Thomas Howard (British Army officer)

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Lieutenant-General Thomas Howard (1684 – 31 March 1753) was an officer of the British Army and the ancestor of the family of the present Earls of Effingham.



He was the only surviving son of George Howard of Great Bookham, by his wife Ann, daughter of Thomas Kidder, of Lewes.[1][2] George Howard was a younger son of Sir Charles Howard of Eastwick and a great-great-grandson of William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham through his second son Sir William Howard of Lingfield; George's elder brother Francis had succeeded as fifth Baron Howard of Effingham in 1681.[1][3] Thomas Howard was baptised at Great Bookham on 13 August 1684.[2][4] His father died on 13 December the same year and his mother on 16 September 1704;[2] Howard would raise a memorial to his parents and their children Henry, Frances and Mary in Great Bookham Church on 26 November 1744.[5]

Military career[edit]

Howard joined the Army as an ensign on 4 February 1703.[6][7] During the War of the Spanish Succession he served in the Netherlands and Germany under the Duke of Marlborough,[8] and in 1707 was present as a captain in Wade's Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Almanza, where he was taken prisoner.[9][10] He was a prisoner of war in France for two years,[11] but was promoted lieutenant-colonel of the 24th Regiment of Foot in 1708[8] and served at the Battle of Brihuega in 1710, where he was again captured.[10][12] On 15 November 1711 he was granted brevet rank as a colonel of Foot.[8][13] Howard was dismissed for his political opinions, but was reinstated by King George I,[11] and in 1717 he purchased the colonelcy of the 24th Regiment of Foot, succeeding General Primrose.[8][11]

Howard was promoted to brigadier-general in 1735.[2] On 27 June 1737, following the death of Lieutenant-General Tatton, he was removed from the 24th Foot to the colonelcy of the Buffs[6][8] – so called to distinguish them from the Green Howards, of which his kinsman Sir Charles Howard was colonel.[10] He was promoted to major-general in 1739,[8] and served as aide-de-camp to King George II for several years. In 1742 Howard went to Flanders to join the Pragmatic Army commanded by Lord Stair,[8] and was appointed to the office of Governor of Berwick.[2][14] On 1 February 1743 he was promoted to lieutenant-general,[8][15] and served under George II that year at the Battle of Dettingen.[8][11] He retired in 1749, and resigned his regiment to his son George, who was appointed colonel on 21 August.[8][10] He remained Governor of Berwick until his death.[16]

Marriage and descendants[edit]

On 28 February 1717, at St Bridget's, Dublin, Howard was married to Mary, the youngest daughter of William Moreton, bishop of Meath by his second wife Mary.[2][10] By her he left children:[1]

Thomas Howard lived at 8 Savile Street (now Savile Row) from 1735,[17] and died there on 31 March 1753.[2][15] He was buried at Great Bookham on 6 April.[2][18] His will was dated 14 November 1752 and was proved on 11 April 1753:[2][19] in it he left the house in Savile Street and his property at Tettenhall Regis to his wife, and the rest of his estate to his eldest son George.[19] His widow Mary Howard died on 5 February 1782.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n William Courthope ed., Debrett's Peerage, 22nd edition (1838) p. 208.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Granville Leveson-Gower, The Howards of Effingham in Surrey Archaeological Collections, vol. IX (1888). Pedigree facing p. 436.
  3. ^ a b c d e Patrick Cracroft-Brennan, Howard of Effingham, Baron (E, 1553/4) in Cracroft's Peerage (2012). Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  4. ^ Leveson-Gower, "Howards of Effingham", p. 416.
  5. ^ Leveson-Gower, "Howards of Effingham", p. 422.
  6. ^ a b Army List for 1740, p. 17.
  7. ^ J. H. Leslie, "An English Army List of 1740" in Notes and Queries, 12 ser., vol. II, p. 204. 9 September 1916.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Richard Cannon, Historical Record of the Third Regiment of Foot, or the Buffs (1839) pp. 275-276.
  9. ^ Charles Dalton, English Army Lists and Commission Registers 1661–1714, vol. VI (1904) p. 367.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Jonathan Spain, Howard, Sir George (bap. 1718, d. 1796) in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004). Online version (2009) accessed 31 March 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d Henry Manners Chichester (1891). "Howard, George (1720?-1796)" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 28. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 17.
  12. ^ Dalton, English Army Lists, p. 386.
  13. ^ Dalton, English Army Lists, p. 197.
  14. ^ "No. 8161". The London Gazette. 9–12 October 1742. p. 2.
  15. ^ a b W. R. Williams, "An English Army List of 1740", in Notes and Queries, 12 ser., vol. II, p. 311. 14 October 1916.
  16. ^ "No. 9264". The London Gazette. 1–5 May 1753. p. 2.
  17. ^ Cork Street and Savile Row Area: Table of notable inhabitants on the Burlington Estate in Survey of London, vol. xxxii (1963).
  18. ^ Leveson-Gower, "Howards of Effingham", p. 417.
  19. ^ a b Leveson-Gower, "Howards of Effingham", p. 436.
Military offices
Preceded by
Gilbert Primrose
Colonel of Howard's Regiment of Foot
Succeeded by
Thomas Wentworth
Preceded by
William Tatton
Colonel of Howard's Regiment of Foot (The Buff Howards)
Succeeded by
George Howard
Preceded by
James Tyrrell
Governor of Berwick-upon-Tweed
Succeeded by
John Guise