Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The Howard Family

The Howard family traces back to the Sir William Howard who died in 1308. We know that he was a judge in the House of Commons and his son went on to become the sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Later on Sir William Howard's great-great-great-grandson - Sir Robert Howard - was married to Lady Margaret Mowbray who happened to be the eldest daughter of the then Duke of Norfolk. However, this line of noble Dukes died out and the only heir (who was a girl) died when she was just nine years old. This opened up a spot and Richard III quickly reacted. He swiftly declared Richard of Shrewsbury (son of Edward IV) illegitimate and turned the son of Sir Robert Howard and Lady Margaret into the John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk on June 28 1483.

Now the Howard family was among the leading noble families of the English court. John's own son, Thomas Howard, was the grandfather of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard. The Howards were known as the most Catholic family in England - despite Anne Boleyn's Evangelical convictions and her contribution to the Protestant reformation, the family continued to be associated with the old faith. Despite the powerful title of Duke of Norfolk the family also held the title of Earl of Arundel and Earl Marshal.

Part of the Howard family has been living at Castle Howard for more than 300 years.

John Howard (1 Duke of Norfolk)
Thomas Howard (3rd Duke of Norfolk - uncle
of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard)
Henry Howard (Earl of Surrey)

Thomas Howard (4th Duke of Norfolk)

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