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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)




WALTER PAUNCEFOOT. There are a number of Walters on the family tree of the Pauncefoots of Compton Pauncefoot in Somerset. It is not always easy to distinguish between them, and there are irreconcilable versions of their parentage. There is, however, general agreement that one of them married Thomasine Bampfylde.

At least one tree has this Walter born in 1316,[1] but there is much more evidence to support a birth date around 1400. This leads me to assume that this pair were the great-grandparents of Anne Pauncefoot, born in 1485.

James Savage, in The History of the Hundred of Carhampton in the County of Somerset, says:

In the reign of Edward III [1327-1377] John Whyton possessed this manor [Bossington], and died in the latter end of that reign, leaving by Joan, his wife, two daughters his co-heiresses, namely, Elizabeth the elder, who married Walter Pauncefoot, and was mother of another Walter, who did his homage for half the manor to John Bigge, abbot of Athelney, in the third of Henry VI [1424-5].[2]

These dates would make Thomasine’s husband the son of Walter Pauncefoot and Elizabeth Whitton.

Richard Whiting has the grandparents of Anne as Thomas Pauncefoot and Alice Whitton.[3]

While the two versions differ about the first names of the couples and their generation, they point to a Pauncefoot-Whitton marriage in the late 14th or early 15th century.

Other family trees make him the son of Emerick Pauncefoot, whose spouse is unknown, but these place his birth almost a century earlier.[4] There may, of course, have been another couple with the same names.

The Gregory April 2008 tree on Ancestry has the early 15th-century Walter as the son of John Pauncefoot and Alice Herle, born in 1398 and married to Thomasine Banfield in 1423. Whiting’s pedigree also includes John Pauncefoot and Alice Herle, but not as direct ancestors of Anne Pauncefoot of Compton Pauncefoot. The Freeman Family Tree places this couple in Toddington, Glos, and names other children.


Whoever his parents were, there are several references to a Walter Pauncefoot in the first half of the 15th century who may be this man.


THOMASINE BAMPFYLDE.  We are on surer ground with Thomasine Bampfylde. A family history of the Bampfyldes says that she married Walter Pauncefoot of Compton Pauncefoot.[5] This family connection is supported by the fact that Anne Pauncefoot’s godmother was the wife of Peter Bampfylde.[6]

She was the daughter of John Bampfylde, lord of the manor of Poltimore.  Her mother was Agnes Pederton.[7]

One of the family trees on Ancestry has her born in 1403, another in 1406. The first decade of the 15th century is consistent with other known dates.

There is in Poltimore church a memorial slab dated 1390, commemorating John Baunfield and his wife Agnes, mother and father of William Baunfield, and saying that they had this church built. The names point strongly to these being the parents of Thomasine and her brother William. The likelihood is that the date of 1390 refers to the building of the church, and not to John Bampfylde’s death.

Poltimore is a village 4 miles NE of Exeter. This is probably where Thomasine grew up. It had become the Bampfylde family seat. But the family also had land in Weston Bampfylde, west of Cadbury Castle in Somerset, and thus close to Compton Pauncefoot, which lies on the other side of the hillfort. It is probably through this that the two families knew each other.

The two families were evidently close. Walter’s sister Margaret Pauncefoot married Thomasine’s brother William Bampfylde. Some sources say that her brother Peter’s wife Maria was also a Bampfylde. If so, then three siblings from each family intermarried in this generation.

The suggested date of 1423 for their wedding would be consistent with other evidence. This was the start of the reign of Henry VI, after the death of the more glamorous Henry V. England was still fighting the Hundred Years War with France.


Walter Pauncefoot was High Sheriff of Wilts 1425-6.[8] The Pauncefoots held land in several counties. It would not have been necessary for Walter to have lived in Wiltshire to serve as its Sheriff for a year. But there may have been Walters in other branches of the family, besides the Compton Pauncefoot line.

In his history of the Carhampton Hundred in Somerset, Savage also tell us that: ‘In the seventh year of the reign of Henry VI [1428-9], Simon Ralegh, Robert Bykcombe, Walter Pauncefoot, William Cloutsham and Thomas Bratton held separately half a knight’s fee in Timberscombe, which John le Tort and the heirs of Edon de Dammeston formerly held there.’[9] Timberscombe lies in the north-west of Somerset, 3 miles south of Minehead.

These Somerset properties were in addition to those in other counties, notably Hampshire, where Mainstone, or Pauncefoot Hill, had been passed down from Bernard Pauncefoot in the Domesday Survey, along with other estates.


The many differing family trees for the Pauncefoots make it difficult to decide what children the couple had. A Walter Pauncefoot died in 1485 and left money to build a new church at Compton Pauncefoot. This could be Thomasine’s husband if he lived a long life, but is more probably the couple’s son, another Walter.

If they lived to the 1450s, the couple would have seen the loss of Normandy, the surrender of Bordeaux to France and the end of the Hundred Years War.

Pauncefoot. Party fessewise azure and gules three fleurs de lis or.

[1] Tim Perry.
[2] James Savage, A History of the Hundred of Carhampton in the County of Somerset. William Strong, Bristol, 1830. http://books.google.co.uk.
[3] Richard Whiting. Whiting of Wood: A Mediaeval Landed Family, typescript in DRO.
[4] Tim Perry
[5] R.M. Bampfylde, The History of the Bampfylde Families, notebook in WSL.
[7] Bampfylde.
[8] Wikipedia
[9] Savage.





Sampson Tree