A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Surrey, Henry Howard, Earl of

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Surrey, Henry Howard, Earl of (1517?-1547). -- Poet, s. of Thomas H., 3rd Duke of Norfolk, was ed. by John Clerke, a learned and travelled scholar, and sec. to his f. He became attached to the Court, was cup-bearer to the King (Henry VIII.), ewerer at the Coronation, and Earl Marshall at the trial of Anne Boleyn. In 1542 he was made a Knight of the Garter a few weeks after the execution of his cousin, Queen Catherine Howard. He suffered imprisonment more than once for being implicated in quarrels and brawls, did a good deal of fighting in Scotland and France, and was the last victim of Henry's insensate jealousy, being beheaded on a frivolous charge of conspiring against the succession of Edward VI. The death of Henry saved Norfolk from the same fate. S. shares with Sir Thomas Wyatt (q.v.) the honour of being the true successor of Chaucer in English poetry, and he has the distinction of being, in his translation of the Æneid, the first to introduce blank verse, and, with Wyatt, the sonnet. The poems of S., though well known in courtly circles, were not pub. during his life; 40 of them appeared in Tottel's Miscellany in 1557. He also paraphrased part of Ecclesiastes and a few of the Psalms. The Geraldine of his sonnets was Elizabeth Fitzgerald, dau. of the Earl of Kildare, then a lonely child at Court, her f. being imprisoned in the Tower.

Other works: The soote season, Love, that doth reign and live within my thought, Alas! so all things now do hold their peace, Th'Assyrians' king, in peace with foul desire, So cruel prison how could betide, Wyatt resteth here, that quick could never rest, O happy dames, that may embrace, Martial, the things for to attain, The Fourth Book of Virgil

Translations of Petrarch's Sonnets: Rima 310, Rima 164