Philip Howard

Philip Howard (1557 - 1595)

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St Philip "20th Earl of Arundel" Howard
Born in Arundel House, Strand, London, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of [half], [half], [half], [half], [half] and [half]
Husband of — married in Finchingfield,,Essex,Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Tower of London, London, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 9 Jul 2011
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Categories: House of Howard | Arundel Castle | Earl of Arundel | St John's College, Cambridge.

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Philip Howard was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.
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Saint Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel (28 June 1557 – 19 October 1595) was an English nobleman. He was canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970, as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He is variously numbered as 1st, 20th or 13th Earl of Arundel.

Philip Howard Earl Of Arundel

Philip Howard was canonized by the Catholic Church in 1970 as a saint and his feast day is celebrated on October 19th.


Philip Howard, 1st Earl of Arundel[1][2]
St Philip Howard[3]

Birth and Parentage

28 Jun 1557 Norfolk, Norfolk, England[2]

Born in the Strand, London, he was the only child of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, and Lady Mary FitzAlan, daughter of Henry FitzAlan, 12th Earl of Arundel.

He was baptised at Whitehall Palace with the Royal Family in attendance, and was named after his godfather, King Philip II of Spain.[1] Philip Howard was born during the upheaval of the Reformation. His home from the age of seven was a former Carthusian monastery.[2]


At the age of fourteen, he was married to his stepsister, Anne Dacre. He graduated at St John's College, Cambridge in 1574 and was about eighteen when he attended Queen Elizabeth's Court.[3] His life had been a frivolous one both at Cambridge and at Court where he was a favourite of the Queen.

Arrest of Father

In 1569, on 1 October, Philip Howard's father, Thomas Howard, was arrested for his intrigues against Queen Elizabeth I. His father was attainted and executed in 1572, but Philip Howard succeeded to his mother's inheritance upon the death of his grandfather, becoming Earl of Arundel in 1580.[1]

Conversion to Catholicism and Imprisonment

He was present in 1581, at a debate in the Tower of London between, Fr Edmund Campion, Jesuit, Fr Ralph Sherwin, and a group of Protestant theologians.[3] He was so impressed by the Catholics that he experienced a conversion moment. He renounced his previous, frivolous life and was reconciled with his wife.

Howard, as did many of his family, remained Catholic recusants during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. They also attempted to leave England without permission. While some might have been able to do this unobserved, Howard was second cousin (once removed) of the Queen. He was betrayed by a servant and arrested not long after his ship set sail from Littlehampton.[4] Howard was committed to the Tower of London on 25 April 1585.[1] While charges of high treason were never proved, he spent ten years in the Tower, until his death of dysentery. Queen Elizabeth never signed the death warrant, but Philip was never told.[4] He was kept constantly in fear of execution, although comforted by the companionship of a dog, which served as go-between with Philip and other prisoners, most notably the priest Robert Southwell. Although these two great men never met, Philip’s dog helped them to deepen their friendship and exchange encouragement in each other's plight. Philip loved his pet, who is remembered along with him in a statue at Arundel Cathedral.

One day Philip scratched into a wall of his cell these words: "Quanto plus afflictiones pro Christo in hoc saeculo, tanto plus gloriae cum Christo in futuro" – 'the more affliction we endure for Christ in this world, the more glory we shall obtain with Christ in the next' (cf. Rom 8).[4]


19 Oct 1595 London, Middlesex, , England
Cause: Imprisoned: Tower of London[2]
Death of Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel
Death of Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel

He had petitioned the Queen as he lay dying to allow him to see his wife and his son, who had been born after his imprisonment. The Queen responded that "If he will but once attend the Protestant Service, he shall not only see his wife and children, but be restored to his honors and estates with every mark of my royal favor." To this, Philip is supposed to have replied, "Tell Her Majesty if my religion be the cause for which I suffer, sorry I am that I have but one life to lose." He remained in the Tower, never seeing his wife or daughter again and died alone on Sunday, 19 October 1595.[4] He was immediately acclaimed as a Catholic Martyr.

He was buried without ceremony beneath the floor of the church of St Peter ad Vincula, inside the walls of the Tower. Twenty nine years later, his widow and son obtained permission from King James I of England to move the body to the Fitzalan Chapel located on the western grounds of Arundel Castle. Some of his bones are also found within his shrine at Arundel Cathedral.


He was attainted in 1589, but his son Thomas eventually was restored in blood and succeeded as Earl of Arundel, and to the lesser titles of his grandfather.

Shrine of St Philip Howard

Saint Philip Howard is one of the patron saints of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.[2] Arundel Cathedral, originally known as the Church of St. Philip Neri, was commissioned by the 15th Duke of Norfolk in 1868. It was created a Cathedral in 1965 and its dedication was changed to Our Lady and St. Philip Howard in October 1970. His tomb was moved to the Cathedral in 1971[3] and remains a site of pilgrimage.

Birth: 1557 Death: Nov. 19, 1595
  • Ancestry Family Trees (Provo, UT, USA: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.


  1. Yates
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Venn
  3. Ancestry Family Trees

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No known carriers of Philip's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Philip Howard Image 1
Philip Howard Image 1


On 9 Nov 2016 at 17:23 GMT C. Mackinnon wrote:

Philip died in the tower, not at Tower Hill.

Philip is 23 degrees from Rosa Parks, 21 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 12 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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