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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



SIR JOHN DE GREY was the second son of Henry de Grey, a favoured courtier of King John, lord of the manor of Grays Thurrock in Essex and Codnor Castle in Derbyshire. His mother was the heiress Isolde Bardolf.

He was born around 1205, in the reign of King John. Most family trees say that he was born at Thurrocks, but his father was in possession of Codnor Castle by 1200 and John may have grown up there.

In 1216, King John died and was succeeded by his young son Henry III.


The Grey family in England began with a knight of modest standing at the time of the Norman Conquest. By the end of the 12th century they had become a wealthy and influential family. Even a younger son like John could acquire considerable lands and honours.

By 1200 the manor of Shirland in Derbyshire was in the hands of John’s father. When Henry de Grey died in 1219, John’s elder brother Richard inherited Codnor. Shirland was amongst the many manors bequeathed to John and became his principal residence.

Shirland is a village 2 miles NW of Alfreton. It stands on the sandstone ridge that divides the county into the coal measures to the east and the pastureland to the west.

The foundations of St Leonard’s church in Shirland had been laid by 1220 and as lord of the manor John continued to pay for the building.

Opposite the church stands the old manor house, now called Manor Farm.

Sir John de Grey was knighted for services to the King’s Stewardship of Sherwood Forest.


In 1230 he married Emma de Glanville, daughter of Baron Geoffrey and Margaret De La Haye de Glanville. She died soon after, possibly in childbirth.


Around 1234 he married Emma Cauz.


EMMA CAUZ was the daughter of Roger de Cauz and Nicole Leigh. She was born in 1208 in Shalbourne, Bucks or Wilts.

John de Grey was her second husband. She had previously been married in 1228 to John Segrave, who died in 1230.


Douglas Richardson, who has done considerable research into John de Grey’s marriages, discounts the previous marriage to Emma de Glanville and makes Emma Cauz his first wife.[1]


There were four children from this marriage: Nichole, who married Robert de Tateshale, born in 1232 in Sandiacre; Reynold (or Reginald), who became the first Baron Grey of Wilton, born in 1234;  Emma, born in 1237 in Shirland, Derbyshire, who married Sir William de Huntingfield.

Sir John de Grey had acquired the estates of Sir John de Huntingfield by this second marriage.


In 1238-9 Sir John de Grey served as High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. He was succeeded by Paulin de Peyvre.

John’s extensive estates included the manors of Brogborough, Thurleigh and Wrest in Bedfordshire and Great Brickhill, Snellson and Water Hall in Bucks, as well as Hemingford, Yelling and Toseland in Huntingdonshire, Kempleigh in Gloucestershire, Purleigh in Essex, Rushton in Cheshire, Ruthin and Shirland in Derbyshire and Wilton in Herefordshire.

In 1242 he was summoned with his brother Richard to attend the King with horse and arms in Flanders, where “he was much esteemed for his valour in the field”.[2]

In 1249 he was Justice of Chester, “of all the king’s lands of the county of Chester and of North Wales”.

In 1250, John de Grey was granted a market in the manor of Shirland on Wednesdays, and a fair for three days at the festival of St. Peter ad vincula (St Peter in chains), celebrated on Aug 1.


Emma died before 1251. On 17 Oct of that year John married his third wife, Joan, daughter and coheir of Thomas Le Esquire, a Justice. She was the widow of Paulin de Peyvre, the man who had succeeded John as High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. He was the son of Roger Peyvere, Bishop of Salisbury, and his concubine Maud de Ramsbury.

They had two sons, John and William.

Sir Paulin Peyvere died early in June 1251. As his widow, Joan had writ for dower dated 15 June. In August she obtained custody of the lands and marriage of the heirs for 500 marks. This marriage she sold for that sum to Sir John de Grey of Shirland, he undertaking to discharge her of any fine to the king; whereupon John married the son to his own daughter.

It has been suggested that the king had given her in marriage (as a widow) to one Stephen de Salines, and that she, by the advice of her friends in London, matched herself to John de Grey.[3] They married in London.


In 1952 John took the cross with his brother Richard in the Seventh Crusade.

In 1252-3 he was High Sheriff of Herefordshire.

He also served as Governor of Shrewsbury Castle, Governor of Dover Castle and Constable of Gannock Castle.

In 1254 he was Steward of Gascony.


Joan bore John a daughter Hawise in 1255. Hawise married Ralph Basset.

The following year, 1256, Joan died at Layham, Suffolk, and was buried at Woburn.


In 1264 we have a mandate to John de Gray, constable of Nottingham Castle.


Sir John Grey of Shirland died shortly before 18 Mar 1265/6.

Arms of Sir John de Grey[4]


[1] http://cybergata.com/roots/8315.htm
[2] “History of the Grey”. https://www.greyhighschool.com/school-information/history-of-the-grey/
[3] https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Peyvere-1
[4] https://photos.geni.com/p3/6413/2474/5344483650aefb91/arms_Phillippe_de_courtney_large.jpg





Sampson Tree