- Although London has been generally regarded as exempt from feudal tenures, there is abundant evidence in old deeds and records relating to the City to prove that it contained within its limits several " sokes," or privileged areas, exempt from the jurisdiction of the City, in addition to those within the Liberties, but without the Walls.Queen Matilda had a soke in the City at Aldgate (Cal. L. Bk. C. p.224).Soke of "Aldresmaneberi" and soke of the Earl of Gloucester mentioned III 5-30 (MS. D. and C. St. Paul's, Liber L.).The Archbishop of Canterbury had his soke in or near the parish of St. Mary Somerset (Anc. Deeds, A. 1803)."Blanchesapeltuna" lay in the soke of Robert de Valonus, 1177 (ib. A. 7295).A number of religious houses held their "sokas" in London, but by whose warrant is not known, 3 Ed. I. (Rot. Hund. I. 404).The Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's had sokes at Cornhill, in Bysshopesgate and Holeburn and held Courts there, 14 Ed. II. (Quo. Warr. p.456).There is a long list of sokes in London, issuing from various tenements, etc., in MSS. D. and C. St. Paul's, W.D. 9, fo. 5, MS. temp. Ric. II.In the terms "sac" and "soc," "sac" was the power and privilege of hearing and determining causes and disputes, levying of forfeitures and fines, executing laws and administering justice within a certain precinct (See Ellis, Introduction to Domesday Book, I. 273). " Soc " or " socn " was strictly the right of investigating, or seeking, or, as Spelman defines it, "Cognitio quam dominus habet in curia sua de causis litibusque inter vassallos suos ex orientibus." It was also the territory or precinct in which the sacu and other privileges were exercised (Thorpe's Diplomatarium, Glossary, p.394).Stubbs is of opinion that the form is an alliterative jingle which will not bear close analysis (Const. Hist. I. 73).
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.