(1st E. Arundel)
Born: 28 Jun 1555/7, Arundel House, London, Middlesex, England
Christened: 2 Jul 1557, Whitehall, Westminster, Middlesex, England
Died: 19 Nov 1595, Tower of London, London, Middlesex, England
Buried: 19 Nov 1595, Tower Hill Chapel, London, Middlesex, England
Father: Thomas HOWARD (4° D. Norfolk)
Mother: Mary FITZALAN (D. Norfolk)
Married: Anne DACRE (C. Arundel) 1571
1. Elizabeth HOWARD
2. Thomas HOWARD (2º E. Arundel)
Phillip Howard, Earl of Arundel
by Federico Zuccaro
Born at Arundel House, London, 28 Jun 1557, was the grandson of Henry, Earl of Surrey, the poet, executed by Henry VIII in 1547, and eldest son of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, by Mary Fitzalan, daughter and heiress of Henry Fitzalan, 18° Earl of Arundel. Baptised by Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of York in the Chapel of Whitehall Palace, had Felipe II of Spain as one of his godfathers.
Although Phillip was baptized as a Catholic, he was raised as a Protestant. His father, who had conformed to the State religion, educated him partly under John Foxe, the Protestant martyrologist and his half-brothers Thomas and William were afterwards sent to St. John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1574; and was about eighteen when he attended Queen Elizabeth's court. His father having married as his third wife Elizabeth, widow of Thomas Dacre, Lord Dacre of Gillesland, matched her three daughters who were heiresses, to his three sons. For years he was an indifferent Christian, neglectful of his faith. Phillip married Anne Dacre when he was fourteen.
Anne, Phillip's wife, who survived to 1630, was a woman of remarkable generosity and courage, and became after her conversion the patroness of Father Southwell and of many priests, and eventually founded the novitiate of the Jesuits at Ghent.
Although Queen Elizabeth had executed his father, she made Phillip one of her favorites. The son was dazzingly handsome, high-born, witty, and a good dancer quick-witted and articulate, became a wastrel at Elizabeth's court, involved in many love affairs, refusing to set eyes on his young wife who waited patiently at Arundel House. Phillip succeeded, 24 Feb 1580, jure matris, to the Earldom of Arundel, and this may be considered the highest point of his worldly fortunes. He frequented the Court, entertained the Queen, and was restored in blood, 1581, though not to his father's dukedom.
He neglected his wife and God, but the turning point came in 1581. Towards the close of the year he was present at a disputation in the Tower of London between a group of Catholic prisoners, Fr. Edmund Campion, Jesuit, Fr. Ralph Sherwin, Priests and others. This proved the first step in his conversion. These humble suffering Confessors awakened Phillip's soul and he returned to Arundel to think about reconciliation with the Catholic Church.
Even during this period of dissipation, Phillip was extravagant in helping the poor and sick. He servants worshipped him because he treated every individual courteously. About this time his grandfather died and he inherited the title and estates of the Earl of Arundel.
About the same time as Campion's defense of the faith, Anne Dacre and Phillip's favorite sister, Margaret Sackville, were reconciled to the Catholic Church. Elizabeth immediately banished Anne Dacre and placed her under house arrest in Surrey, where she gave birth to their first daughter. Phillip was imprisoned in the Tower of London for a short time. Upon his release, he, too, returned to the Catholic Church in 1584 with fervor and conscientiousness.
The change of life was soon noticed at Court, on which Phillip, seeing the Queen more and more averse and dangers thickening, resolved escape across the English Channel to Flanders with his family and brother William as so many Catholics of his country had done before, which they did (14 Apr, 1585), after composing a long and excellent letter of explanation to Elizabeth. But a servant or the captain of the ship he had hired betrayed him and he was apprehended at sea. Again, on 25 Apr 1585 he was thrown into the Tower, where he was severely beaten and accused of treason for working with Mary, Queen of Scots. The charge was not provable, but he was fined 10,000 pounds and imprisonment at the Queen's pleasure. His last prayer to see his wife and only son, who had been born after his imprisonment, unanswered by the Queen except on condition of his coming to the Protestant Church, on which terms he might also go free.
At the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588 anti-Catholicism swept the country, he was again accused of treason (though he was in the Tower of London at the time) tried again before the King's Bench and falsely charged with praying for a Spanish victory and again found guilty, accused of having said a Mass in support of the Spanish Armada. His sentence: to be hanged, drawn and quartered--a sentence that was never carried out. Thereon began his long term of imprisonment, never knowing from day to day which would be his last. Each day he spent several hours in prayer and meditation; he was noted for his patience in suffering and courtesy to unkind keepers. Weakened by malnutrition and not without a suspicion of having been poisoned (Benedictines, Delaney, Undset), he died on 19th Oct 1595. He was 39 years old and had spent the last eleven years of his life in the Tower of London.
On various occasions it was reported to his wife that the Earl was drinking in prison, that he had affairs with all kinds of loose women, and was entirely indifferent to religious concerns. Even where he was at the point of death in 1596, it was made a condition that he must renounce his faith if he wanted to see Anne and the children before he died.
Over the chimney in his cell he wrote in Latin before the Shrine this inscription: "The more affliction we endure for Christ in this world, the more glory we shall obtain with Christ in the next". This is a translation of the original Latin cut by St. Phillip over the fireplace in the Beauchamp Tower, which visitors to the Tower of London can still see:
"Quanto plus afflictionis pro Christo in hoc saeculo, tanto plus gloriae cum Christo in futuro".
Arundell - Jun 22, 1587.
He was buried in the same grave in the Tower Church that had received his father and grandfather. In 1624 his bones were translated by his widow to Long Horsley, and thence to Arundel. In 1971 his remains were brought from the Fitzalan Chapel in Arundel and enshrined in The Cathedral.
He was one of 40 Welsh and English Martyrs who died between 1535 and 1679. Probably best known among them are the Jesuit Edmund Campion (executed Tyburn 1581), Ambrose Barlow (Benedictine, executed Lancaster 1641), Cuthbert Mayne (diocesan priest executed in Launceston in 1577), Margaret Clitherow (executed in York in 1586) and Welsh priest John Kemble (executed in 1679 at the age of 80). The process of their canonisation was first begun as early as 1874. 136 martyrs were beatified in 1929 and Pope Paul VI announced in May 1970 that 40 of them would be canonised later that year.
|to Bios Page|
|to Peerage Page||to Home Page|