COMPTON, Sir Charles (c.1624-61), of Grendon and Sywell, Northants.
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Family and Education
b. c.1624, 2nd s. of Spencer Compton†, 2nd Earl of Northampton, by Mary, da. of Sir Francis Beaumont of Cole Orton, Leics.; bro. of Sir Francis Compton and Sir William Compton. educ. Eton 1633-6. m. (1) Mary, da. of Sir Hatton Fermor of Easton Neston, Northants., 3s. 2da.; (2) c. June 1661, Felicia, da. of Thomas Pigott of Chetwynd, Salop, wid. of William Wilmer of Sywell, 1da. (posth.). Kntd. 12 Dec. 1643.1
Lt.-col. of horse (royalist) 1642-5, col. 1645-6; capt. R. Horse Gds. (The Blues) 1661-d.2
J.p. Northants. July 1660-d., dep. lt. c. Aug. 1660-d., capt. vol. horse Aug. 1660.3
Surveyor and receiver of greenwax fines 1661-d.4
Compton’s ancestors took their name from Compton Wynyates in Warwickshire, where they resided from the 12th century, first representing the county under Edward III. But after buying Castle Ashby in 1512 they gradually transferred their principal interest to Northamptonshire, and when Compton’s grandfather was made an earl in 1618 he took his title from the county town. Compton’s father was killed at the head of the Cavalier forces at Hopton Heath in 1643. Compton and his three eldest brothers were also prominent Cavalier leaders in the Midlands. His most notable achievement was the surprise of Beeston Castle. With his share of the £30,000 settled on the seven younger children of the 2nd Earl, a small property was purchased for him at Grendon. He came under suspicion during the second Civil War, but he compounded for £127 in December 1648, taking the Covenant and the negative oath. Compton and his brother-in-law Sir William Fermor, reported to have good interest among the royalist townsmen of Northampton, were summoned before the Council of State in 1653. But for all these natural suspicions he seems to have been less active a Royalist than his brother William. At the Restoration it was recognized that he was ‘of a noble family, and a very deserving person’. He received a commission in the Blues, a grant of part of the greenwax fines, and a warrant to fell timber in four coppices. More profitable was his second marriage to a well-dowered widow, who brought him an estate about seven miles from Northampton, valued in 1682 at £1,000 p.a. A by-election occurring a few months later, he was successful, but died before taking his seat owing to a fall from his horse. He was buried at Sywell on 30 Nov. 1661. His widow married John Beaumont. His eldest son Hatton Compton was recommended as knight of the Royal Oak with an income of £600 p.a., but none of his descendants entered Parliament.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: E. R. Edwards
- 1. W. B. Compton, Compton of Compton Wynyates, 118; Diary of Thomas Isham of Lamport, 148.
- 2. Compton, 65, 117; W. H. Black, Docquets of Letters Patent, 283; Kingdom’s Intell. 18 Feb. 1661.
- 3. SP29/11/52.
- 4. Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 185-6; CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 675.
- 5. Compton, 24, 104; Cal. Comm. Comp. 1879; CSP Dom. 1648-9, p. 251; 1652-3, p. 477; 1663-4, p. 477; HMC Portland, i. 581; D. Underdown, Royalist Conspiracy, 38, 80, 270-1; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 7, 136, 185-6, 198; SP29/421/216.