HOWE, George Grobham (c.1627-76), of Berwick St. Leonard, nr. Hindon, Wilts.

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



1661 - 26 Sept. 1676

Family and Education

b. c.1627, o.s. of George Howe of Berwick St. Leonard by Dorothy, da. of Humphrey Clarke of Bradgate, Kent. educ. L. Inn 1646. m. 1650, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Harbottle Grimston, 2nd Bt., of Gorhambury, Herts., 4s. (3 d.v.p.) 7da. suc. fa. 1647; cr. Bt. 20 June 1660.1

Offices Held

J.p. Wilts. 1649-52, 1656-d., commr. for scandalous ministers 1654, assessment 1657, Jan. 1660-d., militia Mar. 1660, corporations 1662-3, dep. lt. 1662-d., col. of militia ft. by 1673-d.; commr. for recusants, Glos. and Wilts. 1675.2


Howe’s father inherited Berwick St. Leonard, a mile from Hindon, from the Grobham family. Though anything but an active Parliamentarian in the Civil War he stood for the borough in 1645, but the double return was decided in favour of Edmund Ludlow at his death. Howe’s marriage suggests Presbyterian leanings, and he was marked as a friend by Lord Wharton, but he held local office during most of the Interregnum. His return at the general election of 1660 was not in dispute, and he seems to have taken his seat from the first, being named on 26 Apr. to the committee of elections and privileges. But as his name stands last on the list, it may represent an addition made by the clerk on the instructions of Howe’s father-in-law, the Speaker, who was also responsible for his baronetcy. Howe was inactive in the Convention, with only seven committees: there would have been even fewer if he had not represented Grimston’s interests in two matters: the appointment of a minister for Harwich and his power (as master of the rolls) to grant leases. Howe spoke in the debate on the poll bill on 10 Dec. to suggest that the sums charged on clergymen should be specified. Howe was again returned in 1661, probably unopposed, but was no more active in the Cavalier Parliament. He was named to only 26 committees in 14 sessions, and made no recorded speeches. Outside Parliament he co-operated in the suppression of conventicles, but he took no part in preparing the Clarendon Code. In 1666 he acted as teller for the committal of a bill to regulate hospitals and free schools. With an income estimated at £1,500 p.a., he had so much improved his interest at Hindon that in 1673 he was reported to intend bringing in his cousin Richard Howe for the second seat. He appears on the working lists of 1675 as under Grimston’s influence. He died on 26 Sept. 1676. His son and successor, Sir James Howe, sat for Hindon in several Parliaments as a Tory between 1693 and 1709.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Authors: M. W. Helms / John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Wilts. Vis. Peds. (Harl. Soc. cv), 75; Hoare, Wilts. Branch and Dole, 46; Som. and Dorset N. and Q. viii. 47-48.
  • 2. Hoare, Salisbury, 449; Cal. Treas. Bks. i. 692; Salisbury Cathedral Lib. Bp. Seth Ward, Liber Notitiae, f. 53.
  • 3. Wilts. Arch. Mag. xxvi. 356; Brunton and Pennington, 23; CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 45; 1661-2, p. 155; Old Parl. Hist. xxiii. 47; CJ, viii. 626; Hoare, Repertorium Wiltonense, 16; Bath mss, Thynne pprs. 14, f. 395.