DOMVILE, Sir Compton, 1st bt. (c.1775-1857), of Santry House, co. Dublin and Templeogue, co. Dublin

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



1818 - 21 Jan. 1823
24 Feb. 1823 - 1826
1826 - 1830
23 Dec. 1830 - 1832

Family and Education

b. c. 1775, 1st s. of Charles Domvile (formerly Pocklington), MP [I], of Santry and Templeogue and Margaret (m. 1774), da. of Thomas Sheppard. m. (1) 21 Oct. 1811, Elizabeth Frances (d. 10 Aug. 1812), da. of Hon. and Rt. Rev. Charles Dalrymple Lindsay, bp. of Kildare, 1s. d.v.p.; (2) 7 Dec. 1815, Helena Sarah, da. of Frederick Trench of Heywood, Queen’s Co., 3s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. suc. fa. 1810; cr. bt. 27 Dec. 1814. d. 23 Feb. 1857.

Offices Held

Ensign 6 Ft. 1800, lt. 1803; capt. army 1806; capt. 5 garrison batt. 1807; capt. 68 Ft. 1808, ret. 1810.

Gov. co. Dublin 1822, custos rot. 1823-d.


‘The everlasting Sir Compton Domvile’, as Lord Ellenborough, president of the India board, exasperated by yet another patronage request, cursed him in 1828, was a fixture in the Commons in this period.1 He had plenty of money, thanks to ‘very considerable’ inherited estates near Dublin, an intractable speech impediment and absolutely no talent.2 At the general election of 1820 he was again returned for Bossiney on Lord Mount Edgcumbe’s interest; a petition against the result was withdrawn.3 He was a lax attender and, apart from an alleged contribution to a discussion on the metropolitan gas light bill, 9 May 1821,4 made no known utterance in debate. He gave general support, when present, to Lord Liverpool’s ministry. He divided against economies in revenue collection, 4 July 1820. He voted in defence of ministers’ conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb. 1821. He was given six weeks’ leave on account of illness in his family, 14 Feb., and so missed the division on Catholic relief, 28 Feb. He voted for the grant for the adjutant-general’s office, 11 Apr. 1821, and against the disfranchisement of ordnance officials next day. Later that year he pressed on ministers his claim to a revival, as a United Kingdom peerage, of the Irish barony of Santry, which had become extinct on the death in 1751 of the 4th baron, who had been attainted for murder in 1739 but subsequently pardoned and restored to his estates (which he devised to his uncle of the half-blood Sir Compton Domvile, 2nd baronet, Domvile’s great-uncle). The application was rejected, as was a subsequent memorial to the king.5 Domvile divided against more extensive tax reductions, 11 Feb., inquiry into Irish tithes, 19 June, and repeal of the salt tax, 28 June 1822. He voted against the removal of Catholic peers’ disabilities, 30 Apr. 1822. That autumn he came forward on a vacancy for county Dublin, which, as he emphasized in his address, both his father and great-uncle had represented for many years in the Irish Parliament; he subsequently vacated his seat for Bossiney, where Mount Edgcumbe had sold out to James Stuart Wortley*. His stance on ‘Old Ascendancy’ and ‘the most direct No-Popery principles’ prompted Daniel O’Connell* to campaign vigorously for his ‘liberal’ opponent, and at the nomination, according to a hostile newspaper report, he ‘made several ineffectual attempts to speak but, from an impediment of speech, and the words when he could force them out, issuing inharmoniously through his nose, he was perfectly unintelligible’. He was defeated by 145 votes (a petition lodged in the names of two Dublin freeholders was abandoned), and allowed to resume his seat for Bossiney.6 He voted with government on the sinking fund, 3 Mar., and against inquiry into the prosecution of the Dublin Orange rioters, 22 Apr., and Scottish parliamentary reform, 2 June 1823. No recorded votes have been found for the 1824 session, but it was around this time that he served as a member of the Grand Orange Lodge.7 He divided for the Irish unlawful societies bill, 25 Feb., and against Catholic claims, 1 Mar., 21 Apr. 1825. A radical review of that session noted that he had ‘attended occasionally and voted with ministers’.8 At the general election of 1826 he transferred to Okehampton, on the Savile interest.9

He was a signatory to the petition of Irish noblemen and gentlemen against Catholic relief and voted in this sense, 6 Mar. 1827.10 He divided for the duke of Clarence’s annuity, 16 Mar. 1827. No trace of parliamentary activity has been found for 1828. In February 1829 Planta, the Wellington ministry’s patronage secretary, listed him as being ‘opposed to the principle’ of Catholic emancipation, and he voted accordingly, 6, 18, 23, 27, 30 Mar. 1829. However, he did not become one of the disaffected Ultras. His only other recorded vote in that Parliament was against abolition of the death penalty for forgery, 7 June 1830. He did not find a seat at the general election that summer, but the House had not seen the last of him, for in December Mount Edgcumbe accommodated him at Plympton Erle. He voted against the second reading of the Grey ministry’s reform bill, 19 Mar., and for Gascoyne’s wrecking amendment, 22 Apr. 1831. Returned again for Plympton Erle at the ensuing general election, he evidently did not attend for the division on the second reading of the reintroduced reform bill, 6 July, but he was present to vote for use of the 1831 census to determine the disfranchisement schedules, 19 July, and to postpone consideration of the partial disfranchisement of Chippenham, 27 July 1831. He probably voted against the bill’s passage, 21 Sept., and certainly did so against the second reading of the Scottish measure, 23 Sept. He was absent from the division on the second reading of the revised reform bill, 17 Dec. 1831, but voted against going into committee, 20 Jan., the enfranchisement of Tower Hamlets, 28 Feb., and the third reading, 22 Mar. 1832. He voted against the second reading of the Irish bill, 25 May, and to preserve freemen’s voting rights under it, 2 July. He divided against government on the Russian-Dutch loan, 26 Jan., 12 July 1832.

Plympton Erle was disfranchised by the Reform Act, and Domvile did not sit thereafter. He died in February 1857 and left the main family estates to his elder surviving son, Compton Charles William Domvile (1822-84), an army officer, requiring him (though not as an indispensable condition) to reside at Santry for at least four months a year. He devised an estate in county Mayo bought from the Trench family to his younger son, William Compton Domvile (1825-84).11

Ref Volumes: 1820-1832

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. Ellenborough Diary, i. 238-9.
  • 2. Add. 40348, f. 131; Barnard Letters (1928), 198.
  • 3. West Briton, 10 Mar. 1820.
  • 4. The Times, 10 May 1821.
  • 5. Add. 37299, ff. 265-7; 40330, f. 3; 40348, f. 131; 40352, ff. 187-8.
  • 6. Dublin Evening Post, 2 Jan., 4, 6, 11, 13 Feb.; Add. 52011, Stuart Wortley to Fox [16, 30 Jan. 1823]; O’Connell Corresp. ii. 996, 999.
  • 7. PRO NI, Leslie mss MIC 606/3/J7/21/4.
  • 8. Session of Parl. 1825, p. 460.
  • 9. Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post, 1, 8 June 1826.
  • 10. Add. 40392, f. 3.
  • 11. PROB 11/2251/367; IR26/2091/450.