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A Downland Parish - Ash by Wrotham in Former Times by W. Frank Proudfoot

                                Chapter 9 - At the Rectory  continued   page 110a

   Thomas Lambard, who succeeded Whitehead, was the first of three of the name Lambard or Lambarde who, over the years, were rectors of Ash. His father, Thomas Lambard, had died in 1770 and his mother in 1778; latterly, he had been living at the family seat, Sevenoaks Park, with his elder brother, Multon, and his four sisters.27  He was still in his early twenties when, on his brotherís presentation, he began an incumbency that was to last nearly thirty years. For most of its last decade, he was also rector of Ridley.
   The new rector arrived in Ash a bachelor, but in the following year he married Sophia Otway, one of the daughters and co-heiresses of Francis Otway of Riverhill. Sophia was a great-grand-daughter of Auria James, who as an only child had inherited her fatherís estates, including the Jamesí family home, Romden Place in the Weald. Auria James had a somewhat remarkable record; she married John Otway of Mitcham at the age of fourteen, had twenty children by him and died at the age of forty.28 

   Something of a record was also initiated by the marriage of Thomas Lambard and Sophia Otway. It was quickly followed by the weddings of three of Thomasí four sisters and, as all three married into the Church, there were four clerical marriages in the Lambard family within the space of two years. The last of these occasions, which was perhaps the grandest, was at Ash, where on 13 September 1785 the youngest sister, Jane, was married to the Revd John Randolph. Thomas Lambard did not himself perform the ceremony, but he and his brother Multon were both present. Randolph was Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford and a canon of Christ Church there. His professorial lectures were delivered by candlelight and most of the undergraduates slept through them. Despite, if not because of, this he was advanced to the Bishopric of Oxford. Later he was Bishop of Bangor and finally he became Bishop of London.29
  
Thomas Lambardís marriage was sadly short-lived. In

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