The Campden Wonder
"Time, the great Discoverer of Truth, shall bring to Light this dark and mysterious Business"

This website is dedicated to the study of an intriguing incident in English history, an enigma which has remained unsolved for nearly 350 years. The Campden Wonder is perhaps the most baffling "murder" case of all time.

A man disappears and is feared murdered for the rent money he was collecting. His servant confesses to having robbed and killed his master and implicates his own mother and brother in the crime. Despite the fact that no body has been found, the three are tried, convicted and hanged.

Two years later the supposed victim returns home, safe and well. How does he explain his sudden disappearance and two-year absence? His story only deepens the mystery. He claims he was kidnapped by three unknown horsemen and, aged 70, sold into slavery in Turkey, where he eventually escaped and made his way home.


All this set against the backdrop of the English Civil War and Restoration, amid rumors of witchcraft and suspicions of espionage and betrayal.

Many people have attempted to explain the mystery of the Campden Wonder, but still no entirely satisfactory explanation has been proposed. This website is intended to serve as a focus for the study of this fascinating true story from English history.  

Feel free to contact me if you have any comments or contributions to make. Please see my blog for latest news, requests for information and some wild speculation!

In 2008, I gave a talk on this subject to Charlton Kings Local History Society and have now published my PowerPoint from that evening as a PDF here.

Peter Clifford


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