HOWARD, Henry Frederick, Lord Maltravers (1608-1652), of Arundel Castle, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1640 (Apr.) - 21 Mar. 1640

Family and Education

b. 15 Aug. 1608, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Thomas Howard, 21st or 14th earl of Arundel, and Alathea, da. and coh. of Gilbert Talbot†, 7th earl of Shrewsbury.1 educ. privately (William Oughtred, Edward Norgate); travelled abroad (Italy) c.1619-22; Padua Univ. 1619; St. John’s, Camb. 1624; MA Oxf. 1642.2 m. by 3 Mar. 1626,3 Elizabeth (d. 23 Jan. 1674), da. of Esm√© Stuart, 3rd duke of Lennox [S] and 1st earl of March, 9s. (1 d.v.p.) 3da. (1 d.v.p). cr. KB 3 Nov. 1616; styled Lord Maltravers July 1623; cr. Lord Mowbray 21 Mar. 1640; suc. fa. 4 Oct. 1646. d. 17 Apr. 1652.4

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Suss. 1624-at least 1641, Suff. and Essex 1634, Surr. and Kent 1639, Kent 1640;5 j.p. Mdx. 1624-at least 1636, Surr. 1624-at least1642, Norf. 1630-at least 1640, Suff. 1630-at least 1640, Cumb. 1632-at least 1636, 1643, Northumb. and Westmld. 1632-40, Thetford, Norf. 1633-at least 1641, Suss. 1636-at least 1643; custos rot. Norf. and Surr. 1636, Suss, 1636-at least 1643, Cumb. 1643;6 commr. new buildings, London 1625-30;7 dep. lt. Norf. by 1629-at least 1631;8 commr. swans Eng. except West Country ?1629, Norf. 1632,9 oyer and terminer, Norf. circ. 1631-1642, Northern circ. 1632-41, Mdx. 1634-41, Norwich, Norf. 1643,10 ld. lt. (jt.) Cumb. 1632-42, Northumb. and Westmld. 1632-9, Norf. 1633-42, Surr. and Suss. 1636-42;11 member, Council in the North 1633-41;12 commr. oyer and terminer and gaol delivery, London 1633-41;13 commr. disorders, Middle shires 1635,14 poor prisoners, Norf. 1635;15 v.-adm. Norf. 1635-at least 1639;16 commr. sea breaches, Norf. and Suff. 1638, oyer and terminer and piracy, Suff. 1640,17 array, Cumb., Norf., Northumb. and Surr. 1642,18 defence, Oxon. 1643; gov. Arundel (roy.) 1643-4.19

Gent. of the Privy Chamber extraordinary 1632-at least 1641;20 commr. inquiry, Chatham chest ?1632;21 member, High Commission, Canterbury prov. 1633;22 commr. soap monopoly 1634;23 PC [I] 1634;24 dep. earl marshal 1636, earl marshal 1646-9.25

Cttee. Fisheries Soc. 1632-at least 1635.26

MP [I] 1634-5.27


Howard was descended from the thirteenth-century judge, Sir William Howard of Wiggenhall in Norfolk. The family produced a Member for Cambridgeshire in 1328, but did not come to national importance until John Howard† (d.1485) rose to prominence as a Yorkist during the Wars of the Roses and accumulated a substantial estate in East Anglia. He was one of the coheirs of the last Mowbray duke of Norfolk and he secured the title in return for supporting Richard III in 1483.28

John’s descendant, Thomas, 4th duke of Norfolk, married the heiress of the last of the Fitzalan earls of Arundel. The latter title descended with Arundel castle, and consequently, despite the 4th duke’s attainder in 1572, his son Philip succeeded as earl on the death of his maternal grandfather in 1580. Philip was in turn attainted in 1589, but his own son Thomas, this Member’s father, was restored in blood and to the title of earl of Arundel by Act of Parliament in 1604, although many of the estates were granted to other members of the family, from whom they had to be purchased at considerable expense.29

Arundel was in sufficient favour at the time of his son’s birth in 1608 for Prince Henry and Anne of Denmark to act as his son’s godparents;30 the infant was named Henry after the former, and Frederick after the latter’s father. At the tender age of eight he was made a knight of the Bath on the creation of Charles, duke of York, as prince of Wales. Three years later he was sent to study at Padua with his elder brother James. They spent considerable time in Venice, becoming fluent in Italian and, according to the doge, practically natives.31 On the return journey home in 1623, James died at Ghent, allegedly converting to Catholicism on his deathbed, whereupon Howard assumed the courtesy title of Lord Maltravers.32 The following year Arundel, by now earl marshal, sent him to spend ‘some few days’ at St. John’s College, Cambridge to ‘make himself a member of that famous university’ rather than to add significantly to his education.33

Howard served as a train-bearer, both at the funeral of James in 1625 and at the coronation of Charles I the following year.34 However, father and son fell out of favour in 1626 over Howard’s sudden and secret marriage to the 15-year-old Lady Elizabeth Stuart. The match had been, according to Arundel, ‘desired by [her] parents and best friends, and by good King James himself’ and the earl, described by Sir Simonds D’Ewes† as ‘a most indulgent man to his wife and children’, had given permission for the courtship despite Lady Elizabeth’s dowry being small. He claimed, however, not to have had foreknowledge of the actual wedding and was consequently forced to ask the king’s permission for his son to marry a member of the royal family after the event. Charles, however, had intended his kinswoman for Lord Lorne, the 7th earl of Argyle’s heir, and consequently had Arundel sent to the Tower. The duke of Buckingham, threatened by Arundel in the Lords was, the earl of Clare (Sir John Holles*) thought, ‘glad of the occasion to be rid of the marshal’, but his colleagues in the House of Lords bitterly resented the earl’s imprisonment, regarding it as a breach of privilege. Meanwhile, Maltravers and his new wife were also punished. At first the young couple were confined to Lambeth, under the care of Archbishop Abbot, but later they were transferred to Horsley, the Surrey home of Arundel’s mother.35

Although he was subsequently released, Arundel remained under a cloud, and when a new Parliament assembled in 1628 he was initially prevented from taking his seat in the Lords. Maltravers, on the other hand, found no such difficulty upon being returned (no doubt at his father’s nomination) for Arundel at the age of 19. He received nine committee appointments, six of them in the first session, but made no recorded speeches. He was appointed to attend the conference with the Lords of 21 Mar. on the petition for a fast. His three legislative committees all concerned aristocratic estates, the first of which, on 21 Apr., concerned his kinsman the 2nd earl of Devonshire (Sir William Cavendish I*). On 17 May he was among those instructed to consider the bill provide a jointure for the wife of the heir apparent of Lord Bergavenny (Sir Henry Neville II*), a Sussex peer. The final appointment, on 11 June, concerned him very closely, as it was for a bill to annex lands, mostly in west Sussex, to the earldom, honour and castle of Arundel, and entail them on the Howard family. The measure was promoted by his father, and was intended to prevent a repetition of the situation in which he had found himself when he had been restored to his title without lands in 1604. Maltravers was also among those named on 9 May to examine the petition against the Cornish deputy lieutenants over the county election, and to attend the king on 22 June ‘to know how long we shall sit’.36

Maltravers’ reaction to the death of Buckingham is not known, but Joseph Mead reported in December 1628 that he and his parents had been allowed to visit the assassin Felton before his execution, ‘he being of their blood’.37 In the 1629 session he was appointed to consider a bill against judicial corruption (23 Jan.), and was twice ordered to attend the king with addresses from both Houses, one concerning a fast on 27 Jan., and another the Tunnage and Poundage bill two days later.38 Over the course of the next decade Maltravers became increasingly active as his father’s aide in both private and public affairs. He assisted him in building up his famous art collection, and was appointed his deputy in the earl marshalship in 1636.39 Re-elected for Arundel in March 1640, he was summoned to the Lords as Baron Mowbray before the Parliament met.

Mowbray was a staunch royalist in the Civil War, for after ignominiously failing to execute the commission of array in Norfolk, he joined the Court at Oxford. Following the parliamentarians’ victory his composition fine was set at £6,000. His father died at Padua in 1646 heavily in debt. Even before the war Arundel had owed nearly £125,000 and, in 1651, Mowbray, now earl of Arundel himself, declared that he dared not come to London for fear of his creditors. At about this time he was accused of being a Catholic and of bringing up his children in that faith. His wife, indeed, had been ‘declared a Papist’ since 1638, but there is no evidence that he himself was anything other than an adherent of the Church of England.40

Howard died at Arundel House in Westminster on 17 Apr. 1652, and was buried at Arundel. No will or administration has been found. His eldest son, despite being a lunatic, was restored to the dukedom of Norfolk in 1660. His second son succeeded to the title in 1677, and his third son was created a cardinal in 1675. None of his descendants sat in the Commons until Charles Howard, the son of the 10th duke of Norfolk, was returned for Carlisle in 1780.41

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Alan Davidson


  • 1. CP, i. 257-8.
  • 2. M.F.S. Hervey, Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, 216, 346; H.F. Brown, Inglesi e Scozzesi all’Universit√† di Padova dall’anno 1618 sino al 1765, p. 145; CSP Ven. 1619-21, pp. 34, 37; Cott. Julius C.III, ff. 35-6; Al. Ox.; Al. Cant.
  • 3. Procs. 1626, iv. 271.
  • 4. CP, i. 257-8; Collins, Peerage, i. 128-32; Shaw, Knights of Eng. i. 159.
  • 5. C181/3, f. 133; 181/4, ff. 173v, 190v; 181/5, ff. 153, 177v, 205v.
  • 6. C231/4, f. 173; 231/5, pp. 35, 88, 89, 101, 205; Docquets of Letters Patent 1642-6 ed. W.H. Black, 115; SP16/405; C66/2858; ASSI 35/84/6; Q. Sess. Order Bks. ed. B.C. Redwood (Suss. Rec. Soc. liv), p. xxviii.
  • 7. T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 1, p. 70; pt. 3, p. 114.
  • 8. State Pprs relating to Musters, Beacons, Shipmoney, etc. in Norf. ed. W. Rye, 166; HMC Gawdy, 136.
  • 9. C181/3, f. 267v; 181/4, f. 123.
  • 10. C181/4, ff. 69, 171v; 181/5, ff. 203v, 213, 217v; C231/5, p. 89; Docquets of Letters Patent, 80.
  • 11. Sainty, Lords Lieutenants, 16-17, 28, 34-5.
  • 12. R. Reid, Council in the North, 498.
  • 13. C181/4, f. 151v; 181/5, f. 214.
  • 14. CSP Dom. 1635, p. 510.
  • 15. PC2/45, f. 19.
  • 16. Vice Admirals of the Coast comp. J.C. Sainty and A.D. Thrush (L. and I. Soc. cccxxi), 37.
  • 17. C181/5, ff. 103, 176.
  • 18. Northants RO, FH133.
  • 19. Docquets of Letters Patent, 30, 115.
  • 20. LC5/132, p. 282; LC3/1, f. 24v.
  • 21. CSP Dom. 1631-3, p. 498.
  • 22. R.G. Usher, Rise and Fall of High Commission, 354.
  • 23. C181/4, f. 186.
  • 24. Strafforde Letters (1739) ed. W. Knowler, i. 276.
  • 25. CSP Dom. 1625-49, p. 529; 1645-7, p. 500.
  • 26. Ibid. 1631-3, p. 459; 1635, p. 130.
  • 27. CSP Ire. 1633-47, p. 64.
  • 28. M.A. Tierney, Hist. and Antiqs. of Castle and Town of Arundel, 352; OR; Oxford DNB sub Howard, John, d. 1485.
  • 29. CP, i. 254-5; Tierney, 415-16.
  • 30. CSP Ven. 1607-10, p. 178.
  • 31. Ibid. 1621-3, p. 362; Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton ed. L. Pearsall Smith, ii. 240.
  • 32. Lives of Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, and of Anne Dacres, his Wife ed. Henry Granville, 14th duke of Norfolk, 233.
  • 33. D. Howarth, Lord Arundel and His Circle, 122.
  • 34. Hervey, 233; HMC Rutland, i. 476.
  • 35. Hervey, 240-9; T. Birch, Ct. and Times of Chas. I, i. 86, 90; Chamberlain Letters, ii. 631; Letters of John Holles ed. P.R. Seddon (Thoroton Soc. rec. ser. xxxv), 325.
  • 36. CD 1628, ii. 42; iii. 3, 336, 447; iv. 236, 404; Tierney, 132-5.
  • 37. Birch, i. 450.
  • 38. CJ, i. 922a, 923b, 925b.
  • 39. Hervey, 335-6.
  • 40. Tierney, 500; L. Stone, Crisis of the Aristocracy, 779; R.W. Ketton-Cremer, Norf. in the Civil War, 145-50; CCC, 2462-3; CCAM, 295; Strafforde Letters, ii. 165.
  • 41. Tierney, 510-11.