The Book of Soden

Australia : Part 2 

The Sodens of Coventry and the move to Bath, England


With their continued prosperity and increased social standing a number of the Sodens moved residence to Bath, in Somerset, England where they were engaged in the professions of law, the church and medicine.


Thomas Spooner Soden, Barrister and Legal Author of Bath, England (1837 - 1921)

Briefly stated, Thomas Soden, b. 1734/d.1809 was a weaver, trained later as a surgeon, became a FRCS member. He worked w th army, the 79th Highlanders in Egypt, returned to practice in Coventry, married Elizabeth Burney and moved to Bath where after Elizabeths death, he remarried. The son of this union was Thomas Spooner Soden [Bath plaque] , a noted barrister.


River Soden at Cardigan Bay, Wales

John Smith Sodens son from his second marriage, John James Soden, married Henrietta Williams of Berth-ddu, Lllaniman, Mongomeryshire, Wales. His second son, Athelaston, was bequeathed the estate on condition he change his name to Corbet Soden. And so it was that the River Soden was named to commemorate Athelaston and his father.

The River Soden enters Cardigan Bay between Newport and Aberporth and is marked on the map at Cwm Soden.

Athelaston had two brothers, Arthur who never married and Alfred who had a son named Alexander. When Alfred died his wife took young Alexander and his brother, John, to Vienna.


Alexander and Baron Maximilian von Soden

Young Alexander was sent by his mother to a Jesuit College in Vienna and afterwards began to study horticulture and forestry in Munich, Bavaria when WW1 broke out. He and any other British nationals were interned in the town of Ruhleben, Bavaria. His name came to the attention of the Minister of the Interior, Baron Max on Soden. Ronald relates that the Baron visited the camp and spoke privately with Alexander for more than an hour. They discussed the possibility of family connections but could establish none but remained friends and in close contact after the war with Baron von Soden offering him many kindnesses. Alexnader was entertained many times at the Counts Schloss. Alexander related that after the Counts visit to the camp and conversation with him, as soon as the Count departed, the other prisoners believed him to be a spy and they dutifully beat the living daylights out of him.


[Source: The Sodens of Coventry: A Warwickshire Family over Six Centuries by Ronald Soden, 1992]

Photographs of Plaque in Bath Cathedral and Map of the River Soden at Cwm Soden, National Geographic Magazine]