William Compton, Sir

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William Compton, Sir

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Compton, Wynyates, Warwick, Eng.
Death: Died in Compton,Wyngate,Warwickshire,England
Cause of death: Sweating sickness
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Edmund de Compton and Joan Compton
Husband of Werburge Compton and Elizabeth Compton
Father of Elizabeth Young; Margaret Compton; Sir Peter Compton; Catherine Compton; Henry Compton and 2 others
Brother of Elizabeth Rodney

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Compton, Sir

William Compton (courtier)

Sir William Compton (c. 1482 – 30 June 1528)[1] was a soldier and one of the most prominent courtiers during the reign of Henry VIII of England.

Compton was born around 1482, the only son and heir of Edmund Compton of Compton of Warwickshire and Joan, the daughter of Walter Aylworth.[1][2] He was around eleven years of age when his father died in 1493, at which time he became a ward of Henry VII, who appointed him page to Prince Henry, duke of York.[1] He was about nine years older than Henry, but the two became close friends.[3]

He married firstly, in May 1512,[4] Werburga, the daughter of Sir John Brereton, and widow of Sir Francis Cheyney. They had a son and at least two daughters:[1][5][6]

  • Peter Compton, (1523 – 1544[7]) the eldest son and heir, aged six at his father's death, became the ward of cardinal Thomas Wolsey.[1] He married Anne, daughter of George Talbot, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury and by her, had a son, Henry who was created Baron Compton by Elizabeth I. Henry's son, William was made Earl of Northampton by James I.[7]

He married secondly, after 8 May 1522, Elizabeth Stonor, the daughter of Sir Walter Stonor and by her had at least one child.[8][9]

On Henry's accession in 1509, he was given the position of Groom of the Stool, the man who was in closest contact with the young king.[1] The Groom waited on the king while he used the latrine or close stool, and was also in charge of linen and the King's clothes, jewels and tableware. One of his duties, according to the courtier Elizabeth Amadas, was to procure women for his monarch and arrange trysts with them at his London home, in Thames Street.[10] Compton was also the steward, or administrator, of several royal manors.[11]


Compton was knighted 25 September 1513 at Tournai, following the battle of the Spurs.[12] He had been able to muster 578 soldiers for the campaign in France from the manors he stewarded, almost as many as all the other members of the Privy chamber raised in total.[13] In 1521 he was present at Henry VIII's meeting with Francis I at the Field of the Cloth of Gold and at Gravelines for the king's interview with Charles V.[1] Compton served on the Scottish borders under the Earl of Surrey in 1523, and this appears to have been the only time he was far from the court. It was thought that his rival Wolsey contrived his being sent there, hoping to diminish his influence over the king.[1]


Though not a politician, Compton ultimately acquired significant influence over Henry when it came to granting land and favours to the aristocracy, and made a fortune himself. The offices he held included:[1]

  • Groom of the Bedchamber
  • Chief Gentleman of the Bedchamber
  • Chief Ranger of Windsor Great Park
  • Groom of the Stool
  • Constable of Gloucester Castle
  • Constable of Sudeley Castle
  • Constable of Warwick Castle
  • Chancellor of Ireland, 1513–1516
  • Usher of the Black Rod, 4 February 1513
  • Sheriff of Hampshire, 1512–1513
  • Sheriff of Somersetshire and Dorsetshire, 1513–1514
  • High Sheriff of Worcestershire, 1516 to 1528
  • Under-treasurer of the Exchequer, 1525[14]

In 1510, Compton was involved in a public row with Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham over Henry's affair with the Duke's married sister, Lady Anne Hastings.[15] Around 1519, Compton became involved with Anne himself,[16] and in 1521 Henry sent Compton to arrest Anne's brother, the Duke of Buckingham, who was later executed for treason.

In his will, which was dated 8 March 1523, Compton made provisions for Lady Hastings, his first wife, Werburga and his children.[9][5] His will was made while his first wife was still living and not updated to provide for his second wife, Elizabeth, who was expecting a child at the time if his death.[9] He died 30 June 1528 of the sweating sickness which killed several courtiers including Anne Boleyn's brother-in-law, Sir William Carey.[17] He was buried in the chapel at Compton Wynyates.[18] His widow, Elizabeth was still attempting to claim her jointure at the time of her second marriage to Walter Walshe, a page of the Privy chamber in November 1529,[8][19] and the matter had not been resolved by June 1538, when her father wrote to Thomas Cromwell on his daughter's behalf: "We both desire your Lordship's favour in her causes, else she is like to be wronged."[20]

A fictionalized William Compton was portrayed by Kristen Holden-Ried in 2007 on the Showtime television series The Tudors, loosely based upon the reign of Henry VIII. In the show he is portrayed in a common law marriage to a "Mistress Hastings" as well as having a homosexual affair with Thomas Tallis.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Compton_(courtier)

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http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=bevangenealogy&id=I135702

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Born around 1482, Compton was about nine years older than his king, but the two became close friends. Compton was the eldest son of Edmund Compton of Warwickshire and became an attendant on young Henry. On Henry's accession, he was given the position of Groom of the Stool, the man who was in closest contact to the young king. [1] The Groom waited on the king while he used the latrine or close stool, and was also in charge of linen and the King's clothes, jewels and tableware. Compton was also the steward, or administrator, of several royal manors.[2]

One of his duties, according to the courtier Elizabeth Amadas, was to procure women for his monarch and arrange trysts with them at his London home, in Thames Street.[3] Compton was knighted at Tournai, following the battle of the Spurs.[4] He had been able to muster 578 soldiers for the campaign in France from the manors he stewarded, almost as many as all the other members of the Privy Chamber raised in total.[5]

Though not a politician, Compton ultimately acquired significant influence over Henry when it came to granting land and favours to the aristocracy, and made a fortune himself. He was appointed High Sheriff of Worcestershire for the years 1517 to 1535. [1]

In 1510, Compton was involved in a public row with Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham over Henry's affair with the Duke's married sister, Anne Stafford, Countess of Huntingdon.[6] Around 1519, Compton became involved with Anne himself, and in 1521 Henry sent Compton to arrest Anne's brother the Duke of Buckingham, who was later executed for treason. Compton made provisions for Anne in his will in 1522. He died in 1528 of the sweating sickness which killed several courtiers including Anne Boleyn's brother-in-law, Sir William Carey.

Sir William Compton (c. 1482 – 1528) was one of the most prominent courtiers during the reign of Henry VIII of England. Born around 1482, Compton was about nine years older than his king, but the two became close friends. Compton was the eldest son of Edmund Compton of Warwickshire and became an attendant on young Henry. On Henry's accession, he was given the position of Groom of the Stool, the man who was in closest contact to the young king. One of his duties, according to the courtier Elizabeth Amadas, was to procure women for his monarch and arrange trysts with them at his London home, in Thames Street. Though not a politician, Compton ultimately acquired significant influence over Henry when it came to granting land and favours to the aristocracy, and made a fortune himself.

In 1510, Compton was involved in a public row with Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham over Henry's affair with the Duke's married sister, Anne Stafford, Countess of Huntingdon. Around 1519, Compton became involved with Anne himself, and in 1521 Henry sent Compton to arrest Anne's brother the Duke of Buckingham, who was later executed for treason. Compton made provisions for Anne in his will in 1522. He died in 1528 of the Sweating sickness which killed several courtiers including Anne Boleyn's brother-in-law, Sir William Carey.

William Compton became a ward of the crown when his father Edmond died, as was the custom. At the court of Henry VII the eleven-year-old, orphan became a page to the two-year-old Prince Henry, thus began a close friendship, which continued after the prince succeeded as King Henry VIII.

He was Chief Ranger of Windsor Great Park, Groom of the Stole/Stool (the gentleman in charge of the King's personal toilet and Keeper of the Privy Purse), Chief Gentleman of the Bedchamber, Usher of the Black Rod, Constableship of Warwick Castle, Chancellor of Ireland (although he never set foot there).

Sir Bernard Burke (genealogist) states: 'This great man, one of the most eminent of his time, had estates in 20 counties in England'.

As a result of this lifelong friendship, Henry VIII gave William, who was also to become a military hero, many rewards, amongst them the ruinous Fulbroke Castle from which Compton Wynates, the Compton family home was built.

Born: ABT 1475 / ABT 1492, Compton, Wyngate, Warwickshire, England

Died: Jun 1528, Compton, Wyngate, Warwickshire, England

Father: Edmund COMPTON

Mother: Joan AYLWORTH

Married 1: Warburga BRERETON (b. ABT 1488, Betteshorne, Hampshire) (dau. of John Brereton and Catherine Berkeley, B. Stourton) (w. of Francis Cheney) 1498

Children:

1. Peter COMPTON of Compton

2. Catherine COMPTON

Married 2: Elizabeth STONOR (d. 25 Aug 1560) (dau. of Sir Walter Stonor and Anne Foliot) (m.2 Walter Walshe - m.3 Sir Phillip Hoby)

Associated with: Anne STAFFORD (C. Huntingdon)

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When Henry VIII ascended to the throne in 1509, he handed the Manor of Wooburn to his friend Sir William Compton, Chief Ranger of Windsor Great Park.

Don Luis Caroz, the Spanish Ambassador, reported, on 28 May 1510, that one of the young, married sisters of the Duke of Buckingham had attracted the attention of King Henry VIII. Buckingham had two sisters: Anne, wife of Sir George Hastings, later Earl of Huntingdon, and Elizabeth, wife of Robert Ratcliffe, Lord FitzWalter, were both ladies-in-waiting to Queen Catalina. According to the Ambassador, Sir William Compton, a favoured companion of Henry, had been seen courting Anne, Lady Hastings. Perhaps because Compton was no fit paramour for a duke's sister it was thought that he was acting on Henry's behalf. Caroz reported, with some glee, the dramatic scenes that ensued when another sister, Elizabeth, Lady Ratcliffe, informed the Duke of Compton's behaviour. Buckingham quarrelled with Compton and the King before storming from the court. Anne was carried off by her husband to the safety of a nunnery. Henry was clearly angry, but none of this makes it clear whether Compton or the King was in fact the guilty party. Sir William Compton's attraction to Anne Stafford was the genuine article. In 1527 Wolsey drew up a citation accusing Compton of adultery with Anne. Compton apparently took the sacrament in order to disprove his guilt. However, his will belies his protestations of innocence. Not only did he founded a chantry where prayers were said daily for her soul and those of his family members, but also the profits from certain of his lands in Leicestershire were earmarked for her use for the remainder of her life.

In 1514 the dilapidated Bruce Castle and manorial rights were given to Sir William Compton. He may have built a Tudor house on the site. The Round Tower was built at about the same time from red bricks obtained locally. The walls are three feet thick, and some of the original Tudor bricks remain. The latest theories are that the original purpose of the Round Tower was a hawk mews, used for keeping birds of prey for the medieval sport of falconry. There are records that Henry VIII had a meeting with his sister Margaret, Queen of Scotland, at Bruce Castle in 1516.

Sir William Compton arranged that his daughter should marry John St. Leger. The bride was to bring a dowry of £2,346 and both families were to settle lands on the couple. The marriage did not take place, seemingly because Catherine Compton died.

Sir William Compton as Groom of the Stole (the gentleman in charge of the King’s personal toilet and Privy Purse) was a constant thorn in Wolsey’s flesh as head of the mignons. The latter were able to win minor victories like the battle in 1517 for the hand of Margaret Dymoke the widow of Sir Richard Vernon of Haddon Hall. Wolsey wanted her for his follower Sir William Tyrwhitt whilst Shrewsbury, Carew,and Compton combined to secure her for William Coffin.

In 1523 Compton was sent on service to Scotland. In the course of the summer of 1528, several of the court were taken ill of the sweating sickness. On of those carried off by the epidemic was Sir William Compton, who held the constableship of Warwick Castle and other important offices in that part of the country. On the death of Sir William Compton, George Throckmorton of Coughton sought to become sheriff and custos rotulorum of Worcestershire, steward of the see of Worcester and under treasurer of England.

Compton lived at Wooburn Manor and left it to his son Peter, a ward of Cardinal Wolsey. His grandson Henry inherited estates and started castle Ashley.

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William Compton, Sir's Timeline

1480
1480
Compton, Wynyates, Warwick, Eng.
1500
1500
Age 20
Warwickshire, United Kingdom
1517
1517
Age 37
1522
1522
Age 42
Compton, Wyngate, Warwickshire, England
1522
Age 42
1528
May 31, 1528
Age 48
Compton,Wyngate,Warwickshire,England
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