CAMPION, William (1640-1702), of Combwell, Goudhurst, Kent.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
bap. 6 Feb. 1640, 1st s. of Sir William Campion of Combwell by Grace, da. of Sir Thomas Parker† of Ratton, Suss. educ. Trinity Coll. Camb. 1655; M. Temple 1657; Padua 1660. m. lic. 1 Nov. 1662, Frances, da. of (Sir) John Glynne of Henley Park, Surr., 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 7da. suc. fa. 1648.1
Commr. for assessment, Kent 1665-80, 1689-90, Seaford and Pevensey 1690; j.p. Kent 1669-87, 1689-d., dep. lt. 1685-?Feb. 1688, 1689-d.; sub-commr. for prizes, Dover 1690-8, June-Oct. 1702; asst. Mines Co. 1693.2
Campion claimed descent from an Essex gentry family. His great-grandfather bought the former monastic estate of Combwell under Elizabeth and sat for Haslemere in 1586. His father commanded the royalist garrison of Boarstall House in the Civil War, for which he was knighted. After compounding for £1,354, he took up arms again in 1648 and was killed in a sortie from Colchester. Although his estates lay in Kent, Essex and Norfolk, and he owned valuable house property in London, he was connected by marriage with so many Sussex families that Herbert Morley regarded him as a fellow-countryman. Campion himself was born in Sussex and probably brought up in the Presbyterian Parker family after his father’s death. His marriage was to reinforce this leaning to the opposition, and he became a member of the Green Ribbon Club. His bust in Goudhurst church suggests a strong character, but he took no part in national politics until he was nearly 50. Although removed from the commission of the peace in 1687 he remained a deputy lieutenant, and replied to the lord lieutenant’s questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws that ‘until he hears the debates in Parliament he cannot resolve’. With regard, presumably, to the Kent elections, he declared himself ‘already engaged to two persons he has a confidence in’.3
At the general election of 1689, Campion was returned as senior Member for Seaford on the interest of his uncle Sir William Thomas. His only committee in the Convention was for the attainder of those in rebellion in Ireland. Although clearly a Whig, he was not reckoned a supporter of the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations, but he acted as teller against the return of John Beaumont for Hastings. He remained a Court Whig under William III, signing the Association in 1696. He died on 20 Sept. 1702, and was buried at Goudhurst. His son Henry sat for Sussex as a Tory under Queen Anne.4