Charlotte image

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)




RICHARD KEYNES was the son of John Keynes and Joan Wampford, both heirs of considerable estates in the south-western counties. We know from his father’s Inquisition Post Mortem that he had four brothers, John junior, William, Nicolas and Edmund. Curiously, there is no mention of Richard in the IPM, although he appears to be the second son. It is possible that he appears in the part of the IPM held in Southampton, which is not included in the Westcountry Studies Library abstract. We only know about him through the IPM of his brother John, where he is named as John junior’s brother and heir, and from Sir William Pole’s pedigree of the family.[1]

John junior’s IPM, held in 1420, gives Richard’s age twice, first as 30, then as 33. He was thus born in either 1386-7 or 1389-90, probably in Winkleigh Castle, the ancestral home of the Devon Keynes. Besides his four brothers, he probably had sisters. His elder brother John was born in 1379-80. In view of the age gap it likely that some of those sisters were older than Richard.


In 1399 King Richard II was forced to abdicate in favour of Henry Bolingbroke, heir of Richard’s uncle, John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster. The king died the  following year in Pontefract Castle, probably of starvation. Henry Bolingbroke became Henry IV. The House of Lancaster had taken over from the Plantagenets.

In 1413 Henry’s glamorous and warlike young son Henry V succeeded. The long-running conflict with France known, somewhat imprecisely, as the Hundred Year’s War, was re-ignited. In 1415 Henry won a great victory at Agincourt, and in 1417 recaptured Normandy, from where the Keynes family originated.

By now, Richard’s brothers John and Nicolas Keynes were married. We do not know whom or when Richard married, but it is likely that he too was starting a family. Pole’s pedigree says only: ‘Richard Keynes had issue John.’

The mysterious thing is that his father’s IPM gives copious detail about his estates, which ones were currently held by his sons, and which son should inherit when John senior died. John junior, William, Nicolas and Edmund are all mentioned several times. But there is not a single reference to Richard. Details of the Inquisition in Southampton are not given in the abstract, so it is possible that Richard stood to inherit land in that county. Or his father may have given him land during his lifetime and made no provision for him to inherit more. Or maybe Richard had angered his father in some way.

His brother William and his mother Joan both died between 1414 and 1420.

On 9 January 1420, John senior died. Richard was then in his early 30s. John junior inherited most of the family estates, though provision had been made for Nicholas and Edmund. At the age of 40, Richard’s elder brother became lord of the manor of Winkleigh Keynes, and of other manors as well. He and his wife Margery already had at least one daughter. Joan was born to John junior in 1497-8.[2] Richard must have expected to have nephews to continue that line.

It did not happen. Margery died before John, possibly when Joan was born. There were no sons, or none that survived to adulthood.

In the early 15th century, Richard’s niece Joan married John Speke of Wembworthy, head of another landed family. She brought him property in Somerset as her inheritance. Pole’s Speke pedigree includes John Speke:

“wch by Jone, daughter and heire of John Kaynes, of Winkley Kaynes, & of … his wife, daughter and coheire of Nicas Wampford, by whom he had Dawlish, in Somersethire, had issue John… “[3]

Pole is mistaken in making Joan the daughter of John Keynes senior and Joan Wampford. Her father’s IPM makes it clear that Joan, wife of John Speke, is the daughter and heir of John junior.

‘Dawlish’ was Dowlish Wake, home of Joan’s great-great-grandmother, Isabel Wake. There is a memorial to Isabel in the Speke chapel of Dowlish Wake church.[4]

We do not know where Richard was during this time. As a younger son, he probably set up his home somewhere other than Winkleigh Keynes. He may have fought in France with Henry V.


In January 1420, John senior died. His lengthy IPM shows that he held property in four south-western counties and perhaps in Hampshire as well. There were detailed provisions about which son should inherit what. Only Richard is not mentioned.

As expected, John junior inherited the bulk of the estate, including several manors.

He did not have long to enjoy his increased prosperity. He died, aged 40, on 4 May 1420, only four months after his father. The closeness of their deaths may not be a coincidence. They could both have been killed in the long running war, or fallen victim to one of the recurring outbreaks of plague.

With his wife Margery dead, and no indication of a remarriage, John junior died without a son. His heir was his 22-year-old daughter Joan, now married to John Speke and living at Dowlish Wake in Somerset.

But Richard was named as John’s male heir. This must mean that he inherited some estates which were tied to the male succession. These would probably include at least some of the manors his brother had held.

There was an Inquisition Post Mortem in Southampton, the contents of which are not included in the abstract held in Westcountry Studies Library.

In Dorset, there were parts of the manors of Stokewake, Caundelwake and Hulle, with parts to Richard’s aunt Alice and parts to his aunt Joan’s son. The names strongly suggest that these came to the Keynes family through Richard’s great-grandmother, the heiress Isabel Wake.

In Somerset, there were the manors of East Dowlish, West Dowlish, Chubbleigh and Compton Martyn.

There were properties in Corwall, but no manor is mentioned.

In Devon, the principal manor of the Keynes family was Winkleigh Keynes, with its timber motte and bailey castle. Winkleigh parish formed the administrative area of Winkleigh Hundred on its own, charged with supplying armed and mounted men in time of war. The inheritance also included the hundred of Blacktorrington, around the River Torridge in North Devon. John junior had inherited the manor of Lobbe, near Barnstaple, from his wife Margery, now dead.

Besides the manors, there were many other properties in all these counties.

We cannot be sure how these were divided between Joan Speke and Richard Keynes, but even if he only took over some of them, Richard would have become a wealthy and powerful man. There is no way of knowing whether this was what his father would have wished.

KEYNES, John, junior.                                 8 Henry V. [1420]
Chancery Inq.p.m. Henry V. File 51 (95)
m.1-2.  Southampton.
m.3.  Writ to escheator of Somerset & Dorset dated at Westminster 12 May 8 Henry V. [1420]
m.4.  Dorset.

Inquisition taken at Shirebourne 10 June 8 Hen.V. [1420] before John Welyngton, escheator, by the oath of Peter Pynford, Simon Chamberleyn, Richard Fauntleroy, John Lyneden, John Dare, William Ryder, Henry Panter, William Knoppelok, Robert Dolyng, Walter Goldsmyth, John Langerygge, & Robert Dare: who say that a fine was levied Easter 7 Hen.V.[1] & the Michaelmas following (1419) between John Keynes, senr., plaintiff & John Bruer, clk., Robert Spret, clk., Richard Holt, clk., Hugh Ponchardon, & John Roller, deforciants, of the manors of Stokewake, Caundelwake & Hulle, 40 acres of meadow & 100 of pasture in Stokewake, Pullam & Hulle, & of other lands in Devon & Somerset. Plaintiff acknowledged the same to be the right of said Richard [sic] (i.e. Richard Holt), as that which the said Richard, John Bruer, Robert Spret, Richard Holt[2], Hugh Ponchardon & John Roller have of the gift of the said John Keynes. John Bruer & other deforciants granted for themselves & the heirs of the said Richard that the manor of Caundelwake which Nicholas Keynes & Maud his wife held for life, & which ought to revert to deforciants & the heirs of Richard, should remain to the said John Keynes, senr., & his heirs, with remainder, in default of issue, of one moiety thereof to Thomas Pyllond son of Joan late sister of the said John Keynes, sen., & the heirs of his body, with remainders to Alice another sister of the said John Keynes, senr., & her heirs, & to the right heirs of John Keynes, senr., the other moiety to the said Alice & her heirs, with remainders, in default of issue, to Thomas Pyllond & his heirs, & the right heir of John Keynes, senr.

John Keynes, sen., had issue John, named in the writ, Richard, yet living, William, deceased, Nicholas & Edmund, yet living.

By charter dated 20 Dec. 7 Hen.V. &c.[3] all the grantees are yet living, & hold the premises; John Keynes, jun., died seised of the reversion.

The Manor of Stokewake is held, &c.

John Keynes, sen., was also seised of the manor of Caundelwake, &c.

John Kaynes, jun., died 4 May last past. [1420]

Joan wife of John Speke, daughter & heir, age 22.

Richard son of John Keynes, sen., brother & male heir, aged 30.


m.5.  Somerset.

Inquisition taken at Southpederton 10 June 8 Hen.V. [1420], before the escheator, by the oath of Robert Mountagu, John Seyncler, William Faukener, William Bowedyche, John Mede, Ralph Peny, John Hardegrey, Richard Basset, John Talbot, Richard Seyncler, Ralph Seyncler & Thomas Serle: who say that John Kenyes, jun., held the manors of Est[doue]lysshe & Westdouelysshe by the gift of Walter Soureye to John Wak’, for life, & after his death to John Keynes & Isabel his wife, & their heirs: they had issue Thomas father of John father of John Keynes, junior, named in the writ.

The said manors are held, &c.[4]

A fine was levied, Easter & Mich. 7 Hen.V. [1419] between John Keynes, sen., plaintiff, & John Bruer, clk., &c. deforciants,[5] of the manors of Chubbeleigh & Compton Martyn, 1 messuage, 1 carucate, 20 acres of meadow in Wythele & the advowson of Compton Martyn, with other lands in Dorset & Devon.

The Manor of Chubbeleigh is held of the King of his honour of [Troubrygge ?]; worth by the year, clear, £2.

Tenements in Wythele held of William Hankford, Knt., John Hals, Henry Foleford, John Stourton of Preston, John Brewer, clk., Ralph Eustas, clk., Robert Spret, clk., & William Mureden, of the manor of Codeworth, worth &c. £2.

Death & heirs as above.

m.6.  Writ to escheator of Devon & Cornwall, dated at Westminster 12 May 8 Hen.V. [1420]m.7.  Cornwall.

Inquisition taken at Saltayssh 16 June 8 Hen.V. [1420] before John Jaybyn, escheator, by the oath of John Kymbere, Thomas Porter, Nicholas Lolle, Henry Waterman, Richard Stacy, John Portere, sen., Roger Heruy, William Smyth, Richard Bak, William Perys, Robert Weryng, & Robert Geffrey who say that John Keynes, sen., father of John Keynes named in the writ, & Joan his wife, were seised of 8 messuages, &c.[6]

A fine was levied, &c.[7]

Mentions John Keynes’s grants of 24 July 4 Hen.V., 1 Jan. 5 Hen.V., & 3 Apr. 6 Hen.V.[8] The reversion of the premises contained therein fell to John Keynes, junior, & after his death to Joan, his daughter, wife of John Speke: held of the heirs of Nicholas [Wan]forde.

Henry Foleford died, & his tenements fell to Baldwin Foleford, yet living, son of said Henry & Willelma his wife, a minor. They are worth by the year, clear. £3. 6. 8.

John Keynes, sen., had issue as above.

Death & heir as above.

Male heir, his brother Richard, son of John Keynes, sen., aged 33 [sic].

m.8.  Devon.

Inquisition taken at Aysschberton 13 June 8 Hen.V. [1420], before the escheator, by the oath of John Boyvyle, William Werthe, John Furs, John Holcombe, Nicholas Babecombe, John Takell, John Wale, Thomas Whitewey, William Halghwell, Walter Skoketor, William Halghell, & Nicholas Hemston: who say that a fine was levied Easter 7 Hen.V. & the Michaelmas following, between John Keynes, sen., plaintiff, & John Bruer, &c. deforciants,[9] of the Manor of Wynkelegh Keynes & hundred of Wynkelegh, & 2 messuages, 1 toft, 1 carucate of land, 30 acres of meadow & 4 of alder grove in Exeter & Weryngeston, with lands in Dorset & Somerset.

The premises in Wynkelegh are held of the heir of Lord le Spenser, by knight’s service.

In that Manor are rents of divers tenants, worth yearly £2.0s.4d., 23 messuages & 12 cottages worth nought beyond reprises, 200 acres of arable, 26s.8d., 20 of meadow, 28s., 1 water-mill, 26s.8d., 200 acres of wood, 8s. The hundred is worth yearly 22s. 8d.

The messuage in Exeter is held of the King in free socage; worth yearly 6s. 8d. Premises in Weryngeston held of the King’s manor of Bradenynche, in the duchy of Cornwall, worth &c. £2.

John Keynes, jun., & Margery his wife, both deceased, held of the gift of John Keynes, sen., a messuage & carucate in Thorry in Hertelond.[10]

John Keynes, sen., & Joan his wife, were seised of 2 messuages, 2 carucates, 40 acres of meadow, 200 of pasture, 200 of moor & the moiety of 6 acres of wood in Blaketoryton & Halewille called Whiteleylond & Radeferelond, & granted the same by fine to Henry Foleford & Willelma his wife, for 2 years, with remainder to Nicholas Keynes, & William Keynes, during life of John Keynes, sen., called John Keynes of Wynkelegh, with remainder to his son Edmund, to hold by rent of a rose payable to John & Joan, with reversion to their heirs. (Trin. 3 Hen.V.). Edmund is yet living. Whyteleylond is held of Almaric Fitz Wareyn, worth, &c. 30s. 4d. Redeferlond held of Robert Cary, worth, &c. 12s.

Here follow lands in Lokkesbeare, Lachebrok, Floyerswestecote & Bokeputte.[11]

Also the moiety of a furlong in Coryford, held of Richard Foghler, containing 12 acres of arable & 2 of meadow, worth, &c. 6s. 4d.

Also 1 messuage, 16 acres of land, 4 of meadow, 20 of pasture & Moor in Bruggeruell, held of the heirs of Thomas Affeton, worth, &c. 10s.

Also 1 messuage & 2 furlongs in Smythencote, held of the heirs of Ralph Lapflode, containing 60 acres, worth, &c. 10s.

Also the hundred of Blaketoryton, &c.[12]

Richard Foghler held a messuage & carucate in Bruggeruell of the said John Keynes, jun., by 4s. rent, who held it of the heir of Thomas Affeton.

John White held a messuage & carucate in Northcote of the said John Keynes, jun., by 10s. rent, who held of Almaric Fitz Wareyn.

William Snowe held a messuage in Blaketoryton, by 12d. rent, of the said John, who held of said Almaric.

The heirs of John Denyes of Gydecote held the manors of Alwyngton & Portelynche & the advowson of Alwyngton, by knight’s service, of John Keynes, jun., who held of John Wybbyry & his heirs, of the manor of Northleich.

John Choham held one messuage & 2 furlongs in Choham, by 10s rent, of John Keynes, jun., who held of said Almaric.

John Keynes, jun., held of Humfrey Courtenay, as of his manor of Clauton, one messuage & one furlong in Clauton, containing 20 acres, worth &c. 10s.

He held for life, of the inheritance of Margery his late wife, of the heirs of Robert Louelott, the manor of Lobbe, with rents of tenants worth yearly £4; 10 messuages & 7 cottages worth nought, 300 acres of arable 2d. per acre, 15 acres of meadow worth yearly 15s., 400 of pasture called Wastlond ½ d. per acre.

Also in Wynkelegh 2 messuages, 32 acres of arable, 6 of meadow, held of the heirs of Lord le Despenser, the arable worth yearly 6s. 8d., the meadow 6s.

Death & heirs as above.


And there the trail goes cold. The history of the 15th century is very sparsely documented.

His brother’s IPM is the only contemporary document we have which mentions Richard Keynes. We can imagine him living as lord of the manor of Winkleigh Keynes, raising and drilling troops for his overlord, Lord le Spenser, from whom Princess Diana was descended, and leading them in the king’s wars, dispensing justice at the manorial court.

There are a few references to his brother Nicolas. In 1423 Nicolas witnessed a deed relating to the manor of Alwyneshegh, near the Keynes family land of Dawlish in Somerset.[5]

There is a Feudal Aid of 1428 which may indicate that Richard had died before this. It says that Nicholas held Winkleigh.

1428 Hundreda de Wynklegh et Blaketoriton

Nicholaus Keynes tenet di f. m. in Wynklegh, quod Thomas de Caygnes quondam tenuit ibidem.

Nicholas is also mentioned in another Feudal Aid of 1428, concerning ‘Hundredum of Hemyok’, in East Devon:

The Abbot of Dunkeswell, William Bonevyll, knight, Nicholas Keynes and William Toker hold a quarter part each [equally shared] in Weryngeston, which Thomas Carynghis (or Keynes) once held.[6]


Nicolas’s name also occurs in Pole’s pedigree of the Chichester family of the parish of Pilton, in Devon, where the manor of Ralegh was ‘thauncient seite & dwellinge of ye name.’ Richard Chichester, great-grandson of John Raleigh, married Margaret, daughter of Nicolas Keynes of Winkley.[7]

This suggests that Richard may not have lived long to enjoy his new wealth and power. He may well not have seen a turn in England’s fortunes in the Hundred Years’ War. In 1431, Joan of Arc raised the siege of Orleans and had the Dauphin crowned King of France, instead of the English king Henry VI. The war was entering its closing stages, with the eventual loss of English territories in France. It is not impossible that Richard lost his life in this war.

He may have been in his thirties when he died.


[1] Feet of Fines. Divers cos. 7 Hen.V. No.1.

[2] This name is redundant & does not occur here in original fine.

[3] See Ch. Inq.p.m. 7 Hen.V. File 42 (69)  John Keynes, senior. m.6.

[4] See Ch. Inq.p.m. Hen.V. File 42 (69)  John Keynes, senior, m.4.

[5] See m.4. of this Inq. Provisions of the fine are the same for all lands.

[6] See Ch. Inq.p.m. Hen.V. File 42 (69).  John Keynes, sen. m.7.

[7] See Ch. Inq.p.m. Hen.V. File 42 (69).  John Keynes, sen. m.7.

[8] See Ch. Inq.p.m. Hen.V. File 42 (69).  John Keynes, sen. m.7.

[9] See m.4. of this Inqn.

[10] See Ch. Inq.p.m. Hen.V. File 42 (69).  John Keynes, sen. m.8.

[11] See Ch. Inq.p.m. Hen.V. File 42 (69).  John Keynes, sen. m.8.

[12] See Inq. of John Keynes, sen.

[1] IPM John Keynes senior 1419/20; IPM John Keynes junior 1420, [WSL]; Sir William Pole (d.1635), Collections Towards a Description  of the County of Devon,(1791), p.432.

[2] IPM John Keynes junior 1420.

[3] Pole, p.425.

[4] http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0115%2FRCMS%2022%2F30

[5] www.a2a.org.uk  CRO: AR/1/758

[6] Debbie Kennett

[7] Pole, p.403.




Sampson Tree