Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fitzalan, Henry

FITZALAN, HENRY, twelfth Earl of Arundel (1511?–1580), born about 1511, was the only son of William Fitzalan, eleventh earl of Arundel, K.G., by his second wife, Lady Anne Percy, daughter of Henry Percy, fourth earl of Northumberland. He was named after Henry VIII, who personally stood godfather at his baptism (Life, King's MS. xvii. A. ix. f. 5). Upon entering his fifteenth year his father proposed to place him in the household of Cardinal Wolsey, but he preferred the service of the king, who received him with affection (ib. if. 3-7). He was in the train of Henry at the Calais interview of September 1532 (Gairdner, Letters and Papers of Reign of Henry VIII, vol. v. App. No. 33). In February 1533 he was summoned to parliament by the title of Lord Maltravers (ib. vol. vi. No. 123). In July 1534 he was one of the peers summoned to attend the trial of William, lord Dacre of Gillesland (ib. vol. vii. No. 962). In May 1536 he was present at the trial of Anne Boleyn and Lord Rochford (ib. vol. x. No. 876). In 1540 he succeeded Arthur Plantagenet, viscount Lisle, in the office of deputy of Calais. During a successful administration of three years he devoted himself to the improvement of military discipline and to the strengthening of the town. At his own expense the fortifications were extended or repaired, and large bodies of serviceable recruits were raised. The death of his father in January 1543-4 recalled him home. On 24 April of that year he was elected K.G. (Harl. MS. 4840, f. 729; Beltz, Memorials, p. clxxv), and during the two following months appears to have lived at Arundel Place. On war being declared with France Arundel and the Duke of Suifolk embarked in July 1544 with a numerous body of troops for the French coast; Henry himself followed in a few days, and on 26 July the whole force of the English, amounting to thirty thousand men, encamped before the walls of Boulogne. Arundel on being created 'marshal of the field' began elaborate preparations for investing the town. The besieged made a most determined resistance. In the night, however, of 11 Sept. a mine was successfully sprung. He immediately ordered a sharp cannonade, and at the head of a chosen body of troops marched to the intrenchments, and when the artillery had effected a breach by firing over his head, successfully stormed the town. On his return to England Arundel was rewarded with the office of lord chamberlain, which he continued to fill during the remainder of Henry's reign. 'The boke of Henrie, Earle of Arundel, Lorde Chamberleyn to Kyng Henrie th' Eighte,' containing thirty-two folio leaves and consisting of instructions to the king's servants in the duties of their several places, is preserved in Harl. MS. 4107, and printed from another copy in Jeffery's edition of the 'Antiquarian Repertory,' 4to, 1807, ii. 184-209. In his will the king bequeathed him 200l. At Henry's funeral Arundel was present as one of the twelve assistant mourners, and at the offering brought up, together with the Earl of Oxford, 'the king's broidered coat of armes' (Strype, Memorials, 8vo ed. vol. ii. App. pp. 4, 15).

On the accession of Edward VI, in 1547, Arundel was retained in the post of lord chamberlain and chosen to act as high constable at the coronation. He had also been named, in the will of Henry VIII, as a member of the council of twelve, intended to assist the executors in cases of difficulty; but his influence was destroyed when Somerset became protector. Somerset soon disgusted the other members of the cabinet, and Arundel was among the first to urge his dismissal in favour of the Earl of Warwick. At length, in 1549, Somerset was sent to the Tower, while Arundel, Warwick, and four other lords were appointed to take charge of the king. Warwick quickly grew jealous of Arundel's influence. When the bill for the infliction of penalties on Somerset was brought before parliament in 1550 Arundel was still in office; but a series of ridiculous charges had been collected against him from the last twelve years of his life, and when the late protector obtained his release the earl had been dismissed from his employments. It was asserted that he had abused his privileges as lord chamberlain to enrich himself and his friends, that he had removed the locks and bolts from the royal stores at Westminster, had distributed ‘the king's stuff’ among his acquaintance, and had been guilty of various other acts of embezzlement. The proof of these charges was never exhibited, and Edward himself in his ‘Diary’ terms the offences only ‘crimes of suspicion against him;’ but the ‘suspicion’ was sufficient for the purposes of Warwick. Arundel was removed from the council, was ordered to confine himself to his house, and was mulcted in the sum of 12,000l., to be paid in equal annual instalments of 1,000l. each. His confinement, however, was of short duration, and the injustice of the accusations having been ascertained, 8,000l. of the fine was remitted. Arundel had been sent into Sussex to allay the insurrection of 1549. By his influence tranquillity was perfectly restored throughout Sussex (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–80, p. 19). When renewed symptoms of uneasiness appeared shortly after his release, the council made a second request for his assistance in repressing the disturbance. Arundel returned a severely dignified refusal. His late punishment, he said, for offences which he had never committed had injured him both in his fortune and his health, and he did not understand why his services, which had formerly been so ill requited, were again demanded. The council, after attempting to frighten him into submission, were glad to despatch the Duke of Somerset in his stead.

His opposition to Warwick and the ruling party at court subjected him to much persecution. Finding the necessity of offering a united resistance to the aggressions of Warwick, he formed a friendship with his old enemy the Duke of Somerset. On 16 Oct. 1551 Somerset was a second time committed to the Tower on charges of felony and treason. In the original depositions no mention was made of Arundel as an accomplice, but in a few days the evidence of one of the accused, named Crane, began to implicate him; by degrees Crane's recollections became more vivid, and on 8 Nov. Arundel was arrested and conveyed to the Tower (‘King Edward's Diary’ in Cotton MS. Titus, B. ii.). It was said that he had listened to overtures from Somerset, and that he was privy to the intended massacre of Northumberland, Northampton, and Pembroke, at the house of Lord Paget. These accusations rest entirely on the doubtful testimony of Crane (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–80, p. 36). During more than twelve months that Arundel was confined to the Tower, Northumberland, although he plotted unceasingly against the life of his prisoner, never ventured to bring him to his trial; Arundel's subsequent confession was exacted as the condition of his pardon, and on a subsequent occasion he publicly asserted his innocence in the presence, and with the assent, of Pembroke himself. On 3 Dec. 1552 he was called before the privy council, required to sign a submission and confession, and fined in the sum of six thousand marks, to be paid in equal portions of one thousand marks annually; he was bound in a recognisance of ten thousand marks to be punctual in his payment of the fine, and was at length dismissed with an admonition (Strype, Memorials, ii. 383, from the Council Book). The declining health of the king suggested to Northumberland the expediency of conciliating the nobility. Arundel was first restored to his place at the council board, and four days before Edward's death was discharged entirely of his fine. In June 1553 he strongly protested against Edward's ‘device’ for the succession, by which the king's sisters were declared illegitimate. He ultimately signed the letters patent, but not the bond appended, with a deliberate intention of deserting Northumberland whenever a chance should present itself. On the death of the king, 6 July 1553, Arundel entered with apparent ardour into the designs of the duke. But on the very same evening, while the council were still discussing the measures necessary to be adopted before they proclaimed the Lady Jane, he contrived to forward a letter to Mary, in which he informed her of her brother's death; assured her that Northumberland's motive in conceding it was ‘to entrap her before she knew of it ;' and concluded by urging her to retire to a position of safety. Mary followed his advice ; while Arundel continued during more than ten days to concur in Northumberland's schemes with a view to his betrayal. He attended the meetings of the council, he signed the letter to Mary denouncing her as illegitimate, and asserted the title of her rival ; he accompanied Northumberland and others when they informed Jane of her accession to the crown, and attended her on the progress from Sion House to the Tower preparatory to her coronation. Arundel and the other secret partisans of Mary persuaded Northumberland to take the command in person of the force raised to attack Mary, and assured him of their sympathy when he started. His speeches strongly betrayed his distrust of Arundel (Stow, Annales, ed. Howes, 1615, pp. 610, 611 ; Holinshed, Chronicles, ed. Hooker, 1587, iii. 1086).

Arundel lost no time in endeavouring to sound the dispositions of the councillors. They were still under the eyes of the Tower garrison. Their first meeting to form their plans was within the Tower walls, and Arundel said 'he liked not the air.' On 19 July 1553 they managed to pass the gates under pretence, says Bishop Godwin, of conference with the French ambassador, Lavall (Annals of Queen Mary, pp. 107, 108), and made their way to Pembroke's house at Baynard's Castle, above London Bridge, when they sent for the mayor, the aldermen, and other city magnates. Arundel opened the proceedings in a vehement speech. He denounced the ambition and violence of Northumberland, asserted the right of the two daughters of Henry VIII to the throne, and concluded by calling on the assembly to unite with him in vindicating the claim of the Lady Mary. Pembroke pledged himself to die in the cause, amid general applause. The same evening Mary was proclaimed queen at the cross at Cheapside, and at St. Paul's. Pembroke took possession of the Tower, and Arundel, with Lord Paget, galloped off with the great seal and a letter from the council, which he delivered to Mary at Framlingham Castle in Suffolk (tjie draft of this letter is printed in Sir Henry Ellis's 2nd series of 'Original Letters,' ii. 243, from Lansdowne MS. 3). He then hastened to Cambridge to secure Northumberland. Their meeting is described by Stow (p. 612) and by Holinshed (iii. 1088). In Harl. MS. 787, f. 61, is a copy of the piteous letter which Northumberland addressed to Arundel the night before his execution (cf. Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. p. 213).

In reward of his exertions Mary bestowed on Arundel the office of lord steward of the household ; to this were added a seat at the council board, a license for two hundred retainers beyond his ordinary attendants (Strype, Memorials, iii. 480), and a variety of local privileges connected with his possessions in Sussex. He was also appointed to act as lord high constable at the coronation, and was deputed to confer on any number of persons not exceeding sixty the dignity of knighthood (Hardy, Syllabus of Rymer's Fœdera, ii. 792). Though favoured by the queen he deemed it politic to make some show of resenting her derogatory treatment of Elizabeth. In September 1553 he was a commissioner for Bishop Bonner's restitution (Strype, Memorials, iii. 23). On 1 Jan. 1553-4 he was nominated a commissioner to treat of the queen's marriage, and on 17 Feb. 1554 he was lord high steward on the trial of the Duke of Suffolk. He bore, too, a part in checking the progress of Wyatt's shortlived rebellion. On Philip's landing at Southampton, 20 July 1554, Arundel received him and immediately presented him with the George and Garter (Speed, Historie of Great Britaine, ed. 1632, p. 1121). Along with William, marquis of Winchester and others, he received from Philip and Mary, 6 Feb. 1555, a grant of a charter of incorporation by the name of Merchant Adventurers of England for the discovery of unknown lands (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Addenda, 1547-65, p. 437 ; the grant is printed in Hakluyt, i. 298-304). In May 1555 he was selected with Cardinal Pole, Gardiner, and Lord Paget to urge the mediatorial offices of the queen at the congress of Marque, and to effect, if possible, a renewal of amity between the imperial and French crowns. He accompanied Philip to Brussels in the following September. In the same year (1555) he was elected high steward of the university of Oxford. When the troubles with France commenced, the queen appointed Arundel, 26 July 1557, lieutenant-general and captain of the forces for defence of the kingdom (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547-80, p. 93). The following year he was deputed with Thirlby, bishop of Ely, and Dr. Nicholas Wotton to the conferences held by England, France, and Spain, in the abbey of Cercamp, and was actually engaged in arranging the preliminaries of a general peace, when the death of Mary, in November 1558, caused him to abruptly return home in December (cf. MS. Life, f. 53; also the letter addressed by Arundel and Wotton to their colleague, the Bishop of Ely, which is printed, from the original preserved at Norfolk House, in Tierney's 'Hist. of Arundel,' pp. 335-7. It is dated 'Ffrom Arras, the xvth of Novembre, 1558,' and relates to a proposed meeting at that town. Other letters and despatches will be found in Cal. State Papers. For. 1558).

By Elizabeth, Arundel was retained in all the employments which he had held in the preceding reign, although he was trusted by no one (Froude, ch. xxxvi.), chiefly because she could not afford to alienate so powerful a subject. A commission, dated 21 Nov. 1558, empowers Arundel, William, lord Howard of Effingham, Thirlby, and Wotton to treat with Scotland ; it was made out on 27 Sept. in the last year of Mary, and the alterations are in the handwriting of Sir William Cecil (Cal. State Papers, Scottish Ser. i. 107). Disgusted by the 'sinister workinge of some meane persons of her counsaile,' Arundel had surrendered the staff of lord steward shortly before the death of Mary (MS. Life, ff. 49-51). Elizabeth on her accession replaced it in his hands ; she called him to a seat in the council, and added to his other honours the appointments of high constable for the day before, and high steward for the day of her coronation, on which occasion he received a commission to create thirty knights (Hardy, Syllabus of Rymer's Fœdera, ii. 798, 799). In January 1559 he was elected chancellor of the university of Oxford, but resigned the office, probably from religious motives, in little more than four months (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 86, 87). In August 1559 Elizabeth visited him at Nonsuch in Cheam, Surrey, where for five days she was sumptuously entertained with banquets, masques, and music (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547-80, p. 136). At her departure she accepted 'a cupboard of plate' (Nichols, Progresses of Queen Elizabeth, i. 74), as she had before received the perquisites obtained by the earl at her coronation. The queen paid several subsequent visits to Nonsuch (Lysons, Environs, i. 154-5). In August 1560 he was one of the commissioners appointed to arrange a commercial treaty with the Hanse Towns. During the same year Arundel, in the queen's presence, sharply rebuked Edward, lord Clinton, who advocated the prosecution of the war with Scotland for the arrest of English subjects found attending mass at the Spanish or French chapels, and Elizabeth herself could scarcely prevent them from coming to blows. 'Those,' Arundel exclaimed, 'who had advised the war with Scotland were traitors to their country' (Froude, ch. xxxviii.) Being a widower Arundel was named among those who might aspire to the queen's hand, a fact which led to a violent quarrel with Leicester in 1561 (ib. ch. xl.) Upon the queen's dangerous illness in October 1562 a meeting was held at the house of Arundel in November to reconsider the succession. The Duke of Norfolk, Arundel's son-in-law, was present. The object was to further the claims of Lady Catherine Grey, to whose son Norfolk's infant daughter was to be betrothed. The discussion ended at two in the morning without result. When the queen heard of it she sent for Arundel to reproach him, and Arundel, it is said, replied that if she intended to govern England with her caprices and fancies the nobility would be forced to interfere (ib. ch. xl.) In 1564 he resigned the staff of lord steward 'with sundry speeches of offence' (Strype, Annals, i. 413), and Elizabeth, to resent the affront, restrained him to his house.

Though released within a month from his confinement, Arundel felt deeply the humiliation of his suit. Early in 1566 a smart attack of gout afforded him a pretext for visiting the baths at Padua. He returned in March 1567. On his arrival at Canterbury he was met by a body of more than six hundred gentlemen from Kent, Sussex, and Surrey ; at Blackheath the cavalcade was joined by the recorder, the aldermen, and many of the chief merchants of London, and as it drew near to the metropolis the lord chancellor, the earls of Pembroke, Huntingdon, Sussex, Warwick, and Leicester, with others, to the number of two thousand horsemen, came out to meet him. He passed in procession through the city, and having paid his respects to the queen at Westminster went by water to his house in the Strand.

It has often been asserted, but quite erroneously, that on this occasion Arundel appeared in the first coach, and presented to Elizabeth the first pair of silk stockings ever seen in England. The subject has been fully discussed by J. G. Nichols in the 'Gentleman's Magazine' for 1833 (vol. ciii. pt. ii. p. 212, n. 12). That he sent the queen some valuable presents appears from her letter to him, dated at Westminster, 16 March 1567 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547-80, p. 289).

Arundel was now partially restored to favour, so that when the conferences relative to the accusations brought by the Earl of Murray against the Queen of Scots were removed in November 1568 from York to Westminster, he was joined in the commission (ib. Scottish Ser. ii. 864). His hopes of gaining Elizabeth in marriage had long been buried. As the leader of the old nobility and the catholic party he now resolved that the Queen of Scots should marry Norfolk ; Cecil and Bacon were to be overthrown, Elizabeth deposed, and the catholic religion restored. He became intimate with Leslie, bishop of Ross, and with Don Gueran, the Spanish ambassador. In 1569 he undertook to carry Leslie's letter to Elizabeth, wherein it was falsely asserted that the king of Spain had directed the Duke of Alva and Don Gueran 'to treat and conclude with the Queen of Scots for her marriage in three several ways,' and thus alarm the queen by the prospect of a possible league between France and Spain and the papacy. He followed up the blow by laying in writing before her his own objections to extreme measures against Mary Stuart (Froude, ch. li.) When at length the discovery of the proposed marriage determined Elizabeth to commit the Duke of Norfolk to the Tower, Arundel was also placed under arrest, and restrained to his house in the Strand in September 1569 (Cal. State Papers, Scottish Ser. ii. 880). The northern insurrection which broke out a few weeks later added to the length and rigour of his confinement. From Arundel House he was removed to Eton College, and thence to Nonsuch (ib. Dom. Addenda, 1566-79, pp. 269, 279, 284, 286), where a close imprisonment brought on a return of the gout, and by withdrawing him from his concerns contributed to involve him in many pecuniary difficulties, which, however, his son-in-law, Lord Lumley, did much to alleviate. Though his name appeared conspicuously in the depositions of the prisoners examined after the northern rebellion, he had been too prudent to commit himself to open treason. 'He was able to represent his share of the conspiracy as part of an honest policy conceived in Elizabeth's interests, and Elizabeth dared not openly break with the still powerful party among the nobles to which Arundel belonged.' Leicester, desiring to injure Cecil, had little difficulty in inducing the queen to recall Arundel to the council board during the following year. With Arundel was recalled also Lord Lumley, and both of them renewed their treasonable communications with Don Gueran and La Mothe Fénelon. He violently opposed himself to Elizabeth's matrimonial treaty with the Duke of Alencon. He strongly remonstrated against the Earl of Lennox being sent with Sir William Drury's army to Scotland as the representative of James. At length the discovery of the Ridolfi conspiracy, to which he was privy, in September 1571, afforded indubitable evidence that he had been for years conspiring for a religious revolution and Elizabeth's overthrow (Froude, ch. lvi.) He was again placed under a guard at his own house, and did not regain his liberty until December 1572 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Addenda, 1566-79, p. 454).

Arundel passed the remainder of his day in seclusion. He died 24 Feb. 1579-80 at Arundel House in the Strand, and on 22 March was buried, in accordance with his desire, in the collegiate chapel at Arundel, where his monument, with a long biographical inscription from the pen of Lord Lumley, may still be seen (Tierney, Hist. of Arundel, pp. 628-9, and 'College Chapel at Arundel,' Sussex Archæol. Coll. iii. 84-7). The programme of his funeral is printed in the 'Sussex Archæological Collections,' xii. 261-262. In his will, dated 30 Dec. 1579, and proved 27 Feb. 1579-80, he appointed Lumley his sole executor and residuary legatee (registered in P. C. C. 1, Arundell). In person Arundel appears to have been of the middle size, well proportioned in limb, 'stronge of bone, furnished with cleane and firme fleshe, voide of fogines and fatnes.' His countenance was regular and expressive, his voice powerful and pleasing ; but the rapidity of his utterance often made his meaning 'somewhat harde to the unskilfull' (MS. Life. ff. 63, 68). His dislike of 'new-fangled and curious tearmes' was not more remarkable than his aversion to the use of foreign languages, although he could speak French (Puttenham, Arte of English Poesie, 1589, p. 227). According to his anonymous biographer he was 'not unlearned,' and with the counsel of Humphrey Lhuyd [q. v.], who lived with him, he formed a library, described by the same authority as 'righte worthye of remembrance.' His collection merged in that of Lord Lumley [q. v.] With Lumley and Lhuyd he became a member of the Elizabethan Society of Antiquaries enumerated in the introduction to vol. i. of the 'Archæologia,' p. xix.

Arundel was twice married. His first wife, whom he had married before November 1532 (Gairdner, vol. v. No. 1557), was Katherine, second daughter of Thomas Grey, marquis of Dorset, K.G., by whom he had one son, Henry, lord Maltravers, born in 1538, who died at Brussels, 30 June 1556, and two daughters, Jane and Mary. Jane was married before March 1552 to John, lord Lumley, but had no issue, and nursed her father after the death of his second wife, and died in 1576-7. Mary, born about 1541, became the wife (between 1552 and 1554) of Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk, and the mother of Philip Howard, who inherited the earldom of Arundel. She died 25 Aug. 1557, and was buried at St. Clement Danes. Both these ladies were eminent for their classical attainments. Their learned exercises are preserved in the British Museum among the Royal MSS., having been handed down with Lord Lumley's library (Gent. Mag. vol. ciii. pt. ii. pp. 494-500). Arundel married secondly Mary, daughter of Sir John Arundell of Lanherne, Cornwall, and widow of Robert Ratcliffe, first earl of Sussex of that family, and K.G. She had no children by Arundel, and dying 21 Oct. 1557 at Arundel House, was buried 1 Sept. in the neighbouring church of St. Clement Danes, but was afterwards reinterred at Arundel (Sussex Archæol. Coll. iii. 81-2). A curious account of her funeral is contained in a contemporary diary, Cotton MS. Vitellius, F. v. Arundel thus died the last earl of his family.

His portrait was painted by Sir Anthony More; another by Hans Holbein, now in the collection of the Marquis of Bath, has supplied one of the best illustrations of Lodge's 'Portraits.' A third portrait, dated 1556, is at Parham House, Sussex. There is also an engraved likeness of him in armour, half-length, with a round cap and ruff, the work of an unknown artist.

[The chief authority is The Life of Henrye Fitzallen, last Earle of Arundell of that name, supposed to have been written by his chaplain in the interval between the earl's death in February 1580 and the following April, and now preserved among the King's MSS. xvii. A. ix. in the British Museum. It has been largely drawn on by Tierney (Hist. of Arundel, pp. 319-50), and printed by J. G. Nichols in Gent. Mag. for 1833 (vol. ciii. pt. ii. pp. 11, 118, 210, 490), accompanied by notes and extracts from other writers, and is also cursorily noticed in Dallaway's History of the Rape of Arundel. The Life in Lodge's Portraits is both inadequate and inaccurate. Other authorities are Dugdale's Baronage, i. 324; Chronicle of Queen Jane (Camd. Soc.); Froude's Hist. of England; Tytler's England under Edward VI and Mary; Sussex Archæol. Coll.; Cal. State Papers, For. 1547-69, Venetian, 1554-8; Nicolas's Historic Peerage (Courthope) p. 30; Nichols's Literary Remains of Edward VI (Roxb. Club), 1857.]

G. G.