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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



ROGER DE MOELES. The repetition of the names Nicholas, Roger, John and Alice has led to some confusion in interpreting records relating to the de Moeles family.

The 13th– century Roger was the younger son of Nicholas de Moeles and Hawise de Newmarch. His father was a soldier and diplomat, and his mother a Somerset heiress. Roger had an elder brother James and sisters Maud and Agnes. He was probably born in the 1230s or soon after.[1]

His father was a favourite of King Henry III, who gave him a number of manors and other favours. His brother James was taken to Windsor Castle to be brought up with the infant Prince Edward.

We do not know where Roger grew up. His principal home may have been one of his father’s manors, such as Kingskerswell in Devon, or one of the Somerset manors his mother brought to the marriage.

He would not have seen much of his father. Nicholas was frequently sent on military and diplomatic missions to Wales and Gascony. He was given command of castles in Wales and Kent. It is possible his wife and younger children accompanied him on a three-year posting as seneschal of Gascony, but they may have remained in England.

Roger’s elder brother died without issue, probably while still young. Roger became the heir to his parents’ considerable estates.


We do not know who Roger married. Some family historians have misread Sir William Pole, who names Alice, daughter of Sir William Prous of Gidleigh Castle, as the wife of Roger Mules. But the dates Pole gives indicate that this was a grandson of our 13th-century Roger. [2]


The couple had at least two sons, John and Nicholas.[3]


Like his father, Roger served the king as a soldier. In Jan 1263, war threatened once again in the Welsh marches. Previously Nicholas de Moeles had been summoned for military service in such circumstances. But he was now in his 60s. This time, he was ordered to send his son to the muster in his place


Roger’s father died around 1265.  Roger inherited the manors of Kingskerswell and Diptford, in SE Devon, and a number of manors in other counties.

In 1268 Roger de Molis was granted the right to hold a weekly market in Kingskerswell on Tuesdays and an annual fair on 1 September.[4]

On 24 June, 1269, he was granted favourable terms for the payment of relief due from his father’s lands.

The original settlement of Kingskerswell lay in a broad marshy valley laced with water courses. The manor site lies on the west side of this valley, on higher ground.  The church was built nearby.

Extensive ruins remain. They are unique in Devon in showing an unaltered 13th-14th century manor house.

There were 10 privileged manors in the Hundred of Haytor in the time of Edward I. These had the right of gallows as well as assize of bread and beer. The list is headed by Kings Kerswell.

In 1270 the church of Kingskerswell was alienated from the manor when Roger de Moles sold it to the chapter of Exeter Cathedral for 70 marks. A mark was 1/3 of a pound. The canons retained the fruits of the benefice for their own use and transferred the cure of souls as a chapelry to St Marychurch.

In  1274,  Roger held the manor of Diptford, with the advowson of the church, and the hundred of Stanburg.

In 1285 he held “Kings Karswill”, together with the Hundred of Haytor, from the king, for ¼ of a knight’s fee by the service of one pair of gilt spurs to the value of 6 pence. [5]


We do not know where Roger and his wife made their principal home. It may have been at Kingskerswell or on any of Roger’s other estates across the south of England from Devon to Buckinghamshire.


Like his father before him, Roger did service for the king in Wales. He was keeper of at least one Welsh castle, Llanbadarn in Cardiganshire. It is now known as Aberystwyth Castle.


Between 1263-65, Alice Clement petitioned King Edward I. Among her claims was the payment of £38, which she had paid to Roger de Moeles, Keeper of Llandabarn, as bail.[7]

In 1278 On July 27 1278,  Roger de Molis and Howel ap Meuric were appointed to hear and determine the complaints which had been laid against Canan ap Meredith ap Owen and his tenants for injuries done to the Abbot and convent of Strata Florida.

On February 15, in the following year, 1279, the King took the homage of Llewelyn ap Owen, at Woodstock, he being still a minor and in the King’s guardianship, for all the lands and tenements which he claims to hold of the King and which belonged to Owen his father at the time of his death, to be held by the said Llewelyn so long as he should continue faithful to the King and his heirs. And Roger de Moeles the King’s bailiff of Lampader Vaur had orders to put him immediately in seizin of all the aforesaid lands and tenements which belong to the said Llewelyn of the inheritance of Owen
his father and which were then in the King’s hands.

1276-8. It appears that Bogo de Knovill had been made Justiciary of West Wales on this same day; and the King committed to his custody the castle of Lampader Vawr and all the castles, lands and tenements which were then in the custody of Roger de Molis in West Wales. [8]

Some years later, he was busy in England. A plea roll of 1294 shows an extract taken from the roll of Roger Moeles of inquiry into vagabonds in southern and western counties, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire. It focuses on the hundred of Evingar in Hampshire and mentions several offenders and their crimes. These include a certain Robert Robehod, born at Sutton Scotney, who was prosecuted for stealing four sheep. [9]

Inquisitions taken at Winchester before Roger de Molis and Richard de Bosco, assigned justices, on Friday on the festival of St Vincent in the twenty-second year of the reign of King Edward I [1294].


Roger died the following year, in 1295. He was probably around 60.

His IPM names him as Roger de Moeles, alias de Molis, de Moles, de Moelys, de Meoles, de Muelis, de Mueles, de Meles. It says that at the time of his death he owned lands in Hampshire, Berkshire, Somerset, Devon, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire. [10]

His IPM for Devon said that Roger de Moels died seised of Kinghis Karswell [Kingskerswell] manor with Haytor hundred, Duppeford [Diptford] advowson with the hundred of Stanburg, Duppeford manor, Landford [Lestre] manor and Hokesbere manor.

His heir was his elder son John.


We have no information about the death of his wife.


[1] Information about Roger’s family from Henry Summerson, “Moels, Meulles, Molis, Sir Nicholas de” in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. 30, OUP.
[2] Sir William Pole (d.1635), Collections Towards a Description  of the County of Devon,(1791), p.432
[3] Oswald J Reichel, “The Mules or De Moulis Family of KIngskerswell and Diptford”, Devon Notes and Queries, vol.7, 1912-13.
[4] Letters, Samantha. “Online Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England & Wales to 1516: Devon”. Centre for Metropolitan History. http://www.history.ac.uk/cmh/gaz/devon.html#K.
[5] Oswald J Reichel, “The Hundred of Haytor in the Time of ‘Testa de Nevil’ AD 1244”, Transactions of the Devonshire Association v.40, 1908
[6] www.aberystwythguide.org.uk
[7] National Archives: SC 8/104/5192
[8] George T.O. Bridgeman, “History of the Princes of Wales”
[9] National Archives: JUST 1/1301
[10] National Archives: C/133/72/5




Sampson Tree