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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)


Cory Tree




NICHOLAS CORYE.  The Corys of the village of Harpole, near Northampton, developed into a large extended family. Because of the duplication of names, it is not possible to trace the pattern of descent with certainty, but the most promising line goes back to Nicholas Corye who is thought to have been born around 1490.

He may be the son of another Nicholas Corye, whose name appears on a deed of 1485 when he acquired a property in Harpole.

Harpole is four miles from Northampton, which was famous for its leather industry, making boots, shoes and harness. Some of this work was carried on the surrounding villages, too, and cattle from the farms produced quantities of leather. The early Corys in our family whose occupations we know were farmers. Probably Nicholas was, too. He was sufficiently well-off to buy property and to feel the need to leave a will.


AGNES THORP.  We do not know for certain the name of Nicholas’s first wife, but it was very likely Agnes Thorp. Around 1515-18 she was married to a Nicholas Cory and had property in Harpole.

We have no information about her parentage or place of birth. Like Nicholas, she appears to have been of the property-owning class.

Her first husband was John Butler. We can assume that this marriage took place somewhere in the Harpole area, before 1515. We do not know whether there were children of this marriage.

John met an early death.

Agnes then married Nicholas Cory, probably in 1514-15.


In 1515-1518, in the early years of their marriage, there was a case in the Six Clerks Office of the Court of Chancery concerning Agnes’s property. The plaintiffs were Nicholas Cory and Agnes Thorp, late the wife of John, son of Richard Butler.  The defendants were the said Richard Butler and William, his son. At issue was the dower from messuages, land and rent in Harpole, Northants, promised to the said Agnes on her former marriage with the defendant’s son John. The abstract on the National Archive website does not give the court’s decision.[1]

The baptisms of their children were too early for the parish registers. But Nicholas’s will names five sons: Thomas, John, Nicholas, William and Henry. This will places the birth of Nicholas junior in 1515. The marriages of other brothers in the years leading up to 1540 suggests that they, too, were born around that time.

There is a marriage in Harpole for Margeritt Coreye in 1543, but it is not known if she was Nicholas’s daughter. It is significant that she married Robert Dunckley. There was a strong connection between the these families, with two Cory-Dunckley weddings in 1538.


We do not know when Nicholas’s first wife died, but it was before 1538. In that year, Henry VIII ordered every parish church to keep a register of the baptisms, marriages and burials performed there. The village of Harpole in Northamptonshire is one of the few parishes to have preserved its registers from the beginning. Two of the earliest entries are on 30 Jan 1538. On that day, Nicholas Corye took his second wife, Emma Dunckley, and his son Thomas Corye married Elizabeth Dunckley.

There do not appear to have been any children from this second marriage.

William died in September 1549, before his father.


Nicholas died in 1551. He made his will on 7 April, evidently knowing his days were numbered. His second wife Emma seems still to have been alive.
He was buried at Harpole parish church on 20 May.
The will was proved in Northampton on 28 June by his son Henry.

We do not know when Emma died.


[1] http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=-2436460&CATLN=7&Highlight=&FullDetails=True






Cory Tree