Frederick Curzon, 7th Earl Howe

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The Earl Howe
Official portrait, 2020
Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
Assumed office
12 May 2015
Prime Minister
Preceded byThe Lord Wallace of Tankerness
Minister of State for Defence
In office
11 May 2015 – 26 July 2019
Prime Minister
  • David Cameron
  • Theresa May
Preceded byThe Lord Astor of Hever
Succeeded byThe Baroness Goldie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health
In office
17 May 2010 – 11 May 2015
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Baroness Thornton
Succeeded byThe Lord Prior of Brampton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
In office
5 July 1995 – 2 May 1997
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byThe Lord Henley
Succeeded byJohn Spellar
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
In office
14 April 1992 – 5 July 1995
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byDavid Curry
Succeeded byTim Boswell
Government Whip
In office
30 May 1991 – 14 April 1992
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byThe Lord Reay
Succeeded byThe Viscount St Davids
Member of the House of Lords
as a hereditary peer
30 October 1984 – 11 November 1999
Preceded byThe 6th Earl Howe
Succeeded bySeat abolished
as an elected hereditary peer
11 November 1999
Preceded bySeat established
Personal details
Born (1951-01-29) 29 January 1951 (age 72)
Political partyConservative
Elizabeth Helen Stuart
(m. 1983)
Parent(s)George Curzon
Jane Victoria Fergusson
Alma materChrist Church, Oxford (BA)
OccupationBusiness executive

Frederick Richard Penn Curzon, 7th Earl Howe, GBE, PC (born 29 January 1951), is a Conservative front bench member of the House of Lords. He is Deputy Leader of the House of Lords and former Minister of State for Defence. Howe is the longest continuously serving Conservative frontbencher, having held a front bench role in some capacity since 1991.

Background and education[edit]

Lord Howe was the son of the Royal Navy commander and film actor George Curzon, who was a grandson of the 3rd Earl Howe. Lord Howe's mother was Jane Victoria Fergusson, second wife of his father. He was educated at King's Mead School, Seaford, Rugby School, and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated in "Mods and Greats" in 1973 and, according to his Who's Who entry, earned the Chancellor's Prize in Latin Verse.

Business and political career[edit]

After leaving university in 1973, he joined Barclays Bank and served in a number of managerial and senior managerial posts in London and in other countries.[1] After succeeding his second cousin as 7th Earl Howe in 1984, he left banking to concentrate on his Parliamentary activities and on running the family farm (Seagraves Farm Co Ltd) and estate at Penn in south Buckinghamshire. In 1991, Howe became a Lord in Waiting (Government whip in the House of Lords) with responsibilities, successively, for transport, employment, defence and environment. Following the 1992 general election he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and in 1995 Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence, a post he relinquished at the 1997 general election.

Howe was opposition spokesman for Health and Social Services in the House of Lords between 1997 and 2010. Howe was unique in being the only member of the Conservative Party to shadow the same portfolio throughout the thirteen years of opposition. Since the House of Lords Act 1999, hereditary peers do not have the automatic right to sit in the Lords. However the Act provides for 92 hereditary peers to remain, and representatives from each faction in the House are elected under Standing Orders of the House. At the election in 1999, Howe was the sixth most popular Conservative peer (Conservatives are by far the largest party grouping of hereditary peers). Apart from his frontbench responsibilities, his special interests include penal affairs and agriculture. He is a member of the all-party groups on penal affairs, abuse investigations, pharmaceuticals, adoption, mental health and epilepsy.

Since Lord Strathclyde retired from the frontbench in January 2013,[2] Howe has been the longest-tenured frontbencher (chosen in 1991).

Howe was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in the 2021 Birthday Honours for political and parliamentary service.[3]

Other public appointments[edit]

In 1999 Howe was appointed non-executive chairman of the London and Provincial Antique Dealers' Association (LAPADA),[4] the country's largest trade association for the fine art and antiques trade.

Involved in many charitable commitments, Howe is:

  • President of the Abbeyfield Beaconsfield Society
  • President of Penn and Tylers Green Residents Society
  • Patron of the Chiltern Society;[5]
  • Patron of Design & Manufacture for Disability (DEMAND)
  • Hereditary Governor of the King William IV Naval Foundation.
  • a trustee of Milton's Cottage
  • President of the Epilepsy Society, formerly the National Society for Epilepsy, for 25 years until his wife Countess Howe became president in September 2010.[6][7][8]
  • a trustee of RAFT (Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust);
  • a member of the Committee of Management of the RNLI;
  • a trustee of Sir William Borlase's Grammar School in Marlow, Buckinghamshire;
  • President of the South Buckinghamshire Association for the Disabled;
  • Honorary Treasurer of the Trident Trust
  • a trustee of Penn Street Village Hall
  • a Vice-President at Knotty Green Cricket Club

Personal life[edit]

Lord Howe married Elizabeth Helen Stuart, elder daughter of Captain Burleigh Edward St Lawrence Stuart, on 26 March 1983. They have four children:

  • Lady Anna Elizabeth Curzon (19 January 1987) who studied music at the University of Nottingham.
  • Lady Flora Grace Curzon (12 June 1989)
  • Lady Lucinda Rose Curzon (12 October 1991)
  • Thomas Edward Penn Curzon, Viscount Curzon (22 October 1994)

Countess Howe is active in the Buckinghamshire community, serving as a Deputy Lord Lieutenant from 1995 before becoming Lord Lieutenant in 2020. [9] The family live at Penn House, Penn, Buckinghamshire, seat of the Earls Howe.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Frederick Howe". Conservatives. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  2. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (7 January 2013). "Cameron and Clegg publish coalition's mid-term review: Politics live blog". The Guardian. London.
  3. ^ "No. 63377". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 2021. p. B8.
  4. ^ "Directors and Staff List". LAPADA. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  5. ^ "The Society". Chiltern Society. Archived from the original on 7 September 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  6. ^ "President and vice presidents". Epilepsy Society. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  7. ^ "Delight as Countess Howe becomes President of epilepsy charity". Epilepsy Society (press release). Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  8. ^ "Epilepsy charity delights in top award for Earl Howe". Epilepsy Society (press release). Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  9. ^ "Countess Howe, Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant Of Buckinghamshire". Buckinghamshire Lieutenancy.
  10. ^ Penn House website

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Earl Howe
2nd creation
Member of the House of Lords
Heir apparent:
Thomas Curzon, Viscount Curzon
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New office
Elected hereditary peer to the House of Lords
under the House of Lords Act 1999