Richard Curzon-Howe, 1st Earl Howe

Richard William Penn Curzon-Howe, 1st Earl Howe, GCH, PC (11 December 1796 12 May 1870), was a British peer and courtier.


Curzon was the third but eldest surviving son of the Honourable Penn Assheton Curzon, the eldest surviving son of Assheton Curzon, 1st Viscount Curzon. Curzon's mother, Sophia Curzon, suo jure Baroness Howe, was the eldest daughter of Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe (of the first creation).

Public life

As his father predeceased him, Curzon inherited his grandfather's viscountcy in 1820. He took the additional name of Howe by Royal licence a year later and was created Earl Howe (a revival of the title previously held by his maternal grandfather) that year. From 1829 to 1830, he was a Tory Lord of the Bedchamber to George IV, appointed a GCH in 1830 and was Lord Chamberlain to The Queen from 1830 to 1831 and again from 1834 to 1837. On his mother's death in 1835, he inherited her barony.

His office gave him considerable influence over the Queen and through her the King, both of whom liked and admired him. Malicious gossip that he was the Queen's lover was not taken seriously even at the time, and is entirely discounted by historians. It was his position as an extreme Tory, and his strong opposition to the Reform Act 1832 which made him unacceptable to the Government, and Lord Grey eventually insisted on his dismissal, much to the Queen's distress. Subsequent negotiations to reinstate him came to nothing.[1]

William IV's biographer described him as a man whose vanity and arrogance should have made him insufferable, yet who clearly possessed personal charm great enough to make those who knew him overlook his faults.[2]


Margaret Sarah Carpenter: Portrait of Harriet, Countess Howe, 1834

Lord Howe married Lady Harriet Georgiana Brudenell, second daughter of Robert Brudenell, 6th Earl of Cardigan, on 19 March 1820. They had ten children:

Howe's first wife died in 1836, and on 9 October 1845, he married Anne Gore (d. 1877), second daughter of Admiral Sir John Gore. They had three children:



  1. Ziegler, Phillip William IV Cassel Biographies 1971 pp.197-201
  2. Ziegler pp.197-201

External links

Court offices
New office Lord Chamberlain to Queen Adelaide
1830 1831
Title next held by
The Earl of Denbigh
Preceded by
The Earl of Denbigh
Lord Chamberlain to Queen Adelaide
1834 1837
Office abolished
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl Howe
2nd creation
1821 1870
Succeeded by
George Curzon-Howe
Preceded by
Assheton Curzon
Viscount Curzon
1820 1870
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sophia Waller
Baron Howe
1835 1870
Succeeded by
George Curzon-Howe
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