Caradoc, Sir John Hobart, second Baron Howden 1799-1873, diplomatist, only child of General Sir J. F. Caradoc, lord Howden [qv.] and Lady Theodosia Meade, third daughter of the first earl of Clanwilliam, was born in Dublin on 16 Oct. 1799. He was gazetted an ensign in the Grenadier guards on 13 July 1815, and was soon afterwards appointed an aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington at Paris, where he remained until the dispersion of the army of occupation in 1818. On 22 Oct. 1818 he was promoted lieutenant and captain in the Grenadier guards, and then proceeded to Lisbon, as aide-de-camp to Marshal Beresford [qv.], and in 1820 he was appointed aide-de-camp to Sir Thomas Maitland, the governor of Malta. In 1823 he exchanged to the 29th regiment, but in 1824 he determined to enter the diplomatic service, and was appointed an attaché at Berlin. In 1825 he joined the embassy at Paris, and on 9 June 1825 was gazetted to an unattached majority in the army. In 1827 he was ordered to Egypt in order to try to prevent Mehemet Ali from intervening in the struggle between Turkey and Greece. In this he failed, and he was then ordered to join Sir Edward Codrington, the admiral commanding the Mediterranean fleet, as military commissioner, with instructions to force Mehemet Ali to withdraw the army with which he had occupied the Morea. At Navarino Caradoc was wounded, and he had afterwards no difficulty in securing the withdrawal of the Egyptian army. In 1830 he was elected M.P. for Dundalk, but he did not seek re-election in 1831, and in 1832 was appointed military commissioner with the French army under Marshal Gérard, which was besieging Antwerp. Here he was again wounded, and was made, for his services, a commander of the Legion of Honour, and of the order of Leopold of Belgium. In August 1834 he was appointed military commissioner with the Spanish army, which had entered Portugal, and was present at the convention of Evora Monte, and in the same year he was attached to the Christinist army in the north of Spain. He was present at the victories obtained over the Carlists at Olozagutia and Gollana, and was rewarded for his services with the order of San Fernando. In 1839 he succeeded his father as second Lord Howden, and returned to England. In 1841 he was promoted to be colonel in the army, and made an equerry to the Duchess of Kent, a post which he held till her death in 1861. On 25 Jan. 1847 he was appointed minister at Rio de Janeiro with a special mission to the Argentine Confederation and the republic of Uruguay. He was ordered to act in conjunction with Count Walewski, the French minister plenipotentiary, and also not to allow the British fleet to do more than blockade Buenos Ayres and Monte Video. When Count Walewski showed himself favourably inclined towards General Rosas, governor of Buenos Ayres, and when Rosas himself paid no attention to the ultimatum of the two powers, Howden decided to leave the questions at issue unsettled, and raised the blockade of Buenos Ayres on 2 July 1847, and returned to Rio de Janeiro. He remained in Brazil till 1850, when he was appointed minister plenipotentiary at Madrid, and in 1854 he was promoted major-general, and on 23 Feb. 1852 made a K. C. B. At Madrid he was both well known and popular, and had thus a great advantage over his predecessor, Sir Henry Bulwer. In March 1858 he retired from ill-health, but without a pension, and was made, on his retirement, a G.C.B. and a knight grand cross of the order of Charles III of Spain. In 1859 he was promoted lieutenant-general, in 1861 he retired from the army, and after the death of the Duchess of Kent in that year he lived in retirement until his death at Bayonne on 8 Oct. 1873. He married in January 1830 Catherine, daughter of Paul, count Skavronsky, and great-niece of Prince Potemkin, but had no children, and on his death the English and Irish baronies of Howden became extinct.

     None of the obituary notices on Lord Howden are very full, but the details of his long and varied diplomatic career are to be found in the Foreign Office List for 1872
     for his conduct in the River Plate affair, see The Anglo-French Intervention in the River Plate considered, especially with reference to the negotiations of 1847 under the conduct of Lord Howden, by A. R. Pfeil, London, 1847, and Two Letters addressed to the Right Honourable Lord Howden, on the withdrawal of the British intervention from the River Plate question, Monte Video, 1847.

Contributor: H. M. S. [Henry Morse Stephens]

Published: 1886