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340
CARLISLE, EARLS OF

vigorous prosecution of the war with France, but on his return home found his advice neglected. He took no further part in public life, and died in March 1636. Carlisle was a man of good sense and of accommodating temper, with some diplomatic ability. His extravagance and lavish expenditure, his “double suppers” and costly entertainments, were the theme of satirists and wonder of society, and his debts were said at his death to amount to more than £80,000. “He left behind him,” says Clarendon, “a reputation of a very fine gentleman and a most accomplished courtier, and after having spent, in a very jovial life, above £400,000, which upon a strict computation he received from the crown, he left not a house or acre of land to be remembered by.”

The charms and wit of his second wife, Lucy, countess of Carlisle, which were celebrated in verse by all the poets of the day, including Carew, Cartwright, Herrick and Suckling, and by Sir Toby Matthew in prose, made her a conspicuous figure at the court of Charles I. There appears no foundation for the scandal which made her the mistress successively of Strafford and of Pym. Strafford valued highly her sincerity and services, but after his death, possibly in consequence of a revulsion of feeling at his abandonment by the court, she devoted herself to Pym and to the interests of the parliamentary leaders, to whom she communicated the king’s most secret plans and counsels. Her greatest achievement was the timely disclosure to Lord Essex of the king’s intended arrest of the five members, which enabled them to escape. But she appears to have served both parties simultaneously, betraying communications on both sides, and doing considerable mischief in inflaming political animosities. In 1647 she attached herself to the interests of the moderate Presbyterian party, which assembled at her house, and in the second Civil War showed great zeal and activity in the royal cause, pawned her pearl necklace for £1500 to raise money for Lord Holland’s troops, established communications with Prince Charles during his blockade of the Thames, and made herself the intermediary between the scattered bands of royalists and the queen. In consequence her arrest was ordered on the 21st of March 1649, and she was imprisoned in the Tower, whence she maintained a correspondence in cipher with the king through her brother, Lord Percy, till Charles went to Scotland. According to a royalist newsletter, while in the Tower she was threatened with the rack to extort information. She was released on bail on the 25th of September 1650, but appears never to have regained her former influence in the royalist counsels, and died soon after the Restoration, on the 5th of November 1660.

The first earl was succeeded by James, his only surviving son by his first wife, at whose death in 1660 without issue, the peerage became extinct in the Hay family.

Charles Howard, 1st earl of Carlisle in the Howard line (1629–1685), was the son and heir of Sir William Howard, of Naworth in Cumberland, by Mary, daughter of William, Lord Eure, and great-grandson of Lord William Howard, “Belted Will” (1563–1640), and was born in 1629. In 1645 he became a Protestant and supported the government of the commonwealth, being appointed high sheriff of Cumberland in 1650. He bought Carlisle Castle and became governor of the town. He distinguished himself at the battle of Worcester on Cromwell’s side, was made a member of the council of state in 1653, chosen captain of the protector’s body-guard and selected to carry out various public duties. In 1655 he was given a regiment, was appointed a commissioner to try the northern rebels, and a deputy major-general of Cumberland, Westmorland and Northumberland. In the parliament of 1653 he sat for Westmorland, in those of 1654 and 1656 for Cumberland. In 1657 he was included in Cromwell’s House of Lords and voted for the protector’s assumption of the royal title the same year. In 1659 he urged Richard Cromwell to defend his government by force against the army leaders, but his advice being refused he used his influence in favour of a restoration of the monarchy, and after Richard’s fall he was imprisoned. In April 1660 he sat again in parliament for Cumberland, and at the Restoration was made custos rotulorum of Essex and lord-lieutenant of Cumberland and Westmorland. On the 20th of April 1661 he was created Baron Dacre of Gillesland, Viscount Howard of Morpeth, and earl of Carlisle; the same year he was made vice-admiral of Northumberland, Cumberland and Durham, and in 1662 joint commissioner for the office of earl marshal. In 1663 he was appointed ambassador to Russia, Sweden and Denmark, and in 1668 he carried the Garter to Charles XI. of Sweden. In 1667 he was made lieutenant-general of the forces and joint commander-in-chief of the four northernmost counties. In 1672 he became lord-lieutenant of Durham, and in 1673 deputy earl marshal. In 1678 he was appointed governor of Jamaica, and reappointed governor of Carlisle. He died on the 24th of February 1685, and was buried in York Minster. He married Anne (d. 1696), daughter of Edward, 1st Lord Howard of Escrick; his eldest son Edward (c. 1646–1692) succeeded him as 2nd earl of Carlisle, the title descending to his son Charles (1674–1738) and grandson Henry (1694–1758).

Frederick Howard, 5th earl (1748–1825), son of the 4th earl, was born in 1748. During his youth he was chiefly known as a man of pleasure and fashion; and after he had reached thirty years of age, his appointment on a commission sent out by Lord North to attempt a reconciliation with the American colonies was received with sneers by the opposition. The failure of the embassy was not due to any incapacity on the part of the earl, but to the unpopularity of the government from which it received its authority. He was, indeed, considered to have displayed so much ability that he was entrusted with the vice-royalty of Ireland in 1780. The time was one of the greatest difficulty; for while the calm of the country was disturbed by the American rebellion, it was drained of regular troops, and large bands of volunteers not under the control of the government had been formed. Nevertheless, the two years of Carlisle’s rule passed in quietness and prosperity, and the institution of a national bank and other measures which he effected left permanently beneficial results upon the commerce of the island. In 1789, in the discussions as to the regency, Carlisle took a prominent part on the side of the prince of Wales. In 1791 he opposed Pitt’s policy of resistance to the dismemberment of Turkey by Russia; but on the outbreak of the French Revolution he left the opposition and vigorously maintained the cause of war. In 1815 he opposed the enactment of the Corn Laws; but from this time till his death, in 1825, he took no important part in public life. Carlisle was the author of some political tracts, a number of poems, and two tragedies, The Father’s Revenge and The Stepmother, which received high praise from his contemporaries. His mother was a daughter of the 4th Lord Byron, and in 1798 he was appointed guardian to Lord Byron, the poet, who lampooned him in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.

George Howard, 6th earl (1773–1848), eldest son of the 5th earl, entered parliament as Lord Morpeth in 1795 as a Whig. He was appointed to the Indian board in 1806, when the “Ministry of all the Talents” took office, but resigned in 1807, though he remained prominent in the House of Commons. After his elevation to the House of Lords (1825), he held various cabinet offices under Canning and Grey. He made some minor contributions to literature and left the reputation of an amiable scholar.

George William Frederick Howard, 7th earl (1802–1864), was born in London on the 18th of April 1802. He was the eldest son of the 6th earl by his wife Lady Georgiana Cavendish, eldest daughter of the duke of Devonshire. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where (as Lord Morpeth) he earned a reputation as a scholar and writer of graceful verse, obtaining in 1821 both the chancellor’s and the Newdigate prizes for a Latin and an English poem. In 1826 he accompanied his uncle, the duke of Devonshire, to Russia, to attend the coronation of the tsar Nicholas, and became a great favourite in society at St Petersburg. At the general election of the same year he was returned to parliament as member for the family borough of Morpeth. In one of his earliest speeches he undertook,