George James Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle

(12 August 1843 - 16 April 1911)

Known as George Howard until 1889, was an English aristocrat, politician and painter. Howard was born in London, England, the son of Charles Howard, fifth son of George Howard, 6th Earl of Carlisle. His mother was the Honourable Mary Parke, daughter of James Parke, 1st Baron Wensleydale. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he joined the Cambridge Apostles in 1864. After graduating from Cambridge he studied at Heatherley School of Fine Art in London.

Howard's art teachers were Alphonse Legros and Giovanni Costa, and he belonged to the 'Etruscan School' of painters. He married Rosalind Frances Stanley in 1864, but did not share her campaigning interests, although he supported temperance. He was a friend of, and a patron to, a number of the artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, being particularly close to Edward Burne-Jones.

The Carlisles lived in Kensington, in a house at 1 Palace Green designed for them by Philip Webb, and at Naworth Castle. Among their visitors at Naworth were Robert Browning, William Ewart Gladstone, Lewis Carroll, Alfred, Lord Tennyson and many others stayed with them at Naworth. William Morris was an intimate friend, and his wallpapers were used in Kensington, at Naworth and at Castle Howard when George inherited it. With Morris and Webb he was one of the founding members of The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.



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Howard and his Wife
Rosalind outside Castle Howard
Artist with his six sons Rosalind at Palace Green


Howard's work can be found in a number of public and private collections, including the Tate, York Art Gallery, the Government Art Collection, the National Portrait Gallery, the Ashmolean Museum, the Delaware Art Museum, the Castle Howard collection and the British Library.

Howard was Liberal Party Member of Parliament for East Cumberland between 1879 and 1880 and again between 1881 and 1885. He succeeded in the earldom in 1889 on the death of his uncle William Howard, 8th Earl of Carlisle. He was a trustee of the National Gallery.


Howard, George James, ninth earl of Carlisle (1843-1911), artist and politician, was born at 56 Park Street, London, on 12 August 1843, the only son of the Hon. Charles Wentworth George Howard (1814-1879), and his wife, Mary Priscilla Harriett Parke (1822-1843), second daughter of James Parke, Baron Wensleydale. His father was the fifth son of George Howard, sixth earl of Carlisle (1773-1848), and MP for East Cumberland, and his father's eldest brother was the statesman George William Frederick Howard, seventh earl of Carlisle (1802-1864). He was educated at Eton College, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where in 1861 he attended a private course of lectures on history by Charles Kingsley; he graduated BA in 1865. On the death of his father in 1879, he was elected Liberal MP for East Cumberland and lost the seat in 1880, but regained it in 1881. In 1885 he opposed Gladstone's Home Rule Bill for Ireland, joining the Liberal Unionists, and when the constituency of East Cumberland was replaced by the single seat of North Cumberland he declined to stand in the election of 1886. He succeeded his uncle, William George Howard (1808-1889), the invalid and bachelor eighth earl of Carlisle, in 1889, at which time he inherited the Howard estates in Cumberland, Northumberland, and north Yorkshire totalling 78,000 acres.

On 4 October 1864, Howard married Rosalind Frances Stanley (1845-1921), youngest daughter of Edward John Stanley, second Lord Stanley of Alderley, who became a strong advocate for the temperance and women's suffrage movements. They had six sons, three of whom predeceased their father, and five daughters, one of whom died in infancy. As a married couple they moved among artistic circles in London, and made frequent visits to Europe. Already, as a young man, Howard professed his desire to become an artist rather than pursue a political career, as his family wished, and later, after succeeding to the Carlisle title, he increasingly left the management of the family estates to his wife in order to devote himself to painting. In 1865 he had travelled to Italy where he studied painting under Giovanni Costa, and on his return to London he continued his artistic training at the Kensington School of Art and with the painter J. M. Leigh at Heatherley's Art School. His circle of artist friends included Frederic Leighton, Ford Madox Brown, William Holman Hunt, Val Prinsep, Edward Lear, Alphonse Legros, George Frederic Watts, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Edward Poynter; he sketched intimate pencil portraits of many of his fellow artists. Howard formed an especially close friendship with Edward Burne-Jones, under whom he studied initially and from whom he later purchased numerous pictures. Burne-Jones's late masterpiece Arthur in Avalon, begun in the 1880s, was originally commissioned as a fresco for Naworth Castle in Cumberland, but realizing the artist's devotion to the composition Howard relinquished his claim upon the picture and accepted another in lieu of the money he had already paid. Rosalind Howard and Georgiana Burne-Jones also formed a close attachment.

In 1867 Howard and his wife commissioned Philip Webb, the leading Queen Anne architect, to build a London home for them at 1 Palace Green, Kensington. Completed two years later, the interiors were decorated by Morris & Co. and included a frieze illustrating the story of Cupid and Psyche designed by Burne-Jones and completed by Walter Crane. Morris and his family, like Burne-Jones's, were close friends of the Howard family. Both men were commissioned repeatedly to supply furnishings, textiles, and paintings for the other Howard homes, Castle Howard in north Yorkshire and Naworth Castle in Cumberland. Howard made several portrait sketches of both men and their families during their visits to Cumberland. Webb was also commissioned by the Howard family to build St Martin's Church (1874-8), Brampton, Cumberland, and the church was furnished with stained glass by Morris and Burne-Jones. Howard befriended and supported many artists throughout his life, including the sculptors Jules Dalou (during his exile in England from 1879 to 1899), George Cowell, and Edgar Boehm, who executed Burne-Jones's designs for a bas-relief of Flodden field for Naworth Castle.

Repeated visits abroad, to Italy and Egypt especially, but also to India, South Africa, and the West Indies, supplied the impetus for much of Howard's landscape painting, though he never ceased to paint the countryside in Cumberland, Yorkshire, and Northumberland. He exhibited oils and watercolours regularly at the Grosvenor Gallery in London between 1877 and 1887. In 1882, together with W. B. Richmond, M. R. Corbet, and others, he founded the Etruscan school of painting: this group of Italian and English artists, of whom Giovanni Costa was the acknowledged leader, drew inspiration for their lyrical landscapes from Italian scenery and its mythical, historical, and literary associations. From 1881 until his death Howard sat on the board of trustees of the National Gallery, eventually becoming chairman. He was involved in the founding of the Tate Gallery, and was a member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. He also sat on committees for the National Gallery of New South Wales and the South African Fine Art Gallery, and was also involved in establishing funds and memorials following the deaths of Ruskin, Burne-Jones, and Holman Hunt. Noting his philanthropy, Philip Webb described him as 'a constitutional caretaker of precious things' (Castle Howard archives, J22/64). In 1885 Howard advised Gladstone over the offer of a baronetcy to Watts, which the artist declined, and between 1905 and 1911 he sat on the committee which decided on the historical murals for the House of Lords.

From the late 1880s onwards Lord Carlisle began to sell a number of items from the collections assembled by his ancestors at Castle Howard. These included pictures by Canaletto and his contemporaries, a series of drawings by François Clouet, and a collection of gems which was sold to the British Museum. Further sales of individual pictures to dealers such as Martin Colnaghi, George Donaldson, and Joseph Duveen continued until his death. He negotiated with the National Gallery to sell Mabuse's Adoration of the Kings (c.1510-c.1512), the single most important picture in the collection, at less than the market price in lieu of death duties. He also left instructions that the trustees of the gallery should have eleven paintings of their choice from Castle Howard. He continued painting until his sudden death from heart failure at his daughter's residence at Bracklands, Hindhead, near Haslemere, Surrey, on 16 April 1911. He was buried on 20 April at Lanercost Priory, near Naworth Castle, Cumberland. His wife survived him. One of his last works was a series of designs to illustrate a children's songbook which he published in 1910; the frontispiece is a self-portrait with him presenting the book to his children.

Carlisle was succeeded by his son Charles James Stanley Howard, Viscount Morpeth and tenth earl of Carlisle (1867-1912), politician. Born at 122 Park Street, London, on 8 March 1867, he was educated at Rugby School and at Balliol College, Oxford. He became Viscount Morpeth in 1889. On 17 April 1894 he married Rhoda Ankaret (b. 1867), daughter of Colonel Paget Walter L'Estrange; the couple had one son and three daughters. He was captain in the 3rd battalion Border regiment of militia, with which he served in South Africa in 1902. An active member of the London school board (1894-1902), he contested without success in the Unionist interest Chester-le-Street, the Hexham division of Northumberland, and Gateshead. He was Unionist MP for South Birmingham from 1904 to 1911, and from 1910 was one of the parliamentary whips for his party. His health was already failing when he succeeded to the earldom in 1911, and he died at 105 Eaton Place, London, on 20 January 1912. He was buried at Lanercost Priory, near Naworth Castle, on 24 January.Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press



GEORGE JAMES HOWARD, ninth Earl of Carlisle (1843-1911), amateur artist, was the only son of Charles Wentworth George Howard, fifth son of George Howard, sixth earl [q. v.] and M.P. for East Cumberland, 1840-79, by his wife Mary, second daughter of Sir James Parke, Baron Wensleydale [q. v.]. George William Frederick Howard, seventh earl of Carlisle [q. v.], the statesman, was his father's eldest brother. Born in London on 13 August 1843, Howard was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where in 1861 he was one of a few undergraduates selected to join King Edward VII when Prince of Wales in attendance at a private course of lectures on history by Charles Kingsley. He graduated B.A. in 1865.

On the death of his father in 1879 he was elected liberal M.P. for East Cumberland, lost the seat in 1880, but regained it in 1881 and held it till 1885. At the disruption of the party over Irish home rule he joined the liberal unionists, but did not sit in the 1886 parliament. He succeeded his uncle, William George Howard (1808-1889), the invalid and bachelor eighth earl of Carlisle, in 1889. In the House of Lords he continued to vote with the liberal unionists, while his wife had become an ardent public worker on the radical side. On one question of social reform, the temperance question, they were wholly agreed. On his accession to the earldom the public-houses both on the Yorkshire and on the Cumberland estates were closed, and one of his very rare speeches in the House of Lords was in favour of the licensing bill of the liberal government in 1908.

Politics, however, were but a secondary interest to him; and though fond of country life and sports, especially shooting, ho had from the beginning left the administration of his great estates in Cumberland, Northumberland, and Yorkshire in the hands of his wife. His real devotion was to art. Having shown as a boy a remarkable gift for likeness and caricature, he took up the practice of painting in earnest after leaving Cambridge, and was the pupil successively of Alphonse Legros and Giovanni Costa. Of his many friendships the most intimate were with artists, especially with the two above named and with Bume-Jones, Leighton, Watts, Thomas Armstrong, Pepys Cockerell, and latterly Sir Charles Holroyd. He had an intense sympathy for Italy and the Italians, and in early life cherished a close and reverential friendsliip for Mazzini.

He became a skilled and industrious painter of landscape, principally in water-colour. His work was conceived in a topographical spirit, and he was at his best in studies made direct from nature rather than in work carried out afterwards in his studio. In later life he suffered much from gastric trouble, and partly for the sake of health made frequent winter journeys abroad, to Egypt, India, and East Africa, painting wherever he went ; but the scenery which best inspired him was that of his beautiful north country homes, Naworth and Castle Howard. In the last year of his life he published 'A Picture Song-Book' (1910) a set of coloured reproductions from drawings in illustration of old English songs done to amuse his grandchildren. He was an influential trustee of the National Gallery for more than thirty years. He died at his daughter's residence, Brackland, Hindhead, Surrey, on 16 April 1911, and was buried 20 Apr 1911, Lanercost Abbey at Naworth.

Just before his fatal illness Carlisle had taken an active part in the movement for stopping the alterations of the bridge and paths in St. James's Park proposed by the office of works. He had at the same time agreed to offer to the National Gallery for a price much below its market value the masterpiece of Mabuse, the 'Adoration of the Magi,' which had been bought by the fifth earl and been for a century the chief glory of the Castle Howard collection. His wish in this respect was carried out by his widow after his death, and the picture is now the property of the nation. His private tastes and distastes in art were very decided, but he knew on occasion how to suppress them and support reasonable views which were not his own. He was a man of remarkable social charm, though not free from moods of cynicism and irony. A portrait of him in early life by Watts is in the gallery at Limnerslease. A sketch of him was executed for Grillion's Club by Henry Tanworth Wells in 1894. In 1864 he married Rosalind, youngest daughter of the second Lord Stanley of Alderley, by whom he had six sons, three of whom predeceased him, and five daughters, of whom one died in infancy. The eldest daughter, Lady Mary, is the wife of Professor Gilbert Murray; another daughter, Lady Cecilia, is wife of Mr. Charles Henry Roberts, liberal M.P. for Lincoln since 1906.

Carlisle was succeeded by his son, Charles James Stanley Howard, tenth earl (1867-1912), who was bom on 8 March 1867, educated at Rugby and Balliol College, Oxford, and married in 1894 Rhoda Ankaret, daughter of Colonel Paget W. L'Estrange, by whom he had one son and three daughters. He was captain in the third battalion Border regiment of militia, with which he served in South Africa in 1902; was an active member of the London school board (1894-1902); contested without success in the unionist interest Chester-le-Street, the Hexham division of Northumberland, and Gateshead; was unionist M.P. for South Birmingham (1904-11), and latterly one of the parliamentary whips for his party. His health was already failing when he succeeded to the title, and he died at 105 Eaton Place, London, on 21 Jan. 1912; he was buried at Lanercost. [The Times, 18 and 21 April 1911; International Studio, 1903.]



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