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Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk

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Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk

Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk (March 10, 15361572) and 1st Earl of Southampton, was entrusted by Queen Elizabeth I of England with public office despite his family history and his prior support for the Catholic cause, although he claimed to be a protestant and had been taught as a child by John Foxe, the Protestant martyrologist, who remained a lifelong recipient of Howard's patronage.

The queen imprisoned Howard in 1569 for scheming to marry Mary, Queen of Scots. Following his release, he participated in the Ridolfi plot with King Philip II of Spain to put Mary on the English throne and restore Catholicism in England and was executed for treason. Some doubt the strength of the evidence for his participation in the Ridolfi plot.

Norfolk was the son of the poet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and grandson of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk.

Norfolk's lands and titles were forfeited, although much of the estate was restored to his sons. The title of Duke of Norfolk was eventually restored 4 generations later, by his great-great-grandson, Thomas Howard.

A very fictionalized version of the 4th Duke of Norfolk appears as a villain in the film Elizabeth, played by Christopher Eccleston.


Preceded by:
The Duke of Norfolk
Earl Marshal
1554–1572
Succeeded by:
The Earl of Shrewsbury

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