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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



Michael L’Ercedekne is the earliest of this line whose name we know. He was lord of the manor of Shobrooke, near Crediton. We do not know his parents’ names, but they appear to have been owners of Shobrooke before him. We have evidence of him in the mid-13th century. Most of his life would have been lived in the reign of Henry III, 1216-72.

Tristram Risdon says:

SHOBROOKE: Between Creedy and a brook that glideth from Stockleigh, Shobrooke is situated, which some say is called of the brook’s slender summer stream, that may be passed without wetting your shoe; the lands of Brithrick at the conquest, which the conqueror gave to Walter Clavell. Since, the Lerchdecons were lord of the manor, from whom, by the match of the heir-general from Courtenay’s daughter, it came unto the Carews.[1]

England was increasing in prosperity, as open fields gave way to more intensive cultivation.

In his Collections towards a description of the county of Devon, Sir William Pole gives more details:

SHOWBROOKE (anciently SHOGBROOKE), anno 27 of Kinge Henry 3, [1242-3] was thenheritance of Sr Michaell le Ercedecne; whom lineally succeeded, Sr Thomas, Sr Otho, Sr Thomas, wch married Alis, daughr and coheire of Sr Thomas de la Roche, and had issue Sr John, wch married [Cicely] daughter and heire of Jordan Haccomb, and had issue Sr Warren Ercedecne [He was a baron of Parliament by writ of summons.] wch married [Elizabeth] daughter and coheire of John Talbot, of Castell Ricard, and had issue 3 daughters, of whom Phelip was wief unto Sr Hugh Courtenay.[2]

Both these genealogies clearly link the L’Ercedeknes of Shobrooke with the influential Cornish family of that name.


We do not know the name of Michael’s wife.


They had at least two sons , Odo and Thomas. [3]


We only hear of Michael L’Ercdekne in relation to Shobrooke, though doubtless he owned lands elsewhere. This leads us to assume that he lived there, though this may not be the case.

There is a holy well at the side of the lane near the church. Nowadays it has a stone arch and a door. But the spring was probably a sacred spot in Michael’s time.

                                                                                                    Shobrooke Holy Well                                                                                                                                                          

We have evidence that Michael did not live on the substantial estate of Little Fulford, in Shobrooke at least in the latter part of his life.

Little Fulford, situated partly in the Parish of Shobrooke, and partly in that of Crediton, was granted, before the reign of Edward II.[1307-1327], by Michael L’ Ercedekne (Archdeacon) to Roger Le Squier.[4]

In the 19th century a coffin intended for Great Fulford in Dunsford was delivered by mistake to Little Fulford in Shobrooke. The owner changed the name of the house to Shobrooke Park.

The Squier family are again mentioned in connection with the Archdeacons in a deed made by William Squyer and dated at Heaunton Punchardon 13 Oct. 3 Henry V). There is no reference to this Michael in Testa de Nevil,or the Hundred Rolls, but only in secondary authorities. Tregothnan Charters state that in 1272 Michael le Archedekne gave half a mark for an Assize (Maclean).

Copy of deeds relating to the manor and advowson of Shobrooke
(1) Deed of Joan of Sandford, binding herself in £100 to put Michael Archdeacon in possession of Shobrooke manor and the advowson of Shobrooke church. 29 September, 1275.[5]


It would appear that Michael L’Ercedekne died sometime after 1275, in the reign of Edward I.

[1] Tristram Risdon, Survey of the County of Devon. 17th century, publ.1811.
[2] Sir William Pole (d.1635), Collections Towards a Description  of the County of Devon,(1791)
[3] Transactions of the Devonshire Association, vol.51.1919
[4] Charles Worthy, Devonshire Wills. Bemrose, 1896.
[5] National Archives: A2A: Z1/27/1/1  [15th Century] DRO.





Sampson Tree