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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)



RICHARD LILLY, who married in Sandwich in 1753, is almost certainly the son of Stephen Lilly  and Ann Brown . He was baptised on 19 August 1722 at the village of Wickhambreaux, 12 miles west of Sandwich. This fits with his age when he died. He named his first two children Ann and Stephen. [1]

   His father was a yeoman farmer.
   He was the elder of his parents’ two sons. When he was nine, he suffered the humiliation of hearing an unmarried mother confess in church that the father of her baby boy was Richard’s own father.

In 1736, at the age of 14, Richard Lilly of Wickhambreaux, son of Stephen Lilly, yeoman, was apprenticed to Robert Fearey of Ash, carpenter. The premium was 10 guineas. Ash is roughly halfway between Wickhambreaux and Sandwich.
The information that Richard’s father is a yeoman is surprising. Richard’s paternal grandfather was a carpenter and his great-grandfather a weaver. This apprenticeship shows that Richard himself is not destined to be a farmer.
There is a possible explanation. Richard’s mother was a young widow when she married his father. There may have been a child from that marriage who inherited a farm. Stephen could have been running it until his stepson came of age at 21. Thus Richard would have grown up on a farm, but with no expectation of inheriting it.

As an apprentice, Richard would have gone to live with the Feareys in Ash. They had five children, all younger than Richard.

He moved to Sandwich before his marriage at the age of 31.


ANN SEXTY was the elder of the two known children of Stephen Sexty and Elizabeth Jordan.  She was baptised in Sandwich in 1724, in the closing years of the reign of George I.

Baptism. St Clement, Sandwich.
1724 Oct 18  Ann of Stephen and Elizabeth Saxty

Her father died before she was two. It is likely that she went to live with her grandparents, with her widowed mother and baby brother, born posthumously. But Thomas and Elizabeth Jordan also died within two years.

Ann seems to have grown up in Sandwich.

Sandwich was one of the original Cinque Ports, second in precedence to Hastings. This confederation was instituted in the 11th century to provide ships and men for the king’s service. By Tudor times, it was already battling to keep the Haven at the mouth of the Stour open to shipping.

The1791 Universal British Directory said:
The harbour has for many years been so choked up with sand and by a ship of great burden, of Paul IV sunk in the channel that here is not depth of water enough for vessels of a considerable size. The wool stable was removed hither from Queenborough in the reign of Richard II and some Walloons and Dutchmen, who fled hither, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, from persecution, set up the manufacture of cloth; but the chief trade of the town is in shipping and malting. The London markets are supplied from hence with the largest and sweetest carrots, and the feedsmen with most of their feeds, the soil being very good for all sorts of garden stuff.

Eventually the port became silted up to such an extent that the old town of Sandwich, with its twisting streets and timber-framed houses, is now two miles from the sea.


Although Ann was baptised at St Clement’s, she and Richard were married at St Peter’s, Sandwich. St Peter’s was one of three churches in Sandwich. The curfew bell was rung from its tower at 8 pm.

Marriage. St Peter’s, Sandwich.
1753  10 Nov  Richard Lilly and Ann Sexty 

Three children were baptised at St Peter’s.

1754  15 Sept  Ann  daughter of Richard and Ann Lilly
1757  11 April  Stephen  son of Richard and Ann Lilly
Stephen died aged 4. He was buried on 9 Jan 1761.
1761  20 May  Richard  son of Richard and Ann Lilly

 Old Tollbridge, Sandwich [2]

In 1759, the young Thomas Paine moved to Sandwich from Suffolk. He was then aged 22. He lived in a small house in New Street, where he practised his trade as a master stay-maker, making ropes for the rigging of ships. He married a local girl, Mary Lambert, who was an ‘Orphan of Sandwich’. This means that she had no money and no relatives to provide for her, and had to depend on the local government for assistance. She died a few months later.
Mary’s father had been an excise man. Paine moved away from Sandwich to take up this profession. In 1768 he was sacked from his post in Lewes when he wrote a pamphlet calling for higher wages. From then on, he became known as a radical thinker.
His most famous book is The Rights of Man.
   Paine went on to produce a series of books and pamphlets, the most famous being, and, in one of his pamphlets.
He travelled widely in England, France, and America and played a prominent role in both the French and American revolutions. He was the first to use the name ‘The United States of America’. Eventually he was outlawed by the British government for his views on religion and the monarchy. In the French Revolution, he spent some time in jail for opposing the guillotining of King Louis XVI. He took American citizenship and die on his farm in New Rochelle, New York State in 1809.
He is still remembered in Sandwich and a blue plaque marks the house in New Street where he lived.[3]

Sometime between 1761 and 1772 the Lilly family moved to Ash, two miles inland from Sandwich. This was where Richard had served his apprenticeship as a carpenter. He may have gone to work for his former master.

By 1772 they had moved on to Deal, on the coast, five miles south of Sandwich. They were able to claim legal settlement there, which Richard may have done by having a yearly contract to work in Deal.

Settlements in Deal [4]
6 Jan 1772 Lilly, Richard and his wife + Ann their daughter age about 17, Richard their son about 11 years. From Ash, Kent

Three years later, their daughter Ann, five months pregnant, married Samuel Baker, a pipe-maker.

Despite the move to Deal, both Ann and Richard were buried at St Clement’s, Sandwich, in the same year.

1789 Mar 10  Ann wife of Richard Lilly from Deal. Age 65.
1789 Aug 7  Richard Lilly from Deal. Age 66.



[1] BMDs fom Findmypast.
[2] http://www.accommodationsandwich.co.uk/images/old-sandwich3.jpg
[3] www.open-sandwich.co.uk/history_scrapbook/thomas_paine.htm
[4] Helen Nobbs





Baker Tree