Bampfield was the son of John Bampfield of Poltimore and his wife Elizabeth Drake, daughter of Thomas Drake of Brendon Barton, Week St Mary. He matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford on 15 May 1640, aged 17. He entered Middle Temple in 1642, and was called to the bar in 1649. In 1652 he became Deputy recorder of Exeter 1652. He was J.P. for Devon from 1653 to 1665.
In 1654 Bampfield was elected Member of Parliament for Exeter in the First Protectorate Parliament. Also in 1654, he was commissioner for scandalous ministers and became Recorder of Exeter, holding the position until October 1660. In 1656 he was re-elected MP for Exeter in the Second Protectorate Parliament. He was commissioner for assessment for Devon in 1657. In 1659 he was re-elected MP for Exeter in the Third Protectorate Parliament. He held the office of Speaker from 14 April until 22 April 1659 being described as "a man of wit and learning, exactly fitted for the post".He also became an associate bencher of Middle Temple in 1659. On 14 January 1660, he presented a petition for the return of the secluded MPs to the Speaker of the Rump Parliament. He was commissioner for militia for Devon in March 1660.
In April 1660 Bampfield was elected MP for Exeter and Tiverton in the Convention Parliament and chose to sit for Exeter. He was commissioner for assessment for Devon from August 1660 to 1661. In 1675 he was commissioner for recusants 1675. In March 1688 he became Deputy Lieutenant for six months and commissioner for inquiry into recusancy fines for Cornwall, Devon, Exeter and Dorset. He was re-appointed JP for Devon in June 1688. From 1689 to 1690 he was commissioner for assessment for Exeter.
Bampfield died at the age of about 70 and was buried at St Stephen's, Exeter.
- History of Parliament Online - Bampfield, Thomas
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