(1st D. Norfolk)
Born: ABT 1420
Died: 22 Aug 1485, Bosworth Field (in battle)
Notes: Knight of the Garter.
Father: Robert HOWARD of Stoke Neyland (Sir)
Mother: Margaret MOWBRAY
Married 1: Catherine de MOLEYNS (b. BEF 1425 - d. 3 Nov 1465, Stoke Neyland) (dau. of Sir William Moleyns of Stoke Pogis and Anne Whalesborough) ABT 1442
1. Thomas HOWARD (2º D. Norfolk)
2. Anne HOWARD
3. Isabel HOWARD
4. Jane HOWARD
5. Margaret HOWARD
6. Elizabeth HOWARD
7. Nicholas HOWARD
Married 2: Margaret CHEDWORTH (d. 1494 - bur. Stoke Neyland) (dau. of Sir John Chedworth and Margaret Bowett) Feb 1466/7
8. Catherine HOWARD
Born around 1420, John Howard was the son and heir of Sir Robert Howard and Margaret, daughter of Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. Through his mother and her female line, he was descended from Edward I, thus making him the premier Duke and heir to the title of Earl Marshall. Nothing is known of his childhood.
His first recorded service was in 1451, when he followed Lord L’Isle to Guienne. He was also present at the Battle of Chatillon in Jul two years later. It was at this time that he entered the service of John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk.
On the first accession of Edward IV, Howard was knighted and appointed Constable of Colchester Castle, Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk. He was also one of the King’s Carvers.
Howard took an active part in John Mowbray’s quarrel with John Paston. In Aug 1461, he was involved in a violent brawl with Paston and used his influence with Edward IV against Paston. In Nov of the same year, Howard was imprisoned after giving offence at the election of Paston, causing many complaints against him.
The following year, he was appointed Constable of Norwich Castle and received grants of several manors forfeited by the Earl of Wiltshire. He was joined by William Neville, Baron Fauconberg and Lord Clinton to "keep the seas", taking Croquet and the Isle of Rhe. Later in the year, he was sent to help the Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick at Warkworth.
In the Spring of 1464, Howard helped Norfolk secure Wales for Edward IV. He bought the reversion of Bamburgh Castle in Jun of the same year and was with Edward IV and his court at Reading by the year’s end.
Howard was appointed Vice Admiral for Norfolk and Suffolk in 1466, and was charged with conveying envoys from England to France and the Duke of Burgundy. He remained in Calais from 15 May to 27 Sep.
He was elected Knight of the Shire for Suffolk in Apr 1467, having been elected Knight of the Shire for Norfolk in 1455. Nov 1467 saw him as an appointed Envoy to France as well as Treasurer to the Household, a post which he held until 1474. The following Jun (1468) he attended Margaret of York to Flanders for her marriage to Charles, Duke of Burgundy.
On the restoration of Henry VI, he was created Baron de Howard (15 Oct 1470). However, when Edward IV landed back in England in Mar 1471, after living in exile in Bruges, Howard proclaimed Edward to be King.
The following Jun, he was appointed Deputy Governor of Calais. When Edward IV invaded France in Jul 1474, he was accompanied by John Howard, who was one of the commissioners who made a truce at Amiens. Howard received a pension from Louis XI and remained in France, briefly, as a hostage after Edward’s departure. On Howard’s return to England, he was granted manors in Suffolk and Oxfordshire forfeited by John de Vere, Earl of Oxford.
John Howard was also sent by Edward to treat with France on several occasions – Jul 1477, Mar 1478, and Jan 1479. Also, in 1479, he was put in charge of the fleet which was sent to Scotland.
In Aug 1485, he summoned his retainers to Bury St. Edmunds and commanded the vanguard at the Battle of Bosworth, where he was killed. Howard was attainted at Henry VII’s first Parliament. Warned in the following distich: "Jockey of Norfolk be not too bold,/ For Dickon thy master is bought and sold". He was buried in the conventual church at Thetford, Norfolk.
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