HOWE, John (bef.1690-1742), of Stowell, Glos. and Great Wishford, Wilts.

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



6 Feb. - 5 Aug. 1727
12 Apr. 1729 - 1741

Family and Education

b. bef. 1690,1 o.s. of Rt. Hon. John Grubham Howe, M.P., paymaster gen., of Stowell by Mary, da. and coh. of Humphrey Baskerville of Pontrilas, Herefs., wid. of Sir Edward Morgan, 3rd Bt., of Llantarnam, Mon.; cos. of Sir Richard Grubham Howe, 3rd Bt., and Emanuel Scrope, 2nd Visct. Howe. m. Jan. 1712,2 Dorothy, 1st da. of Henry Frederick Thynne of Remnan’s, Old Windsor and Sunbury, Mdx., yr. bro. of Thomas, M.P., 1st Visct. Weymouth, 8s. 5da. suc. fa. 1722; to Wilts. and Glos. estates of cos. Sir Richard Grubham Howe, 3rd Bt. 1730; cr. Baron Chedworth 12 May 1741.

Offices Held

Recorder, Warwick 1737.


Returned as a Tory at by-elections for Gloucester and Wiltshire, Howe voted against the Government till 1734, speaking against the Address, 13 Jan. 1732, and against a government motion to provide funds for fulfilling treaty engagements with Denmark, 3 Apr. following.

On 14 Feb. 1735, on a government proposal for increasing the army, a ministerial supporter wrote:

Mr. John Howe, who has always been a strong opposer, made a speech which surprised most people; he argued for the merits of the question and the necessity of the augmentation, but concluded with differing from gentlemen in the manner of raising them; he was for taking foreigners into pay ... so voted against us.

A fortnight later he both spoke and voted for the first time with the Administration on a treaty with Denmark.3 Thenceforth he can be regarded as a follower of Walpole, whose ‘confidential friend’ he became. This did not prevent him from preserving a certain independence: e.g. on 19 Mar. 1735 he was one of six Members ordered to prepare and bring in a place bill, which was strongly opposed by the Government; or from supporting, on three occasions and ‘in the warmest terms of approbation’, Sir John Barnard’s proposals, made in 1737, for the further reduction of interest on the national debt, arguing that the country gentlemen would benefit by it.4 In March 1739 he spoke for the convention with Spain, as ‘a plain country gentleman, who lives upon his rents, and being satisfied his rents depend on the trade of the nation, will be careful no way to injure that trade’. After the outbreak of war he spoke in favour of postponing Pulteney’s proposal of 16 Nov. 1739 to bring in a bill for securing the trade with America and encouraging seamen to join the navy, on the ground that such a bill should emanate from the Crown. His speech in support of the secretary at war’s motion in December 1740 to provide funds for eleven new regiments, was cut short as

I find myself unable to pursue my design because I can’t read my notes, which, being written by another hand, are difficult to make out as ‘tis the dusk of the evening.5

Two months later he spoke against the motion for the removal of Walpole from office, ‘warmly’ opposing the suggestion that Walpole should withdraw from the House during the debate. Shortly after this he was raised to the peerage for ‘the uniform support which he gave to [the] Administration’.6 He died 3 Apr. 1742.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: R. S. Lea


  • 1. HMC Portland, vii. 17.
  • 2. Wentworth Pprs. 244.
  • 3. HMC Egmont Diary, i. 215, 253; ii. 156; HMC Carlisle, 152.
  • 4. Coxe, Walpole, i. 503.
  • 5. Chandler, xi. 27; xiii. add. 149.
  • 6. Coxe, i. 503, 652.