1651, the commander of Tilbury fort complains of inadequate armaments

Transcription from ‘Petitions in the State Papers: 1650s’, in Petitions in the State Papers, 1600-1699, ed. Brodie Waddell, British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/petitions/state-papers/1650s


Colonel George Crompton. SP 18/15 f. 26 (1651)

To the right honourable the councell of state.

The humble petition of Colonell George Crompton

[Sheweth?] that whereas your honors have bene pleased to conferr upon him soe great a trust as the chardge and comaund of your forts of Tilbury and Gravesend.

And whereas there is great want of supplies of armes, amunition and other warlike provisions, with necessary repaires of the workes and fort of Tilbury (as by the paper annexed may appeare.)

Your petitioner (to the end he may be enabled faithfully to discharge his said trust according to your honours expectacion and his owne desires) humblie prayeth that yow will be pleased to take the premisses into your consideracion and to give such order for the said supplies as in your grave wisdomes shall be thought meete.

And your petitioner shall ever pray etc

G: Crompton

Report by David Moffatt

Colonel George Crompton was appointed commander of Tilbury and Gravesend forts. He is petitioning for the resources to adequately repair and arm the fort at Tilbury.

Tilbury Fort

The fort, on the North bank of the Thames, was established by Henry VIII in 1539 to protect London from attack[1] firstly from France and later, during Elizabeth’s reign from the Spanish Armada. It was also used by the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War to control London. After the threat of a Dutch invasion in 1667 it was extended again and by 1700 there were 100 guns there.[2] Gravesend Fort was on the other side of the river and there was a ferry crossing between the two.

George Crompton

In September 1650 Colonel George Crompton was appointed to be Governor of the fort at Tilbury for a payment of 10 shillings per day.[3] The responsibilities were to protect the entrance to the Thames and to inspect all ships attempting to enter the Pool of London.

Several sources show his role in Parliamentary efforts in the 1640s and 50s. In March and September 1647 Crompton along with several others was authorised by Parliament to form and train a body of men to suppress and rebellions and insurrections.[4] In 1659 Crompton was appointed as one of 35 Commissioners for Essex by the Long Parliament required them to assemble all fit to bear arms and cause them to be armed, arrayed, weaponed and formed into troops and regiments.[5]



[1] Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilbury_Fort

[2] Tilbury Fort http://www.beyondthepoint.co.uk/property/tilbury-fort/

[3] ‘House of Commons Journal Volume 6: 26 September 1650’, in Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 6, 1648-1651 (London, 1802), pp. 473-474. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/commons-jrnl/vol6/pp473-474

[4] ‘September 1647: An Ordinance for a Committee of Militia for the City of Westminster, the Savoy, Clements Danes, Giles in the Fields, Andrews Holborn, Sepulchres, James Clerkenwel, Mary Islington, and Giles Creplegate in the County of Middlesex.’, in Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660, ed. C H Firth and R S Rait (London, 1911), pp. 1011-1012. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/acts-ordinances-interregnum/pp1011-1012 .

March 1649: An Act of the Commons Assembled in Parliament, For setling the Militia of the City of Westminster, and Liberties thereof, etc.’, in Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660, ed. C H Firth and R S Rait (London, 1911), pp. 20-23. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/acts-ordinances-interregnum/pp20-23.

[5] The Essex Regiment http://www.essexregiment.co.uk/mil1659.html