William Strahan (24 March 1715 – 9 July 1785) was a Scottish printer and publisher, and a Member of Parliament.
Born in Edinburgh as William Strachan, and educated at the Royal High School, Strahan was originally apprenticed to an Edinburgh printer but became a Master Printer in London (at which time he changed the spelling of his name). In 1738 he was made a Freeman of the City of London and a freeman of the Stationers' Company. Diversifying from printing to publishing, he built up a highly important and successful business, at one time employing 50 men. He was Samuel Johnson's chief publisher, being entrusted with the printing of Johnson's Dictionary, and also published the works of the philosophers David Hume and Adam Smith, and the historian Edward Gibbon. From 1770, he was Printer to the King.
For many years, Strahan attended debates in Parliament and wrote reports of the proceedings that were widely circulated; his paragraphs of political news were frequently printed in the Pennsylvania Gazette, and he became a friend of its owner, Benjamin Franklin. His protégé, David Hall, succeeded Franklin at his print shop in Philadelphia when Franklin retired in 1747. At first he sympathised with the grievances of the American colonists, disapproving of the Stamp Act and publishing arguments in favour of a reconciliation in his London Chronicle. However, he later developed a much more hostile attitude, writing to Hume in 1775 "I am entirely for coercive methods with these obstinate madmen." In 1774, he purchased a seat as MP for the Wiltshire borough of Malmesbury, sitting as a supporter of Lord North's Tory administration. He represented that constituency until 1780, and then Wootton Bassett from 1780 to 1784, when he stood down because of ill health. He died the following year.
- Reynolds' portrait of Strahan
- The William Strahan Letters, dating from 1751 to 1777, are available for research use at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
- Robert Beatson, A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) 
- Lewis Namier & John Brooke, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1754-1790 (London: HMSO, 1964)
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]