SAMPFORD, Hugh (d.1419), of Bakhey, Som.
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Family and Education
m. by 1416, Maud.
Tax collector, Som. July 1413.
Coroner, Som. c.1414-d.
Hugh, an attorney by profession,1 was related to John Sampford*, with whom in 1387 he obtained a pardon of outlawry for their failure to appear in the court of common pleas as defendants in a lawsuit. Inquiries relating to the possessions of Sir John Cary† of Cockington, the chief baron of the Exchequer, and John Blake, who were both impeached of treason in the Merciless Parliament of 1388, reveal that he had been employed as Cary’s bailiff at Torrington and, also, that he had abducted a ward of Blake’s and carried off his livestock, this last to the benefit of Sir Philip Courtenay*, member of the powerful local family to which his kinsman was already attached. (Incidentally, the abducted ward, Elizabeth Jardyn, was officially placed in John Sampford’s custody shortly afterwards.)2 Hugh’s only known return to Parliament for Lyme, in 1397, may have come about as a result of his acquaintance with Sir Thomas Brooke* of Holditch, an influential landowner in the district. In 1393 he had been made a feoffee of landed interests of Brooke’s in Dorset and Wiltshire, and later on, in 1409, he was to be enfeoffed of his Somerset lands, too.3
The full extent of Sampford’s own estates is not clear, although he is known to have acquired landed holdings in Devon at North Tawton, Nymet Rowland and Colyton, and to have disputed with other members of his family ownership of property at Nymet ‘Bordemyle’. By 1398 he was the earl of March’s feudal tenant in half a knight’s fee in Melbury (now Melbury Sampford) in Dorset. He apparently resided, however, in Somerset, and in 1416, when he and his wife obtained a licence from the vicar-general of the bishop of Bath and Wells to have masses celebrated in a low voice in their oratory, it was at Bakhey that the privilege was to obtain. Moreover, in the last year of his life he was described as ‘of Milverton’.4 Then again, most of his public activities took place in Somerset. In the summer of 1413 he was appointed as a tax collector in the shire, only to be replaced on 5 Nov. ‘as the King has thought fit to discharge [him]’. He attended the Somerset elections held at Ilchester for the Parliaments of 1413 (May), 1414 (Nov.) and 1417. In the meantime he had carried out the duties of a coroner in the shire, and although the sheriff was instructed in September 1414 to elect someone else on the ground that he was insufficiently qualified, he continued to hold office until his death, which occurred shortly before 26 Apr. 1419.5
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. JUST 1/1502 m. 150d.
- 2. CPR, 1385-9, p. 274; CIMisc. v. 2, 61.
- 3. Dorset Feet of Fines, ii. 180; CAD, iii. C3557; CPR, 1429-36, p. 104; CCR, 1429-35, p. 79; Som. Feet of Fines (Som. Rec. Soc. xxii), 34.
- 4. C136/105/34; Reg. Bubwith (Som. Rec. Soc. xxix), 243; CPR, 1416-22, p. 158; CP25(1)45/68/166, 74/102, 110; JUST 1/1502 m. 116.
- 5. C219/11/2, 5, 12/2; CCR, 1413-19, p. 147; 1419-22, p. 1.