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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/32

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Howard
Howard
26

nobility, caused the inhibited change in his arms to be made on 7 Oct. 1546, when at his father's house at Kenninghall. His sister subsequently stated that he surmounted his shield with what seemed to her ‘much like a close crown and a cipher, which she took to be the king's cipher H.R.,’ but this statement received no corroboration. Moreover, by virtue of his descent from Thomas of Brotherton, son of Edward I, Surrey, like all the Howards, and like many other noblemen who claimed royal descent, was entitled to quarter the royal arms. Hertford and his adherents affected to construe Surrey's adoption of new arms into evidence of the existence of a treasonable design. They declared, although there is no extant proof of the allegation, that Edward the Confessor's arms had always been borne exclusively by the heir-apparent to the crown, and that Surrey's action amounted to a design to endanger Prince Edward's succession and to divert the crown into his own hands. Norfolk, it must be remembered, had, before Prince Edward's birth, been mentioned as a possible heir to the throne. The council at first merely summoned Surrey from Kenninghall to confront Southwell, his accuser. The earl passionately offered to fight Southwell (2 Dec.), and both were detained in custody. Other charges were soon brought before the council by Surrey's personal enemies. According to a courtier, Sir Gawin Carew, he had tried to persuade his sister to offer herself as the king's mistress, so that she might exercise the same power over him as ‘Madame d'Estampes did about the French king.’ Surrey had ironically given his sister some such advice when he was angrily rebuking her for contemplating marriage with Sir Thomas Seymour. Another accuser declared that Surrey affected foreign dress and manners, and employed an Italian jester. The council took these trivial matters seriously, and on 12 Dec. Surrey and his father were arrested and sent to the Tower. Commissioners were sent on the same day to Kenninghall to examine the Duchess of Richmond and Elizabeth Holland, the duke's mistress. Much that they said was in Norfolk's favour, but the duchess recklessly corroborated the charges against her brother, asserting in the course of her examination that Surrey rigidly adhered to the old religion. Soon after Surrey's arrest Henry VIII himself drew up, with the aid of Chancellor Wriothesley, a paper setting forth the allegations made against him, and he there assumed, despite the absence of any evidence, that Surrey had definitely resolved to set Prince Edward aside, when the throne was vacant, in his own favour. On 13 Jan. 1546-7 Surrey was indicted at the Guildhall before Lord Chancellor Wriothesley and other privy councillors, and a jury of Norfolk men, of high treason, under the act for determining the succession (28 Hen. VIII. c. vii. sect. 12). No testimony of any legal value was produced beyond the evidence respecting the change in his arms. In a manly speech Surrey denied that he had any treasonable intention; but he was proved guilty, was sentenced to death, and was beheaded on Tower Hill on 21 Jan. following. His personal property was distributed among the Seymours and their friends. Surrey's body was buried in the church of All Hallows Barking, in Tower Street, but was removed to the church of Framlingham, Suffolk, by his son Henry, who erected an elaborate monument there in 1614, and left money for its preservation. In 1835 his body was discovered lying directly beneath his effigy.

Surrey left two sons, Thomas, fourth duke of Norfolk [q.v.], and Henry, earl of Northampton [q.v.], and three daughters, Jane, wife of Charles Neville, earl of Westmorland, Catherine, wife of Henry, lord Berkeley, and Margaret, wife of Henry, lord Scrope of Bolton. His widow married a second husband, Thomas Steyning of Woodford, Suffolk, by whom she had a daughter Mary, wife of Charles Seckford, and died at Soham Earl, Suffolk, 30 June 1577.

According to a poem by Surrey, which he entitled ‘A Description and Praise of his love Geraldine,’ he had before his confinement at Windsor in 1537 been attracted by the beauty of Lady Elizabeth [q.v.], youngest daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald, ninth earl of Kildare [q.v.]

In 1537 Lady Elizabeth was only nine years old. It has been assumed that most of Surrey's ‘songes and sonettes,’ written between this date and his death, were inspired by his affection for her; but only in the poem just quoted does Surrey mention Geraldine as the name of his lady-love, and the insertion of the name in the titles of other poems is an unjustifiable license first taken by Dr. G.F. Nott in his edition of Surrey's poems in 1815. There is nothing to show positively that the verses inscribed by Surrey to ‘his lady’ or ‘his mistress’ were all addressed to the same person. At least two poems celebrate a passing attachment to Anne, lady Hertford, who discouraged his attentions (Bapst, p. 371 sq.); but in any case his love-sonnets celebrate a platonic attachment, and imitate Petrarch's addresses to Laura. Surrey's married life was regular. The poetic ‘complaint’ by Surrey in which a lady laments the absence of her lover, ‘[he] being upon the sea,’ de-