Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Strode, George

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644543Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 55 — Strode, George1898George Gery Milner-Gibson-Cullum

STRODE, Sir GEORGE (1583–1663), author and royalist, born in 1583, was younger son of William Strode, of Shepton Mallet, Somerset, by Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Geoffrey Upton of Warminster in the same county. William Strode was grandnephew of Richard Whiting, the last abbot of Glastonbury [q. v.] His son George came to London and entered trade, and on 11 Feb. 1615 married, at All Hallows Church, Lombard Street, Rebecca, one of the daughters and coheiresses of Alderman Nicholas Crisp, first cousin to Sir Nicholas Crisp [q. v.] He thus became brother-in-law to Sir Abraham Reynardson [q. v.], lord mayor of London in 1648, and Sir Thomas Cullum [q. v.], sheriff of London in 1646. He shared the royalist opinions of his connections, and, like them, suffered in the cause. At the outbreak of hostilities Strode took service in the infantry, was knighted on 30 July 1641, and, together with Sir Jacob Astley, Sir Nicholas Byron, and Colonel Charles Gerrard, was badly wounded at the battle of Edgehill on 23 Oct. 1642, a fact alluded to in his epitaph. By 1636 he was already in possession of the estate of Squeries in Kent, which he purchased from the Beresfords, and later had to compound for it with the parliamentary commissioners. In 1646 Marylebone Park, a demesne of the crown, was granted by letters patent of Charles I, dated Oxford, 6 May, to Strode and John Wandesford as security for a debt of 2,318l. 11s. 9d., due to them for supplying arms and ammunition during the troubles. These claims were naturally disregarded by the parliamentary party when in power, and the park was sold on behalf of Colonel Thomas Harrison's dragoons, on whom it was settled for their pay. At the Restoration Strode and Wandesford were reinstated, and held the park, with the exception of one portion, till their debt was discharged.

Meanwhile, after the defeat of Charles I, Strode had gone abroad, and there ‘in these sad distracted times, when I was inforced to eat my bread in forein parts,’ as he tells us, he solaced himself by translating a work by Cristofero da Fonseca, which appeared in 1652, under the title of ‘A Discourse of Holy Love, written in Spanish by the learned Christopher de Fonseca, done into English with much Variation and some Addition by Sr George Strode, Knight, London, printed by J. Flesher for Richard Royston at the Angel in Ivy Lane.’ His portrait, by G. Glover, and arms appear on the title-page. At the Restoration, Squeries having been sold in 1650, he settled once more in London. His will, in which he left a legacy to Charles I's faithful attendant, John Ashburnham, dated 24 Aug. 1661, and confirmed on 5 Feb. following, was proved on 3 June 1663. Strode was buried in St. James's Church, Clerkenwell, on the preceding day; the entry in the registers of the church describes him as ‘that worthy Benefactour to Church and Poore.’ Of his many children, one son, Sir Nicholas Strode, knighted on 27 June 1660, was an examiner in chancery; and another, Colonel John Strode, who was in personal attendance on Charles II in 1661, was appointed by that king governor of Dover Castle. Of this son there is a portrait at Hardwick House, Suffolk. One of the daughters, Anne, married successively Ellis, eldest son of Sir Nicholas Crisp, and Nicholas, eldest son of Abraham Reynardson.

Besides the engraved portrait of Strode which appeared in his book, there are two adaptations of it: one, a small oval in a square frame by W. Richardson; and another, quarto, in stipple, engraved by Bocquet, and published by W. Scott, King Street, 1810. The original drawing for the latter engraving is in the Sutherland collection at the Bodleian Library.

Granger (Biogr. Dict. iii. 110, ed. 1779) erroneously claims Strode as the author of ‘The Anatomie of Mortalitie, written by George Strode, utter Barrister of the Middle Temple, for his own private comfort,’ of which a first edition appeared in 1618, and a second in 1632. The same confusion is made in the British Museum catalogue. This book is the work of another George Strode who was entered of the Middle Temple on 22 Oct. 1585 as ‘late of New Inn, Gentleman, 4th son of John Stroode of Parham, co. Dorset, esqre.’

[Preface to his own work, 1652; Misc. Geneal. et Herald. 2nd ser. iv. 184; Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries, I. vii. 237, and I. viii. 252; Stow's Survey of London, 1755, ii. 64; Lysons's Environs of London, iii. 245–6; Collinson's Somerset, ii. 210; Clarendon's Hist. of the Rebellion, Oxford, 1703, ii. 42; Parochial Hist. of Westerham, Kent, by G. Leveson-Gower, F.S.A. 1883, p. 15.]

G. M. G. C.