William Howe KB
Privacy Level: Open (White)

William Howe KB (1729 - 1814)

Gen Sir William "5th Viscount Howe" Howe KB
Born in Langar, Nottinghamshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 2 Jun 1765 in Castletown, Kildare, Irelandmap
[children unknown]
Died at age 84 in Plymouth, Devon, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 1 Oct 2013
This page has been accessed 4,087 times.

Howe is a major figure who commanded British troops during the American Revolution.



Notables Project
William Howe KB is Notable.
Cross of St George
William Howe KB was born in England.
Gen Sir William Howe KB was a Loyalist in the American Revolution
This profile is part of the Howe Name Study.

Sir William Howe, served as Commander-in-Chief of British forces during the American War of Independence. He succeeded his brother Gen. Richard Howe (dspm.), to the viscountcy in 1799.

Howe was born in England on 10 August 1729 and baptised at Langar, Nottinghamshire on 6 September 1729.[1] He was the fourth surviving son of:[2]

  • Emanuel Scrope Howe, 2nd Viscount Howe,[2]
  • and Charlotte von Keilmansegg, niece of King George I.

Howe was married to Frances "Fanny" Conolly (dsp),[3] at Hanover Square, London on 02 or 04 June 1765.[4] She was the daughter of William Conolly of Castletown, co. Kildare, Ireland.[2][5]


Gen. Thomas Gage
(1719 - 87)

William joined the army in 1745. He saw action in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War, prior to being stationed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1775. A few months after the Battle of Bunker Hill, Howe replaced Gen. Thomas Gage as Commander-in-Chief of British land forces in America, who returned to England in October.[3]

Howe was made a Knight of the Bath on 13 October 1776,[2] but handed in his resignation around the time of his defeat at the Battle of Germantown (Oct 1777). Howe had complained of a lack of troop reinforcements,[2] but Syrett (2006), states that:

"It is likely that the resignation of both William and his brother Richard was due to their desire to hurry home to vindicate their conduct during the campaign."[6]

He returned to England the following summer, arriving in July, only to be met with censure and attacks from the press.[3] Public sentiment also impacted Howe's parliamentary seat. He had represented Nottingham as Whig since 1758, but the opposition led him to withdraw in 1780.[2] Howe, however, remained on active duty and was made full General in 1793.[3]


Howe died at Plymouth on 12 Jul 1814, and was buried at Twickenham, London. [7] His estate was probated in Bath, Somerset on 29 July 1814. [8] With no heir, the viscountcy became extinct. Howe was the fifth and last Viscount Howe.[3]


  1. "England & Wales, Christening Index, 1530-1980". Ancestry Record 1351 #4926415 (accessed 2 September 2021)
    William Howe; Christening: 6 Sep 1729 Langar, Nottinghamshire, England; Father: Emanuel Scrope Viscount Howe Howe; Mother: Mary Sophia Charlotte Kielmansegge.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Namier, L. & Brooke, J. (1964). "Howe, Hon. William (1729-1814)," in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790. HOP. Web.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Wikipedia: William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe
  4. m. 02 Jun 1765, (Hist. of Parl).[1]
    m. 04 Jun 1764:
    Their marriage license states that he was a bachelor residing at St Martins in the Fields. -- "Westminster, London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1935".
    City of Westminster Archives Centre; London, England; Westminster Church of England Parish Registers; Reference: STC/PR/7/18. Ancestry Sharing Link Ancestry Record 61867 #863692 (accessed 2 September 2021). William Howe; Marriage: 4 Jun 1765 St George, Hanover Square, London, Westminster, England; Spouse: Frances Conolly.
  5. Namier, L. & Brooke, J. (1964). "Conolly, Thomas (?1737-1803), of Stretton Hall, Staffs., and Castletown, co. Kildare," in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790. HOP. Web.
  6. Wikipedia, citing: Syrett, David (2006). Admiral Lord Howe: A Biography. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-006-1. OCLC 70660963, (v. 07:23, 27 August 2021).[2]
  7. Find A Grave: Memorial #10916542
    William Howe (10 Aug 1729–12 Jul 1814), Holly Road Garden of Rest, Twickenham, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London, England
  8. "England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858". National Archives; Kew, Surrey, England; Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Series PROB 11; Class: PROB 11; Piece: 1558. Ancestry Record 5111 #160538 (accessed 2 September 2021)
    The Rt Honble Lord Viscount Knight William Howe; Residence: Bath; Probate Date: 29 Jul 1814; Death Year: Abt 1814.

See also:

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Is William your ancestor? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate or comment, or
 star icon contact private message the profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by Ancestry.com

No known carriers of William's ancestors' DNA have taken a DNA test.

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Sponsored by Ancestry ®

Family History Search.


Enter a grandparent's name. Just one grandparent can lead you to many discoveries.


Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.