Name: John Le Strange
Prefix: Sir 1
Death: BEF 5 MAY 1417 in Hunstanton, Norfolk
Residence: Hunstanton, Norfolk
Change Date: 1 JAN 1970
Notes: Knighted before the summer of 1378, then being appointed to his first royal commission. This was to secure the arrest of Sir Robert Howard, who had been charged with the abduction of Margery Narford, grand daughter and heir to Alice, Lady Neville. Strange hold property at Hunstanton as a feudal tenant of Richard, earl of Arundel, to whom, moreover, he was distantly related. It was to John of Gaunt, however, that he remained most closely attached: he was described as his ?bachelor? in 1380 when ordered to bring before the ducal council in London evidences concerning Gaunt's dispute with the prior of Holy Trinity, Norwich; and on one occasion his lord granted him the goods of an outlaw, said to be worth as much as 360 marks. He served under Lancaster not only on the military expedition which Richard II led into Scotland in 1385, but also on his campaigns to press his claim to the throne of Castile in 1386-7.
At that time Richard II's opponents, the Lords Appellant, were in firm control of the government, having recently dominated the Merciless Parliament, which Strange had attended as knight of the shire for Norfolk. Judging from his ?reward?, but possibly also because of his links with the earl of Arundel, and with John of Gaunt's son Henry, earl of Derby, who had earlier responded sympathetically to a petition of his, it would appear that Strange was an active supporter of the Appellants; and in this connexion it may be noted that after Richard II regained power in May 1389 he did not ever again serve on a royal commission throughout the rest of the reign. Again in Jul 1388, although no political motivation need be read into this, Strange acted as mainpernor at the Exchequer for Sir William Fulthorpe, who was then busy doing what he could to recover, if only by lease, the estates forfeited by his father, one of the judges impeached and condemned for treason in the same Parliament.
In Jun 1408 he was granted a life annuity of £40, and two years later he and his wife were given the manor of Westley (Suffolk) valued at £4 18s.4d. p.a. to hold for life in survivorship. Subsequently, in 1412, at Sir John's request, half of his annuity was bestowed on one of his sons, Christopher, who had recently entered the royal household as an esquire.
Strange's position at the court of Henry IV could be used to the advantage of other members of his family. Following the death of his kinsman John, 6th Lord Strange of Knockin, in 1397, and of the latter's widow in 1400, Sir John had taken an interest in the welfare of the young heir, Lord Richard. In Mar 1401 he stood surety for the boy's stepfather and guardian, the ?King's knight? Sir Nicholas Hauberk, in his dispute with John Kynaston, steward of the Strange estates; although four months later he and the heir's uncle, Sir Roger Strange, both appeared as mainpernors for Kynaston when he leased certain of the same properties at the Exchequer. Then, in Feb 1402 he, Hauberk and Sir William Hugford informed the council of the prince of Wales of the failure of the trustees appointed by Lord John to fulfil the obligations laid on them of paying his debts, supporting his sons and providing for the marriages of his daughters; accordingly, the prince granted them custody of some of the Strange estates for the duration of Lord Richard's minority, so that his father's will might be adequately performed.
It was during the period of Strange's service in Henry IV's household that he was summoned personally to attend the great councils of 1401 and 1403, that he was twice appointed escheator of Norfolk and Suffolk (on each occasion holding office for two consecutive terms), and that he sat as knight of the shire for Suffolk in three Parliaments running. There can be little doubt that his place close to the King's person was an important factor in securing his election to Parliament; and the local gentry must have been aware that his closest friends were of the circle of the influential Sir Thomas Erpingham, first chamberlain and then steward of the Household. Among those with whom he was connected were John Phelip, Erpingham's nephew, who was greatly favoured by Henry of Monmouth, and Sir Andrew Butler, the husband of Erpingham's niece. Furthermore, he had remained on good terms with Sir Thomas himself, whom he assisted in the purchase of ?Berney's Inn? in Norwich.
Strange's employment in the King's household ceased abruptly at Henry IV's death, and he was never again appointed to royal commissions. He died shortly before May 1417, and would appear to have been buried at Hunstanton. Several years earlier he had given his manor in Tottington to one of Sir Thomas Felton's daughters, Mary, prioress of Campsey (d. 1394), to form part of the priory's possessions, and this gift was now confirmed by his eldest son, John, the heir to the bulk of his estates. Strange left two other sons, Christopher and Leonard, and when his widow, Eleanor, made her will on 13 Sep 1418 she gave the latter a house in Bury St. Edmunds as well as property in Thorpe Morieux. Eleanor was buried in the great abbey church at Bury. On her mother's side, Eleanor Walkefore was the next heir to her uncle Sir Thomas Morieux, constable of the Tower of London and son-in-law to John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster. Following his death in 1388 on the duke's Castilian campaign, she inherited manors in Felsham and Thorpe Morieux in Suffolk, which were to have an estimated annual value of 40 marks at the time of the death of her son, John.
1. John le Strange of Hunstanton
2. Christopher le Strange
3 Leonard le Strange [died young]
Father: Hamon Le Strange
Mother: Catherine Camoys
Alianore Walkefare b: ABT 1364
bef Michaelemas 1384 2
- Text: LDS Pedigree Resource submitted by Brent Ruesch.
- Type: Web Site
Author: Jorge H. Castelli