The Manor of Rotherhithe


The Manor of Rotherhithe was recorded in Norman times as part of the royal demesne. A long succession of owners and tenants have held rights over the area, often for relatively short periods, and of many little is known.

Sir William Gomm

The life of Field Marshall Sir William Maynard Gomm (born Barbados 1784), who inherited the estate in1822, would be considered remarkable by any standards. He received his first commission in 1795, before he was 10 years old, and took part in two pitched battles before he was 14 years of age! He fought in many battles in the Napoleonic wars, and was Quartermaster-General of Picton's division at Quatre Bras and Waterloo. In 1839 he became Commander-in-Chief in Jamaica, at a time when the troops at Kingston were decimated by fever, and was instrumental in the building of a sanatorium in the hills. Many appointments and honours of national importance were bestowed on him during his long life, but he regarded this achievement with particular pride. His service in the British Army spanned eighty years.

Sir William and his second wife Lady Elizabeth gave generous aid to the charities, schools, and churches of Rotherhithe, also to bodies further afield (including Keble College Oxford). His first wife, who died in 1827, was the daughter of the great grandson of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania.

Elizabeth Lady Gomm survived her husband by two years. She bequeathed the estate to her niece who became Mrs Emily Blanche Carr-Gomm, Lady of the Manor. Mr and Mrs Carr-Gomm also proved good friends to the people of Rotherhithe, continuing the family tradition of charitable service. Their eldest son Hubert became Liberal MP for Rotherhithe in 1906. In memory of his mother he underpinned the tower of St. Mary's to prevent its imminent collapse.

Memorial to Mrs. Emily Blanche Carr-Gomm, Lady of the Manor of Rotherhithe.