CAMP, John (d.c.1395), of Cambridge and Dullingham, Cambs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., 1993
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Feb. 1388

Family and Education

m. (1) bef. 1382, Katherine; (2) Elizabeth. 1s.

Offices Held

Tax collector, Cambridge Nov. 1383, May 1384.


Camp came from a family settled at Dullingham, a few miles east of Cambridge. In 1375 he and two others obtained a lease of the lands of John Bath situated there and at nearby Stetchworth (together with sheep and chattels worth £24), for which they agreed to pay an annual rent of £10. Four years later he acquired more land in the same area, although in 1382 he and his first wife relinquished their right to the manor of ‘Poyntz’ in Dullingham to the earl of Oxford’s uncle, Sir Aubrey de Vere. The Camps also owned a messuage in Newmarket and property in Cambridge, but the full extent of the latter is not known.1

After completing his training as a lawyer, in 1383 John appeared in the King’s bench at Westminster in association with his kinsman Thomas Camp of Cambridge, the two of them formally undertaking to bring the vicar of the Round church at Cambridge to court at the required term, following his indictment for the felony of having instructed an approver in the castle gaol to read and write, thus enabling him to claim to be a clerk. Camp’s profession led him to act as surety in Chancery for two men from Cambridge sued for breach of contract of service in 1386 and 1390 respectively, as well as for two others from Waterbeach accused of rape and abduction in 1387. Perhaps the burgesses of Cambridge returned him as one of their parliamentary representatives in February 1388 because of his experience as an advocate. In September following, when Parliament again met, this time at Cambridge itself, Camp stood surety for the attendance of John Blankpayn and John Marshall I.2 Even though on 30 Sept. 1390, at the supplication of the King’s cousin, Edward, earl of Rutland, Camp was granted an exemption for life from all royal offices, he was nevertheless prepared to sit in Parliament again in the following year. How he had come to the attention of so exalted a personage as the earl is not known. More readily explicable is his employment at that time as an attorney at the local assizes by Sir Edmund de la Pole*, a prominent Cambridgeshire landowner, for whom he also witnessed important deeds. Camp was called on, too, in 1391 to witness John Payn I’s* acquisition of lands in Swaffham Prior and Reach.3

Some indication of Camp’s standing is suggested by his association in March 1392 in a syndicate, including such members of the gentry as John Styuecle* of Huntingdonshire and Robert Parys*, who paid into the Exchequer 400 marks as purchase price for certain of the estates forfeited in the Merciless Parliament (of which Camp had been a Member) by Sir Robert Bealknap, c.j.c.p. The grant was given extra security by the revocation by the King of all other patents concerning the property, and the recipients were guaranteed compensation if they suffered any loss by process of law, but in the event this did not prevent Styuecle’s financial ruin. Camp probably escaped a similar fate only because he died before committing himself too far. In 1391 he had become a feoffee of land in Chesterton, and in June the following year he joined in the alienation of these or other holdings, as well as of property in Cambridge and Cotton, to St. John’s hospital, Cambridge, in aid of a chaplain who was to celebrate daily service in St. Botolph’s church.4

Camp is not recorded thereafter, and by May 1396 he was dead and his executors (his widow Elizabeth, his son Thomas, and a lawyer friend, John Burgoyne*) were engaged in suing a draper from Bishop’s Lynn for a debt of £12. Shortly afterwards Thomas Camp, with the assistance of several other members of his family, secured possession from Aubrey de Vere, now earl of Oxford, of a toft and three acres of land in Dullingham. John Camp’s affairs had not been settled by 1407, when Burgoyne was still trying to recover a debt of £10 owed to him by John Wykes, the marshal of the King’s bench.5

Ref Volumes: 1386-1421

Author: E.M. Wade


Variants: Caumpe(s), Kemp.

  • 1. CAD, vi. C4801; CP25(1)29/86/7, 87/32, 35, 88/69; CCR, 1381-5, p. 125.
  • 2. Sel. Cases King’s Bench (Selden Soc. lxxxviii), 33; CCR, 1385-9, pp. 142, 456; 1389-92, p. 305; C219/9/5.
  • 3. CPR, 1388-92, p. 302; JUST 1/1505 m. 11; CCR, 1389-92, pp. 333, 483, 504.
  • 4. CPR, 1391-6, pp. 47, 99; C143/414/19; CP25(1)30/90/100.
  • 5. CPR, 1391-6, p. 680; CCR, 1405-9, p. 295; CP25(1)30/91/135. Thomas may well have been he who later sat as shire knight for Cambs.