John Hampden

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Hampden, John


Born 1594, in London; died June 24, 1643, at Chalgrove Field, in Oxfordshire. Important figure in the English Revolution of the 17th century.

In 1621, Hampden was elected to Parliament and became one of the leaders of the parliamentary opposition. In 1637 he was convicted of refusing to pay Ship Money, a tax introduced by Charles I. The Hampden case helped intensify the struggle against absolutism. In 1640 the Long Parliament set aside the decision of the court. Hampden was included in the list of five Long Parliament leaders whom Charles I ordered arrested in January 1642 on the charge of high treason, but popular protest thwarted implementation of the order. At the outbreak of the Civil War Hampden joined the Independents and participated in organizing the parliamentary army. On June 18, 1643, he was fatally wounded in battle.