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Howard, Charles, 2nd Baron Howard of Effingham and 1st earl of Nottingham

Howard, Charles, 2nd Baron Howard of Effingham and 1st earl of Nottingham (c.1536–1624). Howard took advantage of his high birth to sustain a long and distinguished career. Anne Boleyn was his first cousin. He was a grandson of the 2nd duke of Norfolk, the hero of Flodden, and son of Lord William Howard, created 1st Baron Howard of Effingham in 1554: he went on to serve Mary as lord high admiral and Elizabeth as lord chamberlain. In 1563 Charles Howard married a daughter of Lord Hunsdon, cousin and confidant to Queen Elizabeth: his wife was a lady of the bedchamber for many years. In 1569 he accompanied Hunsdon on the campaign which crushed the northern rebellion and in 1575 was given the Garter. In 1585 he was appointed lord high admiral for life, holding the position until he was 83: he held supreme command when the Armada was destroyed in 1588. In 1596, with Essex, he stormed Cadiz to forestall another Armada. The following year he was created earl of Nottingham and served as lord high steward until 1615. He remained in busy employment, acting as commissioner for peace with Spain in 1604 and commissioner to treat with the Scots for a union. Of the great naval action in 1588, he wrote to Walsingham that the Spaniards were very strong ‘yet we pluck their feathers by little and little’. He was accused of being too circumspect, but Ralegh wrote that Howard was ‘better advised than a great many malignant fools that found fault with his demeanour’. In the aftermath of victory he was greatly concerned for the care of his men.

J. A. Cannon

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Nottingham, Charles Howard, 1st earl of

Charles Howard Nottingham, 1st earl of (nŏt´Ĭngəm), 1536–1624, English nobleman. A member of one of the branches of the Howard family, he succeeded his father as Baron Howard of Effingham in 1573. He was first cousin to Queen Elizabeth I, to whom he rendered distinguished service—military, naval, and civil. Appointed (1585) lord high admiral, he commanded the English fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada (1588) and shared command (with the 2d earl of Essex) of the expedition against Cádiz (1596). He was created (1597) earl of Nottingham and in 1599 was given command of both land and sea forces. Nottingham continued his service under James I, remaining lord high admiral until 1619.

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