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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)

Cory Tree 



MORRIS LANGLEY. The 1851 census shows that Morris was born in 1768-9. He gave Deal as his birthplace but his baptism has not been found there. He first appears in the Deal registers at the baptisms of his daughters. There are occasional Langley families in Deal, going back to 1664, but no clear lines of succession. There is, however, a marriage in Deal in 1764 of John Langley of West Cliff and Mary Morris. [1] These would be plausible parents for Morris Langley, especially with the use of Mary’s surname for his baptismal name.

He became a boat-builder. Boat-building was Deal’s principal industry.


MARY CLAYSON was the daughter of John Clayson and Ann Wickes. She was baptised on 4 April 1773 in the village of Eythorne, six miles inland from Deal, and north of Dover. This was her mother’s home parish. Her father came from Dover, though his family had connections with Deal before this.

She was the seventh of eight children. Her uncles and cousins were gentlemen, so it is likely that her father was, too. Her uncle Edward was a shipbuilder and her uncle William either a mariner or a linen draper. Both lived in Deal.[2]

It is possible that Mary’s father started work in a maritime occupation; at least two of Mary’s siblings were born in Dover. But, if so, he did not pursue it. Around 1766 the family moved inland to the village of Eythorne. Mary was the third child to be born there, with another brother baptised in neighbouring Waldershare.

Mary’s father died in Eythorne in 1779. Not only Mary, but four of her siblings married in Deal. There are two possible burials for her mother, in 1781 and 1783. Both refer to her as Ann(e) Clayson “of Deal”.  It looks as though the remaining family moved there soon after her father’s death..

Among the traders of Deal, the Universal British Directory for 1791 lists two Claysons, Mark and William. Both were linen-drapers. They were almost certainly Mary’s relations.

It may have been her uncle Edward’s boatbuilding which brought Mary into contact with Morris Langley.


Morris and Mary married at Deal on 16 Nov 1793.

 They had two daughters baptised in Deal.
1794  8 Oct  Mary Ann Langley  d. of Morris & Mary
1797  14 May  Ann Langley  d. of Morris & Mary

Four years later, in the 1801 census for Deal, Morris Langley was heading a household of seven, three males and four females. This could mean there were two sons and another daughter not baptised in Deal. None of the seven was entered as employed in agriculture or ‘trade, etc.’ Morris may have been a boatman in his younger days and turned to boatbuilding later.

They lived through the heady days of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, when the Kent coast was on perpetual alert for invasion. Deal’s beaches were often thronged with men boarding ships or disembarking. Wounded soldiers and sailors found respite in the hospital or were quartered on local families.

In 1808, Mary’s uncle William Clayson, Gentleman of Deal, died. In his will he left:
To Sarah Clayson, Mary Langley, Charlotte Marsh and Ann Moulton, the daughters of my brother John Clayson the sum of fifty pounds each.[3]

Fifty pounds was then a considerable sum of money.


In the 1811 Deal census, two families were living at the Langleys’ house, with Morris as head of household. There were two males and three females. This time, one of the men is listed as engaged in ‘Trade, etc.’ This could mean that Morris had turned to boatbuilding in this decade.

Ten years later, the household is down to two males and one female, living in Lower Street. They are listed among the ‘Families chiefly employed in Trade, Manufactures, and Handicraft.’.

By the time he was in his fifties, Morris was not only a boat-builder, but had his own boat-yard. The 1823 trade directory lists him among the boatbuilders of Deal: [4]
Langley, Morris, North End.

North End is the side of Deal bordering on the parish of Sholden.

But the prosperity Deal had enjoyed during the war was over.

It was not uncommon for the wife’s maiden name to be used as a middle name for one of her children. Morris and Mary’s daughter Ann showed an unusually strong respect for her parents. After she married Richard Cory, she used all four of her parents’ names as baptismal names for her children: John Langley, Morris Clayson (twice), Henry Morris, Mary Ann Langley. This may be, in part, because her family were of a higher social standing than Richard’s, and the couple stood to gain by keeping on good terms with the Langleys and the Claysons.

Morris was still at work in the 1841 census, at the age of 72. Ages were rounded down to the nearest 5.

1841 Census. Lower Street, Deal.
Morris Langley       70        Boat Builder           Y
Mary Langley          65                                         Y
George Juddery         50        Hair Dresser          Y
Thomas Wilson           65        Carpenter               Y
Mary Juddery            11                                         Y

We learn from the next census that George Juddery was the Langleys’ son-in-law. His first wife was Mary Ann Marsh, a daughter of George Marsh and Jane Clayson. Jane herself was the daughter of Robert Clayson and Jane Warman.
George’s second wife was Mary Ann Langley, the elder daughter of Morris and Mary.
He was a widower and we can presume that 11-year-old Mary was their grandchild.

Mary Langley was supplementing their income by taking in Thomas Wilson as a lodger.

By 1851 their fortunes had changed for the worse.

1851 Census. 112 Lower Street, Deal
Maurice Langley     Head                    Mar        82   Pauper Boatbuilder      Deal
Mary Langley           Wife                      Mar        78                                           Eythorn
George Juddery          Son-in-law           Widr      62   General Dealer              Sandwich
Mary A T Denne         Daughter-in-law   U          21   Milliner                            Deal

Morris had gone from running his own boatbuilding business to receiving poor relief.

Deal was in decline. As steam replaced sail, ships could forge up the Channel and into the Thames without needing to anchor off the Downs. The luggers which had provisioned them, and transferred passengers and mail, were less in demand. Boatbuilders’ order books must have suffered.

Henry Kingscote, writing to the Times in the 1850s pleads for donations to the Deal Boatmen’s Fund. “The consequences of this decline in the business of Deal is shown by the poor-rates, which for several years have exceeded 6d in the £, and in the increased and increasing number of families in the parish dependent upon different descriptions of charitable assistance.” [5]

It was, in addition, quite common for men who had had profitable businesses in the prime of life to fall into poverty with old age.

George Juddery has changed his occupation to general dealer.

Mary Denne is said to be unmarried, but also their daughter-in-law.It is not clear whether she is the Mary Juddery of 1841, who was the same age. She was probably related to the auctioneers and cabinet makers Langley and Denne, listed in Piggot’s Directory for Deal in 1840.


Morris died later that year

Burials. Deal
1851  Morris Langley. Lower Street. Oct 8. 83.

Despite his pauper status, his death was recorded in the Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers’ Gazette11 October 1851.

“Oct 2, at Deal, Mr. Morris Langley, formerly boat builder in that town, aged 82.”

 Mary survived him by six years., dying in the third quarter of 1857. She was 84.



[1] Information from Deal registers is from the KFHS microfiches of transcripts.
[2] www.claysontree.com
[3] Will of William Clayson, www.claysontree.com
[4] John Laker, History of Deal. T.F.Pain & Sons, Deal
[5] Laker, p.398.





Cory Tree