Portrait of Thomas Howard (1473-1554), 3rd Duke of Norfolk (1524-1547; 1553-1554), Earl Marshal (1533-1547; 1553-54), Lord High Treasurer (1522-1546), Lieutenant-General of the army (1543), 1538
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (1473 – 25 August 1554) was a prominent Tudor politician. He was an uncle of two of the wives of King Henry VIII of England, namely Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, both of whom were beheaded, and played a major role in the machinations effecting these royal marriages. After falling from favour in 1546, he was stripped of the dukedom and imprisoned in the Tower of London, avoiding execution when King Henry VIII died on 28 January 1547. Thomas was the eldest son of Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk (1443–1524) by his first wife, Elizabeth Tilney. He was descended in the female line from Thomas of Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk, the sixth son of King Edward I of England. In 1485, both his father and his grandfather, John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, had fought for the Yorkist king, Richard III of England, at the Battle of Bosworth, in which his grandfather was killed, thus bringing the Tudor king, Henry VII of England, to the throne. On 1 February 1514, Howard's father, then Earl of Surrey, was created Duke of Norfolk, and by letters patent issued on the same day, Thomas Howard was created Earl of Surrey for life. Over the next few years, he served King Henry VIII in a variety of ways. In September 1514, he escorted the King's sister, Princess Mary Tudor, to France for her forthcoming marriage to King Louis XII of France. In 1517, he quelled a May Day riot in London with the use of soldiers.
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