Thomas Strangways (1643–1713)

Last updated

Melbury House, chromolithograph in Morris's Country Seats, 1880 Melbury House Dorset Morris edited.jpg
Melbury House, chromolithograph in Morris's Country Seats, 1880

Thomas Strangways (1643–1713) of Melbury House in Melbury Sampford near Evershot, Dorset [1] was an English landowner and Tory politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons between 1673 and 1713. As a militia colonel he was active in opposing the Monmouth rebellion. For his last nine years in Parliament, he was the longest sitting member of the House of Commons (Father of the House).

Contents

Early life

Arms of Strangways: Sable, two lions passant paly of six argent and gules StrangwaysArms.svg
Arms of Strangways: Sable, two lions passant paly of six argent and gules

Strangways was born in 1643, the fourth but second surviving son of Giles Strangways (1615-1675), MP of Melbury Sampford and his wife Susanna Edwards, daughter of Thomas Edwards, Mercer, of London and Fair Crouch, Wadhurst, Dorset. He matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford on 6 June 1660. [2] He was Captain of the Dorset foot militia by 1671 and became colonel in 1675. On 19 January 1675 he married Susan Ridout, daughter and heiress of John Ridout of Frome, Somerset. He succeeded his brother John in 1676, inheriting the Melbury Sampford estate, where he extended Melbury House. [3]

Career

Strangways’ father obtained the reversion of the post of Clerk of the Pells, an Exchequer sinecure for him in 1673 and nominated him as Country party candidate at by-elections for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis on 31 January 1673 and for Poole on 3 February 1673. Strangways was defeated in both by-elections, but was returned as Member of Parliament for Poole at another by-election on 3 March 1673 through an electoral bargain with Lord Chancellor Shaftesbury. At the 1679 general elections, he was returned as MP for Dorset his family's pocket borough and was also successful in returning supporters at four other Dorset constituencies. He was returned again at the general elections in 1681 and 1685. [3]

After the Duke of Monmouth landed at Lyme, Strangways' militia regiment was engaged by the rebels at Bridport and his brother, Wadham Strangways, was killed in the skirmish. His regiment rendered useful service during the rebellion, but King James was unwilling to reward him with the Clerkship of the Pells for the support, which made him uneasy. His concerns increased in the light of the King's religious policy and from his responses to the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws, he lost his local offices, and King James agents were seeking to replace him in Parliament. Nevertheless he was slow to take sides with William of Orange until the Prince arrived in the country when he was one of the Dorset leaders to welcome him. He was returned to the Convention at the 1689 English general election and served on the elections committee. [3]

Strangways was a leader of the Tories in Dorset, and was returned unopposed at the 1690 English general election. Though generally acting with the Country party, he was sometimes seen as a Court Tory. He took several leaves of absence during the Parliament. Returned again at the 1695 English general election, he refused to sign the Association in February 1696 and voted against fixing the price of guineas at 22s in March. He voted against the attainder of Sir John Fenwick on 25 November 1696. In 1698 he tried to claim the post of Clerk of the Pells for which his father had purchased the reversion, but was unsuccessful. He was returned as a Tory at the 1698 English general election and was expected to oppose the standing army in October. He was returned again at the two general elections in 1701 and was blacklisted for opposing preparations for war with France. On 26 February 1702 he supported the motion to vindicate the Commons’ proceedings in impeaching William III’s ministers in the previous session. [4]

Strangways was returned again at the 1702 English general election and voted on 13 February 1703 against the Lords’ amendments to the bill regarding the time to take the oath of abjuration. He also voted for the tack on 28 November 1704, in spite of lobbying by Robert Harley. He was returned at the 1705 English general election and voted against the Court candidate for Speaker on 25 October 1705. He seconded a motion to make further provision for the Duke of Marlborough, and was appointed to the committee to bring in a bill for settling on the Duke a pension of £5,000 p.a. [4]

For his last nine in Parliament, Strangways was the Father of the House being the longest serving member. At the 1708 British general election, he was returned as a Tory and voted against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell in 1710. After the 1710 British general election, he was classed as a Hanoverian Tory and was a member of the October Club. He was one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who detected the mismanagements of the previous administration. He obtained leave of absence on the grounds of ill-health on 8 April 1712 and stood down at the 1713 British general election in favour of his son Thomas. [4]

Death and legacy

Strangways died on 21 December 1713. By his wife Susan, he had five sons (three of whom predeceased him) and four daughters. His children included:

Related Research Articles

Stephen Fox-Strangways, 1st Earl of Ilchester Earl of Ilchester

Stephen Fox-Strangways, 1st Earl of Ilchester PC was a British peer and Member of Parliament.

Sir James Long, 2nd Baronet English politician

Sir James Long, 2nd Baronet was an English politician and Royalist soldier.

Thomas Erle English army general and politician

Lieutenant-General Thomas Erle PC of Charborough, Dorset was an English army general and Whig politician who sat in the House of Commons of England and of Great Britain from 1678 to 1718. He was Governor of Portsmouth and a Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance.

Sir James Long, 5th Baronet was an English landowner and Tory politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons between 1695 and 1729.

Lewis Dyve English politician

Sir Lewis Dyve (1599–1669) was an English Member of Parliament and a Royalist adherent during the English Civil War. His surname is sometimes also spelt Dive or Dives.

Sir Roger Mostyn, 3rd Baronet, of Mostyn Hall, Holywell, Flintshire, was a Welsh Tory politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons for 25 years from 1701 to 1735.

Melbury House Grade I listed house in West Dorset, United Kingdom

Melbury House in the parish of Melbury Sampford near Evershot, Dorset, has been the seat of the Strangways family of Dorset since the estate was acquired in 1500 from William Browning by Sir Henry Strangways (c.1465-1504) who had married his widow. The mediaeval manor house of the Browning family was rebuilt after 1546 by Henry's great-grandson Sir Giles Strangways (1528-1562) using ham stone from a quarry nine miles away. Though Sir Giles lived extravagantly and encumbered his considerable estate with debts at his premature death, at Melbury he built a conservative house, "a courtyard with no frills", as Mark Girouard described it, "apart from the one gesture of its tower". This remarkable feature, a hexagonal tower, rises near the intersection of three ranges of buildings, filled above the level of adjoining roofbeams with banks of tall arched windows of many leaded panes that offer views in every direction over the rolling landscape of the park and the countryside beyond. Its roof has mock battlements.

John Strangways (died 1666) English politician, died 1666

Sir John Strangways of Melbury House, Melbury Sampford, Somerset, and of Abbotsbury in Dorset, was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1614 and 1666. He supported the Royalist side in the English Civil War.

Giles Strangways English politician

Giles Strangways of Melbury House in Somerset, was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1640 and 1675. He fought on the Royalist side during the Civil War

George Horner (died 1707) politician

George Horner of Mells Manor in Somerset, was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1685 and 1689.

John Strangways (died 1676) English politician

John Strangways was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1661 to 1676.

Giles Strangways (died 1546) 16th-century English politician

Sir Giles Strangways, of Melbury House, Melbury Sampford, and of Abbotsbury, both in Dorset, was an English politician.

Giles Strangways (1528–1562) English politician

Sir Giles Strangways, of Melbury Sampford, Dorset, was five times MP for Dorset in 1553, 1554, 1555, 1558 and 1559.

John Young (died 1589) English politician

Sir John Young, of The Great House, Bristol, of London and of Melbury Sampford, Dorset, was an English politician.

John Snell, of Gloucester, was an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1713 to 1726.

Sir Edward Ernle, 3rd Baronet English politician

Sir Edward Ernle, 3rd Baronet of Charborough in Dorset, of Brimslade Park and Etchilhampton, both in Wiltshire, was an English Whig politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons between 1695 and 1729. He had mixed fortunes in finding or holding a seat and often depended on his father-in-law to bring him into his own seat at Wareham when a vacancy arose.

Elizabeth Fox, Countess of Ilchester born 1723

Elizabeth Fox, Countess of Ilchester (c.1723–1792), née Elizabeth Horner, was the wife of Stephen Fox-Strangways, 1st Earl of Ilchester.

John Browning (died 1416) English politician (c.1369-1416) of Melbury Sampford, Dorset and Leigh near Deerhurst, Glos

John Browning of Melbury Sampford in Dorset and of Leigh near Deerhurst, Gloucestershire, was thrice a member of Parliament for Gloucestershire, in 1397, 1401 and 1414.

John Pugh of Mathafarn, Llanwrin, Montgomeryshire, was a British lawyer and Tory politician who sat in the English and British House of Commons from 1705 to 1727.

Thomas Strangways Horner British Member of Parliament (1688-1741)

Thomas Strangways Horner (1688–1741), of Mells, Somerset and Melbury, Dorset, was a British landowner and Tory politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1713 and 1741.

References

  1. Melbury House (map)
  2. Foster, Joseph. "Stermont-Synge in Alumni Oxonienses 1500-1714 pp.1422-1452". British History Online. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 "STRANGWAYS, Thomas (1643-1713), of Melbury Sampford, Dorset". History of Parliament Online (1690-1715). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 "STRANGWAYS, Thomas I (1643-1713), of Melbury Sampford, Dorset". History of Parliament Online (1715-1754). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  5. HORNER, Thomas (1688-1741), of Mells, Som. and Melbury, Dorset.


Parliament of England
Preceded by
George Cooper
(Sir) John Morton
Member of Parliament for Poole
1673
With: (Sir) John Morton
Succeeded by
Henry Trenchard
Thomas Chafin
Preceded by
John Strode
Thomas Browne
Member of Parliament for Dorset
1679–1707
With: Thomas Freke 1679-1701
Thomas Trenchard 1701-1702
Thomas Chafin 1702-1707
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Christopher Musgrave, 4th Baronet
Father of the House
1704–1707
Succeeded by
Final Father of the House of the Parliament of England
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Parliament of England
Member of Parliament for Dorset
1707–1713
With: Thomas Chafin 1707-1711
Richard Bingham 1711-1713
Succeeded by
George Chafin
Thomas Strangways II
Preceded by
First Father of the House of the Parliament of Great Britain
Father of the House
1707–1713
Succeeded by
Richard Onslow