CROMPTON, Sir John (c.1580-1623), of Skerne, Yorks. and the Inner Temple, London
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Family and Education
b. c.1580, 2nd s. of Thomas Crompton† (d.1601) of Farringdon, London and Hounslow, Mdx., chirographer of c.p., and Mary, da. of Robert Hodgson of London, auditor of the Exch.; bro. of Sir Thomas†. educ. ?I. Temple c.1606. m. by 1610, Frances (d.1661), da. of Sir John Crofts† of Little Saxham, Suff., 7s. 2da. suc. bro. 1606;1 kntd. 25 Mar. 1608.2 d. 7 Dec. 1623.3
Chirographer, c.p., Dec 1622.-Jan. 1623.6
Prior to being knighted in 1608, Crompton is easily confused with John Crompton (d.1610), his uncle and predecessor as steward of Beverley.7 Crompton’s father, Thomas, was chirographer in the court of Common Pleas and thus in charge of the lucrative fines office, responsible for registering all conveyances ‘by final concord’ and said to be worth £1,000 p.a. He erected a new building for his officials in the grounds of the Inner Temple, and from the profits of office he acquired land to the annual value of £1,500 in Yorkshire and elsewhere. A client of Robert Devereux, 2nd earl of Essex, he was elected to Parliament three times under Elizabeth.
Thomas was anxious to ensure that his heirs continued to receive the profits of the chirographer’s office after his death, and to that end he procured three reversions in the names of trustees, one of whom was Sir John Morley*. These came to Crompton on the death of his elder brother in 1606,8 at about which time Crompton seems to have been made an honorary member of the Inner Temple. Certainly his funeral monument in the Temple church describes him as a ‘member of this society’, and there is an entry recording the admission of a ‘John Crompton’ that appears to date from this time, although it was subsequently deleted.9 Crompton secured a reversion of the chirographer’s office the following year so that he would not lose control of the office after the death of his father’s trustees, and in 1608 he compounded for the under-valuations by which his father had acquired Crown land.10
Returned for Brecon Boroughs in 1614, presumably thanks to the support of the remainder of the former Essex affinity in Wales, Crompton was named to only one committee in the Addled Parliament, on 8 Apr., for the bill to continue or repeal expiring statutes. He was mentioned on 5 May by Francis Ashley, who stated that prior to the start of the session Sir Reginald Mohun* had told him, in Crompton’s presence, that he had heard that there was an undertaking to manage the Parliament, and that this was ‘approved to his face’ by Crompton. On 9 May Crompton made his only recorded speech of the Parliament, although it is ascribed to his dead brother. Responding to the claim of the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, Sir Thomas Parry*, that the petitioners who had accused Parry of interfering in the Stockbridge election were guilty of ‘sundry misdemeanours’, Crompton demanded that the chancellor name his sources.11
1614 also saw the publication of Christopher Brooke’s poem The Ghost of Richard the Third, dedicated to Crompton and his wife Frances, the daughter Sir John Crofts, a Suffolk knight.12 In early 1618 he was granted a licence to travel abroad for three years, but it is not known if he made use of it. If he did, he was certainly home by the end of 1620, when he was returned for Eye. It is not clear to what influence he owed his election, as his father-in-law lived some distance from Eye, at Bury St. Edmunds. The honour of Eye, like the manor of Beverley, was part of the estates of Charles, Prince of Wales, whose council had reappointed Crompton joint steward of Beverley in 1618, but there is no evidence that the council made nominations for Eye in 1620.13
On 22 Feb. 1621 Crompton was added to the sub-committee that had been appointed the previous day by the committee for courts of justice to receive petitions.14 In addition he was named to three legislative committees, these being on the explanatory chantries bill (21 Mar.) and measures to nullify forcible evictions (24 Mar.) and prevent vexatious delays by the removal of cases to superior courts (20 April).15 He was also among those appointed on 26 Apr. to consider the state of parliamentary business and recommend priorities.16 His only speech was to propose that the Speaker might keep a table during the summer recess; there is no evidence that his motion was seconded.17 He played no known part in the second sitting.
Crompton’s reversion of the chirographer’s office came to fruition on the death of Sir John Morley, the last of his father’s trustees, in December 1622. However, the following month Crompton assigned the position to Edward Wrightington*, retaining the profits for himself and agreeing to pay Wrightington £100 p.a.18 Crompton drew up his will on 4 Dec. following, including an annexe detailing his borrowing and lending, which shows him to have been a net debtor to the tune of £1,883. He hoped his two eldest sons might be provided for out of the chirographer’s office, and to that end required that his chamber with two studies adjoining the office should be retained, though the whole building was out of repair. Another son was to be bound apprentice ‘to some honest and well-esteemed merchant’, and the remainder were to receive annuities of £50 each. He died three days later and was buried in the Temple church. His will was proved by his brother-in-law, Anthony Crofts*. None of his descendants sat in Parliament.19
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Author: John. P. Ferris
- 1. Dugdale’s Vis. Yorks. ed. J.W. Clay, iii. 419-20; Mdx. Peds. (Harl. Soc. lxv), 164; I. Temple database of admiss.; Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton ed. L. Pearsall Smith, i. 372.
- 2. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 144.
- 3. C142/404/129.
- 4. C181/2, f. 146; 181/3, f. 37; HUL, DDHA/18/12; C231/4, f. 93; C193/13/1.
- 5. C212/22/20-1.
- 6. C2/Jas.I/D5/58; 2/Jas.I/T9/74; C66/1726; C142/399/156.
- 7. PROB 11/99, f. 145v; Index of Wills in the York Registry (Yorks. Arch. Soc. Rec. Ser. xxvi), 151.
- 8. C2/Jas.I/79/74; PROB 11/99, f. 145; HP Commons, 1558-1603, i. 680-1; Lansd. 1217, f. 61.
- 9. W. Dugdale, Origines Juridiciales (1666), p. 182; I. Temple database of admiss.
- 10. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 366; C66/1759/12.
- 11. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 35, 160, 181.
- 12. C. Brooke, Ghost of Richard the Third (1614).
- 13. DCO, EP1, ff. 171-2, 178v-81.
- 14. CD 1621, vi. 262.
- 15. CJ, i. 568b, 572a, 583a.
- 16. Ibid. 592b.
- 17. Nicholas, Procs. 1621, i. 144.
- 18. C2/Jas.I/D8/58.
- 19. PROB 11/143, ff. 307-9; Dugdale, 182.