Lord Alwyne Compton (politician)

Compton as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, April 1902

Lord Alwyne Frederick Compton, DSO, DL (5 June 1855 – 16 December 1911)[1] was a British Army officer who became a Liberal Unionist and then Unionist politician.


Compton was the third but second eldest surviving son of Admiral William Compton, 4th Marquess of Northampton, and his wife Eliza, daughter of Admiral Sir George Elliot.[2] William Compton, 5th Marquess of Northampton, was his elder brother.[2]

In 1886, he married Mary Evelyn Violet, daughter of Robert Charles de Grey Vyner (she was thereafter known as Lady Alwyne Compton).

Military career

He was educated at Eton[3] and entered the 31st Foot as a sub-lieutenant on 18 March 1874.[4] He exchanged to the Grenadier Guards on 12 May 1875.[5] Promoted to supernumerary lieutenant, Compton again exchanged into the 10th Hussars on 20 August 1879.[6] In May 1882, he became aide-de-camp to George Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon, Viceroy of India,[3] until the latter left office in February 1884, and was appointed full lieutenant on 28 November 1883.[7]

Compton subsequently took part in the British campaign in the Sudan in 1884, and fought at El Teb and Tamai.[3] He was appointed adjutant in March 1885,[8] and resigned his adjutantcy on 20 October 1886.[9] He reigned from the army and was appointed to the Reserve of Officers.

Following the outbreak of the Second Boer War in late 1899, Compton volunteered for service and was seconded to the Imperial Yeomanry, where he was appointed a captain on 17 February 1900.[10] He was attached to the 28th (Bedfordshire) company of the 4th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry. The company left Albert Docks in the SS Kent in early February 1900, Lord Alwyn in command as senior officer on the ship,[11] and arrived at South Africa the following month. For his service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in November 1900,[12] and promoted to major in September 1901.[3][13]

Political career

He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1895 general election as the Liberal Unionist Member of Parliament (MP) for the Biggleswade division of Bedfordshire.[1][14] Compton was re-elected unopposed in 1900,[14] but at the 1906 general election he was defeated by the Liberal Party candidate Arthur Black.[14] He was returned to the Commons at the January 1910 election as Unionist MP for Brentford,[15] and held the seat until his resignation on 15 March 1911 by the procedural device of appointment as Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds.[16]

He died in December 1911, aged 56. Lady Alwyne Compton died in October 1957.


  1. 1 2 Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 3)
  2. 1 2 Lundy, Darryl. "Lord Alwyne Frederick Compton". ThePeerage.com. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 4 The House of Commons, February 1901. London: Macmillan & Co. 1901. p. 15. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  4. Hart, H.G. (1874). The New Army List. London: John Murray. p. 175. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 24207. p. 2508. 12 May 1875. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 24753. p. 5043. 19 August 1879. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  7. The London Gazette: no. 25295. p. 6374. 11 December 1883. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 25452. p. 1196. 17 March 1885. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  9. The London Gazette: no. 25635. p. 5056. 19 October 1886. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
  10. The London Gazette: no. 27165. p. 1077. 16 February 1900.
  11. "The War - Embarcation of Yeomanry". The Times (36060). London. 8 February 1900. p. 10.
  12. The London Gazette: no. 27359. p. 6306. 27 September 1901.
  13. The London Gazette: no. 27362. p. 6491. 4 October 1901.
  14. 1 2 3 Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 219. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
  15. Craig, page 344
  16. Department of Information Services (9 June 2009). "Appointments to the Chiltern Hundreds and Manor of Northstead Stewardships since 1850" (PDF). House of Commons Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 February 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2009.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George W. E. Russell
Member of Parliament for Biggleswade
Succeeded by
Arthur Black
Preceded by
Vickerman Henzell Rutherford
Member of Parliament for Brentford
January 19101911
Succeeded by
William Joynson-Hicks
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