CROMPTON, Samuel (1785-1848), of Wood End, nr. Thirsk, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press



1818 - 1826
1826 - 1830
21 Mar. 1834 - 1841

Family and Education

b. 8 July 1785,1 s. and h. of Samuel Crompton of Wood End and Sarah, da. of Samuel Fox of Derby. educ. Charterhouse 1798; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1804. m. 3 Nov. 1829, Isabella Sophia, da. of the Hon. and Rev. Archibald Hamilton Cathcart, vic. of Kippax, Yorks. and preb. of York, 4da. (3 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1810; cr. bt. 20 June 1838. d. 27 Dec. 1848.

Offices Held

Capt. 4 N. Riding militia 1809.


Crompton, the son of a Derby banker, was brought in for East Retford in 1818 as Earl Fitzwilliam’s nominee and acted with the Whigs.2 He canvassed successfully and was again returned unopposed, with his colleague William Evans, at the general election of 1820.3 He was diligent in his attendance and sided silently with the opposition to the Liverpool ministry on most major issues.4 He did so on the civil list, 3, 5, 8 May, and in the next two sessions voted frequently for economies and tax reductions. He divided against Wilberforce’s compromise motion on the Queen Caroline affair, 22 June 1820, and joined in the opposition campaign on her behalf early the following year. He voted against the Allies’ revocation of the new constitution in Naples, 21 Feb. 1821. He divided for making Leeds, proposed for enfranchisement in place of Grampound, a scot and lot borough, 2 Mar., parliamentary reform, 9 May, and alteration of the Scottish representative system, 10 May. He voted for repeal of the Blasphemous and Seditious Libels Act, 8 May, inquiry into Peterloo, 16 May, and the forgery punishment mitigation bill, 4 June 1821. He divided against the suspension of habeas corpus in Ireland, 7 Feb., and for more extensive tax reductions to relieve distress, 11, 21 Feb. 1822. Among numerous occasions on which he sided with opposition on sensitive legal and political questions that session, he voted for the remission of Henry Hunt’s* prison sentence, 22 Mar., criminal law reform, 4 June, and to criticize the lord advocate’s conduct towards the Scottish press, 25 June. He divided for parliamentary reform, 25 Apr., and to condemn the increased influence of the crown, 24 June 1822. Crompton voted for repeal of the Foreign Enlistment Act, 16 Apr., inquiry into the legal proceedings against the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr., and to condemn the lord advocate over the Borthwick case, 3 June 1823. He divided for parliamentary reform, 24 Apr. 1823, 27 Apr. 1826, and reform of the Scottish representative system, 2 June 1823, and of Edinburgh’s representation, 26 Feb. 1824, 13 Apr. 1826. He voted for Abercromby’s complaint against the lord chancellor, 1 Mar., and inquiries into the church establishment in Ireland, 6 May, and the state of that country, 11 May 1824. By the autumn of 1824 his disinclination to seek re-election was, as Fitzwilliam was informed, locally ‘much regretted, in consequence of the approbation his conduct has universally met with’. In September he canvassed Derby, where the Whig corporation had encouraged him to offer, and in November 1824 he announced his future resignation from East Retford in favour of Sir Robert Lawrence Dundas*.5 He divided against the Irish unlawful societies bill, 15, 21 Feb. 1825, and, as he had on 28 Feb. 1821, for Catholic relief, 1 Mar., 21 Apr., 10 May 1825. He voted for making puisne judges immovable, 20 May, and the St. Olave (Hart Street) tithe bill, 6 June 1825. He divided in condemnation of the Jamaican slave trials, 2 Mar., to end flogging in the army, 10 Mar., and to enable felons to brief counsel, 25 Apr. 1826. He was in minorities against giving the president of the board of trade a ministerial salary, 7, 10 Apr., and for revising the corn laws, 18 Apr. 1826.

At the general election that summer Crompton stood for Derby, where Edward Strutt*, recognizing his superior pretensions, withdrew in his favour. Proud of being ‘unfettered by party’, he spoke on the hustings for free trade, the extension of liberties and the correction of abuses, but declared himself a cautious reformer, anxious to avoid ‘any rash change’. He was returned unopposed, with a member of the Cavendish family, and thereafter often presented petitions from his new constituents.6 He divided against the duke of Clarence’s grant, 2 Mar., for Whitmore’s amendment to relax the corn laws, 9 Mar., and to disfranchise Penryn, 28 May 1827. He voted for Catholic relief, 6 Mar., but apparently missed the division on this the following year. He brought up Derby petitions for repeal of the Test Acts, 6 June 1827, and voted for this, 26 Feb. 1828.7 He excused the doubtful testimony of Jonathan Fox to the East Retford inquiry, 7 Mar., but his leading questions to another witness prompted Daniel Whittle Harvey to call for Crompton himself to be examined on his involvement in past electoral bribery in his former constituency. In response to the persistence of Harvey, who dropped his motion three days later, Crompton stated that he refused to ‘be bullied into compliance’ and that, in any case, he would be unable to comply since his ‘colds were so tedious as to leave him no chance of attending without making himself ill’. In May he had to make his excuses to Fitzwilliam’s heir Lord Milton* for having recommended a relative, Henry Preston, as a possible candidate for Retford, where an election was then expected.8 He divided for a 60s. pivot price for corn imports, 22 Apr., and to censure chancery administration, 24 Apr. He strongly objected to the clause in the alehouses licensing bill giving county magistrates concurrent jurisdiction in towns, 19 June 1828, dismissing the evidence adduced against corporate magistrates as fallacious. Crompton, who presented and endorsed several pro-Catholic petitions from Derby that session, voted for emancipation, 6, 30 Mar. 1829. He recommended it as the best means of pacifying and improving Ireland, 12 Mar., and intervened to verify the signatures of two anti-Catholic Derbyshire magistrates, 23 Mar. He welcomed the provisions of the labourers’ wages bill in providing employment for the rural poor, 25 May, and pressed government to consider the detrimental effect of repressive taxation, 2 June 1829, when he divided for the Ultra Lord Blandford’s parliamentary reform resolutions. He voted for the enfranchisement of Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, 23 Feb., and parliamentary reform, 28 May 1830. He was granted a month’s leave to attend a sick relative, 9 Mar., but was present to vote in condemnation of the Terceira incident, 28 Apr. He divided to reduce the public buildings grant, 3 May, and thereafter participated in the renewed opposition campaign for reduced expenditure and taxation that session. He voted for Jewish emancipation, 17 May, the abolition of capital punishment for forgery, 24 May, inquiries into Canada, 25 May, and Ceylon, 27 May, and reform of the divorce laws, 3 June 1830. Aware that the derangement of his affairs would prevent his regular attendance at Westminster, he declined to stand at the general election, making way for Strutt.9 His relation Joshua Samuel Crompton (1799-1881) was Liberal Member for Ripon, 1832-4. Returned as a moderate Whig for Thirsk in March 1834, Crompton sat until his retirement in 1841. He was created a baronet in 1838 and died, a country gentleman at heart, in December 1848.10 His only surviving child Elizabeth Mary (1831-1902), who succeeded to the Yorkshire estates, married her second cousin, the 3rd earl of Cathcart.

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Authors: Stephen Farrell / Simon Harratt


  • 1. IGI (Derbys.).
  • 2. HP Commons, 1790-1820, iii. 538.
  • 3. Wentworth Woodhouse mun. F49/66, 71; Nottingham Jnl. 18, 25 Mar. 1820.
  • 4. Black Bk. (1823), 149; Session of Parl. 1825, p. 458.
  • 5. The Times, 28 Aug.; Derby Mercury, 15 Sept.; Nottingham Rev. 26 Nov. 1824; Fitzwilliam mss 118/1, 3, 5, 9, 11.
  • 6. Derby Mercury, 14 June 1826.
  • 7. The Times, 7 June 1827.
  • 8. Fitzwilliam mss, Parker to Fitzwilliam, 18 May, Crompton to Milton, 21 May 1828.
  • 9. Derbys. RO, Gresley of Drakelow mss D77/38/5; Derby Local Stud. Lib. Strutt mss, J. to E. Strutt, 26 June; Derby Mercury, 28 July 1830.
  • 10. Yorks. Gazette, 30 Dec. 1848; Gent. Mag. (1849), i. 317.