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The Earl of Berkshire
Born8 October 1587
Saffron Walden, Essex
Died16 July 1669(1669-07-16) (aged 81)
Spouse(s)Elizabeth 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 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.[2] 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:


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  1. ^ .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//")right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}"Howard, Thomas (HWRT598T2)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Berkshire, Thomas Howard" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ "Howard, Edward (fl.1669)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Hesketh
Thomas Fanshawe
Member of Parliament for Lancaster
With: Thomas Fanshawe
Succeeded by
Thomas Fanshawe
William Fanshawe
Preceded by
Sir Francis Popham
John Thynne
Member of Parliament for Wiltshire
With: Sir Henry Poole
Succeeded by
Sir Francis Seymour
Sir Edward Bayntun
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Monson
Sir John Eyre
Member of Parliament for Cricklade
With: Sir Carew Reynell
Succeeded by
Sir William Howard
Sir Neville Poole
Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Banbury
Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire
With: The Earl of Banbury 1628–1632
English Interregnum
Custos Rotulorum of Oxfordshire
1628 – 1646, 1660
Succeeded by
The Viscount Falkland
Honorary titles
English Interregnum Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex
With: The Earl of Dorset
Succeeded by
The Duke of Albemarle
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Berkshire
Succeeded by
Charles Howard
Viscount Andover
Baron Howard of Charlton
(descended by acceleration)

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2 Annotations

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.'

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).

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