Chapter II Chapter IV


Chapter III.

Church History.

Some time after the conquest Jordan de Sal gave the church of Sulethorne to the Abbey of Egnesham or Ensham, in the following terms: “I, Jordan de Sai (or Say), for the soul of my son William, on the day on which I have committed him to the tomb at Egnesham, have given up to the said monastery the Churen of Sulethorn. The witnesses are ‘Ranulph my son’, and others.” (From a char­tulary of Ensham, numbered Claudius, A, 8, fol. 135, in the Cotton Library, now in the British Museum.) This gift was confirmed by Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln, who also confirms a pension of two marks of silver† yearly from the church of Sulethorn. In 1218, Willian de Warres, nephew of Robert, Abbot of Egnsham, was admitted to the Vicarage, when the monks had get their pension up to 100 shillings. A little later Robert de Haye, the rector (sic) and the Abbot of Oseney had a con­tention as to land at Mixbury, which was adjusted by a compromise. In 1233 there is the following notice—“To all sons of our Holy Mother the Church, to whom the present writ shall come, the Priors of St. John and St. James send greeting, and recite a mandate from Pope Gregory, wherein it is stated that the Prior and Convent of St. Frideswide, of Oxford, have, by a plaint, shown that Robert of Sulthorn and Nicholas of Beckele, a trusty knight, and divers others, do, in the matter of tithes and holdings, wrong the said Prior and Convent, and further, that His Holiness has ordered the Dean of Northampton and the Priors of St. John and St. James, or any two of them, to summon the parties before them, and decide the question at issue with­out appeal, and further reciting that upon parties being so summoned, Robert, Rector of Sulthorn, confessed in court that the tithes of one hide of land, which is called the ‘Hide of Sulthorn’ is within the bounds of the parish of Frettewelle, and so by common right belonging to the church thereof, and by the same right to the Canons of St. Frideswide. Whereupon it was adjudicated that the said tithes should belong to the said Prior of Frideswide, and he alienated from the said Robert and his church of Sulthorn for ever. The priest of Sulthorn renewed this suit the following year; the Pope appointed three more commissions, other than those before mentioned. These confirmed the former sentence, but the priest appealed to Rome again, and ultimately won his cause, subject to a yearly payment of 10s. to the Priory.“ (A great portion of the glebe, now called “Inlands” farm, is in the parish of Fritwell.) “The Rector of the church of Sulthorne holds (by the same fee) one hide of land which was formerly given to the church of Sulthorne in perpetual alms” (Testa de Nevill). In 1296, John de Bernewelle, parson of the church of Sulthorn, had recovered his seizin against Thomas de Lewknore and Lucie his wife, of the possession of his pasture in Sulthorn, which belongs to his freeholder in the same parish (Abbreviatio Rotulorum originalium, Ed. I.) And in 1297, the satile John de Bernwelle has a letter of protection by patent dated 2nd March of that year. [John de Bernewelle no doubt in consideration of a contribution to the Royal Exchequer obtains a rotection from further taxation.) In the 33rd of Edward I. (1305) there are “pleadings before Ralph de Hengham and his fellow justices of the bench of our Lord the King, in Trinity term, Thomas, Abbot of Egneshain, by his attorney, appeared against Lucie, wife of Thomas de Lewk­more and against Peter of Sche­oyn­don, to hear an assize of darrien presentment, which the said Thomas did here in the court arraign the assize (that is, bring the cause into court) against them, about the advowson of the church of Soulthorn, which is vacant.” The report goes on to state that. the said Lucie and Peter defended the suit against the said abbot, but not appearing, judgment was claimed by him upon their default. The jury found that the vacancy occurred upon the death of one John de Bernewelle, and those who have been consulted upon the rights of the Abbot, affirm that in the 20th Henry III. (1236) an agreement was, made between Nicholas, then Abbot of Egnesham, and one Lucie de Arderne (grandmother of Lucie. de Lewknore) by which she ack­now­ledged that the advowson belonged to the aforesaid Abbey of Egnesham, and that when a vacancy in the office of Abbot happened, the Bishop of Lincoln as patron of the said office did confer the church on Geoffrey de Stokes, one of his clergy. And those who have been consulted about collusion between the parties as to the value of the church, find there was no collusion, that the church is of the value of 20 marks yearly, and that the period of six months for present­ment has not elapsed. Therefore, it was allowed that the aforesaid abbot Thomas should have a writ to the Bishop of Lincoln, and that upon its presentation he (the Bishop) should admit a fit person to the aforesaid church, and the abbot was allowed ten marks from the defendant in compensation for his losses. (See White Kennett, vol. i., p. 500.) In the “Testa de Nevill,” temp Henry III., and Ed. I, it is stated—“The Deanery of Burncestre (Bicester), church of Sulthorne, pension deducted 10s.” And in Roll 28, “In the same manner the rector, Adam de Keresaye, gives information that he in the rectorial court at Oxford has recovered his seizin against Lucie, wife of Thomas de Lewknore and others, of 40s, rent, with (property?) in Sulthorne.” In Roll 15 the same occurs again, the only difference being the “e” at the end of Sulthorn. (Taxatio Ecclesiastica of Pope Nicholas IV., Diocese of Lincoln.) We hear of no further law-suits after this, only of the constant change of the clergy in the earlier centuries (as will be seen from the following list) and which may probably be accounted for by the tithes belonging to Eynsham Abbey.

† 26. 8d.

List of Clergy.

1218 William de Warres

About 1233 Robert de Haye

(Date uncertain) Geoffrey de Saye

1288 John de Bernewelle

(Date uncertain) Adam de Keresaye William of Dalderby

1335 Peter de Dalderby

1340 John Dalderby (an acolyte)

1349 Master Richard Selby, priest

1350 Thomas de Soliers, clerk

1361 Simon de Lamborne

(Date uncertain) Sir Wm. Person

1397 Simon Hoke, priest

1398 Master Walter Bullok, clerk; and on his resignation the aforesaid Simon Hoke, who appears to have again changed livings in 1400, with Thos. Preston, rector of Smerdon

1401 Thomas Bentle

1404 Exchanged with Sir John Whyteby

1415 Alan Kyrketon, exchanged with Sir John Whyteby

1415 Sir William Robyn, on the resignation of Alan Kyrkeson

1416 Thomas Wyrsop, in place of Robyn resigned

1417 Sir John Pagrave de Offord

1422 Win. Carles, in exchange

(Date uncertain) Thos. Nesshe

1462 Master Robert Darcy, priest

1465 Master Walter Bate, M.A.

Date uncertain) Master Thos. Gage

1505 Thos. Warner, clerk, presented by John Lyhynde, of Fifield, by an alleged concession of the Abbot of Eynsham I508 Edward Gledhill, presented by Wm. Holte

1562 Ed. Yonge, admitted by the Archbishop

1571 Lawrence Giles, on the presentation of Sir Hugh Throckmorton, of Souldern, knight

Except where otherwise mentioned, the above were all presented by the Abbey of Fgnsham. The living afterwards became Crown Property. From 1571 to 1647 we fail to find definite information of the names of rectors. The Rev. J. W. Pieters, sometime bursar of St. John's, Cambridge, kindly sent us the following extracts from the coll books : “The advowson of Soulderne in Oxfordshire, together with three other benefices, was iven to St. John's College, Cambridge, by Archishop Williams, under letters patent, dated 30th December 1623. The grant was ratified by the King, 1625. (See Hatchet's “Life of Archbisho Williams,” and Baker's “History of St. John's College,” edited by Mayor.)

Thomas Hodges, D.D., admitted Fellow on Mr. Ashton's foundation, 19th June, 1644, by order of the Duke of Manchester, in place of Thomas Thornton, who refused the covenant. The said Thomas Hodges was presented to the living of Souldern, 18th October, 1647, but was shortly afterwards ejected, and again presented in 1662

The name of Thomas Hardinge, B.D., does not appear in Mr. Pieter's list. He was rector of Souldern between 1647 and 1662, but how he came there we cannot learm. It mav be well here to remark that Charles I. was finally defeated in 1645, at Naseby, and Charles II. was restored in 1660. It is almost impossible to be accurate as to the holders of livings between these dates, probably the residence of many clergymen was connived at or over-looked. At all events, Mr. Hardinge seems to have lived, and worked, and died at Souldern without the knowledge of St. John's College. (For further particulars of Rev. T. Hardinge see “Monuments”)

William Twyne, B.A., Fellow on Lady Margaret's foundation, presented 3rd March 1663-4, in place of Thomas Hodges, resigned

1667 Bryan Turner, B.D., Fel'ow on Hibblethwaite's foundation, 4th April, 1665, presented on the death of William Twyne

1698 Geoffrey Shaw, B.A., 1679, M.A., 1683, B.D., 1691, admitted fellow on Lady Margaret's foumdation, 1698. (For further accounts, see note A)

1706 Matthew Pearson, B.A., 1686, B.D. and D.D., 1688. Fellow on Lady Margaret's foundation

1735 John Russell, B.A. 1716, M.A. 1719, B.D. 1729, Fellow of Lady Margaret's, presented Nov. 6, 1735. (Souldern at this time spelt “Souldren”)

1772 John Horseman, B.A. 1735, M.A. 1758, B.D. 1776, Fellow on Lady Margaret's foundadation. He pulled down the original chancel and erected the present barn-like substitute.

1806 Robert Jones, B.A. 1791, M.A. 1794, B.D. 1802, Fellow on Dr. Gywne's foundation. (A friend of the poet Wordsworth, who often stayed at the Rectory)

1835 Lawrence Stephenson, B.A. 1823, M.A. 1826, B.D. 1833, T).D. 1844. Fellow on Lady Rokeby's foundation, 1826, presented 11th July, 1833

The curates-in-charge at different times within the present century are as follows:—

The Rev. Francis Clerke, M.A., Fellow of All Souls, Oxon, from September, 1822, to the end of July, 1826. On leaving Soulderne he became senior proctor at Oxford in 1832. (A relative—we believe brother—of the late Archdeacon)

The Rev. J. A. Walpole, B.A., also of All Souls, Oxford, from September 1826, to the end of 1827

The Rev. Wm. Cotton Risley, Fellow of New College. Oxon, afterwards Vicar of Deddington. A man universally and deservedly esteeme'. Curate-in-charge from March, 1828, to August, 1836

The Rev. John Edward Wharton Rotton, D.D., LL.D., of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, late Senior Chaplain Bengal Eccles­iast­ical Estab­lish­ment, and Chaplain of the Army at the Siege of Delhi, 1857. Succeeded to curacy, May 21, 1875, and is now (1882) in charge.

The Rev. Jeffrey Shaw.

(A) From Nicholl's “Illustrations of the Literary History of the 18th Century” (1822), vol. iv., 119. Part of a letter from Mr. Edward Walker, Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, to his friend in the country, dated Dec. 6, 1706. “I should scarce have mentioned anything of the matter you write about, on my own account, but as since you have given yourself the trouble of enquiry, I am, I think, in friendship obliged to relate all that I know about the matter, and I do so the more willingly because I can so soon produce my authority. Mr. Shaw, to whom the apparition appeared, was lector of Soldern, or Souldern, in Oxfordshire, late of St. John's College, Cambridge, aforesaid, on whom Mr. Grove, his old fellow collegiate called, in July last, in his journey to the West, when he staid a day or two, and promised to see him again on his return, which he did, and staid three days with him. In that time, one night after supper, Mr. Shaw told him there happened a pass­age which he could not conceal from him, being an intimate friend, and one to whom the transaction might have something more relative than another man. He proceeded therefore, and told him that about a week before that time, viz., July 28, 1706, as he was singking and reading in his study, about eleven o'clock at night, there came to him the apparition of Mr. Naylor, formerly fellow of his college, and dead some years ago, a friend of Mr. Shaw's, in the same garb he used to be in, and with his hands clasped before him. Mr. Shaw, not being much surprised, asked him how he did, and desired him to sit down, which Mr. Naylor did. They both sat there a considerable time and entertained one another with various discourses. Mr. Shaw then asked after what manner they lived in a separate state. He answered, ‘Far different from what they do here,’ but that he was very well. Mr. Shaw enquired further whether there were any of their old acquaintances in that ple where he was. He answered, “No, not one,” and then proceeded and told him that one of their old friends, named Orchard, should die quickly, and that he himself (Mr. Shaw) should not be long after. There was mention of several other people's names, but who they were, or upon what occasion, Mr. Grove cannot, or will not, tell. Mr. Shaw then asked whether he would not visit him again before that time came, but he answered he could not; he had but three days allowed him, and further he could not go. Mr. Shaw then said, ‘Fiat Voluntas Domini,’ and the apparition left him. This is word for word as Mr. Shaw told Mr. Grove, and Mr. Grove told me.

“What surprised Mr. Grove was that as he had in his journey homewards occasion to ride through Clepton, or Claxton, he called upon Mr. Clarke, fellow of our college aforesaid, and curate there. When enquiring after college news Mr. Clarke told him that Arthur Orchard† died that week, August 6, 1706, which very much shocked Mr. Grove, and brought to his mind the story of Mr. Shaw afresh. About three weeks ago Mr. Shaw died of an apoplexy (in the desk), the same distemper poor Arthur Orchard died of. Since this strange completion of matters, Mr Grove has told this relation, and stands to the truth of it, and that which confirms the narrative is that he told the same to Dr Baldiston, the present vice-Chancellor, and Master of Emanuel College, above a week before Mr. Shaw's death, and when he came to the college he was no way surprised as others were, What furthers my belief in its being a true ver­sion, and not a dream, is Mr. Grove's incredibility of stories of this nature, and considering them both as men of learning and integrity, the one would not first have dec­lared, nor the other have spread the same, were not the matter itself serious and real. — Yours, etc., Edward Walker,”

† Of St. John's, Cambridge, B.A. 1662, M.A. Hogg, E D., 1678.

For the possession of the scarce tract, mentioned in Smith's catalogue, and entitled Offley (Williau), “Sermon on the Death of the Rev. Geoffrey Shaw, Rector of Soulderne, Oxfordshire, who died whilst he was in the church at evening prayer” (4to, 1707), the compilers are indebted to the kindness of Mr. Madan The Mr. Naylor spoken of in this narra. tive is mentioned in “Jordan's History of Enstone,” p. 191. “Mr. Naylor died in 1704, and was buried July 1st, of the same year. Affidavit was made before Mr. Bridesake, Rector of Swarford. On a corner buttress of the church porch there is a small diamond-shaped white marble slab to his memory, bearing an inscription of which the following is a trans­lation―“Near this spot is deposited John Naylor, Master of Arts, Fellow of University College, and Vicar of this church. He died June 29th, A.D., 1704, in the 49th year of his age. Grievously dispirited in the house of the LORD.’”

Description of the Church.

In the Ecclesiastical and Architectural Topo­graphy of England, part iv., 0xfordshire, published by John Henry Parker, 1850, is the following notice — “Souldern, St. Mary, chancel, nave, with S. aisle and tower. The Chancel is modern, the aisle windows are good, early decorated. The nave has a clerestory, and retains some ancient carved seats.† The tower is Early Norman having walls of great thickness.”

—A cornice of this church is engraved in Rickman, p. 163. In September, 1877, the church was inspected by Arthur Hodgson, Esq., of Bloxham (architect), who made the following report –“The Church of St. Mary, Souldern, is a very picturesque and most interesting structure. It is at the present time sadly in want of a thorough restoration, and the chancel such a bad piece of modern work that it would be quite impossible to do anything but pull it down, and build a new one of the same size as the original, and if possible mpon the old foundations, at the same time turning the fine old arch again to its proper use. The mave is parted from the south aisle by three pointed arches, resting on round columns, the capitals and bases of which are early Norman, and appear to have been turned upside down.” The north and south clerestory windows are very poor, merely square openings. Some of the windows of the aisle are elaborate and curious specimens of late decorated work. The porch is also about the swine date, and there is a well-moulded doorway, without capitals to the jambs (the labels terminate in heads) leading from it into the aisle.” In an appeal to the public for funds towards the restoration of the church, Dr. Rotton quotes the following lines from the “Miscellaneous Sonnets” of Wordsworth, which were written during one of the poet's visits to the rectory as the guest of his college friend, the Rev. Robert Jones, then rector of the parish:


“Where holy ground begins, unhallowed ends,”**
Is marked by no distinguishable line;
The turf unites, the pathways intertwine,
And wheresoe'er the stealing footstep tends,
Garden, and that domain where kindred friends
And neighbours rest together, here confound
Their several features, mingled like the sound
of many waters, or as evening blends
With shady night. Soft airs from shrub and flower
Waft fragrant greetings to each silent grave,
And while those lofty poplars* gently wave
Their tops, between them comes and goes a sky
Bright as the glimpses of eternity. To saints accorded in their mortal hour.”

† These seats were removed in 1855 when the Church was re-pewed.

** The churchyard has lately been planted and levelled.

When the above lines were written the Rectory garden came up to the north side of the Church, and was only parted from the churchyard by a sunk fence. The Rectory itself is a well built and picturesque-looking gabled house, said to be a good specimen of the parsonages of days gone by, From the appearance of the ground upon the north and west side, there must at one time have been good fish­ponds on the premises. Since Mr. Hodgson's report in 1877 there has been a most strenuous effort headed by the venerable Rector (Dr. Stephenson) and his family, to carry out all the improvements it was possible to make. For the organ, which is a very good one, the parish is also mainly indebted to the liberality of the Rev. Dr. Stephenson, The hideous gallery (partly erected in 1815), which blocked out the massive Norman arch leading into the tower and two of the best windows in the aisle, has been completely swept away. The pillars and arches in the nave have been scraped, and the whole building has undergone a thorough cleansing and colouring, and the following gifts and additions, as may be seen from entries added to the Register of 1688, by Dr. Rotton, have been made to the church.‡

I. A new altar of pitch pine, with oak top (made at Oxford).

II. Crimson cloth for the same. III.

Covering of crimson cloth, silk fringed.

IV. Polished brass cross (given by Mr. J. Cobbin)

V. Four flower vases of polished brass.

VI. Two polished brass candlesticks, each hold­ing five lights.

VII. Large eastern window curtain, serving at present as reredos.

* These poplars, which stood in a field, now occupied by Mr. Hurlstone, were cut down some years ago.

‡ A list of these was shown to, and approved of, by the Rural Dean, on his official visitation Oct. 1880.

VIII. A pair of crimson dorsal curtains, suspended from polished brass rods.

IX. Polished brass service, Desk for the altar, and Service book bound in morocco.

X. Two sets of altar linen, one plain, the other of finest double damask (figured).

XI. Book of Common Prayer, half-calf Red Rubric and Lection­ary, (Dr. Rotton).

XII. A Bible Morocco-bound, Whit Sunday, 1881. (J. H. & A. P. G.)

XIII. Curtains of Crimson Felt, fixed behind the great Western arch, as well for ornament as for use.

XIV. September 14, 1880, three Vitre­maine glass lights, “The Virgin and Child,” “The Cruci­fixion,” and “CHRIST, the King of Glory,” were placed in the Chancel window (by Dr. Rotton), also a small single light, “St. Peter,” in the Tower. (J. H. G.)

XV. An Oak Lectern, presented by Dr. Rotton. And in the autumn of 1881 a handsome oak door was put up, at considerable expense, by subscription, in the Porch.

The list of vessels for the Holy Communion, belonging to St. Mary's, Souldern (Aug., 1880), is as follows:―

I. Pure Silver Flagon, given Christmas Day, 1879, by J. H. Gough, Frederick Stanton, and George Stratton, Esqrs.

II. Pure Silver Paton (a thank-offering, August, 1880).

III. Silver electro water cruet (Dr. Rotton).

The original holy vessels, made of the white silver of former days, are—

I. A pure Silver Paton of 1634.

II. A pure Silver Chalice, old and roughly made but of the very best silver.

The following is an inventory of church goods, etc., removed from the church of Souldern in the 6th Edward WI. : – “Exchequer, 2 R, Church Goods, 4 (A 5), Oxford, Parish of Souldern, file 7-155, No. 21. This inventory, indented, made the 2nd day of May, in the sixth year of the reign of our Soverign Lord King Edward the 6th, of all the goods, plate, jewels, and other ornaments, pertaining to the Parish Church of Souldern, in the county of Oxford. between Sir William Reynolds, knight, Thomas Breedy and Thomas Cowsford, amongst others, commissioners appointed in the said county, for the survey of the said goods with the premises of the one part, and Thomas Bond and Thomas Symes of Souldern aforesaid of the other part: Witnesseth that all the goods and other premises hereafter written belonging to the said church were committed by the said commissioners to the custody of Thomas Bond and Thomas Symes, with the sure undertaking that they will at all times be forth remaining and to be answered:&mdashl In primus, three pair of vestmemts of satin of Bridges (Bruges); item, six pair of white vestments or satin of Bridges, and the other white fustian; item, one chalice of silver parcel gilt; item, six copes of satin of bridges; item, six candle­sticks of brass; item, one censor; item, six bells and a sanctus bell.”

“True copy of au extract found in ‘the Public Record Office,” received by me at Banbury, 12th April, 1879.

John Edward Wharton Rotton, D.D. LL.D., Curate-in-charge of Souldern.
Souldern Rectory, April 16, 1879.’

We cannot conclude this short description of the church and its belongings without expressing a fer­vent hope that at no distant period the Master and Fellows of St. John's, Cambridge, patrons of this valuable living since the reign of James I., will liberally contribute towards the rebuilding of the fine and well proportioned old chancel, destroyed at the beginning of the century by one of their own body, who was allowed by them to erect the present mean and paltry substitute without let or hindrance.

Monumental Inscriptions in The Church.

The following notices are all that remain of the Bignells, who for many years were landowners in Souldern–

Elizabeth died, March 10th, 1700

Mary died April 30th, 1708

Jane died August 13th, 1713

(See Rawlinson, B 400.)

There is still a slab over the south door of the church with this inscription:—“Underneath this aisle lie interred the remains of the Bignell family for many generations past. This stone is erected to record also the interment of Thomas, son of Thomas and Mary Bigmell, who died April 7, 1796, aged 71 years; and of Sarah, his wife, who died March 5th, aged 72 years.”

Bowers, John, died 5th October, A.D., 1611 William and Sarah, September 3rd, 1620 Anne, daughter of the above Wm. and Sarah, died March 5th, 16— (date erased)

Buchanan, Lydia, the elder daughter of John Hill, of Manchester, and Mary, his wife, died 19th May, 1879, aged 80 years. This monument is erected by her nephew, John Hill Gough

Colgrave, Elizabeth, died February 26th, 1712 (Rawlinson, B, 400.)

Dodwell, Thomas, fourth son of Richard Dodwell, of Oxford, and Anne, his wife, died 3rd January, 1624

Winifred, 1669 (copied from the Souldern Register)

John died, February 3rd, 1669

Isabella, died May 21st, 1680

Philip (Senex de Litt Oxoniensis), died Feb. 4th, 1683 Joannes (senex), Oct. 11th, 1683

Thomas, infant son of Richard and Anne, died January 4, 1695

Thomas, senex olim ministarius negociatus, sepultons September 16, 1704, and

“Here lyeth the body of Mary, wife of John Dodwell, gent, died March 14, 1702, aged 67. Also, the said John Dodwell, April 4th, 1723, aged 82 years; and Mary, his second wife, June, 1720, aged 70.”

§Gough on a stone slab now (1880) placed in the Tower, are the following lines to the memory of Ferdinando Gough, “F. F. and G.”

§ in the “Beauties of England and Wales” by Brewer, published 1810,there is the following notice: “In this church are buried several of the family of Gough among whom are Ferdinando, who died 1664, and father, who died 1648. Several of this family are likewise interred in the church of Upper Heyford, or Heyford Warr n. Richard Gough died March 20th, 1638. (Rawlinson, B 400, c.)

“Friend, here thou seest my body in earth,
And how my life is now cut off by death;
But know my roule is now at rest with Him,
Who from everlasting death did it redeem.
'Twill not be long before that thou must dye,
And then in grave thyself must also lye:
Be wise now, therefore, while that thou hast tyme,.
That grave, and CHRIST, and glory may be thine.
Thyself deceive not with a Christian name,
Unless thou also be in heart the same.
Love GOD in truth, believe in CHIRIST His Sonne,
Bid farewell sin, let vayne delight be gone,
To be for heaven now while thou can,†
Set on the work, and then, O happy man !

Ferdinando Gough, buried January 23rd, 1671,

Elizabetha (infans), March 13th, 1671

Sarah (virgo), sepult May 29th, 1684

Richard Gough, gent, died May 13, 1717

‡Sarah, his wife, March 12th, 1755, aged 68.

Drope Gough, Esq., who departed this life, 3rd February, 1761 Ann, his wife, who died 5th July, 1793, aged 76. Also to the memory of Mary, daughter of the said Drope Gough and Ann, his wife, widow of the Rev. Henry Gabell, formerly rector of Standlake in this county; she died Nov. 1810, aged 71

(These inscriptions appear upon two united diamond-shaped marble tablets now placed over the pulpit.)

“In memory of Elizabeth, daughter of Richd. Gough, by Sarah, his wife, who died 1772, aged 61 (A portrait of this, lady, and a prayer book belonging to her are still in possession of the family.)

There are also inscriptions, on stones in the south aisle, to Richard, Francis, and William Gough (dates illegible).

† This line is somewhat difficult to decipher.

‡ Sarah Eeles, see pedigrees.

On a slab above the present family pew, “erected by Mrs. Mary Louge as a memorial of her affection,” are the following names:—

Richard Drope Gough, Esq., died May 18, 1818, aged 63

Ann, his widow, obt. December 7th, 1825, aged 69

Mary, their daughter, obt. March 14th, 1792, aged 10

Harriet, their daughter, obt. July 10th, 1803, aged 16

And three of their children, who died in infancy

Francis Penrose, obt. Nov. 11th, 1796, aged 52

Sarah, his widow, sister to the above R. D. Gough, died March 7, 1814, aged 72

Immediately under this is a carved marble and stone monument, to the memory of John Moxon Hill, the only child of John Hill Gough, and Anne Penrose, his wife, born June 4th, 1871, died October 8th, 1875

And nearer the porch a tablet to the memory of Sarah Drake (daughter of Francis and Sarah Penrose) who departed this life January 22nd, 1852, aged 74 years, relict of the late Mr. John Drake, of Woburn, Beds

Other members of the Gough family lie buried on the north side of the church, where there are memorial slabs to the memory of Richd. Drope Gough, Esq. (eldest son of the above R. D. Gough and Ann, his wife), who died July 12th, 1838, aged 58 years

Caroline, his sister, obt. July, 1836, aged 38, and Emma, his sister, died July 12, 1855, aged 67

Charles Gough (brother of the above), who died November 3rd, 1863, aged 70, and Sarah (younger daughter of John Hill, of Manchester), his wife, December 30th, 1807, aged 67

A monument has recently been erected to the memory of Sarah and Louisa, the last surviving daughters of R. D. Gough (the elder). Louisa died January 30th, 1880, aged 82; and Sarah, January 26th, 1882, in the 88th year of her age

Hill—The Hill family are buried on the south side of the churchyard

Hurlstone—“In memory of Caroline Ada, daughter of Michael and Ann Hurlstone, 5th January, 1846, aged 7 years and nine months;” also, “In memory of Thomas Herbert, son of Thos. Page and Elizabeth Hurlstone, who was drowned on his return from the west coast of Africa, aged 28.”

Kilbye and Cox―“Francis Kilbye died Dec. 1672; Richard, September 11, 1693, ætatis suæ, 84. Requiescat in pace. Amen”

Alice, or Alicia, wife of Richard Kilbye, gent, died December 1st, 1714, aged 66

Also of Annette, wife of Robt. Kilbye, gent, who died September 3, 1714, aged 34

Here lyeth the body of Robert Kilbye, gent, who died March 12th, 1757, aged — years

Here lyes the body of William Reynolds (gent) son of Alice Raynolds, who departed this life February ye 23rd, 1718, aged 71

(This William Reynolds was the brother of Alice Kilbye, wife of Richard Kilbye, who died in 1714, aged 66. The family of Reynolds resided at Cassington, which property they received from Queen Mary (Tudor). They originally came from Pinhoe in Devonshire). Another of the Reynolds family married a Penrose.

Here lyeth the body of A. Cox, daughter of Richard Kilbye, who departed this life on the 7th April, 1729. ætatis suæ, 53

And here lyeth the body of Helen Bleven, who departed this life on the 3rd day of Oct., in the year of our Lord, 1765, aged 60 years

Mitchell—Here lyeth the body of Edward Mitchell, who departed this life the – day of Jan., Anno Domini, 1753, aged 74

(The above Kilbye and Mitchell inscriptions were copied when the church was re-pewed in 1852-3, by Mr. Hoare, then schoolmaster, and kindly sent to us in 1880, by George Dolman, Esq.

Minn—William and James Minn, elsewhere mentioned in these notes as benefactors to the school, are buried in the churchyard, but there are two monuments in the church to members of their family, which read as: follows:–

“Sacred to the memory of William James Minn, son of Robert and Hannah Mimn, of Shrewsbury, who perished at sea in the night of the 19th June, 1849, in 30, south latitude, and 10° 30", west longitude, aged 18 years and 10 months, to the great grief of all who knew him.” Also,

To the memory of James Minn, soldier, brother of the above-named Robert Minn. He likewise died at sea on his voyage to Canada, in the year 1831, aged 44 years. He served 14 years in the Hussars, under the Marquis of Anglesey, and two years in the Peninsula, in the 3rd Regiment of Lancers, and had an honourable discharge from both Regiments. His first action was “Corunna,” his last “Waterloo.” “The sea shall give up her dead.”

Rousby—James Henry, son of James Edwards Rousby, Esq., and Caroline his wife. He died 18th October, aged 5 years

Tabram— “To the memory of James Frederick Tabram, born 21st March, 1834, died 23rd Nov., 1838 (nephew of the Rev. Dr. Stephenson).

Weedon—As will be seen hereafter the Weedons purchased the Manor of Souldern from the descendents of the Throckmortons, and bequeathed the same to Samuel Cox, in 1710

The following members of the Weedon family appear to have been buried in the church:―

Bernard Weedon, 1679

Ignatius Weedon, 1683

Mary Weedon, widow, 1689

Frances Weedon, widow of John Weedon, Esq., 1701

The said John Weedon, 1702

Elizabeth, wife of Bernard Weedon, jun., 1708

John Weedon, Esq., 1710

Bernard Weedon, 1713

Mary Weedon, 1728

William Weedon, 1741

And Widow Weedon, 1744

Nearly all the Weedons seem to have been Roman Catholics. Their monuments may still be seen near the north door. One of them has the Weedon arms carved as an escutcheon empaled with the arms of the wife

There is another stone on the other side of the church, with the names of Weedon and Gough upon it

Westcar—The Westcars are also mentioned further on in these notes, as being benefactors to the parish. Of this family the following are uried in the church :―

Samuel died May 11, 1793, aged 33

Thomas died March 1, 1809, aged 53

Mary died June 20, 1793, aged 35

Elizabeth died March 31, 1820, aged 65

Children of Thomas Westcar (gent) and Elizabeth his wife

Thomas Westcar (gent) died Sept. 27, 1788,

Elizabeth, his wife, Aug. 10, 1805, aged 88

Mr. John Rowland Crook is the only descendant of the Westcar family now living in the parish, though we believe Hill House Farm is still possessed by another branch

Nearly all the rectors are buried in the chancel. The first in date is on a brass recently restored by Dr. Rotton :—

“Of your charitie py for the soul of Maister Thoms Warn, late pson. of this Church, which decesed XI. die Apl, anno, —.”*

There is a full length effigy of the priest in his vestments

Hardinge—“Here lies interred the body of the learned and Reverend Thomas Hardinge, Batchelor of Divinity. Sometime one of the Masters of Westminster School, commonly called the Grecian, from his excellency in that tongue. Rector of Soulderne 26 years, and author of the great Ecclesiastical Historie. His better monument he erected himself where his memorie and his successors live together in the faire parsonage house, where he was not only emiuent for his holy and pious conversation, but by his hospitality and charitie. His epitaph is legible in the last volume of his works. He suffered his mortal change October 10th, 1648, in the time of the Great Revolution, and change in Church and State, living and dying himself in the same constancy of obedience, a true son of the church and professor of the aneient catholique faith. Anima mea cum patribus.” Mr. Hardinge's armorial bearings are engraved on the monument.

* This date is somewhat difficult to make out, but seems to be 1514.

Twyne―“Here lieth the body of Mr. William Twyne, for divers years fellow of St. John's College, in Cambridge, Batchelor in Divinity, and Rector of this church, whose exemplary convers­ation in both places, for solid lear­ning and true piety, deservedly recom­mended him to the imitation of others. He de­parted this life the last day of January, 1665, and in the 41st yeare of his age.”

Turner—Bryanus Turner, died Feb. 20th, 1697, and was buried, Feb. 22nd, 1697 Also two of his sons, 1696―1697

Shaw—“Here lies the body of Jeffery Shaw, B.D., Rector of this Clurch, who fell down dead while he was reading divine service therein ou Sunday, Nov, 17th, 1706. ‘Blessed_is that servant whom the LORD when He cometh shall find so doing.’”

Russel1—“M. T. Reverendi viri Joannis Russell, S. T. B. Divi Joan. Evangel apud Cantab Socii Deui Nujas Parochiæ Amiros, ultra 36 rectoris, qui obiit 5 die memsis Martii, ano., salutis,1791 ; ætatis, 84”
“Juxta jacet, Elizabetha, J. R. uxor, quœ obiit, die 26, m Martii, anno, salutis, 1791 ; ætatis, 84”

Horseman―“Rev. John Horseman, B.1)., June 25, 1800, aged 73, and, Ursula, wife of the Revd. John Horseman, Rector of Souldern, died April 19, 1803, aged 65 years”

†Throckmorton—In the chancel is another brass consisting of a heart supported by two hands, with three scrolls issuing from the heart. The following words are written on the scrolls :―“Credo quod Redemter meus vivit et in novissimo die de tra surrectur su et in carne mea videbo Deu Salvatore meu.” In­scribed upon the heart are the words, “Jhu mcy.”; and below the brass, “Here lyeth buryed John Throckmorton the son of Hugh Throckmorton (gent) by Elizabeth his wife, who died 6th October, in the year of our Lord, 1537.” With re­ference to this interesting brass, we have been favoured with the copy of a letter from the Rev. Henry Burgess to Dr. Rotton, in which it is said that “hearts are usual on brasses before the Reformation, and held in hands. They are sometimes inscribed with ‘Mercy,’ or ‘Jesu mercy' (as at Souldern). The passage from Job xix., 25, 26, is frequently found in connection with the heart, the latter being inscribed “Crelo,” and the scrolls, three in number, continuing the text. Sometimes the heart is held by two hands issuing from clouds (as at Souldern also). It is said that such memorials indicated that the deceased was enabled to perform a vow which he had made, but better still, I think they are intended to embody the ancient invitatory ‘sursuin corda,’ and to express a firm trust in the promises of GOD. I am also told that the heart was often interred in a different church from that in which the body was buried.”

The attention of the present baronet, Sir Nicholas William Throckmorton, having been called in 1881 to the dilapidated state of this interesting family memorial, he at once caused it to be perfectly restored, The only remaining monument to be noticed is another brass (also in the chancel) being the effigy of a girl of apparently 16 or 17 years. This has been recently polished and re-placed by the direction, and at the ex­pense of, Dr. Rotton. (1882.)

† For the first part of this notice we are indebted to George Dolman, Esq.

Church Register.

For the present condition of the earliest existing Register, the Parish is much indebted to Dr. Rotton. It contains—

“Briefs” from A.D. 1668 to Michaelmas, 1771

Baptisms from June 1668 to March 1741

Marriages from Feb. 21, 1668 to April 14, 1741

Burials from September 14, 1669 to June 17, 1742

The Briefs appear principally to have been directed to the relief of the following—

French and Irish Protestants

The Slaves of Algiers

The Restoration of Cathedrals and Churches

Losses by Fire

Sufferers from Shipwreck

But the French Protestants seem to have been the favourite objects of charity, for in a brief of the 2nd May, 1686, we find the sum of £3 3s. 11½d. collected for them. Whilst on the 27th May, 1706, the brief for the reformed Episcopal Church in Polish Russia only amounted to 4s. 6d.

The following is a copy of one of these collections about the year 1732. For Llandaff Cathedral, charge £63,666 and upwards—

s. d.
s. d.
Mr. Killby ......... 0 6 Will. Bower ...... 0 2
Mr. King.... 1 0 Ed. Hyatt. 0 2
Mr. Mitchell . 0 6 Will. C. 0 2
Mr. Gough ...... ... 0 6 Giles ... ... 0 1
Robt. Bignold...... 0 2 Jno. Marshall ...... 0 1
Thomas Young ... 0 2 Will Hill .... ... O 2
Will. Philips ...... 0 2 James Aris ......... 0 2
Dod. Colegrave... 0 1 E. Walker (curate) 0 2
James French ...... 0 1

Baptisms –In the list of Baptisms the names of Heritage, Bignoll, Barrett, Rogers, Hyett, Freeman, East, Bates, Colegrave, Bennett, Gough, Paynton, Weedon, and Bower, frequently appear, There are two entries, one of August 9, 1709. “baptised Montague, son of William Drake, Esq.,” and the other of April 18th, 1713, “Adria, daughter of William Drake, Esq.” How the said William Drake was connected with Souldern we do not know.

The order for burying in woollen appears as follows—“Act for burying in Woollen, only to be read ye first Sunday after St. Bartholomew every year for seven years, commencing 1678. Contents of it ar. —

I. That ye minister register all burialls.

II. That some relaion or credible person make affidavit in eight days before some Justice yt. no manner of stuff wheoever but of sheep's wool only be about in the coffin (or about ye body of ye in­terred) and bring ye affidavit to ye minister who shall register ye same.

III. If no sure affidavit wf. in eight days be brought to ye minister, hee forthwith to give notice or cause notice thereof to be given, under his hand to ye church­wardens or over­seers of ye poor, who shall in 8 daies after repayr to ye Justices who shall forthwith grant warrant for ye forfeiture, whereof one moiety to ye poor, ye other to ye in­former (and that surely is ye minister).

IV. If ye Minister, Churchwardens, Overseers, Justices, neglect their forsd. respective duties, are to forfeit Five Pounds,” and so on.

Elizabeth Horn, the first buried under these regulations, September 15, 1678.

There seems to have been a breach of this Act in the following case—Sarah Gough, virgo, sepult May 29, 1684. “No affidavit brought on the 6th June to John Dodwell, church­warden, Soldern, or any shown (?) to Mr. King.”

“This certificate is to inform yt, no affidavit has been brought to mee within ye titne linnited by ye Act of Parliament for burying in woollen, concerning Mrs. Sarah Grough being interred according to ye direction thereof. Witness my hand this 7th of June, 1684. B. T. (Bryan Turner, rector.)”

In 1685, we find the entry—“Johannis Horne, adolescens buried according to the rites of the Anglican Church,“ and this notice occurs again in the following—

Thomas Lepington, Oct., 1687

Maria Weedon, Nov., 1689

Ricardus Kilby (armiger), 1693

Mortuaries.—A mortuary is defined as a sort of Ecclesiastical heriot, a customary gift claimed by, and due to the minister of a parish on the death of a parishiomer. Such claims are allowed and prov­ided for under the 21st, Henry VIII., c. 6, and have not been interfered with by the 43rd and 44th Vic., c. 41; but were formerly claimed and paid at Souldern. See p. 55 of the old Register, where, under the head “Mortuuries” is written—

Hee or shee yt, deceaseth worth ten s. d.

marks paies ........................ 3 4

If worth 30 pounds in mouvable goods paies 6 8

If worth 40 pounds in mouvable goods paies 10 0

21st Henry VIII., 6.)

No woman being covert Baron paies any mortuary; nor child, nor person not keeping house, nor way­faring person, nor non-resident.

Accordingly, s. d.

Thos. Dodwell for his sister Isabel paid 3 4

Mrs. Kilby for her husband ... 10 0

John Weedon, for his father ... 10 0

Ferdinando Gough, for his sister, Sarah ... .. 3 4

Mr. Drope, for his father ................... ... ... 10 0

Shreeve Paynton, Esq., for his father, Dodwell 10 0

This Shreeve Paynton's son Richard seems to have married one of the Dollys, of Souldern, and their daughter, christened “Dolly,” espoused “Francis Pigott, impropriator of the church of Banbury, third son of John Pigott, of Windsor, by Isabella, heiress of Thomas Gillery, a Colonel in the army of King William” (see monuments in Banbury Church). The only son and child of the aforesaid Francis and Dolly, “Paynton Pigott," who afterwards took the names of “Stainsby Conant,” married Lucy, fourth daughter of Richard Drope Gough, and left a numerous family. His eldest son, “Francis Pigott Stainsby Conaut was member for Read­ing, and governor of the Isle of Man.” Another son, “Sir Gillery,” also member for Read­ing, was Recorder of Hereford and one of the Barons of Her Majesty's Court of Exchequer.

Chapter II Chapter IV