Northampton was the second son of George Compton, 4th Earl of Northampton, and Jane, daughter of Sir Stephen Fox. Prime Minister Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington, was his uncle and Henry Fox, 1st Baron Holland, his first cousin. He was elected to the House of Commons for Tamworth in January 1727, a seat he held until August of the same year and then represented Northampton from 1727 to 1754. He served briefly as a Lord of the Treasury in 1742. In 1754 he succeeded his elder brother in the earldom and entered the House of Lords.
Lord Northampton died childless in December 1758 and was succeeded in his titles by his nephew Charles.