The Pomeroy's at Bowden in Totnes

Tracing Pomeroy Connections


Bowden at Totnes: 1475-1555


There was a Pomeroy family associated with  Bowden,  in Totnes, between Circa 1476-1555. 

Family Tree:

1. Henry Pomeroy, esquire of Berry Pomeroy who m. 2nd Anne Camel. 

    2nd generation:  Thomas Pomeroy 3rd son,  b c 1445, who M. Agnes Kelloway.

        3rd generation: Richard Pomeroy m Eleanor Coker. 

Amy Camel had been married first to Henry Barrett of Whiteparish, Wiltshire. 2nd  she married Thomas Gyll of Loddiswell, Devon. (C 1460). 3rd: She married Henry Pomeroy, esq, of Berry Pomeroy.   A succession of records demonstrate  that she brought Bowden to the Pomeroy's and passed them on to the 3rd son of Henry, named Thomas, at the time of his marriage to Agnes Kelloway, Anne's granddaughter. 

This post  explores the connections of Richard Pomeroy, born in 1492 at  Bowden in Totnes, the son of Thomas Pomeroy and Agnes nee Kelloway.

Subsequent posts will follow Richard Pomeroy of Bowden to lands in Clapton in Gordano, Weston Super Mare, and other hereditary properties of his 2nd wife, Anne Wykes, widow of Thomas Arthur. 

Annie Pomeroy and I have collaborated over many hours on this man, and have found  this to be a very long, complicated  story. 

The records reveal that Richard Pomeroy, in addition to the Devon properties inherited from his father and mother,  held lands in Clapton in Gordano etc, in Somersetshire. Richard  was the 2nd son  and eventual heir of Thomas Pomeroy and Agnes, of Bowden at Totnes.  He lived between 1492 and 1575. 

What complicated  the  search for this man was the  place he had been given by Powley, (page 81), in which he was listed as the grandson of Thomas and Agnes Pomeroy. 

Powley: P. 81:   “Thomas died on the Saturday after Christmas 9 Henry VII-29 Dec 1493. His holdings included land and meadow in Baudon, Blaudon, Ivecombe and Langedon (Totnes.) “Free scotages.” 

“HENRY, the son and heir, was aged 12 at his father’s death. (IPM.Henry VII, I. 398)

The Benolt visitation of Devonshire, 1531, gives Richard, Amy, Anne, Margaret, Thomasin and Elizabeth as children, making (1) Richard to marry Elenor, third daughter of John Coker of Dorsetshire, from which union derived a Henry and a John, (2) Amy to marry Thomas Tresoyell of Cornwall, with Joan for issue, (3) Anne to marry Tristram Henscote of Exeter, with John, Nicholas and Agnes their offspring. (Devonshire Visitation, 1531: Ashmole MS. 763.) “

Powley,  Page 102: “Other Pomeroys” 

Richard Pomerey (  -1519?/42-   ), probably, in 1519, of Sandridge (v.p.87)  owed, in 1523, 8 pounds to the Crown, and received in 1525 the wardship of John, son and heir of Thomas Giles and Joan.  It was most likely this Richard who served in 1544, in the army against France, he being of the “battle” (the chamber) and providing seven horsemen.” 


Richard Pomeroy, son of Thomas and Ages Pomeroy, born 1492.

Richard Pomeroy (Powley, p. 102), was in fact  the younger son  and eventual heir of Thomas Pomeroy and Agnes Kelloway, husband of Elenor Coker.  His position in the family was revealed by the IPM of Agnes, and a series of Chancery suits between Richard Pomeroy and Sir Edward Pomeroy. 

We can find no further record of Henry, named as son and heir of Thomas, “age 12 and more,” in the 1492 IPM of his father, Thomas. 

Thomasine Barrett is given as “one of the daughters of Thomas,” in the IPM for Agnes, therefore clarifying that the siblings listed by Powley on p. 81 are not the children of Henry, but of Thomas and Agnes.    

Other complications to be worked through were the omission of significant births and marriages, found in the records, but overlooked by earlier studies of this family. 

Richard's story actually begins with his maternal great grandmother, Amy Cammel, of Dorset, a woman who had three marriages: 1st Barrett,  2nd Thomas Gyll,  and 3rd Henry Pomeroy. It is she who brought Bowdon in Totnes  and other properties,  both in Devon and Dorset to the Pomeroys; properties  which she had by right of her 2nd marriage to Thomas Gyll, a wealthy, influential Dartmouth ship owner, merchant, county escheat and sometime privateer. 

All of the property Amy Cammel had by right of her first marriage to Barret remained with the only child of that first marriage, a daughter Johanna Barret who married William Kelloway, the younger. (From  her  grandfather's will. Also  Chancery Case C 1/59/42.)

Another unmentioned but significant marriage was Agnes nee Kelloway Pomeroy’s second marriage  to Thomas Bowring. (c.1440-1504). Thomas Bowring was an English-born lawyer and judge in fifteenth-century Ireland, who held office as Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. He belonged to a prominent landowning family in Devon, who gave their name to the manor of Bowringsleigh. His main estate was at nearby West Alvington, and he also acquired lands in Somerset and Gloucestershire.  It is her appearance in several records in the National Archives  as "Agnes Bowring" which helps to establish  the place of her son and heir, Richard,  in this Pomeroy family tree.  

Thomas Bowring was educated at Middle Temple; served as  Justice of the Peace, in Devon. Commissioner; In Devon: 1481-87. Chief Justice of the Kings Bench, Ireland 1494 with Sir Edward Poynings. Became Chief Justice of the Common Bench, 1496.


Richard  Pomeroy of Sandridge, owed the Crown…

Richard Pomeroy was born in 1492, one year before his father died. His mother married 2nd the widower Thomas Bowrying, and for a period of 10 years it is assumed that Richard’s upbringing was in the Bowring household, which included a period of time in Ireland.  Bowryng died in 1504. . When Richard came of age in 1510  there began a series of suits to establish his Pomeroy inheritance. 

National Archives:   3799M-0/T/1/1  1510

Coming of Age: Exemplification of recovery by letter patent

(This first record of “recovery” was filed as a matter of routine when Richard, son and heir of Thomas and Agnes, of Bowden at Totnes, came of age. These were properties that had been settled on Thomas and Agnes at the time of their circa 1478 marriage by Henry Pomeroy, esq.  These lands were originally part of the Berry Pomeroy estate,  and continued to be managed by Thomas’s older brother Sir Richard Pomeroy during the underage of his nephew. However, the next lord, Sir Edward Pomeroy , refused to turn over control of the property to his cousin; thus the Chancery records. ) 

1. Richard Pomeray esq.  

2. Edward Pomeray knt.

Premises: eight messuages,  and lands in Berry Pomeroy, Bridgetown Pomeroy, Smalebroke and Flete, which Oto Gilbert, Thomas Bowryng and John Snape gave to Henry Pomeray and Anne his wife and the lawful heirs of their bodies. (And others.) 

If Henry and Anne die without heirs of their bodies, the premises remain to Thomas Pomeray son the said Henry, (by 1st wife) and  (to) Agnes Kayleway daughter of Johanne (Barrett) daughter of the said Anne, (2nd wife) and the heirs of the body of Thomas and after the death of Henry, Anne, Thomas and Agnes, remainder to Richard son of Thomas Pomeray. 


Sir Edward Pomeroy Shows his True Colors

Sir Richard Pomeroy, father of Edward,  had been in control of the lands and hereditaments of the underage heir of his brother Thomas.  When Sir Richard died, those properties came under the control of Sir Edward, who not only refused to relinquish the properties, but harassed and mocked Agnes until her death in 1518. 

He went so far as to accuse his uncle Thomas of having obtained the property falsely. This was debunked in a Chancery hearing in which Edward’s lawyer affirmed that the grants had been made properly.  However, Edward was not to be deterred. He counter-sued.  In the meanwhile Agnes had property and “powerful” friends, coming from the family and associations of her grandmother’s 2nd husband, Thomas Gyll. She, and later Richard, pursued his rights in Chancery.  

Eight years later: 1. Devon Record Office  3799M-0/T/12/2  1518 Bond

a. Agnes Bowryng widow

b. Edward Pomeroy knt.

In £100 to obey the arbitration of John Grulay esq. as to the title to lands and tenements in the manors of Sandrydge, Wule, Bridgetown Pomeroy, Walland and TeignharveyDevon Record

2. Arbitration:  3799M-0/T/12/4  1519

To settle their differences and move on, after the death of Agnes, Richard and Edward compromised, in that Sir Edward would keep certain of the original lands in return for payment to Richard.

1. John Gruele knt., chief justice of the common pleas, and Lewys Pollard knt., another of the justices of the common pleas, arbitrators

2. Edward Pomeroy knt.

3. Richard Pomeroy esq.

Arbitration: 2. (Edward) is to hold the manor of Sandrygge and the lands and tenements called Sandrygge, Wyll, Hokemoreslonds, Austyns lands, Hardebyns lands, John Harrys lands, Bertilmewe Harrys lands, Walles and Welcombe,

and he is to pay 3. £430.

3. (Richard)  is to cause William Barret and Thomasyn his wife  to acknowledge to 3. by fine all right and interest they have in the manor of Sandridge, Sandridge, Will, Hokemoreslands, Austyns londs, John Harrys londs, Bertilmewe Harrys londs, Walles, Welcome.

3. is to make to 2. a good surety of his share of the premises and is to hold the lands and tenements called “ Teynghervy, Yaleburn,  Hemston, (Totnes)  Chaterd,  Grendon, (Tavistock)  Stoke Gabriel and  Paynton for himself and the heirs male of his body, with remainder, for default, to 2. 

But Sir Edward defaulted and the suit continued in London: 

3. Devon Record Office 3799M-0/T/11/1 1520

Richard Pomeray. v. Edward Pomeray, knight.: Contempt of arbitrators' award concerning the manor of Sandridge and lands in Teignhervy, Wallys, Welcombe, Hemston, Chaterd, Grendon, and Paignton.: Devon.

Exemplification of a fine

1. Edward POMEROY knt., quer

2. Richard POMEROY and Alianora his wife, defs. 

Premises: messuages and lands in Stockleigh POMEROY, Cheriton Fitzpaine, "Walles", Welcombe, Berry POMEROY, Bridgetown POMEROY, "Smalbroke" and Flete.  Consideration: £430

……..att the same tyme the seid s Edward appoynted & agreed wyth the seid Richard that he wold be att the next cessions then’ next folowing’e at Exetr wtyn’ the seid Countye which ys distant xx myles from the late dwelling place of your seid Supplyants late moder & to mete wt her and fully to fynisch’ & end the seid award & agreme’t by force wherof your seid Supplyants moder being a woman’ yn’ age & of long tyme yn’ sekenes & not of habilite well to go or ryde toke the labour to her grete payn & ieprdie of lyff to ryde to the seid Cyte of exetr at the seid Cessions, at which tyme the seid s Edward Wel pceyued of her Comi’g & intendi’g by furder delay to tratt the tyme that by occasyon’ of the Deth of your seid Supplyants moder he wold ayen’ breke the seid award & agreme’t wold nott nor did come to the seid Cite of Exetr at the seid Cessions to hys expresse rebuke vntrouth & dislaunder by occasyon’ Wher of your seid Supplyants moder, What by occasyon’ if her seid Jorney to the seid Cite and for thought & pensifenes that sche was so vtterly mokked & tryfild wt all by the seid Edward incontyne’t fell in grete siknes & of the same siknes there schortly Died, to the grete heuynes and discomfort of your seid Supplyant.  


Inquisition post Mortem. Agnes Bowring 1 Pm 30 Jan 1519/20

Bowring Agnes Bowden, Tottenheyes Magna [Totnes?] sometime wife of Thomas Pomeroy 1519 O ab TAPS 11 Hen. VIII. Ser. II. Vol. 34 (65)

Delivered into court by Rich Pomery, 1 pm taken at Exeter 8 Nov 1519 before Andrew Hillerson.
by oath of John Carewe of Anthony, Esq, Thos Fortesque, John Bydirell, John Hext, John More, Henry Walys, John Fursland, Thomas Hext, Richard Drew, Thos Garland, Richard Wekes, William fureson and John Geo.

Seized of Bowden Manor in Tottnes Magna and 30 acres of land, 40 pasture, 4 acres of meadow at Tybbercombe, in same parish; 20 acres of lands, 30 acres of pasture in Langedon in Ashprington, 40 acres of land & 30 acres of pasture in Blaudon in same parish; 20 s rent in Blakedon (Widcomb in the Moor? or Blakawton, 7 miles from Paignton?)  in the demense Astee by Charles, dates at Bowden 16 Dec 7 Hen VIII (1515). She granted the premisis to William Barrett and Thomasine his wife; one of the daugters of Thomas Pomeroy and Agnes and their heirs forever for surity of payment of 95 L. 10s. promised by Agnes as Thomasine’s marriage portion and other moneys ? of Agnes by said William and other debts of said Agnes as shown by writings between the said Agnes and Richard Pomeroy said heir of Thomas and Agnes, on the one part and of said William and Thomasine on the other; both dated 15 Sep 1515.

William and Thomasine are still seized of the premises; the manor of Bowden is held by Margaret Countess of Salisbury and her manor of STOKENHAM worth by the year ? 1/2 6.

Lands in Tybbecombe are held by John Holwey and Henry Walrons worth 40 s. a year.

Lands in Bowdon are held by Contess worth 13s 50.

Agnes died 22 Jan 1518. Son and heir age 26 Richard Pomeroy. 


Richard Pomeroy married Elinor Coker, daughter of John Coker of Dorset around 1519.  

Arms at Bowden in Totnes: (Sir George Carew’s Rolls of Arms #625)

625: Ar. on a bend g. 3 leops’ faces de or. This coate standeth impaled with Pomeroye in Bowden House by the name of Cauker. (Cawker, Coker. This is Mr. Gyles his house at Bowden, impalled with POMEROY by the name of Cawker, q. by the Ea. of Hartford.