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Member From: 1652 - 1661
- Birth Date: Unknown Birth Place:
- Death Date: 1661
- Gender: Male Race: Caucasian
- Spouse: Judith
- Children: Henry, Jr., Judith Jr., John, Elizabeth, William
- Military Service:
- Additional Info: Henry Soane was Speaker of the House of Burgesses at the first session of the assembly of 1661-76, which continued by adjournments and prorogations in seventeen sessions from March 1661 to May 1676. Soane had come to Virginia about 1651 and patented 297 acres on the Chickahominy River in James City County. Later he purchased another 2,200 acres in 1656 in James City County, where he established his main plantation.
Late in the Nov. 1654 session Soane and eight other burgesses were named to a committee for private causes that evidently met during recess and reported to the reconvened assembly in March 1655. And in March 1661 Speaker Soane and six other burgesses formed a committee to meet in Septembler 1661 during a recess to join with the governor and Council to proportion the annual tax levy and receive communications from England and return answers, "..unless the case requires the meeting of the assembly." These committees appear to be evidence that the burgesses assumed authority between sessions to handle administrative matters that previously had been handled solely by the Council.
- Bio: HENRY SOANE was Speaker of the House of Burgesses at the first session of the assembly of 1661-1676, which continued by adjournments and prorogations in seventeen sessions from March 1661 to May 1676. Soane had come to Virginia about 1651 and patented 297 acres on the Chickahominy River in James City County. Among his headrights were his wife, Judith, and their children, Henry, Jr., Judith, Jr., John, and Elizabeth; another son, William, was born in Virginia in 1651. Soane represented his county in the assembly continuously from April 1652 to March 1655. He was absent from the assembly of 1656, but returned for James City County in 1658. He was absent again in 1659, and returned again in 1660 and, as Speaker, in 1661; he died before the House of Burgesses reconvened on 23 March 1662.
Both Speaker Soane and his eldest son, Henry, Jr., acquired large tracts of land in Virginia. He patented 450 acres on the Rappahannock River in 1652, which he assigned to Sir Henry Chicheley in 1654, and also patented 200 acres near his son's New Kent County plantation, which totaled 2,800 acres by 1656. Soane's main plantation was in James City County, where in 1656 he purchased 2,200 acres. Another 450-acre parcel that he obtained and then deserted was confirmed to his widow on 20 March 1662 by acting governor Francis Moryson.
Late in the November 1654 session Soane and eight other burgesses were named to a committee for private causes that evidently met during the recess and reported to the reconvened assembly in March 1655. And in March 1661 Speaker Soane and six other burgesses formed a committee to meet in September 1661 during the recess to join with the governor and Council to proportion the annual tax levy and receive communications from England and return answers ''unless the case requires the meeting of the assembly." From its experience during the Commonwealth period, the House of Burgesses had become accustomed to an active role in the administration of government. These committees seem to have given the burgesses a hand between sessions in administrative matters that previously had been handled solely by the Council, sometimes with subsequent ratification by the assembly. Soane's "publique committee" was "continued with like power" by the House in March 1662, and Speaker Robert Wynne was appointed to the committee to replace ''Mr. Henry Soane then speaker now deceased.''
Speaker Soane was apparently a friend and neighbor of Francis Moryson, for his daughter Judith was married, "at the house of Coll. Morryson [on] Dec[embe]r the 12th 1661," to Henry Randolph (1623-1673), who had become clerk to the assembly in 1656. During Soane's Speakership the assembly had ordered that ''Collonel Francis Morrison and Henry Randolph clerke of the assembly review all the acts . . . and present a draught of them with such alterations and marked amendments as they shall find necessary to the next assembly, and that there be paid them for their pains Fifteen thousand pounds of tobacco." Soane received tobacco worth £50 for having ''faithfully performed the great trust imposed upon him and by that done a singular service to the countrey." The collection of acts prepared by Moryson and Randolph-the colony's first printed revisal-was published in London in 1662.
- Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: Speaker of the House: 1661 (March), died before the Assembly reconvened in 1662
|1652 Apr||James City County|
|1652 Nov||James City|
|1654-1655||James City||Private Causes|
|1660||James City County|
|1661-1676||James City County||Speaker of the House|
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