Howard Family

Sola Virtus Invicta (Only Virtue Unconquered)

Chapter 7 : Highs & Lows

Once Queen Anne had been crowned, it might have seemed that the Howards were set fair for success, but Anne and her uncle disliked each other intensely. Apparently she spoke to him "no better than a dog". No doubt he had imagined that Anne would do her duty by her family, and be guided by him as its head. However, Anne had no interest in taking advice from Norfolk, or anyone else.

During this period, Norfolk continued to do everything the King asked of him, including trying to bully the Princess Mary into conforming to the Acts of Supremacy and Succession, saying that were his own daughter so disobedient, he would

"beat her head against the wall until it were as soft as a baked apple." ​

Nevertheless, it was pretty clear that Norfolk was not entirely comfortable with the religious changes wrought by the Act of Supremacy. He was into his sixties and had been brought up in a time when learning was considered best left to churchmen. The idea of reading the Gospels and forming opinions on them was anathema to him.

The marital problems of Norfolk and his Duchess rumbled on – she writing to Cromwell to beg him to put pressure on the Duke to reinstate her, after he banished her from his home in 1534, and he continuing to live with Bess Holland, who was given a place in Queen Anne's household.

In 1536, the Howards entered dangerous waters.In January, Queen Anne miscarried and, in part, blamed her uncle Norfolk for brutally telling her that Henry had been unhorsed at the tilt and was dangerously wounded.Henry, refusing to forgive Anne for miscarrying a son, was looking to cast her off. In this, he was being aided and abetted by Sir Nicholas Carew, husband of one of Norfolk's half-nieces, in his pursuit of yet another cousin, Jane Seymour.

In May, Anne was accused of adultery, one of her supposed lovers being Sir Henry Norris, widower of another of Norfolk's half-niece, Mary Fiennes.However, all was not lost: Norfolk did his duty in presiding over the trial of his niece, and delivering the sentence of execution.He showed some distress at handing down the sentence, but not enough to annoy the King, and was present at the execution, with his son-in-law, Richmond.

Later in the year, Lord Thomas Howard, son of the 2nd Duke by his second wife, Agnes Tilney, was sent to the Tower for secretly marrying Lady Margaret Douglas, the King's niece.The separated lovers continued to write poetry to each other, but Lady Margaret was persuaded that, as the marriage had not been consummated, it was not really a marriage at all, and should be disavowed.Lord Thomas, still pining for his love, died in the Tower in October 1537.