Henry Howard, 7th Duke of Norfolk
|The Duke of Norfolk|
|Noble family||House of Howard|
|Father||Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk|
|Born||11 January 1655|
|Died||2 April 1701|
Henry Howard, 7th Duke of Norfolk, KG PC Earl Marshal (11 January 1655 – 2 April 1701) was a politician and soldier. He was the son of Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk and Lady Anne Somerset, daughter of Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquess of Worcester and Elizabeth Dormer. He was summoned to the House of Lords in his own right as Baron Mowbray in 1678.
He married Mary Mordaunt, the only daughter and heiress of the 2nd Earl of Peterborough. They divorced in 1700 and he died without children. He was succeeded by his nephew, Thomas Howard, 8th Duke of Norfolk.
Like almost all the Howards he was a devout Roman Catholic; but during the anti-Catholic hysteria engendered by the Popish Plot he publicly conformed to the Church of England. There is little doubt that this was simply a device to save the family estates, and seems to have succeeded; although his father was charged with recusancy in 1680, the charge did not proceed. While the senior Howard line survived, their cousin William Howard, 1st Viscount Stafford, was executed for his supposed part in the Plot in December 1680. Henry as Baron Mowbray sat as one of the peers who tried him. It was a sign of some moral courage and independence, given the anti-Catholic feeling in the country, that he voted Not Guilty; this was more notable since according to John Evelyn of all Stafford's extended family in the House of Lords he was the only one to do so.
On 20 June 1685, he was appointed Colonel of the Suffolk Regiment, which at the time was called the Duke of Norfolk’s Regiment of Foot. He was created a Knight of the Garter in the same year. As a man "all-powerful in his Dukedom" he used his influence in the 1685 General Election to return members entirely loyal to the Crown. By 1688 however he was on bad terms with James II, openly disapproving of his aggressive policy of conversion. When asked to question his constituents on whether they favoured repeal of the Test Act, he replied bluntly that he knew that all those in favour of repeal would fit comfortably in one coach. When asked to replace the magistrates in his area with more compliant ones he simply refused and prudently went to France, but returned in time to welcome the Glorious Revolution.
The first HMS Norfolk was named after him.
He served as a Privy Councillor under William III and Mary II in 1689. At first, he refused to take the oath necessary to sit in the House of Lords since although he had publicly conformed to the Anglican rite, it was no secret that he remained a Roman Catholic at heart; but after a few months he subscribed to the oath.
His private surgeon was Thomas Greenhill.
- Kenyon, J.P. The Popish Plot Phoenix Press Reissue 2000 p. 35
- Kenyon p.35
- Kenyon p.232
- Evelyn Diary 7 December 1680
- Kenyon, J.P. The Stuart Constitution 2nd Edition Cambridge University Press p.447
- Kenyon, J.P. Robert Spencer, 2nd Earl of Sunderland 1641-1702 Longman Greens London 1958 p.173
- Kenyon Stuart Constitution p.464
- Dukes of Norfolk family tree
- "Howard, Henry (1655-1701)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- List of deserters from James II to William of Orange