James Smith-Stanley, Lord Strange

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Lord Strange, c. 1749.

James Smith-Stanley, Lord Strange (1716–1771) was commonly known by that title, though neither he nor his father had any claim to it. He was the eldest son of Edward Stanley, 11th Earl of Derby, whose predecessor's heirs had used that courtesy title, but the right to two successive baronies Lord Strange (being baronies by writ) had descended to daughters, when the earldom had passed to the heir male.

James Stanley married Lucy daughter and coheir of Hugh Smith of Weald Hall, Essex, and took the additional surname Smith on his marriage. This marriage produced Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby and several other children, including Thomas Stanley (1753–1779).[1] He died before his father, so that the earldom passed straight to his son.

He attended Westminster School where he became a close friend of the future soldier, playwright, and politician John Burgoyne, who was to surrender his army at Saratoga in 1777. As a young man, Burgoyne eloped with Lord Strange's sister. Burgoyne also wrote a masque to celebrate the wedding of Edward Smith-Stanley to Lady Elizabeth Hamilton, a daughter of James Hamilton, 6th Duke of Hamilton.

Political serviceEdit

Lord Strange was a Member of Parliament for Lancashire from 1741 until his death. He was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the ministry of Lord North from 1762 and became a Privy Councillor at the same time.

He is mentioned by Parkman as plenipotentiary to Paris and Choiseul, and advisor to Pitt, during the 1760s turbulence that attended the Treaty of Paris (1763).[2]


  1. ^ Burke's Peerage (1939 edition), s.v. Derby, Earl of
  2. ^ Parkman, Francis: "Montcalm and Wolfe"
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Peter Bold
Richard Shuttleworth
Member of Parliament for Lancashire
With: Richard Shuttleworth 1741–1750
Peter Bold 1750–1761
James Shuttleworth 1761–1768
Lord Archibald Hamilton 1768–1771
Succeeded by
The Earl of Sefton
Lord Archibald Hamilton
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Kinnoull
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Succeeded by
The Earl of Clarendon
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Derby
Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire
Succeeded by
The Earl of Derby