This text was copied from Wikipedia on 19 February 2024 at 3:10AM.

The Earl of Berkshire
Coat of arms of Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Berkshire
Born8 October 1587
Saffron Walden, Essex
Died16 July 1669(1669-07-16) (aged 81)
SpouseElizabeth Cecil
ChildrenCharles Howard, 2nd Earl of Berkshire
Mary Howard
Thomas Howard, 3rd Earl of Berkshire
Henry Howard
William Howard
Robert Howard
Elizabeth Howard
Philip Howard
Frances Howard
James Howard
Algernon Howard
Edward Howard
Diana Howard
Parent(s)Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk
Catherine Knyvet.

Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Berkshire (8 October 1587 – 16 July 1669) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1605 and 1622. He was created Earl of Berkshire in 1626.


Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire

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.[1] He was made a knight of the Bath in January 1605, when Prince Charles was created Duke of York.[2] He then joined the embassy of his kinsman Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham to Spain.[2] In November 1605, although underage, he was elected Member of Parliament for Lancaster in a by-election.[2]

Howard was elected MP for Wiltshire in 1614.[2] In 1621 he was elected MP for Cricklade.[2] In 1621 he was created Baron Howard of Charlton, Wiltshire and on 7 February 1626, he was created Earl of Berkshire.[3] He inherited the Charlton Park estate in Wiltshire from his mother.[2]

Howard held a large number of local offices and was Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire from 1628.[2] He joined the Privy Council in 1639.[2] At the start of the English Civil War he was imprisoned by parliament, charged with attempting to execute the king's commission of array in Oxfordshire.[4] He was subsequently released, according to Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon because he was an ineffectual man 'that could do no harm any where'.[5] He joined the king at Oxford, where he became tutor to the Prince of Wales.[2] In 1646 Howard was with the Prince of Wales in Jersey, but did not accompany him to France. Instead he went to Holland and then returned to England, where he compounded with Parliament for his estate in 1649.[2]

After the Restoration of Charles II Howard rejoined the Privy Council.[2] He died in July 1669, reportedly of a fall, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.[2]


Howard married Elizabeth Cecil, daughter and co-heir of William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Exeter in 1614. They had thirteen children:


  1. ^ "Howard, Thomas (HWRT598T2)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "History of Parliament 1604-29: HOWARD, Sir Thomas". Retrieved 31 October 2023.
  3. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Berkshire, Thomas Howard" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  4. ^ "Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Of the King's Commission of Array". British History Online. Retrieved 31 October 2023.
  5. ^ Napier, Henry Alfred (1858). Historical Notices of the Parishes of Swycombe and Ewelme in the County of Oxford. p. 426.
  6. ^ "Howard, Edward (fl.1669)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

2 Annotations

First Reading

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Per L&M Companion:

(c 1590 - 1669) In the royal service from 1614; Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the King from 1661. Clarendon scornfully writes of him that 'his interest and reputation were less than anything but his understanding.' Parliament did not trouble to keep him under constraint during the Civil War since he was 'a man that could do them no harm anywhere.'

Second Reading

Phil Gyford  •  Link

I think Latham & Matthews have made an error in their Index when they refer to "HOWARD, Thomas, 2nd Earl of Berkshire, Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the King (d. 1669". I'm assuming it is this fellow, who was in fact the 1st Earl. One of his sons, Charles, was the 2nd Earl (and another, Thomas, was the 3rd).

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.


Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.