1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Norfolk, Earls and Dukes of
NORFOLK, EARLS AND DUKES OF. The 1st earl of Norfolk was Ralph de Guader, a follower of William the Conqueror, who forfeited the earldom when he revolted against William in 1075; the 2nd was Hugh Bigod (d. 1177), one of Stephen’s supporters, to whom the earldom was granted by this king before 1141. Hugh’s grandson, Hugh (d. 1225), the 3rd earl of this line, married Matilda, daughter of William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, and from the Marshals their son Roger (d. 1270), the 4th earl, inherited the office of marshal of England. This powerful family of Bigod retained the earldom until Roger, the 5th earl, died childless in December 1306.
The next earl of Norfolk was Thomas of Brotherton (1300–1338), a younger son of Edward I., to whom the earldom was granted in 1312 by his half-brother, Edward II. In addition to the estates which had formerly belonged to the Bigods Thomas received the office of marshal. He joined Queen Isabella when she landed in England in 1326, and was one of the group of nobles who brought about the deposition of Edward II. He died in August 1338, leaving no son. The survivor of his two daughters, Margaret (c. 1320–1400), who was countess of Norfolk in her own right, married John de Segrave, 3rd Lord Segrave (d. 1353), and their only child Elizabeth (d. c. 1375) became the wife of John de Mowbray, 4th Lord Mowbray (d. 1368), and the mother of two sons John and Thomas. In 1397 the countess Margaret was created duchess of Norfolk, and at the same time her grandson Thomas Mowbray was made duke of Norfolk.
Thomas Mowbray, 1st duke of Norfolk (c. 1366–1399), became Baron Mowbray and Baron Segrave when his elder brother John died in February 1382; about the same time Richard II. created him earl of Nottingham, a title held by his dead brother, and in 1385 made him marshal of England for life. For some years he enjoyed theMowbray line. favour and companionship of the king, but differences arose between them, and in 1387 Nottingham began to act with Thomas of Woodstock, duke of Gloucester, his own brother-in-law, Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, and the party of nobles who wished to deprive the king of his power. They routed the royal favourite Robert de Vere, earl of Oxford, at Radcot Bridge, and Richard was at their mercy. Owing partly to Nottingham’s moderate counsels the suggestion to depose him was not carried out, but in the “merciless parliament” of 1388 his favourites were “appealed” of treason and were sentenced to death. For nearly two years the chief power was in the hands of the lords appellant, as Nottingham and his friends were called, but in 1389 the king regained his authority. He detached Nottingham from his colleagues and made him warden of the Scottish marches; later he became captain of Calais and the royal lieutenant in the north-east of France. Richard took him to Ireland in 1394 and soon afterwards sent him to arrange a peace with France and his marriage with Isabella, daughter of King Charles VI. But the earl’s supreme service to the king was in 1397 when Richard took a tardy but severe vengeance upon three of the appellants. In their turn these lords were “appealed” of treason before the parliament, and as on the former occasion Nottingham was one of the accusers. He was present when Gloucester was arrested at Pleshey, and Froissart says that he actually beheaded Arundel himself. Gloucester was entrusted to his keeping at Calais, and in September 1397 he reported that his prisoner was dead. The duke had been murdered, and Nottingham was probably responsible, although the evidence against him is not conclusive. As a reward he received most of Arundel’s lands in Surrey and Sussex, and was created duke of Norfolk. He now began to fear for his own safety, and took the duke of Hereford, afterwards King Henry IV., into his confidence. Hereford carried his words to the king, who summoned him to his presence, and at Oswestry Norfolk accused Hereford of speaking falsely. A court of chivalry decided that the dispute should be referred to the arbitrament of single combat and Coventry was the place appointed for the duel; but when on the 16th of September 1398 everything was ready for the fight Richard interposed and ordered both combatants into banishment. Norfolk was deprived of his offices, but not of his titles; his “heavier doom” was exile for life, and he was ordered to confine himself to Germany, Hungary and Bohemia. At once he left England for Dordrecht, and after passing some months in wanderings he reached Venice, where he died on the 22nd or 27th of September 1399. The concluding scene of the duke’s life in England forms the staple material of act i. of Shakespeare’s Richard II. Norfolk left estates in nearly all the English counties. His wife was Elizabeth (c. 1372–1425), daughter of Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, by whom he had two sons, Thomas and John, and two daughters.
His elder son, Thomas Mowbray (1385–1405), became earl of Nottingham and earl marshal on his father's death, but he was not allowed to assume the title of duke of Norfolk. He quarrelled with Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, over the precedence of their respective earldoms, and left the court in anger when Henry IV. decided in favour of Warwick. At this time (1405) Richard le Scrope, archbishop of York, and other northern potentates were preparing to rise against the king. The earl marshal joined them, was taken prisoner at Shipton Moor, and was beheaded at York on the 8th of June 1405.
John Mowbray (1390–1432), 2nd duke, brother of the last named, now became earl marshal and earl of Nottingham. He sat in judgment upon Richard, earl of Cambridge, and the other rebels in 1415, and went to France with Henry V. He took part in the siege of Harfleur, but illness prevented him from fighting at Agincourt. He saw service in France in subsequent years, and after Henry's death he was a member of the English governing council. In 1424 he followed Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, on his campaign in Hainaut, and in 1425 he secured his recognition as duke of Norfolk. He died on the 19th of October 1432 at Epworth, where his father had founded a Cistercian priory. By his wife Catherine, daughter of Ralph Neville, 1st earl of Westmorland, he left an only son, the 3rd duke.
John Mowbray, 3rd duke (1415–1461), became warden of the Scottish marches; he also served as a soldier and an ambassador in France. Upon the outbreak of the fierce rivalry between the houses of York and Lancaster about 1450 he joined Richard, duke of York, to whom he was related; he aided the Yorkist cause in Norfolk and in London, and it was he who in November 1453 demanded an inquiry into the administration of Edmund Beaufort, duke of Somerset. In 1459 he appeared on the Lancastrian side and took the oath of allegiance to Henry VI. and to his son Edward at Coventry, but soon he was again figuring as an active Yorkist. He was a member of the deputation which in March 1461 asked the duke of York (Edward IV.) to take the crown, and he fought at the second battle of St Albans and also at Towton, where one authority says he saved the day for the Yorkists.
John Mowbray, 4th duke (1444–1476), who had already been created earl of Surrey, a title formerly held by his ancestors, the Fitzalans, was the only son of the preceding. The names both of John and of his father appear frequently in the Paston Letters, as both dukes in turn seized Caister castle, which had been left by Sir John Fastolf to John Paston, and the 4th duke held it against the Pastons for some years. On his death in 1476 the dukedom became extinct, but the earldom passed to his daughter Anne (1472–1481), who married Richard, duke of York, the younger son of Edward IV. Richard was created duke of Norfolk and made earl marshal, but when he was murdered in 1483 the dukedom again became extinct, the earldom having reverted to the crown on the death of Anne.
The illustrious family of Howard (q.v.), members of which Howard line.have been dukes of Norfolk from 1483 to the present day, with the exception of two periods during which the title was forfeited, was connected with the family of Mowbray.
John Howard, 1st duke of Norfolk (c. 1430–1485), was the son of Sir Robert Howard by his wife Margaret, daughter of Thomas Mowbray, the first duke of that family. In 1455 John Howard was sent to parliament as member for Norfolk, although he “hadde no lyvelode in the shire”; in 1461 he was knighted; and in 1470, although he appears to have been a consistent Yorkist, he was created a baron by Henry VI. He was treasurer of the royal household from 1467 to 1474, and went to France with Edward IV. in 1475. After Edward's death, however, he supported Richard III., who created him duke of Norfolk and made him earl marshal of England in June 1483. He was killed at Bosworth whilst fighting for this king on the 22nd of August 1485, and the title thus suffered attainder. He is frequently mentioned in the Paston Letters.
His son, Thomas Howard, afterwards 2nd duke (1443–1524), shared his father's fortunes; he fought at Barnet for Edward IV. and was made steward of the royal household and created earl of Surrey in 1483. Taken prisoner at Bosworth he was attainted and remained in captivity until January 1489, when he was released and restored to his earldom but not to the dukedom of Norfolk. He was then entrusted with the maintenance of order in Yorkshire and with the defence of the Scottish borders; he was made lord treasurer and a privy councillor in 1501, and he helped to arrange the marriage between Margaret, the daughter of Henry VII., and James IV. of Scotland. Henry VIII., too, employed him on public business, but the earl grew jealous of Wolsey, and for a short time he absented himself from court. He commanded the army which defeated the Scots at Flodden in September 1513, and was created duke of Norfolk in February of the following year, with precedence as of the creation of 1483. In his later years Norfolk worked more harmoniously with Wolsey. He was guardian of England during Henry's absence in France in 1520, and he acted as lord high steward at the trial of his friend Edward Stafford, duke of Buckingham, in 1521. Among his sons were William, 1st Lord Howard of Effingham, and Sir Edward Howard (c. 1477–1513), lord high admiral, who defeated the French fleet off Brest in August 1512, and lost his life during another engagement in April 1513.
Thomas Howard, 3rd duke (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 dispatched 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.
Thomas Howard, 4th duke (1536–1572), son of Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, was born on the 10th 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.
Charles Howard, 11th duke (1746–1815), was the son of Charles Howard (1720–1786), who succeeded his cousin, Edward Howard (1686–1777), as 10th duke of Norfolk in 1777, and who wrote Historical Anecdotes of some of the Howard Family (1769 and 1817). Born in March 1746, the earl of Surrey, as Charles was called from 1777 until he became duke of Norfolk in 1786, represented Carlisle in the House of Commons, Where he acted with the Whigs; unlike his father he was a Protestant. In 1780 he was a lord of the treasury. In 1789 at a dinner held in London the duke gave the toast “Our sovereign’s health—the majesty of the people”; this greatly offended George III., who deprived him of some of his public offices.
When he died on the 16th of December 1815 he left no sons, and the dukedom passed to his kinsman, Bernard Edward Howard (1765–1842), a descendant of the 4th duke.
Bernard’s only son, Henry Charles Howard (1791–1856), became 13th duke in 1842. As earl of Surrey he was the first Roman Catholic since the Reformation to sit in the House of Commons, of which he was a member from 1829 to 1841; as duke of Norfolk he was master of the horse from 1846 to 1852 and lord steward from 1853 to 1854. The second of his three sons, Edward George Fitzalan (1818–1883), was a member of the House of Commons from 1848 to 1868, and was created Baron Howard of Glossop in 1869. Lord Howard rendered great service to the cause of Roman Catholic education.
The 13th duke’s eldest son, Henry Granville Fitzalan Howard (1815–1860), succeeded to the title. He was a devoted Roman Catholic, left the Liberal party and resigned his seat in parliament rather than support the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill of 1850. He edited the Lives of Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, and of Anne Dacres, his wife (1857 and 1861). He was succeeded by his son Henry Fitzalan Howard, 15th duke (b. 1847), who was postmaster-general from 1895 to 1900, first Lord Mayor of Sheffield in 1895, went out to the South African War in 1900, and whose position as head of the English Roman Catholics and as premier duke and Earl Marshal made him for many years conspicuous in public life. His only son by his first wife, a daughter of Baron Donington, died in early life; but by his second marriage (1904) to the daughter and heiress of Lord Herries he had a son born in 1908.