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)
SIR ALEXANDER CRUWYS (23)
ALEXANDER CRUWYS. For eight generations, the names of the lords of the manor of Cruwys Morchard alternated between Alexander and Robert, with men giving their father’s name to their eldest son. This Sir Alexander was the second to bear that name. He was the son of Sir Robert Cruwys, who was lord of the manor in the mid-13th century.
He grew up in the long and culturally brilliant reign of the Plantagenet King Henry III. It was a time of economic and educational advancement, with a rapid increase in population.
Alexander himself had at least one son, whom he named Robert.
His father died in 1269. Alexander held the manor for eleven years, most of it in the reign of Henry’s son, Edward I. England’s prosperity was beginning to decline, but these were still relatively peaceful and prosperous years. People went on crusades, as they had in the 12th century. The Cruwys arms include six scallop shells, usually a mark that the bearer has been to the Holy Land. It is possible that Alexander, or his father or grandfather, was one of these knights.
It was probably one of Alexander’s sons of whom John Prince wrote in The Worthies of Devon:
‘Another family of this name flourished long at Ansty-cruwys, in the north-east parts of this county, near the confines of Somersetshire; which was a younger branch of Morchard house, planted there in the reign of K.Edw.1 [1272-1307], which, after four generations, expired in two daughters and heirs, married to Norton and Pollard. But this land, nothwithstanding all their endeavours to the contrary, reverted to Morchard house; being, after a tedious suit at law, removed by judgment.
There was yet another family of this name, which did sometime prosper well, at their seat called Denvale, in the parish of Bampton, in this shire; and continued there, from K.Edw.1, unto Q.Eliz. days; when by their heir general, it was sold unto a gentleman sirnamed Tristram. But as we may guess by the arms, this was a different family from that of Morchard; for they gave in field of gold, a chevron gul. Between 3 mullets.’
Sir Alexander died in 1280.
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