Compton was the posthumous son of Peter Compton of Compton Wynyates and his wife Anne, daughter of George Talbot, 4th Earl of Shrewsbury, and the grandson of Sir William Compton. He was trained in the law at Gray's Inn (1563). He succeeded his father in 1544 and was knighted in 1567.
He was elected a Member (MP) of the Parliament of England for Old Sarum in 1563 and was appointed High Sheriff of Warwickshire for 1571–72. In 1572 he was summoned to the House of Lords as Baron Compton, of Compton in the County of Warwick. After his ennoblement Lord Compton was one of the peers at the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1586.
He married, firstly, Frances, daughter of Francis Hastings, 2nd Earl of Huntingdon and Katherine Pole, with whom he had one son. He married, secondly, Anne, daughter of Sir John Spencer and Katherine Kitson, with whom he had a further two sons. Lord Compton died in December 1589, aged 45, and was succeeded in the barony by his son from his first marriage, William, who was created Earl of Northampton in 1618. A younger son, Thomas, was the third husband of Mary Villiers, Countess of Buckingham, mother of the great royal favourite George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.
- Brodie, Robert Henry (1887). "Compton, William (1482?-1528)". In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 11. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 452–453.
- "The Compendious Peerage of England ... With the Arms Finely Engraved, and a Genealogical Account of the Noble Family of Compton, Earl of Northampton". The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure. London: John Hinton. 46: 37���40. January 1770.
- Davidson, Alan; Hasler, P. W. (1981). "Compton, Henry I (1544-89), of Compton Wyniates, Warws. and Tottenham, Mdx.". In Hasler, P. W. (ed.). The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603. Historyofparliamentonline.org. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,[page needed]
|Peerage of England|
|New creation|| Baron Compton