HOWARD, Sir Francis (1585-1651), of Sayes Court, Chertsey and Eastwick House, Great Bookham, Surr.

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



1 Feb. 1610

Family and Education

bap. 21 Oct. 1585, 2nd s. of Sir William Howard† of Lingfield, Surr. and Frances, da. of William Goldwell of Goldwell, Kent; bro. of Charles* and Sir Edward I*. educ. earl of Nottingham’s embassy to Spain 1605. m. by 6 Nov. 1613, Jane, da. of Sir William Monson† of Kinnersley, Reigate, Surr. at least 8s. (5 d.v.p.) 3da. (2 d.v.p.). kntd. 4 July 1604; suc. bro. Sir Edward 1620. d. 7 July 1651.1

Offices Held

Capt. RN 1603-4, v.-adm. Narrow Seas 1613-13 Jan. 1616, adm. of Narrow Seas 14 Jan. 1616-1618;2 lt. of the Admiralty 1616.3

Gent. pens. by 1605-c.14.4

V.-adm. Kent by 1617-26;5 j.p. Surr. 1620-at least 1625 (custos rot. 1620-4),6 by 1640-at least 1642;7 commr. subsidy, Surr. 1622, 1624, 1641;8 freeman, Guildford, Surr. 1624; 9 commr. navigation, river Wey, Surr. 1635, sewers, Suss. 1637,10 assessment, Surr. 1642,11 array 1642.12


Howard early adopted a naval career, and was at sea with a relative by marriage, Sir Richard Leveson*, on the accession of James I. Following Leveson’s death in August 1604, however, he pursued a career at Court, becoming a gentleman pensioner. In 1605 he accompanied his uncle, lord admiral Nottingham, to Madrid to ratify the treaty ending the war with Spain. Early in the fourth session of the king’s first Parliament he was returned for Windsor on Nottingham’s interest, but he left no record of his presence in the House. He did not sit again.

In October 1613, at around the time he married the daughter of Sir William Monson, Leveson’s successor as admiral of the Narrow Seas, Howard resumed his naval career.13 He obtained a grant in reversion of Monson’s office, and, during the Addled Parliament, served as Monson’s vice-admiral against pirates off the Scottish coast.14 He succeeded Monson in January 1616, and Nottingham appointed him lieutenant of the Admiralty at around the same time. However, his interest in naval affairs slackened on Nottingham’s resignation a few years later, whereupon he vacated the lieutenancy and sold his office as admiral of the Narrow Seas to Henry Mervyn* for £3,500.15 In 1620 Howard succeeded to his brother’s estate, which included the patent for Dungeness lighthouse, control over which was debated in the third Jacobean Parliament. Howard avoided further trouble with this patent by assigning his half share of the profits to William Bullock.16 His name again came before the House in April 1624, when he was presented as being suspected of recusancy, but though he indignantly offered ‘to clear himself’ he was replaced as custos rotulorum of the Surrey bench in May.17 In January 1626 he subscribed £20 to the Privy Seal loan, but the following August Buckingham replaced him as vice-admiral of Kent.18 Two years later, in May 1628, he sold property in Chertsey to the Crown for £870.19

Howard seems to have spent the next decade as a country gentleman. An unsuccessful candidate for Reigate at the autumn election of 1640, he was appointed a commissioner of array in 1642, but played no apparent part in the Civil War. He was assessed by Parliament at £500 in 1644, paying at least £60, and at £1,500 a year later, and one of his sons died on the king’s side. Howard himself died intestate on 7 July 1651, and was buried at Great Bookham. In 1681 his grandson succeeded to the barony of Effingham.20

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Andrew Thrush


  • 1. G. Leveson-Gower, ‘The Howards of Effingham’, Surr. Arch. Colls. ix. 405, 413-15, 421, 426; NLW, Carreglwyd ms I/699; HMC Downshire, iv. 613; Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 133.
  • 2. Naval Tracts of Sir William Monson ed. M. Oppenheim (Navy Recs. Soc. xxiii), 194-6; HMC Downshire, iv. 247; E351/2251-2255.
  • 3. Lansd. 273, f. 17.
  • 4. E407/1/37, 41.
  • 5. Medway Archives and Local Studs. Cent., RCA/A5/1, f. 1; HCA 30/820/8; Add. 37816, f. 158.
  • 6. Cal. Assize Recs. Surr. Indictments Jas. I ed. J.S. Cockburn, 208; LJ, iii. 395a; C231/4, f. 112; C193/13/1; T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 16.
  • 7. C66/2858; ASSI/35/84/6.
  • 8. C212/22/21, 23; SR, v. 65.
  • 9. Surr. Hist. Cent. BR/OC/1/2, f. 93v.
  • 10. Rymer, ix. pt. 1, p. 19; C181/5, f. 69.
  • 11. SR, v. 155.
  • 12. Northants. RO, FH133.
  • 13. E351/2251; HMC Downshire, iv. 247.
  • 14. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 207; Monson’s Naval Tracts, 56.
  • 15. W. Camden, Annals, 651; SP16/6/134. In 1622 it was reported that by one newsletter writer that he served as vice admiral to the earl of Oxford in 1622, but that position was actually supplied by Sir Francis Stewart*: T. Birch, Ct. and Times of Jas. I, ii. 289; E351/2260.
  • 16. CD 1621, ii. 395; iii. 321; vi. 80; CJ, i. 567b; G.G. Harris, Trin. House, 189.
  • 17. CJ, i. 776b; ‘Nicholas 1624’, ff. 180v-1.
  • 18. A.R. Bax, ‘The Names of those Persons in the County of Surr. who contributed to the Loan to King Chas. I’, Surr. Arch. Colls. xvii. 80.
  • 19. CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 140.
  • 20. CCAM, 379; Manning and Bray, Surr. ii. 356; PCC Admons. 1649-54, p. 188; VCH Surr. iii. 334.