THOMPSON, Francis (c.1655-93), of Humbleton, Yorks.
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Family and Education
b. c.1655, 1st s. of William Thompson. educ. Brentwood g.s. Essex; St. John’s, Camb. adm. 16 June 1671, aged 15. m. lic. 26 Nov. 1669, Arabella, da. and h. of Sir Edmund Alleyn, 2nd Bt., of Hatfield Peverel, Essex, 1s. suc. fa. 1692.1
Commr. for assessment, Yorks. (E. Riding) 1677-80, N. Riding and Essex 1679-80, (N. and E. Ridings) 1689-90; j.p. (E. Riding) by 1690-d.2
Thompson made a good start in life thanks to the enterprise of his father and grandfather, who kidnapped an orphan heiress for him worth at least £1,200, while he was still attending the local grammar school. Her uncle, (Sir) William Jones, who had designed her for the scapegrace William Montagu, drafted a bill to invalidate the marriage; but (Sir) John Bramston, one of the Essex Members, told Montagu’s father that the county thought the child would do at least as well in the hands of the Thompsons, who were her distant cousins, and the measure was dropped.3
Thompson sat for the family borough, together with his father, in the Exclusion Parliaments, and was classed as ‘honest’ by Shaftesbury. It is probable that most of the committee work assigned to ‘Mr Thompson’ in these Parliaments was intended for him. If so, he was moderately active, with up to nine committees in 1679, including those to consider the extension of habeas corpus, to inquire into the state of the navy, to examine the disbandment accounts, and to reform the bankruptcy law, which had borne so hardly on his cousin Richard (see Andrew Marvell). He voted for exclusion. In the second Exclusion Parliament he may have been appointed to the committee for the bill to regulate elections and to three others of secondary importance. At Oxford, however, ‘Mr Thompson’ was appointed to the committee of elections and privileges and to those to recommend a better place for the Commons to sit and to prepare Fitzharris’s impeachment. He was defeated at the general election of 1685, and, being regarded like his father as ‘a dangerous person’ by the Stuart government, he was ordered into custody during Monmouth’s invasion. He regained his seat in the Convention, in which he was probably again moderately active, though he is seldom distinguished from his father and his cousin Edward Thompson. He may have served on 28 committees, including those for restoring corporations in both sessions. ‘Mr Thompson’ was also added on 1 July 1689 to the committee to consider the Lords’ proviso on the succession, and after the recess to that for the second mutiny bill. Though doubtless a Whig, he did not support the disabling clause; but after its defeat, he may have been appointed to the committee for the general oath of allegiance, as well as to that to consider ways of reducing unemployment (25 Jan. 1690). He was re-elected, but died on 27 Oct. 1693 and was buried at Humbleton. His son William sat for Scarborough as a Whig from 1701 to 1722 and again from 1730 to his death.4