William of Wrotham - Shimla Now


Saturday, 6 January 2018

William of Wrotham

William of Wrotham (died c. 1217) was a medieval English royal administrator and clergyman. Hubert Walter, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury and the king's chief minister, gave William responsibility for the royal tin mines in 1197, and the following year he was placed in charge of tin production, an office later known as the Lord Warden of the Stannaries. William also held ecclesiastical office, eventually becoming Archdeacon of Taunton, and served King John of England as an administrator of ecclesiastical lands and a collector of taxes. He was in charge of the royal fleet in the south of England from 1206 until 1215, and was one of those responsible for the development of Portsmouth as a naval dockyard. He is usually given the title of "keeper of ports" or "keeper of galleys", probably a forerunner of the office of First Lord of the Admiralty. By 1215 William had joined the First Barons' War against John, but returned to the royalist cause after John's death in 1216. The medieval chronicler Roger of Wendover called him one of John's "evil advisers", but modern historians say Roger's account was exaggerated.

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