Baptist Hicks - roundel portrait
Baptist Hicks (by kind permission of Diana Noel)

1120  Lord of the Manor of Campden drowned

Richard, the son and heir of Hugh d’Avranches, the first Earl of Chester and the first Norman to be lord of the manor of Campden, inherited his father’s vast estates in 1101. In November 1120, whilst still a young man of about 26, he died in tragic circumstances.  Richard was a companion of Prince William, eldest son of Henry I. The King, the Prince and a large crowd of courtiers had been in Normandy and although it was late in the year they wanted to be back home for Christmas. They seem to have had a fine going away party before they left in several ships. When they embarked on 25th November 1120, many of those on board the Prince’s ship are said to have been drunk, including most of the sailors. Shortly after leaving Barfleur the White Ship foundered and sank. Amongst those drowned were Richard and his wife and Prince William. Neither left an heir.

It was said that King Henry never smiled again. Now for both the kingdom and the manor the succession could not be a direct male heir.

The later struggle between Stephen and Matilda was the result for the realm. The manor of Campden, the other properties and titles descended to Ranulph de Meschin, Richard’s first cousin, already the Earl of Carlisle. This did not make much difference to the Campdonians of the time; they had to work hard for whoever was granted the manor by the king.


On 12th November Thomas Aprise of Chipping Campden was pardoned and a sentence of outlawry was revoked. He had been outlawed for failing to appear in court in London to answer a charge of being in debt to Mark Dyngley for £7 8s 11d. He had surrendered himself to the Fleet prison – but presumably still had to repay or otherwise get out of the debt.

1605 The Gunpowder Plot

On 5th November an attempt to blow up the king and his family and both Houses of Parliament was discovered in time. The following year  Sir Baptist Hicks was appointed as the foreman of the jury at the trial of Father Henry Garnet, a Jesuit priest who knew Robert Catesby, one of the main conspirators.  Sir Baptist purchased the Manor of Campden in around 1608.


The many mortgages and loans taken by Anthony Smyth, Lord of the Manor of Campden prior to Sir Baptist Hicks, were still causing trouble years later.  On 11th November 1619, Sir Baptist Hicks was required to produce a statement of his account by Anthony’s widow. It would not be until the following April that the son, Thomas Smyth gave a quitclaim for all the alleged debts.

Between Joan Smith Widow and Baptist Hicks In Chancery  23 November 1619

Sir Baptist Hicks Knight is debtor

1609 Febru 19 For money due by him upon the purchase of Campden £13800
March 9 More? For interest thereof 18 daies at 10 p cent         69
13 More for interest o/s 13264-9-8 for 4 daies 1414   9
14 More for interest o/s 12939-9-8 for a day 3  11  11
15 For interest o/s 12401-9-8 for a day 3   8   11
16 For interest o/s 9514-16-2 for a day    2   11  11
17 For interest o/s 9250-9-8 for a day    2   11   5
20 For interest o/s 9138-4-8 for 3 days    7   12   5
21 For interest o/s 8267-4-8 for a day    2     6
23 For interest o/s 7838-19-2    4     7   2
And so on
Dec 24 For interest o/s 758-12-7 for 18 months 113   14
Febru 24 For interest o/s 738.12-7 for 2 months   12     6   2
1619 Nove 23 For interest o/s 724-12-7 for 7 yeares 9 months 561     2

Sir Baptist Hicks Knight is Creditor

1609 March 9 By money paid in part to Mr Blowre and Mr Gilborne   535   10  4
13 By money paid to Mr Toolye   325
14 By money paid to Mr Pither   538
15 By money paid to divers persons, as by his Accompt 2886  13  6
16 By money paid Mr Dethick and Mr Chapman   264    6  6
17 By money paid Mr Clement Buck and Withens   871
20 By money paid to severall persons as by his Accompt   871
21 By money paid to several persons as by his accompt   428    5  6
23 By money paid to Sir Gyles Lowland   205
26 By money paid Mr Duringe   320  16  8
28 By money paid Mr Blowse   215    2
29 By money paid Mr Smith and Sir Tho Denton   300
Aprill 3 By money paid to several persons as by his Accompt   580
6 By money paid to Mr Tho Smith     50
25 By money paid to several persons   377    8  8
26 By money paid to Sir Tho Denton   100
Maye 3 By money paid Mr Smith and Sir Tho Denton   400
4 By money paid to Mr Smith and Sir Tho Denton   400
5 By money paid Mr Smith and Sir Tho Denton   200
7 By money paid for redeeming the sheepe pasture   200
10 By money paid Mr Smith and Sir Tho Denton   300
14 By money paid Mr Smith and Sir Tho Denton   300
15 By money paid Mr Barnes and others   317  12
25 By money paid to several persons   370
26 By money paid to several persons   636    5
June 2 By money paid to several persons   298    2  9
15 By money paid Mr Fulke?   220    5
16 By money paid Mr Gilbourne   218  17
21 By money paid Sir Tho Doliss?   517  10
1611 Decem 24 By money paid to Sir William Withens     20
Feb 24 By money paid Sir William Withens     14
The sum so paid by Sir Baptist Hicks 13075  7  5
Rest owing by Sir Baptist Hicks for balance

hereof the sume of


1638   5  8

1621   Banking crash

Sir Baptist Hicks’s London business was affected by a banking crash and he was one of those who helped bail out the defaulting companies.  A letter to a man named Carleton says, ‘The late Lord Mayor has failed and decamped, taking his valuables with him. … The East India and Muscovy Companies cannot pay their debts.  Sir Baptist Hicks, Sir William Cockayne and Peter van Lore, who is knighted, have advanced £30,000 …’


Even in wartime things can be quieter in the winter. November 1645 was such a time in Campden. The marching armies had gone elsewhere and since the burning down of Campden House in May there had been no garrison to feed. One indication that things were a little nearer to normal is that on the 11th of the month the churchwardens presented their accounts for the first time since 1st July 1642.  Amongst the many items were the purchase of wine for communion during the intervening years. Adam Hopkins was paid eight guineas and tenpence, Mr Travis received £2 11s 8d ‘for wine att Easter 1644’ with another 2s 8d ‘for a horse and man to fetch the same’. And an undated payment, showing perhaps better than anything else the determination of the vicar and townsfolk to continue in spite of everything, is the payment of 3s 6d ‘to Mr Izoid for Metheglin (spiced mead) att 2 times to helpe out when wine was scarse’.