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)
RICHARD DE WELLES (29)
RICHARD DE WELLES. Richard was born in Flanders about 1060, just a few years before the Norman Conquest. His father was Jocelyn, who took part in the invasion of 1066. He was later named Jocelyn de Welles, from the manor of Welbec or Welles, in Nottinghamshire, which he was granted, and also Jocelyn the Fleming because of his origin in Flanders.
Flanders was a region across the Channel from Kent.
We do not know where in Flanders Richard was born, or his mother’s name. He was his father’s eldest son and heir.
Richard was probably brought to England as a child, when his father was settled on land given him by the new King William. He grew to adulthood in the period when the Normans were ruthlessly suppressing resistance from the English they had conquered.
The History of the Welles Family in England tells us:
“Ricardus or Richard de Welles, Lord of Welbec, or Welles Manor, in Nottinghamshire, son of Joscelin, the Fleming, born in Flanders about 1060. About 1090 he took to wife a lady named N., and afterwards Hewise, kinswoman of Count of Ferrers, in Nottinghamshire, in the reign of Henry I (about 1105), and had a son, named Richardus, born in Nottinghamshire, about 1105.
“The Count of Ferrars, not leaving his kinswoman (or heirs by a former husband) any thing, this Richard, before he dispossessed his wife Hawise, granted her two carucates of land in Cukenay.”
Cuckney is a village 19 m north of Nottingham and 5 m south of Worksop. Welbeck is a mile north of Cuckney.
William Dugdale’s Monasticon Anglicanum tells us more: 
“Joceus de Flemangh came to the conquest of England, in the time of William duke of Normandy, and acquired in Cukeney the third part of a knights fee, and the said Joce (afterwards frequently called Coste) begot a certain son Ric. by name. …
“Gamelbere [who also held land in Cuckney] died without heirs of himself, and the land was an eschaet in the hand of king Henry the first. And that king gave that land to Richard, son of the said Joce and his heirs, to be held of him by the said service. And the said Richard took a wife in Nottingham, by name N. and begot on her a son called Richard; she died, and this Richard took another wife, cousin of the earl of Ferrers; and that earl would not give him his cousin unless he would give his said cousin, and her heirs of her to be begotten, some land. And the said Richard, before he married Hawise, the cousin of the earl, gave her and the heirs of her to be begotten, two carucats of land in Cukenay, which the said king gave him by the said service; (which some will think had relation to the name of Ferrers). And the said Richard on her begot a certain son, by name Thomas; and the said Thomas was nourished in the kings court, and after the death of Richard his father, held that land by the service aforesaid of the said king well and in peace untill the old war: and then he made himself a castle in the said land of Cukeney; for this Thomas was a warlike man (or souldier) in the whole war.— And after the said war, the kingdom of England being pacified, and king Henry the second reigning, he founded the abbey of Welbeck.”
A carucate was the amount of land a team of eight oxen could plough in an annual season. It varied with the soil conditions, but was approximately 120 acres.
“This Richard enfeoffed the house of Welbek of the whole third part of a knights fee aforesaid, viz. of the land of Langwat [Langwith], with the Hay of Cukeney, reserving to himself the capital messuage. in Cukeney, and nine bovates of land, and did the service to the chief lords of the fee of Tikhill for the said abbat and his successours. This Richard begot a son named Richard, who confirmed the gift of his father.”
A bovate or oxgang was an eighth of a carucate.
We do not know the name of Richard’s first wife, only that she married him in Nottingham.
There may have been other sons and daughters before he married his second wife Hawise, fifteen years later.
Hawise’s family would normally have given her dower land at her marriage. Instead, it seems that Richard had to provide her with an estate himself. It is not clear what was the rift between Hawise and her cousin the Count of Ferrers.
The first account makes it appear that Richard dispossessed Hawise.
Welbeck Abbey, founded by Richard’s son Thomas, was a house of Premonstratensian canons. It followed a stricter form of the Augustinian rule. The order had been founded in 1120, but grew rapidly in the 12th century.
Today, Welbeck Abbey is a palatial mansion built centuries later, just north of the River Poulter. Since Richard’s time the river has been dammed to create the Great Lake in front of it.
Welbeck Abbey and River Poulter
 Welles, Albert, History of the Welles family in England. Boston, 1874
 Dugdale, William, Monasticon Anglicanum: the History of the Ancient Abbies and other monasteries.17th century.
 Historic England Archive.
NEXT GENERATION: 28. WELLES
PREVIOUS GENERATIONS: 30. WELLES