Eton College, Windsor, Windsor and Maidenhead SL4 6DW
University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3PA
William Cecil James Philip John Paul Howard, 8th Earl of Wicklow (30 October 1902 – 8 February 1978), styled Lord Clonmore until 1946, was an Anglo-Irish peer. He was a member of the Hypocrites' Club.
He was the only child of Ralph Howard, 7th Earl of Wicklow and the Countess of Wicklow, formerly Lady Gladys Mary Hamilton. His maternal grandparents were the 2nd Duke of Abercorn and Lady Mary Anna Curzon-Howe. He was known as Lord Clonmore until succeeding to the Earldom in 1946. He was first educated at Wixenford, from where he passed the examination to enter the Royal Naval College, Osborne, in May 1916. However, in the event he proceeded to Eton College, and in 1921 he matriculated at Merton College, Oxford. He was part of the Hypocrites' Club. He was then ordained a deacon and priest of the Church of England. Among his Oxford associates were Glyn Simon, Evelyn Waugh, and John Betjeman. He worked for the Magdalen Mission at St Mary's Church in Somers Town. Having been a zealous Anglo-Catholic, he converted to Roman Catholicism in 1932, and thereafter lived as a layman. He was disinherited by his father and banished from the family seat in Ireland on Sundays because he was thought to be an embarrassment on account of his attending Mass with the servants, who were also Roman Catholics. During the Second World War he was commissioned into the Royal Fusiliers and rose to the rank of Captain. In 1946 he succeeded his father as Earl of Wicklow. In the 1950s he wrote on religious subjects and was also active as a translator. On 2 September 1959 he married Eleanor Butler, an architect who had been a member of the Seanad Éireann between 1948 and 1951. They had no children. When he died in 1978 the titles passed to his first cousin, Cecil Aylmar Howard, the ninth earl. When the ninth earl died in 1983, the titles became extinct.
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