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Charles Howard, Duke of Norfolk

(1746—1815) politician


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(1746–1815). Known as Lord Surrey until he succeeded to the dukedom in 1786, Howard renounced the catholic faith in 1780 and embarked upon a political career as an advanced Whig. He served as MP for Carlisle 1780–6, spoke often in the Commons, was a keen advocate of parliamentary reform, and held office in the coalition ministry as a lord of the Treasury. Though he built up an electoral empire of eleven seats, his political standing was scarcely commensurate. But in 1798 he offered a toast to the ‘Majesty of the People’ at a public dinner at the Crown and Anchor tavern to celebrate Fox's birthday. Despite an apology to the king for ‘unguarded expressions’ he was dismissed his post as lord-lieutenant of the West Riding and lost his colonelcy in the militia. He was replaced as lord-lieutenant by Fitzwilliam, who was also dismissed in 1819 for condemning the massacre at Peterloo. Norfolk received partial restoration in 1807 when he was appointed lord-lieutenant of Sussex. Boswell found him a ‘lively, affable, talking man’ but some of his conviviality seems to have been due to drink.

From The Oxford Companion to British History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: British History.


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