Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MOMPENSSON, Roger, jurist, born in England; died in New York or New Jersey in March, 1715. He is supposed to have been the son of Reverend William Mompesson, who was rector of Eyam, Derbyshire, England, during the plague of 1666. Roger became a barrister-at-law, and served as recorder of Southampton and as a member of two parliaments. Becoming involved, it is said, by engagements to pay some of his father's debts, he found it convenient, in April, 1703, to accept from the king the appointment of judge of the vice-admiralty for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and thus commissioned, early in 1704, came to Pennsylvania in company with the younger William Penn and Governor Evans. He was almost immediately thereafter appointed one of the councillors of Pennsylvania, and later in the same year became the seventh chief justice of New York and shortly afterward chief justice of New Jersey. In 1705 he entered the provincial councils of both New York and New Jersey, retaining offme in the former colony until his death. In 1706 he was appointed chief justice of Pennsylvania, but it is doubtful whether he ever presided there. He was a warm partisan of Lord Cornbury, as such made himself obnoxious to the people of New Jersey, and in 1709 resigned the office of chief justice rather than be removed, but; later in the same year he was restored to the office by his old friend, Governor Ingolsby. In 1710 he surrendered his commission to Governor Hunter, lint retained the chief justiceship of New York until his death. Mompesson was a lawyer of ability, and as a jurist was no doubt one of the ablest of his time. Governor Hunter wrote of him as being "a person of alfility and great knowledge of the laws," while at a later period he charged him with ingratitude. In 1709, in a petition to the lords of trade, he claimed that he had "brought the courts of said province [New York] more form-able to the practice of Westminster hall than any other of her majesty's plantations in America."' Mompesson married a daughter of William Pin-home, his colleague on the bench in New York.
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