Famous English family, founded by William Howard, a lawyer in the county of Norfolk who was summoned to Parliament in 1295. The head of the Howard family, the duke of Norfolk, is the premier duke and hereditary earl marshal of England. The earls of Suffolk, Carlisle, and Effingham and Lord Howard of Glossop and Lord Stafford represent the family in its younger lines. Thomas Howard, 3rd duke of Norfolk, held high offices under Henry VIII, who married two of Howard's nieces, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard. The 4th duke of Norfolk was executed for intrigues against Elizabeth I, but Charles, 2nd Lord Howard of Effingham (1536–1624), was lord high admiral under Elizabeth and commanded the fleet that defeated the Spanish Armada. The family's Roman Catholicism kept it from prominence during certain periods.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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