STRICKLAND, William (d.1598), of Boynton, nr. Bridlington, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

s. of Roger Strickland of Marske by his w. Mary Appleton. m. Elizabeth, da. of Sir Walter Strickland of Sizergh, Westmld., 2s. 3da.

Offices Held

J.p. Yorks (E. Riding) from c.1559, commr. to inquire into offences against the Act of Uniformity, province of York 1559, to appoint soldiers, Yorks. (E. Riding) 1572.1


The founder of the Stricklands of Boynton, acquired in 1549, was little in evidence before Elizabeth’s reign, his puritanism, the basis of his later fame, explaining his early obscurity. On the new Queen’s accession he took his place in the county, and served in four Parliaments for his local borough.

Classified as a favourer of religion in 1564, Strickland made his religious sympathies clear in Parliament. Nothing is reported of him in the 1559 House of Commons, nor in the first session of the next, but it was probably he, rather than his brother-in-law Walter Strickland, who sat on the succession committee, 31 Oct. 1566. That his reputation as a parliamentarian was as great then as it was later is implied in the lampoonist’s description of him in 1566 as ‘Strickland the stinger’; and his position as a leader of the puritan group in the 1571 Parliament suggests that he may have had a similar reputation in the previous assembly. Described in 1571 by the anonymous diarist as a ‘grave and ancient man of great zeal’, Strickland had been chosen by the puritans to open their campaign, which he did with a long speech on 6 Apr., in which he linked ‘God’s goodness’ with the Queen’s ‘gracious disposition’ and moved that his fellow-puritan, Thomas Norton, should be allowed to produce before the House the Reformatio Legum. Two days later he and Norton employed the same tactics with the six ‘alphabetical’ bills of religion. Later Strickland introduced his own bill for the reformation of the Prayer Book, the crux of the puritan programme. For this he was summoned before the Council and sequestered from the House. But he was not arrested, as was carefully explained to the House, and he soon returned, appropriately enough, just at the moment when the committee was being formed to consider the bill for church attendance. By urgent demand of the House he was put on to the committee (21 Apr.). He was also on the conference with the Lords which considered the bill against priests disguising themselves as servants (1 May). Strickland also served on committees concerned with navigation (8, 25 May) and tillage (25 May). He did not sit in 1572. In 1584 he was appointed to committees on the Sabbath Day (27 Nov.), fraudulent conveyances (15 Feb. 1585), marriage licences (26 Feb.), the continuation of statutes (6, 11 Mar.) and the reform of ecclesiastical courts (22 Mar.). He is recorded as speaking only once, on the bill to set a minimum age of 24 for ministers. To the demand ‘where will you have sufficient number to supply?’, he replied ‘You may have a good many out of the inns of court’.2

Strickland’s last years were occupied with his estates, to which he added several manors, including Wintringham, near Malton. On his death in 1598 he held five manors, and property in Bridlington, Huttons Ambo and Woburn. His eldest son, Walter, who married Peter Wentworth’s daughter Frances, succeeded to the estate.3

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: B.D.


  • 1. Vis. Yorks. ed. Foster, 166; Lansd. 13, f. 127; CPR, 1563-6, p. 21.
  • 2. Yorks. Fines (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. ii), 145; CPR, 1560-3, pp. 171, 321; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 406; HMC Rutland, i. 75, 76; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 71; Neale, Commons, 283; Trinity, Duplin, anon. jnl. ff. 5v-6, 7, 10, 12v, 21, 24v; Strype, Annals, ii(1), 93 seq.; D’Ewes 127, 156, 157, 158, 159, 161, 166, 168, 176, 179, 180, 181, 186, 188, 189, 333, 349, 361, 364, 365, 371; Lansd. 43, anon. jnl. f. 164; CJ, i. 83, 85, 86, 87, 88, 91, 92, 93.
  • 3. Yorks. Fines (Yorks. Arch. Soc. rec. ser. viii), 12, 112, 204; C142/273/84.