Howard, Luke (1621-1699) (DNB00)

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HOWARD, LUKE (1621–1699), quaker, born at Dover on 18 Oct. 1621, was son of a shoemaker. He was apprenticed to his father's trade, and for a time was a strict churchman. On going to London to follow his trade he joined John Goodwin's congregation in Coleman Street. At the outbreak of the civil war he bought a horse, intending to join the parliamentary army, but failed to get enrolled. He then took service with the garrison in Dover Castle, and there refused to sing psalms 'in rhyme and meter.' The chaplain preached against him, and Samuel Fisher (1605-1665) [q.v.] reasoned with him, but was himself converted. After becoming successively a Brownist, presbyterian, and independent, he joined the baptists, and journeyed to London to be 'dipped' by William Kiffin on a December day when 'ice was in the water.' In March 1655 he again went to London, and was there converted to quakerism by William Caton and John Stubbs. They accompanied him back to Dover to establish a meeting. Howard says in his 'Journal' that he was the 'first receiver of Friends, and his first wife the first baptised person, in Kent.' Under Howard the quakers increased at Dover and attracted many baptists, much controversy following between the sects (Taylor, Hist. of the English General Baptists, i. 277). Howard got into trouble by interrupting the preachers at the churches. He often fasted for seven or eight days at a time. At the Restoration he was imprisoned in Dover Castle for three months. On 8 June 1661 he was committed to Westgate prison, Canterbury, for five days; in July following he was sent to Dover Castle for about sixteen months, and on 30 Jan. 1684 he was taken, with seven others, from the meeting, and imprisoned in the same dungeon for fifty-one weeks. Howard died on 7 Oct. 1699. He was twice married, and left a son, Luke, and two daughters, Mary, the wife of John Knott, shoemaker, and Lobdel.

Howard wrote:

  1. 'A few plain Words of Instruction given forth as moved of the Lord …,' &c., 4to, London, 1658.
  2. 'The Devils Bow Unstringed, or some of Thomas Danson's Lyes made manifest,' an answer to two pamphlets by Thomas Danson [q. v.], 4to, London, 1659.
  3. 'A Warning from the Lord unto the Rulers of Dover,' 4to, London, 1661.
  4. 'A Looking-Glass for Baptists, being a short Narrative of their Root and Rice in Kent,' against Richard Hobbs, pastor of the baptists in Dover, 4to, 1672; reprinted with
  5. 'The Seat of the Scorner thrown down: or Richard Hobbs his folly, envy, and lyes in his late Reply to my Book, called "A Looking-Glass, &c.," manifested and rebuked.… With a few Queries to the said R. Hobbs. To which is added a further answer by T. R.' (i.e. the 'Water Baptist,' by Thomas Rudyard), 4to, 1673.
  6. 'A Testimony concerning Samuel Fisher' (in Fisher's collected 'Works,' 1679).
  7. 'A Testimony concerning George Fox' (in Fox's 'Gospel Truth demonstrated,' 1706). Most of his tracts are to be found in 'Love and Truth in Plainness manifested: being a Collection of the several writings, faithful testimonies, and Christian epistles of … Luke Howard,' &c., 8vo, London, 1704, to which is prefixed his 'Journal,' penned shortly before his death.

[Journal as above; Smith's Cat. of Friends' Books, pp. 978-80; Smith's Bibliotheca Anti-Quakeriana, pp. 141, 231-2.]

G. G.