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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)




SIR JOHN PAULET was the son of John de Paulet and the heiress Elizabeth de Reigny, both of whom owned a number of estates in Somerset.[1]

His birth date has been estimated as 1345. Three years later, the Black Death struck, and a third of the population died. But John survived.

His parents owned a large number of estates, mostly in Somerset. It is not certain where John grew up, but it may have been at Pawlett, on the Somerset Levels.

His father died in 1356, when John was probably not yet in his teens. He was the third son, and not expected to inherit most of his father’s lands.

Four years later, his oldest brother William died without issue, about 1360, leaving the bulk of their parents’ estates to the second brother, also called William.


John’s first wife was the heiress Margaret de Cartuther from Cornwall. Her father may have been Thomas de Cartuther, though the digitised source book is unclear at this point.[2] The family name was originally Heling or Eling, but they adopted the name of their manor of Cartuther.[3]

Cartuther is a Domesday manor a mile from Liskeard, in the parish of Menheniot. It is given in Margaret’s IPM as “Courture”.

Margaret was one of four sisters. Joan married William Malaherbe, Isabel married John Hillygan and Anestasia married Edmund Becket.[4] At their father’s death, in the absence of a brother, the four women each inherited a quarter share of his estates.

John is thought to have married Margaret in the early 1370s, but she died around 1374. She left no child. A possible reason for her early death is that she was pregnant, but that she and her baby died in childbirth.

John held a quarter of the manor of Cartuther by her right, but following his death an inquisition in 1392 decreed that Margaret’s heirs were her three sisters.[5] The manor of Cartuther passed down the Becket line through her sister Anestasia.

His second marriage, to Elizabeth de Credy,  is believed to have taken place around 1375-6.


ELIZABETH DE CREDY was the daughter and heir of William de Credy.  She is thought to have been born about 1358.

She grew up at Creedy, now Creedy Barton, 1½ miles east of Crediton in mid-Devon.

She had a sister, but no brother, or none that survived to inherit.


The couple had four children: John c.1376, Thomas c. 1377, William c 1379 and Dionysia c. 1381.[6]


About 1378, before their family was completed, John’s second brother died. He was now heir to a considerable number of estates: Pawlett, Rode, Melcombe and Sheerston in North Petherton, Gotehurst in Andersfield, and Staulegh in Milverton, all in Somerset, and Legh Poulet in Hockworthy, Devon.

We do not know when Elizabeth’s father died, but, in the absence of a son, his estates were inherited by Elizabeth and her sister.[7]

Over successive generations the Paulet lands were greatly increased by marriages to heiresses.

                                                                                                                                              The ancient ceremony of Clypping the Church                                                                                                                                            at Rode [8]

In 1380-1, in the time of Richard II, John served under the Earl of Buckingham in the Hundred Years War against France.

Arthur Collins writes:[9]

Sir John Paulet was in that expedition under Thomas Plantagenet, Earl of Buckingham and Duke of Gloucester, in aid of the Duke of Brittany against the French, and had the honour of knighthood conferred on him in the camp before St Omer’s.

The arms of the Paulet family are:  Sable, three swords in pile points downward argent, pommels and hilts or.

 Crest: A cubit arm embowed in armour, the hand grasping a sword, proper.

 Supporters: Dexter: a wild man, wreathed round the temples and loins with oak; sinister: a woman with flowing hair, and wreathed round the temples and loins as the dexter.

The Lord Poulett Inn at Hinton St George


Like so many men of his generation, John died in the prime of life, on 28 Nov 1391. Whether the cause was illness, accident or warfare we do not know.

Two of their sons met a similarly early death.

Their eldest son John married Idonea Kayle of Cudwith, but both died in 1400.


On 22 Nov 1401, the Bishop of Bath and Wells granted :

Licence for Elizabeth Paulet to have masses celebrated by fitting chaplains in her oratories within the diocese, in the presence of herself and … families.[10]


Elizabeth was still alive in 1412, when she held the manor of Rode.


Their son Thomas  married Margaret de Burton of Halberton, Devon. He died before 1410.

Dionysia married John Popham of Huntworth.

The youngest son, William of Melcombe, married Eleanor de la More of Nunney Castle. He outlived his brothers and died on 8 Aug 1435. His great-great-grandson became the first Marquess of Winchester and a later descendant the Duke of Bolton.



[1] Winn, Colin G., The Pouletts of Hinton St. George (London: Research Publishing, 1976.) Most of the following genealogical information on the Paulets is taken from this.
[2] www.archive.org. Sir John Maclean, Parochial and family history of the parishes of St Mabyn and Michaelstow in the county of Cornwall (1875)
[3] www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk
[5] IPM
[6] Names: Winn. Dates: Bradley- freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com
[7] Risdon, Tristram, The Chorographical Description or Survey of the County of Devon, c. 1632. books.google.co.uk
[8] W.W. Wheatley, www.avpu52.dsl.pipex.com
[9] Arthur Collins, Peerage of England. www.books,google.co.uk.
[10] Publications – Somerset Record Society, www.archive.org




Sampson Tree