Howe, George Augustus (DNB01)
HOWE, GEORGE AUGUSTUS, third Viscount Howe (1725?–1758), born in 1724 or 1725, was the grandson of Scrope Howe, first viscount Howe [q. v.], and the second but eldest surviving son of Emanuel Scrope Howe, second viscount Howe (d. 29 March 1735), by his wife, Mary Sophia Charlotte (d. 13 June 1782), said by Horace Walpole to be an illegitimate daughter of George I, by Charlotte Sophia, countess of Darlington (d. 20 April 1725), wife of John Adolph, baron von Kielmansegge (d. 15 Nov. 1717). Kielmansegge was master of the horse to George I as elector of Hanover. Richard Howe, Earl Howe [q. v.], and William Howe, fifth viscount Howe [q. v.], were the third viscount's younger brothers. George succeeded his father as third viscount in the Irish peerage in 1735, and was returned to the English parliament for the town of Nottingham on 30 June 1747. He was re-elected in April 1754, retaining the seat until his death.
In January 1746-7 Howe was nominated one of the officers to take part in the campaign in Flanders as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Cumberland (Gent. Mag. 1747, pp. 45, 103). On 1 May 1749 he was nominated lieutenant-colonel and captain in the first foot guards; on 25 Feb. 1757 he attained the rank of colonel, and was placed in command of the 60th foot or Royal Americans. With this regiment he arrived in Halifax in July. On 28 Sept. he was appointed colonel of the 55th foot, recently raised for service in the American war, and received the local rank of brigadier-general in North America on Dec. 29. Pitt nominated Howe second to Brigadier-general James Abercromby in command of the force destined to capture Ticonderoga and Crown Point from the French, and thus open the route by Lake Champlain for the invasion of Canada. He trusted that Howe's vigour of mind would compensate for Abercromby's lethargic temperament, and knew that Abercromby placed implicit confidence in him. Howe introduced several reforms into the English force, among others inducing the officers to dress like the men to avoid a repetition of Braddock's disaster, when the officers were picked off by the enemy's marksmen. On 5 July 1758 the English force proceeded down Lake George, and disembarked at nightfall at Sabbath Day Point. Thence Howe proceeded next morning by land to find a practicable route to Fort Ticonderoga. On arriving at Trout Brook, two miles from the outlet of the lake, he was killed in a skirmish with a French detachment, possibly shot by his own men in the confusion. His fall paralysed Abercromby, who afterwards failed before Ticonderoga. Howe was buried at Trout Brook in a dense forest, the spot being marked by a simple headstone bearing his name, which together with his remains was discovered in 1890 (Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, Suppl. 2 Jan. 1892). A monument was erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey by the colony of Massachusetts, designed by James Stuart and sculptured by Peter Scheemakers. He was unmarried and was succeeded as fourth viscount by his brother Richard. An engraved portrait of Lord Howe is contained in Entick's 'General History of the late War,' 1779, iii. 209.
[G. E. C[okayne]'s Peerage; Collins's Peerage, 1812, viii. 144; Mante's History of the late War in America, 1772, pp. 146-7; Cutter's Life of Putnam, New York, 1847, pp. 88-9; Williams's Hist. of Vermont, Burlington, 1809, i. 406, 505; Pouchot's Memoirs upon the late War, ed. Hough, Roxbury, 1866, i. 109-12; Rogers's Journals, 1765, pp. 105-14; Reminiscences of the French War, Concord, 1831, pp. 179-80; Watson's History of Essex County, 1869, pp. 84-9; T. Hutchinson's Hist. of Massachusetts Bay, 1749-74, ed. J. Hutchinson, 1828, pp. 70-1; Lossing's Life and Times of Schuyler, New York, 1872, i. 145-52; Mrs. Grant's Memoirs of an American Lady, 1846, pp. 175-80; Stanley's Memorials of Westminster Abbey, 1882, p. 237; Official Return of Members of Parliament; Notes and Queries, 2nd series iv. 129-30, viii. 86, 7th series ix. 87; Walpole's Letters, ed. Cunningham, 1857, vol. i. p. civ; Chesterfield Letters, ed. Bradshaw, 1892, iii. 1209; Chatham Correspondence, 1838, i. 339; Annual Register, 1758, pp. 72-3, 17621.94; Gent. Mag. 1758, pp. 389-90.]