Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/459

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Compton
Compton
453

castles, and to many other offices. On 7 Nov. 1512 he received 'honourable augmentation of arms,' viz.: 'a lion passant gardant or,' with the crest' a demi dragon crazed gules within a coronet of gold upon a torse argent and vert.' On 4 Feb. 1512-13 he was appointed usher of the black rod in Windsor Castle (Pat. 4 Hen. VIII, ii. 11). In the French campaign of 1513 he seems to have been in the main body or ' middle warde ' of the army (Calendar Hen. VIII, i. 4314); Hall, however, says he commanded the rear guard (Chron. f. 26). He and forty-four others were rewarded for their exertions by the honour of knighthood, conferred on them by the king at Tournay on 25 Sept. The chancellorship of Ireland with power to act by deputy was given him on 6 Nov. 1513; but he did not keep it long, for it went to the archbishop of Dublin on 24 March 1516 (Pat. 5 Hen. VIII, ii. 2, and 7 Hen. VIII, iii. 24). The university of Cambridge, on 5 Feb. 1513-14, granted ' letters of confraternity ' to him and his wife. He attended the king to the Field of the Cloth of Gold and to the subsequent interview with the emperor at Gravelines in 1520. Compton served on the borders under the Earl of Surrey in the Scotch war of 1523, and this seems to have been the only time he ever removed far from the court. Some thought that his rival Wolsey contrived his being sent thither, hoping in his absence to injure his credit with the king (Polydor Vergil, ed. 1557, p. 1714) . A fragment of a grant, dated 22 Feb. 18 Henry VIII, enrolled on the 'Patent Roll' of that year (1526-7), gives him leave to wear his hat in the king's presence; the enrolment, however, is cancelled. He died on 30 June 1528 (Escheators' Inquisitions) of the sweating sickness, leaving an only son, Peter, aged six, who became the ward of Cardinal Wolsey. Peter died a minor, leaving a son who was created Baron Compton by Queen Elizabeth, and whose son was made Earl of Northampton by King James. Compton married Werburga, daughter and heiress of Sir John Brereton, and widow of Sir Francis Cheyney, and she, the year after his death, had license to marry Walter Walsh of the privy chamber (Pat. 21 Hen. VIII, ii. 24, in which she is called 'Elizabeth') . Compton had apparently made unsuccessful suit for leave to marry the Countess of Salisbury after her lands were restored to her in 1513 (Calendar Hen. VIII, iv. 4654). He died immensely rich, leaving property in eighteen counties. He was sheriff of Worcestershire for life by a grant in 1516, and before that had been sheriff of Hampshire, 1512-13, and of Somersetshire and Dorsetshire, 1513-14. Portraits of him on glass were at Compton Hall and in Balliol College, Oxford.

[Escheators' Inquisitions; Cal. of Henry VIII; Dugdale's Baronage, ii. 401; Cooper's Athenæ Cantab.; Kippis's Biog. Brit.; Testaments Vetusta, p. 591; State Papers Henry VIII; Report of Deputy-Keeper of Public Records, ii. App. ii. 196, x. App. ii. 220; Hall's Chronicle; Strype's Memorials, i. i. 112.]

R. H. B.

COMPTON, Sir WILLIAM (1625–1663), royalist, the third son of Spencer Compton, second earl of Northampton [q. v.], was born in 1625. In his eighteenth year he was directed by his father to take up arms for Charles I, who gave him the command of a regiment, with which he rendered signal service to the royal cause at the taking of Banbury. He led his men on to three attacks, and had two horses shot under him. Upon the surrender of the town and castle he was made lieutenant-governor under his father, and brought over many to the king's interest. He received the honour of knighthood at Oxford on 12 Dec. 1643. When the parliament forces of Northamptonshire, Warwick, and Coventry, who were aggrieved by Compton's continual incursions, came before the town of Banbury on 19 July 1644, he returned answer to their summons 'that he kept the castle for his majesty, and, as long as one man was left alive in it, willed them not to expect to have it delivered.' Afterwards they sent another summons, to which he replied 'that he had formerly answered them, and wondered they would send again.' So vigilant was he that he countermined the enemy eleven times, and during the siege, which lasted thirteen weeks, never went to bed, but by his example so animated the garrison that they would never suffer another summons to be sent to them. At length on 26 Oct. his brother, the Earl of Northampton, raised the siege. Compton continued governor of Banbury till the king left Oxford, and when the whole kingdom was submitting to the parliament he, on 8 May 1646, surrendered upon honourable terms, 'all officers being allowed their horses, swords, goods, money, and passes, with a safe-conduct whither they pleased, without any arrest or molestation.'

In 1648 he served the king in the Kentish expedition, and in the absence of the Earl of Norwich commanded as general at Greenwich. As major-general of the king's forces at Colchester, when that town was besieged by General Fairfax, he, by his instructions and example, kept the garrison in some competent order while they were enduring the greatest privations, for before they surrendered on 28 Aug. 1648 they were reduced to eating