Bampfield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Bampfield family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in one of two villages called Bamfyld in the counties of Devon and Somerset. The place names literally mean "dweller at a field where beans grew." [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Bampfield family

The surname Bampfield was first found in Devon, at Poltimore where John Baumfield was the original ancestor of this family having been granted lands there during the reign of Edward I. His pedigree can be traced for three generations before that period. [3] The family were bequeathed the manor of Poltimore in 1298 by William Pontyngton, Canon of Exeter Cathedral. Today Poltimore House is a 18th-century country house having gone through many changes from the original grant. The current iteration of Poltimore House was built by Richard Bampfylde (d.1595) about 1550 or so.

Banwell is a village and civil parish on the River Banwell in the North Somerset and dates back to Saxon times when it was first listed as Bananwylle in 904. [4]

By the time the Domesday Book of 1086, the place name has evolved to being known as Banwelle. [5] "The manor has been in the possession of the bishops of Bath and Wells since the time of Edward the Confessor. A monastery was founded at Banwell by one of the early Saxon kings, to the abbacy of which Alfred the Great appointed Asser." [6]

"The Bampfyldes have been settled at Poltimore, [East Devon] since the reign of Edward I., and entered the ranks of the baronetage in 1641. Sir John Bampfylde became for a time Governor on behalf of the Parliament of the town of Plymouth, and his son, Sir Copleston Bampfylde, took a leading part in the restoration of Charles II. The family were raised to the peerage as Barons Poltimore in 1831. Among the houses with which the Bampfyldes are allied, or whom they represent, are Pederton, St. Maure, Copleston, Codrington, and Gorges. " [7]

Early English rolls provide us a glimpse of the spelling variations used through Medieval times. Today we typically need to look beyond the spellings of these entries and concentrate on on a phonetic appreciation of the names. Richard de Bamfeld was found in Hertfordshire in 1272 and Thomas Bamfeld was found here in 1462. Matthew Bampfeld was listed in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1492 and laster, John Bampfyld was registered in Devon in 1642. [8]

Early History of the Bampfield family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bampfield research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1272, 1462, 1492, 1575, 1581, 1582, 1642, 1752, 1766, 1560, 1626, 1597, 1585, 1621, 1622, 1628, 1629, 1683, 1633, 1692, 1659, 1671, 1679, 1685, 1679 and 1658 are included under the topic Early Bampfield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bampfield Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Bampfield include Bamfield, Bammfield, Bramfield, Bamfeld, Bampfeld, Bampfield, Banfilde, Bampfild, Bampfyld, Bamfeild, Banfield and many more.

Early Notables of the Bampfield family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard de Bamfield, a prominent 13th century landholder in Hertfordshire; Sir Amyas Bampfylde (1560-1626), an English Member of Parliament, Member of Parliament for Devon (1597); his son, John Bampfield (born ca. 1585), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Tiverton (1621-1622) and Devon (1628-1629) with Sir Francis Drake; and...
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bampfield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Bampfield migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Bampfield or a variant listed above:

Bampfield Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Bampfield, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1798

Australia Bampfield migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bampfield Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Bampfield, English convict who was convicted in Exeter, Devon, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Equestrian" on 25th January 1844, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Island) [9]


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  6. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  7. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  8. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 4th May 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/equestrian


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