Lord William Howard

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Lord William Howard
Born(1563-12-19)19 December 1563
Died7 October 1640(1640-10-07) (aged 76)
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Elizabeth Dacre
(after 1577)
Parent(s) Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Margaret Audley
Relatives Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk (brother)
Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel (half-brother)
Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley (grandfather)
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (grandfather)

Lord William Howard (19 December 1563 7 October 1640) was an English nobleman and antiquary, sometimes known as "Belted or Bauld (bold) Will".


Early life

Howard was born on 19 December 1563 at Audley End in Essex. He was the third son of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, and, his second wife, Margaret (née Audley) Dudley. His elder brother was Lord Thomas Howard, later 1st Earl of Suffolk and his sister was Lady Margaret Howard (wife of Robert Sackville, 2nd Earl of Dorset). [1] His father, who was executed in 1572, had previously been married to his mother's cousin, Lady Mary FitzAlan, second daughter and sole heiress, in her issue, of Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel and Lady Katherine Grey (second daughter of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset). From that marriage, Lord William had one elder half-brother, Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel. After his mother's death around 1563, his father married, thirdly, Elizabeth (née Leyburne) Dacre (widow of Thomas Dacre, 4th Baron Dacre and the eldest daughter of Sir James Leyburne of Cunswick). [1]

His paternal grandparents were Lord Henry Howard, styled Earl of Surrey (the eldest son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk) and Lady Frances de Vere (third daughter of John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford and, his second wife, Elizabeth Trussell, daughter and heiress of Sir John Trussell). [1] After his grandfather's execution in c.1546, his grandmother married Thomas Staynings of East Soham. His mother, the widow of Lord Henry Dudley (the youngest son of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland), was the daughter of Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Walden and, his second wife, Lady Elizabeth Grey (third daughter of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset). [1]


After his marriage in 1577, he proceeded to the University of Cambridge. [2] Lord William was a learned and accomplished scholar, praised by William Camden, to whom he sent inscriptions and drawings from relics collected by him from the Roman wall, as "a singular lover of valuable antiquity and learned withal." Sir Walter Scott referred to him as "Belted Will" in the Lay of the Last Minstrel . [3]

Being suspected of treasonable intentions together with his half-brother, Philip, Earl of Arundel (husband of his sister-in-law Anne Dacre), he was imprisoned in 1583, 1585 and 1589. He joined the Church of Rome in 1584, both brothers being dispossessed by the queen of a portion of their Dacre estates, which were, however, restored in 1601 for a payment of £10,000. [4]

Howard then took up his residence with his children and grandchildren at Naworth Castle in Cumberland, restored the castle, improved the estate and established order in that part of the country. He collected a valuable library, of which most of the printed works remain at Naworth, though the manuscripts have been dispersed, a portion being now among the Arundel manuscripts in the College of Arms; he corresponded with James Ussher and was intimate with Camden, Sir Henry Spelman, and Sir Robert Cotton, whose eldest son married his daughter. In 1592, he published an edition of Florence of Worcester's Chronicon ex Chronicis, dedicated to Lord Burghley, and drew up a genealogy of his family. [5]

In 1603, on the accession of James, he had been restored in blood. In 1618 he was made one of the commissioners for the border, and performed great services in upholding the law and suppressing marauders. [4]

Personal life

On 28 October 1577, he married his step-sister Elizabeth Dacre, third daughter of Thomas Dacre, 4th Baron Dacre and the former Elizabeth Leyburne. She was also the sister and co-heiress of George Dacre, 5th Baron Dacre. After Elizabeth's father died, her mother married his father in 1566. Together, Elizabeth and William were the parents of: [1]

He died on 7 October 1640 [2] at Greystoke, to which place he had been removed when failing in health, to escape the Scots who were threatening an advance on Naworth. He had a large family of children, of whom Philip, his heir, was the grandfather of Charles, 1st Earl of Carlisle, and Francis was the ancestor of the Howards of Corby. [6]


Through his son Philip, he was a grandfather of Sir William Howard of Naworth Castle and Henderskelfe Castle (c.1604c.1630), who married Mary Eure (eldest daughter of William Eure, 4th Baron Eure and Lucy Noel, sister of Edward Noel, 2nd Viscount Campden); and Alathea Howard (d. 1677), who married Thomas Fairfax, 2nd Viscount Fairfax of Emley. [1]


William Howard School, the secondary school in Brampton, Cumbria, is named after him.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "Norfolk, Duke of (E, 1483)". www.cracroftspeerage.co.uk. Heraldic Media Limited. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  2. 1 2 "Howard, Lord William (HWRT577W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. "William HOWARD of Naworth Castle". tudorplace.com.ar. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  4. 1 2 Reinmuth, Howard Stuart (1974). Lord William Howard (1563-1640) and His Catholic Associations. Catholic Record Society. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  5. "Lord William Howard (1563-1640) | StJohns". www.joh.cam.ac.uk. St John's College, Cambridge . Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  6. Chambers, Robert (1869). The Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the Calendar, Including Anecdote, Biography & History, Curiosities of Literature, and Oddities of Human Life and Character. W. & R. Chambers. p. 472. Retrieved 23 July 2020.

Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Howard, Lord William". Encyclopædia Britannica . Vol. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 834.