HAMPDEN, Alexander (1546-1618), of Hartwell, Bucks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 1546, 1st s. of Michael Hampden of Hartwell by Mary, da. of Christopher Ashfield of Chesham. m. Elizabeth, s.p. suc. fa. 1571. Kntd. 1603.1

Offices Held

J.p. Bucks. ?by 1583-4, 1591-?d., sheriff 1591-2.


Hampden was a wealthy country gentleman. As a knight of the shire in 1601 he could have attended the main business committee (3 Nov.) and the committee on monopolies (23 Nov.). He was host to King James on the progress from Scotland in 1603, when he received his knighthood; the following year he acted as collector of privy seal loans in Buckinghamshire.2

In his last years he appears in Chamberlain’s correspondence as arranging matches for his three young nieces and coheirs, daughters of his brother Edmund. Early in 1617 the two younger were married to Sir Alexander Denton, and Sir Thomas Wenman. The eldest, Anne, for whom Hampden reserved £1,200 a year in land, was matched in July 1617 with Sir John Pakington’s son

but when it came to the upshot, the gentlewoman had no manner of liking, nor could by any means be persuaded, which so displeased her uncle that he left her worse by £10,000 than he meant to have done, which doth no whit grieve her in respect that she hath her choice.

The result of Anne’s disobedience was clearly the deed of 23 Feb. 1618 by which Hampden settled much of his property on his kinsman, Thomas Lee of East Claydon, Buckinghamshire. By his will, dated 1 Nov. 1617, he left £3,000 to Anne at her marriage, on condition that she was guided in this by his overseers. Small annuities were bequeathed to his two married nieces, a little land to his brother Christopher for life, and most of his household stuff to his widow. As executor and residuary legatee he appointed Thomas Lee, as overseers Sir Richard Wenman, Sir Thomas Denton, and Sir Thomas Lee of Moorton. Hampden died on 19 Mar. 1618 and was buried at Hartwell.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. Vis. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. lviii), 170-1; PCC 37 Meade; Lansd. 121, f. 65; Wards 7/13/117; J. Nichols, Progresses Jas. I, i. 193.
  • 2. D’Ewes, 624, 649; Nichols, i. 193; Verney Pprs. (Cam. Soc. lvi), 277.
  • 3. Chamberlain Letters ed. McClure, i. 558; ii. 56, 86, 210; PCC 37 Meade; C142/376/96.