Joseph Howard was born in Tottenham. His father, John Elliot Howard, was Luke Howard’s son. Joseph lived on the Green. He was a respected and benevolent man who often aided the poor. He left Friends on his marriage to Ellen Waterhouse in 1859. They had seven children. He was elected MP for Tottenham when it first became a constituency. He held the seat for five elections (1885 to 1906), when he resigned. He was also a barrister, a JP, governor of a Grammar School for 30 years and governor of a hospital.