Strangeways, James (DNB00)

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STRANGEWAYS, Sir JAMES (d. 1516), speaker of the House of Commons, was the son of Sir James Strangeways of Whorlton, Yorkshire, by his wife Joan, daughter of Nicholas Orrell. The elder Sir James was appointed judge of the common pleas in 1426. The younger was high sheriff of Yorkshire in 1446, 1453, and 1469. He was returned for the county to the parliaments of 1449 and 1460, and, on account of his devotion to the house of York, was appointed speaker of the House of Commons in the first parliament of Edward IV, which met in November 1461. For the first time in English history the speaker addressed the king, immediately after his presentation and allowance, in a long speech reviewing the state of affairs and recapitulating the history of the civil war. The parliament transacted hardly any business beyond numerous acts of attainder against various Lancastrians. It was prorogued to 6 May 1462, and then dissolved. He served on various commissions for the defence of the kingdom and suppression of rebellions, and sat regularly on the commissions of the peace for the North and West Ridings of Yorkshire (Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1461–7, passim). On 11 Dec. 1485, among other grants, Sir James received from Henry VII the manor of Dighton in Yorkshire, from which it would appear that he was one of those who early espoused the Tudor cause (Campbell, Materials for a History of the Reign of Henry VII, Rolls Ser., i. 212, 530). He was appointed a knight of the body by Henry VIII, and in 1514 was one of the sheriffs for Yorkshire. He seems to have received several fresh grants of land, but it is difficult to distinguish him from another James Strangeways, residing in Berkshire, who also enjoyed the royal favour (Brewer, Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, vols. i. and ii. indexes). Sir James died in 1516, and was buried in the abbey church of St. Mary Overy's, Southwark. His will was proved on 9 Jan. 1516–17 (ib. ii. 752, 1380). He married Elizabeth, daughter and coheiress of Philip, lord Darcy, by whom he had seventeen children. His eldest son, Sir Richard Strangeways, died before him in 1488, and he was succeeded by his grandson, Sir James Strangeways.

[Manning's Speakers of the House of Commons, pp. 112–16; Stubbs's Constitutional History of England, iii. 195; Foster's Yorkshire Pedigrees, vol. ii.; Burke's Landed Gentry, 6th edit.; Members of Parliament, i. 340, 356, App. p. xxiv; Journals of the House of Lords, i. 253, 259, 263.]

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