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)
WILLIAM DE PAULET (24)
We have less information about this William de Paulet than about any other of that name. Colin Winn gives no evidence of his life except to say that he was ‘of Pawlett and Legh.’ He offers no dates.
Winn gives him as the son of an older William de Paulet, who is named in 1228 and 1242.
The only dates for this William are provided by Arthur Collins, who is not a reliable source. 
“Sir William de Paulet residing at Leigh in Devonshire, gave it the denomination of Leigh Paulet, and dying in 1242, was succeeded by Sir William his son and heir, who was also wrote of Leigh Paulet, and died in 1281, leaving issue Sir William Paulet.”
This agrees with Winn’s genealogy, in which this later 13th century William is both the son and father of others of that name.
Pawlett is a village on the Somerset Levels, from which the family took its name. It stands near the mouth of the Parrett, north of Bridgwater.
Norman arch, St John’s, Pawlett
The Somerset Levels once formed a large bay of the Bristol Channel. Drainage had probably begun before the Norman Conquest, and increased during the later Middle Ages, as monasteries sought to extend their farmlands. William would have seen this growing change in the landscape, with the sea receding as more land was reclaimed.
Marshes on the Parrett
Leigh Paulet was a manor in Devon, straddling the parishes of Hockworthy and Clayhanger. It lay west of Wellington and close to the Somerset border. It cannot be found on the present OS map.
William’s lifetime spanned the reigns of Henry III and Edward I. He would have witnessed the Barons’ War of the 1260s, when King Henry was briefly captured. It ended with the death of Simon de Montfort in 1265.
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