A Maid of Honour.

1 Annotation

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Howard, Dorothy Maid of Honour app. by 1666 (Harris, Transformations of Love, p. 113).
Occ. 1669-1672 (Chamberlayne [1669], p. 320;
last occ. ibid. [1672], p. 228 indicating incumbency at d. of Anne, Duchess of York). Vac. 31 Mar. 1671 on d. of Anne, Duchess of York.


L&M Companion: DOROTHY HOWARD, Maid of Honour to the Duchess of York,
after 1671 to the Queen.
Daughter of William Howard, fourth son of 1st Earl of Berkshire;
In 1675 Dorothy Howard married Col. James Graham, MP, Keeper of the Privy Purse to the Duke of York.


L&M Companion:
Dorothy's mother was Mrs. Elizabeth Howard, housekeeper to the Duke of York at the Navy Treasurer's House at Deptford. Mother of Dorothy. She and her DAUGHTERS were friends of Evelyn's.

In his Diary, John Evelyn says he was a Trustee, presumably of William's estate

In that capacity, in July 1675 Evelyn is escorting Elizabeth and Dorothy Howard to Oxford:
"In this journey, went part of the way Mr. James Graham (since Privy Purse to the Duke), a young gentleman exceedingly in love with Mrs. Dorothy Howard, one of the maids of honor in our company. I could not but pity them both, the mother not much favoring it. This lady [DOROTHY] was not only a great beauty, but a most virtuous and excellent creature, and worthy to have been wife to the best of men. My advice was required, and I spoke to the advantage of the young gentleman, more out of pity than that she deserved no better match; for, though he was a gentleman of good family, yet there was great inequality."

November, 1677. "I was all this week composing matters between old Mrs. [ELIZABETH[ Howard and Sir Gabriel Sylvius, upon his long and earnest addresses to Mrs. Anne, her second daughter, maid of honor to the Queen."


My guess is that Mrs. Elizabeth Howard is a gentlewoman impoverished by the untimely death of her husband during the Civil Wars, and the Stuart Brothers have provided respectable employment for at least these three.

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


  • Mar