Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Strickland, Walter

STRICKLAND, WALTER (fl. 1640–1660), politician, a younger son of Walter Strickland (d. 1636) of Boynton, Yorkshire, by his wife Frances, daughter of Peter Wentworth of Lillingstone Lovel, Oxfordshire, and niece of Sir Francis Walsingham, was admitted to Gray's Inn on 18 Aug. 1618 (Foster, Gray's Inn Reg. p. 152). In August 1642 the Long parliament chose him as their agent to the States-General of the United Provinces to complain of the assistance given by the Prince of Orange to Charles I (Green, Letters of Henrietta Maria, p. 102; Clarendon, Rebellion, vi. 176, 204). He remained in Holland until 1648, and was given a salary of 400l. per annum (Commons' Journals, iv. 225, v. 494). Strickland's instructions and his letters to parliament are printed in the ‘Journals of the House of Lords’ (vi. 331, 452, 619, viii. 15, 205, &c.; see also Cary, Memorials of the Civil Wa, i. 165, 226, 303, 309, 340; Report on the Duke of Portland's Manuscripts, i. 112, 117, 253). In July 1648 he was ordered to accompany the Earl of Warwick to sea, and in September following to return to his post in Holland (Lords' Journals, x. 397; Commons' Journals, vi. 21). His salary was raised by the Commonwealth to 600l. per annum (ib. vi. 123). Strickland's post was by no means free from peril, as the fate of his colleague, Dr. Dorislaus, proved, and he was frequently threatened with a similar death (Cary, ii. 104, 131, 155). He was recalled from Holland on 21 June 1650, and thanked by parliament for his services on 2 Aug. On 23 Jan. 1651 parliament selected Strickland to accompany Oliver St. John (1598?–1673) [q. v.] in his famous embassy to Holland to negotiate a close alliance, and, if possible, a political union between the two commonwealths (Whitelocke, Memorials, iii. 287; Gardiner, History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate, i. 357–65). Their mission was a failure, and on 20 June the two ambassadors took leave of the States-General; they received the thanks of parliament, and gave the house a narrative of their proceedings on 2 July 1651 (Commons' Journals, vi. 527, 595; for the letters of the ambassadors see Thurloe Papers, i. 174–93; Report on the Duke of Portland's MSS. i. 557–608).

Strickland's career in domestic politics, which now begins, opened with his election as member for Minehead about 1645. On 10 Feb. 1651 he was elected a member of the third council of state of the Commonwealth; in the fourth council he did not sit, but he was elected to the fifth on 25 Nov. 1652 (Commons' Journals, vi. 533, vii. 220). When Cromwell expelled the Long parliament, Strickland was one of the four civilians who sat in the council of thirteen elected by the army; he was also a member of the Little parliament and of the two councils of state which it appointed. He was in both the councils of state appointed during the Protectorate, and consequently was popularly described as Lord Strickland. In 1654 he was made captain of the grey-coated foot-guards, who waited upon the Protector at Whitehall (Cromwelliana, pp. 141, 143; Harleian Miscellany, iii. 477). He sat in the parliament of 1654 as member for the East Riding of Yorkshire, and for Newcastle in that of 1656. In December 1657 the Protector summoned him to his House of Lords.

There is very little evidence to determine Strickland's political views. Two speeches delivered in the parliament of 1655 show that, while he detested the views of James Nayler [q. v.], the quaker, he had juster views of the power of the house to punish such offences than most of his colleagues (Burton, Parliamentary Diary, i. 56, 87). Ludlow records an argument which he had with Strickland on the power of the sword and on the difference between the Long parliament and the Protectorate (Memoirs, ii. 13, ed. 1894). In February 1657 he opposed the introduction of the petition and advice, but he was not generally considered hostile to the offer of the crown to Cromwell (Commons' Journals, vii. 496).

Strickland was one of the council of Richard Cromwell, but this did not prevent him from taking his seat in the restored Long parliament and accepting the republic. He was a member of the committee of safety appointed by the army on 26 Oct. 1659, and when the Long parliament was again reinstated, it summoned him to answer for his conduct (Ludlow, Memoirs, ii. 131, 173, 201; Commons' Journals, vii. 820). He was not held dangerous, and at the restoration of Charles II escaped without any penalty.

Strickland married Dame Anne Morgan, who is said to have been a daughter of Sir Charles Morgan, governor of Bergen-op-Zoom. She was naturalised by act of parliament on 18 Feb. 1651 (Clarendon, Rebellion, xii. 3, ed. Macray; Commons' Journals, vi. 535).

Sir William Strickland (1596?–1673), politician, elder brother of the above, was born about 1596 (Foster, Yorkshire Pedigrees, vol. ii. ‘Strickland of Boynton’). He was admitted to Gray's Inn on 21 May 1617 (Foster, Gray's Inn Register, p. 145). He was knighted by Charles I on 24 June 1630, and created a baronet on 29 July 1641 (Metcalfe, Book of Knights, p. 191; Deputy-keeper of Public Records, 47th Rep. p. 135). In the Long parliament he represented the borough of Hedon, and vigorously supported the parliamentary cause in Yorkshire. Sir John Hotham wrote to the speaker in March 1643 saying that Strickland had been plundered by the royalists of goods to the value of 4,000l. (Report on the Duke of Portland's MSS. i. 41, 101). In July 1648, when Scarborough declared for the king, Strickland took refuge in Hull (ib. i. 491). He represented Yorkshire in the two parliaments of 1654 and 1656, and was summoned by Cromwell to his House of Lords (Bean, Parliamentary Representation of Yorkshire, pp. 709, 835). His speeches in 1656 show that he was a strict puritan; he spoke often for the punishment of James Nayler, and was eager to assert the privileges of the house against the Protector's intervention (Burton, Parliamentary Diary, i. 35, 51, 75, 79, 131, 169, 252, 275). An opposition pamphlet stigmatises him as ‘of good compliance with the new court, and for settling the Protector anew in all those things for which the king was cut off’ (‘Second Narrative of the Late Parliament,’ Harleian Miscellany, iii. 486). Strickland sat in the restored Long parliament in 1659, but took very little part in its proceedings (Masson, Life of Milton, v. 455, 544). At the Restoration he was not molested, and after it he retired altogether from public affairs. He died in 1673.

Strickland married twice: first, on 18 June 1622, Margaret, daughter of Sir Richard Cholmley of Whitby (she died in 1629) (Memoirs of Sir Hugh Cholmley, pp. 22, 29; Foster, London Marriage Licences, 1298); secondly, Frances Finch, eldest daughter of Thomas, first earl of Winchilsea.

[Foster's Yorkshire Pedigrees; Foster's Baronetage; Burke's Baronetage; Dugdale's Visitation of Yorkshire (Surtees Soc.) xxxvi. 112; Masson's Milton, passim.]

C. H. F.