John Stroyan (politician)

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John Stroyan
Died5 December 1941(1941-12-05) (aged 84–85)
Lanrick Castle, Doune
OccupationBusinessman, politician
Spouse(s)Edith Dean
ChildrenJohn Robert Stroyan (b 1890)
Ronald Strathearn Stroyan (b 1890)
Parent(s)John Stroyan

John Stroyan (1856 – 5 December 1941)[1] was a Scottish industrialist and businessman. He was a Liberal Unionist Member of Parliament (MP) for West Perthshire from 1900 to 1906.


Stroyan was born in 1856, the eldest son of John Stroyan of Kirkchrist,[2] a Galloway gentleman-farmer.[3]

In South Africa, he became a merchant and was due to return to Scotland aged 32 having made a small fortune when he heard of the discovery of gold in the Rand. Staying on, he became associated with Cecil Rhodes and Barney Barnato and amassed a vast fortune.[3] He was "known to be a lecher and a financial swindler, attracting investments to useless mining propositions".[4]

After returning from Africa, he was selected to succeed Sir Donald Currie as candidate for West Perthshire at the 1900 general election. A report at the time described him thus: "Mr. John Stroyan is a sturdy, stalwart, rubicund Scotsman of about forty-five years of age. For about twenty years he was a merchant in South Africa, and was interested with the late Mr. Barnato in many of his most successful enterprises. He is a very rich man, but modest withal, and now that he has retired from business, he intends to devote himself to parliamentary life and the recreations of a country gentleman. He is an ardent sportsman, a good man after the hounds, a more than average shot, an expert fisherman, and no mean golf player. He has yet to make his mark as a public speaker but he has very decided opinions, and no lack of language wherewith to express them.[5]

He won the election, after which he was consulted by Joseph Chamberlain on reconstruction measures after the Boer War.[3] At the following general election, in 1906 he lost the seat to David Charles Erskine in a Liberal landslide.[4]

He died,aged 85, on 5 December 1941, at his home, Lanrick Castle, in Doune,[1] previously the property of the Liberal MP, Sir Robert Jardine.[6] He left an estate of over £200,000.[7]


Stroyan married Edith Dean in 1889. They had two sons, John Robert Stroyan (b 1890) and Ronald Strathearn Stroyan (b 1890). His granddaughter was Sheila Stroyan, a well-known golfer,[3] who with her father, John Robert Stroyan, won the inaugural "Family Foursomes" contest over the Old Course at Burhill Gof Course.[8] She was British girls' champion,[9] and held the Dutch title for two years before competing in the US women's championships at Noroton, Connecticut, in 1939[10]


  1. ^ a b "DEATH OF FORMER PERTHSHIRE M.P.", Dundee Evening Telegraph, 6 December 1941
  2. ^ Walter H. Wills, "John Stroyan" in The Anglo-African Who's Who and Biographical Sketchbook, 1907
  3. ^ a b c d "LONDON TOPICS – VIRILE PIONEER", Lake Wakatip Mail, Issue 4432, 5 September 1939, page 4
  4. ^ a b John M. MacKenzie, Nigel R. Dalziel, The Scots in South Africa: Ethnicity, identity, gender and race, 1772–1914, p243, Manchester University Press, 2007, ISBN 9780719076084
  5. ^ Mainly About People, p 483, 27 May 1899, vol 50 no.2
  6. ^ Groome, Francis H. (ed) (1885). "Lanrick Castle". Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland. Thomas C. Jack.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "FORMER PERTHSHIRE M.P.'S ESTATE", Dundee Courier, 29 April 1942
    - "RECENT WILLS", Liverpool Daily Post, 30 May 1942
  8. ^ "Mother and son duo crowned champions of Burhill Golf Club's 75th Family Foursomes", Golf Today, 11 September 2012
  9. ^ "Record field of Women Golfers tee Off in national Tournament", Sweetwater Reporter (Sweetwater, Texas), 21 August 1939
  10. ^ "GIRL CHALLENGER FOR U.S. GOLF TITLE", The Straits Times, 11 August 1939, Page 18

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Donald Currie
Member of Parliament for West Perthshire
Succeeded by
David Charles Erskine