Hampden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Hampden family

The surname Hampden was first found in Buckinghamshire at Great Hampden, a parish, in the union of Wycombe, hundred of Aylesbury. "This place was anciently the property of the Hampden family, of whom Griffith Hampden entertained Queen Elizabeth here, and, to pay Her Majesty the more honour, cut an avenue through his woods for her more convenient approach to the mansion. A gallery has been erected in the church, and 100 free sittings provided: among the monuments is one to the memory of the celebrated John Hampden (c. 1595-1643), ornamented with a medallion, on which is a tree with the arms of the family and of their alliances; and having at the foot, in bas-relief, a representation of the action of Chalgrove, in which he received a wound, causing his death about three weeks afterwards." [1]

We need to take a moment to discuss more John Hampden. Born in London, he was the eldest son of William Hampden, (1570-1597), and Elizabeth Cromwell, (1574-1664.) John rose to become an important English landowner and politician, whose opposition to arbitrary taxes imposed by Charles I made him a national figure. To complicate things, he was a cousin to Oliver Cromwell on his mother's side. In January 1642, an arrest warrant was issued for John and four others. This sparked the First English Civil War.

Little Hampden is not far away. Both parishes collectively date back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where they were known as Hamdena. [2]

At that time, the lands of Hampden, were held by William FitzAnsculf of Picquigni in Picardy near Amiens who held a Castle there dating back to the 8th century. [3]

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, a listing of the family was found in Oxfordshire: Alexander de Hamden; and the family continued to hold lands in Buckinghamshire: Alexander de Hampeden. [4]

The Feet of Fines for Oxfordshire listed Alexander de Hamden, de Hampeden in 1274 and later Simon de Hamden was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Kent in 1334-1335. [5]

From this Oxfordshire branch the Amsden variant arose. They descended from Ambrosden in Oxfordshire (Ambrose's valley.) [6]

Early History of the Hampden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hampden research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1581, 1591, 1510, 1600, 1102, 1595, 1643, 1653, 1696, 1679, 1681, 1681, 1685, 1689, 1690, 1631, 1695, 1776, 1696, 1754, 1653 and 1696 are included under the topic Early Hampden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hampden Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Hampden has been recorded under many different variations, including Hampden, Hamden and others.

Early Notables of the Hampden family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Hampden (c.1595-1643), English politician and Roundhead in the English Civil War; John Hampden (1653-1696), English politician, Member for Buckinghamshire (1679-1681), Wendover (1681-1685) and (1689-1690), pamphleteer, and opponent of Charles II and James II, convicted of treason after the Monmouth Rebellion; and Richard Hampden (1631-1695), English Whig politician, Privy Counsellor, and Chancellor of the Exchequer for William III of England. The...
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hampden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Hampden family

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Hampdens were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..


Contemporary Notables of the name Hampden (post 1700) +

  • Peter Hampden, American film producer, known for The Nice Guys (2016)
  • Walter Hampden (1879-1955), stage name of Walter Hampden Dougherty, one of the great American stage actors and theatre manager
  • Renn Dickson Hampden (1793-1868), English theologian and Professor at Oxford
  • John Hampden -Trevor PC (b. 1748), 3rd Viscount Hampden, a British diplomat, Minister to Bavaria (1780–1783), British Minister to Sardinia (1783–1798)
  • Robert Hampden -Trevor (b. 1706), 1st Viscount Hampden, a British diplomat, British Ambassador to the United Provinces (1739–1746), Postmaster General of the United Kingdom (1759–1765)
  • Sir John Hampden Inskip (1879-1960), British peer and politician, Lord Mayor of Bristol in 1931
  • John Hampden Pleasants (1797-1846), American journalist and businessman who died as a result of a duel with Thomas Ritchie, editor of a rival newspaper, the Richmond Enquirer
  • James Hampden Robb (1846-1911), American politician, New York State Assembly in 1882 and New York State Senator (1884-1885)
  • J. Hampden Robb, American Democratic Party politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 11th District, 1882; Member of New York State Senate 10th District, 1884-85 [7]
  • Walter Hampden Overton (1788-1845), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from Louisiana 3rd District, 1829-31 [8]


The Hampden Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vestigia nulla retrorsum
Motto Translation: No steps backwards.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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