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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)



RICHARD TOMLYN. There is a baptism at St Leonards, Deal, for Richard, son of Richard Tomlin and Mary his wife on 19 June 1720.

No marriage has been found for his parents, so we do not know Mary’s maiden name.

He had a sister two years younger, but she died aged less than six months. His mother’s burial has not been found and it is possible she also died around this time. There were no more children.

Richard’s grandfather, another Richard Tomlin, was the master of a hooker. It is likely that this younger Richard grew up in Lower Deal and that his own father was a boatman.

By the early 1700s, Deal ranked as a major English naval port alongside Portsmouth, Plymouth and Rochester. There was no harbour or docks though, only a dockyard on land between the beach and today’s Victoria Road.[1]

In the following century, Dickens wrote of Deal in Bleak House:

At last we came into the narrow streets of Deal, and very gloomy they were upon a raw misty morning. The long flat beach, with its little irregular houses, wooden and brick, and its litter of capstans, and great boats, and sheds, and bare upright poles with tackle and blocks, and loose gravelly waste places overgrown with grass and weeds, wore as dull an appearance as any place I ever saw.

  This may have been after Deal lost much of its prosperity with the advent of faster steamships which bypassed this port. But the general layout would have been the same in Richard’s time.

                             Deal seafront [2]

SARAH ?LAMBERT. The marriage of Richard and Sarah has not been found in or near Deal, so we cannot be sure of Sarah’s surname.

There was a marriage at Westminster for Richard Tomlin and Sarah Lambert on 1 or 2 Mar 1743/4. No baptisms have been found in Middlesex for this couple, and the date would fit with the birth of their first child early in 1746. But a venue nearer Deal is more likely.

The baptisms of the couple’s children are recorded in the register of St Leonard in Upper Deal. But Sarah and Richard’s burials show that they were using the chapel of ease, St George’s, in Lower Deal. This was the seamen’s church, close to the shore.

Baptisms. St Leonard, Deal.
Mary  27 Jan 1745/6
Richard  6 Mar 1746/7.
Sarah  24 Jul 1748
James  26 Dec 1750

Anne  17 Nov 1752
Eleanor  22 Nov  1754.
Richard was buried on  1 Aug 1755, aged nine.
Eleanor was buried on 30 July 1756, aged one.
Martha  5 Nov 1756


We have a document from 1746 that may refer either to Richard, who would have been aged 26, or his father at 52. The order of the names suggests that this Richard Tomlin was the skipper of the boat. This would be in the tradition of Richard’s grandfather. Either way, Richard came from a seafaring family and is likely to have followed the same calling.

1746 Feb 12: [3]

Thomas Corbett. We are to hire a Deal boat for Rear Admiral Mayne, similar to that arranged for Admiral Vernon and Rear Admiral Martin. The crew arranged for Admiral Mayne is; Richard Tomlin, John Howling, Stephen Norris, William Fleming, Abraham Walker and Edward Read, the same men as served Admiral Vernon. They should be entered on the books of the Princess Louisa for pay and rations. They have not been able to find men at a lower rate than 40s p.m. which we think unreasonable and ask for further instructions.


In 1761 there was a burial at St George’s for “Mrs Tomlin”. The title “Mrs” was usually given to the gentry. We do not know how closely she may have been related to Richard.

Burial. St George, Deal
1769  May 11  Sarah wife of Richd  Tomlin  1s
1770 July 23 Richard Tomlin 1s

Unless the deceased had a pauper’s funeral, there was a fee of 1s for the burial.



[1] DealWeb: a Brief history of Deal.
[2] K. Warren, Deal Seafront, Kent. https://d3d00swyhr67nd.cloudfront.net/w1200h1200/KT/KT_DOV_025_027.jpg
[3] National Archives: ADM 354/132/30




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