THOUGH born in Glasgow during a temporary residence there of his father in 1845, Mr. Strang was bred in the parish of East Kilbride, in which all his ancestors had resided for over three centuries, and in which he himself holds the small ancestral estate of Millhouse. Originally the Strangs seem to have been Armstrongs, who came into the parish on the execution of Johnnie Armstrong and the break up of his Border clan by James V. in 1529. Mr. Strang is sixth in direct descent from Christopher Strang, the Covenanter, laird of the small estate of Lickprivick, who took part in the Pentland Rising, and, after receiving quarter at Rullion Green, was executed at Edinburgh, 7th December, 1666. The head of the Covenanter, after standing on Hamilton Tolbooth for twenty-two years, lies with three others in Hamilton Kirkyard under a quaint memorial which Mr. Strang has taken pains to preserve. From James, the son of the martyred Covenanter, most of the name of Strang in the world claim descent; though Dr. John Strang, believed to be a cousin of the martyr, who was Principal of Glasgow University from 1626 to 1650, may have left sons in addition to the daughter who married Walkinshaw of Barrowfield and became grandmother to the noted judge and philosopher, Henry Home, Lord Kames ; and Strang is a family name of the Earls of Derby and Earls of Atholl derived from a barony in the Isle of Man. A brother of the martyr purchased the estate of Earnock in 1654, and kept there a sword said to have belonged to Johnnie Armstrong; but his line died out with his great-grand-daughter in 1777.
Mr. Strang received his elementary education in the parish schools of Eaglesham and East Kilbride, and about the age of fourteen was put to farm work, with the idea that he should follow the occupation of his father, who farmed his own lands of Millhouse. He also acquired some knowledge of milling at a country meal mill feued off these lands, on the banks of the Cart. After three years of this experience, however, he resolved to turn his attention to commercial pursuits, and with the idea that he would be the better of a little legal training before entering on commercial life, he found a place in the office of his father's law agent in Glasgow, the late Mr. Quintin Dick. There he remained, taking at the same time a class in Glasgow University every year for six years. During his college curriculum he took first prize in the Conveyancing class, and second prize in the Faculty examination, and was placed in the First Class Honours list in Scots law. He qualified as a legal practitioner in 1872. Three years later, on the death of Mr. Dick, he began practice on his own account, and in 1886 he assumed as a partner Mr. Alexander Weir, who had been trained in the same office. Together they have built up a respectable and lucrative practice, Mr. Weir devoting his attention chiefly to legal work connected with commercial pursuits and shipping, while Mr. Strang has specialised in agricultural law, and is now recognised as one of the leading agricultural lawyers in Scotland.
Besides acting as law agent for several agricultural societies, and as legal correspondent for the Scottish Farmer, he is Secretary and Treasurer for the East Kilbride Open Cattle Show Society, the oldest organisation of the kind, which has the best one-day show in Scotland.
In his youth Mr. Strang excelled in athletic sports, and was considered a champion all-round amateur athlete. Of upwards of fifty prizes which he carried off, about thirty-five were firsts. But at the age of twenty-four he ended his athletic career by accidentally breaking the muscles of his right shoulder. He is a member of the Church of Scotland, and has been an elder for over seventeen years. He resides at Bosfield House, East Kilbride, on a small estate which has belonged to his wife's family for several generations. It is interesting to recall the fact that the beautifully wooded glen on his own estate of Millhouse was the scene of many Covenanters' conventicles, and of one great Sunday gathering in particular, attended by several thousand worshippers, at which upwards of sixty children were baptised in the River Cart.
Mr. Strang is the recognised modern historian of the parish.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)