Sotterley is, undoubtedly, the southern lea or pasture land of Saxon times, so called
in relation to some more important locality, probably Beccles, from which it is distant
about four miles.
In Domesday Book it is written Soterlega, and was then the estate of Earl Hugh.
Mundret held the parish as one manor under this powerful chieftain: it contained a
church with seven acres of glebe, and appears to have been a flourishing village, rich in
sheep, swine, and poultry. It was one leuca in length, and nine furlongs in breadth.
In the reign of Henry III., Philip Bocland, already mentioned under Shaddingfield,
obtained a license of free-warren in Sotterley, with liberty to hold a market and a fair. (fn. 1)
It very soon after became possessed by a family that assumed their surname from it, for
in the year 1309 Roger de Soterle held this manor, with those of Stoke, Argh, and
Wirrall, in the county of Chester, of the King, by the service of finding a horse
furnished for the army for forty days, when employed against the Welsh. (fn. 2) Edmund de
Soterle, his son, had free-warren in this parish, and held one knight's fee. In the list
of towns and their lords made by order of King Edward II., in the ninth year of his
reign, the Sheriff of Suffolk returns that Edmund de Soterle was lord of Soterle. (fn. 3) He
paid the King 100s. for relief of his lands here, and in Cheshire, (fn. 4) and was Knight of the
Shire for Suffolk in the fourth and sixth years of King Edward III. His arms were
gules, a fess between 3 round buckles argent, the tongues pale-wise. In the seventeenth
of the same King's reign, Roger de Soterle, his son, granted the manor of Uggeshall to
the lady Joan, his mother, for life; provided she claimed no dower in the manors of
Sotterley, in Suffolk, and Stody, in Norfolk. (fn. 5) In 1380 it was returned that Edmund de
Soterle held, at the day of his death, conjointly with Margaret his wife, the manor of
Sotterley, with the advowson of the church; and that Roger was his son and heir. (fn. 6)
Margaret Soterle enjoyed this property after the decease of her husband, whom she
survived about four years; for in 1384 it was returned that Margaret, widow of Edmund
de Soterle, held at the day of her death this manor and advowson, of the King, as of his
county of Chester, by the service of one knight's fee. (fn. 7)
Roger de Soterle, her son, held these estates by the same tenure, and purchased of
Sir Ralph Bigod 11s. 6d. per annum rent, with the rent of 1500 herrings in Gisleham
and Sotterley. (fn. 8)
In 1434 it was entered in the court books that "Johēs Soterle aravit quandam
divisionem inter terr: et ad prejudicium D'ni." In 1459 one branch of this family
became extinct in the male line; for in that year John Fisk, of Badingham, and
Katharine his wife, daughter and heiress of John Soterle, son and heir of Edward
Soterle, held in Sotterley one messuage and thirty acres of land. (fn. 9)
This was evidently a junior branch of this ancient stock, not only from the circumstance that John Soterle had trespassed upon the lord's lands, but also from the fact that
the manor and advowson remained with the Soterleys till about 1470, when, the
representative being an adherent of the Red Rose, they were confiscated by the Duke of
York, afterwards Edward IV., and bestowed on Thomas Playfair, or Playters, a partisan
of his cause. The estate, however, could not have been bestowed on this gentleman for
his valour at the battle of Barnet, as has been supposed, (fn. 10) because that decisive engagement was not fought till the 14th of April, 1471; and we find the armorial bearings of
Playters still sparkling with their lustrous azure bendlets in a south window of the nave
in Sotterley church, beneath which shield is placed the date of mcccclxx.; whence
it would appear that Thomas Playters then possessed the manor of the Soterleys, which
is confirmed by the fact that he presented to the church in 1469. It is more likely that
Edward IV., whose reign commenced on the 4th of March, in the year 1460, bestowed
on Playters the patrimony of the adverse party soon after his accession, for services
rendered in preceding struggles.
From this period we hear no more of the family of Soterle. Driven out from the house
of their fathers by domestic conflicts, when every man's hand was raised against his
brother, they fell into poverty, and its consequent obscurity, and probably soon after
became extinct. In 1477, Thomas Sotterle, Esq., was interred in the conventual church
of the Austin Friars, at Norwich. He was possibly the unfortunate exiled Lancastrian.
The descendants of Thomas Playters, the successful Yorkist, retained the manor and
advowson of Sotterley till the year 1744, when John Playters, Esq., in the lifetime of
his father, sold the paternal estate to Miles Barne, Esq., the son of a merchant in London,
who pulled down the old hall, and built a beautiful seat on nearly the same site. The
estate was then so covered with timber as to render it an objectionable purchase, so
little was the value of forest trees at that time understood. A manuscript, formerly in
the possession of Sir William John Playters, of Yelverton, in Norfolk, the last Baronet,
relates that Mr. Barne felled sufficient timber to pay the purchase-money, and left
Sotterley one of the best wooded estates in Suffolk.
Thomas Playters, the Yorkist, died on the 21st of September, 1479. He married
Anne, sister and heiress of Roger Dennys, of Tannington, in Suffolk, who died on the
10th of October in the same year. The portraiture of this stalwart warrior in complete
armour, with the exception of his head-piece, and covered with the surcoat of his arms,
is remaining in the east window of the chancel in Sotterley church. He is represented
in a devotional attitude, with seven sons kneeling behind him. As this group occupies
the central day, or division, of the window, it is not probable that the effigy of the wife
with her daughters was ever placed with it.
By an inquisitio post mortem, taken on the 19th of January, in the fifteenth of
Queen Elizabeth, we learn that Thomas Playters held Sotterley of the Queen, as of her
honour of Eastry: its annual value is stated to be £10. He also held the advowson.
He died on the 19th of September, in the preceding year, and after providing a life
interest for his widow Elizabeth, entails his manor of Sotterley, &c., on his son William;
then on Thomas, son and heir of the said William, and his lawful heirs; remainder to
the heirs male of the said William; remainder to the heirs male of the said Thomas,
father of William; remainder to right heirs of the said Thomas. He further bequeaths
to each of his younger sons, Thomas, John, and Henry, an annuity of £16, with power
to distrain for arrears on his manor of Sotterley. (fn. 11)
From a like evidence, taken on the 20th of October, in the twenty-sixth of the same
reign, William Playters, Esq., was found to die seized, inter alia, of the manors and
advowsons of Sotterley, Uggeshall, and Ellough, and the reversion of the lordship of
Brusyard. He died on the 6th of June in the previous year, and Thomas was found
to be his son and heir, aged 18 years. In 1599, Thomas Playters, Esq., furnished one
horseman to be conducted to London, for the defence of the court against secret
purposes intended. (fn. 12)
In the third of James I., Thomas Playters occurs as High Sheriff for the county of
Suffolk: his estate was then valued at £2000 per annum. (fn. 13) He is said to have been
"a worthy Patriott, and the last Baronet created by James I." He had previously
received the honour of knighthood at Newmarket: the patent for his baronetcy is dated
August 13th, 1623. It is related of this gentleman that he was so wealthy, that he could
ride from Beccles to Dunwich, a distance of 15 miles, upon his own landed property.
In the sixteenth of Charles I., Sir William Playters was Member in Parliament for
Orford, and Vice-Admiral of Suffolk. The loyal and gallant achievements of this
gentleman and his son are recorded on a monument in the church at Dickleburgh, in
the county of Norfolk, and are here transcribed. "Here under lyeth buried the body
of Dame Frances Platers, the daughter and heir of Charles le Grys, of Billingford, in
Norff., Esq. She married Sir William Playters, of Sotterley, in Suffolk, Knt. and
Bart.; sometimes one of the deputie Lieuetenants and Vice-Admir. of the said countie,
and Justice of the Peace and Coram; and Coll. of a regiment of foot, till turn'd out of
all by the then rebellious Parliament; and in fine out of that Hous of Parliament,
whereof he had the misfortune to be a member. She had issue by him only Thomas,
who married with Rebecka, the daughter and co-heir of Tho. Chapman, of Woormly, in
the countie of Hartford, Esq., which said Sir Tho. was a great traveller before and after
marriage, his ladie sometimes beyond the seas with him: a learned schollar; an exact
linguist, expert in all arts and knowledge; of rare temper and courage; and of great
esteem in most courts in Christendom; High Sheriff for the countie of Suffolk, by
commission from his Majestie of blessed memory, ao. 1646, till forc'd by that fatal
parliament to flee to the King at Oxford, where, by commission from his Majesty, he
rais'd a regiment of Hors, wherewith he performed remarkable service, till his Majesties
forces were totally ruin'd; and then he departed the Kingdome, arriving in Cicilia,
where, by commission from that Viceroy, he had command of a squadron of six shipps
against all enemies to the crown of Spain, which being prepared, he put to sea, and
performed many gallant services, much to the honour of the Spanish flagg. In July,
1651, he put into the port of Messina with a very rich prize, and posted to the court at
Palermo, where he met with an honourable reception for the several good services he
had performed; but at 4 days end he there fell ill of a violent fever, whereof within
8 dayes he died, aged about 35 years; and by the Princes ordir had an honourable
interment, and much lamented there, but much greater cause at home, leaving no
issue, but a sorrowful widw and sad childless parents."
Sir Lionel Playters, who succeeded this gallant gentleman in his honours and
estates, was a clerk in holy orders, and Rector of Uggeshall and Sotterley. Walker, in
his 'Sufferings of the Clergy,' has detailed the troubles he was subjected to by the rebels
in the great rebellion of the 17th century. "His troubles began with the rebellion; for
in 1642 they brake open his stable doors, plundered him of two very good horses; and
when he had the confidence to demand by what authority they did it, they replied,
'Pistol the Parson,' and fired two or more pistols at him. June 20th, 1644, articles
were exhibited against him before the sequestrators, under the Earl of Manchester, the
substance of which, as entered in the proceedings of those sequestrators, was his
observing the rules and orders prescribed by the church; preaching up submission to
his Majesty; inveighing earnestly against the rebellion; refusing the covenant; keeping
company with one, who afterwards, as t'was reported, went to the cavalier popish army,
and saying that he had a parcel of hemp to sell, and hoped it would bear a good price;
because, if the times continued, a great many would want hanging; and that rather than
fail, he would give it to the King to hang up the roundheads. The sentence of sequestration pass'd upon him, if I mistake not, the same day that those articles were
exhibited; on the 24th of July following it was served upon him, when Mr. Playters,
asking the sequestrators what time they would give him to remove his family, they
answered him not an hour's time; and accordingly, himself, his wife, and four children,
were turned out of doors. The 30th of the same month, they entered on the parsonage
barn, the tythe hay, and corn therein; as likewise upon the glebe, (part of which was
sown with barley, flax, pease, and other grain, with a crop of grass ready to be cut,) and
upon all the tythe of the parish not then gathered in; all which they seized into their
own hands, and converted to their own use for two years together, without ever giving
any account, or paying Mr. Playters the fifths out of it; but instead of that, they took
care to levy the taxes of the months of May and June upon him, notwithstanding they
had seiz'd almost the whole produce of that year, either in his barns, or in the fields.
Besides which the poor gentleman had another misfortune befel him; for having buried
several of his children in the chancel, he hid in one of their graves, on prospect, without
question, of those troubles which afterwards came upon him, about 200 pieces of gold,
which these godly reformers, as they were tearing up the rails and levelling the chancel,
happen'd to discover; and as zealous as they were against superstition and idolatry,
made no conscience of committing a robbery very near ally'd to sacrilege, carrying away
every penny of it. He had likewise a temporal estate of about £200 a year, which they
either put under sequestration, or what was as bad, forbid the tenants to pay the rent;
whereupon some of them quitted their farms; and although by that means the estates
lay untenanted for two years together, yet they compelled him to pay the taxes even of
those unoccupied estates. About the year 1646, one Henry Younger succeeded in the
living, but it pleased God that Mr. Playters lived to receive it of him again, on the
restoration, and enjoy'd his living, as well as the title and estate of his family, for many
years after, and constantly preached in his church till the day of his death. He was a
person of a meek and peaceable temper, and of a regular conversation. I had almost
omitted to say, that the sequestrators let several of the out-houses belonging to the
parsonage fall quite down to the ground." (fn. 14)
Upon the sale of the manor of Sotterley by John Playters, Esq., in 1744, an estate
was purchased by him at Yelverton, in Norfolk, which remained in the family till its
extinction in the person of Sir William John Playters, who died in 1832.
On Wednesday, February the 27th, 1833, at a levee held at the Palace of Saint
James, Lieut. G. C. Degen Lewis, Roy. Eng., was presented as heir-at-law to the late
Sir William John Playters, of Yelverton, who was the last Baronet of the ancient family
of the Playters of Sotterley, in Suffolk.
Lady Anne Playters, widow of Sir William John Playters, abovesaid, died in London,
aged 60, on the 12th of May, 1845.
The following pedigree of this family is extracted from the Harleian Manuscripts
(No. 1560) preserved in the British Museum; the later descents being supplied from
the private papers of the last Baronet.
In Cole's MSS., vol. xxxv., (fn. 15) is an indenture dated at Sotterley, on All Saints Day,
anno 1390, by which Sir William Argenthem, Knight; Adam, parson of the church of
Brampton; Richard de Mikilfield, John Leche, and Richard Candeler, of Beccles, demise
to farm for the term of her life, to Alice, late wife of Walter Skorle, of Sotterley, all
lands, &c., lately belonging to Richard Reymond, of Willingham, in Sotterle and
Henstead, which they (Sir William Argenthem, Adam, &c.) held by deed and feoffment
of Richard, son of William Reymond, of Soterle.
The Berney family also held estates here; for in 1551, John Berney, of Sotterley,
Esq., presented to Bradeston, in Norfolk. (fn. 16)
|Manerium de Soterle: Bailiff's account, 1610.||s.||d.|
|Reddit assis: lib: tenent:||suma 28||6|
|Reddit assis: nat: tenent:||suma 39||5|
|Reddit mobil: lib: tenent:||suma 4 dies autumpnal: 111 gall: 200 halec: rubri:|
|Reddit mobil: nat: tenent:||2 dies at falcand:|
|Ferina terr:||£ 531||17||0|
|et duo casson:|
|Reddit resolut: Johi Rouse, Milit:, ut debit m'no suo de Raydon||3||2|
|Reddit resolut: Ballio Hundr: de Waingford. (fn. 17) ||3||3|
Upon the inclosure of the parish in 1796, the following was the state of the
|Miles Barne, Esq., possessed||1085||0||8|
|— Kilner, Esq.||43||3||18|
|Poor of Sotterley||0||0||36|
|Robert Sparrow, Esq.||172||0||10|
|George Watson, Esq.||99||2||37|
|Waste lands allotted||94||2||4|
|Total||1553||2||13 (fn. 18) |
The following is the result of a new mensuration made in conformity with the Tithe
|Total number of acres in the parish||1576||0||0|
The amount of rent-charge in lieu of tithes was fixed at £295. The population was
returned in 1841 at 223, which exhibits a very considerable decrease from the census
of 1811, when the parish contained 355 souls, as recorded in the register books. The
Rectory-house is a moderately sized modern building, occupying the site of the older
manse, which appears to have been of considerable antiquity; for on a piece of oak
which formed the mantel-beam in the kitchen of the old rectory, and now built into the
wall of the new residence, is the date of "a. d. 1587."
A picture of the old Hall at Sotterley is preserved in one of the farm-houses there.
It does not appear to have been an extensive pile, neither does its architectural elegance
establish, in the remotest degree, the claim which it prefers of having been erected by
Inigo Jones: it was, as usual with most old houses in Suffolk, built of red brick.
The Church, at Sotterley is rendered particularly interesting by the numerous monumental records it
contains of its former patrons; and although it has not altogether escaped the hands of
the despoiler, appears to have suffered less than the generality of our sacred edifices.
It is a plain unpretending edifice, comprising a nave and chancel without aisles,
and having a square tower at the west end of very unusual shape and proportions;
and to which I ascribe considerable antiquity, notwithstanding that it presents no
positive feature of early architecture. The chancel is covered internally with a
wainscot ceiling of no great antiquity, divided into panels, and painted green; but
the ceiling of the nave, and the screen between the body of the church and the
chancel, appear to have been erected by the Soterleys, whose arms are on a corbel of
the roof, and occupy an escutcheon placed over the central arch of the latter. The
ignorance or caprice of some modern painter has rendered these, with their impalement,
a jumble of heraldic errors. The font is octangular, ornamented with shields in its
compartments charged with the symbols of the Trinity, and the Passion of our Lord:
but the most curious details in the edifice are the corbels, some of which represent
demi-angels playing on violins and bag-pipes. Besides the stained glass in the east
window already described, a few shields and fragments remain in the other lights,
which attest how profusely Sotterley church was ornamented in olden days with this
beautiful but fragile enrichment. In the east window of the north side was formerly
an Agnus Dei; and in the western window, on the south side, another; while the
story of Sisera and Jael; the mocking, and scourging of our Saviour—his head crowned
with a tiara; and a device of a mounted warrior before a walled town, with the
following shields of arms,—all blended their glorious colours in rich harmonious tints.
1. Az., a chev. or, between 3 cinquefoils arg., on a chief ermine 3 pales gules; with the date of 1541.
2. Gules, a chev. between 3 cinquefoils or; impaling gules, a cross or, between 12 martlets arg.
3. Quarterly, 1 and 4. Barry of eight . . . . . . and or; in a bordure . . . . . .
2 and 3. An eagle, or phœnix, rising on a mount. On an inescutcheon, . . . . . . . per
fess . . . . . and or, six roundlets counterchanged.
The two former of these shields yet remain, with those of Playters and Barne,
bearing, respectively, the dates of 1470, and 1744.
Will. Dowsing thus records his iconoclastic visit to this church. "Saterley, April
6th, 1643. There were divers superstitious pictures painted, which they promised
to take down, and I gave order to level the steps, and to break in pieces the rails,
which I have seen done; and to take off a cross on the church." Notwithstanding
these orders, the communion table is raised on three very high steps; so that, possibly,
Dowsing's directions were never fulfilled. Within the communion rails lies a large
stone, inlaid with the effigies of Thomas Playters, the Yorkist, and Anne Dennys, his
wife: he in a splendid suit of armour, with a broad-sword of such formidable dimensions as might well befit the 'faber fortunæ suæ;' she, habited in a dress
unseemly low, with a rich collar or necklace, and the fantastic head-dress then in
fashion. The inscription at their feet is now partly lost, but is here supplied from
Weever's 'Ancient Funeral Monuments.'
[Inscription on monument]
These effigies are represented in the accompanying engraving by the figures 1 and 2.
Adjoining this stone, but not following in strict chronological order, lies the brass
(No. 3) of Thomasin, daughter of Edmund Tirrell, and third wife of William Playters,
Esq., with that of an infant daughter. The partial injury the larger figure has
sustained does not prevent us from observing the very handsome dress in which she
is clothed. The following inscription is placed beneath her:
[Inscription on monument]
At the head of the female figure is a large escutcheon, thus charged: Quarterly,
1st and 4th quarterly. 1st. Playters. 2. Denny, arg., a chev. sab. between 3 mullets
of six points gules, pierced or. 3. Bridgenorth, vert, a lion ramp. arg., crowned or.
2 and 3. Aslack of eight coats. 1. Aslack, sab. a chev. erm. between 3 Catharine
wheels arg. 2. Berry, arg., a chev. between 3 bears' heads couped sab. 3. Banyard,
sab. a fess between 2 chevronels or. 4. . . . . arg., on a fess azure, 2 ducal coronets
or. 5. Bardolph, az., a fleur-de-lis between 3 cinquefoils or. 6. Charler, erm. on
a chief gules, 3 lozenges arg., each charged with an annulet sable. 7. . . . . arg., on
a chev. gul. 3 fleur-de-lis or. 8. Aslack: impaling Tirrell of four coats. 1. Tirrell,
arg., 2 chev. az., within a bordure engr. gules. 2. Swinford, paly of six sab. and arg.
3. Flambert, or, on a chev. arg., 3 dolphins embowed sable. 4. Coggeshall, arg., a
cross between four escallops sable.
Upon a large stone, inlaid with the arms of Playters impaling the eight coats of
Aslack as before, but twice repeated, is the following inscription.
[Inscription on monument]
Just without the altar rails, and attached to the north wall of the chancel, is an
altar-tomb of stone, covering the remains of William, son of Thomas Playters and
Anne Dennys. On the sides of the tomb were two small effigies in brass, representing
this gentleman and his wife, Ann Jenny, in devotional attitudes. The figure of the
man has been removed within the last few years, but the female effigy remains. The
tomb bears, on its sides, four shields thus charged:
1. Playters impaling Dennys.
2. Playters quartered with Dennys and Bridgenorth.
3. Playters quartered as above, impaling, quarterly, 1st and 4th, Jenny, erm., a bend gules, cotised or.;
2nd and 3rd, Leiston, vert, 3 dexter hands or gloves arg., on them 3 falcons or.
4. Playters impaling Park, az., an eagle displayed arg.
Round the chamfered edge of the tomb is a fillet of brass, with this legend.
[Inscription on monument]
At the foot of this tomb lies the effigy of Christopher Playters, the eldest son of the
above personages; a sturdy figure clad in a suit of plain armour, with this inscription at
his feet. (No. 4.)
[Inscription on monument]
Although Christopher Playters died on the day above mentioned, it appears from
the parish registers that he was not buried till the 27th of September following; more
than five weeks after his decease. The reason for this unusual postponement of his
funeral rites is not recorded.
The next brass (No. 5) is the portraiture of this gentleman's eldest son and heir,
Thomas, who died in 1575. When we consider that twenty-eight years only had
elapsed between the death of the latter gentleman and his father, the alteration in
the costume appears very remarkable. The smooth chin, and plain effective armour
of the father, are strikingly contrasted by the thick mustaches, curly beard, and heavy
cumbrous panoply of the son, whose square-toed shoes and clumsy figure give an
unfavourable specimen of a gentleman of the courtly reign of the "Virgine Queene."
The legend attached to this brass is as follows:
[Inscription on brass]
At the foot of the figure are the arms of Playters, impaling Jermyn of Rushbrook,
sab., a crescent between 2 mullets palewise arg., pierced of the field.
The last brass which remains to be noticed in this interesting church is the most
ancient of them all (No. 6), and in the absence of its inscription and armorial bearings,
conjecture must supply the appropriation. From the form of the armour it cannot be
referred to a period much subsequent to 1420 or 1430, and may possibly cover one of
the last of the Soterles. It is not impossible, however, that it may have been intended
to commemorate Sir Robert de Tye, who died on the 8th of October, 1415, and was
buried in the church of Sotterley. (fn. 19)
Against the north wall of the chancel is a huge and costly monument of marble
erected to the memory of Sir Thomas Playters, Knight and Baronet, who died on the
18th of May, anno Domini 1638, aged 73 years. In the central compartment is seen
the kneeling effigy of Sir Thomas; and in side compartments those of his two wives;
by the first of whom, Anne, eldest daughter of Sir William Swann, of Southfleet, in
Kent, he had two sons and two daughters. His second wife was Anne, only daughter and
heiress of Sir Anthony Browne, of Elsing, in Norfolk, who brought him eight sons and
ten daughters. This numerous family of two-and-twenty—quaintly termed 'diverse
children,'—are represented on a lower compartment of the monument, kneeling before
a faldstool. In point of cost, this sepulchral memorial is commensurate with the noble
estate of the deceased, which has already been mentioned; but as a work of art it is
unworthy of critical notice.
There are also monumental records of Sir Lionel Playters, Bart., Rector of Sotterley,
whose sufferings during the rebellion in King Charles's time are related in a previous
page, and who died in 1679;—of John Playters, Gent., who died in 1609;—of Lionel
Playters, Esq., who died in 1699; and of Jane, the first wife of Sir John Playters,
Bart., and daughter of Thomas Read, Esq., who died in November, 1665.
The very ancient family of Bumpstede, who bore argent, on a bend engrail. gules 3
mullets of the field, flourished for many generations in Sotterley and its neighbourhood.
In 1298, Peter de Bumpstede was one of the bailiffs of Norwich. (fn. 20) In 1479, Robert
Bumpstede, of Willingham St. Mary, by his will, dated on the 30th of March in that
year, "legat corpus suum ad sepeliend: in cancello See Margaret de Soterle, in introitu
chori." The following members of this family were also interred here:
John Bumpstede, who dyed the vij of Aprill, in anno MCCCCLXXIX.
Alex. Bompstead, late wyef of William Bompstead.
[Inscription on monument]
Hervey has recorded this inscription, now lost.
[Inscription on monument]
There are monuments to the memory of the Barne family, the present lords of
Sotterley, who have a vault under the west end of the church. Against the south wall
of the chancel is a slab of white marble for Miles Barne, Esq.
"ex eâ domo prognati, quæ labente sæculo xvito
Duos Londiniis Prætores
exemplo rarissimo protulit:
quæque maternum genus ab Eduino
Sandys, Archiepiscopo Eboracensi, duxit."
Arms, Barne with Elwick, arg. on a chev. az. 3 fleurs-de-lis or; and Thornhill, gules,
4 bars and a chief argent.
There is also a monument to the Rev. Thomas Barne, instituted Rector of Sotterley
Against the north wall of the chancel are the matches of the Playters' family
emblazoned on wood, most of which are decayed by time and damp. In addition to
the splendid shields already noticed, may still be discerned Playters impaling Le Grice,
quarterly, az. and gules, on a bend arg. 3 boars pass. sable, with eleven coats; and
also Playters impaling Browne of sixteen coats, viz.
1. Browne, sab. 3 lioncels pass. in bend, between 2 double cotises arg.
2. Fitzallan, gules, a lion ramp. or.
3. . . . . . sable, a fret or.
4. . . . . . gul. a saltire and a chief arg.
5. Montacute, arg. 3 fusils in fess gules.
6. Monthermer, or, an eagle displayed vert.
7. Plantagenet, gul. 3 lions, pass. guard. in pale, or.
8. Nevill, gul. a saltire arg.
9. Ingoldesthorpe, gules, a cross engrailed arg.
10. Bradston, arg., on a canton gul. a rose or.
11. Charlton, Lord Powis, or, a lion ramp. gules.
12. De la Pole, az., a fess between 3 leopards' faces or.
13. Burgh, arg., a fess dauncette gules, charged with 3 bezants.
14. Hastings, or, a maunch sable.
15. Valance, Barry arg. and azure, an orle of martlets gules.
The church of Sotterley is a rectory, dedicated to St. Margaret; and its oldest bell
is inscribed with a legend to that female saint.
[Inscription on bell]
The registers commence in 1547.
Rectors of Sotterley.
|William Clerk||1433||Thomas Charlton, Knight, Thomas Frowyke,
Esq., Henry Frowyke, Alderman of London,
John Fray, Robert Warner, and Thomas Dalby.|
|Laurence Hullyngheghe||1469||Thomas Playter, Gent.|
|Thomas Aylward||1479||William Clerk.|
|John Pickeringe||1504||William Playter, Esq.|
|Robert Tailor||1523||Bishop, by lapse.|
|Thomas Wytton||1553||Thomas Playters, Esq.|
|Thomas Baseley||1580||William Timperley, William Sydney, and Robert
Barney, Esqrs., for William Playters, Esq.|
|Gilbert Corker||1599||Thomas Playters, Esq.|
|Lionel Playters||1678||John Playters, Esq.|
|Nicholas Taylor||1727||Sir John Playters.|
|Robert Cayley||1758||Miles Barne, Esq.|
|Thomas Barne||1790||Bishop, by lapse.|
|George Francis Barlow||1805||Miles Barne, Esq.|
The following genealogy is printed from the collections of Charles Townley, York
Herald, made by him for Miles Barne, Esq., of Sotterley, representative in Parliament
for Dunwich in 1748; and continued from family papers to the present time.
The arms of Barne, borne quarterly with arg., a chevron az. between 3 Cornish
choughs proper, were granted and confirmed to Sir George Barne, Knight, and to his
posterity; and to the issue of John Barne, Esq., his brother, and to the issue of Sir
George Barne, Knight, their father, by Robert Cooke, Esq., Clarenceux King of Arms,
the 15th day of July, 1580, and in the twenty-second year of the reign of Queen
There are two engraved portraits of the first Sir George Barne, Lord Mayor of
London in 1552. The first is in the delivery of the charter of Bridewell by King
Edward VI., where he appears with Aldermen John Maynard and William Gerrard.
The second portrait is a small oval, copied from the preceding; engraved by C. Hall.
Miles Barne, D.D., son of Miles Barne, Rector of Bishopsbourne cum Barham, in
the county of Kent, was fellow of Peter House, in Cambridge, and chaplain to King
Charles II. He was entered at Peter House, as a sizer, on the 27th of June, 1656,
from Westminster School, being then seventeen years of age. He afterwards obtained
a scholarship in his college, and appears among the list of Questionists there in 1659.
He took his degree of A. B. in 1659; M. A. 1663; was admitted a fellow of his
college on the 2nd of December, 1662, and proceeded D.D. in 1682. In 1688, upon
the accession of the Prince of Orange, he threw up his fellowship; and his name does
not occur in the college books, or among the list of its members, after March in that
year. Dr. Barne was the author of three sermons preached before the University;
two of which were printed at Cambridge in 1682, and the third in the following
year, at London. This was preached "on the ninth of September, being the day of
publick thanksgiving for the deliverance of his Majesties sacred person, his Royal
Brother, and the Government, from the late hellish Fanatick Conspiracy." It is, as may
be presumed from its title, a strong political discourse, abundantly interlarded with Latin
quotations, and levelled alike against "popish plot" and "fanatick conspiracy." It
gives, however, the authorities of the day this sensible advice: "since we are plac'd
between two extreams, common prudence bids us have a watchful eye over both, and
not to give a palpable advantage to the one, by applying all our force against the
Dr. Barne died at Kingham, in Oxfordshire, about the year 1709, and was buried
Sotterley Hall is a large and excellent mansion, and stands near the church, in the
centre of a park of nearly 500 acres, finely diversified with ancient timber and thriving
The manor of Benacre pays £4. 16s. to the poor of this parish annually, under a
charge devised in 1616, by Thomas Jolly; which amount is expended, together with £9
arising from a piece of land called the poors' allotment, in donations of coals, &c., about
Christmas time. A double tenement is also occupied by poor families belonging to
Sotterley, rent free.