Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe

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Richard Howe
A painting of Richard Howe in his naval uniform.
A painting of Richard Howe in his naval uniform.
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of serviceBritish Navy: 1757-1790s
RelationsGeneral George Howe, General William Howe

Admiral Lord Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe was a British fighter and nobleman.[1] [2]

Early life and family[change | change source]

Richard Howe was born in 1726. His parents were Emmanuel and Charlotte Howe. He had three brothers, George, William, and Thomas. Howe's mother Charlotte was related to the royal family. Her mother, Sophia von Kielmannsegg, was a king's daughter by a mistress. So Charlotte was King George I's niece through his half-sister.[3] Sir Nathanial Wrahall said that Richard Howe looked like King George I.[4]

Emmaneul Howe died when Richard Howe was about eight years old. He died while he was governor of Barbados. Charlotte was Lady of the Bedchamber to King George III's mother, Princess Augusta.[3]

George and William Howe both went into the army and became generals. Richard Howe went into the navy and became Fleet Admiral. Thomas Howe worked for the East India Company.[3]

Military career[change | change source]

Richard Howe joined the British Navy in 1757. He became a Rear Admiral and Vice Admiral during the Seven Years' War. During this time, he became the 4th Viscount Howe.[4]

American Revolutionary War[change | change source]

Richard Howe was a peace commissioner for the British. He met with George Washington to talk about avoiding a war, but the talks did not work out. After that, Howe took command of the British Navy to stop the rebellion. Howe took 400 ships, to Staten Island Harbor and forced the Continental Army to run away from New York. At the time, this was the largest fleet in the history of the British Navy.[2][5][6]

After the French joined the war in 1778, Howe won battles even after he was outnumbered. When British Admiral John Byron showed up, Howe went back to England. He resigned his position because he did not like Lord North.[2]

Later career[change | change source]

Richard Howe did rejoin the navy to fight against France and Spain.[2] In 1782, he was named the first Earl Howe. He fought in Gibraltar in 1782. He was made the first Lord of the Admiralty in 1783 and held the post until 1788. He was Vice Admiral of England from 1792 to 1796. In 1794, he defeated the French near Ushant. This victory was called the Glorious First of June.[4]

Appearance[change | change source]

In 1803, Sir John Barrow said:

"[H]is countenance was of a serious cast, strongly marked and dark; at the same time there was a shyness and awkwardness in his manner, … [but] the expression of his features [soon] assumed a very different and an animated character, assuming that benign aspect which corresponded with his disposition."[4]

He died in 1799.

References[change | change source]

  1. "General Washington's Opponents". Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Richard Howe". American Battlefield Trust. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "William Howe". American Battlefield Trust. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe (1726-1799), Admiral". British Museum. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  5. "Battle of Kip's Bay". Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  6. Admiral Lord Richard Howe (November 10, 1776). "Lord (Richard) Howe, Admiral, RN [Royal Navy]". Retrieved July 20, 2021.