STRODE, Richard (1638-1707), of Newnham, Plympton St. Mary, Devon.
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Family and Education
Commr. for assessment, Devon 1673-80, j.p. 1676 89, 1690 6; freeman, Plymouth 1684; mayor, Plympton Erle 1684-5.2
Strode became politically active in Plympton Erle when he inherited his father’s encumbered estate, and spent the rest of his life seeking one of its parliamentary seats with little success. After the by-election following his father’s death, Strode petitioned against the return of George Treby, claiming to have had the votes of ‘37 burgesses, freemen and inhabitants’ while Treby merely had ‘the mayor and 19 voices more’. Realizing that the House might decide against the freeholders’ right of election, Strode insisted that he even had the majority of freemen votes, ‘if the votes procured for Treby by foul means were disallowed’. His petition was referred to the committee of elections and privileges on 19 Mar. 1677, but no decision was reached. Simultaneously he continued his father’s efforts to regain possession of the property of Lambhay near the fort at Plymouth. On 30 Mar. after judgment had been given against him at the assizes, a friend wrote to Treby:
The little man is very much affected, and is determined to prosecute you, and has already set out for London. He is principal agent too in the presentment against the mayor of Plympton for not taking the sacrament and oath according to the new Act. You will be as much surprised as I am at this.
At the next general election Treby defeated Strode who was nevertheless nominated mayor of Plympton in the new charter, and returned for the borough in 1685. An inactive Member of James II’s Parliament, he may have served on the committees for the disbandment accounts and a private bill. To the questions on the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws in 1688 he returned the same negative answer as Sir Edward Seymour. With the Whig interest again predominant in Plympton Erle after the Revolution, he was defeated at the general election, and petitioned on 28 Jan. 1689 without result. Strode’s success in 1690 was also short-lived, with his election being declared void on 14 Apr. and Treby winning the seat at the ensuing by-election. He refused to sign the Association in 1696. Although he stood for the borough on at least two more occasions, in 1702 and 1705, he was not again returned to Parliament. He died intestate in his London lodgings in Chichester Rents. Administration of his personal estate, inventoried at some £300, was granted to his sister on 5 Sept. 1707. No later member of the family entered Parliament.3