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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)




Philip Denebaud and Alice Gifford had at least three sons, William, Matthew and Hamo, and possibly a fourth, Thomas.


The eldest was William. When William married, Philip gave him half the estate of Hinton St George, which had come to the Denebauds from Alice.

William died before his father. He was succeeded by his son Philip junior, who was only 7 when his grandfather died in 1246. Philip senior’s IPM says:The wife of William has all the land which Philip gave to William. The witnesses to the IPM had difficulty determining whether William’s lands should go to his son Philip junior or to William’s youngest brother Hamo.

Philip junior grew up to marry Cicely Grindham. She brought him Holebrook Farm. This is very near the farm subsequently known as Denbow, from the Denebauds. Denbow Farm may have been part of that.

‘From the land of Holebroc Grindeham, (alias Withienfurze in Aylesbeare) there used to come one tithing man and do the accustomed suit to the Hundred in presenting pleas of the Crown. This suit has been withdrawn by Philip DENELAND for the last 4 years on the ground that he holds all his land in lordship to the King’s loss of 3d a year.’ The date of this report is, 3rd. Edw. 1. A.D. 1274.[1]

In Domesday, Colbroca, (Vict. Hist. p. 441) in testa de Nevil, 1191, p. 191a, Holbrook, afterwards Holbrook Grindham from William de Gringdeham, the teneant, in “Feudal Aids” pp. 365, 427, Holbrook Moor, and subsequently Holbrook Denebaut,

Some family trees make Philip, husband of Cicely, the son of Philip and Alice. Others have him as the son of William Denebaud and Alice Hereward, and grandson of John Denebaud. But contemporary documents confirm him as Philip senior’s grandson.

Like many of the Denebauds. Philip travelled abroad. He is probably the Philip Denebaud who is reported to have gone to Ireland on official business with a John Mautravers in July, 1280.[2]

This Philip, Hamo’s nephew, is mostly associated with lands in East Devon, like Holebrook Grindham, which is in the parish of Farringdon. But he also had connections with Somerset properties, including a share of Hinton St George, until at least 1303.

In 1295-6 there was a lawsuit between Philip Denebaud and Peter and Matilda Puddyng, over lands in “Cobbaton, next Wympol; St Mary (Whimple).[3] In 1296 there was another, this time including rents of Hinton St George.[4]

In 1303, there are references to William, Philip’s son, giving land at “Middetuna” and at “Heantuna” (probably Middleton and Hinton St. George) to the “monks of Ferleia.” Farleigh was a monastery in Wiltshire.

Philip was a noted figure in Devon. Philip of Henton was chief bailiff of Exeter in 1301-2 and in 1304-5,  and Philip Denebaud in 1305-6. The bailiff and his clerk were paid £4. Philip of Henton was also MP for Exeter in 1302 and Philip Denebaud in 1309. [5]



The Victoria County History of Somerset tells us that Philip and Alice’s eldest son was William and his third son Hamon. It does not name the second son. We learn from Philip’s IPM that “William had two brothers, Matthew and Hammo, the younger one.”

The reason Matthew is missing from the Somerset history may be because  Philip left him his property in Portskewett, in Monmouthshire. He seemed to have lived in South Wales.

It has been entrusted to the bailiff of Netherwent concerning land which belonged to Philip Deneboud in Portechiwet and which the same Philip Deneboud had given to his son Matthew and had restored him into the possession of this same land at the time when he had been able to give or sell the land to whomever he wished because the King has learned about this through an investigation which the king ordered to be made to see to it that as much ownership be given to him as heir as he had at the time when the King ordered it to be taken into royal possession on the occasion of Philip’s death.[6]

The IPM seems to indicate that the land should really belong to the inheritance of William, Matthew’s older brother, who was by then dead.

Matthew seems to have remained in possession. There is evidence that Portskewett was held by Matthew Denebaud in 1271 and 1304.[7]

Matthew witnessed a charter which Bartholomew de Mora made to the church of St Mary at Tintern and the monks there. Tintern is not far from Portskewett.[8]

For Portscuet and Herberdeston, 1 knight’s fee was held by Matthew Denebaud in 1307.[9]


THOMAS. There is a sentence in Philip Denebaud’s IPM which reads: Thomas the son of Philip and his brother. No other mention of Thomas has been found. The same IPM says that Philip’s eldest son William had two brothers, Matthew and Hammo. Perhaps “Thomas” is a mis-transcription for “Hamo” or “Hamon”.



Philip had given half his land to his eldest son William at his marriage. But William died before Philip. Since William’s son was a minor, those lands passed to his wife during the son’s minority. Philip’s IPM of 1246 adds: Witnesses say that Philip, after William’s death, gave to Hamo his younger son, that half which formerly remained in his own possession, in consideration of his homage and service, on the feast day of St. Peter in Chains in the 24th year of the reign of King Henry.[1 Aug 1240][10]

We do not know who Hamo married, but he had at least one son, William.

As well as the manor of Hinton St George, Hamo owned land in the hamlet of Craft in that parish, known as Hintonscraft.

In 1267, Hamo Denebaud was a juror in an inspection into land forfeited to the king by a violent felon who had been beheaded and hanged by his feet.[11]

The same year, Hamo was falsely accused at a Somerset court of seizing land belonging to others.[12]

Somers : The assize comes to recognise whether John de Meriet, William Paviot, Hamo Denebaud, Philip Denebaud, Robert le Pestur, Robert de Ayslond, Robert his son, John Paviot and Roger de Langeford unjustly etc. disseised Sabina de Honeton of her free tenement in Meriet after the first etc. whereof she complains that they disseised her of a messuage and 36 acres of land etc.

And John de Meriet does not come, but Josceus de Launceles, his bailiff, comes and answers for John and the others and he says nothing whereby the assize should stand over, except he says that Sabina never was in seisin of the tenement so that she could be disseised of it.

The same assize comes to recognise whether John de Meriet, William Paviot, Hamo Denebaud, Robert le Pestur and Robert Bullet unjustly etc. disseised Baldwin de Meriet of his free tenement in Meriet after the first etc. where of he complains that they disseised him of 20 acres of land etc.

And John de Meriet does not come but Josceus de Laun-eles, his bailiff, comes and answers for John and the others

and he says that Baldwin never was in seisin of the aforesaid tenement so that he could be disseised of it.

Afterwards Sabina came and withdrew, therefore she and her pledges for the prosecution are in mercy ; she is pardoned because she is poor.

The Philip Denebaud who appears with Hamo is probably his nephew, son of his elder brother William.

In 1270-71, Hamo Denebaud‘, Walter de Furneus and Phillip Denebaud were ordered to give one mark for an assize to be taken before Henry de Wolavinton’.[13]


Hamo died while returning from the Holy Land c.1282, leaving his son William as his heir.

It is not clear why Hamo was in the Holy Land. The Ninth Crusade ended in 1272. There remained, however, vestiges of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, now known as the Kingdom of Acre, since Jerusalem had been lost to Saladin in 1187. Its capital was the Mediterranean port of Acre and it controlled much of the coast of present-day Israel and Lebanon. Acre was captured by the Mamluk Turks and destroyed in 1291. Hamo may have been serving in one of its garrison castles during its closing years.

The chief orders of knights guarding the Holy Land were the Templars, Hospitalers and Teutonic. Hamo might have been in one of the first two orders. Lifetime members were warrior monks, vowed to celibacy (though in reality that did not preclude illegitimate children). But it was possible to join for a limited period, before returning to secular life. Since Hamo had a legitimate son, William, he may have taken that temporary option.

Another possibility is that Hamo went to the Holy Land on pilgrimage.

Whatever the explanation, his family never saw him again.

         The Fall of Acre 1291


[1] The Denbow Diaspora. Vol.5. No.2. Dec. 2004. Trans. Devon Assoc. XXXV, p. 304.
[2] The Denbow Diaspora, Vol.11. No.2.
[3] Vol. ii, Feet of Fines, p. 65 et seq. Entry 877 – 116.
[4] Feet of Fines. 940. 24 Edward I. (20 November 1295..19 November 1296. Devon. Somerset.
[5] J. J. Alexander, ‘Leading Civic Officials of Exeter, 1330-1537’, Transactions of the Devonshire Association. LXX, p. 420, 1938.
[6] Inquisition Post Mortem, 30 Henry III, year 1246.
[7] fmg.ac/Users/Journal/02-06/Seymour.pdf
[8] RBIV2, BL, Arundel MS 19, ff. 19v-20v.
[9] Calendar of inquisitions post mortem and other analogous documents held in the Public Record Office. www.archive.org
[10] The Denbow Diaspora, Vol.11. No.2
[11] Patent Rolls, Henry III, Vol, 6, p.66. http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu.
[12] www.archive.org. Lionel Landon, ed. Somersetshire Pleas from the Rolls of the Itinerant Justices (41 Henry Iii To The End Of His Reign). Somerset Record Society.
[13] Fine Rolls Henry III: 55 Henry III (28 October 1270–27 October 1271). www.frh3.org.uk




Sampson Tree