John Howard of Southwark (1507 – 1545)

John Howard was my 13th great grandfather, born a bastard, orphaned as an infant and became a ward of Charles Brandon, he was surrounded by courtly people, lived during a time of unrest and religious persecution, and died the year of the 1545 plague outbreak.

John Howard (1507 – 1545) was one of two illigitimate sons belonging to the High Admiral Sir Edward Howard (1476 – 1513) who was an English naval officer. He was the first of the Howards to win fame as an admiral, participating in his first naval battle while in his teens. He was in command during the Battle of Saint-Mathieu, which may have been the first sea battle fought by ships with cannons deployed through ports. He was killed shortly afterwards, leading an assault on galleys in the French fleet near Brest on the 25th April 1513.

He recorded in his will that his wish, was for his eldest bastard son (name unknown) to be placed in the ward of the King and for his youngest, as ward of his good friend Sir Charles Brandon 1st Duke of Suffolk (1484 – 22 August 1545). It is here at Suffolk House in the parish of Southwark, London that young John Howard resided and in the parish he remained until his death in 1545.


Plate 10: Section of Wyngaerde’s map-view showing Suffolk Place. (With it’s Turret’s). Drawn during the time of Elizabeth I

Little is known about the life of John Howard, although it is likely he had a good childhood as a ward of Suffolk surrounded by some of the most emminent of courtly people, including Princess Mary Tudor wife of Suffolk until her death in 1533.

Even his date and place of birth is obscure and we can only guess when John Howard was born and if the year was circa 1507, then he would have reached an age of independance by at least 1522/3, John and his elder brother received no inheritance from their father so they would have had to make their own way in life. Perhaps the elder brother remained in service within the court of Henry VIII, whilst John the youngest found employment within the southwark dockyards. As many of his descendants became mariners, it’s likely he followed in his father’s footsteps.

Charles Brandon died in August 1545 and John Howard a few months later on the 23rd December, his burial is recorded in St Saviour’s Church, Southwark alongside one of his sons Randall Howard. Plague was writhe in London in 1545, so perhaps this could be a cause of his death.

John Howard had two sons that survived into adulthood Richard ‘of Stepney’ Howard who married a cousin Helen Howard and Thomas ‘of Southwark’ Howard, who my family line descends from.

Family Connection

Sir Edward “Lord High Admiral of the Fleet” HOWARD(1476 – 1513)
13th great-grandfather

John ‘of Southwark’, “Illigitimate son of Edward Howard” HOWARD (1507 – 1545)
son of Sir Edward “Lord High Admiral of the Fleet” HOWARD

Thomas ‘of Southwark’ HOWARD (1540 – 1603)
son of John ‘of Southwark’, “Illigitimate son of Edward Howard” HOWARD

Thomas ‘of Stepney’ HOWARD (1594 – 1652)
son of Thomas ‘of Southwark’ HOWARD

Thomas “Mariner of Stepney” HOWARD (1622 – 1672)
son of Thomas ‘of Stepney’ HOWARD

Susanna HOWARD (1662 – )
daughter of Thomas “Mariner of Stepney” HOWARD

William ‘of Kings Langley’ BEANE (1688 – 1773)
son of Susanna HOWARD

Thomas BEAN (1730 – 1801)
son of William ‘of Kings Langley’ BEANE

Joseph BEAN (1760 – 1822)
son of Thomas BEAN

Thomas BEAN (1793 – 1845)
son of Joseph BEAN

Frank BEAN (1825 – 1888)
son of Thomas BEAN

Frank BEAN (1869 – 1957)
son of Frank BEAN

Thomas Walter Frank BEAN (1903 – 1965)
son of Frank BEAN

William Llewellyn BEAN (1931 – )
son of Thomas Walter Frank BEAN

Christine Angela Deborah BEAN (1957 – )
daughter of William Llewellyn BEAN

Stephen Robert KUTA
I am the son of Christine Angela Deborah BEAN



London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Saviour, Southwark, Composite register: baptisms, marriages, burials, with many gaps, 1538-1563, P92/SAV, Item 356A

London Metropolitan Archives, St Saviour, Southwark, Composite register: baptisms, marriages, burials, 1 Mar 1570-10 Feb 1609, P92/SAV/3001



3 thoughts on “John Howard of Southwark (1507 – 1545)

  1. I have an orphaned great grandfather. Don’t know who his parents are. He could be illegitimate, but it’s hard to find out now.

    • That is such a shame that very few records survive from these cases.
      Hope you eventually find some clues, DNA testing is always an option, there is always the possibility that a close cousin has done the same?!
      Otherwise, here in England Banardos is a good route.

  2. There are two names he went by on the census and in personal records. His parents deaths might be in the German language papers in that area or maybe he’s in the local Orphan’s court records.

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