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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 DENEBAUD was the eldest son of John Denebaud and Margaret of Hinton St George, in Somerset,. He is thought to have been born in 1385.

His father died when John was five. There followed an 8-year dispute over his right to inherit his father’s lands. John’s holding in Hinton St George was described as half the manor, though this was evidently an error for half a knight’s fee. [1] A knight’s fee was a measure land deemed sufficient for a knight to derive sustenance for himself and his esquires, and to furnish himself and his equipage with horses and armour to fight for his overlord in battle. The word “fee” is synonymous with “fief”. A knight’s-fee cannot be stated as a standard number of acres, as the acreage required to produce a given revenue varied depending on its location, richness of soil and climate.

In 1398 the matter came before an inquistion.

Close Rolls, 22 Richard II, Westminister, 8 July, 1398.

“To Walter Clopton and his fellows, justices appointed to hold pleas before the king. Order by writ of nisi prus to cause an inquisition which remains to be taken between the king and John Denebaud, son and heir of John Denebaud, whether John the father at his death held a moiety of the manor of Henton St. George in chief by knight service or of Margaret countess of Norfolk, not holding the same nor any other lands in that county or elsewhere in chief by knight service, to be taken before the said justices or one of them, before one of the justices of the Common Bench or the justices of assize in the said county.”

By 1405 this son, John, was old enough to inherit his father’s property and the following note is recorded for December of that year:

Close Rolls, 7 Henry IV, Westminister, year 1405.

“To the escheator in Somerset. Order to take the fealty of John son of John Denebaude, and to give him seisin of 40 acres of land and a meadow and a mill in Ivleigh; as it is found by inquisition, taken before Edward Bokelonde the late king’s escheator, that at his death John Denebaude held the same by knight service of the heir of John Cayl, a minor in ward of that king, and that John his son is his next heir; and John the son proved his age before Richard Shyppe the late king’s escheator in Kent.”


FLORENCE L’ARCEDEKNE. Florence was the daughter of Richard L’Arcedekne of Ruan Lanihorne in Cornwall and Joanna Boson of Bosomzeal near Dartmouth in Devon. [2]

She had one brother.

Florence’s uncle, Warin L’Archedekne, was governor of Tintagel Castle, where some of his children were born. It is likely that Florence would have visited her cousins and played on that spectacular promontory jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean.

John and Florence were married before 1415.

They are said to have had two sons, named John, both of whom died in infancy.[3]

Their heir was their daughter Elizabeth, born in 1415.


John was involved in two armed conflicts over lands in Chaffcombe, one with the lord of the other estate in Hinton St George. Chaffcombe lies NE of Chard, in Somerset, about 6 miles west of Hinton St George.

 Chaffcombe [4]


Patent Rolls, 11 Henry iv, Westminster, Feb. 25, 1410.

“Commission of oyer and terminer to Robert Hill, Humphrey Stafford, ‘chivaler,’ (knight or           

‘chevalier’), William Stourton, John Wyke of Nyenhyde and John Jewe, on com plaint of John Denebaud that Thomas Rofour and John his son and other evildoers at Chafcombe, co. Somerset, drove divers oxen and other beasts across a several field of his sown with divers corn, containing 20 acres and more, so that the corn was consumed, and after that he with his servants after the departure of the greater part of the evildoers had taken and impounded the beasts there. The said Thomas and John his son and others broke the pound and took away the beasts, cut down his trees, caused divers servants of theirs and others to lie in ambush to maim and kill him and his servants, assaulted John Purye his servant at Northeryket and left him for dead and carried off a sword and a knife called ‘dagger’ worth 12s and 3s, 4d in money of his and threatened the said John Denebaud and his tenants and servants at Chafcombe. “


In 1419 Sir Thomas Beauchamp made an attempt to take over certain of his own family’s estates, which had been held by William Beauchamp, esquire (possibly his elder brother), who died on 7 July that year. Only four days after his kinsman’s death Sir Thomas, ousting William’s widow, entered the lands by force, cut down corn, collected rents and stole livestock and other goods worth £100. On 20 Aug he acted similarly against the Denebauds at Chaffcombe, where William had held a moiety of the manor.[5]

Miscellaneous Inquisitions, 7 Henry V, 30 Nov., 1419.

“. . .Thomas Beauchamp, ‘chivaler,’ and Robert Rews with no small number of people went in warlike array to the town of Chaftcombe, co., Somerset, on Sunday before St. Bartholomew last and forcibly entered the several land of John Denebaude, esquire, on the king’s service in the office of the constable of Chirburgh in Normandy, and Florence his wife called ‘Rokewode’ and ‘Ryvelhose’ there and expelled them unjustly, and that the said Robert and John Cayk, John Gay, John Chepman and John Cler, servants of the said Thomas, and others unknown of Friday after the said feast by precept of the same Thomas disturbed the said John Denebaude and Florence of common pasture in 7 acres of meadow called ‘Millemorismedewe’ pertaining to a moi ety of the manor of Chaftcombe.”


Sir Thomas claimed that he had been acting in the interests of William’s son and heir, John, who was also overseas, though apparently with an eye to his own interests, since if John had no children he himself stood to inherit the property. He explained his actions by alleging that Denbaud had illegally enclosed part of the Beauchamp holding.

Earlier generations of Denebauds had travelled widely, in Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Holy Land. Now it appears that John Denebaud was serving across the Channel as constable of Cherbourg. The year before this dispute, in 1418, Cherbourg had fallen to an English army under Humphrey of Gloucester. We can assume that John was an officer in this army.

Feudal Aids for 1428 show that the Denebauds and the Beauchamps continued to own land in a number of Somerset Parishes. Some of these records say that John had inherited the land from his father Thomas. The South Petherton assessment was actually made after 1428, since John was now dead, and Florence was the taxpayer.



De Thoma Beauchamp et Johanne Denbaud

Feudal Aids


De Johanne Denbaud pro di.f.m. in Henton quod Thomas Denbaude.

Feudal Aids


De Johanne Denbaud et Johanne Beauchamp.. quod Thomas Denbaud….
HUNDRED OF SOUTH PETHERTON. (South Perton) A.D. 1428. SOMERSET. p. 432.

Johannes Beauchamp, armiger, de Lyllesdon in comitatu Somerste et Florencia Denbaude de Chafecombe in eodem comitatu, wedow . . . . .

Feudal Aids

DEVON. p. 490. A.D. 1428.

Johannes Denbaud tenet quarter partem un f.m. in Cobbaton alias dicta COBUYMPELL quam Thomas Denbaud quandam tenuit. Hundred of Cliston at TAYNGBRIGGE;

The last entry is interesting, since at the John’s Inquisition Post Mortem the following year he is said to own no land in Devon. Perhaps it was another John Denebaud.


John died on 5 May 1429. Ownership of the Denebaud lands then passed to their daughter Elizabeth, the 14-year-old wife of William Paulet of Rode in Somerset as the sole heir. Florence continued to manage the estate during Elizabeth’s minority.

John’s IPM shows that he owned land in Somerset, Dorset and Cornwall, but none in Devon.

DENEBAWED’, John, esq.     7 Hen VI [1429]

Chancery Inq. p. m. Hen. VI. File 38 (23)


mems. 1-3  Somerset & Dorset.

mem. 4.  Writ to the escheator of Devon & Cornwall, dated at Westminster 5 June 7 Henry VI. [1429]

mem. 5.  Devon

Inquistion taken at Exeter 14 June 7 Hen. VI [1429] before John Bampfeld escheator; by the oath of Thomas Denys, John Holand, Richard Holand, William Wirthe, Peter Eyggecomb’, John Bolter, Nicholas Coterell, Robert Uppecote, Henry Merwode, John Clemment, John atte Heyes & John Floyer; who say that John Denebawd held no lands in the county of Devon.

He died on the feast of Ascension last past [5 May 1429].

Eliz. wife of William Paulet of Rode, daughter & heir aged 14.

mem. 6.  Cornwall.

Inquisition taken at Shyptall 20 July 7 Hen. VI [1429] before the said escheator; by the oath of Edward Sage, Richard Trevarreck, Richard Tresewell, John Trewalla, Richard Tredyny, Martin Matheros, Richard Tregongen, Ralph Elen’, Reginald Lanardrogh’, John Skyburiowe, William Trewolwall, Philip Kerow & John Lyvyny; who say that Martin Lerchedeakne was seized of 2 messuages and 20 acres of wood in Tregennew; 1 messuage & 26 acres in Analda; 12 acres in Reskewyth; 15 acres in Polpri; 1 messuage & 25 acres in Trelfast and 16 acres in Trehawk; all held of John Chechestre’s manor of Treuerbyn, by rent of a rose; worth by the year clear, £5.

By charter dated at Henton St George 24 June 10 Hen. IV [1409] he demised the same to the said John Denebawes of Henton St Georg, and Florence his wife, (yet living), for their lives with reversion to Martin and his heirs.

Death and heir as above.


Florence outlived him.




[1] R.W. Dunning (ed), A History of the County of Somerset. Vol. 4. OUP, 1978.
[2] Maclean, John, The Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor, in the County of Cornwall (London: Nichols & Son, 1873-1879.), p. 259
[3] Denbow Diaspora, Vol. 11, No.2.
[4] https://media.onthemarket.com/properties/6758984/962564679/image-4-x380.jpg[5] Denbow Diaspora, Vol. 11, No.2





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