Gerald Strickland, 1st Baron Strickland

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Strickland,
Count della Catena

GCMG
Gerald Strickland 1930.jpg
4th Prime Minister of Malta
In office
9 August 1927 – 21 June 1932
Monarch George V
Governor
Preceded by Sir Ugo Mifsud
Succeeded by Sir Ugo Mifsud
23rd Governor of New South Wales
In office
14 March 1913 – 27 October 1917
Monarch George V
Premier
Preceded by Lord Chelmsford
Succeeded by Sir Walter Davidson
15th Governor of Western Australia
In office
31 May 1909 – 16 March 1913
Monarch
Premier
Preceded by Sir Frederick Bedford
Succeeded by Sir Harry Barron
9th Governor of Tasmania
In office
28 October 1904 – 20 May 1909
Monarch Edward VII
Premier John Evans
Preceded by Sir Arthur Havelock
Succeeded by Sir Harry Barron
Personal details
Born 24 May 1861 (1861-05-24)
Valletta, Malta
Died 22 August 1940 (1940-08-23) (aged 79)
Attard, Malta
Political party Constitutional Party
Spouse(s)
  • Edeline Sackville (1890–1918)
  • Margaret Hulton (1926–1940)
Children Eight
Alma mater Trinity College

Gerald Paul Joseph Cajetan Carmel Antony Martin Strickland, 6th Count della Catena, 1st Baron Strickland, GCMG (24 May 1861 – 22 August 1940) was a Maltese and British politician and peer, who served as Prime Minister of Malta, Governor of the Leeward Islands, Governor of Tasmania, Governor of Western Australia and Governor of New South Wales.

Early life[edit]

Strickland was born in Valletta, the son of naval officer Commander Walter Strickland, from the ancient English Strickland family of Sizergh, and Maria Aloysia Bonici-Mompalao, the niece and heiress of Sir Nicholas Sceberras Bologna, fifth Count della Catena in Malta, whom Gerald succeeded in 1875. He was educated at St Mary's College, Oscott, and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA, LLB).[1] Upon graduating, he was admitted to Inner Temple in 1887 entitled to practice as a Barrister-at-Law. He gained the rank of Major in the service of the Royal Malta Militia.

Elected in 1886 to the council of the government of Malta, Strickland began to take an active part in Maltese politics at an early age and in December 1887, he accompanied Dr. Fortunato Mizzi – founder of the Maltese Nationalist Party – to the first Colonial Conference in London to submit a scheme for a legislative assembly. The result was that the new Maltese Constitution of December 1887 was largely based on the joint Strickland-Mizzi proposals. In the following year, he was appointed as Assistant Secretary to Malta in 1888 and held the office of Chief Secretary of Malta in 1889, a post which he held till 1902 when to avert more trouble in Malta which were created by his orders in councils to increase taxation, he was appointed as Governor of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean (1902 to 1904). He was then appointed as Governor of Tasmania (1904 to 1909) and Governor of Western Australia (1909 to 1913). In the early years consequent upon Australian Federation he was involved in the delicate matter of State rights and the developing nature of the appointment, role and salaries of governors. Appointed as Governor of New South Wales in March 1913, on 30 May 1913 he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG).[2]

Political career[edit]

In 1917, Strickland returned to Malta and, after the grant of Self-Government, formed the Anglo-Maltese Party in 1921, which soon afterward amalgamated with the Maltese Constitutional Party to become the Constitutional Party under his leadership. Strickland was the leader of the Opposition between 1921 and 1927. In 1924, he won the seat of Lancaster for the Conservatives in the United Kingdom House of Commons. He left the House of Commons in 1928 upon being made a peer.

After the 1927 election, Strickland had a majority in the Legislative Assembly and became Head of Ministry (the fourth Prime Minister of Malta) from August 1927 until June 1930. Amongst the most important events of his government were the commencement of building works for St. Luke's Hospital in Gwardamanġia and his clash with the Maltese Senate, which led to the issue of Letters Patent which curtailed its powers and his concurrent clash with the Ecclesiastical Authorities. On 1 May 1930, Archbishop Mauro Caruana and Gozo bishop Mikiel Gonzi issued a pastoral letter, read in all the churches of Malta and Gozo. In it they declared that whoever voted for the Constitutional Party and its former coalition partner, the Labour Party, committed a mortal sin. That year he narrowly avoided assassination.[3]

This mortal sin was also committed by those who read Strickland's newspapers, printed by his Progress Press, namely the Daily Malta Chronicle and Ix-Xemx. He subsequently began publishing Il-Progress and Il-Berqa. The clash between the Catholic bishops and the Constitutional Party led to the suspension of the Malta Constitution following consultations between the British Governor and London. Between July 1932 and November 1933, Strickland was again the leader of the Opposition, and after the grant of a new Constitution in 1939, he became the leader of the elected majority in the Council of Government.

Personal life[edit]

Strickland married Lady Edeline Sackville-West (1870–1918), the daughter of the 7th Earl De La Warr and the Honourable Constance Mary Elizabeth Cochrane-Wishart-Baillie, on 26 August 1890. They had six daughters, and two sons who died at an early age. Their first daughter married Henry Hornyold, became known as Mrs Hornyold-Strickland and chaired the Conservative Party Conference in 1947;[4]

  • Reginald Strickland (1892–1893)
  • Hon. Mary Christina Strickland (1896–1970)
  • Hon. Cecilia Victoria Strickland (1897–1982)
  • Hon. Mabel Edeline Strickland OBE (1899–1988)
  • Margaret Angela Strickland (1900–1901)
  • Hon. Henrietta May Strickland (1903–1975)
  • Walter Strickland (1901–1902)
  • Hon. Dr. Constance Teresa Strickland LMSSA (1912–1979)

In 1926, following the death of Lady Edeline in 1918, Strickland married Margaret Hulton, daughter of the newspaper proprietor Edward Hulton. She was made a Dame of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1937.[3] Strickland was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1889, for rendering invaluable services during a severe cholera epidemic. He was promoted within the order to KCMG in 1897. He was raised to the Peerage of the United Kingdom as Baron Strickland, of Sizergh Castle in the County of Westmorland, on 19 January 1928.[5] He died at Villa Bologna, his residence in Attard, and is buried in the family crypt at St. Paul's Cathedral, Mdina.

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Viceregal styles of
Sir Gerald Strickland
Crest of the Governor of New South Wales.svg
Reference style His Excellency
Spoken style Your Excellency
Alternative style Sir

Titles[edit]

  • 24 May 1861 – 1878: Gerald Strickland, Esq.
  • 1878–1889: Gerald Strickland, Count della Catena
  • 1889–1897: Gerald Strickland CMG, Count della Catena
  • 1897–1902: Sir Gerald Strickland KCMG, Count della Catena
  • 1902–1904: His Excellency Sir Gerald Strickland KCMG, Count della Catena, Governor of the Leeward Islands
  • 1904–1909: His Excellency Sir Gerald Strickland KCMG, Count della Catena, Governor of Tasmania
  • 1909–1913: His Excellency Sir Gerald Strickland KCMG, Count della Catena, Governor of Western Australia
  • 1913–1913: His Excellency Sir Gerald Strickland KCMG, Count della Catena, Governor of New South Wales
  • 1913–1916: His Excellency Sir Gerald Strickland GCMG, Count della Catena, Governor of New South Wales
  • 1916–1921: Sir Gerald Strickland GCMG, Count della Catena
  • 1921–1924: Sir Gerald Strickland GCMG MLA, Count della Catena, Leader of the Opposition of Malta
  • 1924–1927: Sir Gerald Strickland GCMG MLA MP, Count della Catena, Leader of the Opposition of Malta
  • 1927–1928:The Honourable Sir Gerald Strickland GCMG MLA MP, Count della Catena, Prime Minister of Malta
  • 1928–1932:The Right Honourable The Lord Strickland GCMG MLA, Count della Catena, Prime Minister of Malta
  • 1932–1933:The Right Honourable The Lord Strickland GCMG MLA, Count della Catena, Leader of the Opposition of Malta
  • 1933–1940:The Right Honourable The Lord Strickland GCMG, Count della Catena

Honours[edit]

Ord.St.Michele-Giorgio.png Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) 1913
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) 1897
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) 1889
King George V Coronation Medal ribbon.png King George V Coronation Medal 1911
GeorgeVSilverJubileum-ribbon.png King George V Silver Jubilee Medal 1935

References[edit]

  • Montalto, J., "The Nobles of Malta-1530–1800", Midsea Books Ltd, Malta, 1980.
  • Burkes Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage of the UK.- 1914 ed.
  • Giles Ash, S., "The Nobility of Malta", Publishers Enterprises Group (PEG) Ltd, 1988.
  • Koster, A., "Prelates and politicians in Malta", Amsterdam University, 1977.
  • Carnwath, Joan (2004). "Strickland, Gerald Paul Joseph Cajetan Carmel Antony Martin, Baron Strickland (1861–1940)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/36350.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Henry Jackson
Governor of the Leeward Islands
1902–1904
Succeeded by
Sir Courtenay Knollys
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Havelock
Governor of Tasmania
1904–1909
Succeeded by
Sir Harry Barron
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Bedford
Governor of Western Australia
1909–1913
Succeeded by
Sir Harry Barron
Preceded by
The Lord Chelmsford
Governor of New South Wales
1913–1917
Succeeded by
Sir Walter Davidson
Party political offices
New political party Leader of the Constitutional Party
1921–1940
Succeeded by
Robert V. Galea
Political offices
New office Leader of the Opposition of Malta
1921–1927
Succeeded by
Ugo Pasquale Mifsud
Preceded by
Ugo Pasquale Mifsud
Prime Minister of Malta
1927–1932
Succeeded by
Ugo Pasquale Mifsud
Preceded by
Ugo Pasquale Mifsud
Leader of the Opposition of Malta
1932–1933
Vacant
Constitution suspended
Title next held by
Enrico Mizzi
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Joseph O'Neill
Member of Parliament for Lancaster
1924–1928
Succeeded by
Robert Parkinson Tomlinson
Titles of nobility
Preceded by
Nicola Sceberras Bologna
Count of Catena
1875–1940
Succeeded by
Thomas Hornyhold-Strickland
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Strickland
1928–1940
Extinct