MOMPESSON, Charles (1670-1714), of Mompesson House, The Close, Salisbury, and Little Bathampton, Wyley, Wilts.

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



1698 - 1705
11 Dec. 1705 - 1708
1708 - 1713

Family and Education

b. 26 Jan. 1670, o. s. of Sir Thomas Mompesson* by his 2nd w.  educ. Salisbury sch.; Peterhouse, Camb. 1688, MA 1690; L. Inn 1689; travelled abroad (Holland, Switzerland) 1693.  m. 17 Aug. 1703, with (£6,000), Elizabeth (d. 1751), da. of William Longueville of Bradwell Abbey, Bucks. and I. Temple, London, 1s.  suc. fa. 1701.1

Offices Held


Mompesson was returned for Old Sarum in 1698, a seat formerly held by his father. He was classed as a member of the Country party in a comparative analysis of the House in about September of that year. Although he had trained as a lawyer, he was not called to the bar and never practised. It would seem more likely that the ‘Mr Mompesson’ active during the second half of the 1699–1700 and 1701 sessions was his kinsman, Roger, who only sat during that period. Mompesson’s Whiggery was confirmed in an analysis of the Commons of 1700 which placed him in the Junto ‘interest’. He continued to represent Old Sarum in the two 1701 Parliaments, and in December was classed as a Whig by Robert Harley*. In the first Parliament of Queen Anne’s reign he acted as a teller on 28 Jan. 1703 against a motion that the mayor and corporation of Plympton had acted illegally in making freemen after the death of William III in order that they could vote in the 1702 election. On 13 Feb. he voted in favour of 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 likely to oppose the Tack and did not vote for it on 28 Nov. 1704.

In 1705 Mompesson was involved in a double return, but ‘through superior party influence’, he was declared elected on 11 Dec. Although not actually in the House at the beginning of the session he was listed as having voted for the Court candidate for Speaker on 25 Oct. This mistake was probably occasioned by his known Whig sympathies – he was considered an ‘honest friend’ by the prominent Whigs George Duckett* and Thomas Burnet. Similarly, he was listed as ‘Low Church’ in another analysis of 1705. No sooner had he been declared elected than he was granted leave on 21 Dec. to recover his health. However, he was in attendance on the first day after the Christmas recess (7 Jan. 1706) when he was ordered to draft a private estate bill, which he subsequently managed through all its stages in the Commons. On 18 Feb. he supported the Court on the ‘place clause’ of the regency bill, and on 1 Mar. acted as teller against an amendment to the bill for the better advancement of justice. In the 1706–7 session he was ordered on 18 Jan. 1707 to draft the Calne highway bill and on the 23rd was teller in favour of the motion that Daniel Harvey* had been duly elected for Clitheroe. In the following session he was again named to prepare a Calne road bill (8 Dec. 1707), and was classed as a Whig on two lists dating from early 1708. Owing to financial pressures, however, he did not stand for Old Sarum at the 1708 election.2

Far from retiring altogether, however, Mompesson transferred to Wilton where his return was classed as a gain for the Whigs by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*). He voted for naturalizing the Palatines in 1709 and for the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell in 1710. Returned again for Wilton in 1710, he was classed as a Whig in the ‘Hanover list’ of the new Parliament. However, he engaged in little significant parliamentary activity and was granted leave on 10 May 1712 for health reasons. In the following session he was listed as a Whig who voted on 18 June 1713 against the French commerce bill, but afterwards did not stand for re-election. He made his will on 7 Aug. 1713, settling much of his estate to clear personal debts and leaving the remainder to his wife and father-in-law. He died on 12 July 1714, and was buried in the family vault in Salisbury Cathedral.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Authors: Paula Watson / Henry Lancaster


  • 1. Westminster Abbey Reg. (Harl. Soc. x), 40; CSP Dom. 1693, p. 236; Add. 70075, newsletter 17 Aug. 1703.
  • 2. Letters of Burnet to Duckett ed. Nichol Smith, 6, 45; HMC Fortescue, i. 16–17, 34.
  • 3. J. Harris, Epitaphs in Salisbury Cathedral, 122–4; PCC 162 Ashton.