1660 Info 3d: Cromptons of the Restoration
John Crompton of Sledmere and his death in Madras

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It is possible that Sledmere came into Crompton family through the Robert's marriage to Anne WHEATH. Hull History Centre document refers to her father Phillip as being ' of Slemer and Hinderwell'. At one time John CROMPTON held and sold the advowson of Hinderwell.

Right: Modern Sledmere
Modern Sledmere - 52Kb jpg
Map showing Sledmere House - 50Kb gif Left: Sledmere House and its parkland

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John CROMPTON of Sledmere

By 23 October 1723 John CROMPTON of Ruston had married Anne. [Hull History Centre ref: U DRA/1093]

From 13 March 1715 to 25 November 1723 John appears to have been involved in speculating in leasing land and the guaranteeing of mortgages (£850, £1 200 - Equivalent to £72,037.50 and £101, 700 in 2005)) and the taking out of mortgages to support Sledmere. His activities include:

There were several court cases with John and Anne being declared the deforceants:

Final Concord for £2,400 (£203,400 in 2005): John Thompson, plaintiff and John CROMPTON and wife Ann, deforceants: manors of Little Ruston and Little Kelk with 20 messuages, 20 cottages, 1 water corn mill, 2 dovecoates, 20 gardens, 20 orchards, 500 ac. land, 500 ac. meadow, 500 ac. pasture, 100 ac. wood, 100 ac. heath and furze, 1000 ac. moor and £8 rents in Ruston, Little Ruston, Little Kelk, Lowthorpe, Foston and Lissett, with tithes in those places. Also a third part of 2 messuages, 2 cottages, 200 ac. land, 200 ac. meadow and 200 ac. pasture in Little Ruston (25 November 1723).
With Sledmere and Ruston as collateral these activities culminated in the loss of Sledmere to Mark Kirkby in 1721 and Little Ruston in 1723.

Right: The location of Sledmere in relationship to Driffield and the estates of the Crompton families
Map locating Sledmere village - 25Kb gif


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Right: David Hockney's 'Road to Sledmere (1997) David Hockney's 'Road to Sledmere - 47kB jpg


The dates of births, deaths and marriages of these Cromptons needs checking.

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His death in Madras

John CROMPTON is recorded as dying in Madras in 1755 [Source]

Given the time and place of John CROMPTON's death and the sale of land in 1721-3, it is possible that he was associated with The East India Company.

The Honourable Company of London Merchants trading with the East Indies was formed by Royal Charter on New Year's Eve 1600, and soon became known as the East India Company. Although originally formed just to trade, the company realised that it needed to secure and protect trading posts on the Indian subcontinent. Indian rulers began to depend on the gold and silver with which Britain bought their trade goods. The company began to buy land from the Indian rulers on which to build its posts, and established its own standing army and navy to protect them. By pursuing this policy, Britain became the dominant power in India by the end of the 18th century.

In 1611 the English settled at Mazulipatam, but soon left this coastal factory due to conflict with the Dutch factors, and settled at Armagon in 1626. In 1632 the Mazulipatam factory was re-opened. Seven years later The East India Company bought the exposed and waterless site of Madras. It was the second permanent East India Company trading post, built further south, and was once described as 'the most incommodious place I ever saw'. The popular story is that the company's buyer, Francis Day, bought the land because he had a mistress nearby, and wanted their 'interviews' to be 'more frequent and uninterrupted.' In 1640 Fort Saint George, at Madraspatam, was built. The settlement that grew around the fort was named Chinapatam, but this name fell into favour of the older name, Madras.
A 1820 map of south India showing Madras - 49Kb jpg
Above: A 1820 map of south India showing Madras

Under Robert Clive ("Clive of India"), the English fought the French for trade supremacy and defeated a combined Indian and French force at Plassey in 1757. The subcontinent was open to a monopoly by the East India Company.

Madras was well-placed to ship cottons to the East Indies, and like other company posts, it soon attracted Indian weavers, workers, merchants and bankers to service the trade. The Coromandel coast was famous for the quality of its textiles, and English cloth manufacturers were unable to compete until the early 19th century.

Ships had to anchor a long distance from the coast at Madras, and cargoes and people were transported over the bar (sandbank) in small boats. Many would remember their arrival in Madras: 'Suddenly we found ourselves tumbled together in the water among chests, cases of liquor and other such lumber and with a score of sheep that we were carrying.'
Fort St George Madras 1754 - 25Kb jpg
Above: Fort St George Madras 1754 Source: National Maritime Museum
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Since 1997 Madras has been called Chennai.

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This page was created by Richard Crompton
and maintained by Chris Glass
Version A7
Updated 13 March 2020