Christopher Merrick died in 1681. Since he had no children of his own, his heir was his nephew Francis (born 1657), son of his late brother John. Two years later Robert Awsiter died and was succeeded as lord of the manor by his son, another Richard.
As the 17th century progressed the Merricks gradually eclipsed the Awsiters who still, nevertheless, remained lords of the manor. By the end of the century two notable events had unequivocally illustrated this trend. The first can be illustrated by a quotation from the churchwarden’s account book:18
‘Memorandum. It was agreed upon at a Parish meeting held at Norwood in the parish of Hayes in the County of Midlx. on Easter Monday being the 5th day of April, 1697 By the Vicar and Churchwardens with the rest of the Inhabitants, That Francis Merrick Esqr. shall have the first pew being newly built in the Church next to the Chancelle upon the South side of the Church of Norwood. And that Richard Awsiter Esqr. shall have the Second Seate, & that Wm. Sincleer shall have the third Seat upon the Same Side, to sit in for them their heirs and successors [,] having already payd for the erecting [of] them at their owne proper costs and charges’.