Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk was born in 1443 at Stoke Neyland, Suffolk, England. He was the son of John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk and Catherine Moleyns.2 He married, firstly, Elizabeth Tylney, daughter of Sir Frederick Tylney and Elizabeth Cheney, on 30 April 1472.3 He married, secondly, Agnes Tilney, daughter of Hugh Tilney, on 17 August 1497. He was also reported to have been married on 17 August 1487. He died on 21 May 1524 at Framlingham Castle, Framlingham, Suffolk, England. He was buried on 26 June 1524 at Thetford Abbey, Norfolk, England. He was created 1st Earl of Surrey in 1483.2 He succeeded to the title of 2nd Duke of Norfolk on 1 February 1514.
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, KG, PC, Earl Marshal (1473 – 25 August 1554) was a prominent Tudor politician. He was an uncle of two of the wives of Henry VIII: Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, and played a major role in the machinations behind these marriages. After falling from favour in 1546, he was stripped of the dukedom and imprisoned in the Tower, avoiding execution when the King died. He was released on the accession of Queen Mary I. He aided Mary in securing her throne, setting the stage for alienation between his Catholic family and the Protestant royal line that would be continued by Queen Elizabeth I.
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, was the eldest son of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk (1443–1524), and his second wife, Elizabeth (d. 1497), the daughter of Frederick Tilney and widow of Sir Humphrey Bourchier. He was descended in the female line from Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk, the third son of King Edward I. Both his father, then styled Earl of Surrey and his grandfather, John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, fought for King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, in which the latter was killed. The family's titles were forfeited after the victory of King Henry VII at Bosworth.
Howard's first marriage was politically advantageous. On 4 February 1495 he married Anne (1475–1510), the fifth daughter of King Edward IV and the sister-in-law of King Henry VII. The couple had four children, none of whom survived to adulthood.
Howard was an able soldier, and was often employed in military operations. In 1497 he served in a campaign against the Scots under the command of his father, who knighted him on 30 September 1497. On 4 May 1513 he was appointed Lord Admiral, and on 9 September helped to defeat the Scots at the Flodden. He was made a Knight of the Garter after the accession of King Henry VIII, and became the King's close companion, with lodgings at court.
Howard's first wife Anne died in 1510, and early in 1513 he married Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, and Eleanor Percy, the daughter of Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland.
On 1 February 1514 Howard's father was created Duke of Norfolk, and by letters patent issued on the same day Howard was created Earl of Surrey for life. Surrey was a member of the King's council before May 1516.
On 10 March 1520, Surrey was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He soon clashed with Gerald FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Kildare, the most powerful of the Anglo-Irish nobility, whose father had been largely allowed by the English Crown to govern Ireland as he pleased. Kildare did not rebel himself, but incited a number of Old Irish families, led by the O'Carrolls and O'Connors to do so; Surrey was however able to crush the rebellion. After 18 months he was able to secure his recall to England. In June 1522 he escorted the Emperor Charles V from England to northern Spain, and raided Brittany on the return journey. In August and September 1522 Surrey led an Anglo-Burgundian force through northern France on a military expedition which had to be abandoned in October.
Rise to power
On 4 December 1522 Surrey was made Lord Treasurer upon his father's resignation of the office, and on 21 May 1524 he succeeded his father as 3rd Duke of Norfolk. His liking for war brought him into conflict with Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who preferred diplomacy in the conduct of foreign affairs. In 1523 Wolsey had secured to the Duke of Suffolk the reversion of the office of Earl Marshal which had been held by Norfolk's father, and in 1525 the Duke of Richmond had replaced Norfolk as Lord Admiral. Finding himself pushed aside, Norfolk spent considerable time away from court in 1525–7 and 1528.
In 1521 Norfolk's niece Anne Boleyn had caught the King's eye, and Norfolk's political fortunes revived with his involvement in the King's attempt to have his marriage to Queen Katherine of Aragon annulled. By 1529 matters of state were being increasingly handled by Norfolk, Suffolk and the Boleyns, who pressed the King to remove Wolsey. In October the King sent Norfolk and Suffolk to obtain the great seal from the Cardinal. In November Wolsey was arrested on a charge of treason, but died before trial. Norfolk benefited from Wolsey's fall, becoming the King's leading councillor and applying himself energetically in the King's efforts to find a way out of his marriage to Queen Katherine. His loyalty and service to the King brought him ample rewards. He received grants of monastic lands in Norfolk and Suffolk, was employed on diplomatic missions, and was created a knight of the French Order of St Michael in 1532 and Earl Marshal of England on 28 May 1533. As Lord High Steward, he presided at the trial of his niece, Queen Anne Boleyn, in May 1536.
Surrey's marriage to his second wife, Elizabeth, which had apparently been mutually affectionate at first, deteriorated in 1527 when he took a mistress, Elizabeth Holland (d. 1547/8), whom he installed in the Howard household. Elizabeth Howard formally separated from her husband in the 1530s. She claimed that in March 1534 the Duke ‘locked me up in a chamber, [and] took away my jewels and apparel', and then moved her to Redbourn, Hertfordshire, where she lived a virtual prisoner with a meagre annual allowance of only £200. She also claimed to have been physically maltreated by the Duke and by household servants.
When the Pilgrimage of Grace broke out in Lincolnshire and the northern counties late in 1536, Norfolk shared command of the King's forces with the Earl of Shrewsbury, persuading the rebels to disperse by promising them a pardon and that Parliament would consider their grievances. However when further rebellions erupted in January 1537 he carried out a policy of brutal retribution.
By 1539 Norfolk was seriously challenging the religious reforms of the King's chief minister Thomas Cromwell. In that year the King sought to have Parliament put an end to diversity in religious opinion. On 5 May the House of Lords appointed a committee to consider questions of doctrine. Although he was not a member of the committee, on 16 May Norfolk presented six conservative articles of religion to Parliament for consideration. On 30 May, the Six Articles and the penalties for failure to conform to them were enacted into law, and on 28 June received royal assent.
On 29 June 1539, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cromwell dined with the King as guests of Archbishop Cranmer. During a heated discussion about Cardinal Wolsey, Cromwell charged Norfolk with disloyalty and Norfolk called Cromwell a liar. Their mutual hostility was now out in the open. Cromwell inadvertently played into Norfolk's hands by taking the initiative in the King's marriage to Anne of Cleves. The King's disillusionment with Anne's physical appearance when he met her in January 1540 and his desire after the wedding had taken place to have the marriage annulled gave Norfolk an opportunity to bring down his enemy. On 10 June 1540 Cromwell was arrested at a Privy Council meeting on charges of high treason, and Norfolk personally 'tore the St George from his neck’. On 9 July 1540 Henry's marriage to Anne of Cleves was annulled. On 28 July 1540 Cromwell was executed, and on the same day the King wed Norfolk's niece Catherine Howard as his fifth wife. As a result of this marriage Norfolk enjoyed political prominence, royal favour, and material rewards for a time. However when Catherine's premarital sexual indiscretions and her alleged adultery with Sir Thomas Culpeper were revealed to the King by Archbishop Cranmer, the King's wrath turned on the Howard family, who were accused of concealing her misconduct. Queen Catherine was condemned by a bill of attainder and executed on 13 February 1542. Several other members of the Howard family were sent to the Tower, including Norfolk's stepmother, the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. However the French ambassador Marillac wrote on 17 January 1541 that Norfolk had not only escaped punishment, but had apparently been restored to his 'full former credit and authority'.
Norfolk was appointed Lieutenant-General north of Trent on 29 January 1541, and Captain-General in a campaign against the Scots in August 1542. In June 1543 he declared war on France in the King's name and was appointed Lieutenant-General of the army. During the campaign of May–October 1544 he besieged Montreuil, while the King captured Boulogne before returning home. Complaining of lack of provisions and munitions, Norfolk eventually raised the siege of Montreuil, and realizing that Boulogne could not realistically be held by the English for long, left it garrisoned and withdrew to Calais, for which he was severely rebuked by the King.
Imprisonment and release
During the King's final years Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertford, and Henry's last queen, Catherine Parr, both of whom favoured the reformed faith, gained influence with the King while the conservative Norfolk became isolated politically. He attempted to form an alliance with the Seymours through a marriage between his widowed daughter, Mary Fitzroy and Hertford's brother Thomas Seymour, but the effort was forestalled by the provocative conduct of his eldest son and heir, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, who had displayed in his own heraldry the royal arms and insignia. On 12 December 1546 both Norfolk and Surrey were arrested and sent to the Tower. On 12 January 1547 Norfolk acknowledged that he had "concealed high treason, in keeping secret the false acts of my son, Henry Earl of Surrey, in using the arms of St. Edward the Confessor, which pertain only to kings", and offered his lands to the King. Norfolk's family, including his estranged wife, his daughter Mary, and his mistress, Elizabeth Holland, all gave evidence against him. Surrey was beheaded on 19 January 1547, and on 27 January 1547 Norfolk was attainted by statute without trial. The dying King gave his assent to Norfolk's death by royal commissioners, and it was rumoured that he would be executed on the following day. He was saved by the King's death on 28 January and the Council's decision not to inaugurate the new reign with bloodshed. His estates fell prey to the ruling clique in the reign of Edward VI, for which he was later partly compensated by lands worth £1626 a year from Queen Mary I.
Norfolk remained in the Tower throughout the reign of King Edward VI. He was released and pardoned by Queen Mary in 1553, and in Mary's first parliament (October–December 1553), his statutory attainder was declared void, thereby restoring him to the dukedom. He was appointed to the Privy Council, and presided as Lord High Steward at the trial of the Duke of Northumberland on 18 August. He was also restored to the office of Earl Marshal and officiated in that capacity at Mary's coronation on 1 October 1553. His last major service to the Crown was his command of the forces sent to put down a rebellion in early 1554 by a group of disaffected gentlemen who opposed the Queen's projected marriage to Philip II of Spain.
The Duke died at Kenninghall on 25 August 1554 and was buried at St. Michael's Church at Framlingham in Suffolk. He was survived by two of the three children of his second marriage: his younger son, Thomas created Viscount Howard of Bindon in 1559, and his daughter Mary. Although there is debate on the topic, it appears that Norfolk had another daughter Katherine, who was briefly married to Norfolk's ward, Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby, and died on 15 March 1530. The Duke's property passed into the hands of the Crown during the minority of his grandson and heir, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk.
Children of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk and Elizabeth Tylney
Lord Edmund Howard+4 b. bt 1472 - 1497, d. 19 Mar 1539
Admiral Sir Edward Howard b. bt 1472 - 1497, d. 25 Apr 1513
Lady Elizabeth Howard+ b. bt 1472 - 1497, d. 3 Apr 1538
Marcella Howard+5 b. bt 1472 - 1497
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk+ b. 1473, d. 25 Aug 1554
Children of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk and Agnes Tilney
Lady Elizabeth Howard+6 b. bt 1497 - 1534, d. 18 Sep 1537
Lord Thomas Howard b. bt 1497 - 1545
Lady Katharine Howard+ b. bt 1497 - 1545, d. c May 1554
Lady Dorothy Howard+7 b. bt 1497 - 1545
Anne Howard b. bt 1497 - 1545
William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham+8 b. c 1510, d. 21 Jan 1572/73
[S3409] Caroline Maubois, "re: Penancoet Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger Lundy, 2 December 2008. Hereinafter cited as "re: Penancoet Family."
[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I, page 253. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage.
[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume II, page 153.
[S21] L. G. Pine, The New Extinct Peerage 1884-1971: Containing Extinct, Abeyant, Dormant and Suspended Peerages With Genealogies and Arms (London, U.K.: Heraldry Today, 1972), page 9. Hereinafter cited as The New Extinct Peerage.
[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume VIII, page 61.
[S6] Cokayne, and others, The Complete Peerage, volume XII/1, page 521.
[S37] Volume 1, page 1101. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S37]
Wikipedia says his father was Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, not John Howard (as listed in this profile). I didn't see an existing John Howard 1443 – 21 May 1524 to connect as father. Do we have to create a new one? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Howard,_3rd_Duke_of_Norfolk. The picture here is actually Thomas Howard II, so it looks like father and sone were accidentally merged.