STRANGE, James Charles Stuart (1753-1840), of Hertford Street, Mayfair, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

1796 - 1802
1802 - Apr. 1804

Family and Education

b. 8 Aug.1 1753, 1st s. of Sir Robert Strange, engraver, of Covent Garden by Isabella, da. of William Lumisden, WS, of Edinburgh. educ. Coll. of Navarre, Paris 1770. m. (1) 18 Feb. 1785, Margaret (d. 15 Jan, 1791), da. of James Durham of Largo, Fife, 1da.; (2) 18 Dec. 1798, Hon. Anne Dundas, da. of Henry Dundas*, 1st Viscount Melville, wid. of Henry Drummond* of Albury, Suss., 2da. surv. suc. fa. 1792.

Offices Held

Writer, E.I.Co. (Madras) 1772, factor 1778, jun. merchant 1782, sen. merchant 1790; collector and paymaster, Tanjore 1795; ret. 1795; magistrate collector, Pondichery 1806; judge of ct. of appeal 1807; postmaster gen. and sen. member of Board of Trade 1813-15; ret. 1816.

Biography

Strange’s father, the celebrated engraver, was a former Jacobite from Orkney and Strange himself was named after his godfather the titular James III. His maternal grandmother was related to Sir Lawrence Dundas, 1st Bt., through whom he obtained a writership in Madras. He came home with a fortune in 1780, returning to India with his bride in 1785. A year later he managed an unsuccessful expedition to establish a fur trade between the northwest coast of America and China. He left a narrative of the venture, which was supposed to have lost him £10,000. In 1795 he retired from the Company and became a sleeping partner in the bank of Strange, Dashwood & Co. of New Bond Street, London. In 1796 he entered Parliament as a guest of the 3rd Duke of Dorset, a silent supporter of Pitt’s administration.2

Strange’s marriage to Henry Dundas’s widowed daughter Mrs Drummond in December 1798 raised eyebrows. Lord Minto wrote, ‘he is not young, far from handsome or desirable in any way except money, and people rather seem to wonder at her att