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Henry Howard Earl of Surrey (1517 - 1547)

A portrait photo of Henry Howard Earl of Surrey
Books by this author: Selected Poems
  • About
  •    Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, was born into one of the great noble families of England in 1517, the eldest son of Thomas Howard, who became the third Duke of Norfolk in 1524. In 1530, at the age of thirteen, Surrey was sent to be educated with the Duke of Richmond (the illegitimate son of Henry VIII) at Windsor, and first came to the notice of the king. In 1532 he was contracted in marriage to the daughter of the Earl of Oxford, and accompanied the king and Anne Boleyn (Surrey's cousin) to the French court, remaining there for a year with Richmond as security for a treaty signed by the two kings. In 1533 Anne Boleyn's coronation took place, and Richmond married Surrey's sister, establishing the Howards as the most influential family in the country. Their fortune declined dramatically in 1536 when Anne Boleyn was tried and condemned for adultery and the Duke of Richmond died. Although he family later regained favour, Surrey was imprisoned on a number of occasions as court allegiances shifted. He distinguished himself as a military leader against the French, and was appointed the king's Lieutenant General in 1545. In 1546 the king became seriously ill, and in the atmosphere of intrigue over the succession, Surrey was arrested on charges of claiming a right to the crown. His father confessed to high treason in concealing his son's treachery, and on 19 January 1547 Surrey was executed.
       
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