Early Records - Kent
By Eric L Sewell
This article was originally published in the April 2004 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
A few years ago, when searching the medieval records for signs of the SEWELLs, I kept also a note of some of the likely variants of the surname. The list I collected for Kent, extracted from the published sources at my disposal, is shown below. I cannot pretend that the list is complete. A more careful examination of sources would undoubtedly produce more evidence than I was able to achieve in a hasty scrutiny. Since the majority of findings concern the SOLEs, I expect I am covering ground already researched by other members. Nevertheless, it may be worthwhile to indicate the range of publications where such information can be found.
The list shows the published source (in italics), date, place, name of the person and any other relevant detail that can readily be deduced. Since the original records would have been in Latin, and the transcription might also be in Latin, it is not always possible to go into details.
Non-SOLEs may need to note that SOLE(S) is a Kent place-name appearing in the Eastry Hundred and the neighbouring Nonington Hundred, both to the west of Deal. A Hundred was the name given to a subdivision of a county based on the area of land needed to support 100 households.
The SEWELLs, invariably in the form SEWAL(E), were small in number despite the proximity of Essex.
1086 Sole(s) (Eastry Hd): Ansfrid held SOLE(S) from the Bishop of Rochester – assessed as two hides (supporting two households).
Rochester, St Martin: SEUUEN (Sewen), canon
Macknade (Faversham Hd): SEUUOLD (Saewold)
Pipe Rolls of Richard I, 1189-90 - Pipe Roll Soc. 1844
1189 Kent Robert de SOLE
Patent Rolls of Henry III - PRO
1223 Soles (Nonington): Willelmus de SOLES - dispute
Calendar of Kent Feet of Fines up to Henry III - Kent Records 1956
1227 Soles (Nonington Hd): William de SOLES
1238 Godmersham: Richard de SUWELL, monk
1249 Shorne: William de la SOLE - service
1271 Chelsfield: Bartholomew de la SOLE & his wife Katherine - land
Charter Rolls of Henry III - PRO
Grants of land and privileges:
1255 Orkeston, Forcumbe & Cranefurlong: Cicely daur. of William SEWAL - land
Close Rolls of Edward II—PRO
1311 Canterbury: Peter SEWAL – release from prison
1324 Farliegh: Constance atte SOLE - land
Eyre of Kent, 1313-14 - Seldden Soc. Vol XXIV 1909
1313 Wrotham Hd: Stephanus atte SOLE, juror
Wethelstone Hd: Ricardus SEWALE
Earliest Canterbury Freemen‘s Roll - Kent Records Vol XVIII 1964
List of those citizens granted the freedom of the borough
1358 Canterbury: Willelmus SOLE de Stureye
" Johannes atte SOLE, correur
" SEWELOND Lynewebbe, weaver
Register of the Black Prince - PRO - HMSO 1933
1364 Dartford: John SEWALE, the prince's steward
Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem - Edward III - Vol XIV PRO 1952
1376 John de SOLES
Indictments in the King's Bench
1451 Sutton Valence: Robert SOLE (of), spicer, accused with others
The taxation rolls, as far as they survive, provide a more extensive snapshot of the mid-14th century. Unfortunately the actual place-names are not given, only the Hundred name
Lay Subsidy Roll for Kent [part]- 1232-3 - Pipe Roll Soc. NS 45, 1983
1232 Kingsdown Johannis SEWYFEE
Kent Lay Subsidy of 1334-1335 - Kent Rec. Vol XVIII 1964
1334 Faversham Hd: Jn. SEWALE 1s 6d
Larkfield Hd; Pet. SEWALE 1s 4d
“ Robt. SEWALE 3s 0d
Stowting Hd: Alan atte SOLE 1s 4d
Osprenge in Scray: Alic' atte SOLE 3s 0d
Maidstone: Thos. atte SOLE 2s 0d
“ Barth. atte SOLE 2s 0d
" Walt. SOULE 6s 1d
Ringslow Hd : Jn. atte SOLE 3s 4d
" Widow of Luke atte SOLE 4s 0d
" Widow of Thos. atte SOLE 1s 6d
Ringslow Hd : Sim. atte SOLE 3s 0d
" Wid. of Jn. SOLES 1s 3d
" Barth. SOLES 1s 6d
Longbridge Hd: Jn. atte SOLE 6s 2d
" Jn. son of Thos. atte SOLE 1s 10d
Folkestone Hd: Ralph atte SOLE 1s 6d
" Jn. atte SOLE 5s 0d
" Robt. atte SOLE 1s 6d
Larkfield Hd; Pet. atte SOLE 2s 0d
" Wm. atte SOLE 1s 0d
Little Hd: Rd. atte SOLE 8s 0d
Longingborough Hd: Rd. atte SOLE 1s 0d
" Steph. atte SOLE 1s 0d
" Robt. atte SOLE 1s 0d
" Wm. atte SOLE 1s 0d
" Thos. atte SOLE, fisherman 1s 0d
" Thos. atte SOLE 1s 0d
Wingham Hd: Thos. atte SOLE 1s 0d
Felborough Hd: Thos. atte SOLE 4s 1d
" Walt. atte SOLE 7s 0d
Chetham & Gillyngham Hd: Thos. atte SOLE 2s 0d
Ruxley Hd: Walt. atte SOLE 1s 0d
Boughton Hd: Wm. atte SOLE 1s 6d
Eastry Hd: Jn. de SOLES 3s 4d
Poll Tax 1377-81
1377 Ospring: Seman ate SOLE
Canterbury: Agnes SAULE 8d
1379 Cinque Ports: Henricus SOLES 12d
“ Christina SOLES 4d
“ Gadelena de SOLES 4d
“ Johannes SOLES 4d
“ Stephanus atte SOLE 4d
“ Salaman SOLE 4d
Canterbury Johannes SEWALE, brewer & Agnes his wife 2s 0d
“ Johannes SEWALE apprentice
atte = ‘at’ used as an alternative to de = ‘of’
The following Hundreds may be difficult to find using a modern map:
Longingborough Hd - Directly north of Folkestone.
Stowting Hd - North-west of Longbridge Hd.
Longbridge Hd - North-west of Stowting Hd.
Ringslow Hd - North-east corner near Margate.
Felborough Hd - North of Longbridge Hd.
Little Hd - Near Rochester.
RuxleyHd - Directly south of Little Hd.
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