Amyas Bampfylde

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Sir Amyas Bampfylde (d. 1626) of Poltimore & North Molton, Devon. Painted by Robert Peake the Elder (ca. 1551-1619), oil on panel. Inscribed: "Sir Amias Baumfylde Knt. of Poltimore, ob. 1625 aet. 65". Collection of National Trust, displayed at Antony House, Cornwall. Provenance: descent by inheritance from Mary Bampfylde (d. before 1763), Lady Carew, daughter of Sir Coplestone Bampfylde, 3rd Baronet (died 1727), and wife of Sir Coventry Carew, 6th Baronet (ca. 1716-1748) of Antony House, Cornwall. NT 352375
Armorial of Bampfylde: Or, on a bend gules three mullets argent

Sir Amyas Bampfylde (or "Amias Bampfield" etc.[1]) (1560 – 9 February 1626) was an English Member of Parliament who sat in the House of Commons in 1597.


Bampfylde was the son of Richard Bampfylde of Poltimore in Devon and Bampfylde House in Exeter by his wife Elizabeth Sydenham, daughter of Sir John Sydenham of Brympton d'Evercy, Somerset.[2]


He matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford on 3 December 1575, aged 15. He studied law at the Middle Temple in 1576.[3] He succeeded to the manor of Poltimore on the death of his father in 1594. He was J.P. for Devon from 1596. In 1597, he was elected Member of Parliament for Devon. He was knighted at Windsor on 9 July 1603. He was High Sheriff of Devon from 1603 to 1604. In 1616 he was Deputy Lieutenant.[2]

Marriage & progeny[edit]

Bampfylde married Elizabeth Clifton, daughter of Sir John Clifton of Barrington Court, Somerset in 1576. The Bampfylde monument in South Molton Church shows the arms of Bampfylde impaling Clifton: Argent, semee of cinquefoils pierced a lion rampant gules. They had six sons and two daughters. In 1602 Bampfylde and Thomas Drake, brother and heir of Sir Francis Drake, made a double marriage settlement for his son John Bampfylde aged 14 and a daughter, aged 16, who were to marry Drake’s daughter and son with each parent settling £660 on the other’s daughter.[2]

Death & burial[edit]

Bampfield died at the age of about 65 and stated in his will his wish to be "buried in South Molton church with his parents".[2][4]


A fine stone monument to his memory exists against the south wall of the south aisle chapel ("Bampfylde Chapel") in North Molton Church. On the wall to its right is affixed a stone tablet inscribed with the following lines:

"Stand passenger gaze such was he
As thou tremble such shalt thou be
He dy'd to live so live to dye
Depart muse on eternity"

Ameae Bamfylde equiti aurato patri suo charissimo ex antiqua Bamfydeorum (sic) de Poltimore familia patre Richardo Bamfyde (sic) armigero matre Elizabetha Clifton de Barrington per 45 annos conjugato ex qua 12 filios 5 filias suscepit prudenti sed pio animoso sed affabili provido sed hospitali et benigno de suis de patria bene merito ex hac miseriarum valle anno aetatis suae 67 ad immortalitatem commigranti et sui reliquias his in terris quas post diuturna litigia et graves expensas sui posteritati foeliciter recuperavit in spem resurrectionis requiescere volenti Johannes Bamfylde filius et haeres qui etiam ex Elizabeth Drake de Buckland 8 filios et 7 filias ante patris obitum habuit anno Christi 1626 regis Caroli 2 hoc monumentum pietatis ergo posuit quas terras mea cura meis non parva redemit hae mea jure sinu molliter ossa fovent.

Translated literally into English thus:

"To Amyas Bampfylde, knight bachelor, most dear to his father, from the ancient family of the Bampfyldes of Poltimore from Richard Bampfylde, esquire, his father, from Elizabeth Sydenham of Brympton his mother; with Elizabeth Clifton of Barrington having been married during 45 years from whom he received 12 sons, 5 daughters. Prudent but with a pious spirit but easily spoken to; forward-looking but hospitable and benign, well-merited from his country. From this vale of miseries he migrated towards immortality in the 67th year of his age and having wished the remains of him to rest in hope of resurrection in these lands which after long-lasting dispute and heavy expenses happily he regained for his posterity. John Bampfylde his son and heir, who also from Elizabeth Drake of Buckland had before the decease of his father 8 sons and 7 daughters, in the year of Christ 1626, 2nd. of King Charles, therefore of piety placed this monument that these bones might gently warm the lands he redeemed not with small care".

There is a monument in Exeter Cathedral to his married daughter Dorothy Bampfield, daughter of Sir Amyas Bampfield, formerly wife of Edward Hancock (d.1603), MP, of Combe Martin, later wife of Sir John Doddridge (1555–1628), Justice of the King's Bench. The Latin inscription on a tablet within a strapwork surround is as follows: "Hic jacet d(omi)na Dorothea uxor Johannis Dioderidge militis unius justiciarioru(m) d(omi)ni regis as placita coram rege tenenda assignati et filia Amisii Bampfield militis quae obiit primo Martii Anno Dom(ini) 1614" ("Here lies Dorothy the wife of John Doderidge, knight, one of the Justices of the Lord King assigned at the Pleas held before the King, and daughter of Amisus (Latinised form) Bampfield, knight, who died on the first of March in the Year of Our Lord 1614")

External links[edit]


Parliament of England
Preceded by
Thomas Dennys
Sir Edward Seymour, 1st Baronet
Member of Parliament for Devon
With: William Strode
Succeeded by
William Courtenay
Sir Edward Seymour, 1st Baronet