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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)

Sampson  Tree




WALTER PAUNCEFOOT  was probably the son of Walter Pauncefoot senior, who was associated with the same estates immediately before him and endowed the church at Compton Pauncefoot in Somerset.[1]

Richard Whiting’s family tree for the Pauncefoots names Walter  junior’s mother as a member of the Danvers family, whose first name is unknown, and  his wife as Thomasine Bampfylde.[2] But most researchers agree that Thomasine Bampfylde was the wife of an older Walter, and hence Walter junior’s mother or grandmother.

He is thought to have been born in the 1450s at Compton Pauncefoot in mid-Somerset.[3] The family home lies 7 miles north of Sherborne. The name Compton means a narrow valley.


Walter Pauncefoot grew up during the bloody War of the Roses. He is said to have married in 1478, when he was in his 20s.[4]


We have no certain knowledge of Walter’s wife. There are several possibilities.

Richard Whiting may be correct about her name. She could have been another Thomasine Bampfylde, though it would be a coincidence for two couples to share the same names.

The Danvers woman, whom Whiting says was the older Walter’s wife, could have been the younger one’s.

Whiting tells us that Walter junior married a second wife after Thomasine’s death. She was Isabel, whose second husband was Richard Willoughby. There is supporting evidence for this in the will of Walter’s daughter Anne, who makes mention of her “brothers” Willoughby, and names one of them as her residual legatee. It could be that Isabel was Walter’s only wife, and hence the mother of Anne and her siblings.

Or her name may be lost.


The couple had two daughters, Maude and Anne, and a son Peter. Maude was born in 1484.

We know from her Proof of Age that Anne was born on 4 July 1485 at Compton Pauncefoot, and baptised at the parish church. Walter had been in Shaftesbury , 14 miles away, that day with Tristram  Storke. They were on their way back when one of the Pauncefoot servants met them with the news. Walter and Tristram hurried on to Compton Pauncefoot. John Lite was at Compton Pauncefoot the same day, and Walter asked him to be her godfather, but he was unable to stay for the baptism. The wife of Peter Baumfield of Shaftesbury was asked to be godparent. This was probably Walter’s uncle or great-uncle, brother of Thomasine Bampfylde, or else a cousin of the same name. It may have been his house Walter was visiting on that day.

Walter distributed money to the servants to mark the occasion. Edward Trychalloch had only started work that day. He got a penny.

Lionel Harryan, presumably the sexton, rang the church bell so enthusiastically that it broke.


According to Richard Whiting’s pedigree of the Pauncefoots, Walter’s first wife died before him. He married a second wife, Isabel.[5]


In 1485 Henry Tudor defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. He took the throne as the first Tudor king, Henry VII, bringing to an end a long period of civil strife.


Walter’s father died in the same year, leaving Walter junior as his heir.


The present Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Compton Pauncefoot “dates from the 15th century and is built of hamstone. In 1485 Sir Walter Pauncefoot left money for building it and for a chantry at Compton Pauncefoot, where a priest could pray daily for his soul and for those of his immediate family. He also left several yards of differently coloured silks to be made into vestments. Until 1864 the church comprised a nave with south aisle and porch, and a tower at the west. The inner arches of the tower carried a spire of graceful proportions.”[6]

His son Walter would have overseen the beginning of this new building.

“He left crimson, tawny, and black silk to make vestments for its priest. Those wishes had not been carried out in 1522 when Sir Walter’s son Henry required his wife Alice to purchase lands to endow the chantry and spend £4 on ornaments. However, land had been acquired in Shaftesbury for the chantry. The chantry had been established by 1530 with Robert Bryce as the priest. He received a bequest of money and vestments in 1533 from Anne Whiting who held the patronage of the chantry. By 1535 the chantry received £5 6s. 8d. rents from land in East Knoyle and 7s. from Shaftesbury. In 1548 the rental was £6 7s. gross and the chantry had a silver gilt chalice and other ornaments. The land was sold the same year. The chantry chapel was said to be in the south aisle where a lady chapel was dedicated in 1953.”[7]


Walter inherited his father’s estates. The Pauncefoots had held land in Hampshire since the Domesday Survey. A small estate in Broughton, Hants, was held in the 15th century of the master of God’s Home [a convent in Portsmouth] by Walter Pauncefoot who died seised of it in 1486.[8]

Walter also held the Hampshire manor of Mainstone, afterwards known as Pauncefoot Hill.


The Pauncefoots’ only son, Peter, was born in 1486.


Walter did not have long to enjoy his inheritance. He died himself in 1486-7. We have no evidence of what caused his death, probably in his 30s.

He may have died in the Battle of Stoke Field, when Henry VII crushed the rebellion of the pretender Lambert Simnel. Simnel had claimed to be Edward, Earl of Warwick, and had himself crowned as King Edward VI of England in Dublin.


His widow Isabel married again. She became the second wife of Richard Willoughby.[9] The Pauncefoot children appear to have been brought up with their Willoughby step-siblings.

Walter’s only son, Peter, did not survive his father long. He is believed to have died in 1492 aged about 6. This left the girls, Maude and Anne to inherit, since there were no male heirs. Their uncle Henry had only a daughter Margery. When Anne married in 1502 at the age of 17 she had to have a Proof of Age to show that she was legally entitled to take her inheritance from her father into her marriage.[10]


Maude married John Brent. She was his second wife. She held half of Pauncefoot Hill in Hampshire until her death in 1521.

Anne married John Whiting, a wealthy wool merchant of Woode near Honiton.



[1] ‘Parishes: Romsey Extra and Infra’, A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4 (1911), pp. 452-469. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=56858; Wikipedia: Compton Pauncefoot.
[2] Richard Whiting. Whiting of Wood: A Mediaeval Landed Family, typescript in DRO.
[3] Ancestry: Hartwig-Austin family tree.
[4] Ancestry: Miller family tree.
[5] Whiting
[6]  Wikipedia: Compton Pauncefoot
[7] www.victoriacountyhistoryac.uk/Counties/Somerset
[8] Victoria County History, Somerset.
[9] Whiting
[10] Proof of Age. Inquisition 1502.  Chancery Series II. VII 15 (57)




Sampson Tree