THOMPSON, Sir John, 1st Bt. (1648-1710), of Haversham, Bucks. and Upper Gatton, Surr.
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Family and Education
b. c.1648, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Maurice Thompson, merchant, of Bishopsgate Street, London and Worcester House, Mile End Green, Mdx. by his 2nd w. Dorothy, da. of John Vaux of Pemb. educ. Lee, Kent (Mr Watkin); Sidney Sussex, Camb. adm. 2 July 1664, aged 15, B.A. 1667; L. Inn, entered 1664; travelled abroad c. 1669-70. m. (1) 14 July 1668, Lady Frances Annesley (d. 3 Mar. 1704), da. of Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey, wid. of John Windham of Felbrigg, Norf., 5s. (1 d.v.p.) 8da.; (2) 10 May 1709, Martha Graham, wid. (d.1710), s.p. cr. Bt. 12 Dec. 1673; suc. fa. 1676; cr. Baron Haversham 4 May 1696.1
Sheriff, Bucks. 1669-70; commr. for assessment, Beds. and Bucks. 1679-80, Beds., Bucks. and Surr. 1689-90; dep. lt. Surr. Feb.-Oct. 1688; j.p. Bucks. 1690-?d., Surr. by 1701-d.
Commr. for public accounts 1695-6; ld. of Admiralty 1699-1701.
Thompson’s father, the eldest brother of Sir William Thompson, emigrated to Virginia, but returned before the Civil War. An active supporter of Parliament, he was appointed to the high court of justice in 1650 and became governor of the East India Company under the Protectorate. He sued out a pardon at the Restoration, and bought Haversham from Richard Lucy in 1664.2
Thompson married an Independent, and remained a ‘dissenter in principle’ until her death. He inherited Upper Gatton on the death of his young cousins, the children of William Oldfield, and probably tried to assert his interest in the borough at the first opportunity, in the election of February 1679, though this involved opposing two exclusionists, Sir Nicholas Carew and Thomas Turgis. Although he was unsuccessful, his Whiggish principles were well enough known for (Sir) Adam Browne to regard him as a dangerous neighbour at the time of the Rye House Plot; but he replaced Carew at the general election of 1685. He was completely inactive in James II’s Parliament, and during the recess obtained a pass for Holland with his wife and eldest daughter. In 1687 he was included among the Buckinghamshire opposition as one considerable both for interest and estate, and the King’s electoral agents realized that he and Turgis could not be challenged at Gatton. It is not clear whether he became a Whig collaborator; his appointment to the Surrey lieutenancy in 1688 may have been merely a gesture towards the dissenters.3
In the Convention Thompson was moderately active as a committeeman, being appointed to 18 committees, and he made 16 recorded speeches. On 30 Jan. 1689 he complained that almost all the clergy continued to pray for King James. He helped to prepare the address pledging assistance for a war with France. On the indemnity bill he urged that actions should be identified for exclusion, not persons. ‘Why should one man be excepted and not another? If you will, excuse them all, with all my heart. If they partake of the same crime, it is fit they should have the same punishment.’ He expressed much concern at the detention of Peregrine Osborne. ‘If one councillor shall whisper to another and imprison a man, I know not who can be safe. ... He that touches the Parliament touches the vital part of the nation.’ After the recess he defended the nonconformist ministers against charges of disaffection. He was appointed to the committees to bring in a bill for the more effectual taking of the oaths and to consider the Lords’ bill to punish mutiny and desertion. He supported the address to inquire who was responsible for employing Commissary Shales: ‘the King must know the sense of the House, let councillors say what they please.’ He supported the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations.4
Thompson continued to sit for Gatton as a country Whig until he was raised to the peerage. He began as a court Whig in the Lords, but after his dismissal from the Admiralty board in 1701 he became an equally violent Tory, and eventually an ardent defender of the Church. He died on 1 Nov. 1710 and was buried at Richmond. His son Maurice sat for Gatton from 1698 until the Surrey estate was sold in 1704.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: J. S. Crossette
- 1. Lipscomb, Bucks. iv. 188; Hill and Frere, Mems. Stepney Parish, 189; Lee Par. Reg. 28; CSP Dom. 1670, p. 217; St. James Clerkenwell (Harl. Soc. Reg. ix), 285.
- 2. H. F. Waters, Gen. Gleanings in England, 74; Le Neve’s Knights (Harl. Soc. viii), 45; CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 44; 1665-6, p. 457; DNB.
D. R. Lacey, Dissent and Parl. Pol. 448; CJ, xi. 626; CSP Dom. July-Sept. 1683, p. 172; 1685, p. 438.
- 3. D. R. Lacey, Dissent and Parl. Pol. 448; CJ, xi. 626; CSP Dom. July-Sept. 1683, p. 172; 1685, p. 438.
- 4. Grey, ix. 37, 242, 341, 369, 373, 451; R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 2, p. 638.
- 5. D. Rubini, Court and Country, 64-65; HMC Coke, ii. 444; Manning and Bray, Surr. ii. 236.