John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk

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John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, KG, Earl Marshal (1421 – 22 August 1485) was an English nobleman, soldier, and the first Howard Duke of Norfolk. He was a close friend and loyal supporter of King Richard III of England[1] with whom he died in combat at the Battle of Bosworth.



John Howard was the son of Sir Robert Howard (1385–1436) and the former Lady Margaret de Mowbray (1388–1459), eldest daughter of Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk (of the first creation) (1366–1399) and Lady Elizabeth FitzAlan (1366–1425). His paternal grandparents were Sir John Howard of Wiggenhall, Norfolk and Alice Tendring. He was known as "Jack (or "Jock", hence "Jockey") of Norfolk", and he was described as being a "man of average height, with a strong, square face".[2] The Howards were staunch adherents of the House of York during the Wars of the Roses, and John Howard, backed by his powerful Mowbray relations, upheld the Yorkist cause in Norfolk. After demonstrating his military prowess on the field during the Battle of Towton, he won the admiration of Edward IV of England who made him Constable of Norwich Castle, Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk, and Treasurer of the Royal Household. He was summoned to Parliament as Lord Howard on 15 October 1470.[3] He was appointed Lord High Steward and walked in front of King Richard III of England, carrying the crown at his coronation. His eldest son, Thomas, Earl of Surrey carried the sword of state.

For his support of King Richard III during the deposition of King Edward V in 1483, he was created The Duke of Norfolk, third creation, on 28 June 1483.[3] The first creation of the Dukedom of Norfolk had become extinct on the death of the 4th Duke in 1476, and the second creation had been invalidated by the illegitimisation of the 1st Duke of York (one of the Princes in the Tower, who was also 1st Duke of Norfolk) on 25 June 1483. Norfolk was also created Earl Marshal, and Lord Admiral of all England, Ireland, and Aquitaine.

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