STRODE, John II (1627-86), of Dover Castle, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. 28 Dec. 1627, 5th but 2nd surv. s. of Sir George Strode (d.1663) of Squerryes Court, Westerham, Kent and St. John’s Priory, Clerkenwell, Mdx. by Rebecca, da. of Nicholas Crispe, merchant, of London. m. 26 Nov. 1668, Mary, da. of John Savile of Methley, Yorks., 3da. (2 d.v.p.).1
Capt.-Lt. Earl of Bristol’s Ft. (Spanish army) ?1656-8; capt. King’s Ft. Gds. 1661, 1 Ft. Gds. (Grenadier Gds.) 1665, maj. 1678, lt.-col. 1682-d.; lt.-gov. of Dover Castle 1663-d.2
Judge of Admiralty, Chancery and lodemanage, Cinque Ports 1663-d.; j.p. Kent and Suss. 1663-d.; receiver of hearth-tax, Cinque Ports 1664 74; commr. for assessment, Kent 1664-80, Westminster 1677-9; sub-commr. for prizes, Dover 1665-7; col. 1 Cinque Ports militia 1666-d.; freeman, Dover 1672, Portsmouth 1684; commr. for recusants, Suss. 1675; dep. Lt. Kent by 1680-d.; high steward, Sandwich 1684-d.; recorder, Faversham, Hastings and New Romney 1685-d., Rye 1686-d.3
Jt. farmer of export duties, Barbados and Leeward Islands 1670-84; member, R. Fisheries Co. 1677; gent. of the privy chamber 1682-5.4
Strode’s father, a younger son of the Somerset family, became a prosperous London merchant and acquired an estate in Kent. A devout but moderate High Churchman, he not only advanced money to the royalist cause, but in his 60th year fought at Edgehill, where he was wounded. He was at first excepted from pardon by the Long Parliament, but allowed to compound for £2,815 in 1649. Though he had to sell his estate, his charities remained munificent. He was financial adviser to the 1st Earl of Bristol, and it is probable that Strode saw service with the 2nd Earl before 1658, when, as his captain-lieutenant, he distinguished himself at the battle of the Dunes. At the Restoration he was commissioned to the King’s Foot Guards, stationed at Dunkirk. When Dunkirk was sold to the French, Strode’s company was ordered to Dover, and in 1663 he was made lieutenant-governor of the castle, probably at the instance of Bristol’s ally, Sir Henry Bennet. There he lived ‘prince-like, keeping open house and a pack of hounds, and has made a brave park within the castle walls’.5
Strode was returned for Sandwich on the government interest at a by-election in 1665. He was a moderately active Member of the Cavalier Parliament, in which he was appointed to 82 committees, acted as teller in eleven divisions, and made nine recorded speeches. He played no ascertainable part in the attack on Clarendon. He was implicated in the alleged irregularities in the Dover prize office (see Sir Thomas Peyton) which were debated on 17 Mar. 1670. As host to Madame a few weeks later, Strode knew enough about the secret treaty of Dover to threaten Ralph Montagu* many years later, though not very effectively. He spoke in defence of the Barbados sugar duty, of which he was one of the farmers, together with Robert Spencer and Sir Charles Wheler, on 28 Nov. 1670. By the following year he was included among the government supporters on the opposition list, and was said to act as ‘pimp for the Duchess of Richmond, to help her persuade the Duke to be at Whitehall’. He was included in the Paston list, and on 16 Jan. 1674 he apologized to the House for ‘reflecting’ on the use of force by Thomas Papillon, the country candidate at the Dover by-election. But at the end of the same session he was appointed to the committee of inquiry into the state of Ireland, and in the next to that for the bill to prevent the growth of Popery. He was on the list of officials in the autumn session of 1675, when he moved for the building of 40 warships. On 16 Mar. 1677 William Sacheverell alleged that he had connived at the shipping of English troops to France, despite the proclamation against it. Shaftesbury marked him ‘doubly vile’, and his name appeared on both lists of the court party in 1678. (Sir) Joseph Williamson noted him as a government speaker, but he was more active as a teller, being against the vote of censure on Edward Seymour for irregular adjournments on 9 Feb., in favour of the return for Winchelsea of the court candidate, Sir John Banks, on 8 Mar., against the disbandment of English forces abroad on 11 June, and for the adjournment of the debate on pensioners on 18 June. During the investigation of the Popish Plot in the autumn, he was appointed to the committee to inquire into the noises heard at night in the Old Palace Yard. When Montagu’s letter to Danby, implicating William, Lord Russell in intrigues with the French Embassy, was read to the House on 20 Dec., Strode moved that it should be entered in the Journal, saying ‘I would have Montagu give you an account of the whole thing, and then he can tell you who broke the Triple League. He transacted the whole thing.’6
At the general election, despite his hospitality, Strode was unsuccessful at three of the Cinque Ports, Dover, Sandwich and New Romney, and his petition against William Stokes was rejected. He was again defeated at Dover in August 1679, and at New Romney he received no votes. He helped to secure the forfeiture of the Sandwich charter in 1684, and was returned on his own interest in the following year. He was moderately active in James II’s Parliament, being named to eight committees, and acting as teller in favour of Williamson’s election petition on 3 June 1685. Two days later he was added to the committee for examining the disbandment accounts. His attitude on the commissioning of Popish officers in the second session is not known. He was buried in Westminster Abbey on 30 Mar. 1686.7
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Author: Basil Duke Henning
- 1. Frag. Gen. viii. 143-6.
- 2. HMC 8th Rep. pt. 1, p. 28; Clarke, Jas. II, i. 357; CSP Dom. 1663-4, p. 175.
- 3. CSP Dom. 1666-7, p. 246; 1679-80, p. 34; 1685, pp. 291, 347, 384; 1686-7, p. 59; SP29/95/44; Add. 29625, f. 104v; Kent AO, Q/JC, 10-15; Sa/AC8, f. 173; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 367.
- 4. Cal. Treas. Pprs. i. 13-14; Carlisle, Privy Chamber, 195; Sel. Charters (Selden Soc. xxviii), 198.
- 5. A. M. Everitt, Community of Kent and the Great Rebellion, 77; W. J. Pinks, Hist. Clerkenwell, 45; PRO31/8/198, f. 529; Dorset RO, KG1295; Thurloe, vi. 494; Clarke, Jas. II, i. 357; CSP Dom. 1661-2, p. 464; Add. 40713, f. 29.
- 6. Grey, i. 312; ii. 288; iii. 326; iv. 260; vi. 362; Harl. 7020, f. 47v; Leics. RO, Finch mss, 20 Dec. 1678.
- 7. CSP Dom. 1683-4, p. 117; HMC Buccleuch, i. 341-2.