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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Strudwick, Samuel

by William S. Price, Jr., 1994

d. 1797

See also: Strudwick, William Francis

Samuel Strudwick, colonial official, was living in a fashionable section of London when he purchased George Burrington's North Carolina holdings in September 1761. The former governor estimated the total acreage at thirty thousand. Strudwick was apparently in North Carolina by late 1764 but spent the following year tending to business matters in Boston. By December 1767 he entered the political life of North Carolina when he took up his commission as a royal councillor. Along with several of his fellow councillors, he served as a lieutenant general in the first Regulator expedition in 1768.

In 1770 Strudwick again spent most of the year out of the colony tending to business affairs. Two years later he became secretary and clerk of pleas in North Carolina, two of the most lucrative fee-paying positions in the colony. Later in 1772 Governor Josiah Martin praised him for eliminating previous "malpractices" in the office of clerk of pleas. Notwithstanding, Martin made an unsuccessful effort to remove Strudwick from that office, as he believed that the appointment of the county clerks of court should be the governor's prerogative rather than that of the clerk of pleas. Martin proposed to compensate Strudwick for the loss of his clerkship by making him receiver general, but the Crown refused to support the compromise. Strudwick remained one of Martin's strongest supporters right up until the time of the American Revolution.

With the outbreak of the Revolution, Strudwick withdrew to his plantation on the Upper Cape Fear. In 1780 he was so fearful of losing his home that he sought the assistance of James Iredell and Thomas Burke, a close personal friend. Burke apparently saved the plantation, but Strudwick did lose some land because of the vagueness of his original deeds from Burrington. Strudwick attempted to visit Burke when Burke was being held prisoner by the British in October 1781 but was denied admittance. At the close of the Revolution in 1783, Strudwick was offered a seat on the Council of State but apparently did not take it.

He died at Hawfields in 1797, three years after making his will. He left a wife named Martha and a son, William Francis. In addition to his North Carolina holdings, Strudwick also owned a house and land in London at the time of his death.


Walter Clark, ed., State Records of North Carolina, vols. 11, 15, 19 (1895–1901).

New Hanover County Wills (North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh).

William S. Powell, ed., The Correspondence of William Tryon and Other Selected Papers, 2 vols. (1980–81).

William L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina, vols. 6–10 (1888–90).

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