December Diary

Jill Wilson

On 19th December 1387

Richard II was facing difficulties from the Lords Appellant; his supporter, Robert de Vere, who had himself been impeached for treason, raised an army of 4,000 men-at-arms in Chester and set out for London – by way of Chipping Campden.

On 19th December he and his army arrived to spend the night here and expected to be fed. The next day he was defeated at Radcot Bridge in Oxfordshire and then another hungry troop sent by the Lords Appellant arrived in Campden to check on the town’s loyalty.

Christmas Day 1645…

…the Civil War had been in progress for three years and Campden had been overrun by both Royalists and Parliamentarians several times.

Now the Cavaliers were in Old Campden House with instructions from Prince Rupert to fortify it. A friend of the prince, Colonel Legge, arrived, found provisions were very short in the town and said “I fear a famine rather than the enemy”. Another hungry Christmas for Campden!

In December 1890…

Gas had not long arrived in Campden. One day there was a smell of gas round a shop then being fitted out.

The next morning at 6am a Mr Edge, arriving to continue with the work, went to light the gas-lamp and Bang! Fortunately, as the shutters had holes in them, most of the gas had escaped so he was just bowled over and slightly scorched.

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