The Tudor Society

12 December – London sympathises with the Earl of Surrey

On this day in Tudor history, 12th December 1546, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, was led through the streets of London from Ely Place, where he had been held since his arrest on 2nd December, to the Tower of London.

It was meant to be a humiliating walk for the earl, but it seems that the citizens of London were actually sympathetic to his plight, and didn't boo him.

Find out what happened on this day, and also what happened to his father, who had also been arrested, in today's talk.

You can find out more about the earl's arrest in my video from 2nd December:

and his execution in my talk from 19th January

Also on this day in history:

  • 1574 – Birth of Anne of Denmark, Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland as consort of James I, at Skanderborg Castle, Jutland, Denmark. Anne was the second daughter of Frederick II, King of Denmark and Norway, and his wife, Sophia. She married James I, when he was James VI of Scotland, by proxy on 20th August 1589, and in a proper church ceremony on 23rd November 1589. The couple's children included the future Charles I and Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia. Anne died on 2nd March 1619 of consumption and dropsy, and was buried in Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster Abbey.
  • 1595 – Death of Sir Roger Williams, Protestant Welsh soldier and author, from a fever with his patron, Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, at his side. He was buried at St Paul's Cathedral. Williams served as a soldier in the Low Countries and France, and was second in command to Essex of the cavalry gathered at Tilbury in 1588. He wrote the 1590 “A Briefe Discourse of Warre”.

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  1. R

    Henry Howard was a very sympathetic figure, generous, friendly, he had friends down the pub and was one of the lads. He was a bit of a lovable rogue, he was in trouble a lot, but he was an experienced soldier and courtier, popular and for a time a favourite of the King. However, he made enemies of the Seymour family because he fancied Anne Seymour and wrote a saucy verse about her. His fallout with Tom Seymour became physical on one occasion and they were determined to bring him down. His own sister, Mary claimed he had suggested she sleep with the King rather than marry the said Tom Seymour, whom her father espoused her to with Henry Viii’s approval. However, this may have been just to provide evidence against him of his ambition, because she was persuaded to do this. His only crime was to be one of the last Catholic representatives of a noble family who had made and broken Kings. He was accused of putting the arms of his house in the first quarter of his shield and coats of arms, which was the right of the King alone. However, Surrey had put his leopards with collars in the second quarter as he had a right as a descendant of Edward I, II and Iii. He was also a representative of the old guard, who should stand in to govern for a young Prince, something the Seymours wanted themselves, as Edward was their nephew. They also had Edward iii as an ancestor but the Howards were senior nobles. Henry H resented them as new men and they felt the same. Robert Southall provided the vital information which caused Surrey to be arrested and allied himself with the new faction around Prince Edward. Henry Viii was ill, dying and totally paranoid. He didn’t need much persuasion to accept this nonsense.

    He was, however, hard to find anything against and the Court were reluctant to find him guilty. However, Henry needed him found so and he was. He was a popular man and he found sympathy from the people.

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12 December – London sympathises with the Earl of Surrey