COMPTON, James, Lord Compton (1687-1754).

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



1710 - 28 Dec. 1711

Family and Education

b. 2 May 1687, 1st s. of George Compton, 4th Earl of Northampton, by his 1st w. Jane, da. of Sir Stephen Fox* and sis. of Charles Fox*.  educ. privately; Eton c.1696–1700; travelled abroad (Holland, Germany, Italy) 1707–9.  m. 3 Mar. 1716, Elizabeth (d. 1741), da. of Hon. Robert Shirley of Staunton Harold, Leics., sis. and h. of Robert Shirley*, Visct. Tamworth, suo jure Baroness Ferrers, 3s. d.v.p. 5da. (4 d.v.p.).  summ. to the Lords in his fa.’s. barony as Lord Compton 28 Dec. 1711; suc. fa. 13 Apr. 1727; uncle Hon. Spencer Compton* 1743.1

Offices Held


Compton came back to England in July 1709 from a grand tour in which among other things he had developed a dislike of the Dutch for their ‘natural inclination . . . of requiring money in every place’. The following year his father, as lord lieutenant of Warwickshire, successfully persuaded the gentlemen of that county to select Compton as knight of the shire. He was classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’, and was included among the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the first session exposed the mismanagements of the previous ministry. A teller on 3 Feb. 1711 in a division on the Honiton election, he also managed through the House the bill to prevent abuses in textile and iron manufacture. He was a member of the October Club, acting as ‘steward’ at one of its feasts in April 1711 which Swift was invited to join, but was not listed by Boyer, presumably because he had left the club by February 1712, having been called to the Upper House as one of Harley’s ‘dozen’ to secure the ministry’s majority there. Compton died on 3 Oct. 1754.2

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. W. G. Compton, Comptons of Compton Wynyates, 167, 169; Add. 38507, ff. 1–78.
  • 2. Add. 38507, ff. 9, 17; Swift Stella, i. 241–2; Huntington Lib. Q. xxxiii. 157.