1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Arundel, Earls of
ARUNDEL, EARLS OF. According to Cokayne (Complete Peerage, i. p. 138, note a) there is an old Sussex tradition to the effect that
“Since William rose and Harold fell
There have been earls of Arundel.”
This, he adds, “is the case if for ‘of’ we read ‘at.’ ” The questions involved in this distinction are discussed in the preceding article on the earldom of Arundel, now held by the duke of Norfolk. The present article is confined to a biographical sketch of the more conspicuous earls of Arundel, first in the Fitzalan line, and then in the Howard line.
Richard Fitzalan (1267–1302), earl of Arundel, was a son of John, lord of Arundel (1246–1272), and a grandson of another John, lord of Arundel, Clun and Oswaldestre (Oswestry), who took a prominent, if somewhat wavering, part in the troubles during the reign of Henry III., and who died in November 1267. Richard, who was called earl of Arundel about 1289, fought for Edward I. in France and in Scotland, and died on the 9th of March 1302.
He was succeeded by his son, Edmund (1285–1326), who married Alice, sister of John, earl de Warenne. A bitter enemy of Piers Gaveston, Arundel was one of the ordainers appointed in 1310; he declined to march with Edward II. to Bannockburn, and after the king’s humiliation he was closely associated with Thomas, earl of Lancaster, until about 1321, when he became connected with the Despensers and sided with the king. He was faithful to Edward to the last, and was executed at Hereford by the partisans of Queen Isabella on the 17th of November 1326.
His son, Richard (c. 1307–1376), who obtained his father’s earldom and lands in 1331, was a soldier of renown and a faithful servant of Edward III. He was present at the battle of Sluys and at the siege of Tournai in 1340; he led one of the divisions of the English army at Creçy and took part in the siege of Calais; and he fought in the naval battle with the Spaniards off Winchelsea in August 1350. Moreover, he was often employed by Edward on diplomatic business. Soon after 1347 Arundel inherited the estates of his uncle John, earl de Warenne, and in 1361 he assumed the title of earl de Warenne or earl of Surrey. He was regent of England in 1355, and died on the 24th of January 1376, leaving three sons, the youngest of whom, Thomas, became archbishop of Canterbury.
Richard’s eldest son, Richard, earl of Arundel and Surrey (c. 1346–1397), was a member of the royal council during the minority of Richard II., and about 1381 was made one of the young king’s governors. As admiral of the west and south he saw a good deal of service on the sea, but without earning any marked distinction except in 1387 when he gained a victory over the French and their allies off Margate. About 1385 the earl joined the baronial party led by the king’s uncle, Thomas of Woodstock, duke of Gloucester, and in 1386 was a member of the commission appointed to regulate the kingdom and the royal household. Then came Richard’s rash but futile attempt to arrest Arundel, which was the signal for the outbreak of hostilities. The Gloucester faction quickly gained the upper hand, and the earl was one, and perhaps the most bitter, of the lords appellant. He was again a member of the royal council, and was involved in a quarrel with John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, whom he accused in the parliament of 1394. After a personal altercation with the king at Westminster in the same year Arundel underwent a short imprisonment, and in 1397 came the final episode of his life. Suspicious of Richard he refused the royal invitation to a banquet, but his party had broken up, and he was persuaded by his brother, Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, to surrender himself and to trust to the king’s clemency. At once he was tried, was attainted and sentenced to death, and, bearing himself with great intrepidity, was beheaded on the 21st of September 1397. He was twice married and had three sons and four daughters. The earl founded a hospital at Arundel, and his tomb in the church of the Augustinian Friars, Broad Street, London, was long a place of pilgrimage.
His only surviving son, Thomas (1381–1415), was a ward of John Holand, duke of Exeter, from whose keeping he escaped about 1398 and joined his uncle, Archbishop Thomas Arundel, at Utrecht, returning to England with Henry of Lancaster, afterwards King Henry IV., in 1399. After Henry’s coronation he was restored to his father’s titles and estates, and was employed in fighting against various rebels in Wales and in the north of England. Having left the side of his uncle, the archbishop, Arundel joined the party of the Beauforts, and was one of the leaders of the English army which went to France in 1411; then after a period of retirement he became lord treasurer on the accession of Henry V. From the siege of Harfleur he returned ill to England and died on the 13th of October 1415. His wife was Beatrix (d. 1439), a natural daughter of John I., king of Portugal, but he left no children, and the lordship of Arundel passed to a kinsman, John Fitzalan, Lord Maltravers (1385–1421), who was summoned as earl of Arundel in 1416.
John’s son, John (1408–1435), did not secure the earldom until 1433, when as the “English Achilles” he had already won great distinction in the French wars. He was created duke of Touraine, and continued to serve Henry VI. in the field until his death at Beauvais from the effects of a wound on the 12th of June 1435. The earl’s only son, Humphrey, died in April 1438, when the earldom passed to John’s brother, William (1417–1488).
Henry Fitzalan, 12th earl of Arundel (c. 1517–1580), son of William, 11th earl, by Anne, daughter of Henry Percy, 4th earl of Northumberland, was born about 1517. He entered King Henry’s household, attending the latter to Calais in 1532. In 1533 he was summoned to parliament in his father’s barony of Maltravers, and in 1540 he was made deputy of Calais, where his vigorous administration was much praised. He returned to England in April 1544 after the death of his father, and was made a knight of the Garter. In July of the same year he commanded with Suffolk the English expedition to France as lord marshal, and besieged and took Boulogne. On his return to England he was made lord chamberlain, an office which he retained after the accession in 1547 of Edward VI., at whose coronation he acted as high constable. He was one of the twelve counsellors nominated in Henry VIII.’s will to assist the executors, but he had little power during the protectorship of Somerset or the ascendancy of Warwick (afterwards duke of Northumberland), and in 1550 by the latter’s device he was accused of embezzlement, removed from the council, confined to his house, and fined £12,000—£8000 of this sum being afterwards remitted and the charges never being proved. Subsequently he allied himself with Somerset, and was implicated in 1551 in the latter’s plot against Northumberland, being imprisoned in the Tower in November. On the 3rd of December 1552, though he had never been brought to trial, he signed a submission and confession before the privy council, and was liberated after having been again heavily fined. As Edward’s reign drew to its close, Arundel’s support was desired by Northumberland to further his designs on the throne for his family, and he was accordingly reinstated in the council and discharged of his fine. In June 1553 he opposed Edward’s “device” for the succession, which passed over his sisters Mary and Elizabeth as illegitimate, and left the crown to the children of the duchess of Suffolk, and alone of the council refused the “engagement” to support it, though he signed the letters patent. On the death of Edward (July 6, 1553) he ostensibly joined in furthering the duke’s plans, but secretly took measures to destroy them, and according to some accounts sent a letter to Mary the same evening informing her of Edward’s death and advising her to retreat to a place of security. Meanwhile he continued to attend the meetings of the council, signed the letter to Mary declaring her illegitimacy and Lady Jane Grey’s right to the throne, accompanied Northumberland to announce to Jane her accession, and urged Northumberland to leave London and place himself at the head of the forces to attack Mary, wishing him God-speed on his departure. In Northumberland’s absence, he gained over his fellow-councillors, and having succeeded with them in getting out of the Tower, called an assembly of the corporation and chief men of the city, denounced Northumberland, and had Mary proclaimed queen, subsequently riding off to join her with the Great Seal at Framlingham. On the 20th of July he secured Northumberland at Cambridge, and returned in triumph with Mary to London on the 3rd of August, riding before her with the sword of state. He was now made a privy councillor and lord steward, and was granted several favours and privileges, acting as high constable at the coronation, and obtaining the right to create sixty knights. He took a prominent part in various public acts of the reign, was a commissioner to treat for the queen’s marriage, presided at the trial of the duke of Suffolk, assisted in suppressing Wyatt’s rebellion in 1554, was despatched on foreign missions, and in September 1555 accompanied Philip to Brussels. The same year he received, together with other persons, a charter under the name of the Merchant Adventurers of England, for the discovery of unknown lands, and was made high steward of Oxford University, being chosen chancellor in 1559, but resigning his office in the same year. In 1557, on the prospect of the war with France, he was appointed lieutenant-general of the forces for the defence of the country, and in 1558 attended the conference at the abbey of Cercamp for the negotiation of a peace. He returned to England on the death of Mary in November 1558, and is described to Philip II. at that time as “going about in high glee, very smart” and with hopes of marrying the queen, but as “flighty” and of “small ability.” He was reinstated in all his offices by Elizabeth, served as high constable at her coronation, and was visited several times by the queen at Nonsuch in Surrey. As a Roman Catholic he violently opposed the arrest of his co-religionists and the war with Scotland, and in 1560 came to blows with Lord Clinton in the queen’s presence on a dispute arising on those questions. He incurred the queen’s displeasure in 1562 by holding a meeting at his house during her illness to consider the question of the succession and promote the claims of Lady Catherine Grey. In 1564, being suspected of intrigues against the government, he was dismissed from the lord-stewardship and confined to his house, but was restored to favour in December. In March 1566 he went to Padua, but being summoned back by the queen he returned to London accompanied by a large cavalcade on the 17th of April 1567. Next year he served on the commission of inquiry into the charges against Mary, queen of Scots. Subsequently he furthered the marriage of Mary with the duke of Norfolk, his son-in-law, together with the restoration of the Roman Catholic religion and government, and deposition of Elizabeth, in collusion with Spain. He made use of the incident in 1568, of the seizure of treasure at Southampton intended for Philip, as a means of effecting Cecil’s overthrow, and urged upon the Spanish government the stoppage of trade. He is described in 1569 to Philip as having “good intentions,” “whilst benefiting himself as he was very needy.” In January he alarmed Elizabeth by communicating to her a supposed Spanish project for aiding Mary and replacing her on her throne, and put before the queen in writing his own objections to the adoption of extreme measures against her. In June he received with Norfolk and Lumley 6000 crowns from Philip. In September, on the discovery of Norfolk’s plot, he was arrested, but not having committed himself sufficiently to incur the charge of treason in the northern rebellion he escaped punishment, was released in March 1570, and was recalled by Leicester to the council with the aim of embarrassing Cecil. He again renewed his treasonable intrigues, which were at length to some extent exposed by the discovery of the Ridolfi plot in September 1571. He was once more arrested, and not liberated till December 1572 after Norfolk’s execution. He died on the 24th of February 1580, and was buried in the chapel at Arundel, where a monument was erected to his memory.
He married (1) Catherine, daughter of Thomas Grey, 2nd marquess of Dorset, by whom he had Henry, who predeceased him, and two daughters, of whom Mary married Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk; and (2) Mary, daughter of Sir John Arundell and dowager countess of Sussex, by whom he had no children. Arundel was the last earl of his family, the title at his death passing through his daughter Mary to the Howards.
Philip Howard, 1st earl of Arundel (1557-1595), eldest son of Thomas Howard, 4th duke of Norfolk, executed for high treason in 1572, and of Lady Mary, daughter and heiress of Henry Fitzalan, 12th earl of Arundel, was born on the 28th of June 1557. He was married in 1571 to Anne, daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Dacre, Lord Dacre (1566), and was educated at Cambridge, being accorded the degree of M.A. in 1576. Subsequently Lord Surrey, as he was styled, came to court, partook in its extravagant gaieties and dissipations, and kept his wife in the background; but he nevertheless failed to secure the favour of Elizabeth, who suspected the Howards generally. On the death of his maternal grandfather in February 1580 he became earl of Arundel and retired from the court. In 1582 his wife joined the church of Rome, and was committed to the charge of Sir Thomas Shirley by the queen. He was himself suspected of disloyalty, and was regarded by the discontented Roman Catholics as the centre of the plots against the queen’s government, and even as a possible successor. In 1583 he was with some reason suspected of complicity in Throgmorton’s plot and prepared to escape to Flanders, but his plans were interrupted by a visit from Elizabeth at his house in London, and by her order subsequently to confine himself there. In September 1584 he became a Roman Catholic, dissembling his conversion and attempting next year once more to escape abroad; but having been brought back he was placed in the Tower on the 25th of April 1585, and charged before the Star Chamber with being a Romanist, with quitting England without leave, sharing in Jesuit plots, and claiming the dukedom of Norfolk. He was sentenced to pay £10,000 and to be imprisoned during the queen’s pleasure. In July 1586 his liberty was offered to him if he would carry the sword of state before the queen to church. In 1588 he was accused of praying, together with other Romanists, for the success of the Spanish Armada. He was tried for high treason on the 14th of April 1589, found guilty and condemned to death; but lingered in confinement under his sentence, which was never executed, till his death on the 19th of October 1595. He was buried in the Tower, whence his remains were removed in 1624 to Arundel. His career, his later religious constancy and his tragic end have evoked general sympathy, but his conduct gave rise to grave suspicions, and the punishment inflicted upon him was not unwarranted; while the account of the severity of his imprisonment given by his anonymous and contemporary biographer should be compared with his own letters expressing gratitude for favours allowed. There appears no foundation for the belief that he was poisoned, and according to Camden his death was caused by his religious austerities. He was the author of a translation of An Epistle of Jesus Christ to the Faithful Soule by Johann Justus (1595, reprinted 1871) and of three MS. treatises On the Excellence and Utility of Virtue. Inscriptions carved by his hand are still to be seen in the Tower. He had two children, Elizabeth, who died young, and Thomas, who (restored in blood) succeeded him as 2nd earl of Arundel, and was created earl of Norfolk in 1644.
Thomas Howard, 2nd earl of Arundel, and earl of Surrey and of Norfolk (c. 1585-1646), son of Philip, 1st earl of Arundel and of Lady Anne Dacre, was born in 1585 or 1586 and educated at Westminster school and at Trinity College, Cambridge. Owing to the attainder of his father he was styled Lord Maltravers, but at the accession of James I. he was restored to his father’s earldoms of Arundel and Surrey, and to the baronies of his grandfather, Thomas, 4th duke of Norfolk. He came to court, travelled subsequently abroad, acquiring a taste for art, and was created K. G. on his return in May 1611. In 1613 he escorted Elizabeth, the electress palatine, to Heidelberg, and again visited Italy. On Christmas day 1615 Arundel joined the Church of England, and took office, being appointed a privy councillor in 1616. He supported Raleigh’s expedition in 1617, became a member of the New England Plantations Committee in 1620 and planned the colonization of Madagascar. He presided over the House of Lords Committee in April 1621 for investigating the charges against Bacon, whom he defended from degradation from the peerage, and at whose fall he was appointed a commissioner of the great seal. On the 16th of May he was sent to the Tower by the Lords on account of violent and insulting language used by him to Lord Spencer. He incurred Prince Charles’s and Buckingham’s anger by his opposition to the war with Spain in 1624, and by his share in the duke’s impeachment, and on the occasion of his son’s marriage to Lady Elizabeth Stewart without the king’s approval he was imprisoned in the Tower by Charles I., shortly after his accession, but was released at the instance of the Lords in June 1626, being again confined to his house till March 1628, when he was once more liberated by the Lords. In the debates on the Petition of Right, while approving its essential demands, he supported the retention of some discretionary power by the king in committing to prison. The same year he was reconciled to the king and again made a privy councillor. On the 29th of August 1621 he had been appointed earl marshal, and in 1623 constable of England, in 1630 reviving the earl marshal’s court. In 1625 he was made lord-lieutenant of Sussex and in 1635 of Surrey. He was sent to the Hague in 1632 on a mission of condolence to the queen of Bohemia on her husband’s death. In 1634 he was made chief justice in eyre of the forests north of the Trent; he accompanied Charles the same year to Scotland on the occasion of his coronation, and in 1636 undertook an unsuccessful mission to the emperor to procure the restitution of the Palatinate to the young elector. In 1638 he supported the king’s exactions from the vintners, was entrusted with the charge of the Border forts, and, supporting alone amongst the peers the war against the Scots, was made general of the king’s forces in the first Bishops’ War, though according to Clarendon “he had nothing martial about him but his presence and looks.” He was not employed in the second Bishops’ War, but in August 1640 was nominated captain-general south of the Trent. In April he was appointed lord steward of the royal household, and in 1641 as lord high steward presided at the trial of Strafford. This closed his public career. He became again estranged from the court, and in 1641 he escorted home Marie de’ Medici, remaining abroad, with the exception of a short visit to England in 1642, for the rest of his life, and taking up permanent residence at Padua. He contributed a sum of £34,000 to the king’s cause, and suffered severe losses in the war. On the 6th of June 1644 he was created earl of Norfolk. He died at Padua, when on the point of returning home, on the 14th of September 1646, and was buried at Arundel.
Lord Arundel was a man of high character, an exemplary husband and parent, but reserved and unpopular, and Clarendon ridicules his family pride. His claim to fame rests upon his patronage of arts and learning and his magnificent collections. He employed Hollar, Oughtred, Francis Junius and Inigo Jones; included among his friends Sir Robert Cotton, Spelman, Camden, Selden and John Evelyn, and his portrait was painted by Rubens and Vandyck. He is called the “Father of vertu in England,” and was admired by a contemporary as the person to whom “this angle of the world oweth the first sight of Greek and Roman statues.” He was the first to form any considerable collection of art in Great Britain. His acquisitions, obtained while on his travels or through agents, and including inscribed marbles, statues, fragments, pictures, gems, coins, books and manuscripts, were deposited at Arundel House, and suffered considerable damage during the Civil War; and, owing to the carelessness and want of appreciation of his successors, nearly half of the marbles were destroyed. After his death the treasures were dispersed. The marbles and many of the statues were given by his grandson, Henry, 6th duke of Norfolk, to the university of Oxford in 1667, became known as the Arundel (or Oxford) Marbles, and included the famous Parian Chronicle, or Marmor Chronicon, a marble slab on which are recorded in Greek events in Grecian history from 1582 B.C. to 354 B.C., said to have been executed in the island of Paros about 263 B.C. Its narration of events differs in some respects from the most trustworthy historical accounts, but its genuineness, challenged by some writers, has been strongly supported by Porson and others, and is considered fairly established. Other statues were presented to the university by Henrietta Louisa, countess of Pomfret, in 1755. The cabinets and gems were removed by the wife of Henry, 7th duke of Norfolk, in 1685, and after her death found their way into the Marlborough collection. The pictures and drawings were sold in 1685 and 1691, and Lord Stafford’s moiety of the collection in 1720. The coins and medals were, bought by Heneage Finch, 2nd earl of Winchelsea, and dispersed in 1696; the library, at the instance of John Evelyn, who feared its total loss, was given to the Royal Society, and a part, consisting of genealogical and heraldic collections, to the College of Heralds, the manuscript portion of the Royal Society’s moiety being transferred to the British Museum in 1831 and forming the present Arundel Collection. The famous bust of Homer reached the British Museum after passing through various hands.
Lord Arundel married in 1606 Lady Alethea, daughter and heir of Gilbert Talbot, 7th earl of Shrewsbury, by whom, besides three sons who died young and one daughter, he had John, who predeceased him, Henry Frederick, who succeeded him as 3rd earl of Arundel and earl of Surrey and of Norfolk, and William, Viscount Stafford, executed in 1680. In 1849 the Arundel Society for promoting artistic knowledge was founded in his memory. Henry Frederick’s grandson Thomas, by the reversal (1660) of the attainder of 1572, succeeded to the dukedom of Norfolk, in which the earldom has since then been merged.
- i.e. in the Howard line.
- See Cal. of St. Pap. Dom. 1581-1590. 611; and Hist. MSS. Comm. Marq. of Salisbury’s MSS. iii. 253, 414.
- Camden’s Elizabeth in Hist. of England (1706), 587.
- Peacham in Compleat Gentleman (1634), p. 107, and Secret Hist. of James I. (1811), i. 199.