News, events and discoveries of the Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars history project.
One of the Freehold Land Societies which together created our urban suburb from 1848 onwards, was called the Hampden View Land Society.
Almost no trace of this estate survives. The houses shown on this 1873 map were swept away to create the Langsett estate. Just one old Land Society cottage remains, on what on the map is called ‘Cromwell Street’, known as Cromwell Street North. This was later re-named Burnaby Street.
This house now has an address on Burnaby Crescent but used to be 140 Burnaby Street.
I had never thought about where the name ‘Hampden View’ came from, until I was reading a short introduction to the history of the Chartists.
In the years following the French Revolution, as radical ideas and a desire for parliamentary reform took hold and flourishedm in this country, people often looked back to earlier times and earlier heroes for inspiration. For a few years after 1815, across the country, but especially in the rapidly industrialising areas, radicals met in what were called ‘Hampden Clubs’ to socialise and to share news of events and of the perfidy of the Tory opposition. These clubs were named after a radical hero, John Hampden M.P., who died in 1643 while serving in the parliamentarian army.
Statue of John Hampden, Aylesbury
Hampden made his fame by first opposing the imposition of a Ship tax by Charles I, and then as one of five MPs who narrowly escaped arrest for treason in an incident which sparked the Civil War.
Another statue of Hampden stands at the entrance to the central lobby of the House of Commons, an prominent location showing his importance as a symbol of parliamentary democracy.
So it would not be surprising if the name of this symbol of the sovereignty of parliament was adopted for a Freehold Land Society, whose aims, at least as far as the originators of the movement were concerned, included the acquisition of the parliamentary vote by their members.
John Hampden is commemorated in many places, including in Glasgow where a terrace of houses and a street were named after him. The name Hampden Park was also adopted in the 1870’s for a nearby football ground. The name was retained for two subsequent stadia built on different but neigbouring sites, culminating with the current Hampden Park, completed in 1903 (when it was the biggest football stadium in the world).
So the home of Scottish football (and probably a lost part of Walkley) were named after a 17th century Englishman.