HOWARD, Sir George (1718-96), of Stoke, Bucks. and Great Bookham, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1761 - Mar. 1766
1768 - 16 July 1796

Family and Education

bap. 20 June 1718, 1st s. of Lt.-Gen. Thomas Howard, nephew of Francis, 5th Baron Effingham, of Great Bookham by Mary, da. of Rt. Rev. William Moreton, bp. of Meath. educ. Westminster 1729; Christ Church, Oxf. 1735. m. (1) 16 Feb. 1747, Lady Lucy Wentworth (d. 27 Apr. 1771), da. of Thomas, 1st Earl of Strafford, sis. and coh. of William, 2nd Earl, 1s. 2da.; (2) 21 May 1776, Elizabeth, da. of Peter Beckford of Jamaica, wid. of Thomas, 2nd Earl of Effingham, s.p. suc. fa. 1753; KB 3 Aug. 1774.

Offices Held

Ensign 24 Ft. 1725, lt. 1736, capt.-lt. 1736, capt. 1737; capt. 3 Ft. 1739, lt.-col. 1744, col. 1749; maj.-gen. 1750, lt.-gen. 1760; col. 7 Drag. 1763; gen. 1777; col. 1 Drag. 1779; f.m. 1793.

Gov. Minorca 1766-8, Chelsea Hosp. 1768-95, Jersey 1795-6; PC 29 July 1795.


Howard, a ‘pompous’ but ‘good-humoured’ soldier, sat for Stamford on Lord Exeter’s interest and supported Pitt’s administration. He was known as ‘the King’s Long Tail’ or, as Sir Gilbert Elliot put it in 1786, ‘accounted particularly a King’s vote’.1 His first duty in the Parliament of 1790 was to steer through the House the divorce bill of Lord Exeter’s heir, which was accomplished on 6 June 1791. He was listed hostile to the repeal of the Test Act in Scotland that session. On 12 Mar. 1792 he conceded the need for an inquiry into military accounts and arrears at the War Office. He justified war with revolutionary France, 22 Feb. 1793, regretting that ‘the cause of France’ had been supported by some opposition Members. Having served nine campaigns abroad, he was confident that both officers and privates were ‘zealously attached to the constitution’. He was chairman of the committee to regulate canal bills, 1 Mar. 1793, and on 1 May teller for the bill to regulate transfers of canal shares. In his last known speech, a rebuke of John Courtenay for a personal attack on Pitt, he described himself as ‘perhaps the eldest Member of the House’, 17 May 1794.

Ten years before he had applied to Pitt for the government of Plymouth. He now obtained that of Jersey. He was taken ill, 15 Nov. 1795, and wrote to Pitt to apologize for absence from the House.2 On 24 Nov. he was a defaulter. He died 16 July 1796, before he could take his seat in the new Parliament.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Diary of Madame d’Arblay ed. Dobson, ii, 407; Diaries of Robert Fulke Greville, 62; Minto, i. 104.
  • 2. PRO 30/8/146, ff. 170, 174.