Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/369

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353
SOKE—SOKOTO

counts of Vermandois. Renaud, count of Soissons, gave his property in 1141 to his nephew Yves de Nesle. By successive marriages the count ship of Soissons passed to the houses of Hainaut, Chatillon-Blois, Coucy, Bar and Luxemburg. Marie de Luxemburg brought it, together with the counties of Marle and St Pol, to Francis of Bourbon, count of Vendome, whom she married in 1487. His descendants, the princes of Condé, held Soissons and gave it to their cadets. Charles of Bourbon, count of Soissons (1566–1612), son of Louis, prince of Condé, whose political vacillations were due to his intrigues with Henry IV.’s sister Catherine, became grand master of France and governor of Dauphiné and Normandy. His son, Louis of Bourbon (1604–1641), took part in the plots against Marie de Medici and Richelieu, and attempted to assassinate Richelieu. He had only one child, a natural son, known as the Chevalier de Soissons. The count ship passed to the house of Savoy-Carignan by the marriage in 1625 of Marie de Bourbon-Soissons with Thomas Francis of Savoy. Eugene Maurice of Savoy, count of Soissons (1635–1673), married the beautiful and witty Olympia Mancini, a niece of Cardinal Mazarin, and obtained high military posts through his wife’s influence. He defeated the Spaniards at the battle of the Dunes in 1658; took part in the campaigns at Flanders (1667), Franche-Comté (1668) and Holland (1672); and was present as ambassador extraordinary of France at the coronation of Charles II. of England. His wife led a scandalous life, and was accused of poisoning her husband and others. She was the mother of Louis Thomas Amadeus, count of Soissons, and of the famous Prince Eugene of Savoy. In 1734 the male line of the family of Savoy-Soissons became extinct, and the heiress, the princess of Saxe-Hildburghausen, ceded the countship of Soissons to the house of Orleans, in whose possession it remained until 1789.


SOKE (O. Eng. soc, connected ultimately with secan, to seek), a word which at the time of the Norman Conquest generally denoted jurisdiction, but was often used vaguely and is probably incapable of precise definition. In some cases it denoted the right to hold a court, and in others only the right to receive the fines and forfeitures of the men over whom it was granted when they had been condemned in a court of competent jurisdiction. Its primary meaning seems to have been “ seeking ”; thus “soka faldae” was the duty of seeking the lords court, just as “ secta ad molendinum ” was the duty of seeking the lords mill. The “Leges Henrici”, also speaks of pleas “ in socna, id est, in quaestione sua”—pleas which are in his investigation. It is evident, however, that not long after the Norma-n Conquest considerable doubt prevailed about the correct meaning of the word. In some versions of the much used tract Interpretotiones uocobulorum soke is defined “aver fraunc court,” and in others as “ interpellacio maioris audientiae, ” which is glossed somewhat ambiguously as “ claim ajustis et requeste." Soke is also frequently associated to “ sak ” or “ sake ” in the alliterative jingle “ sake and soke, ” but the two words are not etymologically related. “Sake” is .the Anglo-Saxon “ sacu, ” originally meaning a matter or cause (from socan, to contend), and later the right to have a court. Soke, however, is theicommoner word, and appears to have had a wider range of meaning. The term “ soke, ” unlike 5 sake, ” was sometimes used of the district over which the right of jurisdiction extended. Mr Adolphus Ballard has recently argued that theiintsrpretation of the word “ soke ” as jurisdiction should only be accepted where it stands for the fuller phrase, “ sake and soke, ” and that soke standing by itself denoted services only. There are certainly many passages in Domesday Book which support his contention, but there are also other passages in which soke seems to be merely a short expression for “ sake and soke.” V The difficulties about the correct interpretation of these words will probably not be solved until the normal functions and jurisdiction of the various local courts have been more fully elucidated.

“The sokemen” were a class of tenants, found chiefly in the eastern counties. occupying an intermediate position between the free tenants and the bond tenants or villains. As a general rule they were personally free, but performed many of the agricultural services of the villains. It is generally-supposed they were called sokemen because they were within the lord’s soke or jurisdiction. Mr Ballard, however, holds that a sokeman was merely a man who rendered services, and 'that a sokeland was land from which services were rendered, and was not neces; sarily under the jurisdiction of a manor. The law term, socage, used of this tenure, is a barbarism, and is formed by adding the French age to soc.

See F. W. Maitland, Domesday Book and Beyond; J. H. Round, Feudal England; F. H. Baring, 'Domesdoy Tables; A. Ballard, The Domesday Inquest; [ Tait, review of the last-mentioned book in English Historical Review for January 1908; Red Book of the Exchequer (Rolls Series), iii. 1035.  (G. J. T.) 


SOKOTO, an important Fula state of west central Sudan, now a province of the British protectorate of Nigeria. The sultan of' Sokoto throughout the 19th century exercised an overlordship over the Hausa states extending east from the Niger to Bornu and southward to the Benue and Adamawa. These states and Sokoto itself, known variously as the Sokoto or Fula empire and Hausaland, came (c. 1900–1903) under direct British control, but the native governments are maintained. The province of Sokoto occupies the north-west corner of the British protectorate, and is bounded west and north by French territory. South and east it adjoins other parts of the British protectorate. Bordering north on the Sahara, it contains much arid land, but south-west the land is very fertile. Running through it in a south-westerly direction is the Gublih Kebbi or, Sokoto river, which joins the Niger in 111/2° N. 4° E. On a tributary of this river is the town of Sokoto.

The Sokoto or Fula empire was founded at the beginning of the 19th century. The country over which the Fula ruled has, however, a history going back to the middle ages. Between the Niger and the kingdom of Bornu (q.v.) the country was inhabited by various black tribes, of whom the Hausa occupied the plains; Under the influence of Berber and Arab tribes, who embraced Mahommedanism, the Hausa advanced in civilization, founded large cities, and developed a considerable trade, not only with the neighbouring countries, but, via the Sahara, with the Barbary states. The various kingdoms which grew up round each large town had their own rulers, but in the first half of the 16th century they all appear to have owned the sway of the Songhoi kings (see Timbuktu). On the break—up of the Songhoi empire the north-eastern part of Hausaland became more or less subject to Bornu, whose sultans in the 17th century claimed to rule over Katsena and Kano. In this century arose a dynasty of the Habé, a name now believed to be identical with Hausa, who obtained power over a large area of the northern portion of the present British protectorate. The Hausa, whose conversion to Mahommedanism began in the 12th century, were still in the 18th century partly pagans, though their rulers were followers of the Prophet. These rulers built up an elaborate system of government which left a considerable share in the management of affairs to the body of the people. Dwelling among the Hausa were a number of Fula, mostly herdsmen, and these were devout Mahommedans. One of the more cultivated teachers of this race, named Othman Dan Fodio, had been tutor to the king of Gobir (a district north of Establish-
ment of
Fula Rule.
Sokoto). He incurred the wrath of that king, who, angered at some act of defiance, ordered the massacre of every Fula in his dominions. The Fula flocked to Fodio's aid, and in the battle of Koto or Rugga Fakko (1804) the king of Gobir was utterly defeated. Thereupon Fodio unfurled the green banner of Mahomet and preached a jihad or religious war. In a few years the Fula had subdued most of the Hausa states, some, like Kano, yielding easily in order to preserve their trade, others, like Katsena, offering a stubborn resistance., Gobir and Kebbi remained unconquered, as did the pagan hill tribes. The Fula were also defeated in their attack on Bornu, In most places they continued the system of government which had grown up under the Habé, the chiefs or emirs of the various