Online Encyclopedia

JOHN HAMPDEN

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 902 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN HAMPDEN the younger (c. 1656-1696), the second son of Richard Hampden, returned to England after residing for about two years in France, and joined himself to Lord William Russell and Algernon Sidney and the party opposed to the arbitrary government of Charles II. With Russell and Sidney he was arrested in 1683 for alleged complicity in the Rye House Plot, but more fortunate than his colleagues his life was spared, although as he was unable to pay the fine of £40,000 which was imposed upon him he remained in prison. Then in 1685, after the failure of Monmouth's rising, Hampden was again brought to trial, and on a charge of high treason was condemned to death. But the sentence was not carried out, and having paid £6000 he was set at liberty. In the Convention parliament of 1689 he represented Wendover, but in the subsequent parliaments he failed to secure a seat. He died by his own hand on the 12th of December 1696. Hampden wrote numerous pamphlets, and Bishop Burnet described him as "one of the learnedest gentlemen I ever knew." See S. R. Gardiner's Hist. of England and of the Great Civil War; the article on Hampden in the Diet. of Nat. Biography, by C. H. Firth, with authorities there collected ; Clarendon's Hist. of the Rebellion; Sir Philip Warwick's Mems. p. 239; Wood's Ath. Oxon. iii. 59; Lord Nugent's Memorials of John Hampden (1831); Macaulay's Essay on Hampden (1831). The printed pamphlet announcing his capture of Reading in December 1642 is shown by Mr Firth to be spurious, and the account in Mercurius Aulicus, January 27 and 29, 1643, of Hampden commanding an attack at Brill, to be also false, while the published speech supposed to be spoken by Hampden on the 4th of January 1642, and reproduced by Forster in the Arrest of the Five Members (166o), has been proved by Gardiner to be a forgery (Hist. of England, x. 135). Mr Firth has also shown in The Academy for 1889, November 2 and 9, that " the belief that we possess the words of Hampden's last prayer must be abandoned."
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