Frances Howard (2124 words)


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Frances Howard, daughter of Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, was born at some point between 1590 and 1593. A surviving astrological chart suggests May 31st, 1590, but testimony given at annulment hearings (see below) implies a later date. Her subsequent career generated one of the greatest scandals of the seventeenth century, but she merits a place in this literary encyclopaedia because of the writings of very varied kinds that attended each stage of her eventful life.

Frances Howard first appeared on a public stage when, in January 1606, she was married to Robert Devereux, son of the executed Second Earl of Essex. It was an alliance arranged as an attempt to heal the factional divide that had figured in Essex’s …

Citation: Lindley, David. "Frances Howard". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 June 2015 [, accessed 19 June 2021.]

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