HOWARD, Charles (1628-85), of Naworth Castle, Cumb. and Hinderskelfe, Yorks.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1656 - 10 Dec. 1657

Family and Education

b. 4 Feb. 1628, 2nd s. of Sir William Howard of Naworth by Mary, da. of William, 4th Lord Eure; bro. of Philip Howard. educ. travelled abroad (Holland) 1646-7. m. c. Dec. 1645, Anne, da. of Sir Edward Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Escrick, 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 3 da. suc. bro. 1644; cr. Earl of Carlisle 30 Apr. 1661.1

Offices Held

J.p. Cumb. 1647-59, Northumb. 1652-9, Yorks. (N. and E. Ridings) 1653-9, co. Dur. and Westmld. 1656-9, Cumb., co. Dur., Essex, Northumb. and N. and E. Ridings Mar. 1660-d., Mdx. 1675-d.; sheriff, Cumb. 1649-50; commr. for assessment, Cumb. 1649-50, Cumb., Northumb. and Yorks. 1652, 1657, Aug. 1660-1, Dumfries, Selkirk and Roxburgh 1657, Jan. 1660, oyer and terminer, Yorks. 1653-4, Northern circuit June 1660, scandalous ministers, Cumb., Westmld., Northumb. and co. Dur. 1654, security, Cumb. and Westmld. 1655-6, statutes, Durham college 1656; freeman Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1656, Portsmouth 1680; alderman, Carlisle ?1658-d., mayor 1677-8; commr. for militia, Cumb., Northumb., Westmld. and Yorks. Mar. 1660; custos rot. Cumb. July 1660-d., ld. lt. Cumb. and Westmld. Oct 1660-d., co. Dur. 1672-4. v.-adm. Cumb., co. Dur., Northumb. and Westmld. 1661-d.; jt. c.-in-c. of militia, Cumb., Westmld., Northumb. and co. Dur. 1667; warden of Barnard Castle, Teesdale forest and Marwood chase, co. Dur. 1672-d.2

Capt. of Gds. 1651-Jan. 1655, Sept. 1655-6; col. of horse Jan.-Sept. 1655, Feb.-Oct. 1660; dep. maj.-gen. Cumb., Northumb. and Westmld. 1655-6; col. of ft. 1656-9, 1673-4; gov. Carlisle 1658-9, Feb.-Nov. 1660, 1678-d.; capt. indep. tp. 1666-7; lt.-gen. 1667.

Councillor of State Apr.-Dec. 1653, [S] 1655-8; commr. for trade 1656-7, 1668-72, security [S] 1656; PC 2 June 1660-21 Apr. 1679; farmer of wine customs [I] 1660-81; member, R. Adventurers into Africa 1661-72, asst. 1670; ambassador to Russia, Poland, Denmark and Sweden 1664, Sweden 1668; commr. for prizes 1664-7; member, Society of Mines Royal 1667, R. Fishery Co. 1677; dep. earl marshal 1673-d.; gov. Jamaica 1678-81.3


Howard’s great-grandfather, ‘Belted Will of Naworth’, was a younger son of the fourth Duke of Norfolk who inherited the Dacre estates. Howard was brought up as a Roman Catholic, and by resisting capture by a parliamentary force during the first Civil War made himself a technical Royalist. On his marriage he became a Presbyterian, and was allowed to compound both for his wardship and his delinquency for £4,000. His loyalty to Parliament during the second Civil War was at first in doubt, but he fought with great distinction at Worcester as captain of Cromwell’s guards. Changing to Independency, he assumed ‘a high profession of religion, to the pitch of praying and preaching at their meetings’, and held office throughout the Protectorate, being called up to the ‘Other House’ in 1657. But he was probably in touch with the exiled Court through his brother-in-law, William Howard. He was dismissed by the Rump in 1659 and arrested with good reason during Booth’s rising. On the fall of the military regime he was again given a regiment. George Monck made him governor of Carlisle, and in April 1660 he was among the officers who undertook that the army would no longer ‘meddle in any affairs of state’.4

Howard was returned for Cumberland at the general election of 1660 and became a moderately active Member of the Convention. As ‘Lord Howard’ or ‘Colonel Howard’ he was appointed to 23 committees, and acted as teller in four divisions, while seven speeches may probably be ascribed to him. He was among those appointed to consider the Declaration of Breda and to conduct the poll to choose Members to carry the reply, reporting the figures on 7 May. He was also on the committees to consider the indemnity bill and to inquire into unauthorized Anglican publications. He now changed religion for the third time, declaring on 17 July that:

As monarchy had been so long interrupted by rebellion and faction, so had episcopacy by schism and heresy, and that no one that spoke against episcopacy offered anything better.

On 13 Aug. he helped to raise the £100,000 loan in the City. He opposed double taxation of Popish recusants, because of their ‘constant allegiance to the King’. Of the regicides who had surrendered themselves he said:

The late King clothed them in scarlet, and had turned their iron into brass, their brass into silver, and themselves into gold. That this prince should be murdered at his own door would make them seek out such a punishment for it as the exquisiteness of a woman could invent. But the honour of the House being engaged, he moved ... to banish and immure them that they should never see the sun more, which would be worse than death.

In September Howard was chiefly concerned with the disbandment of the army. He was appointed to the committee for the bill and helped to manage a conference. He also served on the committee for the bill to exempt ex-soldiers from the apprenticeship regulations in corporate towns, which he carried to the Lords.5

In the second session, Howard was appointed to the committee for the attainder bill. On 16 Nov. he moved for some course to be taken with mosstroopers, and obtained a first reading for his bill to prevent theft and rapine on the northern borders. He proposed that the author of The Long Parliament Revived should be punished ‘by being tied up to the gallows while his book was burning below it’, and was appointed to the committee for his impeachment. On 21 Nov. he acted as teller against the motion to grant the excise for the King’s life only, and as Privy Councillor he brought the message of thanks for settling the revenue. He described the bill for modified episcopacy brought in on 28 Nov. as of the highest importance, and moved a second reading in three days’ time. He was appointed to the committee for restoring the title of Duke of Norfolk to the head of his family, acted as teller on the third reading, and carried it to the Lords.6

Howard was too unpopular among the northern Royalists to stand again in 1661, but was given a peerage in the coronation honours. As Viscount Morpeth and Earl of Carlisle he exercised considerable interest in these boroughs, for which his brother and son sat in the Cavalier Parliament and later. His marriage had broken up before the Restoration, after which, according to Burnet, he ‘ran into a course of vice’. He was granted a lease of a Northumberland colliery in 1663 and an excise pension of £1,000 p.a. in 1667. Nevertheless he was reckoned one of Clarendon’s leading opponents in the House of Lords, and subsequently an associate of Shaftesbury. In February 1674 he moved that any member of the royal family who married a Roman Catholic without the consent of Parliament should be excluded from the succession. It was afterwards rumoured that he was to be turned out of the Council, but he remained there for another four years. He soon parted company with Shaftesbury, for as Burnet commented, ‘he loved to be popular, and yet to keep up an interest at Court, and so was apt to go forward and backward in public affairs’. In 1678 he recovered the governorship of Carlisle, and was appointed governor of Jamaica at a salary of £2,500 p.a. He stayed in the island less than three years, and after encountering many difficulties with the local assembly sailed home, never to return, in May 1680. Thereafter he decided to ‘live as a country gentleman in Cumberland’. He voted against the second exclusion bill on 15 Nov. 1680, but next month, like most of the Howards, found his kinsman Lord Stafford guilty of treason. He apparently co-operated in remodelling the Carlisle charter in 1684, and was reappointed to the corporation. He died on 24 Feb. 1685, and was buried in York Minster.7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. C142/774/15; LJ, viii. 296, 499.
  • 2. Ferguson, Cumb. and Westmld. Members, 23, 296, Thurloe, iii. 562; Reg. of Freemen (Newcastle Recs. Committee iii), 71; R. East, Portsmouth Recs. 364; S. Jefferson, Hist. Carlisle, 447; CSP Dom. 1655-6, p. 297; 1667, p. 214; Cal. Treas. Bks. iii. 1234.
  • 3. CSP Ire. 1669-70, pp. 390-1.
  • 4. LJ, viii. 296, 469, 497; Cal. Comm. Adv. Money, 1237; Cary, Mems. Civil War, ii. 363; Burnet, i. 271-2; Cal. Cl. SP, iii. 153, 173; iv. 169, 209, 511, 609; CSP Ven. 1659-61, pp. 90, 138.
  • 5. Bowman diary, ff. 82v, 140; Old Parl. Hist. xxii. 441-2; CJ, viii. 157, 161.
  • 6. Old Parl. Hist. xxiii. 15, 20, 28; CJ, viii. 187, 194, 196.
  • 7. Williamson Letters (Cam. Soc. n.s. ix), 158; HMC Le Fleming, 30; CSP Dom. 1663-4, pp. 76, 133; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 736; Eg. 2539, ff. 197, 205; K. W. D. Haley, Shaftesbury, 357-8, 376; F. Cundall, Govs. of Jamaica, 80-88; Cumb. RO, Fleming mss 2370, Lowther to Fleming, 25 Jan. 1681.