Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel
|The Earl of Arundel|
Lord Arundel aged 18, by George Gower
|Noble family||House of Howard|
|Father||Thomas, Duke of Norfolk|
|Mother||Lady Mary FitzAlan|
|Born||28 June 1557|
|Died||19 October 1595
Tower Hill, London, England
Saint Philip Howard, 1st Earl of Arundel (28 June 1557 – 19 October 1595) was an English nobleman. He was canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970, as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He is variously numbered as 1st, 20th or 13th Earl of Arundel.
Born in the Strand, London, he was the only child of Thomas, Duke of Norfolk and Lady Mary FitzAlan, daughter of Henry, Earl of Arundel. He was baptised at Whitehall Palace with the Royal Family in attendance, and was named after his godfather, Philip II, King of Spain. Philip Howard was born during the upheaval of the Reformation. His home from the age of seven was a former Carthusian monastery. At the age of fourteen he was married to his stepsister, Anne Dacre. He graduated from St John's College, Cambridge in 1574 and was about eighteen when he attended Queen Elizabeth I's Court. His life had been a frivolous one, both at Cambridge and at Court where he was a favourite of the Queen.
Philip Howard's father, the Duke of Norfolk, was arrested on 1 October 1569 for his intrigues against Queen Elizabeth. The Duke was attainted and executed in 1572, but Philip Howard succeeded to his mother's inheritance upon the death of his grandfather, becoming Earl of Arundel in 1580. He was present at a debate held in 1581 in the Tower of London, between Father Edmund Campion, a Jesuit, Father Ralph Sherwin and a group of Protestant theologians. He was so impressed by the Catholics that he experienced a spiritual conversion. He renounced his previous, frivolous life and was reconciled with his wife.
Arundel, with much of his family, remained Catholic recusants during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. They also attempted to leave England without permission. While some might have been able to do this unobserved, Arundel was a second cousin (once removed) of the Queen. He was betrayed by a servant and arrested not long after his ship set sail from Littlehampton. Howard was committed to the Tower of London on 25 April 1585. While charges of high treason were never proven, he spent ten years in the Tower, until his death of dysentery. Queen Elizabeth never signed the death warrant, but Howard was never told this. He was kept constantly in fear of execution, although comforted by the companionship of a dog, which served as a go-between by which Howard and other prisoners, most notably the priest Robert Southwell, could send messages to each other. Although these two men never met, Howard’s dog helped them to deepen their friendship and exchange encouragement in each other's plight. Philip Howard loved his pet, who is remembered along with him in a statue at Arundel Cathedral.
One day Howard scratched into a wall of his cell these words: "Quanto plus afflictiones pro Christo in hoc saeculo, tanto plus gloriae cum Christo in futuro" – 'the more affliction [we endure] for Christ in this world, the more glory [we shall obtain] with Christ in the next' (cf. Rom 8).
He petitioned the Queen as he lay dying to allow him to see his wife and his son, who had been born after his imprisonment. The Queen responded that "If he will but once attend the Protestant Service, he shall not only see his wife and children, but be restored to his honors and estates with every mark of my royal favor." To this, Howard is supposed to have replied: "Tell Her Majesty if my religion be the cause for which I suffer, sorry I am that I have but one life to lose." He remained in the Tower, never seeing his wife or daughter again, and died alone on Sunday 19 October 1595. He was immediately acclaimed as a Catholic Martyr.
Howard was buried without ceremony beneath the floor of the church of St Peter ad Vincula, inside the walls of the Tower. Twenty-nine years later, his widow and son obtained permission from King James I of England to move the body to the Fitzalan Chapel located on the western grounds of Arundel Castle. Some of his bones are also found within his shrine at Arundel Cathedral.
Howard was attainted in 1589 for his mother's title, but his son Thomas eventually was restored in blood and succeeded as Earl of Arundel, and to the lesser titles of his grandfather.
Saint Philip Howard is one of the patron saints of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. Arundel Cathedral, originally known as the Church of St. Philip Neri, was commissioned by the 15th Duke of Norfolk in 1868. It was created a Cathedral in 1965 and its dedication was changed to Our Lady and St. Philip Howard in October 1970. His tomb was moved to the Cathedral in 1971 and remains a site of pilgrimage.
|Ancestors of Philip Howard, 20th Earl of Arundel|
- Pollen, John Hungerford. "Ven. Philip Howard." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 4 Apr. 2013
- Pastoral message of Bishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, 21 October 1995
- "St Philip Howard", Diocese of Arundel and Brighton
- Homily of Cardinal Basil Hume, OSB, Arundel Cathedral, 25 October, 1995
- Malcolm Brennan, Martyrs of the English Reformation
- Sigrid Undset, Stages on the Road, copyright 1934.
- History Orb
- Britannica Encyclopedia
- Jonathan Dewald, The European nobility, 1400 – 1800, Cambridge University Press 1996, p. 181.
|Peerage of England|
|Earl of Arundel