Aristocrat, Miner and Minister: James Henry Howard (1877-1947) Ivor Thomas Rees I cannot recall when I first read the autobiography of James Henry Howard but I have turned to it on a number of occasions and have been deeply moved by its content and spirit each time. Winding Lanes is the work of an eirenic Christian spirit, filled with love and compassion for others but with an equally strong demand for social justice for all. The story of J. H. Howard, especially of his early years, could easily have been mistaken for a far-fetched romantic novel. However, this is no work of fiction but a true-life account of the overcoming of adversity by love. Early Sorrow The early story of J. H. Howard can be seen as a meeting place of the tragic and romantic, as he himself can tell us. His father, Joshua George Howard, claimed to be a direct descendant of the renowned prison reformer, John Howard, on his paternal side. His mother came from a long line of Army families, more or less distinguished. The ancestral home was in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, and Joshua George was the only child of John and Lydia Howard. The family was fairly rich, and the son qualified for a Commission in the Navy, as his father had done before him. Lydia Howard was left a widow when in her early thirties, and she devoted her life to her son and heir, my father, who was then seven years old. Evidently mother and son were strongly attached to each other; but a tragic break took place when the man of twenty-nine insisted on marrying Catherine Bowen, a beautiful Roman Catholic of poor parentage and scant education. James Henry wonders at the power of his mother's attraction for his father, who followed her into the Roman Catholic Church, and speaks of the attraction that Church always held for him. Unfortunately, my father was disowned and disinherited, and, as far as I can ascertain, mother and son never met afterwards. Not until thirty years had elapsed and only on her deathbed, did the aristocrat forgive that runaway match; by then it was too late, since both my parents had been dead for