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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 WHITINGE was the son and heir of Nicholas Whitinge, lawyer and lord of the manor of Woode in Kentisbeare, and Margret Prudhome.[1] He was born in 1343, in the reign of Edward III. He spent his early years in Sidbury, two miles from the Channel coast.

His father served as MP for Devon and a number of boroughs, and was Recorder and Sheriff of Exeter.

John may have had siblings, but nothing is known of them. He was only five when the Black Death struck Devon, killing about a third of the population.

In the 1350s the family moved to recently built manor house of Woode, in the parish of Kentisbeare, which was to remain the seat of the Whitings for generations.


JULIAN HOLBEAME was the daughter of William Holbeame. He may have been lord of the manor of Holbeame in East Ogwell, near Newton Abbot, or he may have come from a younger branch of that family.


They married in the 1360s.

The couple had at least three sons. John junior was born around 1365, Robert around 1372 and Henry around 1380. There were probably daughters between these sons.

His father is thought to have died by 1380, leaving John to inherit his estates and the lordship of the manor of Woode. John was also the first of the Whitings to succeed to the large Prodhome estates which his mother, Margaret, brought to the marriage.

As a landowner, John would have been much affected by the aftermath of the Black Death. This led to a serious shortage of labour, making it difficult for the gentry to work their lands with peasant labour as they had in the past. It became necessary to let some of it out to tenants. 1381 saw the Peasants’ Revolt, but it was less serious in Devon than in some other counties.

It is probably this John Whiting who, on 8 Jan 1380, was summoned as a juror to attend an inquisition at Barnstaple into the lands and fees of the late Thomas Flemmyng, baron of Slane.

By a deed of 1380 John and Julian received from Adam Cole of Uptamer and Margaret his wife more lands near Pridhamsleigh.

In 1389/90 John, his brother-in-law John Holbeme and John Bushell gave Bartholomew Holbeme and his wife Margery a tenement in Newton Bushell next to the lands of William Holbeme.

In 1392 John acquired lands in Luttockshele from John Hidon. This enlarged the family’s holding in this manor. The location of Luttockshele is unknown. It may be near Colbrook, where there is a ruined chapel in a field. There were old references to a ruined mansion there. It was held of the priory of St Nicholas in Exeter from the 14th century, and passed eventually to the Walronds of Uffculme, with whom the Whitings were often associated.

The interests of the Whiting and Keynes families were also interwoven in several generations. There is a deed of 24 May 1402 between John Whiting and John Keynes, ‘hiers and consanguines’ of Richard Stapledon, knight, and the Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral. It outlines an agreement to ‘save them harmless’ from an action brought against them concerning lands at Drannock in Cornwall. Both Johns were descended from women of the Stapledon family, sisters of the once-powerful Bishop of Exeter, Walter Stapledon.

On 4 June that same year, a deed bearing a seal with the Whiting arms, provides a bond of indemnity from the same suit. John Whiting and John Keynes had entered pleas of warranty on behalf of the Chapter. This suit was about an acre of land in Drannock and the advowson (right to appoint the priest) of the church at Gwinnear, which Sir Reginald de Beville had given to Sir Richard Stapledon in 1311. Sir Richard had then given it to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter. It was stipulated that the ground rent paid by the two Johns was to be used for the maintenance of 12 scholars at Stapledon College, Oxford.

The following year, John made a settlement in favour of his second son Robert of lands at Copton which were then in the possession of Thomas and Joanne Wrey.

The third son Henry is known to have lived at the house called Combe.

In 1405, the Earl of Northumberland was leading a rebellion against King Henry IV. Meanwhile, Owen Glendower was fighting a resistance campaign to the English occupation of Wales. John did not live to see the outcome of these struggles. He died on 24 May.


[1] Source: Richard Whiting. Whiting of Wood: A Mediaeval Landed Family, 1974 (MS in DRO).





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