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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)



JOHN AYSHFORD was the elder son and heir of William Ayshford of Ayshford in Burlescombe and Joanna Cary.[1] He was born before 1441, and probably in the 1420s.

Sometime after 1438 his mother died. His father remarried, to Margaret Cotterell. In 1448 his younger brother was ordained a priest.

John married into an influential Somerset family.


FLORENCE PAULET was the daughter of Sir William Paulet and Elizabeth Denebaud[2], both of Hinton St George in Somerset.

Her family were staunch Lancastrians.[3]


The couple had a daughter Florence and a son William.

These were the turbulent years of the Wars of the Roses. At the beginning of the century, John’s mother’s family had also been strong supporters of the House of Lancaster, helping Henry Bolingbrooke to usurp the throne from the captured Richard II in 1399.

After three Lancastrian kings, Richard of York had hoped to inherit the crown from Henry VI, but the birth of Prince Edward in 1453 dashed his ambition. War broke out soon after, with the Queen, Margaret of Anjou leading the king’s forces while her husband was ill. In 1461 the Yorkists beat the Lancastrians at Towton and Richard of York’s son was proclaimed king, as Edward IV.


In 1462 John made provision for his death. He put all his properties into the hands of his father-in-law, Sir William Paulet, for the use of his heirs. He may have made this early provision because he was a sickly young man or perhaps because he thought the move expedient in the light of the strife between the houses of York v Lancaster at that time.

Whether through illness or in battle, John did die four years later, on 24 September 1468, leaving his 12-year-old son William as his heir.

Warwick, who had put Edward IV on the throne turned against him and fought to restore Henry to the throne for a brief period, 1470-71, but the queen’s army was defeated at Tewkesbury and Henry died in the Tower of London.


Florence junior married John Frances of Combe Florey in Somerset. A few years later, William married his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Frances also of Combe Florey.

Heather Ayshford writes: “Although [John Frances] died in 1485, Florence went on to a great age. In the marriage settlement of her GREAT-grandson in 1548/9 she is described as” Florens Forgett sometyme wyffe of John Frauncis grandfather of the said Sir William”. We can imagine the old lady, forgetful perhaps, wandering the old garden near the gatehouse of Combe.”


Inquisition Post Mortem of John Ayshford, died 1468



Abstract.                                                                                  File 28 (25)
mems. 1 & 2.                                            Somerset
mem. 3     .                                               Writ to the escheator of Devon, dated at
Westminster 30 Sept. 8 Edw. IV. [1468].
”      4.                                    Devon.
Delivered into court 10 May by John Bevyn.

Inquisition taken at Exeter 18 April 9 Edw. IV [1469], before Richard Clerck, escheator; by the oath of John Speke, Hugh Champernoun, William Yeo, Roger Werth, esquires, Thomas Cotterell, John Bury of Coleton’, Thomas Stoford, Edward Fokerey, John Notte, John Aysshe, William Lobbe, Robert Spyrway and  Henry Notte:

WHO SAY that John Fortescue was seised of the manor of Wymondeston’, a moiety whereof he held of John Assheford, who held of the King’s manor of Tremyngton in the duchy of Cornwall by knight’s service; to wit ½ a fee mortain.

Stephen Mason held a moiety of a messuage and 13 acres in Churston Ferrers of the said John Ayssheford, by knight’ s service, and 5s. 7 ½ d. rent; Peter Jane held a moiety of a messuage and 23 acres there, of the said John, by knight’s service and 13s. 9 ½ d. rent: John Cosby held a moiety of a messuage & 10 acres there, of the said John Ayssheford, by knight’s service and 3s. 4d. rent; William Tristram, sen. held .a moiety of a messuage and 16 acres there, of the said John, by knight’s service and 7s. rent: all which the said John Ayssheford held of Henry Pomeray, esq., of his manor of Hurberton. All the fees aforesaid are worth by the year, clear, 33s. 9d.

By deed dated 17 Dec. 2 Edw. IV. [1462] John Ayssheford granted all his other lands in Devon to William Pawlet, knt., John Gambon, William Merewode, John More, jun., and Thomas Waryn, who are yet seised thereof.

John Ayssheford died 24 Sept. 8 Edw. IV.

William, son and heir, aged 13.


John Ayshford had inherited the land at Churston Ferrers through his great-grandmother, Emma Ferrers.


[1] Source, except where otherwise stated: F. & H. Ayshford, Notes Towards a History of the Ayshford Family of Devon. Typescript booklet.

[2] Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Sir Amias Paulet.

[3] Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Sir Amias Paulet.





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