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Stradling, Thomas (DNB00)


STRADLING, Sir THOMAS (1498?–1571), knight, born about 1498, was the eldest son of Sir Edward Stradling (d. 1535) of St. Donat's, Glamorganshire, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Arundel of Lanherne, Cornwall.

The family traced its descent from Sir William de Esterlinge, an alleged Norman companion of Robert Fitzhamon in his conquest of Glamorgan (cf. Clark, Land of Morgan, p. 18; and Freeman, Norman Conquest, v. 110, 820). This story is the basis of the earliest known pedigree which was compiled in 1572 by Sir Edward Stradling [q. v.] (see Powel, Historie of Cambria, London, 1584, p. 137; Merrick, Morganiæ Archaiographia—pedigree written in 1578—edit. 1887, pp. 78–82). More probably the family came from Warwickshire (Dugdale, Warwickshire, ed. Thomas, i. 572, 576; Clark, Cartæ et Munimenta de Glamorgan, iv. 67). Sir Harry Stradling, Sir Thomas's great-grandfather, married Elizabeth, sister of William Herbert, first earl of Pembroke [q. v.] In 1477 he went to Jerusalem, where he received the order of the Sepulchre, but died, on his way home, at Cyprus (Dwnn, Her. Vis. i. 158; Clark, Views of the Castle of St. Donat's, pp. 7–11; Merrick, op. cit. p. 80).

Sir Thomas Stradling was the eldest of some dozen brothers, ‘most of them bastards,’ who had ‘no living but by extortion and pilling of the king's subjects’ (Cal. Letters Papers and Henry VIII, v. 140, vi. 300). He was sheriff of Glamorganshire in 1547–8, was knighted 17 Feb. 1549, and was appointed with others a muster-master of the queen's army and a commissioner for the marches of Wales in 1553. He was M.P. for East Grinstead 1553, and for Arundel 1554, and on 8 Feb. 1557–8 he was joined with Sir Thomas Pope [q. v.] and others in a commission then issued for the suppression of heresy (Burnet, Reformation, ii. 536, v. 469).

Stradling was a staunch Roman catholic, and was arrested early in 1561 on the charge that in 1560 he had caused four pictures to be made of the likeness of a cross as it appeared in the grain of a tree blown down in his park at St. Donat's. He was released, after he had been kept ‘of a long time’ a prisoner in the Tower, on his giving a bond for a thousand marks, dated 15 Oct. 1563, for his personal appearance when called upon (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–80, p. 176, Addenda, 1547–65, pp. 510, 512; Froude, Hist. vii. 339; Nicholas Harpsfield, Dialogi Sex, Antwerp, 1566, 4to, pp. 504 et seq.; cf. Archæologia Cambrensis, 3rd ser. xi. 33–48; and Clark, Castle of St. Donat's, pp. 14–17). In 1569 Stradling refused to subscribe the declaration for observance of the Act of Uniformity, pleading that his bond was a sufficient guarantee of his conformity (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–80, p. 361). He died in 1571, and was buried in the private chapel added by him to the parish church of St. Donat's. His will, dated 19 Dec. 1566, was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in May 1571.

By his wife Catherine, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Gamage of Coity, Glamorganshire, Stradling had, besides other children, Edward [q. v.] and a daughter Damascin, who died in the spring of 1567 at Cafra in Spain, whither she had gone as companion to Jane Dormer, duchess of Feria [q. v.] (Stradling Correspondence, pp. 342–7; Sir J. Stradling, Epigrams, p. 25).

[In addition to the authorities cited, see Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 50 n.; Collins's Baronetage, ed. 1720, pp. 32–4, which is followed in G. T. Clark's Limbus Patrum Morganiæ, p. 436; Taliesin Williams's Doom of Colyn Dolphyn. For genealogical particulars of the earlier Stradlings, see also the manuscript collections of Glamorgan pedigrees at the Cardiff Free Library, including an autograph volume by John Aubrey in which the Stradling coat of arms is emblazoned.]

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