Duke of Norfolk

Dukedom of Norfolk

Quarterly: 1st Gules on a Bend between six Cross-crosslets fitchy Argent an Escutcheon Or charged with a Demi-lion rampant pierced through the mouth by an arrow within a Double Tressure flory counterflory of the first (Howard); 2nd Gules three Lions passant gardant in pale Or, Armed and Langued Azure, in chief a Label of three points Argent (Thomas of Brotherton); 3rd Checky Or and Azure (Warenne); 4th Gules a Lion rampant Or, Armed and Langued Azure (Fitzalan).
Creation date 1397
Monarch Richard II
Peerage Peerage of England
First holder Thomas de Mowbray
Present holder Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke
Heir apparent Henry Fitzalan-Howard, Earl of Arundel
Remainder to the 1st Duke's heirs male of the body lawfully begotten
Subsidiary titles
Seat(s) Arundel Castle
Carlton Towers
Former seat(s) Framlingham Castle
Bungay Castle
Clun Castle

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 Catholic, a state of affairs known as recusancy in England.

All past and present dukes have been descended from Edward I; see Dukes of Norfolk family tree. The son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, was Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey; the Earl was descended from both King Edward I and King Edward III.


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, granddaughter of King Edward I, Margaret, and then to her grandson Thomas Mowbray.

When King Richard II created Thomas Mowbray duke in 1397, he conferred upon him the estates and titles (including Earl Marshal) that had belonged to the earls. His elderly grandmother Margaret was still alive, and so at the same time she was created Duchess of Norfolk for life. Mowbray died in exile in 1399, some months after his grandmother, and his dukedom was repealed. His widow took the title Countess of Norfolk.[1]

Between 1401 and 1476, the Mowbray family held the title and estates of the Duke of Norfolk. John Mowbray, the 4th duke, died without male issue in 1476, his only surviving child being the 3-year-old Anne Mowbray. At the age of 3, a marriage was arranged between Anne and Richard, Duke of York, the four-year-old son of King Edward IV of England. She remained Richard's child bride until she died at the age of 8.

In accordance with the marriage arrangements, Richard inherited the lands and wealth of the Mowbray family. He was also made Duke of Norfolk. However, upon the death of Edward IV, the throne was usurped by Edward's brother, Richard III. Prince Richard and his elder brother (briefly King Edward V) were declared illegitimate and confined to the Tower of London in mid-1483. They subsequently disappeared, and the titles of both York and Norfolk were forfeited to the crown.

This left John Howard, the son of Thomas Mowbray's elder daughter Margaret, as heir to the duchy, and his support for Richard III's usurpation secured his creation as 1st Duke of Norfolk in 1483, in the title's third creation. From this point to the present, the title has remained in the hands of the descendants of John Howard.

The Catholic faith of the Howard dynasty often resulted in conflict with the reigning monarch, particularly during and after the reign of Henry VIII. In 1546, Thomas Howard, the third Duke, fell out of favour with the dying Henry and was attainted on 27 January 1547; he was stripped of his titles and his lands reverted to the Crown. Imprisoned in the Tower of London, he narrowly escaped execution through Henry's death the following day, but remained imprisoned until the death of Edward VI and the accession of the Catholic Queen Mary to the English throne in 1553, upon which his lands and titles were restored to him. However, the Duke died the following year aged around 81, and was succeeded by his grandson Thomas as the fourth Duke of Norfolk. Following Mary's death and the accession of her sister Elizabeth I, the Duke was imprisoned for scheming to marry Elizabeth's cousin Mary, Queen of Scots. After his release under house arrest in 1570 and subsequent participation in the Ridolfi plot to enthrone Mary and Catholicism in England, he was executed for treason and his lands and titles again became forfeit.

In 1660, the fourth Duke's great-great-grandson, the 23rd Earl of Arundel, was restored to the family lands and dukedom. Mentally infirm, the fifth Duke never married and died in 1677. He was succeeded by his younger brother Henry as the 6th Duke, through whom the 7th Duke, 8th Duke and 9th Duke of Norfolk were descended in the male-line. At the death of the 9th Duke, the title was inherited by his heir male, Charles Howard, a grandson of Charles Howard of Greystoke, a younger brother of the 5th and 6th Dukes. He was succeeded by his son, Charles, whose lack of a legitimate male heir resulted in the title passing to Bernard Howard, a great-grandson of Bernard Howard of Glossop, the youngest brother of the 5th and 6th Dukes. The title then passed to his son, Henry Howard, 13th Duke of Norfolk, who was the father of Henry Fitzalan-Howard, 14th Duke of Norfolk, and Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Glossop. The title passed through the line of the elder brother until the death in 1975 of Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk without male issue. Consequently, he was succeeded by his second cousin once removed, Miles Stapleton-Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk, who was a great-grandson of the aforementioned 1st Baron Howard of Glossop.

The current Duke of Norfolk is Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk, who succeeded his father, Miles Stapleton-Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk, in 2002.

Duties and other titles

In addition to the title of Duke of Norfolk, the Dukes of Norfolk also hold the hereditary position of Earl Marshal, which has the duty of organizing state occasions such as the state opening of Parliament. For the last five centuries, save some periods when it was under attainder, both the Dukedom and the Earl-Marshalship have been in the hands of the Howard family. According to The House of Lords Act 1999, due to his duties as Earl Marshal, Norfolk is one of only two hereditary peers automatically admitted to the House of Lords, without being elected by the general body of hereditary peers (the other being the Lord Great Chamberlain).

Additionally, the Duke of Norfolk participates in the ceremony of the State Opening of Parliament. He is among the four individuals who precede the monarch, and one of the two of these who would traditionally walk always facing the sovereign (thus backwards), but this has not been practiced in recent years.

As the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk is head of the College of Arms, through which he regulates all matters connected with armorial bearings and standards, in addition to controlling the arrangements for state functions.

He is one of three claimants to the title of Chief Butler of England.

The Duke of Norfolk currently holds the following subsidiary titles:

All titles are in the Peerage of England, save for the Barony of Howard of Glossop which is in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. All descend to heirs male except the Barony of Beaumont, which can pass in the female line. The style Earl of Arundel is used as a courtesy title by the Duke's eldest son, the present one of which is Henry Fitzalan-Howard, Earl of Arundel. The style Lord Maltravers is used as a courtesy title by the eldest son of the Duke's eldest son (the Duke's grandson).

Arms of the Duke of Norfolk

The heraldic achievement
of the Dukes of Norfolk
(since 1660)
Shield See left
Crest and mantle See left
Supporters See left
Motto Sola virtus invicta ("Virtue alone is unconquered")

The heraldic achievement of the Howard Dukes of Norfolk consists of four different elements: the arms (or shield), the crests, the supporters, the motto, and the batons of the Earl Marshal.

Howard Augmentation

Often, the coat of arms of the Duke of Norfolk appears with the Garter circlet of the Order of the Garter surrounding the shield, as seen in the arms of Miles Stapleton-Fitzalan-Howard, 17th Duke of Norfolk. However, this is not hereditary; the 17th Duke did not become a Knight of the Garter until 22 April 1983. The 18th Duke of Norfolk, Edward William Fitzalan-Howard, as of 2016 had not been awarded the Order of the Garter. No order of knighthood is necessarily a component of the coat of arms of the Duke of Norfolk.

The shield on the bend in the first quarter of the arms (shown to the right) was granted as an Augmentation of Honour by Henry VIII to Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Flodden. It is a modification of the Royal coat of arms of Scotland. Instead of its normal rampant position, the lion is shown cut in half with an arrow through its mouth, commemorating the death of King James IV at the battle.[2]


The main residences commonly associated with the Dukes of Norfolk are: Framlingham Castle, Bungay Castle, as well as Clun Castle in Shropshire, which are now largely ruins; Worksop Manor, Carlton Towers, Norfolk House in London, and most notably Arundel Castle.

18th Duke of Norfolk, then the Earl of Arundel, at Carlton Towers, 1981

Framlingham Castle was originally a part of the properties of the Earls of Norfolk, but when the title fell from use, the castle was administered by the crown. In 1397, it was given to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, by King Richard II. And when the Mowbray line became extinct, it passed eventually to the Howard family. Major repairs to this castle were carried out in 1485 by John Howard. The castle would remain in the Howard family, and thus the Dukes of Norfolk, for a while, but would eventually pass from their possession. In 1553, for example, Framlingham was given to Mary Tudor, sister of King Edward VI.[3]

Bungay Castle was also originally a part of the properties of the Earls of Norfolk. In 1483, it passed into the possession of the Howards, Dukes of Norfolk, and the family continued to own it, apart from brief periods, until the late 20th century. However, the castle has been in a state of decay for quite some time. And for this reason, the 17th Duke of Norfolk, in 1987 presented the castle to the town, which had already begun restoration attempts on its own, with an endowment towards its preservation. It is now owned and administered by the Castle Trust.[4]

Carlton Towers is in Carlton, North Yorkshire. It is a Victorian gothic country house remodelled by Edward Welby Pugin for the 8th Baron Beaumont. It is the Yorkshire home of the Duke of Norfolk. Though the Duke of Norfolk's family still live in part of the house, it is now largely used for wedding receptions and similar events.

Arundel Castle has been the principal seat of the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors for more than 850 years. Built in the 11th century by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel, the castle was seized by the crown in 1102. King Henry II, who added on to the castle, in 1155 confirmed William d'Aubigny as Earl of Arundel, with the honour and the castle of Arundel. Arundel Castle is still to this day the home of The Duke and Duchess of Norfolk and their children. The Fitzalan Chapel, founded in 1390 by the 4th Earl of Arundel, is located on the western grounds outside the castle, and has been the burial place of the most recent Dukes of Norfolk.[5]

Glossop Hall as an occasional residence is situated in the High Peak District of Derbyshire. As the family became closely connected with Sheffield, the Farm in Glossop became increasingly used, particularly when Henry Howard lived there in the 1760s; when the 14th Duke enlarged The Farm as an occasional residence; and during the time of the 15th Duke, Henry Granville Fitzalan-Howard, who had interest in the activities of the city. The Glossop estate was sold by the family in 1925.

List of titleholders

Duchess (Royal) of Norfolk (1397)

Created by Richard II of England (for life)
Name Period Spouse Notes Other titles
(c. 1320 – 1398)
1397–1398 widowed Granddaughter of King Edward I Countess of Norfolk

Dukes of Norfolk (1397)

Created by Richard II of England
# Name Period Spouse Notes Other titles
1 Thomas de Mowbray
1397–1399 Lady Elizabeth FitzAlan Grandson of Margaret, Duchess of Norfolk; exiled by Henry IV and stripped of the dukedom Earl of Norfolk
Earl of Nottingham
Baron Mowbray
Baron Segrave
2 John de Mowbray
1425–1432 Lady Katherine Neville Son of the preceding; restored to the dukedom
3 John de Mowbray
1432–1461 Lady Eleanor Bourchier Son of the preceding and an important figure in the Wars of the Roses
4 John de Mowbray
1461–1476 Lady Elizabeth Talbot Son of the preceding; died without heirs male

Dukes (Royal) of Norfolk (1481)

Created by Edward IV of England
# Name Period Spouse Notes Other titles
1 Prince Richard of Shrewsbury
1481–1483 Anne de Mowbray, 8th Countess of Norfolk Son of King Edward IV and son-in-law of the 4th Duke of Norfolk Duke of York
Earl of Norfolk
Earl of Nottingham

Dukes of Norfolk (1483)

Created by Richard III of England
# Name Period Spouse Notes Other titles
1 John Howard
(c. 1425 – 1485)
1483–1485 widowed Grandson of Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, died at the Battle of Bosworth Field, forfeiting the dukedom Baron Mowbray
2 Thomas Howard
1514–1524 Elizabeth Tilney
Agnes Tilney
Son of the preceding, restored to the dukedom. Great grandfather of Queen Elizabeth I Earl of Surrey
Baron Mowbray
3 Thomas Howard
1524–1554 Lady Elizabeth Stafford Son of the preceding and uncle of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, forfeited the dukedom having incurred Henry VIII's disfavour and restored by Mary I
4 Thomas Howard
1554–1572 Lady Mary FitzAlan
Margaret Audley
Elizabeth Leyburne
Grandson of the preceding, executed for treason against Elizabeth I, forfeiting the dukedom
5 Thomas Howard
1660–1677 unmarried Great-great-grandson of the preceding, restored to the dukedom Earl of Arundel
Earl of Surrey
Earl of Norfolk
Baron Mowbray
Baron Maltravers
Baron Furnivall
6 Henry Howard
1677–1684 Jane Bickerton Brother of the preceding Earl of Arundel
Earl of Surrey
Earl of Norfolk
Earl of Norwich
Baron Mowbray
Baron Maltravers
Baron Furnivall
Baron Howard of Castle Rising
7 Henry Howard
1684–1701 Mary Mordaunt, 7th Baroness Mordaunt Son of the preceding

Baron Mowbray by writ of acceleration on 14 Jan. 1678
8 Thomas Howard
1701–1732 Maria Shireburn Nephew of the preceding
9 Edward Howard
1732–1777 Mary Blount Brother of the preceding
10 Charles Howard
1777–1786 Catherine Brockholes Second cousin of the precedingEarl of Arundel
Earl of Surrey
Earl of Norfolk
Baron Maltravers
11 Charles Howard
1786–1815 Frances Scudamore Son of the preceding
12 Bernard Edward Howard
1815–1842 divorced Third cousin of the preceding
13 Henry Charles Howard
1842–1856 Charlotte Leveson-Gower Son of the preceding
14 Henry Granville Fitzalan-Howard
1856–1860 Augusta Lyons Son of the preceding
15 Henry Fitzalan-Howard
1860–1917 Lady Flora Abney-Hastings
Gwendolen Constable-Maxwell, 12th Lady Herries of Terregles
Son of the preceding
16 Bernard Marmaduke Fitzalan-Howard
1917–1975 Lavinia Strutt Son of the preceding Earl of Arundel
Earl of Surrey
Earl of Norfolk
Baron Maltravers
Lord Herries of Terregles
17 Miles Francis Stapleton Fitzalan-Howard
1975-2002 Anne Constable-Maxwell Second cousin once removed of the precedingEarl of Arundel
Earl of Surrey
Earl of Norfolk
Baron Maltravers
Baron Beaumont
Baron Howard of Glossop
18 Edward William Fitzalan-Howard
(b. 1956)
since 2002 Georgina Gore Son of the preceding

The heir apparent is the Duke's eldest son, Henry Miles Fitzalan-Howard, styled Earl of Arundel (b. 1987).

Line of succession


In 1660, the 23rd Earl of Arundel was restored to the Dukedom of Norfolk with remainder to:

  1. the heirs male of his body. (he never married)
  2. the heirs male of his father Henry Howard, the 22nd Earl. (the present line; through the fifth Duke's brother the Hon. Bernard)
  3. the heirs male of his grandfather the 21st Earl. (extinct in 1762)
  4. the heirs male of his great-grandfather the 20th Earl, eldest son of the fourth Duke. (he had none apart from the 21st Earl)
  5. the heirs male in the line of descent from the Earl of Suffolk, younger half-brother of the 20th Earl. (currently extant)
  6. the heirs male descended from Lord William Howard, younger half-brother of the 20th Earl: (both lines currently extant)
    1. the heirs male in the senior line of descent from Lord William Howard through his elder son Sir Philip Howard, grandfather of the first Earl of Carlisle.
    2. the heirs male in the junior line of descent from Lord William Howard through his second son Francis, ancestor of the Howards of Corby Castle, Cumberland, England

In the event all the currently extant lines of descent from the fourth Duke fail in the male line, the Dukedom of Norfolk and its subsidiary titles will become extinct; though there exists a currently extant branch of the Howard dynasty, the Earls of Effingham, in descent from the second Duke, their line was unaccountably omitted from the 1660 remainder. The Barony of Beaumont, however, will either fall into abeyance or descend through the female line, as its remainder provides for that eventuality.

Knights of the Garter

12th Duke of Norfolk shown wearing the star and sash of the Order of the Garter

Many of the Dukes of Norfolk have also been knights of the Order of the Garter. The following list is of those Dukes of Norfolk, along with their year of investiture, who were also Knights of the Order of the Garter across all creations of the title.

Family tree

See also


  1. C. Given-Wilson, ‘Mowbray, Thomas (I), first duke of Norfolk (1366–1399)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  2. Brooke-Little, J.P., FSA (1978) [1950]. Boutell's Heraldry (Revised ed.). London: Frederick Warne LTD. p. 125. ISBN 0-7232-2096-4.
  3. http://www.castles-abbeys.co.uk/Framlingham-Castle.html
  4. "Bungay Suffolk Town Guide". Bungay-suffolk.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  5. "Arundel Castle". Arundel Castle. Retrieved 2010-11-16.

Further reading

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