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Compton Family Papers

Identifier: comf

Scope and Contents

Legal and other papers (some parchment) plus correspondence of the Compton Family, orignally of Paignton in Devon, England. Deposited by A. H. Angelo November 15, 1991.

Brief listing as follows:

17-- 6 docs, brother's letters etc.

17-- 13 docs, brown envelope

c.1772 (3 docs)

1772 Indenture

[Names mentioned in the 18th century papers above include James Compton, Ian Compton, Charles Spencer Compton and Samuel Compton].

18-- c. 30 docs - string tied

1803 Brown paper bundle - about 60 docs, plus blue envelope containing about 20 docs

1806-1816 (10 docs; 4 parchment docs)

1839 [unclear - Amy Stabb?]

[Papers from the earlier part of the 19th century relate to Lieutenant Richard Compton (d. 1856), and are primarily regarding his administration of the will and effects of Grace Compton, a spinster aunt of either he or his wife (Christian Mary Compton)].

1855-1858 Entry into Royal Mail (6 docs)

1858 (18 docs, wills etc.)

1859-1872 Certificates of Conduct and Copies (2 sets)

1859-1877 RN-qualify-retirement

1878-1900 Sierra Leone papers - tied with red - (10 sets or docs)

1886-1900 Sierra Leone - about 17 docs

[Papers from the latter part of the 19th century relate primarily to the career John Nicholas Compton (probably the son of Richard and Christian) who spent some time in Sierra Leone as a Commander of governmental paddle steamers. There are also letters addressed to the 'Misses Compton', and papers relating to Christian Compton's handling of business affairs after her husband Richard's death].

27 docs - Bill for meadows - insurance etc. London Gazette 1899 + 1 doc (2)

1927 + 1932 J. A. Allen - will and codicil


  • 1746-1932
  • Majority of material found within 1746 - 1932

Access and use

Access is freely available in the J.C.Beaglehole Room for research and private study. For any use beyond this, please contact the J.C.Beaglehole Room ( in the first instance.

Biographical / Historical

The core of the family mentioned within the papers hailed from Paignton in Devon, England. The papers are primarily legal and financial (wills, certificates, insurance policies, bank receipts) along with some related correspondence (there is much about the settling of estates of various deceased, and the division of assets amongst living family members).

The family appear to have been reasonably well-to-do given the amounts of money mentioned in the documents, and there is some evidence to show that they leased out orchards, shops and houses around Paignton.

A large chunk of the correspondence is both to and from Lieutenant Richard Compton (d. 1856) regarding his administration and settling of the effects of Grace Compton, a spinster aunt of either he or his wife (Christian Mary Compton). Lt. Richard appears to have been popular as an administrator of wills among the family as he also managed the effects of his brother Nicholas Compton; a Mr Thomas Compton (unknown connection, died in India); and Mr George Stabb (also an unknown connection).

The children of Richard and Christian Compton as named in a document are Elizabeth, Anne and John Nicholas, although there may have been more. Other names mentioned among the documents are that of Nicholas Compton and John Compton (brothers of Richard), Helen Compton (cousin of Richard), Ellen Compton (another cousin possibly), and Henry Compton (executor of Richard's will).

The other large section of the documents relate to John Nicholas Compton (presumably the son), who spent time in Sierra Leone as a Commander of governmental paddle steamers.


35 linear_centimeters

Language of Materials


J C Beaglehole Room - archives and manuscripts
Edited Full Draft
Aisha Le Frantz
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid is written inEnglish
Edition statement
XML EAD edition

Repository Details

Part of the J C Beaglehole Room, Victoria University of Wellington Library Repository

P O Box 3438
Wellington 6140 New Zealand
+64 4 4635681