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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


SIR ANDREW HERLE. We know a great deal about Julian’s background, but very little about Andrew’s. He is believed to be the son of Thomas and Maud Herle. We do not know his mother’s maiden name. or which manor they came from. He is associated with the manors of Harescombe  and Avenbury, but these came to him through his marriage with Julian.

There was a prominent family of Herles in Northumberland, but Andrew’s home is more likely to have been in Herefordshire.

He is thought to have been born around 1354, in the reign of Edward III.

He married Juliana Rous.


JULIAN(A) ROUS/ROWSE was the daughter of Thomas le Rous and Maud.

The family home was Harescombe, a a village in Gloucestershire, 5 m south of Gloucester. It lies in a valley at the foot of the Cotswolds.

Julian was born on 12/14 June 1358.

Her father died on 29 Dec 1358 while still in his twenties. Julian was only 6 months old, She had an older brother. John, who was heir to his father’s estates. They became royal wards during their minority.

Her mother then married Sir Robert de Kendall.

On 20 August 1369 (when she was only 11 years old), Julian was abducted at Sulton, in Shropshire. and ‘ravished’ by Thomas Horde. He also stole a horse, 2 books and other goods worth 260s from Robert De Kendale. The enquiry was supervised by Kendale himself, in his capacity as Sheriff of Shropshire. It was not the first time that Horde had been in conflict with the Kendale family.

Thomas denied the charges.  He was arrested and thrown into the notorious Fleet prison, from which he later escaped.

He was outlawed, and his estates were forfeit.

In 1386 he secured a pardon from Richard II for the abduction, theft and escape.

On 31 August 1370, Julian’s brother John died unmarried, leaving 12-year-old Julian sole heir to the Rous estates. He had held, through his guardians, the manor of Allensmore by knight’s service to the Bishop of Hereford. By his guardian he also held the hamlet of Wilinhale by military service from James le Boteler, Earl of Ormond; and the manor of Tregatt in the marches of Wales in socage from John de Bromwich.

The full list of Julian’s estates was: Allensmore, Avenbury, Willenhale and Treget, in Hereford, Newbury in Berks, and Harescombe, in Gloucesterhire.

In 1371 Julian’s mother Maud and her stepfather Sir Robert De Kendale paid a fine for the wardship of the lands of Thomas Le Rous and for the marriage of Julian. The right to arrange the marriage of a heiress could be a lucrative affair.

In this case, there is no sign there were suitors eager to marry Julian, and to pay for the privilege.

While still in her teens, she married, as her first husband, Sir Andrew de Herle. It is possible that this marriage of an heiress to a knight who seems to have no major estates of his own was the result of the scandal of her abduction.

The couple had two children: A son William, and daughter Alice, born in the 1370s.

In 1374-5, Andrew and Julian went to law to recover her father’s inheritance, which was still being held by her mother and stepfather. This was done through a Writ of Precipimus.

An inquest into the affairs of Thomas le Rous in Herefordshire was held at Hereford Castle. This found that he had the manor of Avenbury, held of the earl of Hereford by service of a moiety of a knight’s fee.

They found that Thomas died on Saturday after St. Stephen, 32 Edward III [1358]. Juliana his daughter, aged 20 years and more, whom Andrew Herle has taken to wife, is his heir. Robert de Kendale, knight, and Maud his wife have had possession of the premises ever since his death, by what title the jurors know not.

Avenbury is on the River Frome. The village around the church of St Mary has now disappeared. All that is left in the parish are scattered farms and hamlets.

A similar inquest into her father’s Gloucestershire estates was held in Gloucester.

Harsecombe. The manor held of the king in chief by service of a fourth part of a knight’s fee; and a messuage called ‘le Orchard,’ a carucate of land and 6a. meadow, held of the abbot of St. Peter’s, Gloucester, as of the king’s Barton by Gloucester, whereof the abbot is farmer, by service of doing suit to the court of the said Barton.

Date of death, heir, and possession since death, as above.

Note that Andrew Herle and Juliana his wife have appointed Hugh Herle, chaplain, Nicholas Wyke and Richard Holm as their attorneys for suing their lands &c. out of the king’s hands.

Dedimus potestatem to Edward de Sancto Johanne to receive the attorneys of Robert de Kendale, knight, and Maud his wife for suing out of the king’s hands certain lands &c. in cos. Gloucester and Hereford which have been taken into the king’s hands by the escheator. 29 June, 48 Edward III.

Another Inquisition post mortem was held at Newbury in Berkshire in 1374 concerning the estate of Thomas de Rous, who died on Saturday after the Feast of St Stephen the Martyr. Dec 29 1358. He held in fee £6.1.3 rent of assize in Newbury. Since his death, Sir Robert de Kendall and Maud his wife had received the rent since Thomas’s death and still continued to do so, though by what right the jurors could not say.

Since Julian was the king’s ward, the couple had apparently been exceeding their rights by acting as though the estates were theirs.

In 1376, Andrew De Herle and Juliana sold Nesse, in Shropshire, to Roger Lestrange of Knokyn. Mabel De Knokyn, who inherited Nesse, was Julian’s grandmother, having married John Rous.

In 1376, a settlement was reached between Juliana and Andrew and her stepfather Sir Robert De Kendale and her mother Maud regarding the lands of Thomas Le Rous. Apparently, both Juliana (daughter and heir) and Maud (former wife of Thomas) claimed the lands. The settlement gave Avenbury to Juliana and Andrew while Robert and Maud received Harescombe.  Harescombe would soon return to Julian and Andrew as Andrew De Herle presented to the church at Harescombe in December 1380 as Sir Andrew Herle, Lord of Harescombe

In 1380, Sir Andrew Herle, lord of Harescombe in Herefordshire, admitted Sir Thomas Brokkebury as chaplain to the chantry chapel of Harescombe, with the chapel of Pychenecombe annexed to it.

Andrew was knight of the shire for Hereford in 1383 and 1385, representing the county in Parliament, and Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1385.

A Geni family tree says that Andrew Herle died in Spain of dropsy in 1392, aged 33-42.[1]  No source is given, but this is so specific and unusual that it is likely to be true.

This is both fascinating and tantalising. What was Andrew doing in Spain in the 1390s?

John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and father of the future Henry IV, went to Spain in 1380, to claim the crown of Castile through his wife, Constance of Castile. But his bid failed, and he left Spain in 1388. If Andrew had been among his followers, there is no obvious reason why he should have remained there.

We would also love to know about the disease. “Dropsy” is nowadays called oedema. It is the retention of fluid in the body tissues. How long had he had it, and what effect did it have on him prior to his death?

Although Julian long outlived Andrew, there is an effigy of both of them in the church at Allensmore in Herefordshire.

Sir Andrew and Julian Herle
Allensmore Church[2]

 The Monumental Brass Society describes it thus: “not a brass, but an unusual inlaid and incised slab from Allensmore, Herefordshire. It commemorates Sir Andrew Herley, who died in 1392, and his wife, Juliana

“The Allensmore slab shows a knight in plate armour with a tight fitting jupon, with a lion at his feet. Beside him, the figure of Juliana wears a low necked gown with an edging of fur. In the folds of her gown at her feet is a delightful terrier with a bell suspended from a collar round his neck. The couple are shown under a canopy flanked by shields and, at their feet, an inscription, in textura quadrata lettering, which reads ‘Sir andrew herl gist ycy et Julian sa femme dieu de lour almes eyt mercy’ (Sir Andrew Herl[ey] lies here and Juliana his wife, God have mercy on their souls)…

“It currently lies on the floor to the north of the altar, but… was previously on an altar tomb in the north chapel, perhaps originally a Herley family chapel.”

Allensmore is a village 4 m SW of Hereford. Julian’s ancestors had been Lords of Allensmore.

Three years after Andrew died, Julian married again. Her second husband was Thomas Mille of Tremyll in Devon.

Once again, she was marrying beneath her. . It was an advantageous marriage for Thomas. Julian was a rich heiress, through her own family, rather than through Andrew’s. Thomas came from a Devonshire family of limited means .She, on the other hand, had inherited the manors of Harescombe and Duntisborne Rouse in Gloucestershire and Allensmore, Avenbury and Tregate, with the hamlet of Winnall in Herefordshire.

Thomas Mille was MP for Gloucestershire in 1407 and 1411.

The couple had a son Thomas and a daughter Elizabeth, and perhaps another daughter.

In 1395 a fine was levied, by which the manors of Harescombe and Duntesborn Rous were settled on Thomas Myle, and Juliana, his wife, and the heirs male of their bodies.”

Thomas Mille died in 1422 in possession of Harescombe and Duntesbourne Rous, both of which he had from Julian.  Their son Thomas took over his estates.

In 1427, there was a dispute between Thomas Mille, Julian’s son by her second marriage, on the one hand, and Julian and her son William Herle, by her first marriage. Julian and William acknowledged the manors of Harescobe and Duntesborne Rous, with the advowson of the church of Harescombe, to be the right of Thomas. Julian was probably surrendering her dower rights, since these properties had been in the Rous family.

Also, in May 1427 she gave the manor of Allensmore to her son-in-law John Pauncefoot who had married her daughter Alice Herle. The gift was acknowledged by her sons Thomas Mille and William Herle.

Julian was buried in the church at Allensmore alongside her first husband Sir Andrew Herle.

When William Herle, Julian’s son by her first marriage, died without issue, her daughter Alice, who was married to John Pauncefoot, became his heir.

In 1430, there was a plea of covenant, in which Julian’s son Thomas Mille received from John and Alice Pauncefote the manor of Aleynesmore in Herefordshire, which they had been given by Julian.


[1] https://www.geni.com/people/Andrew-Herle/6000000009431322078.
[2] The Monumental Brass Society.




Sampson Tree