Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Howard, William (1510?-1573)
HOWARD, WILLIAM, first Baron Howard of Effingham (1510?–1573), born about 1510, was the eldest son of Thomas Howard, second duke of Norfolk [q. v.], by his second wife. He was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, under Gardiner, and at a very early age came to court. In 1531 Howard went on his first embassy to Scotland, and was entertained by James V at St. Andrews. His mission seems to have been to propose a marriage between James and the Princess Mary. He was with Henry VIII at Boulogne, and at the coronation of Anne Boleyn he was deputy earl-marshal. Henry liked and trusted him. In January 1532 he 'won of the king at shovillabourde 9l.' In February 1534-5 he went to Scotland to invest James V with the Garter (State Papers Henry VIII, v. 2 ; Diurnal of Occurrents, Bannatyne Club, 19). Chapuys, who suspected much more than was really designed by the mission, added, in his letter to Charles V, ‘People are astonished at the despatch of so stupid and indiscreet a man.’ But Queen Margaret on 4 March wrote to Henry, commending Howard's ‘honorable, pleasaunt, and wys’ behaviour. King James V, who a few days previously bore similar testimony, offered him the confiscated lands and goods of James Hamilton, the sheriff of Linlithgow, brother of Patrick Hamilton [q.v.] These Howard refused, and Hamilton was restored to favour. In 1535 he was in France on diplomatic business (Chronicle of Calais, Camd. Soc. p. 45). In February 1535-6 Howard was again sent to Scotland, in company with William Barlow [q. v.], the bishop-elect of St. Asaph, to recommend to James and his court the adoption in Scotland of Henry's ecclesiastical policy. Howard was instructed to set forth ‘his grace's proceedinges,’ and to ‘inculce and harpe uppon the spring of honour and proffit.’ He had also to propose to James an interview with Henry. He returned to Scotland once more in April 1536 (Hamilton Papers, i. 29, &c.; Diurnal of Occurrents, p.20).
In 1537 and 1541 Howard was engaged on an embassy to France (cf. State Papers Henry VIII, vol. viii. pt. v. contd.) While there Cromwell informed him and his colleague, the bishop of Worcester, of the death of Jane Seymour, and, at the king's request, asked them to report which of the French princesses would be suitable for her successor. In December 1541 Howard, who had been recalled from France on 24 Sept. (ib. p. 610), together with his wife, was charged with shielding the immoralities of his kinswoman, Queen Catherine Howard, and both were convicted of misprision of treason (see App. ii. 3rd Rep. Dep. Keeper of Public Records, p. 264), but were pardoned [see under Catherine, d. 1542]. They lost, however, the manor and rectory of Tottenham, which had been granted to them in 1537 (Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 753). Howard accompanied Hertford in the invasion of Scotland of 1544. In the same year he took part in the siege of Boulogne, and in 1546 one of the many orders in council directed to him instructed him to prepare ships for the ‘sure wafting’ of the money which Wotton and Harrington were to convey to the army in France.
From 29 Oct. 1552 to December 1553 Howard was lord deputy and governor of Calais, with a fee of 100l. a year; in October he was admitted to the privy council. On 14 Nov. 1553 he was appointed lord admiral of England. Clinton, however, the former admiral, did not resign at once, so that the patent was not made out until 10 March 1553-4. On 2 Jan. 1553-4 he received the Spanish ambassadors at the Tower wharf, and rode with them up through the city to Durham Place. He was made K.G. in 1554. When Sir Thomas Wyat approached London, Howard was very active in the defence of the queen. He shut Ludgate in Wyat's face. ‘And that night’ (3 Feb. 1553-4), says Wriothesley, ‘the said Lord Admirall watched the [London] Bridge with iii c men, and brake the drawbridge, and set rampeers with great ordinance there.’ As a reward for his exertions he was created Baron Howard of Effingham on 11 March 1553-4; the manor of Effingham, Surrey, had been granted him by Edward VI in 1551. But Howard's active devotion to Elizabeth's interests roused the suspicions of Mary and her advisers. In 1554 he remonstrated with Gage for his ill-usage of the princess, had a conversation with her in the Tower in 1555, and when in 1558 Elizabeth came as a prisoner to Hampton Court, he visited her, and ‘marvellous honorably used her grace’ (Holinshed, p. 1158). Howard was, however, popular with the seamen, and was too powerful to be interfered with. He met Philip when he came to England at the Needles, and though there were fears that he would carry him away to France, he brought him safely to Southampton. In 1555 he conveyed Philip to Flanders. But he was still exposed to suspicion, and in 1556 thought of resigning his office. Next year, however, he was cruising in the Channel, and in 1558 Mary appointed him lord chamberlain of the household. In 1558 Mary designed to send him on an embassy to France, but he was too ill to go.
Under Elizabeth Howard was reappointed lord chamberlain, and was again employed in diplomacy. He negotiated with Wotton and the Bishop of Ely the treaty ofin the early part of 1559 (cf. instructions in Cal. State Papers, Foreign Ser. 1559, No. 293), and afterwards went to Paris with Wotton and Throckmorton (May 1559) to induce the king of France to swear to observe it. ‘I assure you,’ he wrote to Cecil, 24 May 1559, of the charges imposed on him, ‘there is no day that I escape under 10l. a day, and sometimes more, besides rewards to minstrels and others.’ However, on leaving France he had ‘a very large and honorable present of very fair and stately plate gilt, amounting to 4,140 ozs., and worth 2,066l. 13s. 4d.’
In March 1559 Howard sent home to Elizabeth reports of French gossip about schemes for her marriage; personally he favoured an Austrian alliance. In August 1564 he accompanied the queen on a visit to Cambridge; he lodged in Trinity Hall, and was created M.A. He took the queen's part against the northern earls in the rebellion of 1569, and in 1572 ceased to be lord chamberlain on becoming lord privy seal. Holinshed says that he died at Hampton Court on 12 Jan. 1573, others that his death took place at his house at Reigate. He was buried in Reigate Church. In the latter part of his life he bought considerable estates in Surrey, besides those which he had by royal grant; but in 1567 he complained of poverty, and it seems that he would have been made an earl had he had the necessary property. In his will he began a clause making a bequest to the queen, but left it blank. A portrait which has been engraved is in the possession of the Earl of Effingham.
Howard married first, before 1531, Katherine (d.1535), daughter of John Boughton of Tuddington, Bedfordshire, by whom he had a daughter Agnes, who married William Paulet, third marquis of Winchester (cf. Letters and Papers Henry VIII, v. 149; some curious particulars as to the daughter's marriage will be found in Wills from Doctors' Commons, Camd. Soc., ed. Bruce, p.31); secondly, before 1536, Margaret (d. 1581), daughter of Sir Thomas Gamage of Coity, Glamorganshire. The letter of London to Lord Lisle (ib. vi. 322), giving an account of the festivities at the second marriage as occurring in 1533, must be misdated, if the first wife's epitaph in the Howard Chapel at Lambeth is correct. By his second wife he had, besides other issue, two sons, Charles, who is separately noticed, and William, afterwards Sir William of Lingfield.
[Authorities quoted; Howard's Indications of Memorials of the Howard Family; Cal. of State Papers, passim; Froude's Hist. of England; Burton's Hist. of Scotland, 2nd ed. iii. 161; Lindsay of Pitscottie's Chron.; Tytler's Hist. of Scotland; Stow's Annals; Acts of the Privy Council; Manning's Surrey, i. 277, &c., iii. 505; G. E. C.'s Peerage; Burke's Peerage; Camden's Ann. ed. Hearne, ii. 284; Burnet's Hist. of the Ref. ed. Pocock, vols. i. ii.iii.; Machyn's Diary; Chronicle of Queen Jane and of two years of Queen Mary, ed. J. G. Nichols (Camd. Soc.), pp. 41, 43, &c.; Wriothesley's Chronicle, ed. Hamilton (Camd. Soc.), i. 21, 132, 133, ii. 109, 110, 117, 118; Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 32646, ff. 59-71; MS. Cotton,Calig.B.ii.233; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 308, 559; Literary Remains of Edward VI, ed. Nichols (Roxburghe Club), xxiv, xxv, cclviii, cclix, ccci, ccciii, 260, 271, 358, 363, 384, 461; Strype's Annals and Eccl. Mem.; paper by G. Leveson-Gower, F.S.A.,in vol. ix. of Surrey Archæological Collections.]