Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 39.djvu/230

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

where he declared his intention of bearing 'the principal rule and governance next the king,' and was addressed as 'your Highness' and 'Prince and Sovereign next our Sovereign Lord ' (1455), his interests were in some cases opposed to those of the friends of York (ib. pp. 228-30, 248). On Henry's becoming insane in the autumn of 1453, Norfolk demanded an inquiry into Somerset's administration (ib. p. 259). But by January 1454, if not earlier, his influence with York had been overshadowed by that of the Nevills ; he did not obtain any], office on York's becoming protector, and was not called to the council until 16 April (Ord. Privy Council, vi. 174). Even after that he was rarely present. In July he was ordered to be prepared to prove his charges against Somerset on 28 Oct. following (ib. p. 219). He was not present at the first battle of St. Albans (22 May 1455), but is said to have come up the day after with a force of six thousand men (Paston Letters, i. 333). The number can hardly be correct. York having summoned a parliament for 9 July, Norfolk nominated his cousin, John Howard, afterwards Duke of Norfolk himself, and Sir Roger Chamberlain to be knights of the shire for Norfolk, and the duchess wrote in their favour to John Paston, who had again aspired to the position, urging that her lord needed in parliament 'such persons as long unto him and be of his menial servants' (ib. p. 337). Though some objected to Howard as having 'no livelihood or conversement' in the shire, he was duly elected (ib. pp. 340-1). Whether or not Norfolk was kept in the background by the Nevill influence, we hear nothing more of him until November 1456, when he made a pilgrimage on foot from Framlingham to the shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham (ib. p. 411). In the August of the following year he asked and obtained permission to go on pilgrimage to various holy places in Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Picardy, and Cologne, and to the blood of our Saviour at Windesnake, as well as to Rome and Jerusalem, for the recovery of the king's health (Fœdera, xi. 405 ; Dugdale, i. 131). This seems to suggest that he was now leaning to the court party. There is no record of his having performed his vow, and he was summoned to a council in January 1458 (Ord. Privy Council, vi. 292). He does not appear to have figured in the ' loveday ' procession of 25 March 1458, when the leaders of the rival factions were paired off with each other (cf. ib. vi. 297). When York, Warwick, and Salisbury again took up arms in 1459, Norfolk kept aloof from them, and in the Coventry parliament which attainted them after their flight he took (11 Dec.) the special oath to the Lancastrian succession (Rot. Parl. v. 351). Early in the following February he was commissioned, along with some un- doubted Lancastrians, to raise forces in Norfolk and Suffolk to resist an expected landing of Warwick there (Fœdera, xi. 440 ; Paston Letters, i. 514). Immediately after he was appointed a guardian of the truce with Scotland.

When the Nevills returned from Calais in June 1460 and turned the tables at Northampton, Norfolk again adhered to the Yorkist cause ; but he may very well have been one of the lords who in October refused to transfer the crown to the Duke of York (Rot. Parl. v. 375). He seems to have been left in London with Warwick, when York and Salisbury went north in December to meet their death at Wakefield, and he shared Warwick's defeat by Queen Margaret's troops at St. Albans on 17 Feb. 1461 (Will. Worc. p. 776; Gregory, pp. 211-12; Chron. ed. Davies, p. 107; Three Fifteenth-Century Chronicles, p. 155). Escaping from the battle, he was present at the meeting of Yorkist lords at Baynards Castle on 3 March, which decided that Edward, duke of York, should be king, and accompanied him next day to his enthronement at Westminster (Will. Worc. p. 777). Shortly after he went north with the new king and fought at Towton (29 March), 'like a second Ajax' says the classical Whethamstede (i. 409 ; Will. Worc. p. 777; Three Fifteenth- Century Chronicles, p. 161). A younger contemporary who wrote, however, after 1514, and was connected with the hoase of Norfolk, asserts that the duke brought up fresh troops whom he had been raising in Norfolk, and turned the scale at a critical point in the battle (fragment printed by Hearne ad ped. Chron. Sprott, and in Chron. of the White Rose, p. 9). The concurrence of contemporary testimony makes very doubtful Hall's statement (p. 256) that he was kept away from the battle by sickness. Apparently he returned south with the king, for on 5 June he was at Framlingham, and on the 28th officiated as earl-marshal at Edward's coronation (Doyle; Three Fifteenth-Century Chronicles, p. 162). He was rewarded with the offices of steward and chief justice of the royal forests south of Trent (11 July) and constable of Scarborough Castle (12 Aug. ; Doyle). But Edward refused to recognise Norfolk's forcible seizure from John Paston of Sir John Fastolf s castle of Caistor near Yarmouth, to which he had no shadow of right (Paston Letters, ii. 14). Paston appealed to the king, and in a few months Norfolk was obliged to withdraw (ib. ii. xiii). He did not long survive this rebuff. He died on 6 Nov.