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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)

Sampson  Tree



THOMAS BAMPFIELD. Some older trees have Thomas as the son of John Bampfield and a mother of the Hoxham family. More recent research has established that the two men were, in fact, brothers.

Both were the children of an older Thomas Bampfield and Agnes Coplestone.

As the younger brother, Thomas would not have expected to be his parents’ principal heir.

We have little dating evidence for him. We estimate that he was born around 1370-80. He grew up in the family home at Poltimore, a village four miles north of Exeter. The medieval manor house pre-dated the present Poltimore House, and was probably nearer the centre of the village.

His elder brother John married Joane Huxham/Hoxham. She was the daughter and heiress of John (or William) Huxham of Huxham, a parish adjacent to Poltimore.

The brothers’ great-great-great-grandmother had been a Huxham and the Huxham estates were entailed to the Bampfield family.

Thomas’s father is thought to have died in 1397, in the closing years of Richard II’s reign. His brother John inherited the Bamfylde estates.

We do not know when John and Thomas married, but it was probably towards the end of the 14th century.


AGNES FABER was the daughter and co-heiress of John Faber of Bovey Tracey. Sir William Pole tells how the manor of Little Bovey passed through many families: Putford, Medlake, Forde, Homaz, Leach and Faber.[1] Richard Faber held half a knight’s fee in Little Bovey in the time of King Edward We do not know how John Faber was related to him, but he may be the former’s son.

Charles Worthy, in Devonshire Wills, says that “the daughters of Peter Faber of that parish (Bovey Tracey) 1289, married Northcote, Beare and Bampfylde.[2] This may relate to Isabel Faber, who married Thomas’s ancestor John Bampfield around that time.

They had at least three children, John and Richard, who were to father two lines of the Bamfylde family, and Agnes.

When John died without progeny, Thomas was his heir.

After his grandfather John Bampfield had died, his grandmother Joan, née Merton, had married Sir John del la Pomeroy, feudal baron of Berry Pomeroy.

Thomas became the “domicellus” of Huxham manor, with his grandmother Joan presenting the priest, by licence of his elder brother John, who died without issue.

Domicellus is a diminutive of dominus (lord) and probably indicates that Thomas was still a minor.

St Mary the Virgin, Huxham [3]

The church of the Virgin Mary in Huxham was built in the early 14th-century, though it has been rebuilt since.

We meet Joan and her grandson Thomas again in two documents of 1400 and 1401. By now, Henry IV had seized the crown from Richard.

Power of attorney [4]
1. John of la Pomeray knt., and Johane his wife
2. John Bastard the younger, John Somer of Exeter and John Gatecombe
To deliver seisin to:
3. Thomas Bampfeld
Premises: all 1.’s messuages, lands and tenements in Poltimore in Devon, and in Weston in Somerset
Date: Wednesday, on the morrow of the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, 1 Henry IV [14 Sep]

Siesin means possession of the land.

Joan and her husband may have been holding these lands in trust for Thomas during his minority.

In 1401, we find a receipt, dated Monday after the Octave of St Michael the Archangel, 2 Henry IV. [Oct]
1. John of la Pomeroy, knt, and Johane his wife.
2. Thomas Bampfield.
Twelve marks in payment of all arrearages of an annual rent from lands and tenements in Poltimore in Devon and in Weston in Somerset, payable during the life of Johane.[5]

Poltimore in Devon was now the seat of the Bampfields, but at the close of the 13th century they had moved from Weston Bampfylde in Somerset, where they held the manors of Great and Little Weston.

It was quite common for a man to bequeath land to his widow for her lifetime, to be passed on to a younger generation on her death.

A mark was worth a third of a pound.

As his brother’s heir, Thomas presented the priest to Poltimore on Mar 14 1402 and again on 23 June 1411.


[1] Sir William Pole (d.1635) Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon.
[2] Charles Worthy, Devonshire Wills, Bemrose and sons, 1896.
[3] Huxham, Wikipedia.
[4] Devon Record Office  3799M-0/ET/16/1
[5] Devon Record Office. 3799M-0/ET/16/2




Sampson Tree