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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)




WILLIAM  FRAUNCEIS. Burke’s Landed Gentry tells us that Henry Fraunceis “was father of William Fraunceis, of Frances Court, who m. Alice, dau and heir of Nicholas de la Hele, of Hele, co.Devon, living temp Henry V, by Alice his wife, cousin and heir of William de Percehay, of Combe Florey, and had a son and heir Henry Fraunceis, of Frances Court.” [1]

William’s father Henry Fraunceis, was the third generation of that name to live at Frances Court (now Francis Court Farm). It lay in Broadclyst parish, south of the present Killerton House.

Cottages at Broadclyst [2]

We do not know the name of William’s mother, nor whether he had siblings.

His great-grandfather acquired Frances Court in 1243-44. We would conclude from this that William lived around the end of the 14th century. His grandson died in 1457.

His father was Sir Henry, but there is no evidence that William was knighted.


ALICE DE LA HELE was the daughter of Nicholas de la Hele and Alice Percehay.[3] She grew up at Hele. There are two villages of this name in Devon, but this is the one a little NE of Frances Court.

As the only child (or the only one to survive her parents) Alice was heir to both her father and her mother’s estates. The principal manor from the father was Hele. He was the last of that name to hold it.

Her mother was the daughter of the judge Sir Henry Percehay. When Alice’s cousin William die without issue in 1399 the Percehay estates were divided between Alice’s mother and the descendants of her mother’s sister. The estates that came to her mother included: Combe Florey near Taunton, part of Talaton, 5 m from Hele, part of Kitton, west of Welliington, and part of Burlescombe, east of Tiverton.

All these Alice brought to her marriage with William Fraunceis. Combe Florey eventually became the family seat.

Alice’s father died in 1413, making it probable that William and Alice’s lifetime spanned the late 14th and the early 15th centuries. This was around the time Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VII. Their lifetimes may have covered the Peasants Revolt, the Battle of Agincourt and the victories and death of Joan of Arc.


Their only known child was Henry, who inherited Frances Court from William. There may well have been other children.


We have no information about when William and Alice died.



[1] Burke’s Genealogical and Historical History of the Landed Gentry, Vol 1. “Gwyn of Ford Abbey”.
[2] https://www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk/imageresizer/?image=%2Fdmsimgs%2FBroadclyst-6.jpg&action=ProductDetailPro
[3] https://wc.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=ancestorsearch&id=I24998
[4] https://bishopslydeardbenefice.org/combe-florey-st-peter-and-st-paul/





Sampson Tree