Charles Howard, 2nd Earl of Berkshire

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Charles Howard, 2nd Earl of Berkshire KB (1615 – April 1679) was an English peer, styled Viscount Andover from 1626 to 1669, the son of Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Berkshire and his wife Lady Elizabeth Cecil.

Howard was created a Knight of the Bath in 1626. He was elected the MP for Oxford in 1640, but was never seated as he was given a writ of acceleration to the House of Lords before the beginning of the session. He was a Royalist sergeant-major of horse in 1643, and a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles II in exile, from 1658 to 1660. He succeeded his father as Earl of Berkshire in 1669.

As an influential member of the Catholic nobility, and a staunch supporter of the Duke of York, he was, like his cousin William Howard, 1st Viscount Stafford (who was executed in 1680), an obvious target of Titus Oates and other informers during the Popish Plot. More wary of the danger than Stafford, he fled abroad in November 1678 before any accusation of treason was made against him, and died in Paris the following April. No credible evidence of treason was ever produced against him: a number of supposedly incriminating letters which he wrote in 1674 merely confirmed his political support for the future James II, and an alleged deathbed confession to a treasonable conspiracy turned out to be a forgery.

Berkshire's wife Dorothy (right),[1] painted ca. 1637 by Anthony van Dyck.

On 10 April 1637, he married Hon. Dorothy Savage, daughter of Thomas Savage, 1st Viscount Savage and Elizabeth Savage, Countess Rivers. They had one daughter, Anne (c. 1650 – 19 September 1682) who died childless.[2] With no male issue, he was succeeded by his brother Thomas in 1679.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lady Elizabeth Thimbelby and her Sister". The National Gallery. 
  2. ^ George Edward Cokayne, editor, The Complete Baronetage, 5 volumes (c. 1900); reprint, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1983), volume III, page 152.
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Thomas Howard
Earl of Berkshire
1669–1679
Succeeded by
Thomas Howard
Baron Howard of Charlton
(writ in acceleration)

1640–1679