- Spencer Compton, 2nd Earl of Northampton
Spencer Compton, 2nd Earl of Northampton (May, 1601–
March 19, 1643), styled Lord Compton from 1618 to 1630, was an English peer, soldier and politician.
Northampton was the son of
William Compton, 1st Earl of Northampton, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir John Spencer, Lord Mayor of London. On November 3, 1616he was created a Knight of the Bath, and was elected for Ludlowin the parliament of 1621, the same year being appointed Master of the Robesto the Prince of Walesand attending the latter in the adventure to Spain in 1623. He warmly supported the king in the Scottish expeditions, at the same time giving his advice for the summoning of the parliament, which word of four syllables he declared was like the dew of heaven.
On the outbreak of the Civil War he was entrusted with the execution of the commission of array in
Warwickshire. After varying success and failure in the Midlandshe fought at Edgehill, and after the king's return to Oxford was given, in November 1642, the military supervision of Banburyand the neighbouring country. He was attacked in Banbury by the parliamentary forces on December 22, but relieved by Prince Rupert of the Rhinethe next day.
In March 1643 he marched from Banbury to relieve
Lichfield, and having failed there proceeded to Stafford, which he occupied. Thence on March 19, accompanied by three of his sons, he marched out with his troops and engaged Sir John Gell, 1st Baronetand Sir William Breretonat Hopton Heath.
He put to flight the enemy's cavalry and took eight guns, but in the moment of victory, while charging too far in advance, he was surrounded by the parliament soldiers. To these who offered him quarter he answered that he scorned to take quarter from such base rogues and rebels as they were, whereupon he was despatched by a blow on the head. Clarendon describes his loss as a great one to the cause.
Northampton married Mary, daughter of Sir Francis Beaumont (not the playwright), by whom besides two daughters he had six sons. The eldest, James, succeeded him as 3rd Earl of Northampton. Henry became
bishop of London. Charles, William and Spencer all distinguished themselves in the king's cause — William was one of the original members of the Royalist organisation, The Sealed Knot.
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