HAMPDEN, Richard (1596-1659/60), of Great Hampden, Bucks. and Emmington, Oxon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

bap. 7 Nov. 1596,1 2nd s. of William Hampden† (d.1597) of Great Hampden and Elizabeth, da. of Sir Henry Cromwell alias Williams† of Hinchingbrooke, Hunts.; bro. of John*.2 educ. Thame g.s. (Richard Bourchier). unm. bur. 1659 or 1660.3

Offices Held


Hampden was the second son of William Hampden, Member for East Looe in 1593. His birth almost certainly occurred while his mother Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Henry Cromwell, was visiting her aunt, Joan Warren, as he was baptized at Barking in Essex early in November 1596. Within five months, however, his father was dead leaving his mother, with the help of their relatives and friends, to deal with the problems arising from the settlement of William’s estate and the wardship of his elder brother, John.4

Hampden was educated at Thame grammar school, where the emphasis was on the study of classical languages and divinity.5 Unlike his elder brother, he did not proceed to Oxford University. The death of his relative, William Hampden of Emmington in Oxfordshire, late in 1612 or early in 1613, saw him inherit lands in Great Hampden, Great Missenden, Hughenden, Princes Risborough and Emmington, although it was not until November 1617, when he turned 21, that he was permitted to take control of these properties. Thereafter Hampden was a landowner in his own right, one perhaps of lesser or middling gentry status.6 At precisely the same time that he entered into his inheritance, Hampden was licensed by the Privy Council to travel for three years ‘for his better experience’.7

In 1625 Hampden, along with his brother, was returned to the Commons by the newly re-enfranchised Buckinghamshire borough of Wendover, but he played no recorded part in the Parliament’s proceedings. An attempt was also made to secure his return the following year, for in January 1626 his maternal uncle, Henry Cromwell*, sought the help of the Carnsew family to secure him a seat in Cornwall, either at Camelford or Tintagel (Bossiney). Hampden was recommended to Sir Richard Carnsew as ‘a noble esquire ... [who] would gladly serve his country in this next Parliament.’8 The overture proved unsuccessful. Apart from being listed as a Forced Loan resister in Oxfordshire in September 1627,9 Hampden’s public career was over.

His life thereafter is poorly documented. He does not seem to have married,10 and, except as a party to some minor land transactions,11 he barely appears in the surviving records. He should not be confused with his nephew Richard, John’s second son,12 or with his namesake and relative, Richard Hampden, citizen and Merchant Taylor of London.13 Hampden died without direct heirs in 1659 or 1660, leaving his lands to his mother, although his will has not been found. He was buried in Great Hampden church.14

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Christopher Thompson


  • 1. Essex RO, D/P 81/1/1
  • 2. Vis. Bucks. (Harl.Soc. lviii), 70-1.
  • 3. G. Lipscomb, Bucks. ii. 236. Cf. VCH Oxon. viii. 93.
  • 4. WARD 9/159, f. 50v; C142/248/39.
  • 5. J. Adair, A Life of John Hampden The Patriot (1594-1643), pp. 7-9. A.P. McGowan, ‘John Hampden 1594-1643’ (Univ. of Western Ontario M.A. thesis, 1964), pp. 2-3.
  • 6. PROB 11/121, ff. 165-6v.
  • 7. APC, 1616-17, p. 378.
  • 8. SP46/73, f. 150.
  • 9. SP16/78/83.III.
  • 10. A final concord of 1624 and a licence of alienation of 1626 mention no wife, although both documents record the names of both John Hampden and his wife Elizabeth: Cent. Bucks. Stud. D-U/1/157/3; Cal. of Docquets of Ld. Kpr. Coventry, 1625-40 ed. J. Broadway, R. Cust and S.K. Roberts (L. and I. Soc. spec. ser. xxxvi), 551.
  • 11. Cent. Bucks. Stud. D-C/1/110; VCH Oxon. viii. 93 and n. 77.
  • 12. Cent. Bucks. Stud. PR 90/1/1.
  • 13. PROB 11/309, ff. 150v-1.
  • 14. VCH Oxon. viii. 93; Lipscomb, ii. 236.