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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 TOREL. We have traced our Torels back to William Torel of Torrells Hall (now Home Farm) in the parish of West Thurrock on the Thames estuary in Essex. This William was the husband of Alice de Basseville and died before 1279.

We can, with a fair amount of certainty, go further back. The Torels of Thurrock held the hereditary office of Serjeant Naperer in the Royal Household. They were responsible for the king’s table linen on occasions such as the coronation. In return, they held the manor of Little Thurrock, adjacent to West Thurrock, for a small additional rent.

Thurrock today[1]


The earliest of that family whom we know is Torrell the Naperer in 1130.

Among the 13th century Torels we find in 1236: “Will’ filius Will’i Tarel tenet in Parva Turrak et in Chaundewell [Chadwell] per serjant’ essendi custas napar domini Regis”.[2]

William son of William Tarel holds land in Little Thurrock and in Chadwell by the service of Serjeant Naperer to our lord the king.”

The dates and the hereditary office make it highly probable that the younger of these two William Torels is the father of the William Torel who married Alice de Basseville.

We know that his father was an older William Torrel, who also served as Serjeant Naperer.

The earlier family had been recorded as Torrell, but  from now on, the usual spelling is Torel.

We have no record of his mother or his siblings.

William the younger was probably born towards the end of the 12th century, in the reign of Richard I or King John.Edward I. His adult years would have spent in the long reign of Henry III.

This included the signing of Magna Carta in 1215.


We do not know the name of William’s wife. We know of only one son, yet another William.

This is likely to be the William Torel who died in 1266.[3]


[1] Thurrock Council.
[2] J Horace Round, The King’s Serjeants & Officers of State: Kings & Sergeants, 1911..
[3] Inq. P. M. 51 Hen. III. n.




Sampson Tree