John de Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from John Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk)
Jump to: navigation, search
John de Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
Coat of Arms of Sir John Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, KG.png
Arms of Sir John Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, KG
Duke of Norfolk, Earl of Nottingham, Baron Mowbray, Baron Segrave
Reign 1432-1461
Predecessor John de Mowbray, 2nd Duke of Norfolk
Successor John de Mowbray, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Born (1415-09-12)12 September 1415
Died (1461-11-06)6 November 1461 (aged 46)
Burial Thetford Priory
Spouse Eleanor Bourgchier
Issue John de Mowbray, 4th Duke
House House of Mowbray
Father John de Mowbray, 2nd Duke
Mother Lady Katherine Neville

Sir John Mowbray, 3rd Duke of Norfolk KG Earl Marshal (12 September 1415—6 November 1461) was a fifteenth-century English magnate who, although only enjoying relatively short career, became an important player in the early years of the Wars of the Roses.

John Mowbray was born the only son and heir of John de Mowbray, 2nd Duke of Norfolk and his wife Katherine Neville. Born in 1415 while his father was campaigning in France, he inherited his father's titles upon the second duke's death in 1432. Still a minor at the time, Mowbray was placed under the protection of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, whom he later accompanied on an expedition to relieve the besieged English garrison at Calais. Shortly after, he reached his majority, and took part in several royal services to the English crown, already holding the hereditary office of Earl Marshal. In 1437–8 he served a year's term as warden of the east march, and in 1438 he was one of the leaders of an expedition to strengthen the defences of Calais and Guînes.

His youth was troublesome, and eventually required the involvement of the King. He was married to Eleanor Bourgchier in the early 1430s. Almost immediately he became involved in the partisan politics of East Anglia, where he became a bitter rival of other local lords, including the Earl and then Duke of Suffolk. He appears to have taken the law into his own hands on many occasions, and broken it as well. These events did not go unnoticed by the Crown; he was bound over for massive sums and imprisoned at least twice in the Tower of London. On the other hand, his tactics were also those of his enemies, particularly Suffolk, who was increasingly despised by the local gentry. They tended to look to Mowbray for defence against the duke, though he was often incapable of providing it, in part because not only was Suffolk a powerful local force, but was a favourite of the King and had his ear.

Amidst the breakdown of law and order in the eastern region at this time was a not unrelated increase in factional politics in central government. Revolts aimed at King Henry VI's unpopular councillors erupted, and Richard of York, the King's cousin with a claim to the throne, became increasingly belligerent at what he saw as his exclusion from government. York rebelled twice—in which Mowbray at times tended to defend the King—but Mowbray eventually drifted into York's camp (with whom he shared some enmities at court, notably the unpopular Suffolk who was murdered by a mob in 1450). Although Mowbray was able to evade direct involvement in the descent into civil war, he eventually threw in his lot with York. Along with York's Neville allies, Mowbray helped put the first Yorkist King on the throne as Edward IV. He probably turned the tide at the vicious and bloody Battle of Towton by his late arrival with reinforcements, and was almost immediately rewarded by the new regime.

Mowbray did not live long to enjoy the benefits of the outcome, however. In November 1461, seven months later, he died at the age of 46. His only son, John, eventually succeeded to the dukedom of Norfolk and remained a loyal Yorkist.

Background and youth[edit]

John Mowbray was the only son, heir and namesake of his father, the previous Duke of Norfolk (1392—1432) and his wife and Lady Katherine Neville (1400—1484).[1] His mother was a daughter of Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland, a powerful magnate in the north of England.[2] John Mowbray was born on 12 September 1415 whilst his father was absent in France campaigning with Henry V. Aged only seventeen at his father's death, and so still legally a minor, his estates were granted by Henry VI to the King's uncle Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester for a farm of 2000 marks[1] (approximately £1,667).[3][note 1] At the same time his wardship and the right to arrange his marriage had also been sold to Anne of Gloucester, Countess of Stafford for the even greater sum of £2,000. Two years after his father's death, by March 1434, Countess Anne had married Mowbray to her own daughter Eleanor Bourgchier.[1] As a young adult he appears to have been raucous and troublemaking, to such an extent that the King himself imposed a regimen upon him, restricting the company he kept and even dictating the time he went to bed and arose.[4]

Early career and royal service[edit]

On his father's death, John inherited the hereditary Mowbray office of Earl Marshal,[1] although not all of his inheritance. His father had been unable to ever completely control his own estates, which were encumbered by there being two Mowbray dowagers, who each held a third of the inheritance as their dower. So Rowena Archer has described him as inheriting a "hopeless legacy."[5] Almost immediately, Mowbray became involved in a feud with John, Lord Maltravers over the earldom of Arundel. Mowbray claimed the castle, honour and lordship of (and therefore the earldom itself), through his grandmother, while Maltravers claimed it through his great-grandfather. Mowbray presented a petition to parliament in July 1433, being allowed to attend in person even though still a minor. Maltravers was in France at the time on military service and had not been summoned. The case was found in his favour, but he was dead by 1433 and was thus never summoned to parliament as earl of Arundel.[6]

Mowbray's 1433 petition to parliament over the lordship of Arundel and the right to the earldom of Arundel.

Mowbray's minority was relatively short.[7] In August 1436 he accompanied the Duke of Gloucester on his military campaign to France, specifically to relieve Calais, which was under siege by the Duke of Burgundy. The expedition was a success, and Burgundy was forced to withdraw his army.[1][8] Soon after his return to England the same year, on 13 September, Mowbray received livery of his inheritance. This marked the beginning of a busy period devoted to royal service for Mowbray. In 1437, possibly as a result of Gloucester's continuing patronage[1] (as a result of their recent expedition together), he was appointed Warden of the Eastern March. His term was set at one year. Although clearly with little or no experience of the north of England,[9] he was paid about £5,000 in war wages, as the ongoing campaign against the Scots continued.[10] When his term of office expired in 1438, Mowbray again returned to Calais, this time leading an expedition to the strengthen that town's and Guînes' defences, due to a continued threat from the Duke of Burgundy. Although Mowbray soon returned to England, in 1439 he was back in Calais (specifically Oye),[1]this time leading, with Archbishop John Kemp, an embassy to a peace conference. They landed in June 1439.[11] Possibly due to the fact that he did not approve of royal foreign policy at this time (which was aimed at making peace with the French rather than war), this was to be Mowbray's last official expedition abroad.[1]

In the meantime, Mowbray was also facing problems at home. The bulk of estates lay in East Anglia, and his biggest rival for supremacy there, William, Duke of Suffolk, had become increasingly powerful, both at court and in the localities.[1] Until this time, Mowbray, was politically strong enough to control the parliamentary representation in his county,[12] but the increasing importance of Suffolk weakened his grasp. He began to clash repeatedly with Suffolk in the early 1430s, and appears to have broken the law several times in doing so. Offences included damaging the property and tenants of rivals, assaults, false allegations of outlawry and confiscation of goods, and even murder. When Suffolk became a royal favourite, Mowbray was imprisoned by him[1] on at least two occasions, in 1440 and in 1448.[13] On the first occasion in 1440 he was bound over for the then-massive amount of £10,000 to stay with the King and not return to East Anglia.[14] The cause of this seems to have been Mowbray's desire to seek revenge on certain of the Earl of Suffolk's affinity who had previously been in Norfolk's own retinue but whom had subsequently deserted him for Suffolk.[1] Likewise, although he was appointed to commissions of oyer and terminer in Norwich between 1440 and 1443 (the city had experienced serious disturbances) he received no other significant offices from the crown. A recent biographer of Mowbray's, historian Colin Richmond, has described this as John Mowbray's "eclipse." Richmond has also suggested that soon after his last bout of imprisonment, in 1449, Mowbray journeyed on a pilgrimage to Rome; certainly, a licence for him to do so had been granted in 1446.[1]

Crime and disorder in East Anglia[edit]

John Mowbray's father had been very much a Midlands magnate whose interests were concentrated around his Lincolnshire estates. Although the second duke undoubtedly became a significant player in East Anglian politics and society after 1425 when he received his father's dukedom of Norfolk and his mother's dower lands in the region, he was very much an absentee lord.[citation needed] Therefore, he never established a sizeable (or, for that matter, "particularly coherent") regional following there, and this is the situation his son (John, the second duke) later inherited. John Mowbray, third duke, though, had little choice in trying to build a powerbase in East Anglia, since his mother's dower occupied most of the Lincolnshire estates of his inheritance.[15] Although the King (unlike in Norfolk) held little land in Suffolk, Mowbray still had to share that county with others;[16] moreover, he was very much a newcomer to political society in the region.[17] By the time he attained his majority, the Duke of Suffolk—who possessed close links to central government and the ear of the King—had established power in the region[18] and as it turned out, would stymie Mowbray's attempts at regional domination for over a decade.[19] From the start, Mowbray had to compete. This rivalry degenerated into open confrontation, and was picked up on by their retainers, and even included one of Mowbray's retainers murdering one of Suffolk's[7] in 1435. As a result of Mowbray's intervention, those responsible were later pardoned.[7] Suffolk fought back with what one contemporary labelled "greet hevyng an shovyng,"[20] probably with some success, as a couple of years later, Mowbray was unable to extend the same successful good lordship or protection to some of his lesser retainers. Around this time another of Mowbray's retainers, Sir Robert Wingfield, himself involved in a bitter dispute with one Robert Lyston, "procured and exited the wurthi prince the Duke of Norffolk to putte oute ageyn the seid Robert Lyston" from the latter's Suffolk manors, as a Paston letter reported at the time. However, with de la Pole's support, Lyston had consistent success in court until eventually, in 1441, Wingfield was committed to the Tower. Mowbray had found himself able, in 1440, to persuade the Exchequer to cancel the fine imposed on Wingfield for non-attendance at court, but this was to be only a temporary success; ultimately, Mowbray's influence "proved woefully inadequate."[21]

Mowbray at this time had his own difficulties. Sometime between 1440 and 1441[22] he was ("remarkably," according to Castor)[14] he too found himself lodged in the Tower of London, regarding a dispute with John Heydon.[22] Heydon was a powerful figure in East Anglian political society, being close to the Duke of Suffolk and later a steward of the Duchy of Lancaster.[23] On 2 July 1440, Mowbray was bound over for the "enormous" sum of 10,000 marks and have to reside in the King's household. He also swore to do Heydon no further harm. Although still allied with Wingfield after their respective imprisonments, they were later to fall out badly over the manor of Hoo, Suffolk in 1443. Wingfield had received the manor from the second Duke of Norfolk; the third duke wanted it back.[22]

"...Suffolk was composed of a complex of interlocking magnate estates. The lands of the Mowbrays and de la Poles formed large territorial blocs... Political society in Suffolk... was thus much more clearly lord-centred than that of Norfolk. [24]

Helen Castor

In the early 1450s Mowbray swore to the King that he alone held the region against the King's enemies, being the "princypall rewle and governance throwh all this schir," one of the Paston letters reports. This was clearly, though, not the case, and Mowbray's own men were responsible for much of the local disorder the region experienced that decade.[1] This even included attacks upon, and the destruction of, Norfolk properties belonging to Alice Chaucer, Duchess of Suffolk.[25][note 2] In the years following Suffolk's fall, Richmond has said, Mowbray's affinity was "committing one outrage after another [and] the duke was either unable to control them, or chose not to do so."[1] Mowbray resorted to devious means to overcome his opponents. This included such illegalities as having them charged with outlawry in another county without them knowing, and then claiming their goods forfeit to himself.[27] Another occasion saw Mowbray force the gaoler of Bury St Edmunds to release a man charged with the murder of one Alice Lowell into Mowbray's own hands. According to the gaoler's later report, he had done so, but only out of "fear and terror" of the Duke of Norfolk.[28] Mowbray spent much of the early 1450s "bringing Suffolk's affinity to justice." This, notes Ralph Griffiths, was "widely approved" of, even though Mowbray used similar rough methods to do so as Suffolk had.[29] R. L. Storey, for example, said that Mowbray's "methods of argument were exceptional." When in 1443 the duke fell out with his retainer, Robert Wingfield, over the Hoo estate,

He brought a force of men, with cannon and other siege engines, battered Wingfield's house at Letheringham, forced an entry, ransacked the building and removed valuables amounting to nearly £5,000, according to his victim's evaluation.

— R. L. Storey, [30]

Wingfield (who by then had joined Suffolk's affinity),[31] meanwhile, offered a bounty of 500 marks to anyone who brought him the head of a Mowbray retainer. In November 1443 Mowbray was bound over for £2,000 to keep the peace towards Wingfield and instructed to appear before the royal council in April the following year. There it was ordered to be put under arbitration, with an award made the next month; Mowbray had to pay Wingfield 3,500 marks as compensation fro the damage caused to Letheringham and also to only receive Hoo as he wished after providing Wingfield with adequate recompense. It was presumably as part of these proceedings that Mowbray suffered his second bout of imprisonment in the Tower, which commenced on 28 August 1444, although it was to only last six days.[30]

This did not repair reations between Mowbray and his ex-retainer. In December 1447 and early 1448, Wingfield and another of Mowbray's ex-retainers, William Brandon,[note 3] waged a violent campaign against the duke's authority in Suffolk. This, the subsequent King’s Bench indictments report, included assaults, theft, and threatening behaviour. The main charge, however, was that on 6 December 1447, Wingfield had threatened Mowbray's chaplain. In response, Mowbray—as J.P. for Suffolk—ordered Wingfield to keep the King's Peace. The latter ignored the duke, who had him committed to Melton gaol. Three hours later Brandon broke Wingfield out of prison. Mowbray applied for, and received, letters patent ordering Brandon and Wingfield to not come within seven miles of the duke.[33] They, however, chose to reside at Letheringham (closer to Mowbray's seat at Framlingham than they were allowed) and carried on breaking into Mowbray's retainers' houses in the area; Mowbray requested a commission of oyer and terminer be organised to investigate Wingfield and Brandon; this was issued in late December.[34]

The murder of Henry Howard[edit]

On 18 June 1446 Mowbray oversaw the presentment of an Ipswich jury to look into the murder of his father's retainer, Henry Howard, the previous week. Howard's killers were closely associated with John, Baron Scrope of Masham, possibly his retainers,[note 4] although Scrope must have aided and abetted them.[36] Howard may have been vising his sister-in-law, Lady Margaret Mowbray, at the time.[36] However, by July, letters directly from the King ordered the cessation of proceedings against Scrope's men, partly, at least, because Scrope had petitioned King Henry that Mowbray's proceedings were "inaccurate and inherently malicious."[37] At least five of the thirteen jurors were within Mowbray's affinity.[38]and this may, in fact, have been the only occasion on which Mowbray personallly sat as a J.P.[39]

...after the dethe of Henri Howard the sessions of pees were at Gippeswiche the Saturday next after Trinity Sunday last passed there being oure right trusty and right welbeloved cousin the Duc of Norff... at the wyche tyme the said Duc as it is said seing that he might not doo endite the said lord Scrop nor noone of his maynee for the dethe of the said Howard...
The National Archives, KB 145/6/25.

Mowbray did not always get his own way. As Roger Virgoe put it, the duke "was not without rivals... of almost equal wealth and with more influence at court."[40] Indeed, Griffiths described his lack of political connections (specifically, his exclusion from the King's council) as being the primary cause of his weakness against Suffolk.[41] Mowbray was unsuccessful at both influencing special commissions to his advantage[42] or in getting his candidates returned to parliaments during shire elections,[1] and in the 1453 Suffolk election he officially disputed it on the grounds that the electors were not residents of the county.[43] His authority was further weakened after Suffolk was gone, as the Earl of Oxford, who held lands in Essex, now encroached into Suffolk and Norfolk.[1] Ironically, whilst Suffolk was alive, he had been both Mowbray's and Oxford's mutual opponent in the region; indeed, Oxford had been desirous of Mowbray's "good Lordship" in 1450,[29] and the following year they worked closely together in Suffolk investigating treasonous participations in Cade's rebellion.[44] In any case, the county of Norfolk already possessed a strong and relatively independent layer of wealthy gentry (for example, the Pastons, the Howards, and John Fastolf) who were also ever-keen to augment their positions at the expense of a lord.[1] Doubtless to Mowbray's chagrin, the removal of Suffolk had not given him a clear run in East Anglia. Even without the jockeying of the Earl of Oxford, Mowbray was quickly displaced (again) by Lord Scales, a retainer of Queen Margaret, who installed him in the region as the head of what remained of Suffolk's affinity.[45]

Later career and political crisis[edit]

By the 1450s English domestic politics was becoming increasingly partisan, fraught, and riven by faction, and this was accompanied by a rise in violence and disorder in the regions. The first major crisis of the decade was the attempted impeachment, exile and murder of the Duke of Suffolk in April 1450. This almost directly led to the rebellion of Jack Cade soon after. Cade's manifesto called for the King to reject favourites (as Suffolk had been) and recall members of the nobility to advise him as his "natural counsellors." Mowbray was one of those explicitly named as such by the rebels as being needed to reform the realm,[46] even though he was firmly in the King's camp. Indeed, he was part of a major royal army which approached Cade's positions in South London from Leicester.[47]

Although Mowbray might have been expected to gain greatly from the elimination of Suffolk as his closest rival in East Anglia, this does seem to have been to the extent that he would have wanted. In the next major crisis of the reign (the near-rebellion of Richard of York in Autumn 1450, who echoed some of the demands made by Cade)[note 5] saw Mowbray take York's side against the new royal favourite, Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset.[note 6] Mowbray, Richmond has commented, seems to have been as vehement an opponent of Somerset as York was himself.[1] Thus Mowbray gathered his forces at Ipswich on 8 November (where, for instance, John Paston was ordered to meet him "with as many clenly people as ye may get"), and may have travelled into London with York, who had also been recruiting in the area.[49] Along with other peers Mowbray had arrived in the city for the November parliament with a large retinue, all of whom contributed to the violence there.[50] Norfolk arrived two weeks late with a large and heavily armed affinity; ironically he was, with the Duke of York and Earl of Devon, made responsible for the upkeep of law and order in the City of London[51] On 1 December 1450, men from Mowbray's retinue, fighting alongside York's own, attacked Somerset's house in London's Blackfriars. Such was the violence that Somerset was lodged in the Tower of London in protective custody.[1] On 3 December the King and his magnates rode through London with up to 10,000 men; Mowbray personally rode ahead with a force of 3,000. This was a show of force designed to quell the remnants of any remaining taste for opposition by Cade's rebels, who by now had been mostly defeated and rounded up.[52]

Mowbray's alliance with York was intermittent. When the duke rebelled again in 1452 and ended up confronting the King and a royal army at Dartford, Mowbray was in the King's camp, for which services to the crown he received £200 and a gold cup.[1] It is equally possible that the end of their alliance was the Duke of York's doing, as Mowbray's by-now oppressive behaviour in East Anglia could have been an embarrassment to York, who was at this time presenting himself as a force of law and order in the land.[53] Mowbray's campaign there against Somerset continued unabated. In 1453, with the King incapacitated and York now protector, it appears to have been Mowbray who personally presented charges against Somerset in parliament. These mostly focussed on Somerset's perceived failings to prevent the loss of English territories in France in the previous few years. As a result, Somerset's was imprisoned in the Tower for the for the next year.[54] In April 1454, Mowbray was asked to join the York's regency council. Although he swore goodwill to York's government, he claimed to be unable to take up the position on the grounds of ill-health.[1]

In early 1455 the King recovered his health, the protectorate came to an end, and Somerset was swiftly released from the Tower. As a result, suggests Ralph Griffiths, Mowbray may have ("quite rightly") feared for his own safety at the end of York's protectorate.[55]

The Wars of the Roses[edit]

Following the collapse of the 1454-5 protectorate, the Yorkist lords[note 7] had retired to their northern and Welsh Marcher estates, and Mowbray appears to have deliberately effaced himself from factional politics. When civil war finally erupted in May 1455, with York and his allies ambushing the King at the first Battle of St Albans, Mowbray managed to avoid becoming involved in the fighting.[57] As Earl Marshal, in fact, his heralds were utilised to conduct negotiations between the two camps.[58] It is likely that he either deliberately arrived after the fighting had ended (in what admittedly was a short and sharp encounter), or, even, was in the town's environs whilst the battle was in progress.[1] Notwithstanding his absence from the field, contemporaries seem to have viewed him as generally sympathetic to York,[57] an attitude he maintained for much of the remainder of the decade. Not only did he not attend the Duke of York's victory parliament after St Albans, but he may have gone on further pilgrimages: certainly, he walked to Walsingham in 1456. It is likely, too, that he travelled further afield for the same purpose over the next two years, although whether his destination was Amiens, Rome or even Jerusalem (all of which have been among the suggestions) is unknown.[1]

The Tower of London; both Mowbray and his archenemy Suffolk were imprisoned here at different stages of their careers.

Mowbray was also not associated with the renewed outbreak of war in September–October 1459, when the Yorkist Earl of Salisbury beat off a royal ambush at the Battle of Blore Heath, but was then, along with York and their supporters driven into exile by the King's army. After the Yorkists had left the country, a parliament was called for Coventry at which the Yorkists were attainted. Mowbray did attend this parliament, and with the attendant peers, took an oath of loyalty to keep Henry VI on his throne on 11 December 1459.[1] He was also active on various royal commissions throughout these last months of Lancastrian rule.[59]

Yet by early March 1461, Mowbray, along with a small group of Yorkist loyalists, chose the son of the by-then dead Richard of York, Edward, Duke of York to replace Henry VI on the throne. The precise cause for his sea change in the duke's loyalty is unknown. Colin Richmond posits that a number of factors were probably influential, including the Lancastrian defeat at Northampton (where, he says, Mowbray may have lost friends and colleagues). It is also possible that King Henry's capture encouraged him to throw in his part firmly with York's son.[1] Christine Carpenter, on the other hand, puts it down almost solely to Mowbray's failure to improve his position in Norfolk[59] The duke fought for the Yorkists at the Second Battle of St Albans, which they lost.[60] Within a month York and Lancaster met in what was one is seen as one of the longest and bloodiest battles ever fought on British soil, at the Battle of Towton, on 29 March 1461. Although he was not part of the main Yorkist army, he seems to have arrived with reinforcements at a much later, although crucial point. This enabled him to make a decisive flank attack on the Lancastrians, both reinvigorating the Yorkist army with his arrival and crushing Lancastrian morale with his surprise attack. His late arrival eventually gave the victory to York.[61]

As Earl Marshals, previous Dukes of Norfolk had played an important role (in fact they officiated) at coronations. Mowbray was no different, and on 28 June 1461, he oversaw the coronation of King Edward IV at Westminster Abbey. By July he had received a number of lucrative offices.[1] His comital county, though, remained restless, with rampaging mobs during the first parliamentary elections of the new reign. It is not unlikely that Norfolk was encouraging this; he is certainly a candidate for ordering the murder of the country coroner, one Thomas Denys, in the August following Edward's coronation.[59] And although Mowbray was a confirmed supporter of the new Yorkist regime, he still met with strong opposition from the East Anglian gentry in the first year of the reign, even though he was backed by Sir John Howard[40][note 8] (by now one of Mowbray's senior retainers and described as Mowbray's "right well-beloved cousin and servant")[12] the Sheriff, and (at least in theory) the King.[40]


The ruins of Thetford Priory, Norfolk, in 2006 where the John Mowbray was buried. ruins

Mowbray was not to enjoy the fruits of the Yorkist victory for long. On 2 November 1461, his retainer John Howard was arrested by the new Yorkist regime.[64] Not quite 46 years old, Mowbray himself died four days later died on 6 November 1461and was buried at Thetford Priory. He was succeeded by his only son, John.[1] His mother, Katherine Duchess of Norfolk, also survived him, living until 1484 and taking two more husbands in Mowbray's own lifetime and another after his death.[65][26][note 9]

Marriage and issue[edit]

He married Eleanor Bourgchier, daughter of William Bourgchier, Count of Eu and Anne of Gloucester, Countess of Buckingham. She was the sister of his successor as Justice in Eyre, Henry Bourgchier. A contemporary story suggests that there was a close bond between them: whilst travelling in May 1451, so it was said, Mowbray temporarily dispensed with his retinue to enjoy (as Colin Richmond describes it) "a private tryst" with his wife.[1] They had one child, also a John, who in 1448 Mowbray married to Elizabeth, daughter of John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury.[1] Young John was seventeen when his father died in 1461, and had to wait another four years to inherit.[66]

Character and legacy[edit]

Ralph Griffiths has suggested that when Archbishop John Kemp died in 1453, it may have at least in part been due to the bullying and threats he had recently been subjected too: "notably by Norfolk himself."[67] Indeed, one modern historian has placed much of Suffolk's success in the region, which antagonised Mowbray so much, as being down to Mowbray's own "crass incompetence" in being "ineffectual" at assisting those members of the political community who would expect to rely on a lord of his stature's protection.[59] J. R. Lander called Mowbray "a disreputable thug,"[68] while Richmond concludes that Mowbray was "cavalier with the rights of others to a safe life and a secure livelihood." Fundamentally, says Richmond, whilst "many medieval aristocrats were irresponsible men... Mowbray's individuality lay in the thoroughness of his irresponsibility."[1] On a more positive note, says Michael Hicks, the quality of honour was clearly very important to Mowbray, as his pursuit of Somerset (for that duke's abject performance in France) shows. Likewise, as Earl Marshal, he must have possessed a good understanding of chivalry and its application, as it was fundamental to the office.[69]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A medieval English mark was a unit of accounting equivalent to two-thirds of a pound.[3]
  2. ^ Granddaughter of the poet, she had married William de la Pole sometime between 1430 and 1432 as her third and last husband.[26]
  3. ^ At some point before 1461, Brandon married Wingfield's daughter Elizabeth.[32]
  4. ^ John Scrope, 4th Baron Scrope of Masham was the brother of Henry, Lord Scrope, who had been executed by King Henry V for his treasonable role in the Southampton Plot.[35]
  5. ^ York had felt himself increasingly isolated from court, even though he was the King's closest blood relation, and was, at the time, the royal heir. However, Suffolk's fall merely led to the rise of Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset as the new royal favourite, further eclipsing the duke. York resorted to arms.[48]
  6. ^ In 1443, Somerset had been promoted from earl to duke, and with it, received not only an annuity but precedence over Mowbray in the peerage. In fact, although Mowbray (according to Michael Hicks) "prided himself on being royal himself," two other royal dukes were also created in the 1440s, apart from Suffolk.
  7. ^ York had become allied with the Neville family, which consisted primarily of Mowbray's uncle, Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, and his son, the premier earl in the land, Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick. The alliance had begun sometime in the early 1450s, and had been cemented during the protectorate, when York had appointed Salisbury his Lord Chancellor.[56]
  8. ^ The Howard family at this time has been described by one modern historian as "one of the wealthiest and most prestigious gentry lines in England," and Sir Robert Howard (John Howard's father) had married Mowbray's aunt, Margaret some years before.[62] Robert himself had long been a member of Mowbray's father's household.[63]
  9. ^ In fact, she outlived all her Mowbray descendants, and this meant that no Mowbray duke of Norfolk ever received his full inheritance, due to her lengthy tenure of her dower.[17]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Richmond 2004.
  2. ^ Hicks 1998, p. 13.
  3. ^ a b Davis 2011, p. 17.
  4. ^ Harriss 2005, p. 115.
  5. ^ Archer 1984, p. 29.
  6. ^ Given-Wilson et al. 2005.
  7. ^ a b c Castor 2000, p. 108.
  8. ^ Vaughan 2014, pp. 80-83.
  9. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 404.
  10. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 162.
  11. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 448.
  12. ^ a b Crawford 2010, p. 14.
  13. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 587.
  14. ^ a b Castor 2000, p. 110.
  15. ^ Castor 2000, p. 105, 108.
  16. ^ Castor 2000, p. 56.
  17. ^ a b Castor 2000, p. 105.
  18. ^ Castor 2000, p. 114.
  19. ^ Harriss 2005, p. 203.
  20. ^ Castor 2000, p. 109.
  21. ^ Castor 2000, pp. 108-9.
  22. ^ a b c Storey 1999, p. 226.
  23. ^ Richmond 2005, p. 203.
  24. ^ Castor 2004, p. 56.
  25. ^ Castor 2004, p. 93.
  26. ^ a b Archer 2004.
  27. ^ Maddern 1992, p. 38.
  28. ^ Maddern 1992, p. 157.
  29. ^ a b Griffiths 1981, p. 591.
  30. ^ a b Storey 1999, p. 227.
  31. ^ Hicks 2012, p. 96.
  32. ^ Gunn 1988, p. 47.
  33. ^ Castor 2000, pp. 114-15.
  34. ^ Castor 2000, p. 117.
  35. ^ Pugh 1988, p. 119.
  36. ^ a b Ross 2011, p. 80.
  37. ^ Ross 2011, p. 83.
  38. ^ Ross 2011, p. 84.
  39. ^ Ross 2011, p. 86.
  40. ^ a b c Virgoe 1997, p. 58.
  41. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 586.
  42. ^ Castor 2000, p. 111.
  43. ^ Pollard 2011, p. 10.
  44. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 649.
  45. ^ Harriss 2005, p. 626.
  46. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 638.
  47. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 611.
  48. ^ Watts 2004.
  49. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 690.
  50. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 565.
  51. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 647.
  52. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 648.
  53. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 592.
  54. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 721.
  55. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 723.
  56. ^ Pollard 1990, pp. 257-8.
  57. ^ a b Griffiths 1981, p. 798.
  58. ^ Hicks 2012, p. 110.
  59. ^ a b c d Carpenter 1997, p. 158.
  60. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 872.
  61. ^ Castor 2004, p. 143.
  62. ^ Ross 2011, pp. 75-6.
  63. ^ Castor 2000, p. 107.
  64. ^ Castor 2004, pp. 151–2.
  65. ^ Jacob 1993, p. 464.
  66. ^ Castor 2004, p. 152.
  67. ^ Griffiths 1981, p. 724.
  68. ^ Lander 1980, p. 2.
  69. ^ Hicks 2012, p. 88.


Political offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Norfolk
Earl Marshal
Succeeded by
The Duke of Norfolk
Legal offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Arundel
Justice in Eyre
south of the Trent

Succeeded by
The Earl of Essex
Peerage of England
Preceded by
John Mowbray
Duke of Norfolk
1st creation
Succeeded by
John Mowbray
Earl of Norfolk
3rd creation
Earl of Nottingham
2nd creation
Baron Mowbray
Baron Segrave