Wilmington, Spencer Compton, earl of

Wilmington, Spencer Compton, earl of, 1673?–1743, British politician. He was a member of Parliament (1695–1710, 1713–30) and served as speaker of the House of Commons (1715–27). He was paymaster general (1722–30) and in 1730 was created an earl and lord privy seal by Robert Walpole. He turned against Walpole in 1739 and after the latter's fall served briefly (1742–43) as chief minister. He was merely a figurehead, however, and took no active role in the government.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish History: Biographies