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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)



WILLIAM DE PAULET is probably the son of Walter de Poulett, who owned land in the Somerset village of Pawlett in 1203.

Colin Winn, who wrote a history of the Poulett family does not quote his sources, but he found evidence that William de Paulet held the manor of Legh in Hockworthy, Devon, in 1229, and held the same manor, and that of Pawlett, Somerset, in 1242/3. Both were held of his feudal overlord by the service of ¼ of a knight’s fee.[1]

Under the Norman feudal system a knight was required to do 40 days service a year, or to provide the equivalent in money, which would be about 30 marks or £20. Tenants with smaller holdings had to pay a share depending on the extent of their land.

The manor of Leigh Paulet straddled the parishes of Hockworthy and Clayhanger, between Tiverton and Wellington, very close to the Somerset border. There are 18th-century references to Pauletsleigh Farm in the parish of Clayhanger, but its site has not been found on modern maps.

   The rolling country from Chimney Down, Hockworthy


William’s son and heir was also named William.


In Devon, most open fields were disappearing, as individual owners turned to more intensive cultivation.


Arthur Collins, writing in 1741, gives the date of William’s death as 1242.[2]

William de Paulet, residing at Leigh in Devonshire, gave to it the Denomination of Leigh-Paulet, and dying in 27 Henry III 1242, was succeeded by William his Son and Heir.

Collins is not a reliable source. It is possible that Winn’s information about the 1242/3 ownership was derived from William’s Inquisition Post Mortem, but if so he would probably have given that as his death date.


[1] Winn, Colin G, The Pouletts of Hinton St George, Research Publishing, 1976
[2] Arthur Collins, Peerage of England. www.books,google.co.uk.




Sampson Tree