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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/86

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Howard
Howard
80

an allowance of 400l. a year. Ultimately in 1601 the queen permitted the sisters, Lady Arundel and Lady Elizabeth Howard, to buy back their lands by a payment of some 10,000l. each, and the long lawsuit was ended to the profit of the royal coffers. A partition was made of the estates between the two sisters, and in 1603 Howard took up his abode at Naworth Castle, Cumberland, a house which is indissolubly connected with his name as its restorer (an account of Howard's works at Naworth is given by C. J. Ferguson, ‘Naworth Castle,’ in the Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmoreland Archæological Society, iv. 486, &c.)

After settling at Naworth, Howard brought an upright character, a sound judgment, and a cultivated mind to the work of restoring order and furthering civilisation in the wild districts of the borders. He lived in a patriarchal fashion with his sons and their wives and families. He improved his estates, encouraged agriculture, and strove to promote the well-being of the people. His praiseworthy efforts were not always approved by his neighbours, and many attempts were made to bring him into trouble as a recusant. On account of his religion he held no public post till 1618, when he was made one of the commissioners for the borders (Rymer, Fœdera, xvii. 53). He insisted on the due execution of the laws, and by his perseverance annoyed the neighbouring justices and the captain of Carlisle Castle, whose shortcomings he laid before the privy council; but his proceedings were always in accordance with the law. Scott, in the 'Lay of the Last Minstrel,' has turned him into a mythical hero by the name of 'Belted Will.' But Scott has also made him lord warden, an office which he never held, and has transferred to him legends which properly belong to his Dacre ancestors. He was not known in his own days as 'Belted Will,' but ‘Bauld [bold] Willie,’ and his wife ‘Bessie with the braid [broad] apron,’ in allusion to her ample dower. Their 'Household Books,' which extend with some gaps from 1612 to 1640, give copious information of their domestic economy, which became a pattern to the neighbourhood. A diary of some southern visitors in 1634 gives a pleasant description of the generous hospitality of Naworth Castle, and says of its hosts: ‘These noble twain could not make above twenty-five years both together when first they married, that now can make above 140 years, and are very hearty, well, and merry’ (Household Books, Appendix, p. 489).

Howard was also a scholar and an antiquary. Early in life he began to collect books and manuscripts, and in 1592 published at London an edition of Florence of Worcester's ‘Chronicon ex Chronicis, auctore Florentio Wigorniensi Monacho,’ which he dedicated to Lord Burghley. He formed at Naworth a large library, of which some of the printed books remain (there is a catalogue in the ‘Household Books,’ Appendix, p. 473). The collection of manuscripts has unfortunately been dispersed. A small portion is in the Arundel MSS. in the Royal College of Arms; but many valuable manuscripts in other collections may be identified as belonging to Howard by his marginal notes. It is clear that he was a man of considerable learning, and that his library was valuable. He was a friend of Cotton, Camden, and Spelman, and a correspondent of Ussher, who collated one of his manuscripts of the letters of Abbot Aldhelm (Veterum Epistolarum Sylloge, p.129). His intimacy with Cotton led to the marriage of one of his daughters to Cotton's eldest son, afterwards Sir Thomas Cotton. Camden calls Howard 'a singular lover of valuable antiquity and learned withal.' When a proposal was made in 1617 to revive the Society of Antiquaries, which James I had for some reason suppressed, a memorial in favour of the project sets the name of Howard first in the list of its probable members (Archæologia, vol. i. xvii). Living close to the Roman Wall, Howard collected Roman altars and inscriptions, and sent drawings of them, made with his own hand, to Camden, who was working at his ‘Britannia’ (Brit. p. 642). These he kept in the garden at Naworth, where they were seen by Stukeley in 1725 (Iter Boreale, p. 58). Even in Stukeley's day they were suffering from neglect, and were subsequently scattered or destroyed. Some information about them is to be found in Horsley's ‘Britannia Romana,’ pp. 254-8, and Bruce's ‘Lapidarium Septentrionale,’ pp. 176-8, 197-9. Howard's declining years were disturbed by the outbreak of civil troubles, and after the battle of Newburn in August 1640 there were fears that the Scots army would advance on Carlisle and attack Naworth on the way. It was therefore thought prudent to carry the old man to Greystock as a place of greater safety. He was so feeble that he had to be borne in a litter, and soon after his arrival there he died early in October, having survived his wife about a year. Among his ten children were Philip, whose grandson, Charles Howard (1629-1685) [q.v.], was created Earl of Carlisle in 1661, and Sir Francis of Corby Castle, Cumberland, a royalist colonel. There is a portrait of him by Cornelius Janssen at Castle Howard, and one of his wife at Gilling Castle, Yorkshire.