His humane and practical methods of suppressing beggary gave him the title of "The Father of the Indigent." While he was dangerously ill, the poor of the city marched in procession to the cathedral and offered up prayers for his recovery. "Imagine my feelings," said he, "upon hearing the confused noise of the prayers, of a multitude of people, passing in the streets, when told that it was the poor of Munich, hundreds in number, who were going in procession to the church to put up public prayers for me—for a private person—a stranger—a protestant."
Thompson's essays on heat and light had been published by the Royal Society in their "Philosophical Transactions." He had been made a member of the Berlin Academy, and of several scientific societies of Bavaria, and later a member of the Institute of France. The elector advanced him to chamberlain, major general, head of war department, chancellor of state, and in 1791 conferred on him the title of Count of the Holy Roman Empire.
Concord, New Hampshire, was incorporated in 1734 under the name of Rumford, and in choosing his title, Thompson selected the early name of the American town where he had lived.