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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)



SIR THOMAS PAULET was the eldest son of Sir John Paulet of Somerset and the heiress Elizabeth Creedy of Creedy in Devon.[1] His birth date is sometimes given as 1377. He is thought to have been born at Pawlett in Somerset.

Pawlett, from which the Paulet family took its name, was the family’s estate from the 13th century. It lies on the Somerset Levels, 4 miles north of Bridgwater. By the time of Thomas’s birth, Sir John was in possession of many more estates in Somerset and Devon, many acquired through the Paulets’ advantageous marriages.

Thomas was the second son, and not expected to be his father’s principal heir.

Collins’ Peerage says that Thomas accompanied  his father John Paulet, to France, during the Hundred Years War, where Sir John was knighted in the year 4 Richard II [1380/81] in the camp outside St Omer’s. He adds that Thomas was knighted later the same year before Trois.[2] But if Thomas’s birth date is correct, he would only have been 4 then.

Thomas did go to France later and may well have been knighted in the field.


His father John died in 1391, before Thomas reached adulthood. His elder brother John succeeded, but both he and his young wife Idonea Kayle of Cudwith died in 1400. Thomas was now an adult and heir to all his father’s lands.


 MARGARET BURTON was the daughter of Henry Burton and Alice de Boys of Halberton in Devon.[3] Arthur Collins, in The Peerage of England gives her surname as Boniton.

She was born around 1380 in Halberton. Her mother had inherited the manor of Halberton Boys. Halberton lies 3 miles east of Tiverton. At its centre is a pond in the valley at the foot of two steep lanes. It separates Higher Town from  the church above Lower Town. W.G. Hoskins says it is fed by warm springs and never freezes.[4] On a cold November afternoon this was not apparent. The information board by the pool does not mention this.

Margaret was the only child of her parents, who were both considerable landowners. She would have been considered a desirable wife.

Her first marriage was to John Dorchester of Dorchester in Dorset. Family trees give the date of their marriage as 1400. John died soon afterwards. The date is given as 1403. He left no known child. He may have been away fighting and been killed in the Hundred Years War, which was still occupying the armies of England and France.

Margaret was now wealthier than before and an even more attractive catch.


Thomas served with the Earl of Somerset in Picardy in 1404.[5] In 1401, Henry IV had made a truce with France in the Hundred Years War, but there were still English troops in France. It may have been then that he achieved his knighthood.

About this time he married Margaret Burton.

Colin Winn, in his history of the Poulett family, describes Thomas as being “of Street, Co. Somerset.” Street had been an estate of his great-uncle William de Paulet, who died without issue. It may have passed to Thomas, as the younger son, at his father’s death, while his older brother John took the majority of the estates, like Pawlett.

Street lies 2 miles SW of Glastonbury, at the end of the Polden Hills, on a dry spot in the Somerset Levels.

It has been assumed that Street is where Thomas and Margaret made their home. This may because this is the only one of his estates for which there is documentary evidence. It is certain that, following his brother’s death, Thomas owned more estates than this, but there may be no surviving documents which name his other lands.

  Street and Glastonbury Tor


Winn lists four children of this marriage: William, John, Thomas and Elizabeth. Other researchers have estimated their  birth dates as follows: Elizabeth, 1403, William, 1405, John, 1407, Thomas, 1409.


A well-researched website gives the date of Thomas’s death as 1407. Others have 1409.  It was certainly before 1410. Again, the death of a knight in the prime of life suggests that he may have fallen in battle.


Margaret married for the third time. Her last husband was John Chudderleigh. The marriage is thought to have taken place in Silverton, Devon, in 1410.

There was one child, John, from this marriage, born in Silverton in 1411.[6]

We do not know when John Chudleigh died.


Thomas and Margaret’s daughter Elizabeth married at least twice, once to William Bigbury and then to Sir Thomas Arundell.[7] Despite the second marriage, her tomb is in the church at Bigbury, in the South Hams, near the southernmost point in Devon, with her previous husband William Bigbury. Magna Britannica records:[8]

“At Bigbury, is a monument to the memory of William Bigbury, the last of the family of that name, and his wife Elizabeth, who afterwards married Sir Thomas Arundell. The figure (on a brass plate) of William Bigbury, has been removed: that of his wife is represented in a veiled head-dress, gown, and mantle; two little dogs at her feet. There is only this fragment of an inscription: “. . . . . . . . . et domina Elizabeth uxor ejus, nuper uxor Thomæ Arundell de Com . . . . . . .”

Her second husband, was Sir Thomas Arundell of Lanhadron in Cornwall. Their marriage licence was obtained on 17 Dec 1426..

The website thePeerage.com gives her a third husband Robert Burton, presumably from her mother’s extended family. He is also mentioned in Arthur Collins’s Peerage, though there this marriage is said to be Elizabeth’s first.

John, a younger son of Thomas and Margaret, is said to be of Gotehurst.[9] This estate seems to have come into the Paulet family in the time of Thomas’s grandfather.


Margaret died before 1428.

Interestingly, there is a memorial to her son by her third marriage in the church at Hinton St George. Winn says:

“On the floor near the pulpit is a very interesting brass. It consists of a Knight and his Lady, a shield and an inscription plate. The inscription reads;

Hic jacent Johes Thudderle Armig Fili et Heres Johes Thudderle et Alicia Ux eius Quanda Ux Johis Juyn Militis Filia Willm By the More.

(Here lie John Chudleigh Esquire, son and heir of John Chudleigh, and Alice his wife, formerly the wife of Sir John Juyn, Daughter of William by the More.)

No date is given, but from the style of the armour and the lady’s dress it is from about 1475. The Knight wears plate armour with a fluted helm from which his long hair protrudes. He wears a sword suspended behind him, and a dagger. His Lady wears a butterfly headdress with a close fitting gown cut low in front, with fur edging and cuffs, and a sash round her waist. The shield bears the Arms of Chudleigh of Silverton, Devon, showing acorns and oak trees, and birds’ heads. The brass… was formerly on the floor on the south side of the chancel. It was re-discovered in an out-building at Grove Park, Warwickshire, in 1924…. it was finally traced to Hinton St George through a reference in The Gentlemen’s Magazine of 1812, which described the brass in its original position. By the kindness of Lady Dormer of Grove Park the brass finally found its way home. John Chudleigh was the half brother to William Paulet who married Elizabeth Denebaud. Their mother was Margaret de Burton who married three times, first about 1400 to John Dorchester, second about 1404 to Thomas Paulet the father of William, and third about 1410 to John Chudleigh the father of John who is commemorated in the brass.”


It is not clear why the heir to John Chudleigh of Silverton in Devon should be buried at Hinton St George in Somerset, which only came into the Paulet family by the marriage of William to Elizabeth Denebaud.


[1] Colin G., The Pouletts of Hinton St. George (London: Research Publishing, 1976.) Arthur Collins, Peerage of England. www.books,google.co.uk.
[2] Collins.
[3] ‘Parishes: Haccombe – Hittesleigh’, Magna Britannia: volume 6: Devonshire (1822), pp. 250-272. URL:http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50579
[4] Hoskins, W.G., Devon, David & Charles, 1972.
[5] Winn.
[6] Winn
[7] Winn
[8] ‘Antiquities: Ancient church architecture’, Magna Britannia: volume 6: Devonshire (1822), pp. CCCXXIII-CCCXLV. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50562  Date accessed: 01 December 2010.
[9] Winn.





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