William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham

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The Lord Howard of Effingham
William Howard (circa 1510-1573), 1st Baron Howard of Howard of Effingham, English School of the 16th century.jpg
Personal details
Died12 January 1573(1573-01-12) (aged 62–63)
Spouse(s)Katherine Broughton
Margaret Gamage
ChildrenAgnes Paulet, Marchioness of Winchester
Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham
Sir William Howard
Edward Howard
Henry Howard
Margaret Howard-married Richard Allen Hinson
Douglas Sheffield, Lady Sheffield
Mary Sutton, Lady Dudley
Frances Seymour, Countess of Hertford
Martha, Lady Bourchier
Katherine Howard
Parent(s) Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk
Agnes Tilney
Arms of Sir William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, KG Coat of arms of Sir William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, KG.png
Arms of Sir William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, KG

William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham (c. 1510 12 January 1573) was an English diplomat and military leader. He served four monarchs, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, in various official capacities, most notably on diplomatic missions and as Lord Admiral and Lord Chamberlain of the Household.


Early life

William Howard was born about 1510, the ninth son of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, his eldest son by his second wife, Agnes Tilney. [1] [lower-alpha 1]

Howard was brought to court at a young age after completing his education at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. [2]


In 1531 Howard was sent on an embassy to Scotland by King Henry VIII, and accompanied the King to Boulogne in October 1532. In May 1533, as deputy to his half-brother, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, he served as Earl Marshal at the coronation of his niece, Anne Boleyn, [3] the daughter of his half-sister, Elizabeth Boleyn, Countess of Wiltshire. On 10 September 1533, Howard bore the canopy over his great-niece Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth I). In 1534 he went to Scotland. His instructions including getting the measurements of James V of Scotland from the Bishop of Aberdeen, Lord High Treasurer of Scotland. Then Howard's tailor would make Henry VIII's nephew a new suit of clothes as a present. Howard would then broach the subject of the two kings meeting in person. [4] In February 1535 he was sent again to Scotland to invest James V with the Order of the Garter and brought a present of "great horses". Howard met James V at Stirling Castle on Good Friday. They discussed a possible meeting of the two Kings at Newcastle at Michaelmas. Margaret Tudor praised his abilities and wrote that her son James V, "lykkis hym right weill." [5]

In June 1535 he was in France as a member of the English embassy authorized to negotiate with the French Admiral, Philippe de Chabot. In February 1536 he was again in Scotland, this time for the purpose of persuading James V to adopt Henry VIII's religious policy. He returned to Scotland again in April when he heard rumours from Margaret Tudor and others that James V intended to marry his mistress, Margaret Erskine, Lady Lochleven. [6] He was again in France in 1537. On 11 December 1539 he was among those who welcomed King Henry VIII's fourth bride, Anne of Cleves at Calais. [7]

While on an embassy to France in 1541 William Howard was charged with concealing the sexual indiscretions of his young niece, Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife, and was recalled to England to stand trial. On 22 December 1541 Howard, his wife, and a number of servants who had been alleged witnesses to the Queen's misconduct were arraigned for misprision of treason, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment and loss of goods. He and most of the others were pardoned after Queen Catherine's execution on 13 February 1542. [8]

Military career

In 1544 Howard accompanied the Earl of Hertford's forces in the invasion of Scotland. It was reported that he was hurt in the cheek by an English arrow during fighting on Edinburgh's Royal Mile. [9] In July of that year he took part in the siege of Boulogne. On 27 May 1545 the King's Council ordered Howard to "repayre to serve uppon the sees". Later orders show that he detained several foreign vessels while patrolling the English Channel. In May 1546 he was entrusted with the sum of £12,000 to pay the English army at Calais. In connection with these duties he was referred to as "vice-admiral" to the then Lord Admiral, Viscount Lisle. When Lisle's attendance was required in May 1546 at negotiations which resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Ardres on 7 June 1546, he turned command of the English fleet over to Howard. [10]

Howard's career received a check in 1547 with the downfall of his half-nephew Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. However the setback was temporary. [11] He was an ally of John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, then Earl of Warwick, in his coup against the Protector Somerset in October 1549, [12] and on 19 March 1551 received the manor of Effingham, Surrey, [13] and other properties by way of reward. On 29 October 1552 Northumberland secured Howard's appointment as Lord Deputy and Governor of Calais, and in the same month he was sworn of the Privy Council. When the young King Edward VI died on 6 July 1553, Howard held Calais for Queen Mary I against the supporters of her rival, Lady Jane Grey. [14]

On 2 January 1554 he was appointed to meet the Spanish ambassadors who had come to London to negotiate a marriage between Queen Mary I and King Philip II of Spain. [15] Wyatt's rebellion broke out on 25 January, and Howard was among those who raised the militia to defend London. On 7 February 1554 he held Ludgate, preventing the rebels from entering the city and leading to their surrender a few hours later. [16] He was appointed to Queen Mary's Privy Council on 3 January 1554, and on 11 March was created Baron Howard of Effingham. On 20 March 1554 he was granted a patent as Lord Admiral, replacing Lord Clinton. On 9 October of that year he was made a Knight of the Garter. [17] Around this date there was a masque at court, featuring mariners' costumes made of gold and silver cloth, which Francis Yaxley thought was Howard's production. [18]

As Lord Admiral, Howard, with a fleet of 28 ships, met King Philip II on his arrival in England in 1555, and in August of that year escorted the King to Flanders. [19] In 1557 Howard's fleet transported a force under the command of the Earl of Pembroke to Calais. [20] Lord Howard's support for the accession of his great-niece, Elizabeth, exposed him to suspicion, although he was never considered disloyal by Queen Mary. [21] In February 1558 Howard's patent as Lord Admiral was revoked, and on 12 February 1558 the office was restored to Lord Clinton. [22] Howard was compensated by a grant of the reversion of the office of Lord Chamberlain of the Household and an annuity of 200 marks, effective the previous September. [23]


Howard inherited a number of manors and estates, some from the Howard family, some through his first wife Katherine, and others by gift of the Crown. These included lands at Broughton in Buckinghamshire; Billeshurst, Bletchingley, Kingswood, Little Bookham and Tillingdown in Surrey; [24] Lowick in Northamptonshire; Shaw-cum-Donnington in Berkshire; and Tottenham in north London.

In 1566, Howard had some financial difficulties, and handed some of his Surrey estates to his great-nephew Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, retaining Little Bookham for his second wife, Margaret. [25]

Final years

After Queen Elizabeth's accession on 17 November 1558, Howard succeeded Edward Hastings as Lord Chamberlain and was appointed to the Privy Council. In early 1559 he was among those who negotiated the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis. [26] In August 1564 he accompanied the Queen on a visit to Cambridge, where he was awarded the degree of Master of Arts; on 6 October 1566 he was awarded a similar degree by the University of Oxford. [27] According to McDermott, he was a "near constant attendee at privy council meetings during the 1560s", but by the latter part of 1572 he could no longer discharge his duties as Lord Chamberlain because of ill health, and the Queen appointed his nephew, the Earl of Sussex, to replace him, appointing Howard as Lord Privy Seal. Howard died at Hampton Court Palace on 12 January 1573, and was buried on 29 January at Reigate. [28]

Whitgift School currently stands on the site of the former Howard estate in Croydon. [29] There is a full-length portrait of Lord Howard by Daniël Mijtens at Nostell Priory.[ citation needed ]


Monumental brass of Katherine Broughton, first wife of Lord Howard; St Mary's Church, Lambeth, Surrey (destroyed in WWII) KatherineHoward MonumentalBrass 1535 Lambeth.xcf
Monumental brass of Katherine Broughton, first wife of Lord Howard; St Mary's Church, Lambeth, Surrey (destroyed in WWII)

William Howard married firstly, before 18 June 1531, Katherine (died 23 April 1535), the daughter of John Broughton (died 23 January 1518) [30] of Toddington, Bedfordshire, by Anne Sapcote (died 14 March 1559), the daughter and heir of Sir Guy Sapcote by Margaret Wolston, daughter and heir of Sir Guy Wolston. [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] They had one daughter, Agnes Howard, who married William Paulet, 3rd Marquess of Winchester. Katherine (née Broughton) was buried in the parish church of St Mary at Lambeth, where there is a monument to her memory. [35] [36]

He married secondly, on 29 June 1533, [37] Margaret Gamage (died 1581), the third daughter of Sir Thomas Gamage of Coity, Glamorganshire and his wife, Margaret Saint John, the half-second cousin of Henry VIII - her paternal grandfather, John, was a half-sister of Margaret Beaufort - and the daughter of Sir John Saint John of Bletsoe, Bedfordshire, by whom he had four sons and five daughters.


  1. Howard was thus the half brother of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, the 2nd Duke's eldest son and heir by his first marriage to Agnes Tilney's cousin, Elizabeth Tilney.
  1. Richardson 2004 , p. 237.
  2. Richardson 2004 , p. 237; McDermott 2008.
  3. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Howard of Effingham, William Howard, 1st Baron"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . Vol. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 634–635.
  4. State Papers Henry VIII, vol 5, part IV part 2 (1836), 1–6, instruction for William Howard.
  5. State Papers Henry VIII, vol 5, part IV part 2 (1836), 19–20, 38-42: Diurnal of Occurrents, Bannatyne Club, (1830)
  6. State Papers Henry VIII, vol 5, part IV part 2 (1836), pp. 40-1
  7. Weir 1991 , pp. 392–393; McDermott 2008.
  8. Weir 1991 , pp. 474–475; Richardson 2004 , p. 237; McDermott 2008.
  9. Calendar of State Papers, Spain, vol.7, (1899), no. 89, French copy of an Imperial newsletter.
  10. McDermott 2008; Loades 2008.
  11. McDermott 2008.
  12. McDermott 2008.
  13. Cokayne 1926 , p. 9.
  14. McDermott 2008.
  15. McDermott 2008.
  16. Archer 2006; McDermott 2008.
  17. Cokayne 1926 , p. 9; McDermott 2008.
  18. Henry Ellis, Original Letters, 3rd series vol. 3 (London, 1846), pp. 312-15, citing Lansdown MS 3/44.
  19. McDermott 2008.
  20. McDermott 2008; Sil 2009.
  21. McDermott 2008.
  22. Duffin 2008.
  23. McDermott 2008.
  24. "Victoria County History - Surrey. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912". British History Online. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  25. "Parishes: Little Bookham Pages 335-338 A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911". British History Online. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  26. McDermott 2008.
  27. Cokayne 1926 , p. 9.
  28. McDermott 2008; Cokayne 1926 , p. 9.
  29. "Whitgift School". Archived from the original on 26 March 2019.
  30. A Who’s Who of Tudor Women: Brooke-Bu, compiled by Kathy Lynn Emerson to update and correct Wives and Daughters: The Women of Sixteenth-Century England (1984) Archived 20 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 1 June 2013. Katherine's death date is confirmed by a memorial brass in St. Mary's Church, Lambeth, now destroyed, but recorded by John Aubrey in his Natural History and Antiquities of the County of Surrey, vol. V (London, 1719), p, 231-2.
  31. Howard & Armytage 1869, p. 84.
  32. After the death of John Broughton, Anne (née Sapcote) married secondly Sir Richard Jerningham (died 1525), and thirdly John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford.
  33. Ross 2011, p. 187.
  34. Richardson II 2011, p. 417.
  35. 1 2 Lysons 1792, pp. 278–9.
  36. 'Church of St Mary, Lambeth', Survey of London: volume 23: Lambeth: South Bank and Vauxhall (1951), pp. 104-117 Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  37. Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic of Henry VIII, June 1533
  38. Richardson 2004 , pp. 237–238, 648.
  39. Doran 2010.
  40. Richardson 2004 , p. 237; McDermott 2008.

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Political offices
Preceded by Lord High Admiral
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lord Chamberlain of the Household
Succeeded by
Preceded by Custos Rotulorum of Surrey
bef. 1562–1573
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by
Peerage of England
New creation Baron Howard of Effingham
Succeeded by