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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



JOHN TOREL was the only known son of William Torel of Torrells Hall in West Thurrock, on the northern bank of the Thames estuary, and Alice de Basseville.

He is believed to have been born around 1223, in the reign of Henry III.

Pilgrims travelling to Canterbury would pass through West Thurrock via St Clements in order to cross the Thames.

St Clement’s, West Thurrock [1]


AGNES. John married Agnes, but we do not know her maiden name, or where she came from.


The couple had at least one child, John junior, born around 1279.


The Torels held the hereditary office of Serjeant Naperer in the King’s Household. The Naperer was responsible for the King’s table linen on occasions such as the coronation. The Torels held lands in return for this service.

The Inq. p.m. on John Thorel in 1282 duly records this tenure by serjeanty. His father was still alive in 1282, so it is not clear whether John had taken over the duties of Serjeant Naperer, or whether he had been given possession of estates that came to William with this office.


John predeceased his father, dying in the later part of 1282, the tenth year of the reign of Edward I. He is believed to have been aged around 59. His son and heir, John junior, was only three.


Inquisitions Post Mortem were held into his lands in Nov 1282. They contain orders to the sheriff of Sussex, escheator of that county, to take into the king’s hands the lands late of John Torell of Thurrock, tenant in chief. There was a similar order to the sheriff of Essex.

When the heir was a minor, it was normal for his lands to fall into the hands of the king, who would appoint a guardian to administer them until the heir came of age.

On the 4 Feb  1283, wardship of the boy John was awarded to John de Hamme, parson of Stifford, and his brother Robert de Hamme. They purchased the wardship of John’s lands and the right to arrange his marriage for 170 marks (about £27). Such rights could be lucrative, with families offering money for a liaison with a landed heir.

Stifford is adjacent to Thurrock.

John de Hamme died, and Robert found that John Torel’s lands were “wasted”. He therefore asked to be allowed to pay the 170 marks at 10 marks per year.[2]


We have no information about Agnes’s death.


[1] https://www.thurrockgazette.co.uk/resources/images/1930501.jpg?display=1&htype=100000&type=responsive-gallery
[2] National Archives. SC 8/116/5788




Sampson Tree