Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Howard, Ralph

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HOWARD, RALPH, M.D. (1638–1710), professor of physic at Dublin, born in 1638, was only son of John Howard (d. 1643) of Shelton, co. Wicklow, Ireland, by his wife Dorothea Hasels (d. 1684). He was educated in the university of Dublin, and proceeded M.D. in 1667. He succeeded Dr. John Margetson in 1670 as regius professor of physic in that university, and held the chair until his death. He left Ireland in 1688, and was attainted by James II's parliament in 1689, while his estate in co. Wicklow was handed over to one Hacket, who entertained James at Shelton after the battle of the Boyne. Howard subsequently returned to Dublin and recovered his property. He died on 8 Aug. 1710. He married on 16 July 1668 Catherine, eldest daughter of Roger Sotheby, M.P. for Wicklow city, and by her had three sons Hugh [q. v.], Robert (see below), and William (M.P. for Dublin city from 1727 till his death in the next year), and three daughters.

Howard, Robert (1683–1740), bishop of Elphin, was Ralph Howard's second son. He obtained a fellowship in Trinity College, Dublin, in 1703, became dean of Ardagh in 1722, was consecrated to the see of Killala in 1726, and in 1729 was translated to that of Elphin. In 1728 he succeeded his elder brother William in the estate of Shelton Abbey, co. Wicklow. In 1737 he brought thither the works of art which he inherited from his brother Hugh. He died in April 1740. He published six single sermons, preached on public occasions.

Howard, Ralph, Viscount Wicklow (d. 1786), eldest son of the bishop, was sheriff of co. Wicklow 1749, and of co. Carlow 1754; in 1761 and 1768 was elected M.P. for both co. Wicklow and the borough of St. Johnstown; in May 1770 was sworn of the privy council; on 12 July 1776 was raised to the Irish peerage as Baron Clonmore of Clonmore Castle, co. Carlow, and on 23 June 1785 was promoted to be Viscount Wicklow. He died on 26 June 1786. His widow, Alice, daughter and sole heiress of William Forward of Castle Forward, co. Donegal, was created Countess of Wicklow in her own right 20 Dec. 1793. She died on 7 March 1807. Her son Robert succeeded her as Earl of Wicklow, and sat as a representative peer in the united parliament of 1801. The present and seventh earl (b. 1877) is his great-grandnephew.

[Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, ed. Archdall, vi.85, under 'Wicklow;' Foster's Peerage, under 'Wicklow;' Todd's Cat. of Dublin Graduates; Dublin University Calendar; Cotton's Fasti Eccles. Hib. iii. 188, iv. 75; Cat. Library, Trinity College, Dublin.]

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