Northampton, Earls And Marquesses Of
NORTHAMPTON, EARLS AND MARQUESSES OF. The Northampton title has been held in various English families. About 1080 Simon de Senlis (d. 1109), a Norman noble, and the builder of Northampton Castle, was created earl of Northampton as well as earl of Huntingdon by William the Conqueror; his son Simon (d. 1153) was also recognized in the title about 1141, though his stepfather, David, king of Scotland (1084-1153), had meanwhile obtained the earldom in right of his wife. The second Simon died childless. In 1337 William de Bohun (c. 1310- 1360), a distinguished soldier, son of Humphrey de Bohun, 4th earl of Hereford and 3rd earl of Essex, was created earl of Northampton; and his son Humphrey, who succeeded, fell heir in 1361 to the earldoms of Hereford and Essex, which thus became united under that of Hereford. The titles, however, became extinct at his death in 1372.
In 1547 William Parr (1513-1571), son of Sir Thomas Parr and brother of Catherine Parr, was created marquess of Northampton, and though attainted in 1553 was recreated marquess in 1559. He took part in suppressing the rising in the north of England in 1537, and after serving as member of parliament for Northamptonshire was made Baron Parr in 1539. In December 1543, just after his sister had married the king, he was created earl of Essex, a title formerly held by his father- inlaw, Henry Bourchier, who had died in March 1540. Under Edward VI., who called him " his honest uncle," Parr was equally prominent, being lord-lieutenant of five of the eastern counties, and being great chamberlain from 1550 to 1553. He favoured the claim of Lady Jane Grey to the English throne and consequently the accession of Queen Mary was quickly followed by his attainder. Although sentenced to death he was pardoned and released from prison at the end of 1553. After enjoying the favour of Queen Elizabeth, Northampton died at Warwick on the 28th of October 1571. He left no children and his marquessate became extinct. In 1604 Henry Howard (see below) was created earl of Northampton, his title dying with him. It next passed into the Compton family, where it has since remained. The 1st earl of Northampton in this line, William Compton (d. 1630), who received the title in 1618, was a greatgrandson of the Sir William Compton (1482-1528) who was with Henry VIII. at the Field of the Cloth of gold, and his son the 2nd earl is noticed below. The 9th earl, Charles Compton (1760-1828), was created a marquess in 1812, receiving at the same time the titles of Earl Compton and Baron Wilmington. His son Spencer Joshua Alwyne, the 2nd marquess (1790-1851), was president of the Royal Society from 1838 to 1848; the latter's son Lord Alwyne Compton (1825-1906) was bishop of Ely from 1886 to 1905. The sth marquess (b. 1851), 'son of the 4th marquess (1818-1897), was, as Earl Compton, a Liberal member of parliament from 1889 to 1897.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)