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.
WROTHAM-THORP, or LITTLE WROTHAM, NOW THORP-HOUSE.
The third was called anciently Little Wrotham, or Wrotham-Thorp, and now Thorp-House, there being only one farm remaining at this time; it never had any church, but was an hamlet to West Wrotham, which took the name of Little Wrotham after this was joined to it: it was a separate village at the Conquest, and so continued to the latter end of Edward II. though the manor always was, and now is, distinct from the other Wrothams, by the name of Thorp Hall. It was held by the Tonys, who had all the three at first, and passed as West Wrotham did, till that was given to the Abbot of Conches, by Roger de Tony, who died seized of this, and left it to Ralph his son, who, in 1279, held Wrotham-Thorp, as part of his barony, the manor having then liberty of view of frankpledge, assize of bread and ale, and weyf; he left it to Robert, his son and heir, after the decease of William Martin, and Loveday his wife, who held it for life by Ralph's grant; but in 1309, he was in possession, (fn. 1) and died seized, leaving it to Alice, widow of Tho. Leybourne, his sister and heir, at that time 26 years old, who married Guy de Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, who, soon after his marriage, sold the manor, with 30s. 11d. rent, a messuage, and 100 acres of land in Stanford, held by the tenth part of a fee, to Thomas de Nethergate, chaplain of Stanford, to be held of the Earl by the annual payment of a chaplet of roses; and this Thomas gave the manor to the Prior of Cokesford and his successours in 1315, reserving the Stanford parts to himself. In 1343, it was settled by Peter de Weston Taillur, and Alice his wife, on Sir John de Norwich, Knt. at which time it contained two carucates, for which John gave them 100 marks; how it came from Coxford, whether by exchange or no, I do not find. In 1350, John de Herlyng granted to Sir John de Norwich, Knt. all the lands in the Wrothams and Illington, which he purchased of John de Wrotham, with the fold-courses, homages, and services, thereto belonging; and in 1354, John de Bruseyerd of Shadenfield, his feoffee, released his right; in 1374, it descended to Katherine de Brewse, cousin and heir of Sir John Norwich, junior, who settled it on John Daventre, parson of Brom, Walter Barkly, vicar of Kymberle, John Cranhouse, Edmund Lakyngheth, and Richard Nooth, for her life, and a year after her decease, remainder to the King and his heirs, Sir John Plaiz, Sir Robert Howard and others being feoffees; and in 1384, King Richard II. gave the reversion to the prioress and nuns of Dartford in Kent; in 1405, William Barret of Dicleburgh, and Joan his wife, settled divers lands and a fold-course here on Joan, Prioress of Dartford, and her successours, in which house it continued to the Dissolution; and in 1539, was granted to Sir Tho. Jermyn, Knt. and his heirs, to be held in capite. In 1561, it was Edmund Jermyn's; in 1576, Sir Amb. Jermyn of Rushbrook, Knt. died seized, and left Robert his son and heir, but gave this manor to William Jermyn, Esq. his youngest son, who in 1603, settled it on himself and his heirs; it afterwards belonged to George Townsend of Cranworth, second son of Tho. Townsend of Testerton, he married Frances, daughter of Edmund Bacon of Hesset in Suffolk, leaving two sons, Henry the younger, and Thomas the elder, who lived at West Wrotham, where he was buried in 1681, leaving by Katherine Hoo his wife, one son, viz. George Townsend of Wrotham, Gent. who first married a Green, but by her had no issue, and afterwards a grand-daughter of Sir Robert Baldock of Tacolneston, whose mother was sister and heir of Robert Baldock of Tacolneston, Esq. his son and heir, by whom he had the Rev. Mr. Townsend, rector of Shipdham; (fn. 2) (fn. 3) which of them it was that sold the estate, I cannot say, but am informed that it belongs to the heirs of Sir Nicholas Gerrard, Bart. who died in 1727.
I meet with nothing more concerning these Wrothams, but that the great hundred court is to be annually kept at a place called KettleBridge, between Little Hocham, Illington, and Great Wrotham, on Tuesday after Michaelmas day in the morning, where all the rents due to the hundred are to be paid, and proper warrants issued for all arrears.
In Fabian's Chronicle, (fol. 361,) is this,
"Aboute that Srason, [1418,] the Parson of Wortham in Norfolk, whych longe Tyme had haunted Nuw-Market Heth, and there robbed and spoyled many of the King's Subierts, was nowe with his Concubyne broughte into Newgate, where lastly he dyed."
And in a manuscript in the hands of the Rev. Mr. Baldwin, it is thus related: "In 1418, the parson of Wrotham in Norfolk, which had haunted Newmarket Heathe, and there robbed and spoiled many, was with his concubine to Newgat of London where he died."
It appears by the institutions, that it could not be the parson of West Wrotham, and (if any) must be the parson of East Wrotham, and it looks something like it, there being no time of Swanlond's institution mentioned, who was instituted at the death of this parson; but whether it was De-Lawe, or any other that had it after him, and before Swanlond, I cannot pretend to determine.