STRANGWAYS, George (1618-95), of St. Nicholas Street, Melcome Regis, Dorset.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. 19 Feb. 1618, 1st s. of Nicholas Strangways of Abbotsbury, Dorset by Anne, da. of Sir George Trenchard of Wolveton, Dorset. educ. Clifford’s Inn by 1637; I. Temple 1640. m. c.1661, Bridget, da. Chafin of Chettle, Dorset, s.p. suc. fa. 1645.1

Offices Held

Capt. of horse (royalist) c. 1643-5.

Lt. of vol. horse, Dorset Nov. 1660, 1666-7, commr. for assessment 1661 80, 1689 90, loyal and indigent officers 1662, foreshore 1662-3.2


Strangways’s father, the youngest brother of Sir John Strangways, was a sea-captain and unsuccessful privateer. Strangways began life handling some of his uncle’s routine legal business; then, ‘having no exhibition from his father or other subsistence, he was enforced to take a military course’. He was wounded and taken prisoner by the parliamentary forces, probably at the fall of Sherborne, in August 1645, about the same time as he succeeded to his father’s life tenancy of a farm worth £130 p.a., burdened with £800 portions for his sisters. A forceful letter from his parliamentarian uncle John Trenchard persuaded the committee for compounding to let him off with a £20 fine.3

On his marriage Strangways bought a mansion in Melcombe Regis. In 1664 he was entrusted by John Strode I with the search for a seditious character in Weymouth. He was not short of money, though the source of his income is hard to determine; in 1666 he lent the corporation £100 to entertain the King in a fitting manner. His was one of the signatures to the return of Michael Harvey in the by-election of 1667.4

Strangways continued to manage the family interest at Weymouth. In August 1679 he had no alternative but to support Sir John Morton, a violent exclusionist, yet a gentleman of an old Dorset family like his own. But in 1685 the family interest was re-established after an interval of 18 years, and Strangways was returned with another Tory, Francis Mohun. He was 67 when he first took his seat, and seems to have sat on no committees in James II’s Parliament. He was buried at Melcombe Regis on 19 Aug. 1695.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Hutchins, Dorset, ii. 730; Vis. Dorset (Harl. Soc. xx), 87; Dorset RO, D124 (Norton wardship accounts); PCC 139 Juxon; SP23/189/606.
  • 2. Dorset RO, D124 (official), JP 115; SP29/100/131; Weymouth minute-bk. f. 281; SP44/9/315.
  • 3. CSP Dom. 1627 8, p. 246; Proc. Dorset Nat. Hist. and Arch. Soc. xxxi. 34; SP23/189/598-608; A. R. Bayley, Civil War in Dorset, 291.
  • 4. Dorset RO, JP152; C. A. F. Meekings, Dorset Hearth-Tax, 16; CSP Dom. 1663 4, P. 460; Weymouth minute-bk. f. 296.
  • 5. Dorset RO, D124 (draft letters of Thomas Strangways, 20 Jan. 1679, 9 Aug. 1679); Hutchins, ii. 459.