Jane Howard, Countess of Westmorland

Jane Howard

St Mary's Church, Kenninghall, burial place of Jane Howard
Spouse(s) Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland


Margaret Neville
Katherine Neville
Anne Neville
son whose first name is unknown
Noble family Howard (by birth)
Neville (by marriage)
Father Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Mother Frances de Vere
Born 1533 1537
Buried 30 June 1593
Kenninghall, Norfolk

Jane Neville (née Howard), Countess of Westmorland (1533/1537 buried 30 June 1593), was an English noblewoman.


Jane Howard, born between 1533 and 1537,[1] was the daughter of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and Frances de Vere. Her grandparents on her father's side were Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, and Elizabeth Stafford. Her maternal grandparents were John de Vere, 15th Earl of Oxford, and Elizabeth Trussell.

Jane Howard had two brothers, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, and Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton, and two sisters, Katherine Howard, who married Henry Berkeley, 7th Baron Berkeley, and Margaret Howard, who married Henry Scrope, 9th Baron Scrope of Bolton. Jane Howard's youngest sister, Margaret, was born after their father's execution.[2]


Jane Howard's father, the Earl of Surrey, was tried and convicted of treason at the Guildhall on 13 January 1547, and beheaded on Tower Hill on 19 January 1547. In 1548 his children were placed in the care of their aunt, Mary FitzRoy, who appointed the martyrologist, John Foxe, as their tutor.[3]

About 1563/4 Jane Howard married Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland, who had succeeded to the earldom after his father's death on 10 February 1564.[4] In November 1569 Westmorland joined the Earl of Northumberland in the Northern Rebellion. After initial successes, Westmorland and Northumberland were forced to flee to the Scottish border when Queen Elizabeth sent forces north under the Earl of Sussex. Sussex proclaimed Westmorland and Northumberland rebels at York on 19 November. Shortly thereafter Northumberland was handed over to the Scottish Regent, the Earl of Moray. However Westmorland was given refuge by Lord Kerr at Ferniehirst Castle in Roxburghshire, and eventually escaped by sea in 1570 to the Spanish Netherlands, where he remained an exile until his death. In 1571 he was attainted, and all his honours forfeited. After her husband's attainder, the Queen granted Jane a pension of £200 for life.[5]

In the events which preceded the Northern Rebellion in 1569, the Countess had more to do with raising the troops than her husband did. She was well educated but perhaps not the cleverest of women when it came to understanding political machinations. She was first to urge the rebels to rise up against Elizabeth I of England, and yet she expected Elizabeth to pardon her when they failed.

The Countess hoped to arrange the marriage of her brother, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, to Mary, Queen of Scots, and put them both on England's throne. He was executed for treason in 1572 and she lived under house arrest for the rest of her life.

The Countess was buried 30 June 1593 at Kenninghall, Norfolk.[6]

Westmorland continued to be involved for many years in plots to invade England and replace Queen Elizabeth with Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1599 he considered marrying again. His prospective bride was the daughter of President Richardot. Westmorland died 16 November 1601 at Nieuwpoort, Flanders. On 25 June 1604 two of his daughters, Katherine and Anne, were granted pensions of 200 marks a year by King James. Westmorland's cousin, Edmund Neville, the only son of Richard Neville (d. 27 May 1590)[7] by Barbara Arden, the daughter of William Arden[8] of Park Hall, Warwickshire, unsuccessfully claimed the earldom.[9]

Marriage and issue

On 28 August 1564 Jane Howard married Charles Neville, 6th Earl of Westmorland, the second but only surviving son of Henry Neville, 5th Earl of Westmorland, by his first wife, Anne Manners, the second daughter of Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland, by Eleanor Paston, daughter of Sir William Paston (died c. 20 September 1554), by whom she had one son and four daughters:[10]


  1. Peter Henry Emerson in his The English Emersons; A Genealogical Historical Sketch quotes Francis Bloomfield and Charles Parkin from The History and Antiquities of the County of Norfolk
  2. Brigden 2004.
  3. McDermott 2004; Croft 2004.
  4. Cokayne 1959, p. 558.
  5. Cokayne 1959, pp. 558–9.
  6. Cokayne 1959, p. 559.
  7. Richard Neville was the son of William Neville, younger brother of John Neville, 3rd Baron Latimer; Cokayne 1959, p. 560.
  8. Cokayne states that Barbara was the daughter of Thomas Arden.
  9. Archbold 1885-90, p. 249; Cokayne 1959, pp. 559–61; Loomie 2004; Richardson III 2011, p. 3.
  10. Cokayne 1959, pp. 557-50; McDermott 2004; Loades 2004.


External links


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Neville, Edmund (1560?-1630?)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 

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