THOMPSON, William (?1680-1744), of Humbleton, Yorks.
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Family and Education
b. ?1680, s. of Francis Thompson, M.P., of York by Arabella, da. and h. of Sir Edmund Alleyn, 2nd Bt., of Hatfield Peverell, Essex. educ. St. John’s, Oxf. 6 July 1695, aged 15. unm. suc. fa. 1693.
Gov. of Scarborough castle 1715-44; warden of the mint 1718-29; commr. of the victualling office 1729-d.
William Thompson, a Yorkshire country gentleman, sat throughout his parliamentary career for Scarborough, which his family had represented almost uninterruptedly since 1660, sometimes holding both seats. A Whig, from 1715 he voted regularly with the Government. But when, shortly before the general election of 1722, he asked Walpole’s brother, Horace, then secretary to the Treasury, to put down one of his constituents for some employment in the local customs when a vacancy occurred,
he sent for me to come to him, being in the secretary’s room alone. He told me, Will. Strickland stands for Scarborough, and has already desired to have a minute entered for the next vacancy that happened at or near Scarborough, and they must assist him. I answered with some surprise that I had served in Parliament twenty one years and done my best for his Majesty’s interest, therefore was sorry an opposer should be countenanced against me. He replied, No, that ’twas not against me, but [John] Hungerford; that if what I asked was granted it might be making interest for him. My answer was, that he did not want it, so much as myself, for upon a contest between us 10 years ago I carried my election but by one vote and that by the death of some friend, since, the majority of those who choose when vacancies happen among our voters, being more for him than me, had taken care to elect such men as he could depend on: and therefore to wound Hungerford must be through my body, considering how matters stand now there. This I think was the substance of all that’s material that passed between us; but at my going away he said he would let the board know what I requested, but seeing every day how much my opposer was caressed, I went no more.1
He did not stand in 1722 but was re-elected in 1730, continuing to support the Government as a placeman till his death in June 1744.
Ref Volumes: 1715-1754
Author: Romney R. Sedgwick
- 1. Undated and presumably addressed to Sunderland’s secretary as it began ‘Sir’, Sunderland (Blenheim) mss.