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Howard, Thomas


(1) - 3rd duke of Norfolk (1473-1554), eldest son of the 2nd duke, married in 1495 Anne (1475-1512), daughter of Edward IV., thus becoming a brother-in-law of Henry VII., who had married Anne's sister Elizabeth. He became lord high admiral in 1513, and led the van of the English army at Flodden in September, being created earl of Surrey in February 1514. In 1513 he took for his second wife Elizabeth (d. 1558), daughter of Edward Stafford, duke of Buckingham. In 1520 Surrey went to Ireland as lord-deputy, but soon vacated this post to command the troops which sacked Morlaix and ravaged the neighbourhood of Boulogne in 1522; afterwards he raided and devastated the south of Scotland. He succeeded his father in May 1524, and as the most powerful nobleman in England he headed the party hostile to Cardinal Wolsey. He favoured the divorce of Henry VIII. from Catherine of Aragon, and the king's marriage with his niece Anne Boleyn. In 1529 he became president of the council, but in a few years his position was shaken by the fate of Anne Boleyn, at whose trial and execution he presided as lord high steward. But his military abilities rendered him almost indispensable to the king, and in 1536, just after the rising known as the Pilgrimage of Grace had broken out, he was despatched into the north of England; he temporized with the rebels until the danger was past, and then, as the first president of the council of the north, punished them with great severity. Sharing in the general hatred against Thomas Cromwell, Norfolk arrested the minister in June 1540. He led the English army into Scotland in 1542 and into France in 1544; but the execution of Catherine Howard, another of his nieces who had become the wife of the king, had weakened his position. His son Henry Howard, earl of Surrey (q.v.), was arrested on a charge of treason; Norfolk .himself suffered the same fate as accessory to the crime. In January 1547 Surrey was executed; his father was condemned to death by a bill of attainder, but owing to the death of the king the sentence was not carried out. Norfolk remained in prison throughout the reign of Edward VI., but in August 1553 he was released and restored to his dukedom. Again taking command of the English army he was sent to suppress the rebellion which had broken out under Sir Thomas Wyat, but his men fled before the enemy. He acted as lord high steward at the trial of John Dudley, duke of Northumberland; and he died on the 25th of August 1554. Norfolk was a brutal and licentious man, but was a supporter of the Roman church, being, as he himself admits, " quick against the sacramentaries." As a soldier he was serviceable to Henry VIII., but as a diplomatist he was a failure, being far inferior to Wolsey and to Cromwell. He had two sons, Henry, earl of Surrey, and Thomas (c. 1528-1582), who in 1559 was created Viscount Howard of Bindon, a title which became extinct in 1611. His only daughter Mary (d. 1557) married Henry, duke of Richmond, the natural son of Henry VIII.

(2) - 4th duke of Norfolk (1536-1572), son of Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, was born on the loth of March 1536. His tutor was John Foxe, the martyrologist. Soon after Elizabeth became queen in 1558 she sent the young duke to take part in the war against the Scots and their French allies, but the conclusion of the treaty of Edinburgh in July 1560 enabled him to return to the court in London. Having married and lost three wives, all ladies of wealth and position, Norfolk was regarded as a suitable husband for Mary queen of Scots, who had just taken refuge in England. He presided over the commission appointed by Elizabeth to inquire into the relations between the Scottish queen and her subjects; and although he appears to have believed in Mary's guilt he was anxious to marry her. Among the Scots Maitland of Lethington favoured the proposed union; Mary herself consented to it; but Norfolk was unwilling to take up arms, and while he delayed Elizabeth ordered his arrest and he was taken to prison in October 1569. In August 1570, after the suppression of the rising in the north of England, the duke was released; but he entered into communication with Philip II. of Spain regarding the proposed invasion of England by the Spaniards. After some hesitation Norfolk placed himself at the head of the conspirators; and in return for his services he asked the king of Spain " to approve of my own marriage with the Queen of Scots." But the plot failed; Norfolk's treachery was 'revealed to Lord Burghley, and in September 1571 he was arrested. He was beheaded on the 2nd of June 1572. It is noteworthy that he always regarded himself as a Protestant. Norfolk's first wife, Mary (1540-1557), daughter and heiress of Henry Fitzalan, 12th earl of Arundel, bore him a son, Philip, who in consequence of his father's attainder was not allowed to succeed to the dukedom of Norfolk, but became 13th earl of Arundel in succession to his maternal grandfather in 1580. Norfolk left two other sons, Thomas Howard, created earl of Suffolk in 1603, and Lord William Howard (q.v.).

In 1660 the dukedom was restored by act of parliament to THOMAS HOWARD, 4th earl of Arundel (1627-1677), a descendant of the 4th duke. The 5th duke was succeeded by his brother Henry (1628-1684), the friend of John Evelyn, who had been already created earl of Norwich; in 1672 he was made earl marshal, and this dignity was entailed on his male heirs.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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