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Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham and Lord High Admiral

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:NTGM011894
:Nottingham
:Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham and Lord High Admiral
:c 1600 (printed in 1806)
:Zucchero, F
:Cook, H R
:Gold, J
:Nottingham City Council
:
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Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Nottingham, was born 1536 and died December 14, 1624, near Croydon in Surrey. He was also called (1573-97) 2nd Baron Howard of Effingham. English nobleman and member of one of the branches of the Howard family. In 1563 Howard married Catherine Carey - a favourite of the queen - and in 1569 accompanied his father-in-law on a campaign to crush a rebellion of northern Catholic lords. He succeeded his father as Baron Howard of Effingham in 1573. He was first cousin to Queen Elizabeth I, to whom he rendered distinguished service - military, naval, and civil. Appointed (1585) lord high admiral, he commanded the English fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada (1588) and shared command (with the 2nd Earl of Essex) of the expedition against Cadiz (1596). Although he was not as talented a seaman as his second in command, Sir Francis Drake, his prudent leadership at the helm of his flagship the Ark contributed to the eventual defeat of the Armada. Howard often made the wise decision to defer to his subordinate, and afterwards Drake got a larger share of the credit for the victory. In the aftermath of the campaign, Howard was very concerned for his men. While Elizabeth wrangled over who should pay them, the mariners starved. They also fell prey to a fatal sickness 'of the nature of typhus', as their commander described it. Howard drew heavily on his own resources to help the men, and wrote pleadingly to the queen on their behalf. She, however, was not keen to pay up, and thousands of sailors died in pitiful circumstances. Howard was so distressed he helped set up a fund known as the 'Chatham Chest', for the relief of seafarers. He was created (1597) Earl of Nottingham and in 1599 was given command of both land and sea forces. In 1601 the Earl of Essex led an uprising against the government, which Howard helped to suppress, and which led to the rebel earl's execution. Howard remained on good terms with the queen, and when she lay dying it was to him that she named James I (VI of Scotland) as her successor. During James's reign Howard served on many missions, including a spectacularly stylish peace delegation to Spain in 1605. He remained lord high admiral until 1619. He died at Haling, in Surrey, on December 14, 1624 after nearly 20 years of decline.