CAMP, Simon (d.1442), of London and Tyburn, Mdx.
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Family and Education
m. Margaret ( d.1442). s.p.1
Water bailiff of Calais 28 Oct. 1399-24 Sept. 1401.2
Commr. to arrest pirates Feb. 1403; raise a crown loan, Mdx. Nov. 1419, Jan. 1420.
Dep. to Edward, duke of York, constable of the Tower of London 4 Aug. 1411-bef. 24 May 1414.
Treasurer and receiver-gen. to Queen Joan by Dec. 1414-Mich. 1415, by 27 Jan. 1417-bef. 21 May 1419.3
Camp’s early life remains obscure, although his two brothers John and Robert, who were both beneficiaries of his will, were apparently known as ‘esquires of London’ from 1412. They may well have been the sons of John Camp, a yeoman of the royal household in the early years of Richard II’s reign.4 Simon’s own loyalties lay firmly with the Lancastrians, however, and soon after Henry IV’s seizure of the throne he became water bailiff of Calais, where he stayed for only part of the two years which he spent in office. Being a virtual sinecure, the post did not demand that he remain overseas. It seems likely that he was the Simon Camp ‘of Sussex’ named in May 1400 as a mainpernor at the Exchequer by a Cluniac monk. Not long afterwards two Londoners began a lawsuit against him for averring threats, but in April 1401 he obtained a writ of supersedeas, and therefore remained free from arrest. His sureties on this occasion included Sir Thomas Swinburne*, one of the many influential persons with whom he established a connexion.5 He had, perhaps, already become a courtier, but he is not so described until September 1401, when, as an esquire of the body to Henry IV, he was granted an annuity of £40 from the London customs. This was confirmed to him in turn by Henry V (April 1414) and Henry VI (December 1422), with the common proviso that he should not be retained by anyone else.6 Meanwhile, in November 1402, he was bound over under pain of £100 to keep the peace towards Thomas Horseman of Kent. In December 1406 the two influential London fishmongers, William Askham* and Richard Radwell, petitioned the mayor of the Staple of Westminster for help in collecting a debt of £220 which Camp had owed for almost four years. Askham’s close friend and business partner, William Brampton I*, had initially been a party to this transaction, as well as another involving credit of £195, but he had died shortly before, leaving his associates to recover the money as best they might. We do not know if they ever did so, for no further references to this case survive, and no more is heard of Camp until he stood surety in Chancery in June 1409 for Sir John Eynesford.7
When he was constable of the Tower of London, Edward, duke of York, permitted his deputy, the Northamptonshire esquire, Henry Mulsho†, to sell his office to Camp; and in August 1411 the latter obtained a royal letter of appointment. He was, however, ignominiously dismissed from the post within the next three years and fined 1,000 marks for his negligence in allowing the traitor, John Whitlock, to escape from prison. Whitlock had in fact suborned one of the warders, and Camp eventually managed to exculpate himself: he was pardoned his fine in May 1414 after the Commons, of which he was a Member and therefore well placed to plead his cause, had petitioned Henry V on his behalf.8 By the following December, Camp had sufficiently recovered his former standing at Court to be made treasurer and receiver-general to Queen Joan, the widow of Henry IV. He held these posts twice, alternating in office with Robert Thorley, but had been replaced by the time of Queen Joan’s denunciation for witchcraft in 1419. Two years later he again appeared as a mainpernor, this time for John Burgh, the close friend whom both he and his wife subsequently appointed among their executors. Although he is not known to have taken part in the war with France, Camp indented in February 1422 to provide the King with one mounted archer, whose wages he undertook to pay for a period of nine months.9
Camp twice represented Middlesex in Parliament and was also present at five of the county elections held between 1420 and 1427. He was included in the list of leading residents who, in May 1434, were required to take the general oath not to maintain persons breaking the peace, and there can be little doubt that he was one of the richest members of the local gentry. According to the income tax assessments of 1436, Camp enjoyed a landed income of at least £120 from property in Middlesex (where he was lord of the manor of Tyburn), Buckinghamshire, Essex, Northamptonshire and Kent.10Although he lived at Westminster while serving at Court, he was on close terms with many Londoners, at least one of whom, Simon Symonde, the draper, made him his trustee. Surprisingly for a man of his position, he did not have much to do with the property transactions of friends or colleagues, and so far as is known was only involved in the conveyance of one estate, which lay in the Gravesend area of Kent.11
Camp died at the end of August 1442 and was buried in the church of the Holy Trinity, Aldgate. He left no children, and since his widow, Margaret, to whom he bequeathed the bulk of his estates, did not outlive him for more than a few weeks, almost all his considerable wealth was made available for charitable and pious works.12
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. Guildhall Lib. London, 9171/4, ff. 94-95.
- 2. E368/182 m. 148.
- 3. SC6/1093/1, 1295/1/2, 5-7; Winchester Coll. muns. 2144-5, 2147-8.
- 4. Guildhall Lib. 9171/4, f. 92; CCR, 1377-81, p. 349; 1409-13, p. 316; E404/20/154.
- 5. CFR, xii. 58; CCR, 1399-1402, p. 383.
- 6. CPR, 1399-1401, p. 535; 1413-16, p. 193; 1422-9, pp. 10-11; CCR, 1399-1402, p. 425.
- 7. CCR, 1402-5, p. 115; 1405-9, p. 514; CPR, 1401-5, p. 201; PCC 12 Marche; C241/198/50.
- 8. CPR, 1408-13, p. 303; 1413-16, p. 191; J.H. Wylie, Hen. V, i. 35-36.
- 9. CFR, xiv. 407; Guildhall Lib. 9171/4, ff. 92, 94-95; E101/71/1/772; SC6/1093/1.
- 10. C219/12/4, 13/1, 3-5; E179/238/90; Feudal Aids, vi. 489; CPR, 1429-36, p. 408.
- 11. CCR, 1422-9, p. 396; 1435-41, p. 242.
- 12. Guildhall Lib. 9171/4, ff. 92, 94-95. A monumental brass of Camp and his wife, formerly in the church of the Holy Trinity, Aldgate, is now in the parish church of Waterperry, Oxon.