Howes, Edward (DNB00)
HOWES, EDWARD (fl. 1650), mathematician, was studying law in 1632 at the Inner Temple, and appears afterwards to have entered holy orders. In 1644 he was a master in the 'Ratcliffe Free School,' London, and in 1659 is 'called rector of Goldancher [i.e. in Essex.' Howes was the intimate friend and frequent correspondent of John Winthrop [q.v.], governor of Massachusetts. In 1632, writing from the Inner Temple, he sent Winthrop a tract which he had printed to show that the north-west passage to the Pacific was probably 'not in the 60° or 70° of N. latitude, but rather about 40th.' 'I am verilie perswaded of that, there is either a strait as our narrow seas, or a Mediterranean sea west from you.' The tract is called 'Of the Circumference of the Earth, or a Treatise of the North Weast Passage,' London, 1623.
On 25 Aug. 1635 Howes wrote to Winthrop, 'I think I shall help you to one of the magneticall engines which you and I have discoursed of that will sympathize at a distance,' a possible foreshadowing of the modern telegraph; and in 1640, 'as for the magneticall instrument it is alsoe sympatheticall.' In 1644 Howes speaks of possibly establishing a school in Boston, and in various letters refers to the wish of many religious people to go to the plantations.
In 1659 Howes published `A Short Arithmetick, or the Old and Tedious way of Numbers reduced to a New and Briefe Method, whereby a mean Capacity may easily attain competent Skill and Facility.' It is well arranged for practical instruction. At the end of his address to the reader Howes speaks of 'having also the theoreticall part finished and ready to be published, if desired.' No other part seems to have been issued.
[Massachusetts Hist. Soc. Collections, 3rd ser. vol. ix. 4th ser. vi. 467, &c.; Life and Letters of John Winthrop, p. 20.]