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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/61

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Howard
Howard
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efforts to force him to leave the order, and the pope referred the matter to the congregation de propagandâ fide. Philip was summoned to Rome in September 1645, and placed first in the Dominican convent of St. Sixtus, and afterwards at La Chiesa Nuova, under the care of the Oratorian fathers, who, at the end of five months, declared that he had a true vocation for the religious state. The pope took the same view after examining Philip at a private audience. Accordingly, on 19 Oct. 1646, Philip signed his solemn profession as a Dominican in the convent of S. Clemente, Rome (Palmer, Obituary Notices of the Friar-Preachers, p.5).

From Rome he was sent to the Dominican convent of La Sanità at Naples, where he studied diligently for four years. He attended the general chapter held at Rome in June 1650, and was selected from among the students to deliver a Latin oration, in which he contended that the Dominican order might be rendered more efficient in restoring England to catholic unity. He finished his studies at the convent of Rennes in Brittany, and in 1652 was ordained priest by papal dispensation, as he was only in his twenty-third year. In 1654 he went to Paris, and in 1655 to Belgium, whence he came to England. He stayed here many months, and from his own resources and the contributions of friends raised about 1,600l. towards founding an exclusively English convent or college on the continent. On his return he purchased the church and house of Holy Cross at Bornhem, in East Flanders. He was appointed the first prior of the new community on 15 Dec. 1657.

Howard was highly esteemed by Charles II, who, after Oliver Cromwell's death, despatched him about May 1659 on a secret mission to England in aid of the royal cause. On his arrival Howard discovered that Father Richard Rookwood, a Carthusian monk, who was originally joined with him in the commission, had treacherously given to the Protector Richard Cromwell information which led to the suppression of Sir George Booth's rising in Cheshire. An order was issued for Howard's arrest, but he sought refuge in the household of the ambassador from Poland, who was leaving the country, and who smuggled him away to the continent with his suite, in the disguise of a Polish servant. He made his way to Bornhem, and established in the convent there a college for the education of young Englishmen. Soon after the Restoration he followed Charles II to London, and for nearly two years he was actively engaged in promoting the marriage treaties with Spain and Portugal. On 21 May 1662 Charles was privately married to Catherine of Braganza [q. v.], in the presence of Howard and five other witnesses, according to the catholic rite. Howard was nominated first chaplain to the queen, and took up his residence at the English court, though he paid periodical visits to his convent at Bornhem. On 1 Aug. 1662 he and his brothers dined with Evelyn (Diary, ii. 148). In 1665 Howard succeeded his uncle, Lord Ludovick d'Aubigny, in the office of grand-almoner to the queen. He now had charge of her majesty's oratory at Whitehall, with a yearly salary of 500l., a like sum for his table, and 100l. for the requirements of the oratory, and was provided with a state apartment. He was popular at the English court, and on account of his liberal charities was known as 'the common father of the poor.' He alone was allowed to appear in public habited as an ecclesiastic, and by dispensation he wore the dress of a French abbé. Pepys visited him at St. James's Palace 23 Jan. 1666-7 with Lord Brouncker; found him to be 'a good-natured gentleman;' discussed church music with him, and was shown by him over 'the new monastery,' both 'talking merrily about the difference in our religion' (Pepys, Diary, iii. 47-9).

Previously to his settlement in England he obtained from the master-general (3 April 1660) leave to restore to the English province the second order of the rule of St. Dominic by erecting in Belgium a convent for religious women. Accordingly, his cousin, Antonia Howard, was clothed by him in the habit of the order in the nunnery at Tempsche, near Bornhem, and he shortly afterwards purchased for her the convent of Vilvorde in South Brabant. This establishment he removed to Brussels in 1690. In 1660 he was appointed prior of Bornhem for another triennial period, and in the same year he was made vicar-general of the English province. After his second priorship terminated he continued his jurisdiction over the convent, as his brethren would not elect any one else in his place. He was created a master of theology 7 March 1661-2. He assisted at the congress held at Breda in June 1667.

In 1669 the holy see determined to appoint Howard vicar-apostolic of England, with a see in partibus. Dr. Richard Smith, the second vicar-apostolic of all England, had died in 1655, but no successor had been appointed since. The English chapter now approved the selection of Howard, but resolved, on grounds of political expediency, 'that under no pretence or palliation whatever the words vicarius apostolicus be admitted;' that the bishop should have ordinary