A lot of the time through the history of Chipping Campden you will see one name appear very often 'Sir Baptist Hicks' but who was he and why did he become so well known within the town?
Sir Baptist Hicks was a wealthy London Merchant who worked in his fathers business selling luxury silks, he became knighted and had many other honours from King James 1st as he is thought to have loaned the king thousands of pounds when he frist came to the throne.
Having made his wealth and fortune he already owned a lot of land across the country and also came to acquire the manor of Campden. One magnificent building that he built and owned was Old Campden house, however although living a comfortable lifestyle he became one of the town's main benefactors and contributed a lot to the buildings and desirability that Chipping Campden still holds today.
His main work included the Market hall in the centre of the town, a new bell on the top of the church and also contributing a lot for the education of the local children this leading to one of the Comprehensive's schools team houses being named 'Hicks.'
As well as contirubuting to the school he also made a huge contribution in 1612 in the builiding of the Alms Houses that were built for six 'poor' men and women. This provided them accomodation and a weekly allowance. These still stand today and there are 12 rooms of accomodation for the elderly with local connections to the town and are kept very similar to the original layout.
I think without Sir Baptist Hicks the town would not have as many historic and characteristic builidngs or wealth within the town. He was a very big character in shaping the town to how we still see it today. He is lay to rest in St James' Church next to his wife in a maginificent and impressive tomb.
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