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Stratford, Edward (DNB00)

STRATFORD, EDWARD, second Earl of Aldborough (d. 1801), was the eldest son of John Stratford of Baltinglass, by his wife Martha, daughter and coheiress of Benjamin O'Neal, archdeacon of Leighlin, co. Carlow. John Stratford was the grandson of Robert Stratford who came to Ireland before 1660, and is said to have sprung from a younger branch of the Stratfords of Warwickshire (Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. viii. 376, 424). John Stratford was created Baron of Baltinglass in 1763, Viscount Aldborough in 1776, and Viscount Amiens and Earl of Aldborough, shortly before his death on 29 June 1777.

Edward Stratford was widely known for his ability and eccentricity, which caused him to be termed the ‘Irish Stanhope.’ He was an ardent whig, and was elected member for Taunton to the British parliament in 1774, but was unseated with his colleague, Nathaniel Webb, on petition, on 16 March 1775, for bribery and corrupt practices. After that he represented Baltinglass in the Irish parliament until his father's death (Members of Parliament, ii. 154, App. p. xli; Commons' Journals, xxxv. 18, 146, 200). On 29 May 1777, while still Viscount Amiens, he was elected a member of the Royal Society. On 3 July 1777 the university of Oxford conferred on him the honorary degree of D.C.L. He built Stratford Place and Aldborough House in London, and in Ireland he founded the town of Stratford-upon-Slaney, besides greatly improving the borough of Baltinglass. He voted in favour of the union with England in 1800, and received compensation for the disfranchisement of Baltinglass (Cornwallis Correspondence, iii. 322). He died on 2 Jan. 1801 at Belan in Wicklow, and was buried in the vault of St. Thomas's Church, Dublin. He was twice married. His first wife, Barbara, daughter of Nicholas Herbert of Great Glemham, Suffolk, son of Thomas Herbert, eighth earl of Pembroke [q. v.], died on 11 April 1785, and on 24 March 1788 he married Anne Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir John Henniker, bart. (afterwards Lord Henniker). She brought him a fortune of 50,000l., which enabled him to free his estates from encumbrances. After his death his widow married George Powell in December 1801, and died on 14 July 1802. As Lord Aldborough died without children, his title and estates descended to his brother, John Stratford. Lord Aldborough was the author of ‘An Essay on the True Interests of the Empire,’ Dublin, 1783, 8vo.

[Gent. Mag. 1801, i. 90, 104; Ann. Reg. 1801, p. 63; Walker's Hibernian Magazine, 1801, p. 155; G. E. C[okayne]'s Peerage, i. 68; Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, ed. Archdall, iii. 338; Thomson's Hist. of the Royal Society, App. p. lvi; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886.]

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