William ComptonThis is a featured page

See also: The Tudors Cast | The Tudors Episode Guide

Sir William Compton as played by Kris Holden-Reid

Born : circa 1482 - died: June 1528

Character's backstory: William Compton became a ward of the crown when his father Edmund died, as was the custom. At the court of Henry VII the eleven-year-old orphan became a page to the two-year-old Prince Henry. Thus began a close friendship which continued after the prince succeeded as King Henry VIII.
*This character is loosely based on the historical one.
Historically:

Sir William Compton was Groom of the Stole (the gentleman in charge of the King’s personal toilet and Privy Purse) was a constant thorn in Wolsey’s flesh as head of the mignons. The latter were able to win minor victories like the battle in 1517 for the hand of Margaret Dymoke the widow of Sir Richard Vernon of Haddon Hall. Wolsey wanted her for his follower Sir William Tyrwhitt, while the Earl of Shrewsbury, Carew, and Compton combined to secure her for William Coffin. In 1523 Compton was sent on service to Scotland. In the course of the summer of 1528, several of the court were taken ill of the sweating sickness. On of those carried off by the epidemic was Sir William Compton, who held the constableship of Warwick Castle and other important offices in that part of the country. On the death of Sir William Compton, Sir George Throckmorton of Coughton sought to become sheriff and custos rotulorum of Worcestershire, steward of the see of Worcester and under treasurer of England.
Gentility: Son of Sir Edmund Compton, a Knight.

Position:
Chief Ranger of Windsor Great Park, Groom of the Stole/Stool (the gentleman in charge of the King's personal toilet and Keeper of the Privy Purse) - see :
Worst Jobs in Tudor Times (Part 2), Chief Gentleman of the Bedchamber, Usher of the Black Rod, Constableship of Warwick Castle, Chancellor of Ireland (although he never set foot there)

Sir Bernard Burke (genealogist) states : 'This great man, one of the most eminent of his time, had estates in 20 counties in England'

As a result of this lifelong friendship, Henry VIII gave William, who was also to become a military hero, many rewards, amongst them the ruinous Fulbroke Castle from which Compton Wynates, the Compton family home was built. (see below)

Personality type:
Sympathetic, gentle confidant of the King's circle of friends. Always ready to hear others' problems and give gentle advice.

Signature look:
'Soigné'--having a look that is always stylish and elegant (well 'put together'); tall, blond and slender; graceful.

Endearing Traits: Gentle; soft-spoken; kind; intelligent and perceptive. Good sense of humor.

Annoying Traits:



William Compton as played by Kris Holden-Reid
Kris Holden-Reid as William Compton



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CHARACTER CONNECTIONS


Family members:
Father: Sir Edmund Compton (1440-1491)
Mother: Joan Aylworth
Paternal grandfather: Robert de Compton
Sister: Elizabeth Compton (b. 1489), m. 1st: Walter Rodney, son John married Anne Mordaunt, daughter of John Mordaunt, 1st Baron of Turvey and Elizabeth de Vere. 2nd: Sir John Chaworth, no issue.


Wives:
1st: Warburga Brereton (b. 1488), daughter of John Brereton and Catherine Berkeley; 2nd wife of Francis Cheney.

2nd: Elizabeth Stonor (d. 1560), daughter of Sir Walter Stonor and Anne Foliot

Children by Warburga:
Son: Peter Compton (1508/1522-1544), married Anne Talbot, daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury and his second wife, Elizabeth. Had issue.
Daughter: Catherine Compton


Romances:
Musician Thomas Tallis on the show *There is no known historical record of this
*
Associated with Ann Stafford (Anna Buckingham), Lady Hastings (possibly on Henry's behalf) - in the series she is fictionally portrayed as his common-law wife who grieves over his body and then contracts the sweating sickness herself and dies.

Friends:
King Henry VIII
Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk
Anthony Knivert
Thomas Tallis
Earl of Shrewsbury

Enemies:
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey



UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTER QUOTES


  • "You think, just not with your head." (Episode 5- Showtime)
  • "No, I was just listening. You have such a talent. Orpheus himself would be jealous, I think" (Episode 5- Showtime)
  • "You know very well she's not my wife. I never believed that love should be bound by doctrine."
  • "Your Majesty, may I make a suggestion? Forget the court! Let's go to the woods. Let's go for a hunt, like we used to do."
  • "Say yes........Say yes."


DEFINING EPISODES | MEMORABLE SCENES

  • Episode 5- Compton meets Brandon at a tavern and first finds out that Brandon has married Princess Margaret.
  • Episode 6- Brandon suggests that he and Henry go for a hunt. When Anne Boleyn joins them, he first realizes how much the King is in love.

PHOTOS

William Compton as played by Kris Holden-Reid
William Compton as played by Kris Holden-Reid
Elizabeth Stonor (wife of William Compton)
ELIZABETH STONOR
(d. 25 Aug 1560)
Holbein’s drawing of “Lady Hobbei” was done
about 1539 and is in the Royal Library at Windsor.


Elizabeth Stonor was the daughter of Sir Walter Stonor (d.1550), Lord Lieutenant of the Tower, and Anne Foliot. There is some confusion over her first marriage, but she seems to have been the second wife of Sir William Compton (d.1528) and then married Walter Walshe (d.1538), a courtier by whom she had Walter, Margaret, Frances, and possibly other children, in 1529. After Walshe’s death, she married Sir Philip Hoby (1505-May 29,1558) in 1540. She was part of Queen Catherine Parr’s inner circle.

Compton Wynates - home of William Compton
Compton Wynates, where the Compton family still lives to this day. Compton Wynyates was built from the ruins of Fulbroke Castle, which was given to William by Henry.
King Henry VIII stayed many times at Compton Wynyates, and his bedroom window still retains the king's arms in a stained glass window. Henry's arms are combined with the arms of Aragon--the home country of his first Queen, Katherine. (some exterior shots were used in season 1)
Compton Wynates - 19th century
Romanticized 19th century picture of Compton Wynates



See also: The Tudors Cast | The Tudors Episode Guide







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