In January 1870 the partnership of Francis Howard, Joseph Batt and Thomas Batt was dissolved. They had been making silver-plated German metals goods at their works in Charlotte Street under the name William Batt and sons. He immediately commenced manufacturing electro-plated goods under his own name at the West End Works, West Street. According to the firm's website they moved into the Aberdeen Works in 1873. A good proportion of the firm's trade was in Scotland and Howard himself did much of the sales travelling. By 1881 he was living at 1 Netherfield Terrace, Water Lane, Nether Green and was an Overseer of the Poor for Upper Hallam. He also paid the rent of a cottage at Brook House Hill to be used by the Church of England Temperance Society. At the 1901 census he was living at 9 Storth Lane. He had a serious illness around 1903 but although he recovered he was not the same, and died in Bridlington in June 1905, and was buried at Fulwood Cemetery.