HOWARD, Thomas (1651-1701), of Ashtead, Surr.

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



1685 - 1687
1689 - 1698
1698 - 4 Apr. 1701

Family and Education

bap. 21 Feb. 1651, 3rd but o. surv. s. of Hon. Sir Robert Howard* by his 1st w.  m. 31 Aug. 1683 (with £5,500), Lady Diana, da. of Francis Newport†, 1st Earl of Bradford, sis. of Hon. Richard Newport I* and Hon. Thomas Newport*, 3s. (2 d.v.p.) 1da.  suc. fa. 1698.

Offices Held

Teller of the Exchequer 1689–d.1


Re-elected for Bletchingley in 1690 on the interest of Sir Robert Clayton*, Howard was listed by Lord Carmarthen (Sir Thomas Osborne†) as a Whig. Like his father, Howard enjoyed his office in the Exchequer for life; and he probably followed his father’s politics, though Clayton may also have been an important influence. Often in bad health, he was reported in May 1691 to be ‘extremely ill and not like to recover’. The following August £1,000 was issued out of the Treasury for the repair of the house belonging to him as a teller, the money to be drawn from the £5,000 which he had himself offered to lend the crown on the security of the excise: a further £700 was issued subsequently to complete the work. In December he was obliged to answer to the Commons for a secret service pension paid him in trust for his mother’s kinsman, Henry Kingsmill, which the commissioners of accounts had brought to notice. In this matter at least he was able to say that ‘I owe all to the protection of the government, but nothing to the bounty of it’. On 4 Feb. 1692 he successfully proposed a clause to be added to the bill vesting the forfeited estates in England in the King and Queen, on behalf of ‘George, Lord Howard’. He was named as a placeman in all known lists for this period, and Samuel Grascome classed him as a Court supporter. On 7 Feb. 1693 he followed Richard Hampden I in informing the House of a quarrel between Sir Edward Seymour, 4th Bt.*, and Viscount Brandon (Charles Gerard*). He was again reported as having been seriously ill in May 1694. In that year he subscribed £10,000 to the Bank of England.2

Howard came into possession of the Ashtead estate on his father’s remarriage in 1693, by the terms of a previous arrangement, and in 1695 he purchased the Duke of Norfolk’s property at Castle Rising, which his father had long coveted. This made him master of one of the borough’s seats, for which he returned his father, the sitting Member, at the 1695 election, being himself content to remain at Bletchingley. He was forecast in January 1696 as a probable supporter of the Court over the proposed council of trade, and signed the Association. He voted for fixing the price of guineas at 22s. in March. In his will, drawn up in November 1697, he acknowledged a mortgage of £6,000 ‘lately contracted’ on the manor of Castle Rising and another loan of £3,500 recently obtained from Clayton; against this he possessed £13,000 in Bank stock, and he had already given his wife £2,700 in Bank stock in her own right. When making his will he declared himself to be ‘in health’, but he was absent from Parliament in the following March and in June 1698 suffered several ‘fits’. Sir Hans Sloane was summoned to Ashtead, and on Lady Diana’s advice Howard allowed himself to be taken to Bath, another more serious fit occurring on the way. Soon, however, he was writing to Sloane, ‘it is impossible to tell you the benefit I have found by these waters in every complaint I had, the gout only excepted, in so much that Sunday I was at church, to the amazement of all my friends that saw me come to town in so weak a condition’. In this letter he referred to having previously undergone surgery. Listed among the Court party in about September 1698, he voted against the third reading of the disbanding bill on 18 Jan. 1699. He was probably the ‘Mr Howard’ given leave of absence in the following March, and was certainly absent in November 1700.3

Howard died on 4 Apr. 1701, the cause of death being recorded by the diarist John Evelyn as a ‘complicated disease, since his being cut of the stone’. His only surviving son died the following year, aged 14.4

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: D. W. Hayton


  • 1. H. J. Oliver, Sir Robert Howard, 7–8, 250; F. E. Paget, Recs. Ashtead Estate, 69; Cal. Treas. Bks. viii. 2151.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1690–1, p. 377; 1694–5, p. 145; Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 1259; x. 291; Grey, x. 191; Oliver, 8, 276; Luttrell Diary, 170, 407–8; P. G. M. Dickson, Financial Revol. 257.
  • 3. Oliver, 250, 253; PCC 49 Dyer; Add. 4037, ff. 81, 83, 104; 4075, f. 256; Camb. Univ. Lib. Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss, Howard to Robert Walpole II*, 25 Nov. 1700.
  • 4. Evelyn Diary, v. 453.