SAWLEs in Cornwall
By Helen Allen
This article was originally published in the November 1993 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society.
Having read the Saul Co‑ordinator's Report in Soul Search No 3 with interest, particularly the reference to the Sawle family of Cornwall and having ancestors in Cornwall myself, I went to my collection of books on Cornwall and came up with the following:
Firstly, the SAWLEs have four mentions in A.L. Rowse's Tudor Cornwall, A Survey (c1610) as owners in the “little Manor of Austell prior".
Nich Sawle (a mill) 1 rood, the term 3 lives, rent 46s 8d, annual value 70s 0d.
A second entry for Nich Sawle of 1 acre 1 rood, term 10 years rent 9s 0d annual value 22s 8d (page 44)
Page 175 mentions a Richard Sawle, the prior's servant, who in 1533 was attacked by seven men, and this is a case that appeared before the Star Chamber. The venue was Padstow.
Page 331 Sawle is mentioned in 1578 as "Among the Cornish Gentry," in a survey of former church property.
Page 382 has a mention of William Sawle of Luxulyan (pronounced Luxilian) in the Muster Roll taken before the Armada when he owns a "corselet, an almain rivet, a pike and a bill".
Oliver Sawle is mentioned in Cornwall in the 17th Century by James Whetter. "The weekly markets, on Fridays and two fairs were granted to Oliver Sawle and Henry Carlyon in 166l." (St. Austell).
My Book of St. Austell by Cyril Bunn (ISBN 0 86023 059 7) Barracuda Books Ltd. Buckingham, MCMLXXVIII even mentions "Sawle of Penrice", supposed to have come out of Normandy with William the Conqueror. Other references include Oliver Sawle of Penrice, and Robert Sawle of St. Austell as Royalists during the civil war.
Penrice. There is at the present Penrice School, the playing fields of which have the "Longstone of Gwallon" visible, one of the ancient standing stones of Cornwall.
The Book of St. Austell has a list of subscribers at the back, and No. 83 is Frederick Christopher Sawle, address (in 1990 telephone book), 65 Sea Road, Carlyon Bay, PL25 3SQ. There are 19 Sawles listed.
Donald Rawe's Prospect of Cornwall mentions, "Penrice near St. Austell, now a home for the Elderly" (Old Souls perhaps!).
The Handbook of Cornish Surnames (C. Pawley White, Dyllansow Truran 1972). Basing his book on Blewett's analysis of all the 243,389 voters in the Cornwall 1953 Electoral Registers, White locates SAWLE in mid and west Cornwall. He gives its derivation from the Cornish personal AWEL and points to the place names TRESAWLE, found in the parishes of COLAN, PROBUS and St. COLUMB MAJOR (the last spelt TRESAWEL in 1338).
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