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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 son and heir of Thomas Denebaud of Hinton St George and Joan Brent of Cossington, both in Somerset. He was born in Nov 1347.

His father died on the first day of 1360, leaving John as his heir. John was then aged 12 years and 12 weeks.[1] Until he was 21, his property was probably administered by his mother.

In 1369, when John came of age, he took possession of his father’s properties in Somerset and Devon.

He gave knight service to the Earl of March, one Edmund de Mortuo Mari.[2]

The arms of Denebaud were: Azure, on a chief argent a demi-lion couped gules.[3] The lower part of the shield is blue, with the upper half of a red lion rearing from it against a silver  background.

                   Hinton St George 14th-century market cross                 

There was a long-running dispute over the Denebaud lands in Chaffcombe. 

On 6 June 1370, John appeared before an inquisition at Montagu, Somerset, before William Cheyne.

He appeared again in 1371.[4]

 Close Rolls, 45 Edward III, 2 April, 1371.

“To William Cheyne, escheator in Somerset. Order not to meddle further with the lands of Thomas Denboude, tenant by knight service of the heir of William Kayle, tenant in chief, a minor in the king’s wardship, which lands were taken into the king’s hand by the death of the said Thomas and by reason of the nonage of his heir, and are so in the king’s hand; as John Denboude son and heir of the said Thomas has proved his age before the escheator, and on the 15 July in the 43rd year of the reign [1369] the age of John son and heir of the said Thomas was proved and the king took his homage and fealty, and commanded livery to be given him of his father’s lands.”


MARGARET. The only certain information we have about John’s wife is her first name.

An apparently well-researched family tree names his wife as Margaret, Countess of Norfolk.[5]

There was a 14th century Margaret, Duchess and Countess of Norfolk. She was a colourful character. On the death of her brother in 1334 , she succeeded to the family earldom and became Lord Marshal of England.

She married Sir John de Segrave, baron, and had four children by him. In 1350 the pair began petitioning for divorce, on the grounds that the marriage was contracted when Margaret was under age, and she had never consented to it. Meanwhile, she had begun an affair with Sir Walter Manny, also a baron. In 1350 she crossed the Channel to meet him in Calais, illegally, since she did not have the king’s permission to leave the country. She was met by Sir Walter’s servant, who broke his lantern with his foot so that she could pass unrecognised.

Her first husband died in 1353, before the divorce was finalised, and Margaret married Sir Walter. He died in 1371. In 1397 Margaret’s son created her Duchess of Norfolk. She died in 1399.

The only record I have found connecting her to John Denebaud is the following:[6]

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.”

The older John referred to here is the son of Thomas Denebaud. The Denebaud Tree researcher may have thought this record implies that Margaret Countess of Norfolk was John’s wife. It refers, however, to the possibility that the countess may have been John’s overlord, under whom he held the manor of Hinton St George, rather than by military service to the king.


John and Margaret had one known son, also named John, born about 1385.


In 1386 the Bishop of Exeter granted John Denbaude and his wife a licence for a private oratory at their manor in “parochia de Farendone” [Farringdon, East Devon]. This may have been at Denbow Farm in that parish.[7] (DD.7.1.)

Nick Denbow comments[8]: “The current owners of Denbow Thatch, which is the original thatched building that was once the farmhouse, dairy, stable etc., but has been considerably added to over the years, recently found a part of a stone bowl, similar to a church font in shape, when clearing debris from the stream bed, in or from what looked like the remains of an ancient rubbish tip: or maybe this was where the oratory once stood even?
The Denbow Thatch kitchen and room above, I would maintain, is the old house that was the farm house: I think the current owners would agree. The ceiling beams are fire blackened, and the whole appears to have been a one-up one-down room arrangement, with the upstairs room/roof open to the fire below, i.e. a sort of hayloft. The whole little area known as Denbow was the site of Denbow Farm, but the modern farm has new buildings slightly to the east. The main old dwellings are Denbow House and Denbow Thatch, Denbow House was obviously added when the owner needed a fine looking mansion. It is brick built, three floors high, with a central doorway and rooms either side. Very imposing from the outside, and undoubtedly it had a door through into the older house to the west now known as Denbow Thatch. There are tall chimneys up the back, but the back view shows the unexpected: Denbow House is only one room deep, and has a plain back wall. Behind the house are some outbuildings, and my impression from a visit in 2004 is that some further outbuildings have been converted to homes, and new buildings added — maybe: some of them retain the Denbow name, such as Denbow Barton, Denbow Barn and I believe Denbow Paddock.”

But the John Denebaud who held Denbow Farm may be a cousin, since we read in Feudal Aids for 1346:

Hundredum de Buddelegh. A.D. 1346. Devon.

Johannes Dennabawd tenet di F.M. in Holbrok et Moore quod Thomas Dennabawd quondam tenuit ibidem,

John Denebaud held the land in Holbrook Moore which Thomas Denebaud had previously held.

John of Hinton St George was the son of Thomas Denebaud, but he was born too late to be holding Holbrook Moor in 1346. Holbrook is in the parish of Farringdon, close to Denbow Farm.


In 1387 John may have had a premonition of his early death. He assigned to Margaret as her dower 75 acres of arable at Hinton St George, 10 acres of meadow, and quantities of pasture and wood. This was a much greater complex than the Denebauds held in the time of John’s father Thomas. The land remained Margaret’s after John’s death.


John Denebaud died in 1390, Like his father, he was in the prime of life, and his son John was still a minor. Margaret took over the estate during their son’s minority.

At his death John held of the manor of Chaffcombe, through his grandmother Joan Stocklinch. In 1391, an Inquisition was held which furnishes particulars of the tenure of this manor.

The Jury found that Denbaud held it of the Earl of Huntingdon, …, by the service of keeping and bringing up every year one hawk, and when it was fit for use, carrying it to the courthouse of his Lord, accompanied by his wife, three grooms, two horses, and three greyhounds, and there remaining for 40 days at his Lord’s expense, receiving for his service on leaving, the Lord’s second best robe for himself, and the Lady’s second best robe, for his wife.

[The service was in the nature of petty serjeanty and was not uncommon. The prescribed duties were not actually required or rendered. They originated in grants made at an early date.] [9]

The Stocklinch familys were descended from the Ostricers, keeper of the king’s hawks.

John held the manor of Stokelynch-Ostricer, now Stocklinch Ossery, with the advowson of its church, also of the Earl of Huntington.

The Chaffcombe estate became the cause of considerable conflict in the next generation.

John’s Inquisitions Post Mortem, held in 1390 and 1391, covered his estates in Devon, Somerset and Dorset.

Margaret took over Hinton House. The History of the County of Somerset tells us: “By the end of the 14th century the manor house stood in a complex of farm buildings including two stables, an oxhouse, at least one barn, a pigsty, and a dovecot. Margaret Denebaud’s share of the house on her husband’s death in 1390 included a ‘messuage’ in a court called the ‘gusten chamber’ on the east side of the hall, with rooms above and below  between the chamber and a gateway by the hall, together with areas adjoining a great porch. The complex also included gardens to the north and south of a court, a lower garden, and various bartons.

The medieval house occupied the area of the south-west corner of the present building and was of conventional plan, having a central hall with porch and oriel to the west, service rooms to the north and north-east, and a parlour cross-wing on the south.[10]

The medieval building is shown by the darkest shading on the plan. [11]



[1] Calendar of Inquisitions, Edward III (publ. 1913). #18.  William Cayle, Caille, Keil or Keyle. Codworth(?) www.callawayfamily.org
[2] The Denbow Diaspora, Vol. 11, No. 2.
[3] www.geni.com/people/John-DUMARESQ/6000000003375562887
[4] The Denbow Diaspora, Vol. 11, No. 2.
[5] www.leshaigh.co.uk/kellawaymed/denebaud.html
[6] The Denbow Diaspora, Vol. 11, No. 2.
[7] The Denbow Diaspora, Vol. 7, No. 1
[8] The Denbow Diaspora, Vol. 11, No. 2.
[9] www.teachergenealogist007.com
[10] From: ‘Parishes: Hinton St. George’, A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 4 (1978), pp. 38-52. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=117080  Date accessed: 12 February 2011.
[11] https://www.british-history.ac.uk/sites/default/files/publications/pubid-1248/images/fig5.gif




Sampson Tree