Charlotte image

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)




HENRY FRAUNCEIS is the last of our Fraunceis line to have lived his life at Frances Court in the parish of Broadclyst, north of Exeter. His great-great-grandfather had bought the house in 1243-44.

Henry was the son and heir of William Fraunceis and Alice de la Hele. [1]

His son died in 1457. This makes it likely that Henry’s life was lived in the later 14th and earlier 15th centuries.

The parish church of the Fraunceis family was St John at Broadclyst. Most of it was built in 1395-1419, but the tower is later. Henry probably witnessed its building.

A grotesque carving in St John’s church [2]


We do not know the name of Henry’s wife. Their son and heir was another Henry.

Burke’s Landed Gentry says that Henry senior was “of Frances Court” and Henry junior “of Combe Florey, co. Somerset”.

We do not know how and when this change took place, but it is probably the result of Henry’s mother Alice’s connection with Combe Florey, affirmed by Burke. Henry may have inherited the manor and placed his son there, or Combe Florey may have passed to Henry junior some time after his father’s death.

The late 14th century was a time of change in rural Devon. Stone bridges were being constructed across rivers. Manor houses were being rebuilt. Frances Court was not a manor house, but substantial enough to have been a knight’s dwelling. The present farmhouse dates from the 15th century.


We do not know when Henry died.


[1] Burke’s Genealogical and Historical History of the Landed Gentry, Vol 1. “Gwyn of Ford Abbey”.
[2] https://www.britainexpress.com/images/attractions/editor2/Broadclyst-4587.jpg




Sampson Tree