The Reverend Thomas Kemmis was the father of my 3rd great grandfather’s first wife, Charlotte Kemmis (subject of a separate blog entry).

Thomas was the oldest son of Thomas Kemmis (1753 – 1823) who was appointed Crown Solicitor for Ireland in 1784.

The family is listed in A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland (1863)


Burke, Bernard Sir (1863). A genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the landed gentry of Great Britain and Ireland. Harrison, London, volume 2 pages 804-805 retrieved from Google books on 30 August 2013

This entry does not give details of the second marriage of the Reverend Thomas Kemmis and his two children by that marriage: Charlotte and Edward.  It seems unusual for Burke to make a mistake of that kind.

The will of the Reverend Thomas Kemmis dated 23 August 1827 and probated 31 May 1828 clearly names Mary Humphrys and their children and provides for them.

The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) PROB 11 Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers PROB 11/1740/381 Will of Reverend Thomas Kemmis, Clerk of Brockley Park , Queens Count, page 1 of 3.  The will was proved at London on 31 May 1828.

A careful reading of the will suggests that Thomas did not marry Mary.  He states

Whereas Mary Humphrys formerly of Grotton [illegible] who has lived with me several years and by whom I have two children namely Charlotte & Edward and who are totally unprovided for it is my wish in the first instance to [illegible] a moderate provision & hereby authorize and empower my Executors ….

On the second page of the will, he continues to refer to Mary as Mary Humphrys and thus it seems clear that they had not married.

Thomas’s son Henry made some notes in 1889 when he, Henry, was in his 78th year.  He wrote of his father:

My father was the eldest son, and consequently heir to a vary large property and though unsuited to the profession, entered the church in order to keep the livings, as I suppose, as much as possible in the family, and many of these were in his father’s gift.
My father then was a pluralist – a man of the very highest breeding, natty to a degree and in dress was most scrupulous (took two hours to dress every morning) and ranking of first order in those beau Brummell days. The celebrated Hoby of London was his bootmaker of whose specimens he always had racks full and so with his gloves and all other articles of dress. (Kemmis, Henry & Macintyre, J. Keith. The wreck of the Loch Ard (1889). Copy of notes made by Henry Kemmis; page 2. Copy held by the State Library of Victoria)

Thomas Kemmis died at Woodside Cheshire, opposite Liverpool, in 1827.