was the son of Henry Howard, earl of Surrey [q.v.], by Frances Vere, daughter of John, earl of Oxford. After the execution of his father in 1547, he was removed by order of the privy council from his mother, and was committed to the charge of his aunt, Mary Fitzroy, duchess of Richmond [q.v.], probably with a view to his education in protestant principles. His tutor was John Foxe [q.v.], afterwards known as the martyrologist, who lived with him and his brother and sisters at the castle of Reigate. It may be doubted if Foxe impressed much of his theology on his pupil's mind, but he certainly inspired him with a feeling of respect which he never lost, and he long regretted his separation from his tutor, when in 1553 the accession of Queen Mary released from prison his grandfather, the Duke of Norfolk, who dismissed Foxe from his office, and placed his grandson under the care of Bishop White of Lincoln. By his grandfather's restoration as Duke of Norfolk on 3 Aug. 1553, Howard received his father's title of Earl of Surrey, and in September was made knight of the Bath. He assisted at Mary's coronation, and on the arrival in England of Philip, was made his first gentleman of the chamber. On his grandfather's death on 25 Aug. 1554, he succeeded as Duke of Norfolk, and became earl marshal.
In 1556 Norfolk married Lady Mary Fitzalan, daughter and heiress of Henry Fitzalan, twelfth earl of Arundel [q.v.] She died in childbed on 25 Aug. 1557, at the age of sixteen, leaving a son Philip, who succeeded in right of his mother as Earl of Arundel [q.v.] Norfolk did not long remain a widower, and in 1558 married another heiress, Margaret, daughter of Thomas, lord Audley of Walden.
Norfolk was too young to take any part in affairs during Mary's reign, but he was in favour at court, and King Philip was godfather to his son. On Elizabeth's accession it was a matter of importance to attach definitely to her side a man of Norfolk's position. In April 1559 he was made knight of the Garter. Elizabeth styled him 'her cousin,' on the ground of the relationship between the Howards and the Boleyns, and chose him to take a leading part in the first great undertaking of her reign, the expulsion of the French troops from Scotland. At first Norfolk refused the offer of the post of lieutenant-general in the north, and probably expressed the views of the nobility in holding that the queen would better secure herself against France by marrying the Archduke Charles of Austria than by interfering in Scottish affairs. But his scruples were overcome, and in November 1559 he set out to Newcastle. His duty was to provide for the defence of Berwick, to open up communications with the lords of the congregation, and cautiously aid them in their measures against the queen regent. By his side were placed men of experience, Sir Ralph Sadler and Sir James Croft, while the frequent communications which passed between him and the privy council show that not much was left to his discretion. On 27 Feb. 1560 he signed an agreement at Berwick with the representatives of James Hamilton, earl of Arran and duke of Châtelherault (1517?-1576) [q.v.], as 'second person of the realm of Scotland,' and soon after the siege of Leith was begun. Norfolk did not take any part in the military operations, but remained behind at the head of the reserve, and organised supplies. When the time came for diplomacy Cecil was despatched for the purpose, and the treaty of Edinburgh released Norfolk in August from duties which he half-heartedly performed.
His public employment, however, served its purpose of turning him into a courtier. He lived principally in London, and in December 1561 was made a member of Gray's Inn. Soon after he was sworn of the privy council. In August 1564 he attended the queen on her visit to Cambridge, and received the degree of M.A. He was moved by the sight of the unfinished buildings of Magdalene College, which his father-in-law, Lord Audley, had founded, to give a considerable sum of money towards their completion (Cooper, Annals of Cambridge, ii. 204). But Norfolk was not satisfied with dancing attendance on the queen, and his pride was hurt at the favours bestowed upon the Earl of Leicester, whom he regarded as a presumptuous upstart. He resented Leicester's pretensions to Elizabeth's hand, and in March 1565 they had an unseemly quarrel in the queen's presence [see under Dudley, Robert, Earl of Leicester]. The queen ordered them to make peace. A reconciliation was patched up, and in January 1566 the two rivals were chosen by the French king, as the foremost of the English nobles, to receive the order of knights of St. Michael.
Norfolk's domestic life meanwhile was a rapid series of changes. In December 1563 he again became a widower. Early in 1567 he married for his third wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Francis Leybourne, of Cunswick Hall, Cumberland, and widow of Thomas, lord Dacre of Gilsland. She died in September 1567, leaving a son and three daughters by her first husband. Norfolk obtained a grant of wardship of these minors, and determined to absorb the great estates of the Dacres into his own family by intermarriages between his children and his step-children. The young