Lord William Howard
On October 28, 1577 he married his step-sister Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Dacre, 4th Baron Dacre, and proceeded subsequently to the University of Cambridge. Being suspected of treasonable intentions together with his half-brother, Philip, Earl of Arundel (husband of his sister-in-law Anne Dacre), he was imprisoned in 1583, 1585 and 1589. He joined the Church of Rome in 1584, both brothers being dispossessed by the queen of a portion of their Dacre estates, which were, however, restored in 1601 for a payment of £10,000.
Howard then took up his residence with his children and grandchildren at Naworth Castle in Cumberland, restored the castle, improved the estate and established order in that part of the country. In 1603, on the accession of James, he had been restored in blood. In 1618 he was made one of the commissioners for the border, and performed great services in upholding the law and suppressing marauders.
Lord William was a learned and accomplished scholar, praised by Camden, to whom he sent inscriptions and drawings from relics collected by him from the Roman wall, as "a singular lover of valuable antiquity and learned withal." Sir Walter Scott referred to him as Belted Will in the Lay of the Last Minstrel. He collected a valuable library, of which most of the printed works remain still at Naworth, though the manuscripts have been dispersed, a portion being now in the Arundel manuscripts in the Royal College of Arms; he corresponded with Ussher and was intimate with Camden, Spelman, and Cotton, whose eldest son married his daughter. He published in 1592 an edition of Florence of Worcester's Chronicon ex Chronicis, dedicated to Lord Burghley, and drew up a genealogy of his family.
He died in October 1640 at Greystoke, to which place he had been removed when failing in health, to escape the Scots who were threatening an advance on Naworth. He had a large family of children, of whom Philip, his heir, was the grandfather of Charles, 1st Earl of Carlisle, and Francis was the ancestor of the Howards of Corby.
William Howard School, the secondary school in Brampton, Cumbria is named after him.
- "Howard, Lord William (HWRT577W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- "Howard, William (1563-1640)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.