An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 1. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1805.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
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.
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 land tax.
Rectors. (fn. 5)
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 France.
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.