The Earl of Suffolk
|Lord High Treasurer|
11 July 1614 –July 1618
|Preceded by||The Lord Ellesmere|
|Succeeded by||George Abbot,Archbishop of Canterbury|
|Lord Chamberlain of the Household|
c. 1603 –c. 1614
|Preceded by||The Lord Hunsdon|
|Succeeded by||The Earl of Somerset|
|Born||24 August 1561|
|Died||28 May 1626 64)(aged|
|Resting place||St Mary the Virgin,Saffron Walden,Essex,England|
|Children|| Theophilus Howard,2nd Earl of Suffolk |
Sir William Howard
Thomas Howard,1st Earl of Berkshire
Sir Charles Howard
Edward Howard,1st Baron Howard of Escrick
Thomas Howard,1st Earl of Suffolk, –28 May 1626) of Audley End House in the parish of Saffron Walden in Essex,and of Suffolk House near Westminster,a member of the House of Howard,was the second son of Thomas Howard,4th Duke of Norfolk by his second wife Margaret Audley,the daughter and eventual sole heiress of Thomas Audley,1st Baron Audley of Walden,of Audley End.(24 August 1561
After the death of his mother on 10 January 1564,the infant Thomas inherited the manor of Saffron Walden and other Audley properties. While imprisoned in the Tower before his execution in 1572,his father urged him to marry his stepsister Mary Dacre,the daughter of Thomas Dacre,4th Baron Dacre and Elizabeth Leybourne,the Duke's third wife. He did so;but Mary died,childless,in April 1578 at Walden.
In or before 1582,Howard remarried,his second wife being Katherine Knyvet,widow of Richard,son of Robert Rich,2nd Baron Rich. A noted beauty,she was also the eldest daughter and heiress of her father,Sir Henry Knyvet of Charlton.She survived her husband,dying in 1633.
In December 1584,he was restored in blood as Lord Thomas Howard.Lord Thomas commanded the Golden Lion in the attack on the Spanish Armada. On 25 July 1588,the Golden Lion was one of the three ships that counter-attacked the Spanish galleasses protecting the Saint Anne. He was knighted the next day aboard Ark Royal by his kinsman,Admiral Lord Howard of Effingham.
In 1591,he was sent with a squadron to the Azores which was to waylay the Spanish treasure fleets from America. However,one fleet reached Spain before his arrival,and the second would not arrive in the islands until September. Forced by the long delay to land his sick and repair his ships,he was barely able to re-ballast and get to sea off Flores in time when his scouts reported an arriving fleet. To his horror,this proved to be,not the treasure fleet,but a powerful Spanish force dispatched from Ferrol to destroy his squadron. All of Howard's fleet escaped,by the barest of margins,except Revenge,commanded by the squadron's vice-admiral,Sir Richard Grenville. Revenge,some distance from the remainder of the fleet,attempted to break through the Castilian Squadron and was forced to surrender after a long fight,in which Revenge was virtually destroyed and Grenville mortally wounded.
In 1596,Howard served as vice-admiral of the expedition against Cadiz,which defeated a Spanish fleet and captured the town. Favoured by Queen Elizabeth,he was installed as a Knight of the Garter in April 1597,and in June sailed with the unsuccessful expedition to the Azores,which he had partly funded.
He was seriously ill in the autumn of 1597,and was created Baron Howard de Walden by writ of summons. While he recovered from his illness,he was unable to attend Parliament until January 1598. On 2 February 1598,he was admitted an honorary member of Gray's Inn. In 1599,he commanded the fleet in The Downs;in that same year,he became an admiral.He was appointed Constable of the Tower of London on 13 February 1601 after the revolt of the Earl of Essex,and was one of the commission who tried Essex and Southampton. Still active in privateering ventures,he never obtained significant profit from them. At this time,he was also sworn High Steward of Cambridge University,and would hold the post until 1614. (He received an MA from Cambridge in 1605. )
A friend of Sir Robert Cecil,he became acting Lord Chamberlain at the close of 1602,and entertained the Queen at the Charterhouse,towards the end of her life in January 1603. Under James I,Howard immediately entered the King's favour,being appointed Lord Chamberlain on 6 April 1603 and a Privy Counsellor on 7 April. Later that year,on 21 July 1603,he was created Earl of Suffolk. He was also appointed a commissioner for creating Knights of the Bath,and from 1604 to 1618 a commissioner for the Earl Marshalcy. He was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk in 1605,having several years earlier been made Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire.
Suffolk accepted a gift from the Spanish ambassador negotiating the peace treaty of 1604,but his countess proved a more valuable informant and Catholic sympathiser. Avaricious,she accepted an annual pension of £1000 from the Spanish. While Suffolk was less pro-Spanish and pro-Catholic than his wife,she was felt to dominate her husband in matters of politics,a circumstance which would later bring him to grief.
By 1605,Cecil,now Earl of Salisbury,Suffolk,the Earl of Northampton,and the Earl of Worcester were James's principal privy counsellors. Suffolk and Salisbury were both privy to the communications made by Lord Monteagle revealing the existence of the Gunpowder Plot,and Suffolk examined the cellar,spotting the brushwood concealing the gunpowder. Later that evening,the Keeper of the Palace,Sir Thomas Knyvet (Suffolk's brother-in-law) made further search,revealing the gunpowder,and the plot collapsed. Suffolk was one of those commissioned to investigate and try the plotters.
Numbered by James as one of his "trinity of knaves" (with Salisbury and Northampton),he was nonetheless thought loyal and reliable to the King. By 1607,work was completed on Charlton Park,a house which is still home to his descendants. In December 1608,Salisbury's eldest son and heir,William married Suffolk's third daughter,Catharine. Salisbury,who died in 1612,praised Suffolk's friendship in his will;and upon his death,Suffolk was appointed one of the Lords of the Treasury. Though he disliked Sir Robert Carr,the royal favourite,Suffolk supported his daughter Frances' desire to divorce her husband,the Earl of Essex to marry him. She did so in December 1613,shortly after his creation as Earl of Somerset.
On 8 July 1614,Suffolk was appointed Chancellor of the University of Cambridge,replacing his kinsman Northampton,and on 11 July 1614 was made Lord High Treasurer. His new son-in-law,Somerset,replaced him as Lord Chamberlain,and Suffolk and his family now dominated the court.
In 1615,however,Suffolk's fall began. James had become deeply infatuated with Sir George Villiers,and Suffolk's daughter Frances,now Countess of Somerset,was implicated in the poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury. Suffolk was accused by James of complicity with Somerset in trying to suppress the investigation of the crime,but successfully weathered the storm. However,Suffolk then made the mistake of attempting to undermine the rising power of Villiers by grooming another handsome young man to succeed him in James's favour. Completely unsuccessful,this only provoked a counterattack by Villiers,now (1618) Marquess of Buckingham,upon Suffolk's conduct as Lord High Treasurer.
Suffolk's finances were always in a perilous state. His early privateering and naval ventures nearly bankrupted him,despite some financial help from Queen Elizabeth. Under James,the situation was somewhat eased by his preferment at court,which gave him board and lodging and valuable emoluments,and the regrant of some of the sequestered estates of his father. Some of this he invested in land in East Anglia,and he further benefited from a series of customs farms and bequests from relatives. He had been forced to sell his London residence,the Charterhouse,in 1611,but this was replaced in 1614 when he inherited the Earl of Northampton's house at Charing Cross. Suffolk added to his own troubles with extravagant building programmes. Audley End House,built from 1603 to 1616,was the largest private house in England. He also added an expensive new wing to Charing Cross,and his wife built Charlton Park on the Knyvett estates she had inherited. Suffolk's children were also well provided for. He spent considerable sums to keep up their profile at court,and provided generous marriage portions to improve their matches. While this strategy was successful,it generated crushing debts for him,owing £40,000 in bonds and mortgages by 1618. His appointment as Lord High Treasurer in 1614 provided the opportunity to ameliorate his financial position through selling patronage and through deals with customs farmers,although it did not completely relieve his debts. It was also to prove the instrument of his downfall.
Through the agency of Buckingham,James was made aware of Suffolk's misconduct in the Treasury,particularly allegations that Lady Suffolk harassed creditors of the crown,and extorted bribes from them before they could obtain payment. Suffolk was suspended from the Treasurership in July 1618. Early in 1619,his wife suffered an attack of smallpox which destroyed her famous beauty,and Suffolk himself pleaded ill health in an attempt to avoid trial. These efforts failed:in October 1619,he,his wife,and their crony Sir John Bingley,Remembrancer of the Exchequer were prosecuted on a variety of counts of corruption in the Court of Star Chamber. Sir Francis Bacon,the prosecutor,compared Lady Suffolk to an exchange woman keeping shop while her apprentice,Bingley,cried "What d'ye lack?" outside.On 13 November 1619,they were found guilty on all counts. A fine of £30,000 was imposed,and they were sentenced to imprisonment at the King's pleasure.
After ten days,Suffolk and his wife were released and appealed to Buckingham to intercede for them. Although Suffolk further irritated James by legal manoeuvres to avoid seizure of his property,Buckingham was willing to be magnanimous to his rival now that his power had been destroyed. Buckingham obtained for Suffolk an audience with the King,and the fine was subsequently remitted except for £7,000. In 1623,Suffolk's youngest son Edward married Buckingham's niece,Mary Boteler. While Suffolk never again rose to high office,he was active in the Lords and served twice as a commissioner of ecclesiastical causes. He died at Charing Cross on 28 May 1626 and was buried on 4 June at Saffron Walden.
Robert Carr,1st Earl of Somerset,was a politician,and favourite of King James VI and I.
Thomas Audley,1st Baron Audley of Walden KG,PC,KS,was an English barrister and judge who served as Lord Chancellor of England from 1533 to 1544.
Earl of Suffolk is a title which has been created four times in the Peerage of England. The first creation,in tandem with the creation of the title of Earl of Norfolk,came before 1069 in favour of Ralph the Staller;but the title was forfeited by his heir,Ralph de Guader,in 1074. The second creation came in 1337 in favour of Robert de Ufford;the title became extinct on the death of his son,the second Earl,in 1382. The third creation came in 1385 in favour of Michael de la Pole. The fourth creation was in 1603 for Lord Thomas Howard,the second son of Thomas Howard,4th Duke of Norfolk,by his second wife Margaret Audley,the daughter and eventual sole heiress of Thomas Audley,1st Baron Audley of Walden,of Audley End in the parish of Saffron Walden in Essex. Howard was a prominent naval commander and politician and served as Earl Marshal,as Lord Chamberlain of the Household and as Lord High Treasurer. In 1597 he was summoned to Parliament as Baron Howard de Walden,and in 1603 he was further honoured,at the start of the reign of King James I,when he was created Earl of Suffolk. His second son the Hon. Thomas Howard was created Earl of Berkshire in 1626.
Baron Howard de Walden is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created by writ of summons in 1597 by Queen Elizabeth I for Admiral Lord Thomas Howard,a younger son of Thomas Howard,4th Duke of Norfolk,by his second wife,the Honourable Margaret Audley,daughter of Thomas Audley,1st Baron Audley of Walden.
James Howard,3rd Earl of Suffolk,,and 3rd Baron Howard de Walden (1619–1688),eldest son of Theophilus Howard,2nd Earl of Suffolk. Howard was honoured with the Knights of the Bath (K.B.) in 1626 and was a joint-commissioner of the parliament to Charles I the same year. He supported the Royalist cause in the English Civil War,and was a courtier after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660. He was lord-lieutenant of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and gentleman of the bedchamber,1660–1682.
Henry Howard,1st Earl of Northampton KG was an important English aristocrat and courtier. He was suspect as a crypto-Catholic throughout his life,and went through periods of royal disfavour,in which his reputation suffered greatly. He was distinguished for learning,artistic culture and his public charities. He built Northumberland House in London and superintended the construction of the fine house of Audley End. He founded and planned several hospitals. Francis Bacon included three of his sayings in his Apophthegms,and chose him as "the learnedest councillor in the kingdom to present to the king his Advancement of Learning." After his death,it was discovered that he had been involved in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury.
Theophilus Howard,2nd Earl of Suffolk,was an English nobleman and politician.
Frances Carr,Countess of Somerset,born Frances Howard,was an English noblewoman who was the central figure in a famous scandal and murder during the reign of King James I. She was found guilty but spared execution,and was eventually pardoned by the King and released from the Tower of London in early 1622.
Lord William Howard was an English nobleman and antiquary,sometimes known as "Belted or Bauld (bold) Will".
Thomas Howard,1st Earl of Berkshire was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1605 and 1622. He was created Earl of Berkshire in 1626.
Katherine Knyvett,Countess of Suffolk (1564–1638) was an English court office holder who served as lady-in-waiting to the queen consort of England,Anne of Denmark.
James Ley,1st Earl of Marlborough was an English judge and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1597 and 1622. He was Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench in Ireland and then in England,and was Lord High Treasurer from 1624 to 1628. On 31 December 1624,James I created him Baron Ley,of Ley in the County of Devon,and on 5 February 1626,Charles I created him Earl of Marlborough. Both titles became extinct upon the death of the 4th Earl of Marlborough in 1679.
Margaret Howard,Duchess of Norfolk was the sole surviving child of Thomas Audley,1st Baron Audley of Walden,and Lady Elizabeth Grey,herself the daughter of Thomas Grey,2nd Marquess of Dorset,and his wife Margaret Wotton.
Sir George Villiers was an English knight and country gentleman. He was a High Sheriff of Leicestershire for the year 1591,and later was briefly a Knight of the Shire,a Member of Parliament representing the county of Leicestershire.
Henry Howard,10th Earl of Suffolk,of Audley End,Essex,styled Lord Walden from 1731 to 1733 was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1727 until 1733 when he succeeded to the peerage.
Thomas Grey,2nd Marquess of Dorset was an English peer,courtier,soldier,and landowner of the House of Grey.
Walden Abbey was a Benedictine monastery in Saffron Walden,Essex,England founded by Geoffrey de Mandeville,1st Earl of Essex between 1136 and 1143. Originally a priory,it was elevated to the status of an abbey in 1190.
John Boteler,1st Baron Boteler of Brantfield,was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1625 to 1626. The Butlers of Hertfordshire claimed descent from Ralph le Boteler,butler to Robert de Beaumont,Count of Meulan and Earl of Leicester in the time of Henry I,and by the 15th century they had been seated at Watton for some time.
Sir Henry Knyvet (1537–1598) of Charlton Park,Wiltshire,was an English Member of Parliament.
Elizabeth Howard,courtier to Anne of Denmark.