Bromham is a village of great antiquity and originally consisted of two Manors, and for ease of identification they have been known throughout history as Bromham Battle and Bromham Roches.
lordship of Bromham,
which had previously belonged to Earl Harold, was at the time of
the Domesday Survey, in the hands of the crown. The Manor of Bromham
Battle, and afterwards the advowson of the church, were given to
the Benedictine Monastery of St Martin at Battle Co. Sussex by King
William II (Rufus), which had been founded by his father
William The Conqueror AD 1067. From this period onwards,
the property was called Bromham Battle and to this establishment
they continued to belong until the general suppression, 29 Henry
also gave a manor in Wiltshire called Bromham, forty pounds out
of his royal crown demesne, to be one of the church's eternal possessions,
with the members belonging to the manor. And he ordered this, with
its members, and the church of Battle with everything appertaining
to it, to remain free and quit of all exaction and custom of earthly
service, in accordance with his father's charters, with royal authority.
From the valuation of the property belonging to the Monastery of Battle contained in the Valor Ecclesiasticus, made AD 1534 (three years before the suppression), it appears that the Abbot and Convent were then in receipt of £34 10s 8d yearly from their Bromham estate. The farm of the manor was leased for a term of years to John Slade, a portion of the there, called Sextry, was held of the Abbey, by the Rector of Bromham, William Gittyns, and the remaining two thirds of the income made up from the rents of divers tenant farmers, and smaller holders.
In 1531 the Abbot and Monks of Malmesbury elected Sir Edward Bayntun as their Steward and as Steward of the Manor of Bromham for which he received from the Abbot and Convent of Battle Abbey 26s - 4d per annum. But events were about to happen to his much greater advantage when the Abbey came into the King's hands and was leased to Sir Edward Bayntun for 89 years from Michaelmas in 1535 for £34 yearly. He received the whole of their property in the village, including the manor, the advowson of the church at Bromham, together with the Manor of Clench and the Manor of Lislebonne.
But little of this rent did either the said Abbot or Convent receive for the long lease, as in many similar instances, had been obtained merely as a stepping-stone to easy purchase. In 1537 the Act for Dissolving the Monastery was passed by Henry VIII, and in 1538 its property at Bromham had become the freehold of its new lessee, Sir Edward Bayntun, by a grant of the Crown.
It seems Sir Edward was looking after the Abbey estates for them, by collecting rents, etc and managing on their behalf, for which he was paid the above sum mentioned. Once the Abbey passed to the King, it seems Sir Edward, a prominent servant of King Henry VIII and one of the greatest landowners in Wiltshire, used his influence and claimed the land for himself.
From that day forward the two Bromham Manors - Bromham Battle and Bromham Roches - became one and were sometimes referred to as Bromham Bayntun. All of the Abbey's subsequent possessions around Battle were sold to Sir Anthony Browne, who is buried with his wife in Battle Church, where their fine effigy still stands today.
A deed dated 11th November 1538, by Sir Edward Bayntun, gave to Andrew Bayntun, his eldest son and heir apparent, all his estate, term, title, and interest in the Manor of Bromham Battle, with the advowson of the Church of Bromham, and the Manor of Clench, as leased to him by the Abbot and Convent.
In the Autumn of 1703 Queen Anne visited Whetham House on her way to Bath and is said to have remained there one or more nights. An enormous fine old carved oak table used for the Abbot's Court Leet for Battle Manor, was said to to have been the one on which dinner was laid for Her Majesty on this occasion. The table was said to have been taken from an old manor house at Chittoe specially for the occasion and is said to have been formerly the property of the Bayntun family.
Whetham House, within the Bowood Estate, about two miles from Bromham, may have been the Queen's choice and the table may have been supplied by Mrs Starky for this rather large occasion.
The Lady of Whetham House at the time of the Queen's visit was Constantia, the sister of Edward Rolt, of Sacombe Park, Hertfordshire. This Edward Rolt would marry Anne Bayntun, the heiress of her brother John Bayntun, five years later. Constantia was married to Sir John Erle of Whetham, Chancellor of the Exchequer in the reign of Charles II and James II.
On the Queen's departure from Whetham, some horses belonging to the neighbouring farmers, are said to have assisted in drawing the royal cavalcade up the steep ascent towards Beacon Hill and Beckhampton, which was then the main road from Bath to Marlborough.
The present Whetham House is only a wing of the old mansion as it stood at the time of the Royal visit.
The old house near the church in Bromham village is still known as Battle House.