Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Howard, Philip Thomas
HOWARD, PHILIP THOMAS (1629–1694), the cardinal of Norfolk, born 21 Sept. 1629 at Arundel House in the parish of St. Clement Danes, London, was third son of Henry Frederick Howard, third earl of Arundel [q. v.], by Elizabeth Stuart, eldest daughter of Esme, lord d'Aubigny, afterwards Duke of Richmond and Lennox. He had several private tutors, some of whom were protestants, but he was brought up in the Roman catholic religion. On 4 July 1640 he, together with his brothers Thomas and Henry, was admitted a fellow-commoner of St. John's College, Cambridge, but their residence in the university was brief. They were sent to be educated at Utrecht, where, in 1641, their grandfather, Thomas Howard, earl of Arundel and Surrey [q. v.], visited them. They afterwards removed to Antwerp, where Philip resolved to devote his life to the service of religion. To this his grandfather, who had conformed to the English church, strongly objected, and he was sent with his brothers on a long tour through Germany, France, and Italy (cf. Evelyn, Diary, ii. 263). At Milan Philip became acquainted with John Baptist Hacket [q. v.], an Irish Dominican friar, and going with Hacket to the house of the Dominicans at Cremona received the habit 28 June 1645, assuming in religion the name of Thomas. The Earl of Arundel believed that his grandson had been unduly influenced; and begged Sir Kenelm Digby, who had just arrived in Rome, to appeal to Pope Innocent X. By the pope's order Philip was removed on 26 July to the palace of Cesare Monti, cardinal archbishop of Milan, who allowed him to be transferred to the convent of S. Maria delle Grazie in that city. The Howard family persevered in their efforts to force him to leave the order, and the pope referred the matter to the congregation de propagandâ fide. Philip was summoned to Rome in September 1645, and placed first in the Dominican convent of St. Sixtus, and afterwards at La Chiesa Nuova, under the care of the Oratorian fathers, who, at the end of five months, declared that he had a true vocation for the religious state. The pope took the same view after examining Philip at a private audience. Accordingly, on 19 Oct. 1646, Philip signed his solemn profession as a Dominican in the convent of S. Clemente, Rome (Palmer, Obituary Notices of the Friar-Preachers, p.5).
From Rome he was sent to the Dominican convent of La Sanità at Naples, where he studied diligently for four years. He attended the general chapter held at Rome in June 1650, and was selected from among the students to deliver a Latin oration, in which he contended that the Dominican order might be rendered more efficient in restoring England to catholic unity. He finished his studies at the convent of Rennes in Brittany, and in 1652 was ordained priest by papal dispensation, as he was only in his twenty-third year. In 1654 he went to Paris, and in 1655 to Belgium, whence he came to England. He stayed here many months, and from his own resources and the contributions of friends raised about 1,600l. towards founding an exclusively English convent or college on the continent. On his return he purchased the church and house of Holy Cross at Bornhem, in East Flanders. He was appointed the first prior of the new community on 15 Dec. 1657.
Howard was highly esteemed by Charles II, who, after Oliver Cromwell's death, despatched him about May 1659 on a secret mission to England in aid of the royal cause. On his arrival Howard discovered that Father Richard Rookwood, a Carthusian monk, who was originally joined with him in the commission, had treacherously given to the Protector Richard Cromwell information which led to the suppression of Sir George Booth's rising in Cheshire. An order was issued for Howard's arrest, but he sought refuge in the household of the ambassador from Poland, who was leaving the country, and who smuggled him away to the continent with his suite, in the disguise of a Polish servant. He made his way to Bornhem, and established in the convent there a college for the education of young Englishmen. Soon after the Restoration he followed Charles II to London, and for nearly two years he was actively engaged in promoting the marriage treaties with Spain and Portugal. On 21 May 1662 Charles was privately married to Catherine of Braganza [q. v.], in the presence of Howard and five other witnesses, according to the catholic rite. Howard was nominated first chaplain to the queen, and took up his residence at the English court, though he paid periodical visits to his convent at Bornhem. On 1 Aug. 1662 he and his brothers dined with Evelyn (Diary, ii. 148). In 1665 Howard succeeded his uncle, Lord Ludovick d'Aubigny, in the office of grand-almoner to the queen. He now had charge of her majesty's oratory at Whitehall, with a yearly salary of 500l., a like sum for his table, and 100l. for the requirements of the oratory, and was provided with a state apartment. He was popular at the English court, and on account of his liberal charities was known as 'the common father of the poor.' He alone was allowed to appear in public habited as an ecclesiastic, and by dispensation he wore the dress of a French abbé. Pepys visited him at St. James's Palace 23 Jan. 1666-7 with Lord Brouncker; found him to be 'a good-natured gentleman;' discussed church music with him, and was shown by him over 'the new monastery,' both 'talking merrily about the difference in our religion' (Pepys, Diary, iii. 47-9).
Previously to his settlement in England he obtained from the master-general (3 April 1660) leave to restore to the English province the second order of the rule of St. Dominic by erecting in Belgium a convent for religious women. Accordingly, his cousin, Antonia Howard, was clothed by him in the habit of the order in the nunnery at Tempsche, near Bornhem, and he shortly afterwards purchased for her the convent of Vilvorde in South Brabant. This establishment he removed to Brussels in 1690. In 1660 he was appointed prior of Bornhem for another triennial period, and in the same year he was made vicar-general of the English province. After his second priorship terminated he continued his jurisdiction over the convent, as his brethren would not elect any one else in his place. He was created a master of theology 7 March 1661-2. He assisted at the congress held at Breda in June 1667.
In 1669 the holy see determined to appoint Howard vicar-apostolic of England, with a see in partibus. Dr. Richard Smith, the second vicar-apostolic of all England, had died in 1655, but no successor had been appointed since. The English chapter now approved the selection of Howard, but resolved, on grounds of political expediency, 'that under no pretence or palliation whatever the words vicarius apostolicus be admitted;' that the bishop should have ordinary jurisdiction, and that the right of the old English chapters to choose their bishop and chapter-men should be respected by the court of Rome (Sergeant, Account of the Chapter, ed. Turnbull, p. 94). In consequence of the report of the Abbate Claudius Agretti, who had been sent to England to examine the question, the propaganda resolved on 9 Sept. 1670 to give the English vicariate to Howard, but it was not until 26 April 1672 that another decree, passed in a ‘particular congregation,’ received the sanction of the pope. The briefs were then issued, and sent to the internuncio at Brussels, who was instructed to deliver them at his discretion. That for Howard's see in partibus was dated 16 May, and in it he was styled bishop-elect of Helenopolis. In April 1672 the chapter of England had again resolved ‘that the name of vicar-apostolic be not admitted.’ The second brief granting Howard the vicariate consequently contained a clause that the bishop-elect was to promise that he would not recognise the ‘chapter of England’ by word or deed. In an audience held on the 24th of the following August the pope was informed that the king, in the catholic interest, demanded the suspension of Howard's briefs. Consequently they were not published, and the bishop-elect was not consecrated (Brady, Episcopal Succession, iii. 129).
His proselytising zeal and the part he took in promoting the declaration of indulgence rendered Howard particularly odious to the protestant party. Eventually he was charged by the dean and chapter of Windsor with authorising the insertion in some books of devotion of the pontifical bulls of indulgence granted to the recitation of the rosary. Under the penal laws the offence amounted to high treason. Howard pleaded in vain that he had only followed the example of the Capuchin chaplains of Queen Henrietta Maria. Popular feeling ran high against him, and he sought an asylum at Bornhem, where he arrived in September 1674, and resumed his duties as prior. On 27 May 1675 he was created a cardinal-priest by Clement X, mainly owing to the influence of his old friend John Baptist Hacket, now the pope's confessor. Soon afterwards Howard left for Rome. Among the distinguished company who attended him were his uncle William Howard, viscount Stafford [q.v.], Lord Thomas Howard, his nephew, and John Leyburn, president of the English College of Douay, his secretary and auditor. For defraying the expenses of this journey he had 'the assistance of the pope, and not of King Charles II and Queen Catherine, as the common report then went' (Wood, Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss; Tierney, Hist.of Arundel, p. 532). The hat was placed on his head by the pope, and he took the title of S. Cecilia trans Tyberim, which after the death of the cardinal de Retz, in 1679, he changed for that of S. Maria super Minervam. Clement X declared him, 23 March 1675-6, assistant of the four congregations, of bishops and regulars, of the council of Trent, of the propaganda, and of sacred rites. Innocent XI afterwards placed him on the congregation of relics. He was commonly called the cardinal of Norfolk, or the cardinal of England (Dodd, Church Hist. iii. 446).
Howard was charged with complicity in the ‘Popish plot.’ Oates swore that in a congregation of the propaganda held about December 1677, Innocent XI had declared all the dominions of the king of England to be part of St. Peter's patrimony, and to be forfeited through the heresy of the prince and people, and that Howard was to take possession of England in the name of his holiness. Oates also swore he had seen a papal bull, by which the archbishopric of Canterbury was given to Howard, with an augmentation of forty thousand crowns a year to maintain his legatine dignity. The cardinal was consequently impeached for high treason, but he was at Rome and beyond the reach of danger.
At the request of Charles II, Pope Innocent XI nominated him cardinal protector of England and Scotland, in succession to Cardinal Francesco Barberini, who died in 1679. In this capacity he was the chief counsellor of the holy see in matters relating to Great Britain. He addressed an admirable epistle on 7 April 1684 to the clergy of the two countries, particularly recommending to them the ‘Institutum clericorum in communi viventium’ which had been established in Germany. It flourished in England for a few years, but was dissolved in consequence of misunderstandings between the members and the rest of the secular clergy, and its funds were devoted to the establishment of the ‘common purse,’ or secular clergy fund, which still exists. Under Howard's direction the fine new buildings of the English College at Rome and his own adjoining palace were completed in 1685 from the designs of Legenda and Carlo Fontana. He used his palace only on state occasions, for though he had a pension of ten thousand scudi (about 2,250l.) from the pope, and apartments in the Vatican, he chose to lead the simple life of a friar in the convent of S. Sabina. He seconded the efforts of the English clergy to secure episcopal government, and at length in 1685 a vicar-apostolic was appointed, and in 1687 England was divided by Innocent XI into four ecclesiastical districts, over which vicars-apostolic were appointed to preside [see Giffard, Bonaventure]. Howard was made archpriest of S. Maria Maggiore in 1689, and retained that dignity until his death. Among his friends were the three sons of John Dryden, the youngest of whom, Thomas, joined the Dominican order by his advice.
He viewed with dismay the reckless policy pursued by James II, and his alarm was shared by Innocent XI. Every letter which Howard sent from the Vatican to Whitehall 'recommended patience, moderation, and respect for the prejudices of the English people' (Macaulay, Hist. of England, ch. iv.) Burnet visited Rome in August 1685, before James had entered on his violent policy, and he was treated by the cardinal 'with great freedom.' The cardinal told him (Own Time, ed. 1724, i. 66) 'that all the advices writ over from thence to England were for slow, calm, and moderate courses. He said he wished he was at liberty to show me the copies of them. But he saw violent courses were more acceptable, and would probably be followed. And he added that these were the production of England, far different from the counsels of Rome.' But in December 1687 Luttrell mentions a rumour that Howard was to be appointed the king's almoner. When the birth of James Francis Edward, prince of Wales (10 June 1688), was announced at Rome, Howard gave a feast, in which an ox was roasted whole, being stuffed with lambs, fowls, and provisions of all kinds. The incident is commemorated in a scarce print by Vesterhout, entitled 'II Bue Arrostito.'
After the revolution Howard's direct intercourse with England was cut off. In June 1693 he is said to have obtained a papal brief to send to England exhorting the catholics there to remain firm to James II (Luttrell, iii. 108). He died at Rome on 17 June 1694, aged 63, having lived just long enough to see his province restored lastingly, and as fully as the circumstances of the age permitted. He was interred in his titular church, S. Maria sopra Minerva, under a plain slab of white marble, which bears the Howard arms and an epitaph (see the inscription in Notes and Queries, 6th ser. i. 26).
His portrait by Rubens was formerly at Lord Spencer's seat at Wimbledon (Walpole, Anecd. of Painting, ed. 1767, ii. 94). There is a portrait of him in the monastery of the Minerva at Rome; another in the picture gallery at Oxford; a full-length, by Carlo Maratti, at Castle Howard; a half-length, in a square scarlet cap, at Worksop Manor; a similar portrait at Greystoke Castle; and a miniature, painted in oil on copper by an unknown artist, in the National Portrait Gallery. Portraits of him have been engraved by N. Noblin; by J. Van derBruggen, from a painting by Duchatel (one of the finest engravings); by Nicolo Byle; by A. Clouet, in 'Vitæ Pontif. et Cardinalium,' 2 vols. fol. Rome, 1751; by Zucchi; by Poilly; and in the 'Laity's Directory,' 1809, from a large portrait painted at Rome by H. Tilson in 1687. A medal, with his portrait on the obverse, is engraved in Mudie's 'English Medals.'[The principal authority is the valuable Life of Philip Thomas Howard, O.P., Cardinal of Norfolk, by Father Charles Ferrers Raymund Palmer, O.P., London, 1867, 8vo, based mainly on original records in the archives of the English Dominican friars; consult also Brady's Episcopal Succession, iii. 531; Gillow's Dict. of English Catholics; Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 445; Stothart's Catholic Mission in Scotland, p. 197; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), i. 622; Godwin, De Præsulibus (Richardson), ii. 798; Collins's Peerage, 1779, i. 126; Gent. Mag. vol. xciii. pt. i. p. 412; Granger's Biog. Hist. of England, 5th edit. v. 89; Scharf's Cat. of Nat. Portrait Gallery, 1888, p. 232; Sir T. Browne's Works (Wilkin), i. 47; Husenbeth's English Colleges on the Continent, pp. 41, 94; Pepys's Diary, 23 Jan. 1666-1667; Evelyn's Diary (Bray), i. 365, ii. 45; Evelyn's Sylva, 1776, p. 394; Howard's Indication of Memorials of the Howard Family, pp. 37-39; Archæological Journal, xii. 65; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. viii. 53, 75; Cat. of Dawson Turner's MSS. p. 27; Dublin Review, new ser. xi. 275; Secretan's Life of Robert Nelson, pp. 23, 36; Pennant's Journey from Dover to the Isle of Wight, p. 99; Strickland's Queens of England, 1851, v. 651,654; Tierney's Hist. of Arundel, pp. 480, 511, 522, 530; Birch MSS. 4274, f. 158; Addit. MSS. 5848 p. 46, 5850 p. 186, 5872 f. 3 b, 15908 ff. 18-26, 20846 f. 346, 23720 ff. 25, 29, 42, 28225 ff. 146, 368, 28226 f. 11.]