Thompson was well known as an agriculturalist who helped found the Yorkshire Agricultural Society in 1837, becoming its President in 1862, and was one of the founders of the Royal Agricultural Society in 1838. He was also M.P. for Whitby from 1859, when he was elected in a by-election to 1865. In March 1874, shortly before his death, he was created the First Baronet Meysey-Thompson, of Kirby Hall, in the West Riding of the County of York. "Meysey" was Harry Thompson's grandmother's surname.
Thompson served the York and North Midland Railway until its amalgamation with several other railways in 1854, which created the North Eastern Railway (NER). He was then appointed to the first NER Board of Directors, which elected him to be the first Deputy Chairman; and in 1855, he was elected Chairman of the Board, in succession to James Pulleine. He remained Chairman and director until his retirement in February 1874.
He married Elizabeth Anne Croft, and their children included: Henry (1845–1929, who succeeded to his father's title); Albert (1848–1894); Charles (1849–1881); and Ernest (1859–1944) who became M.P. for Birmingham Handsworth from 1906 to 1922.
- "Harry Stephen Meysey-Thompson". genealogy.links.org. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "No. 24071". The London Gazette. 3 March 1874. p. 1453.
- "Sir Harry Stephen Meysey-Thompson, 1st Bt". www.thepeerage.com. 11 January 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- Tomlinson, W.W. (1915). The North Eastern Railway: its Rise and Development. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Andrew Reid and Company. pp. 770, 771. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "Thompson, Charles (THM868CM)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- "Meysey-Thompson, Ernest (MSY877EC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Harry Thompson
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 3)
- Politics and poetry: a blog post for National Poetry Day 2012 - at The Victorian Commons
| Chairman of the North Eastern Railway
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Whitby
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Baronet
(of Kirby Hall in the County of York)
March 1874 – May 1874