This map of Old Woking in the early 19th century is reproduced by permission of Alan Crosby author of A History of WOKING.

This map of Old Woking in the early 19th century is reproduced by permission of Alan Crosby author of A History of WOKING.

A rectory may be made up of a number of entities, the advowson, the tithes and their income, the rectory where the rector would normally reside, the manor attached, if any, and income derived therefrom and the glebe lands. There could also be chapels attached. The manor of Woking Rectory would unlikely to have been the three field stereotype but more practically a number of copyholds grouped together and administered in a stereotypical manner.

According to Manning and Bray1 this manor originated some time prior its appropriation by the Newark Priory in 1381/2, going back to the time of Edward the Confessor if not beyond2 . On the dissolution of the Priory the Rectory became vested in the Crown in whose hands it remained until James I, by letters patent dated 25th September 1609, granted the Rectory and Church of Woking to Francis Morice and Francis Phelips, gentleman of London.

Subsequently the Rectory and manor belonging to it, came into the possession of Lord Aungier and it descended on his death in 1632 to Gerald, Lord Aungier his son and from him who died in April 1655 to Francis his nephew who on 18th December 1677 was created Earl of Longford. St Peter’s Church Rate Assessments for 1673 to 16763 show Lord Aungier as the owner of the Parsonage i.e. the Rectory house.

In July 16824 John Wyld, Henry Avery and Richard Heath and Lord Longford sold certain properties to Maximilian Emily of Chilworth. A rent of one peppercorn is mentioned, but there is also mention of a yearly rent of £19.6.05 and a sale price of £28006. This latter sum seems to have been paid by Emily to Wyld and Avery to discharge Longford’s debts to them.

It would seem that by these means the Rectory Manor became the property of Maximilian Emily, the lands in question being:

a) the rectory and parsonage of Woking and all the manor of the said rectory, with Runtley in Woking [Hale End tithing],

b) the rectory and parsonage and chapel of Pyrford7, with all fines of copyholds, tithes8, etc. due, and

c) all other messuages etc in the tenure of Richard Bird and William Harvest by virtue of their demise from the Earl of Longford9

This grant excludes:

a) the chapel, parsonage and rectory of Horsell and all barns, etc belonging to that parsonage,

b) all the glebelands of Horsell (7 acres),

c) all the tithes of Horsell, as in the lease made to John Smallpeice of Guildford, and

d) tithes etc on the meadows of Eelwall and Bakehouse Mead and Woking Mill together with tithes due to James Zouch including those in Woking Park.

The Manor remained in the possession of the Emily family, being finally inherited by the Rev Edward Emily of West Clandon in 1762. On his death in 1792 he devised the estate to the then Bishop of Salisbury in who in turn sold the manor to Henry Halsey of Henley Park in 180010 who shortly afterwards sold it to as many of the proprietors of land as chose to buy the tithes of their own lands.

The court book11 and the accompanying bundle of deeds12, show the land of the manor was restricted to some very small portions. The court met very irregularly from 1741 to 1913, sometimes with ten years between meetings, and sometimes in a private house in Pirbright (it shared the same steward as Pirbright Manor).

The lands for which there are transactions13 are:

Botchers14 was an area out of the common fields originally facing on to the street, the front of which was later occupied by the Hand and Spear. There was pathway called Occupation Road between the beer house and the field leading to the station. The transactions in respect of Botchers included: 1741 surrendered by James Stevens, shopkeeper, to Thomas Lamburne and John Wakeford; 1784 Joseph Ford surrenders this; 1809 John Cosier15 admitted; Cosier grants land to use of William Elkins, Grocer of Guildford; Elkins passes it to Henry Harris in 1819; 1840 William Fladgate buys Botchers for £400 to use of Thomas Jaques, who surrenders it. Then described as piece of land lying in front against the street 31’ 5”, the rear against the common fields 26’ 3”, and 117’ deep; Joseph Healey sells small portion to Robert Dawes for £100 in 1849; 1857 Dawes sells it to Henry Bullen, beerseller, which presumably is Hand and Spear; Botchers surrendered to Robert Dawes in 1859 for £480; 1881 Trustees of Henry Bullen sell land in Botchers immediate north of the Hand and Spear to Edward Ryde for £218.16.2.

(c) British Library Board. All Rights Reserved. Harley MS 3749

(c) British Library Board. All Rights Reserved.
Harley MS 3749

Woking High Street can be seen running from left to right at the bottom of this extract from John Norden’s 1607 map of Woking Park (see left). The river is at the bottom of the map. Botchers is the large field above the High Street fronting on what is today, Old Woking Road. Towne Gate, the entry to Woking Park, is at the right angled junction where the High Street and Old Woking Road meet. This entrance is probably on the site of the present day Grange.

Broadmead Road crosses the river in at the bottom of the extract and this gives some idea of how far west Botchers extended.

Runtley Wood16 , in Hale End tithing. 1798 Richard Baker sold to William Winkworth who sold to Richard Henry Budd in 1810. His son, William Henry Budd inherited in 1842 and in turn sold to William Smallpeice the next year. George Baker Smallpeice was the next owner in 1873.

Goddesley. 15 acres of lands abutting the lands of the lord of the manor17 to N and E, lands of Thomas Bund, clerk to the W, road to Woking town to the S (possibly plot 302 on the tithe map) – 1784 Joseph Ford surrenders this; held by Mary Ford, widow in 1796, she is asked to put it in order in next six months, she surrenders it in 1798.

Eight acres + 4 acres in the common fields abutting Bitterwick on the N, lord’s1 land on S -1784 Joseph Ford surrenders this.

Messuage in Mill Cream abutting old river to N and E, land of Mr Robert Bright on S and Mill Cream on W. – 1784 Joseph Ford surrenders this, and above for £600.

Close of 4 acres in Shackleford – in occupation of Thomas Lamburne in 1741.

Carterslake in Shackleford – in occupation of John Wakeford in 1741; sold by Thomas Wakeford, Blacksmith, to Thomas Waterer of Crastock in 1822.

Edward Ryde noted buying Halsey’s Parsonage Farm in his diary on 24th March 1886. With Halsey having just died, this would imply that the farm was also in the Rectory Manor.


1 Manning and Bray pp141/3, vol.1

2 Similarly to the Royal Manor of Woking

3 St Peter’s Church Rate Assessments. Surrey History Centre, P52/2/18

4 Surrey History Centre, G166/4/1

5 Surrey History Centre, G166/4/2

6 Surrey History Centre, G166/4/3

7 Although the advowson was originally in the possession of the Vicar of Woking, at some time in the past, probably when the parish was united with Wisley in the early 17th century, this right lapsed. Manning and Bray pp159/160, vol.1

8 Tithes sold to Thomas Lee, gentleman in 1715. Manning and Bray p143, vol.1

9 Richard Bird and William Harvest are assessed as tenants in St Peter’s Church Rate Assessments 1682- 1685.Surrey History Centre, P52/2/?

10 Manning and Bray p143, vol.1

11 Surrey History Centre, 2924/2/1. Henry Halsey was probably the father of Henry William Richard Westgarth Halsey who died in 1885

12 Surrey History Centre, 2924/2/2

13 The descriptions of the lands are those shown in the deeds and are not always easy to interpret

14 300 to 303 on Tithe Map

15 Owner of Market House from 1795 to 1811 per Land Tax returns

16 The Tithe Map has Henry William Richard Westgarth Halsey as the owner of Runtley Wood farm, Runtley Wood and land associated with these two areas of land

17 It is not clear whether this refers to the Lord of Woking Manor or the Lord of the Rectory Manor


© Phillip Arnold and Dr Richard Christophers