STRADLING family of Glamorganshire

The Stradlings first appear on the British scene at the end of the 13th century. They cannot be traced to Norman times. Their original home may have been Strättligen, 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 died 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 married 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 married 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 14th century, 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 14th century. He was alive in 1352 at least. The son married 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 in 1408, and died 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, married 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 15th century. 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, canon 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 died 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 and forced to sell portions of his estate in Glamorgan, Monmouth, and Oxon, to buy his freedom. He also went to Jerusalem, 1476-7, and died on the island of Cyprus on his way home. He had married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William ap Thomas of Raglan. Jane, one of their daughters, married Miles ap Harry, and had Blanche Parry as grand-daughter. The heir, THOMAS STRADLINGE, died 1480, under 26 years of age. His wife was Jenet, daughter of Thomas Mathew of Radyr, and afterwards wife of Sir Rhys ap Thomas. During this period the family became more prominent in Welsh 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 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 Morgannwg regarded himself as a household bard to this Sir Edward. He died in 1535, leaving issue by his wife and by a concubine. His second son, John, was rector of Neath, 1551-1569. The heir was Sir THOMAS STRADLING. He was sheriff of Glamorgan, 1547-8, Member of Parliament for East Grinstead, 1553, Arundel, 1554, on the commission of 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 made 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 died 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, 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 Correspondence 1840. Between 1561 and 1571 he wrote a treatise on the Norman conquest of Glamorgan which was included by Dr. David Powel in the Historie of Cambria, 1584. Lewys Dwnn 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 (died 1480) and Jenet Mathew. This JOHN STRADLING received his education at Oxford (B.A. 1584), and travelled on the Continent. He was sheriff of Glamorgan 1607, 1609, 1620, and was knighted 1608, 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, 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: his friend beinge a moderate Roman Catholique, diuided into two parts, afore-noones and after-noones Discourse, 1625' (NLW MS 5666C ). He died 9 September 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), born 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 died at Oxford, being buried in Jesus College chapel, 21 June 1644. He had married Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Mansel of Margam, and she gave refuge to archbishop Ussher at St. Donats in 1645. He had three other brothers - captain JOHN STRADLING, who fell at the siege of Rhé, Sir HARRY STRADLING, one of the two naval officers who refused to join Parliament, and GEORGE STRADLING (1621 - 1688), 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 account of the author (ed. J. Harrington), 1692, 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 the Glamorgan risings of 1647-8. John was taken prisoner at the battle of St. Fagans, and died in Windsor Castle. Thomas confessed in 1650 that he had borne arms against Parliament in Pembrokeshire. He was knighted by James II, and died at Merthyr-mawr.) About 1642 Sir EDWARD STRADLING (III) married Catherine, daughter of Sir Hugh Perry, sheriff of London (1632-3); he died before 1661. His widow married Bussy Mansel of Briton Ferry. When Sir EDWARD STRADLING (IV) took his degree of M.A., at Oxford, 12 September 1661, he had already succeeded to the title. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Anthony Hungerford, and died 5 September 1685. Their heir, Sir EDWARD STRADLING (V), was born about 1672. He was Member of Parliament for Cardiff, 1698, 1700-1, 1710-22, and sheriff of Glamorgan, 1709-10. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edward Mansell, and died 1735. Their eldest son, also named EDWARD STRADLING, was born in 1699, when Hopkin the Weaver composed englynion to mark the occasion. He was elected Member of Parliament for Cardiff, 1722, but died in 1726 in his father's lifetime. His elegy was composed by Llywelyn ab Ifan. The heir was his brother Sir THOMAS STRADLING (born 1710), who was killed in a duel at Montpellier, 27 September 1738. The title became extinct and the estates after prolonged litigation were divided into three parts. Towards the end of the 18th century 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, Merthyr-mawr, and Kenffig. 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.


Published date: 1959

Article Copyright:



In the second column on p. 925 add 1389 as the year of Sir Edward Stradling's birth, and 3 May 1453 as the date of his death. His son, Sir Harri Stradling, died 31 August 1476. Sir Thomas Stradling died 27 January 1571, (not ' 1573'). Add to the bibliography the detailed article by Ralph Griffiths, ' The rise of the Stradling of St. Donats ', Morgannwg, VII, 15-47, and Ceri W. Lewis, ' Syr Edward Stradling, (1529-1609) ', Ysgrifau Beirniadol, 19 (1993), 139-207.

    Published date: 1997


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