Sinnocks and Kin – People
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William Sevenoak


Abt. 1380, Sevenoaks, Kent


TO: Alice Lynne (perhaps)


14 Jul 1432, Kent, England

Registered Arms of William Sevenoak
Mayor of London, 1418 - 1419
  Blazon "Azure, seven acorns or, two three and two"
Note - "or" stands for "gold" as in spanish "oro"

Original entry in Burkes Armory,

NOTE:  Several independent branches of the Sinnock family tell a similar story that legend has it that our name is based on a slurring of "Sevenoak". This is likely given the first appearance of the various spellings of last names of Sinnock ancestors from both Hastings and Eastbourne. These early parish register entries were made by barely literate vicars(or often their barely literate attendants). William's (Wyllyam) last name is most frequently spelled "Sevenoak" but also "Sevenoaks", "Sevenok", "Sennocke", "Sennoke" and "Seavenoake" in various publications, including "The Nine Worthies of London" by Richard Johnson in 1592 (Sevenoak) (see   John Senoke for more early spellings of our ancestors' names. In the database I use the spelling "Sevenoke" for William from his signed 1432 will, but retain "Sevenoak" here. In any case, William, born about 1380, is the earliest record I could find of the Sevenoak, Senoke, Sinnock name. His tie to our family is purely hypothetical, shown by the ?'s at the top of  John Senoke's 12-generation tree. However, I find no Sevenoak among the variety of names associated with our likely common ancestors; instead I find several varieties of "Senoke". This spelling and its variants could easily be written by the vicars or their attendants, especially considering the regional dialects at the time. So a family moving to Eastbourne or Hastings on the coast from "Sevenoaks" far inland could easily be spelled "Senoke" and its several varieties, so perhaps our name does originate as a slurring of "Sevenoaks". William is historically documented as both London's Mayor (1418-1419)and Sheriff (both before and after). His life's story is told in "Sevenoaks School and its Founder" by J. T. Lennox, 1932. William founded the school in Sevenoaks, Kent in his will; it was (is) the oldest lay school in England. William was raised as an orphan left by a tree in Sevenoaks and adopted by William Rumsched, possibly a local baron. In later life he became a wealthy merchant (apprentised grocer) and then Mayor of London. Founding the school and adjacent almshouses was his thanks to the town that adopted him where he grew up. Of note is the legendary derivation of the town's name from the Saxon word "Seouenaca", meaning seven oak trees.

First Senoke