William Compton, 4th Marquess of Northampton

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Admiral William Compton, 4th Marquess of Northampton, KG (20 August 1818 – 11 September 1897), known as Lord William Compton from 1828 to 1877, was a British peer and naval commander.

Northampton was born at York Place, Marylebone, London, the second son of Spencer Joshua Alwyne Compton, 2nd Marquess of Northampton, and his wife Margaret (née Douglas-Maclean-Clephane).[1]

He entered in the Royal Navy in 1831, served during the First Opium War with China (1839–42),[1] The campaign was vaguely given in this work as "the Chinese War", but has been ascertained to be the First War because the second broke out in the year he retired from the active list in 1856 as captain. He was subsequently promoted rear admiral in 1869, and admiral in 1888 on the retired list.[1]

In 1877 he succeeded his elder brother in the marquessate and entered the House of Lords. Northampton was honoured on 9 July 1885 when he was made a Knight of the Garter.[2] He assumed in 1851 by Royal licence the additional surname of Maclean and in 1878 upon succeeding to the titles that of Douglas.


Lord Northampton married Eliza Harriet, daughter of Admiral the Hon. Sir George Elliot, on 21 August 1844 in Naples, Italy. As a result of her marriage, Eliza Elliot was styled as Marchioness of Northampton on 3 March 1877. Together they had five daughters and three sons. She died aged 72 on 4 December 1877 in Florence, Italy.

Children of Admiral William Compton, 4th Marquess of Northampton & his wife Eliza Harriet née Elliot

  1. Lady Katrine Cecilia Compton b: 1845 d. 23 Mar 1913
  2. Lady Margaret Georgiana Compton b: 1847 d. 15 Nov 1931
  3. Charles John Spencer Compton, Earl Compton b. 13 Jul 1849, d. 5 Sep 1887
  4. William George Spencer Scott Compton, 5th Marquess of Northampton b. 23 Apr 1851, d. 15 Jun 1913
  5. Lady Alice Elizabeth Compton b: 1854 d. 17 Jun 1862
  6. Lord Alwyne Frederick Compton b. 5 Jun 1855, d. 16 Dec 1911
  7. Lady Mabel Violet Isabel Compton b. c 1862, d. 16 Aug 1961
  8. Colonel Lord Douglas James Cecil Compton b. 15 Nov 1865, d. 23 Jul 1944

Their eldest daughter, Katrine, married Francis Cowper, 7th Earl Cowper.

Their eldest son Charles John Spencer Compton, Earl Compton, died in 1887, without heirs. Lord Northampton survived his wife by twenty years and died on 11 September 1897, aged 78.[2] Just prior to his death, Compton purchased a country house in the village of Tysoe in Warwickshire.[3] He was succeeded in his titles by his second son William.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c The Complete Peerage, Volume IX. St Catherine's Press. 1936. p. 688. 
  2. ^ a b The Knights of England. Genealogical Publishing Com. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-8063-0443-4. 
  3. ^ Kevin Wyles (2000). From Thatch to Fire: The History of a Village Fire Brigade : a History of Tysoe Fire Service, the Last Thatched Fire Station in Great Britain, with a Look at the Village in Old Photographs. Jeremy Mills Publishing. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-9539004-0-4. 


Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Douglas-Compton
Marquess of Northampton
2nd creation
1877 – 1897
Succeeded by
William Compton