COMPTON, Charles, Lord Compton (1760-1828), of Castle Ashby, Northants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1784 - 7 Apr. 1796

Family and Education

b. 21 Mar. 1760, o.s. of Spencer Compton, 8th Earl of Northampton, by 1st w. Jane, da. and h. of Henry Lawton of Northampton. educ. Westminster 1768-70; Ealing sch.; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1776. m. 18 Aug. 1787, Mary, da. of Joshua Smith* of Erlestoke Park, Wilts., 3s. 1da. suc. fa. as 9th Earl of Northampton 7 Apr. 1796; cr. Mq. of Northampton 7 Sept. 1812.

Offices Held

Ld. lt. Northants. 1796-d.; recorder, Northampton 1796-d.

Col. Northants. militia 1784-98; brevet col. 1794-8.


Lord Compton had no doubt of his re-election on the family interest in 1790, despite a contest. On 2 Nov. 1790 he wrote to Pitt from Switzerland where his exiled father was ailing, asking, as a steady supporter, to be appointed joint postmaster in case of a vacancy at the Post Office. A favourable answer would ‘immediately’ bring him back to England. There is no evidence of parliamentary activity, but he was listed hostile to the repeal of the Test Act in Scotland in 1791, was active in the militia, continued to apply to Pitt for patronage and in 1795 urged the minister to expedite the revival of the Northampton charter. The charter was renewed in the same month as he succeeded to the earldom. His heir being then an infant, he brought in his kinsman Spencer Perceval* in his place, at his own expense. His ambition was a marquessate, for which he applied first to Perceval, then to Lord Liverpool in 1812. In view of his association with Perceval and his claims as the holder of an ancient earldom, the application was granted. He died at Dresden, 24 May 1828.

PRO 30/8/125, ff. 15, 21, 31; Add. 38328, f. 16; NLI, Richmond mss 74/1917; Mq. of Northampton, Hist. of the Comptons, 215, 233.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne