Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Howes, Francis

HOWES, FRANCIS (1776–1844), translator, fourth son of the Rev. Thomas Howes of Morningthorpe, Norfolk, by Susan, daughter of Francis Linge of Spinworth in the same county, was born in 1776, and was educated at the Norwich grammar school. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1794, graduated B. A. in 1798 as eleventh wrangler, and proceeded M.A. in 1804. In 1799 he obtained the members' prize. His chief college friend was John (afterwards Sir John) Williams [q. v.], the judge, who subsequently allowed him 100l. a year. He held various curacies, and in 1815 became a minor canon of Norwich Cathedral, afterwards holding the rectories successively of Alderford (from 1826) and of Framingham Pigot (from 1829). He died at Norwich in 1844, and was buried in the west cloister of the cathedral . He married early Susan Smithson, and left issue; one of his sisters, Margaret, married Edward Hawkins, and was the mother of Edward Hawkins [q. v.], provost of Oriel.

Howes published the following translations into English verse:

  1. 'Miscellaneous Poetical Translations,' London, 1806, 8vo.
  2. 'The Satires of Persius, with Notes,' London, 1809, 8vo.
  3. 'The Epodes and Secular Ode of Horace,' Norwich, 1841, 8vo, privately printed.
  4. 'The First Book of Horace's Satires,' privately printed, Norwich, 1842, 8vo.

After his death his son, C. Howes, published a collection of his translations, London, 1845, 8vo. The merit of his translations was recognised by Conington in the preface to his version of the satires and epistles of Horace. Howes composed epitaphs for various monuments in Norwich Cathedral.

Thomas Howes (1729-1814) was the only son of Thomas Howes of Morningthorpe (a first cousin of Francis Howes's father), by Elizabeth, daughter of John Colman of Hindringham, Norfolk. He entered at Clare Hall, Cambridge, in 1743, and graduated B.A. in 1746. For a time he was in the army, but quitted it to take holy orders. After serving curacies in London he held the crown rectory of Morningthorpe, Norfolk, from 1756 until the death of his father in 1771, when he was instituted to the family living of Thorndon, Suffolk. He died at Norwich, unmarried, on 29 Sept. 1814. He was a friend of Dr. Parr. Howes began to publish in 1776 his 'Critical Observations on Books, Ancient and Modern,' four volumes of which appeared before his death. This is now a very rare work. In vol. iii. he printed a sermon preached by him in 1784 against Priestley and Gibbon, to which Priestley replied in an appendix to his ' Letters to Dr. Horsley,' pt. iii. Howes answered the reply in his fourth volume. [Information kindly supplied by Miss Louisa Howes; Burke's Hist. of the Commoners, i. 412; Gent. Mag. 1844, pt. i. 660; Gent. Mag. 1814, ii. 404; Hawkins's ed. of Milton's Works; Brit. Mus. Addit. MSS. 19167, f. 77; Brit, Mus. Cat.]

W. A. J. A.