HOWARD, Henry, Lord Walden (1670-1718).

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



20 Jan. - 22 Feb. 1694
1695 - 1698
1705 - 30 Dec. 1706

Family and Education

b. 1670, 1st s. of Henry Howard, 5th Earl of Suffolk, by Mary, da. and h. of Andrew Stewart, 3rd Baron Castle Stuart [I].  educ. Mr Froholk’s sch., Panton Street, London; Magdalene Coll. Camb. 1685.  m. (1) 6 Aug. 1691, Lady Aubery Anne Penelope (d. 1703), da. of Henry O’Brien, 6th Earl of Thomond [I], 4s. (3 d.v.p.) 1da.; (2) Apr. 1705, Lady Henrietta (d. 1715), da. of Henry Somerset, 1st Duke of Beaufort, sis. of Charles Somerset†, Mq. of Worcester, and wid. of 1st wife’s bro. Henry Horatio O’Brien (styled Ld. O’Brien or Ld. Ibrackan), s.pStyled Ld. Walden 1691–1706; cr. Earl of Bindon 30 Dec. 1706; suc. fa. as 6th Earl of Suffolk 10 Dec. 1709.1

Offices Held

Commissary-gen. of musters 1697–1707; dep. earl marshal 1706–d.; PC 26 June 1708–d.; commr. claims for coronation 1714; first ld. of Trade 1715–d.

Ld. lt. Essex 1714–d.


Lord Walden’s actions were principally shaped by a deep sense of loyalty and honour, exemplified by his strong desire to defend and maintain the rights of his family in two separate disputes during his life. The first concerned the crown’s debt to the family arising from its purchase of the manor of Audley End in 1669, a sum which Walden relentlessly pursued from 1689 until 1707, when he finally achieved a favourable settlement. The second was over the very title by which he was known during the period covered by his career in the Commons. In December 1691 Elizabeth Felton, coheir of James, 3rd Earl of Suffolk, petitioned that her descendants should rightfully be styled Lord Walden, and the matter was referred to the Lords, who resolved that the title had lapsed into abeyance. Walden nevertheless continued to use the name, and in about 1714 petitioned that his own son be granted the title.2

Although Walden was elected on the Howard interest at Arundel in a by-election in 1694, his return proved a false start to his parliamentary career, for he was unseated on petition on 22 Feb. On the day after his displacement, in favour of the Whig John Cooke*, another by-election was held for Essex, where one agent reported to Sir Edward Turnor* that Walden’s steward had been ‘no ways diligent in making votes’ for the High Churchman Sir Charles Barrington, 5th Bt.* Thus, although they were later to ripen into those of a Court Whig, Walden’s early political loyalties seem to have been of a moderate Tory nature. Walden stood again for Arundel in 1695, this time successfully, and he adopted a Country position in the House on financial matters. Ironically, in view of his later appointment to the Board of Trade, he was forecast in January 1696 as a likely opponent of the Court over the division on the proposed council of trade, and in March voted against fixing the price of guineas at 22s. Between these votes he was granted leave of absence on 11 Feb. for ten days, returning by 27 Feb. to sign the Association. Soon after the end of the session, however, he must have been won over by the Court because he appears to have travelled in the summer to The Hague on official business. This was at the start of the negotiations for the future Peace of Ryswick, and in the following year he wrote to Sir Joseph Williamson* acknowledging all his ‘favours’ during his stay.3

Back in England by the time MPs met for the second session, Walden intervened on 17 Nov. in a debate about the attainder of Sir John Fenwick†, demanding to know what proof the latter had against Colonel Crawford. This speech was presumably made on behalf of Walden’s father, who was commissary-general of the musters and chief muster-master, and Howard was himself appointed to these posts on 4 Feb. 1697. He was granted another leave of absence from the Commons on 13 Feb. His new office had evidently caused him to abandon any Country inclinations he may have shown hitherto, since he was listed as a Court placeman in 1698 in an analysis of the old and new Houses. He does not appear to have stood for re-election, perhaps because he wished to devote himself to his new duties, although his efficiency may be doubted if a report was true that he employed as one of his deputies a man ‘so infirm that he has to be carried’. The new commissary-general was also accused of having pocketed the fees by two other deputies, whom he had subsequently turned out of office without compensation.4

By late 1700 Walden was ready to resume sitting at Westminster, turning his ambitions from Arundel to Essex, where he no doubt hoped to make use of the influence of Audley End. Although it was intended that he stand in partnership with Barrington, the two men quarrelled on the eve of the poll, much to the consternation of the latter’s friend Thomas Filmer*. Filmer immediately drafted a letter to Walden in which he exclaimed that

to hear of the misunderstanding betwixt your Lordship and Sir Charles Barrington is the most amazing thing in the world and that which troubles me extremely is to hear that you are like to be the cause of his losing the election. I dare not tell you what the world says but the best is that you are by mistake drawn into this error and . . . people will say that you are influenced by . . . your interests to do a thing against your judgment.

Whatever the cause of the ‘unhappy difference’, Filmer believed that Walden had ‘entered into a combination to keep away diverse that would vote for Sir Charles’. In the event however, Walden seems to have simply withdrawn his candidature, allowing the Whig Sir Francis Masham, 3rd Bt.*, to regain the seat. The dispute alienated Walden from the Tory Barrington, and his loyalty to the army engendered by his post, which was renewed by Queen Anne, probably pushed him further to adopt a Whiggish outlook. By the time of the 1705 election he was finally ready not only to desert the Tories, but also to stand himself with Masham. The Essex Whigs met to ‘agree to their joining’ and Lord Fitzwalter gleefully reported that Walden brought over William Peck, the high sheriff, ‘and several gentlemen on that side into our interest’. The alliance stood firm and both Masham and Walden were returned.5

Walden has been incorrectly suggested as the author of a diary of parliamentary debates during the 1705–6 session, which can instead be ascribed to Grey Neville*. There are, however, other sources for identifying Walden’s interests at this time. He was marked as a gain for the Whigs in an analysis of the new Parliament by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*), and listed as a ‘Churchman’. It is difficult to be any more precise about his religious sympathies since although he had defeated the ‘Tacker’ Barrington, he was to surprise the Duke of Marlborough (John Churchill†) in 1710 by voting in the Lords for Dr Sacheverell, when he was expected to be ‘on the other side’. As a placeman he voted for the Court candidate as Speaker on 25 Oct. 1705, and supported the Court in the proceedings on the ‘place clause’ of the regency bill on 18 Feb. 1706.6

The 1705–6 session proved to be Walden’s last in the Commons. On 30 Dec. 1706 he was called to the Upper House, as Earl of Bindon, while his father was still alive. The creation was less a recognition of past services to the Court than a means to enable him to act as deputy earl marshal on 24 Aug., an office usually held by the Duke of Norfolk. Since the 8th Duke was a Catholic, and Bindon’s father was ‘aged and infirm’, the Queen agreed that Bindon could act as deputy. Although she also admitted that to hold the place of commissary-general simultaneously was ‘wholly improper’, Anne was at first less than convinced by his request to be allowed to sell the latter position. He had been ‘offered £2,600 for it by one Mr Shepheard, a kinsman of Mr Shepheard [Samuel I*] of the City’, and although Lord Godolphin (Sidney†) advised him to take a pension from the Queen of £500 p.a., ‘wo[uld]n’t hear of it’, and eventually won his case. Bindon remained a Court Whig for the remainder of his life, with a salary of £1,000 on his appointment to the Board of Trade in 1715. He died on 19 Sept. 1718 at Gunnersbury, Middlesex, ‘after a long indisposition’, and was succeeded by his son, Charles William.7

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Mark Knights


  • 1. Morant, Essex, ii. 550.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1689–90, p. 249; 1691–2, p. 43; Cal. Treas. Bks. xvi. 70; LJ, xviii. 444; Add. 61619, ff. 65–67.
  • 3. W. Suss. RO, Shillinglee mss Ac.454/1140, J[ohn] Y[ardley] to Sir Edward Turnor*, 15 Feb. 169[4]; CSP Dom. 1696, p. 259; 1697, p. 483.
  • 4. Cobbett, Parlty. Hist. v. 1052; CSP Dom. 1697, p. 30; 1699–1700, pp. 66, 313.
  • 5. Shillinglee mss Ac.454/1175–6, Filmer to Turnor, 13 Jan. 170[1]; CSP Dom. 1702–3, p. 379; Essex Review, xx. 173, 175.
  • 6. Cam. Misc. xxiii. 29–84; Marlborough–Godolphin Corresp. 1445.
  • 7. Luttrell, Brief Relation, v. 78, 81; W. Addison, Audley End (1953), 55–56, 229–31; Marlborough–Godolphin Corresp. 619, 624; Stowe 142, f. 99; 750, f. 9; C. Howard, Hist. Anecdotes. (1817), 153; Cal. Treas. Bks. xxx. 130.