STRANGE (LESTRANGE), Sir Roger (d.1426), of Edgware, Mdx.
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Family and Education
yr. s. of Roger, 5th Lord Strange (d.1382) of Knockin, Salop, by Aline (d.1386), da. of Edmund, earl of Arundel (d.1326), s.p. Kntd. by. 1385.1
Commr. to arrest the insurgents of 1381, Salop Mar. 1382.
The Strange family were particularly influential in Shropshire, where most of their estates lay, but they also owned property in London and the home counties. Roger was not yet 25 when his father settled the manor of Edgware upon him for life in February 1377, thus providing him with an income of about £23 a year. These arrangements were probably made at the time of his entry into the royal household, since he is first described as one of Edward III’s esquires in the following March. It was then that the King confirmed an award made to Strange by John Roos, esquire, of an annuity of 40 marks, which the grantor himself had previously received from the Crown.2 In June 1380 Strange had royal letters of protection for a journey overseas, and two years later he was associated with his father on a crown commission for the arrest of any Shropshire men involved in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. The next few years proved eventful for Strange, who was knighted shortly before setting out, in 1385, on Richard II’s inglorious expedition against the Scots. We do not know exactly when he was drawn into a dispute with Sir William Chetwynd of Ingestre over the ownership of the manor of Shenstone in Staffordshire, but Richard II’s uncle, John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, saw Chetwynd’s claim as a challenge to his own political authority in the area. He thus not only stepped in to warrant Strange’s title, but also laid out £20 in legal expenses and sent a body of his leading retainers, headed by Sir Walter Blount*, to support his client at the local assizes. In August 1391, by which date he had become a knight of the royal body, Sir Roger was granted the marriage of Sir Fulk Fitzwaryn’s widow, Elizabeth. According to the terms of a second award made in the following year, Elizabeth was either to take him as her husband or pay him whatever fine should be imposed on her by the Crown if she married another. Her choice fell upon Sir Hugh Courtenay*, and it appears that Sir Roger remained single for the rest of his life.3 He evidently stood high in Richard II’s favour at this time, for in the summer of 1392 the King gave him custody of Newport castle, Monmouthshire, together with the forest and parks of Caus in Shropshire, to hold during the minority of William, 4th earl of Stafford. Sir Roger’s relations with the tenants of his manor of Edgware were less cordial, however, and in the Michaelmas term of 1393 the justices of the King’s bench heard a number of charges regarding breaches of manorial custom which had been brought against his steward, John Brook. The latter was committed to the Marshalsea prison pending the imposition of a fine for extortion in the following year, although there can be little doubt that he was, in fact, acting on the instructions of his employer.4 Sir Roger had, meanwhile, been in attendance upon Richard II during his Irish expedition of 1394, and continued to enjoy his good graces. In July 1396, for example, the Essex and Cambridgeshire estates of Mary Percy, widow of John, Lord Roos of Helmsley, were granted to him jointly with John Kynaston, to hold until her next heir came of age. Kynaston, a Shropshire landowner of some consequence who was steward of the 6th Lord Strange’s estates, kept on friendly terms with Sir Roger. Indeed, the latter acted as his mainpernor on three occasions in 1401 alone, most notably in April of that year, when Kynaston was accused of complicity in Owen Glendower’s rebellion.5
Surprisingly, in view of his position at Court, Sir Roger played no real part in the business of either local or national government while King Richard occupied the throne; and although he twice represented Middlesex in Parliament after the Lancastrian usurpation, he is not known to have held any royal office or served on any commissions there. Very little evidence has survived about his activities after 1404, perhaps because he was out of sympathy with the new regime. In that year he acted as a feoffee for both Sir William Palton† and his father-in-law, Sir John Wroth*; and by 1412 he had himself acquired property worth £2 a year in London.6 He remained close to his nephew and heir, Richard, the 7th Lord Strange of Knockin, offering sureties of 1,000 marks on his behalf in December 1417 when he was bound over to keep the peace after his murderous attack on Sir John Trussell*, and at a later date becoming involved in the younger man’s property transactions. Shortly after his uncle’s death on 6 Mar. 1426, Richard was confirmed in possession of the manor of Edgware.7
Ref Volumes: 1386-1421
- 1. CP, xii (pt. 1), 354; EHR, lxxiii. 17.
- 2. CPR, 1374-7, pp. 426, 440; C139/23/31.
- 3. CPR, 1381-5, p. 141; 1388-92, p. 472; 1391-6, p. 99; CP, v. 502-3; Rot. Gasc. et Franc. ed. Carte, ii. 133; EHR, lxxiii. 17; S.K. Walker, ‘John of Gaunt and his retainers, 1361-99’ (Oxf. D.Phil. thesis, 1986), 245-6.
- 4. CPR, 1391-6, p. 119; Sel. Cases King’s Bench (Selden Soc. lxxxviii), 87-88.
- 5. CFR, xi. 184; xii. 129; CPR, 1391-6, p. 486; CCR, 1399-1402, p. 320; Sel. Cases King’s Bench, 115-16.
- 6. CCR, 1402-5, pp. 486, 510, 522; Arch. Jnl. xliv. 60.
- 7. CCR, 1413-19, p. 447; 1422-9, pp. 72, 126-7; CFR, xv. 130; C139/23/31.