Dictionary of Welsh Biography

STRADLING family, Glam.

The Stradlings first appear on the British scene at the end of the l3th cent. They cannot be traced to Norman times. Their original home may have been Strattligen, near Thun, in Switzerland. They appear in the retinue of Sir Otto of Granson (or de Grandison), friend of Edward I, his captain in Anglesey during the wars against Llywelyn, and justiciar of North Wales for some years after 1284. Sir John DE STRATELINGES, STRADELINGES, Or ESTRATELINGES, also called Rousselet, was nephew to Sir Otto. He held lands in Berkshire and Warwickshire, and had interests in Ireland. He d. in 1293. MATILDA and MARGARET DE STRATELYNG accompanied the princess Margaret to Brabant in 1297. Sir PETER DE STRATELINGES was a Follower of Sir Otto, and he was the first to settle in Glamorgan. He m. JOAN DE HAWEY or HALWEIA, heiress of S. Donats, Combe Hawey in Somerset, and other estates in southern England. They were both in Ireland in 1298. He may have been the same person as the Sir Peter de Straddeley who was commanded to deliver Neath castle to Walter Hakelute in 1297.

The manor of S. Donats was held by JOHN DE STRATELYNGGE in 1314-5, but by 1316 the head of the family in Glamorgan and Somerset was EDWARD STRADLYNG, who was knighted in 1327. He had m. Ellen, daughter and heiress of Sir Gilbert Strongbow (brother to the earl of Pembroke), before 1317. He was ordered to seize the goods late of Hugh le Despenser in Glamorgan, 1330. In 1337 he witnessed a grant of lands in Glamorgan to the church of S. Mary, Tewkesbury. He held offices in Somerset and Dorset and was Member of Parliament for Somerset in 1343. He was one of the chief patrons of Neath abbey in the I4th cent., and the abbot and convent in 1341 undertook to keep his anniversary after his death. He held the manor of S. Donats in 1349, but it is difficult to distinguish between him and his son, EDWARD STRADLING, in the records of the middle of the l4th cent. He was alive in 1352 at least.

The son m. Gwenllian, daughter of Sir Roger Berkerolles and heiress of her brother Sir Lawrence. Their son, Sir WILLIAM STRADLING, was mainpernor for the prior of Ewenny in 1400, and was placed on a commission to inquire about the goods of Welsh rebels carried into Somerset and Dorset, 1403-5. He went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem in1408, and d. before 1412, for Combe Hawey was held by his widow, Elizabeth, in that year. According to G. T. Clark his wife was Isabel S. Barbe. His second son, Sir JOHN STRADLING, m. Joan, heiress of her brother Walter Dauntesey, without licence about 1417, and became head of the Wiltshire branch of the family, though he seems to have maintained associations with the diocese of Llandaff, where he was allowed to have a portable altar in 1428.

The heir was SIR EDWARD STRADLING who became prominent in South Wales and the west of England in the first half of the l5th cent. He held a variety of offices, being, for example, chamberlain and receiver of South Wales, 1423, sheriff of Somerset and Dorset, 1424, on a commission of oyer and terminer in Wales, 1424, on a commission to inquire into treasons done by Matthew ap Llewelyn Dduy, canoa of Talley, 1427, on a commission of oyer and terminer for treasons in Cardiganshire, 1431, acting in the absence of the chief justice of South Wales, 1431, on a commission to take custody of the priory of S. John the Evangelist at Carmarthen, 1431, sheriff of Carmarthenshire, 1438, and J.P. in Somerset, 1423-51. He appears to have been a friend of Humphrey, duke of Gloucester. Like his father and grandfather, he was styled Knight of the Sepulchre, and he d. in Jerusalem. His wife was Jane, daughter of cardinal Beaufort.

JOHN STRADLYNGE, receiver of Ogmore, 1462, may have been their son. The eldest son and heir was SIR HARRY STRADLING, who was captured by Colyn Dolphyn aad forced to sell portions of his estate in Glamorgan, Mon., and Oxon, to buy his freedom. He also went to Jerusalem, 1476-7, and d. on the island of Cyprus on his way home. He had m. Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William ap Thomas of Raglan. Jane, one of their daughters, m. Miles ap Harry, and had Blanche Parry (q.v.) as grand- daughter.

The heir, THOMAS STRADLINGE, d. 1480, under 26 years of age. His wife was Jenet daughter ofThomas Mathew of Radyr, and afterwards wife of Sir Rhys ap Thomas (q.v.). During this period the family became more prominent inWelsh life, and secured a place among the patrons of Glamorgan bards. By the marriage of one of the daughters of this THOMAS STRADLING to Sir William Griffith of Penrhyn (see Griffith of Penrhyn, in Appendix) the family took another step towards the centre of Welsh life. The heir was a minor. He was knighted at Tournai in 1513 as SIR EDWARD STRADLING. In 1488 it is reported that Sir Rhys ap Thomas had taken the profits of his lands for three years. Lewys Morganawg (q.v.) regarded himself as a household bard to this Sir Edward. He d. in 1535 leaving issue by his wife and by a concubine. His second son John was rector of Neath, 1551-69.

The heir was Sir Thomas Stradling. He was sheriff of Glamorgan 1547-8, Member of Parliament for East Grinstead, 1553, Arundel, I554 on the commission cf peace for the march shires, 1554, on a commission to inquire into heresies and seditious books, 1557, and muster-master of the queen's army, 1557. He was knighted in 1549. A staunch Romanist he did not change his religion on the accession of Elizabeth. In 1560 he was imprisoned in the Tower for causing pictures to be imade of a likeness of the cross which appeared in the grain of a tree blown down at S. Donats. He is named by Nicholas Sanders as one imprisoned for hearing mass, 1558- 61. He was granted his liberty but was bound to appear in person if called upon. He d. 1573. His wife was the eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Gamage of Coity.

He was succeeded by his eldest son SIR EDWARD STRADLING (1529-1609), the scholar and owner of the celebrated library at S. Donats. He was Member of Parliament for Steyning 1554, and Arundel, 1557-8, and his name appears on the pardon roll of queen Elizabeth 1559. He was knighted, 1573, and was sheriff of Glamorgan in 1573-4, 1582-3, and 1595-6. He was responsible for great improvements in the buildings and gardens of S. Donats and on his estate, including sea-walls and a harbour at Aberthaw. He was the patron of Dr. John David Rhys (q.v.), and bore the expense of printing 1,250 copies of his Grammar in 1592. A selection of his correspondence was published from a transcript in the Stradling Corrcspondence 1840. Between 1561 and 1571 he wrote a treatise on the Norman conquest of Glamorgan which was included by Dr. David Powel (q.v.) in the Historie of Cambria, 1584. Lewys Dwnn (q.v.) also acknowledges indebtedness to him. His wife was Agnes (1547-1624), daughter of Sir Edward Gage, but they had no children.

They adopted a kinsman who inherited the estate on Sir Edward's death in 1609 - Sir JOHN STRADLING, son of Francis Stradling of S. George, Bristol, son of Henry Stradling, second son of Thomas Stradling (d. 1480) and Jenet Mathew. This JOHN STRADLING received his education at Oxford (B.A. 1584), and traveIled on the Continent. He was sheriff of Glamorgan 1607, 1609, 1620, and was knighted1608, and created baronet, 1611. He was Member of Parliament for S. Germans, Cornwall 1623- 4, Old Sarum 1625, and Glamorgan 1625-6, and commissioner to collect loans to the Crown in Glamorgan. It was he who founded the grammar school at Cowbridge which had been planned by his predecessor. He was author or translator of A Direction for travailers taken out of Epistola de Peregrinatione Italica . . for the behoofe of the . . . Earl of Bedford, 1592; Two bookes of constancie . . . Englished by J.S.,. . . 1595; De vita et morte contemnenda libri duo, 1597; J Stradlingi epigrammatum libri quatuor. . . 1607; Beati Pacifici; a divine poem . . . 1623; and Divine Poems, 1625 (containing commendatory verses by Theophilus Field (q.v.), bishop of Llandaff). He left in manuscript an account of litigation over lands in Glamorgan, written between 1598 and 1601 and dedicated to SIR EDWARD STRADLING which was published as The Storie of the Lower Borowes of Merthyrmawr in 1932. Another of his works remains in manuscript: 'A Politike Discourse between a Knight of the Commons-howse of Parliament, and a gent beinge a moderate Roman Catholique, diuided into two parts, afore-noones, and after-noones Discourse, 1625' (N.L.W. Ms 5666). He d. 9 Sept. 1637 and was buried at S. Donats. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Gage, and niece to his predecessor' s wife.

The heir was SIR EDWARD STRADLING knight and bart. (2), b. 1601, and educated at Oxford. He took an active interest in business enterprises, such as the soap monopoly and London water undertakings (1631). He was Member of Parliament for Glamorgan, 1640, a colonel of a regiment of foot at Edgehill, 1642, where his brother Thomas served as an officer under him. He was taken prisoner and d. as Oxford, being buried in Jesus College chapel, 2l June 1644. He had m. Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Mansel of Margam, and she gave refuge to archbishop Ussher at St. Donats int 1645. He had three other brothers---captain John Stradling, who fell at the siege of Rhe, SIR HARRY STRADLING, one of the two naval officers who refused to join Parliament, and GEORGE STRADLING (1621-88), M.A., D.D., chaplain to bishop Sheldon, canon of S Paul's and of Westminster, dean of Chichester, 1672-88, a skilled lutenist, author of A Sermon preached before the King . . ., 1675 and Sermons and Discourses . . . with an accont of the author (J Harrington) I692 and a man who declined election as principal of Jesus College 1661. The 3rd baronet, SIR EDWARD STRADLING, who was knighted at Oxford in 1643, was a son of the 2nd bart. Like other members of his family he served king Charles in the Civil War. He was only 20 years old at the battle of Newbury, 1644 (His brothers John and Thomas took a leading part in thc Glamorgan risings of 1647-8. John was taken prisoner at the battle of S. Fagans and d. in Windsor Castle. Thomas confessed in 1650 that he had borne arms against Parliament in Pembrokeshire. He was knighted by James II and d. at Merthyr-mawr.)

About I642 SIR EDWARD STRADLING (III) m. Catherine daughter of Sir Hugh Perry, sheriff of London (1632-3); he d. before 1661. His widow m. Bussy Mansel (q.v.) of Briton Ferry. When SIR EDWARD STRADLING (IV) took his degree of M.A., at Oxford, 12 Sept. I66I, he had already succeeded to the title. He m. Elizabeth, daughter of Anthony Hungerford, and d. 5 Sept 1685. Their heir, SIR EDWARD STRADLING (V), was b. about 1672. He was Member of Parliament for Cardiff, 1698, 1700-1, 1710-22, and sheriff`of Glamorgan, I709-10. He m. Elizabeth, `daughter of Sir Edward Mansell, and d. 1735. Their eldest son, also named EDWARD STRADLING, was b. in I699, when Hopkin the Weaver, composed englynion to mark the occasion. He was elected Member of Parliament for Cardiff, 1722, but d. in 1726 in his father's lifetime. His elegy was composed by Llywelyn ab Ifan. The heir was his brother SIR THOMAS STRADLING b.1710), who was killed in a duel at Montpellier, 27 Sept. 1738. The title became extinct and the estates after prolongerd litigation were divided into three parts. Towards the end of the 18th cent. the fine library at S. Donats was sold, and many of its treasures have disappeared.

G. T. Clark in Limbus Patrum gives particulars of several branches of the family which were established at Roath, Llantwit Major, Gelligaer, Broviscin, Wiltshire, Metthyr-mawr, andKenffig. The WILLIAM STRADLING (son of William son of Sir William Stradling and Isabel S. Barbe) who held a canonry in Abergwili, 1486, and was chancellor of S. Davids from 1509 to 1539, was of the Merthyr-mawr branch. He built the chancellor's house at S. Davids.

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