CAMPION, William (1640-1702), of Combwell, Goudhurst, Kent

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1689 - 1698
31 Dec. 1698 - 1700
Dec. 1701 - 1702

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†, 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 7da.  suc. fa. 1648.1

Offices Held

Sub-commr. prizes, Dover 1689–98, June 1702–d.2

Asst. Mines Co. 1693.3


Campion’s royalist father having been killed during the Civil War, his own political identity seems to owe more to his uncle, the Court Whig Sir William Thomas, 1st Bt.*, on whose interest he entered Parliament for Seaford. Returned again in 1690, he was listed as a Whig by the Marquess of Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†), and opposed the Tories’ proposed address of thanks to the King for the changes in the lieutenancy of London, saying in the debate on 24 Apr. 1690?

I am for the Church of England men to be employed in this lieutenancy. I know not whether it be true or no, but I have heard that several of them would not take the oaths to the government. I would know what this lieutenancy is before I give my consent to thank the King.

However, he opposed Comptroller Wharton’s abjuration bill on 26 Apr., saying ‘I am not for new oaths’. In April 1691 he was classed by Robert Harley* as a Court supporter and, as a sub-commissioner of prizes, his name appeared as a placeman on several lists in 1692 and 1693. In the 1691–2 session he was added to the drafting committee for a bill on the manufacture of saltpetre (2 Dec. 1691), and was given leave of absence on 14 Jan. 1692 for 14 days. In the next session, in January 1693, he managed a bill from the Lords allowing Sir George Parker, 2nd Bt.*, to make a settlement upon his marriage. In the 1693–4 session he was given leave of absence for 14 days twice, on 21 Dec. 1693 and 14 Feb. 1694.4

Returned again for Seaford in 1695, Campion was forecast as a probable supporter of the Court in the division on the proposed council of trade on 31 Jan. 1696, being given leave of absence on the same day for two weeks. He signed the Association in February, and voted in March with the Court in favour of fixing the price of guineas at 22s. In the following session, he voted on 25 Nov. 1696 for the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†. He was also nominated to a drafting committee for a private estate bill on behalf of a London scrivener (31 Dec.), and told in favour of referring a petition from the Royal African Company to the committee for regulating the Africa trade (11 Mar. 1697). In the next session he was given leave of absence for 21 days on 21 Dec. 1697.

Listed as a court placeman in a comparative analysis of the old and new Houses of about September 1698, he stood down at Seaford to make way for Sir William Thomas, but came back at a by-election in December when Thomas opted to sit for Sussex. He voted on 18 Jan. 1699 against disbanding the army. He was added on 8 Feb. to the committee drafting a bill for regulating the militia, and carried up a private estate bill to the Lords on 21 Apr. He was a teller on two occasions: once on 21 Apr. in favour of the censure of the Tory Henry Chivers for reflecting on other Members, and again on 27 Apr. 1699 for an amendment to the bill suppressing lotteries, which sought to extend the time allowed for a lottery to dispose of Sir Charles Bickerstaffe’s estate. Given leave of absence again for 21 days on 21 Dec. 1699, he was back in the House on 15 Jan. 1700 when he was first-named to draft a bill for the repair of the Sevenoaks–Tonbridge highway, presenting the resulting bill on 27 Jan.

Campion did not stand in the first 1701 election but in the second successfully contested Kent, at which point he was listed by Harley as a Whig. On 14 Jan. 1702 he was given leave of absence for 14 days to recover his health. He died 20 Sept. 1702 and was buried at Goudhurst.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Paula Watson / Sonya Wynne


  • 1. Suss. Arch. Colls. x. 3, 34–35; Misc. Gen. et Her. ser. 4, ii. 264.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1689–90, p. 172; Cal. Treas. Bks. xvii. 364.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1693, p. 207.
  • 4. Grey, x. 67; Bodl. Rawl. A.79, f. 83.
  • 5. Suss. Arch. Colls. 34–35.