The origin of the surname Insoll and its variants Insull, Insall, Insell, Insole and Hinsull
The Parish Church of St. Michael, Elmley Lovett
The name comes from the lost settlement of Insoll in the parish of Elmley Lovett in Worcestershire. In A Dictionary of English Surnames (1958) Reaney and Wilson cite the following as evidence: Richard de Inneshal 1327, John de Insale 1340 and Philip Insoll 1603. An even earlier refererence is to be found in the Worcestershire Eyre (Assizes) of 1275 where the settlement is recorded as Inerdeshell and Ynardeshull. This translates as the hill of Isnard (or Inard). Isnard is from the old German and means “iron hard”. Insoll, then, might take its name from a medieval landowner by the name of Isnard. During the reign of King Stephen (1135 -54) the Lord of the Manor of Hampton Lovett (3 miles from Elmley Lovett) was a certain Isnard Parler. Might he, or a close relative, be the person after whom the settlement of Insoll was originally named?
The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Doverdale
The Hinsull family tree has been traced back as far as Edward Insall who was christened at the church of St. Mary the Virgin in Doverdale, Worcestershire in 1706. His parents, Edward Insall and Mary Edwards, were married in the same church the previous year. Unfortunately the Parish records for Doverdale prior to 1705 are lost or destroyed. The Bishop’s Transcripts of the parish registers do still exist, but only about half of them have survived. Edward Insall, who married Mary Edwards in 1705, might well have been born in Doverdale around 1680, but no record survives of his christening. In the surviving fragments of the Bishop’s Transcripts for Doverdale are a surprisingly high number of Insolls, for such a small parish (inhabitants about 50).
Insoll's Farm, Doverdale
It appears that the Insoll family lived on a farm just to the south of Doverdale at a place called Southall. Southall Farm still exists today. In the early 18th century it was known as Insoll’s Farm, because “for many years past, all the lands, crofts and pasture grounds thereunto, were held and enjoyed by William Insoll”. On William Insoll’s death the tenancy of the farm fell into the hands of a William Randle.
William Insoll had been church warden at St. Mary the Virgin and had several children. One of these could well have been Edward, but no documentary evidence seems to exist. So this is where the Hinsull line ends, for the time being at least, until perhaps, one day, more evidence comes to light. Hearof England Publishing 2009
HIn Search of the Lost Settlement of Insoll in Worcestershire
The Lodge, Elmley Lovett. The home of Henry Townshend.
All that is known for certain about the location of the lost settlement of Insoll is that it was in the parish of Elmley Lovett.The last published reference to Insoll was in the diary of the magistrate Henry Townshend, the wealthiest land owner in Elmley Lovett. He mentioned it twice when recording the tax returns for 1642 and 1644. In 1642 John Smith of Togood paid five shillings, presumably for a property of that name in Insoll. Two years later he paid four shillings and sixpence for Togood and two shillings and sixpence for Ballhall, both properties being in Insoll. In the Place Names Of Worcestershire (1927) Mawer and Stenton suggested that Ballhall was an old spelling of Ball Hill. On the current OS map there is a Ball Hill house to the south west of Elmley Lovett. Might this be on the site of Ballhall in Insoll, mentioned by Henry Townshend. Mawer and Stenton also suggest that Ballhall may be connected to the Balles of Elmley Lovett recorded in the Lay Subsidy Rolls of 1327. On this list Thomas and Henry Balle appear next to Richard of Inneshall. The list is not alphabetical and could well be geographical. By that, I mean that the tax inspector recorded those liable to tax as he moved through the parish. If this was the case, the Balles and Inneshall could have been close neighbours.
TAXATION ROLL FOR ELMELEYE LOVET
De Thoma Balle 12 pence
De Henrico Balle 15 pence
De Ricardo de Inneshal 18 pence
Just to the north of Ball Hill house on the current OS map are Bassage Cottages and Bassage Farm. A John Basset was mentioned in the 1327 Lay Subsidy for Elmley Lovett. Also, three men from Hartlebury were indicted for ‘breaking and entering the close of Edward Smyth called the Bases at Elmley Lovett’ in 1633. Might Bassett and/or the Bases be connected with the modern day Bassage? And Might Edward Smyth be related to his contemporary Elmley Lovett resident John Smith, owner of property in Insoll? A William Bassett is listed next to John of Insale in the Nonarum Inquisitones for Elmley Lovett in 1340:
Item comperimus per sacramentum Ricardi Pyley, Johannis Lenye, Johannis de Insale, Willelmi Basset, et Ricardi ate Verne, quod ecclesia de Elmelelovet taxateur ad xv marcas, …
This John of Insoll is not the earliest person of that name of whom we have a record. If we go back 65 years to the Worcester Eyre (Assizes) of 1275 we will find another John of Insoll, a chaplain living in Elmley Lovett. This Johannes de Inardeshulle laid claim to a property in Ynardeshull (Insoll) owned byPeter of Doverdale. Peter's defence, which was upheld, was that he was only the tenant and that the land was owned by William de Stures. This was judged to be true, and John lost the case.
My litigious forbear, although of course he wasn't really my forbear - my ancestors were probably just serfs who worked on his land, appeared once more in the Worcester Assizes of 1275. The second case was more intersting. William de la Hurst was accused of trespassing on the land of John of Insoll, in the settlement of Insoll, where he "took and drove away his beasts found there, beat and maltreated Richard of the Chamber, who worked for John of Insoll, and comitted other outrages to the great damage of John and Richard and against our peace". This outrage took place "on the morrow of Ascension Day in the 3rd year of the reign of King Edward I (22 May 1275). It was alleged that Richard of the Chamber was beaten so badly that he was unable to work for a month. William denied all charges and it was directed that the matter should go before a jury. At this point John of Insoll decided not to pursue the prosecution any further.
These two cases from The Worcester Assizes of 1275 are of enormous significance to the quest for the lost settlement of Insoll. John of Insoll is the earliest recorded Insoll, and furthermore it is very clear that John of Insoll was living, and owned land, in a place by the name of Inardeshull (Insoll) in 1275. Also, land in Insoll was was owned by William de Stures , and any surviving records relating to this man could throw even more light onto the lost settlement of Insoll.
Samuel Insull - Citizen Kane
Samuel Insull was the most famous Insull of all, some would say the most infamous. He is not so well known today but in the first half of the 20th century he was a household name in the USA. By the 1920s he was one of the most powerful business men in the country, having built electric power stations throughout the United States and having co-founded the General Electric Company before moving his operations to Chicago where he dominated the Utilities industry.
Samuel Insull was born in Lambeth, London, England on November 11, 1859, the son of Samuel Insull and Emma Short. Insull Senior was a religious man and an enthusiastic campaigner for temperance. When his small dairy business failed in 1866 he became an active member of the United Kingdom Alliance, a sort of national prohibition league. As a reward for his dedicated service he was appointed secretary for the Alliance in Oxford with the added benefit of a good private education for his son.
Insull Junior, now backed by a good education and blessed with remarkable energy, returned to London and began to make his way in business. He secured a post with Edison's European operation and impressed his bosses so much with his remarkable hard work and dedication to the job that he was offered a position as Edison's private secretary in New York in 1881.
Now he worked even harder than ever (if that was possible) and soon made himself indispensable to his new boss. He took on the increasing responsibilities that eventually led to the establishment of his business empire mentioned above, based in Chicago.
In 1899 Samuel Insull married a beautiful Broadway actress whose stage name was Gladys Wallis. Gladys was 17 years younger than her rich husband and in her early years had been popular and quite successful. By the 1920s when Samuel was so famous that he made the cover of Time Magazine she was starting to receive poor reviews and was even subjected to ridicule. The Insulls lived in a Spanish Revival mansion with extensive grounds now known as the Cuneo Museum. In 1929 Samuel Insull was responsible for the building of the Chicago Civic Opera House. This may all sound rather familiar . The film Citizen Kane is partly based on the life of Samuel and Gladys Insull as well of that of the newspaper baron, William Randolph Hearst.
With the Wall Street crash of October 1929 and the start of the Great Depression came the collapse of Insull's empire and his eventual ruin. The collapse of his company wiped out the life savings of 600,000 shareholders. Insull fled the country to Greece but was extradited back to the USA to face prosecution on antitrust and mail fraud charges. He was found not guilty on all counts but his reputation and health had suffered irreparably. In 1938 he visited Paris where he died of a heart attack at the Place de la Concorde station on July 16th. He is buried in Putney Vale Cemetery, London.
Gilbert Insall VC
Gilbert Stuart Martin Insall VC MC was born on May 14, 1894. As a 21 years old Second Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps he was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry in the face of the enemy. The citation for the awarding of this highest of military honours ran as follows:
"For most conspicuous bravery, skill and determination, on 7 November, 1915, in France. He was patrolling in a Vickers Fighting Machine, with First Class Air Mechanic T. H. Donald as gunner, when a German machine was sighted, pursued, and attacked near Achiet.
The German pilot led the Vickers machine over a rocket battery, but with great skill Lieutenant Insall dived and got to close range, when Donald fired a drum of cartridges into the German machine, stopping its engine. The German pilot then dived through a cloud, followed by Lieutenant Insall. Fire was again opened, and the German machine was brought down heavily in a ploughed field 4 miles south-east of Arras.
On seeing the Germans scramble out of their machine and prepare to fire, Lieutenant Insall dived to 500 feet, thus enabling Donald to open heavy fire on them. The Germans then fled, one helping the other, who was apparently wounded. Other Germans then commenced heavy fire, but in spite of this, Lieutenant Insall turned again, and an incendiary bomb was dropped on the German machine, which was last seen wreathed in smoke. Lieutenant Insall then headed west in order to get back over the German trenches, but as he was at only 2,000 feet altitude he dived across them for greater speed, Donald firing into the trenches as he passed over.
The German fire, however, damaged the petrol tank, and, with great coolness, Lieutenant Insall landed under cover of a wood 500 yards inside our lines. The Germans fired some 150 shells at our machine on the ground, but without causing material damage. Much damage had, however, been caused by rifle fire, but during the night it was repaired behind screened lights, and at dawn Lieutenant Insall flew his machine home with First Class Air Mechanic T. H. Donald as a passenger."
(London Gazette - 22 December 1915)
Insall later achieved the rank of Group Captain and remained in the RAF after the war. He developed an interest in aerial photography and in 1925 he photographed what was later discovered to be the Bronze Age site now known as Woodhenge, two miles from Stonehenge. Four years later he discovered a similar site known as Arminghall Henge. He died on February 17, 1972 and his grave is in Nocton Churchyard, Lincolnshire. His Victoria Cross is on display at the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon.
Douglas John Insole, born 18 April 1926 in Clapton in east London is a former cricketer who played for Cambridge University, Essex and in nine Test matches for England, five of them on the 1956-57 tour of South Africa where he was vice-captain to Peter May. After retiring from playing, he was prominent in cricket administration and served as chairman of the England selectors and as president of the MCC.
Insole was captain of cricket at Cambridge University and went on to captain Essex for many years. He played as a wicket-keeper, batsman, and as a bowler. He was one of the Widen Cricketers of the Year in 1956. He was President of the MCC for the twelve months beginning 1 October 2006. For his many services to cricket, Doug Insole was appointed CBE in 1979.
Insole was chairman of selectors for the England Cricket team in the 1960s during which Geoffrey Boycott was dropped in 1967 after having scored 246 not out. Boycott admitted to still feeling aggrieved about this, over 40 years later, during commenting on the third Test between New Zealand and England at Napier on 24 March 2008.
Insole was a first team footballer for the amateur Corinthian Casuals FC.
Heart of England Publishing 2009
Heart of England Publishing 2009
eart of England Publishing 2009
Heart of England Publishing 2009