Charles Worthy.

Devonshire wills: a collection of annotated testamentary abstracts, together with the family history and genealogy of many of the most ancient gentle houses of the west of England online

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but if it is a fact that " John de Baunfield was seized of the
manor of Poltymore I Edward II.," as noted against his name
in the copy of the Visitation of 1564,* that date synchronises
with the death of Archdeacon William Poyntington, or " de
Puntyngdon," in 1307, and supports the story as to his having
been a " favoured pupil " of that clerical dignitary, but, as he
was the son of John de Baunfeld, by Joan Hastings, his father
was doubtless the original purchaser of the Bampfylde moiety of
the manor in 1291.

The name of Bampfylde, which was spelt "Bampfield" by
the fifth baronet, who died in 1823, and Bamfield at the creation
of that title in 1641, has been also variously written Bamfeild,
Bamfeld, Baunfelde, and Baunfeld.

John de Baunfelde, the father of the first Baunfelde of
Poltimore, by his wife Joan de Hastyngs, appears to have been
settled in the parish of Weston Baunfell, or Baunville, now
Bamfyld in Somersetshire, and was most probably a cadet of
the house of Bonville, derived from Sir Nicholas Bonville, who
was a landowner in that county as early as the first year of
King John, and who took his surname either from " Bonneville "
in Savoy, or else from the town of the same name in the fertile
province of Beauce, on the confines of the Isle of France. The
" son " (or grandson ?) of Sir Nicholas, Sir William Bonville,

* The several copies of the Visitation of 1564 are not authoritative; and this
statement is not repeated in the original Visitation of 1620.


recovered his lands in Somerset upon the customary homage
and service, in 1265, and was the grandfather of Nicholas
Bonville, who married Avis, daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas
Pyne of Shute,* and died in 1294, leaving issue, Sir Nicholas,
father of Sir William Bonville of Shute (an estate long subse-
quently, and after attainder, acquired from Petre, by Pole), the
ancestor of William, Lord Bonville of Chewton, who was sum-
moned to Parliament, as a baron, 28 Henry VI., and also a
second son, John Bonville, who is saidf to have married Joan,
daughter of Waryn Hampton, of Musbury, and to have died
without issue.i

" John Bamfielde of Poltimore," who commences the pedigree
recorded by the Heralds at the Devonshire Visitation of 1620,
married Ellinor, daughter of Sir Humphry Beauchamp, of
Ryme, and is named as " Lord of Poltimore " in the year 1316.
He had a son of the same name, who married Isabella, daughter
of John Cobham, by his wife Anne Bollay, and who presented
to Poltimore Rectory, 5th March, 1340-41. His son and heir,
also called John, married Joan, daughter of Geoffrey Gilbert,
and was dead, I3th November, 1360, when the said Joan, as
" relict of John Bampfeld the elder," presented William Seger to
the rectory of Poltimore. Consequently her son Thomas, who
married a " daughter of Coplestone, must have been also dead
at that date, but the latter's son and heir, " John Baunfeld, Esq.,"
was of full age, 7th November, 1361, when he gave the family
living to a certain J. de Cobham, who was doubtless his kinsman.
This " John Baunfeld, Esq ," married Joane, daughter of Sir

* Vivian calls her " widow of Sir Thomas Pyne," whose daughters and coheirs,
however, married Bonville and Umfraville, and thus Shute descended in the Bonville

t Vivian " Visit. Devon," p. 101, who cites "Pole, various Harl. MSS., and
Maclean's History of Trigg Minor, with additions and corrections." The only pedigree
of Bonville entered before the Heralds, appears in the copies of the 1564 "Visitation,"
and refers to the illegitimate descendants of Lord Bonville of Chewton.

Although the ancestor of the Bampfykles may have belonged to an
earlier generation, it is just possible that this John Bonville of Weston was
identical with John Baunfelde, father of John of Poltimore, by Joan de Hastyngs.
Joan Hampton was doubtless a second wife, and the wife of his old age, as she is said
to have mairied twice, subsequently to her first widowhood. The arms of Bonville
of Chewton were, "ja., six mullets arg., pierced git. ; " but several branches of the
family bore, "or., on a bend sa., three mullets arg.," and these latter, but for slight
variation of tincture, are precisely similar to the present arms of Bampfylde, who
are said, however, to have originally borne the field, "paly of six arg. and vert."

Nomitia villarum, ut ante.


Richard Merton,* but died at a very early age, on which account
his father-in-law, the said Sir Richard Merton, Kt, presented to
Poltimore only sixteen months later, 24th March, 1362, as
" Guardian of John Baunfeld, a minor, son and heir of John
Baunfeld." This youthful heir also died young, but added much
to the fortunes of the family by his marriage with Joan,
daughter and heir of John de Hocesham, through which alliance
his posterity acquired the adjacent manor of Huxham,-f- which
is still the property of Lord Poltimore. His widow, Joan,
presented to Poltimore Rectory, as "relict of John Baunfeld," and
by right of her dowry, 4th January, 1372-73. Her eldest son,
Thomas " Bampfeld," presented to Poltimore 24th September,
1404, and to Huxham, as " true patron," 3rd February in the same
year. | He married Agnes, daughter and co-heir of John Faber
of Bovey Tracy, and was the grandfather of John Bamfield of
Poltimore, who by his wife Agnes, daughter and heir of John
Pederton, by Cecilia, daughter and heir of John Turney, was
the father of Sir William Bdmfield, son and heir of Poltimore.
This John and his wife rebuilt the Parish Church of Poltimore,
as shown by an inscription on a gravestone which was, some
years since, removed from the nave to the chancel, and which
bears the following inscription :

" MC.C.C.XC."

" Hie jacent Johes Baunfeld et Agnes uxor ejus, Pater et

Mater Willi Baunfeld, qui hanc Ecclesiam et maximam

Canipanam fieri fecerunt."

Their son, Sir William Bamfield, was sheriff of Devon in
1426, and died in 1474. The Manor of Huxham appears
to have been settled upon his second son William Bamfield,

* According to the Visitation Pedigrees, the inaccuracies and omi-sions ia which I
can only thus slightly notice, the Son of John B. and Ellinor Beauchamp, married
"Joane, daughter of Sir Richard Martin, Kt." The 1620 pedigree is not vouched
for by the signature of any member of the family. Said Joane Martin is made the
mother of Thomas, who married Agnes Coplestone. Martin is, of course, an error
for Merton.

t By deed daUd 28th September, 1461, and which is, or was, preserved at Wardour
Castle, " William Bamfeld, Esq." mortgaged the manor of Huxham, with other lands
in " Pynho and Beare," to Jane, widow of Sir Jno. Dynham, to her son John D. and
to Richard Levermore, as security for the payment of ^80.

J John Baunfeld, probably by arrangement with " William de Hocesham," had
piesented to Huxham, I3th August, 1349.

Where the spelling of the name differs from Bampfylde, it is in all cases a


who may have acquired the Pinlioe property, mentioned in
the mortgage above noted, by his second marriage with
Margaret Kirkham, widow of John Cheyney, of Pinhoe ;
he succeeded his elder brother Walter " Bamfield," at Poltimore,
ist Sept., 1478, and was the father, by his first wife Margaret St.
Maur, of Sir Edward Bamfield of Poltimore, who married Eliza-
beth Wadham, and died in 1528. His son and heir, Richard
Bamfeild, who was an only child and but two years of age at
his father's death, was, presumably, the hero of a sensational
story which has been handed down to us by John Prince, the
author of the "Worthies of Devon," published in 1701, and
which he tells us is " a most memorable passage of undoubted
credit," and to the effect that "one of the heirs of the house,
not many generations back," being ward to "some very great
person in the east country," was taken away in his infancy, and
brought up in ignorance of his real position and prospects. He
was trained to be a servant, and, when di>covered by one of his
late father's tenantry, was employed as huntsman in his said
guardian's establishment. The Poltimore farmer is then said to
have abducted him, to have taken him before the proper
authorities, and to have duly established the right of his young
landlord to his inheritance.

This Richard Bamfeild, at the age of fifty, became Sheriff
of Devon in the eighteenth year of the reign of Queen
Elizabeth. His mother, a widow, at the time of her second
maniage, was a daughter of Nicholas Wadham, of Merrifield,
co. Somerset, and his wife was a daughter of Sir John Sydcn-
ham of the same county ; by her he had a family of twelve
children, viz., nine daughters and three sons. The eldest of
the latter, Giles, predeceased him, having been drowned during
his passage to Ireland, so he was succeeded in 1594 by his
second son, Amias, then over thirty years of age, who was Sheriff
of the county in 1603, and was knighted that same year at
Windsor.* He married Elizabeth, daughter -of Sir John
Clifton, of Barrington, Somerset, and had ten children ; one of

* This Sir Amias Bampfeild built, in 1618, the very interesting house in " Decide-
hay," now Bampfylde Street, Exeter, long the city residence of the family, and now
used as offices. It is rich in armorial bearings of the families allied to Bampfylde by
marriage. See post.



his daughters married the nephew of the great Sir Francis
Drake, who was created a baronet in 1622, and whose sister,
Elizabeth, was the wife of his eldest son and successor, John
Bamfeild, of Poltimore, who was born about 1590. The latter
also had a large family, fifteen children ; one of the daughters,
Dorothy, was the wife of Henry Worth, of Worth. The sixth
son, Francis, was a Nonconformist minister, and died in Newgate
Gaol in the spring of 1604 ; the eighth son, Thomas Bampfield,
was Recorder of Exeter during the Usurpation, and member for
Exeter in 1656. The third son, John Bamfield, was created
a baronet I4th July, 1641, and through the deaths of his two
elder brothers, Amias and Arthur, succeeded to Poltimore at his
father's death, and married Gertrude, sister and co-heir of John
Coplestone, of Warleigh. During the great rebellion this first
baronet was active on the side of the Parliament, and Poltimore
House was garrisoned by Fairfax in 1645 ; its owner died in
1650, aged forty, when he was succeeded by his son, Sir Cople-
stone Bampfield, the eldest of a family of nineteen, and who
was as zealous for the Restoration of monarchy as his sire had
been for its overthrow, and who was duly " pricked " Sheriff
of Devon as soon as the king "came home again." He was,
however, equally zealous in his promotion of the Revolution,
being actuated, as evidently as his father had been, by perfectly
conscientious motives, and on his death-bed he called his family
around him, and impressed upon them the necessity of an
invariable adherence to the " religion of the Established
Church of England, and of allegiance to the right heirs of the
Crown." He experienced a great domestic bereavement
shortly before his demise, through a melancholy and fatal
accident of which his eldest and promising son was the
victim. This son, Colonel Hugh Bampfield, who commanded
the county militia, was returning from a wedding, when his
horse tripped whilst descending a hill near Plymouth, and
the young rider's neck was broken. He left a widow, Mary,
daughter of James Clifford, of Ware, who administered to
the will of her father-in-law in the minority of her eldest
son, Coplestone Warwick Bampfield, who succeeded as third
baronet in 1692, and also, by devise, to the estates of his
far away kinsman, Warwick Bampfield, of Hardington,


'co. Somerset* (Sir Coplestone was M.P. for Exeter, and
also for the county, and was buried at Poltimore with his
ancestors, I4th Oct., 1727), he left issue a daughter, Mary
(Lady Carevv), and a son, Richard Warwick Bampficld, fourth
baronet. The latter, who also represented Devonshire in
Parliament, married Joan Codrington, of Wraxhall, Somerset,
and died at the age of fifty-four, 24th July, 1776, when he was
succeeded by his second but eldest surviving son, Charles
Warwick Bampfield, as fifth baronet.

The latter, who was born and baptized in Bristol, 23rd January,
1753, represented the city of Exeter in Parliament from 1774 to
1807, and, at the age of seventy, came to an untimely end at
the hands of his servant, Morland, who immediately afterward
committed suicide. He died at his town residence, No. I,
Montague Square, and was buried 25th April, 1823, at Har-
dington, co. Somerset, which he evidently preferred to his
Devonshire home, as he is described as of " Hardington Park,"
without any mention of Poltimore, in the London Directory of
1822. By his wife, Catherine, daughter of Admiral Sir John
Moore, Bt., and K.C.B., he left a daughter, Louisa, wife of
Edward W. Wells, Captain R.N. ; a son, Charles, in holy orders ;
and a son and heir, Sir George Warwick " Bampfylde," who was
born 23rd March, 1786, succeeded as sixth baronet, was a
Deputy Lieutenant for Devon and Somerset, and colonel of
the North Devon Militia. On the loth Sept., 1831, Sir George
was raised to the peerage as Baron Poltimore, of Poltimore, and
was afterward a Lord- in- Waiting to Her Majesty the Queen,
and died i8th December, 1858. His Lordship by his second
wife, Caroline, eldest daughter of Lieut-General Frederick
Buller, of Pelynt, was the father of the second and present
baron and seventh baronet, who was born in 1837, and married
the second daughter of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, M.P., of
Frampton, Dorset, by whom he has, with other issue, a son, the
Honourable C. R. G. Warwick Bampfylde, born 1859, late of
the 1st Life Guards, who is married, and has issue.

Arms of Bampfylde. Or, on a bend gu., 3 mullets arg.

* Warwick Bampfield was descended from Peter (whose will was proved 7th June,
1499, P-C.C.), second son of John Bamfield, of Poltimore, by Agnes, daughter and
heir of John Pedcrton, of Hardington, by his wife, Cecilia, daughter and heir of
John Turney.


Crest. A lion's head erased sa., ducally crowned or.
Supporters. Two lions ramp. reg. sa., crowned as crest, and
gorged with a collar gemelle or, an escutcheon of the arms
pendent therefrom.

Motto. " Delectare in Domino."

In the old house in Bampfylde Street, Exeter, to which I
have already referred as having been erected by Sir Amias
Bamfielde, Kt, in 1618, are the following coats, illustrative
of the matrimonial alliances of the family :
On a shield over the fireplace in oak
1st. Or, on a bend gu., 3 mullets arg. Bampfylde.
2nd. Or, a maunch gules Hastings.
3rd. Arg., a lion ramp, sa, Hocesham.
4th. Arg., on a fess sa., 3 crosslets or, a bordure az. Faber.
5th. Arg., a bend gu., between three lions' heads erased sa.,
crowned of second Pederton of Hardington.

6th. Gu., semee of crosslets, and a lion pass, guardant arg.
Turney* alias Mallet, of Enmore, co. Somerset.
7th. Arg., 2 chevrons^., a label az. St. Maur.
8th. Turney as above.

Over a doorway is a shield of the family impaling Clifton.
Sa., seme"e of cinquefoils, a lion ramp. arg.

In the hall windo.v are six shields in painted glass, but the
tinctures have in some cases suffered by injudicious repairs.

1st Bampfylde. (Andrew, son and heir of Walter Bamfield,
aged 4 years, anno 1478, died, S.P.")

2nd Bampfylde. Impaling Turney quartering St. Maur.
'Wm. Bampfylde and his first wife, Margaret St. Maur, heiress
to her niece, Mary Drury.)

3rd Bampfylde. Impaling erm., 3 lions ramp, gu., within a
bordure engrailed sa. Kirkham. (Wm. Bampfylde and his
second wife.)

4th. The same as No. 3.

5th Bampfylde. Impaling vert., a chevron between 3 mullets
or Pudsey. (Walter Bampfylde, ob. 1478, son and heir of Sir
William, and his wife Grace.

6th. As 2, but St. Maur quarters Turney.

* The ancient arms of this family were " paly of six gu. and or, a lion statant
guardant arg."



There was an ancient tradition as to " Gibbs, of Deny," that the
first of them came to England in the retinue of King William,
and their name has been considered, by some, to be equivalent
to " Gilbert," by others to be deduced from " an Arabic root."

Sir Bernard Burke has cited an "ancient roll," originally in
the possession of " Jenkin Gibbes (temp. Henry VII.)," as
authority for the statement that the Ds Guibes, or Gibbes,
existed in Normandy long prior to the Norman Conquest, and
adds, that " the name is said to be still found in France," in the
first form ; it appears certain, however, that families known as
"Gibbe," or "Gibbes," became settled, during the fourteenth
century, in the West of England, and were also found long
since both in Warwickshire and Kent ; the latter stock are said
to be derived from Devonshire, the first of whom," John Gibbes,"
has been asserted to have been the brother of Gibbes, " of
Honington, co. Warwick, in the reign of Richard II.," whilst
the Gibbs of Derry, assumed to be of the Devonshire branch,
together with those of Bed minster, co. Somerset, the ancestors
of Sir E. O. Gibbes, Baronet, alike bear Arms which seem to
be connected with this county, and which, but for tincture, are
precisely identical with those of Dennis, of Holcombe Burnell,
and Orleigh, and also with those of Wyke, of Northwyke,
already blazoned on a previous page ; whilst, despite the oft
plagiarised assertion as to the Danish origin of the race of
Dennis,* I think that it is more than probable that Ralph "le
Dan," " Dacus," or " Dennis," who was settled at St. Pancras,
near Holsworthy, since known as " Pancraswick," in the reign of
Henry II., was responsible for the very suggestive affix of that
parish, and that he was, actually, a brother of William, Robert
and Roger de Wigornia, of whose ancestry I have already
sufficiently treated. t

Sir Ralf de Wick, otherwise Dennis, who may have acquired
the latter appellative from his arms, anciently blazoned as
" three Danish axes," was of Wick St. Pancras in the twelfth
century. He had issue two sons, Robert and William ; Robert's

* See Risdon, Survey, pp. 120, 234. Prince, Worthits,sub Dennis, Sir Thomas.

t A,,tf, p. 375.


line terminated after several descents in two co-heirs, Margaret
and Agatha, the wives respectively of Sir Reginald Ferrers, of
Beer, and of Sir Nicholas Kirkham. But William had a son,
" Sir Alan le Dennis," whose son, Robert, married Maude,
daughter and heir of William de Man worthy, of Manworthy,
in the parish of Holsworthy. John Dennis, of Manworthy,
grandson of the last Robert and Maude, and son of William
Dennys, of Gidicot, in the parish of Bradford, acquired the
latter manor in marriage with Joan, daughter and heir of John
Dabernon, and left it to his own descendants ; but his younger
brother, Walter Dennis, succeeded both to Manworthy and
Gidicott, and, after several descents, his " heir-general,"
Thomasine Dennis, married Philip Boterford, of Botterford in
South Huish, and his daughter and heir, Margery Botterford,
brought the property to her husband, a certain William
May, or Mey, between the years 1399-1413. In the mean-
time Fenton, a hamlet in the parishes of Rattery and
Dartington, had been alienated by one of the barons of
Dartington at an early date to a family who styled themselves
"de Fenton." "John de Fenton " was its owner in 1242, and
Risdon says (Sttrvey, p. 165) that " the inheritance thereof
came to William Gibbs about the reign of Henry the Fourth"
(1399-1413), and this William was doubtless the son of the
"John Gibbes," also of Fenton, who is reputed to have
been the " brother of Gibbes, of Honington, co. Warwick."
John, grandson of William Gibbs, appears to have married
Agnes Mey, or May, of Botterford, Manworthy, and Gid-
dicotr, the last two estates having been derived from Dennis ;
and hence the connection, between the family of Gibbes,
of Fenton, and Dennis, originally of Pancraswick, whose arms
the former appear to me to have assumed, is sufficiently clear ;
not so, however, the basis upon which these Dennis arms were
admitted to the family of "Gibbes, of Bedminster and Bristol," at
the Herald's Visitation of Somersetshire in 1672, since their
pedigree shows no connection whatever with Gibbes of Fenton,
locally pronounced Venton.

Fenton, Botterford, Manworthy, and Giddicott, descended in
the family of Gibbes from the reign of Edward IV. to that of
Queen Elizabeth. The last of them, William Gibbes, of Fenton,


is said to have sold Manworthy to Hurst, of Exeter, and
Butterford to Prestwood. His arms,* attached to his " Funeral
Certificate," are impaled with those of his wife, Dorothy
Berkeley. He left two daughters, co-heirs, viz., Silvestra, the
wife of Walter Wotton, and Elizabeth, who married the said
Walter's elder brother, Edward Wotton, and secondly, Edward
Drewe, of Hayne, and by their representatives Fenton and
the residue of the property was sold. Administration to his
estate was granted in 1580, to John Ayer, of Penegett, in the
minority of William, son of Silvestra Wotton, a minor. f Peter
Gybbes, M.A., Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, Lent Term,
1387, was possibly of this family.

In 1672 the Gibbes family, of Bristol, then represented by
William Gibbes, aged 42, of Southwark, and Henry Gibbes,
aged 31, alderman of Bristol, and to whom arms, as borne by
Gibbes, of Fenton, viz., arg., 3 battle axes in pile sa., were then
somewhat unaccountably! admitted, referred their ancestry to a
certain William Gibbes, of Bed minster, who, by his will dated
1 8th March, 1602, desired to be buried with "his father" in the
Church of St. Thomas, Bristol.

Sir Philip Gibbes, of Barbadoes, created a Baronet 3Oth May,
1774, was the son of Philip, grandson of Philip, uncle of the
aforesaid Alderman Henry Gibbes, and of his brother William
Gibbes, of Southwark. The said Philip Gibbes, on 2Oth
December, 1679, was living upon a hundred and seventy-four
acres of land in the parish of St. James, Barbadoes, and had
there seven white servants, and sixty-nine negroes.

The first baronet, Sir Philip Gibbes, who was so created
3Oth May, 1774, married Agnes, daughter and heir of Samuel
Osborne, of Barbadoes, and it is worthy of note that early in
the same century Sir Philip's namesakes, at Clist St. George,
had been associated as neighbours with the Osbornes of that
same parish, in the church of which there are, or were,
memorial inscriptions for Julian Osborne, 1614, and for Richard
Osborne, 1706. The Gibbes failed to enter their pedigree at

* Arg. t 3 battle axes sa. Dennis bore errn., 3 battle axes^w.

t See ante, p. 149.

1 Scarcely "unaccountably" perhaps, as they were "admitted" by that eccentric
officer of arms Sir Edward Bysshe, "Clarenceux."


either of the Heralds' Visitations of tin's county, so there is
some amount of uncertainty as to the precise connection between
the Gibbes of Fenton and those of the same name who had
become settled in Exeter and its suburban parishes during the
fifteenth century, and who are said to have been " a junior
branch of the Venton family."*

The late Dr. Oliver " imagines " that the Gibbes of Clist St.
Georgef " came there from Dartington," and notes that Bishop
Lacy, on 22nd June, 1437, licensed "Thomas Gybbe and
Margaret his wife to have divine service performed within his
mansion situated at Dartington."

On the ist May, 1560, a certain "John Gybb" appears to
have been sometime the tenant of a small property called
" Peyett," since known as Pytt, in the parish of Clist St. George,
and upon that date he purchased the fee simple of his holding,
described as " a messuage and tenement and forty acres of
land," from his landlord, Thomas, Lord Wentworth, of Nettle-
sted, for i 10.

Henry Gybbes of Woodbury, died in 1549 ; George Gybbe,
of Clist Sr. George, in 1562 ; and John " Gibbe," of the same
parish, and who was probably the purchaser of Pytt, in 1573.

Two years previously the Rectory of Clist St. George, the
patronage of which was in the family of Prideaux, of Nutwell,
Woodbury, had become vacant by the death of the Rev. William
Gybbe, and it is again noteworthy that Margery, daughter
of Humphrey Prideaux, of Theuborough, who died 8th May,
1550, was the wife of Robert Gibbes, of Honington, co. Warwick.

The Pytt property appears to have descended in the line of
George Gybbes, of Clist St. George, who died in 1606, who
by his first marriage had an eldest son, John " Gibbe," whose

Online LibraryCharles WorthyDevonshire wills: a collection of annotated testamentary abstracts, together with the family history and genealogy of many of the most ancient gentle houses of the west of England → online text (page 38 of 42)