Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Howard, Edward (fl.1669)

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613806Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 28 — Howard, Edward (fl.1669)1891Arthur Henry Bullen

HOWARD, EDWARD (fl. 1669), dramatist, baptised at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, 2 Nov. 1624, was fifth son of Thomas Howard, first earl of Berkshire, and brother of Sir Robert Howard (1626?–1698) [q. v.] He published in 1668 'The Usurper; a Tragedy. As it was acted at the Theatre Royal by his Majesties Servants,' 4to. It was followed by 'The Brittish Princes: an Heroick Poem,' 8vo, dedicated to Henry, lord Howard, second brother to the Duke of Norfolk. Prefixed to this worthless poem, which was ridiculed by Rochester, are commendatory verses by Lord Orrery and Sir John Denham, with a prose epistle by Thomas Hobbes. 'Six Days' Adventure; or the New Utopia,' a poor comedy, acted without success at the Duke of York's Theatre, was published in 1671, 4to. Mrs. Behn, Edward Ravenscroft, and others prefixed commendatory verses. 'The Women's Conquest,' 1671, 4to, a tragi-comedy, acted by the Duke of York's servants, has some amusing scenes, and supplied hints (as Genest remarks) for Mrs. Inchbald's 'Every One has his Fault.' 'The Man of Newmarket, 1678, 4to, was acted at the Theatre Royal. Howard also wrote three unpublished plays, 'The Change of Crowns,' 'The London Gentleman' (entered in the Stationers' Register, 7 Aug. 1667), and 'The United Kingdom.' Pepys saw the 'Change of Crowns' acted before a crowded house at the Theatre Royal on 12 April 1667. He describes it as 'the best that I ever saw at that house, being a great play and serious.' Some passages in the play gave offence, and the actor Lacy was 'committed to the porter's lodge.' Lacy indignantly told Howard that 'he was more a fool than a poet.' The 'United Kingdom' was satirised in the 'Rehearsal.'

Howard's other works are 'Poems and Essays, with a Paraphrase of Cicero's Laelius, or of Friendship,' 1673, 8vo, and 'Caroloiades, or the Rebellion of Forty One. In Ten Books. A Heroick Poem,' 1689, 8vo, reissued in 1695 with a fresh title-page ('Caroloiades Redivivus') and a dedicatory epistle to the Princess of Denmark. He prefixed commendatory verses to Mrs. Behn's 'Poems,' 1685, and Dryden's 'Virgil,' 1697. There is a derisive notice of 'Ned' Howard in 'Session of the Poets,' among 'Poems on Affairs of State' (ed. 1703, i. 206).

[Langbaine's Dram. Poets; Baker's Biog. Dram., ed. Jones; Pepys's Diary; Genest's English Stage; Gent. Mag. 1850, pt. ii. p. 369.]

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