STRICKLAND, Walter (c.1516-69), of Sizergh, Westmld. and Thornton Bridge, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. c.1516, s. and h. of Sir Walter Strickland of Sizergh by his 2nd w. Katherine, da. and coh. of Ralph Neville of Thornton Bridge. m. (1) by Apr. 1537, Agnes; (2) 1561, Alice, da. of Nicholas Tempest of Stanley and Holmside, co. Dur., wid. of Christopher Place of Halnaby, Yorks., 1s. 2da. suc. fa. 1528.

Offices Held

J.p. Westmld. from c.1547, Yorks. (N. Riding) from c.1564; hereditary dep. steward, Kendal barony.


Aged 14 at the date of his father’s inquisition post mortem in April 1530, and head of a family that had been resident at Sizergh, in the barony of Kendal, for several centuries, Strickland became a ward first of Wolsey, subsequently of Sir Arthur Darcy. On 8 Mar. 1535 he was contracted to marry Margaret, daughter of Sir Stephen Hamerton of Wigglesworth in Yorkshire, but the marriage is not known to have taken place. While still under age he became involved, though only slightly, in the northern rebellion of October 1536 and was pardoned. By an indenture dated 28 Apr. 1537 he was granted livery of his lands and in the following May he was named, though in the event he did not serve, as a juror for the trial of the leading rebels, some of them his kinsmen and neighbours. Soon afterwards, when several local gentlemen were appointed to assist Sir Thomas Wharton, the new deputy warden of the west march, in keeping the peace and administering justice, Strickland among others seems to have been overlooked. At Wharton’s request the Duke of Norfolk, then commanding in the north, wrote to Cromwell, 12 July 1537, asking for additional appointments to be made and describing Strickland as ‘a very toward young man, and a great friend of Wharton’s’, able to serve ‘with more men than any three in the book’. Strickland duly received his patent, apparently antedated to 28 June to accord with the others, and an annual payment of £10. He was with Wharton at Carlisle in 1542 preparing to meet the threatened Scotch invasion, and he commanded 200 Kendal archers at Solway Moss, where the Scots were routed. Describing the fight in a letter to the Earl of Hertford, Wharton referred to Strickland as his ‘nigh cousin’. In 1543, when the Westmorland gentlemen were again called out for border service, Strickland’s contingent of 200 horse, drawn from among his household servants and tenants, was far larger than any other gentleman could muster. More of his ‘exploits done upon the Scots’ were reported by Wharton in July 1544.

Subsequent references to Strickland are infrequent and of a different nature. His name follows that of the Earl of Cumberland in the commission of 1552-3 for the seizure of church goods in Westmorland and comes first in the commission for Carlisle; in both he is wrongly described as ‘Sir’. In June 1563 he was one of the commissioners who investigated the military preparedness of Carlisle, and in 1564 he was favourably reported on as a justice of Westmorland and the North Riding who was ‘of good religion’.1 In his later years he made many additions and improvements to Sizergh Hall and began the decoration which his widow and son completed. Becoming one of the knights of the shire in 1563, he was licensed to depart on 7 Dec. 1566, ‘diseased with the gout’.2 He died at Sizergh 8 Apr. 1569, leaving legacies to his two daughters and all his property to his wife and after her to his brother-in-law Thomas Tempest and cousin Thomas Strickland in trust for his son Thomas.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Authors: B.D. / E.L.C.M.


This biography derives from H. Hornyold. Gen Mems. of Strickland of Sizergh (Kendal, 1928) and the authorities therein cited.

  • 1. For other local commissions to which he was appointed see CPR, 1560-3, 1563-6, 1566-9.
  • 2. CJ. i. 79.