Earl of Berkshire

Earl of Berkshire is a title that has been created twice in the Peerage of England. It was created for the first time in 1621 for Francis Norris, 1st Earl of Berkshire. For more information on this creation (which became extinct on his death in 1622), see the Earl of Abingdon and also the Earl of Lindsey. The second creation came in 1626 in favour of Thomas Howard, 1st Viscount Andover. He was the second son of Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk, second son of the second marriage of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk. His mother was Katherine, daughter of Sir Henry Knyvett of Charlton in Wiltshire. Howard had already been created Baron Howard of Charlton, in the County of Wiltshire, and Viscount Andover, in the County of Southampton, in 1622. These titles are also in the Peerage of England. Lord Berkshire succeeded to the Charlton estate through his mother in 1638. He was succeeded by his eldest son, the second Earl. He had already in 1640 been summoned to the House of Lords through a writ of acceleration in his father's junior title of Baron Howard of Charlton. He had no sons and on his death in 1679 the titles passed to his younger brother, the third Earl. He represented Wallingford in the House of Commons. He also died without male issue and was succeeded by his great-nephew, the fourth Earl. He was the grandson of the Hon. William Howard, fourth son of the first Earl. In 1745 he succeeded his third cousin as eleventh Earl of Suffolk. For further history of the titles, see the Earl of Suffolk.

Earldom of Berkshire
held with
Earldom of Suffolk
Arms of Howard
Arms: Quarterly 1st Gules, on a Bend between six Crosses-Crosslet fitchée Argent, an Escutcheon Or, charged with a Demi-Lion rampant pierced through the mouth by an arrow within a Double Tressure flory counterflory of the first (for Howard); 2nd Gules, three Lions passant guardant in pale Or, armed and langued Azure, in chief a Label of three-points Argent (for Thomas of Brotherton); 3rd Chequy Or and Azure (for Warenne); 4th Gules, a Lion rampant Or, armed and langued Azure (for Fitzalan) the whole differenced at the fess-point with a Crescent Sable. Crest: On a Chapeau Gules, turned up Ermine, a Lion statant guardant tail extended Or, gorged with a Collar Argent, charged on the shoulder with a Crescent for difference. Supporters: On either side a Lion Argent, charged on the shoulder with a Crescent for difference.
Creation date29 January 1621 (first creation)
7 February 1626 (second creation)
MonarchJames VI and I (first creation)
Charles I (second creation)
PeeragePeerage of England
First holderFrancis Norris, 1st Earl of Berkshire
Present holderMichael Howard, 21st Earl of Suffolk, 14th Earl of Berkshire
Heir apparentAlexander Howard, Viscount Andover
Remainder toHeirs male of the body, lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titlesViscount Andover
Baron Howard of Charlton
Extinction date29 January 1622 (first creation)
Seat(s)Charlton Park
(We will maintain)[1]

Earls of Berkshire, First Creation (1621)

Earls of Berkshire, Second Creation (1626)

see Earl of Suffolk for further succession


  1. Debrett's Peerage, 1840, p.706


  • Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,
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