HOWARD, Henry, Visct. Morpeth (?1693-1758).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1715 - 1 May 1738

Family and Education

b. ?1693, 1st s. of Charles Howard, M.P., 3rd Earl of Carlisle; bro. of Hon. Charles Howard. educ. Eton; Trinity, Camb. 2 May 1711, aged 17. m. (1) 27 Nov. 1717, Lady Frances Spencer (d. 27 July 1742), da. of Charles Spencer, M.P., 3rd Earl of Sunderland, 3s. 2da.; (2) 8 June 1743, Isabella, da. of William, 4th Baron Byron, 1s. 4da. suc. fa. as 4th Earl 1 May 1738. K.G. 18 Nov. 1756.

Offices Held


Entering Parliament for the family seat at Morpeth, Lord Morpeth supported the Government of his father-in-law, Lord Sunderland, except in the division on Lord Cadogan when he voted against them. Soon afterwards he went into opposition, speaking, 16 Feb. 1722, against Walpole’s proposal that the South Sea Company should be allowed to dispose of part of their capital to pay their debts, and, 26 Oct. 1722, against the augmentation of the army. In 1725 he joined Pulteney in opposing a motion for Lord Macclesfield’s impeachment,1 of which he became a manager. On 7 Feb. 1727 he moved unsuccessfully for papers relating to the recent sending of the fleet into the Baltic.

In the next reign Morpeth continued active in opposition, advocating the reduction of the army year after year on the annual estimates. On 4 Feb. 1730 he is described as speaking ‘in his usual manner’ against the retention of the Hessians on British pay. On 13 Feb. 1734 he moved for a bill to make all army officers not above the rank of colonel irremovable except by a court-martial or by an address of both Houses, which was rejected without a division. His last recorded speech in the Commons was made in 1737 on his almost annual motion for reducing the army to 12,000, the Prince of Wales being in the gallery of the House.2 On succeeding to the peerage he took the Howard influence in Yorkshire over to the Opposition, securing the return of his son joined to a Tory for Yorkshire at the general election of 1741. After Walpole’s fall he adhered to Pulteney, who tried unsuccessfully to have him made lord privy seal at the end of 1743.3 He was to have had that office in the abortive Bath-Granville Administration in February 1746, when Bath gave up the attempt to form a Government and ‘slipped down the back stairs, leaving Lord Carlisle in the outward rooms, expecting to be called in to kiss hands for the Privy Seal’.4 He figured as first lord of the Treasury in Frederick’s shadow cabinet, but died without having ever attained office, 3 Sept. 1758.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. Knatchbull Diary, 12 Feb. 1725.
  • 2. HMC Egmont Diary, i 28; ii. 350.
  • 3. Owen, Pelhams, 203.
  • 4. Walpole, Mems. Geo. II, i. 174.