John Howard and Samuel Whitbread were close personal friends. In addition to being neighbors from an early age in Bedfordshire, a variety of other facts attest to their close relationship. Howard and Whitbread were second cousins.^ Howard lent Whitbread ₤1000 in 1752 to help Whitbread develop his brewery. Whitbread repaid in 1771.^ Howard corresponded frequently with Whitbread and his wife Mary when Howard traveled.^ About 1789, when Howard’s travels had exhausted his income and yet he sought to travel further, Whitbread lent Howard ₤1000 at no interest.^
Whitbread and Howard, who were the two largest landowners in Cardington, Bedfordshire, together sought seats in Parliament in 1774. After a close, disputed election, Whitbread retained his seat and Howard just missed winning a seat.^
Howard appointed Whitbread as guardian of his son about 1789.^ In 1790, when Howard died and Whitbread was ill and near death, Whitbread’s son anonymously wrote the inscription to John Bacon’s memorial statute of Howard.^ The statue was placed in St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of the most prominent buildings in London.