Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/111

This page has been validated.
Howel
Howel
105

daughter of the Right Hon. William Conolly, of Castletown, co. Kildare, and his wife, Lady Anne Wentworth. There was no issue.

Personally, Howe was six feet in height, of coarse mould, and exceedingly dark. He was an able officer, with an extensive knowledge of his profession; but as a strategist he was unsuccessful. American writers credit him with an indolent disposition, which sometimes caused him to be blamed for the severities of subordinates into whose conduct he did not trouble to inquire.

[Foster's Peerage, under 'Howe;' Collins's Peerage, 1812 edit. vol. viii. under 'Baroness Howe; Home Office Military Entry Books, ut supra; Wright's Life of Wolfe; Knox's Narrative of the War (London, 1762); Parkman's Montcalm and Wolfe (London, 1884), vol. ii. chap. xxvii.; Murray's Journal of the Defence of Quebec, in Proc. Hist. Soc. (Quebec, 1870); Colburn's United Serv. Mag. December 1877 and January 1878, account of 58th foot; Beatson's Nav. and Mil. Memoirs, vols. iii–vi. passim; Bancroft's Hist. of the United States, vols. iv–vi.; Ross's Cornwallis Correspondence, i.20,23, 28–9, 31, 39, ii. 110, 282; De Fonblanque's Life and Opinions of Right Hon. John Burgoyne; Howe's Narrative before a Select Committee of the House of Commons (London, 1780); Parl. Hist. vols. xviii–xxi.; London Gazette, under years; Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th (iv.), and particularly llth (iv.)—Marquis Townshend's MSS.—and llth (v.)—Earl of Dartmouth's MSS.—Reports; Journal of Howe's Army in 1776; Brit. Mus. Egerton MS. ff. 7–9; Howe's Letters to General Haldimand, Addit. MSS. 21734 f. 149, 21807-8; Broad Arrow, 14 Sept. 1889, p.312; Gent. Mag. 1814, pt. ii. p. 93.]

H. M. C.

HOWEL Vychan, that is, Howel the Little (d. 825), Welsh prince, is said to have been son of Rhodri, a reputed descendant of Cunedda and king of Gwynedd or North Wales. But Rhodri died in 754, and nothing is heard of Howel or of his brother Cynan whom the tenth-century genealogy of Owain ab Howel Dda makes son of Rhodri, until over fifty years later. Possibly they were Rhodri's grandsons, who emerge from obscurity when the downfall of the Mercian overlordship gave Welsh kings a better chance to attain to power. In 813 there was war between Howel and his brother Cynan, in which Howel conquered. It apparently arose from Cynan driving Howel out of Anglesey, and resulted in Howel's restoration in 814. In 816 Howel was again expelled, but the Saxons invaded Snowdon and slew Cynan. This probably brought Howel back again. He died in 825. The name Vychan comes from a late authority.

[Annales Cambriæ; Brut y Tywysogion.]

T. F. T.


HOWEL Dda, that is, Howel the Good (d. 950), the most famous of the early Welsh kings, was the son of Cadell, the son of Rhodri Mawr, through whom his pedigree was traced by a tenth-century writer up to Cunedda and thence to 'Anne, cousin of the Blessed Virgin' (pedigree of Owain ab Howel in Y Cymmrodor, ix. 169, from Harl. MS. 3859). His father, Cadell, died in 909 (Annales Cambria in Y Cymmrodor, ix. 167), whereupon he must have succeeded to his dominions. The late account is that Howel succeeded to Ceredigion,which was his father's portion, while his uncle Anarawd continued to rule over Wales as overking. This is likely enough, as Howel's immediate descendants are certainly found reigning in Ceredigion and Dyved. On Anarawd's death in 915 (ib. ix. 168) Howel, it is said, became king of Gwynedd, and therefore of all Wales (Gwentian Brut y Tywysogion, pp.17-21, Cambrian Archæological Association, 1863). But this cannot be proved, and Idwal, son of Anarawd, continued to reign as a king until his death in 943. The notion that Wales was regularly divided into three kingdoms, corresponding to the districts of Gwynedd, Powys, and Dyved, is only to be found in quite late writers. Howel is only one of many Welsh kings in contemporary or nearly contemporary sources.

Subject to Æthelflæd and her husband Æthelred, in the early part of his reign, Howel became the direct subordinate of Edward the Elder on the death of the Lady of the Mercians, probably in 918 [see Ethelfleda]. Immediately afterwards Edward took possession of Mercia, whereupon the kings of the North Welsh, Howel, Clitaue or Clydog his brother, and Idwal his cousin, and all the North Welsh race, sought him to be their lord (Anglo-Saxon Chron. s.a. 922). Clitauc's death may have further strengthened Howel's position. Anyhow four years later Howel, king of the West Welsh, is the only Welsh prince mentioned among the princes ruled over by Æthelstan (ib. s.a. 926); and William of Malmesbury, in adopting this passage in his 'Chronicle,' describes this Howel as 'king of all the Welsh.' But West Wales more generally means Cornwall.

The reality of Howel's dependence is best attested by the large number of meetings of the witenagemot he attended, attesting charters along with the other magnates of the West-Saxon lords of Britain. He subscribed charters drawn up by the witan at the following dates all in the reign of Athelstan—21 July 931 (Kemble, Codex Diplomaticus, v. 199), 12 Nov. 931 (ib. ii. 173), 30 Aug. 932 (ib. v. 208), 15 Dec. 933 (ib. ii.