Howe, Richard, Earl (1726-1799), a distinguished British naval officer, was born at London. He began his naval career while very young, and at the age of twenty was in command of the Baltimore. This ship was engaged by two French privateers in 1745, and the young commander was seriously wounded. During the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War, Howe saw active service and rose steadily in rank; and when the American Revolution began he was given full charge of the British fleet in American waters. He was made First Lord of the Admiralty after the Revolutionary War, and commanded the Channel Fleet during the war between England and France. Three years before his death he was raised to the rank of admiral.