The Rowers of Vanity Fair/Compton AF

Compton, Alwyne Frederick edit

“North Bedfordshire” (Spy), April 3, 1902 edit


Born in the year of the Crimean War, he is naturally warlike; as he has shown in the Bedfordshire Yeomanry (of which he is Major) and in the House of Commons (to which he was returned by the Biggleswadians of Bedfordshire some years ago). For he has served with Compton’s Horse in South Africa, and has earned Mention in Despatches in spite of the fact that he is the third son of the fourth Marquess of Northampton. Naturally, of course, he joined the Foot Guards when he left Eton; and thence he migrated to the 10th Hussars and served in the Soudan Campaign of 1884-5 (when he got a Medal and a Star). As a wholesome Unionist, he began his political life by turning out the great G.W.R. (author of “Chestnuts”) from the representation of the Biggleswade onions [sic]; but between whiles he turned his sword into a Stock Exchange Year-Book, and still pervades Capel Court when not legislating for Bedfordshire. It is true that he does not often address Mr. Speaker, but, being goaded into action by the Leader of the House on the Vote of Censure, he lately read an edifying speech to the alleged Leader of the Opposition. He occasionally attends the Service Members’ Committee, though he is not always in time for Prayers; he cultivates a malmaison in his buttonhole, and he is the husband of a sportsman’s daughter.

Alwyne Frederick Compton (1855-1911) rowed in the Trial Eights at Eton with J.E. Bankes in 1872. In 1877, he rowed No. 3 for the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in the Grand with H.F. Eaton and Alexander Fuller-Acland-Hood.

He lost his Parliamentary seat in 1906 but was returned in 1910 for the Brentford Division of Middlesex, only to resign a short time later for ill health.