Patriot who died in Thame to be remembered at wreath ceremony

John Hampden memorial plaque
John Hampden memorial plaque

A hero from the days of the English Civil War is to be commemorated in Thame.

John Hampden (1595 – 1643), an English politician who was one of the leading parliamentarians involved in challenging the authority of Charles I of England in the run-up to the civil war, died in Thame.

John Hampden's statue in Aylesbury.

John Hampden's statue in Aylesbury.

He became a national figure when he stood trial in 1637 for his refusal to be taxed for ship money. He was one of the Five Members whose attempted unconstitutional arrest by King Charles I in the House of Commons of England in 1642 sparked the war.

Sunday, June 24, marks the 375th anniversary of the death of Hampden, who was wounded at the Battle of Chalgrove Field six days earlier, and died on his return to town.

A student boarder at Lord Williams’s School, his family home was at Hampden House, Great Hampden, and at the time of his death made The Greyhound in Thame his headquarters.

To mark his life, the John Hampden Society will lay a wreath at the memorial plaque beside Hampden House, at 105 High Street, Thame, where the man known to history as ‘The Patriot’ died.

The wreath will be laid at noon by the society’s patron, Miles Hobart-Hampden, 10th Earl of Buckinghamshire, a direct descendant of John Hampden.

Lord Buckinghamshire will be repeating his action of exactly 25 years earlier, when he also laid a wreath at the same spot in the presence of over 400 spectators during the newly-formed John Hampden Society’s first public event.

Also attending this year’s ceremony will be the Mayor of Thame, Cllr Ann Midwinter, and members of the executive committee of the John Hampden Society.

Details and pictures of the original event 25 years ago can be seen at