Norfolk, Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of

Biography: Statesman, nobleman and courtier. Born Kenninghall Palace, Norfolk 1538. Taken from his mother 1547 after his father's execution and placed with Sir John Williams at Rycote, then with his aunt the duchess of Richmond at Reigate Castle 1548. Tutored by John Foxe at Reigate, later a succession of tutors. Grandfather restored to offices of earl marshal and lord high steward on Mary I's accession 1553, assisted by Thomas. Made knight of the Bath Sept 1553. Recognised as earl of Surrey once his grandfather's statutory attainder was declared void Oct-Dec 1553. First gentleman of the chamber to King Philip July 1554. Inherited title as duke of Norfolk Aug 1554. Acquired various offices: earl marshal, high steward of Cambridge and Great Yarmouth 1554, lord lieutenant of Norfolk and Suffolk 1558. As earl marshal, officiated at coronation of Elizabeth I Jan 1559. Knight of the Garter Apr 1559. Lieutenant-general of the North 1559, although initially reluctant to take the position. Admitted Gray's Inn 1561. Freedom of the City of London 1562. Appointed Privy Councillor Nov 1562. M.A., Cambridge 1564. Knight of the Order of St Michael 1566. M.A., Oxford, 1568. Patron of Magdalene Coll., Cambridge. Suggested as a possible consort for Mary, Queen of Scots 1564-5, 1569 - Mary agreed 1569. Elizabeth I reacted badly to this marriage scheme, and from then on Norfolk was shunned at court. Left court but ordered to return by Elizabeth I, panicked and fled to Kenninghall Palace 22 Sept,ordered again to return 25 Sept. Held prisoner at Burnham 2-8 Oct, then transferred to the Tower til Aug 1570, then under virtual house arrest in London. Involved in treasonable conspiracy to effect Mary's escape, marry her, remove Elizabeth I and restore Catholicism 1571. Transferred to the Tower again 7 Sept 1571. Brought to trial Jan 1572, disallowed legal counsel. Convicted and sentenced to death. Ceremonially degraded from the Order of the Garter Jan 1572. Executed June 1572.

Biography Date: 1538-1572

Biography References: LOC; CERL; DNB


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