Born at Finchingfield in Essex on 7 July, the only son of Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, by Anne, coheiress of Dacre and Gillesland. At age twenty he married (30 September 1606) Alathea, third daughter and ultimately heiress of Gilbert Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury. Arundel was an art collector, called by Walpole the "Father of Vertu in England," he formed the first large collection of works of art in England. He brought Hollar from Prague and employed him to make drawings, was the friend of antiquaries Sir Robert Cotton, Sir Henry Spelman, Camden, and Selden, and is said to have first discovered the talent of Inigo Jones. From 1615 he collected diligently in various countries of Europe, making purchases himself when traveling or employing agents when he was in England. He arranged his collections in the galleries of Arundel House, London.
There are several portraits of Arundel. In 1618 Van Somer painted him with his wife, and there is a portrait by Van Dyck in the Sutherland Gallery, which has been engraved by Tardieu, W. Sharp, and Tomkins. A half-length painting by Rubens is at Castle Howard, and was engraved by Houbraken. (extracted from The Dictionary of National Biography.XXVIII.73-76)
Howard, Charles. Historical Anecdotes of Some of the Howard Family. London, 1817.
Cox, Mary L. "Notes on the Collections formed by Thomas Howard." The Burlington Magazine 19 (August-September 1911): 282
Hervey, Mary F. S. The Life, Correspondence, & Collections of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel Cambridge, 1921. Reprint. New York, 1969.