STRANG, STRANGE, or
STRONG, a surname originally of Fifeshire. An ancient family of this
name possessed, at one time, the estate of Balcaskie, parish of Carnbee,
in that county. John Strang of Balcaskie, married, before 1362, Cecilia,
sister of Richard Anstruther of that ilk, and received from the latter
certain tenements in Anstruther.
In 1466 William Strang of
Balcaskie was one of an assize of perambulation for clearing of marches.
In 1482 John Strang of Balcaskie and Ewingston had a charter to these
lands, which were, in the same year, acquired by George Strang, probably
his father, from George Porteous, portioner thereof, in exchange for the
lands of Whiteside and Glenkirk,
John Strang of Balcaskie
is mentioned in 1514 and 1521. He had a son, George, who, in 1517,
formed one of a jury who made a valuation of Fifeshire. George
predeceased his father, leaving a son. John Strang of Balcaskie was
slain at Pinkie in 1547, and was succeeded by his grandson.
In 1605 a son of the
family joined the expedition to the Lewis, for the colonization of that
island and improvement of the fisheries. On the destruction of the
expedition this gentleman settled in the Orkneys.
John Strang of Balcaskie, born before 1578, had a son, Thomas, who, in
1641, was served heir to his great-grandfather, slain at Pinkie. After
the sale of Balcaskie, in 1615, he became colonel of Cochrane’s Scots
Sir Robert Strange, the
eminent engraver, a memoir of whom is given below, was the fourth in
lineal descent from Sir David Magnus Strang or Strange, sub-chanter of
Orkney from 1544 to 1565. Sir David is assumed to have been a younger
son of the Strangs of Balcaskie, of which, however, there is no proof.
The family of Strang of
Pitcorthie, in the same county, descended from John Strang, who, about
1306, married Christian Duddingston, and with her acquired Wester
Pitcorthie. In 1447 Sir William Oliphant of Kellie granted the half of
Easter Pitcorthie to his grandson, Walter Strang. Another Walter Strang
of Pitcorthie is supposed to have fallen at Flodden. He left three
heiresses, Isabel, Giles, and Agnes, who divided Pitcorthie among them.
STRANG, DR. JOHN, a learned divine of the 17th century, was the
son of Mr. William Strang, minister of Irvine, in Ayrshire, where he was
born in 1584. He lost his father while still very young, but his mother
soon after married Mr. Robert Wilkie, minister of Kilmarnock, under
whose care he was educated at the public school of that town. At the age
of twelve he was sent to study Greek and philosophy at St. Leonard’s
college, St. Andrews. In his sixteenth year, he obtained the degree of
M.A., and shortly after he was appointed one of the regents of the
college. In 1613 he became minister of Errol, in the presbytery of
Perth. IN 1616, at the recommendation of James VI., he and several other
persons were invested with the degree of D.D. at St. Andrews. IN 1618 he
voted against the five articles of Perth, notwithstanding which he was
appointed a member of the court of high commission, but never attended
its meetings. IN 1620 he was chosen one of the ministers of Edinburgh,
but preferred remaining at Errol. In 1626 he was appointed principal of
the university of Glasgow, in place of Mr. John Cameron, resigned. He
rendered himself exceedingly unpopular with the more rigid Presbyterians
by his temporizing measures; and among the papers of Charles I., found
after the battle of Naseby, was discovered a letter of his addressed to
Dr. Balcanquhal, with a treatise, entitled ‘Reasons who all his
Majesty’s orthodox Subjects, and, namely, those who subscribed the late
Covenant, should thankfully acquiesce to his Majesty’s late Declaration
and Proclamations, with an Answer to the Reasons objected in the late
Protestation to the contrary.’ In 1650 he demitted his office of
principal, and retired on an annuity allowed him by the visitors of the
university. He died at Edinburgh, June 20, 1564. He was the author of a
treatise, De Voluntate et Actionibus Dei circa peccatum, printed by the
Elzevirs at Amsterdam in 1657; also, of one, De Interpretatione et
Perfectione Scripturae. Rotterdam. 1663.
STRANGE, SIR ROBERT, an eminent engraver, was born in the island
of Pomona in Orkney, July 14, 1721. He was lineally descended from Sir
David Strange, or Strang, a younger son of the family of Balcaskie in
Fifeshire, who settled in Orkney at the time of the Reformation. After
receiving a classical education at Kirkwall, he was intended for the
law, but, disliking that profession, he went on board a man-of-war bound
for the Mediterranean. On his return, some of his sketches were shown to
Mr. Richard Cooper, an engraver in Edinburgh, who took him as an
apprentice, and he soon made rapid progress in the arts. When the rebel
army entered Edinburgh in September 1745, he was induced to join the
service of the Pretender; and he continued to act as one of the prince’s
life-guards till his defeat at Culloden; after which he was obliged to
conceal himself for several months in the Highlands. When the vigilance
of the government was somewhat abated he returned to Edinburgh, where he
contrived to maintain himself by the sale of the portraits of the rebel
leaders, of which great numbers were sold at a guinea each. IN 1747 he
married Isabella, only daughter of William Lumisden, son of Bishop
Lumisden; and soon after he went to Paris, where he prosecuted his
studies, under the direction of the celebrated Le Bas, from whom he had
the first hint of the use of the instrument called the dry needle, which
he afterwards greatly improved by his own genius. In 1751 he removed to
London, where he settled, and engraved several fine historical prints,
which deservedly raised his reputation. As historical engraving had at
that period made little progress in Britain, he may justly be considered
the father of that difficult department of the art. In 1760 he set out
for Italy, which, as the seat of the fine arts, he had long been anxious
to visit. The drawings made by him in the course of this tour he
afterwards engraved. While in Italy he was chosen a member of the
Academies of Rome, Florence, Bologna, and professor in the Royal Academy
at Parma. He was likewise elected a member of the Royal Academy of
Painting at Paris. He received the honour of knighthood January 5, 1787;
and died at London, July 5, 1792. Subjoined is his portrait from a print
engraved by himself:
[portrait of Sir Robert Strange]
A Descriptive Catalogue of a Collection of Pictures selected by him on
the Continent; with remarks on the present painters and their works.
Lond. 1769, 8vo.
An Inquiry into the Rise and Establishment of the Royal Academy of Arts;
to which is prefixed a Letter to the Earl of Bute. Lond. 1775, 8vo.
The following is an authentic list of his engravings taken from the
Encyclopedia Britannica, seventh edition:
Two heads of himself, one an etching, the other a finished proof, from a
drawing by John Baptiste Greuse.
The Return from Market. By Wouvermans.
Cupid. By Vanloo.
Mary Magdalen. By Guido.
Cleopatra. By the same.
The Madonna. By the same.
The Angel Gabriel. By the same.
The virgin, holding in her hand a book, and attended by angels. By Carlo
The Virgin with the Child asleep. By the same.
Liberality and Modesty. By Guido.
Apollo rewarding Merit and punishing Arrogance. By Andrea Sacchi.
The finding of Romulus and Remus. By Pietro de Cortona.
Caesar repudiating Pompeia. By Pietro de Cortona.
Three Children of Charles I. By Vandyke.
Belisarius. By Salvator Rosa.
St. Agnes. By Domenichino.
The Judgment of Hercules. By Nicolas Poussin.
Venus attired by the Graces. By Guido.
Justice and Meekness. By Raphael
The offspring of Love. By Guido.
Cupid Sleeping. By Guido.
Abraham giving up the handmaid Hagar. By Guercino.
Esther, a suppliant before Ahasuerus. By Guercino.
Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. By Guido.
Venus blinding Cupid. By titian.
Venus. By Guido.
Danae. By the same.
Portrait of Charles I. By Vandyke.
The Madonna. By Corregio.
St. Cecilia. By Raphael.
Mary Magdalen. By Guido.
Our Saviour appearing to his Mother after his resurrection. By Guercino.
A Mother and Child. By Parmegiano.
Cupid Meditating. By Schidoni.
Laomedon, King of Troy, detected by Neptune and Apollo. By Salvator
The death of Dido. By Guercino.
Venus and Adonis. By Titian.
Fortune. By Guido.
Cleopatra, By the same.
Two Children at School. By Schidoni.
Mary Magdalene. By Corregio.
Portrait of King Charles I., attended by the Marquis of Hamilton. By
Queen Henrietta attended by the Prince of Wales, and holding in her arms
the Duke of York. By the same.
Apotheosis of the Royal Children. By West.
The Annunciation. By Guido.
Portrait of Raphael. By himself.
Sappho. By Carlo Dolce.
Our Saviour Asleep. By Vandyke.
St. John in the Desert. By Murillo.
Towards the close of his
life, he formed about eighty reserved proof copies of his best plates
into as many volumes, to which he prefixed a portrait of himself, with a
general title page, and an introduction on the history of Engraving.
This work his death prevented him from publishing.