HOWARD, Charles (c. 1663-1715)

HOWARD, Charles (c. 1663–1715)

suc. fa. 24 Apr. 1694 as 4th Bar. HOWARD of Escrick

First sat 20 Nov. 1694; last sat 28 Mar. 1715

b. c.1663,1 o. surv. s. of William Howard, 3rd Bar. Howard of Escrick, and Frances, da. of Sir James Bridgeman, kt. of Prestwich, Lancs. educ. unknown. m. (?1) July 1689, Hannah, wid. of Edward Pike, citizen of London, 2s? d.v.p., 2da. (1 d.v.p.);2 (2) Aug. 1694 (annulled 4 Feb. 1701), Elizabeth (1651-1718), da and coh. of George Brydges, 6th Bar. Chandos, wid. of Edward Herbert, 3rd Bar. Herbert of Chirbury, and of William O’Brien, 2nd earl of Inchiquin [I]. s.p. d. 29 Apr. 1715; will 17 Apr. 1704-14 Apr. 1715, pr. 25 June 1715.3

Capt. duke of Norfolk’s regt. of ft. (later 12th Regt.), 20 June 1685-by 7 July 1686;4 lt. col. duke of Norfolk’s Regt. of Ft. (later 22nd Regt.), Apr.-Oct. 1689.5

Associated with: Tollesbury Hall, Essex (to 1702);6 College Street, Westminster.7

Charles Howard served as a subordinate officer in infantry regiments led by his third cousin Henry Howard, 7th duke of Norfolk, on two separate occasions in the 1680s. For the latter, a regiment raised in 1689 for the Irish campaign, Norfolk commissioned his kinsman to be his lieutenant colonel, and it was thus as a young military officer that Howard met and courted Hannah Pike, a widow of a citizen of London. According to later testimony, they married secretly in July 1689 in the church at Stafford, where the regiment was quartered on its way to Ireland. Howard laid down his commission in October 1689 when his colonel Norfolk was himself replaced and went to live with ‘Mrs Pike’ in College Street in Westminster. The marriage had been kept secret from Charles’s father, William Howard, 3rd Baron Howard of Escrick, but at Charles Howard’s succession to the title on 24 Apr. 1694, Hannah Pike reputedly started to go by the name of Lady Howard. Nevertheless, in August of that year, perhaps worried about the prospects of his fortune, and, according to one later account, compelled by his mother, the new Baron Howard of Escrick contracted an advantageous marriage with Elizabeth Brydges, already twice a widow. Howard deserted Lady Inchiquin, as she was known, in December 1694. He sold her jewels, arranged that the jointure of £1,000 settled on her by her first husband be channelled to him, then absconded to Holland with his first wife. By April 1695 he was back in England, but he continued to live openly with Hannah Pike thereafter.8 In that same year John Read, steward of Lady Inchiquin’s lands in Shropshire, brought a suit in chancery against Howard claiming that he had no right to the jointure income because his marriage to Lady Inchiquin was void through his bigamy. Chancery found in favour of Lady Inchiquin, but Howard responded by bringing the case before King’s Bench which, after a very long hearing at the Guildhall in July 1697, found in his favour.9 Lady Inchiquin then turned to the Court of Arches to have the marriage annulled, but even before a judgment had been reached there, she persuaded the king to issue a commission for the court of delegates to hear her case. After a long time gathering and hearing evidence, five of the six delegates decided on 4 Feb. 1701 that Howard’s marriage to Lady Inchiquin was null and void. Three weeks later Howard petitioned the king to set up a commission of review to re-examine the case, but the request was rejected despite the lord keeper’s initial advice in favour. Throughout his life Howard continued to deny that he had married ‘Mrs Pike’ and insisted that the claim was a stain on his name which could affect the transmission of property and title in a ‘great and noble family’.10 In his will, written in April 1704, he left a bequest to his daughter by Hannah Pike, Charlotte, whom he openly claimed as his own, but nevertheless stated that ‘I do hereby in the presence of God Almighty declare as I hope for mercy from him that I never was married to the said Mrs Pike nor any other woman but my most wicked wife the Lady Inchiquin’.11

John Macky was most likely referring to this marital imbroglio when he wrote early in Anne’s reign that Howard ‘is brave in his person, hath been under some unhappy characters and circumstances, which hath hindered his advancement, both in the last reign and in this; he was against King William’s ministry, and takes all occasions to show it’.12 The complications from his bigamous marriage to Lady Inchiquin probably affected his activity in his first sessions of Parliament. He came to only 16 additional meetings of the House in the 1694-5 session after his first sitting there on 20 Nov. 1694, but his attendance steadily increased as the next Parliament elected in the spring of 1695 progressed – 62 per cent of the sitting days in 1695-6, 76 per cent in 1696-7 and 88 per cent in 1697-8.

Howard’s initial activity in Parliament did not identify him as an opponent of the ministry. On 28 Feb. 1696 he signed the Association recognizing William III as ‘lawful and rightful’ king, and on 23 Dec. he voted in favour of the attainder of Sir John Fenwick (despite the fact that Fenwick was married to a Howard).13 By the 1697-8 session his opposition to the Junto Whig ministry was becoming more pronounced. He signed the protest of 4 Mar. 1698 against the decision to give the bill to punish the exchequer official, Charles Duncombe, a second reading and again voted against the committal of the bill on 15 March. He was further involved in this matter, for from 11 Apr. to 9 May he chaired every one of the six meetings of the committee established to investigate the practice of placing false endorsements on exchequer bills, and under his guidance a great deal of testimony on corrupt practices was gathered.14 On 7 Mar. he was appointed a manager for the conference concerning the House’s amendments to the bill to rectify defects in the poor laws. He later subscribed to the protest of 1 July against the bill establishing the Whig-based new East India Company. Throughout this period Howard held Norfolk’s proxy, first from 13 Apr. to the time of Norfolk’s return to the House on 4 May, and then again during Norfolk’s extended period of absence from 19 May to 22 June.

There were strong links between Howard and Norfolk. Howard was probably Norfolk’s own personal choice as lieutenant colonel in his regiment formed in April 1689 and Howard felt enough loyalty to throw in his own commission when Norfolk lost the colonelcy in early October 1689.15 Howard had made Norfolk godfather to Charlotte, his daughter by Hannah Pike.16 Perhaps most significantly, both men were involved in litigation concerning their troubled marriages, but while Howard may have been an active supporter of Norfolk’s attempt at divorce, he himself took all possible measures to prevent his lucrative marriage to Lady Inchiquin being annulled.17 Howard’s increased attendance and engagement in the House in the 1697-8 session, which saw the highest attendance level of his career in the House, may be largely attributable to the way that his dispute with Lady Inchiquin was now coming before the House. On 15 Dec. 1697 she petitioned the House that Howard should not be allowed to use his privilege to avoid hearings of her cause in the Court of Arches. In his answer submitted on 22 Dec. Howard railed that the petition was ‘scandalous and irrelevant’ and begged the House not to insist that he give up his privilege in this matter. The House put off hearing counsel for both sides until after the Christmas recess and it was on 7 Jan. 1698 that Howard, at the insistence of the House, reluctantly agreed to waive his privilege.18

It was also during 1697-8 that Howard’s work in committees on legislation increased greatly, perhaps in a bid to increase his standing and support among his peers in the face of his legal difficulties. Over the first two sessions of 1695-6 and 1696-7 he was nominated to a total of 50 committees; in 1697-8 alone he was placed on 45 committees on legislation. On 10 Feb. 1697 he chaired the committee on the bill to vest the estate of Edward Kerry in trustees and reported it as fit to pass to the House, but in the succeeding session of 1697-8 he was even more active as a chair of select committees. Between 17 and 21 Mar. 1698 he chaired five committee meetings on four different personal bills, including those for John Vaughan, Viscount Lisburne [I] (reported by Howard 21 Mar.) and for Sir Coplestone Warwick Bampfylde, (reported 23 Mar.). As noted above, between 11 Apr. and 9 May 1698 he was the principal chairman of the important committee investigating corrupt practices in the exchequer. During this period he also managed to chair three committee meetings on as many bills, and throughout May and June 1698 he chaired a further seven meetings on six different bills. Some of these he saw through to the report stage – the estate bill of John Lewin (reported 11 May), the bill to sell the London properties of the late Joseph Smith (reported 30 May), and that to establish workhouses in Kingston-upon-Hull (reported 7 June ).19

In the Parliament elected in the summer of 1698, his attendance dropped to 59 per cent in the first session of 1698-9, when he was named to 21 committees on legislation, and to 68 per cent in 1699-1700, with 16 committees. He showed his opposition to William III’s court on 8 Feb. 1699 when he voted against, and then signed the dissent from, the motion to exempt William III’s personal Dutch guards from the provisions of the disbanding bill. It was forecast that he would support the bill to maintain the old East India Company as a corporation against its new Whig rival, and at a division on 23 Feb. 1700 he did vote with the majority to further the bill through the House. At the end of the session, on 10 Apr., he joined in the large protest against the House’s last-minute decision to accede to the wishes of the court and to abandon its amendment to the Commons’ supply bill which included provisions for the parliamentary resumption of the royal grants of Irish lands.

Howard attended 64 per cent of the sitting days of the tumultuous and partisan Parliament convened in the first months of 1701, and was placed on 19 committees on legislation. On 8 Mar. he joined in the Tory protest against the proposed address to the king requesting that Captain John Norris be allowed to resume naval service despite the charges of neglect of duty still pending against him. A week later, on 15 Mar., he signed the two protests against the decision to omit the second and third heads of the House’s report condemning the questionable methods used in negotiating the Partition Treaty with France. On 16 Apr. Howard was one of the many protesters against the address requesting the king not to punish or censure, pending their trials, the Junto ministers impeached by the Commons. He joined in the following protest against the House’s decision to expunge from the Journal the reasons given in that day’s earlier protest, asserting the fundamental privilege of the peers to assign reasons in their protests. Throughout June he supported the Commons’ move to impeach the Junto ministers, principally John Somers, Baron Somers, and he signed two protests on 3 June against moves by the House which attempted to hinder or prevent this objective. Six days later, on 9 June, he further registered his opposition to the House’s rejection of the proposal for the establishment of a joint committee to discuss the outstanding disagreements between the chambers, principally the delay of the Commons in producing specific articles of impeachment. On 17 June he desperately tried to prevent the apparently inevitable acquittal of Somers by an impatient House, at first protesting against the decision to proceed to Westminster Hall to conduct the trial before the Commons were ready with their case and then protesting against the decision to put the question to acquit Somers. Unsurprisingly, he voted in the minority against the acquittal of Somers.

At the same time as this conflict between the Houses was being played out, Howard was involved in a far more personal issue. After many months of gathering and hearing testimony, on 4 Feb. 1701 the court of delegates had found his marriage to Lady Inchiquin null and void. On 28 May, Howard petitioned the House to support his application to the king to have a further commission of review established to examine the evidence once again. On 12 June the House ordered instead that Howard be prosecuted for bigamy. The attorney general reported back on 21 June that such a prosecution would be impossible as bigamy fell under William III’s general pardon and the attorney general himself would be liable to prosecution if he proceeded with it. It was then moved that the House request the king for a commission of review of the case. The division, with George Booth, 2nd earl of Warrington, and Richard Savage, 4th Earl Rivers, acting as tellers, produced an equal number of voices, but before the motion could be pronounced thus defeated, it was reported (in the event incorrectly) that Edward Ward, 7th Baron Dudley and 2nd Baron Ward, whose proxy had proved instrumental in equalizing the division, was dead and his proxy thus vacated. It was decided to put off the declaration of the vote for a further three days, but on the scheduled day, 24 June, the unruly Parliament was prorogued and the decision on Howard’s request for a commission of review was never formally entered in the Journal. Considering that Dudley was not dead at this point – he died in early August – and that Howard never did obtain a commission of review, it is certain that the division stood and the motion for an application to the king was defeated by the equality of voices. Indeed this vote was an even more close-run thing than the numbers in the division suggest. Lady Inchiquin later saw cause to thank Henry Herbert, Baron Herbert of Chirbury, for acting as ‘a most zealous and unparalleled friend’ to her in this matter. Herbert was cousin to Lady Inchiquin’s late first husband, the 3rd Baron Herbert of Chirbury, the source of the jointure now being pilfered by Howard. He played a leading role in achieving her razor-thin victory. Not only did he vote in her favour, but he appears to have brought George Nevill, 13th Baron Abergavenny, over to vote against the motion for a commission of review as well. ‘I see how Heaven still makes you my only deliverer, by gaining my Lord Bergavenny’, she thankfully wrote to her Herbert cousin, ‘Good God! how nicely did you deliver me! with but one voice!’20

Howard does not appear ever to have been prosecuted for bigamy, but his access to Lady Inchiquin’s jointure income was effectively stopped with these decisions of 1701. He did not give up his fight and in June 1703 turned to the Privy Council, petitioning them for a commission of review and perhaps hoping for better treatment by a new monarch with whom he was more sympathetic. The cause between the two disputants was heard by the queen in council in a long session on 24 June and after four long hours, in which Howard argued that when he ‘married’ Mrs. Pike her first husband was still living, thus invalidating his marriage to her and freeing him to marry Lady Inchiquin, the queen and council rejected his request for a commission of review, ‘so that his lordship is now foreclosed the law’.21 Howard drew up his will the following year, in April 1704, in which he made clear his anger about the proceedings against him commenced by his ‘most wicked wife the Lady Inchiquin, whom God forgive and grant her repentance for her horrible subornations and perjury against me’.

Despite, or perhaps because of, these setbacks, he continued attending the House fairly regularly. He was present at 78 per cent of the sitting days of the Parliament which first met on the penultimate day of 1701, after another surprise dissolution earlier that year. In the first days of the session he signed the declaration of the House against Louis XIV’s recognition of the Pretender as king of England, Scotland and Ireland, and the following day was placed on the drafting committee for the address reassuring the king of the House’s continuing willingness to join with him in reducing the ‘exorbitant power of France’. Such expressions of loyalty were made redundant by William’s death on 8 Mar. 1702, when Howard, along with the rest of the House present that day, was appointed a manager for a conference to discuss the procedures for the proclamation of Anne as queen. After her accession his involvement in the House became greater and more noticeable. He was named to about the same number of committees, ten, before the accession of Anne as after it, but in the first few weeks of the new reign he chaired two committees on legislation: for Sir Samuel Thompson’s bill for the sale of Parkbury on 24 Mar. 1702 and for the general naturalization bill for Daniel van Ryssen and several others, which he reported to the House on 16 May.22 William III’s last Parliament was dissolved on 2 July 1702 and in the first session of Anne’s Parliament, from October 1702 to February 1703, Howard was present at 69 per cent of the sitting days. He continued to side openly with the Tories, and on 16 Jan. 1703 voted against the amendments to the penalty clause of the Occasional Conformity bill which the Whigs used to scupper that bill in the Commons. He also continued and even increased his activity in select committees. On 10 and 22 Dec. 1702 he chaired meetings of the committee assigned to consider whether the petition of Edward Morgan to introduce a bill in Parliament should be accepted and he reported to the House the committee’s approbation of the request on 22 December. On 12 Jan. 1703 he chaired and reported from the committee concerned with the bill to allow Edmund Fowler to partition his estate in Kent, and 15 days later he chaired the committee on the bill for repairing the highways in Essex, which he reported to the House as fit to pass on 1 February.23

On the basis of his voting in the previous session, the Whig leader Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland, fully expected Howard to vote for the Occasional Conformity bill in the session of 1703-4. Howard, though, only attended this long session once, on 11 Dec. 1703, three days before the controversial bill was voted on in the House. Howard may have been feeling the effects of his poverty or, perhaps more likely, was seriously ill, for his prolonged absence through ‘indisposition’ was formally excused by the House on 12 Jan. 1704. He may well have covered his absence by registering his proxy with a colleague, but unfortunately the proxy registers for this particular session are missing. The ‘Lord Howard’ who is sometimes recorded as voting against the Occasional Conformity bill on 14 Dec. 1703 was Thomas Howard, 6th Baron Howard of Effingham, a young man who had only recently come of age, after inheriting the title as a minor in 1695, and who had first sat in the House on 9 Nov. 1703. From this point there is occasional confusion between the two Lord Howards in the House resulting in the error in Cobbett’s printed copy of the division list in which he identifies Howard of Escrick as voting against the Occasional Conformity bill rather than Howard of Effingham.24

Howard was sufficiently recovered to attend 57 per cent of the sittings of 1704-5 from its first day on 24 Oct. 1704. He was included in a list drawn up in late 1704 of those who were thought likely to support the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to ‘tack’ another version of the Occasional Conformity bill to a necessary supply bill. Once again, though, he had more pressing personal matters to keep him occupied in the House. Macky, writing at about this time, described Howard as ‘poor’ and the loss of Lady Inchiquin’s jointure income does appear to have forced him to sell much of his remaining estate.25 He had already sold his Essex manor of Tollesbury in 1702 to the Turkey merchant Peter Whetcomb, and on 27 Nov. 1704 he petitioned the House to be allowed to bring in a bill to enable him to sell Wheldrake in the East Riding of Yorkshire, the last remaining part of the far-flung estate accumulated by his grandfather Edward Howard, Baron Howard of Escrick.26 The bill was read the first time on 1 Dec. 1704 and committed three days later. William Nicolson, bishop of Carlisle, noted that the committee meetings on this bill, chaired by Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun, on 19 and 20 Dec., were ‘troublesome’, and indeed a special clause did have to be inserted for the benefit of the two daughters of one of the tenants. The bill was passed by the House on 21 Dec., was returned by the Commons on 7 Feb. 1705 and received the royal assent on 14 March. From 3 Feb. 1705 to the end of the session Howard also held the proxy of the 2nd earl of Warrington, one of the tellers in the division of 1701. Howard continued to be busy in committees in the first two months of 1705. Nicolson recorded that Howard was present at a committee meeting on 9 Jan. on a bill to divide the parishes of Bletchingly and Horne in Hampshire.27 In the period 2-17 Feb. he chaired seven committee meetings on five different personal bills and reported from four of them to the House, on the bills to allow Richard Lister to sell his late father-in-law’s estate (reported 9 Feb.), to allow Edmund Waller to charge his estate for the settlement of debts (reported 9 Feb.), to discharge a mortgage of Edward Baines (reported 10 Feb.), and to allow Thomas Holford to sell part of his estate (reported 23 February).28

In the period between the dissolution of Anne’s first Parliament on 5 Apr. 1705 and the first meeting of the new Parliament on 25 Oct., Howard was marked as a Jacobite in a contemporary analysis of the attitudes of the peerage. This was undoubtedly owing to his strong Tory leanings, though it is not clear whether they amounted to Jacobitism. Certainly in the 1705-6 session, when he was present for half of the sittings, he joined the Tories in their controversial suggestion on 15 Nov. 1705 that an address be prepared requesting the queen to invite the heir presumptive, the dowager electress Sophia of Hanover, to reside in England during the queen’s lifetime. He even signed the protest against the decision not to put the question on that motion. The Tories’ embarrassment from this misjudged proposal was only compounded when they, including Howard of Escrick, voted against the proposition put forward in the committee of the whole House on 6 Dec. that ‘the Church was not in danger under the queen’s administration’. Howard also signed the protest against the vote approving this motion.29 On 11 Mar. 1706 Howard was assigned, along with the rest of the House then present, to consult with the Commons in conference on the ‘libellous’ published letter of Sir Rowland Gwynn to Thomas Grey, 2nd earl of Stamford, which advocated the dowager electress’s residence in England during the queen’s lifetime. He maintained his activity in committees and on 6 Dec. 1705 reported from the committee he had chaired on the bill for the sale of part of Thomas Chute’s estate. On 5 Mar. 1706 he also reported from committee on the bill to vest the estate of Richard Bold in trustees for the payment of debts.30

His attendance dropped to 36 per cent in the 1706-7 session, during which he made clear his opposition to the Scottish Union. On 3 Feb. 1707, in a debate on the bill to secure the Church of England against the threat of the Presbyterian Kirk’s influence, he signed the protest against the decision not to instruct the committee of the whole House to insert a clause in the bill declaring that the 1673 Test Act was ‘perpetual and unalterable’. On 23 Feb. in the debates on the bill for Union itself, he registered his protest against the resolution setting the amount to be raised by the cess in Scotland to be a fixed proportion of the land tax in England. Following the passage of the Act of Union he came to only one meeting of the brief session of ten days which took place in April 1707, and then showed up for just over half of the meetings of the 1707-8 session, the first in which Scottish representative peers sat in the House.

Howard’s attendance continued at this low level throughout the Whig-dominated Parliament elected in the summer of 1708. In each of its sessions, of 1708-9 and 1709-10, he was present for 39 per cent of the sittings. He did have one unusual vote in this Parliament when he sided with the Junto and the Whigs against the ministry of the lord treasurer Sidney Godolphin, earl of Godolphin, by voting on 21 Jan. 1709 against the right of Godolphin’s Scottish ally, James Douglas, 2nd duke of Queensberry [S], to vote for Scottish representative peers while holding the British title of duke of Dover. The more overtly partisan battle over the firebrand minister Dr Henry Sacheverell in the 1709-10 session more clearly brought out his Tory inclinations, as he consistently defended the doctor and tried to thwart the proceedings against him. On 14 Mar. 1710 he joined in protests against the motion that the articles of impeachment were valid and actionable even without specifying the alleged criminal words attributed to Sacheverell. On 16 and 17 Mar. he protested against the resolutions of the House that the Commons in their arguments had made good their first four articles against the doctor and on the 18th he registered his objection to the insistence that members of the House could only submit one single vote of guilty or not guilty upon all the articles against the doctor. At Sacheverell’s trial on 20 Mar. Howard found the doctor not guilty and joined in the protest against the guilty verdict, while the following day he was part of another protest against the severity of the censures levelled against the minister. Three days later, on 24 Mar., Howard turned from this matter and chaired and reported from the committee on the bill for the sale of part of the estate of Anthony Preston, 9th Viscount Gormanston [I].31

Throughout the weeks before the convening of the new Parliament in November 1710, the new chief minister of the queen, Robert Harley, later earl of Oxford, considered Howard to be a reliable supporter of the new ministry. Indeed, throughout the Parliament of 1710-13 Howard was consistently considered a stalwart of the Harley ministry and was included in the lord treasurer’s political calculations.32 From the first session of 1710-11, when Howard attended 42 per cent of the sitting days, he took a larger and more responsible role in the House than heretofore, and was often relied on to act as an acolyte and representative of the ministry. On 2 Jan. 1711 he was placed on a committee of 14 members assigned to draw up an address of thanks for the queen’s message concerning the disasters in the war in Spain, an address which led to the controversial resolutions later that month condemning the previous Whig ministry for its conduct of the Spanish campaign. Howard registered his proxy with the Tory leader John Sheffield, duke of Buckingham and Normanby, on 24 Jan., but this was vacated by his return to the House two weeks later on 9 February. Howard may well have been registering his proxy with Buckingham or other Tory leaders in previous sessions in which he was absent for long periods of time, but this cannot be determined owing to the loss of the proxy registers for the sessions from 14 Apr. 1707 to 5 Apr. 1710. After his return to the House he took up a new role, and was chairman for committees of the whole House considering the bills to continue the acts against mutiny and desertion (22 Mar. 1711) and to confirm the divorce of Benedict Leonard Calvert (later 4th Baron Baltimore [I]) (9 April). Towards the end of the session he was again placed on a drafting committee, this one for a response to the queen’s message of 20 Apr. 1711 announcing the death of the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I. After his activities in the House in that session, Howard was included in a list of True English Patriots published in June 1711.

From the fifth day of the following session, 12 Dec. 1711, to the prorogation on 21 June 1712, Howard held the proxy of his distant kinsman Henry Bowes Howard, 4th earl of Berkshire (later 11th earl of Suffolk). Howard himself was present for 68 per cent of the sittings of this session. He was a stalwart of the ministry from the session’s first day, 7 Dec. 1711, when he voted against the motion to insert the ‘No Peace without Spain’ clause in the address to the queen. Oxford, as Robert Harley had become by this time, included him on his list of ‘loyal peers’ who were to be gratified for their vote in this division. Two weeks later, on 20 Dec., Howard voted in favour of the eligibility of the Tory James Hamilton, 4th duke of Hamilton [S], to sit in the House under his British title as duke of Brandon. He chaired the committee of the whole which on 7 Apr. 1712 considered a bill to reform aspects of an old Jacobean bill against bankrupts, and he delivered the committee’s report to the House two days later. On 8 Apr. he reported from the select committee he had chaired on the estate bill for John More the younger. Later, on 3 May, he chaired a meeting for the bill to settle land free of rent charges on John Hillersdon, which he reported to the House as fit to pass two days later.33 He rounded out the session by voting with the ministry on 28 May against the proposed address to the queen expressing unease with the orders sent to James Butler, 2nd duke of Ormond, not to engage in offensive military actions against the French in that campaigning season.34 He came to all the days of prorogation throughout the first two months of 1713, and then attended 70 per cent of the meetings of that spring, when the news of the Treaty of Utrecht was announced and debated. He was forecast in June to vote in favour of the ministry’s French commerce bill, but that measure never made its way past the Commons to even reach the House.

He continued to attend prorogations over the winter of 1713-14 and was present for the first day of the session of the new Parliament on 16 Feb. 1714. He attended exactly half of the sittings and registered his proxy with Buckingham again from 16 Apr. until his return to the House 12 days later. Later in that session he gave his proxy to Berkshire, from 8 to 30 June, before returning for the last week of the session. Daniel Finch, 2nd earl of Nottingham, classified him as a supporter of the Schism bill, but as he was absent during the proceedings on the bill it was most likely Berkshire who handled his vote in favour of this legislation. He was present in the House when it was hastily summoned on 1 Aug., following the death of the queen, and continued to attend until 5 August.

In late 1713 a report prepared for the elector of Hanover, perhaps by Sunderland, had considered Howard one of those lords who ‘vote with the Court’, but who could possibly be brought over to the Hanoverian interest with a pension of £500 a year. The future George I did not follow this suggestion, either as elector of Hanover or as king. Howard could not expect any favours from the new regime in 1715 and, after sitting for four days at the beginning of George I’s first Parliament, he left the House on 28 Mar. 1715 and registered his proxy with Buckingham the following day. This assignment was short-lived as Howard died a month later, on 29 Apr., reputedly of asthma.35 He had never seen fit to alter the will he had written in April 1704, at which time he still owned the Wheldrake estate in Yorkshire. His will bequeathed this property, sold in 1706, to his mother, the dowager Lady Howard, who was still alive at her son’s death and acted as principal legatee and executrix, responsible for disbursing the £2,450 of legacies to family members and friends, including £200 to his only surviving child by Hannah Pike, his daughter Charlotte. As he did not have any surviving male children by either of his marriages, the barony of Howard of Escrick became extinct at his death.


  • 1 J. Macky, Characters of the Court of Great Britain, 102.
  • 2 DEL 1/267, pp. 117-19; TNA PROB 11/546.
  • 3 PROB 11/546.
  • 4 Dalton, Army Lists, ii. 33; CSP Dom. 1686-7, pp. 39, 201.
  • 5 Dalton, iii. 7, 69; Verney ms mic. M636/43, J. Verney to Sir R. Verney, 16 Oct. 1689.
  • 6 P. Morant, Hist. and Antiqs. of Essex, i. 402-3.
  • 7 TNA, DEL 1/267.
  • 8 DEL 1/267; HMC Hastings, ii. 243, 244; Add. 46527, ff. 39-40.
  • 9 TNA, C5/218/43; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 227, 249.
  • 10 DEL 1/267; PC 1/1/77.
  • 11 TNA, PC 1/1/77; PROB 11/546.
  • 12 Macky Mems. 102.
  • 13 Browning, Danby, iii. 192; Cobbett, Parl. Hist. v. 1155.
  • 14 PA, HL/PO/CO/1/5, pp. 532-43, 545, 547, 556, 560.
  • 15 Dalton, iii. 69; Verney ms mic. M636/43, J. Verney to Sir R. Verney, 16 Oct. 1689.
  • 16 DEL 1/267, p. 118.
  • 17 State Trials, xiii. 1325-6.
  • 18 HMC Lords, n.s. iii. 10-12; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 319, 322, 327, 329; Add. 17677 SS, f. 111v.
  • 19 HL/PO/CO/1/5, pp. 422, 509, 511, 512, 532-43, 545-6, 547, 560, 579, 586, 602.
  • 20 Epistolary Curiosities ed. R. Warner, ii. 11-13 (no. 6).
  • 21 PC 2/79, p. 407; Add. 70075, newsletters, 24 and 26 June 1703; Add. 61413, f. 5; Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 312.
  • 22 HL/PO/CO/1/6, pp. 219-20, 235.
  • 23 Ibid. 242, 249, 260, 281.
  • 24 Cobbett, vi. 171; see Boyer, Anne Annals, ii. app. 29.
  • 25 Macky, 102.
  • 26 Morant, i. 402-3.
  • 27 Nicolson, London Diaries, 273.
  • 28 HL/PO/CO/1/7, pp. 51, 54-55, 57, 75, 76.
  • 29 WSHC, Ailesbury mss 3790/1/1, p. 60; PH, xxxii. 260.
  • 30 HL/PO/CO/1/7, pp. 98, 164, 181.
  • 31 Ibid. 387.
  • 32 Add. 70283, Howard of Escrick to R. Harley, 26 Aug. n.y.; Add. 70331, memoranda dated 29 Dec. 1711, 24 July 1714 and undated.
  • 33 HL/PO/CO/1/8, pp. 41, 48; HMC Lords, n.s. ix. 223, 226.
  • 34 PH, xxvi. 178.
  • 35 Post Boy, 28-30 Apr. 1715.