The John Hampden Society

Workers at
Marlow Brewery
around 1900.

  • John Hampden's Ale the ‘best since 1642’
    says Lord Buckinghamshire

The following account is extracted from issues 12 and 13 (1995-96) of the society's newsletter The Patriot:

‘The Society's third birthday was marked by the launch of the specially-brewed John Hampden's Ale – produced by a brewery right in the heart of the Hampden country.

‘Our Patron, the Earl of Buckinghamshire, mashed this special brew at 6.30 on the morning of 14 September at the Chiltern Brewery at Terrick, between Stoke Mandeville and Princes Risborough. The operation took place under the supervision of owner and Head Brewer Richard Jenkinson, and with the Honorary Secretary in attendance,’ reported the society's newsletter.

The ale was launched at a special ceremony six weeks later at the Chiltern Brewery with a Guard of Honour provided by Colonell John Hampden's Regiment of Foote under the command of Major Derek Lester. The society's Honorary Secretary pointed out that the brewery stood ‘just two miles away from Great Kimble church, where there is a copy of the list of freeholders who refused to pay the Ship Money assessment – with Hampden's name at the top’ – and that John Hampden himself ‘must have ridden through Terrick on numerous occasions en route to Aylesbury.’

The Earl of Buckinghamshire then sampled a glass of John Hampden's Ale and ‘pronounced it to be "the best beer since 1642!" He was presented with a case which included bottle number 1 and, following a volley of musket fire from the Guard of Honour, Derek Lester called for three cheers for the Earl of Buckinghamshire.’

LEFT: Lord Buckinghamshire
samples John Hampden's Ale
at its launch ceremony in 1996.

  • Who we are:
  • The focus of the John Hampden Society, whose subtitle is ‘'Honouring a great Englishman’, is the life and actions of the man who refused to pay the ‘Ship Money’ tax imposed by King Charles I in 1635. John Hampden was a member of a long-standing Buckinghamshire family from Great Hampden in the Chilterns. He was a parliamentary leader during the Civil War that followed, and died six days after being wounded at the battle of Chalgrove in Oxfordshire in 1643.
  • The society is a non-political, non-sectarian charity run by an elected committee. Membership is open to all, historian and layperson alike. The Society was founded in 1992 and has been a registered charity since 2003.
  • For more information see our website.
  • Our activities:
  • The society held its first on-line meeting using Zoom in May 2020, z\attended by 17 members including two in the United States. At least one further virtual meeting for members is planned before the the end of the year, though the 2020 Annual General Meeting had to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 restrictions on social gatherings.
  • Our recent publications:
  • The society publishes a quarterly Newsletter,
    THE PATRIOT, which is currently circulated via the website and by email. The latest edition, for Autumn 2020, includes articles on a proposed housing development bordering the Chalgrove battlefield, an examination of the claim that the Hampden family can be traced to Saxon times, and the 1648 pamphlet ‘Light shining in Buckinghamshire’.

Thanks to Roy Bailey of the John Hampdem Society for providing content for this page.