THOMPSON, Anthony (1641-1721), of Trumpington, Cambs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1702 - 1708

Family and Education

bap. 31 Aug. 1641, 1st and o. surv. s. of James Thompson, of Huntingdons, Trumpington, sheriff, Cambs. and Hunts. 1668–9, by Sarah, da. of George Greenwood of Chastleton, Oxon.  educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1657; M. Temple 1659, called 1668.  m. lic. 21 Feb. 1677, Mary (d. 1739), da. and coh. of Roger Lambert (d. 1679), Embroiderer, of Whitefriars, St. Dunstan-in-the-West, London, 4s. (3 d.v.p.) 3da. (2 d.v.p.).  suc. fa. 1670.1

Offices Held

Freeman, Cambridge 1689.2


Thompson’s father, the son of a Cambridge tailor, had purchased a manor in Trumpington and established a position as a country gentleman, giving his son a university education and entering him at an inn of court. Consolidating the estate with a further purchase, and contracting an advantageous marriage to a London heiress, Thompson himself completed the family’s social ascent: he was eventually named to the county lieutenancy in 1698, and in 1702 was returned to Parliament for Cambridge, where the influence of his sister’s husband, Isaac Watlington, a former alderman and Member, had given him a foothold.3

Thompson’s part in the proceedings of the House is generally indistinguishable from that of his namesakes, Maurice Thompson and William Thompson II, also Whigs. He voted on 13 Feb. 1703 for agreeing with the Lords’ amendments to the bill for enlarging the time for taking the oath of abjuration. In the next session, he was forecast as a probable opponent of the Tack and voted against it or was absent in the crucial division of 28 Nov. 1704. On 2 Feb. 1705 Thompson was given leave of absence for three weeks. Re-elected in 1705, he was listed as a ‘Churchman’ in an analysis of the new Parliament, divided for the Court candidate in the contest for the Speakership on 25 Oct. 1705, and on 18 Feb. 1706 voted with the Court on the ‘place clause’ of the regency bill. Classed as a Whig in two parliamentary lists of 1708, he was by this time prepared to make way for younger men, and stood down at the 1708 general election. He even made over the Trumpington property to his only surviving son on the latter’s marriage in that year, and went to live in Cambridge. But he did not retire altogether from public life, and was one of a small group of Whigs added to the borough commission of the peace soon afterwards, in a move to undermine the increasing Tory dominance there.4

Thompson was buried at Trumpington on 24 Nov. 1721. He had already disposed of his property to his children, contracting to pay a marriage portion of £1,500 to his daughter, and his will made only minor adjustments to these arrangements. His son, however, died without issue in 1722, and Trumpington went out of the family’s possession.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. The Gen. iii. 313; VCH Cambs. viii. 255; M.T. Adm. i. 163; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 811, 1331; Cambs. RO (Cambridge), Trumpington par. reg. (bp.’s trans.); J. R. Woodhead, Rulers of London (London and Mdx. Arch. Soc.), 104; A. Gibbons, Ely Episcopal Recs. 368; MIs Cambs. ed. Palmer, 15.
  • 2. Cambs. RO (Cambridge), Cambridge bor. recs. common day bk. 1681–1722, p. 148.
  • 3. VCH Cambs. 255, 257; CSP Dom. 1698, p. 193.
  • 4. VCH Cambs. 255; HMC Portland, iv. 579.
  • 5. Trumpington par. reg.; PCC 233 Buckingham; VCH Cambs. 255.