Fact of the day: 13th January

On this day in 1547 Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey was sentenced to death by Henry VIII.

Howard was an English aristocrat and first cousin to Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife. He was first seen at court during the courtship and marriage of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn. From then he accompanied the King, Queen Anne, and the Duke of Richmond to France, where he stayed for more than a year as a member of the entourage of Francis I of France. In 1536 Surrey also served with his father against the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion protesting the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

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By 1547, Henry VIII was consumed with paranoia and his increasing illness, so much that he became convinced that Surrey had planned to usurp the crow from Henry’s son with Jane Seymour, Edward. The King had Surrey and his father imprisoned and sentenced to death. Howard was beheaded for treason on 19th January 1547. His son Thomas became heir to the Dukedom of Norfolk.

Henry Howard is buried in a painted alabaster tomb in the church of St Michael the Archangel, Framlingham.

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