Hampden, Richard (DNB00)
HAMPDEN, RICHARD (1631–1695), chancellor of the exchequer, second son of John Hampden [q. v.], by his first wife, Elizabeth Symeon, was baptised on 13 Oct. 1631 (Lipscomb, Hist. of Buckinghamshire, 11. 260). In 1656 Hampden was returned to Cromwell's second parliament as member for Buckinghamshire. He voted for offering the crown to Cromwell, and was appointed one of the members of the Protector's House of Lords (Old Parliamentary History, xxi. 168). This appointment, according to a contemporary pamphlet, was made 'to settle and secure him to the interest of the new court, and wholly take him off from the thoughts of following his father's steps or inheriting his noble virtues' (Second Narrative of the late Parliament, Harleian Miscellany, ed. Park, iii. 487). Hampden again represented Buckinghamshire in the parliaments of 1681 and 1690, and sat for Wendover in those of 1660, 1661, and 1679, and in the Convention parliament of 1G89. His religious views seem to have been strongly presbyterian, and he befriended ejected ministers. During the plague in 1665 Richard Baxter found a refuge at Great Hampden,and describes Richard Hampden, his host, as 'the true heir of his famous father's sincerity, piety, and devotedness to God' (Reliquiæ Baxterianæ, pt. ii. p. 448). Hampden first became prominent in politics by his zealous advocacy of the Exclusion Bill and of a full investigation into the popish plot. On 11 May 1679 he moved for a bill to exclude the Duke of York by name from the crown. 'To tie a popish successor with laws for the preservation of the protestant religion was,' he said, 'binding Samson with withes.' He declared the securities offered by the king to be entirely illusory, and refused to the last to accept any compromise (Grey, Debates, vii. 150, 243, viii. 186, 267, 315). In the convention of 1689 Hampden played a dignified and important part. He seconded the proposal that the Prince of Orange should be asked to undertake the government pending the settlement of the succession, acted as chairman of the committee of the whole house which on 28 Jan. 1689 declared the throne vacant, and was one of the managers of the conferences with the lords which followed (Chandler, Commons' Debates, ii. 202, 207; Grey, Debates, ix. 3, 49). On 14 Feb. 1689 Hampden was appointed a privy councillor. He became one of the commissioners of the treasury (April 1689), and in the following year chancellor of the exchequer (18 March 1690) (Haydn, Book of Dignities, pp. 124, 168; Luttrell, Diary, i. 519, ii. 129). Personal as well as political feeling led him to give warm support to the new government. On one occasion he told the House of Commons, 'I do not only serve the king as my prince, but, pardon my low expression, as one whom I love' (Gey, Debates, ix. 419). Hampden resigned his office in February 1694, and it is said that King William offered him a peerage or a pension (Luttrell, iii. 272, 300). He is reported to have replied 'that he would die a country gentleman of ancient family as he was, which was honour enough for him; that he had always spoken against giving pensions to others, and at such a time it was oppression; whilst he had a roll or a can of beer he would not accept sixpence of the money of the nation' (Noble, House of Cromwell, ii. 81, where this answer is mistakenly attributed to John Hampden the younger).
Hampden died in December 1595, and was buried at Great Hampden on 2 Jan. 1696. He married Letitia, second daughter of William, lord Paget, by whom he had two sons, Richard (died young), John [q. v.], and one daughter, Isabella, who married Sir William Ellis, bart., of Wyham and Nocton, Lincolnshire.
Halkett and Laing's 'Dictionary of Anonymous Literature 'assigns to Richard Hampden the authorship of the translation of Simon's 'Critical History of the Old Testament,' published in 1682, but the suggestion is most improbable (Scott, Dryden, ed. 1803, x. 31).
[Authorities quoted; Lipscomb's Hist, of Buckinghamshire, ii.260; Noble's House of Cromwell, ed. 1787.]