‘Cremuel,’ he says, ‘I note the duke’s comments. About your person. About your position.’ He clears his throat. ‘For what it is worth, I am myself a man of humble origins. Though not perhaps so low…’
He knows Chapuys’s history. His people are petty lawyers, two generations away from the soil.
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
What is the meaning of the phrase 'from the soil' here?