1) A short form of ‘essoiner’, that is the man who excused the non-attendance of another at the manor court.

The evidence suggests that some men, possibly with legal training, did this regularly enough for it to be seen as their ‘office’ or occupation, as in the case of a Wharfedale man: 1297-8 Et Alano le Soignour

1308-9 Pro j equo vendito Alano essoniatori, Bolton Priory

1323-4 ‘Adam son of Alan Soygnour’, Nesfield. It was not uncommon in the south Pennine parishes where it is likely to be one source of Senior as a surname, conceivably the major source: 1307 William le Soyngur, Flockton

1379 Thomas Soignour, Flockton

1391 ‘Thomas del Overhall of Flocton, soignour'. Possibly belonging here also is: 1421 Thomas Lyndesay, synyar, York.

spellings soygner
dates 1297-1298 1307 1323-1324 1379 1391 1421

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0