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CAPTAIN STRADLING
 
       
   

Peter Meazey was writing a book that includes the Crusoe incident. He contacted me regarding Thomas Stradling.
The book has now been published and is called: Saint-Malo - Cape Horn, La route de l'argent by Peter Meazey - and its in French:-

Extract from his email:-

"My own interest comes from local history in Brittany. I'm working on a book about three captains from St Malo who actually did the first voyage around Cape Horn and back exactly three hundred years ago - everybody else had always gone through the Straits at least on the way out. They met up with Thomas Stradling in February 1704 at Juan Fernandez and had a bit of a scrap. About seven hours, broadside to broadside, lots of noise and tomato sauce...
Stradling was second in command of the 'Cinq Ports' Galley, the other boat was commanded by William Dampier.
Stradling's Captain died on the way out and he took over command of the 'Cinq Ports', aged about 20 .

Selkirk was on board the Cinq Ports, an experienced mariner, apparently very good at maths which made him extremely useful for navigating. Various accounts say Stradling was young, inexperienced and a bit of a disaster. Mention is made of his being a "gentleman" and having posh ways. They finally fell out when Selkirk told him the boat wasn't seaworthy and Stradling dumped him on Juan Fernandez where he was picked up by Woodes Rogers 4 years and 4 months later. He eventually got back to Bristol and told his story to the press.
Selkirk was right about the boat - a few months later it sank. Stradling was rescued by a Jesuit priest then handed over to the Spanish authorities. After four years in Lima, Peru, and a few escape attempts, he was handed over to the captain of a French frigate who brought him back to St Malo, Brittany, France. When he was interrogated in the Castle, he spun a yarn about buried treasure on the Rio Plata and offered to take a boat there in exchange for a percentage. This story went right up to the minister, Pontchartrain, before being discounted.....
We are now in 1710 and Stradling gets transferred to Dinan in North East Brittany, France. He and 17 other prisoners manage to escape by tying their sheets together and the next we know he is in Jersey. Then he disappears from late 1710/11"

THE POSSIBLE SOLUTION ? :-

I am researching my paternal family tree which connects back to St.Donats in Wales and amongst the wealth of information I have collected I came across a document

Sir Edward Stradling and Elizabeth Hungerford have a son Thomas born 1677 but he dies aged 3 in 1680 according to the LDS site - I believe this is incorrect, he didnt die. Or they had another son born 1680/4 whom they also called Thomas.The document below proves there was a Thomas stil1 alive in 1684 . The St.Donats Castle book states that all the children died young. Elsewhere it says Thomas was lost at sea. It appears that all documentation except this one referring to him have been removed probably because he was a bit of a black sheep, who became a pirate and was jailed for a time..... if born 1680 he would be 24 in 1704, if disappeared in 1710/11 he would have time and knowledge to get to PA and marry Lydia Doane in 1715, ~ this is not proven. This Thomas became a Quaker and bought land and built a house in Buck Co. PA. The next step is to check the deeds for his signature.

I have since learned that the Thomas Stradling of Bucks Co. bought the land on December 29th 1708, he wouldnt have been required to sign the lease as at that time, only the seller and witnesses had to sign the deeds. So that doesnt help solve his identity. However, his Will has come to light and that is not signed, just 'his sign'. If this had been Captain Stradling or indeed a Stradling from St.Donats Castle, then I'm sure he would have been able to write his name.

Document proving a Thomas Stradling to be alive in 1684 below:-

1684  

THIS INDENTURE made the third day of March in the first year of the reigne of our sovereigne Lord James the second by the grace of God Kinge of England Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the faith is between Sir Edward Stradlinge of St Donatts Castle in the county of Glamorgan Baronette of the one partie and Thomas Stradlinge of St Donatts aforesaid gentleman son of Sir Edward Stradlinge aforesaid of the other partie witnesseth that the said Sir Edward Stradlinge as well out of the love and affection which he hath and beareth for and towards his said son Thomas Stradlinge as allsoe for a provision for his better maintainence and livlihood hereafter and for and in consideration of the rent and duties in the sequell hereof reseaved hath demised graunted and to ferme letten and by these presents doth demise graunt and to fermelett unto the said Thomas Stradling all that ferme or tenement of lands arrable meadow and pasture conteineing by estimation one hundred acres be itt more or lesse commonly called Templand Ferme with the rights members and appurtinances to the same in anywise belonginge or apperteineinge scytuate lyeinge and beinge within the parish and manor of Monknash in the said county by meares and marshes there known and distinguished in as large and ample manor as the same was lately in the tenure of James Turbeville the elder of Sutton in the said county deceased, and now is in the possession of Lewis Thomas of Sutton aforesaid gentleman or his assignes TO HAVE and to hould the said ferme or tenement of lands conteineinge one hundred acres of land as aforesaid with all and singular itts rights members and appurtinances unto the said Thomas Stradling from and immediately after the death and decease of Dame Katherine Lady Stradling (mother of the said Sir Edward and Grandmother of the said Thomas Stradling) for and during the whole terme time and space of ninety and nine years if he the said Thomas Stradlinge shall soe long live YEALDING and paying therefore yearly during the said terme unto the said Sir Edward Stradlinge his heire and assignes the annuall sum or yearly rent of fifty shillings of current English money att the feasts of Phillippe and Jacob the Apostles and St Michaell the archangell by even and equall portions doeinge sute of court to every court that shall be kept. In and for the said manor during the said terme uppon reasonable summons and doing suite of mill to the customary mill within the said manor the worke of one man for one day in harvest yearly and payinge by and after the death and decease of the said Thomas Stradling (dying tenant of the premises or any part thereof in possesion) his best beast or chattell personall for and in the name of a Herriott provided allwayes that if itt shall heppen the said yearly rent of fifty shillings duties and services or any part thereof to be unpaid or not performed by the space of fifteen days after any of the feasts and times wwherein the same ought to be paid and performed and noe sufficient distresse for the same may or can be had or found in or uppon the premisses or any parte thereof Or if the said Thomas Stradlinge shall demise sett out or alienat the premisses or any parte thereof to any person or persons for any longer time then for one whole year in force att once Or shall cutt downe or cause to be cutt downe or rooted uppe any timber or trees likely to become timber as Ash Elm or Oake now growinge or which heerafter shall or may grow on the said premisses or any parte thereof without the speciall lycence of the said Sir Edward Stradling his heires and assignes first had in writing Or shall suffer the said demised premisses or any parte thereof to come to decay and to be out of reparation during the said terme or shall committ any wast on the same that then and att all times hereafter itt shall and may be lawfull for the said Sir Stradlinge his heires and assignes into the said demised premisses to reenter and the same to have againe and reposess as in his or their former estate or estates anythinge heerin contained to the contrary in anywise not withstanding And the said Thomas Stradling doth heerby promise and grant to plant or cause to be planted yearly at seasonable times of the year and in convenient places on the said premises two or more young trees either Ash Elm or Oake and the same soe planted will defend or cause to be defended from the hurt and annoyance of cattle or any other annoyance whatsoever untill they shall grow to maturitie and perfection And the said Sir Edward Stradling doth heerby promise and graunt for himselfe and his heirs the demised premisses and every parte thereof with the appurtenances unto the said Thomas Stradling during the said terme under the rent duties services conditions agreement provisoes aforesaid to warrant and defend against all men the tieth thereuppon heerafter to become due and all taxes and talladges onely saved and excepted in wittness thereof boath parties to these presents have interchangeably put their hands and seales the day monthe and yeare first about written Anoq Dom: 1684

 

Signed at the bottom by Edward Stradlinge

 

Overleaf:

 

Sealed and delivered in the presence of (after the words (shall soe longe live) interlined betwixt the tenth and eleventh lines)

William Lewis & three others

Samuel Stanbourne

Richard Narroway

J H Price

 

Likewise dated:

1 st March 1 st Jam 2d 1684

Sir Edward Stradling to Thomas his son

Lease for 99 years of Templeland Farm cont. 100 acres (to commence immediately after the death of Dame Kath mother of Sir Edward) if the said Thomas shall so long live. Rent 50 shillings - that would be Katherine Perry (1625-1688)

 

Codicil of 1694:

Know all men by these present that I Sir Edward Stradling Bart son and heire of the within mentioned lessor Sir Edward Stradling for and from my heirs, executors, administrators assure convey and confirm unto my brother the within mentioned Thomas Stradling gent all the right, title and interest of the lands and premises within contained under the rents, duties and covenants according to the true intent and meaning as be expressed and specified in the within written deed, in witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and seal the nineteenth day of May of their majesties William and Mary ---- 1694 Sealed and delivered in the presence of

Elizabeth Stradling and two others - that would be Elizabeth Hungerford Stradling, wife of Sir Edw. mother of Thomas
Also signed with stamped seal of St Donats Stradlings by Sir Edward Stradling, brother of Thomas presumably in 1694

Main seal missing (1684) from the loop at the bottom

“This indenture is in the hands of Dr Hugh Stradling who has also deciphered it”. 
He has also done a fantastic website about the Stradling family.

   
   
   
   
St.Donats Castle, nr. Nash Point South Wales