In his celebrated memoir, Morgan Ward's definition of elliptic divisibility sequences has the remarkable feature that it does not become at all clear until deep into the paper that there exist nontrivial examples of such sequences. Even then, Ward's proof of the coherence of his definition relies on displaying a sequence of values of quotients of Weierstraß σ-functions. We give a direct proof of coherence and show, rather more generally, that a sequence defined by a so-called Somos relation of width 4 is always also given by three-term Somos relations of all larger widths 5, 6, 7, . . . .