HOWARD, Philip (c.1631-86), of Leicester Fields, Westminster and Sissinghurst, Kent.

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



7 Mar. 1659
Mar. 1679
Oct. 1679

Family and Education

b. c.1631, 3rd s. of Sir William Howard (d.1642) of Naworth Castle, Cumb., and bro. of Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Carlisle. m. lic. 23 Apr. 1668, Elizabeth, da. and h. of Sir Robert Newton, 1st Bt., of London, wid. of Sir John Baker, 3rd Bt., of Sissinghurst, 1s. Kntd. 27 May 1660.1

Offices Held

Capt. Life Gds. Jan. 1660-d.; gov. Jamaica 1685-d.2

Commr. for militia, Yorks. Mar. 1660, j.p. Yorks (N. Riding) July 1660-d., Westminster 1665-d., Kent 1672-d.; commr. for assessment, Westminster Aug. 1660-1, 1673-4, Cumb. 1661-80, Carlisle 1663-4, sewers, Westminster Aug. 1660; dep. lt. Kent 1668-?72; farmer of excise, South Wales 1671-4; receiver of hearth-tax, Kent 1671-4; member, R. Fishery Co. 1677.3


Howard, like his brother, was active in the Restoration. Standing on the Eure interest, he retained his seat for Malton at the general election of 1660. As commander of Monck’s guards, he met the King at Dover, and was knighted. Apart from helping to manage the conference on the poll tax on 12 Sept. and serving on the committee to restore the dukedom of Norfolk to the head of the Howard family, he played no known part in the Convention.4

At the general election of 1661 Howard was returned for Carlisle, from which his brother took his title. He was appointed to only 25 committees in the Cavalier Parliament, of which the most important was for the uniformity bill, and acted as teller in four divisions. Samuel Pepys considered Howard not only one of the finest persons he had ever seen, but also ‘of great parts and very courteous. ... He discourses as well as ever I heard man, in few words and handsome’, but he does not seem to have shone as a parliamentary orator, and no speeches of his are recorded for the whole of this Parliament. On 16 Apr. 1662 he was ordered to carry to the Upper House the bill for preventing theft and rapine on the northern borders. He was marked as a court dependent in 1664. Howard had been brought up as a Roman Catholic, and his younger brothers were known to be ardent adherents of that church. His religion was always suspect, though the information laid against him in 1664 by Macedo, who also accused (Sir) John Bramston, was not to be taken seriously. Two years later a protestant convert called L’Heure alleged that Howard had tried to dissuade him from changing his religion, and the charge was brought before the House by (Sir) Edward Hungerford. Fortunately for Howard, he had just returned from service aboard the fleet with Monck, now Duke of Albemarle, thus certifying both his military ability and his sound Protestantism, and the House dismissed the allegation as a lie. Hungerford was not without interested motives, for he was in dispute with Howard and his partner, Francis Watson, over an invention for sheathing hulls with lead. They were granted a patent of monopoly for 14 years in 1668, but sought an extension to 31 years, which required a private Act. On 25 Nov. 1670 (Sir) Thomas Higgons reported in favour of the patent, but the general tenor of the debate was hostile, and the bill was recommitted. Under a new chairman, (Sir) John Berkenhead, the bill made good progress and received the royal assent at the end of the session. Howard was reckoned one of Ormonde’s friends, and as a dependant appeared on both lists of the court party in 1669-71.5

Howard’s marriage to a wealthy widow proved unfortunate. She tricked him over her jointure, and they separated. Some ruffians whom he had hired from the bear-garden beat two of her servants to death, and he had need of his parliamentary immunity. It was said that his military command enabled him to keep her ‘under a guard’ at little cost. Even after Lord Carlisle went into opposition with Shaftesbury in 1673, Howard remained a government supporter, with his name on the Paston list. He was given a pension of £400 p.a. as compensation for loss of the South Wales excise farm, and according to A Seasonable Argument received altogether £4,000 ‘in patents and boons’. He served with the French army in the spring of 1674, but when his youngest brother John was killed in action in the following year he showed, unlike his brother Thomas, no resentment at the gleeful attitude of William Cavendish, Lord Cavendish, and Sir Thomas Meres. He was reckoned among the King’s servants in the House, Sir Richard Wiseman wrote that he was ‘not doubted’ by Danby, and his name appeared on the working lists, though (Sir) Joseph Williamson noted that he was ‘to be questioned’ on one occasion. He was marked ‘thrice vile’ by Shaftesbury, but omitted from Flagellum Parliamentarium, perhaps because Andrew Marvell had once been Lord Carlisle’s secretary. In the debate on foreign policy on 25 May 1678 he acted as teller for the Court, and he was on both lists of the court party in that year. He had an angry dispute with Monmouth at a review in Hyde Park, and was threatened with being cashiered. As a Westminster justice he took the deposition of his disreputable nephew, Capt. Charles Atkins, on the Popish Plot.6

Howard was re-elected for Carlisle to the first and second Exclusion Parliaments. He was classed as ‘vile’ by Shaftesbury, and voted against the bill. When (Sir) Stephen Fox produced his list of excise pensioners, Howard protested that he had come in ‘upon a valuable consideration’; but otherwise he made no speeches, and was appointed to no committee in either Parliament. He stood down in 1681 in favour of his nephew Lord Morpeth (Edward Howard). In the following November he was arrested for a debt of £3,000, but the suit was dismissed as insolent and vexatious. He was appointed governor of Jamaica, where he owned a plantation, in 1685, and granted 200 of Monmouth’s followers to transport and sell there; but his departure was delayed by his creditors and he died in England in April 1686. Although he was said to have been reconciled to Rome on his deathbed, he was buried in Westminster Abbey. His son Philip was elected for Morpeth in 1698 and for Carlisle in 1701.7

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 716.
  • 2. Cal. Cl. SP, iv. 526; CSP Col. 1681-8, p. 751.
  • 3. C181/7/37; Twysden Ltcy. Pprs. (Kent Recs. x), 64; Cal. Treas. Bks. iii. 833; iv. 49; Sel. Charters (Selden Soc. xxviii), 198.
  • 4. HMC Popham, ii. 137-8; Verney Mems. ii. 145.
  • 5. Pepys Diary, 1 Apr., 15 Aug., 21 Nov. 1666; Bramston Autobiog. (Cam. Soc. xxxii), 144; Milward, 45; CJ, viii. 653; ix. 183; CSP Dom. 1667-8, p. 479; Dering, 12-13.
  • 6. E. C. Legh, Lady Newton, Lyme Letters, 37; Harl. 7020, f. 42; CSP Dom. 1670, p. 154; 1673-5, p. 11; 1678, p. 271; Cal. Treas. Bks. iv. 472, Arch. de Guerre 397, f. 25; HMC Rutland, ii. 51; North, Examen, 245.
  • 7. CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 82; 1685, p. 330; F. Cundall, Govs. of Jamaica, 99-101; Ellis Corresp. i. 35-36, 99, 105; Westminster Abbey Reg. (Harl. Soc. x), 216.