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)
ROBERT DE PIDEKSWELL (23)
Some family trees give the dates of Robert de Pidekeswell as 1205-1261. We would expect this Robert to be having children around the 1230s. This makes him unlikely to be the father of Isabella Pidekwille, wife of Mauger de St Aubyn, who is believed to have been born around 1257. He is probably her grandfather. If so, then he is likely to be the son and heir of an earlier Robert de Pidekeswell, mentioned in 1210, who is the earliest recorded holder of that surname.
We can assume that his own son and heir was Isabella’s father, Robert de Pidekeswell, also lord of Pickwell manor.
Pickwell lies within Georgeham parish, though separate from that village.
We do not know when the church at Georgeham was built, but there was a stone-built church by 1231. The village was then known as Hamme
A parish history says: ‘In the Episcopal Register of 1231 reference is made to “Ham St.George” and to Robert de Edington, Patron and Parson, who was chief landowner and holder of the tithes, although not, at that date, necessarily a priest in Holy Orders. The addition St.George to the name of Ham suggests that a consecrated building was already on the site of the present church, but there is no record of either a Saxon or Norman building.”
It was at this time that the parish of Georgeham was separated from Braunton.
A stone font from Robert’s time lies to the right of the altar in St George’s church. One of its iron staples remains. “Such examples are rare and of a type ordered by Archbishop Rich in 1236 to enable a cover to be locked in place, and thus prevent theft of the consecrated water. It was found outside the north wall in 1966. The presence of this font, the stone carving of the crucifixion and the Piscinia in the Pickwell Chapel form fairly conclusive evidence to support the view that a church was in existence here in the 13 Century despite the lack of documentary proof.”
“From the 13th century onwards the Manors of Georgeham and Pickwell were almost always under the same ownership; the manor house at Pickwell still stands although there is no sign of a manor house at Georgeham, and there is no evidence to suggest there ever was one here, with both estates being run from Pickwell.
This creates an issue in that if the manor lord lived and administered the manor of Georgeham from Pickwell why was the parish church built at Georgeham? The most likely answer is that there was a Saxon church of some form already in existence at Georgeham and that the present church represents continuity of the site’s use for worship.
It is known that the manor of Georgeham was very small early in its history, possibly even smaller than that of Pickwell until 1261 when Sir Mauger chose to make Georgeham the centre of his manorial possessions even though the holding remained smaller than that at Pickwell. 
Pickwell Manor today
NEXT GENERATION: 22. PIDEKESWELL
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