HOWARD, Thomas, Visct. Andover (1776-1851), of Charlton, Wilts.

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



1802 - 1806

Family and Education

b. 18 Aug. 1776, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of John, 15th Earl of Suffolk and 9th Earl of Berkshire, by Julia, da. of John Gaskarth of Hutton Hall, Penrith, Cumb., wid. of Stanwix Nevinson of Newby, Westmld. educ. Eton 1788-94; Christ Church, Oxf. 1794; L. Inn 1795. m. 3 Jan. 1803, Hon. Elizabeth Jane Dutton, da. of James Dutton, 1st Baron Sherborne, 5s. 5da. suc. fa. as 16th Earl of Suffolk and 10th Earl of Berkshire 23 Jan. 1820.

Offices Held

Capt. commdt. Malmesbury vols. 1803, maj. 1803; col. Wilts. militia 1827.


Howard was styled Viscount Andover from 1800 when, on the death of his elder brother in a shooting accident, he became heir to the earldom. His family and personal connexions were Whig and in December 1801 report had it that he would be returned for Carlisle at the next election by the Duke of Norfolk. His father would have liked him to come in for Cricklade Hundreds, on the family interest, but found that his prospects there were poor.1 In the event he came in for Arundel on Norfolk’s interest, unopposed.

Andover’s only known vote against Addington’s ministry was on the resumption of hostilities with France, 24 May 1803. (He had taken a month’s leave for illness on 9 Mar., after serving on the Bridgwater election committee.) He was, however, ‘one of the first to offer his services to repel the foe’, becoming a commandant of volunteers. Listed ‘Fox’ in March and May 1804, he opposed Pitt’s additional force bill, 8 June, being locked out when intending to do so again on 11 June.2 He was in the minorities against Pitt on 12 and 21 Feb. and 6 Mar. 1805. He was in the majorities against him on Melville’s conduct, 8 Apr. and 12 June. On the former occasion, in his only known speech, ‘he thanked God that such a gross instance of malversation had not taken place in the person of any of the ancient nobility’. He supported the Grenville ministry’s repeal of Pitt’s Additional Force Act, 30 Apr. 1806, after having been one of the ministerial dissidents who voted for inquiry into Indian affairs on 21 Apr.

Andover contested Cricklade at his father’s instigation in the general election of 1806. He had made his intentions clear a year before. He was defeated by a fellow Whig, Lord Porchester. He was invited to stand again in 1807, but declined on his father’s advice. In June 1811, offered a favourable opening at the next election, he announced that he was no longer interested. His politics remained unobtrusively Whig. He was a ‘good man’ and ‘well liked’. Agriculture was his chief interest, and ‘his appearance and usual costume was that of an ordinary farmer’.3 He died 4 Dec. 1851.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: M. H. Port


  • 1. The Times, 23 Dec. 1801; Pleydell Bouverie mss 028/13, Radnor to Folkestone, 17 June 1802.
  • 2. J. Wilson, Biog. Index (1806), 20; Morning Chron. 13 June 1804.
  • 3. See CRICKLADE; Cricklade Hist. Soc. Museum. Elwell mss, Andover to Crowdy [7 June 1811]; Add. 56540, f. 111; Gent. Mag. (1852), i. 184.