19 January 1547 – Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, is Executed

Tomb of Henry Howard at Framlingham
Tomb of Henry Howard at Framlingham

On this day in history, the 19th January 1547, the poet, courtier and soldier Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, was executed by beheading on Tower Hill after being found guilty of treason. He was laid to rest at All Hallows-by-the-Tower but was moved in 1614 by his son Henry, Earl of Northampton, to a beautiful tomb in the family church, St Michael’s Church, Framlingham.

Surrey’s father had also been found guilty of treason and was scheduled to be executed but was saved by the death of Henry VIII on 28th January 1547. Norfolk was eventually released in 1553 after Mary I came to the throne.

You can read all about Surrey’s fall in my previous article 19 January 1547 – Execution of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.

If you want to know more about Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, I can recommend the following two books:

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4 thoughts on “19 January 1547 – Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, is Executed”
    1. Seems like there were several. I believe his son Thomas was also executed.
      Henry’s grandson is St.Phillip Howard,Earl of Arundel.Phillip was canonized by Pope Paul the Sixth as one of the 40 Martyers of England and Wales There are several Catholic churches named in St.Phillip’s honor. Another Howard,,,,, named Phillip Thomas Howard was an english cardinal and is related to both men.

    2. Something of a family tradition I’m afraid. His grandfather the Duke of Buckingham was beheaded, as was his uncle Duke of Buckingham; likewise his two cousins, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. So sadly was he himself beheaded and also his son Thomas on order of Elizabeth I. His Grace Henry Howard Earl of Surrey was laid in All Hallows – Barking after execution and his youngest son Henry had him moved to the family church St. Michael’s Framlingham but that was a full 67 years later. Noble, courtier, soldier, battle commander, proud, haughty and arrogant, lawmaker and lawbreaker, rogue and rake, brave and a poet of incredible sensitivity, when we lost him we lost a jewel.

  1. Henry Howard was unlucky that the Seymours were now powerful enough to have total influence over Henry and the council and the courts. They were the relatives of the heir and they wanted the rest of the Howards out of the way. Henry is obviously ill at this time but in his right mind and has made a decision that the Duke of Norfolk and his heir are plotting against him. He may have become paranoid especially after the experience with Katherine Howard but the King is still alive enough to make decisions and influenced the verdict at the trial. Sadly, this great poet and bit of a lad is now facing execution. Fortunately it was beheading and it was fast. I also think that he was lucky that his family had enough influence to have his body moved back to the family church and he has a good tomb at Framlington as above. It is a shame that this man was executed as he had a lot of potential. I think he would have remained more useful and loyal to Edward than the Seymour brothers ended up being; both being executed because of their own personal quarrels and silly over ambition.

    Seen the tomb and the picture and really feel sorry for Henry Howard, last victim of Henry VIII

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