they were part of the patrimony of the Spain's Hall Kempes. 
To each of his daughters he left X-°°i 'o his son Robert half his household " stuff," to his sister 
Kempe he left a ring and to his brother William Kempe, of Spain's Hall, his hawks and five marks. 
The testator also mentions his father-in-law, John Mingay, of Arminghall, Esq., his mother-in-law 
Isabella Mingay, his brothers-in-law Henry Mingay and Clement Pamen, Gent., the last two being 
appointed overseers. A cousin William Peirce is mentioned also and Helen Pearce, Winifred Bell, 
Rebecca Barber and William Pearce were witnesses. 

Frances, the wife of this testator, was, as will be seen, the daughter of John Mingay, of 
Norfolk, and it seems that she had, in addition to her husband's lands, other property at Heydon 
to which she became heir under the will of her father, proved in 1622. On this (by her will 
proved at Norwich 1633) she made a charge of £1 per annum to be distributed to the poor prisoners 
in Norwich Gaol and for preaching three sermons annually to them. This settlement however 
has now failed to have effect, for so long ago as 1808, on enquiry being made, only one instance of 
a donation being given from the fund could be cited. The Heralds who attended the funeral of 
John Mingaye made a certificate to the effect that Frances Kempe was his daughter and that she 
then had the following children : Robert and William, both hving ; Elizabeth, wife of Ralf Outlaw 
or Utiaw, of Winningham, Norfolk, Gent. ; Isabelle, wife of Edward Colfer, of Wooddalling, Esq. ; 
Frances, wife of William Drury, of Hamworth, Norfolk, and Mary who was unmarried. Mary 
married soon afterwards however, for her monument in Heydon Church has the following 
inscription : 

" Here lyeth the body of Mary one of the daughters of Robert Kempe Esq., sometime the wife of Nicholas Osbourne, 
Gent, and late wife of John Kitchiningman, Gent, who departed this life the 1st of June 1664." 

Frances Kempe died in 1633 and was buried with her husband at Heydon, their monument 
there having this inscription : 

" Here lyeth the body of Robert Kempe Esq., who descended of that Ancient Family of Spaynes Hall in Essex and 
departed this life in July 1615. Next unto him lyeth the body of his loving wife Mrs. Frances who died in December 1633." 

Ralph Outlaw was of Little Winchingham (not " Winningham ") and was party to a deed 
made between the two Sir Robert Kempes, dated 17th September, 7th of Charles I., relating to the 
marriage of Elizabeth Kempe, of the Norfolk family, with Robert Kempe, of Spain's Hall. It 
appears from this that certain lands at Old and New Buckenham were settled upon the bride or 
charged with an annuity in her favour. On this interesting document (which is noted in Howard's 

8 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

printed " Visitation of Suffolk ") are seals as follows : A chevron engrailed between three estoiles. 
Crest, an arm, couped at the elbow, holding a chaplet, representing Robert Kempe, of Spain's Hall. 
Also, on a bend between two lions rampant, three dolphins embowed, for Osbourne, — doubtless 
the seal of Nicolas Osbourne, brother-in-law to Kempe, of Spain's Hall. 

Before, however, this deed was made William Kempe, of Spain's Hall, brother to the above 
Robert, had died. He it was whose singular monument has given notoriety to a story which is 
still the chief tradition of Finchingfield. As told to-day in his native village it appears that this 
squire, returning from a banquet, used foul language to his wife, whose gentle nature was so hurt 
that her tears were with difficulty stopped. When the squire returned to his sober senses he vowed 
that for seven years he would speak no word to anyone. This vow he most rigorously kept, filling 
up his days with manual labour by way of further penance. His toil resulted in the formation of 
seven pools or fishponds, each one larger than the last, stretching away from the hall to the woods 
near the town. His self-inflicted punishment was just completed — they say that it was the very 
day that he could once more speak — when he died. The story, though told with variations, is 
founded on fact, for the tablet to the memory of himself and his wife, in the Kempe Chapel of 
Finchingfield Church, reads as follows : 

" Here lyeth William Kempe Esquire, Pious, just, hospitable, Master of himself soe much, that what others scarce doe 
by force and penalties Hee did by a Voluntary constancy Hold his peace Seaven yeares. Who was interred June ye loth 
1628 aged 73. 

" And Philip(pa) his wife, A woman of a chaste life and religion, discreet in both, who was outlived by her husband 
in ye course of her owne life five yeares, and interred August 21 1623, the parents of one onely Davghter and child Jane, 
married with a dubble portion of graces and fortune into the Ancient family of ye Burgoinies in Warwickshire." 

Philppa Kempe was the daughter and co-heir of Francis Gunter, of London and of Aldbury, 
Herts. Her marriage settlement is dated loth October, 1588. 

The husband of this child was John Burgoyne, of Sutton, in Bedfordshire, Esq., and it is 
believed that from this couple the present Vicar of Finchingfield is descen-ded. John Burgoyne, of 
Sutton, was a grandson of Robert Burgoyne, of Wroxall, whose Inquisition was taken in 1613, which 
shows that the latter owned property in Staffordshire as well as in Warwickshire. It might hence 
be supposed the Kempes of those counties are an early branch of the Spain's Hall family, but it is 
more likely that John Burgoyne became acquainted with his wife through his mother's family — 
the Wendys, of Cambridge — one of whom married Thomas Steward, of Barton Mills, and had 
a daughter who eventually married Sir Robert Kempe, of Spain's Hall, thus twice linking the 
Wendy and Kempe famihes within some twenty years. 



ROBERT KEMPE, son of Robert Kempe, of Heydon, succeeded to the chief estates at 
Finchingfield on the death of his uncle William. This uncle had died intestate and 
powers of administration were granted (1629) to Robert on Jane Burgoyne (the only 
child) renouncing. 

Robert Kempe had married, previous to this date, Elizabeth, daughter of Nicholas Miller, of 

Sir Robert Kempe^ Knight. 9 

Kent, and had by her three or more children. She was buried at Wrotham Church, Kent, and 
the inscription on her tomb is given in Thorpe's " Registrum Roffense " as follows : 

" Here lyeth the bodye of Elizabeth Kempe wife of Robert Kempe of Spains Hall in Finchingfield, in the County of 
Essex Esq, and daughter to Nicholas Miller Esquire who departed this life 28 June . . . 30 . . ." 

We take the date to mean 1630, but believe that the inscription is not now existing. In the 
same church however are monuments to John Burgoyn and Margaret Burgoyn, probably relations 
of the John Burgoyne who married Jane Kempe, of Finchingfield. 

Robert Kempe, as mentioned in the Norfolk section, was very intimate with Sir Robert 
Kempe, Knight, and afterwards Baronet of Gissing, and chose as his second wife Elizabeth Kempe, 
sister to this first Baronet. In the Dairy collection (Brit. Mus. Additional MSS. 19,138), deeds 
concerning this marriage are given dated 7th Charles I. and settling "all Finchingfield with 
patronage" on Sir Robert Kempe, of Gissing, the latter paying a peppercorn if demanded. This 
agreement was to be void if the marriage failed to be solemnized before ist October, 1634. A 
second deed fixes the fine at ^^1,000 if the marriage does not take place, and a third settles ;^ioo 
a year out of the mortgaged Finchingfield estates on Robert Kempe, of Spain's Hall. These deeds 
seem to point to extravagance on the part of the mortgagee and to a very determined wish to unite 
the two distinct Kempe families. There still exists in the great hall window of Spain's Hall a 
glass blazon of the arms of the Essex Kempes impaling those of the Kempes of Gissing, in evident 
allusion to this match. 

This wife was living in 1645, for she is mentioned as "my sister Lady Kempe, of Spain's 
Hall, in Essex," by Arthur Kempe, of St. Michael's at Thorne, Norwich. This testator was 
brother to the first Kempe Baronet of Gissing, and was for a time Rector of Cricksea, in Essex. 
We do not know exactly when she died, but she left but one child, a daughter named Frances. 

The third wife of Sir Robert, of Spain's Hall, was Elizabeth Steward, daughter of Thomas 
Steward or Stewart, of Barton Mills, Suffolk, Esq., the arms of whose family are as follows : 
Argent, a lion rampant gules, over all a bend ragulee or. It appears from the pedigree that this 
third wife was much younger than Sir Robert, however we are unable to give the date of her birth 
or marriage. As deeds of settlement were made between Thomas Steward and Robert Kempe in 
May, 1662, it is likely that this marriage occurred about that time; she had not borne a child 
before her husband's death, which occurred the following year, but provision was made by Sir 
Robert in case of a posthumous child. The will in which this occurs is dated at Finchingfield, 
30th October, 1662, the testator styling himself Sir Robert Kempe, of Spain's Hall, Knight, and was 
proved by his widow on 20th November, 1 663, in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (140 Juxon). 

The will is a very long one, characterized by many pious sentiments and contains numerous 
charitable bequests. Of these we shall speak presently under a notice of the Guild House. Of the 
family possessions he leaves the use of Spain's Hall for one year to his wife, and an annuity of 
;^200, issuing out of the Manor of Spain's Hall The Manor of Jekells, then occupied by Robert 
Choate, with Bradfield Wood and Cheerewood, was charged with an annuity of ^"200 to the 
testator's daughter, Ruth Kempe, for her life and in full settlement of any dower. This Ruth 
was evidently the widow of William Kempe, son of the testator, for the next clause in the will 
provides for Mary Kempe, the testator's grandchild, the only child of this William and Ruth, his 
wife, who was the daughter of Sir Gilbert Gerrard, of Harrow-on-Hill. On this grandchild was 
settled a lease of two houses in Southampton Buildings, in the parish of St. Andrew, Holborn, 
and other reversions in case the testator had no son by his third wife. He also provides for his 
sisters described as follows : Elizabeth, wife of Ralph Outlaw, of Little Winchingham, Co. 
Norfolk ; Isabell, wife of the late Edward Colfer, Esq., of Norwich : Frances Doughtie, of Hamur, 


lo History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

in Norfolk, widow ; and Mary, wife of John Kitchingman, of the City of Norwich, Gent. He 
also leaves legacies to his father-in-law, Thomas Stewart, Gent., and his sister, Sarah Stewart ; 
also to his son-in-law, Sir Thomas Gardiner, Knight, and his brother-in-law, Edward Kempe, one 
of the Fellows of Queens' College, Cambridge. His nephew, Sir Robert Kempe, of Gissing, 
Baronet, and his " virtuous Lady," are to have mournine rings, also his nephew, Thomas Kempe, 
brother of the Baronet, and his niece Shelton. Several cousins are also mentioned, among them 
being Mary Chaplyn, William Leigh, Minister of Grotten {hodie Groton), in Suffolk, Clement and 
Henry Pamen. The will mentions many properties, freehold and leasehold, in Finchingfield, 
Sampford and Wimbush, the chief of which revert to the testator's kinsman, Thomas Kempe, 
citizen and draper of London, whose descent we shall presently show. 

■ Elizabeth Kempe, the widow of Sir Robert Kempe, of Spain's Hall, married again within-a 
few years of his death, her second husband being Robert King, of Great Thurlow, in Suffolk. By 
this husband she had an only daughter, Letitia, who eventually married Sir Robert Kempe, the 
third Baronet of Gissing, thus again linking the two Kempe families. 

The fact of this Elizabeth having come from Barton Mills may explain the appearance of a 
Kempe family at that place, but we are unable to say for certain that the William Kempe, whose 
will was proved in 1674 (P. C. C, 16 Dycer) was of either family. He mentions his mother, 
Elizabeth, leaving her for life a messuage and land lying in Forncett and Tacolneston in Norfolk, 
which may have been settled on Elizabeth Kempe, the second wife of Sir Robert, of Spain's Hall, 
and sister to the Norfolk baronet. This William, of Barton Mills, otherwise called Barton Parva, 
speaks of his brother, Robert Kempe, his wife, Frances, and daughter Joice. After the death of 
this child all the testator's property was to revert to Robert and his heirs, failing which the 
reversion was to benefit Mr. Peter Watts, of Bungay, and his heirs. The mention of Bungay 
suggests that this William may have been related to a Robert Kempe of that place, whose will was 
proved in 1659 (P. C. C, 541 Pell), leaving his property to Margaret, his wife, and his children, 
Robert, Thomas, and Elizabeth Kempe. Robert, of Bungay, was an innkeeper, while V/illiam, 
of Barton Mills, was a vintner, trades which may well be connected, but which are somewhat 
unlikely occupations for such landed gentry as would be the sons of both Sir Roberts. 



IT is unknown when the guild or confraternity was founded at Finchingfield, but the names of 
the founders are given in Wright's " History of Esse.x " as Henry Onions, William Sergeant, 
Richard Walkfar, Richard Mortimer and a Kempe, whose Christian name is not shown. 
This religious association was formed for the purpose of finding a priest to sing masses, and was 
known as the Trinity Guild. It was at first endowed with lands in Finchingfield called " Onions" 
and " Mortimers," and had a " Yeld " Hall upon the hill. 

This house, doubtless, was on the hill upon which the present Guild House stands, and on 
which the fine parish church is situated. It is possible that the chief timbers are part of the 

The Kempe Almshouses and Benefactions. 


The Guildhall Almshouses at Finchina:field. 

original " Yeld Hall," and that it dates from about 1450. We give an illustration of the present 
exterior and of the interior of the chief room, now used as a parish room. The floor, as will be 
seen, is curved excessively 
from the weight of the 
superstructure. In the 
building is a library con- 
taining a few old books. 
When these were seen the 
library was in disorder, and 
it is possible that among 
the old bundles of papers a 
careful searcher might find 
some of antiquarian in- 
terest. A weekly distri- 
bution of bread and other 
relief takes place still at 
the Guildhall, which, 
doubtless, includes the be- 
quests of the Kempes. 
Those entitled to the alms 
produce a token of white 
metal in accordance with 
ancient custom. Adjoining 

the Guildhall are the almshouses, which if not founded by the Kempes were at least benefitted by 
them, and are now carefully tended by the family occupying Spain's Hall. At the extinction of 
the religious guild, the 
Guildhouse was evidently 
deemed the property of 
the Kempes, who seem to 
have kept it up for the 
benefit of the parish until 
Sir Robert Kempe defi- 
nitely settled it upon the 
poor of Finchingfield as a 
perpetual almshouse. Ad- 
joining this, as shown in 
our illustration, are other 
almshouses, founded about 
1560 by Sergeant William 
Bendlowe, and frequently 
benefitted by the Kempes. 
William Kempe, the 
silent, had settled, in 1623, 
an annual rent charged on 
the Spain's Hall estate, 

of £10, and Sir Robert, by his will of 1663, gave thirty-eight acres of land called Spains 

L 2 

Interior of the Guildhall. 

12 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

or Parkfield for the following purposes : For the " Minister '' of Finchingfield to catechize in the 
church every month, on the first Friday at two o'clock, ^6, and _^3 to be expended by the church- 
wardens for bread, to be distributed to those who attend the catechizing, and if any abatement 
occur in the rent the minister's allowance is to be proportionately less, but the £•}) is in any case 
to be distributed in bread or other alms. The will of this benefactor speaks of the almshouse as 
" my almhouses called the Guildhall, in Finchingfield," bequeathing to the inmates at his funeral 
a mourning gown. He further states that he made an engagement with his late " dear uncle, 
William Kempe," to found a Guildhouse for the poor and to settle upon it sufficient endowment. 
He also speaks of the Finchingfield Church as being the place where his "dear uncle William and 
many other of my ancestors have heretofore been buried, and where my wife, Dame Elizabeth 
Kempe, and three of my children lye already interred." 

The chapel of the Kempes is now maintained by the Ruggles-Brise family as owners of 
Spain's Hall. It contains the mural monument of the celebrated mute William Kempe (1628), a 
brass, which we reproduce, of Robert Kempe (1527), and an altar tomb under which is the vault ot 
the Kempes. The chapel is at present very bare, devoid practically of seats, and is used as a 
vestibule by the Spain's Hall tenants. It contains an ancient chest, now the receptacle for the 
paraffin and cleaning rags for the lamps which light the church. No heraldic glass now remains 
to the Kempes or their relatives, but the chancel screen is the very same on which many 
generations of the family must have gazed, and the church is one of the finest and most interesting 
in the country. 



"X^TTE have to return to George Kempe, son of William Kempe, of Spain's Hall, by Mary, 
\ \ / daughter of John Colt. He was married three times, first to Margaret Large, by whom 
▼ ▼ no issue is recorded ; secondly to Margaret Apulderfield, by whom he had a large 

family, and thirdly to Lady Mary Woodhouse, of whom we shall have more to say. The second 
wife was apparently an heiress, as the Heralds allowed her arms to be quartered by her descendants 
and they are emblazoned upon the tomb at Pentlow. These arms also appeared quartered by the 
Kempes of Kent and Sussex and point to the belief in the common descent of the families through 
the above marriage and the Chiches, which is interesting in view of the fact that the Kempe stocks 
were quite distinct. What lands she brought to George Kempe we cannot say for certain, but it 
seems likely that lands at Pentlow and Cavendish, formerly the property of the Feltons, had come 
to the Apulderfields before this heiress's union with the Kempes, for George Kempe was the first to 
hold Pentlow Hall, although his brother Arthur is the first to figure in the registers in the church 
adjoining the hall grounds. 

The first entry is the baptism of Marie, the daughter of Arthur Kempe, Gent., on loth August, 
1589, after which no further record of Arthur occurs ; but John Kempe, Gent., has the following 

Pent low Hall. 


children baptized: Drew, 6th November, 1591 ; Margery, 6th August, 1599; Drewsella, 23rd 
December, 1601 ; George, 12th November, 1602 ; John, 13th May, 1604, and Tabitha, 8th August, 
1606. George Kempe, a son of this John Kempe, Gent., was buried there 3rd May, 1594, and 
George Kempe, Esq., of Pentlow, grandfather of these children, was entombed in the Kempe Chapel, 
at Pentlow, on the last day of March, 1607, his will being proved in the Prerogative Court of 
Canterbury (35 Huddleston) on 14th April, 1607- It is dated at Tottenham, Middlesex, on 23rd 
March, 1605, and starts with a bequest of £2^ ixs. od. to the churchwardens of Pentlow and 
_^3 6j. 8</. for the reparation 
of Pentlow Church. Of the 
first fund, which was to re- 
main in stock for ever, eight 
poor folk dwelling in the 
parish were to share the in- 
terest. To his son Charles 
Kempe (who was of Waltham- 
stow) he gave ^200 ; to his 
son William Kempe j^ioo 
towards bringing up his 
children ; to his son Chris- 
topher _^20 ; to his daughter, 
the wife of Robert Green, 
Gent., £^0^ and to his grand- 
daughter Theodora Green 
;^2oo. To every child of 
his nephew, the late Arthur 
Kempe, ^^20, and to his 
nephew John Kempe £io. 
To John Kempe, his eldest 
son, he left the lease of the 
Rectory of Tottenham (which 
was held from the Dean and 
Chapter of St. Paul's), but the 
testator's widow was to have 
the occupation of it for 
twenty weeks next after her 
husband's death and option to 
take it on lease for six years 
at _^20 a year. The testator 
left his eldest son sole execu- 
tor, but begged him not to 

meddle with or enquire into any moneys which the widow claimed as her own by right of birth, 
by previous marriage or by settlement. George Kempe, another son, is mentioned, of whose 
descendants some account has been given in our Norfolk section under Wooddalling and Lyng. 

George Kempe, the testator, was a judge and a lawyer of some repute, a note book of cases in 
which he apparently took part was recently offered for sale by a Bristol bookseller, being marked 
Georgius Kempe. The Gentleman s Magazine of 1808 states that Lady Woodhouse was Mary, 

Tomb of the Kempes in their Chapel at Pentlow, Essex. 
Photographed by F. Stokoe, of Clare. 

14 History of the Kemp and Kernpe Families. 

the daughter of John Corbet, of Sproughton, in Norfolk, Esq., and that she married first Sir Roger 
Woodhouse, and, as here recorded, afterwards George Kernpe ; of her identity there is no doubt, 
for John Corbet was a witness to this will and Mary Corbet witnessed a Kempe will in 1667, it is 
however confusing, as the above writer found, that at this period the Corbets were also closely 
related to some of the Gissing (Norfolk) Kempes. In the Middlesex County Records we find that 
on 2nd September, 1601, John Bryan, late of London, yeoman, broke burglariously into the 
dwelling-house of George Kempe, Esq. at Tottenham, and stole therefrom a pair of black silk 
garters, of the goods and chattels of Thomas Woodhouse, Esq., then a guest at the house. The 
culprit however obtained a pardon as he could read like a clerk. 

John Kempe, Esq., the eldest son, inherited all his father's lands in Essex, and was evidently 
living at Pentlow Hall when his father died, as appears from the above register, and had married 
previous to 1591. His wife was Eleanor, daughter of ... . Drew, of Devonshire, from which 
fact the first child received his Christian name. Drew Kempe however died young and con- 
sequently a daughter was baptised Drewsella. She bore fourteen children in all, but of these we 
only trace three who survived childhood, namely: George, who became a Baronet ; John, who left 
a son of the same name, and a Lucy, who probably married a Mr. Taylor. 

John Kempe, of Pentlow, was a student at Lincoln's Inn in 1580, and in the practice of the 
law acquired some wealth, for we find his possessions at death comprised Pentlow Hall and the 
Manors of West Walton and Whitehouse, in South Lynne, Norfolk, Wyleigh Hall and Park, 
Clapton Park, lands in Cavendish, and the advowson of the church at Pentlow ; he was buried 
with his father and wife in the Kempe Chapel of Pentlow Church, and the fine tomb of which we 
give an illustration, still exists. The tomb was repaired about 1830 at the cost of the Rev. E. M. 
Mathew. The inscription on it is as follows : 

George Kemp, whose life spake to his virtuous prayse. 
Lies here entombed after his end of days. 
Fame tells the world his life and death was such 
On Truth's report can never prayse too much ; 
Religion, justice, mercy, bounty, peace, 
' With faithful plainesse was his fame's increase. 

In King's Bench Courte full fifty years found just, 
Who reads this truth but need commend him must. 
From race of worship his life's beginninge spronge, 
Of William Kempe, Esquire, the sixt, and youngest son 
Whose Manor House, Spaines Hall in Essex knowne, 
Tells from that roote this worthy branche was growne. 
Seventy-six years he lived, and children eight. 
Five sonnes, three daughters, on his age did wayte. 
Monday, on March the three and twenteth day, 
" In peace Death's hand did take hira hence away. 

One thousand six hundred and six, of Christ the yeare, 

His soule, as wearie of her mansion here 

Made haste to heaven, with Christe for aye to dwell, , 

Happie are they that live and die so well. 

Here lyeth John Kempe, that worthy esquire. 

That never detracted the poor man's hire. 

Of veritie and knowledge, a studious seeker, 

Of word and promise a faithful keeper. 

Chaste Elinor Drew of Devonshire, 

Daughter of John Drew an Esquire 

Was his virtuous wife, by mother honoured 

To him children, seven and seven did she beare, 

As by this monument to you doth appear ; 

He lived forty-eight yeare, too short a time. 

And died the seventh of January, 

One thousand, six hundred and nine. 

Heaven hath his soule through Christian grace 

Earth his bodye entombed in this place. 

Pentiow Hall. 


In the east window of the Kempe chapel there are fragments of heraldic glass, but being 
merely /a 7«/^a^ glass the colour has now almost disappeared. One can, however, distinctly trace 
the outline of the arms of the family there, a chevron engrailed between three estoiles, which 
arms are emblazoned on the tomb, with the seven other quarterings authorised impaling others. 

The will of John Kempe, of Pentiow, Esq., Avas proved in the Prerogative Court of Canter- 
bury (14 Wingfield). It is very long and gives much detail of his properties, which we cannot 
find space for here ; it bequeathes to his wife, Elenor, his Manor of Pentiow for fifteen years and 
the use of lands there, and at Cavendish and Foxearth, she keeping such of the children who 
may be under age until their twenty- first birthday. The chief part of the estates passed ultimately 
to his son George. 

The register shows that John Kempe. Esq., was buried on 8th January, 1 609, and that a 
daughter of John Kempe, Esq., was baptized there on ist August following named Magdalen. 
We do not know if this was a posthumous child or the daughter of John Kempe, the testator's 
son. She does not appear 

'on the pedigree made at "^j^^ "'2^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

the Heralds' Visitation, 
and may, perhaps, have 
died young. 

The baptisms of child- 
ren of George Kempe 
appear from 16 11 to 16 19, 
but the father of these 
settled at Wooddalling and 
Norwich, and has been 
already considered in the 
Norfolk section. 

George Kempe, the 
son of John, was baptized 
as the son and heir on 12th 
November, 1602, and was 
therefore but a child at his 
father's death. He studied 
the law and became a pro- 
minent judge, residing chiefly in London. The Middlesex Session Rolls record that he and his grand- 
mother. Lady Mary Woodhouse, otherwise Mrs. Mary Kempe, were recusants in 1 641, he being 
then described as late of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, and she as late of St. Giles-in-the-Fields and of 
Saffron Hill, while in 1633 she appears to have been residing at St. Andrew's, Holborn. On 5th 
February, 1624, George Kempe, then of Pentiow, was created a Baronet by King James, and 
about this time married Thomazine, daughter of Sir Robert Brooke, who bore him two daughters, 
Mary, who married Sir John Winter, and Katherine, whose husband was Windsor Finch, Esq. 
Thomazine died in 1663 and Sir George in 1667, leaving no son to inherit the baronetcy. 

The will of Dame Thomazine was nuncupative, and administration of her estate was granted 
to her daughter, Catherine Finch, on 20th July, 1663, Lady Mary Winter, the latter's sister, 
consenting. Thomazine died in the parish of St. Andrew's, Holborn, in which parish the family 
had a residence. (The will is to be found in the P. C. C, 91 Penn.) The will of Sir George 
Kempe styles him " Knight and Baron of Pentiow" ; it is dated 20th March, 1 663, and was proved 

Pentiow Hall, a seat of the Kempes of Esse.x, 1 500-1650. 

1 6 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

by John Woolfe on 22nd January, 1666-7. At the date of making this will Thomazine was 
living, and provision was consequently made for her, while to his daughter Katherine (then single) 
he bequeathed his lands at Clacton, Essex, and the large diamond ring he was in the habit of 
wearing, and lands at Harking, Suffolk, the Manor of West Walton, Norfolk ; lands at Walpole 
and Walsoken, in the latter county, were to be held in trust by his executors and the rents appUed 
for the benefit of Mary Winter, his other daughter, and the testator's sister, Lucy Kempe, these 
estates reverting after their death to George Kempe, Gent., " nephew " (cousin) of the testator. 
Annuities were also provided for Elizabeth Jernegan, William Eldridge, Mrs. Taylor, " sister " of 
the testator, and his cousin, Mrs. Frances Quintain. It appears from this will that part of the 
Norfolk property mentioned had been devL-^ed to Katherine by the will of Sir Robert Brooke. Some 
at West Walton seem to have belonged to the Spain's Hall and Pentlow Kempes for generations. 

By the last will the Pentlow estates were to pass to George, the son of Christopher Kempe, 
who was sometime a resident at West Smithfield and Clerkenwell, London. This Christopher 
was the fifth son of George Kempe, Esq., of Pentlow, and was buried there on 13th August, 1630. 
We have not found his will, and can but conjecture that administration was granted to his widow 
Agnes, who was daughter and heiress of Matthew Cockrode, whose arms were eventually 
quartered. Her children recorded were as follows : George, who inherited from Sir George 
Kempe, Bart. ; Thomas, the latter's heir ; Anne, who married .... Gage ; Elizabeth, who 
married John Springham, of Edmonton, Middlesex, and Mary, who was the wife of Edward 
Chaplin. Agnes Kempe resided at Finchingfield, and was probably buried there, her will being 
dated in that parish on 4th February, 1652, and proved in London on June 17, 1656 (P. C. C, 
220 Berkley). She leaves to her son, Thomas Kempe, citizen of London, /lOO, and a legacy to 
each of his children. To her daughters, Anne Gage and Mary Chaplin, and their children likewise 
legacies are left, while the poor of Finchingfield are also benefitted. It is possible that it was this 
Agnes Kempe, widow, who was described as Anne Kempe, widow, and was a recusant living at 
Saffron Walden with Lady May Woodhouse in 1633, at which time it may be noticed there was 
a William Kempe, Esq., recusant, living in Clerkenwell, London, where Christopher had been a 
few years previously. Of this William Kempe, however, we have no further knowledge by which 
to identify him. George Kempe, the eldest son of Christopher, died without issue, and his 
property thus passed to his younger brother Thomas, who married four times. His first wife was 
Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Randall, by whom he had two daughters, Mary, who married 
Benjamin Goodrich, and Elizabeth, who became William Minors's wife. The second wife was 
Mary, daughter of Andrew Parne, and she bore also two daughters (Elizabeth, who married Ralph 
Minors, and Mary, whose husband was a Bernard). She also had two sons, the younger being 
named Andrew, is said to have been seated at Dorrington, but we do not trace him at any place 
of that name ; her eldest son was John, and he eventually inherited the Spain's Hall and other 
family estates. By his third wife, who was Elizabeth, daughter of another Ralph Minors, he had 
Thomas Kempe, who seems to have married a Rebecca Cooper ; Ehzabeth, who was married to a 
Rogers, and Anne, who was married first to Thomas Briscoe and secondly to Jernaghan Chaplin. 
The fourth wife of Thomas was Elizabeth Springham, by whom he left no issue. He died early 
in 1692, and his will was proved that year on the 8th February (P. C. C, 138 Fane) in London. 
This will, dated at Finchingfield the previous September i6th, mentions the following relatives : 
Elizabeth, his wife, his daughters, Mrs. Bernard, Mrs. Minors, Mrs. Cooper and Mrs. Rogers, his 
relative, Dame Elizabeth Kempe, widow of Sir Robert Kempe, Knight, and his grandsons, 
Andrew Kempe and John Kempe. Susan Kempe is mentioned, but her degree of relationship 
does not appear. 

The later Kemps of Essex. 17 

It is noticeable that the testator does not mention his sons, and the presumption is that the 
eldest, if not both, was dead. There is a will of a Thomas Kempe, clerk, of Foxearth, proved in 
171 8, though dated in 1692, and it is likely that, as the Kempes of Pentlow owned land at Foxearth, 
this Thomas was a near relative of the family, and thus was presented to the living through their 
influence. Curiously, this testator, like the last, speaks of his daughter Mary Barnard, he also 
leaves legacies to Elizabeth Holbrough, widow ; Francis, the wife of William Nicholls, and Thomas 
the son of Hannah Clopton. Bequests are also made to the poor of Foxearth and those of Preston 
St. Mary, in Suffolk, and the residue of his estate is left to his son Henry Kempe, who was 
appointed executor. 

John Kempe, the eldest son of Thomas Kempe, of Finchingfield, married, but we have not 
traced the wife's name. They left a son named John, who inherited the Spain's Hall property, 
also two sons named Thomas and Andrew, who seem to have died young. Andrew was bequeathed 
both the water mill and windmill, under his grandfather's will, but we have no knowledge of 
his having been in actual possession of them. John Kempe, the heir, died unmarried in 1726, 
being the last male Kempe to possess the Spain's Hall property, which had been in the family 
some 400 years. His will was proved 2nd February, 1726, by his executrix and chief legatee, 
Mary Kempe, his eldest sister. He provides annuities for life to his sisters Anne Kempe, of 
London ; Alice, the wife of Thomas Osbourne, of London ; Ehzabeth and Rebecca Kempe, of 
Finchingfield, and Spain's Hall, while the residuary estate is left to his sister Mary. With so large 
a fortune she quickly found a suitable husband in the person of Sir Swinnerton Dyer, Baronet, of 
Dunmow, ancestor of the present baronet of that name ; the property thus passed to the Dyers, who 
however soon parted with it. We have been unable to ascertain if any Kempe portraits or other 
relics of the family are still in the Dyer family. . ^ , • 


IN the reign of Elizabeth there was a suit in the Court of Chancery between Arthur Kempe 
and Anthony Golding, Esq., regarding the Manor of Waltons, in Purleigh, demised by the 
Earl of Oxford to George Golding, deceased, and by the latter assigned to Arthur Kempe. 
The identity of this Arthur is not absolutely determined, but he was in all probability one of the 
Arthur Kempes, of Finchingfield, mentioned in Chapter H., while from the time of these 
proceedings the Essex Kempes held at least an interest in this property. We however have not 
searched the local registers and must, for lack of evidence, leave a break in the records until 1688, 
when the will of Richard Kempe, of Purleigh, was proved in the Court of the Archdeaconry of 
Essex, by William Walker, Gent. (139 Parrett). The testator leaves all his household effects to 
his son Richard and daughter Frances Kempe. He leaves to his executor, the said William 
Walker, of Cold Norton Hall, in trust, his house called Purleigh Barnes and all the rest of his 
lands, the income to provide for the maintenance of the children until the age of twenty-one and 

1 8 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

then to become their absolute property. The will provides that in case both these children die 
before such age the estates are to pass to the children of John Wehb^ of Southchtirch, in the same 
county, and in case of their death the property is to revert to the children of Christopher Persons^ 
of Soiithchurch. 

This is the first mention we have of a connexion of Kempes with Southchurch and, as will be 
presently seen, the Persons — otherwise Parsons — family were most important parishioners of this 
place, and were undoubtedly the relatives of the known ancestors of the present George Kemp, Esq., 
M.P. Before however we dwell further on this branch, who settled at Southchurch about 1700, we 
must digress to speak of a celebrated John Kempe who was connected both with the Earl of Oxford 
and one named Walker, and who seems to belong to this family. 

It will be noticed from the foregoing chapters that the Kempes of Finchingfield showed 
evident sympathy with the Puritan preachers, at any rate from the close of the Commonwealth, 
although in his younger days Sir Robert Kempe, of Spain's Hall, had, with his friend Sir Robert 
Kempe, of Gissing, been a royalist and high-churchman ; this Puritan feeling evidently grew 
stronger in the succeeding generations, and both those of Southchurch, Prittlewell and the celebrated 
John Kempe's family were distinctly inclined to independency. 

The father of the antiquary John Kempe was a merchant and a member of the Leathersellers' 
Company of London, and his mother was a Miss Hope Gilbert, who was married to John Kempe, 
the elder, by Hcence in I 685- In 1690 administration of her husband's estate was granted to her 
by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, and her own will was proved in the same Court, by her 
daughters Hope and Mary Kempe, in January, 17 14. This will is dated at Exeter on 27th April, 
1 7 10, and leaves the personalty to the daughters after a legacy to each of her sons John and 
William Kempe. The names of Elizabeth and Hannah Kempe and John Munsie (? Mounsey) 
appear as witnesses. 

John Kempe, F.R.S., the elder son, had doubtless enjoyed the use of his father's residence in St. 
Martin's Fields from the time of his majority, and, having ample income and cultivated taste, 
devoted his time to gathering together a wonderful collection of ancient coins, curios and old 
works of art, of which he drew up a detailed explanatory catalogue. He became Fellow of the 
Royal Society in 17 12. His tastes, if not his family connexion, led to intimacy with Lord Harley, son 
of the Earl of Oxford, to whom this unique collection was to be offered at the collector's decease for 
the sum of ;^2, 000. Lord Harley however (the founder of the Harleian Library) declined the 
offer, and consequently the museum was parted with by auction in small lots for the total sum of 
_^i,090 8j. 6^., and the account of the contents of the museum, written by himself, was edited by 
the noted Robert Ainsworth, and published by John's brother, William Kempe, in 1720, under 
the title o{ '■'■ Monvmenta Vetustatis Kempiana^'' being sold by J. Osborn, in Lombard Street, and 
other booksellers. One of the wills of the Spain's Hall Kempes mentions a relative named 
Osbourne as a bookseller. The fact that this John Kempe or his brother arranged with an 
Osborn to sell his book strengthens the supposition of the close connexion which then (i 700-1 720) 
existed between the Southchurch, Purleigh, St. Martin-in-Field, and the Finchingfield Kempes. 
Copies of the " Monvmenta " still e.xist in various libraries. 

John Kempe, the antiquary, dated his will at St. Martin's-in-Fields, 26th March, 17 16, and it 
was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury by his brother William on 24th September, 
1717 (171 Whitfield). The testator desired to be buried near his dear mother in Bunhill Fields, a 
burial place closely identified with dissent. To his sister, Hope Kempe, he left his Manor of 
Hockley Hall, lately surrendered by Ellena Swinsford ; to his sister, Mary Kempe, he left X-°o 
South Sea Stock and money raised by the sale of his antiquities ; to his cousin, Ehzabeth, 

The later Kemps of Essex. 19 

daughter of his uncle James Kempe, South Sea Stock of the face value of ;^ioo and debts due 
from William Paterson ; to his cousin, John Madden, a legacy; also rings or their value to his 
landlord Walker^ William Tanner, goldsmith, in Cheapside, John Hannon, Dr. Crichlowe, Mr. 
Humphrey Wanley, Mr. Thomas Smith, of New Inn, and Samuel Noble, bookseller. 

William Kempe, the brother, wrote as the will directed to Lord Harley, then Earl of Oxford, 
and his letters are to be seen in the British Museum ; a more recent note says that this William 
Kempe was an undertaker living or carrying on business at Surrey Street, Strand. We have 
no proof of this, and believe that having inherited the residence of his brother in St. Martin's-in- 
Fields he removed thither, for the goods, credits and effects of a William Kempe of that parish 
were granted to his widow, Martha Kempe, on 23rd April, 1746, by authority of the Prerogative 
Court of Canterbury. 

Purleigh is but a short distance from Maldon, in Esse.x, and from the following details it will 
be seen that Thomas Kemp, of Abridge, otherwise Heybridge, now part of Maldon, was 
apparently akin to both Richard of Purleigh and the Kempes of Southchurch and neighbourhood. 
The will is dated 2nd June, 1720, and was proved by the executor, Henry Lewsley, alias Howsley, 
on 9th of the same month (P. C. C, 138 Shaller). To his son, Thomas Kemp, the testator left 
his farm and land at Little Wakering in the occupation of John Cattline, and an estate at Great 
Wakering to his daughters, Sarah and Mary Kemp, including his oyster-laying, stating that 
Arthur Kemp, his eldest son, had inherited an estate from his late mother and was therefore well 
provided for. Henry Hewsley, of Langford (near Maiden), was instructed to sell a farm and land 
lying at South Shrewsbury,* Co. Essex, and to divide the sum so raised equally between the 
testator's four children. Edward Berry, of All Saints', Maldon, was also appointed executor and 
shared the responsibility with Howsley als. Lewsley. 

Robert Johnson, William Remmington and Andrew Yardley witnessed this will. It will be 
noticed that a Johnson was made guardian of the infant son of Daniel Kempe of Barking, with 
whom it is likely that this testator was closely related. 

Little and Great Wakering lie close to Southchurch on the east side of that parish, while 
Prittlewell adjoins Southchurch on the west. Within these four parishes from 1720 therefore it 
is certain that the Kempes held property, and within the next decade it is certain that they 
resided there, if, indeed, they did not do so much earlier. Christopher Parsons mentioned in the 
will of Richard Kempe, of Purleigh, as of Southchurch in 1688, was churchwarden, and is buried 
in a large altar tomb directly east of the chancel, while around him are the tombs of later gene- 
rations of his family whose descendants still reside in the parish. The present vicar has been good 
enough to carefully search the parish registers and finds that the first mention of a Kemp occurs 
on nth November, 1734, when Susannah, daughter of Thomas Kempe, by Susannah, his wife, 
was baptized. This couple also had the following children baptized there, Elizabeth Abigail, 1735, 
Johanna, 1736, Thomas, J738, and John, 1739. These sons may both have died infants, for a 
Thomas Kemp was buried there in 1738 and a John in 1740. It is, however, possible that it was 
Thomas the father who was buried in 1738, and that the youngest son was posthumous, or 
baptized when older than usual. 

The registers of Great and Little Wakering have been searched by ourselves, and the tombs 
at both examined, but no mention of a Kempe was found at either place ; however, it is evident 
that the Kempes had a residence here before that of Southchurch, for the estate of John Kemp 
of his Majesty's ship Kent in the King's service, formerly of Much Wakering, was granted in 

* Thus in the Probate ; evidently a clerk's error for Shoebury. i' , ', -i ' 

20 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

^73: to Jane Kemp, widow, his relict. These were, we have little doubt, the ancestors of the 
subsequent Southchurch and Prittlewell Kemps, but as both died intestate it is extremely doubtful 
if proof will be forthcoming to actually establish this point. 

The registers of Prittlewell have also been searched by ourselves, and are found to contain 
Kemp entries from 1754, in which year Henry Chacey, of Great Wakering married Hannah 
Kemp, spinster, of Prittlewell. It must be noticed that a Robert CajnJ) married Mary Marsh at 
Prittlewell on 7th November, 1737, and although very late for such a change in the spelling it is 
not impossible that the numerous Camps whose graves mingle with the Kemps at Prittlewell are 
of the same family, although reverting to an old form of the name. The Camp entries continue 
to 1823 and perhaps later. 

Close to the altar tomb of the Marshalls, on the the south side of the church, is the earliest 
stone of the Kemps. It commemorates Martha Kemp, who died 6th September, 1742, aged 
twenty-five years, wife of John Kemp, who was buried in the same grave in 1757, aged forty-two. 
With them lie, as the stone informs us, eight of their grandchildren. In the last-named year we 
find an administration granted to Daniel Kemp, son of John Kemp, of Prittlewell. 

Another stone in the churchyard records the name of John D. (? Durival) Kemp who died i8th 
June, 1 8 10, aged seventy-two years. The second name of this individual is variously spelled Durival, 
Durivel, Durrival and Derwell. Why it was given is unknown, much research having failed to 
discover its existence as a surname in Essex or elsewhere. The most plausible suggestion made 
with regard to it is that it is a variant of Durrell used as a Christian name by the Shorts, of Kent, 
one of whom married Martha Kemp, of the Norfolk family. According to a tradition among the 
present representatives of the family their ancestors came from Norfolk. Elizabeth Rust, John 
Durival's grandmother, wrote the name in contracted form "Durr." which looks as if she regarded it 
as a well-known Christian name for which " Durr." was the recognized abbreviation. It is also 
possible that if Durrell or Durwell was derived from Kent it was through relations directly 
intimate with the Kemps of Prittlewell. That they had relatives in Kent of the name of Marshall 
is conclusively proved by names mentioned in the wills and polls of Kent for the period. 

Among the administrations in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury is one granted in 1768-q 
to John Durivel Kemp for administering the estate of his father John Kemp, late of Prittlewell, 
whose widow, Mary Kemp, died before she had taken out letters of administration. In the same 
year John Durival Kemp had to administer the estate of his brother Robert, who evidently died 
very shortly before his father, who should have performed this duty. Robert Kemp was a bachelor ; 
we do not know of what he died, but three deaths in one househould so near together suggest 
some infectious disease as the cause. 

A Bible in the possession of Clement Kemp, Esq., J. P., contains this inscription: "Elizabeth 
Rust's book, December 25th, 1775, which I promise to my grandson John Durr. Kemp when please 
God to call me." Evidently John Durival Kemp's mother was a Mary Rust. How he was related to 
John Kemp, who died in 1757, we do not know. He may have been nephew, but cannot have 
been grandson. John Kempe, of " His Majesties ship Kent^^ may very probably have been his 
grandfather. In 1759 administration of the goods of Mary Kemp, spinster, of Clerkenwell, was 
granted to Joseph Rust, he being nephew and next of kin. How they were related at all to J. D. 
Kemp we can only conjecture. "Nephew" may have been used to signify "cousin." John 
Durival Kemp's will shows that he was twice married, his first wife being named Martha and the 
second Mary. The latter died the 6th May, 1826, aged seventy-four. In the Prittlewell register 
a John Kemp is shown to have been united to Mary Beadle, a widow, on the 14th September, 1772. 
Whether the entry refers to John Durival is somewhat doubtful. Martha was the daughter of 

The later Kemps of Essex. 


Thomas Sumner, with whose son also, Thomas, her husband was for many years in partnership. 
She was buried at Prittlewell, as the will testifies. From 1784 to 1810 John Durival Kemp was 
rated as a householder at Southchurch, whither he probably removed on the death of Thomas 
Sumner, Sen. 

John Durival Kemp is said to have been the father of eighteen children, but we do not know 
the names of all of them. A Thomas Sumner Kemp was baptized in May, 1772. He was 
unfortunately drowned on the nth June, 1799, at the age of twenty-seven, as another stone placed 
" by a sincere friend," at Prittlewell, informs us. No other Kemp is recorded as having been 
baptized at Prittlewell till 1780, in which 
year their twin son and daughter, Henry Carr 
and Mira, were baptized on 15th October. 

We find however, in 1797, administra- 
tion of the goods of William Marshall 
Kemp, of Southend, Master of the smack 
Two Partners, granted to John Durival 
Kemp. He cannot have been born later 
than 1776. John, who continued the 
principal family line, being married in 1793, 
and Robert Kemp, co-executor of John of 
their father's will, must have been among 
the elder members of the family, but the 
dates of their births are unknown. The 
following children were baptized at South- 
church : Elenor, 4th June, 1785 ; Frederick, 
3rd June, 1786 ; Martha, 9th June, 1787 ; 
Charlotte, nth October, 1788 ; Frederick 
Carr, in 1793. There were besides these, 
three daughters, Eliza, Louisa and Mary, 
whose ages are unknown. The rest of the 
children, of whom nothing whatever is 
known, probably died in infancy. Some 
account of John will be found in the next 

chapter. Robert emigrated to the United States where he continued the line, though little is 
known to the present writers of his descendants. Henry Carr Kemp died in 1837 without issue. 
His twin sister, Myra Sumner, married a Mr. Hardwick. She died 5th September, 1873, being the 
last survivor of the family of John Durival Kemp ; her will was proved by George Tawke Kemp. 
Eliza became the wife of William Hunter, eldest son of William Hunter, of Bury St. Edmunds. 
He was an Alderman of London and held the office of Lord Mayor in 1852. Louisa married (first) 
a Mr. White and (secondly) a Mr. Mundy, a missionary in India, who published a brief memoir 
of her, largely made up of introspective excerpts from her diary. Mary married a Mr. Richardson. 
The late Rev. Henry Kemp Richardson, some time rector of Leire, was their son, 

Alderman William Hunter, Lord Mayor of London. 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 


JOHN KEMP, son of John Durival Kemp, married Susan Stonnard, by whom he had seven 
sons and five daughters. He died at Thetford, 1844- She died at Cheltenham, 26th 
January, i860, aged ninety years. With their family commences the connexion of the 
Kemps with Lanc.-\shire, three of his sons having migrated from Essex to that county for different 
reasons. John Abbot Kemp, their eldest son, was born at Broomhills, Great Stambridge, 9th 
February, 1794. Why he received the name of Abbot (so spelled in his father's family Bible) is 
unknown. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John English Tabor, of Fenns, Booking, i6th 

John Abbot Kemp, ancestor of George Kempe, M.P. 

Mrs. J. Abbot Kemp tiee Tabor. 

August, 1821. He then lived at Stambridge, but soon afterwards removed to Prittlewell. He 
had three sons: Clement, born at Prittlewell, 15th January, 1824; Owen, born at Prittlewell, 
19th March, 1826 ; and George Tabor, born in London, 3rd July, 1834, died 6th July, 
1900. Two excellent likenesses of John Abbot Kemp and his wife, in their prime, are in the 
possession of the family, executed by a neighbour in London — Mr. Heffernan, an assistant in the 
studio of Sir Francis Chantrey. John Abbot Kemp retired to Southport for his health in i860, 
and died there 20th May, 1869. He was for many years a deacon at Westminster Chapel. His 
widow died 31st July, 1875- 

Descendants of (he Prittlewell Kemps. 23 

Mary Ann, the fourth child of John Kemp, was born 17th June, 1798. She became second 
wife to Mr. Henry Brown, of Thetford. She died at Sevenoaks, 5th March, 1875. Mr. Brown, 
by his first wife, became father of the late Edward Keer Brown, J. P., and the late William Brown, 
of Great Yarmouth. His second wife bore him a son, Henry, believed to have been lost at sea, and 
three daughters, Alice Louisa, Susan Stonnard and Ellen Kemp, all of whom died unmarried. Ellen 
Kemp, the last survivor, Avent out as a missionary to China, in connection with the Sheo-Yang 
Mission, after she was fifty years of age. She was killed by the overturning of a native cart in 
1898. The fifth child was Susan, born 13th January, 1800, who married Robert Jacomb, after- 
wards Jacomb-Hood, of Bardon Park, Leicestershire. She died 8th June, 1873. Mr. Jacomb-Hood, 
who died in May, 1901, was a Director of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company. 
He was an engineer by profession. Mr. Percy Jacomb-Hood, the well-known artist, is his son. 

John and Susan Kemp's third son and seventh child was Frederick, born 12th March, 1803. 
When a young man he entered the employ of the late Sir P. Hesketh-Fleetwood, whose steward he 
was for many years. He had much to do with laying out the town of Fleetwood. His wife was 
Charlotte Titherington. He had two daughters of whom one married the late Major Poste, by 
whom she had a son, F. W. B. Poste (B.A., Camb., 1894). Frederick Kemp died 14th March, 1883 
There is a stained window to his memory in the parish church of Bispham, where he lived. Emma 
Kemp, born 25th December, 1805, died unmarried at Cheltenhan, 15th December, 1862. 

The twelfth and youngest child of John Kemp was George Tawke Kemp, late of Rochdale. 
He was in partnership in the silk trade at Spitalfields, and also at Middleton, Lancashire, with 
the late Thomas Stone, latterly a partner with Messrs. Peek, Frean and Company, biscuit 
manufacturers. Mr. G. T. Kemp also joined Mr. Frederick Kelsall, whose daughter he married, 
in the business of flannel manufacture. He died while on a visit to Egypt for his health 
March 20th, 1877, having been born on the I7tli of the same month in 18 10. He left 
a son, the present Major George Kemp, M.P. for the Heywood Division of Lancashire, and five 
daughters. He was distinguished for his Hberality in religious and philanthropic causes. He was 
a liveryman of the Fishmongers' Company from 1837 and joined the Court of the Company in 
1848. His widow still lives. 

Two of George Tawke Kemp's daughters have entered the mission field. Miss Jessie Kemp 
first went out to India, but was obliged to return home on account of her health. She afterwards 
went to China under the auspices of the China Inland Mission. While engaged in this work she 
married Mr. T. W. Pigott. They and some other friends eventually formed themselves into an 
independent mission, the Sheo-Yang Mission. Mr. and Mrs. Pigott were murdered with their 
son, Wellesey, by the " Boxers " about 27th June, 1900. Mrs. Pigott's sister above referred to is 
Florence, now the wife of Dr. Edwards. They worked first with the China Inland Mission from 
which they seceded with Mr. Pigott. Miss Ellen Kemp Brown was another member of the 
Sheo-Yang Mission. Mr. George Kemp, M.P., was born in 1866. He was educated at Mill Hill, 
Shrewsbury and Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. with honours in the Classical Tripos 
in 1888. He distinguished himself as a cricketer, playing for Lancashire and for Cambridge 
University. He is a principal shareholder in the firm of Kelsall and Kemp, Ltd. He married the 
Lady Beatrice Mary, daughter of the Earl of Ellesmere. 

Major George Kemp, M.P., served in South Africa with the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry 
for eighteen months ; in his absence he was re-elected to represent his constituency. Since his 
return from the war Mr. Kemp has been gazetted as major. He has just accepted the command 
of a Yeomanry Regiment and is again going to South Africa for active service. 

Turning to the family of John Abbot Kemp, Clement married Elizabeth Tabor, daughter of 

24 History of the Kemp and Kempe Fa-jnilies. 

John Tabor, of Booking, by whom he had three sons. She died 8th November, 1895, aged 
seventy-four. He is a Liveryman of the Fishmongers' Company, having been admitted in 1847. 
He is also a J. P. for the Borough of Romsey where he resided from 1886-96. His business life 
was chiefly spent in Lancashire in the silk business of his uncle. 

His sons, who were all born at Middleton, are John Tabor Kemp, M.A., Camb. ; (B.A. 
Emman. Coll., 1884), born 5th October, i860; Herbert Clement Tabor Kemp, now resident at 
Tarkastad, South Africa, proprietor of the Tarka Herald^ born 26th September, 1862 ; and 
Cecil Tabor Kemp, pharmaceutical chemist in business at Hereford, born i6th April, 1868. 
Mr. H. C. T. Kemp married Edith Emily, daughter of Henry Hunt Wells of Rockwood, 
Coernay, Cape Colony, on 20th October, 1896. 

Mr. Owen Kemp, younger surviving son of John Abbot Kemp, resides at Walthamstow ; he 
passed many years of his life in Australia, where he married Miss Catherine Caroline Cater. 
George Tabor Kemp likewise emigrated to Australia, where he married late in life. 

The arms of the Kemps of Prittlewell are said to be the same as those of the Kemps of Spain's 
Hall and Pentlow, the authority being, so far as we can ascertain, the semi-official acknowledg- 
ment of the claim of Alderman William Hunter, to impale such arms, in right of his wife (who, 
as stated above, was daughter of John Durival Kemp, of Prittlewell), contained in Burke's 
" Illustrations of Heraldry." 


PIS held the same office 1231. 

ir" Rohert Kempi and Matilda, at Uxhridge, 1331. 

held a messuage at .Enfield, 1 389. Rickard Kempe, at Harmondswarth, 1407. 

■ leld lands in Tiburn Manor 1405 and 

Thomc^ / Trinity, Aldgate 1440-.'. M.P. for 

\. Will proved 14:42. 

Tijj;- f _^ (roved at Lambeth 1458. 
William Kempe' 

John Kempe, 
of Aldgate. 

Robert Kempe, 
alias Campe, 
living 1442. 

of London.:=Agnes. 

vidow], George Kempe, 

2-63. of Hatnpstead, 

living 15-3. 
Finchley.-^Joan. /\n7i 

Robert Kemp, 

'empe, of Weston ^Suffolk) and Gissing {Norfolk)=Margaret or Elizaieth, d of 
liv ing 1473. I William Curzon, of Stutton. 

Ann Clifford,-=^Robert Kempe, of 
of Kent. I Weston &■ Gissmg, 
died 1526. 

I» 1593) 

of Bury St. 

4 llen,=3artAolomew Kempe, 

of Gissing, Margaret K. 

died 1554, aged?,2. Beiufactress. 
^William Dane, 
Aid. of London. 

Edmund Kempe, Citizen=Bridget, d. of Ralf Kempe, 
and Merchant of London. \ John Style. livine Ia~-k' 

Will 15 42 . I ' ^ ^'■" 

Hurnphrey Kempe, 

{^claimed as 

ancestor hy the 

Cornish Kempes') 

James Kempe^Anne Powle, 
of Acton. I 
living 1566. 
(may. 1544) I 
Powell Kempe. 

\nythuin,=:.Robert Kempe, of Bartholomew Kempe, of London,-=.Barbara Sharpe, Edward Kempe, of London,-=..ignes Page, 


Gissvig & Flordon. 
died 1596, aged So 

M.P. for Eye 1 586 fir Shaftesbury, 
luld land at Hendon 1565 

\st husb. 
Thomas Phillips 

ram.-^Richard K'mpe, of Gissing, 
'fad. I mar.atBampstead l^tt. 

. at Savoy 
Chapel l6t r. 

Citizen 6* .Hercer 


Robert K. Charles K. Edmund K. Margaret K 

j iempe, of Gissing, bapt. at Hampstead 1 567. | 

_ ' . „ ^ _<^. of Arthur Harris, died 16 [2. Bartholomew Kemte. 

rrancis Kempe,'=k ■' , k t r j im 

jr xtrn.,,i.J, I bur. at Croydon iddi. 

."J ,\f f ' Kempe, Baronet,— Jane, d. of Sir Matthew Browne, ' 
'"^fLr:- I.- '.g Flordon, 5rc. ; of Betchworth. 

Jd 1647. ; 

Bridget Adlin.-=zBartholomew Kempe, of London and Croydon, 
I living 1626. 

Nicholas Kempe, 

(^said to have 
died unmarried") 

Will 1656. 

Ann ■=zRobert h 
More. went at 
but retu 

Francis K. William K. Robert K. 
living 1626. 

1st wife. 2nd wife. 

Cicely Kester ,-:=.Sir Nicholas Kempe, Knight,-^^arah James 

mar. 1577. of Finchley and Islington. widow jf 

S.P. Will\(^2\. J. P. for Middlesex. Thos. Draper 

Steward of Fulham. 

Robert Kempe, "ggj ' 
in Virginia. 

,^lTTERHOUSE,^Mary, d. of George 
Hendon in | NichoU, of Hendon, 

ed 1712. 

married 1 68 2. 

Elizabeth Kempe.=:Wm. Atley, of 

Shepherd's Bush. 

Alice Kempe.=John Sutton, of 
Dollis, Hendon. 

I 1st wiie. I 2nd wife. | 
Anne K. Sarah . . .=Daniel Kempe, of=Ellenor Susannah K.=Wm. Snoxall- 
I CliTTERHOUSE, j (? Arrowsmith) 
I Will proved 1749. 

Mary K. 


1 ov 

Tlumas Hitchin, 1 

mar. there l66< 

Jacob Hitchin, of- 

Jacob Hitcnin, of, 

1 died 
tad St. 
I p. 1797. 

I J I 

Daniel Kempe, Sarah Kempe, Mary Kempe, 

d. an infant. :^J. Pippin, =:T.Dowdeswell, 

1^19. mar. 1742. mar. 1745. 

(both by licence at St. Paul's Cath.) 

Joseph Kempe, 
bur. at Hendon 

John Kempe, Daniel Kempe, of^Dinah. 
d. an infant. Parson's Street, I 

Hendon, d. 1763. j 
Edward Clark.e.^Dinah Kempe. 
mar. 1774/5. (only child) 

John Kempe, of CliTTERHOUSE and=Louisa, dau. of John Bishop, of=Dr. George Goodwin, 

3. of Dover Street, Piccadilly, M.D., born I Piccadilly & Hendon, by Mary | of Queen Street, 

1740, bur, at Hendon. Will 1795. | Penny, of Wells, died 1838. I Westminster. 

Tlwmas Hitchin 0, ^^^^^ Elizabeth Augusta Kemp, 
i/., 174-- 1797- r. at bap. 1775, of Hendon 

I , 6. and Westminster, died 

William Hitchin, 

Joseph Hitchin. 
1808-18 ^8.=iE'/!>i 

Elenor Augusta Kemp, 
bom 1780, of Hendon, 
died unmarried 1 8 38. 

Tlu Rev. Samuel C'larles Godwin, 

of Enhvrst, Sussex, and of Charing 

Cross, died in Paris 1835. 

Susannah Kemp 

1st husb. 
^Thomas Pitt. 

2nd husb. 
=John Lodge. 

sumed name 
!n vault of 

William Hitchin\ 
Hitchin s Beach 


Frederick Brookes, 

bom 1802, died 1824, 

bur. at Wells Cathedral. 

Daniel Bowden Brookes, 
bora 1807, died 1808. 

of The=N :)rah Goddard. 
lorn 1840. I 

4 daughttys. 

Charlotte H. Louisa Clyraer.=Thomas Hitchin, of^Eliza Golding. 

1842-73. I London, born 1845. widow of 
r daughter. Alison. 

Fanny H.-K. 

la H.-K. 

Alice H.-K. 

William Hitchin-Kemp, 
of Twickenham, bora 1875. 

Arthur Hitchin-Kemp, 
bora 1877. 

Nellie H.-K. 

Louisa w 
living at 


Hilda H.-K. 

24 History of the Kemp and Keinpe Families. 

John Tabor, of Booking, by whom he had three sons. She died 8th November, 1895, aged 
seventy -four. He is a Liveryman of the Fishmongers' Company, having been admitted in 1847. 
He is also a J. P. for the Borough of Romsey where he resided from 1886-96. His business life 
was chiefly spent in Lancashire in the silk business of his uncle. 

His sons, who were all born at Middleton, are John Tabor Kemp, M.A., Camb. ; (B.A. 
Emman. Coll., 1884), born 5th October, i860; Herbert Clement Tabor Kemp, now resident at 
Tarkastad, South Africa, proprietor of the Tarka Herald^ born 26th September, 1862 ; and 
Cecil Tabor Kemp, pharmaceutical chemist in business at Hereford, born i6th April, 1868. 
Mr. H. C. T. Kemp married Edith Emily, daughter of Henry Hunt Wells of Rockwood, 
Coernay, Cape Colony, on 20th October, 1896. 

Mr. Owen Kemp, younger surviving son of John Abbot Kemp, resides at Walthamstow ; he 
passed many years of his life in Australia, where he married Miss Catherine Caroline Cater. 
George Tabor Kemp likewise emigrated to Australia, where he married late in life. 

The arms of the Kemps of Prittlewell are said to be the same as those of the Kemps of Spain's 
Hall and Pentlow, the authority being, so far as we can ascertain, the semi-official acknowledg- 
ment of the claim of Alderman William Hunter, to impale such arms, in right of his wife (who, 
as stated above, was daughter of John Durival Kemp, of Prittlewell), contained in Burke's 
" Illustrations of Heraldry." 



» Dmin a/Lmdon, 143:. 
^21-6 and It Lamieth I45. 
Xtmpt, 'Bis/iofi of Lmdm 1448-89 {itparai 

o/fiiitiilon 14 

i,» 1461) 
,mv K.mpt.lw. 
'.o/Kinlah Tm 

p„,t,h of 

Stephen Kempe, uned for leaving the King 
Amaldus de Campis, Ma5E :r of the Knight's Hospita 
William Kempe, rewarded by thi K: ng for catching a Whale r 
i Kempe, " Eiheator " to the King (for iV iiddlesex), 1389. 

:r. Keeper of the King-'s Wardrobe 141s and King's 
i-Thames 1434 and 1436. (Deeds ex. iiing) : 
/ Kim/t.ofl,l,nglon (fruiC, I465. 

r London Bridge, 
trgeant 1438, 

ThoTTios Kimpe. 
. Kimp,, Gnl. of Ha, 

(MON Kempe, alias Campe, held lands in Tibum Mane 
in the parish of Holy Trinity, .Aldgate, 1440--. 
iMiddlesex 1113-1414. Will provjd 1442. 
Esquire, of London. Will proved at Lambeth 1458. 

IPE, CJtiien and Fishmonger of London.^.^gnes. 

Gtorst Ktmp,, tfFin:hUy=^yoat 

Robyl Kt,np,, 
living 1443. 

Riiirl Ki-tpi. of Wislon (_S-ffolf) 


John tCimpt. ofKmgUon.=.ilis. 
W,U Ij35. 1 „ 

Wdliam Ktmpt. 

miliam Ktmpt, ofKiiigs 

I lm«S I49=- 

?oJin Kimpi, afStaijus, 


Richard Ktrnpt, chuf raUpayer at Bed/on. 
. =John Kim 

Willesden and Hendon, 

EH:a Smythuin,^Ro6eri Kunpe, of BirUwlomew Kempe, of L.mdan,-^Barhara Sharpe, Edward Kempt, of Limdon,^=i.Aents Past 

of Buck- \Gt,n„g&F!or,hn, M.P.Jhr Eyef^Z(,& SJ.afie,6urv.\ &ur. at Savoy Citi^ tn4.\fercer \ Wilt I^Sa. 

inghamshtre. \ diidll(^t,agid%Q. held land at Hendon l<^b%. Chapel \t\\, 1 j j 1 

I ' I Robert K. Charles K. Edmund K. Margaret A 

=.[fary . . =Jokn Kempt, of Hampuead Fra,u:is Kempe, of Willesde,i.= 

Frojtcis Kempt,— Amv Marih. John K. 
ofWilUidtn, WilUt^l. 

1 K~ Francis K. hapt. <it= 


. Kempe, = John Kei 

William Kj^Mary Hogema 

^Robert Kempti^Rose 
I went abroad Rtppx 

itl K. William K. Henry K. Robert Kempe=DoroiAy. Thomas Marzh, of Lmdon. 
of Long Lane. 

d. be fc 

(pel haps of 
AJdei manbury, 

the Actor) 

Humphrey Kempe, 

WU^I prov< 

it Croydon 1662. living r6a6. 

r K. William K. Robtr 

Cicely Kester,^Sir Nicholas Kempe, Knight,^=Sarak James 

mar. 1577. of Finchtev and Islington. widow of 

SJ'. Will 1624. J. R.fir Middlesex. Thos. Draper 

Henry Kempe, 

buried Jt 

Rose Kempe.=Hen.y Budder. 

upe, of Cliuerhouse, 
ighwaymen, S.P. 
m 1674- - 

Thomas Kempe, of Crickie wood,=El!en (? Taylor) 

, (and of Chrisichurch, London) I 

Will proved 1674. | 

E,^I fary, d. of G«orge 
I Nicholl, of Hendon, 

Mary Nobte, of L 
licence 1691, bur. 

. by=Ma]Or Thomas Kempe, of the 
■'3, I Tower of London & Qr. Mr. 
Will proved 1727- 

of Hendoi 

Mary K. Joseph K. Noble K. 

T.'iomas Hitchin, of MiddUwich, 

mar. there 1660. ! 
Jacob Huchm, of MiddlemuJi. 

Jacob Hxtchtn, ofM^SaraA. 

1700-1768. I I703-'3oo. 

Thomas Hitchin, of=Mary Wrinck. 

William Hiichm, of .Widdlewuh, 
i:66-li-:,2— Margaret Egerlon. 

Joseph Hitchvt, of Middlewich, 
liQ^-l%-:,ij=Eit:abtth Jackson. 

William HtUhui. Founder of 
HtUhm's Beach, Nevt Zealand. 

'. Walker, 
;ndon 1759- 

c Dupuy. =;Elizabeth Kemper. . . Rigby. 
.t Hendon | | 

1765. t I 

IsaacDupuy, liv. 1797. Elizabeth Rigby. 

;v. Thomas Kempe, D.D-=Mary, Lady Banff, 
Rector of St. Michael, d. at Kensington. 

Crooked Lane, bur. at Will proved 1784. 

Cheam. Will 1769. 

Catherine S 

ien Kempe.=Edward Shon, Sec. 

Daniel Kempe, of Daniel Kempe, Sarah Kempe, 

the Mint, Tower d. an infant, =J. Pippin, 

of London, died [;I9- m^''- 1743. 

at Gc. Ormond St. (both by licence 
igedgi. Will p. 1797. 

=T. Dowdeswell, 

mar. 1745. 
t St. Paul's Caih.) 

John Kempe, Daniel Kempe, of=T)inah. 
d. an infant. Parson's Street, I 

Hendon, d. 1763. | 
Edward Clarke.=Dinah Kempe. 
mar. 1774/5. (only child) 

740. bur, at Hendon. Will 179f 

LoveniTT St. and 
Golden Sq., Lond. 

(Gray's Inn [77911 

William Hitchin, of the B. i F. Bible=CH.-vBLOi 

Society, bom at Athenon 1807. I b 

died at Margat* [884. | i 

Freherick Wjlllam Hitchin-Kemp, of Margate. 

Greenwich 1335, assumed name and irros of Ken 

heir to his uncle and mother 1868, by royal pat 

Kemp, heiress. Daniel Kemp, of Dover Si 
:e 3 June, 1799. Piccadilly, died in Hoila 

s-in-the-Fields, 1794 while serving as Sure 

i Brookes, hein 

1 Bishop Kemp, Lo 

i-KEMP, of Goodyers, Hendon, 
:mp by royal licence 1838, bur. . 
Kemps of Clitterhouse) 1368, u 

lisa Augusta Kei 
Dm 1772, bur. at 
Hendon 1776. 

1 wi'stm 

Frederick Brookes, 
bom 1802, died 1824, 
bur. at Wells Cathedra!. 

Merchant, of London. 

Frederick Hitchin-Kemp, of Catford, I 

1 Clymer.=Thomas Hitchin, of=EIi2a Golding. 
I London, bom 1845. widow of 

I daughter. Alison. 

i i 

Arthur Hitchin-Kemp, NeUie H.-K. 

lUda H.- 

Angela Winifred H.-K. 

Reginald Pym Hitchin-Kemp, 




INCLUDING as it does the great metropolis, little doubt will be entertained that at one time 
or another every Kempe family in England must have been represented there. We cannot, 
of course, in this section deal with every individual Kemp, Kempe or Campe who has made 
London his home, or conducted his profession or trade there ; nor would this be necessary, for in many 
cases due mention of such residence has appeared in the section of this work in which his family are 
considered. Like other Counties, Middlesex was evidently the home of many individuals of the 
name (and its variants) from a very early period, and it is difficult to say whether the Stephen 
Kempe who was fined for leaving the Court of King Stephen in 1 1 27 was then in London or at 
Winchester or other Royal City. As Prior of the Knights of Hospitalers, Amaldus de Campis and 
his successor Bertrand de Campis probably resided at St. John's, by Smithfield, close to which was the 
Hospital and Church of St. Bartholomew, of which one Rogerus de Kempele was Prior in 1 359 ; 
both the Knights Hospitalers and Bartholomew Hospital had property in and around Paddington 
and both had interests at Hendon and Tiburn. (Concerning the exact locale of which there has 
recently been much debate in Notes and Queries?) The latter, being partially within the present 
district of Paddington, was held by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, whose badge, the Lamb 
and Flag, surmount still the church at Hendon, which in early times was attached to them. A 
portion of Tiburn was, as we remarked in the Norfolk section, leased at about 1490 to the 
Blaverhauset family who thenceforward had a residence at Hampstead within the ancient parish 
of Hendon, and intermarrying with the Kempes of Norfolk seem to account for some of that family 
being connected with this immediate district. Before, however, the Blaverhausetts obtained 
possession of these Middlesex lands, we know that a Thomas Kempe of the Kentish family was 
appointed an Escheator to the King for the County of Middlesex ; this was about 1 389, at which 
time a William Campe held a messuage at Enfield, his inquisition being made in the I2th year of 
Richard II. In 1405 Simon Campe held land then worth £io in the manor of Tyburn, as is 
proved by the Middlesex Subsidy Roll of 6th Henry IV. Simon Campe, who was presumably this 
same individual, was Member of Parliament for Middlesex in 1413 and the following year, and it 
is likely that he was also the same who possessed land in the adjoining County of Buckinghamshire 
in 1429, where his name appears as Simon Kempe. In 1440 we find the first Simon Kempe as a 
landholder in Kent, and in 1442 the will of Simon Kempe alias Campe, of Tiburn, Middlesex, was 
proved in the Prerogative Court of London. Stow, in his " Survey of London," before the Great 
Fire, says that ancient tombs of Simon and John Kempe were then existing in the Church of Holy 
Trinity, otherwise called Christchurch, by Aldgate, while the probate calendar describes Simon 


26 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Campe as of Holy Trinity Priory. There was another Priory of that name at Kilburn, close 
to Hampstead, Tiburn and Willesden, where from about this date the Kempes of Middlesex certainly 
established themselves. 

Simon Campe's will is dated 2Sth August, 1442, and styles him " Esquire," a parishioner of 
St. Catherine's, near the Tower of London, and of Holy Trinity^ within Aldgate. He desires to be 
buried at the " High Cross " at Aldgate, and bequeaths sums to Holy Trinity Priory, the Church 
of St. Catherine, the several houses of the Friars of London and to the house of the Carthusians, 
as well as the Hospital of Bedlam. He directs that his Chaplain shall be provided with " means 
according to the exigency of his need," with instructions to the said Chaplain, "Master William," 
to pray for the repose of the souls of the testator and his wife Margaret. John Burgh, the elder, 
John Burgh, the younger, and William Reynold were appointed the executors to see these 
charities and trusts duly carried out. To his brother Robert he left a sum of money, and to his 
brother John funds to enable him to pass through College. The lands mentioned by the testator 
were situated at " Tiburn, Lilleston, Westburn, Charing, Gye and elsewhere in Middlesex." These 
were left in trust for the benefit of his wife. No children are mentioned, but it is possible that 
the lands were entailed, in which case it would not be necessary to bequeath them to his son 
and heir. 

Long, however, before this we trace Campes or Kempes to the district immediately around 
Willesden. In the Feet of Fines for Middlesex (printed by Hardy 6" Page) we have distinct evidence 
of individuals of these names holding land in the county, and although these records give but 
scattered information it wonld be reasonable to suppose that, from the earliest mention, 1331, 
the Kempes were men of some property around Uxbridge, which place stands on the border of 
this county and Buckinghamshire. Within the latter county some of the earliest known Kempes 
of Hendon certainly held property which may have been handed down to them. The Fine of 
1331 records that William le Fader, Robert Kempe and Matilda, his wife, were concerned with a 
messuage in " Woxebridge," while in 1520 a Walter Champyon (another recognized variant of 
the name of Kempe), who was a Citizen and Draper of London, held premises at " Woxebridge " 
and " Hillyndon," now called Uxbridge and HiUingdon. 

A few miles south of these places is Harmondsworth, whereat Richard Kempe was a land- 
holder in 1407, and is mentioned as such in a Fine made that year with Alan Wombe, clerk, 
William Ashe, Stephen Young and Matilda, the Litter's wife. Within the Diocese of London 
there was a clerk named Ralph Kempe, between 1422 and 1429, who seems to have gone to 
Harlow, Essex, as Vicar of that place ; about this time, as we have noted in the Kentish section, a 
Ralph Kempe witnessed a deed of his relative Peter Kempe, of Brabourne, and it is very likely that, 
as this Ralph is not traced in Kent, he is identical with this clergyman. And it is further 
likely that from him the name of Ralph was handed down to several generations of Middlesex 
Kempes. On the other hand we know of a later Ralph Kempe, of Gissing, who also disappeared 
from his native place and may have come through the influence of the Blaverhausets to Middlesex 
as subsequent events seem to indicate. Before his time, however, we know of two William 
Kempes of considerable standing in the county, the first was an Esquire whose estate was 
administered, on his decease, by a John Cowper, of London (a point maker), by virtue of a 
commission, issued 13th July, 1458, under the seal of the Archbishop, as recorded at Lambeth 
Palace. The second William Kempe was a Citizen and Fishmonger of London, and his estate 
was granted on 3rd October, 1461, to Agnes Kempe, his widow, John Payne and William 
Harding. (Lambeth Wills and Administrations.) The fact of the grants of administration being 
obtained at Lambeth may indicate that the lands which these early Kempes of Middlesex held 

Early Kempes and Campes of Middlesex. 27 

were part of the Episcopal estate of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and as John Kempe was the 
Archbishop and resident at Lambeth until within a few years of these grants it is extremely likely 
that he had admitted his own near kinsmen to the lands which he held in virtue of his position. 
He has been so constantly charged with nepotism that there can be little doubt that this was the 
actual case, and we suggest that it is probable one of these William Kempes was the father 
of the next Ralph Kempe known to Middlesex, and consequently founder of the Kempes of 
Marylebone and the earliest settlement of Kempes at Hampstead and Willesden. 

In the 4th year of Edward IV. (1465) David Kemp was concerned with lands at Islington with 
Thomas Clifford and William Underbill. From this time the name of David was closely associated 
with clerical Kempes around Middlesex and away in Cornwall, the latter being possibly attributable 
to quite a different origin — the St. David of Wales and Cornwall. 

In the extreme east borders of Middlesex undoubtedly the Essex Kempes held property from 
very early times, and before the middle of the sixteenth century they had tenements or interests in 
land at Hackney, and a little later at Tottenham, but of this see under the Kempes of Essex. 

Turning to the earliest Calendars of the Commissary Court of London we find that the will 
of Radulph Campe was proved in 1445 ; possibly this is a testament of that Ralph Kempe who 
we mentioned above as a cleric, which seems the more likely in that only three years before the 
wills of Simon and Margaret Camp were recorded in the same Court (as well as being proved in 
the Prerogative Court of Canterbury), as of Tiburn, Holy Trinity Priory, and other lands in 
Middlesex. Simon was a name frequently occurring before 1440 among Kentish Kempes, after 
which it disappeared in that county and continued in Middlesex, thus giving some further evidence 
in favour of the Kempes of the latter being akin to the former. 

Turning again to Commissary wills we find, in addition to the above Campes, the following 
Kempes in the Calendar, but unfortunately many of the original wills and the registers containing 
copies of them are now missing : Thomas Kempe, 1426 ; John Kempe, 1430 ; Stephen Kempe 
(see Kent), 1431 ; Richard Kempe, 1436 ; John Kempe, 1439 ; Richard Kempe, 1441 ; Robert 
Kempe, 1445 ; Thomas Kempe, 1464 ; Richard Kempe, 1462 ; Thomas Kempe (circa), 1466 ; 
Margaret Kempe, 15 10, and Alice Kempe about the same time. In the Prerogative Court of 
Canterbury the first Kempe of Middlesex without the alias of Campe is one Ralph Kempe, whose 
will was proved in 1477, he being a merchant of St. Michael's, Bassinghall, London, and of 
Bedfont, in Middlesex ; before however going into details of his family we may give a list of the 
earliest Kempes whose wills appear in the Calendars of the Consistory Court of London, which 
are as follows : — John Kempe, of Westminster, 1540-8 ; Thomas Kempe, between 1549 and 1559, 
and Ralph Kempe, between 1539 and 1559. The number of Campe and Kempe wills in the 
various Probate Courts under which the Middlesex lands were administered are sufficient to 
show that from very early times the name represented considerable people in the county, 
more particularly from the period at which John Kempe, Archbishop of Canterbury, and his 
nephew, Thomas, Bishop of London, held lands there. The latter, we know, instituted his 
relative William Kempe to the Prebends of Hoxton and Kentish Town (having their corps 
in this county), and presented him to the Rectory of Stepney so late as 1476- The Bishop 
was still living at the death of Ralph Kempe of London and Bedfont, and but for subsequent 
connexion of the Norfolk Kempes with the parish of St. Michael, Bassinghall, we should 
not doubt of this Ralph being distinctly near kin to the Bishop. Then, too, we have to notice 
that the later Kempes of this parish came through the influence of Sir James Yarford and 
the Greshams, and may have been but remotely, or totally, unconnected with this Ralph Kempe who 
was certainly buried there in 1477. The pedigrees of the families of Norfolk and Kentish Kempes, 

M 2 

28 History of the Kemp and Kempe Fajnilies. 

as duly noticed in their respective sections, still are unconnected so far as actual evidence can be 
found, but it seems possible that the connexion was far closer in the time of Archbishop Kempe than the 
pedigrees would lead one to suppose, for there was evidently friendly communication between the 
branches ; and the feet of Archbishop Kempe benefitting places in Norfolk may indicate that in 
the Norfolk Kempes he acknowledged the senior branch of his family : be this as it may, we will 
treat of the two Kempe lines who resided in St. Michael's parish in the same chapter, as from each 
doubtless some modern Kempes of Middlesex descended. 



WE now come to the consideration of the earliest pedigree which we have been able to 
form from the available records of Middlesex. 
Ralph Kempe, of the Parish of St. Michael's, Bassinghall, in the City of London, 
was a merchant in the woollen trade, then, undoubtedly, the most profitable of English industries. 
From his will, which alludes to garments of Ms own weaving^ it is evident that he manufactured 
the cloth as well as dealing with the raw material. From Kent, doubtless, he derived much of 
his wool, for then, as now, the county was particularly suitable for sheep farming, while the 
author of the " Scots of Scott's Hall " states his belief that a certain early Kempe, of Wye, 
described as a " scissor," was a merchant tailor akin to that celebrated Flemish weaver, John 
Kempe, who established the woollen cloth trade in England about 1331- We do not agree with 
this opinion as dates and records show that Kempes (or de Campis) were settled at Wye before 
the time of the weaver, nor do we think it likely that the name of the Kempes' seat at Wye, 
" Ollantigh," is derived from " Olla," meaning wool, and " tigh " a house, but it is at least 
interesting to notice how much the Kempes had to do with the woollen and weaving trade from 
the time of the Flemish settlement down to the last, and, indeed, the present century 

Ralph Kempe probably inherited his lands at Bedfont from one of the Kempes or Campes 
whose wills we have mentioned in the foregoing chapter, and it is evident from his own will that 
he held lands also at Twykenham, Feltham, and Houndslow as well as his residence and place of 
business in Bassinghall Street.* 

Ralph Kempe mentions in his will, dated 22nd October, 1 4-7T, Dame Katherine Burton, 
whose family had, about 1460, largely rebuilt the Church of St. Michael's, John Burton, a 
citizen and mercer of London, being then buried in the place of honour in the choir and his trade 
mark being carved on all the bosses of the roof in acknowledgment of his liberality. As usual at 
this period the testator (Ralph) left a considerable amount to religious institutions, hoping that the 

* It may not be unworthy of notice here that nearly opposite the present Wool Exchange, in the next street (Coleman Street), was 
until the Fire of London an old wool shop known as " The Woolpack," on the site of which, subsequent to the fire, a new house was erected ; 
this passed to the Kempes of Hendon, and the deed specifying that this property was on the site of the old " Woolpack " is still in possession 
of the head of the family (F. W. Hitchin-Kemp). This old building, although close to Bassinghall, stood within the parish of St. Stephen's, 
Coleman Street, of which the parishioners, as ordained by Bishop Thomas Kempe, elect their own Vicar. 

Kempes of St. Michael's, Bassinghall, l^c. 29 

various fraternities would " pray for the health of his soul." Among others he mentions as 
recipients of his charities Charterhouse, Austin Friars, Holy Trinity at Houndslow, and the 
Churches of Bedfont, Feltham, Twickenham and St. Michael's, directing that he should be buried 
in the Lady Chapel at the last named church. To his wife, according to the ancient custom of 
London, he left a third of his estate, and the remainder to his sons, John and Thomas Kempe, after 
legacies had been paid to his sister Ann, John and Florence Poynes, John Pothe or Potle, his 
cousin, Henry Bompstead, William Buxton, his cousin, Elizabeth Kempe, John Botiller and the 
Worshipful Sir Richard Pygot, Sergeant of Littleshull. 

The lands at Twickenham and Bedfont remained with his issue for some generations, as we 
shall see, and it is worthy of note that within a couple of miles from Twickenham, at Kingston- 
on-Thames, a William Kempe, of Westminster, held lands so early as 1 436, the original deed 
showing that he obtained it from a John atte Forde, being still preserved in the Record Office. 
"AtteForde," at such a date would be likely to represent one named John /zVz'w^ a^ the ford of 
the Brent" otherwise Brentford, which is a couple of miles north of Twickenham. Thus possibly 
William Kempe, of Westminster and Kingstone, was the William Kempe, Esquire, whose estate 
was administered in 1458, and he may have been father or kinsman of this Ralph Kempe, of 
London and Twickenham. Between the latter and Kingston lies Teddington, and there at a very 
early date it is claimed the ancestors of numerous Kempes long resident in the parish were 
settled ; if this is correct the ancestors must have been but humble folk, for we do not trace the 
name in the Subsidy Rolls, nor among the wills. From this stock the Kempes, who long held 
an inn on the river, descended, one of the family being now a well known optician in London. 
The tombs at Teddington bear witness to numerous Kemps who have been buried there in the 
last two centuries, and a long article saying that they were descendants of Danish " Kimpes '' 
appeared in a local newspaper a few years ago. 

In 1510, Margaret Kempe, of Isleworth (between Twickenham and Brentford), left or gave 
some cottages in that parish to the poor widows of the adjoining parish of Heston. Lysons says 
16 10, but this is clearly a mistake as seen from his remarks. These almshouses were doubtless 
founded under the will of Margaret Kempe, of Middlesex, which we have stated in the former 
chapter, was proved in or about 15 10. Three years later we find that a Ralph Kempe was 
appointed to the Vicarage of Feltham, and surmise that this presentation was then in the hands 
of the Kempes, for this vicar was a grandson of Ralph Kempe, of St. Michael's. (Perhaps it was 
he who was, in 1539, presented to the living of Oakely Parva, Essex, and died there 4th March, 


In 1531 Ralph Kempe, clerk, John Kempe, gentleman, and Giles Kempe, gentleman, paid 
a fine concerning two messuages called " Richmonds " and '" Hedgelands " and land in Twicken- 
ham, which further identifies this Vicar of Feltham with the others, while the same year another 
fine is recorded, the parties to the deed being John Kempe and Margaret, his wife, with Hugh 
Ellis, Henry Norres, Esq., Robert Norwych, Sergeant-at-Law, John Holden, clerk, Richard Heryng, 
clerk, and John Mores, concerning premises at Bedfont. Among the original deeds at the Record 
Office there is a grant by Ralph Kempe, Vicar of Feltham, son and heir of John Kempe, formerly 
of Twickenham, Esquire, to William Tyler, Knight, William Cowper, gentleman, John Holden, 
clerk, Thomas Stanard, Vicar of Twickenham, and John Crofton, Yeoman, " of a close in 
Twickenham called 'Andrew's merche.' " This is dated loth January, 18 Henry VIII., i.e., 
1527- It will be remembered that one, John Cowper, of London, was administrator to William 
Kempe, Esquire, in 1458, thus again pointing to the kinship of this Twickenham Kempe family 
with him. A still later occurrence of the two names together is found in the Close Rolls of 15 

30 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families 

Elizabeth (1573), John and William "Coper" being then concerned in transactions with a 
Thomas Kemp. Between Bedfont and Kingstone lies Hampton, it was there that Giles Kempe 
mentioned above resided in 1524, as shown by the existing Subsidy Roll, he, doubtless, deriving 
the property from the Twickenham Kempes. We find that a John Kempe left by will to his 
father^ Giles Kempe, in 1537, a sum of money, to his Aunt Alice another sum, while his estate 
at Kingston-on-Thames was to be enjoyed by his wife of the same name. This will describes the 
testator as a taylor, and was proved in the Archdeaconry Court of Surrey. The aunt mentioned 
died the same year, her will being recorded in the same register and it describes her as also of 
Kingston-on-Thames ; she, too, mentions Giles Kempe and friends named Frankys, Symonds, 
Warner, Sherwood, Hall, Buchard and Fox. 

In the Subsidy Rolls of Middlesex, 1524- (which are the earUest that give the names of the 
ratepayers), we find that at that date the Kempes were well scattered about the county, and that 
they held some position as regards respective wealth. In addition to Giles living at Hampton 
there was a Richard " Campe '' there who seems likely to be the Richard Kempe who died at 
Willesden in 1539 (of whom we shall speak in our next chapter), while at Hampstead at that date 
William Kempe heads the list, being rated at ^15 ; and George Kempe and Margaret Kempe, 
widow, are each rated at £\o as residents of that hamlet. Parts of this Subsidy Roll are missing, 
but in 1549 there is further evidence confirming these settlements of Kempes and showing that 
John Kempe, rated at ^20, was living in or near Kensmgton, William Kempe, rated at ^11, was 
at Paddington, Richard Kempe, rated at ^15, was at Willesden (second only to Sir Richard 
Read of that Parish), George Kempe was still rated at £\o at Hampstead, and James, living at 
Kentish town, was then assessed at £10 also. 

Of the latter we get a glimpse from the will of Mychell Kempe, dated at Kentish Town in 
1542 as a parishioner of St. Pancras. (Wherein the lands attached to the Prebend of the name 
lie and which had been enjoyed until about 1523 by William Kempe, the kinsman of Archbishop 
and Bishop Kempe.) The will is recorded in the Court of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, 
and subject to a provision for the testator's wife Agnes and small legacies, leaves all the estate to 
James Kempe, his brother. 

In 1564 Peter Kempe, gent., with Anthony Browne, Esquire ; Sir Walter Mildmay, Knight ; 
Sir Anthony Cooke, Knight, and Robert Wyngfeld were concerned with Sir William Cecil, 
Knight, in manors, lands, fo'c, in Lincoln, Northampton, Rutland, Hertford, and in the parishes 
of St. Clement Danes, St. Martin's, St. Margaret's, Westminster, Kentish Town and Enfield, in 
Middlesex. All these except Peter Kempe and Cecil appear as connected with the Kentish 
Kempes, and we think that this Peter Kempe must be the same as one of his name who was 
Steward to the first Lord Burleigh, but as to whose family connexions we are quite in the dark. 
No Peter occurs in the pedigrees of Kentish Kempes, but the name was in use soon after this date 
by the Slindon branch of that family, while it was also used by the Norfolk Kempes at a still 
later period. 

We must refer once again in this chaper to a later Subsidy Roll, that of 1563, in which we 
again find that the Kempes retained their positions at Marylebone, Hampstead and Willesden 
with Hendon, while James Kempe appears at Acton and a Peter and William Kempe at St. 
Katherine's, near the Tower, and that at Bedfont Richard Kempe is a landholder. Presumably 
it was this last named Richard who with John Kempe, Gent., was fined with a Thomas Dove for 
premises in which they were jointly interested at Staines, which is near Bedfont. Richard was 
buried at St. Michael's Bassinghall, as appears from the register in 1576, while probably John was 
the same as he who died at Hampstead in 1574 iyide Chapter III.) 

Kempes of St. Michael's^ Bassinghall^ ^c. 31 

Here we leave for the present this earhest Middlesex Kempe family to notice Edmund 
Kempe, a citizen and merchant of London who flourished before 1542. This Edmund was 
undoubtedly son of Robert Kempe, of Gissing, and formerly of Weston, Suffolk, his mother being 
Elizabeth, daughter of William Curzon, of Stunon, in Suffolk. In his pedigree in the Harleian 
MSS. (1154) he is stated to be " heire elect" to Robert, of Gissing, and in his will (1542) he 
mentions many of his relations from Norfolk. There can therefore be not the least doubt as to his 
parentage, yet by a blunder of several genealogists he is repeatedly shown as eldest son of one of 
the Kempes of Ollantigh, Kent, and the wish being evidently father to the thought, he has been 
claimed as founder of the Kempe family of Cornwall. Without a knowledge of exact dates there 
might be some apparent ground for such a claim, as this Edmund had a son as mentioned in his 
will named Humphrey Kempe, and that name was one of the early favourites among the Cornish 
family, but as will be seen in the notice of Kempes of Cornwall, the family was already established 
in that country when Edmund was an infant. Even admitting the claim that this Edmund was 
their progenitor their claim of direct descent from the Kentish Kempes must fail through this 
medium, at least Edmund Kempe was a prominent member of the Mercers' Company of London, 
who appointed him, in succession to Richard Gresham, Surveyor Accountant of St. Paul's School, 
which office he held from 1536 to 1537. In 1538 as a Mercer, rated at /40, he had to 
provide four suits of arms and armour for the protection of the City of London. He obtained 
lands at Acton and leave to erect a chapel there, in which perhaps he had intended to be buried, 
but finding that St. Michael's, Bassinghall, would afford him a more prominent burial place he 
was, at his request, buried beside Sir James Yardford, formerly Lord Mayor of London, connected 
with Emund Kempe through the latter marrying Bridget, daughter of Elizabeth Style, who 
married as her second husband the said Sir James Yardford or Yerford. In the register of St. 
Michael's it is recorded that Edmund Kempe was buried there on 2nd July, 1542, and that his 
wife, Bridget, was buried there on 7th April, 1540. 

Edmund Kempe's will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 1542 
(8 Spert), and is interesting as clearly stating many relationships and mentioning numerous 
influential London commercial friends, such for instance as his kinsmen Sir Richard Gresham, 
Knight, Sir John Gresham, Knight, and William Gresham, and his motherin-law, Lady Yarford. 
We cannot give all the names and bequests, but it is sufficient to mention that he speaks of his 
relatives Nicholas Rokewood, Cisily Melton and Humphry Style to identify him with the Norfolk 
and not the Kentish line. To his chapel at Acton he bequeaths a vestment that lyeth there, and 
" a table with six leves of the Passion of Chryste that standeth on the Aulter there." To his 
son, James Kempe (see above) he leaves his house and lands at Acton, and the rest of his leases in 
Middlesex he bequeaths to Humphrey Kempe, his younger son, with an annuity of £\o. 

It is noticed above that at this time (1542) a James Kempe was living at Kentish Town with 
a brother named Mychell, possibly the latter had been so named from being born in the parish 
of St. Michael's ; be this as it may the name was not (to our knowledge) handed down, and we 
find that James appears at Acton in the Subsidy Roll of 1563. In 1566 James Kempe, Gent., 
Anne, his wife, and their brother-in-law and sister, William and Margaret Dane, paid a fine for 
lands and premises in Acton, East Acton and Church Acton. This wife of James Kempe is 
shown on the pedigree above quoted as Anne, daughter of . . . Powell or Powle, " brother 
to him that was one of the six Clerks of Chancery," and we find from the marriage licenses that 
the marriage took place on 12th June 1544, two years after Edmund Kempe's death, the bride- 
groom being stated to be a "Gentleman of London." In 1556 James Kempe, Gentleman, 
John Garraway and Christopher Leyland were presented at the Court of the Countess of Bedford 

32 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

for keeping to pasture loo acres of land in Acton, which land, according to agreement, should 
have been sown four times within the last . . . years. 

No will of this James Kempe has been found, and the latest trace of him appears to be in 
1566 when perhaps he parted with his Middlesex property to seek his fortune elsewhere. We 
have searched the early registers of Acton and St. Michaels, Bassinghall, but do not find that 
James was buried at either of these places. At the latter church his grandmother, the Lady 
Yarford was buried beside her second husband in 1548, and many of her family (the Styles) were 
with the Greshams buried there also. Her son, Sir Humphrey Style, Knight, of Beckenham, 
Kent, made his will in 1552, and mentions therein the children of his late "brother Kempe," 
leaving black gowns and memorial rings to James Kempe and his wife, ^'■Humphrey Kempe and his 
hiswife,^'' Robert Rokewood and Bridget, his wife, and Ellis Wymarsh, all of whom belonged to 
the Norfolk Kempe family. This will affords us the only intimation that Humphrey Kempe was 
married, which event doubtless took place after that of James, and as no will of a Humphrey 
Kempe, of Middlesex, save that of Humphrey Kempe, of Hendon, has been traced one might be 
justified in believing that this younger son of Edmund Kempe, who inherited "other leases in 
Middlesex and an annuity of ^lo," was the founder of the Kempes of the parish of Hendon ; but 
with the pros and cons of this we will deal in our next chapter. 

James and Humphrey Kempe had a sister named Margaret Kempe, who married Aldeiman 
William Dane, sometime Mayor of London. This Margaret Kempe was a lady of the Court of 
Elizabeth, and bequeathed to that Queen ^20C for a necklace. Having no surviving issue and 
outliving her husband, she distributed her wealth to various City Companies. By her will, proved 
in 1579 (42 Bakon), she left ^2,000 to the Ironmongers' Company, of which her late husband was 
a member. This handsome bequest was the cause of a portrait of this benefactress being erected in 
that Company's hall, which remains to this day. The portrait is not considered a good painting 
and is now the worse for age ; it represents Margaret kneeling at an oratory with a book of prayers 
in her hands, she is dressed in a scarlet robe, a black hood and ruff and many jewels. Out of the 
sum left to the Ironmongers £10 per annum was appointed for the Universities of Oxford and 
Cambridge, and several hospitals and prisons were benefitted, but the most singular of the 
bequests was the annual distribution of 1,200 faggots between the poor of the twenty-four wards 
of the City of London. Margaret Kempe was married to William Dane at St. Michael's, Bassing- 
hall, on 22nd May, 1540, and desired to be buried at St. Mary Moyses in Friday Street, London, 
beside her husband. Her sister, Bridgett Kempe, married Robert Rokewood, of Stanningfield, 
Essex, and her other sister, Florence, was married to Robert Reice (Ap. Reis or Rice), who was 
of Preston, Suffolk. The last made his will in 1590. 

According to the pedigree in the Harleian Collection above quoted James Kempe, the elder 
son of Edmund, had a son, Powle Kempe, who was " slayne in fight upon the bridge over the 
River Scaulde in the siege of Antwerpe" in 1585, without having left issue. This Pawle had 
two sisters, Dorothy, married to John Master, Parson, of Blechinglee, Surrey, and Elizabeth, who 
married John Shute (Sute or Chute), a captain in the Army, who was born at Willington in 
Somerset. The pedigree would have us believe that this was the only issue, but the registers of 
Acton show that James Kempe had a son baptized John there on 20th October, 1553, that Pawle 
Kempe was baptized there on nth December, 1554, and that a second John Kempe ("son of 
James Kempe "), was baptized on 20th October, 1555. The registers further tell that a Humphrey 
Kempe^ son of ^ohn Kempe, was baptized there on 28th July, 1548, but it seems probable that 
John in this case is a slip for James, while it is likely that the daughter, born between 1548 and 
1553, was baptized in London. Neither of the John Kempes are traceable among the wills, nor 

Kempes of Paddtngton, Wilhsden and Hendon. 33 

can this Humphrey actually be shown to have reached manhood ; but the registers further record 
that in 1608 Margaret and Agnes Kempe were baptized at Acton, and that Henry Kempe (perhaps 
their father) was buried there on 17th May, 1616, and Anne Kempe was buried there in 1605, 
after which no Kempe occurs in the registers. 

It is possible that these Kempes of Acton had representatives later at Hampstead and 
Willesden, which were but six miles or so distant, but the evidence to hand, after considerable 
research, seems to point to these latter being from the first Kempes of St. Michael's and of 

It only remains to note in this chapter that in addition to the items above the following are 
recorded in the Registers of St. Michael, Bassinghall : 3rd November, 1541, Henry Kempe, the 
son of Stephen Kempe, baptized ; Elizabeth Kempe, baptized 23rd October, 1540 ; Margaret 
Kymp, widowe, buried 18th December, 1573 ; Rychard Kempe, son of Stephen Kempe, buried 
1576 ; Matthew Kempe, son of Stephen Kempe, buried 1576, and Richard Kampey, buried 14th 
February, 1581. i . -, 

CHqA'PTE^ 111. ,, . 


FROM the foregoing chapters it will be seen that Campes, otherwise Kempes, held land 
belonging to Tyburn Manors as early as 1442, from which time probably the Kempes 
continued to reside on a portion of that manor lying in the hamlet of Marylebone, within 
the parish of Paddington. Jane Blavershauseth, widow, whose son married Margaret 
Kempe, of the Suffolk Kempe family, obtained a lease of lands at Tyburn before 1500, but if this 
led to Richard Kempe, of Gissing, making his home near by while studying the law, it may still 
not indicate that the Kempes of Marylebone, afterwards of Hampstead and Willesden, were his 
near kin. 

It seems more likely that these were closely related to the earlier settlement of Kempes, first 
at Uxbridge and afterwards at Bedfont and Twickenham, mentioned in detail in the last chapter, 
although it is singular that the Styles who intermarried with Edmund Kempe, of the Suffolk 
family, also were of Uxbridge and Hampstead. 

At Hampstead three Kempes were the chief landholders in 1524 (the earliest date at which 
the Subsidy Rolls of Middlesex record the ratepayers' names). In this Roll Marylebone does not 
appear and consequently we are unable to say whether Kempes were there then ; if not they were 
certainly at that place and Paddington in 1546 and 1563- We thus can trace William Kempe 
at Hampstead as the chief resident in 1523, and assume that George Kempe, the second largest 
taxpayer, was his younger brother or son, while Margaret Kempe, widow, was probably the mother 
of William Kempe, and may reasonably be the daughter-in-law of Ralph Kempe, of Bedfont and 
London. Margaret, the wife of his eldest son John, was Hving in 1531, but it is hkely that he 
had another son of his own name who predeceased him. 

34 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

In 1538 Richard Kempe, of Wil(le)sden, made his will which was proved the following 
year in the Court of St. Paul's. The testator provides for the usual Masses for his soul and directs 
that he should be buried at Wil(le)sden. He provides an income for his wife Christian Kempe, 
and leaves his chief lands and leases to his eldest son William, who is rated as of Hendon in 1546 
at ;^I9. To his second son, Thomas Kempe, he leaves certain lands or equivalent value, as also to 
his third son Humphrey Ke.mpe. To his daughter Agnes Kempe he bequeaths such raiment as 
shall be necessary for her marriage ; the residue of his estate he leaves to his wife Christian and 
appoints as executors of his will his wife and WilHam Kempe, his eldest son, and as overseer, 
Robert Pumbe. The testator's curate, Thomas Hardy, and William Newland with others, were 

Of William, the eldest son, we have no will, but it was doubtless he who was rated at j^i9, 
and he is shown to have been living at Hendon in the Subsidy Roll of 1546- Widow Margaret 
Kempe. probably his relict, was living at Hendon in 1563, being then rated at _^20, and it is 
likely that it was she who made her will in 1597, being then a grandmother. This will was not 
proved until 1607 (Commis. of London XX., 11) and shows that the testatrix had property at 
Newport Pagnell, Bucks, as well as at Hendon. The former proverty she leaves to her " son " 
(? son-in-law) William Frankhn and his son, whose family long were people of importance in and 
around Willesden ; their pedigrees and arms being duly recorded in the Heraldic Visitation. One 
William Franklyn Hved to be 107 years of age and was buried at Willesden in 1628, this may 
reasonably have been the father of widow Kempe's son-in-law, and as will be seen by subsequent 
wills the Franklins and Kempes were long intimately associated. It may further be noted that 
the Franklyns of Norfolk had Middlesex property and may have been of the same stock as these of 
Middlesex and Buckinghamshire. As to the source of this Newport property held by Margaret 
Kempe we can only surmise that it may have been derived from the Annesleys of that town, for 
Henry Annesley married Dorothy, daughter of John Kempe of Twickenham, some time previous 
to 1570. Other landholders of Newport were the Mordaunts, one of whom married the last 
Kempe, Knight of Wye, and a Thomas Mansell, of Chicheley, who owned land at Newport as well 
as at Hulcote, Northampton, which may suggsst that he was connected with the Kempes, of 
Northampton, of Norfolk origin. 

Margaret Kempe mentions, in addition to the Franklyns, her son Robert Kempe and his 
daughters Elizabeth, Agnes and Dinah Kempe. This Robert does not appear in the local records, 
and we suggest that he was of Gilston, Herts. The testatrix further speaks of her servants Agnes 
Mery and Elizabeth White, also John Bethant and Thomas Hyngham, while Edward Pecock and 
Matthew Newman were witnesses. 

(Edward Peacock was a landholder living at Finchley and was connected with the Kempes 
of Croydon (of Norfolk origin) through intermarriage with the Finches.) 

Of Thomas Kempe, second son of Richard, of Willesden, we know little, but it is likely that 
he inherited property at Burnham (Bucks) and died 1544, for a will appears in the Prerogative 
Court of Canterbury in that year of a Thomas Kempe who bequeathed ground at Hedgley Hill, 
East Burnham Fields and " Sydnam " to Thomas God, and a carpet bearing his coat of arms to 
Thomas Kempe. with an annuity. The last-named Thomas died in 1560, and his will is also 
recorded (in the same Court) as of Burnham ; he leaves to his wife, Margret Kemp, and Thomas, 
his eldest son, his lease of the Manor of " Sixeham." He speaks of his brother Anthony Smith and 
his son John, while Humphrey Kempe is a witness to the will. This Humphrey Kempe we 
presume to be the third son of Richard Kempe, of Willesden. 

Humphrey Kempe, we are informed by the Clerk of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, took a 

Kempes of Paddington^ Willesden and Hendon. 35 

lease of the Manor of Clitterhouse (which Hes within the parish of Hendon and adjoins the present 
district of Cricklewood) in 1556- Clitterhouse Manor was given to the above hospital by a Walter 
Green in 1441, and we think it likely that it was this same Walter Green who shared with Simon 
Campe the duty of representing Middlesex in ParUament in 141 3. (See Chapter I.) 

Humphrey Kempe in his will, proved in 1610 (Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's), distinctly 
states that he has purchased a lease of Clitterhouse wherein he then dwelt, and had settled the 
reversion of this property on his surviving son Edward Kempe. His other leases and a silver cup 
passed to Humphrey Kempe, eldest son of WiUiam Kempe deceased, who was the testator's eldest 
son. The testator also leaves legacies to his third son John and his daughter Rose, the wife of 
Thomas Marsh. He further mentions his maid Margaret " Bayle," William Huddle and Hugh 
Presswell, and makes John Hall, of London (notary), and William FrankHn, of Hendon, his 
executors. We must not here follow each of the junior lines, nor the issue (if any) of Humphrey 
Kempe, the grandson, mentioned in the above will. Edward Kemp, the second but eldest 
surviving son, duly succeeded to Clitterhouse, for we find a singular mention of him in the 
Middlesex Session Rolls of the same year, it is as follows : 

" 7 February, 7 James I. 
" True bill that at Hendon, in the night of the said day, George Newman alias Dorche, late of London, yeoman, Joan 
Elliott, late of London, yeoman, broke burglariously into the house of EDWARD Kempe, and stole therefrom a woman's 
violet coloured gown worth forty shillings and many other articles of personal raiment, particularly mentioned and described 
in the bill of adictment, of the goods and chattels of the said Edward Kempe. George Newman alias Dorche, and Henry 
Courte were at large. Henry Elliott put himself not guilty, and was acquitted. Joan Elliott stood mute— Ideo h'et judicin 
pene fort et dure. (For that reason she was condemned to the punishment ' forte et dure.') " See " History of Hendon." 

The punishment consisted of the culprit being laid naked on his back in a dark chamber, 
under as great a weight of iron as he could support, until he died from the pressure, his only 
sustenance being three morsels of the worst bread and draughts of putrid water on alternate days ! 

The Hendon Parish Registers are missing until 1656, it is thought they were taken away by 
the Vicar, Francis Wareham, who went to Little Hadham, Herts, about that date. Curiously a 
branch of the Norfolk Kempes had previously established themselves at that place and the author 
of the " History of Hendon " surmises that the Kempes of Hendon were descended from them, as 
(according to him) the two Kempe families bore the same arms. The author however states 
elsewhere that the Hendon Kempes used for their arms " Sable, three garbs or," while the arms of 
the Kempes of Little Hadham, in the Visitation of Middlesex, from which he presumably took 
their pedigree, clearly shows the others' arms as. Gules, three garbs or within a bordure engrailed 
on the last. 

But to return to the missing registers, — we much regret their loss, for it is evident from the 
Subsidy Rolls that the Kempes were at Hendon from the institution of Parish Registers (1539), 
and as the Kempes do not appear in the registers of Hampstead until 1565, and in those of 
Willesden till 1572, the earlier baptisms, marriages and burials of the family were undoubtedly 
recorded at Hendon.. 

Margaret Kempe, widow above mentioned, expressed a desire in her will to be buried at 
Hendon, and Humphrey Kempe, of Chtterhouse, and his descendants also direct that they should 
be buried there, although in the wills down to 1649 they do not omit to mention the poor of 
Willesden and Hampstead as recipients of their charities ; hence we may reason that from before 
1556, when Humphrey took " Clitterhouse," the Kempes of this neighbourhood considered Hendon 
their chief residential parish. At the time Humphrey obtained his lease Sir William Herbert, 
Knight, ancestor of the Earls of Pembroke and Lords Powis, held the Manor of Hendon, it having 
been formerly the property of the Bishop of Westminster and granted to Sir William Herbert by 

36 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

Edward VI. in 1550 ; this manor did not include that of Clitterhouse, but adjoined it, thus 
doubtless, although inferior in station, the Kempes of Clitterhouse must have been familiar with 
the Lords of the neighbouring manor. Lord Powis, son of the above Sir William Herbert, was 
buried at Hendon in 1655. When then we find that, in 1572, a Mr. John Kempe obtained a 
licence to marry " The Lady Herbert, commonly known as Grace Herbert," we must surmise that 
Grace Herbert was closely related to these Herberts of Hendon. However we have failed to 
identify either this Grace Herbert with any on the Herbert pedigree, and cannot certainly say 
which John Kempe it was who married her ladyship. It would be reasonable to think that if she 
had a daughter or grand-daughters her Christian name would be passed to them, hence we seek for 
Grace Kempes. We find that John Kempe, a noted preacher and ''the Parson of Freshwater," in 
the Isle of Wight, speaks of his daughter Grace in his will dated 1587, and as he also mentions a son 
John, it is likely that Grace was his daughter-in-law and identical with Grace Herbert ; when too 
we find that Caleb Kemp, of Totteridge, in his will of 1638, identifies himself as grandson of this 
Parson John Kempe, we may further reason that John Kempe's family, although holding property 
in Surrey, were akin to those of Hendon. 

Caleb Kempe speaks of his " mother. Mistress Phoebe Cooke," who was by birth a Lister, Oi 
Yorkshire, and was married first to the Rev. Caleb Kempe, son of Parson John Kempe and Rector 
of Bradford, in Yorkshire, and second to one named Cooke. Caleb, the younger, married Rose, 
daughter of John Rippin, of Totteridge, both these being alive in 1638, as well as Caleb's brother 
John Kempe and his "cousins" Moses and Mary Jenkins. As to these "cousins" it is at least 
singular that Edward Kempe, of Clitterhouse, speaks in his will (dated 1647) of Richard Jennings* 
and Parnell his wife, thus making it doubtful whether in this case Jenkins and Jennings represented 
the same family. Caleb Kempe's brother John probably succeeded his father as Vicar of Bradford, 
for one of his name held that living. 

Edward Kempe, of Chtterhouse, must have died in 1648 or 1649, his will having been 
dated in the former and proved in the latter year. It is recorded in the Prerogative Court of 
Canterbury (184 Fairfax) and provides an annuity for his wife Ellin and bequeaths to her the use 
of his furniture and household effects. To his son Thomas he leaves his lease of Clitterhouse and 
his other lands, and legacies to the four children of this son at their respective ages of sixteen. 
To his daughter Rose, the wife of Henry Budder, and to his sister Rose Marsh he leaves sums of 
money, and makes his " loving friend " William Franklyn, the elder, of Brent Street^ Hendon, his 
overseer, and his son Thomas, executor. 

This is the first mention of " Brent Street," the property in which soon passed to the Kempes 
and is still retained by the head of the family, but from the title deeds of this estate it is clear that 
" Goodyers," in Brent Street, with the fields (just converted to Hendon recreation grounds) were 
long before this occupied 'oy one Margaret Kempe who married in 1624 a John East, at St. Mary, 
Aldermanbury — John East being the son of John East, of Goodyers, who was living there in the 
43rd year of Elizabeth. Their posterity sold it to Daniel Kempe, of Clitterhouse, in 1691, from 
whom it has descended to the present generation. 

We may here digress a moment to speak of a Kempe, of St. Mary, Aldermanbury, with whom 
Margaret Kempe was doubtless connected. This parish is in the heart of the City of London, and 
was in the reign of Elizabeth the parish most frequented by the Shakesperian actors, indeed it is in 
this parish churchyard that a monument has recently been erected to commemorate them • when 

♦ It will be found in the Kentish section that an Ann Kempe had just prior to this married a JcriiK, of Norfolk, while some named 
Jennings were related to the Kempes of Antingham through the latter's intermarriage with Calthorps. The spelling, even at this date, being 
far from uniform we cannot determine how each of these were related to one another. 

Kempes of Paddington^ WiUesden and Hendon. 37 

therefore we find (from the Feet of Fines) that a WilHam Kempe held a house in this parish in 
1584, we have reason to beheve that the actor of that name was resident here until that year, he 
then selling his house and removing with his brother actors to Southwark, where we find, from 
the " Sacramental Token Book " of St. Saviour's, that he resided in 1600 and 1602, Peter 
Hemings and Kobert Nashe appearing on the same list. Some of the name of Hemming were 
certainly related to Kempes at this time, for the estate of Joanna Kempe, of St. Peter, in Chepe, 
was granted to Eose Hemming by the Archdeaconry Court of London in 1564, Rose being her 
next of kin, probably her daughter. While those of the name of Hall were as certainly connected 
with Shakespeare himself, as well as the Kempes of Acton and Hendon ; thus it seems likely 
that William Kempe, the comedian, actor, author and celebrated dancer, was of the family 
of Hendon Kempes, and we may thus recount in this section what is known or surmised of 
his work. 

The Camden Society reprinted and published, in 1840, his book entitled, " Kemp's Nine Dales 
Wonder," andaddedtoitveryample introduction and notes, v^\vi[& IS otes and Queries, the Gentleman^ s 
Magazine and the " Biographical Dictionaries " have frequently added or questioned Malone's 
account of him. It is generally stated that he died between 1603 and 1607, aged about fifty-four. 
It is said that the cause of his death was a wound received from a rapier accidently inflicted while 
acting at the Globe Theatre, but others believe that he died abroad while on a theatrical tour. 
In support of the first theory an item in the Burial Register of St. Saviour's, Southwark, has been 
put forward as evidence ; it reads : 

" 1603, November 2nd William Kempe, a man," (buried) 

If this indeed was the celebrated actor, it is strange that his profession should not have been 
mentioned in place of merely "a man," but the date and the fact of his having been a communicant 
at St. Saviour's, favours the belief of this oeing the actor. And he may be that William to whom 
Humphrey Kempe, of Hendon, alludes in his will, dated 1609, as "my late son William Kempe." 
If this last conjecture is accepted it will be further evident that the actor had a son William Hving 
in 1609, as well as other children. Perhaps it was this William, the younger, who was married 
at St. Bartholomew's-the-Less to Annis Howard on loth February, 1605-6. (One John Howard 
is mentioned in the will of Sir Nicholas Kempe, of Finchley and London, in 1624.) The actor 
attracted much attention in 1599 by dancing from London to Norwich, and to repudiate 
exaggerated accounts of this exploit he published, in 1600, his book " Kempe's Nine Dales Wonder." 
Many other Jigs and plays, as well as educational books, have been attributed to him, but in the 
" Nine Days Wonder " he declares that this is his first publication, hence it is very doubtful if 
many books bearing his name were actually his production. It is however likely that he had some 
hand in the writing of several plays popular at the Court of Elizabeth, at which he was a welcome 
guest. From the fact that many Norfolk Kempes were at the Court of this Queen and that he 
selected Norwich (near which the head of the family was seated) as the goal of this Morris Dance, 
it has been reasonably stated that the actor was some connexion of the Kempes of Norfolk ; 
certainly the welcome accorded to him by the officials of Norwich on that occasion was due chiefly 
to his name as Shakespeare's comedian, but it is likely also that he was known as a member of the 
local family of Kempes. 

He dedicated his "Nine Dales Wonder" to " Mistris Anne Fitton, Mayde of Honour to . . . 
Queen Elizabeth," who was undoubtedly acquainted with Margaret Dane, a Lady of Queen Bess's 
train and a grand-daughter of Robert Kempe, of Gissing ; thus, if not related to those of Gissing, 
he was at least known to some of them. Roger Weld was the Mayor of Norwich when the Civic 

38 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

Officials went out in State from that City to meet "Will. Kempe," the actor, being presented with 
the following lines : ■ 

" W With hart, and hand, among the rest, : , . . 

. ' , E Especially you welcome are : 

L Long looked for as welcome guest, 

C Come now at last you be from farre. ' ■ • ._, 

O Of most within the Citty, sure, 
M Many good wishes you haue had ; 
E Each one did pray you might endure, 

W With courage good the match you made. * 

I Intend they did with gladsome hearts, 
L Like your well willers, you to meete : 
K Know you also they'l doe their parts, 
E Eyther in field or house to greete 
M More you than any with you came, 
P Procur'd thereto with tromp and fame. 

your well-wilier, 
T. G." 

(T. G. was Thomas Gilbert, who had been selected by the citizens to express their welcome ; 
possibly the Mayor, Roger Weld, was related to a " Mrs. Weld " mentioned in the will of Caleb 
Kempe, of Totteridge.) 

In '' Hazlitt's Handbook to his Bibliographical Collections " the following are attributed to 
William Kempe : "A Dutiful Invective," 1587 ; ''Education of Children in Learning," 15^8; "A 
Translation of Peter Rannee's Arithmatic," 1592 ; " New Jigge between a soldier, a miser and 
Sam, the Clown," 1595 ; "New Jigge of the Kitchin-stuffe-woman," 1595 ; "New Jigge of the 
Broomeman," 1594-5, and the above " Nine Dales Wonder " in i 600. Of the second and third of 
these we believe William Kempe, of Plymouth, a schoolmaster, to be the author (see Cornish 
section) between whom and the actor there appears to be no connexion. 

CHcA'PTETi rv. 


WE shall continue the line of the Kempes of Clitterhouse, but for chronological reasons 
we must go back to the earliest mentions of Kempes in the registers and wills of 
Willesden and Hampstead. 
The very first mention of a Kempe in the Hampstead parish books is in 1566 when appears 
the marriage of Richard Kempe (of Ipswich and Gissing), with Alice Cockerham, whose father, 
Phillip Cockerham, was a resident of this parish ; in the following year (1567) their eldest son, and 
ancestor to the Kempe Baronets, was baptized there. 

Four years earlier than this baptism, however, it appears from the Subsidy Roll that a John 
Kempe was resident at Hampstead ; he certainly was there until 1574, in which year he made his 
will, which was witnessed by the above Phillip Cockerham and by Joyce " Cockram " From this 

Kempes of Hendon, Hampstead and Finchley. 39 

one might infer very close relationship between Richard Kempe, of Gissing, and John Kempe, of 
Hampstead, but from our investigations it seems that at least two generations before the ancestors 
of John Kempe were at Marhbone and Hampstead. 

In the Subsidy Roll of 1546 John Kempe, of " Marybone," was rated at /18, and the same 
individual appears also in the Subsidy of 1563 at the same place. He died the following year, 
and his will was proved in the Commissary Court of London in 1564- By it he bequeathed to 
his wife, Sybbell, his household goods and a sum of money, and to his son, William Kempe, he 
bequeathed his land so soon as he attained twenty-one years. William Bowington and Robert 
Westerfield were appointed executors, and the testator desired to be buried at " Maribone " by his 
seat in the church. He provided funds for the mending of the highways between Kilboiirne 
Bridge and Paddington, and for alms to the poor of the latter place as well as other legacies. 
The witnesses were James Powel, Harry Wrench, Nicholas Brayfford, Moyses Tisdalle, John 
Crosse, John Prue and Edward Ellet.) The will is chiefly important as mentioning ground at 
" Wilsden Grene," " where Bankes dwelleth "—which Sybbell was to enjoy for life, thence 
reverting to the testator's son or his issue— thus showing the connexion between the Kempes of 
Marylebone and Paddington with those of Willesden. 

In 1574, as we have said, John Kempe, of Hampstead, made his will, which is recorded in 
the same court as the above. This testator desired to be buried at Hampstead, and left his 
domiciliary house to his wife Joane, with the land adjoining, for her life, after which it was to 
devolve upon John Bradley, his daughter's son, or in the event of her issue failing to William 
Kempe, of Marybone, whose relationship to the testator is not stated. This John Kempe 
provided for the mending of the ways between Dolefield Grene and Figg Lane, from which fact it 
seems evident that his property at Hendon was reached by this lane and may have been " Dolles," 
which has since belonged to the Hendon family. 

William Kempe, of " Marylebone," evidently he who is referred to in both the foregoing, 
dated his will 27th April, 1592, and it was duly proved by his mother (who had remarried to one 
named Parker) on 12th June following in the Commissary Court. He bequeathed his property 
at Hampstead to his wife Frances, and all the rest of his lands and tenements to his son John 
Kempe, his residuary estate being equally divided between his son, William Kempe, and his 
daughters, subject only to legacies to his cousin, Susan Kerrott, his servant, John Tailor, and to 
John Thorne and Walter Clarke, Sibell Mathen and Joan Ware. The testator left his lands at 
" Wilsden " to his father-in-law, Henry Pyke and Anthonie Nicoll, in trust for his younger 
children, William and the daughters being still minors. This will draws together the lands at 
Marylebone, Hampstead and Willesden, and makes it apparent that the Kempes of these parishes 
were of the same stock as those of Hendon. 

The Hampstead line continued down to the end of the seventeenth century as will be seen 
by the pedigree, but we need not support every step in this with quotations from the numerous 
wills and extracts from the registers (which we have duly and carefuly searched), for the family 
after entering the City Hfe of London appear to have been influenced by the success of their 
remote kinsmen in Virginia, and selling their property here emigrated. It is doubtful if any 
Kempes from this line (Hampstead) are now Hving, but we shall be glad to furnish further 
information as to the records of Hampstead Kempes to any who can lay claim to lineal descent. 

As we have mentioned in the first chapter, the earliest Subsidy Roll to show the names of 
ratepayers at Hampstead is that of 1523, on which William Kempe heads the list, George 
Kempe being second, and Margaret Kempe, widow, the third in ratable value in this parish. 
George Kempe appears there in both the Subsidies of 1546 and 1549, after which probably he 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

moved to Finchley, but three miles distant, for we find tnat George Kempe and his wife Joan 
were concerned with Thomas Dobbys and Isabelle Harryett, widow, in paying a fine in 1553 for 
premises in " Fincheley." Perhaps it was this same George who was of Edmonton and Northawe 
in 1593, but as " Widow Kempe " was buried at Finchley in 1569, it is Hkely that George, of 
Northawe, was son to this couple. We have searched the Registers of Finchley but do not find 
any further Kempe item, although we know that Nicholas Kempe (afterwards Knighted) was 
living at this place in 1606 as evidenced by his deed, now in our hands, to which his signature 
and seal are attached. The seal is quite perfect and shows his arms as three sheaves within a 
bordiire engrailed^ similar in detail to one used on the deeds of the Kempes of Norfolk at this 

date. Singularly, although Sir Nicholas 
Kempe was a very prominent judge and 
active in many capacities around London, 
his parentage is not known, the only clue 
to his connexions with Kempes being his 
location at Finchley, and the mention in 
his will (P.C.C, 74 Bryde) of a Ralph Kempe, 
of Winchcombe. Those who have a general 
knowledge of Kempe pedigrees would be 
disposed to connect him with Cornwall, 
for the name of Nicholas was long in use 
among that family, but the record of wills at 
Ipswich show that many Nicholas Kempes 
were resident in Suffolk before 1650, and 
were doubtless of the same family as the 
Gissing Baronets who came from that county. 
When we turn to the name of Ralph v/e find 
it first at Kent as the claimed founder of the 
Kempes of Wye, second at Norfolk, about 
1480, and third in Middlesex as mentioned 
in the first chapter. Winchcombe Registers 
have been examined by the present incum- 
bent, but although we have some details of 
the Kempes of that place, including three 
named Ralph, no Nicholas appears, and it 
is open to conjecture as to whether those 
Kempes went from Middlesex or whether 
Sir Nicholas came from that place. We are incHned to think that the former is most hkely, as it 
is on record that Ralph at least was married at St. Bartholomew's-the-Great (London) before he 
settled at Winchcombe, while many of the Middlesex Kempes, including those of Hendon, were 
connected with both the St. Bartholomew's, of West Smithfield, as well as the hospital of that name. 
There is, however, another connexion of Sir Nicholas Kempe which may help to determine 
his exact relationship with other Kempes. He is recorded to have been Steward of St. Albans, 
and patron of Gilston, Herts. At the former there was an earlier Kempe in the same office, while 
soon after the death of Sir Nicholas there was a wealthy Joseph Kempe, a schoolmaster, who 
bequeathed his house called " Beggin " for an almshouse for the poor of Hitchin, for which 
purpose it still serves. His will mentions several persons connected with the Kempes of 

Signature and Seal of Sir Nicholas Kempe, Knight, 1606. 

Kempes of Hendon^ Hampstead and Finchley. 


Winchcombe. At Gilstone, according to the registers, in 1647, " Robert Kempe ye clerke 
aged neere a hundred years was buried Octob. 3." This may give rise to the question was this 
the "son Robert " mentioned by Widow Margaret Kempe, of Hendon. in her will of 1597-1607 ? 

Later on Sir Nicholas was made Steward of the Episcopal Manors of Fulham, which office he 
held for a considerable time, during which Francis Kempe, a descendant of Norfolk Kempes, 
settled at Fulham. (See Chapter VIII.) 

Nicholas was knighted by James I. at Theobald's Park on 3rd October, 16 17, and was a 
Justice of the Peace for Middlesex from that time until his death, which occurred in his seventy- 
fourth year — 1624. He had married 
first Cisily Kester at St. Dunston's-in- 
the-West, on 24th January, 1577, but 
she left apparently no surviving issue 
and died in June, 1617, being buried in 
Islington Church near the vault of the 
East family. His second wife was Sarah, 
daughter of Roger James, of Holland 
(Essex), and widow of Thomas Draper, 
of Lincoln's Inn. She had by her first 
husband several children, but none by 
Sir Nicholas Kempe, who consequently 
left much of his property to the before- 
mentioned Ralph Kempe, of Winch- 
combe, while to the University of Oxford 
he bequeathed jr2,ooo. To his alms- 
houses at Guildford he left ^^500, and 
plate to the value of £S'^o to the co- 
founder, George Abbott, Archbishop of 
Canterbury ; to the repair of St. Paul's 
Cathedral, ^200, and for the repair of 
the highway between Islington and 
Stroud Green he also provided, as well 
as for charity to the poor of Islington 
and St. Sepulchres. To his wife he gave 
his coaches and horses, all his property 
at Islington and Stroud Green and his 
household effects, and he gave to his 

"antient" servant, Anthony Rigby, his windmill at St. Margaret's Hill, Southwark, and his houses 
in the Parish of St. Andrew's, Holborn, It is in reference to the purchase of this same windmill 
that the deed of 1606 mentioned above was executed, thus identifying Sir Nicholas with Finchley. 

Sir Nicholas was chiefly identified as the co-founder with Archbishop Abbot of the Trinity 
Almhouses at Guildford, at which his portrait and that of Abbott still hang. This hospital is of 
much better proportions than the average almshouses of the period, and the chief rooms are so 
well preserved and the carving so handsome that every Kempe tourist to Guildford should seek 
admission ; we must not, however, devote space to describe in detail this still effective foundation. 
We reproduce the portrait of Sir Nicholas, which Miss Lucy Kemp-Welch has specially drawn 
for this purpose from our photograph of the original painting, which, unfortunately, has been 
damaged by unskilful varnishing. N 

Sir Nicholas Kempe, Knight, 1554-1624. 

Specially drawn for this History by Miss Lucy Kemp-Welch, after 

the original painting at Trinity Almshouses, Guildford. 

42 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

CHqA'PTE% T). 


IN Chapter III. we showed as far as possible how the Kempes settled at Clitterhouse in 1556, 
and brought down the record of that family to 1649, when Edward Kempe left a wife named 
Ellen and a son called Thomas, who had at that time four children living. His sister, Rose 
Marsh, widow of William Marsh, an official of the Lord Mayor's Court, was also Hving, and seems 
to have left a daughter-in-law of her name, for it can hardly be she who made her will in 1711, 
mentioning her son, Thomas Marsh, her grandchildren, John Nicholl, John Sutton and Ann 
Rippin, yet these names are clearly relatives of the Kempes. 

Thom.-\s Kempe, the son of Edward, was a "Head-borough " for Hendon (North) in 1633, 
and doubtless held office later, but the records are missing from 1647 until 1679 when his son 
Thomas held that position. Thomas, the elder, lived still at Clitterhouse, and it seems he had 
secured the adjoining land and house known as Cricklewood. He died in 1667, his will being 
dated in April and proved in December that year (P.C.C, 170 Carr). By it he settled Clitterhouse 
upon his son Edward, with all the stores and cattle there, while he left Cricklewood to his second 
son Thomas. To his third son, Daniel Kempe, he left land in '' Wilsden " called " ffeasant field " 
and a house and land called Burrows Close in Hendon. He also left legacies to his daughters, 
Elizabeth and Alice Kempe, and the residuary estate to his wife Alice. This wife was sister to 
John and George Brent, but her father's name does not appear in the will ; she lived until 1681 
at Finchley, where she dated her will 9th April, 1679. This will is full of details conclusively 
showing the various relationships set forth on the pedigree we submit, mentioning her grand- 
children WilHam, Elizabeth and Jane Atley, and John and Christopher, sons of her daughter 
Alice, who had married John Sutton. She speaks of her sons Thomas and Daniel, but 
Thomas as well as Edward predeceased her. John Sutton was appointed executor, and George 
Brent and Daniel Kempe overseers. Like the majority of women's wills this enumerates minutely 
pieces of jewellery and other personal effects bestowed upon various friends and relatives, but it 
does not omit the poor of Hendon, and desires that Mr. Staysmore should preach her funeral 

It is probable that Edward Kempe was appointed one of the " Constables " for Hendon in 
I 674, and that it was in virtue of his office that he took a prominent part in the exciting chase 
after a "notorious gang of highwaymen," whose career made a lasting impression on the com- 
munity. Two or more books published at the time commemorate this event, one being called 
" Jackson's Recantation : or the Life and Death of the Notorious Highwayman," and the other 
" The Confession of Four Highwaymen," from which it appears that having been a terror on the 
main roads round London for some years the gang had grown sd bold that they often appeared in 
broad daylight in the smaller towns ; it was so on the i8th March, 1674, they having robbed the 
Windsor Coach on Hounslow Heath only two days previously, they yet had the audacity to stop 
two coaches in Bedford Lane, near Staines, about noon ; expecting to be quicky followed they 
made off over the fields to Acton, thence to Harrow-on-Hill, where news of their approach had 
caused some forty or fifty people to assemble armed with guns. Thus they turned, rode to 
Paddington, thence through Kilburn to Hendon, being followed all the way by such as could keep 
pace with them. At Hendon their progress was checked by Edward Kempe and others, and 

Kempes of Clitterhouse, Hendon. 43 

being brought to bay they emptied their pistols at the httle band, a shot lodging in the breast of 
Edward. During the pause caused by this the brigands got away, but were stopped finally at 
Hampstead, where after due trial Francis Jackson was hanged in chains on the Heath for the 
murder of Edward Kempe and one Henry Miller. His gibbet is said to form the mantel shelf at 
" Jack Straw's Castle." 

Edward Kempe evidently had time to make a fresh will, but he died within a few days of his 
wound ; for the Register at Hendon records that he was buried there on the 26th March, 1 674. 
His will was proved in the Commissary Court on the 17th April following by his brother, Thomas 
Kempe, to whom he bequeathed CHlterhouse and other lands subject to the payment of /500 to 
his younger brother Daniel ; and / 100 to Elizabeth Atley's four children, and / 100 to his sister. 
Alice Sutton, and the residue of his effects to his mother and brother, Thomas Kempe, jointly. 
The will mentions also his cousin, Henry Budder, his relatives Andrew and George Brent and 
Daniel Brown. It is evident that Edward left no issue nor widow, and that his brother duly 
inherited the property. 

This brother, Thomas Kempk, however, died the same year, his will being registered in the 
same book as Edward's. Tt is dated at Hendon, 29th November, 1674, and was proved by his 
widow, Ellin Kempe, on the following i8th of December. To his brother, Daniel Kempe, he 
bequeathed Clitterhouse, mentioning that the sum of /Soo bequeathed by Edward was stiU due 
to this younger brother, to his sisters, Atley and Sutton, the legacies were also due, and subject 
to the payment of these his residuary estate including Cricklewood was left to his wife and son. 

It is clear that in 1674 Thomas, the son, was still a minor, as his mother was to hold his 
portion of the estate in trust ; when he was born is not certain, but his father as a second son 
seems to have settled in business in Newgate Street, London. Possibly his wife was by birth 
Taylor, for a marriage licence was issued by the Court of Faculties on 20th September, 1669, for 
Thomas Kempe and Ellenor Taylor. If this was the Hendon couple the son Thomas could only 
be a child of five or so when his father died, unless by a previous wife, but he married by licence 
Mary Noble in May, 1691, by which time he was most Ukely just twenty-one. In April the following 
year his first child, Mary, was baptized at Christ Church, Newgate, and an infant son, Joseph, was 
buried there in 1693. After this date, and before 1697, Thomas Kempe became an officer 
stationed at the Tower of London, where his family remained just 100 years. His eldest surviving , 
son John Avas baptised at St. Peter ad Vincula, in the Tower in 1697, and the other children, viz., 
Thomas. Daniel, Ellen, Elizabeth, Noble and Mary were all born or baptized in the precincts, 
while Mary, his first wife, was buried at St. Peter's on 2nd April, 1727- 

It is evident from his will that Major Thomas Kempe, of the Tower, married a second wife named 
Mary, who was daughter of John Braint (or Brent), of Hendon, doubtless related to the other 
Brents mentioned in the previous wills ; by this wife, however, he left no issue. Noble Kempe 
was buried at Hampstead on 8th January, 1701, but the other children all attained a good age, as 
we shall record. Thomas Kempe was Quartermaster at the Tower from 1699, and lent consider- 
able sums to officers. We find him as Major of the Tower Hamlets Militia in 17 12 and as Quarter- 
master at the Tower in the Army List of 1722, and in the Treasury Papers of 1725 and 1726 
several references are made to the petition of Quartermaster Thomas Kemp of the Tower, who 
appeals for the annexation of the estate of Brigadier Munden, to whom he had lent /i,7oo. 
Brigadier Richard Munden was the officer selected to receive the surrender of the " Six Rebel 
Lords," and was an important witness at the State trial of them in 171 6, for which services he 
was probably appointed Out-Ranger of Windsor Forest, holding which office he died on 19th 
September, 1725, in debt to Thomas Kempe. The Lords of the Treasury granted his estate to 

N 2 

44 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Thomas Kempe until the debt was satisfied, and it seems that Thomas Kempe, was selected to 
succeed Munden in the office of Out-Ranger, but he died suddenly in the following year at the Tower, 
and consequently John Short, from the Tower, was appointed to Windsor. The will of Major 
Thomas Kemp merely describes him as Thomas Kemp, of the Tower of London, Gent.; it is dated 
5th September, 1716, and was proved (P.C.C, 16 Brook) by his wife Mary on 20th January, 1727. 
The testator mentions each of his six surviving children, leaving his Cricklewood property to John, 
the eldest son, with land also at Willesden, all of which was let and occupied by tenants of the 
Kempes. To the other children sums of money were left, the residue of the estate being settled 
upon his widow for life and reverting to Thomas, the second son. No will of the widow was necessary, 
nor has one been found ; she was buried in St. Peter's ad Vincula on the 12th of March, 1763. 

John Kempe, the eldest son, had married a wife named Katharine, whose arms as impaled on 
his tomb at Hendon, claim her as a Walker, of London, but she seems to have been either a 
daughter or widow of Jones, of Walthamstow. She was buried in a railed vault at Hendon in 
October, 1759, and the inscription states that she was a " devoted parent," but how many children 
she had, or where they were baptized, has not been traced. We only know of one daughter, 
Elizabeth, who married first Isaac Dupuy, by whom she had a boy named Isaac, and secondly to one 
named Rigby, by whom she had a daughter named Elizabeth. Both she and her two children 
were living in 1797. Her father, John Kempe, died at Stoke Newington in 1788 aged ninety- 
one, and was buried with his wife at Hendon, but we have failed to trace either his will or letters 
administrating his estate. The arms on his tomb are well carved and are interesting from the fact 
that no bordure surrounds the three sheaves representing the Kempes and that this impales a 
fess between three crescents, the tinctures in neither case being indicated. As head of the senior 
branch of the Hendon Kemps he must have held plate older than that which has been handed 
down by the collateral hne, and as it is Hkely that portraits and documents have descended to the 
Rigbys or Dupuys which would add to our knowledge of this family, we shall be glad to receive 
any notes or enlightenment as to present representatives of these families. 

Thomas Kemp, the next younger brother of this John, went to Oxford, being entered at St. 
John's College as " Thomas Kemp, of the Tower of London, Gent.," and graduating there B.A. on 
20th May, 1723, and as M.A. in April, 1727. He was made Doctor of Divinity in 1736, and was 
presented by his College to the Rectory of Cheam, Surrey, where he remained until 1747 when 
he exchanged this living for that of St. Michael's, Crooked Lane, London, where he remained 
until his death. He was, however, buried at his request in Cheam Church, where a stone remains 
in the old (disused) chancel to his memory. He had officiated at Hendon on the occasion of his 
niece's wedding with Isaac Dupuy, which was solemnised by licence on 24th October, 1763 (Dupuy 
being a widower of St. Martin's-in-Fields), and it is noteworthy that Dr. Earle,* at this time Vicar 
of Hendon, was formerly Rector of St. Michael's, Crooked Lane. 

The Rev. Dr. Kemp married Mary Lady Banff, daughter of Captain Ogilvie and widow of the 
Earl of Banff (who was drowned while bathing) ; she left no children. Dr. Kempe's will is dated 
at Cheam 3rd July, 1745, but he did not die until 1769, in which year it was proved by his 
widow (Commissary of London). The will mentions specially his sermons and MSS., which he 
desired to be disposed of by his wife " according to instructions he had given her." He left the 
arrears of his pay as Chaplain of Plymouth, and all rents, debts, his plate and all personal estate to 
his widow. She died in 1 784, and her will was proved that year (P.C.C, 6 Rockingham) by 
Edward Short, son of Edward Short, of the Tower of London, by Ellen, daughter of Major Thomas 

♦ Other Earles were long closely connected with the Kempes of South Mailing, while a third family spelling their name Erie succeeded 
to Ollanty, so long the seat of the Kentish Kempes. 

Kempes of Clitterhouse^ Hendon. 45 

Kempe. The testatrix had omitted to get witnesses to her signature to two codicils, consequently 
before proving the will Daniel Kempe, brother to her late husband, and Catherine Short, the 
latter's great niece, had to testify that the codicils were in the handwriting of the testatrix. This 
helps to show the undoubted identity of all the parties. " Mary Kempe, alias Mary Lady Banff," 
it appears, died at Camberwell, but since her husband's decease she had been living at Kensington. 
She left legacies to her nephews, Archibald and Alexander Ogilvie, and her niece Mary Ann 
Ogilvie, but her " fortune " she left to Catherine Short, who afterwards became heiress to her 
great uncle Daniel. Lady Banff mentions also Captain " ffouhs," Sarah Thompson and Miss Anna 
Ismay, but e.xcept for certain bank annuities the will does not tell in what her "fortune" was invested. 

In the Gentleman's Magazine of 1732 it is announced that in March " Edward Short, Esq., 
Secretary of the Office of Ordnance, married the daughter of the late Major Kempe." This 
Edward Short made his will in 1 747, and it was proved the same year by Ellen Short his widow. 

The will describes the testator as a " gentleman of the Tower of London," it leaves the interest 
in Bank Annuities to his sister, Martha Gibson, for life, and afterwards the principal was to revert 
to John Lansdell, Chrysostom Lansdell and Daniel Kempe. It mentions his freehold estates in 
Windsor Forest, which were to be held in trust for his son, Edward Short, and it bequeathed to the 
testator's " sisters," Elizabeth and Mary Kempe^ one third of his freehold estate in Fleet Street for 
their lives with reversion for his said son. The residuary estate was bequeathed between the 
latter and the testator's widow, who with her brother, Daniel Kempe, were the executors. It 
seems likely that the Windsor property had come from that John Short of Windsor Castle men- 
tioned above and whose will was proved in 1731. 

Ellen Short, the widow, lived at the Tower of London until I 786, when administration of 
her estate was granted to her son, Edward Short, Esq. (jun.) The latter dated his will at the 
Tower the 19th April, 1785 ; it is very brief, leaving all his estate to his daughter, Catherine 
Short, subject only to the payment of 300 guineas to his servant, Hannah Mann. On the nth 
January, 1787, Daniel Kempe, of the Tower, Esq., and John Sudlow, of Monument Yard, London, 
Gent., deposed that this will was in the handwriting of the executor, no witnesses' names having 
been attached, and on the following day the will was duly proved by Catherine Short, the testator's 

Daniel Kempe, the third son of Major Thomas, made a report to the Treasury in 1737 on 
the utensils in use at the mint, which was then located at the Tower of London, at this time he 
was one of the Moneyers. He became Provost of the Company of Moneyers within a few years, 
and retained this office until he retired shortly before his death, which occurred in 1 797- His 
will was proved that year by his grandniece, Catherine Short, to whom he left the bulk of his 
property, those receiving legacies under his will being as follows : Elizabeth Rigby, his great- 
nephew, Isaac Dupuy, his cousins Ellen, Elizabeth, and Ann Flower, and his friends Joseph Sage 
and William Atkinson. He left ^50 to his coachman, ^30 to his footman, and _^70 to his maid 
servant, also ^100 to the Alicium, or Orphan House for girls, and ^^loo to St. Luke's Hospital in 
Old Street. His consideration for others is shown by a sentence at the close of his will, which says 
that he desires to be buried at Walthamstow or Wanstead, " the funeral to be private," and the 
mourners each to have a " heavy ring," but they need not attend the funeral I His reason for 
wishing to be buried at Walthamstow was that his grandmother was connected with the Jones's of 
that place. 

Daniel Kempe died at Great Ormond Street, Bloomsbury, situated close to the P'oundling 
Hospital, and we therefore may presume that it was one of his family who as a " Mr. Kempe " 
collected funds and published a report thereon for a branch of this establishment, which it was 

46 History of the Kemp and Kenipe FaTitilies. 

proposed to establish at Shrewsbury about the year 1 765- Singularly in the catacombs under the 
Foundling Hospital lie buried two other Kempes, namely, Joseph Kemp, who died, aged seventy- 
three on January 3rd, 1819, and Mrs. Elizabeth Kemp, his widow, who was buried there in August 
1842, aged ninety-one. They lived in Great Ormond Street, and the latter resided at Hampstead 
after her husband's death. Their wills are duly recorded in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in 
the above years ; we do not know how these were connected (if at all) with Daniel Kempe of the 
Mint, the relatives mentioned by them are as follows : The Rev. Joseph Wright, Edmund Nelson 
Wright, Elizabeth Wright, Benjamin and Sarah Thorpe, Mrs. Letitia Marchant, Mrs. Sarah Stone, 
Samuel Barker and Thomas Davis. Joseph Kempe bequeathed to the British Museum a medal, 
which was presented by the Empress Catherine of Russia to the testator's friend Paton. 

The present Secretary of the Mint has taken some trouble to search the records, and tells us 
that in virtue of his office Daniel Kemp removed all his papers when he retired, but that several 
letters and entries are in evidence relating to John, Nicholas and Alfred John Kempe, of the 
Cornish Kempe family, who were successively engaged in the Mint in minor capacities Of these 
we shall give due notice under Cornwall, it is however necessary here to mention the fact of a 
second distinct Kempe family being associated with the Mint. 

In further reference to Daniel Kemp's will, we may say that just behind St. Luke's Hospital, 
in Old Street, was that fashionable resort of the eighteenth century founded by William Kempe, 
a wealthy jeweller of London, and known as the " Peerless Pool." The site of this was formerly 
known as the Perilous pond, from the fact that on several occasions when people resorted to skate 
there, some were drowned by the breaking of the ice. William Kempe constructed from it two 
large swimming baths, and built dressing rooms, promenades refreshment rooms and a commodious 
residence for himself in the grounds, of which a picture appeared in Hone's " Every Day Book " 
(1838), with much interesting information concerning the charges made to bathers and anglers, for 
whom a fish pond was also provided. The will of this William Kempe was proved in 1755 
(P.C.C. 399 Glazier) ; it bequeathed the " Peerless Pool," consisting of three tenements, gardens, 
pleasure baths, cold bath, several buildings and a large fish pond, held of St. Bartholomew's Hospital., 
to his son Philemon and Nathaniel Kempe, and his son in-law Mr. George Roadley, in trust that 
they paid certain sums to the testator's wife Sarah and to his younger children, namely : William, 
Charles, Samuel and Jane Kempe, and Sarah the wife of the said George Roadley. From the fact 
that this property belonged to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and that a Roadley had married a 
grandchild of Thomas Kempe, of Clitterhouse, Hendon, it seems likely that William Kempe 
belonged to that family, but we have no definite proof of this, nor can we say for certain what 
became of the children mentioned in this will. 

Catherine Short, as we have seen, inherited not only the estate of Daniel Kempe, but that of 
her great-uncle and great-aunt the Rev. Thomas Kempe, D.D., and Mary Lady Banff; it is 
important therefore that we should know what became of her fortune. We have made, and are 
■ still making, search for her will, and can only suggest that it was she who married a Mr. Perry in 
1827, at St. George's, Hanover Square, of which parish her relative John Kemp, of Dover Street, 
was a parishioner. 



■ KEMPES OF CLITTERHOUSE, ^"E^DO^— continued. 

DANIEL KEMPE (the third son of Thomas Kempe, of Clitterhouse) inherited, from his 
two elder brothers, Clitterhouse and other Hendon property in 1674; he married at 
Willesden on 7th October, 1675, Mary Franklin, by whom he had a son Daniel m 1678, 
but who died the following year, also Mary Kempe, born 1680, who survived. Mary, the first 
wife was buried at Hendon in February, 1681, and Daniel married in 1682, Mary, daughter of 
George Nichol, of Hendon. Some amusing love-letters of this Mary Nichol are still preserved by 
her descendants and show that Daniel Kempe and Randell Nichol, her cousin, had been rival suitors 
for her hand before Daniel's first marriage. We may give a specimen of her style, which is as 
follows : 

" nth Oct., 1679. 

"COUSIN R^f:j«^^^;^^^j^^^^^y acknowledge all your loving kindness which I have received from you. But as for me 

to study a requitall is more than I can attain to. , „ , • f * r,,* t thinW if mv 

" Cousin as to your love for me I am satisfied in it though you are pleased to call my love imperfect. But I thmk .f my 
love with yours Vere'weighed in the Balances I should not be found much wanting, I am confident I could equal yours 
veTeTt noffor it! consequence ; therefore knowing the cause pardon me if you find not that ^-^^^J'f^/^^^^^^Xlrab.e 
"Cousin I shall not make an apology for these weak lines knowing that your love will cover ,t with a favourable 
construction; at this time I shall say no more, only this, to desire you to unbind yourself of cupid's bonds lest you are 
intangled by them, so I Rest and Remain, ^^ ^^^^ ^^.^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^ 

From Dallis (Hendon). " (Signed) _ M. M. Mary Nicholl. 

" Farewell till your time be e.xpired. 

By this wife Daniel Kempe had the following children: Helen, EHzabeth (who died an infant), 
a second Elizabeth baptized in 1686, Ann, Sarah, Susannah. Joseph and Daniel. Daniel, the 
elder, was buried at Hendon in 17 12, his will being proved that year in the Commissary Court 
of London. He bequeathed to his eldest daughter Mary, by his first wife, /250 ; to his daughter 
Elizabeth, land called " Dollis " (which probably is meant by Dallis in the above letter and since 
called Do'uis Farm) also Thorn Field, all in Hendon ; to his daughter Helen, land at Cricklewood 
and /2S0 ; to Susan, the wife of William Snoxall, also a portion of his property jointly with 
her sister Ann. This last bequest was for their lives only, and consisted of the house and grounds 
called "Goodyers," fields called the "Upper and Lower Mead," and two fields in Braint Street 
called " Stubble" and " Little Goodyers." Goodyers, as has been stated, had belonged to relatives 
of the Kempes for a hundred years before this, but Daniel Kempe purchased it in 169 1, from which 
time to the present it has remained with his descendants. His will further mentions his late 
sister Alice Sutton and her son John Sutton, to whom he bequeaths a legacy. The testator leaves 
all the rest of his estate, including Clitterhouse, to his son Daniel (who at this time had not 
attained twenty-one years), begging him to listen to the advice of his relatives. 

From the time when Daniel Kempe inherited Clitterhouse the Junior branch of this family 
remained at Hendon, while, as we have seen in the last chapter, the senior branch Uved in London, 
terminating with Catharine Short, who practicaUy inherited their lands and fortunes. The earliest 
silver now held by the representative of the Clitterhouse Kempes dates from this Daniel Kempe, 


History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

and includes a large silver pot with cover, weighing some i6 oz., on the handle of which D.K. has 
been stamped (not engraved). On the face of the pot is engraved a coat of arms, — three sheaves 
within a border engrailed, the tincture of the field is not indicated, but the charges and border are 
indicated as gold ; this shield is of course the coat used by the Kempe Baronets, the Kentish 
Kempes and Sir Nicholas Kempe, Knight of Finchley (1606), but we fear that Daniel Kempe 
could not have shown by what right of descent he used these arms. From this time however it is 
evident that the motto " Honestas et Veritas'' was adopted by this family, indicating at least that 
they did not blindly and ignorantly copy those used by the Baronet. 

Daniel Kempe, the surviving son of the last, lived also at Clitterhouse, his first wife was named 
Sarah, but her surname does not appear ; it is just possible that she was an Arrowsmith, for a 
shield of the Kemp arms, impaling argent, two arrows in saltire between four (? bulls) heads 
caboshed, was emblazoned about the time of this marriage, and is still preserved in the family. 
These arms do not appear correct but closely resemble those of Arrowsmith. By this wife he had 

two sons named Daniel, the first however died an 
infant in 1719, the second, born in 1728, lived at 
Parsons Street, Hendon, during his father's life. 
The other children of this marriage were as fol- 
lows : Mary Kempe, baptized 1723, who married 
Thomas Dowdeswell, and Sarah Kempe, born 
1724, who married John Rippin, and John 
Kemp, baptized 1725, buried the following year. 
Daniel Kempe's second wife was named Elenor, 
she died in April 1791, aged ninety, having given 
birth to the following children : Ellen Kempe, 
baptized 1736 ; Elizabeth Kempe, baptized 1738, 
who married Edward Neeton and died at Harrow- 
on-Hill in 1773, and Susan Kempe, who married 
first in 1773, Thomas Pitt, and secondly John 
Lodge, of Mill Hill ; she also had a son named 
William Kempe, born 1743, but he died in 1746 
just prior to his father ; her surviving son was 
John Kempe, of whom we shall speak later. 

The will of Daniel Kempe (the second of his 
name at Clitterhouse) was proved in 1 747, with 
codicils made in May and April of that year. He 
provided an annuity for his wife, and settled 
upon his daughters — namely, the wife of John 
Rippin and the wife of Thomas Dowdeswell — for their joint Uves, " Goodyers " and the Brent 
Street Estate, and certain rentals on his daughters Elizabeth and Susanah Kempe. He mentions 
as part of his lands in Hendon, the following : " Rowlands,'' " Southfields," " De La Heys," 
"Dole Street," " Thornfields," "Drivers," and his lease of CHtterhouse which he left to John 
Kempe, his son, and his heirs, or in default to his son William and his issue. As we have said, 
William died an infant and consequently the whole of the estate remained with John. 

Daniel Kempe (the third of his name) died in 1763, intestate, and his wife Elizabeth was 
granted administration of his estate. During his tenure of a portion of his father's estate (which 
he probably received by deed of gift) a return was made of landholders on the Manor of Hendon : 



^ .. _^ ."^■jmbBI 


1- -^^fi6^R 

f--»«|f- ~w 




Silver Pot, dated 1710, which belonged to the 
Kemp(e)s of Clitterhouse. 

Kempes of Clitterhouse, Hendon. 49 

at this time (i7=;6) we find that Daniel Kempe held 150 acres in Hall Lane besides some fields 
near the church and his residence in Parson's Street. 

In a map of this period " Kemp's Wood " is shown (in a map of 16 10 it is indicated but not 
named), this however has now been cleared ; it was situated a short distance north-west of 
Clitterhouse, to which it belonged. 

John Kemp, under his father's will, inherited Clitterhoufe and the other family property 
mentioned above ; eventually, on the decease of the widow of his half-brother Daniel Kemp, he 
also received the house in Parson Street and the leases of Hall Lane, subject to provision for Dinah 
Kempe (daughter of the said Daniel) who married Edward Clarke. This Dinah, by her marriage 
settlement, had an interest in Goodyers but released this to John Kemp in 1774. Edward Clarke 
was a merchant of Bishopsgate Street, London, and was connected with the Clarkes of Marston 
Magna, Somerset (which may account for the subsequent intermarriage of the Kempes with West 
of England families), he had a son of his own name and a grandson who was living in London in 
1 813. John Kemp, as a second son, was intended to follow the profession of a physician, and 
studied at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, at which he obtained a certificate in 1762 (which is still held 
by the family) ; it is interesting to notice that this certificate was issued to a tenant of the hospital, 
whose family had continuously been tenants of the hospital for over two hundred years. During 
his elder brother's life he practised as an apothecary, and resided at Dover Street, Piccadilly ; he 
married Louisa, daughter of John Bishop, of Piccadilly, at St. George's, Hanover Square, on 8th 
October, 1769- The mother of Louisa Bishop was Mary Penny, of Wells, who was niece to a 
Phillis Hodges of that place and of Westminster, who hved to be a great age and died about 1773. 
John and Louisa had the following children : Daniel Kempe, born 1771 ; William Bishop Kemp 
and Louisa Augusta Kemp (twins), born 1772 ; Elizabeth Augusta Kemp, born 1775, and Charlotte 
Kemp, born 1776. Of these, William Bishop died in 1775 and was buried at Hendon under a 
tomb on which the family crest is well carved ; Louisa Augusta, his twin sister, being buried in the 
same grave the following year. 

Daniel Kemp, the only surviving son, studied at St. George's Hospital and there obtained a 
certificate as a qualified surgeon in 1792. He practised for a short time as an apothecary in 
Dover Street, Piccadilly, but was soon appointed as a surgeon in the army ; in that capacity he 
served in Holland and there died, while on active service, on the 29th December, 1794- He had 
not been married. 

The news of his death proved the death-blow to his father, who died on 28th October following, 
and was buried in a vault which he had had prepared at Hendon. The vault is dated 1791 and 
bears the Kemp crest and inscriptions to three generations. His will is dated in 1792 and con- 
sequently mentions this son Daniel as his heir, but by a codicil dated 24th November, 1795, he 
left his estate in trust to provide an income for Louisa his wife and for his daughters Lienor 
Augusta Kemp and Charlotte Kemp with ultimate remainder to them and their lawful issue. 
The lands mentioned in this will include Goodyers, Brent Street and Dole Street ; other property 
he mentions is a "two-handled silver chased cup marked," also a "curious Egyptian stone snuffbox 
gilt with gold," which he bequeathed to his daughter Charlotte, but these are not now among the 
family plate. He also mentions a silver tankard ^'■with the family arms^'' which he intended should 
descend to his son, and a silver pint mug marked " F.L.K.," which he left to his daughter Elenor. 
We are curious to know who the initials F.L.K. represented ? The large silver cup, as we have 
said, dates from the time of Queen Anne and belonged to the first Daniel Kempe, of Hendon. 

Louisa Kemp, the widow of John, benefitted under the will of her father John Bishop, who 
amongst other properties in and around London had curiously a house in " Bishop's Court," Old 

50 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Bailey, this court however was so named through being once possessed by the Bishops of London 
and not because of its association with a family named Bishop. Another of his properties worthy 
of mention consisted of a row of houses in Kensington High Street, which had belonged to the 
Munden family, one of whom was the Brigadier Richard Munden mentioned in the previous 
chapter ; this property was however derived by purchase and not, as might be supposed, through 
Munden's estate being mortgaged to Major Thomas Kempe. Louisa Kemp had a brother named 
Matthew Bishop who was an officer in Colonel Parker's Regiment stationed in the Isle of Guernsey ; 
his residence was at Diddington, Oxford, where he died in 1763, in that year he made his will 
bequeathing his estate to his father John Bishop, then dwelling in Piccadilly. John Bishop, the 
father, had also a house at Hendon, at the corner of Butcher's Lane, which was until recently 
standing, being last known as "Fosters"; his will is however dated from his last town residence, 
Queen Street, Golden Square, on the 25th October, 1802- 

Louisa Kemp, widow, remarried; her second husband being Doctor George Goodwin, of Great 
Queen Street, Lincoln's Tnn Fields, her will is dated from Queen Street, Golden Square, and 
bequeathed to her daughter Elenor Augusta Kemp, spinster (then residing with her), her freehold 
land at Brent Street and " Goodyers," and to her grandchildren, George and Charlotte Brookes, 
the only surviving issue of her daughter Charlotte, her land at Dole Street and various London 
property. She mentioned her son-in-law, Mr. George Brookes, of Spur Street, Leicester Square, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Brookes, of Chamberlayn Street, in the City of Wells. She also left a 
legacy to her son (by her second husband) "Charles Goodwin, clerk, late of Enhurst, Sussex, but 
then residing at Charing Cross"; also legacies to Mrs. Mary Ann Goodwin, wife of Dr. Goodwin, 
and to Edward Turner, of Hart Street, Covent Garden, the curate of Orange Street Chapel. 

The Rev. Dr. Samuel Charles Goodwin, mentioned above, died in Paris in 1835, and we do 
not know of any representatives of the Goodwin family now living, but it is possible that certain 
portraits of the Kempes were retained by Louisa Kempe's second husband, as such are not now in 
the hands of the descendants by her first marriage. 



CHARLOTTE, the only daughter of John and Louisa Kemp to have issue, married George 
Brookes, a solicitor of Coventry Street and Beake Street, London, at the Church of St. 
Martin's-in-Fields by licence on 3rd June, 1799- George Brookes appears in the 
Register of Gray's Inn as the son of John Brookes, Esquire, of "Boxford," Sussex, and St. 
Andrews, Holborn, and his father appears to have been the son of James Brookes of the latter 

Hitchin -Kemps. 


iL'O Ml 3^i^v %i>miq4t 

parish, where he was married to Ann Taylor of Bath in June, 1732 (James Brookes died 28lh 
August, 1784.) George Brookes was a Uberal supporter of the Volunteer Movement, and among 
the family plate is an interesting silver teapot which was presented to him by the Hendon Corps 
of the "S.M.L.B." for his services as secretary and solicitor to that Volunteer Brigade ; the inscrip- 
tion, which is very laudatory 
is. dated 1802. By the co- 
heiress of the Kemps of 
Clitterhouse George Brookes 
(senior) had the following 
children : George, born 29th 
October, 1800 ; Frederick, 
born 2nd December, 1802 ; 
Charlotte, born 29th Decem- 
ber, 1804, and Daniel Bo wden, 
born 22nd November, 1807. 
The last named died 22nd 
August, 1808. Frederick was 
placed at school with Mr. 
Lotherington, of Hammer- 
smith, whence he addressed 
many interesting letters to 
his relatives which are extant. 
On reaching manhood he fell 
into a decline and died while 
on a visit to his uncle, Henry 
Brookes, Chancellor to the 
Bishop of Bath and Wells. 
He was buried in 1824 at 
Wells Cathedra] beside several 
of his Brookes relations, and 
a little book on his life was 
written and published by his 
brother George that year, a 
copy of which may be seen at 
the British Museum. 

George Brookes (the 
younger) became heir to his 
mother, and thus on the death 
of his maiden aunt, Ellinor 
Augusta Kemp (the other 
co-heiress of the Kemps of 

Clitterhouse), assumed by Royal licence the name and arms of Kemp in 1838. He had studied the 
law with a view of following his father's profession, but took little active interest in the business, 
which consequently devolved upon a Mr. Pike (whose descendants still carry on the practice of 
solicitors at Old Burlington Street, and have continued to act for the Hendon Kemp property). 
George Brookes-Kemp did not marry, living a batchelor life chiefly at London hotels, but took 


IVciliinj hrr v,i 

h ihi-fr ,iiiniil.-iH ill 

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,„,„„„,/',' /'■•^■"■■■'■- 

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Royal Patent granting Arms of Kemp to George Brookes. 

Hitchin -Kemts. 


much interest in Hendon local politics and carefully arranged and preserved the papers and relics of 
the Kemps which devolved upon him. His will, proved in 1868, bequeathed the Kemp, Brookes 
and Bishop Estates to his nephew, Frederick William Hitchin, on condition that the heir took the 
name and arms of Kemp, and directed that the family plate should descend with " Goodyers." 
He was buried in the " Vault of the Kemps of Clitterhouse," on the north of Hendon Church, in 
1868. The estates duly passed to his nephew, Frederick William Hitchin, who was the son of 
William Hitchin (Accountant and Assistant Secretary of the British and Foreign Bible Society) 
by Charlotte Brookes, the co-heiress of John and Louisa Kemp. 

We may here give a few notes as to the Hitchin (formerly written Hitchen and Hytchen) 
family on whom the Kemp estates of Middlesex devolved. The above William Hitchin — from 
his great interest in the propagation of the Scriptures — was pleased to dwell upon the fact that 
Tyndall, the translator of the Bible, was known both 
at college and during his persecuted life as " William 
Hychins, otherwise Hitchins," this name appearing in 
his works. We cannot say for certain that the 
Hilchins of Cheshire came from his stock (who were 
natives of Somersetshire) but the Hitchins first ap- 
peared at Middlewich, Cheshire, during the Common- 
wealth, and it is not improbable that their settlement 
there was due to the influence of Cromwell. The 
name occurs in the Middlewich Registers frequently 
from 1662, but it is evident that the family were 
staunch supporters of the Puritan doctrines, and it is 
known that the Independent Chapel at Middlewich 
was founded by them. The present chapel was erected 
over their graves, and the tombstones, commemorating 
several generations of them, are now grouped together 
within a special enclosure in the old Dissenting burial 
ground. At Newton, in the Parish of Middlewich, 
still stands the house — a stiff, double-fronted Georgian 
edifice — in which the Hitchins lived for a century, it 
was there that the Rev. Thomas Hitchin, second son 
of Thomas Hitchin, by Mary Wrench, his wife, was 

born in 177: 

This Rev. Thomas Hitchin founded 

The first Hitchin-Kemp — Frederick William. 

several chapels in the Midland Counties, and was one 

of the earliest supporters of the Provincial Bible Societies. Late in life he came to London and 
formed the congregation, which afterwards worshipped at Dr. Allan's Chapel. When over seventy 
years of age he frequenty preached at the Independent Chapel, Greenwich, where his son William 
was a deacon, and where his grandchildren were members of the congregation. It was at this 
chapel that his daughter-in-law Charlotte, the Kemp heiress, was buried in January, 1853. The 
Rev. Thomas Hitchin was buried at Nunhead Cemetery in 1856 in the family grave of his son. 

The Rev. Thomas Hitchin married at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on 24th May, 1791, 
Maria Siddons, who was related to the great actress of her name. She studied under Dr. Jenner, 
and is believed to have been the first lady to vaccinate her own children. By her he had several 
children, his eldest son, William, having been born at Atherstone, Warwickshire, on 9th April, 
1807. It was this son who married Charlotte Brookes and thus became father of Frederick 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

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William Hitchin, the heir to the Hendon Kemp property. Another William Hitchin, son of 
Joseph Hitchin, of Middlewich (nephew of the Rev. Thomas Hitchin), was the founder of 
"Hitchin's Beach," New Zealand, where he is still living. 

The above-mentioned Frederick William Hitchin on the death of his maternal uncle, George 

Brookes-Kemp, in 1868, as- 
sumed the name and arms of 
Kemp by Royal licence. He 
was born atTibberton Square, 
Islington, on 18th January, 
1835, he commenced his busi- 
ness life in the Bible House, 
but soon entered the Bank of 
William Deacons and Co., 
London ; while there, how- 
ever, his health failed, and it 
was thought desirable that he 
should be placed at Margate ; 
thus he entered Cobb and 
Co.'s Bank there in 1855 
(afterwards amalgamated 
with Lloyd's), in which he 
remained for over forty-five 
years, retiring in 1900. He 
married on iqth June, 1863, 
Fanny Pym, daughter of 
Thomas Shoobridge, of Lon- 
don, her mother being related 
to the Hampdens and Pyms 
of Devonshire, in which 
county she spent much of her 
childhood. Mrs. Hitchin- 
Kemp is an Associate of St. 
John's Ambulance Associa- 
tion, and is well known for 
her original modes of im- 
pressing a moral by means of 
a working model accompanied 
with a story. Her models, 
although intended originally 
for the amusement and bene- 
fit of her own family, have 
been the means of earning funds annually for the Church Missionary Society, and these with 
their stories have been a great feature at local, and even distant, bazaars for some twenty-five 
years. Over twenty of her Christmas stories have been printed, and many copies have been sold 
in aid of various charities. She has presented her husband with ten children, the eldest died 
aged nine in 1873, but the others are all living — three sons and six daughters. Charlotte 

tR«i.«il II .lH.lf 1 

Royal Patent granting Arms of Kemp to F. W. Hitchin-Kemp. 

Hitchin -Kemps. 


Hitchin-Kemp, the third daughter, married in 1895 Edward Riddlesdale Whitfield, M.A., of 
Dublin, now residing at Bournemouth ; Alice, the fifth daughter, is devoting her life to nursing 
the sick poor of the East End of London, the other daughters are unmarried. Frederick Hitchin- 
Kemp, the eldest son, was for many years engaged in shipping and army agency work in 
London, and is the compiler of the present history. He married in 1893 Lydia Harris, sixth 
daughter of the late Robert Cadby Bulgin 
(formerly a shipowner of Swansea and 
Cardiff), by whom he has had two children 
—Angela Winifred and Reginald Pym. 
William Hitchin-Kemp, the second son, 
was articled to a firm of sanitary specialists, 
and later to C. H. Cooper, M.I.C.E., Engi- 
neer to the Wimbledon Local Board, and 
on the completion of his articles was 
appointed junior assistant 10 their engineer. 
He has since held similar appointments at 
Willesden and Twickenham. (It is worthy 
of notice that thus a member of the 
Hendon Kemp family has been officially 
connected with these two places in the 
twentieth century in both of which his 
ancestors were interested four hundred 
years previously.) Arthur Hitchin-Kemp, 
the third son, was articled to Blandford and 
Lawrence, Incorporated Accountants of 
London, and having passed all the exami- 
nations of the Society of Accountants and 
Auditors (Incorporated), is now an Associate 
of that body. 

We give illustrations of the house built 
by the first Hitchin-Kemp in 1870-2, after 
the designs of Alfred Mercer-Drew. Also 

The head of the Hitchin-Kemp Cot. 
(An heirloom to which each generation is asked to add cai-ving) 

of a cot in which the younger members of the family have successively slept, the carving on which 
is representative of the various families of their name and kindred. 



ROBERT KEMP, of Gissing, by Ann, daughter of Clifford of Kent, had a son, Bartholomew, 
who succeeded to the Norfolk Estates in 1527. The latter had a large family, among 
whom was Francis Kf.mpe, who settled at Little Hadham (Herts). Francis married 
Armynell, daughter of John Brooke, of London, by whom he had three sons, Francis, William, 
and Thomas. William, the second son, entered the Merchant Taylor's School in | 574, but is 

56 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

recorded in the school register to have "died young." Francis, the eldest son, was an Attorney 
of Common Pleas, having a residence for a while in Fleet Street, he married first Barbara, 
daughter of Leonard Cocks, of London, by whom he had the following children : Leonard, baptized 
1593, became an M.A. ; Bartholomew, baptized 1595, also an M.A. and Rector of Graylingham, 
Lincolnshire; Henry, who was of the Inner Temple; Frances, baptized 1596, married Ralph 
Pemberton, of St. Albans, in 1616 ; Elizabeth Catherine (who married Humphrey Shalcrosse, of 
London), and Susan. 

The first two children of Francis (the younger) were baptized at St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, 
Fleet Street, but the other children probably were baptized at Fulham, for we find that on the 
earliest rate book, existing for that parish, viz., 1615, "Francis Kempe, Gent.," was rated, and 
continued to be a ratepayer until 1635, when the word "gone" appears against his name ; his 
daughter, however, EHzabeth Shalcrosse, lived subsequently in the parish, but was buried at 
Digswell. Herts, in 1667, aged seventy-two. A monument in the church there states that she was 
the mother of thirteen sons and two daughters ! The arms of Shalcrosse impaling Kempe appear 
on the monument. 

The Court Rolls of Fulham were kept for some years prior to 1 624 by Sir Nicholas Kempe, 
Knight, as Steward of the Manor, his arms were the same as those of Francis Kempe, but how 
these two were related we have not discovered, and we are inclined to think that the connection 
(if any) must have been quite remote ; it is, however, singular that during the tenure of his office 
Sir Nicholas should have enrolled this Francis as a tenant. 

The Court Rolls in 1626 record that Francis Kempe was appointed one of the trustees for 
the "Poor's Land" at Parr Bridge, and that in 1631 the same Francis was a "defaulter" and 
consequently was fined I2d. In 1615 Francis Kempe, of Fulham, Esq., became tenant of five acres 
called " Hale," abutting on Danes Lane (now Lily Road), but he resided in Bear Street (now 
Fulham High Street), retaining his London residence. 

His third son, Henry, had two sons, Edward, born 1642, and William, born 1650 ; also a 
daughter, Ann, who married Anthony Soulhby. So far the pedigree of this family is recorded 
in the "Visitation of London," made by the Heralds in 1633, and as from this date Kempes 
appear in the adjoining hamlet of Parsons Green and the neighbouring Parish of Chelsea, it 
appears likely that William Kempe. who was living at Chelsea in 1680, was the William men- 
tioned above. William Kempe, of Chelsea, had a house at Parsons Green, overlooking Eelbrooke, 
which he settled upon his son John in 1680, the father being recorded in the Manor Rolls as a 
brewer ; he appears in 1686 as a malster, of Chelsea, with his wife, Dorothy, to have surrendered 
the same house at Parsons Green to William Kempe, his youngest son, and Elizabeth, his (the 
latter's) wife. The brewer was evidently a troublesome tenant, for he is charged at the Court 
Leat, and Court Baron for " suflfering his swine to go at large in the streets," for which he was 
fined two-and-si.x, while on another occasion he was fined thirty-shillings for permitting over- 
crowding in two of his houses. William Kempe, the son, also described as a brewer, of Chelsea, 
had a marriage licence in 1686, his bride being Elizabeth Lumas, he being then twenty-five years 
of age and she twenty-three. (In the following year a Daniel Kemp, also a maltster of Chelsea, 
and aged twenty-four, had a licence to marry Catherine Eraser, of Westminster. This couple 
removed at once to Barking, and Daniel died there in 1691, his will being proved that year in the 
Archdeaconry Court of Essex. He bequeathed his property to his son William, or in the event 
of his death during infancy to Francis and Samuel, brothers of the testator, and his wife equally. 

Kemps of Fulham^ Chelsea and others. 


He mentions that ^200 was due to him under a prenuptial settlement from his "father Kemp and 
father Fraser."*) 

Both William and John Kemp, of Chelsea, as tradesmen of means and repute, were licensed 
to issue tokens, of which we have obtained specimens, they are respectively marked as follows : 

"William Kempe of Parsons Green " (in four lines), and on the other side " Neare Fulham. His Haifa Penny (in 
four lines) Jd." 

"John Kemp in Putney," The Cordwainers Arms, on the reverse " Batersey 1663 His Half Penny." 
"John Kemp in," the Corwainers Arms, on the reverse " Putney or Batersey I. B. K. 1663 ^d." 

From these it will be seen that the Kempes of Chelsea crossed the river and established their 
business on the other side, and it seems that William Kemp was in 1678 Churchwarden of 



Lambeth. It is possible that they founded a family there, for a Kemp now living (who has on 
several occasions presented his poems to Royalty), claims that his forefathers have been resident 
within the ancient Parish of Lambeth for at least 300 years. We have found no wills or other 
records to prove the correctness of this statement, but we are told that particulars of this family 
appeared some time ago in a local paper. Thomas Kemp, grandson of William, the brewer of 

* In 1763 administration of the goods of Daniel Kemp, of Barking, were granted to Elizabeth, his widow, and the will of the latter was 
dated the same year and proved by Elizabeth Knowles (P.C.C, 557 Casar.) The testatrix directed that Joseph Purlic, lighterman, should 
carry on her business, and Elizabeth Knowles should have charge of her children and maintain them on the income derived thereby. It is a 
singular thing that Daniel Kemp, of the Hendon family, died in 1763, we, however, believe this Daniel Kemp to be connected with the Kemps 
ot Lamarsh, Essex, several of whom were named Daniel. 

58 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Chelsea, seems to have died in 1726, for a will of Thomas Kemp, of Putney, dated 1725, was 
proved that year. He left his estate, which included houses and gardens in Putney and Wands- 
worth, to his wife, Francis Lucy, with the remainder to their children, John, Lucy and Elizabeth. 
He mentions his " sister Arnold," his brother-in-law, John Fletcher, and others. Francis Lucy, 
the widow, died the following year, and Catherine and Thomas Cotton were appointed curators of 
the children, who seem to have disappeared from the neighbourhood. 

A John Kemp, connected with Lambeth, was a barrister, residing at St. Martin's-in-Fields, he 
was buried in the North Cloister of Westminster Abbey, 20th October, 1738, and his wife, 
Elizabeth, the daughter of John Staunton, Esq., of Longbridge (Warwick), was buried there 6th 
May, 1739 ; they left two children, namely, Boyle Staunton Kemp and Henrietta Kemp, who 
were placed under the guardianship of John, Earl of Orrery. The will of this Elizabeth Kemp is 
dated from St. Margaret's, Westminster, March 21, 1739, and was proved by the Earl the 
following year (P.C.C., 106 Henchman). Boyle Staunton Kemp was specially bequeathed his 
father's gold watch, snuff bo.x, rings, and portrait, the residue of the estate being equally divided 
between the two children. Boyle Staunton, described as " late of St. Mary, Lambeth," died in 
August, 1786, his estate being granted that year to his widow, Mary. 

The next Kemp of whom we hear connected with Lambeth is the Rev. Primate Kemp, who 
died 1789, his estate being administered by his widow, Keturah Kemp, who was buried there, a 
tomb to her memory recently existed in Lambeth Cemetery. The Rev. Primate Kemp was 
Rector of Shenley, Bucks. 

At Chelsea there still exists "Kemp's Row"; this had, we believe, no connexion with the 
Kemps mentioned above, but was built about 1800 by one of the Kemps of Somersetshire, who 
was well known as the builder of churches in and around Bristol. (It has been thought that 
Nicholas Kempe, a porter of the Royal Mint who resided at Chelsea, was responsible for this Row, 
but this is a mistake.) 

We may note here that the Church of St. Anne's, Soho, was built about 1678 on Kemfs 
Field^ which was formerly within the Parish of St. Martin's-in-Fields ; and that " Kempes Court," 
near Oxford Street and Broad Street, still exist ; we cannot say for certain how these names 
originated, but close to the latter was a brewery, the proprietors of which were for several genera- 
tions of a Kemp family, then living at Bloomsbury. 

Leaving the western districts of London we must notice a family of Kempes, who for 200 
years held a little property between Shoreditch and Bishopsgate. Several old maps of this district 
show " Kempe's Garden " at the corner of Cock Lane, near Shoreditch Church. The first 
mention of the parish as connected with Kempes occurs in 1665, when Judith Snow, of St. 
Leonard's, Shoreditch, widow, twenty-two, was licensed to marry Ralph Kemp, a widower, twenty- 
six, of St. James's, Clerkenwell ; her estate — which, doubtless, included this Shoreditch land — was 
granted to her husband in 1681, she having died intestate. {See Ralph Kemp of Winchcomb.) 
We must not give in detail the generations of this family, some members of which were wealthy 
distillers and victuallers, while others were goldsmith's and watchmakers. One of their relatives 
was a soldier serving in the West Indies, connected with whom was Nathan Crossley, who lies 
buried in a church at Shoreditch. Thomas Kemp seems to have been the last to reside on 
the Cock Lane property, he was living there in 1807. Close by was Spittalfields, where at 
this date more than one Kemp carried on business ; a little later a Kemp from Prittlewell 
wasengaged in the Spittalfields silk trade, but these last two Kemps were unconnected with the 
old local family. 

In conclusion of these notes on the various groups of Kemp(e)s settled in ' Middlesex, we may 

Kempes of Herts, Berks, Bucks and Surrey. 59 

mention three parishes, with which numerous Kempe families were at one lime or another 
connected. The first is St. Dunstan's, Stepney, which before the seventeenth century was a 
residential suburb ; the second was St. James's, Clerkenwell, which enjoyed for a time a good 
reputation as a residential quarter ; the third is St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, Fleet Street, which 
was much patronised by most of the Kempes connected with the law and some others. 




THE number of Kempes we have found settled in Middlesex from early times would lead 
one to expect that many from this source might be found in the neighbouring counties 
of Herts, Berks, Bucks and Surrey, but a careful search in the various Probate Courts to 
which these were subject shows but few Kempes, mostly widely separated as to time and residence 
— the chief settlers of standing coming from a distance, viz., Kent and Norfolk. 

Taking first our gleanings of Kempes in Hertfordshire, we find in the Archdeaconry Court 
of St. Albans one, John, in the callendar for the period extending from 1471 to 1536, his abode 
is not given. From about 1554 a Nicholas Kempe, Esq., was Steward of St. Albans, he being 
succeeded in this office by Sir Nicholas Kemp (Knight), who was also patron of Gilston. At the 
latter place Robert Kempe, " nigh a hundred years old," was buried in 1 647- It was also in 
the latter parish that Sir John Gore Hved, who married one of the Kentish Kempes. David 
Kempe was Archdeacon of St. Albans from 1 560 till I 580, being also Vicar of Rickmans- 
worth and Prebend of Harleston (which points to his being connected with the Kempes of 
Twickenham), he seems to have been also at Croydon, and is probably the testator of a will 
proved at Gloucestor 1581, which states that the David of that city was a priest hving in the 
close of the Cathedral. 

We have mentioned that a Francis Kempe from Gissing resided at Little Hadham about 
1570, but he seems to have returned to his native county, and it was probably his younger son, 
Thomas, who was described in a London Poll as a " stranger " in Farringdon Ward in 1595, and 
belonging to the County "of Hertford, Gent." In 1593 George Kempe, of Northawe,' was 
assessed at /30 for the defence of the Kingdom ; he, we believe, was formerly a resident of 
Hampstead, and is perhaps the same as a Jesuit of his name who was with others charged with 
conspiracy in connexion with a London plot in 1 626 ; this would account for no will being 
traced, as his property would probably be confiscated. In 1 566 Stephen Kempe, son of William 
Kempe, of Broxbourne, was apprenticed to William Cooke, a citizen and stationer of London. 

Joseph Kempe, of Hitchin, Gent., married Anne Luke, and by his will, dated and proved in 
1654 (P.C.C, 23 T Alchin), he bequeathed to the town his "mansion house" called "Beggin" 
for the benefit of the poor of the parish, endowing it with lands and appointing as the first 
trustees of this charity the following : Ralph Skinner, of Hitchin, Gent., Robert Draper, Francis 

o 2 

5o History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

Audlev James Turner, Jeremy Carter and Nathaniel Hobbs. The two first of these were 
certainly connected with Sir Nicholas and the Kempes of Winchcombe, while the will shows that 
the testator had " hereditaments " in the Parish of Godmanchester, where his " kinsman, John 
Sell," lived. He mentions Susan Tapenden, widow, his sister, Helen Kempe, and his '' half sister, 
Mary wife of . . . Farmer." Several other names appear, but we have failed to trace his 
exact 'connection with the Norfolk or Kentish Kempes, whose arms, impaling those of his wife, 
appeared over his tomb. This almshouse is still a benefit to the poor, a good account of it with 
illustrations has recently appeared. 

In 1 696 the will of an Edward Kemp, of Chipping, Barnet, victualler, was proved, he left 
sons named Edward and John, and daughters named Hannah, Elizabeth, Sarah, Susannah ; his 
wife, Hannah, being executrix and residuary legatee. The next will of a Kemp in this county was 
proved in 1744, this being the testament of John Kempe, of Sawbridgeworth. The Probate 
Reo-ister for this period, however, does not exist, so we have no details. About this date a William 
Kempe was appointed Attorney-General of New York, we do not know that he was connected 
with this county, but on his decease his office was given to John Tabor Kemp, who we may presume 
was either his son or at least a relative. This John Tabor Kemp was Attorney-General of New 
York for many years, and on his return to England resided at St. Margaret's Herts, from which his 
will is dated in 1792 (P.C.C, 471 Fountain) stating his late official position, and that he had 
formerly resided at Marylebone and Jermyn Street, Westminster. To his son, Edward, then a 
minor he bequeathed the ultimate residue of his estate, providing an annuity for his wife, Grace, 
and portions for his daughters, Maria, Elizabeth, Anne and Henrietta. The will directs his 
executors to endeavour to trace and recover some stocks (valued at £2,12^^ which had been 
settled on his wife after the death of her mother, Abigail Cox. Edward Kemp, the son, became a 
clero-yman, and was the founder of a " Kempe Fund," now benefiting the Bristol Blind Asylum. 
He lived at Bath and aftewards at Bristol. 

Berkshire had a family of Yeoman Kempes at least as early as the end ot the fifteenth century ; 
how they were connected with other families of the name we are unable to say ; the earliest will 
we have traced as representing them was proved in the Archdeaconry of Berks in 1531. The 
testator was of Westbrook, in the Parish of Boxmoor, and mentions his wife, Margaret, and his 
son William. The will of the latter, dated 1542, and proved in the same Court, speaks of his 
mother Margaret, as still living, his wife Alys, and his daughters, Joan and Alys ; he left his 
property at Boxworth to his son Robert. (Richard and John Kempe were witnesses.) The will 
of John Kempe, of Westbrooke, was proved in 1557, and describes the testator as a "husband- 
man " he bequeathed to his children, John and Ann, at the respective ages of twenty-one, his 
farming stock ; his wife, Margaret Kempe, inheriting his residuary estate. Another will of a 
Kempe of Boxworth (or an Administration of his estate), was registered in 1 558, after which the 
family seem to have removed to Welford and Kentbury. William Kempe's estate at Welford 
was administered in 1 62 1 ; and that of Simon Kempe, of Kentbury, in 1 630. The will of a 
Thomas Kempe, of Welford, was proved in 1672, and one of " Fetiplace Kemp(5(?r," of Kentbury, 
in 1697. Richard Kemp, of Kentbury, must have died about 1719, for inventory of his personal 
effects with a bond for their administration are entered in the Archdeaconry Book of that year. 
Thomas Kemp, of Boxford, a Yeoman, dated his will 1728, but it was not proved until 1741 
(Cons. Sarum) ; it mentions his wife, Joan Kemp, his daughter, Frances Castle, and his grand- 
children, Mary Castle, Mary Sarah and Elizabeth Wells. An administration of the goods and 

Kempes of Herts ^ Berks, Bucks and Surrey. 6i 

effects of Simon Kemp, of Welford, was granted in 1 749 ; this is the last Kemp will recorded in 
the Archdeaconry, and we have no evidence of the name occuring at Welford later. Not far, 
distant, however, is Enbourn, where Kemps, doubtless related to the above, lived from at least the 
middle of the sixteenth century until about 1700 or later, their wills having been proved in 1591, 
1632, 1641, 1670, and 1690. Beside the above there were a few scattered Kemps at Reading, 
Farringdon, Newbury, Shrivenham, Hungerford and Abingdon. 


From at least the thirteenth century Kemps have been found in Buckinghamshire, but it is 
singular that many of these early Kemps appeared to have resided in the county merely on 
account of their ecclesiastical appointments. Alan Kempe was concerned at " Little Willeston '' 
between the years I 250 and I 272 with William De Bellocampo, who was one of the Earls of 
Warwick ; a second instance of a Bellocampo and a Kempe occurs in Buckinghamshire at an early 
date, and, as we have had occasion to remark earlier, there appears just reason for supposing that 
some Kempes derived their name from that illustrious family. In 1311 Alan Kempe was made 
Rector of Great Loughton. In 1381 William Kempe and others were appointed by the King 
to arrest certain men charged with felony at Stoke, by Stony-Stratford, and charged to bring 
them to Windsor Gaol. In 1404 a grant was made of lands in the Parish of Chalfont-St-Giles, 
Bucks, to Henry Kempe ; and in 1407 John Kempe, afterwards the Archbishop, was presented 
to the Rectory of Slapton. 

Ii^ 1533 Queen Mary presented William Kempe to the Rectory of Cotteslow, and soon after 
this date David Kempe, the Archdeacon of St. Albans, held the Vicarage of Rickmansworth, close 
to the Middlesex border of this county. 

We have mentioned under Hendon Kempes two Kempes of Burnham (in Cotteslow Hundred) 
who died respectively in 1544 and 1560, these evidently used a coat of arms, but their con- 
nexion is a little uncertain, and we do not find any trace of Kempes in this locality after the 
latter date. 

About 1600 Robert Kempe, son of Edward Kempe, of the New Forest, and grandson of 
one of the Kempes of Ollantigh, settled at Chipping Wickham (or Wycombe), having married 
Dorothy Elliott, of Hampshire; he made his will in 1621 (P.C.C., 15 Savile), bequeathing an 
annuity of ^loo to his wife, as well as a legacy of ^200. He mentions also his daughters, 
Elizabeth and Dorothy, and his sons, Francis and Thomas. The will also mentions his brothers, 
Francis and Thomas ; the last named had settled in Hampshire, while Francis subsequently 
removed from Basingstoke to Wycombe, where he died in 1649- His will was proved that 
year and describes him as "of Cliffords Inn, London, Gent.," and expresses his wish to be buried 
in the Church of St. Dunstan's-in-the-West. He left his house known by the sign of " George 
and the Three Cups," situated at Chipping "Wicombe," to his daughter Susannah for life, with 
reversion to the issue of Henry Kemp (the testator's son), or in default of such issue to his 
daughters, Ann and Susan. To his daughter, Elizabeth Catherine, he left ^500 ; to his daughter 
Frances ^4°° i to his son Leonard ^500 ; to his son Bartholomew £^00 ; and to his wife ;^50o 
and an annuity of £i-\0- The will also mentions his "brother," Humphrey Clarke, of London, 
dyer. A blunder appears to have been made by the Heralds, as the issue mentioned in this will 
is attached to a pedigree of a branch of the Norfolk Kempes, whereas this man clearly belonged 
to the Kentish stock. The error seems to have arisen from the coincidence that a Francis Kempe 
from each family was a parishioner of St. Dunstan's-in-the-West (See aw/fz Fulham Kempes). In 
1651 administration of another Francis Kempe, Gent., of Wycombe, was granted to Anne 

62 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Kempe his relict, but it is not clear whether this was a son of Robert or Francis Kempe, as both 
had sons of the name. That this grant does not refer to the Francis who made the above is clear, 
for the former mentioned his wife, Helen, who was daughter of Gawton, of Southwark. " Francis 
Kempe, second son of Francis Kempe, Gent., of Wycomb," was born ist November, 1644, and 
entered at the Merchant Taylor's School in 1657, this evidently was the grandson of Robert 
Kempe of Wycombe, 

The principal monument in the Church of Chipping Wycombe is within the Communion 
rails, the inscription on a brass plate being as follows : 

"Here lyeth the body of Robert Kempe, who departed this life the 20th November, A.D. 1 62 1. / Wife, children, 
wealth, this world, and life forsaken. / In silent dust I sleep ; whence once awaken, / My Saviour's might a glorious change 
will give, / So losing all I gayne, and dying live, / My fame I trust the world with, for 'tis true, / Posterity gives every 
man his due." 

His daughter, Dorothy, married by licence, dated 29th November, 1632, John Gore, of 
Bassetsbury, a widower, then aged thirty-four, she being described as the " daughter of Robert 
Kempe, late of Wycombe, Esquire," and her age being stated to be twenty-four. Sir John Gore, 
Knight, was afterwards seated at Gilston, Herts, where Sir Nicholas Kempe, Knight, had 
previously been patron of the Church. The second daughter of Robert Kempe married WiUiam 
Adams, of London, citizen and draper ; their son, Robert Adams, was knighted, and seems to have 
been married to another Elizabeth Kempe at West Ouantoxhead, Somerset, on 23rd February, 
I 654, by John Tuberville, Esq., J.P., being the official appointed to celebrate marriages under 
the order of the Cromwellian Parliament. This Elizabeth Kempe was the daughter of John 
Kempe, of West Quantoxhead, who made his will in I 662 (and which is recorded at Wells), 
mentioning his grandchild, Robert Adams, son of Robert Adams of the same place. This testator 
also speaks of his* daughter, Elizabeth Adams, Mary Bartlett, and his grandchildren, John and 
Alexander Kempe, of Coombe Florey, to whom was due legacies under the will of an Andrew Kemp. 

The will of Anne Kempe, of Wycombe (widow of Francis, who died 1651), was proved in 
1665 (P.C.C, 73 Hyde). It left to her son, Francis Kempe, certain bonds for /2 50 given by 
James Bigg, of " Chipping Wicomb," and legacies to her daughters, Dorothy and Ann, and to her 
son-in-law Marshall Bridges and his wife, Mary. The testatrix also states that her son, William 
Kempe, of London, Merchant Taylor, was indebted to her, upon bond, for some ;^8oo, which she 
desired should be paid to her two unmarried daughters. From the parish register of St. Dionis 
Barkchurch, London, we find that Marshall Bridges of that parish, Unendraper, married Mary 
Kempe, of St. Michael's, Cornhill, on 28th April, 1 659- In Wells Cathedral is a flagstone 
surmounted by their arms (argent, on a cross sable a leopard's face Or) of " Kempe Bridges, son of 
Marshall Bridges, Chancellor and Canon Residentiary of that Cathedral, by Frances Kempe, of 
Wycombe, Bucks." He was born in 1665, became a Fellow of All Soul's (by right of descent 
from the Founder's kin), and married Frances, daughter of Robert Creighton, only surviving son 
of Robert Creighton, Bishop of Bath and Wells. The stone also commemorates a second Kemp 
Bridges of Wells, who married Eleanor Dawson, and dying in 1792 left a son, Kemp Bridges, 
born 1749. The Gentleman'' s Magazine of the period stated that Kemp Bridges, formerly of 
Bedford Street, Covent Garden, died at his apartments in Manchester in January, 1792 in his 
seventy-seventh year, and that he was the youngest son of the Rev. Marshall Bridges, the 
Chancellor of Wells. The latter is mentioned in the will of Anne Kempe, relict of Robert 
Kempe, of Shenstone, Co. Hereford, as then (1677) of Tiberton Court, which was long the 
residence of the Bridges. Robert Kempe, of Shenstone, was son of Edward Kempe, and nephew 
to Robert Kempe, of Wycombe. William Kempe, the eldest son of Francis and Anne Kempe, of 
Wycombe, was Hving in 1 665, as mentioned above, he then being a merchant of London. We 

^ Surrey Kempes. 63 

have not traced his will, but that of a Mary Kemp, widow, of " Chipping Wycomb," dated in 
1719 and proved the following year (Arch. Bucks) may be his wife's. It directs that she shall be 
buried in the middle of the chancel of the church at Chipping Wycomb, and bequeaths legacies to 
her grandchildren. William and Ann Taylor, and to Kemp Parker, son of her daughter Mary, 
wife of William Parker ; others mentioned are Ann, wife of John Cock, of Wycomb, Ralph 
Whitnell (Tanner), and Ambrose Eldridge, Gent. From the fact that no sons are named we may 
surmise that this widow was the last of the Kempes of Wycombe, we having no evidence to the 
contrary. At Iver (Bucks) Philip Kemp died between 1736 and 1742, his will being proved 
in the later year (P.C.C, 191 Trenley). It bequeaths his property, as to one-fourth, to his nephew, 
William Kemp ; as to another fourth part to Ann Mitchell, and the remaining two-fourths to his 
kinsman, Philip, the son of his nephew, William Kemp. Elizabeth and Thomas Martin were 
witnesses. We may remark that the family of Franklins who were akin to Hendon Kempes were 
connected with Iver, but we cannot say this testator was related to the Wicombe Kempes or those 
of Middlesex. 

As to other Kempes of Buckinghamshire we can only allow space to give a mention of wills 
and administrations recorded, although we have many details concerning them. In the Arch- 
deaconry Court of Bucks the following, in addition to those above mentioned, occur : Margery 
Kemp, of Great Missenden, 1680 ; William Kemp of same, 1680 ; another William Kemp of same 
in 1688 ; John Kemp, 1692 ; WiUiara Kemp, of Langley, 1693 ; William Kemp, of Akeley, 1694; 
Thomas Kemp of same, 1767. Three named Thomas Kemps respectively in 1760, 1776 and 
1818 of Swanbourne. William Kemp, of Great Missenden, 1808, and William Kemp, of Great 
Horwood, 1826. In the Prerogative Court of London (except those mentioned above) we find 
only one administration of a Kemp of this county, viz. : The goods of Mathew Kemp(ff?) were 
granted to Susannah, his mother, in 1699, he having died a bachelor intestate. He is stated to 
have lived formerly in the parish of St. Andrews, Holborn. 

The Rev. Alfred Arrow Kempe, Rector of Wexham, belongs to the third branch of the 
Cornish Kempe family. In the official return of the " Greater Landowners " in 1874, he is shown 
to have then held some twenty acres of land at Wexham. 

The name is now represented in the County at Aylesbury and Great Horwood — William 
Kemp being a leaseholder at the former place and a Mrs. M. A. Kemp residing at the latter. 




A MONG the earliest known Kempes of Surrey we have notes of the following individuals, but 

/— \ so little can be ascertained concerning them that we fear they were not a thriving family 

in this county. Ailwin Kempe held a small quantity of land in the Hundred of 

Blackheath (near Guildford) in 1205, and in 1272 Martin Kempe, of Guildford, had some interest 

in lands in Hampshire, which then were settled upon Netley Abbey ; a copy of the deed with 

his signature is in the possession of James Kemp- Welch, Esq. Perhaps this Martin Kempe was 

6_^ History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

identical with a Martin de Campo, who at this period held land in Norfolk. In 1235 one, Gilbert 
Kemp, resided at Chertsey, and in 1285 Hamo de Campo was residing at Rotherhithe. 

At Kingston-on-Thames, certainly, a Kempe of standing held property, for a deed exists at 
the Record OfHce showing that William Kempe, of Westminster, bought of John atte Forde, of 
Yvere, lands at Kingston in 1436. This William Kempe, of Westminster, was, we suggest, related 
to the Archbishop, for while the latter was rising to fame William Kempe was appointed Keeper ot 
the King's Wardrobe at Westminster, and subsequently he was known as the " King's Sergeant." 
Perhaps\villiam Kempe, who paid the account of the fete called " Kynggam," celebrated m the 
twenty-first year of Henry VII. (1505), was a grandson or great-grandson of this individual. In 
i-^y. a John Kempe, of Kingston-on-Thames, made his will, he being a tailor. He, too, we think, 
niay be a connexion of both William of Westminster and the Kempes of Twickenham. The will 
of Alys Kempe, of Kingston, was proved in 1537, after which the Kempes seem to disappear from 
this spot, although it has been stated in the local papers that the Kempes of Teddington (adjoining) 
have continued from before the sixteenth century down to the present time. How true this is we 
have no means of proving, as both Subsidy Rolls and Probate Records give no evidence of their 
early establishment there, however from at least the early part of the nineteenth century Kempes 
were certainly numerous at Teddington, and one family resided there until the last decade. One 
representative of this family is an optician of London, Henry Cornelius Kemp, of Thavies Inn, 
and another is Henry Herbert Kemp, of West Kensington. 

In the fifteenth century we find that Kempes of Kent were intimate with the Brownes of 
Betchworth, and in the following century an alliance united these two famihes. It is just possible 
that this marriage was the reason for Kempes establishing themselves in and around Betchworth 
a little later but before we trace their advent we find that a branch of the Norfolk Kempes settled 
at Croydon, they being also subsequently coTmected, though but distantly, with the Brownes of 

The founders of the Surrey branch of the Norfolk Kempes were Bartholomew Kempe and 
Barbara Sharpe, who were married at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields on 14th September, 1562. In 
i;6:; this Bartholomew paid a fine for lands in which he held an interest at Hendon. We do not 
know when he died, but in the will of his widow she states that he was buried in the Savoy 
Chapel, and she desired that her body should rest beside his there. Her will (P.C.C, 41 Wood) 
was proved in 1611 and mentions her grandchild and son, both named Bartholomew Kempe, also 
Thomas Cotton, of Bartholomew's-the-Less, and her steward, Walter ffinch. Among the silver 
enumerated were spoons ''with falcons on their topsj^ evidently in allusion to the Kempe crest. 
Also a " bell silver salt " with a cover and her husband's coat of arms engraved thereon. The 
will of Walter Finch, of Croydon, was proved in 1626 (P.C.C, 125 Hele), and mentions as chief 
legatees Bartholomew, William and Francis, the three sons of Bartholomew Kempe, " late of 
Croydon, Gentleman." 

Turning to the early records of the Surrey Archdeaconry Court we find that the will of a 
John Kempe, of Godstone, was proved in 1530, that another probate of a John Kemp of that place 
is registered in 1=^49, that of a Joan Kemp, of Godstone, appears in 1550, and a mention of 
property at Godstone occurs in the will of a celebrated John Kempe, " Parson of Freshwater," 
dated 1579. John, of Freshwater, seems to have been connected in some way with the Kempes 
of Middlesex, but possibly only through his grandson's intermarriage with a Rippin, of Totteridge. 
The land mentioned was bequeathed by Parson Kemp to his sons, Tobias, Caleb and John, and 
the eldest surviving heir. 

Ewell, Dorking, Banstead, Moulsey and Cobham have also had families of Kempes, but these 

Surrey Kempes. 65 

appear to have been but birds of passage, and little worthy of note attaches to them. Guildford 
and Southwark in the eighteenth century had also many Kempes ; one, William Kemp, of 
Guildford, a brewer, is said to be the ancestor of a Sussex Kemp family, if so he was also of 
Wapping and came from Kent (z^z'afe Sussex). 

Returning to the Kempes of Croydon we may say that their pedigree — going back, to the 
early ancestors of the Norfolk Kempe Baronets — is included in the printed "Visitation of Surrey." 
As, however, it gives but two generations actually resident in this county, and the last named 
thereon returned to Norfolk, we have not thought it worth printing here. Several entries con- 
cerning these Kempes are contained in the local Church Registers, and have also been printed in 
the County Histories. On this pedigree appears the name of a Nicholas Kempe, who is marked 
as having died a bachelor. Apart from that statement it is evident from the dates inferred that 
it was not this Nicholas Kempe who was co-founder with Archbishop Abbott of the Trinity 
Hospital, Guildford. 

(Note.— Sir John M, 
(or Willis 
whence th 
this cannc 
of OUanti 

en, of Tregothnan (by Eliz. d. of Nicholas Lower, Harl. MSS. 1 164, 70) 

of (? Tremayne) widow of Tozar. 

d. of Robt. Smith, of Tregoneck, married at Blisland, 20 Sept. 1540. 
irl. MSS. 1079, 196) Will proved 1586. 

29 Sept. 1572. 

Elizabeth Kempe. 

Christopher Kempe. 

I zna son. I i i r 1 1 1 

Richard Kempe, Humphrey 1 honour K. Jane K. John K. Robt. K. Digory K. Humphrey K. 

bap. at B. 
28 Apr. 1566. 

son and 1 

bap. 15; 

bap. 1575. bap. 1578. vide Chart, bap 1582. 
bap. 1579. 

bap. 1386. 

Humphrey Kempe, a sailor, • g ^^^ 

bur. at B. 1632. S.P. h 

Will 1636, P.C.C. 61, bii 

Pile '• 

William K. 
bap. 1589. 

. . . d. of . . . Maunder,=Nichoias Kempe, of Crugsillick, in Veryan. 
of Probus. 

Richard Kempe, of Tragony,=A.^ j^^^ 
b. 1683, d. at Bath 1736. ^ 

Will proved. 

Richard Kempe, 
I. 1681. 

d. . . of . . Foot,=:Nicholas Kempe, 

of Trecossick, 
in Verya 


James Kempe, s. & h. Willian 

1. 1736, d. unmarried, d. unit 
Will dated 1738, 1. i 

proved at Bodmin. 1 

Dorothy, d of James Boriase,=N^ _^^l^ j^^^ ^^1^ j^^;^ j^^g3 Kempe, 

ofTreludry of her brother. d. unmarried. 

s. and heir. 

Re Thomas Kempe, died at sea, 

s. of John, of Gerrans, at Col. 

1682, aged 16. Beneficed 

in Somerset 1692/1708. 

Will 1689/96. 

John Kempe,=Grace, d. of Sir Nich. Trevanion, Henry Kempe,=Mary, d. of 

s. & h. j Knt., Gov. of Pendennis. ob. S.P. Sir. N. T. 

Hannah Kempe, 
d. unmarried. 

Nicholas Kempe, 
of Plymouth, 
vide Chart H. 

Jane Geak, h. of Bonithons,=Saitjj.3J^,^ Kempe,=David Hewis, 
mar. lie. Court of bxeter, of Truro 

16 June, 1833. 

I I 3rd son. 

John Kempe, s. and h.=Letitia Maria, d. of Anne, d. of=Arthur Kempe, 

of Crugsillick, John Coryton, J.Coryton, aj_:..i 

' " ' of Crocaden. 

ob. 22 Aug. 18 14. S.P. of Crocaden. 

Samuel Kempe, 
d. on a voyage 
of discovery with 
Capt. Cook, 1 747, 

Capt. Nicholi 

ob. 182 

buried at 


M. A. Kempe, 
d. unmarried. 

Sophia Kempe, 
d. unmarried. 

Harriett Kempe,^Admiral Sir John 

born 174O) 
of Palone, 
d. aet 80. 

Eliz. Mary,I =:Wm. Courtenay, of Walreddon 
[). 16 Feb. 1786. Devon, 4 June, 1 807. 

Anne Coryton Kempe,=§Mathew Garland Gregor, 
of Gerrans, 4 Aug. 1803. 

Augustas, d. of C 

of Hartley F 

d. lit 

Coryton Sylvanus Sampson Kempe, 
6ist Regiment, d. S.P. 

Wm. Hussey Blomfield Kempe,= Maria Kempe, 

laie of Custom House, ^^ I Wriford, 

drowned in " Princess Alice." | ob. S.P. 

Charles K. 

b. 1799- 
d. unmar. 

John Kempe,=Sui j^^^i ^^j j ^f 

^r^^- V W.J. Harper, 


Charles Patrick K. Maria Letl 

of London, born 18, 

Surgeon. ^Stephen E 

;t=Eleanor M. Taylor, of Crego, in 

I Lan ihoi 

A I 

John Henry Kempe, 
born 1844. 

of Shoreham. 

Wm. Sandford B. K. Edw. Ar. K. Gilbert Bunington K. Arthur Kempe, 

of Exeter, 
M.D., M.R.C.P. 

K. Wm. Coryton K. Arthur Marshall K. Earnest Harper K. Agnes May K. Gladys Noel K. 


B._Sir John MacLean ^laies that the ancestors of this Richard 
(or William) were long seated at Trevelver, Cornwall, 
whence ihey removed lo Lavethan In 1475. Consequently 
thi5 cannot be a great-grandson of any Kcmpe Knight, 

I. of Thomas St. Aubyn, of Clow 

e.^ohn Kempe, Lavethan.^uUa 
lliam Kempe, of Lai'c 

in, of Tregothnan (by Eliz. d. of Nicholas Low 

I. of (.? Tremayne) widow of To: 

John Kempe.=Winifred, d. of Philip Pen! 

Richard Kempe, Humpkrcy Kempe.=Jane. d. of Thos. Peyton, of Dorothy Kempe.=John Truebody. 

bap, at B. son and heir. I Edmundsbury, Customer bap. at B. of Castle, In 

38 Apr. 1566. of Plymouth by Cicily ir Apr. 1568. Laulivery. 

bap. at B. 
II Nov. i;6. 

Humphrey Kempe, : 

Cecilia Kempe, 
lap. 13 Mar, 1603, 
ir..ii B. 3 Apr. 1642. 

J... Kempe, 

Phillipa, d. of . 

I'iHiam Kempe.: 
b. 1629 I.P'.M. 

3 May, l6o=, bap, 13 > 
1 Mar. 1603. 

4 and settled at Veryan, 

?if hard Kcmpe, of Trapony,=Anne, d, of Jai 

b. 1683, d. at Bath 1736. of Little C 

Will proved. Ad. 173! 

amcs Kempe, a. & h. William Kempe, Elizabeth Kempe, co-h. Ann Kempe, Ursula K,' 

. 1736, d, unmarried, d. unmarried, to her bro., 1. 1736. I. 1736. I, 1731 

Will dated 1738. I- 1736- =jQscph Taunton, 1738. =John Thompson, =Samuel ] 

fWm. Williams,=John Kempe, : 
of Rosea 
St. Gerr 

,nd heir,=. . . widow of . . . Hix, of S 

e, 3rd wife. 

s. ^. . . . d. of . . . Leonard. 

i. of . . . Maunder,=Nichoias Kempe, of Crugsillick, in Veryan. 

Mary, eldest d. of= 

=NichoIas Kempe, 

Henry Kempe, of=Ann, d. -if Franc 

Arthur Spry, of 

of Rosteaeue, 

Middle Temple. Bonny, Gold- 

Place, by Mary, d. 

Will 1680, smith, mar. by 1 

of Richd. Gayer. 

1. 1681. 

b. 1654. 27 Feb. 1677-3. 
at Ex. Col. Ox. 1673 

Francis K, ob. an infan 

William Kempe, Richard Kempe, 

nfan t 1680, only child. 

r K.=Wm. Wills) 

I 2nd ion. 
Charles ICempe, of Crci,gsillick,= 

d. unmarried. 

S.amucl Kempe, Capl. Nicholas Kempe, R 
d. on a voyage ob. 1829, a;t 73, 

of discovery with buried at Bridgend, 

■. John Kempe,:=Frances, d. of Rev. Cory, 
:ar of Fowery, I of Costeiort, died at 

ob. 1862. Fowery, 22 May, 1848, 
^1 set 70 M.I. 

. Kempe, Si^phia Kempe, 

t Kempe,=Admiral Sir John 

Charles Travenion Kempe, s. Si h.=Eliz. d. and co-heir of 

Vic.of Breage, Rec. of St. Mich. | Rev. Edward .Marshall, 

Carhayes, ob. 1851, tet 74 . | Vic, of Breage. 

Col. J,.' I .\r hur Kempe,=Eli2. d. of John Penhalloi 

of t [i dia Co. I Peter Crugnurrion, in 

ob. I8I1 J )ct. 1830, I PhiUeigh. 

. d. of Jenkin,=Willia 

Augustas, d. of Capt. W. P. Dayltin,=Rev. Edward .Marshall Kempe, 
of Hartley Ho, co. Devon, Vicar of Linkinhorne. 

d. 1862. S.P. 

Charles K. John Kempc,=Susan, d. of John 
b. 1799. Com, R.N. I Rundle, of Alan 

d. uumar. b. 1804. ^ Prym, Col. of 

iny Helen Dumpster Douglas 

6ist 1 

Wra. Hussey Blomfield Kempe,= 

s Cory Kempe,^Laui 

Charles Patrick K. Maria Letitia K. 
of London, born 1S33, 

=Slephen Robe 

Catharine Eliz. K. Louisa K. 

b. 1S36, m. 1863, born 19 

=John Wm. Harney, May, 1846, 

Com. R.N. died 10 

Jan. ISSS. 

tev. George Henry K. 
Vicar of Croydon, 
bom 4 July, 1844. 

John Arthur K., 
of Birmingha 
bom 26 Oct. i; 

Emily Maty K. Henrietti Frances K. Faniiy K. Mary K.- Eciith K. Alice Mai 

„ d. of 

Chas. Marshall Kempe,=Maria, only d. of Wm. Sandford B. K. Edtv. , 

lington K. Arthur Kempe, 

Chas. Gilbert I). K. Edith K. Wm. Coryton K. Anhur iMarshaU K. 
Surgeon Salisbury Hospital, 

larper K. Agnes May K. Gladys Noel K. 

Section IV. 

The Kemp and Kempe 


Cornwall, Sussex and 
The South of England. 


Kempes of Cornwall, Sussex and the South of England. 



IT may be well to state the traditions of the Cornish family before entering upon \h& facts, as 
while the latter do not entirely support the former, the result of our researches proves that 
these Kempes have been longer established in their native country than their pedigree and 
traditions claim. Briefly, we may say that the several pedigrees which have been lent to us by 
recognised chiefs of the various branches show that their first claimed Kempe ancestor of Cornwall 
was a grandson of one Edward Kempe, a citizen and merchant of London, the latter, being stated 
by Burke and others, to be third son of Thomas Kempe, Knight, of OUantigh, while Burke says 
that Richard Kempe was living at Lavethan in 1500. The second tradition rests largely on this 
first one, as members of the family have explained that the Kempes of Cornwall used the three 
sheaves on a red ground as their arms, xvithout the engrailed border used by the Kentish Kempes, 
as the border was used to indicate that the first known user of it (Archbishop Kempe) was a 
younger son, whereas they claim that the elder branch, which they represent, did not use the 
border until many years after the Archbishop had died, the subsequent use of his addition to the 
shield being the outcome of a natural pride, and the desire to identify themselves more plainly 
with him and his nephew, who it is known also used the border. 

The traditional absence of the " bordure engrailed " is borne out by many deeds relating to 
Cornwall, which bear as the seal of Cornish Kempes three garbs without any bordure, and by these 
arms being emblazoned on the chief family tomb of the Kempes of Lavethan, in Blisland Church, 
dated 1624- 

We have pointed out, both in the Kentish and Norfolk sections, that Edmund Kempe, the 
well known citizen and merchant of London, was not of the OUantigh family, but claimed himself 
to be " heire elect " to Robert Kempe, of Gissing and Weston, and using the latter's arms (with 
the bordure) and quarterings — which are quite different from the quarterings used by Kentish 
Kempes. He is further stated in the " Visitation of Middlesex " to have been a native of Suflfolk, 
and his will, still extant, proved in 1542 (P.C.C, 8 Spert) fully confirms his relationship to the 
Norfolk and Suffolk families, and shows that his two sons, James and Humphrey, were not at that 
date even married, hence neither could have been, as the Cornish Kempes would have us believe, 
founder of the Cornish family. Again, as both must have used the bordure engrailed, they are 
not likely to have handed down the coat without it. It is useless therefore for the Kempes of 
Cornwall to try to attach themselves to the Kentish Kempes through Edmund Kempe or his sons, 
but this does not necessarily prove that they did not spring from the same stock as those of 
OUantigh. Although no coat without the bordure engrailed is recorded to have been used by 

2 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

the earliest Kempes of Wye, the explanation of the border being used to indicate a junior line is 
feasible if it were claimed to have been so used before the fifteenth century. By the usage, how- 
ever, of the sixteenth century the younger branch would be indicated by cadency or " house- 
marks," which were, and are still, exact in their significance. In order therefore to explain the 
use of the recognised coat of the Cornish Kempes we must suppose that their branch was severed 
from the Kentish or Suffolk family not later than about 1400, and to presume that before that date 
their family had been using arms. No record of the Heralds attributes arms to Campes, Kempes, 
or Kympes so early as this, and strange to say the arms so long proved to have been used by 
Cornish Kempes have never yet been authorized by the Heralds' College, although Burke gives 
their pedigree and remarks on their arms in his History of the Commoners. Sir John MacLean, 
who gave some account of the Kempes of Blisland in his history of that parish and Trigg Minor, 
wrote to James Fletcher Kempe, of Liverpool (who claimed to be the head of the family), 
that it was very desirable that the pedigree he held should be recorded officially. Seemingly 
the expense which this would entail has hitherto barred its accomplishment. We know of some 
200 representatives living, and suggest that one of them should take the initiative and get the 
others to subscribe to a general fund to effect this undertaking, so that the pedigree, if not the 
right to ancient arms, may be authenticated.. 

We will now notice as briefly as possible the earliest recorded existence of the name of Kempe 
in Cornwall, Devonshire, Somerset and districts, taking into account possible variants of the name. 
Cornwall being in touch with Ireland some Kempes of the latter country are likely to have been 
akin to the Cornish Kempes. 

The very earliest mention of a Kempe in the Calendars of the Prerogative Court of Canter- 
bury (the jurisdiction of which covered the whole of the south of England) is in 1418, when 
John Kempe, a "clerk" (z.^., priest), of Budleigh, Devon, is recorded to have left a will. It is 
dated 1416, is written in Latin, and describes the testator as of "Budlegh," in the Diocese of 
Exeter, but gives no clue as to his family connexions. In the same Probate Court, in 1425, the 
will of Nicholas Kempe, of Mark, Somerset, was proved ; this also is in Latin, and except for wills 
relating to Kempes of Middlesex, is the second earliest now recorded south of Ipswich, thus giving 
some ground for the claim that as regards property and social standing the Kempes of south- 
west England took the lead. Curiously this testator also was a priest, being chaplain of Mark ; 
it is possible that he was from Kent, and owed his presentation to the influence of Archbishop 
Kempe, who by this time was in power. This seems the more probable, as the name of Nicholas 
Kempe is recorded on the Kentish Subsidy Rolls in 1418 and subsequently disappears. The 
testator leaves legacies to his brother John Kemp, Robert, the son of his "cousin," John Thomas, 
John Pogge, William Baggerly, Lord Sutton [sic) of Bristol, and several others, and the will was 
proved by John Lynde, of Lyndefield, apparently on behalf of the executors, John Thomas and 
the testator's brother, John Kemp, who were residuary legatees. 

It is worth mention, that throughout this will the final e is omitted, and, indeed, although 
for the past two centuries the Cornish Kempes have most carefully maintained the use of the fifth 
letter, the early wills and other local records show that Kempe was not the most common spelling 
adopted by their ancestors, Kympe being certainly more used down to say 1600. Indeed, Kympe, 
or Kimpe, is found as a frequent variant throughout the south-west of England as the following 
facts testify. At Wells, Somerset, are copies of the following wills : John Kympe, Portishead, 
1597; Alice Kemp, Portishead, 1615; John Kempe, Portishead, 1615, and Robert Kempe, 
Backwell, 1623. These documents, which have been searched, clearly show that these spellings 
represented the same family, the first also^ being spelled Kz^mpe. These Kempe and Kympes 

Traditions and early Kempes and Kympes. 3 

appear from the wills to be closely related to those in Gloucestershire, from the borders of which 
they were but a few miles distant. At Gloucester we find that while testators spell their names 
Kempe in 1558 and 1560, Kympe, Kimpe and Keempe occur in 1558, 1566, 1592 and 1619. 
Some of these testators indicate that they are foreign weavers, but Robert Kempe, of Winchcombe 
(1560), we have reason to believe, had a right to arms (Gules three garbs or within a bordure 
engrailed of the last) being near kin to Sir Nicholas Kempe, ot Middlesex. The Calendars of 
Wills at Bodmin have not been searched by the present compilers, as Sir John MacLean having 
evidently examined these when writing his Cornish parochial histories, the chief representatives 
now Hving have thought our making the search quite unnecessary. The Wills of Devonshire, 
recorded at Exeter, do not include any Kempes, but are noticeable as spelling the name with only 
two exceptions without the final e, there being ten Kemps between 1592 and 1742, the exceptions 
being Toby Kemp^, of Stoke Damerel, 1644, and John Kemp^, of Mawnan, 1720. The last, 
certainly, was of Cornish descent, but those of Stoke Damerel had been settled there for many 
generations and were akin to those of Rame, one of whom is called so late as 1613 "Robert 
Campion, Rector of Rame." 

The historical family of Kempe, of Liskeard, is certainly descended from John Kympe^ who is 
recorded in the Manorial Rolls of that place in 1502- Nor was this spelling merely a fault of the 
scribe, for in 1540 William " Kympe " paid XII pence at the Homage to the Lord the King, 
from whom he held some land at Liskeard. In the following year with his co-tenants, John 
Harell and John Kyng, he paid another XII pence, the name again being spelled " Kympe." In 
1 618 Thomas Kympe was rated for an acre of timber of forty years growth, and a tenement in 
Bodnell South ; the first occurrence of the spelling Kempe being towards the close of Queen 
Elizabeth's reign, when " H. Kempe," otherwise called Humphrey Kemp, appears as a suitor for 
lands held of the Queen at Blisland. 

The Manor of Liskeard was the subject of an inquiry in 1624, when it was found to be a 
portion of the Duchy of Cornwall, and the evidences then collected are preserved at the British 
Museum (Ad. MSS. 24, 748 and 24, 750); they show that Blisland in the fourteenth century was 
the property of Bello Campo, Earls of Warwick, with whom (as we have before stated) we have 
reason to suspect many " Kempes " were akin, if not actually descendants of that noble family. 

It would, at least, be reasonable to suppose that descendants of a previous proprietor would 
hold an interest in part of his estate, hence we suggest that this is quite as likely an origin of the 
Cornish Kempes as the traditional one. Touching on this interchange of Kempe and Campo we 
may refer to the Kentish Section, Chapter II., where the coincidence of an Arnulphus Kempe and 
Campo Arnulphi are mentioned as existing contemporaneously. Some of the earliest Kympes, 
of Cornwall, do not appear to have been large landholders, but the earliest marriages on the 
pedigree certainly point to the Kempes of Lavethan being persons of some social standing, while 
Sir John MacLean tells us that before 1475 they were "seated" at Trevelvar, moving their 
principal residence to Lavethan in Blisland in that year ! This authority further states that in 
the reign of Edward I. John Kempe, junior, sued John Hyke (" Bocher ") in a plea of trespass at 
Trevelver. Accepting this statement — the original authority of which we are not told— it rather 
favours our belief that the Bello Campo family may have been progenitors of these Cornish 
Kempes. In 1572 John Kempe, second son of Thomas Kympe or Kempe, of Lavethan, was 
seated at Trevelver, showing that for 100 years at least those of Lavethan held their property at 

John Kemp held lands at Miniver valued at 53.?. ^d. per annum in 1521-3, and these 
descended to Margaret Kemp, who was assessed there in 1571- In the former year an Arthurus 

4 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Kemys was a tenant at St. Miniver, which suggests another origin, for Camois, otherwise Kemys, 
was a family of great power in South Wales, and certainly had some representatives in Cornwall ; 
yet we know of instances in which Kemys and Kempes were interchanged, and we think that this 
Arthur Kemyes was most hkely a Kympe, otherwise Kempe. At Tintagel in 1546 there was 
at least one " Kzmpe " ; and a Walter Kvmpe, of Swilly, living in 1563, son of Argent was the 
founder of a family of Kempes who were long resident in and around Plymouth. In the chapter 
on the origin of the name, it is shown that Kemp and Kemys probably have the same meaning, 
the latter being a translation of the former. All the landholders in Cornwall mentioned in 
" Domesday " have Saxon names. It is therefore in entire accord with reason to suppose Kemys 
to be the Cornish equivalent of Kemp. 

Concerned with this Walter Kympe were several persons named Rede, his wife being Rose 
Rede, on whom lands in Plymouth and Stoke Damerel were settled. The name of Rede is 
mentioned in the will of Thomas Kempe, Bishop of London, the individual being " a boy of my 
{i.e., the Bishop's) chapel" ; possibly the Redes of Devon and Cornwall were earlier related to the 
Kentish Kempes, but of this we have no actual evidence. Seemingly the Stoke Damerel Kempes 
were people of some property, and it is possible that the arms ascribed in British Armourals to 
Kempes of Devon, viz.. Gules a bend vair between three escallops argent, pertained to them. 

Before closing this chapter we may note a connexion of distant Kempes with the south-west 
of England. The Kempes of Norfolk claim descent from one, " daughter of Barnstaple," which 
name is suggested to be associated at a remote date with this part. The members of the same 
family early in the sixteenth century intermarried with Masters, of Somerset, and Cockerhams, of 
Devon. The Essex Kempes had at the end of the sixteenth century relatives in this part in 
consequence of intermarriage with an " Elenor Drew, of Devonshire," and the Kentish Kempes 
were represented in Cornwall about itoo, as Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Shirley, by a 
daughter of Sir Thomas Kempe, of Ollantigh, married Edward Onslow, of St. Tudy. 



SIR JOHN MACLEAN in his " History of Blisland " tells us, that the Manor of Barlandew, 
in the Parish of Blisland, was so called from " lande " — God's inclosure — and " bar " — 
over — thus signifying the summit above God's enclosure. This derivation well accords 
with the site on which the Kempes built their house " Le bidhen," (corrupted to Lavethan, 
originally meaning simply " the meadow,") which is beautifully placed about half a mile from the 
church. It was hither that they removed from Trevelver in 1475- For the next 200 years they 
were among the chief landowners in Blisland, being Lords of the Manor of Barlandew, which in 
1654 consisted of the following: Twelve messuages, six cottages, two water corn mills, two 
tucking mills, sixteen gardens, sixteen orchards, 400 acres of land, fifty acres of wood, fifty acres 
of moor, 300 acres of furze and heath and lis. rent in Barlandew, Lavethan, Hevycroft, Kemyes- 

Lavethan and Branches. 5 

house, Atwell Brownwelly, Nailboro, Whitstile (otherwise Puddietown). Scribbell Stokesley. and 
appurtenances in St. Blisland and St. Breward, all of which were then sold by William Kempe, 
Esquire, to Christopher Walker. 

The pedigree of the family as given in the above " History of Blisland " commences with a 
William Kempe, of Lavethan, who is said to have married Grace, daughter of John Boscawen, of 
Tregothnan, by Elizabeth, daughter of Nicholas Lower. This marriage is supported by a reference 
to Harleian MSS. 11 64, fo. 70, and except for the fact that this Kempe is called Richard by Sir 
Edmund Burke, we have no reason to question its correctness. Whether Richard or William 
does not matter, but it must be admitted that the ancestors of this man were Kempes long settled 
at Blisland and that he was not (as erroneously claimed by modern genealogists of the family) 
grandson of Edmund Kempe, of London. Alfred John Kempe, himself a descendant of these 
Lavethan Kempes, is mainly responsible for this mistake. Being an antiquary of considerable 
repute the present compilers regret the necessity of contradicting him, but in face of considerable 
evidence it is important that members of the family should correct their pedigrees in this particular. 

The second generation shown on the Blisland pedigree is a John Kempe, of Lavethan, who is 
stated to have married, first, Alice, daughter of Thomas St. Aubin, of Clowance, by whom he had 
a son, William Kempe, his successor. John married for his second wife (so the pedigree asserts) 
Juliana, the widow of Toser, but by her no issue is recorded, although it is likely that she was the 
mother of several children. We are disposed to think that this widow was the daughter of 
Tremayne, for Margaret Kempe, widow of William Kempe (the ne.xt generation), who is said to 
have been a daughter of Robert Smith, of Tregoneck, had as witnesses to her will dated I 586 
Richard, John and Jane Tremayne, and mentions her brother, Robert Smith, her sons, John 
and Christopher Kempe, her daughter Ehzabeth, and Winifred, wife of her son, John Kempe. 
Although dated at Clerkenwell, London, her will clearly identifies her with Cornwall apart from 
these names, as she speaks of her personal property at Trevelver, and leaves 405. to the poor of 
St. Miniver. This will (P.C.C, 43 Wmdsor) is further of considerable importance as showing 
another slight error in the pedigree, for Winifred, wife of John Kempe, is undoubtedly the same 
as Winifred Penkiville, daughter of Philip Penkiville, of Ross Crowe, who married John, 
second son of Thomas Kempe, of Lavethan, seated at Trevelver. Presumably Trevelver reverted 
to him on his mother's death under a provision of his father's will. 

John Kempe and Winifred Penkiville were the ancestors of all the branches known to be 
represented at the present time, who on the strength of the pedigree claim Royal descent from 
Catherine Courtney, who is stated to have married the son of this Margaret and William Kempe 
of Lavethan. The name of the son is given as Thomas Kempe, who was buried at Blisland on 
23rd March, 1571. If this is correct it follows that John Kempe was not of the Courtney blood, 
being merely brother-in-law to Catherine Courtney, hence his descendants have no right to the 
Royal lineage which the pedigree claims through this intermarriage. The Courtney-Kempe 
alliance, however, undoubtedly left issue, which for a time remained at Blisland, but at length 
seem to have become involved in costly litigation which so impoverished them that the head of 
the family had to part with the Lavethan property as above stated in 1654. He then settled at 
Veryan, where his second son, Philip, was married in 1690, his wife being Katherine Penwarne. 
Richard Kempe, the elder brother of the last named Philip, having settled at Tregony and 
married Ann, daughter of James Day, of Little Colan, by whom he had two sons, who died 
unmarried, and two daughters, the eldest of whom, Elizabeth, marrying Joseph Taunton, and 
Ursula Kempe, the younger, marrying Samuel Hawis, of Penryn. Elizabeth became heir to her 
brothers and thus conveyed the estates to her husband in 1738. This seems to have been the 


6 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

last of the senior Kempe line ; meanwhile the second branch, starting with John and Winifred 
Kempe, had been gaining in property and in position, and established themselves at Rosteage as 
we shall presently see. 

We must, however, first note a few facts concerning the decadence of the Kempes of Lavethan, 
and the records of them at Blisland Church. 

We crreatly regret that our efforts to obtain an illustration of their important tomb have 
failed, but we still hope to secure a drawing or photograph from which copies could be made for 
the numerous Kempes who now represent the family. Sculptured in low relief on an altar tomb 
are three figures, on the dexter side male and on the sinister female. The first two males appear 
as civilians, and are marked respectively H. K. and W. K. The third is girt with a sword and is 
marked H. K. The three females are respectively marked I. K., G. K., and C. K. Behind the 
first is a skull, and above is an escutcheon of arms — Gules, three garbs or., impaling Or. a cross 
engrailed sable, representing the Kempe intermarriage with Peyton. The inscription on the tomb 
is as follows : 

" Here lyeth the bodye of Humphiey, sonne and Heyie to Thomas Kempe of Lavethan, Esquire, who departed this 
life the tenth daye of November Anno Domini 1624 and married Jane, the daughter of Thomas Peytonne, Esqvire, Customer 
of Plymouth and Cornwall. No sweeter comfort dothe betide mankinde Then to depart this life with a quiet minde, F'irme 
confidence, pure conscience unmolested By Gviltincss of sinne or vice detested ; Such hap I hope, such Grace had I the 
rather Because I dyde a husband and a father. Dyde, no vent hence, for they that leave posterite Live in their offspringes, 
dye not properly." 

The figure of the son girt with a sword represents, undoubtedly, Humphrey Kem^pe, whose 
will was proved in 1630 (P.C, 61 Pile). It commences with: ^'- 1 Humphrey Kempe intending 
God Willing some long Voyage wherefore have thought it expedient to leave for lynds {? lines) to be 
executed by my mother Mrs. Jane Kempe and Cecilie my sister,''^ and proceeds to bequeath £^0 
in the hands of his brother to the sister Cecilie, and _;^20 to his sister Grace, £2 each to his 
brother's " four children," and the residue of his effects to his mother, with whom, he adds, he 
was then living. He was probably a sailor. His mother was the daughter of Thomas Peyton, the 
latter being son of Christopher Peyton, of Bury St. Edmunds. Frances, sister to Thomas Peyton, 
married John Hart, of Highgate, Middlesex, and left a son. Sir Eustace Harte, whose half brother, 
Henry Harte, is frequently mentioned as a relative connected with the sale of Lavethan. 

It seems that in February, 1599, two years before the sale of the Manor of Blisland to the 
Stanhopes, the Queen granted to Humphrey Kempe and Jane, his wife, with John their son, a 
farmhouse, seven acres and outmoors at a rental of 30^'. per annum. In 1602 the outmoors were 
released by the Kempes to the Stanhopes, and by deed dated nth December the same year the 
Stanhopes sold to William Kempe, son and heir apparent of Humphrey, the reversionary interests 
of the above farmer's house and other buildings and orchards. There was about this time 
litigation as to the ownership of a mill and other property which had been held by the Kempes, 
but it seems that their title was not good, and they consequently had to relinquish it. Pre- 
sumably as a result of this loss they had to mortgage other property, and being still in difficulties 
Humphrey and Jane, and William, their son, sold their interest at Lavethan to Sir Eustace and 
Henry Harte by deed, dated 6th November, 1624. 

(Sir Eustace Harte, Knight, of Highgate, was buried at St. Paul's Wharf, London, in which 
parish Kempes appeared about the time of this breaking up of the Lavethan estate. One, William 
Kempe, of St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf, a clothworker, had married Elizabeth Gardiner, widow, there 
in 1579-80, and at that church in 1608 Elizabeth Kempe, late of Kingston, married John 
Bodleigh. We, however, cannot say for certain if these belonged, to the Cornish family which 
Eustace Harte befriended.) 

'-,V' Liskeard and St. Germans. 7 

In the church at Blisland there are, or were recently, two more epitaphs to the local Kempes. 
They are given in the " History of Blisland " as follows : 

" Here lyeth the Body of John Kempe, who lived in Allernum and was born in Tresineck, being aged 75 years, Anno 
Domini 1728. Heares peace and rest within my Grave / Which in my life / Could never have." 

" Here lyeth Mary the wife of John Kempe who was born in Stoke Klemsland, whose name of Smeath, being aged 84 
years. / The heart knoweth his own bitterness and a stranger does not inter meddle with his joy, For in the presents of God 
is fulness of Joy, / At his right hand are pleasures for ever more." 

A note states that according to the register Mary Kempe was buried on 28th October, but the 
year is not stated. We can only wonder what was the cause of this couple's unhappiness. 
Kempes are shown to have been frequently, if not constantly, at Alternon between 1605 until 
the above date, the will of a miller of this place named John Kempe was proved at Bodmin in 
April, 1667, and an Edward Kempe, also a miller there in 1679- 

The Registers of Blisland contain numerous Kempe items from their commencement down 
to 1742, when Edward Kempe, aged about twenty-three, was buried there ; but it seems impossible 
to include all the items in one pedigree, and there is little doubt that strangers of the name 
frequently came to the parish from other Kempe centres. Anyway, the Kempes of Blisland lost 
their prestige before 1750. 



"^^TTE mentioned in Chapter I. that so early as 1502 John Kympe held land at Liskeard, 
\ \ / and that in 1540 William Kympe had succeeded him ; the next note we have is the 
VV Subsidy Roll of 1544 for the hundred of Trigg, when John Kympe is rated at /20 
and William Kympe at /15. In 1554 Jacob, otherwise James Kemp, was Member of Parlia- 
ment for Liskeard, while John " Keym " was M.P. for Helston. In 1577 John Kemp with others 
was indicted as a Papist, for aiding and abetting of the Bull, and was adjudged upon the Statute of 
Premunire "to lose lands and goods and to undergo pepetual imprisonment at the Queen Majesty's 
pleasure." We cannot say with certainty that this Kemp was of Liskeard, but the bill of 
indictment describes the offenders as " Papists of Cornwall," thus it seems likely that the testator, 
whose will was proved in 1593 as William Kempe, of " Lyskeard," Cornwall, may have been his 
son, for the will directs his friends, John Notle and John Kempe, " in special confidence to labour 
and endeavour to recover " his " interest and right in several tinworks in Lankhooles and 
Hondrethin," and to apply the profits, when obtained, for the benefit of James Blaye's children, 
John Bloye and Jone Bloye, Jane Notley, John Ingowe ; Elizabeth Jago, Robert Fudge, WilUam 
Marshe and John Vosper are also mentioned, but no Kempe relationships are stated. 

We hear nothing more of the tinworks, so fear that they were not recovered. The next will 
of a Kemp at Liskeard is that of Peter Kemp, dated 1622 and proved the following year (P.C.C, 
16 Swan). To Thomas Kemp of the same parish, yeoman, /20 was bequeathed, and bequests to 

p 2 

8 History of the Kemp and Keinpe Fajnilies. 

his sister Alice Edle and brother Edward. Humphrey Virler is designated the testator's "cousin," 
and Patience Bishopp, Mrs. Faith, Jane Penrose, Mr. Pennant and others are mentioned. A 
charity of some unknown date was founded at Liskeard by a John Kempe, and in 1588 WiUiam 
Kempe was a subsidy payer there and termed a " superior burgess." Peter Kempe was Town- 
Sergeant of Li.skeard for some years prior to 1662, about which time Richard Kempe, of Liskeard, 
was licensed to issue farthing tokens, of which specimens still exist though rare. His token was 
marked on one side " Richard Kemp, 60," with three fleur de lis, and on the other " In Lisscard, 
'/j." It is likely that the fleur de lis were in allusion to his arms, for a recognized Kempe coat 
was '' ermine, on a saltire engrailed five fleur de lis. Or," while in Ireland Kempes had a similar 
shield, namely, " Or, on a saltire gules five fleur de lis of the first, the crest pertaining to which 
was an Antilope passant, Or, collared azure. This, or another similar one, is also said to have 
been used by some Kemp family of Scotland. 

The first Kemp(e) will recorded at Exeter is that of Henry Kemp, of St. Erney, which place 
is close to St. Germans and between Liskeard and Rame. It is likely that this Henry was from 
.he latter family, as one, Henry Kempe, of Crede, is mentioned in 1573 as party to a Rame deed. 
We have not, however, seen the will and must leave this in doubt. 

We will briefly give the evidence concerning the Kempes of Rame and Plymouth, many of 
which details are found in " Miscellanea Genealogica," under a notice of the Furneaux family, one, 
Emma Kempe, having married John Furneaux on 25th February, 1652, at Stoke Damerell, as 
recorded in that parish register. Possible Furneaux was a variant of " Fyneaux," if so perhaps 
John Fyneaux mentioned as concerned with lands of the Kentish Kempes about 1520 was related 
to this John Furneaux. Rose Rede, daughter and heir of Thomas Gaynor, and widow of Stephen 
Rede, held lands in Plymouth and Stoke Damerell for her own use in 1533, the reversion being 
entailed first to Robert Rede and his issue, which failing, the remainder was for Richard Rede, 
and if his issue failed the remainder was settled upon Argent Kempe and his right heirs, or the 
last failing then to the right heirs of the donor. The lands concerned were then valued at 345. 4^. 
In 1563 lands at Wortha, in Mary Tavy, were granted by Simon Rowe and Rose his wife to 
Walter Kympe and Anne, his wife. In 1566 the latter couple, with Symon Rawe and Rose, 
his wife, were jointly interested in a freehold lease and tenement and close at Plymouth, which 
they seem to have made over to Phillippa Dingle. In 1571 John Rede released his right to 
lands in Stoke Damerell and Plymouth and Compton to the right heir of Rose Rede, widow, 
namely, Mr. Walter Kempe, of Stoke Damerell. In 1573 lands in Marwell were held by Henry 
Kempe, of Crede, Elizabeth, his wife, John, their son and heir apparent, who together settled the 
property on Richard and Robert Kempe, sons of the above named John, who, however, is called 
" son of Walter." That same year Robert Kjympe had a grant of annuity from John Ernestsettle, 
of St. Budeaux, Robert apparently having married Emma, daughter of this grantor, the annuity 
being charged on land in Plymouth. In 1606 Sir John Hele and Mary, his wife, made over a 
lease of three parts of Swilly for life to Mr. Tobias Kempe and Joan Dawe, and in 1611 Robert 
Kempe settled by deed on his son, Tobias Kempe, his lands in Plymouth, Stoke Damerel, and at 
Mary Tavy. This Tobias was aged thirty years at his father's death, and married Joan, daughter 
of . . . Dawe, of Maker. She was living a widow in 1647, as she then assigned her interest 
in the above three parts of Swilly to her daughter Emma, this being confirmed on the daughter's 
marriage to John Furneaux in 1652, and a further gift made of lands in Stoke Damerel and 
Plymouth as well as at Heavitrce. In | 689 the will of John Furneaux was proved and settled 
upon his issue these lands. Meanwhile, however, other interests in Swilly, Stoke Damerel and 
Plymouth were retained by the Kempes; Pascho Kempe, of Swilly, brother to Emma Furneaux, 

Liskeard and St. Germans. 9 

holding at least one eighth of Swilly in I 647. This moiety he bequeathed to his sister, whose 
husband purchased another moiety from Abraham Rowe, and the balance of the interests from Sir 
E. Hungerford. How Sir E. Hungerford obtained his moieties we cannot say, but we must 
remark that a Richard Hungerford in his will of | 5 I O mentions his " cousins," Margaret Kempe 
and Robert Blaverhauset, both of whom were connected closely with the Kempes of Gissing as 
well as with the County of Warwick. 

An early Kempe of note evidently connected with Rame, was William Kempe, Master of the 
Grammar School at Plymouth, erroneously supposed by some to be identical with the actor. 
William Kempe, the schoolmaster, made his will in i6oi, and it was proved the same year, 
whereas the actor was living in 1603, and possibly later. The will mentions his father, Walter 
Kempe, his brother Robert, and his sisters, Thomasine and Jona^y, leaving to the latter his smallest 
volume of the EngHsh Bible. He further mentions his brother-in-law, John Honkin, his cousin, 
Pascowe Kempe, of Rame, and his wife Joan, while he gives the names of his children as William, 
Judith, Elizabeth, Joan and Wilmot ; besides these he speaks of his property at Ware, and leaves 
alms to the poor of Plymouth, Stoke Damerel, Stonehouse, and St. Budork. It was, undoubtedly, 
this William Kempe who wrote " A Dutiful Invective " in 1 587, and in the following year 
another book " Education of Children in Learning." He also translated Peter Ramus' Arithmetic 
in 1 592. The name Pascowe is derived through a marriage between Thomasine Kempe and 
John Pascowe, and the widow of the latter we find married Francis Croker, Gent., at St. Stephen's 

In the Church of Rame is a floor slab commemorating the following : Paschoe Kempe, of 
Rame, who died i8th July, 1628 ; Aquila Blake, son of John B. of this parish, died 1631, also 
Joan, wife of Pascho. Evidently other names were inscribed, but these now are obliterated. The 
will of this Pascowe Kempe was proved in 1628 (P.C.C., 112 Barrington). It described the testator 
as of Rame, and bequeaths charity to the poor of that parish and of Stoke Damerel, St. Johns and 
St. Anthony. The will mentions the testator's cousin, Nicholas Kempe, and his brother, Thomas 
Kempe, John and Edward, sons of the latter, and numerous other relatives. His sister Wilmot is 
doubtless the Wilmot mentioned in the former will. It also mentions Tobias Kempe, of whom 
we have already spoken. 

The will of another Pascho Kempe, a resident of Stoke Damerel, was proved in 1 649 
(P.C.C., 39 Fairfax). It speaks of lands and tenements in Plymouth and Stoke Damerel, Nether 
Swilley, and " Cumpton " (? Cullompton), also Wortha Mills, which he had inherited, he states, 
from his father, Tobias. The bulk of these he left to his sister " Emb " Kempe. Among other 
friends he mentions Honor Dingle, daughter of John Dingle, of Lavaniche, and John Webb, a 
brazier, of Plymouth. 

The will of a third Pascho Kempe was proved in 165 1 (P.C.C, 244 Grey). It commences 
" Be it remembered that Pascho Kempe, late of Stoke Damerel," and goes on to bequeath his 
estate in trust to his wife for hfe, with a remainder to his daughter Joan. This Joan married 
Blake, who became administrator, Elizabeth Kempe, the widow, having died without proving 
the will. 

We hear no more of the Kempes of Stoke Damerel until 1 769, when Anthony Kemp, a 
mariner of His Majesty's ships Norfolk and York., but late of Stoke Damerel, a bachelor, left a 
little property, which was administered by his sister, Ann Martin, a widow. 

We know of a few later Kemps of Plymouth, but it does not follow that these belong to the 
old family. One instance is the Rev. Thomas Kemp, D.D., of the Hendon family, who was for a 
time Chaplain of Plymouth, as he states in his will proved 1 769. Between Liskeard and Rame 

lo History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

is the parish of Saltash, where Edward Kempe died between 1 634 (when his will was made) and 
1637 (when it was proved) (P.C.C., 140 Goare). This testator mentions John Horrenden, Thomas 
Bignell, Robert Walker and others, but he mentions no Kempe relatives with the exception of his 
only daughter, Elizabeth, who had married John Horrenden, father of the above legatee. This 
testator is described as a merchant, and was evidently in the weaving trade, for he leaves to 
Thomas Bignall one pair of his looms, " if he be so minded as to follow the trade of weaving." 
We do not know at what this testator's estate was valued, but we presume that he was wealthy, 
for he instructed his executors to bury him in the middle of a chancel of the parish of St. Stephen's, 
to the poor of which parish he left 40.?. " to keep them at work, but not otherwise." 



<v** - , 

E cannot attempt to dwell on each interman-iage shown in the accompanymg pedigrees, 

but it will be seen that Nicholas Kempe, son of John Kempe, by Winifred 

W*^"' - ^ ^ ^ Penkivell, purchased Rosteage, in the Parish of Gerrans, from Reginald Mohuri in 

>*^ -^y^^I 6 1 9, from which time the senior branch of John Kempe's issue made this their seat. We have 

Iv*^ ^ , not found the will of John Kempe, of Levethan, nor that of Nicholas, of Rosteage, the first 

L*i^. ^1*** Kempe will connected with this place being that of Jone Kempe, proved in 1653- She is 

aJ^^"**"^ 1ju> described as a widow, of Rosteage, in the parish of Gerrans. She mentions John Kempe, her 

^Ll*^t^ eldest son, Wilmutt Kempe, and her daughters-in-law, Mary Kempe and Grace Kempe, and her 

y '^ ^grandchildren, John, Thomasine and Anne Kempe, also her daughters, Phillippa Fudge, Ann 

^^^Aj^o^ Hawke, Susan Hobbs and Rebecca Webber, from which it appears that despite the pedigree she 

*\5 c*y:^ was closely connected with the Kempes of Stoke Damerel and Plymouth. The only estate men- 

li* ' S"*^ tioned is " Pentawadden," in the parish of Gerrans, with deeds appertaining thereto dated 

^ . M'.' ' 1640, and deeds giving title to an estate called " Cellerin Petegrew " in the same parish dated 

3^1-.^'- 1632, which she left to her son James, while the residue of her personal estate was to be divided 

\r p between her four sons, Anthony, Nicholas, Richard and this James. The younger sons do not 

(K^V*^ appear on the pedigree, but undoubtedly left issue, which, however, we cannot attempt to follow. 

ci/^ - Her son John was in the parish of Gerrans in 1672, and her grandson Nicholas was there in 

y^dr 1 698, and later in Penryn. 

. I Arthur Kempe, of Rosteage, son of the last named, was customer at Falmouth, and in 1711 

Qy'^ i^*^ and 1712 was sheriff for the county, John Worth, of Penryn, evidently his kinsman, being the 
ly^ ^ ^^ ^»^ther sheriff in those years. He married Honor, daughter of Christopher Huddy, by whom he 

' f^^^ad Nicholas, his son and heir, and Arthur Kempe, who became Governor of St. Mawes Castle, 

^ ^ V^<efftd a son Charles, of Crugsillick. Nicholas, the eldest son, was sheriff for Cornwall in 1761, and 

(T y>\ * «feh^ banner which he used during his shrievalty is still preserved, being now in possession of James 

•^ fS^ y^letcher Kempe, Esq., of Liverpool, who is declared to be heir-at-law to the late head of this 

Penryn^ Falmouth and Gerraus. 


family. The illustration of this banner, which we reproduce, is from a photograph taken per- 
sonally. It is worthy of notice that although the family has been accustomed to use as their 
motto an appropriate text of scripture in Latin, the sheriff gave its English equivalent : " They 
that sow in tears shall reap in joy," for the benefit of his pious supporters. The will of this 
sheriff styling himself Nicholas Kempe, of Rosteage, Esquire, was proved in 1768 (P.C.C, 206 
Seeker). After pious phrases — not common at this period — he bequeathed to his brother Charles, 
of Carsillich, and his sister Ursula in trust all his lands, tenements and personal estate, instructing 
them to pay all the debts of his late father, Arthur Kempe, and afterwards to raise ^9°° fo'' '^""^ 
benefit of his three daughters, Mary, Dorothy and Ursula, and the remainder of his estate was left 
in trust for his son, Samuel Kempe, and his 
heirs. This will is dated 7th September 
1754, and the original probate is in the 
hands of the above-mentioned James 
Fletcher Kempe. Attached to the will are 
copies of accounts kept by the executors 
showing how the estate was administered. 

Samuel Kempe, the eldest son, was 
born in 1728, and was therefore not a 
minor at his father's death, and the estates 
were evidently put in the hands of the 
testator's brother and sister in order to 
realise sufficient to pay mortgages on the 
estates, the testator feeling that his son was 
not a suitable person to be entrusted with 
this responsibility. Indeed, there can be no 
doubt that the honour of serving as sheriff 
had lead the two last generations into great 
expense, and that Samuel Kempe was not 
niclined to economise. When at length, 
after satisfaction of the debts of his fore- 
fathers, Rosteage came into his hands, he 
found he was unable to keep up such an 
establishment as it necessitated, and either 
by deed — of which there is no evidence — 
or by mortgage, or other arrangement, 
Rosteage passed into the hands of the 

Harris family. It has long been a bone of contention that the Harris's had no real title to the 
estate, but we fear now that too many years have elapsed to permit of the Kempes making 
good their title. Nicholas Kempe, the eldest son, was a commander in the Royal Navy, 
and died in 1829, aged seventy-two, and his brother, John Kempe (who purposely dropped 
the final "e" from his name), became a merchant in New York, where he died in 1824. 
William Kempe, the third son, was living in 1824, and was the only one of these sons whose 
issue survived. He had sisters named Jane and Honor. These five children give rise to a 
serious question in law. The first and second having died without issue, the issue of the 
third son would naturally be heirs-at-law to the Rosteage property, if recovered, while the 
personal estate, if entailed, should have passed to WiUiam Kempe's eldest son. It is important 

B;inner of Nicholas Kempe. 

12 Historv of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

therefore that exact evidence, with proofs of the decease without issue should be put in, in case of 
Nicholas, John, and other heirs-at-law. Thanks to the trouble which James Fletcher Kempe has 
taken to gather together official copies of probates and certificates, he has established his title to 
the personal effects of his grandfather, William Kempe, who resided for a time at Tyne Villa, 
Devon, and afterwards on the continent, where he died. It is noteworthy that some Kempes of 
New York and Bermuda, who have for some generations been most careful to preserve the final 
"e" to their name, were told by their father that the reason for doing this was because they were 
the head of a family Avho had considerable property in Cornwall. 

The tradition spontaneously sent to us by the head of this Bermuda family, who had no 
exact knowledge of the Kempe family of Cornwall, is to the following effect : " My father, 
William Kempe, was a native of Cornwall, England, and born in 1804- Left his home when 
quite a boy and joined H.M. Navy. Served for some time under Admiral Lord Dundonald (or 
Cockerhan) in American waters. Returned to England and entered the coastguard service. 
Married Miss Mary Elizabeth Bullen, of Hampshire, by whom he had three sons, Richard, 
William and James. Later joined the convict service and came to Bermuda, bringing his family 
with him. Shortly after coming out his wife died (about 1849)- Some years later he retired 
from service on a pension, and remained here till his death, which occurred 23rd January, 1865. 
The three sons are still living, and have issue " ..." I remember when very young my 
father taking me to his mother's home (his father being then dead), and his two sisters were then 
living. I also remember being told by my father that his brothers were lost at sea., and that he 
was t\\& youngest child ^ but only surviving son." 

This statement, if compared with the pedigree, will be found to coincide with the facts as 
given by James Fletcher Kempe, the heir-at-law, with but a slight difference as to the date of 
birth of William Kempe, father of Richard Kempe, the writer of the above letter. It may be 
nothing more than a mere chance, and the two families may not be connected, but as we have 
not received or found proofs of the death of the elder brothers of James Fletcher Kempe's father, 
it is still open for us to suggest that one of these brothers was the founder of the Bermuda Kempe 
family. If this founder proves to be an elder brother, his issue would be morally entitled to any relics of 
the Cornish family which might be considered heirlooms. It is not for us, however, to enter 
upon the legal aspect of this strange coincidence, but it is our duty to state that James Fletcher 
Kempe, on his return from New Zealand, made application to the Court of Chancery, who granted 
to him as apparent heir the personal effects of his grandfather, which included the family banner 
above mentioned, a signet ring which had long been in the family, and numerous family documents. 

The will of John Kemp, late merchant of New York (mentioned above), was dated in London 
on the 19th March, 1818, and written in the form of a letter, states, that he was then leaving for 
New York, and thus appointed as attorneys and executors his brother, Nicholas Kempe, and his 
sisters, Mrs. Janes Larbeck and Mrs. Honor Stevens. The will leaves his property in New York 
to Eliza Kemp, his wife, for life, with residue (subject to a few legacies), to his brothers and sisters. 
This was proved in Liverpool on 9th July, 1824, the said brothers and sisters, with a brother 
William, having given evidence to support the validity of this will. By an arrangement made 
between these parties it was agreed that the estate should be invested in the British funds, and 
the interest from ^1,500 each was to be respectively paid to the four parties. The estate is said 
to have proved of considerably less value than was expected, owing to the small value of American 
stocks, which had to be realised. 

The will of Jane Larbeck was dated at Chepstow, 5th March, 1840- She mentions her 
grandsons, William Kempe Larbeck and John Kempe Larbeck, also her nephew, William KEMPfc;, 

The Second Branch. 13 

junior, and her nephew, Nicholas John Kempe ; also James Fletcher Kempe, William Kempe, 
Sarah Kempe, and Mary Ann Kempe, sons of her nephew, Nicholas John Kempe. Administra- 
tion of this will was granted to her brother William, i8th December, 1843. 

The will of Honor Stevens, widow, was dated from Roath Castle, Glamorganshire, 21st 
February, 1841. She states that she was lately residing at Farnham Surrey, and she wished to 
be buried beside her late husband, John Stevens, at Lewisham. She left legacies to her nephew, 
William Kempe, junior, and her nephew, Nicholas John Kempe, and stock (of the face value of 
i"i,ooo) to her brother, William Kempe, of Roath Castle. 

William Kempe, of Roath Castle, Glamorganshire (formerly of Liverpool), sold his residence 
about 1830 to Lord Bute's agent, and then purchased Teign Villa, which he sold after the death 
of his wife, and in 1851 he left England for France, where he is said to have died in 1858, 
aged eighty-nine. This William was the fourth son of Samuel Kemp, and born at Rosteage in 
1770, where he lived for ten years. At the age of fifteen he went to Lisbon, and is said to have 
made a fortune there. Coming home in 1805 he went into partnership and lost the greater 
portion of it. This William Kempe probably married in 1805, and we suggest that William 
Kempe (afterwards of Bermuda) was born in 1806, and therefore was the elder brother of 
Nicholas John Kempe, father of the present legal head of the family. 

Among the documents descended to James Fletcher Kempe is an interesting map and 
architectural drawing of Roath Castle and its estate. The castle was an embattled edifice with a 
wide front built in five sections, and stood in a park of about fifty acres in all, with Ty-yn-y-coed farm, 
it included 143 acres adjoining the property of the Marquis of Bute and the CardiflF Corporation. 

A biography of Nicholas Kempe, R.N., who died at Bridgend, South Wales, aged seventy- 
two in 1829, appeared in the Gentleman'' s Magazine in July that year. It is very interesting, 
the more so that it was written by his learned kinsman, Alfred John Kempe, the antiquary. In 
addition to the fact that this Captain Nicholas went on a voyage of discovery with Captain Cook, 
it states that during the revolutionary war with the LTnited States he was much on the American 
station, and was for three years in East India, and latterly in the West Indies. The circumstance 
of his having been in the West Indies, coupled with the fact of his brother being a merchant in 
New York, appears a very good reason why a nephew of his should settle at Bermuda. Richard 
Kempe and William Kempe, now of Bermuda, and their brother James Kempe of New York, are 
sons of the William Kempe, " a native of Cornwall " mentioned above as settling in the West 
Indies in 1848. They have each several children living. 



'T^TTE have said that Nicholas Kempe, of Rosteage, mentioned in his will Charles Kempe, 

\ \ / his second brother, seated at Crugsilich. This Charles married his kinswoman, Ann 

▼ ▼ Kempe, heir to her brother James, who died unmarried, which James was a son of 

John Kempe, eldest son of Nicholas Kempe, of Crugsilich and Veryan, the last named being 

second son of the first Nicholas Kempe, of Rosteage. Thus two branches were represented by the 


History of the Kemp and Konpe Families. 

issue of Charles Kempe, of Crugsilich, and Ann. Their eldest son, James, was a surgeon at Truro. 
His children, however, were all daughters, and their line passes from our notice. Charles, the 
second son, was Rector of St. Mabyn, and the founder of a family which we shall notice presently. 
Arthur Kempe, the third son, was an Admiral, and is at present represented by Edward Marshall 
Kempe, of New Shoreham. Charles Kempe, of St. Mabyn, left a son John, who was Vicar of 
Fowey, and died in 1862, leaving the following family : John, commander in the R.N. ; George 
Henry, Rector of Bicton ; James Cory, Rector of Huish and Merton, Devon, and Arthur Kempe, 
of Exeter, surgeon. John Kempe, R.N., left two daughters and a son, Charles Patrick Kempe, a 
physician, who practised in Bayswater, and died aged sixty-six on the 12th May, 1900. His will 
was proved that year in the principal registry, and his son, also a doctor, now represents the 
second line of this ancient family. 

George Henry, the Rector of Bicton, left two sons, both unmarried as yet, viz , George 
Henry, now a vicar of one of the Croydon churches, and John Arthur, a medical practitioner, 

living at Birmingham. The elder has inherited the principal 
estates at Veryan, which have been in the family for some 
200 years. Dr. John Arthur Kempe has been good enough 
to send us a copy of his book-plate, which, however, he 
states, perhaps jocularly, to be " the only genuine One," and 
claiming that his brother, George Henry, is the senior repre- 
sentative of the Kempes of Veryan. As, however, their 
father was born in 1809, and Charles Patrick Kempe's father 
was born in 1S04, it will be seen that the Rev. George Henry 
is a junior representative to Charles Patrick's eldest son. 
Dr. Charles Patrick Kempe, as head of the Veryan family, 
inherited the books collected by successive generations, and 
cut from one of these a book-plate, which is at least 150 years 
old, and which is now in our possession, while that sent in 
by John Arthur Kempe is a fine modern example. 

The issue of James Cory Kempe were John Henry 
and James Arthur, with several daughters, who are also 

Arthur Kempe, of Exeter, Surgeon, born in 1812, 
met with his death in the great disaster, the wreck of the 
Princess Alice. At the time Arthur Kempe, his eldest son, was a student at college, and not yet 
prepared as a qualified surgeon. This fact, and his lack of knowledge of the family estates, we 
understand resulted in considerable loss to the family, but he has now one of the best practices in 
the West of England, and still holds a considerable portion of his father's estate. He has to regret 
the loss of an ancestral ring which it was his father's habit to wear. This was a Cornish diamond of 
considerable size, very heavily mounted, and we understand bore his arms. It dropped from the 
finger of his father when on a visit to Cornwall and has never been found. He owns a pedigree 
showing the descent of his family, not merely from the Kempes of Levethan, but from the Kings of 
England and numerous old Cornish families, with the arms of those which his family represent. 

Arthur Kempe, the Admiral, had the following sons as well as daughters. The eldest, Charles 
Trevanion, was Vicar of Breage ; the second was John Arthur, Colonel in the East. India Company, 
and the third, William Peter, a Captain in the same Company. The eldest left a son, Edward 
Marshall Kempe, Vicar of Linkinhorne. 

Book-plate used by Nicholas Kempe. 


"^ 2nd wife. 3nd husb. 

4int,=. . . d, and co-heir of . . . Meriton, of Co. Oxford.=:. . . Dixon, the Mezzotint engraver. 

^abeth, rehct of 
Capt. Bennei. 

Thomas Lamburner Kempe, 
of H.M. Post Office, died unmarried. 

Jemima I 
died an 

Rev. Joh?^' 

b. 9 Mai — 

Rev. Edv 


b. 9 Jul. t 

Vic. of ] 



— Edwi 

— Wm. 

— Mar; 


— KatH 

William. Hunter. 

Eleanor Charlotte Hunter, niece of Anne K. relict of J. K. 
b. 1763 ab. at Upper Gower Street, Oct. 1829. 

Caroline Wilhelmina K. 
b. 14 Mar. 1820, 1. 1899. 

^Percy Davies, of 
Crickhowell, Brecon. 

Adeline Octavia K. 
b. 19 Nov. 1821, 

mar. 1844. 

=;John Benson, 

d. 1887. 

Charles Nicholas K. 

b. 23 Aug. 1827, 

Uving 1899. 

Eleanor Mary Brandreth K. 
b. 3 Dec. 1829, m. 1851, 
^Capt. Alfred Parish. 

Ernest Courtney Kempe, J.P. 

b. 5 Sep. 1854, m. 1894. 
=:Marguerite Maude Giles. 

— Geveril Hugh Courtney K. 
b. 18 Sept. 1895, d. 

— Humphrey Gilbert 
Courtney K. 
b. 25 Feb. 1897. 

Austin Arrow K. 
b. II June, 1856, 

m. 1891. 
=Ada Anderson. 

Doris Mary K. 
b. 13 Mar. 1894. 

Beatrice Mary Amelia K. 
b. 17 June, 1858, m. 1877. 

=John Goldney (d. 1883) 

=G. Herbert Walker, Sec. 
Works Dept., Calcutta. 
(? no issue) 

Walter Alfred K. 
b. i860, d. 1863. 

Eliz. Elenor K. 

b. I Feb. 1864, 

d. 1881. 

Reginald Carlisle K. 

b. 23 Nov. 1831, 

m, 1859. 

=.\da Sophia Bristow, 

d. 1880. 


Evelyn Violet Kempe, 

b. 14 Apr. i860, 

d. 1896, m. 1883. 

=Capt. Raymond Crawford. 

Reginald Bristow Kempe, 
b. 23 Sep. 1861. 

Geraldine Beatrice Kempe, 
b. 2 Aug. 1863. m. 1885. 
=Wilfred Cole Verner, d. 1889 

=Edward Alexander Harvey, 
m. 3 Feb. 1894. 


Harold Carlisle Kempe, 

b. 10 Oct. 1865, 

d. 1889. 

t Rosteage 1770, lived at Shaldon, Devon,=Sarah, d. of Rev. John Lyne, Rector of St. Ives, 
at Pau, France, 1859. i born at Liskeard 1775, bur. at Ringmore 1844. 

Nicholas John Kempe,^Ellen, d. of Isaac Holmes, 
b. at Liverpool 1808, \ bur. at Wadsley, Yorks. 18 
bur. at Sydney 1882. I m. 1829. 

M;.ry Ann K. 

James Fletcher Kempe, of Liverpool:=Anne Doyle, 
b. 1836. 

Arthur K. 
b. and d. 1852 

John K. 
of Liverpool. 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

issue of Charles Kempe, of Crugsilich, and Ann. Their eldest son, James, was a surgeon at Truro. 
His children, however, were all daughters, and their line passes from our notice. Charles, the 
second son, was Rector of St. Mabyn, and the founder of a family which we shall notice presently. 
Arthur Kempe, the third son, was an Admiral, and is at present represented by Edward Marshall 
Kempe, of New Shoreham. Charles Kempe, of St. Mabyn, left a son John, who was Vicar of 
Fowey, and died in 1862, leaving the following family : John, commander in the R.N. ; George 
Henry, Rector of Bicton ; James Cory, Rector of Huish and Merton, Devon, and Arthur Kempe, 
of Exeter, surgeon. John Kempe, R.N., left two daughters and a son, Charles Patrick Kempe, a 
physician, who practised in Bayswater, and died aged sixty-six on the 12th May, 1900. His will 
was proved that year in the principal registry, and his son, also a doctor, now represents the 
second line of this ancient family. 

George Henry, the Rector of Bicton, left two sons, both unmarried as yet, viz , George 
Henry, now a vicar of one of the Croydon churches, and John Arthur, a medical practitioner, 

living at Birmingham. The elder has inherited the principal 
estates at Veryan, which have been in the family for some 
200 years. Dr. John Arthur Kempe has been good enough 
to send us a copy of his book-plate, which, however, he 
states, perhaps jocularly, to be " the only genuine Dne," and 
claiming that his brother, George Henry, is the senior repre- 
sentative of the Kempes of Veryan. As, however, their 
father was born in 1809, and Charles Patrick Kempe's father 
was born in 1804, it will be seen that the Rev. George Henry 
is a junior representative to Charles Patrick's eldest son. 
Dr. Charles Patrick Kempe, as head of the Veryan family, 
^^^ inherited the books collected by successive generations, and 
cut from one of these a book-plate, which is at least 150 years 
old, and which is now in our possession, while that sent in 
by John Arthur Kempe is a fine modern example. 

The issue of James Cory Kempe were John Henry 
and James Arthur, with several daughters, who are also 

Arthur Kempe, of Exeter, Surgeon, born in 1812, 
met with his death in the great disaster, the wreck of the 
Princess Alice. At the time Arthur Kempe, his eldest son, was a student at college, and not yet 
prepared as a qualified surgeon. This fact, and his lack of knowledge of the family estates, we 
understand resulted in considerable loss to the family, but he has now one of the best practices in 
the West of England, and still holds a considerable portion of his father's estate. He has to regret 
the loss of an ancestral ring which it was his father's habit to wear. This was a Cornish diamond of 
considerable size, very heavily mounted, and we understand bore his arms. It dropped from the 
finger of his father when on a visit to Cornwall and has never been found. He owns a pedigree 
showing the descent of his family, not merely from the Kempes of Levethan, but from the Kings of 
England and numerous old Cornish families, with the arms of those which his family represent. 

Arthur Kempe, the Admiral, had the following sons as well as daughters. The eldest, Charles 
Trevanion, was Vicar of Breage ; the second was John Arthur, Colonel in the East. India Company, 
and the third, William Peter, a Captain in the same Company. The eldest left a son, Edward 
Marshall Kempe, Vicar of Linkinhorne. 

Book-plate used by Nicholas Kempe. 


Nicholas Kempe, of Plymouth, (3rd son of Nicholas K. of Crugsilhch)^ 

Thomas Lambumer Kempe, 
H.M. Post Otfjce, died unmarried. 

Edward Gibbon Kempe. 

.Alfred John Kemi 

b. I4june,I7«4.d 

bur. at Fulhai 

,=Mary, d. of J. Prior, a Capt. in t 
related to Prior, the Poei 
' b. 9 Dec 1791, d. 1864. 

Chas. Stothard, F.S.A.=Anne Eliza Kempe.=Rev Edw 
d. I82t. d. 1883, 

(.\rtist) (.Authoress) 

1 Kempe.^Harriet Wood, Mary Anne Kempe, Selina .\ugu! 

-Edward Challis K, 

—Margaret Caroline K. 

John Arrow Kempe, 

Dep. Chairman of 

H..M. Customs, 

b. 5 Jan, 1846, m 1872. 

=Mary Jane Edwards. 

Vic. of Folkestone. 

Alfred Bray Kempe. F.H.S. 
Chancellor of St. Albans, 
Newcastle and Southwell, 
b,6Jul. 1849, m. 1887. 

=Mary Bowman, she d. 

3ald Northcote K. 
. II Mar. I88l. 

-John Erskine K. 

> Kempe, Caroline Wilhelm 

iSl8, b. 14 Mar. 18-0, 1 

18J7. =Percy Davie! 

Crickhowell, Bre 

Gerald Steuan K 
b. 6 July, 1850, m. 
=.\Iary Ann Russ 

t Ravenscroft K. 

-Gerald Austin K. 

Ernest Courtney Kempe, J.p, At 

b. s Sep. 1854, m. 1894. b. 
^Marguerite Maude Giles. 

—Geveril Hugh Courtney K. | 

' — Humphrey Gilbert 
Courtney K. 
1p. 25 Feb. 1897. 

B Mary Amelia K. Walter Alfred K. 

=John Goldney Cd. 1883) 

Evelyn Violet Kempe, 

b. 14 Apr. i860, 

d. 1896, m. 1883. 

^Capt. Raymond Crawfor 

=Wilfred Co! 
=Edward Alt 


vtde A Chait I, 

living 1843 (? of Bermuda) 

, Devon,=Sa.ah, d. < 

Nicholas John Kempe,=Ellen, d. of Is: 

s Fletcher Kempe, of Liveipool^Anne Doyle. 

The Third Branch. 15 

The second had a son, John, who was a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, and the third left 
two sons, of which Coryton Silvanus Sampson Kempe was of the 63rd Regiment, while his brother, 
William Hussey Blomfield Kempe, was one of the chief officials of Her Majesty's Customs. 

Space at our disposal prevents us commenting upon many members of the family who have 
distinguished themselves, but the ancestral wills show that the second branch of the Cornish family, 
namely, that of St. Veryan, have continued for over 200 years to maintain their position as worthy 
members of this ancient family. 



NICHOLAS KEMPE, of Plymouth, third son of Nicholas Kempe, of Crugsilich, might be 
termed a junior line of the second branch, but the descendants have carved out for 
themselves such a distinct course of life that we prefer to treat them in a separate 
chapter. Nicholas, of Plymouth, was an officer of that port, connected chiefly with the collection 
of duties. It was probably due to this Government appointment that his son secured the 
honourable position of bullion porter in the Royal Mint. It is very singular that at this time a 
Daniel Kempe, of the Hendon family, was Provost of the Company of Moniers, and was therefore 
the officer under whom Nicholas, the bullion porter, served. Between these families, if any 
connexion existed at all, the distance must have been very great, for both families can count their 
ancestors back to 1500 for certain, while in both cases also it is evident that their ancestors were 
respectively settled in their native places for some generations earlier. It is still more remarkable 
that, side by side with the Kempes of Hendon, three successive generations of the Cornish Kempes 
held offices in the Tower of London. The Master of the Mint has been good enough to make an 
exhaustive search among the records, and has sent in about twenty references to the Cornish 
family. We cannot give space to reproduce these interesting items in full ; but, briefly, they 
include the following : 

14th May, 1756. Appointment by the Treasury of Nicholas Kempe to be porter of His Majesty's Mint, within the 

Tower of London. 

loih July, 1759. Nicholas Kempe, as porter, being entitled to a salary of £.\.S, and standing indebted to a William 

Mills, of Mark Lane, merchant, as surviving executor of the last will of James Hatch, of London, for ;^2oo, 
he assigned the said salary of ^45 a year " for so long a term as the said Nicholas Kempe shall live." 

28th January, 1763. Nicholas Kempe's renewed appointment as porter of the Mint. 

27th July, 1774. Probate of the will of Nicholas Kempe, Esq., late of Chelsea, appointing his wife, Mrs. Ann Kempe, 

sole executrix. 

29th June, 1774. Petition of Nicholas Kempe to the Treasury reminding them that he had served in capacity of porter 

" for eighteen years with a character unimpeached," and begging that as severe indisposition renders him unfit 
to attend to the office himself, that their Lordships will permit him to resign in favour of his son John Kempe, 
who has officiated for him for the last two years ! (We may remark on this item the cool way in which 
the porter introduced his son and thus freed himself from handing over his pay, which, as above recorded, was 
mortgaged to satisfy a debt, so long as he held the appointment, for naturally the pay of another could not be 
claimed by his creditors.) 

i6 History of the Kemp and Keinpe Families. 

1 2th August, 1774. Appointment of John Kempe as porter of the Mint. 

2lst June, 1820. John Kempe is relieved from part of his duties, instead of which other responsibihties are imposed. 

1 2th February, 1S22. Mr. John Kempe having become, from age and infirmities, incapable of giving requisite attendance 

to his office, which consists in his attendance on the Receipts and Deliveries of the Bullion weighed into the 

Mint, in the arrangement and assortment of the several Ingots in the Strong Hold, his superannuation is 

applied for. Certificate and length of service of Mr. Kempe is enclosed, giving the former as 65 and the latter 

as 50 years. His allowance for the remainder of his Ufe is fi.xed at £10'^ per annum. 
4th June, 1S22. The allowance reduced to ^90 per annum, 

loth August, 1822. A request from John Kemp for increase in the allowance. 
30th July, 1823. The probate of the will of the late John Kempe was exhibited this day at the Mint Office; Ann 

Kempe, widow of the deceased, and Alfred John Kempe were noted as the e.xecutors. 
6th December, 1811. Appointment of Mr. Mushet in place of the late Mr John Kempe. 
4th October, 18 1 5. Acknowledgment and receipt of a petition of H. A. Kempe for a position on the staff of the Mint. 

Mr. A. J. Kempe being unfitted by ill-health to execute the duties of his position as third clerk at the 

Mint, is forced to retire, and begs that as some recompense for the loss of his position he may receive a 

computed sum in lieu of annuity. 
2 1 St October, 18 1 5. Petition of Mr. Kempe again praj'ing for financial assistance or a minor appointment. 
5th November, 1815. Their Lordships reply that the shortness of his period of service prevents them granting him an 


On the gth July, 1829, A. J. Kempe, addressing from Rodney Buildings, Kent Road, tenders his 

prices for supply of coals to the Mint, and a reply from the Clerk of the papers regretting that he cannot 

accept the same. 

We must now return to Nicholas Kempe, the first porter who held office. He married, first, 
Elizabeth, daughter of James Humphreys, of Deptford, by whom he had three sons ; John, the 
eldest, as we have seen, succeeded his father at the Mint ; James, the second son, was a Captain in 
the Royal Navy and married Elizabeth, relict of Captain Bennett, by whom he had children, one 
of whom married a Mr. Hunter. Except for the latter's issue. Captain James Kempe left no 
surviving children. He died in 1829, and a memoir written by his nephew, Alfred John Kempe, 
appeared that year in the Gentleman^ s Magazine. Thomas Lamburner Kempe was the third son 
of Nicholas Kempe, and held a position in His Majesty's Post Office, dying unmarried. Nicholas 
Kempe lost his first wife in 1762, and administration of her estate was granted to him that year ; 
his second wife was the beautiful co-heiress of the Merton famity of Oxfordshire, a lady whose 
portrait is frequently to be seen in collections of engravings. To her Nicholas was most deeply attached, 
and left the whole of his property unreservedly to her. On his death she married Dixon, the 
celebrated Mezzotint engraver, and consequently conveyed the Cornish relics and estate to this 
husband. The children consequently were shorn of their just expectations. The villa at Chelsea, 
where Nicholas Kempe dwelt, was a rendezvous for all the men of letters and art of this period, 
and among his treasures he had the veritable piano used by Haydn in his early compositions. 

John Kempe, the eldest son, as we have stated, was for some fifty years at the Mint. He 
married Ann, daughter of James Arrow, of Westminster, but whose family was of Irish extraction ; 
her father was architect to the king, and remembered playing as a child with the little prince, 
afterwards George III., and jumping him up and down the staircase at Hampton Court in a basket. 
Mr. Arrow had a large house in Tothill Fields, afterwards used as a barrack. By this wife John 
had the following children : Jemima, Edward Gibbon, Alfred John and Ann Eliza. The first two 
died in infancy, the last inherited her grandfather's love of art, and in conjunction with her 
brother published sketches and descriptive matter of an antiquarian nature. It was owing to this 
that she became acquainted with, and eventually married, Charles Stothard, F.S.A., the compiler 
of that great standard work, " Monumental Effigies." The death of this husband was very tragic. 
While the guest of a friend he had obtained permission to make detailed drawings of an altar piece, 
and had arranged for his friend to call at the church at a certain time to drive him back to dinner. 
When the friend entered he was horrified to find the poor artist lying dead at the foot of a ladder, 

The Third Branch. 


having evidently dropped insensible from a blow which he received in too quickly ascending the 
ladder from some protruding masonry. Ann Eliza, his widow, afterwards married the Rev. E. A. 
Bray, M.A., Vicar of Tavistock, who had exchanged the Bar for the more congenial duties of a 
Clergyman. This husband was well known to the literary world as the adapter of the orthodox 
sermons of our old divines to a more modern and popular style. After her second marriage, as 
Ann Elizabeth Bray, she wrote numerous books, which are not yet forgotten. 

Alfred John Kempe, the only son of John, as we have seen, was the third generation to hold 
office at the Mint. He was educated first by Monsieur Lepere, who had been cure of Fecamp, in 
Normandy, and afterwards by Monsieur Rivoult, who kept a school at Walworth. These 
instructors led him to a taste for French literature, and being a great lover of theatrical 
performances he translated and adapted 
some of the Comedies of Moliere. At an 
early age he evinced a great talent in the 
exercise of his pencil, both in sketching 
from nature and in humorous delineations 
of character. With these qualifications, it 
is regretted that Alfred John Kempe was 
not brought up to some profession in which 
he would have undoubtedly been led to 
eminence. In early life his only occupation 
was that of an officer in the Tower Hamlets 
Militia, in which he held commission for 
five years. He next, as we have seen, spenf 
some time at the Mint, but was unfitted 
for clerical work such as this involved. 
His taste for antiquities having been 
cherished during some excursions which 
he took with Charles Stothard, he was led 
to write occasional articles on the subject 
for the Gentleman'' s Magazine, and was 
engaged by that publication to review 
books. Gradually he became known as 
an authority in antiquarian matters, and 
was elected a Fellow of the Society of 
Antiquaries. He visited many places in 
England, and carried out considerable 
excavations in Roman encampments and , 

ancient sites, publishing the result of such labours in such books as " Tavistock and its Abbey " 
and the antiquities of " St. Martin le Grand." One of his most interesting papers was a report 
of curiosities found on the site of St. Michael's, Crooked Lane, which had been pulled down 
for the construction of the present London Bridge. It was at this church that John Kempe, 
the Archbishop, was a Rector, and from the pulpit of which that great man became known as 
a powerful preacher. It was also at this church that a Thomas Kempe, of Hendon, was for many 
years the Minister. 

Alfred John Kempe married Mary, daughter of J. Prior, a Captain in the Army, in 
1808, and had by her eleven children, ten of whom lived to advanced ages, and the majority have 

Alfred John Kempe, Antiquary. 

1 8 History) of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

left such large families that there are at the present time nearly 150 descendants of this marriage. 
Alfred died in 1846, and was buried in Fulham Churchyard with his sister Ann Eliza. The 
simple but handsome monument over them gives merely their age with the legend "brother and 
sister." His wife died in 1864 The eldest son, John Edward Kempe, born in 1810, is still 
living, and is well known from his religious works and sermons. He was for many years the 
Rector of St. James', Piccadilly, and was Chaplain in Ordinary to her late Majesty Queen Victoria ; 
his son, Edward Wood Kempe, Vicar of Forty Hill, Enfield, enjoyed the same honour. Both are 
now Chaplains to the King. John Edward married, in 1843, Miss Harriet Wood, who died in 
1872- Their second son, John Arrow Kempe, born in 1846, is Deputy Chairman of His 
Majesty's Customs. Alfred Bray Kempe, the third son of John Edward, was born in 1849, 
and is Chancellor of the Dioceses of St. Alban's, Newcastle and Southwell, and is the author of 
"How to Draw a Straight Line ; a Lecture on Linkages." He was called to the Bar in 1873 and 
joined the western circuit, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1881, and in 1898 became 
its Treasurer and Vice-President. Perhaps the most noteworthy event in his life was his service 
as Secretary to the Royal Commission on the Ecclesiastical Courts at the historical trial of the 
Bishop of Lincoln for Ritualistic practices in 1889-90, he being junior counsel This memorable 
trial was depicted by Mr. and Mrs. Floris, representing the Bishops and officials on that occasion. 
x\ copy of this now hangs in Lambeth Palace Library, where Mr. Alfred Bray Kempe will be found 
amongst the group. He was married at St. James', Piccadilly, in May 1877, to Mary, second 
daughter of Sir William Bowman, Bart., on whose official pedigree at the Heralds' College this 
marriage is duly recorded. She however died in 1893, and in 1897 he married Miss Alice Ida 
Meadows W^hite, daughter of the Rev. Preb. Bonell White, by whom he had a son born in 1900. 

Alfred Arrow Kempe, second son of Alfred John Kempe, was born at Windmill Row, 
Camberwell, in 1813, and was educated at St. Paul's School, where, like his elder brother and 
Alfred Bray Kempe, he greatly distinguished himself. Thence he went to Magdalene College, 
Cambridge, and has for many years been Rector of Wexham, Bucks. His sons are Gerald Stuart, 
Arthur Granville, Ernest Courtenay, Austin Arrow and Walter Alfred. Gerald Stuart Kempe 
has settled in Australia, his present residence being Carandale, Mintaro. We give in our page of 
Colonial portraits a reproduction of photographs of himself and his son Reginald Lewis, who will 
doubtless spread the family name in that colony. 

Charles Nicholas Kempe, the third son of Alfred John, was born in 1827, his birth being 
mentioned in an interesting letter written by his father from Rodney Buildings, New Kent Road, 
dated September 22nd, 1827. (The letter is addressed to his friend J. B. Nicholls, the compiler of 
" Londinium Redivivum," introducing a Mr. James John Harris, who the writer says was an able 
Professor of Music, formerly tutor to their family, who wished to present a copy of his selection of 
" Songs and Hymn Tunes" to Mr. Nicholls in the hope of getting this mentioned in Nicholl's 
ma<Tazine). The letter says, "My sister and I are much indebted to you for your notice of the 
monumental effigies " .... "I also truly thank you for the record of my late dear child 
which you inserted in 3'our obituary. I am happy to say that my anxiety on Mrs. Kempe's account 
has been dissipated by the birth of a son on the 23rd of last month, and that both mother and 
infant are tolerably well." Charles N. Kempe, the child thus mentioned, entered the Civil Service 
and for a long period was private secretary to four successive parliamentary secretaries at the 
Admiralty, namely, Mr. Bernal Osborn, Admiral Lord Clarence Paget, Lord Northbrook and Lord 
Henry Gordon Lennox, and at the time of his retirement was head of the Secret and Military 
Branch. He is unmarried, and lives at 128, Piccadilly. He is a member of the Junior Athenaeum 
Club and although seventy-four years of age may be said to be in robust health and travels much. 

The Third Branch. 19 

Reginald Carlisle Kempe, the youngest son of Alfred John, was born in 1831, and married 
Ada Sophia Bristowe. He is patron of Hawkwell in Essex, but in consequence of his having 
joined the Roman Catholic Communion forfeits his prerogative to the University of Cambridge. 
He is still living at Brighton, and has two sons, Reginald Bristowe Kempe and Harold 
Carlisle Kempe. 

Charles Nicholas Kempe, finding it impossible to remember all the names of his numerous 
relatives, took the trouble some years ago to formulate "a family list," giving the dates of birth, 
marriage and death of every descendant of his father, of whom over 140 are now living. 


J1 \-c^ 


? S 

3''' f^'- I •»! -fj-^'e fen '-:?!^>- i,-^ ^ ,. « _- 





IN our Kentish section we noted the apparent identity of the Kempe family with that repre- 
sented by tenants of Battle Abbey entered on the Rolls as " de Campis." The earliest date 
at which a Kempe is recorded in Sussex is in the time of Edward I., when an Adam Kempe 
held land in Sullington, which is but six or seven miles south of Slindon. In the same reign or 
the following one, Galfrid Kempe held messuage and twelve acres from Battle Abbey, but these 
apparently were in Surrey; he may, however, also have held land at " Apeldraham." In 1403 
Thomas Kempe. of Nuthurst, held lands there, and received a grant of others at Horsham from 
John Colme of that place, the deed being preserved at the Record Office. In 1436 John Kempe 
represented the Borough of Shoreham in Parliament, he, probably, being of the Kentish family. 
In 1452 at the rebellion led by Jack Cade (and aimed directly at the power of Archbishop 
Kempe and his party), one John Kempe, a labourer of Mundefield, with Richard Roper, Richard 
Elliot and others, were followers of Cade from this county. Thus it will be seen that at this 
early date there were Kempes in the lower classes as well as those in influential position. We 
know that one of the Kempes, of Ollantigh, was connected by marriage with this county ; it may 
be in consequence that a very important branch of the Wye family established themselves at 
Slindon. This seat, however, was obtained by a grant from the Queen, and not through any 
connexion with that Adam Kempe who held land close by. The wills relating to the county are 
preserved partly at Lewes and partly at Chichester, those at the former court being apparently the 
more important. They commence in 1541, and in 1547 the first will of a Kempe appears. 
This is the will of John Kempe, of Preston, close to Brighton ; and it has been claimed that he 
was the ancestor of the Kempes who founded Kempe Town in the last century. From Preston 
the Kempes appeared at Battle and Whatlington, then at Aldbourne, and afterwards at Brighton, 
Salehurst and South Mailing. These, however, although admittedly connected with the Kempes, 
of Kempe Town, were a yeoman family until the seventeenth century, and no connexion between 
them and the wealthy Kempes of Slindon is traceable, nor probable. 

The Chichester wills commence in 151 1. No Kempe appears before 1545, but the names 
Cames, Comes, and Combes occurring early may be variants. We will first speak of the Kempes 
of Slindon. It was in the first year of Queen Mary that Geoffrey Poole, keeper of the manor and 
park at Slindon, granted the entire estate under the Queen's sanction to Anthony Kempe, of the 
Kentish stock, who was at this time in the Royal household. We find among the State papers 
a letter of his, dated at the Royal Palace of Greenwich the 25th February, 1556, and addressed 
to the Earl of Devonshire. The writer makes excuses for not communicating earlier owing to 
" being so engaged in posting between Greenwich and Brussels." He remarks, " the King has 
not yet returned to England, and whose absence makes the Queen melancholy." Another letter 

Early and Slindon Kempes. 2i 

of Anthony Kempe's, also preserved in the State papers, is dated June 14th, 1556, at Brussels. 
He says, " I am sorry to hear that the plague has visited your house. The Queen is in good 
health. . . . Some of the traitors in the late conspiracy have been executed. . . . The 
King is still detained in Brussels." These letters are sufficient to show how closely connected the 
Kempes were with the affairs of State and the Royal Household. Anthony Kempe's mother was 
present at the baptism of Queen Elizabeth in 1533, and Anthony himself was present at most of 
the Court ceremonies of his time. He lived to be very old ; indeed, his age was a source of con- 
siderable trouble to his relatives, as he accused his faithful medical attendant of hurrying his end. 
In the papers and manuscripts collected during the reign of Queen Elizabeth by the great Lord 
Burleigh are letters from Sir Thomas Shirley (who married Ann Kempe, daughter of Thomas 
Kempe, of Ollantigh) addressed to Sir Robert Cecil, and saying that Anthony Kempe is greatly 
abused by one, Walmesley, and " is very aged and even worn to the last." We have seen from 
the will of his mother (Kentish section) that Anthony Kempe was a staunch supporter of the 
Roman Catholic cause, and that it was under Queen Mary that he received his grant of con- 
siderable estates in and around Slindon and other places. At the accession of Queen Elizabeth, 
although known as a Romish recusant, he escaped attainder (doubtless owing to the great 
friendship which existed between that Queen and many of the other Kempes), and he maintained 
the Roman ritual at Slindon House, where a chapel and secret priest chamber were only recently 
dismantled. Throughout many generations, indeed, until the final heiress caused the estates to 
pass into other hands, the rites of the Roman Church were kept up at Slindon without interruption. 

Anthony Kempe married, first, Ann, daughter and co-heir of John, Lord Conyers, by whom 
he had two children, Henry and Mary. This wife was buried at the Savoy chapel beside her 
mother-in-law. Anthony's second wife was Margaret, daughter of Sir Edward Gage, of Firle, 
Knight, by whom he had Garret, George, Anthony and Elizabeth. He died on the 29th October, 
1597, and was buried with his first wife, his will being proved in the following year (P.C.C, 
61 Kidd). The will bequeaths 1,000 marks to his daughter, Elizabeth, three score acres of 
woodland and twenty-eight of meadow in Plumstead to his son George, or in default to his son 
Anthony, to the latter his manor at Wallmore, Gloucestershire, to his daughter Mary, wife of 
Humphrey Wallrond, 1,000 marks, and the residue, subject to legacies to the testator's "cousin," 
Edward Gage, of Bentley, Sir Thomas Sholling and others, was bequeathed to Garret Kempe, his 
eldest surviving son. By codicils his jewels were equally divided between his daughters, and his 
mansion house at Blackfriars, London, was bequeathed to his nephew. Sir Thomas Shirley. 

Henry Kempe, the eldest son of Anthony, was born in 15T4, and at the age of fifteen was 
entered at Gloucester Hall, Oxford, where he duly matriculated. He died without issue in 1592, 
in which year a Post Mortem Inquisition is entered. Garret Kempe, the second, but eldest 
surviving son consequently — as we have seen from his father's will — inherited Slindon House and 
the numerous other manors which had been held by his father. We gain some idea as to the 
extent of his property by a casual mention in the proceedings of Chancery during Queen 
Elizabeth's reign, he suing his factor for failing to duly account for money collected in Yorkshire, 
Surrey, Gloucester, Wilts and Sussex. Garret was entered at Gray's Inn in 1618, probably living 
for a time in the parish of St. James', Clerkenwell. He was knighted by James I. in 1626, 
and married Elizabeth, daughter of John Carrell, of Warham, Sussex, by whom he had issue, 
which we shall presently follow. His brother George, as we have seen firom the above will, 
inherited lands at Plumstead, Kent, which had belonged to the Moyles and the Kempes of 
Ollantigh. He, however, does not appear to have resided there, and is probably the George 
Kempe, a Jesuit, who was taken with other conspirators at a house of their society in London 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

about the year 1626, of which some account occurs in the " History of St. James', Clerkenwell," 
and in the State papers. This may have occasioned the confiscation of his property and thus 
explain the absence of a will or other trace of him. However, as his father had property in 
Gloucestershire, this George may be the ancestor of the Kempes of Shepton Mallet, with whom 
the name of George was the constant favourite. 

Anthony Kempe, the younger brother of this George, inherited Walmore, Westbury, but 
died at Ham, Wilts, in 1648, and in 1649 his will was proved (P.C.C, 184 Fairfax). An infant 
of his, named Anthony, was buried at St. Dunstan's-in-the-West in 1584, and he had two 
daughters, namely, Jean (who married Thomas Osborne) and EHzabeth ; also a son, Robert, who 
inherited the bulk of his father's property and made his will in 1656 at Ham ; he, probably, 
was the ancestor of the Kempes of Trowbridge, of whom we shall presently give some record. 
Returning to Garret Kempe, Knight, of Slindon, he had the following children : Philip, who 
was at Gray's Inn in 1619 and married Frances, daughter of Sir John Webb, of Oldstock, Wilts, 
by whom he had Garret, who died an infant, and Catherine, who married Thomas Eyre, of 
Hassop, Derby; she was living in 1634. The Eyre family were connected with the Rogers, of 
Surrey, and both these families with Christchurch, and we are inclined to believe that it is due to 
this connexion that the ancestors of the Kemp-Welch family became identified with that town, at 
which another member of the Kentish stock lived about this time, namely, John Kempe, a leading 
Roundhead and member of the Parliamentary Committee in the time of Cromwell. Thomas 
Kempe, the second son of Sir Garret, was of Ypres, in Flanders. He married Mary, daughter of 
Sir Anthony Briggs, of Essex, by whom he had but one child, Mary, who married George 
Heneage, of Hainton, Lincoln. Garrett Kempe, the third son, eventually succeeded to Slindon, 
and married a daughter of Beale, by whom he had issue as will appear. The daughters of Sir 
Garret were as follows : Mary, who married Francis Croote, of Essex ; Jane, who married Patrick 
Plunket, of Ireland ; Elizabeth, who married Thomas Arundell, of Dorset, Margaret and Bridget. 

Garret Kempe, of Slindon, by the daughter of Beale, left two sons. William, the youngest, 
had a son named Garret, who was buried at Clerkenwell in 1629. Anthony, the eldest son, 
succeeded to the Slindon estates in 1666 and married Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Gage, Bart., 
of Firle — this is the second occasion of an intermarriage between the Kempes of Slindon and this 
family of Gage. More remarkable is the fact that Sir Garret and the Gages united in a sale of 
property at Shelwood and other places in Surrey and Sussex to Sir George Kempe, of Pentlow, 
Bart., who was of entirely different stock and diverse arms. Deeds relating to tran.=actions 
are preserved at the British Museum (Add. Charters 18,906 and 18,944), to which several 
interesting seals are attached. Sir Garret apparently using as his badge a spread eagle or similar 
heraldic bird ; replicas of this seal occur on the original wills of several Kempes connected with 
Worcester, Gloucester and other parts of England, the testators of which have not positively been 
traced as connexions of the Kentish stock. We may here remark that another deed in the same 
collection (19,016) is an indenture signed by Anthony Kempe, of Slindon, relating to Goodwood 
Park and other property, he having bought the now renowned racecourse with its appurtenances 
from John Carrell for the sum of i"3,SOO. It is hardly necessary to say that Slindon House has 
frequently entertained Royalty even in recent times. The last named Anthony Kempe, who died 
in 1715, had the following family: Anthony, his heir; John, who died unmarried; Thomas, 
who left no issue ; Philip, who died at Ghent in 1728, and the administration of whose estate was 
granted to his eldest brother that year, and Mary Kempe, who married Sir Henry Tichborne, 
Bart., of Hampshire. Sir Henry was buried at Tichborne on 20th July, 1742, and his will was 
proved in the following year. 

Early and Slindon Kempes. 


Anthony Kempe, the eldest son and heir, again followed tradition, marrying Anne Brown, 
daughter of Henry, fifth Viscount Montagu, two of whose family had intermarried with Kempes, 
the first to a Kentish Kempe, Knight, and the second to a Norfolk Kempe, Baronet. By this 
wife he had two children. On her death he married Jane, daughter of the Hon. Charles Stourton, 
third son of William Stourton, niece to Lord Stourton. This marriage took place in July, 1734, 
and notice of it appears in the Gentleman s Magazine. Anthony died in 1753, aged eighty-five, 
administration of his estate being granted in 1754 to the Hon. Barbara RadclifFe, wife of the 
Hon. James Bartholomew Radcliffe, commonly called Lord Kynnaird, she being daughter of the 
deceased, and the Hon. Jane Kempe, widow and relict, having first renounced. Administration 
of the estate of Jane Kempe, the widow, formerly of Slindon, but who died in the city of Liege, 
Germany, was granted to John Maire, Esq., the attorney of the Right Hon. William Lord 
Stourton, her brother, on the 9th April, 1770- In addition to Barbara, who, as stated, married 
Lord Kynnaird (afterwards Earl of Newburgh), Anthony had a daughter Anne, who died aged 
forty-three in 1765 unmarried. Barbara was married in 1749, and is the ancestress of the 
present Earl of Newburgh and Lord Kynnaird, who are now chiefly known by their Italian titles. 

She inherited Slindon and all the Kempe estates, which passed to her husband, and thence 
descended. Slindon House, of which we give an illustration, is still standing, and bears ample 
evidence of the Kempes, their arms and quarterings being repeatedly carved and emblazoned 
within the hall. It is said that the present building was rebuilt by Sir Garret Kempe about 1600, 
but traces of the earlier mansion are evident. 

Slindon House. 


24 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 



AMASS of tradition and possibly superstition surrounds the origin of those Kempes identified 
with Kemp Town and Lewes. Their pedigree seems to have first seen print about 1828 
■ in Berry's ''Sussex Genealogies," and then in Burke's " Commoners," in both cases it 
commences with a George Kempe, of Lewes, who married Grace, daughter of Thomas Stonestreet. 
This couple are represented as living about 1750. Burke in his usual questionable introduction 
states that '' one branch of the Kempes, of Ollantigh, is represented by the present Thomas Read 
Kemp, Esq., of Kemp Town, near Brighton." Charles Eamer Kempe, Esq., M.A., who now 
represents this family, and who has collected Kemp(e) items enthusiastically for a number of years, 
has repeatedly been approached by the editors of genealogical works with a view to his publishing 
that line of ancestors by which he claims connexion with the Ollantigh Kempes, but his reply is 
to the effect that he questions the trustworthiness of the works soliciting these details. His 
brother, Captain William Kemp, of Arundel, in answer to our inquiries states that so far as his 
knowlege goes the pedigree of his family goes back some 200 years in a rather disjointed manner. 
A third relative of Thomas Read Kemp, who has also collected a great many genealogical notes 
of the Kempes of Sussex, confirms the latter statement, and although both have a vague idea that 
their ancestors were for a long time connected with South Mailing, we believe that the following 
details will afford them fresh information and a better knowledge of the subject. We, however, 
cannot profess that the line is without flaws, nor do we believe that it will give them indisputable 
right to the ancient arms of the Kempes of Ollantigh. 

Roger Kempe posses.sed tenements at Hamsey in 1590; he seems to have died intestate. 
In 1601 Thomas Kempe was connected with Albourne and Preston. His will names Edward 
and William, sons of his brother John, with Edward, Alice and Agnes, children of his uncle 
Robert, who may be the same individual as Roger Kempe above. In 1615 we have the will of 
William Kempe, of Albourne, who desires to be buried at Preston, the poor of which parish he 
remembered. His wife, Alice, and children, William, Edward, Richard and Mary survived him. 
This last William Kempe may be identical with the first William Kempe, of whom we have 
record in connexion with South MaUing, who was rated at Hamsey for 305-. So'., and whose will was 
proved in 1656 (P.C.C, 459 Berkley). This will states that he was a yeoman, and that he had a 
son WiUiam and a daughter Grace, his wife is not mentioned. It is evident that he had a little 
property, for he left a tenement and land, valued at _jf 10 per annum, to his daughter Grace, and 
the residue to his son William. This son, William, was also of South Mailing, a yeoman, but in 
1662 obtained z. grant oi arms under the hand of Edward Bysshe, Clarenceaux, which was as 
follows : Gules, a fess, ermine, between three garbs Or, within a bordure of the second. And for 
his crest, on a helmet and wreath of his colours, a falcon volant, ermine, standing on a garb Or, 
mantled Gules, doubled argent. This coat and crest, which are reproduced in colour in 
" Miscellanea Genealogica," are similar to those used for a time by Richard Kempe, of Wash- 
brooke, Suffolk, who was the ancestor of the Kempe Baronets, but it does not follow that the 
Kempes of South Mailing were in any way connected with the Norfolk Kempes. William 
Kempe, mentioned in the last will as then aged seventeen, was placed at Christchurch, Oxford, and 
became a student of the Inner Temple in 1674, whither we shall follow him. He had, however, a 

South Mailing and Descendants. 25 

relative, namely, Edward Kempe, of Albourne, a yeoman, whose will appears in 166T- This 
mentions a wife, Anne, and sons named Edward and William, the last named being appointed 
executor, while the testator's " kinsman," William Earle of Bartons, was appointed overseer. 
The two families were from this time for at least 100 years closely connected. In the following 
year a deed was made between Edward Kempe, of Albourne, styling himself Gent., and John 
Whitpaine, of Hurstperpoint, relating to some lands at Cowfold. We may presume, therefore, 
that the will proved in 1668 (P.C.C, 56 Coke) of William Kempe, of Hurstperpoint, was that 
of his son and executor. It leaves all his farm, lands and tenements in Preston, then in the 
occupation of Samuel Friend, to his loving friend Elizabeth Luxford, one of the daughters of 
Thomas Luxford, of Randalls, Gent. The testator does not describe himself as either a yeoman 
or gent., but as a " singleman," so we suggest that Elizabeth was his intended wife. William 
Kempe, son of William Kempe, Gent., in his will of 1689 styles himself "esquire," and he 
seems to have considerably added to the importance of his family and to his estate ; he certainly 
had the honour of representing South Mailing in Parliament. He desired to be buried in the 
chancel of South Mailing Church with a marble slab over him. This request was complied with, 
the inscription was until recently to be seen there. The following inscriptions with others are 
now in the churchyard at South Mailing on one very large altar tomb : " Mary Kempe, wife of 
William Kempe, the elder, now living, she was buried September 3rd, 1664 " ; and "Here lies the 
body of Mary Kempe and John Kempe, dafter [sic] and sown of William Kempe and of Mary, 
his wife, she was buryed Desembar 24th, 1657. He was buryed April 15th, 1662." The above 
will mentions lands and tenements, barns and malthouse at Albourne, and lands called Sparhaws, 
in the parish of Hamsey, also lands at South Mailing, Rugnor and Hartfield, which he leaves to 
his loving kinsman, Edward Burtonshaw, woollen draper ; no children or other relatives appear 
in the will, and we may presume that he left no surviving issue. It was consequently from the 
second son of Edward Kempe, of Albourne, that the subsequent line of Kempes of South Mailing 
was continued. We do not know for certain that this was so, but in 1720 William Kempe, of 
South Mailing, " Esquire," made his will. With many pious phrases he desired his body should 
be buried in the church at South Mailing, and he left to his wife, Timothy, all his capital 
messuage, &c., called The Deanery or College, with appurtenances, wherein he then dwelt, with 
the advowson of the church, and also lands called Beaches, Bruxells, and Blackfield, lying in 
Hartfield, and lands called Islewoods and other lands in the parish of St. Johns, under the Castle 
of Lewes. The will is a very long one, and is particularly interesting because it gives us a glimpse 
of a family trouble. William, by his wife Timothy, had but one child, Mary, who married 
against the will of her parents Richard Russell, of Lewes, M.D. The man was an accomplished 
physician, and was the author of several medical books, and his family were certainly equal, if 
not superior, in station to the Kempes of South Mailing. The objection therefore to him appears 
to have been that William and his wife held religious tenets entirely opposed to this worthy 
doctor. In any case, the above will states that the daughter having caused her parents great 
pain and impaired the health of her mother, notwithstanding the many and frequent admonitions 
and persuasions used by her father, should forfeit the fortune which would otherwise be hers, and 
that it should consequently be held in trust for her eldest son, and that he only should inherit 
the South Mailing estates on condition that he absolutely and for ever renounced his paternal 
name of Russell and assumed the name of Kemp (with authority to use the Kemp arms) without 
the addition or alias of Russell. Timothy Kemp, of South Mailing, made her will in 1728- It 
is very brief, and leaves to her daughter, Mary Russell, all her real and personal estate whatsoever. 
Probate was granted to her daughter in 1760, before which time her husband had died. 

2 6 Historv of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Richard and Mary Russell had several children, and the eldest son, named William, complied 
with the requirements of his grandfather's will, renounced the name of Russell, and was granted 
by due authority the name of Kemp, with the use of the following arms : Gules, three garbs or, 
within a bordure of the last charged with eight pellets gules. These arms it is necessary to notice 
were entirely new, and although similiar, except for an addition to the border to the arms used 
by the old family of Kempes in Kent, do not imply at all that the heralds believed him entitled 
by descent to claim kinship to these worthies. Further, had his ancestors been direct descendants 
of that WiUiam Kempe, of South Mailing, who obtained arms mentioned above, he would 
probably have been granted the use of that coat instead of the new one. It will be seen that if 
William Russell, who assumed the name of Kempe, left issue, that his descendants cannot claim 
direct descent by male line from even the Kempes of South Mailing. 

(It is necessary to make this remark, because the papers of the day frequently speak of Mr. 
Charles Eamer Kempe as a direct descendant of the great Archbishop of his name, when men- 
tioning that some window of his design and manufacture has been erected in a church or public 
building. Of course the Archbishop was not permitted to marry, and we are sufficiently satisfied 
that he left no issue.) 

William Russell, alias Kempe, who did succeed to the Kempe property at South Mailing 
and Lewes, was a Serjeant-at-Law, and is credited with having a considerable knowledge of the 
history of his family's estate. In the local histories they have generally omitted to mention that 
his father's name was Russell, and merely say that the property was inherited from his grand- 
father, William Kemp, who is said to have obtained this property from Richard Evelyn in 1639 — 
100 years before the said William Kemp was alive ! There are many letters from Mr. Sarjeant 
Kemp in the British Museum relative to the local Parliamentary elections, and mention is made 
of him in the Gentleman^s Magazine. He died on the J9th June, 1797, aged seventy-six, and his 
will was proved the following year (P.C.C, 39 Walpole). He is therein described as William 
Kemp, of South Mailing, Serjeant-at-Law, and the will is dated 27th October, 1794. He leaves 
to his daughter, Timothea Kempe, the watch of her late mother, a five guinea Queen Anne piece 
and a medal of Queen Anne, as well as her mother's clothes. To his daughter, Wilhelmina 
Sophia, as well as the above daughter, he left some money, and divided his goods, Government 
funds, and the Deanery of South Mailing, between Richard Russell Kempe, his son, and the second 
daughter. He also mentioned his nephews, John Ley Martyn, Esq., of Southampton Row, 
London, and the Rev. Arthur Fredel, Rector of Newhaven, Essex. There is a clause in his will 
which must be recorded. It is to the effect that he had intended to marry his deceased wife's 
sister, but that ill health had prevented this marriage being carried out. He, however, provided 
for an expected child. (The will was proved by Lestock Wilson, Esq., Abraham. Driver, a land 
surveyor in Kent, and the Rev. Arthur Fredel, clerk.) 

We now come to George Kemp, of Lewes, the first individual mentioned in the pedigree in 
Berry's " Sussex Genealogies," and so repeated by Sir Edmund Burke. This George Kemp 
married Grace, daughter of Thomas Stonestreet, by whom he had the following children : Thomas 
Kemp, Nathaniel Kemp, of Rottingdean, Grace, who married John Pain, of Patcham Place, 
and Elizabeth, besides the following children who died young : Nathaniel, George, Grace and 
Anne. The eldest son married Anne Read, of Brookland, heiress of Henry Reid, by whom he 
had several children ; he was M.P. for Lewes, which borough was afterwards represented in 
Parliament by his son, Thomas Read Kemp, who had the honour of receiving in this capacity 
the King and Queen on their visit to Lewes in 1830. An account of this visit was published that 
year, and fully sets out the speech he made on that occasion at the banquet, and his many acts 

South Mailing and Descendants. 


of gallantry in escorting Queen Adelaide to the gates of the Friars, and thence to Lewes Castle, 
and finally to the Infant's School, where Her Majesty made many inquiries concerning the mode 
of teaching the art of needlework as performed by the girls. Throughout these proceedings the 
name of Mr. Kemp occurs as the leading spirit, and from this time until the death of the King 
he was permitted frequent access to the Royal 
residences. A picture commemorating the visit, 
and including portraits of the King and Queen with 
Thomas Read Kemp, was for a time hung in the 
Town Hall, and is now the property of the Earl of 
Chichester. We reproduce a portrait of this distin- 
guished M.P., and regret that space at our disposal 
prevents us giving further details of his many public 
and philanthropic acts. It was he who laid out and 
founded Kemp Town, near Brighton ; it was he who 
bought Hurstmonceaux Castle, which had belonged 
for a time to the Kempes of Slindon, and it was he 
who ran through three fortunes and finally died — it 
is believed by his own hand — in Paris. His death 
was announced as " sudden," but no details were 
published. He was for a time a lay preacher, and 
started a chapel on original lines, which has given rise 
to the rumour that he founded a sect, his doctrines, 
however, seem to have died with him, and their 

very nature is now a matter of doubt. The property on which Kemp Town was built came to 
him through a family named Friend, a member of which has been mentioned aboVe as a tenant 
of William Kempe, of South Mailing. A part of this property, indeed, was mentioned in a will 
before cited as " Beeches," and the title deeds relating thereto, with various legal opinions thereon, 

are now preserved in the British Museum. 
It is presumably from these documents that 
the printed pedigree was derived. Thomas 
Read Kemp was married at Beddington, 
Surrey, 12th July, 1806, to Miss Baring, 
daughter of Sir Francis Baring, Bart., of 
Stratton Park, Hants, and on the 27th May, 
1807, his first child, a daughter, was born 
at Hill Street, Berkeley Square. On the 
2 1st August, 1810, his son and heir was born 
at the house of Sir Francis Baring, at Lee 
(Kent), and on the 3rd May, 1811, the 
death of his father was announced at the 
age of sixty-five, the papers of the day 
calling attention to the fact that he repre- 
sented the Borough of Lewes in six Parlia- 
ments. In January, 1812, the birth of another son was announced, Thomas Read Kemp, 
then being described as of Lewes, M.P., while on the former occasion he was mentioned as of 
Hurstmonceaux. In 1825 the building of Kemp Town was described in the papers as proceeding 

Original scheme for the building of Kemp-Town. 

28 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

rapidly, and in the same year the death of Frances, wife of T. R. Kemp, M.P. for Arundel^ was 
announced in the Gentleman's Magazine. In 1827 Thomas Read Kemp was interested in the 
building of Belgrave Square, at one of the corners of which he had a residence. 

Nathaniel Kemp, brother to Thomas Kemp, M.P., for Lewes, lived at Preston House, 
Preston, near Brighton, and at Rottingdean, and married a daughter of John Eamer, Esq., Sheriff 
of London, by whom he had two surviving sons, the eldest is Charles Eamer Kempe, M.A., the 
well-known manufacturer of stained glass, and who owns some 300 acres in Sussex, the younger 
son being Captain William Kemp, now of Arundel. The last named has been good enough to 
send us a seal which is used by himself. It is a fine example of a modern imitation of the Tudor 
period, and shows his authorised arms impaling those of Marsh in right of his wife ; the arms 
selected, however, for his wife are not authorised by the Herald's College, and much doubt exists 
as to whether his wife's family can claim any arms ; her father, however, was an admiral of 
distinction. We may mention that Anne Frances, youngest daughter of the late Thomas Read 
Kemp, Esq., married Thomas Jesson, Esq., eldest son of Thomas Jesson, Esq., of Beech House, 
Hants, on the 6th October, 1846, at Stotfold, Bedfordshire, a descendant of which marriage has 
lent us his MSS. collections concerning the Kemps of Kemp Town, to which we owe many of 
the foregoing details, and the portrait of Thos. Read Kemp. At the crossways in Kingston, juxta 
Lewes, is a spot known as " Nan Kemp's Grave," which is said to be the burial place of a 
murderess (S.A.C., xxix. 165). 



LIKE the family so long settled at Slindon the ancestors of Caleb Rickman Kemp, J. P., of 
Lewes, came from Kent, but it is not certain how they were connected with the Kemps 
•^ of Wye, whose arms they claim. According to one " family tree '' m possession of a 
member of this family their first known ancestor was a William Kemp, of Guildford, a brewer 
living about 1750, while another pedigree states that this same William was of Wapping. Both 
versions are likely to be true, for in a will of Sarah Kemp, spinster, of the parish of St. John's 
Wapping, the testatrix speaks of her " uncle, William Kemp," and relatives living both in Kent 
Surrey and Sussex. William Kemp, oi Brewhoiise Lane., aged sixty-six, was buried at St. John's, 
Wapping, on 28th November, 1756, and administration of his estate was granted that year to his 
widow, Susannah Kemp, who is recorded to have been buried at the same church, aged sixty- 
eight, in March, 1757. This couple is shown to be the same as a couple who were married at 
Beakesbourne by license in 1714 by the Kentish Freeholders' List of 1734, when William Kemp, 
of Wapping^ held land at Wickham Breux, of which place his wife, formerly Susannah Shooler, 
was a native. They had two children baptized at Beakesbourne, namely, Mary, in 171 5, and 
Edward, in 1717; after this they certainly removed from that parish and probably were at 

The Quaker Family. 29 

Guildford for the next ten years, thence removing to Wapping where the brewer was estabhshed 
in 1734. In 1748 William Kemp, of St. John's, Wapping, was married to Sarah Bing, of Wick- 
ham, Kent, at St. George's, Canterbury, and we have little doubt that this was the son of the 
elder brewer, but we cannot identify him as having left issue at Wapping. In April, 1751, 
Edward Kemp, of St. John's, Wapping, was married by license at St. Paul's Cathedral to 
Elizabeth Dare. This Edward was probably the son of the brewer baptized at Beaksbourne, the 
will of his wife appears to be that proved in London 21st January, 1795, mentioning her nephew, 
Charles Dare, the elder, of Dowgate, and her sister, Sarah Goodyer, of Cobham, Surrey, to the 
latter of whom she bequeathed certain house property in Shoreditch, John Crabtree, of Newington 
Butts, Surrey, and James Goodyer were the executors. She does not mention any children of her 
own, and we believe, as shown by the pedigrees sent in, that the only son of the Wapping brewer 
to leave issue was John Kemp, who lived at Grange Walk, Bermondsey, and was a coalfactor. 
The name of John Kemp's first wife is not recorded, but she left daughters whose descendants 
were named Lane and Viner. His second wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Home, of 
Arundel (by Mary, daughter of John Grover, of Brighthelmstone), to whom he was married at 
the Arundel Friends Meeting House on 6th July, 1764. He died on loth August, 1785, his age 
being stated to be fifty-five years. If this is correct it would appear that he was born much later 
than those of the brewer's family mentioned above ; indeed, it would seem just possible that he 
was a grandson of William Kemp, of Beakesbourne. His wife lived to her eighty-fifth year, being 
buried at the Friend's Burial Ground at Long Lane, Southwark, in July, 1817- She was the 
mother of the following family : Robert, who died aged six months ; Mary, who died aged sixteen 
months; John Kemp, of whom we shall speak directly; Elizabeth, born in 1771, marrying 
Thomas Edmunds, of High Wycombe, in 1792, and dying in 1836, leaving a great many female 
descendants ; Marv Home Kemp, died aged five months, and Thomas Kemp, who was born 27th 
November, 1778. This son married Maria Todd, by whom he had at least three children, named 
Robert, Thomas and Maria ; he lived in London, but his children went abroad, and except that 
one was in the army nothing is known as to them or their issue. Sarah, the youngest daughter 
of John Kemp, of Bermondsey, was born in 1775 and was married at the Southwark Friend's 
Meeting House on 23rd March, 1813, to George Neave, of Poole, a merchant. (It is noteworthy 
that at the time of her marriage the ancestors of the Kemp-Welches were important townsmen 
of Poole, and their religious views were almost as strict as those of the Quakers ; it is, however, 
believed that the Kemps of Poole were descendants of the Hampshire branch of the Ollantigh 
family, and were but remotely, if at all, connected with these Bermondsey and Sussex Quakers.) 

We now come to John Kemp, the eldest surviving son of the coalfactor. He was born at 
Bermondsey on 29th March, 1769, and was married at the Friend's Meeting House at St. Peter's 
Court on 21st April, 1791, to Benjamina, daughter of Joseph Rickman, a merchant of Stockwell. 
He carried on his father's business at Bermondsey for a time, but being more disposed for study 
than for a business career he went to Brighton as a schoolmaster, and was there buried at the 
Quaker's burial ground in April, 1827, his wife having predeceased him and having been buried 
at Long Lane, Southwark, in 1799, aged only twenty-eight. She left the following family: 
Grover Kemp, with whom we shall deal below ; Rickman John Kemp, born in 1798, who lived at 
Chelsea, but died at Poole on 26th July, 1824 ; Benjamina Kemp, born at Bermondsey Square in 
1794 and married Richard Penny, of Poole, a merchant. He died in 1835, aged forty-two, and 
she was buried in the Friend's Burial Ground at Poole in 1867 leaving eleven children, four of 
whom married and left descendants, Anne Rickman Kemp, the youngest daughter of John and 
Benjamina, was born in 1796, and met her death by playing with fire on 28th February, 1799. 

3° History of the Kemp and Kempe Fatnilies. 

Grover Kemp, the eldest son of John and Benjamina, was born at Bermondsey on loth 
November, 1792, and was educated at a large school at Earl's Colne in Essex (conducted by John 
Kirkham), and afterwards at Hitchin and Epping. On his mother's death his father went abroad, 
consequently Grover with his sister Benjamina was placed under the guardianship of his grand- 
father, Joseph Rickman, of Staines, and their aunt, Mary Rickman, to whose influence is attributed 
that earnestness in religious and philanthropic matters which both children evinced as they grew 
older. At the age of only fourteen Grover was apprenticed to Mr. John Glaisyer, a chemist at 
Brighton, with whom he subsequently became a partner, keeping active in this business until 
within SIX years of his decease. Feeling a keen interest in study as a means of benefitting others, 
and regretting that his education should have ceased at so early an age, Grover studied both 
ancient and modern languages in all his available time during his apprenticeship, and while still 
a youth wrote many essays showing depth of thought and care for the spiritual and temporal 
improvement of the community. In 1816 he was married at the Chichester Friend's Meeting 
House to Susannah, daughter of Robert Home, of Arundel (by Elizabeth, daughter of Caleb 
Rickman, of Shipley, Sussex), by whom he had but one son, namely, Caleb Rickman Kemp, who 
is the last male descendant of this family. Grover Kemp began to speak at meetings in his 
nineteenth year, and when twenty-six spoke as a minister and was recorded as such by the Lewes 
and Chichester Monthly Meeting in 1823. Actively associating himself with the Friends he 
restarted many disused Meeting Houses, not merely in Sussex, but eventually in the West of 
England and the Midlands. He especially devoted himself to reaching the artizans of Wapping 
and Ratcliffe, and those at the potteries and pitmen in some colliery districts. In 1832 he visited 
the South of France, in 1839 the Friends in Dublin, and in 1843 those meeting at Manchester, 
Liverpool and Birmingham. In 1855 he went on a similar mission to the Isle of Man, and the 
following year to the Scilly Islands. He next went to the Channel Islands where he held many 
meetings, and in 1857 and 1858 he went with his youngest son to the West Indian Islands with a 
view of freeing the black population. In this humane work he was greatly aided by missionaries 
already settled there who lent their places of worship that he might state to large congregations 
his views and scheme. In this same work, one James Kemp, of Hoxton, had already taken a 
considerable part. Between these two anti-slavery Kemps, however, no connexion is known 
(z^z'a'-? Middlesex). So late as 1862 Grover Kemp was authorized by the Friends to hold special 
services in the Eastern Counties, thus in the course of a long ministry he probably visited more 
meetings throughout England than any other of the society had previously done ; indeed, it is 
very doubtful if any other member of the Quaker body has since equalled his work or visited 
more places in the execution of ministerial duties. He was also one of the first and most active 
supporters of a saving's bank in Brighton. After publishing many tracts (copies of which may 
still be obtained) he died 21st December, 1869- He was buried at the Friend's Burial Ground 
at Black Rock, Brighton, and a memoir of his life appeared in the " Annual Monitor " of 1871. 
His portrait is still among the most valued in the society's gallery at Bishopsgate Street, London. 
His wife died on 27th March, 1882, and was buried beside her husband. Her name also occurs 
at the time of her death in the " Annual Monitor," which also included notices of other members 
of this family, namely, Benjamina Kemp, afterwards Penny, in 1868, Mary Rickman, afterwards 
Binns, in 1852, and numerous other Kemps, who, however, were chiefly connected with that 
Quaker family of Kemps which we have noticed in our Norfolk section. 

Caleb Rickman Kemp was born at Brighton on i8th June, 1836, and married Jane Morland, 
of Croydon. Like his ancestors he has taken a very active part in the work of the Society of 
Friends, and was one of the representatives selected to congratulate King Edward the VII. on his 

■ .. Hampshire and Isle of Wight. 31 

accession, before whom he appeared at St. James' Palace in February, 1901. He was President 
of the Society of Friends in 1900, and has for years taken a great interest in the work of the 
British and Foreign Bible Society, of which he is Vice-Chairman. He is a Justice of the Peace 
for Lewes, represents the Lewes Castle Division on the (East) Sussex County Council, is an 
Alderman of Lewes, and has held many other municipal positions. Alderman Kemp has had no 
children, and devotes his life to philanthropy in its varied forms. 

We may here mention that the County Hospital at Brighton stands on an elevated site which 
was given for the purpose by Thomas Read Kemp, M.P., mentioned in our last chapter, he gave 
in all some /5,ooo towards the erection and maintenance of this institution, at which Charles 
Gilbert Barington Kempe, M.B., B.S., jM.R.C.S., Eng., has for some time been assistant house 
surgeon. A Mrs. Kemp is the treasurer of the Girls' Training Home, Delap Hall, Lewes, thus at 
the present time we have four or five distinct Kempe and Kemp families represented in the 
County of Sussex. Charles G. B. Kempe and Charles Marshall Kempe, the Medical Officer for 
Health at Shoreham, being of Cornish origin, while the others claim origin from Kentish and 
possible Norfolk stock. 



SO early as 1272 there is no doubt that bearers of the name of Kempe were resident in 
Hampshire, and a deed of that date still exists mentioning Martin Kempe as a tenant of 
some lands which were then settled upon the Abbey of St. Edward at Netley. In the' 
following century a ring bearing the name of Kempe was presumably lost in the county, for a 
note of such being found and ascribed to that period occurs in the archaeological journals of a few 
years back. This ring appears from its description to have belonged to a foreigner of the name, 
and from this we might infer that some of the numerous early Kempes in this county were of 
direct foreign origin. Both to the east and west, namely, in Sussex and Dorset, we find that John 
Kempe was a name of considerable repute in the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, for one 
of this name represented Lyme Regis in Parliament from 1337 to 1340 and again in 1354, 
while another of the same name was M.P. for the Borough of Shoreham from 1436 to 1440- 
In the year 1584 Bartholomew Kempe— who, we believe, was of the Norfolk family— represented 
Shaftesbury, and in the time of Charles I. and during the Commonwealth John Kemp, of 
Heywood, sat for Christchurch. This last alone seems to be traceable as a descendant of the 
Kentish family, although in the sixteenth century several Kempes who may have come from 
OUantigh were ratepayers in Hants ; the Manor of Bishopstoke belonging to a Francis Kempe 
who held it direct from Queen Elizabeth. In 1582 Robert Kempe held a house in Northbrook 
Street, Basingstoke, and about the same time he, or another of the same name, held a house in 
Church Street, Basingstoke. It is worthy of note that within the hundred of Basingstoke so early 
as 1334 there was a piece of land known as " Kempeshete" or '' Kempeshote," and this retained 

22. History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

its name at least down to the time of Elizabeth ; we might from this fact reason that the 
Kempes from 1344 held this site, but the absence of records to prove this rather suggests that the 
Kempes who held property from the Queen were related closely to the Kempes of Gissing or 
Wye, both being represented at the Royal Court at this time. 

We must now turn to the known branch of the Kentish family, who for a comparative brief 
period exercised considerable power in Hampshire. 

The founder of this branch was Edward Kempe, sixth son of Sir William Kempe, Knight, of 
Ollantigh, by Ellenor, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Thomas Browne. This Edward settled at 
" Conns," in the New Forest, and married Elizabeth, daughter of . . . Wilmot, of Oxford 
and Gloucestershire. This wife was related to John Wilmot, of Marilebone, and Rose Wilmot, 
who married Robert Bromfield, connected with whom were some of the Kempes of Hampstead. 
Edward, of the New Forest, died in 1605, and is commemorated by the following inscription 
which appears on a brass in Beaulieu Church : 

" Here lyeth the body of Edward Kempe 

Gent : the sixt sonne of Sir Wilham 

Kempe, Knight, who hath left Eli 

Zabeth his wife with Thomas, Edward 

Frauncis and Robert their sonnes. He 

Died the VHth of March ano dni. 1605." 

We have failed to trace any will or administration mentioning this couple, but we find that 
Thomas, the eldest son, was born in 1557. He appears to have been at Oxford in 1581, and on 
the death of his father inherited the patrimony and lived thenceforward at Beaulieu, where he 
died in 1622, having married Mary, daughter of Sir William Oglander, Knight, by whom he 
had three sons, Francis, Robert and John and two daughters, Elizabeth, who married John Ford, 
and Frances, who married Henry Bromfield, J. P., of Dorset. The will of Thomas Kempe, of 
"Gins," in Beaulieu (pronounced and sometimes written Bewley), was proved in 1623 (P.C.C, 
52 Swan) ; the opening is indicative of the Roman faith, and he bequeathed sums of money to 
the poor of Bewley and several servants. He mentions also the following relatives : his brother 
Francis, the widows of his late brothers Robert and Edward, Sir John Oglander, Knight, Arthur 
Bromfield, Esquire, his "kinsman," Robert Dillingham, Esquire, his brother-in-law George 
Oglander, Gent., his wife Mary, and his children, John, Robert, Francis, Elizabeth, Frances and 
Amy. He mentions several items of his real estate at Beaulieu, Boulnor and elsewhere, the bulk 
of which with his stock and cattle was left to his wife for life and, subject to her interest, to John, 
his eldest son, to whom he specially bequeathed his father's " sealed ring." (Impressions from this 
ring are extant at the British Museum and doubtless elsewhere, but we fear the ring itself has 
passed away.) 

John Kempe, the eldest son, duly inherited the estate, and it was he who represented Christ- 
church and Lymington in Parliament, and conveyed to the imprisoned King Charles at 
Carisbrooke Castle the demands of the Parliamentary Party. He was Mayor of Christchurch in 
the following years, 1625, 1033, 1640, and several letters of his are still preserved in the 
Corporation chest of Christchurch. He lived chiefly at Bucker's Hard, near Beaulieu, but was 
buried at Boldre Church, where a bust with the following inscription still exists there. 

D. M. S. 

lohannes Kempe, armiger, pietate in Deum, 

patriam, parentes et cognatos nulli secundus ; 

modestia, humanitate, et vitae integritate 

omnibus bonis notus ; e civibus supremi senatus 

Hampshire and Isle of Wight. 33 

Anglicani non postremus ; exactis 41 vitae annis 

mortales exuvias hie deposuit resumpturus 

immortales in resurrectione. 

Non diu fuit, sed diu vixit. 

Obiit die quinto Octobris anno Dni 1652. 

Hoc monumentum Henricus Bromfield, armiger, 

sororis suae maritus, in perpetuum amoris 

testimonium, moestus posuit 

Qui clarus fuit, qui charus amicis, 

qui patriae fidus, cui decus omne fuit, 

occidit ante diem, fatis ablatus iniquis, 

et rediit in cineres (proh dolor) ipse suos, 

Ouod mortale fuit tumulo requiescit in isto ; 

sed nescit leges mens, libitina, tuas ; 

nanque expers lethi mortales despicit omnes, 

et tenet aetheria pegmata coeli post. 

The church register records that John Kempe, Esquire, was buried 7th October, 1652- 
His will dated at Haywood, in the parish of " Bolder, in the New Forest," on 23rd October, 1647, 
was proved in London on the 28th October, 1652. The will opens with a request that the 
testator should " be buried according to the rancke, qualitie and degree it hath pleased the Lord 
to place me in," but this clause was struck out before signing. It bequeaths to his mother, Mary 
Bromfield, ^500, ;^300 to his " sister," Frances Bromfield, and subject to other legacies it leaves 
the residuary estate in trust for William Bromfield, during whose minority his father, Henry 
Bromfield, is appointed executor. The testator mentions his lands in " Bewley," Christchurch, 
Boldre, Whippingham and at Shalfleete, the two last being in the Isle of Wight. Among the 
legatees are the following : Elizabeth, daughter of John Ford (Gent.), the testator's " brother," 
Amy, wife of John Button, Margaret Tollesbury, John Baywood, Robert Dillingham, Esq., 
William Oglander, Esq., the servants on the estates and the local clergy. From this will it 
appears evident that this John Kempe left neither widow nor children, and that his possessions 
passed to the Bromfields, his mother, as indicated by the will, having married Henry Bromfield, 
of Southampton. Thus it seems that William Bromfield, the principal legatee, was half brother 
to John Kempe, M.P. We find that " John Kempe, son of Thomas Kempe, of Bewley, Co. 
Southampton, Esquire," was entered at Gray's Inn on 2nd May, 1631, there can be no doubt 
about this entry referring to the above M.P. for Christchurch, but it is evident that there was a 
second John Kempe, of Christchurch, who died there just two years later, his will being proved 
in the same Court as the foregoing (P.C.C, 187 Wotton) in 1658- It is dated 3rd October, 
1657, and describes the testator ss "John Kemp/, of Weeke, within the parish of Christchurch, 
Gent.''^ It mentions the testator's son-in-law, Henry Hopkins, his daughter Mary Hilles, and his 
two daughters-in-law, Dorothy and Alice Warwicke, and a grandchild Thomas Hills. The chief 
legatee of this will is Tobias Kemp/, who also was sole executor. From the mention of married 
children and of the grandchild, we infer that this John Kempt was older than the M.P. Possibly 
he was the son of Parson John Kempe, of Freshwater, Isle of Wight, who had sons named John, 
Tobias and Caleb.* We may therefore now turn to the notes gleaned of Kempes settled in that 

* We say possibly, for whereas Kempts requently become Kemps the converse is rare, the rule being that the more difficult form to 
pronounce or write yields to the easier form. John Kempt may have been a migrant from Scotland. 

34 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

Isle, the earliest of whom, so far as our information goes, is the said Parson, who is said to have 
been beneficed at one time at Clanfield, Hants. The state papers contain many references to him, 
and John Fox, in his ''Acts and Monuments," states that he was persecuted in Queen Mary's 
time. This John. Kempe is believed to be one of those of his name included in the Alumni 
Oxonienses, he being either at All Souls in 1541 or 1546- In either case the fact of his being 
at that college points to his being a recognised relative of the Kentish Kempes, who as descendants 
of the Founder's Kin (Archbishop Chichele) were entitled to privileges as noticed in our Kentish 
section ; he, however, seems to have come from Godstone (Surrey), where the records show that a 
line of Kempes had long been settled. The State Papers of 1587 announce his death. Sir 
George Carey writing from Carisbrooke Castle to Sir Francis Walsingham says, " The Parsonage 
of Freshwater is vacant by the death of Parson Kempe . . . the place is fit for Mr. Browne, 
Mr. Fades or some good preacher. (The suggestion as to Mr. Browne also points to the likeli- 
hood of this John being near kin to the Kempes of Ollanty, as Elleanor Browne, daughter of Sir 
Matthew Browne, of Betchworth Castle, Surrey, was grandmother to Thomas Kempe, of Beaulieu.) 
The will of the Parson was proved in 1586-7, being dated at Freshwater in July, 1579. It 
bequeaths sums to the poor of that place and to the poor of Gatcomb. Piteous mention is made 
of the testator's persecutions in former times, and he explains his actions which have given rise to 
questions as to his orthodo.xy. He bequeathed his great Bible to his wife, Anne, with three other 
books, and his small Bible to Thomas Banks. He leaves family silver to each of his five children, 
John, Tobias, Caleb, Hannah and Grace, and left his real estate at Godstone (Surrey) to Tobias, 
his son, and his heirs, or in the event of Tobias dying without issue then to the issue of the said 
John and Caleb Kemp. A list of debtors and creditors of the testator was affixed to the will, 
mentioning Story, Smith, of Havant, Earle, of Havant, and the testator's brothers Richard and 

ToBTAS Kempe, presumably the same mentioned in this will, became steward to the Oglanders, 
and is buried under an alter tomb which still exists in the chancel of Brading Church. We have 
not traced his will, and, as the records of such at Winchester seem to be very imperfect, we have 
little doubt that his is among the documents which have disappeared. We have no trace of his 
marriage, but as Kempes were from that time (1620) settled in the parish, it seems likely that the 
numerous Kempes of Brading were his descendants or kinsmen. One of the modern representa- 
tives of this family was the late Dixon Kemp, whose father (Edward) and grandfather (John) 
were both baptized at Brading, where their ancestors are commemorated for generations back by 
tombstones and numerous entries in the registers. Dixon Kemp was born at Ryde in 1839, and 
from boyhood was an enthusiastic boat builder. His knowlege of naval architecture grew rapidly, 
and as a practical yachtsman he gained early fame. One of his books on boat-building has been 
translated into German by the order of the Emperor, and is now the recognised text book in the 
German Naval Schools. He was a member of many of the chief yachting clubs, yachting editor 
of The Fields and contributed articles on aquatic sports to the daily and other papers for a long 
series of years. His last work was a huge volume (now sold at £\ 45.) on Naval Architecture, an 
authority which will always be a book of reference. He died after a short illness at his residence 
at Kensington in 1899 leaving (by his wife, Georgina M. B. Gordon) two children, Gordon 
Kemp, born in 1870, and Dorothy Morison Kemp, born ten years later. 

We may mention that Dixon Kemp had two great uncles who started branches away from 
their native town (George, the eldest brother of his grandfather, remaining at Brading). Charles 
Kemp was a silversmith in Fore Street, London, and James was a carriage builder who lono- 
flourished at Lime Kiln Lane, Bristol. Descendants of the last still live at Bristol, but we have 















BrrfViii' iiili MJBriBit 

































Miss Lucy Kemp-Welch, 

Margaret Kempe, wife of William Dane, 
some time Lord Ma3'or of London. 

Elizabeth Watts, 
ancestor of all Kemp- Welches. 

Sarah . . .= 
d. 1813. 1 

Ma y K. 
1768 1816. 

Thomas Kemp, 
b. 1758, d. 1763. 

Martin Kemp, added:=EIizabeth Watts 

George Ki 

Issue in Am< 

name of Welch in 

1795 by Royal 


rray K. Augustus K. Anna Maria K. Julia K. b- I772i d. 1837. 

b. 1780, m. 1801, 
d. 1867. 

-A see helow. 

James Kemp- Welch, — Mary Ann Hill, 
b. 1806, d. 1887. m. 1830, d. 1856. 

Emily Olive .;V_ Janet Maria K.-W. Harriet Sophia K.-W. 
1832-63 1j_ j8,g_ i3_ 1838, m. i860. 

=:Wm. Pratten. 
\ Oakes, m. 1867. 

^ Kemp-Welch, 

Elizabeth K 

1live Brown, 
m. 1879. 

Frank K.-W. 
b. 1853. 

Thomas K.-W. 
b. 1842. 

a daughter. 


Thomas K.-W. 
b. 1819, d. 1842. 

Phoebe K.-V\j 

Emma K.-W. :=.Alex. Paris, 
b. 1846, m. 1877. 

Harriet Sophia K.-W.=:Wm. Pratten, 
m. i860. of Bristol. 

Catherine K.-^g Leckie. 
m. 1863. 

Erratum : John Kemp-\ 

Harry K.-W. ^Mary Bevington. 
b. 1847, m. 1874. 

John K.-W. =Julia A. Grindall. 
b. 1658, m. 1884. I 

Beryl K.-W. 


I Kemp, added^Eli2;ibeth WiU 

=Elijabelh Miller. 

Elizabelh— Henry K.=Jane Ci< 

d. 1877. d. I.S73.' d. 1 

Sarah K. Ellen K. Thomas K. 

=Wm. Pratten. 

George Wdloughby Kemp-Welch, Ridson D. Cope K.-W. 

=Eli2abeth Oakes, «i. 

Elizabeth K.-W.=Joscph Walton. Jesse Hall K.-W. 

Catherine K.-VV.=W. Walmough. 

ignes K.-W. =Chas. Co; 
39. m. 1864, 
d. 1873. 

Frank K.-W. 


aas K.-W. 

Emma K.-W. =.(^1 

b. 1853. 



b. 1846, m. 1877. 

Phoebe K.-W. 

Emily Martha K.-W. Mary Grace K.-W.=Hy. .M. Aldri 

Catherine K.-W.=L. White. 

Stanley Kemp.Wclch,=Wilhelm 

Charles Durant K.-W. 

Harry K.-W. =Mary Bevington. John K.-W. =Julia A. Grindall. 

John Kemp-Welch. Stanley Kemp-Welch. 

urn : John Kemp- Welch, "b. 1658 " should read "b. 

The Kemps of Dorset. • 35 

no actual knowledge of the present representatives of the second London branch of this Brading 
Kemp family. 

Returning to the issue of the old Parson Kemp we may note that Caleb, as stated in our 
Middlesex section, was Vicar of Bradford, Yorkshire, and left issue. We surmise that the other 
son John was he who married Alice, daughter of John Talk, of Havant (as stated by Berry's 
"Hampshire Pedigrees "), and that it was he who died at Christchurch in 1656, he apparently 
being M.P. for that place in 1653 and 1655. The present representative of Sir William Oglander 
still resides on the family estates within the parish of Brading, and on referring to the MSS. of 
Sir William and his descendants he finds many mentions of the Kempes, who seem to have been 
tenants of his family for the last 300 years. The Vicar of Brading has been good enough to sketch 
the tomb of Tobias Kemp, and gives the inscription thereon as follows : " Mr. Tobye Kempe, 
Ob. 1637, clarke to Sir John Oglander, Knight, of Nunwell." 

Another and later conne.xion of Kempes with Hampshire is shown to have occurred by the 
will of Anne Kempe, relict of Henry Kempe, of the Inner Temple, proved in 1685 (P.C C, 
46 Cann), for this testatrix bequeathed to her daughter Susannah all her real estate in the parish 
of Milford, near Lymington, Co. Southampton, with other lands at Whitton, in the parish of 
Twickenham, Middlesex, and at Studley Marsh and Padbrooke, in the parish of Lydiard Tregoze, 
Wilts. This testatrix was the daughter of William Yorks, of Basset's Down, Lydiard Tregoze, 
and her husband, according to an accepted pedigree in the " Visitation of Middlesex " made in 
166^, was son of Francis Kemp, a descendant of Bartholomew Kemp, of Gissing. Thus this 
Henry was of an entirely different stock from those Kempes of Christchurch and Beaulieu. Henry 
died only a few months previous to his wife and was buried in the Temple Church. His will 
proved and registered in the same year and book as his wife's, bequeathed his real estate to his 
son Edward, who was the executor appointed. Edward Kemp was at Christchurch College, 
O.xford, in 1661, and at the Inner Temple in 1669, after which we have no definite trace of him. 
Possibly he may be the ancestor of the Dorset Kemps, of whom we shall speak in our next 
chapter. .. ■ , 

CH(iATTE%_ V. 


'T ^TTE have already alluded to the very early Kempes who represented Lyme in Parliament 
\ \ / from 1337 to 1340, and again in 1354, and of a Bartholomew of the Norfolk family 
VV who represented Shaftesbury in 1584. But so far as we can trace the Kempes of 
Poole were not connected directly with either of these. Their ancestors, the Welches, had long 
been settled al Beaulieu, Lymington and Christchurch, but it is not known yet how Martin 
Kemp, of Poole, the first known ancestor of the Kemp-Welches was connected with those recorded 
in our last chapter. One of the family and a friend, who is an expert archaeologist, have searched 
the local registers and several in the Isle of Wight, but have not found the baptism of this Martin 
nor any other Kemp so named. We suggest that it is probable that the name of Martin as a 

36 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

christian name was derived from the surname, as we know of several instances previous to his 
date of birth {circa 1722) of Martins marrying Kemps. These are, however, in each case at a 
distance from Poole, the nearest being " Luce Martin als Kempe, of Nettlecombe, Co. Somerset," 
a widow, who made her will in 1660 and died in 1663, leaving her daughter, "Ursula Martin als 
Kemp," executrix and principal legatee. She mentions also her son Baldwin, her daughter 
Dorothy, and her grandchildren, Joane and William Gierke. Susannah Kemp, of Richmond, in 
her will dated 1684 (P.C.C, 33 Lloyd), desired to be buried near her father and mother in the 
Church of St. Dunstan-in-the-West, London, with eight or ten escutcheons of arms over her. 
She left numerous legacies, but we need only mention here that she included the names of 
Elizabeth, wife of Humphrey Clerke ; her niece, Rodya Martin, wife of John Martin, of Old 
Change, London ; her nephew, Sir Francis Pemberton, Knight, and her niece, Anne Southby. 
These names identify the testatrix as a member of the Buckingham branch of the New Forest 
Kemps, and thus near kin to John Kempe the M.P. for Christchurch. It would seem highly 
probable therefore that Martin Kemp, of Poole, derived his name from these Martins, and that 
he was akin to the Kemps of High Wycombe, Bucks, and their Hampshire cousins. Against this 
theory, however, we must range the following evidence, which is local but very scattered. 
Edward Kempe, of Poole, married Edith Hawkins in August, 1665; Edith Kemp, a widow, 
was buried there in 1715 ; Edward Kemp, baptized at Poole in 1666 (evidently the eldest son 
of this couple), married Joan Guy there in 1690, and a son Edward was baptized there in that or 
the following year. In 1709 Edward Kemp, a maltster, of Poole, married Jane Crocker, a widow, 
and in 1722 Benjamin, the son of Edward and Rachell Kemp, was baptized there. Beside these 
we have the following apparently collateral line. Benjamin, the son of the first named Edward, 
was baptized there in 1668. Administration of his estate was granted to Edith Seagar in 1707, 
and Nicholas, the son of Nicholas and Mary Kemp, was baptized there in 1716. 

The Kemp- Welch family held property in the Isle of Wight, but there are no wills at Winchester 
recording such property ; indeed, it is astonishing that all the Kempes of Brading should have 
passed away without having recorded one will or administration. Calbourne is one of the places in 
the Isle of Wight which comes under notice, and the registers have been searched. They, however, 
included but two rather late Kemp items, William, buried 1781, and John, buried 1782. These 
were, it is thought, the sons of Thomas Kemp, of Brexford, who, with Ellen Grey, were adminis- 
trators of the estate of Elizabeth Kemp, their mother, formerly of Newton, who died about 1740, 
she being the widow of Richard Kemp, of Calbourne, whose will was proved in London 1732- 
Arreton Registers also include a few Kempes between 1694 and 1704, and those of Newport 
contain Kemp entries between 1680 to 18 13. In the last case at least more than one family of 
the name is represented, for Lucretia, daughter of John Purcell Kemp, who was baptized there 
in 1741, was certainly of a Yorkshire family, her baptism being performed here owing only to 
her father being temporarily stationed with his regiment in the Isle of Wight. The aunts of this 
John Purcell Kemp were employed in the British and German Royal Courts as governesses or 
some such capacities, and they are frequently mentioned in the state papers and treasury papers 
of the period. It is not impossible that they were related to the Kemps of Poole, but we do not 
think this at all probable. 

We must in any case leave the matter in doubt as to the parentage of the first Martin Kemp, 
of Poole, his baptism, as we have said, has not been traced, and except that he is said to have been 
nearly fifty years of age when he died we have no clue as to the date of his birth. We know that 
he married at Poole on i6th April, 1755, Mary, the daughter of Robert Welch, of Lymington. 
Both were buried at the Congregational Chapel at Poole, he in 1772 and she in 1805- His 

The Kemps of Dorset. 37 

will was proved in London within two months of his death (P.C.C, 297 Taverner). Therein he 
is described as a merchant, of Poole, and he bequeathed to his wife his household goods absolutely, 
and the leasehold estates in the Isle of Wight (which he held from Sir John Barrington) to her 
for life, after which this and his residuary estate was to be divided among his children, George, 
John, Mary and James, all of whom were minors. Martin Kemp is not mentioned in the will ; 
indeed, being posthumous double probate was obtained that he might obtain in due time his 
share of the property, consisting largely of the merchant business, which, in accordance with 
directions in the will, was carried on by John Green, of Poole, and John Holding, of the City of 
London, banker, until the eldest child, George, could manage it. The business proved well 
founded, and under its new management prospered exceedingly. 

We need not give here details of all the baptisms, marriages and births recorded in the 
registers of Poole Church and the Congregational Chapel there ; it will suffice to say that nearly 
all the descendants of this Kemp and Welch alliance were stout supporters of Congregational 
Churches, most, indeed, being identified with that of Poole, while those who migrated to Bristol, 
London and elsewhere have mostly identified themselves actively with the churches of the 
same body. 

George Kemp, of Poole, the eldest son, married twice, first to Sarah . . . and secondly 
to Elizabeth Pearce, by whom he had two sons and two daughters. His eldest son George 
married Elizabeth Miller, and several of his descendants are now in America. George Kemp, the 
elder, died in 1845 aged eighty-nine, and his son George died at Michigan, United States, in 
1865, aged seventy-five. Henry, the second son, also married twice and had two sons, Thomas 
and Francis, and three daughters. He died in 1872 aged eighty-three. Mary, one of the 
daughters of George Kemp, the elder, married Richard Hamer in 1821, her sister Sarah dying 

The second branch of the senior George Kemp's family is represented by Francis H. N. C. 
Kemp, of Brecknock Road, London, who is a son of Francis John, the second son of Henry Kemp, 
the second son of George Kemp, the elder. 

Returning to the second Martin Kemp, of Poole, we noted that he was born shortly after his 
father's death in 1772 ; he married Elizabeth Watts in 1830, she being related to Isaac Watts 
" the Divine," so well known from his hymns. It was this Martin Kemp who by Royal Patent 
added the name of Welch to his paternal surname. The Zo«^o7z Gazette of May i6th, 1795, 
contains the following, dated from Whitehall : 

"The King has been pleased to grant unto Martin Kemp of Tower Hill, London, son of Martin Kemp of Poole, 
Dorset, His Royal Licence and Authority that he and his issue may take the surname of Welch in addition to that of 
Kemp in compliance with the wish of hi smaternal Uncle George Welch Esquire, of the City of London, Banker." 

All the descendants have duly used the compound name, but we are not sure that every 
person at present styling themselves by that name is an actual descendant of the second Martin 
Kemp, to whose issue the use of that name was limited. Strange to say, although some ;^5oo 
was paid for this licence, no arms were accredited to the Kemp- Welches, and there is a doubt as 
to the correct bearings for Welch as well as in right of the Kemp descent. Candlesticks, formerly 
the property of the above mentioned banker, George Welch, bear as a crest a goat's head caboshed 
with an amulet for difference, and the arms of Welch as quartered with the arms of the Kempes 
of Kent are engraved on the signet ring of one of the family. 

Section V. 

The Kemp and Kempe 
families of 

The Midlands, Western Counties 


North of England. 


The Kempes of the Midlands, Western Counties and 

North of England. 



IN 1352 an enquiry was made as to the extent of the Borough of Stratford-on-Avon, the 
report of which records that " Robert de Kemesei " held a piece of land there at a rental of 
twelve pence, and two other pieces at two shillings per annum. At the same period " Petras 
de Kemes " held land at about the same value. It might not unreasonably be supposed that these 
individuals were forerunners of the name and a family of Kemp. As a matter of fact, however, 
the addition to the christian names simply identifies them with the parish of Kempsey in the 
adjoining county of Worcester. In the case of Robert this explanation admits of no doubt ; Peter 
may have belonged to one of the places called Kemeys. But though we may not claim those 
persons as representatives of the Kemp families, the place name Kempsey, meaning Kemp's 
Island, attests the existence of the name Kemp at a far 
earlier period in this part of the county. Kempsey is 
situated on the Severn about two miles South of Wor- 
cester. It contains a residence known as Beauchamp 
Court, from which it is presumable that the Earls of 
Warwick, whose surname as has already been stated 
more than once was de Bello Campo, held property here. 
As the chief or sole landowners their name, as often 
happens in the case of place names, was used to dis- 
tinguish the locality. These facts lend additional 
support to the views that the Kemp and Beauchamp 
(or Bello Campo) families are derived from the common 
stock, though Ave are unable to state the actual line of 
descent. The name of Bello Campo appears on the 
Battle Abbey Roll, which however contains no Kemp. 
As some of the Kemps, Edward Kemp, Sheriff of 
Belton, for example, used the royal supporters with their arms in the belief that their ancestors 
came over with the Conqueror, we are again forced to turn to the line of the house of Warwick in 
justification of the tradition. The earhest mention of the actual surname of Kemp(e) in the county 
of Warwick is in 1384 when Henry Inge was charged before the king's clerk with having caused 
the death of Richard Kempe, of Austeley, hodie Austray, on the Leicestershire border of the county. 
Another tradition still rife among the Leicestershire Kempes is that their stock was akin to 
John Kempe the noted Flemish weaver, who under the special protection of Edward III. founded 

Arms used by Edward Kemp, Sheriff of Rutland. 

1 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

his craft at Kendal in 1331. Much fiction has doubtless gathered round this man, but the 
royal patents and other original records give us authority for saying that long before 1331 the 
Kempes were manufacturers of woollen stuffs at Ghent, where a street was devoted to their 
weaving shops and was called " Kempe's Street." We must not be too ready to believe that this 
weaver of Flanders was necessarily of Flemish origin^ for thirty or forty years before his settlement 
in England, Guy and Robert Kempi or Campe were important British officers engaged round 
Hull to arrest the unauthorized exportation of wool. And still earUer a merchant of Florence 
named Cempe was engaged in the woollen trade with England, his name being spelled in various 
forms recognizable as variants of Kemp. (This merchant was a member of the " Falcon " Guild of 
Merchants, it is therefore singular that a Falcon was one of the earliest Kemp crests.) 

In 1327, Philippa, daughter of the Earl of Hainault, was wife of Edward III., at whose court 
it was the fashion to wear Flemish cloth, but this was a source of trouble to that king, who was 
anxious that his people should be able to produce as good a material as any imported. The Green 
Cloth of Kendal had already become known through the civilized world, but the withdrawal of 
court patronage had led to the manufacture falling into disrepute. Hence when the Count of 
Hainauit, in 1330, found the Kempe weavers of Ghent getting so powerful that he feared further 
increase of their influence (and even charged them with treason and conspiracies) they were glad to 
accept the invitation of Edward III. to come to this country " with all implements of their craft, 
their looms and their dyes.'' A thrilling story of their landing, apparently founded upon the 
result of considerable research, was printed in the Kendal Mercury of December, 1865. It tells of 
the natural misgiving of the native weavers of Kendal at the inroad, under the king's protection, 
of these hated foreign rivals. But the local weavers were soon converted into willing friends when 
they found John Kempe to be a generous hearted man, ready to leach all his modes of manufacture 
to the British subject. He is said to have had no son, but brought with him two nephews named 
Kempe and a daughter who was of phenomenal beauty and the embodiment of kindness This 
lovely daughter is not a creation of modern fiction, for she is recorded to have married John, Baron 
de Roos, of Kendal Castle, who took the Kempe weavers under his personal care. It is strange if 
this is merely tradition, that the Roos or Rous family and the Kempes of Suffolk were so 
intimately connected during the next century, John Kempe, of Woodbridge, being buried beside 
many of the Rous family, who founded the church at that place. 

Few references to the name of Kemp(e) have been found at Kendal, but it appears that in 
1544 one of the Kempe weavers was factor or park keeper to Walter Strickland, Esquire, of 
Sizergh Castle, which lies close to Kendal. This Nicholas, with others of the Kempes as subjects 
of this " Lord " of Sizergh, fought with the other Kendal men (who were renowned for their skill 
at archery) against the Scots at Flodden Field, as evidenced by a letter narrating the fight written 
at the time by the Earl of Surrey. Nicholas was not a common name among the Kempes, but 
from this time the Cornish and other families frequently selected it for their children, possibly on 
account of the repute in which this man of their name was held. We have not traced the will of 
this individual, but it is likely that it may yet come to light in one of the Northern Courts. 
Although Kempes remained at Kendal and carried on their weaving until the introduction of 
machinery, they do not appear to have acquired any landed property there until the end of the 
eighteenth century. Under the successive lords of Kendal and Sizergh Castles they were 
doubtless tenants, for from time to time the name appears until, on the last great guild procession 
of the Kendal weavers in 1761, one reputed descendant of the first John Kempe's nephew took 
the principal part in the proceedings. This may have been the forefather of a John Kemp, who 
as a landowner under Sizergh and in the township of Helsington, received a grant as his share of 

Early Ones. 

an enclosure which was allotted to the freeholders, dated at Heversham Church, 14th June, 1815- 

We have received an authentic copy of this interesting award from John Kempe, A.M.I.C.E., 

lately Surveyor of Kingston, Middlesex, who was born at Natland, close to Sizergh Castle, and is a 

descendant of this freeholder of Kendal, 

and in all probability a representative of 

the same stock as the weaver. 

We are greatly indebted to an enthu- 
siastic antiquary, Mr. Thomas Jennings, 

of Kendal, for a quantity of newspaper 

cuttings for years back, for many extracts 

from Kendal, Natland and other local 

registers, and much miscellaneous infor- 
mation besides. Mrs. Langley, of Bolton- 

le-Sands, has very kindly presented us 

with photographs of one of the old 

Kempes of Westmoreland, from whom 

she is descended, as well as an illustration 

of a jug made by a Westmoreland Kempe 

for his relative, whose name appears 

thereon. The jug bears date 1802 and 

has descended with other Kempe relics 

to Mrs. Langley. To John Kemp, Esq., 

now settled in Australia, we are indebted 

for the loan of the Kendal Mercury for 

Decembers in 1865, 1866 and 1867 con- 
taining the historical tales* bearing on the 

Kempes of Kendal, Sizergh and Natland. 

From Kendal the Kempes had frequently to cross the country to the port of Hull, and we 

know that under the laws made for the woollen 
trade they would visit, from time to time, the centres 
appointed as woollen markets. We cannot prove 
that in this way they spread from Kendal, but apart 
from tradition, which says that the Kempe weavers 
of Spott (N.B.) were a direct branch, it is reasonable 
to presume that at least some of the many early 
Kempe weavers of the West of England and around 
the greater towns were descendants. It is very 
noteworthy that the Kempes of Lancashire, Cheshire 
and Leicestershire have continued to be closely con- 
nected with the woollen and other weaving trades 
from the earliest available records until the present 
time. This section of the Kempe History worthily 
represents the ifidtistrial enterprise of England. 

One of the last Kempes of Kendal. 

The papers are now out of print, and there being no copyright we would suggest to those Kempes who are interested in collecting matters 
pertaining to their name that these stories should be printed by subscription. 

4 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

We must conclude this chapter with a mention of a few of the instances of early Kempes in 
the Midlands, Lancashire and Cheshire. 

One Kempe was a tenant at Liverpool in 1324, Simon Kempe was a Member for Parliament 
for the Borough of Appleby in 1329, 1330, 1335 and 1337- Anthony Kempe, Gent. (Kentish 
family), represented the County of Westmoreland in Parliament in 1557-8- William Kemp 
was a Sheriff of the City of Chester in 1404, and in the Chester Recognizance Rolls of 1517 
Arnold Kemp is recorded to have held land at Norley, Cheshire (under Sir Thomas Gerrard, 
Knight) at a rental of three pence per acre. In the records of the Duchy of Lancaster the name 
of Kempe appears, one Randall Kempe being interested in a wood and lands at Newton Heath 
(1582), while " Kemp's Hill," otherwise called " Kympton Hill," near Belgrave Bridge, Leicester, 
was a matter of litigation in the same Ducal-Lordship, between Stephen Harvey and others. In 
1603 Hugh Kempe, Ralph Jackson and others were parties to a suit concerning lands at 
Nuthurst, Oldham and Chadderton, and in the will of James Chetham, of, dated 1613, 
Hugh Kempe and Isabelle Jackson and Katherine Jackson are mentioned, and Nicholas Kempe is 
a witness thereto. Of these Ave believe Nicholas, Hugh and Arnold to be strangers recently 
become temporarily interested in the counties,* but the others are likely to be some of the connexions 
of the celebrated weaver, unless Simon Kempe is found to be, as seems probable, a kinsman of the 
powerful Earls of Warwick who would be likely to mfluence his return to Parliament. 

Although the wills recorded at Chester are preserved from 1545, no Kempe or Campe appears 
in the list until 1615- In the neighbouring county of Staffordshire we find one John Kempe 
paying a subsidy in 1535 as a Burgess of Stafford, and in Lichfield Probate Court we find several 
early Kempe wills, namely, in 1533, George Kempe, of Sudbury ; 1539 Reginald Kempe, of 
Leek, and in j 54 1 Richard Kempe, of Abbott's Bromley. This latter place was the nest from 
which a very important British family of Kempes came, most of whom have been engaged in 
commerce and industry. Generation after generation they have increased both in numbers and 
in wealth. To them we must devote the next chapter. 



"X^TTE had fully intended to give abstracts from the long series of wills which confirm 
\\/ ""^^ pedigree we present, but the_cost of printing the latter runs into such a large 
' ▼ proportion of the amount subscribed by members of this family, that we have regret- 

fully to restrict ourselves to the limited space left at our disposal, and can only briefly mention 
the wills in order, with some few details of property and other items. 

In addition to the wills, which have been personally examined, we are indebted to the present 
Rector of Abbott's Bromley for about 100 extracts concerning Kempes from the parish register. 

* The name Arnold will be recollected in connexion with the Kempes of Kent and Cornwall. 

Abbott's Bromley and Issue. 5 

(As this required great labour and patience on his part, and has been entirely gratuitous^ we trust 
that some of the descendants of this old family will at least benefit the church, if not offer some 
personal recognition to the rector.) The parish is a picturesque one and well worth a visit, but 
we fear that no trace of a Kempe monument is now to be found. 

The first of this series of Kempe wills show \.\\2X previous to 1541 ancestors had been buried 
at the church, for the testator begged that his body should be laid " beside his fathers in Bromley 
Churchyard." This testator left his land and tenements to his son John, provided he paid an 
annuity to his wife Alys. He also mentions his son, Thomas Kempe, who was to enjoy the 
deceased's "tack," otherwise called "intack," which, we believe, was an enclosure from the Common- 
fields of the town and held by copyhold. Alys was to have the use of a certain house in Bromley 
until the youngest child was of age and the residue of his personal estate. An inventory attached 
to this will shows that Richard Kempe, of Abbott's Bromley, was a yeoman possessing a fair farm. 
The estate was appraised by William Harvey and others (which William Harvey may have been 
connected with Stephen Harvey mentioned in our last chapter). Passing by the many Kempe 
wills proved between this and 1500 we come to that of Thomas Kempe, of Abbott's Bromley. 
There is, however, no copy of the will itself, although the probate is duly recorded, with a grant 
of administration to Jone, his widow, and an inventory made of his estate by Nicholas Harvey, 
Nicholas Browne, Thomas Wakelyn and Nicholas Joneson. The latter shows that the farming 
stock had increased, and that in addition to " peuters " he had '' silver salts " and silver candle- 
sticks and " fine linen sheets," which were by no means common. The most interesting items, 
however, are the " loomes " and tools connected with the home manufacture of woollen and linen 
goods. Edward Kempe was a witness to this inventory, to which is attached a business-like 
account of moneys lent, due, or owing, which probably represents his rent roll. George Kempe is 
a debtor to the deceased for 8.y., which would be sufficient rent for a house and garden suitable for 
his station as a yeoman. It is perhaps this same George Kempe whose inventory was made at 
Abbott's Bromley ist April, 1615 ; this again is drawn up by a Harvey, with the assistance of 
William Wall and Michael Donne. Again looms and woollen cloth are among the chief items, 
and the value of the personal effects has risen from £1% to ^79) iri addition to which some _^5 
are owing from John Jackson and others. (Jackson may also be one of those connected with 
Nicholas and Hugh Kempe mentioned as suitors interested in Nuthurst, while another debtor is 
James Atkins, of Rugeley, and a third " goodwife " Hemming.) 

The will of Edward Kempe of the same place was made and proved in 1618, and records 
the same request that his body should be buried " where my father, mother and other friends were 
buried " ; he mentions his lands not only at Abbott's Bromley, but others which he held of the 
Manors of Cannock and Rugeley ; also his daughters Joan, Elizabeth and Marie, and his brother 
Thomas Kempe, William Vanes, and his cousins Hand and niece Bridget Kempe. His niece, 
Dennis Cartwright, and others are left legacies ; and a bequest left to his '' Uncle Robert " Kempe. 
No inventory is attached, but the total value of the estate indicates that he was not at this time 
the head of the family. Robert Kempe, probably the "uncle," was apparently a "scrivener," or 
writer at Warwick, and in that city his "father " (? father-in-law or godfather) was buried at St. 
Nicholas Church. His own father and mother Kempe were then living, for he left to them the 
house which he had in Bromley for their lives, and 20s. per annum out of a house at Warwick. 
The testator mentions his brother, Richard Kempe, his brothers-in-law William Stratford and 
William Cartwright, his cousin Robert Morrell ; and he leaves to his wife, Catherine, his tenement 
in Warwick, " near the Pillory," two tenements in West Street and one in Smith Street, also his 
residence in the Market Place, Warwick. This will was proved in 1624 (P.C.C, 37 Bride) and 

6 History of the Kemp and Kempe Farttilies. 

no inventory is attached. As to the " father Wakefield," we may note that in the will of John 
Kempe, of the Savoy, London, proved in 1588 (P.C.C, 24 Rutland) the testator mentions his 
■' son-in-law, William Wakefield," and his wife, to whom he was married in 1581 at St. Michaels, 
Cornhill, as Sybble Lambe, died in 1590. Administration of her estate as " Sibelle Kempe ah 
Lambe als Cook ah Wakefield, late of the parish of the Savoy, Middlesex, widow, was granted to 
her son, Nicholas Wakefield. From this we may deduce that this John Kempe, of Savoy, who 
was a Merchant Taylor of London, was at least connected with those of Abbott's Bromley, 
although we must bear in mind that the Kempes of Kent had Royal apartments at the Savoy so 
late as 1560. Sybelle may have been connected with the Phoebe Cooke who married Caleb 
Kempe, Vicar of Bradford, Yorks, in that case numerous Kempes of Yorkshire would be connected 
with those of Staffordshire, while a conne.Kion between these and the Kempes of Hendon through 
the Cooke family would be traced. 

In 162T Thomas Kempe, a dyer, of the Borough of Warwick, died, and his Avill was proved 
(P.C.C, 12 Barrington). It leaves charities to the poor of St. Nicholas, Warwick, Kingstone, in 
the same county, and to Bromley Paget's, otherwise called Abbott's Bromley. It mentions his 
father and mother, Robert and Elizabeth Kempe, and his " cousin," son of his brother Robert 
Kempe, also the Cartwright family, William Stratford and the latter's daughter Elizabeth Morrell. 
He appointed his brothers William Kempe, " Master of Arts," and Richard Kempe executors. 
By a codicil he left his workshop and all the tools, utensils and coppers used in dying cloth for 
the purpose of carrying on his business, in favour of his wife Dennis, and he left a further legacy 
to his kinsman Thomas Kempe, of Vaubrooke, in the parish of Abbott's Bromley. In 1652 we 
come to a very important will, that of Henry Kempe, who states that -he was of Loughborough, 
but formerly of Houghton-on-Hill, Leicestershire, but on proving the will it was necessary for 
William Kempe, of Abbotfs Bromley to attest the will, he being testator^ s eldest brother. From 
this will we consequently trace a long line of mercantile Kempes who spread over Leicestershire, 
Nottingham, Northampton, Lincoln, and have now many representatives in London as well as 
throughout our colonies. This junior line, however, we must leave to the next chapter. 

The will of Margaret Kempe, of Abbott's Bromley, dated sth January, 1681, recorded at 
Lichfield the following May, directed that she should be buried at Bromley. She left bequests to 
her sons Edward, Richard and Robert Kempe, the two former to be executors and Sarah, the 
daughter of the son Robert, and the testatrix's daughter Elizabeth, wife of Robert Lawrence, are 
also mentioned. On the 8th December, 1682, the will of Edward Kemp, of Abbott's Bromley, 
made on 14th -June previous, was proved at Lichfield by Richard Kempe and Thomas Andrews, 
both of Bromley. This will left all his estate in trust to his wife to maintain their children until 
their respective ages of twenty-one, Richard Kempe, the eldest son, inheriting the lands which the 
testator held of Walter Bagott at twenty-one and the residuary estate, eventually, after portions 
were paid to the other children on their attaining that age. William Kempe of the same place, 
elder brother to the above mentioned Henry ot Loughborough, made his will in May, 1684, and 
it was proved the following year. The testator was "sick and weak " at the time of signing this 
document, and directed that when his debts had been paid the residue of his estate was to be held 
in trust by his wife Hannah for the benefit of their sons Thomas and Edward equally, and '' to 
their heirs for ever.'" Thomas Adderley, of Drayton, yeoman, and William Bradshaw, of Dunstall, 
were the executors, and George Wright one of the witnesses. The seal bears the initials G. W., 
which doubtless refer to this witness, possibly the notary who made the will. It occurs again on 
the will of Richard Kempe, proved in 1699- This testator had ^130 due to him from tenants 
and others, and his executors having renounced, Thomas Barker and Walter Toone proved the will. 

Robt rt Kempe, 

William Kempe, of Stafford. 
Will 1559. 

Kempe.=, . . Painter. 

>L Kempe. Geo'rg.:, of Abbott's Bromley,=Mane Cartwright Margaret Kempe, 

ap. 1566 ;.7eaver?) Inventory 1615. mar. A.B. 1593, bap. A.B. 1569- 

^ h; 'R .Q64.bur.A.B.:i0Ap r.i6l5.| bur. A.B "=■" 

Franc:- Ken ^pg 

bap. A.B. I ;6;' 

bm. 157 i' 

Robert Kempe, bap. and 1 

I I I i 
1594, other infants bur. 1596-1609. 

, , Elizabeth Kempe, 
J°y* bap. A.B, i6i5. 

Bridget Kempe, 

b. 10' Dec. 1615, 

m. I Nov. 1638. 

=Wm. Baggerley. 

Edward Kempe, Robert Kempe, 

ap. .A.B.31 Oct. 1619, bap. 24 Feh. 1624, 

bur. (? 1702) ? of Belton, 

bur. 27 Feb. 1684. 

Thomas Kempe. 
bap. 10 May, 1629. 

rge Kempe, Robert Kempe, ^Margaret . . . 
lip. 1640, of Warwick, I Will 1712. 
^70 ? 1,68 1 1 W ea ver. Will i686 

'yiii 1670, I I 

Siston, Susannah K. Elizabeth K. 
landman) (■ ? Sarah) 

Richard Kempe,^iane Waiklake, Marian Kempe, Edith Kerape, 

of .A.B., yeoman, 

Will 1699, 
bur. A.B. 1699. 
Bromley, Hurs 
& .Ashbrook. 

mar. A.B. b. A.B. 1642, m. A.B. 1701, 

1668, m. 1676. ^Richard 

bur. A.B. 1704. =:John Grane. Smith. 

ndow) Bourne , Edith K. 

lar. A.B. living 1699. 

uly, 1709. =Thos Smith, 

. /^ (of Elford) 

I I I 

Anne K. Mary K. Jane Kempe, 

b. A.B. b. A.B. 1672, b. A.B. 1673, 

1668. bur. A.B. 1687. m. A.B. 1705. 

=John Kilby, 

A of Lichfield. 

Richard Kempe, 
b. \.B. 1677. 

Elizabeth K. 
b. A.B. 1679. 

■^■■, Edith^Jno. Bourne. 

P Robert Kern p Bourne. 

Aaron Bourne. 

Sarah Bourne, 

Richard Kempe, 
s. of Richard, 
bur. A.B. 1710. 

^jjk Kemp, of ^jloan. 
Tin Linford, I 1 
,11 1718. I 


William Kemp,^Hannah Sharpe John Kemp, 
m. A.B. 1671. Dorothy 

(younger son) 

Rose Kemp, Alice K. 

m. 1659. =(? John) Hill. 
=Henry Collins. 

nckley ' Hannah K. Henry Kemp, Hester Kemp, Edward Kemp, =Sarah, widow of 

[I. bap. & bur. A.B. 1676. bap. & bur. A.B. 1672. bur. A.B. 1682. bap. A.B.6 Oct. 1681. William Ward. 

b. B 

Elizabeth Ward, (? Ann or Eliza Ann)=William Kemp, of Hinckley and Belton, 
mar. B. II July, 1701. I lands at AUexton, died before 175 1. 

Sarah K.^Dewall 

b. J of East Norton, Grazier, 
' I/1703. Will 1749. 




Elizabeth K. 

bap. B. 27/4/1704. 

Eliz. K. b. B. II Sep. 1715- 

William Kemp, of Belton, Co. Rutland,:= 
bap, B. 28 May, 1705. Ad. 1788. 1 

Elizabeth Kempe, only child, 
bap. Belton, 21 Feb. 1737, died a spinster 
7 May, 1793. M.I. Belton. Will 1793. 

karv Kemp, Thomas Kemp. Ellenor.=Francis Kemp, Eleanor Kemp, John Kemp, of=Ann. 
WGodfrev. died unmarried, b. 1747, bur. B. 18/6/1833. Belton, Butcher, I bur. B. 14/5/1805 
bur. B. 6/3/1S26. aet 84. bur. B. 20/8/ 182D. 35148. 
aged 73. I 

jeo, Godfrey, died unmarried, 
bur. B. 7/2/1823, 
aged 79- 

Sarah K., bap. B. 7/11/1788, Susannah K. John K., bap. 29/1796, 

bur. B. 9/ 1 2/ 1 788. B. 6/5/1700 bur. B . 15/7/1796 

ancis Kemp, 01 London, Godfrey Kemp, b. 1785. d. i85o,=Isabelle Maiim, d. of Geo. M., Joh Kemp 

. 17S3 

ler, D I . 1005. 

bnenn 01 rtutlani 
of Belton 1835. 

riignam r unlets (^Dy ::3aij,u Dap. 10 J un. I-87. 
Jennup, of Spalding) see below. 

Isabelle Charlotte Kemp, 
bap. B. I Aug. 1849. 

The Rev. Godfrey George Kemp, M..\., — Harriet Ann Malim, 
'^b. at Belton 26 Aug, 1845, bap. 2 Oct. 1845, [ bom Grantham, 
of Rawreth, Esse.x. 

Edith Hilda K. Irene K. Minda Mary K. Cyril Godfrey IC. Ernest W, G, Kemp. 

d laQS Helen Kemp. Sophia Kemp, m. 1849, Chas. Kemp, Charles Godfrey Kemp. 

Iton =J.T. Spnngthorpe, b. & d. 1825. b. 1831, d. 1863 

[. ' Sheriff of Rutland, (at Leicester) 

Uppingham, educated at Uppingham School. 

Emil y K.=G. M. Frean. 16 A'ug, 1849. 
b. i5 56. I 

nry. Margaret. 

John Kemp.=Eleanor. 
b. 1787- I 

, of J lames Kemp, 

n, b.'l825, d. 1825, 

Josiah Kemp, 

b. 1826. 
=JaDe Kirby 

Maria Kemp, 
b. I8l8. 

Helen Kemp, 
b. 1819. 

Fanny Kemp, 
b. 1828, d. 1828. 

y K. El lenor Mary K. Francis WilUam K. Jane Maria K. Josiah K. Sarah Ann K 

1884. =Alice Rose Lester. =Ruth Mary Ward. 


K. Fra 

Ill I 

Augustus Lester K. Alice Jane K. Robt. Josiah K, Donald Godfrey K. Ruth K. 

6 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

no inventory is attached. As to the " father Wakefield," we may note that in the will of John 
Kempe, of the Savoy, London, proved in 1588 (P.C.C., 24 Rutland) the testator mentions his 
"son-in-law, William Wakefield," and his wife, to whom he was married in 1581 at St. Michaels, 
Cornhill, as Sybble Lambe, died in 1590. Administration of her estate as "Sibelle Kempe ah 
Lambe ah Cook ah Wakefield, late of the parish of the Savoy, Middlesex, widow, was granted to 
her son, Nicholas Wakefield. From this we may deduce that this John Kempe, of Savoy, who 
was a Merchant Taylor of London, was at least connected with those of Abbott's Bromley, 
although we must bear in mind that the Kempes of Kent had Royal apartments at the Savoy so 
late as 1560. Sybelle may have been connected with the Phoebe Cooke who married Caleb 
Kempe, Vicar of Bradford, Yorks, in that case numerous Kempes of Yorkshire would be connected 
with those of Staffordshire, while a connexion between these and the Kempes of Hendon through 
the Cooke family would be traced. 

In 1627 Thomas Kempe, a dyer, of the Borough of Warwick, died, and his will was proved 
(P.C.C, 12 Barrington). It leaves charities to the poor of St. Nicholas, Warwick, Kingstone, in 
the same county, and to Bromley Paget's, otherwise called Abbott's Bromley. It mentions his 
father and mother, Robert and Elizabeth Kempe, and his " cousin," son of his brother Robert 
Kempe, also the Cartwright family, William Stratford and the latter's daughter Elizabeth Morrell. 
He appointed his brothers William Kempe, "Master of Arts," and Richard Kempe executors. 
By a codicil he left his workshop and all the tools, utensils and coppers used in dying cloth for 
the purpose of carrying on his business, in favour of his wife Dennis, and he left a further legacy 
to his kinsman Thomas Kempe, of Vanbrooke, in the parish of Abbott's Bromley. In 1652 we 
come to a very important will, that of Henry Kempe, who states that-he was of Loughborough, 
but formerly of Houghton-on-Hill, Leicestershire, but on proving the will it was necessary for 
William Kempe, of Abbotfs Bromley to attest the will, he being testator^ s eldest brother. From 
this will we consequently trace a long line of mercantile Kempes who spread over Leicestershire, 
Nottingham, Northampton, Lincoln, and have now many representatives in London as well as 
throughout our colonies. This junior line, however, we must leave to the next chapter. 

The will of Margaret Kempe, of Abbott's Bromley, dated 5th January, 1681, recorded at 
Lichfield the following May, directed that she should be buried at Bromley. She left bequests to 
her sons Edward, Richard and Robert Kempe, the two former to be executors and Sarah, the 
daughter of the son Robert, and the testatrix's daughter Elizabeth, wife of Robert Lawrence, are 
also mentioned. On the 8th December, 1682, the will of Edward Kemp, of Abbott's Bromley, 
made on 14th June previous, was proved at Lichfield by Richard Kempe and Thomas Andrews, 
both of Bromley. This will left all his estate in trust to his wife to maintain their children until 
their respective ages of twenty-one, Richard Kempe, the eldest son, inheriting the lands which the 
testator held of Walter Bagott at twenty-one and the residuary estate, eventually, after portions 
were paid to the other children on their attaining that age. William Kempe of the same place, 
elder brother to the above mentioned Henry ot Loughborough, made his will in May, 1684, and 
it was proved the following year. The testator was "sick and weak " at the time of signing this 
document, and directed that when his debts had been paid the residue of his estate was to be held 
in trust by his wife Hannah for the benefit of their sons Thomas and Edward equally, and " to 
their heirs for ever." Thomas Adderley, of Drayton, yeoman, and William Bradshaw, of Dunstall, 
were the executors, and George Wright one of the witnesses. The seal bears the initials G. W., 
which doubtless refer to this witness, possibly the notary who made the will. It occurs again on 
the will of Richard Kempe, proved in 1699- This testator had /130 due to him from tenants 
and others, and his executors having renounced, Thomas Barker and Walter Toone proved the will. 

P E D I G r. U b" Ul U } 

{uncle to Edward K.) 

e K£mpe.=Roben P-iinie 

=Richard Kempe, of Abboif 
_[ Will tS4i. 

ip=, of Abbotc's Bromle7,=;on 

of Stafford. 

Marjnrei Kempe, Mane Kompt 

e.=.\\yi Viae. Jchn Kempe, Georg-, of Abbou's BrQm!ey,=Man= Cjnwnghi 
■aver?) In 

1 04, bur. A.B. 30 Apr^ 


bur. IS94. •Jtli';'- in'anti bur. 1596-1 

I I I 1.1.1 

JoVM Dcnni3.=Thoraas Kempe. Chaea &. Dyer of Robert Kempt 

I W.-mvick City (b., It. ^.B.l. Bailiff bom .A,B, 

in 1635, bur. « St. Mary, Warwick. St. Nichola 

I =CaU 

Marg aret Kempe, bom 10 Jan. 1607. I 

Anne . . ^Hcilry Kempe. of Ellen Kempe, Jolin Kempe, 
Loughborough =Wm. Harvey- o( Bagol's 

and Houghton- Bromley. 

lice Kempe. Parnell_ Kempe. Ejidiard Kern pe,= Margaret ... of Rev. 1 

George Kempe. 

Bndget Ken.ue, 
b. loDec. 16IS, 
m. iNo». 163S. 

=Thomas Kempe, Margaret Kempe, Eliiabeih Kem| ,e, Thom 

I of.\bbolts bap. 1633. hap. 1645- bap 

Bromley, =John Dimmock. m. 1676. ? ^f t 

Edward Kempe, (bro.-in-law Thos. Andrews, George Kempe. iobert K era pe.= Margaret . . . Richard Kempe.=Jan= Walklake. Marian Kempe. Edith K^m 

..,;,. w.ii .Ad, n. z ii- 1 ^^o^ ofWari^rick. I Will 1712. of A.B..yeoman, I mar, A.B. b.A.B.1642, m.ABi;. 

170 ? 1,6811 Wea ver. VVill 1686 1 Will tfigg, t663, m. I676. =Richai 

1636, bap. i63S,JA'ilW6a3, & Sumuei Cope) 


Susannah K. Eliiabeih K. 

bur. 1647, Ric 

Robert Kempe fyeomanj=Anii |widow| Bourne Edith K. Anne K. Mary K. 

of Abbott's Biomley I mar. A.B. living i6gq. b. A.B. b. A.B. 1671 

Si B. Hurst. Will 1730. [4 July, 1709. =Thoi Smith, 166B. bur. A.B. 168' 

p. A.B. 1673. 

William Kempe,=ComeIia Taylor, Mary Ker 

Elizabeth Kempe, 

of Abbolfa'" ■ 1 of Elmes^ =Edwar<i Acton. =Wiliiam Jackson. 

Bromley and Co. Derry, =Christoph. 

Lmford. m.A.B. 1655. and 

nne Kempe, James Ker 

Wiil I 

■f Bekon. Churc 

Sadler, of London, 

Mary K.: — , . Heath. 

.. D.-in-V 

. Sharpe.= Mary K.=. . . Walker. Frances Kemp. Anne Kemp. Hamlet Kempe, E liwbeth K. Thomas Kempe, a minor m 1670, Henry Kemp, (oU Kemp, of =loan. . 

= HenryWarburton. =/oseph Bernard. ? of Weat ba| j. A.B. [658. Will 1713, of Ibstock, Leicester. Uceman, Newton Lmford, I ; m. A.B. 1 
Indies 1673. I ,ur. 1703. =Eliittbeth K. widow. Will 1747. of London. Husbandman, (jounger 

,, Northampton, f— \ ^ \ 

Thomas Kempe, Surgeon, of Okei 

VilTiara K. House de Syst. 

Edward Ker 

■I 1 I I 1 . , , 

John Kemp. Eliubeth K- M.irgaret K. Cornelia Kemp. Kemp,_of Earl Shilton& Hinckley. ^; Hannah K, Henry Kemp, Hester Kemp, Ed> 

George Kempe, ot 5yt< 
If Syston.Tatei y deceased. 

= ...Lewm. =ThomaEHuni. 

George Kempe, ot Syton, Will 1670. =[sabeile Ker 

3 (Cutler), W.ll . 

Anne Kempe, only c 

r E!Ua Ann)=WiUiam Kemp, of Hincklej 

=Edward Kemp, of Eas 

Eliiabeih Kerap. Hannah K, Marv K, 

=Wyke5. =D:inl, Fishei 

Elizabeth K. 
ap.B. .7/4/1704. 

Sani K.=CewalI 
one child. 

1 Kemp, ofBelton, Co. Ruth 

Eliaafaeth Kempe, only child. 

Edward Kemp, of= 

Mary K. Sarah K. Susannih K. Jane K. 

=Hill. =Barbsby. =Ri 

, Gent.=Sa: 
M.I. Bclton, I C 

Ob. I+Dec.1776, *t67- bui 

Ch., relict of E.K. =Geo.Godf 

Christ Ch., Ldn. 

Sarah K., bap. B.7/11/179S, Susannah K. John K., bap. 39/1796, 

e Hill, b. 17:3,= Edward Ker 

h Godfrey, b. 1785. Hannah K. Fianci5 K. 

Ele:inor Easter K. Francis Kemp, gl London, Godfre 

a K. Edward K. 

Uiam Edviard Kemp, B.iptist Kemp, EUenor Kemp 
b. !34i.d. 1878. of Theddingwonh. 

"IXil ' 

■ iSiS, 

. .873. J 

bur. B.4/i/i793. b. lySi/j. 

b..7.=,d.,»si. b.p._„^:. 




yK„.p, I 




t350,= lsab<lle Malim, d. of Gee 

Jennup. of SpaldingJ 

The Rev. Godfrey George Kemp, M.A..— Harriet Ann Malin 
at Belton 16 Aug. 1845. bap. : OcL 1845, I bora Gfantham. 

=Eii2abeth Hiil 

. 1896. Robert Kei 

So;. Elizabeth Ker 

=France3 R Shenton, 

Ann Kemp, of Leii 

=J. T. Sprint 

3 K. Mary_Elizabeth K. 

Francis Kemp. Thotnas Ker 

rthur Kemp of Leices[er.=Sarah EUen Jat 

Agnes Fanny K. Margaret EUzab 

Helen Edith K.=J. H. Dai 

Robert Godfrey K. Edith Margaret K. Alan K. 

Ge orge Henry. Mat ^; 

Edith Hilda K. Irene K. Minda .Vlary K. Cynl Godfrey K. Ernest W. G. Kemp. 

39s. Helen Kemp. Sophia Kemp, m. 1849, Chas. Kemp, Charles Godfrey Kern 

f- ■" - ■ • e, b, & d. 1825. b. iSjt, d. 1863 

(at Leicester) 
.pingnam, educated 

ig. 1349. 

• John Kemp^Elt 

Emily K.=G-M.Fre 

133 [, d. 1863 
it Leicester) 
t Uppingham Set 

Nottingham, b.'i83S, 

James Kemp, Josjah Kemp, Mana Kemp, Helen Kemp, Fanny Ken 

'-'-' -* ■■*- b. 1816. b. I3i3. b. 1819. b. i8i3, d. i£ 

=Jflne Kirby 

=S3> .. -I. ll. 


rank K ■ John Kirby K. EUenor Mary K. Fcandi William K. Jane M ana K, Josiah K. Sarah Ann K. 

John Sidney K. Fr^ 

=Ruth Mary Ward. 

e Jane K, Robt. Josiah K. Donald Godfrey K. Ruth K. 


Sir Thomas Kempe, ind co-heir of John,=i;Anthony Kemjie, of Slindon,: 

of Ollantigh. prd Conyers, I Sussex, buiied at the 

i\ \d at the Savoy. | Savoy 1597. 

Thomas Kempe, of Is, 
in Beauleau, died p. 

Mary Kempe^Humphrey Walrond, 
of Sea, Sussex. 

:Margaret, d. of Sir 

Edward Gage, 

of Firle. 

John Kempe, of He3Kempe,^Elizabeth, d. of 
Buckleshard and Bcn, Knt. j Sir John 

M.P. for Christchurcli626. 
Lymin gton, died 16 

1 TJ ' 

and other children. 

Carrell, Knt. 

George K. Elizabeth K. Anthony K., of 
Westbury and 
Ham, Wilts. 
Will 1648. 

Robert K., of Ham^Sarah. 
Will 1656. 



Mary K. Jane K. Margaiet K. Bridget K. Elizabeth K. 

of Sir Thomas 
ige, of Firle, 
1715, aged 73. 

Martha K. 

Anne Browne, d. <JCempe=Sir Henry Tichbourne, Bart., 
5th Viscount Mo I of Hampshire, 

died 1731 /\ died 1742. 


Sir William Kempe, Knt., of^EIleanor, daughter and co-heir < 
Ollantigh, Wye, Kent, I Sir Mathew Browne, Knt. 
Sheriff of Kent, of Bechworth Castie Surrey, 

died 1539. died 1560. 

Edward Kempe, of Conns,=Eli;abeth, d. of (? John) Will 
in the New Forest, j of Oxiord and Gloucestshir 

died 1605. I 

Ann, d. and co-heir of John,^Anthony Kemi.e, of Slindon,= 
Lord Conyers, I Sussex, buried at the 

buried at the Savoy. | Savoy 1597. 

Thomas Kempe, of Ginns,=Marj', d. of Sir Wm. Oglander, 

in Beauleau, died 1623. j of Nunwell, Isle of Wight, 

I remarried Henry Bromfteld. 

Edward Kempe, 
of Hereford, 
died 1615. 

of Wycombe, Bucks. 

Robert Kempe.=:l!)orothy, d. of , 
of Wycombe, | Elliott, of Beau 

iVIary Kempe=:Humphrey Walrond, 

Robert Kempe, . 
of the Middle Temple, 
living 1641. 

Frandis K. Elizabeth. Fr: 

John Kempe, of Heywood, 

Buckleshard and Boldre, 
M.P. for Christchurch and 

Lym ington, died 1652/3. 

I I I I ' 

and other children. Frances Kempe,=Ralf Pemberton, Ann, d. of . . . Yorke,=Henr}' Kempe, of 
died 1677. I died 1665. of Bassetsbury, I Inner Teinple. 

I Lydiard Tregoze, and Will proved 1684. 
Sir Francis Pemberton. of Millford. Hants. | ' 

Francis Kempe,^Helen 
of Chipping I Gawton. 

Will 1649. I 

Susannah K. 
Will proved 16S6. 

Dorothy K. 
=:Sir John Gore, 
of Giistdn, Herts. 

Capt. Thomas K. Sir Garret Kempe,= 

:EIizabeth, d. of George K. Elizabeth I 
Carrel!, Knt. 

Anthony K., of 

Westbury and 

Ham, Wilts. 

Will 1648. 

Edward Kempe, living 1684, 

perhaps ancestor of the Kempe 

and Kemp-Welch families of 

Poole and Christchurch. 

Frances, d. of=Philllp Kempe. 
SirJohnWebb.l of Gray'slnn. 
of OuMstock, I 
Wilts. I 

died an infant. 

; K.^Thos. Eyre, 
of Hesop, 

mpe,=Mai7, d. of Sir C 

n i Anthony Briggs, 
I of Esse-x, Knt. 

Mary K.^George Heneage, 

of Hainton, 

Anthony Kempe,=Mary, d. of Sir Thomas 
of Slindon, I Gage, of Firle, 

died 1715. died 1715, aged 73. 

Anne Browne, d. of H en ry,= Anthony Kem 

5th Viscount Montague, of Slindon, 

died 1731. died 1753. 

. d. of The Hon. Charles Su 

niece to Lord Stounon, 

married 1734. 

PhiUip Kempe, 

of Ghent, Flanders, 

died 1728. 

r Henry Tichboui 

of Hampshir 

died 174;. 

Barbara Kemp, :^ J 
d. and co-heir, I 
married 1749. 

Anthony J; 

; K., died S.P. 1765, , 

Bridget K. Elizabeth K. 

Leicestershire and Rutland. 7 

In 1686 Robert Kempe, of Warwick, a weaver by trade, left by his will a house, in which 
his cousin John " Savadge " then lived. Margaret, his wife, was empowered to sell this provided 
she settled certain sums upon her daughters Susannah and Elizabeth when they were twenty-two 
years of age. No sons are mentioned, and the testator's cousin, Mr. John Wilson and Richard 
Hands (his kinsman) were appointed executors. This will bears a seal marked " T.K. " which, 
doubtless, belonged to Thomas Kempe, of Warwick, and which appears on later wills. The 
inventory attached to this shows that Robert Kempe, the weaver, had some books of value, and 
that his stock in trade included three looms, one " weeping " {sic) bar and frame, a twisting mill, 
and other weaving plant, these items being modestly valued at £\o. 

The will of Margaret Kempe, of Warwick, widow of the above Robert Kempe, the dyer, was 
proved at Worcester on 31st May, 1722; it mentions the same properties he left her which 
devolved next upon her daughters Elizabeth and Sarah. The executors were James Fish, of St. 
Mary's, Warwick, and Samuel Farr, of Stratford-on-Avon. 

This apparently ended the line of Kempes at Warwick, but in a previous generation it seems 
that a branch of the family had been established at or near Rowington, from which descends 
Thomas Kemp, Esq., J. P., who now resides at Warwick, and who has published several most 
interesting books on the ancient history of that borough. 

There are about this period several wills relating to Abbott's Bromley, the testators of which 
had become merchants in London. We shall not introduce them here, but pass to that of Richard 
Kemp, of Abbott's Bromley, dated and proved in 1699. He was residing at Bromley Hurst, and 
left his residence, a cottage, Ashbrooke Field and other real estate to his wife during her widow- 
hood, subject to the payment of certain sums to their children Robert, Jane, Edith and Elizabeth 
Kempe, who were to share the eventual residue equally. The personalty was valued at 
^335 19'S'- 6(3^. In 1730 the will of Robert Kempe, of Bromley Hurst, was proved, it made 
" Edith, wife of his son-in-law," chief heir, mentioning for small bequests Hannah Willington, of 
Castle Hays, in the parish of Titbury, Staffs., his sister, Edith Smith, his godson Robert Kempe 
Bourne, his son-in-law Aaron Bourne, Jonathan Kilby, of the City of Litchfield, and Thomas 
Smith, of Elford. 

The long line of Kempes at Abbott's Bromley ended with Robert Kempe, his burial there in 
1730 being the last entry of a Kemp found. This family, however, as we have said, is by no 
means extinct, for in London several branches are represented, while as we shall see in our next 
chapter, as numerous an offspring is found in Rutland as that reviewed at Abbott's Bromley. 



THE records of the borough of Leicestershire have just been published covering the period 
between 1300 and 1500, but the name of Kemp does not appear therein. Two mentions 
of " Campes " living about the middle of the fifteenth century in Leicester occur, and 
knowing how frequently this spelling changed to Kempe during the next century we conclude 
that at least some of the Kempes of Leicestershire came from that Campe stock. The wills now 

8 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

preserved at Leicester commence in 1495, but no Campe or Kempe has been found before 1538, 
when the will of " Sir " John Kempe, Vicar of Hungerton, was proved. We have remarked upon 
the coincidence that the Kempe family very frequently sprang up around a place in which the 
clerical members of the family were beneficed, and as we find numerous Kempes settled in 
Leicestershire from this time, we are inclined to believe that the first family came as the result of 
John Kempe being appointed the vicar at Hungerton. We must not, however, allow space for 
details concerning the family who made Hungerton their residence for some 100 years, but having 
well studied the evidence of many wills relating to them, we have come to the conclusion that the 
Vicar Kempe belonged to the Norfolk family of his name. His will is very interesting, for he 
left a sum of money to every person, " man, woman or child " in his parish, and he bequeathed 
his own cloak to a poor blind woman who was one of his parishioners.. 

He speaks of " Ludwick Kempe," his brother, and of his nephews William and John, of 
South Croxton. Ludwick is but another form of the name Lewis, and as a Lewis Kempe, of 
Gissing — who had remainder entailed in the Norfolk property — disappeared from that county 
about this time ; we suggest that it was he who founded the long line of Kempes of Croxton. 

We do not know of any will which could be his, but in 1563 the will of John Kempe, of 
South Croxton, was proved. This clearly shows that the testator was the nephew of the above 
vicar, and it mentions John Ward, a name distinctly associated with the Kempes of Gissing. 

In 1576 John Kempe, of Hungerton, mentions in his will " Lodwick," the son of his 
brother, and numerous other relatives, and leaves charities to the poor of Croxton, Hungerton, 
and Beeby. In 1615 the will of Bryan Kempe, of Hungerton, was proved, and mention his 
children, Francis, Alice and William, Thomas and John, also his brother Henry, the sons (who 
were minors at that date) have been traced to other localities. 

From this family a branch was founded at Harby before 1580, for in that year the will of 
Matthew Kempe, of Harby, was proved, it mentions his brothers, " Ludwick " and Thomas, his 
son " Ludwick," and other relatives. The will of Ludwick Kempe of the same place was proved 
in 1620, and mentions his son and grandson both named Matthew Kempe. We cannot give 
details of each generation, but it is clear that the Kemps remained at Harby until the last century. 
In 1798 James Kempe, of Harby, left by his will his residence, situated in that parish, and 
Stathern to his wife Olivia for her life, and the reversion of this, with other lands, to his son 
James, or in case of the latter's death then to his second son William, and remainder to Thomas 
his youngest son. He also mentioned his daughters, Elizabeth, the wife of William Dalby, Olivia 
Mary, and Sarah Kempe. In the official return of the Land Holders of Great Britain in 1874 
it is recorded that George Kempe was a freeholder then at Harby. In lesponse to our circulars 
three independent descendants of this family have sent in details of their forefathers which con- 
nect them with Harby and Wooisthorpe, the senior representative of this old family appears to 
be Henry Kempe, now Postmaster of Bradford, his father, Eustace Compton Kempe, was born at 
Wooisthorpe in 1801 and was buried there in 1868, his grandfather, William Kempe, was born at 
Harby in 1774 and was buried at Wooisthorpe in 1823, and his great-grandfather was William 
Kempe mentioned in the above will. Another branch of this family is represented by William 
Kempe, of Grantham ; Compton Kempe, of Doncaster, and John James Kemp, of Maidstone. 
Miss Olivia Kemp, of South Kensington, is one of the many who owe their christian name to the 
Harby family. 

Returning to the early Kemp(e) wills proved at Leicester we find, in addition to those already 
mentioned, several testators of the name at Kirby Frisby, Saltby and Saxby, some of which, if not 
all, appear to be connected with the Kempes of Croxton and Hungerton. The facts derived from 

*'■ Leicestershire and Rutland. 9 

these wills, however, are insufficient to form a pedigree without abstracts from the parish registers, 
and we have had to leave this matter undone, both the funds for the research and the space at our 
disposal, preventing our including the detailed history of these families. 

We now turn to the immigration of Kempes to this county and Rutland, which, as noticed 
in our last chapter, occurred about the middle of the seventeenth century. Henry Kempe, who 
was third son of William Kempe, of Abbott's Bromley, left his native place to seek his living " in 
pastures new" ; why he selected Loughborough is not evident, but shortly before his death he 
moved to Houghton-on-Hill, where he died in 1657- His will proved by Anne Kempe, his 
widow, in 1658 (P.C.C, 671 Wotton), mentions his sons in order of age, namely, William, James, 
John, Thomas, Edward and George, and his duughters Mary, the wife of Edward Arton ; 
Elizabeth, wife of William Jackson, and Anne, wife of Christopher Barker (she remarried Herrick), 
and he leaves legacies to his grandchildren, who, however, he does not mention by name. To 
prove the will the testator's son William Kempe, of Abbott's Bromley, swore to the following 
effect : That on or about the ist March, 1657, the testator " doubting whether he might survive 
his wife," directed the deponent to add a codicil providing for an income for his wife, this being 
done the deponent asked the deceased if he would name an executor, but the testator then delayed 
saying he would consider the matter, finally requesting that the codicil should be expunged, which 
the deponent according did. 

The widow Ann made her will in November, 1659, and it was proved at Leicester on 24th 
December, 1660, it mentions the above sons and daughters, also James, the son of her son George, 
and Henry, Mary, Francis, Ann and Elizabeth, the children of her son William. (The seal 
attached to this bears the initials " A. H." which, doubtless, were those of her daughter Ann 
Herrick.) William Kempe, the eldest son, married Cornelia Taylor, of Elmes, Derby, in 1655, 
and as we have seen was at Abbott's Bromley until after his father's death ; he then moved to 
Linford, Leicestershire, where he made his will in 1670 (P.C.C, 136 Penn). His will mentions 
his children as follows : William, John, Henry, Hamlet, Mary, Frances and Ann ; and his 
properties in the Borough of Leicester, in Abbott's and Bagot's Bromley, and at Newtown- 
Linford ; also his wife Cornelia, his sisters Ann Herrick, Elizabeth Barker and cousins Jackson. 
The will was proved by William Kempe the eldest son. The will of this son was, as we have 
said in the last chapter, proved in 1685 and mentions his sons Edward and Thomas. The last 
named was a surgeon practising at Oakham, he died a bachelor in 1 7 1 Q, and his will was proved 
in 1 72 1 (P.C.C, 149 Buckingham) ; it mentions his tenements and hereditaments in Abbott's and 
Bagot's Bromley and at Barrow, which he bequeathed to his brother Edward subject to his paying 
^^40 to his " brother " Samuel Green. The household effects were left to the surgeon's servant, 
Mary Faulkner. His brother Edward died without having administered the estate, and adminis- 
tration was consequently granted to Margaret Walker, widow, their aunt and next-of-kin. 

The senior line from Henry Kempe, of Loughborough, thus became extinct, but by John 
Kempe, son of William Kempe, of Linford, the family was continued in Leicestershire, his will 
(which was proved at Leicester in 1719) describes him as of Newtown-Linford, and mentions 
his son John and his daughters Elizabeth Kempe, Margaret Lewin and Cornelia, the wife of 
Thomas Hunt ; and it appointed his wife Joan and his brother Thomas Kempe, of Ibstock, 
executors, and his "brother," William Hunt, of Bramstone, supervisor. With regard to these 
witnesses William Kilsby and Joan Greening, we may notice that John Kilby married Jane 
Kempe, and that Mary Greening married a John Kempe, ancestor of Thomas Kempe, Esq., J.P., 
the historian of Warwick. Thomas Kempe, of Ibstock, died in j 722, his will being proved at 
Leicester, and that of his wife Elizabeth, of Ibstock, at the same Probate Court in 1747- 

lo History of the Kemt) and Kempe Families. 

William Kempe, the youngest brother of this last couple, had several children. Joseph Kempe 
of Hinckley, a needle-maker, made his will in 1758, in which year it was proved by his sons 
Thomas Kempe, of Hinckley (wool-comber), and Nathaniel Kempe (needle-maker), of the same 
place ; there were also sons named Benjamin and William, and daughters, Elizabeth Kempe, 
Hannah, who had married in 1755 James Wikes, and Mary, the wife of Daniel Fisher. William 
was indebted to his father and was consequently not to participate in the distribution of this 
estate ; he, however, had doubtless invested his loan in a profitable manner, and seems to have 
lived as a squire at Belton. 

The last named William Kempe was of Hinckley, and formerly of Earlshilton, a cutler, and 
by his will dated and proved in 1751 (P.C.C, 147 Busby) he bequeathed to the five children of 
his late son William, and the one child of his daughter Sarah Dewell, all his estate equally divided 
at the respective ages of twenty-one, until which age the testator's brother, Joseph Kempe, was to 
control the property in their interest. 

The Gentleman'' s Magazine of 1787 announced the death of "William Kempe, Esq., of 
Belton, Rutland," who died on 29th November. Administration of his estate was granted to 
Elizabeth Kempe, spinster, his only child, on 26th April, 1788- The will of the latter was 
proved in 1793 (P.C.C, 322 Dodwell) by William Kempe, power being reserved for Frances 
and George Godfrey. The will is a very long one, providing for numerous eventualities, and Ave 
need but say that an estate which she held at Allexton was settled upon WiUiam Ward, of East 
Norton^ son of William and Sarah Ward, of Belton, and that property at Ashley, Northampton, 
was settled on Edward Kempe, son of Elizabeth and Edward Kempe of that place, while her 
residence at Belton, '' formerly the estate of Francis Ward, deceased," then in the occupation of 
William Godfrey^ was settled upon George Godfrey in trust for the benefit of the testatrix's 
cousins, WiUiam Kempe, John Kempe and Francis Kempe, all of Belton. Legacies were 
bequeathed to William Hodges, the elder, of Leicester, several other Hodges, Mary, the wife of 
John Nield, and her servants. 

The will of Edward Kempe, of East Norton (uncle to Elizabeth Kempe, of Belton), was 
proved in 1 749- We believe that his wife was the daughter of William Ward, and that the 
Wards and Kempes were thus relations by half-blood, while George Godfrey was also a relative, 
having married Mary, daughter of the above Edward Kempe. Edward Kempe, the younger, 
of Ashley, and afterwards of East Norton, had five sons : William, who was Sheriff for the County 
of Rutland in 1801, John, who was of Belton, Francis, Edward and Thomas. The eldest son, 
William Kemp, died in 181 1, and by his wife Ann left an only child, Mary Ann Kemp, who died 
in 1870 ; she married in 18 17 John Eagleton, of Christ Church, London. There is a monumental 
inscription to her father and mother in Belton Church, the latter died in 1836. The issue of 
Edward Kempe, the younger, was a son, Edward, and two daughters, who respectively married 
a Spencer and a Brown ; ithe iissue of Edward, the son who was born in 1 738, is not further 
known, but monuments to Edward and his wife are also to be found in Belton Church. Thomas 
the third son died unmarried, and was buried at Belton in 1823, John Kempe, the youngest son 
was also at Belton, and married Ann, who died in 1805 aged forty-eight ; they had a son John, and 
a daughter Sarah, both of whom died infants, also a second daughter Sarah who died unmarried. 

Francis Kemp, the fourth son, consequently seems the only one of these five sons whose 
issue survives to the present day, he married Elenor ... by whom he had the following 
children : William, Edward, Thomas, Francis, Godfrey, John and Robert, Eleanor Ester and 
Hannah. Francis, the father of this family, was buried at Belton in 1 826- His eldest son 
William, married Mary Jelly, of Tixover, in 1806, and had by her three children, William 

Leicestershire and Rutland. 


Edward and Hannah ; both William Kempes, father and son, were drowned. The younger left 
the following children : William Edward, born 1841, died 1878 ; Baptist Kemp (who settled at 
Theddino-worth) ; Eleanor Kemp and Walter Kemp, who lives at Lolham Hall, near Stamford. 
Edward Kemp, the second son of Francis and Eleanor, was born in 1779 and died in 1842, having 
married first (in 1802) Ann Hill, by whom he had Francis Kemp, James Kemp, JVIary, who 
married William Baines, and Ann ; and secondly to Elizabeth Godfrey, by whom he had Edward, 
Robert, EHzabeth (who became the second wife of William Baines), Henry, Sophia (who married 
J. T. Springthorpe, Sheriff of Rutland) and Charles Godfrey Kemp. 

The will of Edward Kemp, who died in 1842, is dated at Uppingham, 30th May, 1839 ; it 
bequeaths legacies to his son Francis and 
his daughter Mary. And he appoints as his 
trustees and executors his brother, Godfrey 
Kemp, his wife, Elizabeth Kemp, William 
Baines and William Toller, who were direc- 
ted to carry on his business and to apply 
the profits for the education, support and 
maintenance of his children during their 
minority, during which time his wife was to 
have the use of his residence, and after the 
youngest child had attained the age of 
twenty-one the whole of the profits of the 
business were for the sole use of his wife 
subject, however, to ^100 per annum (from 
the testator's decease) being invested in 
Government Stocks, which was for the 
purpose of raising a fund out of which the 
trustees were empowered to advance the 
sum of j^400 to either of his children at 
twenty-one; or in the case of the daughters 
marrying earlier their portions might be 
paid according to the discretion of the 
trustees. Francis Kemp, the eldest son, 
died in 1862 leaving two children, Ann, 
born 1832, who lives at Leicester, and 
Francis Kemp, who was born in 1838. 
The latter has three children living, Eliza- 
beth, Francis and Thomas. James Kemp, the second son of Edward, of Uppingham, was born in 
1804 and died in 1821 ; Mary, the eldest daughter, married William Baines, and left three daughters 
and a son, Frederick James, who was born in 1836, the latter being married and having two 
daughters. Edward Kemp, the third son of Edward, of Uppingham, born 1815, married his cousin, 
Elizabeth Hill ; he died at Leicester in 1896 leaving a son, Edward James Kemp, who for some 
years was a member of the Leicester Board of Guardians and a Town Councillor ; he died without 
issue in 1899, and a daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who married Samuel Davis, of Leicester. Robert 
Kemp, the fourth son of Edward, of Uppingham, born in 18 [7, died in 1891, having married 
Sarah Livens, who is still living at Leicester, and left two children, one son and one daughter. 
The son, Arthur Kemp, was born 1856, and married in 1880 Sarah Ellen James, of Towcester, 

Arthur Kempe, Esq., of Leicester. 


History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

and has three children living, namely, Robert Godfrey Kemp, Edith Margaret Kemp and Alan 
Kemp. The daughter, Helen Edith (born 1859) married John Henry Davis, who is manager of 
the Leicester Permanent Building Society. They have no family. 

Henry Kemp, the fifth son of Edward, of Uppingham, born 1820, died in 1895, he married 
Frances Richards Shenton, by whom he had three daughters, two of whom died unmarried, and 
the youngest, Emily Sophia (born 1856) is married to George M. Frean, and has two children. 
Charles Godfrey Kemp, the youngest son, born 1831, was placed at Uppingham School and 
practised as a dentist in Leicester, but died in 1863 without issue. Thomas Kemp, the brother 
of Edward Kemp, of Uppingham (born in 1782) died in 1853, and we have not traced any 
descendants ; his brother, Francis Kemp, settled in London, where he died in 1865, we have no 
information as to his marriage, but are inclined to think that one Godfrey George Kemp, now 

living in Australia, is one of his family. Godfrey Kemp, 
who was executor to Edward, of Uppingham, was 
born in 1T85, became Sheriff of Rutland ; he died at 
Belton in 1850, having married Isabelle, daughter of 
George Malim, of Higham Ferrars (by a daughter of 
Sarah Jenneys, of Spalding), by whom he left only one 
son, the Rev. Godfrey George Kemp. The Rev. 
Godfrey George Kemp was a Fellow of Pembroke 
College, Cambridge, from 1870-3, having graduated as 
loth wrangler in 1869 and was Curate of St. Botolph, 
Cambridge, from which he was transferred in the latter 
year to the Rectory of Rawreth, Essex. The church at 
Rawreth (to which his college presented him) was in a 
serious state of dilapidation and the parish poor ; it 
therefore required persistent and unflagging interest to 
raise the necessary sum for the present church. Not 
only has he accomplished the rebuilding, but he has 
obtained a good organ in place of the barrel instrument 
which he found in the parish, and he has embellished 
the church with oaken screen, choir stalls, and all the 
legal ornaments. Two windows in the choir were 
erected (at his own cost) in memory of two of his 
children, who lie buried in that churchyard. He 
married Harriet Ann Malim, by whom he has the 
following children living : Irene, Minola Mary, and Ernest Wentworth Guy Kemp. 

Before leaving these Leicestershire Kemps we must notice briefly some of their members who 
came to London. So early as 1588 there is reason to believe that a John Kemp, merchant tailor 
and citizen of London was from Abbott's Bromley. Thomas Kkmp, a clergyman, was a curate at 
St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, and Ave believe him to be the same as the one of his name who was 
beneficed in Warwickshire. In the Alumni Oxonienses it is noted that Thomas Kemp, of 
Warwick, a clergyman's son, matriculated at University College in 1581, aged twenty-four. We 
next find that Edward Kemp, son of Henry Kemp, of Loughborough, and his brother James, 
settled in London about the time of their father's death (1 658)- James died in 1 663, and by 
his will (P.C.C, 65 Juxon) he bequeathed lands which he bought at Westham to his wife Alice 
for her life, with remainder to his son John, or if the latter died without issue then this property 

Rev. Godfrey George Kemp. 

Leicestershire and Rutland. 


was to be shared equally by the testator's daughters Rose (who had married in 1 659 Henry 
Collins) and Alice (who had married in 1 662 John Hill). James left a donation to the poor of 
St. Sepulchre's, Newgate, in which parish he probably lived ; he left his friends John Hill (the 
elder), John Benton and Richard Low, rings, begging them to be overseers. His wife Alice dated 
her will at Hamerton, Middlesex (Com. London, 1668), and mentions her son, John Kemp, and 
her daughter. Rose Collins, to which children she left considerable silver plate, as well as the 
estate mentioned by her husband ; she also mentioned her " kinsman " John Bent (a mercer), and 
her brother-in-law, Mr. Edward Kemp (a saddler). 

Edward Kemp, the last named, belonged to the Saddlers' Company, and was a citizen 
of London of considerable wealth and influence. He was for many years a churchwarden of 
St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, in which capacity he was instrumental in collecting funds for a 
new organ, which still exists. He and his nephew, Henry Kemp (a "laceman") both resided 
in the Ward of Farringdon, and both were impanelled and returned as jurors, serving as 
such at the State trials of Lord Russell in 1689 and of Rouse in 1690- The will of Edward 
Kemp (P.C.C, Coker, 1693) desires that he should be buried in the church of St. Dunstan- 
in-the-West, near his late wife, and that about 100 persons should be invited to his funeral, each 
of whom was to be presented with a ring, and that ;^ioo, or " thereabouts," should be expended 
on his obsequies. To his cousin, Henry Kemp, he left £220, provided that he first managed to 
clear himself of debts by composition or otherwise, so that "he may go quietly and without fear 
of arrests or troubles, and betake himself to some employ or business." Legacies are also left to 
his cousins, Mary (the wife of Thomas Sharpe), Frances, (the wife of Henry Warburton), Ann 
(wife of Joseph Bernard), Ann Muston, Mary Heath, Rose Collins, Elizabeth Wingfield, Elizabeth 
(late wife of William Jackson), Anne Bonyman, daughter of his late sister Ann Herrick, and 
William and John Kemp the two youngest sons of his late brother William Kemp. Among 
other items of charity he bequeathed ^^20 to Bridewell Hospital, of which he was governor, £$ to 
the Saddlers' Company, £$ to the poor of St. Dunstans and £s to the poor of Hungerton, where 
(he states) he was born. We cannot give the names of all the influential friends mentioned in his 
will ; suffice to say that among them were Sir Peter Rich, Sir Thomas Kelsey, the Rev. Doctor 
Sherlock, Doctor Henry Dove, Mr. Thomas Fiser and George Ashby, Esq., of Oueenby Hall. 
(This hall is an old moated building long held by the Ashby family.) 

We do not know what became of the nephew Henry Kemp mentioned above, but possibly 
he was the father of the following James Kemp, of Benson, Oxford and Isaac Kemp of St. 
Sepulchre ; if not it would at least appear that he was connected with them. Isaac Kemp, of 
Upton, in Essex, by his will dated 1 T67 (P.C.C, 425 Alexander) left to his son, Anthony Facer 
Kemp but ^50, for the reason that he had a few days previously paid him his " fortune" ; he left 
to his second son, Samuel Scattergood Kemp, ;^400, and to his daughter, Martha Seccombe, j^200, 
with the residue of his estate to his wife Martha. Martha Kemp, widow, of Well Street, Cripple- 
gate, by her will dated 17S5 (P.C.C, 83 Holman) left legacies to the same three children, and her 
will was witnessed by Edward Bernard, Joseph Lamb and William Jackson, of Mark Lane. 
Anthony Facer Kemp was appointed on the committee of the Livery of London appointed in 
December, 1781, to effect a "better popular representation in Parliament." At Long Ditton, 
Surrey, there was a tomb on which the following was inscribed : " Underneath lieth the body of 
Mrs. Susannah Kemp, wife of Mr. A. F. Kemp, of the City of London, merchant. She died 
August 31st, 1792, aged fifty-five." We are unable to say for certain that this refers to Anthony 
Facer Kemp, but it seems likely that he was a merchant of London. 

Another branch of the Leicestershire Kemps who were much connected with London, lived 


14 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families, 

sometimes at Nottingham, but more often in Moorfields. John Kemp, of Middle Moorfields, was 
a bankrupt in 1765, and it is probable that he was the father of Samuel, Richard, Mary, Joseph, 
Ruth and William. The last named was of Coventry Court, St. Martin's-inlhe-Fields, and his 
administration, which appears in 1772, was granted to his daughter Mary. Samuel was a 
framework knitter, of Nottingham, and his will was proved in 1 776 (P.C.C, 376 Tyndall) ; it 
mentions his mother Ann Kemp, his sisters Ruth Kemp and Mary Williams, his brother-in-law 
Thomas James and his brothers Richard and William. This Samuel, we believe, married Ruth, 
and had a daughter Martha baptized at St. James', Clerkenwell, in 1701- Richard Kemp, of 
Whitecross Alley, Moorfields, was also engaged in the knitting and weaving industry, and in 
1762 obtained a Royal Patent in conjunction with Henry Fisher, of New Bond Street, hosier, 
to make " silk pieces in gold and silver figured," in a stocking frame ; this was to hold good for 
fourteen years. He died in Moorfields, September, 1787, his death being announced in The 
Gentleman s Magazine. His will proved that year (P.C.C, 417 Major) mentions his sons, Richard, 
Thomas, Samuel, John, and William, also James Dewey, of Artillery Lane, anJ George Wolfe, of 
Wellclose Square and William Marriott, of Hoxton Square, the last two being executors. He 
mentions his property' at Poplar consisting of twelve houses and gardens, and also states that under 
the will of the late Mr. Home he held a freehold estate in Kent in trust with one John Duplex ; 
as to this last property we have no definite information, and the Homes were connected with so 
many different Kemps that we have been unable to identify this testator. Catherine, the widow 
of this Richard Kemp, was buried beside him in the Old City Road in 1 803, aged seventy-nine, 
Richard Kemp, the eldest son, was a partner in the firm of Baxter, Kemp and Noble, of St. 
Mary's-at-Hill, and was one of the trustees of Wesley's Chapel, Old City Road, where he was 
buried in 1798, his will being proved that year (P.C C, 660 Walpole), he describes himself as of 
Camberwell, and states that his business was that of a wine merchant. He left legacies to his 
partners in business, Richard Noble and Timothy Baxter, and appointed Peter French and Henry 
Goldfinch, of Lombard Street, his executors. To his wife Harriet Elizabeth he left an annuity of 
_^200 for life, also an annuity to his brother Thomas Kemp, of Hoxton, with reversion to 
Sophronica Kemp, the latter's daughter. He also mentions his brothers, William, Thomas, 
Samuel and John, and his sister Ann Church. John Kemp, brother of the last, appears in the 
" Directory of London " in 1760 as " at Mr. Hydes, Mark Lane,'' and later we find that he was 
declared a bankrupt ; this was in 1 803, and he was described then as a " wine merchant, of Mark 
Lane." Probably it was his wife, Elizabeth Ann, who was buried in ■' the grave of Richard 
Kemp, of Moorfields," in 1820 with her son also, who died in 18 i8, aged nineteen. Thomas 
was of Hoxton, and was buried with above in 1 836, aged seventy, and his wife Elizabeth was 
also buried there in 1 84"4', aged seventy-six, leaving "a numerous family." William Kemp, the 
other brother, was of Whitechapel, a tobacconist, he died aged thirty-nine in 1 800, having 
married Ann. His will was proved the same year. 

We must draw attention to the coincidence that at Hoxton also another Kemp family were 
living at this time, who likewise were buried in the Old City Road. " Mr. JaiMES Kemp, late an 
inhabitant of Hoxton, a deacon of the Independent Church in that place for more than twenty- 
two years in his seventy-fourth year." This James Kemp is said, in a biography of his life, to 
have been " a native of Scotland." He married Mary Sperry, with whom he was the actual 
founder of the first Sunday School, although Rakes has always had the credit for so doing. James 
Kemp on coming to London about the year 1772 came under the influence of a celebrated 
preacher, the Rev. Edward Hitchin, of the chapel in White Row, Spitalfields ; under this ministry 
he and his wife gathered together the first school of young people known as the Hoxton Academy, 

Leicestershire and Rutland. 


and for some forty-five years Mrs. Kemp laboured there ; she died on the 9th September, 1837, 
and was buried at Bunhill Fields, where her eldest son, " Mr. John Kemp, of Old London Street," 
had been buried in 1830, aged fifty-three. With them also lie the bodies of the Jatter's grand- 
son, Alfred Pratt White, Mrs. Tabitha Kemp and Mr. Samuel Kemp. 

Connected with one of these Hoxton families we may note that at Poplar Church there is a 
stone to Richard Kemp, Vestry Clerk there for many years, who was buried in 1831, aged 
fifty-two, and that at St. George's-in-the-East there is a stone to Elizabeth Kempe, who died in 
1843, aged seventy-four. Near these parishes there was a family of Kempes who owned a 
printing business early in the last (nineteenth) century, one of these married a daughter of Henry 
Stone, and left a son Richard, who emigrated to New South Wales, and a son Samuel Kemp, who 
was a linguist, and also settled abroad. 

We have mentioned that a widow of 
Edward Kemp, of East Norton, married 
WiUiam Ward of that place, these being 
important ancestors of the chief living 
representatives of the Abbott's Bromley 
family, thus a mention of the will of a 
Sarah Ward of London will not be out 
of place here. The probate has been lent 
to us by a descendant of the Kempe- 
Ward alliance, now secretary at "Shake- 
speare's Birthplace." It was proved in 
1S19 (P.C.C, 193 EUenbro') and a fresh 
administration was granted in 1830. 
The testatrix says she was a "spinster 
formerly living at King Street, Moor- 
fields," but in 18 16 living at Old Street 
Road, Middlesex. She bequeathed to 
James Kemp, the elder, of Hoxton 
Town, James Kemp, his son, of the 
Bank of England, and John Prior Ward, 
of Godliman Street, London, all her 
estates at Budbrook and Pillerton in 
Warwickshire in trust for the benefit of 
any persons who could " prove consan- 
guinity or degree of kindred not beyond that of third cousin" on her father^ side. Advertisements 
were to be inserted in three newspapers in London and one in Warwickshire or Northampton, four 
or more times in order to trace any who had claim to such property ; and should no claim arise 
she bequeathed her estate, subject to several large legacies, to the above trustees absolutely. The 
special bequests included i'r,ooo to Robert Wheeler, of Stratford-on-Avon, / 1,000 to Mr. Miles 
Birkett, of Bunhill Row, stockbroker, and the interest from /i, 000 stock to James Kemp, the 
elder, for life, reverting to his wife and thence to their son, Mr. Samuel Kemp absolutely. It 
appears probable that these James Kemps were those connected with the Sunday School at 
Hoxton, notwithstanding the fact that the founder of that institution was said to have been a 
'• native of Scotland," and a will of Samuel Kemp, which is in the P.C.C. Calendar of 1833 and 
1838 is likely to be that of Samuel who inherited under Miss Sarah Ward's bequest. 

s 2 

James Kemp, Deacon of the Independent Church. 

1 6 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 



THE West of England has never been thickly scattered with families of Kemp(e)s like the 
Eastern Counties, but from early times the name is traceable. Even before the noted 
Flemish weaver made his home at Kendal, "John Kemp" was a name of importance in 
the County of Westmoreland. Apparently from Westmoreland the Kempes spread to Cheshire 
and gradually southward, but several settlements of West of England families of the name are of 
southern origin. The chief of these as measured by social rank was founded by an Edward 
Kempe, who was the son of Edward Kempe, of the New Forest, and grandson of Sir William, 
Kempe, Knight, of Ollanty, Kent. This Edward appears to have settled in the County of 
Hereford owing to a grant of land which he obtained from his uncle, Robert Benett, at the time 
Bishop of Hereford. The lands included Middleton-on-the-Hill, Chenson and Waterson, and a 
lease of the parsonage and glebe of Almeley, all of which are mentioned in the will of Edward 
Kempe which was proved at London in 1615 (P.C.C, 82 Rudd). The will mentions also his 
uncle and aunt Benett, and bequeaths the property to his son Robert, subject to the life interest 
of the testator's wife Elizabeth. The mention also of his "friend, Sir Robert Oxenbridge, Knight," 
and many relatives distinctly shows the exact connexion of the testator to those of Hampshire 
and Kent. Further interesting evidence is furnished by several deeds now preserved at the British 
Museum relating to these lands and others and bearing the signature and seal of Edward Kempe 
and his relatives. 

Elizabeth, his widow, resided at Middleton on his decease, and her will is dated there. It was 
proved in 1631 (P.C.C, 135 St. John) and bequeaths the lease which she held from the Bishop 
of Hereford of the rectory and tithes of Middleton to her daughter, Margaret Bourne, and the 
lease of the rectory and tithes of Docklow to her daughter, Anne Jeffries. To her son Robert 
she left her household furniture, and legacies to Edward Smith, her " nephew and grandchild," 
The will states that to secure the wardship of her son from the Court of Wards she had paid a 
considerable sum, part of which she had borrowed from her son-in-law, William Jeffries, whom 
she begged to act as the said son's guardian. 

At the time the will was proved it is probable that Robert had attained manhood, for m 1 629 
we find that he petitioned the king for pardon, he having been accused of crime by " a woman of 
mean condition " named Mary Ehzabeth Cook. We have not traced his will, but that of his wife 
Anne, styling herself "relict of Robert Kemp, of Shenstone," dated 1677, was proved that year at 
Hereford. It mentions her son Robert Kemp and her daughters, Ann Kemp, Rachael Kemp and 
Elizabeth Freeby, also her grandson Thomas Kemp and her granddaughters Elizabeth, Ann and 
Rachael Freeby. 

The daughter Rachael mentioned above made her will at Wormbridge, and it was proved at 
Hereford in 1681. It mentions her brothers Robert and Roger Kemp and her cousin Dorothy 
Gurnons, also her sister Ann and the children of her brother Robert, whom she said were to be 
paid legacies by her kinsman Marshall Bridges. From this we get a glimpse of the fourth 
generation of Herefordshire Kempes, but their movements thenceforward are shrouded in mystery. 
It would at least appear evident that they no longer retained considerable property in the county, 
and it is probable that they left Herefordshire, one branch going south to Redwick, in the parish 
of Henbury, near Bristol, and another settling in the north of Shropshire. If this surmise is 
correct it is still necessary to retrace our steps and mention earlier Kempes of that adjoining county. 

David Kempe, Pr 

Gloucester, for 

Harlesdon, Mx., 

Arthur Kempe, of Hampshire.= 

ey K. Richard K. Joane K. Anne K. 

560. living 1560. b. 1552. living 1560. 

Sir Nicholas Kera 

born about I55< 

left \i 

Ralph K. of LittU 
Salop, died 16 

Joseph Kempe, of 

died 1654, foi 

" Beggin " / 

Related to Sir N 

Ralph K. of V 

George Kempe, Mary Kempe.=John Hanmer, 

bur. at Selattyn Bishop of 

15^8 St. Asaph. 

George Kempe, Mayor of Evesham, 
Will proved 1658. 

Richard Kempe, of Parshore, Admon. i676=Alice. 

Penelope Kempe, 

bur. at Selattyn 

Arthur Kempe, of Evesham, 
Will proved i7l5.=Abigail. 

John Kempe, of Evesham, 
died i749.=Ann. 

William K. 
b. 1701. 

Joseph Kempe=Mary Archer, 
mar. I730- 

Benjamin K. 
b. 1700. 

William K. 
b. 1702. 

John K. 


omas Cotterell, 

treet, 1775-7- 

Lydia K. widow, bur. 1773. Benjamin Kempe= 

Elizabeth K.=Richard Homer, of Dudley. Benjamin Kempe, 

m I7QA born 1753. 

'^^' bur.atAdderleyl824. 

John Kemp, of Adderley,=Martha Hayward. 
born 1786, died 1852. I 

iph, of Adderley and Longslow,=Elizabeth Hudson of Spoonley and Longford, 
born 1817, bur. at Adderley 1858. I born 1810, bur. at Adderley 1865- 

Samuel Bromley Kemp, of Volksrust,=Annie Louther Graves, b. iJ 
Transvaal, S.A. born 18 5 3. I mar. at Durban 1892. 

lea IT B. K. Daphne Patricia K. Vera Alberta L. K. Alexander Lowther K. 

l6 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 



THE West of England has never been thickly scattered with families of Kemp(e)s like the 
Eastern Counties, but from early times the name is traceable. Even before the noted 
Flemish weaver made his home at Kendal, "John Kemp" was a name of importance in 
the County of Westmoreland. Apparently from Westmoreland the Kempes spread to Cheshire 
and gradually southward, but several settlements of West of England families of the name are of 
southern origin. The chief of these as measured by social rank was founded by an Edward 
Kempe, who was the son of Edward Kempe, of the New Forest, and grandson of Sir William, 
Kempe, Knight, of Ollanty, Kent. This Edward appears to have settled in the County of 
Hereford owing to a grant of land which he obtained from his uncle, Robert Benett, at the time 
Bishop of Hereford. The lands included Middleton-on-the-Hill, Chenson and Waterson, and a 
lease of the parsonage and glebe of Almeley, all of which are mentioned in the will of Edward 
Kempe which was proved at London in 1615 (P.CC, 82 Rudd). The will mentions also his 
uncle and aunt Benett, and bequeaths the property to his son Robert, subject to the life interest 
of the testator's wife Elizabeth. The mention also of his "friend, Sir Robert Oxenbridge, Knight," 
and many relatives distinctly shows the exact connexion of the testator to those of Hampshire 
and Kent. Further interesting evidence is furnished by several deeds now preserved at the British 
Museum relating to these lands and others and bearing the signature and seal of Edward Kempe 
and his relatives. 

Elizabeth, his widow, resided at Middleton on his decease, and her will is dated there. It was 
proved in 1631 (P.C.C, 135 St. John) and bequeaths the lease which she held from the Bishop 
of Hereford of the rectory and tithes of Middleton to her daughter, Margaret Bourne, and the 
lease of the rectory and tithes of Docklow to her daughter, Anne Jeffries. To her son Robert 
she left her household furniture, and legacies to Edward Smith, her " nephew and grandchild," 
The will states that to secure the wardship of her son from the Court of Wards she had paid a 
considerable sum, part of which she had borrowed from her son-in-law, William Jeffries, whom 
she begged to act as the said son's guardian. 

At the time the will was proved it is probable that Robert had attained manhood, for m 1 629 
we find that he petitioned the king for pardon, he having been accused of crime by " a woman of 
mean condition " named Mary Elizabeth Cook. We have not traced his will, but that of his wife 
Anne, styling herself "relict of Robert Kemp, of Shenstone," dated 167T, was proved that year at 
Hereford. It mentions her son Robert Kemp and her daughters, Ann Kemp, Rachael Kemp and 
Elizabeth Freeby, also her grandson Thomas Kemp and her granddaughters Elizabeth, Ann and 
Rachael Freeby. 

The daughter Rachael mentioned above made her will at Wormbridge, and it was proved at 
Hereford in 168 1. It mentions her brothers Robert and Roger Kemp and her cousin Dorothy 
Gurnons, also her sister Ann and the children of her brother Robert, whom she said were to be 
paid legacies by her kinsman Marshall Bridges. From this we get a glimpse of the fourth 
generation of Herefordshire Kempes, but their movements thenceforward are shrouded in mystery. 
It would at least appear evident that they no longer retained considerable property in the county, 
and it is probable that they left Herefordshire, one branch going south to Redwick, in the parish 
ot Henbury, near Bristol, and another settling in the north of Shropshire. If this surmise is 
correct it is still necessary to retrace our steps and mention earlier Kempes of that adjoining county. 


(Grandmother) Smith.= 

Arthur Kempe, of Hampshire,^ 

David Kempe, Prebendary ofc=Catherir 
Gloucester, formerly of I 
Harlesdon, Mx., died 1582. | 

a daughter. 

Sir Nicholas Kempe. of London, J. P.. 
born about 1550, died Sept. 1624, 

left lands to :> 

Ralph K. of Little A5h,=Katherin 
Salop, died 1624. 

Joseph Kempe, of Hitchin, Herts. 

died 1654, founder of the 

" Beggin " Almshouse. 

Related to Sir Nicholas K. and 

Ralph K of Winchcombe. 

Ralph Kempe, of Winchcombe,=Ellen Jusneli. mar 

(heir to Sir Nicholas K. and j West Smithfield, London, by lioin: 
to John K. above.) 16 August, 1574. 

Edward K. Giles K. 
b. I5;o. living 1560. 

Roger K, 
living .560. 

Thoaias K. of Upton Magna, 
Administration 1590. 

Robert K. 
living 1590. 


Hency Kempe. 

Ralph Kempe, of Wrnchcombe.=Grace Grinnell, mar. by licem 
and of St. Margarets, West- I Will proved 1656. 

minster, Mk. Will proved,l64S. 

i dau.=:Leonard Adams, 
Ralph Adams. Hving 1656. 

\ dau.=:John Levenwc 
Ralph Levenworth. 

. dau.=Peter Holland. 
Elizabeth Holland. 

Mary Kempc^John Hanmer 
Bishop of 
St. Asaph. ■ 

Richard Kempe, of Parshore, Admon. l676^Alic 

Penelope Kempe, 
bur. at Selattyn 

Margaret, living i674.=William Kempe, of Acton Raynold, in the parish 
I of Shawbury, and taxed for 2 hearths at 

Gt. Withyford, 1674. Will 1674. 

, of Albrighton-by-Shrewsbiiry. 

Ralph K. 
(?=Judith Snow, 
of London, 1665) 

Henrj' Kempe.^Martha. 

nhuT K. Sarah.^Thomas K.=:Hannah. Joseph Kempe:=Mary Archer, 
,r. 1727. I 1 mar. 1730. 
I Henry Kempe, 1723-5- 

Evesham, Wil 

Charles Kempe, of 
London & Chelmsford. 

Lj'dia K. widow, bur. 1773. Benjamin Kempi 
Elizabeth K.=Richard H 

f Dudley. Benjamin Kempe, 

born 1753. 
bur. at Adderley 1824. 

i Dorothea 11 B. K. Daphne Pai 

Vera AlBerta L. K. Alexander Lowther K. 

Kempes of the West of England. 1 7 

Among the old MSS. of the Shrewsbury Corporation is an undated deed recording the sale 
and quit claim by " Vincint, son of Reginald Kemp," to Robert, the son of Roger de Cornlegh, of 
a rent of elevenpence M'hich William le Knave used to pay to the said Vincint. The deed would 
appear to be earlier than the sixteenth century, otherwise these names certainly point to a con- 
nexion with the Kentish family, Reginald and Vincent being two of the last male line resident 
at Wye, Reginald, however, died in 1610. Among the same collection of deeds and municipal 
papers is a letter dated 31st October, 1593 addressed from " My house at Coton in Wemes parish" 
to the bailiffs of the Earl of Essex, by William Harrison, expressing readiness to cease sueing 
Robert Kemp for a debt, " being bidden by Crist to forgive those that trespass." The letter 
mentions a Mr. John Newport, of Wellington, deceased, to whom the writer owed some rent. 
Perhaps the Robert Kemp mentioned belonged to the district of Wellington, for the present head 
of a local family of Kempes has property there, although the little evidence that we have been 
able to gather points to the extreme north of the county as being for generations the home of his 
ancestors. This brings us to another episcopal connexion of the Kempes. 

John Hanmer, who had formerly been Prebend of Worcester, was Bishop of St. Asaph from 
1624 to 1628, and married Mary, daughter of Arthur Kempe, Gent., of the County of Hampshire. 
Doubtless like Bishop Benett, Hanmer admitted some of his Kempe relatives to leasehold property 
which he obtained in virtue of his bishopric. At Selattyn, on the north-western border of Shrop- 
shire (which came under the Archdeaconal Court of Asaph), lived George and Penelope Kempe. 
Penelope was buried there on 9th December, 1624, the parish register describing her as " Penelope 
Kempe, spinster, sister-in-law to the Lord Bishop Hanmer." George Kempe, said to have been 
her brother, was buried there on i8th December, 1628, and is described as a "Gentleman " in the 
register. We have not identified his will, nor that of Arthur Kemp, of Hampshire, and are not 
able to say for certain that these were a branch of the Kentish stock, but it seems probable that 
Benett and Hanmer were friends and perhaps connected by marriage. There is, however, some 
evidence which may lead us to connect these Kempes of the north of Shropshire with a family 
settled for several generations at Winchcombe. 

In 1624 Ralph Kemp, of Ash Parva, or Little Ash, Shropshire, who was by trade a weaver^ 
bequeathed legacies to the children of his brother, John Kempe, of Mucklestone, and to his god- 
child, Ann Hitchin. He appointed his wife, Katherine, executrix and residuary legatee, and 
Ralph and Richard Jackson, of Little Ash, " his loving neighbours," overseers to the will. 

There can be no doubt that this Ralph Kempe was related to Sir Nicholas Kempe, Knight 
and J. P. of London, who mentioned in his will (proved 1624) "Ralph Kempe, of Winchcombe," 
and we have evidence that in 1603 one, Ralph Jackson, probably the above, with Hugh Kempe 
and others were suitors in the Queen's Court (Pleadings Ducatus Lancastriae) concerning 
boundaries of property at Chaderton, Nuthurst and Oldham. As mentioned earlier the will of 
James Chetham, of Nuthurst, dated 1613, mentions Hugh Kempe, Nicholas Kemp and Isabel and 
Katherine Jackson, thus linking Sir Nicholas with Jackson, and the latter with Ralph Kempe, of 
Little Ash. 

The mention of Winchcombe gives rise to the question, at what date were the Kempes 
established there ? The answer comes from the registers of the parish church, which have kindly 
been searched for us by the Rev. John Taylor. The parish books were in accordance with the 
law commenced in 1539, but in common with the majority throughout the Kingdom it is clear 
that at first the registration was very irregular. The first entry of a Kempe occurs on 7th 
October, 1541, when William, son of Robert, was baptized ; then follow other children who were 
baptized as here given : John, 1542, Henry, 1544, Edward, 1550, and Joan, 1552. In addition to 

i8 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

these children we find from the will of Robert Kemp, of Winchcombe, which was proved at 
Gloucester in 1560, that he had sons named Gyles, Roger or Robert, Reginald, Humphrey, 
Richard and a daughter Anne. This will mentions " a velvet nightcap," " a best doublet," " satin 
shoes," and other clothes of fine material, indicating that the man was a gentleman, or at least a 
well-to-do yeoman. He speaks also of his silver cups and other plate silver spoons, which had 
been left by \\\?, father-in-law , John Dyson, to his sons, and he left a considerable sum to his wife 
Margaret, and to his children. Mention is made of a bequest left to John, the testator's son, by 
his " grandmother Smythe." The will is witnessed by " Raffe Kempe " and others. 

Ralph Kempe, of the City of Gloucester, in his will proved there in 1562, directed that he 
should be buried in the Church of Graceland in that city, and bequeathed his lands at Cheltenham 
to his son, Thomas Kempe, subject to the payment of legacies to his sisters Agnes, Sibel and 
Mary, and he mentions a bowl, made of silver gilt, and other plate. This last testator was 
probably the son of the former, and his will helps us further to identify him, as at Graceland 
(i.e.^ land belonging to the Church of Our Lady of Grace), at Gloucester died the Rev. David 
Kempe, who was for a time Prebendary of that Cathedral. 

This same David Kempe was formerly Prebendary of Harlesden, and subsequently the Prebend 
of Willesden in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, and he was also vicar of Rickmansworth, Middlesex, 
and Archdeacon of St. Alban's, with the latter of which at least Sir Nicholas Kempe was 
identified ; thus we reason again that between the Kempes of Winchcombe and Shropshire there 
was a close connexion at this time. The will of David Kempe, dated in 1581 from the Close of 
Gloucester Cathedral, was proved in 1582, and mentions his wife Catherine and his daughter and 
her children. The e.xecutor, Thomas Kempe, was bequeathed a " shamise purse, wt. the silver 
locke," the relationship between David and Thomas Kempe is not stated. In 1596 the will of 
John Kempe, of the parish of " Our Blessed Lady of Grace," Gloucester, an apothecarye, was 
proved, leaving all his lands and tenements in the City and County of Gloucester to John Kempe, 
his son, one hundred marks each to his son Edward Kempe when twenty-one years of age, and to 
his daughter Susan. The residue of his estate being left to his wife Elizabeth, who was sole 
executor. Walter " Brommedge " and Richard Ward, Gent.^ were the overseers. 

Returning to the relatives of these at Winchcombe we find that Ralph Kempe, described 
as of the parish of St. Margaret's Westminster, was granted a license to marry Grace Grinnell 
on 22nd June, 1610- Very shortly after this date he was at Winchcombe, where he made his 
will in 1644. It was proved at Gloucester the following year, and bequeaths to his wife Grace 
certain lands lying at Winchcombe called " Hitchingsfields " for her life with reversion to her 
son, Thomas Kempe, while to his son Ralph and his heirs for ever he leaves his " inheritance." 
The testator leaves legacies to his sons-in-law, Leonard Addams, John Leavenworth and Peter 
Holland, and his brother Henry and kinsman William Greening are also mentioned. 

It was no doubt this Ralph Kempe, of Winchcombe, who was intended to benefit by the will 
of Sir Nicholas Kempe. The will of Grace Kemp, Ralph's wife, was proved in 1656 (P.C.C, 404 
Berkley), and directed that her body should be buried in the church of Winchcombe. She 
mentions her son " Raphe " Kempe and her sons-in-law as mentioned above, also her son-in-law 
Edmund Mutson and her brother-in-law Henry Kempe. We may remark that " Raufe Skinner " 
was a trustee under the will of Joseph Kempe, of Hitchin, in 1654, and we have no doubt that the 
said Joseph was related to the Winchcombe Kempes, his arms as displayed over his tomb were 
Gules J garbs within a bordure engrailed^ Or, as used by Sir Nicholas. " Ralph Kempe, son of 
Ralphe Kempe, of Winchcombe," matriculated at New Inn Hall, Oxford, in 1672, aged seventeen. 
He must have been the grandson of Grace Kempe. The estate of Ralph Kempe, late of the ship 

Kempes of the West of England. 19 

Faiiconberge, bachelor, was granted to his brother, Ephraim Kempe, in 1696 ; we cannot say, 
however, if this is the same individual. One, Ralph Kempe, of St. James's Clerkenwell, married 
before 1675, for in that year he Avas granted administration of the estate of Susanah, his wife. 
Several Ralph Kempes of a latter period are known to us, but here we need only say that the 
Kemp line at Winchcombe must have ceased before the beginning of the eighteenth century, and 
that the last will relating to this place was that of Thomas Kempe, proved in 1665- The testator 
mentions his " mother-in-law Deborah Kempe," and his " half-brother Ralph Kempe," and his 
•'half-sister Ann Kemp," from which we conclude that "mother-in-law" in this case means slep- 
mother. The will also mentions Ralph Addams, the elder, and Elizabeth Breaks, widow, and 
is witnessed by Edward Slaughter and others. (A seal attached bears the impression of a crest, a 
griffin's head, the facsimile of which occurs on a later will and also on some Middlesex Kempe deeds.) 
From Winchcombe to Evesham and South Littleton is a distance of some eight miles. It 
would appear likely that as Kempes were at both these places at this time (i 590-1665) these were 
connected with the above, but an interesting will of a foreign Kempe proved in 1566 shows that 
those at Beckford and Harvington, close by, were kinsmen of his and but recently settled in this 
kingdom. This testator was named James Kempe, and the will shows that he was a weaver of 
some wealth living at Beckford. He leaves many specific legacies to relatives named Kempe and 
sums of money for his poor kinsmen in his "native country." Which country this was is not 
indicated, but is likely that he was one of the Hugenots who took refuge in this country about 
1544. We may however remark that although some of our subscribers have claimed descent from 
such, the name of Kempe does not occur either in any known list of flugenots settled in England 
nor in the registers of the Hugenot church, which is still maintained at Canterbury. James 
Kempe speaks of his looms and other stock-in-trade, and an inventory of his goods includes cattle, 
sheep and some silver plate. He particularly mentions as kinsmen Henry Kempe, of Siston, 
Thomas Kempe, of Harvington, and a Randall Kempe. The clergy and poor of Ashton and 
Dumbleton were also bequeathed money. Some of these immigrants doubtless returned to their 
native land, but the parish registers of Harvington show that others of the Kempes remained in 
that parish. In 1595 Magdalen Kempe was there married to Robert Harwavd, and from that time 
Kempe became a constantly-used christian name among the local Harwards and kindred families. 
Administration of the estate of John Kempe, of Harvington, was granted to his daughter, Judith 
Jarratt, in 1615- In 1618 Kempe, the son of William Abell, was baptized at Harvington, 
Kempe Harwarde and Samuel Demetrius (of Priors Salford) being witnesses. In 1644 an 
inventory was made of the goods of John Kempe, of Harvington (a blacksmith), and administra- 
tion was granted to Elizabeth Kempe, of the Boro' of Evesham, spinster, and to George Kempe 
of the same place, Elizabeth being the deceased's daughter and George Kempe probably his 
brother. The inventory was signed by Kempe Harvard and George Kempe, who stated that 
John Kempe, of Harvington, had died about fourteen vears before, since which his wife had held 
his property, which consisted of a house "built of (? on) the lord's waste," a little furniture, and 
his tools as a blacksmith. This inventory shows at least that the widow had lived on her capital 
and thus reduced the estate, for in his lifetime John Kempe had been the chief resident at 
Harvington, as appears from the Subsidy Roll of 1601, his name then headed the list of 
parishioners, he being rated at jf 5. At Evesham at that time Richard Harvard was rated at _^4, 
and we can surmise that it was due to the influence of that family that George Kempe settled 
there. At South Littleton at the same rating Agnes Bussell, widow, was registered, and we think 
this worthy a mention, as Kempe as a christian name was adopted by subsequent Bussells. In 
the Abell family it continued until the eighteenth century, one Kemp x\bell, of Bidford, with 

20 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 

Thomas Osborne, of Broom, being at Stratford-on-Avon Petty Sessions in 1736. Connected also 
with the foreign Kempe of Beckford we have no doubt was Henry Kempe, a husbandman, of 
Siddenton^ whose will was proved at Gloucester in 1559 ; this testator mentioned his sons Thomas, 
Robert, Richard, James, John, Harry and Roger and a daughter Joan, leaving his property to his 
wife Joan for her life with reverson to the sons. He left various amounts for charity at Stratford- 
on-Avon, being included under the bequests to poor. We cannot attempt to follow the issue of 
this Henry of Siddenton, but must return to those of Evesham, which place for some two centuries 
was the home of a small family of Kempes. 

George Kempe, who as stated above, was the appraiser of the small estate of John Kempe, of 
Harvington, was thrice elected Mayor of Evesham in the years 1634, 1^43 and 1654. His will, 
dated 1650, was proved in 1658 (P.C.C, 20 Wooton), and describes him as a " Gent.," of Shine- 
hill, in South Littleton. His estate at Evesham and Shinehill he bequeathed to John Nicklis, 
and to William Nicklis he left a piece of land, while to Sanmel and Jonathan Nicklis, both of 
London, he left some property at Shinehill, and his house and demesne lands to his daughter 
Elizabeth Kempe, the wife of Thomas Bushell (otherwise written Bussell). The most notable 
bequest, however, Avas twenty bibles, which were directed to be given to the poor people of 
Littleton and Bengeworth at the discretion of his executors, and sums of money to Mr. Henry 
Ballard, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Dolphin, of Honnybourne, and Mr. Matthews, " ministers of the 
gospel," for that they had "suffered for righteousness sake." George Hopkins was Vicar of 
All Saints', Evesham, and Thomas Matthews gave a piece of ground at Evesham — the profits from 
which were to be applied " to apprentice poor children to some honest trade." The local Probate 
Register Records are not perfect, and doubtless some wills of the Kempes have been unregistered ; 
thus the ne.xt of which we have a knowledge is of one Arthur Kemp, of Evesham, dated and 
proved in 1715. The testator is described as a "' fellmonger," and bequeathed to his wife Abigail 
his house and lands in the parish of All Saints', Evesham, for her life, and afterwards this property 
was to pass to their son Arthur, besides whom they had children named Thomas, Joseph, 
Benjamin, Joan, Mary and Abagail. Mary married William Green, of Weston-sub-Edge, Joan 
died single in 1749, John, another son, had been buried in infancy, Joseph died about 1785, 
Benjamin married Lydia, who was buried a widow at Evesham in 1773- Thomas married first 
a Sarah, by whom he had a son Thomas, and secondly a Hannah, by whom he had a son Henry 
baptized 1723 and buried 1723. Thomas, the younger, married Sarah Russell in 1776, and 
Arthur, the eldest son was buried at All Saints' on 20th December, 1727. The registers show 
also that John and Ann Kemp had two sons named William who were baptized in 1701 and 1702 ; 
that Margaret Kempe married Edward Cole in August, 1719, and that Israel* Kemp married 
John {sic) Crump in 1739 ; Joseph Kempe, by a wife named Catherine (who died in 1728), had 
children baptized named Joseph and Martha in 1723 and 1727, Joseph, the elder, marrying as his 
second wife Mary Archer in 1730- These, doubtless, are only a few of the Kempes who during 
the seventeenth and eighteenth century must have been constantly represented at Evesham, but 
we have no exact information as to the parentage of the next testator whose will relates to this 
place. Before, however, passing on we must note that on the last quoted will there is still a seal 
bearing an evident allusion to a crest of several Kempe families. It is a bird with wings raised, 
standing on an upright sheaf, at the foot of which are a serpent and lion, while a motto has 
evidently been broken from the top of the seal the word " OVR " being alone readable. Many 
Kempes in Australia have sent us impressions of seals bearing the bird on an z//rz^/;/ sheaf, and 

* Perhaps Israel is a mistake for Isabel, or John a mistake for Joan. 

Gloucester and Branches. ' 21 

even modern heraldic artists when purporting to give the arms of the Kemp Baronets have 
erroneously drawn the sheaf thus instead of " fesswise " (i.e., horizontally). In this case, however, 
it is clear that the testator used the seal as a badge, which would be sufficient to distinguish him 
as a Kempe without encroaching on the rights of a family to which perhaps he did not belong. 

The will of Charles Kemp, of Evesham, was proved in 1787, his death being announced in 
the Gentleman^ s Magazine z.^ occuring on 14th September and the register stating that he was 
buried at All Saints' on the i6th of that month, 1787. He is styled "Gent. " in his will, and 
states that he had inherited under the will of his father-in-law, Thomas Cotterell, of Campden, 
Gentleman, a freehold estate at that place, and that he also had property in Drury Lane, Great 
Queen Street and Hampstead, all in Middlesex, which, subject to his widow's life interest, he left 
to his son Charles, who was bound to allow to his sisters sufficient annuities for their maintenance. 
The will mentions Mr. Owen, bookseller at Temple Bar, London, Mr. John Brown, stockbroker, 
and Mr. John King, of Chancery Lane. These last names and the Middlesex property casts a 
doubt upon his connexion with the early Kempes of Evesham, but although the Kempes of 
Hendon also had property at Hampstead, Drury Lane and Great Queen Street, we are not able 
to state that he belonged to that family. We find that a Charles Kemp, Esquire, of Evesham, 
subscribed for a copy of " The History and Antiquities of Evesham " in 1768, and that a Charles 
Kemp, possibly his son, was an officer on the Chaser, and made his will in 1788 ; in this, the 
testator names his " good friends " Frederick and Hannah Westerlins, of the parish of St. George's- 
in-the-East, Middlesex, as residuary legatees, but his estates are not enumerated. Another 
Charles Kemp, formerly of the East Indian Maritime Service, was buried in Brixton Church in 
1840, aged forty-six years, and a will, which doubtless is his, was proved in London that year. 
Perhaps this also was a relation of the Evesham Kempes, of whom we find no later trace locally. 
The last entry of a Kemp in the Evesham registers is the marriage of Elizabeth Kemp in 1794 
to Richard Homer, of Dudley. One other entry, but earlier, is however curious, that of the 
baptism in 1775 of Frances Stonestreet, daughter of Charles Kemp ; she was buried in 1777- 
It is a singular coincidence that Grace, daughter of Thomas Stonestreet, of Lewes, married George 
Kemp, grandfather -of Thomas Read Kemp, the prospector of Kemp Town, with whose family 
the name of Russell mentioned above as intermarried with Kemps of Evesham, was also Hnked. 
[Vide Sussex.) 

CHqATTE%^ v. 

gloucester and branches. 

WE have had occasion in the foregoing chapters to mention seyeral early Kempes of 
Gloucester, and must here note others whose wills we have seen at the Gloucester 
Probate Registry, namely, Joan Kempe, of Maisemore, 1599 ; William Kempe, of 
Maisemore, 1566 ; William Kempe, of Churcham, 1591 ; Anne Kvmpe, of Churcham, 1672 ; 
Joanna Kemp, of BuUey, 1619, and Thomas Kemp, of Bulley, 1660- These places are near 
Gloucester, and from the wills we judge that the testators were connected with David Kempe, 

22 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

Prebendary of Gloucester Cathedral, mentioned earlier. It is important to add that the William 
of Maisemore desired to be buried near his father and mother at Maisemore ; thus this settle- 
ment was evidently at least one generation earlier in this parish. William was forty-four years 
old when he died, and he left a son Richard and daughters Elizabeth, Agnes and Margaret ; he 
also had a stepbrother of his name, the brother was the testator of the will of 1 591, and left a son 
Richard, whose widow's will appears in 16 19, the son of the latter probably was the husband of 
Ann Kemp, of Churcham proved in 1670, the last leaving a son, Richard Kempe, whose children 
named " Londerence," Richard, Joseph, Margaret, Marcy and Mary were then living. This last 
will bears a seal bearing the impression of a bird with wings raised, evidently another allusion to 
the crest or badge of the chief Kemp families. 

The mention of Master Skidmore in the will of 1591 calls for the note that a family of this 
name was connected about this time with Middlesex Kempes, with whom we have previously 
surmised this west country family to be akin. 

The Kempes of Almondsbury, in the south of Gloucester, who for over 100 years were small 
landowners there, seem to have originated from Abbot's Bromley ; one, William Kempe, who 
was born at that Staffordshire nest in 1587, being a clergyman much persecuted during the 
Commonwealth. This William was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and became Greek 
lecturer there ; he was presented to the Rectory of Easton Grey, from which he was transferred 
to Puddimore-Milton, Wilts. It was during his pastorate there that he, with his eleven children, 
was driven from his house into the streets and all his property plundered by the Parhamentary 
soldiers. One account states that his children when turned out " were naked to their shift and 
shoses." Thus turned from his rectory he had to get a living by practising as a doctor at 
Hawkshead and Tachbrook. After the Restoration he petitioned the King for his late rectory 
and was given a prebendal stall in Bristol Cathedral, which, however, he did not long enjoy, his 
death occurring in 1663- He had been present the previous year at the reception of the King 
and Queen at Bristol when the mayor entertained the royal party at the " Great House " at 
Bridge End. Administration of his estate was granted in 1663-4- He left several sons, one 
of whom was the writer of a remarkable book on the cure of the Plague, which was well received 
in London during the pestilence. A copy of this is at the British Museum, it is entitled, " A 
Brief Treatise of the Nature, Causes, Signes, Preservation from, and Cure of, the Pestilence," 
collected by W. Kemp, " Mr. of Arts," and printed and sold by D. Kemp at his shop at the 
Salutation, near Hatton Garden in Holborn, 1665- We were very amused with a perusal of 
this, it contains a wonderful mixture of science, superstition and logical sermonizings ; we gather 
from internal evidence that the author or editor was born at Bristol about the beginning of the 
seventeenth century. The other sons of the Prebendary William Kempe were scattered, some 
seeking their fortunes in "foreign countries." Of this family the eldest, named William, seems 
to have settled at Almondsbury, from which time the family had representatives there ; William 
seems to have been a chaplain in the " Fleet " — not in the navy, but in that horrible prison so 
called for debtors in London. Doubtless he had become involved in some financial difficulty, and 
was detained there until his death, which occurred in 1687, his brother, Thomas Kempe, being 
authorised to administer his estate at Almondsbury and elsewhere. He had apparently married 
Jocosa Hodges, for her estate was granted to him in 1679. It does not appear that this unfor- 
tunate clergyman left children, and the following are surmised to be the issue of his brother 
Thomas. At Almondsbury lie buried Thomas Kemp, who died in 1729, aged thirty-eight, 
Thomas Kemp, whose wife Hester was buried there in 1763, aged thirty-three, and Thomas 
Kempe, who Hved for a time previous to 1776 at Westbury-on-Trim. 

Gloucester and Branches. 23 

Connected undoubtedly with these were two Kempes named Lazarus. The elder made his 
will in 1664 at Wotton-under-Edge, leaving to his eldest son William all his land at Almonds- 
bury " which William Kemp, clerk, deceased," purchased of Nicholas Parnell, excepting a lease 
which the testator left to his son Lazarus. Both these sons were minors in 1663, their mother, 
Mary Kemp, being appointed their guardian. Silver goblets and other plate, as well as further 
lands are mentioned, and the deceased's brother William Kemp, clerk, of the City of London, with 
Mr. Cresswell Wheatley, " preacher of God's word at Todmarton, Oxford, were appointed overseers 
10 the widow, who was executrix. The second Lazarus " Kempp " was licensed to issue tokens, 
and a specimen of his coin is extant, one side being marked " Lazarus Kemp in " with a fleece 
D.S.S., and the other side bearing " Wotton Undridge, 1667," with the words "His Half-penny 
i " across the centre. The fact of the fleece being used as his sign may indicate that he was 
engaged in the cloth manufacture, which has for centuries been largely carried on in the neigh- 
bourhood of Wotton, but of this we have no actual proof, no will or administration of his being 

The mention of Oxfordshire in the last will, and the discontinuance of Kempes at Wotton- 
under-Edge, may point to a migration thither, and we thus may mention here one James Kempe, 
who was entered on the books of Oxford University as a coach proprietor. His will is dated at 
Benson, and describes him as an innholder ; he, however, bequeathed his share in the Cirencester 
Stage Coach with his horses and harness to his grandchildren equally. He mentions in his will 
his sons Edward and James, his daughter-in-law Susannah Kemp, widow, his daughter Elizabeth, 
wife of John Stevens, and his daughter Jane, leaving to the last named his house called the " Red 
Lion," in Benson, with coach house, stables and barn. This will was dated 1776 and proved the 
following year (P.C.C, 319 CoUier). 

We must now note a Somerset family, of whom we have but little detail ; Ave have already 
said that a very early line in this county Avas settled at and around Portishead. These spelled 
their name chiefly as " K^mpe," but that slight difference was also made by several other West 
of England Kempes occasionally, and is not distinctive though most common in Cornwall. In 
the sixteenth century relatives of both the Kent and Norfolk Kempe families were settled in this 
country, and again there seems to have been a fresh colony connected with Ashbrittle, Brunton 
Regis and Tolland who held a little property during the first half of the seventeenth century, and 
several wills at Wells relate to Kempes of Cloford. We cannot give details of these but pass to 
Shepton Mallet, where for some generations a yeoman Kemp family lived. George Kempe of 
this place in his will of 1687-8 mentioned three sons, George, Thomas and William, also a 
nephew William Kemp and a sister Elizabeth Stout. His wife's name was Mary, and to her he 
bequeathed his house at " Bradford's Lye" ; the inventory made of his estate amounts to ^"203. 
The will of his son, George Ke.mpe (who was a minor at his father's death), was proved in 1751 
(P.C.C, 260 Busley), and it leaves an estate at North Bradley, Wilts, called " Hawkins," to his 
daughter Mary Rose, with the " broad loom therin standing." To his daughter Ann Fox and her 
son Stephen other lands, and to his daughter, Phoebe White, he left " White House " at Great 
Gadston and lands at Shepton, with reversion to her son George White. To his grandson George 
Kempe he bequeathed " a great bedstead that was his great-grandfather'' s '" and his tools, also a 
garden at SouthAvick and certain " Avater rights." Charles HaAvkins Avas a witness to this Avill, and 
Ave may conjecture that the lands called " HaAvkins " had some connexion with this witness's 
family. We may also say that Mary Hawkins was a witness to the will of Robert Kempe, of 
Ham, Wilts, in 1657, thus it seems likely that these Kemps of Shepton were from the same 
stock as those of Ham, namely, from the old Kentish one ; this is the more probable when we 

24 History of the Kemp and Kempe Pamilies. 

recall that those of Ham were content to style themselves "yeomen," and had ceased to use the 
arms which were their birthright. George Kempe, the grandson mentioned above, or another 
of his name and line, made his will in 1781, this being duly proved at Wells in 1785- He 
mentions first his cousin, Robert White, of Wanstrow (where his grandfather had lived), and left 
the bulk of his estate to his daughter Catherine, the wife of James Doddrell, to whose children 
^"loo was bequeathed. We conclude that he left no other issue, and the Kempes who later had 
a quarry near Frome were probably a collateral line. Of their family we know little, except that 
each generation had a John Kemp, the last being a builder, known chiefly for his intrepidity in 
climbing steeples. After building many churches in and around Bristol he built Kemp's Row," 
Chelsea, which still bears that name. The line ended in a daughter, who married a Mr. Bussell, 
from whom is descended the Rev. Walter Kemp Bussell, of Spanish Town, Jamaica, who was 
born at Bristol in 1852 ; he lived for a time at Saltash, Cornwall, leaving there for Jamaica in 
1883. He married Edith Wilson, of Scottish family, the following year, and had a son in 1885, 
who, however, died an infant. Two daughters are still living with their parents at Spanish Town 
after a prolonged residence in England. 

We may here note that two other Kempes, of Jamaica, have replied to our circulars, namely, 
Thomas Kemp, J. P., of Constant Spring, who is of Scottish birth, and James Wheeler Kemp, who 
was born at Peshawar, N.W.P., India, in 1851, his father being James George Kemp, a descendant 
of the Kempes of Thanet, his grandfather, Ebenezer Chapman Kemp, having gone to India in 
the employ of the Royal Navy, while several of the Thanet relatives were engaged in the merchant 
service with India. 

The foregoing family of Wilts were closely connected with Wiltshire, and we must again 
revert to that county, where at Trowbridge Johns were heads of the Kemp branch for several 
generations. Indeed, vfe believe that these were a branch of those near Frome, but the date of 
foundation is uncertain. John, the first of whom we have a certain knowledge, was born there 
in 1783, and his son John also was born there in 181 1, the third John in 1843, and John Henry, 
the fourth generation, in 1881. In 1874 when a return of the "Greater Land Holders of 
England " was made by authority, two John Kemps, of Trowbridge, had freehold in the county. 
These are distinguished as "senior" and "junior," and the value of their freehold was then 
estimated at nearly ;^700 per annum. The present John Kemp, of Trowbridge, is senior partner 
in the firm of Kemp and Hewitt, cloth manufacturers ; another John Kemp, of Wilts, is a farmer 
at Lower Studley, but we have no particulars of his family connections. Miss Emily Kemp, of 
Wotton-under-Edge, is a representative of the Trowbridge family. Mr. Clement Kemp and his 
family, one of whom is Mr. John Tabor Kemp, part author of the present work, resided at 
Wotton-under-Edge for several years. Details of his relationship are given under the Essex 

CHqATTE% ui. 

kemps of the north of england— yorkshire. 

WE have in previous chapters mentioned various early Kempes who are known to have 
existed in Northumberland and Yorkshire from the time of Edward II. Some of 
these must certainly have been possessed of lands, but so little trace of them exists 
that we cannot speak of these northern Kempes as families. The long period during which 
Archbishop Kempe and his nephew held office in the province of York would lead one to expect 
that some of their kinsmen would have settled in the district over which these worthies exercised 
so much control in the fifteenth century. We have, however, but the barest evidence of such 
being the fact. Their kinsman, Anthony Kemp, of Slindon, a century later had property in both 
Northumberland and Yorkshire, but it is quite probable that this was acquired by his own personal 
power at Court and not in any way as the outcome of the Archbishop's nepotism. 

In 1567 an Inquisition Post Mortem of one, Anne Kempe, of Yorkshire, is recorded, but 
what her estate comprised we have not ascertained. The next individual of the name of some 
position in the county appears to be the Rev. Caleb Kempe, Vicar of Bradford, who, undoubtedly, 
was the son of the noted preacher. Parson John Kempe, of Freshwater. To him was granted 
administration of his widowed mother's estate in 1599, she being then resident at Bradford with 
this son. Caleb married in 1602 Phoebe, daughter of Thomas Lister, whose family were gentry 
of Yorkshire, and by her had a son Caleb, who married Rose Rippin, of Totteridge, Middlesex. 
On the Rev. Caleb Kempe's decease, which occurred before 1638, his widow, Phoebe, married one 
named Cooke, for she is styled " my mother. Mistress Phoebe Cooke," in her son's will, which was 
proved in London in 1639 (P.C.C, 22 Harvey). Possibly it was another son of the Rev. Caleb 
who founded the family at Hedon in Yorkshire, and that it was his descendant who afterwards 
became another Vicar of Bradford. 

Of the family who resided at Haddon or Hedon we have but a glimpse ; the registers of 
Oxford University record that Guy, the son of Thomas Kemp, ^^ Pleb." of Hedon, matriculated in 
1695, aged seventeen. The wills preserved at York are by no means perfect, but from the 
calendars of the Richmond Deaneries it is evident that there was a fair number of Kempes in 
Yorkshire and Lancashire from the sixteenth century. It is, however, unlikely that any of these 
retained their property for many generations, or became possessed of much land or influence until 
the eighteenth century, when one family of Kempes, who intermarried Avith the Wyvell family, 
enjoyed much Royal patronage. Edward Wyvell, Henry Kemp and Francis Twisden were 
witnesses to the will of Sir William Playter in 1668, but apparently it was later than this that 
"Major Kemp," whose christian name appears to have been Robert, married Priscilla, daughter of 
Sir William Wyvell, fourth Baronet, of Constable Barton (by Anne, daughter of James Brooke). 
Major Robert Kemp with Margaret Collingwood and others petitioned the Lords of the Treasury 
in 1715 for certain arrears of pay which were due to officers, widows and children connected with 
the Hon. Col. Fox's late Regiment of Foot, of which Colonel Collingwood was formerly com- 
mandant. There was a Major Thomas Kemp at this time stationed at the Tower of London, and 
as both are frequently mentioned in the Treasury and State Papers of this period, often without 
their christian names, it is somewhat difficult to identify them. Major Kemp, of the Tower, died 
in 1727, and apparently Major Robert Kemp died two years later, but we have not traced his 
will and do not know where he was buried. He left five daughters and two or more sons. 

26 History of the Kemp and Kemp e Families. 

Henrietta Maria, the eldest daughter, outlived the others, dying at Beverley in 1787 unmarried. 
Frances, the second daughter, was governess to the Hesse Royal family, and died at Hesse Castle, 
Germany, in 1758, her will being that year proved in London (P.C.C., 221 Hutton). It is very 
interesting but too long to give here ; we must be content to mention one or two of her bequests. 
To His Serene Highness Prince Charles of Hesse she left any two of the drawings in frames done 
by Her Royal Highness the Princess of Hesse, and two others by the same Royal artist to Prince 
Frederick of Hesse, and others to Prince WiUiam of Hesse, together with " a small picture of 
King James I. in water colours done by Her Royal Highness, and a portrait of Her Royal 
Highness by her own hand. The testatrix gave a large silver tea kettle to her sister Priscilla 
Wastale with a portrait of her late sister Anne Kempe. To her sister Henrietta Kemp she left 
a silver writing stand, silver forks, spoons, pepper box, salts and other articles, an ivory tea box 
and X200. To her niece, Mrs. Lucretia Kempe, she left " a silver bowl for washing hands in," a 
looking glass in a silver frame and a gold repeating watch, as well as other jewels and diamonds. 
To her brother, John Purcell Kempe, she left all her books and a watch, and with many keepsakes 
to friends she left the ultimate residue of her estate in trust for her two nieces, Lucretia Kemp, 
daughter of this said brother, and Mary, daughter of her sister Mrs. Elizabeth Mill. 

" Sister Anne " mentioned above had died a spinster at St. James', Westminster, before 1756, 
and her will proved that year (P.C.C., 20 r Glazier) bequeathed her father and mother's portraits 
to her brother, William Kemp, and a seal bearing her arms to her niece, Lucretia Kempe. Other 
legatees being Mrs. Margaret Purcell, Mrs. Ann Mein, Miss Elizabeth Wyvell, Miss Jenny 
Margaret Twisden, Mrs. Honor Pratt and the testatrix's sister Priscilla Wastell, Elizabeth Mills, 
Henrietta Maria Kempe, Frances Kempe and Mary Eyre. The brother, William Kempe, died in 
1768 at sea when returning from Calcutta. His estate was granted to his sister Henrietta Maria 
that year, the grant of administration styling the deceased as William Kempe, Esquire, late of 
Calcutta, in the Kingdom of Bengal, a batchelor, the administratrix being his sister and next-of- 
kin. It would appear from this grant that John Purcell Kempe had died before this date, but we 
have little trace of him except that he attained the rank of major in the army, and that his 
daughter Lucretia was baptized in March, 1741, at Newport, in the Isle of Wight, where he 
was then stationed. She, as mentioned in the foregoing wills, was living in 1756 a spinster, and 
is again mentioned in the will of her aunt Henrietta Maria. This testatrix made her will at 
Beverley, Yorks, in 1785, and it was proved by her said niece, Lucretia Kempe, in 1787 at 
London (P.C.C., 133 Major). The testatrix mentioned the following : Mrs. Mary Appleton, of 
Beverley ; her niece, Mary Ayres, of Stratford ; her niece, Lucretia Kempe, of Pontefract ; Dinah 
and Lucretia Hodgeson, Dinah Hodges [sic) and the Rev. Mr. Wyvill, of Burton Hall. This will 
has several codicils attached varying small specific bequests to her servants and companion, but 
the residuary estate was from the date of the will left to Lucretia Kempe, the executrix. It is 
evident that this lady died unmarried, for on 2nd August, 1824, a fresh grant of administration 
of this property was made to Lucretia Hodgeson, widow, and administratrix of the goods of 
Lucretia Kempe. The last will states that the Rev. Mr. Wyvell, of Burton Hall, paid into 
Drummond and Co.'s bank regularly an annuity of thirty pounds for the benefit of the testatrix, 
and it also mentions a nephew named Stephen Stephen (sic) Kempe as living in 1785, to whom 
she left certain bank annuities. Possibly this nephew was named Stephen Smith Kempe, for there 
is a will of one so styled recorded in the Principal Probate Court in 1838, he, however, being 
resident in Surrey. We know of no present representatives of this interesting family, and shall 
be glad to be enlightened as to the connexion which entitled these ladies to arms which they 
evidently used. 

Kemps of the North of England — Yorkshire. 27 

The only armorial bearing recorded as pertaining to Kempes of the North of England is, so 
far as we are aware, the shield as used by Achbishop Kempe, which is given also as the right of 
" Kempe of Alnwick." Anthony Kempe, of Slindon, Sussex, who held property in the north, 
was also authorised to use the same, but we cannot give any date or details of the family at 
Alnwick who are said to have used such. We think that these Kempes must have existed before the 
fifteenth century. There is, however, living a clergyman named John Kemp who was connected 
Avith Alnwick, and to whom perhaps the arms were attributable. 

In the Treasury Papers of 1731 to 1733 are several mentions of Mrs. Kempe and Mrs. 
Purcell as then being engaged in the royal household at St. James's Palace, and apartments, both 
at that palace and at Hampton Court, were luxuriously furnished at the expense of the Treasury 
for Mrs. Kempe's use. This was presumably for Anne Kemp (spinsters then being styled Mrs.), 
but her christian name does not appear, nor is the capacity in which this Mrs. Kemp served the 
Princess Mary exactly stated. In 1734 she was in attendance on the Princess on her wedding eve, 
from Avhich time perhaps Anne Kempe enjoyed a sinecure position at the palaces until her death. 

A Captain Kemp, of H.M. 36th Regiment, married Mary, daughter of the Rev. G. T. Clare, 
Rector of Bainton, Yorks, at Ottery St. Mary on 14th January, 1847. We have, however, no 
knowledge of this Captain Kemp's family connexions. A Joseph Kemp was quartermaster in 
the same regiment in 18 10. The name is prominent in the official return of the Greater Land- 
owners of England made in 1874, the following then being freeholders in Yorkshire : The Rev. 
H. W. Kemp, of Hull, G. G. Kemp, of Hornsea, — . Kemp, of Elvington, Edward Kemp, of 
East Layton, R. Kemp, of Wakefield, and a William Kemp at Leeds, Maltby, Swinton Bridge 
and Tickhill. Of these the most worthy of note is the first. He, however, was not an actual 
native of Yorkshire, having been born at St. Peter's, Thanet, on 23rd June, 1820- He was 
educated at Beverley Grammar School, proceeding thence to Christ's College, Cambridge, of which 
he was a scholar. He graduated in 1843 as nineteenth wrangler, also was ordained the same year. 
He became curate of St. John's, Hull, in 1846, and vicar in the following year. There he had 
one of the largest congregations in the North of England. In 1868 he became Master of the 
Charier House, Hull, and held this position until his death. In 1886 the prebendal stall of Riccal 
in York Cathedral was conferred on him. He was also President of the Hull Literary and 
Philosophical Society, and he was the author of popular sermons published in 1854 and other 
works, and died at Charterhouse on 7th March, 1888- His portrait appeared in the Church 
Portrait Journal ol 1881 (II., 21-4) with his biography. He married at Rugby in 1847 Ann 
Maria, widow of the late Joseph Simons, Esq., M.D., of that place. 

The above G. G. Kemp, of Hornsea, represented a family long settled in that parish. Simon 
Kemp of that place, who was born in 1810, and lived subsequently at Market Rasen and 
Bradford, was buried at Hull in 1856 leaving a son Robert Thomas Kemp, who was born at 
Hornsea in 1837, and now carrying on business at Aldermanbury, London. The Wakefield 
Kemps are now represented by the Rev. James Vickerman Kemp, of Escombe Vicarage, Bishop 
Auckland, whose eldest son has now settled at Byers Green, Durham. The father of this clergyman, 
named James Kemp, was buried at Chicago in 1861. but left no male issue to represent him there. 

The well known tenor Edward Kemp, Vicar Choral of Lichfield Cathedral, is the son of 
Edward Kemp, of Gawthorpe, Mr. Taylor Kemp, of Batley, being a representative of the same 
family. Many members of this family are known as vocalists and have appropriately been named 
after Handel, Haydn and other celebrated composers. Numerous Kemp families of Yorkshire 
originated from Leicestershire, one of whom is Postmaster of Bradford, while others, particularly 
in the south of the county, come from an old Lincolnshire stock. 

28 History of the Kemp and Kempe Families. 


It is most noteworthy that in the years 1555, 1556 and 1557 three Kempes represented places 
in the North of England in Parliament, these being Anthony Kemp, "armiger," for Westmore- 
land County, Robert Kempe, "gent.," for Boroughbridge, Yorks, and Francis Kempe, "armiger," 
for Lincoln City. These dates being within the reign of Queen Mary, in whose confidential 
service was Anthony Kempe, of Slindon, suggests that all three of these were of the then 
influential Ke