HOWARD, Hon. Philip (1629-1717), of Charlton House, Wilts. and Westminster.

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



13 Feb. 1662

Family and Education

bap. 5 Mar. 1629, 7th s. of Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Berkshire, by Lady Elizabeth Cecil, da. of William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Exeter; bro. of Sir Charles Howard, Visct. Andover, Sir Robert Howard and Thomas Howard. m. bef. 1679, Mary (d.1698), da. of one Jennings, 2s. 2da.

Offices Held

Gent. to the Princess Royal ?1650-4; gent. of the bedchamber to the Duke of York Dec. 1660-82; housekeeper, Excise Office May-Dec. 1702.1

Capt. Duke of Gloucester’s tp. July-Sept. 1660; lt. indep. tp. 1667; capt. R. Ft. Gds. (later Grenadier Gds.) 1668-82.2

Commr. for assessment, Wilts. 1665-79, Westminster 1690, recusants, Wilts. 1675; receiver of taxes, London and Mdx. 1677-80; dep. lt. Mdx. 1689-?d.; lt. vol. horse, London 1689-at least 1692; j.p. Westminster 1690-?d., col. of militia ft. by 1697-?d.3


Howard’s grandfather, a younger son of the 4th Duke of Norfolk, acquired Charlton by marriage in 1598 and was created Earl of Suffolk. Howard went abroad in 1650 and entered the service of the Princess Royal in Holland. He returned in 1654, coming under suspicion as a royalist agent, which he does not seem to have deserved, though he brought a letter from The Hague to the House of Commons on 23 May 1660. At the Restoration, he entered the Duke of York’s household and, with Sir Charles Berkeley II, applied for a patent of monopoly for the manufacture of glass. He was successful in 1662 at a by-election for Malmesbury, two miles from his father’s residence at Charlton. An inactive Member of the Cavalier Parliament, he was probably appointed to 19 committees, besides acting as teller in ten divisions. Within a few months of his taking his seat the King had to be addressed to compose a dispute between him and Lord Ossory (Thomas Butler). He was granted the King’s third of a lawful prize in 1664, and marked as a court dependent. He was appointed to the committee for the naturalization of the Marquis de Blanquefort in the Oxford session. In 1666 he was serving aboard the fleet as a volunteer, where, according to Thomas Bruce, it was common report that ‘Mr Howard ran down into the hull of the ship’ whenever the fighting began. However that may be, and his subsequent record makes it highly improbable, he was given a commission in the following year. ‘A great talker of nothing’, his only recorded speech in the House was during the debate on Clarendon’s impeachment, when he urged that the judges should be asked to declare the law of treason. His name appeared on both lists of the court party in 1669-71. He was given £400 as a royal boon, and began to act as a teller for the Court. On 8 Apr. he carried up the bill for the better collecting of fines and forfeitures. He was teller against the word ‘unanimous’ in the address against the suspending power on 26 Feb. 1673, after which he again went to sea, losing his arm at the battle of Texel. He was included on the Paston list, and as one of the King’s servants in the House in 1675, twice acting as teller for supply in the autumn session. In 1677 he was appointed to the committees for the Duke of Norfolk’s bill, and for the recall of British subjects from the French service. He was again teller for the Court against the Dutch alliance on 25 May, and was marked ‘doubly vile’ on Shaftesbury’s list. The authors of A Seasonable Argument and Flagellum Parliamentarium described him as ‘not born to a farthing’ and the recipient of a pension of £300. He was given a receivership of taxes, in which capacity he was commended by the Treasury, and later received a special gratification of £200 ‘for his extraordinary pains and charges’. In 1678, however, he appears only on the government list of the court party; by this time he had married a woman of means and could afford to take an independent line. Nevertheless he was anxious that Lauderdale should know that he had voted for him, and acted as teller for the Court in three more important divisions, on the removal of counsellors on 7 May, on the tax on new buildings on 25 June, and on the removal of Papists from Court on 26 Nov.4

It is not known whether Howard stood at the first general election of 1679, but he petitioned the second Exclusion Parliament. The constituency is not stated, but he may have contested Malmesbury as an exclusionist. He was still well enough at Court for the King to stand godfather to his younger son in 1681, but in the following year, as an associate of the Duke of Monmouth and the Earl of Clare (Gilbert Holles), he lost all his places. Later James II stopped his pension. Hence he was able to stand in 1689 for Westminster, where he had been born, as ‘an eminent Protestant sufferer’. He was appointed to at least five committees in the Convention, of which the most important was to inquire into the authors and advisers of grievances. He also served on the committees of an explanatory bill about tanning, for the bankruptcy bill, and for two private bills promoted by the Duke of Norfolk. King William granted him a pension of £400 p.a., and readily accepted his offer to reconcile his brother Sir Robert with Lord Halifax (Sir George Savile); but nothing came of it. He thirded the address of thanks for the King’s speech on 19 Oct., and a week later was commissioned lieutenant to John Hampden in the ultra-Whig London volunteer horse. Defoe was his cornet. He supported the disabling clause in the bill to restore corporations. He lost his seat at the general election, and probably did not stand again. He retained his pension, but his circumstances were so embarrassed that he was compelled to ask for an advance of £40 to pay for his wife’s funeral. He died at the age of 88 in September 1717 and was buried at St. Martin in the Fields, where he had been baptized. His great-grandson succeeded to the earldoms of Suffolk and Berkshire in I783.5

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Thurloe, ii. 568.
  • 2. Parl. Intell. 23 July 1660.
  • 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. v. 617, 1099; vi. 452; xvii. 219, 433; SP44/165/285; Luttrell, ii. 242; Eg. 1626, f. 31.
  • 4. CSP Dom. 1650-1, p. 551; 1660-1, p. 386; 1663-4, p. 452; 1666-7, p. 149; 1670, p. 41; 1672, p. 47; 1673, p. 523; Whitelocke Mems. iv. 414; Ailesbury Mems. 323-4; CJ, viii. 427; Add. 35865, p. 19; Lauderdale Pprs. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxxviii), 132.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1682, pp. 40, 429-30; Orange Gazette, 7 Jan. 1689; R. Morrice, Entering Bk. 2, p. 617; Cal. Treas. Bks. xiii. 73.