Richard Curzon-Howe, 1st Earl Howe
Curzon was the third but eldest surviving son of the Honourable Penn Assheton Curzon, the eldest surviving son of Assheton Curzon, 1st Viscount Curzon. Curzon's mother, Sophia Curzon, suo jure Baroness Howe, was the eldest daughter of Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe (of the first creation).
As his father predeceased him, Curzon inherited his grandfather's viscountcy in 1820. He took the additional name of Howe by Royal licence a year later and was created Earl Howe (a revival of the title previously held by his maternal grandfather) that year. From 1829 to 1830, he was a Tory Lord of the Bedchamber to George IV, appointed a GCH in 1830 and was Lord Chamberlain to The Queen from 1830 to 1831 and again from 1834 to 1837. On his mother's death in 1835, he inherited her barony.
His office gave him considerable influence over the Queen and through her the King, both of whom liked and admired him. Malicious gossip that he was the Queen's lover was not taken seriously even at the time, and is entirely discounted by historians. It was his position as an extreme Tory, and his strong opposition to the Reform Act 1832 which made him unacceptable to the Government, and Lord Grey eventually insisted on his dismissal, much to the Queen's distress. Subsequent negotiations to reinstate him came to nothing.
William IV's biographer described him as a man whose vanity and arrogance should have made him insufferable, yet who clearly possessed personal charm great enough to make those who knew him overlook his faults.
Lord Howe married Lady Harriet Georgiana Brudenell, second daughter of Robert Brudenell, 6th Earl of Cardigan, on 19 March 1820. They had ten children:
- George Augustus Frederick Louis, 2nd Earl Howe (1821–1876).
- Richard William Penn Curzon-Howe, 3rd Earl Howe (1822–1900), ancestor of subsequent earls.
- Hon. Frederick Curzon-Howe (1823–1881).
- Hon. Henry Dugdale Curzon-Howe (1824–1910).
- Lady Georgiana Charlotte (1825–1906), married Henry Somerset, 8th Duke of Beaufort.
- Hon. William Henry Curzon-Howe (1827–1914).
- Hon. Ernest George Curzon-Howe (1828–1885).
- Hon. Leicester Smyth (1829–1891).
- Lady Adelaide Curzon-Howe (1835–1903), married Francis Fane, 12th Earl of Westmorland.
- Lady Emily Mary Curzon-Howe (1836–1910), married Sir Robert Kingscote.
Howe's first wife died in 1836, and on 9 October 1845, he married Anne Gore (d. 1877), second daughter of Admiral Sir John Gore. They had three children:
- Hon. Montagu Curzon (21 September 1846 – 1 September 1907), married on 19 October 1886 to Esmé FitzRoy (1859 – 25 May 1939, daughter of Francis Horatio FitzRoy (1823 – 1900) and wife Gertrude Duncombe (1827 –)), whose daughter Mary married her cousin the 5th Earl Howe and was mother of the 6th Earl Howe.
- Admiral Sir Assheton Gore Curzon-Howe (1850–1911)
- Lady Mary Anna (1848–1929), married the 2nd Duke of Abercorn; ancestors of subsequent dukes. Their granddaughter Lady Cynthia Hamilton was paternal grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales.
- Ziegler, Phillip William IV Cassel Biographies 1971 pp.197-201
- Ziegler pp.197-201
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Earl Howe
|New office||Lord Chamberlain to Queen Adelaide
1830 – 1831
Title next held byThe Earl of Denbigh
The Earl of Denbigh
|Lord Chamberlain to Queen Adelaide
1834 – 1837
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation||Earl Howe
1821 – 1870
1820 – 1870
|Peerage of Great Britain|
1835 – 1870