The Earl of Buckinghamshire at the Society's 20th anniversary service in Great Hampden Church

The Ship Money monument at Prestwood

The Palace of Westminster in the 17th century

Pyrton Manor, home of John Hampden's first wife

The former Lord Williams's Grammar School, Thame

The Earl of Buckinghamshire at the 350th anniversary ceremony in Thame

St Mary Magdalene church, Great Hampden

Charles I tries to arrest the Five Members in the House of Commons

John Hampden's funeral in 1643

Arthur Goodwin, Hampden's lifelong friend
Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth. Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees.

The Great Hall at Hampden House

St Mary Magdalene church and Hampden House

Hampden's regiment marching through Thame

What was Ship Money?

Ship money was a medieval tax levied in England during times of war in order to fund the equipping of a navy. It was traditionally only assessed on the inhabitants of coastal areas and it was one of several taxes that English monarchs could levy by their prerogative right without the approval of Parliament. In 1619 James I levied £40,000 of ship money on London and other seaport towns without arousing any popular opposition.

The attempt by King Charles I from 1634 onwards to levy ship money during peacetime and to extend it, without Parliamentary approval, to the inhabitants of the inland counties of England provoked increasingly fierce resistance, and was one of the grievances of the English propertied class in the lead-up to the English Civil War.