Howards of Effingham

The Howard family’s connection with Effingham began in 1550 when King Edward VI granted Lord William Howard, a courtier, diplomat and soldier, the manor of Effingham and its estate as a reward for his service to him, together with the manor of Great Bookham and a half-share of the manor of Reigate. In 1554, Lord William was then awarded the new title of Baron Howard of Effingham by Queen Mary I as a reward for his loyalty. Although Lord William’s family seat was in Reigate, Effingham was probably chosen for his barony as Lord William owned manors in all three parishes which made up the half-hundred of Effingham, an old administrative unit.

Lord William was a younger son of the rich and powerful Thomas Howard, second Duke of Norfolk. The main seat and most of the dukedom’s vast lands were in Norfolk, but it also held lands in Reigate. Lord William founded a cadet branch of the Howard family based in Surrey, with its seat being Reigate Priory. Effingham and most of Lord William’s lands were inherited by his heir, Lord Charles Howard, later 1st Earl of Nottingham, famous as being Lord Admiral at the time of the Armada. The Effingham lands were sold by the third Earl in 1647 when the physical connection with Effingham ended.

The title of the Earl of Nottingham became extinct in 1681 when Lord Charles’ male line ran out, but the Barony of Effingham was then passed down his brother’s male line, which had its seat first at Lingfield and then at Eastwick in Great Bookham, with the seventh Baron Effingham being made the first Earl of Effingham in 1731. The family seat moved to Rotherham in Yorkshire in the late eighteenth century. When Eastwick Park was sold in 1801 the family’s connection with the area ended. The first Earl of Effingham’s male line died out in 1816 with the barony passing to a third cousin, who was also directly descended from Lord William. He became the eleventh Baron Howard of Effingham in 1816 with the Earldom of Effingham then being recreated for him in 1837. The current holder of the titles is David Peter Mowbray Algernon Howard, who is an eleven times grandson of Lord William Howard. He is the seventh Earl of Effingham and the 17th Baron Howard of Effingham. His family seat is in Essex.

Click on this link for more details on Baron Howard of Effingham, and the Earls of Effingham (family tree below).

Lord William, First Baron Howard Of Effingham And His Surrey Lands, by Vivien White, has been published in Surrey History, volume 19, 2020. URL: