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Fay Sampson’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back 30 generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)

Sampson  Tree



WILLIAM (GUILLAUME) LOVEL D’IVRY. He was the second son of Ascelin Gouel d’Ivry. His father was nicknamed Lupus, the Wolf, for the violence of his nature. His mother was Isabel de Breteuil, who was forced to marry Ascelin when he captured her father’s castle and subjected him to cruel imprisonment.[1]

William was given the nickname Lupellus, the Young Wolf. This became Anglicised as Lovell.

He was born around 1090, probably at Ivry, now known as Ivry la Bataille, west of Paris.

As the second son he would not have expected to be his father’s principal heir, but on the death of his elder brother Robert without issue he inherited the castle of Ivry. He was also seigneur of Breval in Normandy and lord of Kary, Weston, Stawell and other manors in England.

In 1120 he married Mathilde de Beaumont.


MATHILDE (MAUD) DE BEAUMONT. The names Mathilde and Maud were used interchangeably at this time.

She was the youngest of eight children of Robert de Beaumont-le-Roger, Count of Meulan, and Isabelle or Elisabeth de Vermandois. Her father had fought at the Battle of Hastings and been rewarded with the city of Leicester, though he never used the title Earl of Leicester, He also held lands in Normandy.

On her mother’s side she was descended from Henry King of France, George King of Russia, and Charlemagne.

Her brother Waleran gave Mathilde and two of her sisters to three of the most powerful lords in Normandy, well-supplied with castles, men and money. They were William Gouel de Perceval, Hugh de Novo Castello and Hugh de Montfort.


We know of five sons from the marriage between William and Mathilde: Waleran, Ralph, Henry, William and Richard. There were probably daughters as well.


The d’Ivry family had a history of rebellion against the new Norman kings of England. In Sep 1123 William joined a rebellion against King Henry I of England, together with Mathilde’s brother Waléran de Meulan, and brothers-in-law Hugues de Montfort and Hugues de Châteauneuf. King Henry was contesting claims to the lands in France brought to him by his second wife Mathilde. The conspirators garrisoned Waleran’s tower of Gatevill and then launched open war. There was fighting on the Norman-Anjou border. Waleran led a force of Norman barons, including William d’Ivry, into battle at Turold, but was defeated and captured, together with two of his brothers-in-law.

William escaped, but was then taken prisoner by a peasant. He offered his armour as a bribe for the peasant to set him free. He then persuaded the peasant to shave him to look like a squire. He reached the banks of the Seine undetected. Here, he was obliged to give his shoes to the ferryman to pay for his passage across the river and made the rest of the way home barefoot.

For a while he continued to rebel, but later that year he made peace with King Henry and secured the safety of his friends. Afterwards he received a considerable grant of land in England.


His father and grandfather had taken part in the Battle of Hastings and had also been granted English manors, but they spent more time in Normandy than in England and died there.

William was the first of the family to make England his principal home. He is credited by some, if not with founding, then at least completing the castle of Kary in Somerset, now known as Castle Cary. This was of the motte and bailey type favoured by the Normans. A tower or keep was erected on a mound (the motte) , at one end or in the corner of a very extensive court (the bailey). It was defended on the other sides by a great gateway and several towers set at intervals. Today, only earthworks remain.

Castle Cary [2]


Castle Cary had been given to Walter de Douai after the Norman Conquest. King Stephen seized it from his successor and awarded it to William’s son Ralph Lupellus who then rebelled against him .


The early 12th century saw civil war in England. Henry I’s only son had drowned in a shipwreck. He persuaded the barons to pledge their loyalty to his daughter Mathilde as the next ruler of England. But when he died his nephew Stephen moved swiftly to declare himself king. Mathilde was slow in coming from France to claim her throne. Despite their promises, the barons were split on whom to support. The result was a bitter war. Stephen was the victor, though he acknowledged Mathilde’s young son Henry as his heir.

In 1137 the barons “much discontented with that Prince, for non-performance of those conditions upon which they had raised him to the throne, confederated against him, under the command of Robert, Earl of Gloucester, in favour of Maud the Empress (mother of King Hen. II) to which party this William adhered; and being then in England, manned his castle of Kary aforesaid; as did also William, son of John de Harpetree [William’s brother], that of Harpetree, William de Moion that of Dunster, many other Barons then doing the like in different parts of the kingdom. Which William Gouel de Perceval, and William de Harpetree, being engaged in a strict friendship with the said Prince Henry Plantagenet (then only Earl of Anjou), were above all others zealous to seize all occasions for his service; and finding King Stephen much embarrassed in the siege of Bristol, issued from their castles (which both lay not many miles distant in the county of Somerset), ravaging the adjacent country and carrying away all the provisions and necessaries for the King’s army in those parts; whereupon the King, raising the siege, advanced against the castle of Kary, which after a long battery of his engines, he reduced by famine, but on terms to restore it to the said William, upon assurance of a future quiet conduct; after which he became master also of the castle of Harpetree, partly by surprise, and partly by assault.

“In 1152 [William] was again in arms in Normandy, with his brother, Roger Balbus, against Simon [de Montfort], Earl of Evreux, in Normandy, who made incursions, and committed great ravage on his lands in that province. But not long after, in the same year, the Barons associating again with more animosity than ever against King Stephen, in favour of the Empress Maud, this William returned to England, and again strongly garrisoned his castle of Kary, and in the beginning of the year 1153, Henry de Tracy, Lord of Barnstaple, in the county of Devon, a stout adherent of the King, having been victorious over William de Mohion at Dunster, advanced farther in to the county of Somerset, and besieged this William in his castle, which was soon relieved by Robert Consul, Earl of Gloucester, who came with a powerful army, demolished the works raised against it by the said Tracy, and forced him to submission.

“How long after this he survived is not exactly ascertained, but undoubtedly not many years; his sons appearing by records to have been possessed of his lands in 1159.”

Other sources say that he was living in 1166, but dead in 1170.

Some time before 1162, William, Mathilde and their son Waleran gave the abbey of Haute Bruyère three measures of meal from the mills of his castle of Ivry.

Mathilde was still living in 1189.

[1] Principal source Connected Bloodlines, with quotations from Collins Peerage of  England: https://www.connectedbloodlines.com/getperson.php?personID=I10603&tree=lowell
[2] http://www.castlesfortsbattles.co.uk/south_west/images/castle_cary_castle.jpg?crc=3827266375




Sampson Tree