HOWARD, Sir Edward I (1579-1620), of Lingfield, Surr. and Westminster

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

b. 17 Dec. 1579, 1st s. of Sir William Howard† of Lingfield and Frances, da. of William Goldwell of Goldwell, Kent; bro. of Charles* and Sir Francis*. unm. suc. fa. 1600; kntd. 11 May 1603. d. 7 Aug. 1620.1

Offices Held

Vol. Azores 1597.2

J.p. Surr. 1601-d., custos rot. 1618-d.;3 commr. piracy, London, Mdx., Kent, Essex, Surr. 1603, London, Mdx. 1606;4 kpr. Byfleet park, Surr. 1604;5 commr. sewers, Surr. 1613.6

Sewer, queen’s Household, by 1602 to 1603,7 cupbearer, king’s Household 1603-d.;8 member, embassy to Spain 1605.9


A nephew of lord admiral Nottingham (Charles Howard†), Howard began and nearly ended his career at the age of 17, returning from the first abortive sailing of the 1597 expedition to the Azores with smallpox. Sir Robert Cecil† lamented the threat to the life of such ‘a towardly young gentleman’, but he recovered to be returned later in the year with his father for the borough of Reigate, where Nottingham was the dominant electoral patron.10 He was still under-age at the death of his father in 1600, when his mother purchased his wardship.11 He was re-elected in 1601, taking the senior seat. By 1602 he had acquired Court office, and the following year, shortly after the accession of James I, he was knighted and made a cupbearer.

Howard was re-elected for Reigate in 1604, but left no trace on the surviving records of the first Jacobean Parliament. In 1604 he shared in a grant of lands in Derbyshire and Leicestershire in trust for Nottingham, and was appointed keeper of Byfleet Park in Surrey. Four years later he was given the reversion to some of his uncle’s minor offices, and was spoken of as successor to Sir Thomas Vavasour* in the knight marshalship. By 1609 he was receiving an annuity of £100 out of Nottingham’s sweet wine farm.12

Howard was again returned for Reigate in 1614, but played no recorded part in the Addled Parliament. In 1615 he secured, presumably with Nottingham’s assistance, a patent for the erection of a lighthouse at Dungeness: he was to take three-quarters of the toll to be charged, leaving the rest to the actual projector. He drew up his will on 1 Aug. 1620 and died, unmarried, six days later. He was buried on 11 Aug., in accordance with his will, at Reigate, where he left £5 to the poor of the parish. His next brother, Sir Francis, whom he appointed his executor, succeeded him in his estates. The lighthouse patent was condemned as a grievance by the Commons in 1621, despite his executor’s claim that the proceeds were needed to pay Howard’s debts, after Sir Thomas Roe* observed in his report that ‘the Commonwealth must not pay private debts’. However, the patent was not recalled by the king.13

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates


  • 1. Manning and Bray, Surr. ii. 356; G. Leveson-Gower, ‘Howards of Effingham’, Surr. Arch. Colls. ix. 405, 413, 426, 436; Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 105.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 467.
  • 3. C231/1, f. 105; 231/4, ff. 63v, 112.
  • 4. C181/1, f. 66v; 181/2, f. 12.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 169.
  • 6. C181/2, f. 191.
  • 7. E179/70/115; LC2/4/4, f. 47v.
  • 8. Leveson-Gower, 405, 426.
  • 9. R. Treswell, Relation of Such Things as were Observed to Happen in the Journey of the Right Honourable Charles Earl of Nottingham (1605), p. 3.
  • 10. CSP Dom. 1595-7, pp. 467, 471.
  • 11. WARD 9/159, f. 133v.
  • 12. Lansd. 1217, f. 37; CSP Dom. 1603-10, pp. 111, 422, 470; HMC Sackville, i. 90.
  • 13. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 299; Leveson-Gower, 426, 430; PROB 11/136, f. 372; CJ, i. 580b; CD 1621, iii. 7; vi. 80; vii. 16, 401-2.