Baptist Hicks (1550/51-1629) was a very wealthy London merchant who gained a knighthood and other honours from James I, presumably because he loaned the king thousands of pounds when he came to the throne in 1603. He owned land and property all over England and acquired the Manor of Campden in 1612. He built two magnificent houses - both called Campden House - one in Kensington in London and the other in Chipping Campden. Both houses were burned to the ground - the one in Campden during the Civil War in 1645 and the Kensington house in 1867.
In 1626, or thereabouts, Sir Baptist Hicks and a number of other gentlemen and inhabitants of Chipping Campden brought a case against the men who were at the time the Trustees of the School. It was argued that the Trustees were defrauding the school and the poor inhabitants of the town of its income and diverting the profits to their own benefit, paying the schoolmaster the bare minimum.
The case against the Trustees was successful and the school was once again able to provide a suitable education to poor boys of the town, as well as a "dole" to relieve the poverty of inhabitants.
In 1811, Counsel's Opinion was sought because, once again, there was a dispute; this time, among other things, it was about boarders at the school, who were taking places which ought to be offered to local, free pupils. Thanks to this 1811 case, we have a transcript of the 1626/27 case, which is rather easier to read than the original Chancery document!
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- Baptist Hicks