SOAME, Edmund (1669-1706), of Dereham Grange, West Dereham, Norf.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Feb. - Nov. 1701
1702 - 1705

Family and Education

b. c.1669, o. s. of Edmund Soame, merchant, of St. Gregory, London and Hackney, Mdx. by Mary, da. of Simon Middleton of Hackney and Hurst Hall, Edmonton, Mdx. unm. 1da. illegit.  suc. fa. c.1671.1

Offices Held

Capt. 22 Ft. 1689–92, 2 Queen’s Ft. Feb. 1702–Apr. 1703; brevet lt.-col. June 1702; lt.-col. Elliott’s ft. Apr. 1703–Mar. 1705; col. of ft. Mar. 1705–d.

Dep.-gov. New River Co.2


Soame came of a family well established both among the East Anglian gentry and in the commercial world of London. His father was a younger son of Sir William Soame of Little Thurlow, Suffolk, and a grandson of Sir Stephen Soame, lord mayor of London in 1598. Commissioned in the Duke of Norfolk’s regiment in 1689, Soame served in the Irish campaign, and left the regiment in 1692. He was to have been put up at a by-election at Thetford in 1696 by Norfolk, against James Sloane*, but was forestalled, and in 1698 he was defeated by Sloane, a Junto Whig. At the next election, in 1701, he was at last successful in a three-cornered contest with Sloane’s patron, Sir Joseph Williamson*, and Thomas Hanmer II*. In this Parliament he was blacklisted as one who had opposed making preparations for war.3

Soame did not stand for re-election in November 1701, and, despite his previous opposition to the war, rejoined the army in February 1702. In June 1702 Robert Harley* recommended him strongly to the lord lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Rochester (Laurence Hyde†), for military preferment, and in the election in July he was returned again for Thetford. Forecast as likely to oppose the Tack, he did not vote for it on 28 Nov. 1704. On 18 Jan. 1705 he was the first Member named to the second-reading committee on a private bill. He was a teller with James Stanhope against an obstructive Tory amendment to the recruiting bill on 7 Feb. 1705. Soame had himself been an energetic recruiting officer: Robert Walpole II* had written to Stanhope in 1702, ‘I never was before concerned that sheep-stealers were scarce in Norfolk, but Colonel Soame has been here ever since the Parliament rose, and has quite cleared the country of all that were willing to receive pay’. In March 1705 Soame was given his own regiment, and later that year he was listed as a placeman.4

Soame did not put up in 1705 and, having been ordered to Spain with his regiment, died on board ship at Torbay on 8 Sept. 1706, aged 37. Rochester wrote to Harley, ‘I am very much concerned for the death of Colonel Soame, both on your account, and the interest I had myself in him’. The monument erected in West Dereham parish church noted that he had ‘dedicated the revenues of a plentiful estate’ to serving his country, and had proved himself ‘to be as true and brave a patriot in the senate house, as he was a brave and honourable commander in the field’.5

His illegitimate daughter Mary was the first wife of Soame Jenyns†.

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Blomefield, Norf. vii. 329–30; E. Anglian, n.s. iii. 211; Lond. Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 1258; CSP Dom. 1691–2, p. 175; 1700–2, p. 511.
  • 2. Add. 70243, Rochester to Harley, 16 Sept. 1706.
  • 3. Nottingham Univ. Lib. Portland (Harley) mss PwF Hy 360, Soame to [–], 15 Jan. 1695–96.
  • 4. Add. 70243, Rochester to Harley, 14 June [1702]; Centre Kentish Stud. Stanhope mss U1590/0141/16, Walpole to Stanhope, 30 Aug. 1702.
  • 5. Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 85; Add. 70243, Rochester to Harley, 16 Sept. 1706; Blomefield, 329–30.