STRICKLAND, Sir Thomas (1564-1612), of Sizergh Castle, Westmld. and Thornton Bridge, Yorks

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. 6 June 1564, o.s. of Walter Strickland† of Sizergh and his 2nd w. Alice, da. of Nicholas Tempest of Stanley, co. Dur., wid. of Christopher Place of Halnaby, Yorks.1 educ. Trin. Camb. 1580.2 m. (1) c.1596 (with £100), Elizabeth, da. of John Seymour of Frampton Cotterell, Glos., 1da.;3 (2) by 1600, Margaret, da. of (Sir) Nicholas Curwen† of Workington, Cumb., 4s. 3da.4 suc. fa. 1569;5 KB 25 July 1603.6 d. 19 June 1612.7

Offices Held

J.p. and custos rot. Westmld. 1584-d., Ripon, Yorks 1601-9;8 sheriff, Yorks. 1602-3;9 member, Council in the North 1603-d.;10 member, High Commission, prov. of York 1603,11 sewers, Yorks. (N. Riding) 1604,12 gaol delivery, Ripon, Yorks. 1604-9,13 charitable uses, Cumb. and Westmld. 1605,14 subsidy, Westmld. and Yorks. (N. Riding) 1608,15 aid, Westmld. 1609,16 oyer and terminer, Northern circ. 1609-d.17

Commr. Union with Scotland 1604-6.18


Strickland’s ancestors acquired Sizergh by marriage in 1239, and regularly represented Westmorland from 1307.19 Strickland was appointed custos rotulorum as soon as he came of age. However, his predilection for gambling made him a poor manager of his own estate, and by the time of his first marriage he was raising substantial loans.20 His second wife was a strong Catholic, but Strickland himself remained a reliable supporter of the Elizabethan religious settlement, like his father before him.21 Strickland served as junior knight of the shire in Elizabeth’s last Parliament, and moved up to the first seat when he was re-elected in 1604. He was appointed to the conference with the Lords of 20 Apr. on Union with Scotland, and nominated to the subsequent commission.22 He was also among those named to consider bills to preserve coppices (28 Apr.), to reform informers’ abuses (1 June), and to annex certain property indissolubly to the Crown (4 July).23 On 14 June he proffered a bill to extend alnage to narrow draperies, but it made no progress beyond a first reading.24

In the second session Strickland was added to the committee for the conference arranged for 12 Feb. 1606 to hear the king’s occasions of want and expense.25 Of his five legislative committees, three concerned the cloth trade, namely those for granting customs allowances to the merchants of York, Hull and Newcastle (17 Feb.), for regulating the wages of spinners and weavers (24 Feb.), and for explaining a clause about Welsh cottons in the statute of 1604 (10 March).26 He was also appointed to consider bills to confirm the endowment of St. Bees grammar school in Cumberland (17 Mar.) and to strengthen the enforcement of the penal laws (5 April).27 On 19 Mar. he was granted privilege as a defendant in a trial at York assizes.28

Absent at the opening of the third session, Strickland was unable to sign the instrument of the Union, and left no further trace on the records of the Parliament.29 He was nevertheless resident in London during Easter term 1607, when he invited his wife’s cousin Anthony Curwen to supper and had him arrested for debt. Before Curwen ‘could get any to serve the said Sir Thomas with a subpoena, he being a Parliament man’, Strickland had abstracted the lease of Sherburn rectory from his study in New Inn and obtained judgment against him.30 As foreman of the inquisition on the death of the 3rd earl of Cumberland, Strickland persuaded the jury to find against the settlement made on the earl’s brother, Francis Clifford*, further fuelling the bitter dispute between Cumberland’s heirs.31 Strickland died intestate on 19 June 1612, leaving acknowledged debts of £9,500.32 His widow bought the wardship of her eldest son Robert*, and managed to preserved the Sizergh estate from creditors’ demands until the latter’s majority.33 Strickland’s portrait, dating from 1600, survives in a private collection.34

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: John. P. Ferris / Rosemary Sgroi


  • 1. H. Hornyold, Strickland of Sizergh, 102.
  • 2. Al. Cant.
  • 3. E143/43 and 44 Eliz. Mich. 32.
  • 4. Hornyold, 106.
  • 5. C142/151/47; 142/152/175.
  • 6. Shaw, Knights of Eng. i. 155.
  • 7. C142/332/157; Hornyold, 106.
  • 8. E163/14/8 f. 69v; SP14/33, f. 64; C181/1, ff. 8v, 33, 79v; 181/2, ff. 14v, 80.
  • 9. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 163.
  • 10. Hornyold, 105; R. Reid, Council in the North, 497.
  • 11. HMC Hatfield, xv. 394.
  • 12. C181/1, f. 86.
  • 13. Ibid. ff. 80v, 106v; C181/2, ff. 15, 80v.
  • 14. Hornyold, 105.
  • 15. SP14/31/1.
  • 16. SP14/43/107.
  • 17. C181/2, ff. 77, 170v, 172v.
  • 18. CJ, i. 208b, 319a.
  • 19. Hornyold, 16.
  • 20. C.B. Phillips, ‘Gentry in Cumb. and Westmld. 1600-65’ (Lancaster Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1973), pp. 221-2.
  • 21. H. Aveling, Northern Catholics, 280.
  • 22. CJ, i. 180a.
  • 23. Ibid. 189b, 229b, 252a.
  • 24. Ibid. 238b.
  • 25. Ibid. 267a.
  • 26. Ibid. 269b, 273a, 281b.
  • 27. Ibid. 285b, 294a.
  • 28. Ibid. 287a.
  • 29. Ibid. 319a.
  • 30. C78/294/6.
  • 31. Lowther Fam. Estate Bks. ed. C.B. Phillips (Surtees Soc. cxci), 209.
  • 32. Hornyold, 106; Phillips, ‘Gentry’, 222.
  • 33. Phillips, ‘Gentry’, 233-4.
  • 34. Hornyold, opp. 102.