- Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
The Duke of Norfolk Spouse(s) Mary FitzAlan
Noble family House of Howard Father Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey Mother Frances de Vere Born 10 March 1536 Died 2 June 1572(aged 36)
Tower Hill , London, England
Norfolk was the son of the poet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. He was taught as a child by John Foxe, the Protestant martyrologist, who remained a lifelong recipient of Norfolk's patronage. His father predeceased his grandfather, so Norfolk inherited the Dukedom of Norfolk upon the death of his grandfather, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk in 1554.
Norfolk was a second cousin of Queen Elizabeth I of England through her mother's family and was trusted with public office despite his family's history and leanings towards Catholicism (although he was brought up a Protestant).
Marriages and Plots
Thomas Howard's first wife was Mary FitzAlan, who after the death of her brother Henry in 1556 became heiress to the Arundel Estates of her father Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel. She died after a year of marriage having given birth to a son, Philip Howard (28 June 1557 – 19 October 1595), who became 20th Earl of Arundel.
It is from this marriage that the present Duke of Norfolk takes his name of 'FitzAlan-Howard' and why his seat is in Arundel. Though her funeral effigy is there, Mary FitzAlan was never buried at Framlingham, but at the church of St. Clement Without, Temple Bar and then (under the direction of her grandson's will) at Arundel.
Norfolk next married another heiress, Margaret Audley, widow of Sir Henry Stanley and daughter of Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Walden.
Margaret's children by her marriage to Norfolk were two boys (Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk and Lord William Howard, ancestor of the Earls of Carlisle) and two girls. Both Mary FitzAlan and Margaret Audley have their tomb effigies at St Michael the Archangel, Framlingham. 
After Margaret's death, Norfolk married Elizabeth Leyburne (1536 – 4 September 1567), widow of Thomas Dacre, 4th Baron Dacre of Gillesland.
Norfolk's three sons by his first two wives, Philip, Thomas, and William, married, respectively, Anne, Marie, and Elizabeth Dacre. The Dacre sisters were the daughters of Elizabeth Leyburne by her marriage to Thomas Dacre and were, therefore, stepsisters to Norfolk's sons.
Norfolk was Earl Marshal of England and Queen's Lieutenant in the North. From February to July 1560, Norfolk was commander of the English army in Scotland in support of the Lords of the Congregation opposing Mary of Guise. He agreed the Treaty of Berwick (1560) by which the Congregation invited English assistance.
Attempted fourth marriage, plots and death
Queen Elizabeth imprisoned Norfolk in 1569 for scheming to marry Mary, Queen of Scots.
Following his release, he participated in the Ridolfi plot with King Philip II of Spain to put Mary on the English throne and restore Catholicism in England, though the strength of the evidence for his participation in the Ridolfi plot is doubted by some. He was executed for treason in 1572. He is buried at St Peter ad Vincula within the walls of the Tower of London.
In books and film
- Thomas Howard appears as a character in the Philippa Gregory novels The Virgin's Lover and The Other Queen, and in the novel I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles.
- A highly fictionalized version of the 4th Duke of Norfolk appears as a villain, played by Christopher Eccleston, in the 1998 film Elizabeth. Another version of the Duke is in the BBC mini-series The Virgin Queen, played by Kevin McKidd.
- The marvellous chance: Thomas Howard, Fourth Duke of Norfolk, and the Ridolphi plot, 1570-1572 by Francis Edwards (1968) ISBN 0246644745
- Thomas Howard, Fourth duke of Norfolk by Neville Williams (1965) AISN B0007DRE5Y
- Thomas Howard: Fourth Duke of Norfolk by The Benedictine Brethren of Glendalough, edited by William Cooke Taylor (2005) ISBN 142546159X
- "Howard, Thomas (1536-1572)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- ^ Calendar of State Papers Scotland, vol. 1 (1898), 323, 440.
Political offices Preceded by
The Duke of Norfolk
The Earl of Shrewsbury
The Earl of Sussex
Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk
Peerage of England Preceded by
Duke of Norfolk
Earl of Surrey
Dukes of Norfolk House of Plantagenet (1397–1399)Margaret, 1st Duchess (1397–1399) House of Mowbray (1397–1481) House of Plantagenet (1481–1483)Richard, 1st Duke (1481–1483) House of Howard (1483–1572, 1660—)John, 1st Duke (1483–1485) • Thomas, 2nd Duke (1514–1524) • Thomas, 3rd Duke (1524–1547, 1553–1554) • Thomas, 4th Duke (1554–1572) • Thomas, 5th Duke (1660–1677) • Henry, 6th Duke (1677–1684) • Henry, 7th Duke (1684–1701) • Thomas, 8th Duke (1701–1732) • Edward, 9th Duke (1732–1777) • Charles, 10th Duke (1777–1786) • Charles, 11th Duke (1786–1815) • Bernard, 12th Duke (1815–1842) • Henry, 13th Duke (1842–1856) • Henry, 14th Duke (1856–1860) • Henry, 15th Duke (1860–1917) • Bernard, 16th Duke (1917–1975) • Miles, 17th Duke (1975–2002) • Edward, 18th Duke (2002—)
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