The Gratwickes of Ham

The story of how the Gratwicke family came to own Ham is long and complex. However, to simplify matters, we can say that through marriage to Johanne Older in the mid-16th Century, Henry Gratwicke from West Grinstead, Sussex, came to own two-thirds of the land of Ham Manor. Shorty after that, Henry's cousin, Roger Gratwicke, a wealthy ironmaster (born in Cowfold who had also purchased an estate in Sullington) purchased the remaining third. This third was broken down into small and uneven portions by the early 16th Century as a result early deaths and subsequent distributed land to relatives.

It was not until 1626 that Henry's son Thomas purchased the majority of that third and controlled 90% of Ham Manor's lands. The final chapter in the aquisition did not occur until 1676 when Thomas's son Humphrey purchased the final 10% from distant relatives and thus the Ham Manor and the substantial part of the hamlet of Ham came to be owned by that family until the 19th Century by which time Gratwicke male heirs from that line had effectively died out.

Currently, through the Parish Registers and other source material, we are able to trace the Gratwicke family of Ham back to about 1490. They made many 'good' marriages with other local landowning or influential families in the district - these included the families Older, Leeves, Dennett, Heasman, Henty, Jupp, Olliver and Kinleside.

William Gratwicke Kinleside Gratwicke financed the rebuilding of the parish church, St Margaret's, in 1853. The Gratwicke Chapel is situated in the north-east corner of the church and is dedicated to St Nicholas (the name of the Church of East Angmering that used to lie about 100 metres away from St Margaret's). The Chapel contains tombs and memorials of many of the Gratwicke family - see Church Memorials.

A GEDCOM file of the Gratwicke family of Ham (c.1590 - 1862) is available from the Website's Editor on request. Alternatively, an Adobe Acrobat file can be sent to you containing a tree of Thomas Gratwicke (c1490-1541) and his decendents on request to the Website's Editor - the type is very small but can be magnified using the Acrobat Reader zoom facility.

(Angmering Village Life acknowledges the help given by Mr R W Standing in the development of the Gratwicke tree)

Research Sources: J Comber [SAC 60], RW Standing of East Preston, Donald Simpson of Swanage, Neil Rogers-Davis of Angmering

Last updated: 13 December 2002