Duke of Norfolk

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The Duke of Norfolk is the premier duke in the peerage of England, and also, as Earl of Arundel, the premier earl. The Duke of Norfolk is, moreover, the Earl Marshal and hereditary Marshal of England. The seat of the Duke of Norfolk is Arundel Castle in Sussex, although the title refers to the county of Norfolk. The current Duke of Norfolk is Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk. The dukes have historically been Roman Catholic, a state of affairs known as recusancy in England. Despite this apparent handicap however, for Protestant England to have its highest-ranking peer remain a Roman Catholic carried certain undeniable diplomatic benefits that may have protected the dukes from further religious persecution after the reign of Elizabeth I.

All past and present dukes have been descended from Edward I; see Dukes of Norfolk family tree.



Before the Dukes of Norfolk, there were the Bigod Earls of Norfolk, starting with Roger Bigod from Normandy (died 1107). Their male line ended with Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk, who died without an heir in 1307, so their titles and estates reverted to the crown. Edward II then created his brother Thomas of Brotherton earl in 1312. It passed to Thomas's daughter Margaret, and then to her grandson Thomas Mowbray.

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