The Stricklands acquired the Boynton estate in 1549 and were prominent Puritans in the Elizabethan period. They served Cromwell in the Civil War and both Sir William's grandfather and great-uncle served in Commonwealth parliament. The family survived the Restoration although Sir William was bound over to appear at the assizes in 1683, having helped in the escape of the Scottish Whig Sir John Cochrane. Sir William had been educated at Exeter College, Oxford and first entered parliament as M.P. for Malton in 1689 under the interest of his father-in-law. He was a member of parliament during the reigns of William and Mary, Queen Anne and George I. He did not take a very active role in the party but did serve on twelve committees and was a strong advocate for harsh punishment for those who had served under James II.
When he inherited the family house from his father in 1684 it was a brick building with diaperwork decoration and three gables, as shown in a Buck drawing of 1715, noted by N. Pevsner in The Buildings of England, Yorkshire: York and the East Riding, London, 1972, p. 194. Sir William remodelled the house in the 1720s to the designs of Lord Burlington. Pevsner suggests, op. cit, p.195 that the drawings were the work of Burlington's architect William Kent. However Sir William's interests elsewhere did not allow him to supervise the builder and instead of following the designs to the letter, he improvised and constructed a shallow hipped roof found on many houses in the area. The result is a strange mixture of the sophisticated work or Burlington and Kent and the local vernacular. Although seemingly charming now, the effect was 'a constant mortification' to Sir William.
This cup would have been commissioned to be displayed in the new rooms planned by Sir William. A magnificent staircase from the period survived the later remodelling in the 1760s and the arms engraved on the cup appear in the plasterwork of the ceiling (see G. Worsley, Boynton Hall, Yorkshire, Country Life, 19 November 1992, p.61)