- But it was the brother of this brave soldier who has made the name of Howe most famous in history. Richard succeeded to the patrimony at Langar, and his naval achievements are conspicuous among the deeds of daring which stud the annals of England. At fourteen years old he became a midshipman, at twenty he was given the command of a sloop, and having beaten two French vessels, was made post-captain for his skill. After a series of brilliant services, he returned home and married, in 1758, Mary, the daughter of Chiverton Hartopp, Esq., of Welby, Leicestershire, and in the same year, on his brother's death, he succeeded to the estates.
The hero was not long at home, for in 1770 he proceeded to the Mediterranean with the rank of Rear-Admiral, and in the war with France he again saw active service, and was made a Viscount of Great Britain by the title of Howe of Langar, the peerage having been hitherto an Irish one. Honours now fell fast upon him. After the relief of Gibraltar he was made First Lord of the Admiralty, and was created an Earl.
There was still work for the great seaman to do, and in the long war with France his victories in the Channel raised the enthusiasm of his countrymen. Nottinghamshire especially signalized its pride at the success of one of its noblemen, and subscriptions for the wounded were eagerly raised. The Newark Society for the Relief of the Widows and Children of Soldiers and Sailors sent fifty guineas for this purpose to Earl Howe, and to a flattering letter which accompanied the gift his lordship sent a characteristic reply.
The much-coveted Order of the Garter was conferred upon the naval victor, but he did not long survive his retirement from active duty. Gout was more disastrous to him than the squadrons of the French, and he died on August 5, 1799. As we have said before, the great Earl Howe was buried in the family vault at Langar, and a plain tablet of marble is erected to his memory. His Countess and daughter died the following year, and are commemorated in the same monumental inscription.
The noble Admiral's successor sold Langar to John Wright, Esq., and his son demolished the old Hall. The park was divided into fields, and other modern alterations effected. A younger brother of the Earl's, Lieutenant-Colonel (afterwards General) Sir William Howe, represented Nottingham in Parliament.
Cornelius Brown – 1896