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"THORPE-le-SOKEN, a parish in the hundred of TENDRING, county of ESSEX, 9½ miles (S. E. by S.) from Manningtree, containing 1148 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, consolidated with those of Kirby le Soken and Walton le Soken, in the jurisdiction of the peculiar court of the Sokens, the wills and records being deposited at the residence of the lord of the manor at Harwich; it is rated in the king's books at £16, and is in the patronage of the Rev. W. Burgess. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, has lately received an addition of two hundred and forty sittings, of which one hundred and fifty are free, the Incorporated Society for the enlargement of churches and chapels having granted £100 towards defraying the expense. There is a place of worship for Baptists. A small customary market is held on Wednesday evenings, and there are fairs on them day before Whitsuntide and September 29th. The petty sessions for the division are held here, on Monday, on in five weeks, alternately with Mistley, and Great Bromley. A creek, or arm of the sea, runs up to Landermere, a small hamlet in the parish, w there is a convenient wharf, at which vessels are ia with corn for the London market. There is a house, called the abbey, with land attached, but no traces of its having ever been a religious house. A number of French refugees formerly settled and had a chapel here, of which there are now no remains. The three parishes form what is termed "the liberty of the Soken," having within its limits two or three reputed manors of smaller extent. It was given to the church of St. Paul, London, by King Athelstan, before 941, and belonged to the canons of .St. Paul's at the time of the Norman survey. The Dean and Chapter held the manor, with the three advowsons, as their peculiars, until deprived of them by Henry VIII., and Mary placed them under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, to whose visitation they are still subject. Edward VI. granted the manors and advowsons, with all their peculiar privileges, to Sir Thomas D'Arcy, from whose descendants, the Lords D'Arcy, they passed to the Earls of Rochford, and have since had various owners, the advowsons being now separate from the manors. The lord of the manor, who styles himself "lord of the liberty, franchise, dominion, and peculiar jurisdiction of the Soken, in the county of Essex," appoints a commissary, by the title of "Official Principal, and Vicar-general in spiritual causes," who holds a court in Thorpe church annually, and proves wills, grants marriage licenses, &c. The lord holds his court, annually on St. Anne's day, at Kirby; he also appoints a coroner, and other officers for the liberty, which has the privilege, though not exercised, that no bailiff, except its own, can arrest within its limits." [From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]



  • Census returns are available from the usual sources for 1841-1911, which includes most copies held at the ERO, Wharf Rd, Chelmsford. More information on other ways to view these census returns on the Essex

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

  • Thorpe-le-Soken was a member of the Tendring Hundred

You can see the administrative areas in which Thorpe-le-Soken has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Thorpe-le-Soken was a member of the Tendring Poor Law Union