STRANGWAYS, Thomas (?1683-1726), of Melbury, Dorset.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1705 - 1713
1713 - 23 Sept. 1726

Family and Education

b. ?1683, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Thomas Strangways, M.P., of Melbury, and bro. of John Strangways. educ. Hart Hall, Oxf. 8 Aug. 1700, aged 17. m. 1710, Mary, da. and h. of Edward Vaughan of Llangwydden, Mont., s.p. suc. fa. 1713.

Offices Held

Recorder, Bridport 1707-d., high steward 1714-d.


Thomas Strangways was descended from Henry Strangways who acquired Melbury through marriage in the time of Henry VII.1 He and his father represented the county for over 47 years in 17 successive Parliaments. His grandfather, uncle and father were all successively high stewards of Bridport. A Tory and member of the October Club under Queen Anne, he voted against the Administration in all recorded divisions of the 1715 Parliament. Edward Harley wrote on 11 Jan. 1719 that ‘... Mr. Strangways with several others are allowed by everybody to have distinguished themselves very handsomely against’ the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts.2 He was a member of the secret committee appointed by the House of Commons in January 1721 to inquire into the affairs of the South Sea Company. His name was sent to the Pretender in 1721 as a probable supporter in the event of a rising;3 and in March 1723 he opposed the motion for a bill of pains and penalties against Atterbury. On the bill to restore Bolingbroke’s estates in 1725, the Duke of Wharton reported that ‘Strangways and others were absent, which I believe was owing to an unguarded promise they had made not to oppose it.’4

He died 23 Sept. 1726.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. Hutchins, Dorset, ii. 660, 662-3.
  • 2. HMC Portland, v. 575.
  • 3. Stuart mss 65/16.
  • 4. To the Pretender, 1 May 1725, ibid. 82/3.