Camoys, Thomas de (DNB00)

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CAMOYS, THOMAS de, fifth baron (d. 1420), is said to have been the grandson of Ralph, the fourth baron, and to have succeeded his uncle, John de Camoys, in 46 Edward III (Nicolas). According to Dugdale, he served in several expeditions during the early years of Richard II, notably under his cousin,William, lord Latimer (1 Rich. II), who bequeathed him the manor of Wodeton (Test. Vet. i. 108), and in John of Gaunt's expeditions against Scotland and Castile in 1385 and 1386 (Rymer, vii. 475, 499). He next appears as one of the favourites of Richard II, from whose court he was removed in 1388, at the instance of the Duke of Gloucester and the Earl of Derby (Knyghton, 2705; Capgrave, 249). In 1400 he manned a ship for service against the Scotch and the French, and next year was summoned to take up arms against Owen Glendower (Rymer, viii. 127; Nicolas, Proceedings and Ordinances, ii. 56). A year or two later (June 1403) he received a payment of 100l. for his expenses in conducting Henry IV's intended bride, the Princess Joan, from Brittany to England (Devon, Exchequer Issues, 293). In 1404 he was called upon to defend the Isle of Wight against the threatened descent of the Count of St. Paul; and in November of the same year he was ordered to Calais, to treat with the Flemish ambassadors, but probably did not start till July 1405 (Rymer, viii. 375–6, 378). In December 1406 he signed Henry IV's deed regulating the succession to the crown (ib. 462), and, perhaps earlier in the same year, was sent with Henry Beaufort, bishop of Winchester, to treat with France (Dugdale; Rymer, viii. 432). In 1415 he accompanied Henry V on his French expedition (Rymer, ix. 222), having previously been appointed a member of the committee for the trial of the Earl of Cambridge and Lord Scrope (Nicolas, Agincourt, 38), and commanded the left wing of the English army at Agincourt (Gesta Henrici Quinti, 50). Next year he negotiated the temporary exchange of the Dukes of Burgundy and Gloucester (ib. p. 101), and was made a K.G. 23 April (Nicolas, Agincourt, 174). In 1417 he reviewed the muster of the earl marshal's men at ‘Thre Mynnes,’ near Southampton. Two years later (March 1419) he was called upon to collect troops against the threatened invasion of the King of Leon and Castile; and in April of the same year he signed his name to the parole engagements of the captive Arthur of Brittany and Charles of Artois (Rymer, ix. 702, 744–5). He was a ‘trier of petitions’ for Great Britain and Ireland in the October parliament of 1419 (Camoys' Claim, p. 27). According to Dugdale he died on 28 March 1422; but the inscription on his tomb at Trotton (figured in Dallaway's Sussex, vol. i. pt. ii. pp. 224–5) gives 28 March 1419, equivalent to 1420 in the new style, as seems probable from the date of Henry V's inquisition writ (18 April 1420), and is rendered certain by the evidence of the jurors, who state that he died on a Thursday, on which day of the week March 28 fell in 1420 (Camoys' Claim, p. 28). From the same inscription we learn that he was a knight of the Garter, and that his wife's name was Elizabeth (cf. Cal. Inq. post Mort. iv. 28). This Elizabeth is said to have been the daughter of the Earl of March and widow of Harry Hotspur, a theory which is rendered more probable by the appearance of the Mortimer arms on the tomb alluded to above. The name of a previous wife may possibly be preserved in the ‘Margaret, late wife of Sir Thomas Camoys, Knt.,’ who was dead in April 1386 (Test. Vet. i. 122, with which, however, cf. the obscure passage in Blomefield's Norfolk, v. 1196, and Burke's Baronage, where the name of Baron Camoys's first wife is given as Elizabeth). Camoys's infant grandson, Hugh, appears to have inherited his estates. On his death (August 1426) the barony fell into abeyance till 1839, when it was renewed in favour of Thomas Stonor, sixth baron Camoys, who made good his descent from Margaret Camoys, sister of the above-mentioned Hugh (Camoys' Claim, p. 33; Nicolas). Camoys was elected one of the knights of the shire for Surrey in 7 Richard II (1383), but was excused from serving on the plea of being a banneret. From the same year till the time of his death he was summoned to parliament (Dignity of a Peer, iv. 84 a; Camoys' Peerage Claim, p. 8, &c.).

[Dugdale's Baronage, i. 768; Nicolas's Historic Peerage, ed. Courthope, 91; Rymer's Fœdera, vols. vii. viii. ix.; Issues of Exchequer, ed. Devon, 1837; Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council, ed. Nicolas, ii.; Gesta Henrici Quinti, ed. Williams for English Historical Society, 50, 101, 270; Capgrave's Chronicle of England, ed. Hingeston (Rolls Series), 249; Knyghton ap. Twysden's Decem Scriptores, 2705; Dallaway's History of Sussex, vol. i. pt. ii. pp. 217–25; Brayley's History of Surrey, ed. Walford, iv. 206; Horsfield's Sussex, i. 222, ii. 90; Blomefield's Norfolk, ed. Parkins, 1775; Woodward's Hampshire, ii. 254; Manning and Bray's Surrey, ii. 149; Banks's Extinct Peerage, 251; Nicolas's Battle of Agincourt; Collins's Peerage, ed. Brydges, ii. 272–3; Nicolas's Testamenta Vetusta, i. 108, 122; Calendarium Inquisitionum post Mortem, iii. 318, &c., iv. 58, 107; Camoys Peerage Claim, published by order of the House of Lords, 1838; Report on the Dignity of a Peer (House of Lords), iv.]

T. A. A.