In the late eleventh century, history states that Bernard Newmarch, the famous Norman Baron, granted the estates of Bolgoed and Crai, about five miles southwest of Brecon in Brecknockshire, Wales, to his
faithful knight, Sir John Scull, or Sgwles, as the name appears in Welsh.
Jones, in his History of Breckcnockshire, identifies the property granted to Sir John Scull, with the mansion called in his time "Ty Mawr", Glyntarrell. Part of the Abbey and Priory of Brecon was called
the "Battle Aisle" because the Priory was attached to Battle Abbey in Sussex, and it is reputed that Sir John Scull was buried in the Battle Aisle of Brecon Priory, but, while there is no reason to doubt this
legend, no proof of it has been found.
In the latter part of the seventeenth century two persons were buried in the church of St. John the Evangelist, Brecon, directly descended—as the memorial tablet states. —from Sir John Scull. The
inscriptions read as under:
("Here lyeth the body] of John (William Skwl) paternally descended of Sir John Skwl, knight, who married Ann, daughter of Howell Morgan of Devynock, gent, and Had issue William, Thomas,
Margaret, Elizabeth, Gwenllian, Jonett and Johan. He died the 28th day of April, Anno Domini 1680, aged 78 years.
"["Here lyeth the body] of William John William Skwl, paternally descended of Sir John Skwl, knight, [ma]rried Jane, daughter of Gwalter John of The Parish of Trallong Centand. They had issue John,
Gwalter, Thomas and Ann. He died the 26th day of November, Anno Domini 1685, aged 38years.
"The duplication and triplication of the Christian name was most unusual in England before the eighteenth century, but can, I think in this case be explained.
In Wales surnames were most unusual except with important families, and a son would merely apply the word "ap" (meaning "son of") to his father's name, and be known by that designation, e.g. Ap Howell, Ap Rice etc. Thus the names of the persons commemorated by the memorials would really be "John, son of William Skwl", and "William, son of John, son of William Skwl". John, as we see, must have been born about the year 1602, while William was born in 1647. Neither of these persons has been identified, but the fact that the monuments record the descent from Sir John Scull indicates the pride with which the family regarded its ancestry.
There was a William Scull belonging to the Much Cowarne family who is mentioned as late as 1533, and we shall subsequently read of William Scull, of Westbury, who died in 1563, and it is possible that the persons to
whose memory these monuments were erected descended from one of these William Sculls.
However this may be, there is authority that the Much Cowarne family claimed descent from Sir John Scull, the knight in Bernard Newmarch's Army. The only reference to the name of Scull outside Brecknockshire, Herefordshire, or Worcestershire prior to the fifteenth century so far discovered is in a charter dated 1385 to Richard Sculle relating to lands in Essex. (British Museum, Add.charter 19973. )
The Life of Sir Walter Scull.
In the visitation by the Heralds for Hereford made in the year 1569, the Scull family—then living at Much Cowarne—recorded their pedigree back to David Scull of Brecon, who must have flourished towards the end
of the fourteenth century.
He had two sons, Miles and Walter, who became famous in history. The earliest reference that has been found to Walter Scull is in 1439 when he is included in a commission to try persons indicted of treason in the county of Worcester (Patent Rolls, 17 Henry VI, pt. I, m. 22d). In the same year he was made King's Attorney in all courts "Welsh and English" in the counties of Carmarthen and Cardigan in Wales (ibid. , m. 9). On his surrender of this he was appointed constable of Cardigan Castle (ibid. , 21 Henry VI, part I, m. 35). He was, subsequently, appointed to hold the stewardships of various castles in Wales. In 1445 Walter was made chief Remembrancer to the Exchequer of Ireland (ibid. , 23 Henry VI, part I, m. 3), and in the following year steward of Cardigan (ibid. , 24 Henry VI, part II, m. 33). In the same year he was appointed a commissioner with the Bishop of Worcester, the Abbot of Evesham and others to treat concerning a loan to theKing for peace with the King of France (ibid. , 24 Henry VI, part II, m. 29).
He must have been knighted between the years 1446 and 1448, as in the latter year he is thus described (bid. , 27 Henry VI, pt.
I, m. 3). In 1448 and 1449, the King granted certain offices in Wales to Sir Walter and his son Hugh (ibid. , 27 Henry VI, part I, m. m. 3 and 17). These are the only references we have found to any male issue of Sir Walter, and it will become clear, I think, from subsequent evidence that his son Hugh must have died childless in the lifetime of his father. Sir Walter Scull is again mentioned in 1451 (ibid. , 29 Henry VI, part I, m. 2). From this date onwards until 1461, England was thrown into the vortex of the first War of the Roses, in which Sir Walter Scull is reputed to have taken an active part. At any rate, it is significant that no mention is made of him in the patent rolls between the year 1449 and 1460, except in regard to the appointment of big successors, and it is not difficult, therefore, to imagine that he favored the Yorkist cause. This is borne out by the fact that shortly after the accession of the Duke of York as Edward IV in 1461, he was made a Commissioner for the County of Worcester, to raise troops for the protection of the country "against the rebels ", and is therein described as Sir "Walter Skull, knight" (Ibid. , 1 Edward IV, part III, m. 27d). In February, 1462 he received the King's pardon (Ibid. , part III, m. 7), and a few days later received a grant of the revenue from the counties of Carnarvon and Cardigan (Ibid. , part IV, m. 20).
Having been granted lands in Worcester, he obtained in 1464 a royal charter of the Manors of Aleynesmore and Avynsbury in Herefordshire, to him and his wife Frances (Ibid. , 4 Edward IV, part IT, m.
We learn from a suit in Chancery in 1464 that Sir Walter had been Treasurer of the Household in the reign of Henry VI (E.
C. P. , 27/151). In 1465 he again received a pardon from Edward IV for all treasons and felonies committed by him (Patent Rolls, 4 Edward IV, part II, m. 9), and in 1468 he and Frances, his wife, received a confirmation of the grant of the Manors of Aleynesmore and Avynsbury (ibid. , Edward IV, part II, m. 21).
He married first Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of John Beauchamp, who was widow of John Paunceforte, and of John Wysham.
By this marriage he must have shared vast estates his wife inherited from the Beauchamp family. Margaret is mentioned as wife of Sir Walter Scull in a deed concerning lands in Worcester in 1452. In this document Alice and Margaret, daughters of the said Margaret Scull, are mentioned, but there is no evidence to show whether they were her children by Sir Walter, or by a former husband (F. of F. Worcester, file 27, no. 46).
As will be subsequently shown, the probable date of the death of Margaret is 1456. It must have been after 1452 and before 1464 when Sir Walter is mentioned with a wife Frances.
His second wife was the widow of a person named Mulle or Mille, but nothing is known of her first husband.
According to Habington 'a Survey of Worcestershire, there was a monument in the chancel of Holt Church, "raysed from the ground, of painted quartered quarrells of bricke conjoyned in one and beeinge
Square; at every corner are in letters, Mathew, Marke, Luke, John, and within the yeere of our Lord answearing at every corner beeing 1456".
On the side of the tomb are the arms of Scull "Gules, a bend voyded of the feylde between six lions' heades erased or, impaling Beauchamp, videlicet, Gules, a fesse betweene six billets or"
This, of course, agrees with what has here been written, and as Sir Walter had married her as an heiress, her arms would be impaled. Probably the tomb would be intended for them both.
The date given on the tomb in all probability records the date of the death of Margaret. Close to this tomb is a white stone engraved "Hic iacet Johanna Croft una dominorum de la Holt in comitatu Wigorn".
Habington has been unable to read the date of her death, but in a note he suggests it should be 1463, which is probably correct, for in 1472 we find dealings with the manor of Holt by Thomas Croft and
Elizabeth, his wife (F. of F.
Div. Cos. , 76/82). Probably Thomas was the son of Joan Croft. Although local historians seem to take it for granted that Joan Croft was a daughter of Sir Walter Scull and his wife Margaret Beauchamp, I have been unable to find any documentary proof of it, but there can, I think, be very little doubt that Joan Croft was the heiress of Margaret Beauchamp and, consequently, Sir Walter Scull could not have left male issue by her, for had he done so, that male would have been heir in priority to Joan Croft. It seems improbable that Sir Walter left issue by his second wife, Frances, for she mentions no Scull children in her will made in 1483 (P. C. C. , 7 Logge). There is a window in bolt Church also depicting the Arms of Scull impaling Beauchamp, which, according to legend, is in memory of Lady Walter Scull, and has recently been generously restored by Mr. Scull, the publisher of this volume. It is interesting to note that in 1476 we find Sir Walter and his wife, Frances, were party to a conveyance of the manor of Cantele in Norfolk (F. of F. Norfolk, 193/52). This is the last mention we have found of Sir Walter, but it is known that he was dead when his widow made her will in 1483. A very exhaustive search of legal documents has been made in Norfolk, but no further connection of the Scull family with that county has been found.
HISTORY OF THE SCULL FAMILY OF MUCH COWARNE HEREFORDSHIRE
The Scull pedigree given in the visitation of Hereford, to which reference has already been made, shows that Miles Scull was the elder son of David Scull, and brother of Sir Walter.
The first mention that has been found of Miles is on the patent roll of 1421 with reference to an agreement, which he entered into with the King as to the custody, and marriage of Joyce, one of the daughters and co-heiresses of Edward Charleton of Powys (Patent Roll, 9 Henry VI, part II, m. 2). From this date onwards he is constantly mentioned as holding a number of important offices down to the year 1458. It may be inferred from these references that, unlike his brother Sir Walter, he adhered to the Lancastrian cause, and it is possible that he met his death in the Wars of the Roses. According to the visitation pedigree, he only had one son, William, but it is possible, and even probable, that he had other children whose names are not recorded.
William married twice,
(1) a daughter of Thomas Walwyn and
(2) Joan, whose ancestry is not mentioned.
William was born about the year 1416, but we find very few references to him in original documents, and we do not know the date of his death. His widow Joan brought a complaint in Chancery late in
the fifteenth century against John Beryton and her stepson John Scull (E.
C. P. , 162/22). He left again according to the pedigree one child, John. John Scull is referred to in the records dealing with Much Cowarne, from 1485 to 1515 (E. C. P. , 445/9). He died before the year 1519. He also married twice, (1),a daughter of Lygon, (2) Maud, daughter of John Wygmore of Lacton, and widow of Thomas Wylley (E. C. P. , 418/24).
We can now read into the contemporary records a most interesting family feud which must have taken place between the children of John by his first wife, Thomas, William and David, and their
step-mother Maud, who had one son, Richard. Almost immediately after the death of John Scull, his widow Maud commenced a suit in Chancery against her stepsons, claiming that Thomas had defrauded her of her
inheritance (E. C. p. , 445/9). We do not learn the result of this action, but Thomas obviously decided to sever his connection with Much Cowarne, and both he and his brother William moved to Wiltshire.
About this date the important wool trade was flourishing in the west of England, of which Trowbridge and Westbury were recognized centres, and it was probably this that influenced them to move to Westbury.
David Scull, the third brother, was a chantry priest of St.Mary Magdalen, Hereford. He was party to a sale of land with his brother William in 1532 (F.
of F. Hereford, Bu. 15. 85/29), and there was a dispute as to money said to be due from him, a short while after his death (E. C. P. , 1003/18). Thomas was returned as a taxpayer in Much Cowarne from 1524 to 1547, after which date his name completely drops out. (Lay Subsidy Rolls 117/89-197. ) He is mentioned as selling land there in 1539 and 1542, and it is evident that about the year 1548 he had entirely severed his connection with his ancestral Herefordshire estate. Thomas married his wife Alice before 1539, but the date of her death is not known, and he himself was buried at Westbury in 1563. (Parish Register, Westbury. ) According to the parish registers, two sons of Thomas Scull were baptized at Westbury in 1558 and 1560, but it is probable that these were the grandchildren of Thomas of Much Cowarne. We find no reference to the burial of William Scull in the Westbury Registers, but in his will, dated 1563, he is described as of Leigh, a small hamlet of Westbury. He left two sons, John and William, to whom he bequeaths his sheep. Apparently Perine, his wife, had died some years before, as he left a wife, Mary, who survived (Will. Deanery of Sarum Reg. 1, folio 32). The descendants of Richard Scull, the stepbrother of Thomas, William and David, remained in Much Cowarne. For the purposes of this volume it is not necessary to enlarge on their history. It is quite evident that at the time of the Heralds' visitation in 1683 this branch was quite convinced that they were the senior line, and as such, entitled to bear the Scull arms, but this may be explained by the fact that the descendants of Thomas Scull, who were really of the senior branch, had long been settled abroad.
In 1556 we find a conveyance of land made between Richard Scull and John Paunceforte.
(F.of F. Hereford 153. ) It is reputed that the Scull family owned the house which even to the present day is known as Paunceforte Court. A modern building adjoining the site of the old house, near Much Cowarne Church, marks it. The Sculls eventually sold the property called Leighton Court to the Foxes (the owners of other property in this parish) who sold to the Reids, and quite recently it was owned by Colonel Bourne, the grandfather of the famous Oxford stroke. Living at Westbury at the same date as we know the brothers Thomas and William settled there, we find the family of Harman. The name Harman had an Irish origin, dating back to the stormy days of the great 0'Neils of Ulster, and several branches of this family are known to have settled in England. A family of Dutch origin, spelled Herman, had settled in Norwich as early as 1449, members of which were described as "aliens" or as "Dutch", having come over for the purposes of trading, mainly, in wool and cloth for which Norfolk was famous (Lay Subsidies, Norfolk, E. 179, 149/147). The Harman family abounded in Norfolk in the seventeenth century, as a study of the tax returns will show, but I cannot find any connection between the Scull family and Norfolk, except that Sir Walter Scull sold lands there in the fifteenth century, but those he held in right of his wife (Feet of Fines, Norfolk 193, No. 53). I have examined the tax returns and parish registers of the counties of Gloucester, Worcester, Hereford and Somerset, from 1550 to 1600, and find that while the name Harman is very scarce, there was a large and flourishing family at Westbury, which continued for some generations.
As will subsequently be seen, a Harman Scull appears at the Hague in 1596, and I submit with much confidence that either Thomas or Robert Scull, the sons of Thomas; or John or William, the sons of William,
married into the Harman family of Westbury and named their eldest son Harman. Harman is not to be confused with the Dutch name Herman, it will be remembered that, at the close of the sixteenth century, a very close
alliance existed between England and the Low countries, as both were bound together in their opposition to the influence of Rome, as exploited by the then powerful Spanish nation. The Earl of Leicester, Queen
Elizabeth's favorite courtier, headed an expedition to the Low countries in 1585. This was not successful, and a number of Leicester's army deserted in Holland and remained in that country. The trade connection
between this country and Holland had been tremendously developed, and many sons of good families joined Leicester in the hope of gain and profit in that country. Thus, we leave the Scull families in England and
follow up their history in Holland, and subsequently in America.
HISTORY OF THE SCULL FAMILY IN OTHER PARTS 0F ENGLAND IN THE SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURIES.
Much has been said of the Sculls inhabiting Much Cowarne, and we have dealt fairly fully with Sir Walter Scull who lived in Worcestershire but who left no male heirs. We now have to see how other members of the
family were scattered about England in other counties. We have already seen that the Much Cowarne property did not always descend to the eldest son, and that there is every probability that William Scull, the son of
Miles Scull, and John, his son, had brothers from whom some of the branches I am about to mention, most likely, descended. I must take this opportunity of reminding my readers that I have made fairly exhaustive
searches of documents dealing with the counties of Hereford, Gloucester, Worcester, Wilts, Somerset, etc., and I am convinced that all Sculls holding land in those countries between the years 1550 and 1620 have come
under my notice, and It is also most likely that all those who are noticed are descended from the Much Cowarne family, although I readily point out that I can supply no proof of their descent. In Worcestershire we
find no trace of the family after the decease of Sir Walter Scull, and no mention of them occurs in Somerset. I have obtained no reference to the family in Herefordshire, except at Much Cowarne, with which I have
There are, of course, various mentions of the family in London, but these I can in no way connect with the Herefordshire branch, and those which I have found at a date which is too late to be of interest to us,
appear to be connected with Berkshire. The family was connected with Berkshire as early as 1499 when William Skulle and John Skulle and Joyce his wife bought lands in Clewer and elsewhere (F. of F. Berks, 13/88, No.
In Gloucester, some isolated references are found in Bristol and Bitton, and a Richard Scull, with a wife Agnes, is mentioned at Slimbridge. Maurice Scull, of Stroud, Rodborough and London, a tailor or tucker, is
mentioned in 1598. Mathew Scull, of Stanley, a clothier, is mentioned in the same year. Other persons named Scull are found at Bolton and Alceston. I have dealt with the family at Westbury, in Wiltshire, and there
is another branch found at Brinckworth, about twenty miles to the north of Westbury. In this parish we find Margery Scull in 1547 and 1567, John from 1571-1600, Maud in 1571, William and his wife Joan in 1624, and
Alice. There are also Sculls to be found at Ramsbury, a village not far from Brinckworth and on the borders of Berkshire. Edward or Edmund Skull appears in 1595 aged 56, who states that he was born at Cirencester.
Thomas Scull is mentioned there from 1576- 1619, and Elizabeth in 1571. While I am strongly of the opinion that this branch was in some way connected with the Much Cowarne family, I am unable to give any definite
information on the subject, neither can I find anything to suggest that the family in Holland had any direct descent from Brinckworth.
Apart from these references, I have failed to find any mention of the name up to 1620, which shows that it is comparatively scarce.
HISTORY OF THE SCULL FAMILY IN HOLLAND BEFORE THEIR EMIGRATION TO AMERICA.
A family of Scholl, or Schol, in Holland, had been established in that country for many centuries, when Harman Scholl first made his appearance from England at the Hague in 1596. Grants of Arms to a Family of Scholl
have been recorded (1) Schol of Brielle; on a field or, a swimming plaice proper, (2) Schol of Gueldres; on a field azure, three swimming plaices argent. The pedigrees of these families have been recorded in the
Aachener Wappen un Genealogien, the Heralds College of Holland. There is no connection with either of these families and that of Harman Scull. It is, perhaps, necessary to enlarge upon the very close connection
which existed between England and Holland from the fifteenth century onwards. The Dutch immigration to Norfolk, in the middle of the fifteenth century, has been proved by the tax returns already mentioned in this
report. A century later the wars with Spain commenced, in which England heartily cooperated with the Low countries. The first expedition was made in 1576, when a force was sent from England, and in the year 1585
Robert, Earl of Leicester, was given command of the army in Holland, and proclaimed Governor of the United Provinces. The expedition was a failure, and Leicester was recalled in 1587. The official correspondence
between the home government and the Commissioners in Holland, and the records which are preserved in private collections in England, throw much light on the history and nature of these expeditions. It is perfectly
clear that these expeditions attracted a number of persons of good birth, who enlisted as nothing more than mercenaries. They realized the importance of Holland as a trading ally, and of the influence of Leicester
as Commander of the force. The records clearly show that desertions took place abundantly; in fact so pronounced were they that regulations were later made, compelling English subjects to serve only in English
regiments. Unfortunately, there is practically no record of those troops who went to the Low countries at this date, but I have little doubt that it was on this expedition that Harman Scull first visited the Hague,
and it was from this beginning that he made his permanent settlement in Holland. The complications in Harman Scull's settlement must be considered. He was probably a deserter, and although the English troops were
temporarily withdrawn after Leicester's failure, another very important force was sent a few years later. Had any deserter borne an English name, he would have run the risk of recognition and punishment.
Consequently, on his arrival in Holland, Harman Scull became Harman Scholl. The "Sch" is pronounced hard in Dutch and phonetically corresponds with the English spelling "Sk" or "Sc". This variation of the English
name has a later simile. When Francis Scull, his kinsman and a member of the Much Cowarne family, went to Holland in 1651, he is described as "Francis Scholl from England" (Gemenle Aschief, The Hague, Holland. Index
to marriages, 25 June 1651). The change from Scull to Scholl may therefore be looked upon as perfectly normal.
I give below my convictions in regard to the English ancestors of Harman Scull.
(1) The connection between the Sculls and the Harmans at Westbury, in Wiltshire.
(2) The fact that wherever Harman Scull is mentioned in Dutch records, his name appears as "Harman Scholl", in spite of the custom of the country to add the Christian name of the father, with the word "sen" (son of)
as an ending, e.g., Peter Jansen Scholl= Peter, son of Jan Scholl, and Jan Petersen Scholl =Jan, son of Peter Scholl. In no case does Harman Scholl add a second name.
(3) The fact that when, three generations later, Peter Jansen Scull emigrated to New Amsterdam, or New York, he named his first son David, after, no doubt, the first person whose name appeared in the Visitation
(4) The fact that, as soon as New Amsterdam became a British colony, Peter Jansen Scholl resumed the English spelling of the name of Scull.
I will now relate the history of the family in Holland, as far as I have been able to trace it, down to the time of the settlement in New York. As has already been stated, Harman Scholl purchased a house
in The Hague, in 1596. He was married to Maritzen Willems (or Mary Williams), and had a son, Peter Harmansen Scholl, who was born at Bridle and married, in 1606, Marice Matthysdr van Nyenhoven. The date of his
marriage would suggest that his father came over to Holland with one of the early expeditions, and that he married at the age of eighteen or nineteen years. His eldest son, Jan Petersen Scholl, had a distinguished
career in the Royal Household, and is first mentioned in the service of the Prince of Orange, in 1640. The Prince was then Frederick Henry, son of William, first Duke of Nassau. Frederick Henry died in 1647, and was
succeeded by his son, William, second Duke of Nassau and Prince of Orange. Jan Petersen SchoIl had been promoted Steward by 1645, and references to him were found in the Dutch records, down to the year 1649. He was
appointed to control parts of the Royal Estate, and large sums of money passed through his hands. In an undated document (probably circa 1639) at the Hague we find his petition for a reward for bringing the good
news of the birth of a child to her Highness. (Document at The Hague, States General No. 7403.) The Princess would be the wife of Frederick Henry mentioned above. He married Ann Claesdr van Soelen, of a
distinguished family, and must have died before 1652, for in that year we find her mentioned as a widow. He entered into a wager with General Geerit Van Ness, not to drink any brandy or smoke any tobacco for a given
period. Once again, the connection between England and Holland during the period when Jan Petersen Scholl was attendant upon the Royal Household is important. William, second Prince of. Orange, married Mary,
daughter of King Charles I of England, in 1642. Jan Petersen Scholl left a son, Peter Jansen Scholl, who was born at the Grootkirk at The Hague in 1634. He emigrated to New Amsterdam and married their Grietje
Prevoost, in 1661. He had five children:
(1) Annetje named after her grandmother, born 1662.
(2) Grietje named after her mother, born 1664.
(3) David (named after the first person appearing in the Much Cowarne pedigree), born l666.
(4) John named after his grandfather, born 1671.
(5) Peter named after his father (date of birth unknown).
From this date the records of the family have been preserved in America.