Charlotte image

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 JOHN DE REIGNY was a major landowner in North Somerset in the first half of the 14th centuy. He was lord of the the manors of Rhode, Shearston and Melcombe in North Petherton, just south of Bridgwater, and of Milverton, west of Taunton.

He appears to be the son and heir of an older John de Reigny and his wife Joan. John senior held the manor of Shearston in 1285, and by 1291 Joan de Reigny owned rents there. The indication is that John senior died early in the 1290s.

The younger John de Reigny had succeeded to the manor of Melcombe by 1312. We conclude from this gap that he was still an infant when his father died and that his mother managed his estates until he came of age.

In 1298 a perambulation was made of all the royal forests in Somerset by the view of Macolm de Harleigh and John de Wrothesley for the king and Baldric de Nunnington and Sir Hugh Popham for the county. Sabina Peche was the forester and Gilbert de la Putter the verderers. The bounds of the forest were confirmed on 22 March by a sworn jury including John de Reyny[1] The dates make it unlikely that this was either John the elder, who was probably dead by then, or John the younger whom we believe to be still a minor.

In 1308 John de Reigny the younger granted land in Shearston and Rhode to another John de Reigny and his son John for their lives in succession. John de Reigny paid a relief for Rhode in 1311-12. This multiple use of the name makes it difficult to be certain we have the right identification. They are likely to be closely related.


We do not know who John the younger married. He appears to have left no surviving sons. His heir was his daughter Elizabeth, the wife of Sir John Paulet of Pawlett and Cruk in Somerset and Legh Paulet in Devon. The lands that passed to her made her a considerable heiress.


The Rainey (Reigny) arms were Gules, a pair of Wings conjoined in Lure, Argent.[2]

A lure is a bunch of feathers on a line, used to recall a hawk.

Much of John’s life would have been lived in the reign of the unpopular King Edward II (1307 – 1327). The prosperity of the previous reign was ending. There were disastrous harvests in 1314-16 and a severe disease of cattle. Many people died from starvation or illness.


We do not know when John de Reigny died. He is unlikely to have lived to see the Black Death of 1348.


[1] www.everythingexmoor.org.uk
[2] Arthur Collins, Peerage of England. www.books,google.co.uk.




Sampson Tree