Based on a minor historical figure of the same name, he is portrayed by Kristen Holden-Ried. The historical Compton was a page to Henry VIII of England and ultimately rose in rank in the court and became one of Henry's best friends.
All the King's menEdit
As The Tudors begins, King Henry VIII of England's closest companions are longtime friends Charles Brandon, Anthony Knivert and William Compton. Henry's favouritism toward these "common-born" men angers the noble-born Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. In "Episode 4", Compton is knighted Sir William Compton, alongside Knivert.
In an early episode, Compton deflects Knivert's suggestion that they find some women to sleep with; "Episode 5" reveals why when Compton, though married, shows romantic interest in young composer Thomas Tallis. At first Tallis, who has himself shown disinterest in women in a previous episode, refuses Compton's advances. Still, he does not pull away when Compton kisses him; later in the episode they are shown in bed together, Tallis quietly composing music as Compton sleeps.
In "Episode 6", Compton and Tallis spend time together at Compton Wynyates, Compton's house in Warwickshire, England; Compton is unhappy that Tallis will be accompanying Cardinal Wolsey on a journey to France. Later, a despondent Compton watches quietly as Henry frolics with Anne Boleyn at a picnic.
Compton is the first to die from the devastating "sweating sickness" in "Episode 7." Compton's common-law wife Ann Hastings grieves, and tells a returning Tallis where her husband is buried. Tallis cries at the grave, smashing his lute over the marker. The King mourns his friend's death; Ann Hastings is soon dead herself.