Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 55.djvu/60

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Stickland
Strickland
54

bitism ultimately prevailed, and the scheme was abandoned. The principal agent in this affair was the Abbé Strickland. It was alleged ‘that he was an enemy to his religion and inclined to Jansenism,’ but he indignantly repelled the accusation.

It is asserted that in the latter part of the reign of George I he maintained a correspondence with the opposition, through whose interest with the emperor he was raised to the see of Namur. He was consecrated on 28 Sept. 1727 (Gams, Series Episcoporum, p. 250). Subsequently he became an information agent in the service of the English ministry, and rendered himself so useful that he was considered a proper person of confidence to reside at Rome for the purpose of giving information with regard to the Pretender. With this view William Stanhope (afterwards first Earl of Harrington) [q. v.] went so far as to apply to the emperor for his interest to obtain for Strickland a cardinal's hat.

A few years later, in the autumn of 1734, Strickland was at Vienna, and the emperor, catching at a last straw in his endeavour to secure England as an ally in his war with France, resolved to employ him upon a delicate mission. Strickland represented that he could either force the British administration to enter into a war with France, or else drive Sir Robert Walpole from office by detaching Harrington and others from the majority. The emperor accordingly furnished Strickland with private credentials to the king and queen of England. The bishop came to England in 1734 under the assumed name of Mr. Mosley, was graciously received by their majesties, and held conferences with Lord Harrington, who, though Walpole's colleague as secretary of state for the northern department, was anxious to support the emperor against France in the war of Polish succession (1733–5). But the equilibrium of Walpole and his peace policy were not so easily disturbed. Walpole was soon informed of Strickland's negotiation, and Strickland was civilly dismissed (Coxe, Hist. of the House of Austria, ii. 145). He died at Namur on 12 Jan. 1739–40, and was buried in his cathedral.

Strickland made additions to his cathedral, founded and endowed the seminary at Namur, and built the episcopal palace, which is now the seat of the provincial administration and the residence of the governors. Lord Hervey gives a most unfavourable picture of Strickland, who was famed, he says, for dissolute conduct wherever he went. Walpole, who was no less hostile to him, denounces his ‘artful and intriguing turn,’ but admits his reputation for good management and disinterestedness within his diocese. M. Jules Borgnet, state archivist at Namur, who perused Strickland's correspondence (1736–1740), describes him as a man of heart and intelligence, a friend of religion and of the arts (Annales de la Société Archéologique de Namur, ii. 383–95, iv. 2, v. 403, xvi. 14, seqq.).

There are two portraits of the Abbé Strickland at Sizergh, and a third is at Namur. His portrait has been engraved in mezzotint by J. Faber, from a picture by Van der Bank, painted for the first Viscount Bateman, and now in the possession of Mr. W. G. Strickland (cf. J. Chaloner Smith, Mezzotinto Port. i. 428; a fine impression is in the British Museum print-room); and also by Thomassin (Noble, Continuation of Granger, iii. 169).

[Butler's Hist. Memoirs of English Catholics (1822), iii. 170–8; Catholic Magazine and Review, iii. 104; Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian Soc. (1889), x. 91 and pedigree; Journal du Marquis de Dangeau, xvii. 420; Michel's Écossais en France, ii. 398 n.; Castlereagh Corresp. vol. iv. app.; Hervey's Memoirs, ii. 56; Addit. MSS. 20311 ff. 291 sq., and 20313 f. 149; Stowe MS. 121; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. ii. 198, 237, 270; Panzani's Memoirs, p. 408; Stanhope's Hist. of England, ii, 274; private information.]

T. C.

STRICKLAND, WALTER (fl. 1640–1660), politician, a younger son of Walter Strickland (d. 1636) of Boynton, Yorkshire, by his wife Frances, daughter of Peter Wentworth of Lillingstone Lovel, Oxfordshire, and niece of Sir Francis Walsingham, was admitted to Gray's Inn on 18 Aug. 1618 (Foster, Gray's Inn Reg. p. 152). In August 1642 the Long parliament chose him as their agent to the States-General of the United Provinces to complain of the assistance given by the Prince of Orange to Charles I (Green, Letters of Henrietta Maria, p. 102; Clarendon, Rebellion, vi. 176, 204). He remained in Holland until 1648, and was given a salary of 400l. per annum (Commons' Journals, iv. 225, v. 494). Strickland's instructions and his letters to parliament are printed in the ‘Journals of the House of Lords’ (vi. 331, 452, 619, viii. 15, 205, &c.; see also Cary, Memorials of the Civil Wa, i. 165, 226, 303, 309, 340; Report on the Duke of Portland's Manuscripts, i. 112, 117, 253). In July 1648 he was ordered to accompany the Earl of Warwick to sea, and in September following to return to his post in Holland (Lords' Journals, x. 397; Commons' Journals, vi. 21). His salary was raised by the Commonwealth to 600l. per annum (ib. vi. 123). Strickland's post was by no means free from peril,