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

Phillip Soale, Yeoman of Rustington, Sussex

By Bob Sheldon

This article was originally published in the December 2001 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society.

Poor Phillip, on the 5th February 1688/9, he was 'sick of body but of good and perfect memory' and he wrote his last Will. He was a husbandman or working farmer and was not otherwise poor. In fact, according to the Inventory of his Goods and Chattels (Extract in Exhibit 1) taken after his death on 16th March 1688/9 he had possessions worth 59. 10s. 8d. (or 69. 18s. 8d. according to a strict addition of the individual items).

He owned livestock, six cows one yearling, three 'hoges' (sheep), 'fore Shotes' (young pigs), one and twenty 'youes', one and twenty 'lemebs' and twenty 'teges' (?). He also had wheat, barley and hay in the barn. During his lifetime he had slept comfortably, having two feather beds and a bedstead "and all that belong to them" including sixteen pairs of sheets, pillow cases and other small linen. His kitchen was well stocked with three dozen pewter (? bowls), three flagons, one dozen of porringers (soup bowls), three salt cellars, five brass pots and four brass kettles. His "appraisers" also listed two flitches of 'beacken' (bacon) in the store cupboard.

"Phillip" was a very popular name in the SOALE family of Sussex in the 17th/18th century. Many Parish records are unreadable and Bishops Transcripts have not survived, but in the first half of the 17th century there were Phillip SOALEs at West Grinstead and at Steyning in 1634. Edward SOALE of Burpham, who died in 1661, mentioned in his Will his brother Phillip and a son Phillip. Edward SOALE of Ashurst referred in his Will in 1694 to his son Phillip and the child's godfather Phillip. Another Will of a Phillip SOALE of Burpham proved in October 1670 also names a son Phillip and his father Phillip.

So there are a lot of Phillips and as yet we are far from clear as to how they all relate but this Phillip (I) left his name which descended in an unbroken line for the next seven generations.

In his Will Phillip (I) made various bequests to his children but for some unexplained reason he left nothing to his son, Phillip (II), although he appointed him as Executor. Phillip (II) presumably was the eldest and maybe father had passed on some of his wealth before he died because not long after his death in 1689, Phillip (II) died in 1693. No Will has been found but we do have his Inventory of Goods and Chattels (Extract in exhibit 2) which was taken on 20th December 1693.

Phillip (II) was a yeoman, a grade above husbandman, and this showed clearly on the bottom line of his Inventory, 101. 9s. 10d (and this list was added up correctly). He could possibly be described as wealthy.

Among his listed assets were 'tenn' acres and half of wheat, three horses and two colts, one cow and two 'heyfers', two and thirty ewes and 'teggs' (?), three 'hoggs' (sheep) and three 'shootes' (young pigs). There was barley, wheat and hay in the barn and one 'carte', one dung 'courte', one 'plow', three 'harrowes' and 'other husbandry tackling' outside. In the house were two feather and one flock beds, sixteen pairs of sheets, etc., one cupboard, six chests, two tables, nine chairs and one spinning wheel. Like his father's, his kitchen was well stocked with dishes, pots and kettles but he also had two brass candlesticks, eight beer vessels and other 'tubbs', including one for 'powdering' (?), and eighteen 'truggs' (wooden fruit baskets?).

So Phillip (II) had done well, but as far as we yet know he had only the one son Phillip (III) (born just after his parents had married and his father had died in 1693) to whom his possessions would pass.

We have discovered a Plan of 'Philip Sole's Land' in Rustington (Exhibit 3). Unfortunately it does not have a date but it shows three plots belonging to Philip. We do not know which of the many Philips is referred to but it is thought likely to have been either (II) or (III) but there was also a Philip (IV) and (V) etc.


1) Frederick W Sole for commissioning the research by Major J Pearce.

2) "A Glossary of Household, Farming and Trade Terms from Probate Inventories" by Rosemary Milward, published by the Derbyshire Record Society.

3) Sheila and David MacInnes for their follow up research.

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