Howard, Hugh (DNB00)
|←Howard, Henry Granville Fitzalan-||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 28
|Howard, James (fl.1674)→|
HOWARD, HUGH (1675-1737), portrait-painter and collector of works of art, born in Dublin 7 Feb. 1675, was eldest son of Dr. Ralph Howard [q.v.] of Shelton, co. Wicklow. He came with his father to England in 1688, and showing a taste for painting joined in 1697 the suite of Thomas Herbert, eighth earl of Pembroke [q.v.], one of the plenipotentiaries for the treaty of Ryswyck, on a journey through Holland to Italy. He remained in Italy about three years, returning to England in October 1700. After spending some years in Dublin, Howard settled in London, where he practised for some time as a portrait-painter. He obtained, however, the sinecure post of keeper of the state papers, and was subsequently appointed paymaster of the works belonging to the crown. He was thus enabled to relinquish painting as a profession. Howard was a profound student, with a good knowledge and powers of discernment in the critical study of art. The emoluments of his various posts, added to a good private income and economical habits, enabled him to collect prints, drawings, medals, &c., on a large scale. Howard executed a few etchings, including one of Padre Resta, the collector; twenty-one drawings by him, including a portrait of Cardinal Albani, and some caricatures, are in the print room in the British Museum. Matthew Prior wrote a poem in his honour. Howard died in Pall Mall 17 March 1737, and was buried in the church at Richmond, Surrey. He made a fortunate marriage in 1714 with Thomasine, daughter and heiress of General Thomas Langston.
Howard inherited in 1728 part of Lord-chancellor West's library from his younger brother, William Howard, M.P. for Dublin. He left his collections to his only surviving brother, Robert Howard, bishop of Elphin [see under Howard, Ralph], who removed them to Ireland. They remained in the possession of the latter's descendants, the Earls of Wicklow, until December 1873, when the fine collection of prints and drawings, many of which were from the collections of Sir Peter Lely and the Earl of Arundel, were dispersed by auction. Many fine specimens found their way into the print room at the British Museum.
A portrait of Howard was painted by Michael Dahl in 1723, and engraved in mezzo-tint by John Faber, jun., in 1737.[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, ed. Archdall; Vertue's MSS. (Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 23076); Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, ed. Wornum; Sale Cat. of the Hugh Howard Collection, 1873; Bromley's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, p.292.]