Tony StoreyThe Sole Society, a Family History Society researching Sole, Saul, Sewell, Solley and similar names




By Tony Storey


This article was originally published in the April 2007 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society


On my travels I sometimes stumble upon odds and ends that, although of no immediate help to me, might prove to be the missing piece in someone’s family history jigsaw. To ensure they don’t get filed away and forgotten I shall be publishing them in Soul Search. This is the first batch and I would like to hear from you if you make a connection.


First of all, here are two medieval wills, courtesy of the Somerset Record Society:


2 July 1505. Sir Thomas Sawell, rector of the parish church of Maperton diocese of Bath and Wells, my body to be buried in the chancel of the said church before the image of St Paul the Apostle there. To the fabric of the church at Wells 6s.8d. To make one window in the chancel at Maperton aforesaid 23s. To the church of the blessed Nicholas of Halton (Holton) 8d. To the rector of the church 6s.8d. To the Vicar of the church of Charleton Camvyle 6s.8d. To the Rector of the church at Blakeford 6s.8d. To the Rector of the church of Compton Paunscefote 6s.8d. To each of my godsons 6s.8d. and one silver spoon. To the four orders of friars of Bristow 26s.8d. To each couple holding domicile and dwelling within the parish of Maperton aforesaid 6s.8d. To each widower and widow having domicile within the said parish of Maperton 3s.4d.

Residue: William Hanam and John his son (executors).

Overseer: Master William Caraunt, armiger, of Tomer, to him 40s.

Witnesses: Rector of Halton, Vicar of Charleton Camvyle, Rector of Blackford, Rector of Compton, Richard Clothear senior of Maperton, Richard Clother junior, of the same and many others.

Proved 21 July 1505. (34 Holgrave)



In Dei nomine Amen, 11 March 1497, I, William Adice, rector of the parish church of Charleton Makerell, make my will, &c.

First, I bequeath my soul to Almighty God, &c., and my body to be buried in the parish church of Charleton aforesaid.

Item, to the said church, £3.6s.8d. To the parish churches of Kyngeston, Butteligh, Kyngwardeston, Somerton, Kyngton, and Charleton Adam, to each one beast, to be delivered to them by the rector of Kynwardeston. To the chapel of Hurcotte, two sheep.

To Margery, my sister, eight oxen with a plough and the whole harness of the same, and all my money, and my five spoons of silver in my house at Charleton Makerell. I will that the said Margery have whatsoever she wishes of my best goods and of my beasts at Charleton aforesaid.

To John Edmondes, rector of the parish church of Kyngwardeston, my bed with all things in the same bed pertaining in my own chamber, my breviary and all my books at Charleton aforesaid, two oxen and my other plough with the whole harness.

To John Egge, my servant, 3 oxen.

To William Ferreys, my servant, 2 oxen.

To John Aleyn, late my servant, 2 oxen.

To Edith Lite, 20s.

To John Fridelok, my servant, 50 sheep.

To the said John Edmondes, my best gown with the hood.

To Robert, Richard and John Sole, burgesses of Bristol, all that my tenement in the suburb of Bristol in the street called “Lewensmede” between the tenement of Sir John Chokke, knight, on the west, and the tenement of John Arthur, esquire, on the east, and it extends from the said street as far as the water of le Frome. To have, &c., for ever.

John Swayn and Thomas Keynes, my attornies, to deliver seisin.

The residue I bequeath to Richard Fitz James, Bishop of Rochester, John Hawley, of Bristol, chaplain, and John Fitz James the elder, esquire, whom I make my executors.

Witnesses: Sir John Edmondes, chaplain, John Balle and Thomas Touker.

Proved 7 May 1498 by Master John Halley, executor, &c. (21 Horne)


The following three entries were gleaned from the 1912 edition of Who’s Who in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire –





Next some marriages recorded in Huntingdonshire between 1601-1700 –


1657 Soley, gentleman, married Isabella Readinge at Southoe

1630 Laurence Sooly married Katherine Holt at Hartford

1639 Laurence Sowley married Margaret Hulland at Alconbury cum Weston

and the following in Bristol -


13 February 1697, Elizabeth Sole married Edward Fenn


Finally, from the Middlesex Sessions, what appears to be a sad end for Henry Sole or Sowles -


2 November, 11 James I (AD 1613)

Henry Sole of Hadley, yeoman, for stealing seven black bullocks worth £28, two brown bullocks with white faces worth £8, and a brown bullock worth £4, belonging to William, Lord Petre, at Hadley. Puts himself. Postponed to be tried and respited to the gaol of Essex because the felony was done there, and because he broke out of the King’s gaol there.

Prosecutor: William Smythe. Sess. Roll 526/298 G.D.R. 2/4, 8.


12 January, 11 James I (AD 1613-1614)

Respited for further enquiry: Henry Sole for the Court of Essex


7 February, 11 James I (AD 1613-1614)

Inquisition, taken as above, on view of the body of Edward Salisburye of London, yeoman, by the oaths of Samuel White, Thomas Ryall, Thurston Feild, Charles Burrell, George Nashe, Edward Cornell, Francis Mason, Edward Willson, John Barthropp, Thomas Stevens, Richard Harryson, Leonard Young and John Childe, who say that the said Edward Salisburye died after a pining sickness by divine visitation on 6 February; and also on view of the body of Henry Sowles – and the same jurors say that he died in the same manner on 7 February.

Sess. Roll 528/209, 212.

Inquisition taken within the gaol of Newgate in the parish of Christ Church in the ward of Farringdon before Robert Lawe, coroner,


I hope to include another selection of bits and pieces in the next issue.


Return to The Sole Society Home Page