By George Solly
This article was published in the April 2019 edition of Soul Search, the Journal of The Sole Society
My local church, St Marks’, Englefield near Reading is ancient (but not quite as old as the battle of Englefield nearby which saw the Vikings’ first defeat by the English (“Engles”) in 870.)
More recently St Mark’s hosted two important weddings, the most important being my daughter Imogen’s marriage to Miro; the other was Pippa Middleton to someone….
In this church is a memorial to Richard Benyon whose descendant is another Richard Benyon, local MP. So what is the connection to my family? On a recent visit to the National Archives at Kew I was looking at various original deeds, covenants and rental agreements.
My great great grandfather Richard Solly (1793-1877), was a farmer in Maldon, south east Essex with
143 acres, 7 men and 1 boy. Some of his lands in Tollesbury, Essex he rented from Richard Benyon de Beauvoir as described on the memorial. So the descendant of Richard Solly goes to the same church in Berkshire as Richard Benyon over 150 years after the former was the tenant of the later!