THOMPSON, Edward (c.1639-1701), of York and Sheriff Hutton Park, Yorks.

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



1689 - 1690
1695 - 1698
29 Jan. - 6 Aug. 1701

Family and Education

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

Offices Held

Freeman, York 1672, alderman 1681–5, Nov. 1688–d., ld. mayor 1683–4; dep.-master, York mint 1696–aft.1698.2


Like his elder brother Sir Henry, Thompson was both a successful wine merchant in York and a staunch Whig, becoming one of the leaders of the Whigs in the corporation. Defeated after a double return by his nephew Henry Thompson* in a three-cornered election in York in 1690, he was classed as a Whig by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) in a list of March 1690, before the double return was heard, and was listed erroneously by Robert Harley* in April 1691 as a supporter of the Country party. Probably the ‘Mr Thompson’ purged with several other ‘Whiggishly inclined gentlemen’ from the East Riding lieutenancy by Carmarthen in May 1691, he was compensated a month later when King William agreed to his petition for the office of registrar of servants going to the plantations. Though a bill to confirm this grant was unsuccessful during the 1691–2 session, Thompson continued to try to assert his rights under the patent, even securing from the King a regrant of the office in March 1699 to one of his sons, before apparently abandoning the claim by October of that year as ‘illegal’.3

In 1695 Henry Thompson stood down and Edward was returned at York after a contest. Forecast as likely to support the Court in the divisions of 31 Jan. 1696 on the proposed council of trade, he signed the Association promptly. Later in the year three of his sons were jointly given the patent office of treasurer’s remembrancer for York, and he himself was appointed deputy-master of the mint there to deal with the work arising from the recoinage. In July 1696 the Treasury lords had publicly to acquit him of a ‘scandalous’ accusation that they had ‘directed £600 to be paid to him to be distributed among the poor of York . . . and that he had converted the greatest part thereof to his own use’, and in October there were further sharp criticisms of his behaviour at the mint. Either he or Maurice Thompson* told on 5 Feb. 1697 against the Court on an adjournment motion, but he was almost certainly the ‘Mr Thompson’ who was a teller on 1 Feb. 1698 against committing the River Don navigation bill. Despite a triumphant entry into York before the 1698 election, ‘the like never having been seen there’ according to the Flying Post, when he was met by ‘a vast number’ including ‘several hundreds . . . on horseback, headed by divers of the aldermen’, he was defeated at the poll: James Vernon I* wrote that he was one of many ‘honest men’ who had lost their seats. A list in September 1698 included him as a member of the Court party left out of the new Parliament. Returned again in the election of January 1701, in place of Tobias Jenkins*, Thompson did not appear in any list of this Parliament and died on 6 Aug. 1701. He was buried at St. John’s Micklegate, York.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. Foster, Yorks. Peds.; Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. Clay, iii. 149; Cal. Treas. Bks. xiii. 108.
  • 2. York Freemen (Surtees Soc. cii), ii. 140; Hildyard, York, 126–7, 129, 131, 140.
  • 3. HMC 9th Rep. pt. 2, p. 378; Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 230; CSP Dom. 1690–1, pp. 249, 403; 1699–1700, p. 121; Luttrell Diary, 83; Cumbria RO (Carlisle), Lonsdale mss D/Lons/W2/2/2, James Lowther* to Sir John Lowther, 2nd Bt. I*, 24 Oct. 1699.
  • 4. Cal. Treas. Bks. x. 1278; xi. 219; Cal. Treas. Pprs. 1557–1696, p. 554; Flying Post, 21–23 July 1698; Northants. RO, Montagu (Boughton) mss 47/63, Vernon to Shrewsbury, 30 July 1698; HMC Cowper, ii. 414; Foster.