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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 THOMAS L’ERCEDEKNE  was the eldest son of Odo L’Ercedekne and his wife Amice. He had a younger brother Odo.[1] He was holding significant offices in the early years of the 14th century. He is thought to have been born around 1275.

When he was summoned to parliament as a baron, he was described as being “of Shepestall in Cornwall”. Magna Britannia says “No place of that name is now known, but we suppose it to have been the original name of the site of the castle of the Archdeknes, in Ruan-Lanihorne. There is a small farm called Little Shepestall, in the adjoining parish of Veryan, which comprises the greater part of the manor of Elerky, formerly belonging to the Archdeknes.”[2]

Ruan Lanihorne is on the lower reaches of the Fal in Cornwall, where his son John later fortified his house. Thomas may have grown up there in an earlier, more modest house.


Alice de la Roche was Thomas’s first wife. She was the daughter of  Thomas de la Roche, and is thought to have lived in Roch Castle, Roch, Pembrokeshire.


We are indebted to A.W. Searley for a large amount of information about Thomas’s life:

Thomas (4a) was twice married. His first wife (called Elizabeth by Maclean) was Alis, dau. of Sir Thomas de la Roche. ” Sir Thomas wch maried Alis, daughter and co-heire of Sr Thomas de la Roche and had issue Sir John” (Pole, p. 222). The La Roches owned land in Devon.”Cotlegh wch is in ye hundred of Coliton in ye 27 of ye Kinge Henry 3, belonged unto Richard de Rupe or Roche, unto whom in ye beginninge of Kinge Edw. I. [1272] Robert de Roche succeeded” (idem, p. 146). Richard de Rupe is also referred to in connection with the Arondell family (p. 228).  Arms of Roche : Gules 3 roaches naiant in pale Arg. (Burke).  According to Banke’s Dormant Peerage, I, 228, Thomas and Alis had a son called Odo (5a), who apparently died s.p. [without issue]. A pedigree of Roch in Dunn’s Visitation, Vol. I, p. 164, states that ‘Alissia, 3rd dau. (but not coheir) of Thomas le Roech m. Tomas le Archdecon, and was mother of his son Odo.

Searley records many details Thomas’s career:Knights who held their lands by military service in the 14th century had no light duty to perform, as will be seen in the following record of events chronicled under the heading of Sir Thomas Lercedekne.  1293 (Survey of Henry de Pomeray’s lands). “Thomas le Arcedek holds 12 acres in Reswori containing 12 Cornish carucates (plough-lands), and pays 2s. at Michaelmas, and does service. Also 1 acre in Treworgy Scor, containing 1 Cornish carucate, and pays 23d. at Purification (2nd Feb.), and does service ” (Testa de Nevil, 21 Edw. I).  1294. May 2. Cornwall F. of F. At Launceston. Between Thomas le Archedekne and Odo le Archedekne (his brother), as to 2 ploughlands in Bodwenan, Kestel, Lanryon, and Killagorok (in Duloe). Finding of Court : To have and to hold to Odo of Thomas and his heirs during the life of Odo. Rendering therefor yearly 1 pair of iron spurs at Easter.

Thomas Le Arcedekne became one of the highest ranking men in Cornwall. He was “one of those that had £20 of land or rent or more, 25th Edward I. He was knight in parliament for this county,

33 Edward I. and the 6th, 7th, and 8th, of Edward II; Sheriff of the county in the 7th of the same king; summoned to the House of Lords, 13th Edward II.”

1297. July 7. Returned for Cornwall as holding £20 in land. Summoned to perform military service with horse and arms overseas. Muster at London (Palgrave’s Writs, I, p. 285).  1299. Paid 3s. 9d. of aid beyond what he had already paid (Pipe Rolls, 28 Edw. I).  1301. June 24. Summoned for military service against the Scots. Muster at Berwick (Palgrave, I, p. 350).

Sometime before 1302, Alice died. Thomas remarried.


MATILDA DE MOELES or MAUD TRACY.  The names Matilda and Maud were interchangeable at this period. Both William the Conqueror’s wife and the Empress, daughter of Henry I, who claimed the throne of England against Stephen in the 12th century, are known by both names.

She is believed to be the daughter of Lord John de Moeles of Kingskerswell and his wife Alice. Some have disputed this on the grounds that she was one of the heirs of John Tracy.

Vicary Gibbs, speaking of Thomas (4a), says : ” He m. firstly Alice, 3rd dau. of Thomas de la Roche of Roch Castle, co. Pembroke, and 2nd1y Maud, whom genealogists call, without proof, dau. of John de Mules. She was one of the heirs of John Tracy, from whom she inherited a small fee in Trevisquite.” Maclean, too, thinks she was the heir of John Tracy of Trevisquite, “1 fee of which she held in 1346 and alienated to John de Sowy in 1347.” In 1361 she presented to the Church of S. Maben, and seems to have been heir to the manor of Treberveth. “Isold, the second dau. of Sir Henry Tracey of Wollecombe, m. firstly Sir Richard Fitz Stephen ; and secondly, John Mauger. From her brother John (who, according to Pole died s.p.) she inherited a moiety of the manor of Trevisquite in S. Mabyn ” (Maclean). This moiety passed into the possession of Matilda Lercedekne, second wife of Sir Thomas.(D. N. and Q., Vol. VI, p. 155).  Arms of Tracy : Or an escallop in the dexter chief Sab.between 2 bendlets gules (Carew).  1302. Nov. 3. Cornwall F. of F., No. 373. A suit between Thomas de Ercedekne and Matilda his wife, and Isabella de Sancto Albino as to the manor of Rodwory and Bosyweyn and 18 pounds worth of rent in Kesteltalcarn, Trevalsu, and Porthmur, and including demesnes, homages, service of freemen, villeinages, woods, meadows, pastures, waters, ponds, mills, fisheries, moors, heaths, liberties, and other things. Finding of Court — to Thomas and Matilda and their heirs for ever.  This is interesting, because Isabella de St Aubyn (de Sancto Albino) is another ancestor. Assuming that this is her married name she was the grandmother of Cecily Haccombe, who later married  Thomas and Matilda’s son John L’Arcedekne. If it is her maiden name, then she is Cecily’s mother. 1302. Oliver Clayton sued him respecting a mill in Magna Clummer ; Oliver alleging that Thomas had no ingress except by Odo le Arcedyakin (3b), to whom Thomas Arcedyakin, grandfather of the said Thomas, had devised it (Assize Roll,, 30 Edw. I).  1303. Witness to a charter relating to Tregarek (Tregothnan Charter, 4307).  1303. An inquisition was held to ascertain the value of his lands (Maclean).  1303. Knight of the Shire for Cornwall. Obtained ” writ de expensis ” for 15 days from March 20th (Maclean).  1305. 16 Feb., and 28 Feb., M.P. for Cornwall ; summoned to Westminster; obtained ” writ de expensis” (Palgrave, I, 141).

A number of family trees give Alice de la Roche as the mother of Thomas’s second son John, but there is documentary evidence to show that it was Matilda de Moeles. Most tellingly, when John set up the Archpresbytery at Haccombe the foundation deed required prayers to be said daily for the souls of Thomas and Matilda. There is no mention of Alice, as there would have been if she were John’s mother.

Grandisson’s Reg. of Nov. 14, 1337, mentions ” unam marcam pro obitu Domine Matillidus Lercedeakne matris dicti Domini Lercedekne et ejusdem Johannis cum ab hac luce migraverint” (quoted by Vicary Gibbs). But the “Sr John” of Pole (supra) was not by Alis the first wife, but by Maud or Matilda, a second wife. “Et domini Thome Lercedekne militis, patris domini domini Johannis, ac domine Matilda matris ejusdem, etc.” (Archives of Ex. Cath., No. 1007). This Matilda according to Har. MS. 4031, appears to have been a d. of Lord John de Moeles of Kingskerswell.  Their son John was born in 1306. There were also a daughter, Elinor, and probably Matilda. 1306. One of the securities for Richard de Beaupre and others of Cornwall. Day after Ascension (Palgrave, I, 163).  1306. Summoned to Carlisle for service against the Scots (Palgrave, I, 377).  1306. Again summoned, but denied liability. On his lands being seized by the Sheriff of Cornwall he petitioned the King to enquire whether he was liable to service or not. It was commanded that the Treasurer and Baron of the Exchequer should enquire into the matter (Rot. Pari., Vol. I, 196, quoted by Maclean).  1308. March 17. Conservator of the Peace in Cornwall (Palgrave, II, 12).  1309. Ap. 27. One of the Assessors and Collectors (Palgrave, II, 39).  1309. Dec. 18. One of the Justices appointed to receive complaints of Prizes being taken contrary, to statute (Palgrave, II, 25).  1310. Ap. 1. Ordered to proceed with greater activity in executing commissions for conservancy of the peace (Palgrave, II, 28).  1311. One of the Supervisors of Array in Cornwall (also in March, 1322) (Palgrave, I, 409).  1312. Governor of Tintagel Castle, and Sheriff of Cornwall, 1313-4 (Vicary Gibbs’ Cokayne).  Rot. Fin., 6 Edw. II. memb. 2. In 1312 the King committed the town and castle of Tintagel to Thomas le Ercedeackne to hold during the King’s pleasure, at which time Thomas was Sheriff of Cornwall.  1312. Steward of the Duchy, vice [in place of] Piers Gaveston, executed (Close Rolls).

Piers Gaveston was the favourite, and probably the lover, of Edward II, who made him Earl of Cornwall. He aroused the hostility of the barons, who resented his political influence on the King. At their insistence, he was several times exiled and eventually executed in 1312.  Thomas L’Ercedekne took over the governship of Tintagel Castle.

The Norman castle at Tintagel had been built in 1233 by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother to Henry III. It stands on a precipitous headland on the North Cornish coast. The outermost part of the headland is joined to the rest by a narrow bridge of rock.

Ralegh Radford, who excavated the site, believed that it had been a Celtic monastery in the Dark Ages. Later archaeology has favoured a high-status secular site. It may have been one of the strongholds of King Mark of Cornwall, who appears in the Arthurian legends but is also an historical figure.

The Arthurian legends were popularised by Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his.History of the Kings of Britain of 1196.

The Norman castle seems to have been something of a romantic folly from the start. The fort is not in a strategically important position and the style of fortification was already old-fashioned, unlike Richard’s other new castle at Launceston. The intention was probably to link Richard with the legends of King Arthur, which were popular both with the English common people and the Norman aristocracy. The sea-girt, gale-lashed site could not have been a comfortable place to live.

After Richard’s death in 1272  the castle fell into disrepair. It became the responsibility of the Sheriff of Cornwall. It was overseen by a constable or governor, who held the castle in the name of the king.

It is unlikely that the L’Ercedeknes lived at Tintagel. Thomas, like many major landowners, would have led a peripatetic life, visiting his many manors in Cornwall, Devon and beyond. His duties as Sheriff of Cornwall would have taken him around the county presiding over courts and maintaining order. He was summoned to Parliament in many parts of the country, and was sometimes called to military service against the Scots and the French.

When Thomas  was summoned to Parliament as a baron in 1321 he was said to be ‘of Shepestall’, suggesting that this was his principal home. His wife and children would not usually have accompanied him on his travels. The L’Ercedeknes may well have preferred their family home in Ruan Lanihorne, on the sheltered banks of the Fal, to a castle in poor repair on a windswept headland. Earl Richard used Tintagel Castle a summer home for a few weeks a year. We do not know whether the L’Ercedekne family ever played on the cliffs around the dilapidated castle.

Thomas’s brother Odo became governor of of Trematon Castle in Saltash.

Around 1312, Thomas de Ercedekene petitioned the King, Edward II, with two requests.

1) He requests allowance of the expenses and costs that he has incurred in Tintagel Castle after the time that the late earl of Cornwall had livery of it, as he has been put to great costs in the repair of the turrets and walls.

2) He requests that the king will grant his commission of the custody and marriage of the lands and heirs of Walter Alet, which Piers Gaveston gave him before his death, of which he is now seised.[3]

Thomas L’Ercedekne had evidently made friends with Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall,  before he was executed. When a landed person died, leaving heirs under the age of majority, these heirs became wards of the King. It was customary to grant the oversight of their estates to one of the king’s supporters. This included the right to decide whom the heirs should marry. This could be a lucrative arrangement for the guardian. Piers Gaveston gave guardianship of the Alet girls to Thomas.

‘Walter Alet, on the day on which he died, viz : Friday next before the Feast of All Saints 1st Edward II (1307), was seized, inter alia, conjointly with his wife Isota, of the third part of one acre of land in Kilmonseg, and that Margery his daughter, ” antenata,” and Alianora his daughter, “postnata,” were his nearest heirs, and that the said Margery was aged 9 years, and the said Alianora was aged 6 years. (Inq. p. ni. 2nd Edward II, No. 31.) It appears from a further Inquisition, taken after the death of Isolda (sic) who was the wife of the aforesaid Walter de Alet, that John de Alet father of the said Walter granted, by his charter, to Serlone de Nansladron, the manor of Alet for the term of the life of the said John, that after the death of John Walter, as son and heir, entered upon the manor, but that Serlone ejected him, and that upon the death of Serlone, it fell into the King’.s hands by reason of the minority of the heirs of Walter de Alet, and thus still remained in the King’s hands. (Inq. p. m. 10th Edward II, No. 26.) [4]

The Serlo de Nansladron referred to here was the second husband of Amice, Thomas`s mother and widow of Odo L`Arcedekne. This confirms the impression of Serlo as an unscrupulous baron.

The king  granted Thomas L’Ercedekne wardship of Walter Alet’s lands and the marriage of his daughters on 11 November 1312.

The widowed Isolda evidently objected to this arrangement. She petitioned the King to have the custody and marriage of her daughters, the heirs of Walter de Alet, “paying as much as any other will give.”[5]

Evidently the disposition of the dead man’s lands and the hands of his heirs in marriage was sufficiently lucrative to warrant an offer of payment by the one who sought the wardship.

Not only did Isolda lose her case but she had another reason for grievance. Around 1312 she again petitioned the king. She requests remedy as the earl of Cornwall ordered his steward to provide dower for her from the lands of her husband but he delayed until after the death of the earl to her great damage, the lands were then taken into the king’s hand and the custody granted to Archdeacon during the minority of the heir and he grievously wasted the same to the damage of the petitioner and the disinheritance of the right heir.[6]

In 1312-13 both Thomas and Odo were summoned to give an account of their stewardship of Tintagel and Trematon Castles respectively. John de Bedewynd (Bedwyn) Sheriff of Cornwall, petitioned the Lieutenant of the treasurer and the barons of the Exchequer. He requests a writ to make the Archdeacon brothers come at the same day that is assigned to the sheriff and his ministers as they have not made their proffer in accordance with their commissions of the king to hold the castles of Tintagel and Trematon.[7]

In the same year, Thomas’s brother Odo made a similar petition to the king about his expenses for the upkeep of Trematon Castle in Saltash, on the Cornish bank of the Tamar estuary.[8] He requests that he is allowed the expenses that he has put on the keeping of his castle of Trematon, and he requests also that he is granted the River Tamar together with [adjacent lands?].

Thomas was kept busy with assignments in Westminster, Scotland and abroad. He was appointed to high office as M.P., Sheriff and Governor.

1313. Sept. 23. Summoned to Parliament at Westminster as K* of the Shire (Palgrave, I, 104)..  The Thomas who was summoned to Parliament is considered by Dugdale as Ercedekne of Sheepstall. “The military writs and other miscellaneous entries relating to the individuals of this name cannot be appropriated with any certainty, nor can it be ascertained to which of the Ercedeknes the entries in Vol. I, p. 584, refer ” (Palgrave). (He appears not to have known that Sheepstall was a hamlet in Elerky). 1313-4. Referred to as Sheriff of Cornwall at Launceston (Stapeldon’s Reg., fol. 200 b).  He acquired another ward.1313-4. Jany. 14. Appointed executor for John Arundelle. On 11 March of the same year Bp. Stapeldon sold to Thomas Lercedeakne for “centum libris sterlingorum” (£100) the wardship of John, son of John Arundell, together with the custody of the ” Manerium de la Heme ” (Lanhern) during the minority of the said heir (Stapeldon’s Reg., fol. 102).  Bishop Walter Stapeldon was the brother of our ancestors Joan Stapeldon who married Thomas Keynes, and another sister who married John Prudhome .[9] 1315. Jany. 20. Summoned to Parliament at Westminster as Knight of the Shire (Palgrave, I, 141).  1316. Aug. 20. Summoned to Newcastle for military service against the Scots (Palgrave, I, 178).  1321. “Summoned to Parliament 15 May, 1321, to 13 Sept., 1324, by writs directed Thomas Lercedekne, whereby he may be held to have been Lord Archdekne ” (Vicary Gibbs).  He was now not merely a knight but a baron, summoned to the House of Lords. In 1321 the church at Ruan Lanihorne was restored and enlarged. It is likely that Thomas, as patron,  had a hand in this and contributed funds for the work.

Ruan Lanihorne stands on the old coach road from Penzance to London. The Village Church – dedicated to St. Rumonus in 1321 – is built of local grey, slate stone and is gothic in style… The font is dated about the 14th Century and is Norman.

The creek at Ruan Lanihorne is a bird lovers’ paradise as it provides a haven for waders and waterfowl. The gentle hills and leafy lanes are a joy for walking enthusiasts and explorers.

The earliest recorded rector of the church was Sir William de Bodrygan in 1282, although there was probably some form of church prior to this and F Hitchens in his ‘History of Cornwall’ (1824) thought that an early church was built on the site in 936.  There is a small shield in the church that tells us that the church was built in 1321, however this was probably a consecration following a rebuild.  The east wall of the chancel can be observed to be of a different and heavier construction when compared to the surrounding structures, this may well date to the earlier church of 936.  The rest of the south aisle and part of the south transept date to the early 14th century. [10]  

The parish church was dedicated to St Rumon on 17th October 1321. It comprises a chancel, nave, north aisle, and south transept. The arcade has six four-centred arches of porcelain stone. A shield on the south cornice of the nave bears the words: Built 1321... The tower is of one stage and contains two bells.  [Sir Thomas?] [11]

In 1321, two Portuguese merchants, Alfonso Piers and Gounsal Piers complained of the theft of their goods stolen from their ship by men of Cornwall. They petitioned the King and Council to take action against these Cornish pirates. They asked for Thomas Lercedekne, together with  Chambernoun and Wethergrove to enquire into the matter. [12]Endorsement: Note for the appointment of a commission of inquiry.Searley adds:1321. Investigating the piracies so common on the Devon and Cornish coasts. It appears that certain men of Cornwall had attacked a Portuguese ship near Falmouth, and carried off ship and goods to the value of £400 to Penryn.

1321. Ordered to abstain from attending the meeting of “Good Peers” illegally convened by the Earl of Lancaster to be held at Doncaster (Maclean).  Thomas Earl of Lancaster’s “Good Peers” were a faction opposed to Piers Gaveston, Edward II’s favourite, who had been made Earl of Cornwall. He was killed by a group of barons in 1312. They later raided the lands of the Despensers. Hugh le Despenser, the Younger, was another of Edward’s favourites. Thomas L’Ercedekne heeded the order to stay away from the meeting in November 1321. He was loyal to Edward II and his supporters.  In 1321-22 we have shocking evidence of another aspect of Thomas’s character. The people of Cornwall addressed a plea to the king, Edward II, and his council. [13]

The people of Cornwall make numerous complaints of corruption against Thomas Lercedekne, appointed to seize corn and wine for the King’s use, stating that he seized both corn and wine without paying for them, that he made his own people bailiffs to supervise the seizing of corn, without using sheriffs or the King’s bailiffs, that he would not let people have their corn to eat or sow, or merchants their wines, without paying him, that he attached people’s stores which were for their own use, and that he had a commission to attach people and have them hanged and drawn, which he used to extort money from people.

Endorsement: He is to wait. This petition is to be sent to the Treasurer and Barons of the Exchequer, and everyone who has been harmed by this is to have his recovery there against the said Thomas by writ of the Exchequer, if he wishes to sue. Or they are to wait until the King has appointed certain faithful people to inquire into these oppressions. 1322. 2 and 6 Feb. Summoned for service against the Scots at York ; also to raise as many men-at-arms as he can, and hold himself in readiness to march when summoned (Palgrave, I, 545 and 614).  1322. 14 Feb. Muster at Coventry to march against rebels adherent to the Earl of Lancaster (Palgrave, I, 547).  1322. May 7. Instructed to surcease from enforcing levies in maritime townships in Cornwall (Palgrave, I, 567).  1322. June 2. Ordered not to proceed with the task of raising 500 foot-soldiers as a truce had been concluded with the Scots rebels to last until June 12th, and for thirteen years from that date (Close Rolls, memb. 4d.).  1322. ” It may be worthy of remark that on 27 Nov., 1322, he was commanded to assemble as many men as he could . . . and to repair to such of his manors as were nearest to York to march from thence against the Scots in case of invasion ” (Maclean).  Note. — From 1322 onwards it is possible that the M.P. for Cornwall is Thomas (3dl) [Our Thomas’s cousin, son of his uncle John] , as Thomas (4a) was summoned as a Baron. Still the fact remains that there was no Thomas M.P. after 1330. [Our Thomas died in 1331.] 1323. March 9. In spite of the truce of 1322, he was again summoned for service against the Scots and to raise as many men-at-arms as he can over the contingent due by tenure. On Ap. 25 he is commanded to raise 200 foot-soldiers ; on Ap. 18 he is ordered to provide pack-saddles for the army in case they advance without waggon-train ; but on June 2 he is discharged from attendance from the muster and commanded to stay execution of commission (Palgrave, I, 632).  1318-9. 20 Jan. (Devon F. of F. 1079, 12 Edw. II). Between Odo le Ercedekne and Alice his wife, claimants, and Ralph le Ercedekne, deforciant, as to 2 messuages, 3 ploughlands, 60 acres of meadow, 15 acres of wood, and 51s. 3d. of rent in Cokebiry (Cookbury) and Cokebirwyk (Cookbury Wick) next Bradeford, and 3 parts of the manor of Asshewauter. Ralph granted these to Odo and Alice and their heirs for ever. Should they die without heirs, then the aforesaid 3 parts of the manor of Asshwauter shall remain in their entirety to the right heirs of Alice, and the other tenements shall remain to the right heirs of Odo. In 1323 this tenement was the subject of an action by Thomas (4a) against his brother’s estate (Devon F. of F., No. 1115. 16 Edw. III. 29 May, 1323.) At York. Between Walter de Stapeldon, Bishop of Exeter, and Richard de Stapeldon, claimants, by Adam de Baunton in Richard’s place, and Thomas le Ercedekne, deforciant, as to 10 messuages, 2 mills, 6 ploughlands, 100 acres of meadow, 100s. of rent, and a moiety of 1 knight’s fee in Cokebiry and Cokebyrywyk. The Bishop acknowledged the tenements to be the right of Thomas. For this Thomas undertook for himself and heirs that the said tenements which Alice, who was the wife of Odo le Arcedekne held for term of her life of the inheritance of the aforesaid Thomas in the said township on the day on which this agreement was made, and which after her death ought to revert to Thomas and his heirs should remain in their entirety to the Bishop and Richard and the heirs of Richard, etc. For this the Bishop and Richard gave to Thomas 10 silver marks.  The Odo and Alice referred to here are Thomas’s brother and his wife, not his parents.  1323. Nov. 20. Summoned to Parliament for 20 Jany., 1324 (Palgrave, I, 287). Dec. 26, same year, resummoned to Parliament prorogued to Feb. 23, 1324 (Palgrave, I, 287-9).  1324. May 9. Returned by the Sheriff as being in Gascony on the King’s service (Palgrave, I, 655).  1324. Aug. 4. Summoned for service in person for the defence of the Duchy of Acquitaine, etc., and to raise all the force he can in addition to his contingent due by tenure (Palgrave, I, 664).  1324. Sept. 13. Summoned to Parliament at Salisbury; afterwards altered to London, but to which he was not resummoned (Palgrave, I, 317).  1325. ” Sir Thomas Lercedekne, governor of Tintagel, was summoned as a Baron to Parliament 14th to 18th Edw. Ill ” (Rogers).  1325. Feb. 17 and May 1.  Summoned to Portsmouth for military service in Gascony (Palgrave,’ I, 714); but on July 10, he was discharged from attending (idem I, 723). On 21 Dec. he was again summoned (idem I, 684).

The L’Ercedeknes’ connection with the manor and parish of Shobrooke, near Crediton, in Devon is first recorded in the time of Thomas’s great-grandfather Michael L’Ercedekne. It continues in Thomas’s  time with a 15th-century document which relates, in part, to 1327.

Copy of deeds relating to the manor and advowson of Shobrooke
(b) Fine, of Shobrooke manor, Urban de Trewit and Idonia his wife querants and Thomas Archdeacon deforciants. The querants recognize two thirds of the manor to be the right of Thomas Archdeacon, and further acknowledge that the remaining third shall descend to Thomas after the death of Serlo of Nanslandron and Amice his wife, who holds the third of the manor in dower. Undated.
(c) Grant by Robert of Stokheia to Robert, son of Richard of Stokheia, of the manor of Shobrooke (except certain lands in East Rew, West Rew, and Wylie). The manor is to be held by Robert son of Richard for the life of Robert de Stokheia at a rent of £20; after the death of Robert de Stokheia the manor is to descend to Thomas Archdeacon, knight. 8 May, 1327.[14]

Serlo of Nanslanddron was Thomas’s mother’s second husband.

1327 was a momentous year in the history of England. Edward II’s queen Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer led a popular uprising against the king. Bishop Walter Stapeldon of Exeter, who was also Lord Treasurer, was left to lead the defence of London. He was murdered by a mob. King Edward was captured. He died in prison. It was widely believed that he was impaled on a red-hot poker at the instigation of the queen. Isabella and Mortimer ruled England during the minority of her son, Edward III. Thomas L’Arcedekne had evidently been on the side of Edward II and his supporters. 1327. Feb. 24. Pardon to Thomas Lercedekne for adherence to Hugh le Despenser the elder and other the King’s enemies and rebels (Pat. Rolls, memb. 32). The elder Despencer had been slain at Bristol the previous year. Ap. 11, 1332. Commission to Robert de Assheleye, Richard de Haccombe, and Walter de la Grave, on information that goods of the late king were carried away from his manor of Fulmere, Berks, at the time of the pursuit of Hugh le Despenser, to make inquisition what goods the King had there, by whom stolen, etc.” This Richard appears to have been the same person as the Richard de Hattecoumbe who was appointed J.P. for Dublin ” during pleasure” the following year (Pat. Rolls, memb. 19, Oct. 2, 1333). Again, in 1335, from the same source of information we find that Richard de Haccoumbe and others were appointed to enquire into a complaint concerning a distraint of oxen by the king, which oxen had been illegally rescued.  The late referred to here is Edward II, and the present king the infant Edward III. Thomas L’Ercedekne had been loyal to Edward II, and to his supporters, the powerful Despenser family. Sometime in or befoe 1328, Thomas and Matilda’s son John married Cicely de Haccombe. She may have been related to Richard de Haccombe. 1329. May 18. Commission of the Peace to Hugo de Curtenay ‘Le fitz” in the co. of Devon, and to Thomas Lercedekne in the co. of Cornwall (Pat. Rolls, memb. 16).  1329. Commanded to provide 40 dolia of wine and provisions for the Scots expedition (Close Rolls). These levies of provisions became a burden too heavy to be borne ; and we find the people petitioning against Thomas for seizing wine and corn for the King’s service without paying for them, to such an extent that the corn grown in the county was not enough for the wants of the people (Pari. Rolls, I, 387).  1328-9. Feb. 9. Cornwall F. of F., No. 502 (see Treberneth, supra). At York. Between Thomas le Ercedekne and Matilda his wife, claimants, and Michael de Trenewyth (in Probus) senr. deforciant, as to the manor of Treberveth. Finding of Court: To have and to hold to Thomas and Matilda and the heirs male of their bodies. Should they die without heirs the manor shall revert to John son of the said Thomas and the heirs which he shall have begotten of Cecilia, d. of Jordan de Haccombe. Should John die without heirs begotten of Cecilia the manor shall revert to the heirs of Thomas.  F. of F., No. 503 (same date). Between Thomas son of Odo Le Erc’edekne and Michael de Trenewyth, senr., as to the manors of Elerky, Lanrihoern, and Laundege, (Kea), and the advowson of the Church of Lanrihoern. Thomas acknowledged the right of Michael, etc. Finding of court similar to No. 502.  1329-30. (Rot. Fin. 3 Edw. III). Treberveth (Trebarwith) was vested in Michael Trenewith, senr., and on June 22 Thomas Lercedekne made fine with the King in 2 marks for license to acquire it of Michael, the manor being held of the King in capite as of the Earldom of Cornwall. At the Inq. p.m. on Thomas it appears that the manor was held of the Castle of Launceston in socage by the rent of 13s. 2£d. per annum for all services, and that it consisted of 5 Cornish acres, which were of the value of 100s. per annum.  1329-30. 26 Jan. (Pat. Rolls, Part I, memb. 38). At S. Albans. Licence for Michael de Trenywith the elder to grant the manors of Elerky, Lanyhoern, and Laundege to Thomas son of Odo le Ercedekne for life, with remainder to John son of Thomas, and his heirs by Cecily, d. of Jordan de Haccombe. By fine of 40s. ” Licence for Michael Trenwith the elder, to grant the manor of Treberneth, held in chief as of the county of Cornwall, to Thomas Lercedekne and Matilda his wife in tail male, with remainder to John, son of the said Thomas and his heirs by Cicely, dau. of Jordan de Haccombe, and to the right heirs of Thomas. By fine 2 marks ” (Pat. Bolls, memb. 37, 26 Jany, 1329-30).  On 20 Feb., 1329-30. * Matilda Lercedekne obtained a Lenten Dispensation from Bp. Grandisson (Epis. Reg., fol. 29) to obtain milk, etc., on account of her physical infirmities. The document is of sufficient interest to quote in full : ” Johannes, etc. dilecte filie Matildi, uxori Thome Lercedekne, Militis, salutens etc. — Ex parte tua, Peticio nobis exhibita continebat quod, cum sis nunc gravida et partui vicena, (et) escis piscium stomachum tuum nequeas coaptare, (ut) pro corporis tui sanitate lacticiniis, hoc instanti tempore Quadragesimali, licite possis uti, Licenciam impendere dignaremur. Nos, igitur, hujusmodi Petioioni juste et racionabili, si ita sit, favorabiliter inclinati, ad scrupulum consciencie tue removendum, quatinus de medicorum consciencia butero ac lacte, ceterisque lactiniis, in hoc casu uti licite valeas, tempore Quadragesimali non obstante quatenus ad nos pertinet Licenciam concedimus specialem. Ita, tamen quod elemosinarum largicione ac aliis operibus caritatis, et oracionibus devotis debita per te fiat recompensacio Deo grata. Vale. Data apud Cliste, 20 Feb. 1329-30.”  1331. (Cal. of Inquisitions, 345, 5 Edw. III. Elerky,Larihorn, Laundegg. These manors, including the advowson of the church of Larihorn and a park there with wild beasts, held of the gift of Michael de Treno with for his life, with remainder after the death of Thomas to John his son, and the said John and his heirs by Cicely, d. of Jordan de Haccombe by service of rendering a greyhound at Bodmin on Easter Day to the steward of Cornwall.  Sir Thomas Archdeacon also exercised much Church patronage, as may be seen from a perusal of the Episcopal Register of Bishop Stapeldon — in each case “ad pres. Dom Thome Le Ercedekne, Militis.” He presented these clergymen to churches in the South West. 1308, Dec. 21. In eccl. Creditonie, William Storke, subdeacon; also Oliver de Roscof, deacon. 1309, Mar. 15. In eccl. S. Karontoci (St. Crantock). William Storck de Tregbni, deacon. 1310, Ap. 18. In eccl. Cath. Exon., William Stork, priest. 1312, Mar. 11. In eccl. Convent. Tottonie, Radulphus de Bocyny, deacon.1313, Dec. 22. In eccl. Convent Tottonie, Radulphus de Bocyny, priest. 1315, Dec. 20. In eccl. Cath. Exon., Ric. Bruwyn, and Henricus de Cornwaille, priests. 1317, Sep. 24. In eccl. Cap. S. Jac de Tengemue (Teignmouth), John Adou, Gregorius de Redruth and Roger Ruel, subd. 1318, Junel7. Ineccl.Conv. S. Germani, John Adou, deacon. 1318, Sept. 23. In eccl. Cath. Exon., Richard Trevayles de legitimatus, subd. 1319, Sept. 22. In eccl. Cath. Exon., Richard Trevayles, subd. and John Adou, priest. 1320, Sept. 20. In eccl. Axminster, Richard Trevailes, priest, and Thomas Donnynge, subd. 1320. St. Ruan Lanyhorne, Sir W m de Mileburne first occurs as Rector 21 Dec, 1308. On his resignation Master Henry Bloyou, Clerk, was inst. 10 June, 1320. Same patron. 1321, Sept. 19. In eccl. Cath. Exon., John Gras subd. and Thomas Donnynge, deacon.  Thomas 4(a) died in 1331, aged c. 56. Inq. p.m. held 5 Edw. Ill (1331-2). His will states that his son John was 25 years old, and m. to Cecily, dau. of Jordan de Haccombe.  After the death of her husband Matilda seems to have passed through deep waters, for Grandisson’s Reg., fol. 183, deals with the sentence of Excommunication passed 19 July, 1334, upon ” Domina Matillide, relicta Thome Lercedekne, Militis, defuncti,” for adultery with Jullanus de Treganhay.     Searley comments, chauvinistically: She had not even the excuse of youth, for she must have been at least 45 years old at the time, and her son John was then 28.  Thomas L’Arcedekne, son of Odo, has sometimes been confused with his cousin Thomas L’Arcedekne, son of John.In June, 1337, things were looking dark for Thomas Archdeacon, for in ten days there were three warrants issued for his arrest. (I) Pat. Rolls, memb. 31d. June 2, 1337. At Stamford. ” Appointment, pursuant to the ordinance of the late Parliament at Westminster for the arrest of suspected persons, of John Hamely, Sheriff of Cornwall, to arrest Thomas Lercedekne, and to have him safely kept in Launceveton prison until further order.” (2) Pat. Rolls memb. 14d. June 9, 1337. At Stamford. ” Appointment of John Dauney, Ralph Bloyeu, and John Cole, Sheriff of Cornwall, to arrest and imprison at Launceston Thomas le Erchedekne.” (3) Pat. Rolls memb. 14d, June 12, 1337. At Stamford. ” Appointment of John Lercedekne, John Dauney, John Darundell, and Ralph Bloyou, Knights, to arrest and imprison at Exeter, Thomas Lercedekne, KV Ralph Bloyou was in 1336 M.P. (with Sir John Archdeacon) for Cornwall. John Dauney was in 1316 M.P. for Dorset. The John Lercedekne referred is probably our Thomas’s son. From the expression “arrest of suspected persons ” (supra) it would appear that the offence committed by Thomas was a political one, but the sequel shows it to have been ecclesiastical, for the following week he was publicly excommunicated in Exeter Cathedral. Prebendary Hingeston Randolph, on p. 1709 of the General Index to Bp. Grandisson’s Register, Vol. Ill, says, “Sir Thomas Lercedekne Knt. and Matilda his wife, 559. His excommunication, public penance in the Cathedral and absolution, 841.” This is incorrect and misleading, for the inference is that the guilty person was Thomas (4a), the husband of Matilda; and this belief seems to have been general. There is a certain amount of pleasure, after the lapse of six centuries, in being able to clear the character of a man with such a splendid record, and to fix the guilt on the right shoulders. Thomas (4a) son of Odo,” died in 1331, and the excommunication did not take place until June 16th, 1337, thus convicting Thomas (3dl) son of John. Unfortunately it is not quite clear as to what charges were preferred against him, for “folio 207 has been cut out of the register, the stump of the extracted leaf still remaining to tell the tale” (footnote by Preb. H. Eandolph). This looks as if some member of the family had endeavoured to remove all traces of the disgrace. Dr. Oliver, on p. 7 of the Additional Supplement of the Monasticon, under the heading of ” Crantock Collegiate Church,” refers to the offence as “some trespass on this establishment or some parochial churches.” As far as can be gathered from his “Confession,” Thomas had offended “in particular against Sir William de Londay, Dean of the Church of Carentoke (Crantock) ; Sir Richard de Gomersale, canon of Glasney ; John Billounde de Trethuwel, and Master William de Carslake.” There is a full account of the ceremony in Grandisson’s Reg., fol. 208, showing how thoroughly things were done in those days, from “Excommunicacionis Majoris ” to public Confession, Penance, and Absolution. The penitent was led to the Great Altar of Exeter Cathedral, “nudus pedes et caput, camisia et tunica tantum indutus, zona deposita, virgam deferens in manibus, et petiit a Sentencia super adicta humiliter se absolvi.” This Thomas probably died c. 1354.  Still, it may be looking at it through rose-tinted spectacles to describe our own Thomas as “a man with such a splendid record.” Certainly he held high public office. But Isold Alet had a different opinion about his custody of her daughters and their lands. In 1345 Matilde de Haccombe was Prioress of Canonsleigh (ordinis Sancti Augustini). ” Sue humiles et devote filie Matillis de Haccombe ” (Grandisson’s Reg., fol. 125b). Her identity is very uncertain. It has been suggested that she was the relict of Sir Thomas, making atonement for her past; but this seems improbable considering her record. (Was she sister of Jordan de Haccombe?).

Thomas  and Matilda’s daughter Elinor married James Treviado. There may have been another daughter.

1348, 2 Dec. Matilda Lercedekne (5d) “damsel, of the Diocese of Exeter is authorised to choose a confessor who shall give her, being penitent, plenary remission at the hour of death, with the usual safeguards ” (Papal Reg. 7 Clement VI). This may have been a daughter of Thomas and Matilda.


Matilda died after 11 June 1362P4


[1] Most genealogical information is from Searley, A.W.,“Haccombe, Part II, (1330-1440)”, Report & Transactions of the Devonshire Association Vol 51 (1919).
[2] From: ‘General history: Market and borough towns and fairs’, Magna Britannia: volume 3: Cornwall (1814), pp. XXXVI-XLII. URL: http://www.british-istory.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50610
[3] National Archives: SC 8/327/E796
[4] Arthur Roland Maddison, Lincolnshire Pedigrees (Vol 2), www.ebooksread.com.
[5] National Archives: SC8/318/E299
[6] National Archives: SC 8/327/E324
[7]  National Archives: SC 8/327/E824
[8] National Archives: SC 8/327/E818
[10] Carol Hughes, The History of Ruan Lanihorne .
[11] Genuki
[12] SC 8/205/10222
[13] SC 8/99/4921
[14] National Archives: Access to Archives: Z1/27/1/1





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