Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/30

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

pressed the king and the princes very favourably. In July 1533 Pope Clement VII tried to revive the project of a marriage between Surrey and Princess Mary, in the belief that he might thus serve the interests of Queen Catherine. Surrey returned to London to carry the fourth sword before the king at the coronation of Anne Boleyn in June 1533, and finally quitted France in September 1533 (Chron. of Calais, 1846, Camden Soc., p.41), when Richmond came home to marry Surrey's sister Mary. In March 1534 Surrey's mother separated from his father on the ground of the duke's adultery with Elizabeth Holland, an attendant in the duke's nursery. In the long domestic quarrel Surrey sided with his father, and was denounced by his mother as an ‘ungracious son’ (Wood, Letters of Illustrious Ladies, ii. 225). In 1535 Surrey's wife joined him at Kenninghall. He was in pecuniary difficulties at the time, and borrowed money of John Reeve, abbot of Bury, in June.

At Anne Boleyn's trial (15 May 1536) Surrey acted as earl marshal in behalf of his father, who presided by virtue of his office of lord treasurer (cf. Wriothesley, Chron. i. 37). On 22 July 1536 his friend and brother-in-law, Richmond, died, and he wrote with much feeling of his loss. He accompanied his father to Yorkshire to repress the rebellion known as the Pilgrimage of Grace in October 1536. A report went abroad that Surrey secretly sympathised with the insurgents, and in June 1537 he struck a courtier who repeated the rumour in the park at Hampton Court. The privy council ordered him into confinement at Windsor, and there he devoted himself chiefly to writing poetry. He was released before 12 Nov. 1537, when he was a principal mourner in the funeral procession of Jane Seymour from Hampton to Windsor. On New-year's day 1538 he presented Henry VIII with three gilt bowls and a cover. Early in 1539 there was some talk at court of sending Surrey into Cleves to assist in arranging the treaty for the marriage of Henry VIII with Anne of Cleves, and later in the year he was employed to organise the defence of Norfolk, in view of a threatened invasion. On 3 May 1540 Surrey distinguished himself at the jousts held at Westminster to celebrate the marriage of Henry with Anne of Cleves (cf. ib. i. 118). Later in the year he rejoiced openly over the fall of Cromwell, which restored his father's influence with the king. On 21 May 1541 Surrey was installed knight of the Garter, and in September was appointed steward of the university of Cambridge, in succession to Cromwell. On 8 Dec. he was granted many manors in Suffolk and Norfolk, most of which he subsequently sold, and in February 1541-2, in order apparently to clear himself from the suspicions which attached to many of his kinsmen at the time, he attended the execution of his cousin, Queen Catherine Howard.

In a recorded conversation which took place between two of Cromwell's agents in 1539, Surrey was described by one of the interlocutors as ‘the most foolish proud boy that is in England.’ It was urged in reply that the earl was wise, and that, although his pride was great, experience would correct it (Archæologia, xxiii. 62). That he could ill control his temper, and that his pride in his ancestry passed reasonable bounds, there is much to prove elsewhere. In 1542 he quarrelled with one John à Leigh, and was committed to the Fleet by the privy council. In a petition for release he attributed his conduct to ‘the fury of reckless youth,’ and promised henceforward to bridle his ‘heady will.’ On 7 Aug. he was released on entering into recognisances in ten thousand marks to be of good behaviour, and he accompanied his father on the expedition into Scotland in October. In the same month the death of Sir Thomas Wyatt the elder [q.v.] inspired a pathetic elegy by Surrey. But Surrey, although a student of Wyatt's literary work, was not personally very intimate with him. In political and religious questions they took opposite sides. Wyatt's son and Surrey were, however, well known to each other.

On 1 April 1543 Surrey was charged before the privy council with having eaten flesh in Lent, and with having broken at night the windows of citizens' houses and of churches in the city of London by shooting small pebbles at them with a stone-bow. A servant, Pickering, and the younger Wyatt were arrested as his accomplices. On the first charge he pleaded a license; he admitted his guilt on the second accusation, but subsequently, in a verse 'satire against the citizens of London,' made the eccentric defence that he had been scandalised by the irreligious life led by the Londoners, and had endeavoured by his attack on their windows to prepare them for divine retribution. According to the evidence of a Mistress Arundel, whose house Surrey and his friends were accustomed to frequent for purposes of amusement, the affair was a foolish practical joke. The servants of the house hinted in their deposition that Surrey demanded of his friends the signs of respect usual only in the case of princes. Surrey was sent to the Fleet prison for a few months.

In October 1543 Surrey, fully restored to the king's favour, joined the army under Sir