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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 TOREL was the third of that name. His father was another John Torel. We do not know his mother’s name.

He came from a long line of Torels holding the manors of West Thurrock and Little Thurrock on the Essex bank of the Thames estuary. The Torels held the latter by rendering the service of Serjeant Naperer, responsible for the king’s table linen on occasions such as the coronation.

We do not have evidence that John performed this office. If we had his Inquisition Post Mortem for Essex, that would probably have told us.  His father and son were both Serjeant Naperers, so it is almost certain that John was.

John was born around 1306, near the end of the reign of Edward I.

He was his father’s eldest son and heir. We do not know of any siblings.


MARGERY DE ABYNDON was the daughter of the alderman Stephen de Abyndon and Joanna le Blund.[1] We know of two brothers, Richard and Thomas, and a sister Isabella.

Her father was a member of the Drapers’ Company, sometime Sheriff of London and subsequently Mayor of London.


John’s father died in 1329, when John was “aged 23 or more”. John inherited the manors of West and Little Thurrock in Essex, and Bepton in Sussex.  He settled the manor of Bepton on himself and his wife Margery and their issue.


That year, there was a dispute between “John Torel and Margery, daughter of Stephen de Abyndon, querents, and Bartholomew Baudewyne, deforciant. It concerned the manor of West Thurrok in Essex and a moiety of the manor of Bebynton (Bepton) in Sussex. John acknowledged the manor, moiety and advowson to be the right of Bartholomew, as those which Bartholomew has of his gift.

In return, Bartholomew granted to John and Margery the manor, moiety and advowson and has rendered them to them in the court, to hold to John and Margery and the heirs of their bodies, of the chief lords for ever. In default of such heirs, remainder to the right heirs of John.”[2]

The advowson was the right to appoint the rector of the church.


St Mary’s, Bepton [3]


The couple had a son Thomas, born around 1332.


The Calendar of Patent Rolls for 1340 tell us that John son of John Shepgrom the elder acquired from John Torel of West Thurrck 14 acres of land and four acres of marsh in Little Thurrock. The Torels lived at Torrells Hall in West Thurrock.


The family survived the Black Death of 1348-9, which killed up to half the population. John and Margery died in the following decade.

John died in 1355. There would have been  Inquisitions Post Mortem, listing the properties he owned in each county, and naming his heir. This was Thomas, then aged about 23.


Margery died the following year, on 26 Dec 1356. Her son Thomas was then aged 24. At her death, Margery held half the manor of Bepton, sometimes known as Bebiton.

The Inquisitions Post Mortem for her land in Sussex tells us that it was:

Bebiton. A moiety of the manor (extent given) held for her life by gift of John Torel, sometime her husband. The extent includes 9/- yearly rent issuing from ‘le Estcourt’ there from the heirs of William Basset or those  holding the aforesaid court, payable within nine days after Hokeday and nine days after Michaelmas in equal portions [as] by a composition made of old by the ancestors of John Torel and William Basset more fully appears. The said tenements are held of the heir of John de Orrebi, a minor in the king’s wardship, by service of a quarter of a knight’s fee.
She died on 26 December last, as the jury understand. Thomas Torel her son, aged 24 years and more, is her heir.

Bebyton. A moiety of the manor (extent given) held for her life by gift of John Torel, formerly her husband. The extent includes a wood the pasture of which is worth 3s. 4d. from Hokeday to the Gules of August, rents of free tenants 53s. 4d., and a rent of 9l. issuing from a moiety of the manor of Estcourt which was William Basset’s, payable twice a year within nine days after Hokeday and after Michaelmas, as appears by a composition made of old between the ancestors of John Torel and William Basset, as the jury understand. The said tenements are held of the heirs of John de Orreby and John Bernak, minors in the king’s wardship, by service of a quarter of a knight’s fee.
She died 29 December last. Heir as above.
She held no other lands in Sussex.

Hoke Day was a medieval festival held on the Monday and Tuesday of the second week after Easter.

Estcourt and Westcourt were manors in Bepton.



[1] Sylvia Thrupp. The Merchant Class of Medieval London. 1948. https://www.genuki.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/images/big/eng/LND/Indexes/MEDMCHTS.txt
[2]National Archives. CP 25/1/286/35, number 41
[3] 3West Sussex info.




Sampson Tree