WEST, or NORTH WROTHAM,
Belonged to Ralph de Toni at the Conquest, (fn. 1) who was son of
Roger de Toni, Standard-bearer of Normandy, and founder of the
abbey of Conchis in that dukedom; this Ralph was Standard-bearer
to the Conqueror in that memorable battle against King Harold, and
by his eminent service in it, became a sharer in those large possessions which were after that signal conquest disposed of to his friends
and followers, and among others, had 19 lordships in Norfolk, these
three being part of them, the biggest of which he gave (as is before
observed) to Bec abbey, and left the other two to Ralph, his son and
heir, who left them at his death, to Roger his son and heir, who
gave this manor and advowson, with the mill and moors, and whatever he held else in the township, to the monks of Conchis, (fn. 2) who held
them of his gift at his death, as belonging to their cell at WottonWawen in Warwickshire, which was in 1162. In 1267, Robert le
Taylur and Aveline his wife, granted to Walter abbot of the church
of St. Peter of Cunches, (fn. 3) 70 acres of land here; in 1279, Ralph, son
of the said Roger, granted liberty of free-warren, and free fishing, to
the abbot of St. Peter of Conches Castellon, in all his demeans and
waters in his manor of Wrotham, (fn. 4) viz. in Wrotham-Thorp manor. In
1285, the abbot of Conches had view of frankpledge, assize of bread
and ale allowed him, and thus it continued in the abbot (except
when the King held it on account of the French wars, when the temporalities of the alien priories were generally seized, that the revenues
might not go to support the King's enemies) till 1414, the 2d of
King Henry V. and then the parliament at Leicester dissolved all the
alien priories, and so it came to the Crown, and was granted for life
to Sir Rowland Lenthall, Knt. and at his death it went with the
Priory of Wotton Wawen, and all its revenues, to King Henry VI.
who gave them to the provost and scholars of his college of St. Mary
and St. Nicholas in Cambridge, commonly called King's college, who
are now lords and patrons. King Henry II. granted the monks of
Wotton license to choose their own abbot, and that all their tenants
in England should be free from serving at sheriff's turns, and hundred
courts, and acquitted them of all tax, Danegeld, hildielt, and hundredfu, and also granted them all felons goods forfeited; by virtue of
which, this manor pleaded an exemption from doing suit to the hundred, but still paid their leet fee of 3s. a year to it, for themselves and
Wrotham-Thorp, of both which, the lord of the hundred is paramount,
but hath no power to compel the tenants to any service.
This rectory is valued in the King's Books at 12l. 11s. 3d. and pays
1l. 5s. 1d. ob. yearly tenths; it is in Norfolk archdeaconry, and Rockland deanery.
The Church is dedicated to St. Lawrence, was taxed in the Lincoln taxation at 14 marks, and paid 12d. synodals. In 1603, there
were 40 communicants, and there are now  about 100 inhabitants; it paid 3l. 4s. to the tenths, and is assessed at 376l. to the
Rectors. (fn. 5)
1308, 6 non. May, William, called de Forda, (or Ford,) priest, was
presented by the Abbot of St. Peter of Cunches.
1328, 8 kal. Febr. Rich. Woderone, priest, was presented to North
Wrotham, by John de Lotoveris, proctor of the Abbot of Cunches;
and in 1331, he had license for non-residence, as chaplain to the Lady
Mortimer, at the request of the Bishop of Worcester.
1394, 2 July, Barth. Pulleter, priest, was instituted to North alias
West Wrotham, on the King's presentation, the temporals of the
Abbot of Cunches being in his hands during the war between him and
1398, 22 June, John Gylot, priest. The King, as before.
1417, 9 Nov. Tho. Doleyn, priest, on Gilbert's resignation. The
King for this turn.
1433, 7 Jan. Tho. Galle, priest, on Doleyn's death. Sir Rowland
Lenthall, Knt. in right of the manor called West Wrotham Hall,
which he hath for life, of the gift of King Henry V. to which manor
the advowson is appendant.
1435, Tho. Bennet, priest, on Gall's death. Ditto.
1436, 17 June, Tho. Says, on Bennet's resignation. Ditto.
1442, 3 March, Will, Deen, priest, on Say's resignation. John
prior of Wotton Wawen in Worcester diocese.
1451, 10 Febr. Rob. Wodemanston, priest.
1500, 30 June, David Barker, A. M.
1509, 30 Oct. Rob. Harlsey, on Barker's death.
1551, 16 May, Stephen Hopkyns, A.M. on Harlsey's death, in
1556, he was instituted to Great Wrotham, and held both by union.
1559, 21 Febr. William Edwards, on Hopkyns's resignation.
1579, 7 Sept. Robert Conye, S. T. B.
1613, 3 June, Richard Lancaster, S.T.B.
1613, 17 Sept. Paul Kent, clerk.
1640, 29 April, Samuel Wooton, S.T.P. he had Great Wrotham.
1681, 25 April, John Powell, A.M. on Wooton's death, united to
1711, 18 Oct. The Rev. Nathaniel Coddington, A. M. the present
 rector, holds it united to East Wrotham.
These last presented by the Provost of St. Mary's and St. Nicholas's college at Cambridge, commonly called King's college, who is
These inscriptions are in the chancel,
HODIE MIHI. CRAS TIBI.
Here lyeth the Body of Samuel Wotton, Doctor of Divinity, and Minister of both the Wrethams, who departed this
Life the 4th of Febr. and was buried the 6, 1680, aged 80 Years,
He learn'd to live, while he had Breath,
And so he lives even after Death.
Elizabeth, Wife of Dr. Wotton, died 1 Aug. 1679, aged
53, on the North Side of her Stone lie Samuel, William, and
Elizabeth their Children,
Their Time was short, the longer is their rest,
God calls them soonest, whom he loveth best.
Thomas Townshend, Gent, and Kath. Hoo his Wife, he died
July 31, 1681.
Frances, Wife of George Townshend, Gent. and Daughter of
Edmund Bacon of Hesset, Esq. died Sept. 1649.
William Powell, Gent. descended from the Powell's of Shropshire, died Febr. 6, 1685.
John Powell his Son, Rector of the Wrethams, dyed March
There is a brass plate fixed against the east end of the chancel wall,
with this inscription,
The Body of CATHERINE CODDINGTON, the beloved
Wife of NATHAN. CODDINGTON, rector of the two parishes,
dyed 11 Oct. 1716, aged 33.
Oh! had the Number of her Days,
Been as compleat, as was her Praise,
Happy, and pleas'd with such a Store,
Her dearest Friend had wish'd no more.
Upon a south chancel window may be seen a small emblematical
figure of an hare riding on a grayhound, with a bow and quiver
hanging at its back, and a bugle horn by its side.