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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



JOHN BAMPFIELD. There are a number of pedigrees for the Bampfield family who owned the manor of Poltimore in East Devon. They differ in the number of generations that they show and in their order. The most recent and well-researched ones are those provided by Stirnet and the Manor of Poltimore website, which include this couple.[1] Some omit this generation, others put it a century earlier.

Both Stirnet and The Manor of Poltimore are agreed that the parents of this John were Thomas Bampfield and Agnes Faber.


JOANE. The Stirnet tree gives the parents of the John Bamfylde who marred Agnes Pederton as John Bampfield and Joane. The Manor of Poltimore tree also names Joane, but refers also to a John Bampfield who married Isabel Cobham, one of the co-heiresses of the manor of Blacborough Bolhay. This is a hamlet in the parish of Kentisbeare in East Devon.

It is true that, when the Cobham line died out in Blackborough Bolhay, there was a dispute over the succession between several families, including the Bampfyldes. However, Isabel Cobham appears to have lived in the early 14th century, while this generation of the Bampfields must have lived at the end of the century.

Certainly, there was intermarriage between the two families. The arms of Sir Amyas Bamfylde (1560 – 1626) show the Bampfylde arms followed by those of twenty-nine of their wives. No less than three of these relate to the Cobhams.

5. Gules, on a chevron or three eagles displayed sable.
Cobham, of Blackburgh Bolegh.

6, Gules crusily argent, a lion passant of the second holding in the front paws a baton
From the position, this would be an heiress of Cobham.

7, Argent, on a chevron sable between three torteaux three bezants
Bolhay of Blackburgh Bolhay, heiress of Cobham.

So Joane may well have been an heiress of the Cobham family, though not necessarily bearing that surname.

Sir William Pole tells us that John Cobham of Blackburgh Bollay, Kt. was one of the notable men of Devon in the reigns of Richard 2 [1377-1399] and Henry IV [1399-1413]. [2]


We are short of dates for John and Joan’s generation, but their lives probably bridged the late 14th and early 15th centuries.

This was a time when the social pattern in England was changing. Following the Black Death of the 1340s, the feudal system had broken down. There were no longer serfs tied to serving their liege lords. A new class of peasant labourers was emerging. Some of these rose to become yeomen farmers, a little lower in status than the country gentry like the Bampfields.


We know of two sons of John and Joane, John junior and Richard.

John was the heir and continued the line at Poltimore.

Richard, who died in 1430, was lord of the manor of Columjohn in Devon. This is in the parish of Broadclyst, only two miles from Poltimore. He received a grant of that estate to himself and the heirs male of his body from Edward, Earl of Devon. When he died without male issue, the estate was escheated to Thomas Courtenay, Earl of Devon.


We do not know when John and Joane died.


[1] Stirnet Bampfylde 1. https://www.stirnet.com/genie/data/british/bb4ae/bampfylde1.php. Wikipedia, Manor of Poltimore.
[2] Sir William Pole (d.1635) Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon.




Sampson Tree