Earl of Effingham

Most of the subscribers to Kirby’s Twelve Prints and Historical Account were local Suffolk worthies, but the list does contain a few more exotic entries, such as the Earl of Effingham. One might wonder what such a grand and un-bookish personage is doing on the list. Effingham is in Surrey and the young (2d) Earl (1714—1763) was a soldier, as was his father before him. In the 1740s he was a colonel of Horse Guards, and, after inheriting the title on his father’s death in 1743, was appointed Deputy Earl Marshal of England. In 1749 he became an aide-de-camp to the king. A long way from an obscure house painter in Ipswich.

The connection lies in Kirby’s choice of monuments for his prints. Among them were the tomb of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, the tomb of his son-in-law, Henry Fitzroy (as the name indicates, an illegitimate son of Henry VIII), and the tomb of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. The Earls of Effingham were Howards, belonging to a cadet branch of the family, and so Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Effingham, subscribed.

It was his eldest son, Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Howard, 3rd Earl of Effingham, who resigned his commission rather than fight against the American colonists in the American Revolution, an act that led to him having a ship and two counties (in the US) named after him, but which did not prevent him from serving in his turn as Deputy Earl Marshal, nor from becoming Governor of Jamaica.

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