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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)




WILLIAM  FRAUNCEIS. Burke’s Landed Gentry tells us that Henry Fraunceis “was father of William Fraunceis, of Frances Court, who m. Alice, dau and heir of Nicholas de la Hele, of Hele, co.Devon, living temp Henry V, by Alice his wife, cousin and heir of William de Percehay, of Combe Florey, and had a son and heir Henry Fraunceis, of Frances Court.” [1]

William’s father Henry Fraunceis, was the third generation of that name to live at Frances Court (now Francis Court Farm). It lay in Broadclyst parish, south of the present Killerton House.

Cottages at Broadclyst [2]

We do not know the name of William’s mother, nor whether he had siblings.

His great-grandfather acquired Frances Court in 1243-44. We would conclude from this that William lived around the end of the 14th century. His grandson died in 1457.

His father was Sir Henry, but there is no evidence that William was knighted.


ALICE DE LA HELE was the daughter of Nicholas de la Hele and Alice Flory.[3] She grew up at Hele. There are two villages of this name in Devon, but this is almost certainly the one just over a mile NE of Frances Court.

There is a tempting connection between the name Flory and the parish of Combe Florey in Somerset where William and Alice’s grandson Henry Fraunceis moved from Frances Court. Hugh Fleuri was lord of the manor of Combe Florey around 1166, but the manor had passed to other families long before Alice’s time. Burke says the connection is through the Percehay family. Alice’s maternal grandmother was Alice Percehay. A history of Combe Florey parish names no Percehays among the 14th and 15th-century lords of the manor.[4] The Percehays’ seat was at Hestercombe in Somerset. Hestercombe is a stately home in Cheddon Fitzpaine, just north of Taunton, famed today for its gardens.

Alice’s father died in 1413, making it probable that William and Alice’s lifetime spanned the late 14th and the early 15th centuries. This was around the time Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VII. Their lifetimes may have covered the Peasants Revolt, the Battle of Agincourt and the victories and death of Joan of Arc.


Their only known child was Henry, who inherited Frances Court from William. There may well have been other children.


We have no information about when William and Alice died.



[1] Burke’s Genealogical and Historical History of the Landed Gentry, Vol 1. “Gwyn of Ford Abbey”.
[2] https://www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk/imageresizer/?image=%2Fdmsimgs%2FBroadclyst-6.jpg&action=ProductDetailPro
[3] https://wc.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=ancestorsearch&id=I24998
[4] https://bishopslydeardbenefice.org/combe-florey-st-peter-and-st-paul/





Sampson Tree