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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 BAUMFILDE. Some pedigrees of the Bampfylde family begin with the John Bampfield who was given the manor of Poltimore in East Devon in1298. Others mention the earliest known of this family, John Baunfeld, who married Joan Hastings and flourished in the reign of King John [1199-1216]. Some make these father and son, but they are too far apart in time.

Thomas Wotton, in The Baronetage of England, inserts two generations between them, which seems credible.[1]

  1. Baumfilde, who married a daughter of John Hastings, and had issue
  2. Baumfilde, who married — daughter of — Hockisham, by whom he had issue
  3. John Baumfilde, Esq, who married Isabel, daughter and heiress of John Faber.
  4. John Baumfilde, Esq, to whom the lands in Poltimore was given; who married Eleanor, daughter of Henry Beauchampe, of Ryme.

There are multiple spellings of this family name: Baunfield, Bamfield, Bampfield, Bampfylde, etc.

A well-researched pedigree, Stirnet ‘Bampfylde 1’, queries this succession.[2] The author thinks the Hockisham marriage is a confusion with a later marriage of John Bampfield to Joan Huxham/Hoxham in the 14th century, and that the Faber marriage a confusion with the marriage of Thomas Bampfield and Agnes Faber in the 15th century.

It is true that the Baronetage is an unreliable source. But in this case there is evidence suggesting that it may be right. In the church at Poltimore there is a remarkable window. It shows the arms of Bampfylde and many of their wives. The first four are Bamfylde, Hastings, Huxham and Faber. It is not unreasonable to suppose that the first three wives are those of the three earliest known generations.

In addition, there is a considerable difference between John Baumfilde, husband of Isabel Faber, and Thomas Bampfield, husband of Agnes Faber.

The window has been dated to 1691, and so predates Wotton’s book.

Window, St Mary’s. Poltimore[3]

Before they moved to Poltimore in Devon, the Bampfyldes were lords of the manors of Great and Little Weston in the parish of Weston Bampfylde in Somerset. This stands close to the hillfort of Cadbury Castle.

According to Wotton, John Baumfilde was the son and heir of a Baumfilde whose Christian name we do not know. Nor do we know the baptismal name of his mother, who came from the Huxham/Hoxham family, from a Devon parish near Exeter.

We estimate that John was born in the latter half of the 13th century, towards the end of the long reign of Henry III. This was an unsettled time, with Simon de Montfort leading the Second Barons War of 1263-5.

The Bampfyles obtained a baronetage in 1641. Wotton calls this 13th century lord of the manor ‘esquire’. The name originally meant someone who assisted a knight, carrying his shield, etc. By Wotton’s time it had come to mean a gentleman below the rank of a knight.

John was the eldest son, but we know nothing about his siblings.


ISABEL FABER. Wotton tells us that she was the daughter and heir of John Faber. We have been unable to find out more about him. Four generations later, Thomas Bampfield married Agnes Faber, daughter of another John Faber. He was from Bovey Tracey in Devon. But Sir William Pole tells us that the Fabers did not hold Bovey Tracey in a continuous line back to these times.[4]

The Faber arms shown in the Poltimore window are: Argent, on a fess sable three crosses crosslet or a bordure azure charged with twelve bezants/bezantée. (Silver, on a black horizontal band three gold crosses with smaller crosses at the end of each arm, a blue border bearing twelve small gold discs.)


Isabel was an heiress, but we do not know what manors she brought to the marriage.

They probably began their married life in the last quarter of the 13th century. Edward I, who came to the throne in 1272, was a strong king. He put an end to the strife with the barons that had been a feature of his father’s reign and John and Isabel’s childhood.

We know of one son for John and Isabel from this marriage, John Bampfield. He would have spent his earliest years at Weston Bamfylde.

At some stage, they sent him to be schooled at Exeter Cathedral, where he became a pupil of William Pontington, one of the cathedral canons, who may have been related to the Bampfields.

It was by no means standard practice for sons to be educated like this. His parents may have intended him for a career in the Church, or for another profession, such as the law, rather than have him become a country squire or a soldier.

He became a favoured pupil of Canon Pontington, who gave him the manor of Poltimore near Exeter, in or soon after 1298.

Whether or not he was originally destined to be a clergyman, he became instead a country squire like his father.

As far as we know, John and Isabel, if they were still alive, remained in Weston Bampfylde. The Bampfylde  family continued to hold the manors there.


[1] Thomas Wotton, The Baronetage of England, Vol.2, 1741.
[2] https://www.stirnet.com/genie/data/british/bb4ae/bampfylde1.php
[3] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BampfieldArms_ThirtyQuarters_PoltimoreChurch_Devon.xcf
[4] Sir William Pole (d.1635) Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon.




Sampson Tree