HAMPDEN, Griffith (1543-91), of Great Hampden, 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. 1543, 1st s. of John Hampden of Great Hampden by Elizabeth, da. of Sir Edward Ferrers. educ. I. Temple 1560. m. (?1) Elizabeth, s.p.; (2) 30 Nov. 1564, Anne, (d.1594), da. and h. of Anthony Cave of Chicheley, 2 or 3s. inc. William 5da. suc. fa. 7 Dec. 1558.1

Offices Held

J.p. Bucks. from c.1575, q. by 1583, sheriff 1576-7.


The wardship of Griffith Hampden was granted on 15 June 1559 to Robert Keilway. He had inherited most of his estates through his father from Sir John Hampden, head of the senior branch of the family. The property was almost all in Buckinghamshire, and was valued at a survey made in 1589 at £112 4s.6d. His marriage brought him new wealth and status: ‘by the good means of my well beloved wife Anne Hampden and by the help of her good friends, not only myself hath been, but all my posterity . . . may be most highly advanced and greatly enriched’.

He seems, however, to have remained in the ranks of the middling gentry, and there are few references to him in national records, though he was probably busy in local affairs. Although his name is not mentioned in the parliamentary journals, he may have attended the subsidy committee to which all the knights of the shire were appointed on 24 Feb. 1585.

He made his will on 27 Aug. 1591 when ‘in perfect health both of body and mind’. By it he left half his household stuff to his wife, and all his cattle and sheep at half price, and she was to have the use of the remaining plate and household stuff during the minority of their son. Dowries of 1,000 marks and £500 were left to his two unmarried daughters. He seems to have made little provision for his younger son. As executors he appointed his wife and elder son, William: all his lands were eventually to revert to William. Hampden died that October or November at Hampden, where he was buried 18 Nov. He was the grandfather of both John Hampden, the ‘Patriot’, and of Edmund Waller, the poet.2

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: Roger Virgoe


  • 1. E150/51/21; Vis. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. lviii), 70; PCC 29 Harrington; Par. Reg. Gt. Hampden, ed. Ebblewhite, 4-8, 163; VCH Bucks. ii. 290; G. Lipscomb, Bucks. ii. 234.
  • 2. CPR, 1558-60, p. 65; 1563-6, p. 8; VCH Bucks. ii. 288-9; PCC 29 Harrington; Wards 7/23/133; Lipscomb, ii. 291.