Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle

Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle

Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle, KG, KT, PC (May 28, 1748September 4, 1825), was an English diplomat and the son of Henry Howard, 4th Earl of Carlisle and his second wife Isabella Byron.

His mother was a daughter of William Byron, 4th Baron Byron and his wife Hon. Frances Berkeley, a descendant of John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton. She was also a sister of William Byron, 5th Baron Byron and a great-aunt of George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, the poet. In 1798, Carlisle was appointed guardian to George Gordon Byron who lampooned him in "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers".


During his youth Carlisle was mentored by George Selwyn and was chiefly known as a man of pleasure and fashion. He was created a Knight of the Thistle in 1767. After he had reached thirty years of age, his appointment on a commission sent out by Frederick North, Lord North to attempt a reconciliation with the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolutionary War 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 viceroyalty 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 William Pitt the Younger's policy of resistance to the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire by Imperial Russia; but on the outbreak of the French Revolution he left the opposition and vigorously maintained the cause of war. He resigned from the Order of the Thistle and was created a Knight of the Garter in 1793. In 1815 he opposed the enactment of the Corn Laws; but from this time till his death, he took no important part in public life.

Literary works

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.

Marriage and children

Frederick married Margaret Caroline Leveson-Gower. Margaret was a daughter of Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford and his wife Louisa Leveson-Gower, Countess Gower. Louisa was in turn daughter of Scroop Egerton, 1st Duke of Bridgewater.

They were parents to ten children:

*Isabella Caroline Howard (1771–1848). She married John Campbell, 1st Baron Cawdor.
*George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle (September 17, 1773October 7, 1848).
*Charlotte Howard. (Both born and deceased in 1774).
*Susan Howard (1776–1783).
*Louisa Howard (1778–1781).
*Elizabeth Howard (November 13, 1780November 29, 1825). She married John Manners, 5th Duke of Rutland.
*William Howard (December 25, 1781January 25, 1843).
*Gertrude Howard (1783–1870). Married William Sloane Stanley.
*Frederick Howard (December 6, 1785June 18, 1815). Married Frances Susan Lambton. He was among the casualties of the Battle of Waterloo.
*Henry Edward John Howard (December 14, 1795October 8, 1868). He married Henrietta Elizabeth Wright.

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