HOWARD. The noble house of Howard has stood for many centuries at the head of the English nobility. The Howards have enjoyed the dukedom of Norfolk since the middle of the 15th c., and have contributed to the animals of the nation several persons of the most distinguished character both in politics and in literature. Neither sir W..Dugdale, nor Collins, nor sir Bernard Burke claims for the Howards any more ancient origin than sir William Howard, a learned chief-justice of the common pleas under Edward I. and Edward II., though Dugdale incidentally mentions a tradition that their mune is of Saxon origin, and derived either from an eminent °thee under the crown before the conquest, or from Ilereward, the leader of those forces which for a time defended the isle of Ely so valiantly against William the conqueror. Be this as it may, it is certain that sir John Howard, the grandson of the above-mentioned judge, was not only admiral and captain of the king's navy in the n. of England, but sheriff of Norfolk, in which eouuty he held extensive property, which was subsequently increased by the marriage of his grandson, sir Robert, with the co-heireSs of the ancient and noble house of Mowbray, dukes of Norfolk. The only son of this union was sir John Howard, one of the leading supporters of the house of York, who, having gained early distinction in the French wars of Henry VI., was constituted by Edward IV. constable of the important castle of Norwich, and sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk. He subse quently became treasurer of the royal household, obtained "a grant of the whole benefit that should accrue to the king by coinage of money in the city and tower of London, and elsewhere in England;" and further, was raised to the peerage as lord Howard and duke of Norfolk. We find him in 1470 made capt.gcn. of the king's forces at sea, and he was most strenuous in that capacity in his resistance to the house of Lancaster. Finally, he was created earl marshal of England, an honorary distinction still borne by his descendants, and in 1484 was constituted lord admiral of England, Ireland, and Aquitaine. He fell next year, however, on Bosworth Field, and, after his death, his honors were attainted, as also were his son Thomas, who had been created earl of Surrey. The latter, however, after suffering three years of imprisonment in the tower of London, obtained a reversal of his own and his father's attainders, and being restored to his honors accordingly, became distinguished as a general, and is more par ticularly celebrated in history for his defeat of the Scotch at Flodden in 1513. his son Thomas, third duke of Norfolk, was attainted by Henry VIII., though afterwards restored in blood, and by his marriage with a daughter of king Edward IV., became the father of the ill-fated and accomplished earl of Surrey, whose execution was time last of the many acts of tyranny which disgrace the memory of Henry VIII. Eminent as a Statesman, a warrior, and a poet, Surrey is thus described by sir Egerton Brydges: " Excellent in arts and in arms; a man of learning, a genius, and a hero; of a generous temper and a refilled mind, he united all the gallantry and unbroken spirit of a rude age with all the elegance and grace of a polished era. With the greatest splendor of descent, in possession of the highest honors and unbounded wealth, he relaxed not his efforts to deserve distinction by his personal worth. Conspicuous in the rough exercise
of tilts and of commanding armies with skill and bravery in expedi tions against the Scots under his father, he still found time, at a period when our literature was rude and barbarous, to cultivate his mind with all the exquisite spirit of the choicest models of Greece and Rome, to catch the excellences of the revived muses of Italy, and to produce in his own language compositions which; in simplicity, perspicuity, graceful ornament, and jlist and naturalthought, exhibit a shining contrast to the works of his predecessors, and an example which his successors long attempted in vain to follow." The earl of Surrey was executed during the lifetime of his father, on whom the same sentence had been passed, when the death of the royal tyrant saved him from the block. His grandson, Thomas, fourth duke of Norfolk, in like manner suffered attain der, and was executed on Tower hill for high treason, for his communication with Mary queen of Scots. The family honors, however, were again restored, partly by James I., to his grandson, and partly by Charles II., to his great-great-grandson, Thomas, who thus became eighth duke, and whose cousin and successor, Charles, ninth duke, was the direct ancestor of the present duke of Norfolk.
It would be impossible here to give a list of all the honors which from time to time have been conferred on various branches of the ducal house of Howard; it is sufficient to say, that in one or other of their widespread branches, the Howards either have enjoyed within time last three centuries, or still enjoy, the earldoms of Carlisle, Suffolk, Berkshire, Northampton, Arundel, Wicklow, .Norwich, and Effingham, and the baron; ies of Bindon, Howard de Walden, Howard of Castle Rising, and Howard of Effing ham.
It will be seen from the above remarks that the ducal house of Norfolk is one whose fate it has been, beyond all others among the English nobility, to find its name inter woven with the thread of English history, and not rarely in colors of blood. The accomplished but unfortunate Surrey, awl his scarcely less unhappy father. Thomas Howard—whose head was only saved from the block on which his son so nobly suffered by the death of the eighth Henry—are "household words" in the pages of English his tory; and readers Of•Shak,espettie will have:other the • same name allied with other historical events; while thoSe who are familiar with the writings of Pope, will not have forgotten how tersely and pointedly he typifies the glory of ancestral pedi grees by the blood of all the Howards.
Other members of the house of Howard have gained a place in the pages of English his tory. Sir Edward Howard E.G., brother of the first earl of Surrey, was made by Henry VIII. the king's standard-bearer and admiral of the fleet, in which capacity he lost his life in boarding a French vessel off Brest in action in 1513; his brother, sir Edmund, acted as marshal of the horse at Flodden; and his half-brother, sir Thomas Howard. was attainted, and died a prisoner in the tower, for aspiring to the hand of the lady Mar garet Douglas, daughter of Margaret, queen of Scotland, and niece of Henry VIII., one of whose ill-fated consorts was the lady Catharine Howard.