1600 Info 2 for the Cromptons of the Stuart Period
The children of Thomas 'Auditor' Crompton LLD

Sir Thomas CROMPTON - 1st son of Thomas CROMPTON

On 06 March 1592 a Thomas CROMPTON, gentleman, received letters patent appointing him and John as Bailiffs (Ref: East Riding Archives DDBC/19/16) The records of The Inner Temple Admissions Database show that a Thomas CROMPTON junior, a gentleman of Benington, Hertfordshire was specially admitted to the Inns on 5 December 1595. Pledges, for his admission, were made by Anthony PEMBRECHE and Francis SWIFTE. Source: The Inner Temple Admissions Database (Accessed 13 March 2020)

The paper by Rider, see 1600info5, suggests that 'inns of court and chancery became collectively known as 'the third university of England' and was seen to be a 'finishing school''.

Patricia Hyde records that Sir Thomas married in 1597, Meriel (Murial) daughter of Sir Edward CAREY of Aldenham and Berkhampstead, Hertfordshire, MP for Scarborough in 1572, and sister of Henry Lord FALKLAND. Together they had one daughter who succeeded her father. Meriel died in 1600.

Thomas in Parliament

According to Hyde Thomas Crompton was MP for:

However, Thomas Crompton is not named as a 1597 MP in The History of Parliament Newport Isle of Wight Constituencies.

At the time of its enfranchisement in 1584 Newport was ‘at the special instance and procurement’ of Sir George CAREY, captain of the island. Newport is said to have promised Carey the nomination to one seat for his lifetime. In the event only two Newport MPs in this period were local men, Hardy and James, and these were no doubt acceptable to Carey. All the others were nominated by him. By 1597 the borough was sending him blank returns. Election was made by the bailiff and burgesses.

At this moment there is no known direct connection between Sir George CAREY and Thomas' father- in-law, Sir Edward CAREY. However, it should be noted that Edmund CAREY, son of Henry CAREY, 1st Baron Hunsdon also held the Newport seat.

The Irish War of 1599 and the Essex Rebellion of 8 February 1601

It is likely that, when given the commission to put down the O'Neill Rebellion 1, Essex took with him his 'faithful followers'. Perhaps these including Thomas CROMPTON, son of Dr Thomas. Many of these loyal followers were knighted by Essex on the field of combat, but this didn't appear to include Thomas.

Instead of facing O'Neill in battle, Essex made a truce with the rebel leader that was considered humiliating to the Crown and to the detriment of English authority. Essex returned to England in disgrace to face trial by Privy Council.

In August, his freedom was granted, but the source of his basic income—the sweet wines monopoly— was not renewed. His situation had become desperate, and he shifted "from sorrow and repentance to rage and rebellion." In early 1601, he began to fortify Essex House (The property occupied the site where the Outer Temple, part of the London headquarters of the Knights Templar, had previously stood, and was immediately adjacent to the Middle Temple. The main part of the house was demolished some time between 1674 and 1679. Essex Street was built on part of the site.), his town mansion on the Strand, and gathered his followers. On the morning of 8 February, he marched out of Essex House with a party of nobles and gentlemen (some later involved in the 1605 Gunpowder Plot) and entered the city of London in an attempt to force an audience with the Queen. Cecil immediately had him proclaimed a traitor. Finding no support among the Londoners, Essex retreated from the city, and surrendered after the Crown forces besieged Essex House.

On 19 February 1601, Essex was tried before his peers on charges of treason. Found guilty on 25 February 1601, he was beheaded on Tower Green, becoming the last person to be beheaded in the Tower of London.

1600info2, sheet 2

'Dr Thomas, [Hasler] suggests, was a long-standing servant of the Earl of Essex and his son Sir Thomas was knighted by the Earl, presumably while in the field in France or in Ireland, and then was unfortunately implicated in the Essex revolt of 1601. This seems to be borne out by ... Sir Thomas engaged in considerable land transactions circa. 1602. If he did fall foul of the government, for his support of Essex, it wouldn't be surprising if he was heavily fined, and had to rearrange his finances accordingly.'

The son of a ‘faithful follower’ [Thomas, 'Auditor' CROMPTON] and agent of the Earl of Essex, Thomas CROMPTON himself was one of the Earl’s supporters. An abstract of his deposition after the rising of 8 February 1601 reads:

He confesseth he was at sermon at Paul’s cross when the Earl passed by and thereupon followed and put himself into the troop and went with them into the sheriffs house. And when the Earl came forth he drew his sword as the rest did and was in the company [when] the Earl was resisted at Ludgate. And then he thought that he had gone too far and so left the company. And denieth that ever he heard the proclamation either by report or otherwise.
He was imprisoned until 31 March 1601 on being ‘bound with his father for £1,000 (equivalent to £100,640 in 2005) to remain at his father’s house’. He got off with a £400 (equivalent to £40,256 in 2005) fine.3 (Hyde)

A similar fate befell Sir Thomas' close friend Sir Henry Lindley, who was an executor of Sir Thomas' will. Sir Henry was servant of 2nd Earl of Essex in the 1590s, where he probably met Sir Thomas, and MP for Newcastle in 1597.

In the summer of 1599 he [Lindley] accompanied Essex to Ireland, being knighted in July. On the crucial day, 7 February 1601, he was one of those ‘that were the whole time in the [Essex] house and followed not the Earl in the street’, and he escaped with a fine and a brief spell in the Gatehouse [prison to Westminster Abbey]. Source: The History of Parliament (Accessed 13 March 2020)

Several financial transactions of land took place around this time.

Dr Thomas CROMPTON of Bennyngton had extensive estates around Driffield. But on 10 September 1602 [around the time of his father's death} Thomas CROMPTON, son and heir of Thomas CROMPTON of Bennyngton Co. Herts. esq. de'd. leased to Robert WRIGHT of London and John Brewstar of the Middle Temple esqs. the manor of Bishop Burton, Cherry Burton, Skerne, Wansford, Skidby and Ruston; farms in Beverley, Skerne and Killingwoldgraves; the benefices of Slateborne, Leven and Foxholes; the parsonage of Skidby; the tithes in Skidby, as collateral security for recited payments, including £200.16.8d to Elizabeth sister of Thomas CROMPTON. Source: Hull History Centre U DDGE/6/11

Further sales of property to his brother-in-law followed particularly, on 9 May 1603 the ' Bargain and Sale for £2300: Thomas CROMPTON of the Inner Temple gent. to William GEE of Beverley esq. the manor of Bishop Burton. [DDGE/6/13] and on 10 June 1605 the 'Bargain and Sale by Sir Thomas CROMPTON son of Thomas C. esq. dec'd. to Sir William GEE of Beverley: Provost Hall Garthe, manor of North Burton alias Cherry Burton, portion of tithes of church of Foxholl alias Foxholes alias Foxhill, sometime property of Prebend of St. Steven in Beverley and advowson of Foxholes, all appurtenances (including 4 oxgangs) in Sowthburton, Northburton and Mollescrofte. [DDCB/4/91] Sir William GEE (qv) of Beverley had married Mary (qv), Thomas' sister, in 1601.

His marriage

In 1597 Thomas CROMPTON married Murial (recorded as Meriall in his will) CAREY daughter of Sir Edward CAREY a kinsman of the Queen (knighted 1596 d.1618), of West Smithfield, London and of Aldenham and Berkhampstead, Herts. and MP for Scarborough in 1572. During his life he was:

In her father's will of 13 May 1616 his daughter Murial was left £20 and some gold buttons. Source: The History of Parliament (Accessed 13 March 2020)

1600info2, sheet 3


Thomas CROMPTON was knighted in 1603.1 In the same year he held the post of Gentleman Usher. 2

Gentlemen Ushers were originally a class of servants found not only in the Royal Household, but also in the households of Tudor noblemen. Richard Brathwait, described their role in the Household of an Earle, as one of the "officers and Servants the state of an Earle requireth to have". The Gentlemen Ushers occupied a level intermediate between the steward, the usual head, and the ordinary servants; they were responsible for overseeing the work of the servants "above stairs", particularly those who cooked and waited upon the nobleman at meals, and saw to it the great chamber was kept clean by the lesser servants. He was also responsible for overseeing other miscellaneous service, such as the care of the nobleman's chapel and bed- chambers. It was traditionally the gentleman usher who swore in new members of the nobleman's service. Source: Wikipedia

Since Sir Thomas was knighted some two years after the Essex Rebellion he was not knighted on the field of combat by Robert Devereux during the Irish wars He must have provided some other service on his restoration to court of James I.

Sir Thomas' death and will

In April 1604 he was granted permission to travel for three years; possibly he never again returned to England. He was killed allegedly by a robber at Abbeville (Beverley) in 1607.3 (Hyde)

'Hasler [records] that Sir Thomas went abroad shortly after his will was made on 18 October 1603 and didn't return before he was killed, presumably before the will was proved on 13 January 1606/7 [Julian/Gregorian calendars]'

Though 'the Prerogative Court of Canterbury's copy of his will doesn't mention travel plans, it is curious in not referring to his state of health at all in the will's preamble. [The majority of] Tudor wills refer to being 'sick in body but in perfect mind and memory, thanks be to God'. Occasionally one refers to the testator being in good health but 'mindful of this transitory life and uncertain stay of human condition' they have therefore decided to sort out their affairs. But Sir Thomas simply doesn't mention his health at all, or give any reason for making a will. If he wasn't sick, and he wasn't old, why would he make his will? Unless he was planning to travel.'
Source: With thanks to Rita Lamb who quotes her research from P.W. Hasler's 3- volume work on the membership of the House of Commons in Tudor times

In the matter of Sir Thomas' death an element of doubt exists:

By 'circa 1610 [when in a] Quitclaim, Sir Thomas' brother, Sir John CROMPTON of the Inner Temple, London and his brother Robert CROMPTON of Skerne esq., to Sir William GEE of Bishopburton, a final Concord between Sir Thomas CROMPTON dec'd. brother of Sir John CROMPTON and Richard CROMPTON (6 October 1605). Not executed'. Source: Hull History Centre reference: U DDGE/3/15, U DDGE/3/28

In his will, dated 18 October 1601, he asked to be buried at Hounslow, and left all his household stuff and the proceeds from the sale of two manors in Yorkshire to his only daughter Katherine. To his brother John he bequeathed lands, ‘of which there is not one not either sold or embezzled but Bishop Burton, in lieu of which I leave him Foldingham, a better thing than it was’. He made provision for his younger brothers and sisters, and appointed his brother-in-law William Gee, and friend Francis Swift, as executors, with his friends Sir Henry Carey and (Sir) Henry Lindley overseers. The will was proved on 13 February 1607.4

1600info2, sheet 4

His daughter Katherine

Sir Thomas' will suggests that he only had one child, Katherine. Katherine married, at some time before 11 April 1635 (the date of Arthur's birth by IGI) Sir Thomas Lyttelton/Lyttleton/Littelton/Littleton, 1st Baronet of Frankley, Halesowen, Hagley and Upper Arley. Lyttelton was educated at Balliol College, Oxford and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1613. He was created a Baronet in 1618. He was a Member of Parliament for Worcestershire, for 1620-2, 1624–26, and in the Short Parliament of 1640.

In 1642, during the Civil War Lyttelton stood for the King as Colonel of the Worcestershire Horse and Foot. He was taken prisoner at Bewdley in 1644, and imprisoned in the Tower of London but released on bail and and a of fine £4000 in 1645 (Equivalent to £343,200 in 2005). He is buried in Worcester Cathedral. Source: Willis-Bund JW, 'The Civil War in Worcestershire', 1905

Notes: References in Hyde


See also:

For further investigation: When his will was written in 1603 the phrase 'limitation of tyme' suggests that he was near to death. Mortally wounded perhaps?  The will has yet to be fully transcribed.

Sir John CROMPTON of Skerne - 2nd son of Thomas CROMPTON has his own page

Robert CROMPTON Esq of Driffield - third son of Thomas CROMPTON has his own page

Mary CROMPTON - third child of Thomas CROMPTON

Married and became the second wife of Sir William GEE (qv) to become Dame Mary GEE.


Frances married Sir Robert FEN, Comptroller of HM Household.

On 'July 2, 1658, Frances Fenne, wife of Sir Richard Fenne, Knt.of Kensington, was buried in Hounslow-chapel [Heston, Middlesex]." She was daughter of Sir Thomas Crompton
Source: 'Heston', The Environs of London: volume 3: VCH County of Middlesex (1795), pp. 22-45 (Accessed 13 March 2020)

1600info2, sheet 5

Thomas CROMPTON's other children

It is possible to argue the order of birth of Thomas' sons and of his daughters from their order of inclusion in the will. However, there is little evidence of the order of males and females.


More information 1
Return to text The Irish War of 1599

The military campaign pursued in Ireland in 1599 by Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, was during the Nine Years War. Earlier in that year Queen Elizabeth I had been troubled over the choice of a military commander for Ireland, at a time when her court was dominated by two factions - one led by Essex, the other by her principal secretary, Sir Robert Cecil. At the end of a hard faction-fight, Essex found himself with no choice but to accept the command, and the ensuing campaign failed in its objective. Essex led the largest expeditionary force ever sent to Ireland — 16,000 troops — with orders to put an end to the rebellion and to defeat the Irish chieftains, led by Hugh O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, and supplied from Spain and Scotland. Essex had declared to the Privy Council that he would confront O'Neill in Ulster. But instead, Essex led his army into southern Ireland, fought a series of inconclusive engagements, wasted his funds, and dispersed his army into garrisons. The Irish forces then won several victories. Instead of facing O'Neill in battle, Essex had to make a truce with the rebel leader that was considered humiliating to the Crown and to the detriment of English authority. Essex returned to England in disgrace.

Relying on his general warrant to return to England, given under the great seal, Essex sailed from Ireland on 24 September 1599, and reached London four days later. The Queen had expressly forbidden his return and was surprised when he presented himself in her bedchamber one morning at Nonsuch Palace, before she was properly wigged or gowned. On that day, the Privy Council met three times, and it seemed his disobedience might go unpunished, although the Queen did confine him to his rooms with the comment that " an unruly beast must be stopped of his provender."

Essex appeared before the full Council on 29 September, when he was compelled to stand before the Council during a five-hour interrogation. The Council took a quarter of an hour to compile a report, which declared that his truce with O'Neill was indefensible and his flight from Ireland tantamount to a desertion of duty. He was committed to the custody of Sir Richard Berkeley in his own York House on 1 October, and he blamed Cecil and Raleigh for the queen's hostility. Raleigh advised Cecil to see to it that Essex did not recover power, and Essex appeared to heed advice to retire from public life, despite his popularity with the public.

During his confinement at York House, Essex probably communicated with King James VI of Scotland through Lord Mountjoy, although any plans he may have had at that time to help the Scots king capture the English throne came to nothing. In October, Mountjoy was appointed to replace him in Ireland, and matters seemed to look up for the Earl. In November, the queen was reported to have said that the truce with O'Neill was " so seasonably made... as great good... has grown by it." Others in the Council were willing to justify Essex's return to Ireland, on the grounds of the urgent necessity of a briefing by the commander-in-chief.

Cecil kept up the pressure and, on 5 June 1600, Essex was tried before a commission of 18 men. He had to hear the charges and evidence on his knees. Essex was convicted, was deprived of public office, and was returned to virtual confinement.

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Updated 13 March 2020