CALMADY, Josias I (1619-83), of Langdon, Wembury, Devon.

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



27 Apr. 1660

Family and Education

bap. 10 Oct. 1619, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Shilston Calmady of Wembury, being 1st s. by 2nd w. Honora, da. of Edmund Fortescue of Fallapit, wid. of Humphrey Prideaux of Soldon. educ. Exeter, Oxf. 1638; M. Temple 1640. m. (1) 16 Aug. 1647, Thomasine, da. of Sir Richard Buller of Shillingham, Cornw., 2da.; (2) 11 Nov. 1652, Elizabeth, da. of John Coffin of Portledge, Devon, wid. of William Gay of Chittlehampton, Devon, 2s. d.v.p. 2da. suc. fa. 1646.1

Offices Held

Commr. for assessment, Devon 1647-8, 1652, 1657, Aug. 1660-80, j.p. 1650-3, Mar. 1660-d., commr. for militia Mar. 1660, recusants 1675.


Calmady’s ancestors had been seated in Devon since the 14th century, first entered Parliament in 1554, and acquired Langdon in the following year. Calmady’s father, who stood unsuccessfully for Okehampton in 1641, fought for Parliament in the first Civil War and was killed at the siege of Ford House in February 1646. Although Calmady himself was not politically active during the Civil Wars, he came to terms with the new regime and served as a justice and assessment commissioner intermittently during the Interregnum. At the general election of 1660 he was involved in a double return for Okehampton, near his property of Bratton Clovelly. He was seated on the merits of the return, and marked as a friend on Lord Wharton’s list. He was an inactive Member of the Convention, though his four committees included that for the indemnity bill. His only speech was on the bill of sales on 11 July, when he proposed ‘to cast it out or put it in the fire, or else to commit it to the necessary house above, if it must be committed’. For making a motion so ‘unbefitting such an assembly’ he was immediately rebuked by Arthur Annesley, and eight days later he was given leave to go into the country.2

Calmady was allowed to decline the office of sheriff of Devon in 1675 on the grounds of being ‘scorbutical and hydropsical’, but may have been admitted to the Green Ribbon Club, with his nephew Josias Calmady II, during the exclusion crisis. In his will, dated 7 Mar. 1683, his gift to the curate of Wembury was conditional upon his being ‘a conformable man to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England’. He was buried at Wembury nine days later.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / J. S. Crossette


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Devon, 130, 210; Vis. Cornw. 57; W. K. H. Wright, Hist. Okehampton, 98.
  • 2. B. H. Williams, Ancient Westcountry Fams. 44; Wright, 99; Bowman diary, f. 72v.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1675-6, p. 137; PCC 148 Drax.