Family of Robert POPE and Joan (Joane) SUMNER

Husband: Robert POPE ( - )
Wife: Joan (Joane) SUMNER ( -c. 1672)
Marriage 1671

Husband: Robert POPE

Name: Robert POPE
Sex: Male
Father: -
Mother: -
Birth Wedmore, Somerset

Wife: Joan (Joane) SUMNER

Name: Joan (Joane) SUMNER
Sex: Female
Father: Joseph SUMNER (c. 1594-1683)
Mother: Unknown <SUMNER> (1596- )
Death c. 1672
Cause: childbirth (possibly)

Note on Wife: Joan (Joane) SUMNER

Joan was left £4 in his grandmother's will.


The 17th century diarist John Aubrey had a long-standing connection with Seend. His friend, John Somner (Sumner) lived at Seend Green House in 1665. Aubrey made addresses to John’s sister Joane Somner. He stayed for over a year and in 1666 obtained a licence to marry her but the engagement was broken off leading to three years of bitter litigation. Joan accused Aubrey of appropriating money she lent him to raise a mortgage on his family home at Easton Pierce. He said she had jilted him like the previous house-mate Dr Jolliff’s brother. The Salisbury Court awarded him £600 damages for breach of promise but a later trial reduced this to £300 and legal expenses were costly. He sold his Wiltshire property and lived with various friends until his death in 1697. Joane Somner later married Mr Robert Pope of Wedmore, Somerset, in 1671 but died 9 months later (probably in childbirth).


The stream depicted at the foot of the Seend church window reminds us that water was essential for both settlement and agriculture, but at Seend it was also important in two other ways. Like Melksham, Holt and other places on the way to Bath, Seend tried to entice wealthy convalescents to stop and benefit from the curative properties of its own water. John Aubrey, who lived at Seend in 1665-6 (when he entered into a disastrous engagement with his host and friend’s sister, Joan Sumner), lavishly praised and promoted Seend water, and there was a brief possibility around 1684-90 that the village might develop as a spa, focussed on a chalybeate source in the grounds of what is now Seend Green House. But as with so many of Aubrey’s projects (including his proposed marriage) it came to nothing, and Seend water maintained only a local reputation.