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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)

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WILLIAM MARSH. We know of William through a family tree that is thought to be reliable, but it tells us very little about him.[1]

We know that he lived in the village East Langdon, 3 miles NE of Dover, that he was the son of Thomas Marsh of the same, that he had a brother Robert who moved to Canterbury, and that he had a son John Marsh of Marton in East Langdon.

We have found no documents that might have shed further light on his life, and we have no information about his wife.

He is thought to have been born in the mid-1400s, probably when Henry VI was on the throne, and to have died in the early 1500s, shortly after the Tudors had taken over the realm.

We have just one document about his father Thomas, showing that he was a husbandman, apparently renting land from the priory of Saint Augustine in Canterbury, who were the liege lords of East Langdon until the Reformation. Thomas may have gone on to become a yeoman, with a more considerable farm, as William’s grandfather William atte Mershe did, but we cannot confirm that.

It is fair to assume that this younger William was also a farmer.

East Langdon lies between Dover and Deal, but set back from the coast. The Marshes lived in the northern part of the parish, in a hamlet known as Marton or Milton.

The parish church of East Langdon is St Augustine’s, no doubt named so out of respect for the priory of St Augustine’s in Canterbury, who were the principal landowner in East Langdon. It stands high above the village, which lies in a shallow valley.

The church is Norman, having been built in the 11th or 12th century, but the windows date from the 14th-15th century, probably shortly before William’s time. The tower is 19th-century, replacing an earlier wooden one.

The font where William’s children, and possibly William himself, were baptised dates from the 15th century, though it is set on a Victorian base.


There is also a beautiful piece of 15th-century embroidery showing the Annunciation by Gabriel to Mary, worked in gold and silver thread on a velvet background. It was originally worn as a cope by the rector. It is now protected by a glass case, but a copy of it has been embroidered as an altar frontal.


.William and his wife would have seen this cope used as it was intended.

It is Estimated that William died in the early 16th century. He may well have lived long enough to see Henry VIII come to the throne in 1509.


[1] Marshwilliam15xx – JJHC




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