Great Hampden


"This parish is situated amongst extensive beech woods, on high ground bordering the Chiltern Hills; and is bounded on the north by Kimble, on the east by Wendover and Little Hampden, on the south by Great Missenden and Hughendon, and on the west by Risboroughs, and is computed to be about seven miles in compass. It contains about nine hundred acres, of which one-third part is woodland, and more than four hundred acres arable. Game, especially hares and partridges, abound in the woods. The springs of water are remarkably pure, rising from a great depth, there being neither a river nor even a brook in the parish." [The History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham, by George Lipscomb, 1847]



The following reference sources have been used in the construction of this page, and may be referred to for further detail. Most if not all of these volumes are available in the Reference section of the County Library in Aylesbury.

"Buckinghamshire Contributions for Ireland 1642", Wilson J., 1983.
"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806.
"The History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham", Lipscomb G., 1847
"The Place-Names of Buckinghamshire", Mawer A. and Stenton F.M., 1925.
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire", Page W. ed., 1905-1928
"War Memorials and War Graves: Aylesbury Hundred - part three, Risborough, Missendens and their environs, Volume 9", Peter Quick.



The following Monumental Inscriptions are available as publications or as part of a Society library

* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting



In 1642 there were 36 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £23.4.2 of which sum Jn. Hampden esq contributed £20.0.0

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 53 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Great Hampden.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 228 inhabitants in 40 families living in 33 houses recorded in Great Hampden.

Census YearPopulation of Great Hampden

* = No names were recorded in census documents from 1801 to 1831.
** = Census documents from 1911 to 2001 are only available in summary form. Names are witheld under the 100 year rule.

Microfilm copies of all census enumerators' notebooks for 1841 to 1891 are held at the Local Studies Libraries at Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, as well as centrally at the PRO. A table of 19th century census headcount by parish is printed in the VCH of Bucks, Vol.2, pp 96-101.

Availability of census transcripts and indexes.

  • 1851 - Full transcripts and indexes for Buckinghamshire are available on CD-ROM, hard copy and microfiche from the Buckinghamshire Family History Society.
  • 1861 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
  • 1881
    • Available on CD-ROM from the Church of the Latter Day Saints, as part of the National 1881 Census Index.
    • Available on CD-ROM for Buckinghamshire, with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from Drake Software.
  • 1891 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.

Church History

Details of the stained glass in the church can be found on the following web sites (the site includes many photos):


Church Records

The original copies of the parish registers for St Mary Magdalen, Great Hampden have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

EventDates covered
Christenings1557 - 1812
Marriages1559 - 1835
Burials1557 - 1812

Copies or indexes to the parish registers are available from societies as follows:

Society Library*
Dates covered
1557 - 1812
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1559 - 1812
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1557 - 1812
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society

* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting

An ecclesiastical census was carried out throughout England on 30 March 1851 to record the attendance at all places of worship. These returns are in the Buckinghamshire Record Office and have been published by the Buckinghamshire Record Society (vol 27). The returns for Great Hampden showed the following numbers:

Great Hampden,
St Mary Magdalen
50 - Morning General Congregation
100 - Morning Sunday Scholars
150 - Morning Total

100 - Afternoon General Congregation
100 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
200 - Afternoon Total


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Great Hampden which are provided by:




Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Great Hampden has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Great Hampden was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

GREAT-HAMPDEN, in the hundred of Aylesbury and deanery of Wendover, lies about five miles to the south-west of Wendover. The manor had been for many generations in the ancient family of Hampdens, which became extinct in the male line by the death of John Hampden esq. in 1754. This Mr. Hampden, who is called in his epitaph the twenty-fourth lord of the manor in lineal descent, bequeathed it to his cousin, the Hon. Robert Trevor, who took the name of Hampden. It is now the property and occasional residence of his son, Lord Viscount Hampden, whose chief seat is at Glynde, in Sussex. There is a tradition that King Edward III. and the Black Prince once honoured Hampden with a visit, and that whilst the prince and his host were excercising themselves in feats of chivalry, a quarrel arose, in which the prince received a blow on his face, which occasioned him and his royal father to quit the place in great wrath, and seize on some valuable manors belonging to their host, as a punishment for his rashness. This story gave rise to the following rhimes :


'Tring, Wing, and Ivinghoe,
Hampden did foregoe,
For striking of a blow,
And glad he did escape so.'

This tradition, like many others of a like nature, will not bear the test of examination; for it appears, by record. That neither the manors of Tring, Wing, or Ivinghoe, ever were in the Hampden family. Queen Elizabeth was entertained at Hampden, during one of her progresses, by Griffith Hampden esq. who, for her more commodious access to the house, is said to have cut an avenue through his wood, still called the Queen's gap.

In Hampden-house are several family portraits, some of which are good pictures; none of them are inscribed with names, nor have we been able (by application to the present noble owner) to procure any information concerning them. There is a portrait also of the aged Marquis of Winchester in his robes, and a whole length picture of Oliver Cromwell, with a boy tying his sash. In the parish church are several memorials of the Hampden family, the oldest date is 1493. The monument of John Hampden esq. the last heir male of the family, is ornamented with a medallion, on which is a tree, hung with shields, containing the arms of the Hampdens and their alliances; at the foot of the tree is a representation in basso relievo, of the battle of Chalgrave field, in which John Hampden, the celebrated patriot, received his death's wound: he died about three weeks after the battle,on 24th of June 1643, and was buried the following day with his ancestors in Hampden church.

Lord Hampden is patron of the rectory, which in 1799 was consolidated with Great Kimble.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP846015 (Lat/Lon: 51.705871, -0.777094), Great Hampden which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name Hampden is believed to possibly derive from the words ham-denu, meaning 'homestead-valley'. The name Great being used as a distinguishing affix.