THOMPSON, Sir Peter (1698-1770), of Mill St., Bermondsey and Market St., Poole, Dorset.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1747 - 1754

Family and Education

b. 30 Oct. 1698, 3rd s. of Capt. Thomas Thompson of Poole by Amata, da. of John Edwards of Moseley, Hants. unm. suc. e. bro. James 1740; kntd. 27 Nov. 1745.

Offices Held

Sheriff, Surr. 1745-6.


Peter Thompson was an eminent merchant in Bermondsey, engaged in the Hamburg and Newfoundland trade.1 When sheriff of Surrey during the Forty-five, he was knighted on presenting a loyal address to the King. In 1747 he was brought into Parliament at St. Albans as a government supporter by his friend James West, the newly appointed recorder of Poole, of which Thompson was a freeman.2 Though he did not stand again, he developed a considerable political influence in his native town, where he normally resided. In 1751 he supported opposition in the Poole corporation to Joseph Gulston.3 Nine years later he reminded Gulston

of his great neglect of the Poole turnpike bill in June 1757, and desired his reasons for so doing which I expected ere I would promise him my vote and interest ... In my humble opinion when Members of Parliament don’t attend the business of their boroughs in Parliament, they ought to be reminded in decent language or decent scribble.4

In 1764 he was described by Thomas Erle Drax as ‘the person who has most personal weight’ in the borough.5 A well-known antiquary and collector, fellow of the Royal Society and of the Society of Antiquaries, he formed a valuable library and museum in his house at Poole. He died 31 Oct. 1770.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. Hutchins, Dorset, i. 49, 66-67.
  • 2. West to Newcastle, 26 June 1747, Add. 32711, f.546.
  • 3. John Masters to Gulston, 21 Oct. 1751, Newcastle (Clumber) mss.
  • 4. Thompson to West, 20 Dec. 1760, West mss at Alscott.
  • 5. Letter dated 26 Mar. 1764, Grenville mss. (JM).