Thomas Howard, Duke of NorfolkOn 12th May 1536, Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, was appointed Lord High Steward of England in readiness for ruling, as Lord President, over the trials of Anne and George Boleyn.

Thomas Howard was the eldest son of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, and of Elizabeth Tilney. He was the brother of Elizabeth Boleyn (née Howard) and so was uncle to Anne and George. Howard’s father and grandfather had fought on Richard III’s side at the Battle of Bosworth but Howard was able to work his way back into royal favour by fighting for the Crown against both the Cornish rebels and the Scots in 1497. He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1510, was created Earl of Surrey in 1514 and succeeded his father as Duke of Norfolk in 1524. In September 1513 he was prominent in leading the English army in defeating the Scots at the Battle of Flodden.

In the 1520s, he clashed with Cardinal Wolsey over foreign policy – he preferred war and Wolsey preferred diplomacy – and was involved with the Duke of Suffolk’s and the Boleyn family’s push for Wolsey to be removed from power. In the 1530s, Norfolk carried out diplomatic missions and advised the King on the situation in Ireland.

Notes and Sources

  • The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown by Claire Ridgway

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