THOMPSON, Edward (c.1639-1701), of York.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



29 Jan. - 6 Aug. 1701

Family and Education

b. c.1639, 5th s. of Richard Thompson of Kilham by Anne, da. of Edward Nelthorpe of Beverley; bro. of Sir Henry Thompson. m. 5 May 1673, Frances, da. and coh. of Leonard Thompson, merchant, of York, wid. of Edward Slater, merchant, of Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorks., 5s. (2 d.v.p.) 1da.1

Offices Held

Freeman, York, 1672, alderman 1681-5, Oct. 1688-d., ld. mayor 1683-4; commr. for assessment, York 1677-9, Yorks. (N. Riding) 1689-90, (W. and E. Ridings) 1690; dep. lt. (E. Riding) 1689-d., (N. Riding) 1700-d.; j.p. (N. Riding) 1690-d.; dep. master of the mint, York 1696.2

Registrar of indentured servants going to the plantations 1691-9.3


A friend and correspondent of Andrew Marvell, Thompson, like his brother, was a successful wine-merchant, importing hock through Hull. He owned the most commodious house in the city, which he initially refused to lend to the Duke of York in 1679, and, when he did comply, he ‘took away all his furniture’, and refused to wait on the Duke, for which, according to Sir John Reresby, he was never forgiven. In 1682 he was regarded by Reresby as one of the Whig leaders of the corporation, ‘a peevish, antimonarchial fellow’, yet ‘close’ and ‘sensible’. Ordered to apprehend his kinsman Richard Nelthorpe after the Rye House Plot, he wrote to Sir Leoline Jenkins: ‘His Majesty’s safety and service is so dear to me that my relation to Nelthorpe could not lessen my duty in securing him, had it been in my power’. Summoned to appear before the Privy Council in November 1683 on a charge of seditious language, he replied that such conduct was ‘a thing far contrary to my nature as well as principles’, and he was discharged for lack of evidence in August 1684. In an attempt to retain his seat on the York corporation, he threw his interest behind Reresby and the other Tory candidate in the 1685 election. But this did not save him from being taken into custody during the Monmouth rebellion, after which Nelthorpe was executed, nor was he renominated as alderman in the new charter in August, despite Reresby’s pleas on his behalf.4

Thompson regained his position on the corporation when the York charter was restored in October 1688, and was returned unopposed at the abortive election in December. Re-elected in the following month, he was probably less active in the Convention than his cousin Francis Thompson. He was appointed by full name to six committees, of which the most important were to inquire into the authors and advisers of the grievances of the last two reigns and to consider a merchants’ petition against exactions by customs officials. On 21 June he complained to the House that the deputy-governor of Hull had ‘sent for the postmaster there by a file of musketeers and tied him neck and heels’ in order to extract from his custody a letter franked by Thompson himself. It was perhaps similar in content to that which he wrote to Danby on 5 Aug. to ask for advice on ‘how to proceed against those who refuse the oaths, even priests getting quit for 40s. and being bound over to appear’. Appointed to the committee for the bill to restore corporations, he was listed as a supporter of the disabling clause. Defeated at the general election of 1690, he remained a court Whig under William III. He died on 6 Aug. 1701 and was buried at St. John’s Micklegate. Although, like his elder brother, he founded a county family, seated at Sheriff Hutton, none of his descendants entered Parliament.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Clay, Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. iii. 149; Fam. Min. Gent. (Harl. Soc. xxxviii), 532-3.
  • 2. Freemen of York (Surtees Soc. cii), ii. 140; Hildyard, York, 126, 129-31; CSP Dom. 1689-90, p. 351; HMC 9th Rep. pt. 2, p. 378; Add. 29674, f. 161; Cal. Treas. Bks. xiii. 108.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1690-1, p. 403; 1699-1700, p. 121.
  • 4. Cal. Treas. Bks. iii. 1075, 1244; Marvell ed. Margoliouth, ii. 305; Reresby Mems. 191, 283-4, 303, 307, 309, 365, 509, 540, 579-80; CSP Dom. July-Sept. 1683, p. 111; 1683-4, pp. 103, 118-19; 1684-5, pp. 116-17; Drake, Eboracum, 176.
  • 5. HMC 11th Rep. VII, 36; Clay, iii. 149.