Compton, Henry

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Compton, Henry (1632–1713). Bishop of London. Royalist son of the earl of Northampton, Compton had a spell in the new Horse Guards (from 1661), before graduating from Queen's College, Oxford (1666). Following ordination he was successively canon of Christ Church (1669–74), and bishop of Oxford (1674–5) and of London (1675–1713), where he was also responsible for the education of Princesses Mary and Anne, James's protestant daughters. Dedicated to national stability, he viewed sectarian turbulence and Romanism as equally dangerous. James II suspended him (1685). He was one of seven inviting William to England (1688) and in the crisis he appeared at Oxford in full military attire. Restored to his see, he briefly acted as primate, crowning William and Mary (April 1689), during Sancroft's suspension, though soon afterwards the Canterbury chapter appointed Tillotson to act instead. Essentially moderate, he was neither a dedicated Whig like Tenison and Burnet, nor a fervent Jacobite, like his friend Atterbury.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall