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The Earl of Berkshire
|Born||8 October 1587|
Saffron Walden, Essex
|Died||16 July 1669(1669-07-16) (aged 81)|
|Children||Charles Howard, 2nd Earl of Berkshire |
Thomas Howard, 3rd Earl of Berkshire
|Parent(s)||Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk |
Howard was born in Saffron Walden, Essex, the second son of Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk and his wife Catherine Knyvet. He was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He was knighted in 1604. In 1605 he was elected Member of Parliament for Lancaster in a by-election. He was elected MP for Wiltshire in 1614. In 1621 he was elected MP for Cricklade. In 1621 he was created Baron Howard of Charlton, Wiltshire and on 7 February 1626 he was created Earl of Berkshire. He inherited the Charlton Park estate in Wiltshire from his mother.
During the English Civil War he was a Royalist, but after the defeat of the Royalist cause Parliament left him in peace. Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, who despised Berkshire, said that this was because he had no reputation and no understanding of public affairs, and so could do Parliament's cause no harm. After the Restoration of Charles II he was made a Gentleman of the Bedchamber.
Howard married Elizabeth Cecil, daughter and co-heir of William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Exeter in 1614. They had thirteen children:
- Charles Howard, 2nd Earl of Berkshire (1615–1679).
- Mary Howard (1616–1679)
- Thomas Howard, 3rd Earl of Berkshire (1619–1706).
- Henry Howard (playwright)
- William Howard, Grandfather of 11th Earl of Suffolk and 4th of Berkshire
- Sir Robert Howard (1626–1698)
- Elizabeth Howard, married John Dryden
- Colonel Philip Howard (1629–1717)
- Frances Howard, who married Conyers Darcy, 2nd Earl of Holderness
- James Howard
- Algernon Howard
- Edward Howard
- Diana Howard (1636–1713).