CAMP, Thomas, of Litlington, Cambs.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
?s. of John Camp*. m. bef. July 1409, Joan, wid. of John Martin of Litlington, 2s.
Commr. of arrest, Cambs. May 1412.
Tax collector, Cambs. May 1437, Apr. 1440.
Thomas was probably related to John Camp of Cambridge, and may even have been his son of that name — the person who acted as an executor of John’s will from 1396 and, in the same year, received seisin of some of his lands about ten miles away from Cambridge, at Dullingham. But the family of Camp was a prolific one, and there were other Thomas Camps alive at this time.1 Certainly, it was as an outcome of his marriage, rather than through inheritance, that Thomas Camp, the future shire knight, came by his principal landed holdings in Cambridgeshire. Joan Martin brought him property in Bassingbourn, Steeple Morden and Litlington, including 12 messuages and some 400 acres of land, which were formally settled on her jointly with her second husband in 1410, in a transaction witnessed by such local notables as Sir Baldwin St. George* and Thomas Chalers*. Camp subsequently consolidated his interests in those places, and by 1436 his annual income from land could be assessed for the purposes of taxation at £13.2
Camp’s career was characteristic of a member of the lesser gentry of Cambridgeshire. From 1406 onwards he occasionally acted as a feoffee of lands in the county, served as a witness to local deeds, and appeared as a mainpernor for litigants from the neighbourhood. Thus, for example, he was a trustee of property in Croydon and elsewhere on behalf of Thomas Morys’s widow, and he provided securities that another of her friends, Thomas Lovell of Chesterton, would keep the peace. He attended the shire elections held at Cambridge for the Parliament of 1414 (Apr.), but was not himself returned until another six years had elapsed. Camp was always on friendly terms with the lawyer, John Burgoyne*, another executor of the will of John Camp of Cambridge, and their association led to his being named in 1422 as a co-feoffee of the substantial estates in Essex belonging to the former Speaker, Richard Baynard, who had married Burgoyne’s daughter. Later, he acted as trustee of the manor of Caxton, which was to come into his friend’s possession. Camp was among those of the Cambridgeshire gentry required in the spring of 1434 to take the generally administered oath against maintenance of lawbreakers. He was recorded as present at the shire elections once more, in the next year.3
Following Camp’s death, which occurred some time after April 1440, his landed holdings passed to his elder son, John, and before 1457 were to be successfully claimed in Chancery against the widow and executors of his younger son, Edmund, by John’s daughter, Elizabeth, wife of Richard Barley.4
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
Author: L. S. Woodger
- 1. CP25(1)30/91/135; CPR, 1391-6, p. 680.
- 2. VCH Cambs. viii. 60; JUST 1/1520 m. 2; Add. Chs. 25950, 25952, 25954-6; CP25(1)30/97/30, 31; E. Anglian, n.s. xii. 362.
- 3. CP25(1)290/60/97; CCR, 1405-9, pp. 462, 528; 1409-13, p. 180; 1413-19, p. 275; 1419-22, p. 223; 1422-9, p. 152; 1429-35, p. 172; C219/11/3, 14/5; CPR, 1422-9, p. 201; 1429-36, pp. 368, 385.
- 4. C1/26/287, 309-12, 576.