He signed his name "Samson Lennard." Other documents refer to him as Sampson or Samson Leonard.
The arms used by the descendants of Sampson Leonard of Chevening, Co. Kent, England: Arms- Or, on a fess gules three fleur-de-lis of the first. Crest- Out of a ducal crown or a wolf-dog's head. Motto- Pour bien desirer. [Another version of this same family's Arms has a tiger's head in place of the wolf-dog's head. see Memoirs of the Leonard, Thompson, and Haskell families, by Caroline Leonard Goodenough, 1928, p. 52.]
Sampson Leonard was M.P. for Sussex and sheriff of Kent, born about 1544 and died 1615. He married Lady Margaret Fiennes, Baroness Dacre, daughter of Thomas Fiennes, 9th Lord Dacre, and Mary Nevill. Sampson and Lady Margaret's home was at Chevening, co. Kent, 15 miles southeast of London, until perhaps 1594, the year of her brother's death, after which they were much at Hurstmonceux Castle, which they greatly embellished and where they entertained lavishly. At Saint Botolph's Church at Chevening is the stately alabaster tomb of Sampson Lennard and Margaret Fiennes. Effigies of the two figures are shown, the former in armour, and beside them are small kneeling effigies of their children: Henry, George and Thomas on the north, and Anne, Mary, Margaret, Elizabeth and Frances on the south.
A translation of the inscription on the tomb of Samson Lennard, Chevening Church, reads: "Awaiting the glorious arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ here rests Sampson Lennard arms-bearer, with one dearest (or gracious) wife Margareta Baroness Dacre (sister and nearest heir of Gregorius Fiennes soldier Baron Dacre of the South) with whom he lived pleasantly and happily, tied with conjugal bands, 47 years, 4 months and a few days; and likewise out of the 7 sons she bore, Henricus, Baron Dacre, Gregorius, and Thomas surviving the remaining four extinguished in infancy, and six daughters of whom one died a little girl five surviving; of well-known piety, courteousness, hospitality, and virtuous in general merit, after the sudden death of his most noble wife aniticipating the more abundant grace of the King, by honor of this first-born son Baron Dacre of the South, decorated with the commendation of the most illustrious King Jacob, entering his 71 year of age, of prosperity 1615, Sept 20 from his life he departed."
Another (perhaps less literal) translation of the same inscription reads: "Came to this awaited rest in our Glorious Lord Jesus Christ Sampson Lennard, soldier, together with his loving wife Margaret, Baroness Dacre (sister and recent heir of Sir Gregory Fienes, knight, Baron Dacre of the South) whom was happily married to her husband 47 years, 4 months and several days; she bore him 7 sons, three of whom are still living; Henry, Baron Dacre; Gregory; and Thomas, four having died in infancy and 6 daughters, five surviving of which we know. He had a sense of duty and responsibility to the court, with praise and honor and good hospitality. With the sudden death of his noble wife, his son and heir became Baron Dacre of the South by official letter from our illustrious King James. At age 71, 20 Sep 1615 he passed from this life." - Thanks to Ann Manning Tappero for this translation from the original Latin.
Sampson Leonard and his wife Lady Margaret Fiennes had children listed in 1911 by the Marquis of Ruvigny as follows:
1. Henry, 12th Lord Dacre, born 1570, married Crisogona Baker. Henry accompanied the Earl of Essex in his memorable campaign and was knighted at the taking of Cadiz in 1596. He became lord Dacre on the death of his mother in 1611 but only outlived her five years. The title descended to his son Richard who married Elizabeth Throckmorton. He died and was buried at Hurstmonceux in 1630.
2. Gregory Lennard. [George]
3. Thomas Lennard, born 1577, ...Possibly an ancestor of the Taunton Leonards.
It is interesting to note this family had for many years been interested in the manufacture of iron. There was early "a steel forge near Hurstmonceux Castle and, on this estate in 1574, an iron works." In 1626, patent rights for making steel were granted to Sampson's grandson, Richard Leonard, Lord Dacre (who married Elizabeth Throckmorton and who died at Hurstmonceux in 1630 and is buried at Hurstmonceux Church). There were also extensive iron works near Chevening, in the western part of Kent on the Sussex line, which gradually had to be abandoned. "Queen Elizabeth was one of those who urged persons aquainted with the iron business to go to Monmouthshire to develope the iron there. This may account for the Leonards of Kent and Sussex giong to Monmouthshire to manage iron works."
From An Account of the Families of Lennard and Barrett. Compiled Largely from Original Documents: "In the Herstmonceux household account book there is an incidental reference to a 'steele forge' which probably was near that castle, and possibly the scene of this trio's (note: trio probably referring to Samson's grandchildren, Richard, etc) attempts to become successful ironmasters. We know that there was an iron working on the estate nearly a hundred years earlier in 1574, as a return was made of the owners of ironworks in the counties of Surrey, Sussex, and Kent; and amongst these there is this entry, 'The Lord Dacres i fordg i furnace in Buckholt in the handes of Jeffreys.'"
Samson's birhplace, Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex, was built in 1440 by Roger de Fiennes. Unusually, it was built of brick, and at a time when castles were already out of date. Fiennes played a prominant role in the Hundred Years War, and fought at the Battle of Agincourt with King Henry V. The impressive gatehouse, with a drawbridge, double parapet and continous row of machicolations were built not only as a decorative architecural feature,but were also equiped with gun and arrow loops. Some critics have described Herstmonceux as a folly and not designed for real defence. With its 4-foot-thick walls it could have mounted resistance, but would never have survived a prolonged seige. It would probably be better to call it a fortified manor than a castle. The Manor of Herstmonceux dates back to Edward the Confessor, when it was owned by Edmer, a priest. By Domesday it was part of the Rape of Hastings and held by the Count of Eu. The present castle had an active life of only 300 years, and by 1777 it was being dismantled. It is now owned by Queen's University, Ontario, Canada, which has restored it beautifully and uses it as a study center. The grounds are open to the public throughout the year.
In the Cemetery of Saint Botolph.