Admiral Richard Howe (Dictionary of World Biography: The 17th and 18th Centuries)
Article abstract: One of England’s foremost seamen of the Age of Sail, Howe won several noted victories over the French and Spanish but was unsuccessful in negotiating an end to the American rebellion.
Richard Howe was born into a landed family. His grandfather, father, and brothers all distinguished—and enriched—themselves in service to the Whig regime of the eighteenth century. Richard’s grandfather, Sir Scrope Howe, was rewarded for his role in the Glorious Revolution by being created an Irish viscount. The Irish title was purely an honorary one and did not indicate any particular interest in Ireland. Apparently, none of his descendants ever took a seat in the House of Lords in Dublin. Richard Howe’s father, Emanuel Scrope, second Viscount Howe, loyally was married to Mary Sophia von Kielmansegge, daughter of one of the two mistresses whom King George I brought with him from Germany at the Hanoverian Succession. They had five sons and four daughters before the second Lord Howe died at his post as Governor of Barbados in 1735. Richard Howe was their second son.
Like his brothers, Howe was educated at home and, briefly, at Eton before beginning his career of service to the Crown. The navy was a popular choice for second sons of aristocratic families. Though its dangers were too great for the eldest son and heir to the family property, it offered a younger brother the chance to make his...
(The entire section is 2149 words.)
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Richard Howe (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Howe is known for improving the British naval signal code, developing clever and deceptive sailing tactics, and winning the First of June.
Howe joined the British navy in 1740, distinguished himself early and often, and became an admiral in 1770. Commanding the North American fleet from 1776 to 1778, Howe frustrated the larger fleet of French admiral Count Jean-Baptiste-Charles-Henri- Hector d’Estaing (1729-1794) off Sandy Hook, New Jersey (July 11-22, 1778) and Newport, Rhode Island (August 20, 1778) in the American Revolution.
From May 28 to June 1, 1794, about 430 miles west of the French isle of Ushant (Ouessant), twenty-five British ships-of-the-line under Howe engaged twenty-six French ships-of-the-line under Admiral Louis Thomas Villaret de Joyeuse. The battle is called Ushant by the French but “Glorious First of June” by the British. Howe captured six ships and sank one while losing none. The British suffered about 300 killed and 800 wounded, and the French lost about 1,500 killed, 2,000 wounded, and 3,000 taken prisoner.
Howe’s lopsided victory in the first naval battle of the French Revolutionary Wars gained him a tremendous reputation at home. The force of his personality alone was sufficient to quell the mutiny at Spithead, England, in 1797.
Anderson, Troyer Steele. The Command of the Howe Brothers...
(The entire section is 276 words.)